Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PHILLIPS , THOMAS ( 1760 - 1851 ), surgeon and benefactor of education ;

b. in London , 6 July 1760 , son of Thomas Phillips of Llandegley, Rads. He received his medical education at Hay and in London , and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons . After serving in the Navy , he was in practice first in Calcutta and then in Botany Bay , before settling in India in 1802 , where he became a member of the Calcutta Medical Board . He returned to London in 1817 , and d. there 31 June 1851 .

He has been called the chief benefactor of Welsh education in the 19th cent. He established scholarships at S. David's College , Lampeter , and endowed a chair of natural science there. In 1847 he founded the Welsh Collegiate Institution ( Llandovery College ) by setting aside £140 per annum to pay the salary of the warden, stipulating that the Welsh language should be used in the classroom. In his will he left £12,000 as endowment for masters’ salaries. He gave many thousands of books to these institutions and to several Welsh towns.


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • The Gentleman's Magazine , 1851 , i, 655-6;
  • Dodswell and Miles , Medical Officers of India ;
  • Llandovery College Trust Deed.


Canon Gwilym Owen Williams, D.D., Llandovery / Bangor

Published date: 1959