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Charles, Thomas

Charles, Thomas (1755–1814). Welsh revivalist. Born in Carmarthenshire and educated at Jesus College, Oxford, Charles took holy orders in 1778. His sympathies were with the Calvinistic methodists and from a chapel in Bala he began building up an evangelical circle. In 1803 he established a press at Bala which produced catechisms and religious magazines in Welsh and he prepared for the British and Foreign Bible Society an edition of the Bible in Welsh. Charles fought off accusations of Jacobinism and democratical tendencies in The Welsh Methodists Vindicated (1802). In 1811 the ordaining of lay preachers led to a breach with the church which Charles, with reluctance, accepted.

J. A. Cannon

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Charles, Thomas

Thomas Charles, 1755–1814, Welsh nonconformist clergyman. He was brought up under Methodist influence, attended Oxford (1775–78), and was ordained in the Church of England. He held curacies in Somersetshire but resigned them and returned to Bala, Wales, where in 1784 he joined the Calvinistic Methodist Church. Gifted in working with children, he began (1785) to establish Welsh language schools. He secured and distributed thousands of Welsh Bibles and helped to found the British and Foreign Bible Society (see Bible societies). At Bala in 1803, Charles established a printing press for Welsh textbooks.

See W. Hughes, ed., Life and Letters of the Rev. Thomas Charles (1881).

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