Chalmers, Thomas (1780–1847)
Chalmers was born in Anstruther, Fife, and died in Edinburgh. Though he was strongly attracted to mathematics and physics in his youth, he is famous as a theologian and economist and as an active worker in the field of poor relief. Appointed to a parish in 1803, he later moved to Glasgow, where he began a famous and influential experiment in the administration of poor relief through dividing up the large parish of St John into small units and relying on a large number of voluntary helpers. He left Glasgow to become Professor of Moral Philosophy at St Andrews in 1823; in 1828 he became Professor of Divinity at Edinburgh and in 1843 he was centrally involved in the famous ecclesiastical divisions which produced the Free Church.