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]

Coychurch village in United Kingdom

Coychurch is a small village that sits between Pencoed and Bridgend in Wales, bordering with Bridgend Industrial Estate, where many residents are employed. It is part of the community of Coychurch Lower.

Welsh language Brythonic language spoken natively in Wales

Welsh or y Gymraeg is a member of the Brittonic branch of the Celtic languages. It is spoken natively in Wales, by some in England, and in Y Wladfa. Historically, it has also been known in English as "Cambrian", "Cambric" and "Cymric".

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. Named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that would later take their name, England, both names ultimately deriving from the Anglia peninsula in the Baltic Sea. It is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent Latin and French.



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]

Philip Morant English clergyman

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Dr John Davies, Mallwyd was one of Wales's leading scholars of the late Renaissance. He wrote a Welsh grammar and dictionary. He was also a translator and editor and an ordained minister of the Church of England.

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

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  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. 1 2 3 Wikisource-logo.svg "Richards, Thomas (1710?-1790)". Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  4. 1 2 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).

Wikisource-logo.svg  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. 

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<i>Dictionary of National Biography</i> multi-volume reference work

The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published since 1885. The updated Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) was published on 23 September 2004 in 60 volumes and online, with 50,113 biographical articles covering 54,922 lives.