Thomas Charles Edwards

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Portrait photograph by John Thomas, c. 1885

Thomas Charles Edwards (22 September 1837 – 22 March 1900) was a Welsh minister, writer and academic who was the first Principal of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.


Thomas Charles Edwards was born at Llanycil, Bala, Merionethshire, on 22 September 1837. Edwards was the son of Lewis Edwards, founder of the Bala Theological College. His mother was a granddaughter of Thomas Charles, the organiser of Welsh Calvinistic Methodism.[1][2]

He was educated at his father's college in Bala, at St Alban Hall, Oxford and at Lincoln College, Oxford. At Oxford he was deeply influenced by Mark Pattison and Benjamin Jowett, and kept in touch with them for the rest of their lives.[3]

He began preaching with the Presbyterian Church of Wales in 1856. He became minister of the Windsor Street chapel in Liverpool, and later of the Catherine Street chapel in the same city. He was accounted one of the leading preachers of his generation.

In 1872 the new university at Aberystwyth was founded, and Edwards was appointed as the first Principal. He resigned from this post in 1891, partly for health reasons and partly to follow his father as head of the Bala Theological College. [1] He was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1887.

He married Mary Roberts in 1876; they had four children.[3]

He died at Bala on 22 March 1900.[1]

Sculpture by Goscombe John


  • Edwards, Thomas Charles (1885). A commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians. London: Hodder and Stoughton. Two editions in 1885. US publication of second edition: New York City: A. C. Armstrong & Son (1886)
  • — (1885). "A Sermon". In Jones. Welsh Pulpit.
  • — (1887). Memoir of his father, Lewis Edwards.
  • — (1888). The Epistle to the Hebrews. London: Hodder and Stoughton. Nine editions up to 1904. Also published by: New York City: A. C. Armstrong & Son, Toronto: Willard Tract Depository & Bible Depot
  • — (1890). Yr Epistol at yr Hebreaid [The Epistle to the Hebrews] (in Welsh). Caernafon: D. W. Davies.
  • — (1895). The God-Man. London: Hodder and Stoughton. (Davis Lecture)
  • — (1901). Bywyd a Llythyrau y Diweddar Barch Lewis Edwards [Life and Letters of the Late Rev. Lewis Edwards] (in Welsh). Liverpool: Isaac Foulkes. (About his father)

He also published individual sermons.

Statue at Aberystwyth University[edit]

A statue of Thomas Charles Edwards was unveiled in July 1922 in the forecourt of University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. The sculptor was Goscombe John.[4]



  1. ^ a b c Gordon 1901.
  2. ^ Evans, Rev. Trebor Lloyd. "Edwards, Lewis (1809-1887)". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. National Library of Wales. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Edwards, Rev. Gwilym Arthur. "Edwards, Thomas Charles (1837-1900)". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Public Monument and Sculpture Association National Recording Project". Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2008.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGordon, Alexander (1901). "Edwards, Thomas Charles". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

External links[edit]