which had fallen into deserved oblivion. In 1797 appeared his Apology for the Believers in the Shakespeare Papers which were exhibited in Norfolk Street, followed by other tracts on the same subject. These contributions to the literature of Shakespeare are full of curious matter, but on the whole display a great waste of erudition, in seeking to show that papers which had been proved forgeries might nevertheless have been genuine. Chalmers also took part in the Junius controversy, and in The Author of Junius Ascertained, from a Concatenation of Circumstances amounting to Moral Demonstration, Lond. 1817, 8vo, sought to fix the authorship of the celebrated letters on Hugh Boyd. In 1824 he published The Poetical Remains of some of the Scottish Kings, now first collected; and in the same year he edited and presented as a contribution to the Bannatyne Club Robene and Makyne and the Testament of Cresseid, by Robert Henryson. His political writings are equally numerous. Among them may be mentioned Collection of Treaties between Great Britain and other Powers, Lond. 1790, 2 vols. 8vo; Vindication of the Privileges of the People in respect to the Constitutional Right of Free Discussion, &c., Lond. 1796, 8vo, published anonymously; A Chronological Account of Commerce and Coinage in Great Britain from the Restoration till 1810, Lond. 1810, 8vo; Opinions of Eminent Lawyers on various points of English Jurisprudence, chiefly concerning the Colonies, Fisheries, and Commerce of Great Britain, Lond. 1814, 2 vols. 8vo; Comparative Views of the State of Great Britain before and since the War, Lond. 1817, 8vo.
But Chalmers’s greatest work is his Caledonia, which, however, he did not live to complete. The first volume appeared in 1807, and is introductory to the others. It is divided into four books, treating successively of the Roman, the Pictish, the Scottish and the Scoto-Saxon periods, from 80 to 1306 A.D. In these we are presented, in a condensed form, with an account of the people, the language and the civil and ecclesiastical history, as well as the agricultural and commercial state of Scotland during the first thirteen centuries of our era. Unfortunately the chapters on the Roman period are entirely marred by the author’s having accepted as genuine Bertram’s forgery De Situ Britanniae; but otherwise his opinions on controverted topics are worthy of much respect, being founded on a laborious investigation of all the original authorities that were accessible to him. The second volume, published in 1810, gives an account of the seven south-eastern counties of Scotland—Roxburgh, Berwick, Haddington, Edinburgh, Linlithgow, Peebles and Selkirk—each of them being treated of as regards name, situation and extent, natural objects, antiquities, establishment as shires, civil history, agriculture, manufactures and trade, and ecclesiastical history. In 1824, after an interval of fourteen years, the third volume appeared, giving, under the same headings, a description of the seven south-western counties—Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Wigtown, Ayr, Lanark, Renfrew and Dumbarton. In the preface to this volume the author states that the materials for the history of the central and northern counties were collected, and that he expected the work would be completed in two years, but this expectation was not destined to be realized. He had also been engaged on a history of Scottish poetry and a history of printing in Scotland. Each of them he thought likely to extend to two large quarto volumes, and on both he expended an unusual amount of enthusiasm and energy. He had also prepared for the press an elaborate history of the life and reign of David I. In his later researches he was assisted by his nephew James, son of Alexander Chalmers, writer in Elgin.
George Chalmers died in London on the 31st of May 1825. His valuable and extensive library he bequeathed to his nephew, at whose death in 1841 it was sold and dispersed. Chalmers was a member of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies of London, an honorary member of the Antiquarian Society of Scotland, and a member of other learned societies. In private life he was undoubtedly an amiable man, although the dogmatic tone that disfigures portions of his writings procured him many opponents. Among his avowed antagonists in literary warfare the most distinguished were Malone and Steevens, the Shakespeare editors; Mathias, the author of the Pursuits of Literature; Dr Jamieson, the Scottish lexicographer; Pinkerton, the historian; Dr Irving, the biographer of the Scottish poets; and Dr Currie of Liverpool, But with all his failings in judgment Chalmers was a valuable writer. He uniformly had recourse to original sources of information; and he is entitled to great praise for his patriotic and self-sacrificing endeavours to illustrate the history, literature and antiquities of his native country. (J. M‘D.)
CHALMERS, GEORGE PAUL (1836-1878), Scottish painter, was born at Montrose, and studied at Edinburgh. His landscapes are now more valued than the portraits which formed his earlier work. The best of these are “The End of the Harvest” (1873), “Running Water” (1875), and “The Legend” (in the National Gallery, Edinburgh). He became an associate (1867) and a full member (1871) of the Scottish Academy.
CHALMERS, JAMES (1841-1901), Scottish missionary to New Guinea, was born at Ardrishaig in Argyll. After serving in the Glasgow City Mission he passed through Cheshunt College, and, being accepted by the London Missionary Society, was appointed to Rarotonga in the South Pacific in 1866. Here the natives gave him the well-known name “Tamate.” After ten years’ service, especially in training native evangelists, he was transferred to New Guinea. In addition to his enthusiastic but sane missionary work, Chalmers did much to open up the island, and, with his colleague W.G. Lawes, gave valuable aid in the British annexation of the south-east coast of the island. On the 8th of April 1901, in company with a brother missionary, Oliver Tomkins, he was killed by cannibals at Goaribari Island. R.L. Stevenson has left on record his high appreciation of Chalmers’s character and work.
Chalmers’s Autobiography and Letters were edited by Richard Lovett in 1902, who also wrote a popular life called Tamate.
CHALMERS, THOMAS (1780-1847), Scottish divine, was born at Anstruther in Fifeshire, on the 17th of March 1780. At the age of eleven he was entered as a student at St Andrews, where he devoted himself almost exclusively to mathematics. In January 1799 he was licensed as a preacher of the Gospel by the St Andrews presbytery. In May 1803, after attending further courses of lectures in Edinburgh, and acting as assistant to the professor of mathematics at St Andrews, he was ordained as minister of Kilmany in Fifeshire, about 9 m. from the university town, where he continued to lecture. His mathematical lectures roused so much enthusiasm that they were discontinued by order of the authorities, who disliked the disturbance of the university routine which they involved. Chalmers then opened mathematical classes on his own account which attracted many students; at the same time he delivered a course of lectures on chemistry, and ministered to his parish at Kilmany. In 1805 he became a candidate for the vacant professorship of mathematics at Edinburgh, but was unsuccessful. In 1808 he published an Inquiry into the Extent and Stability of National Resources, a contribution to the discussion created by Bonaparte’s commercial policy. Domestic bereavements and a severe illness then turned his thoughts in another direction. At his own request the article on Christianity was assigned to him in Dr Brewster’s Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, and in studying the credentials of Christianity he received a new impression of its contents. His journal and letters show how he was led from a sustained effort to attain the morality of the Gospel to a profound spiritual revolution. After this his ministry was marked by a zeal which made it famous. The separate publication of his article in the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, and contributions to the Edinburgh Christian Instructor and the Eclectic Review, enhanced his reputation as an author. In 1815 he became minister of the Tron Church, Glasgow, in spite of determined opposition to him in the town council on the ground of his evangelical teaching. From Glasgow his repute as a preacher spread throughout the United Kingdom. A series of sermons on the relation between the discoveries of astronomy and the Christian revelation was published in January 1817, and within a year nine editions and 20,000 copies were in circulation. When he visited London Wilberforce wrote, “all the world is wild about Dr Chalmers.”
In Glasgow Chalmers made one of his greatest contributions