Thomas Richards of Coychurch

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Thomas Richards (c. 1710 – 20 March 1790) was a Welsh curate from Coychurch in the eighteenth century, best known for his 1753 Thesaurus, a Welsh-English dictionary.[1] The Welsh-English dictionary was used by Dr. Samuel Johnson in compiling A Dictionary of the English Language (1755).[2]


Born about 1710 in Glamorganshire, served for forty years the curacy of Coychurch (Llan Grallo) and Coety in that county. Richards died on 20 March 1790.[3]


In 1746 Richards published a Welsh translation of a tract on the Cruelties and Persecutions of the Church of Rome, by Philip Morant. His major work was Antiquæ Linguæ Britannicæ Thesaurus, Bristol, 1753, a Welsh-English Dictionary, with a Welsh grammar prefixed, dedicated to Frederick, Prince of Wales. Based mainly on the work of John Davies and Edward Llwyd, his dictionary was fuller than any which had yet appeared.[3] Other sources were William Wotton and Richard Morris.[4] It has been suggested that Richards borrowed manuscripts from John Bradford.[5] A second edition appeared at Trefriw in 1815, a third in the same year at Dolgellau, and a fourth at Merthyr Tydfil in 1838.[3]

Richards was credited with work on the 1812 edition of William Evans's English-Welsh dictionary.[4]


  1. ^ Prys Morgan, p. 43 in The Invention of Tradition (1992), Eric J. Hobsbawm, Terence O. Ranger (editors); Google Books.
  2. ^ Hill, George Birkbeck, ed. (1887). Boswell's Life of Johnson. vol. 1 (of 6). Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 186. 
  3. ^ a b c  "Richards, Thomas (1710?-1790)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  4. ^ a b Crowe, Richard. "Richards, Thomas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/23540.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ page, John Bradford (1706-85).

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Richards, Thomas (1710?-1790)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.