Thomas Wilkins 1626 - 1699

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Thomas WILKINS 1626-1699

Biographical Note

Thomas Wilkins was the son of Roger Wilkins of St Mary Church, Glamorganshire. He went to Jesus College Oxford and in 1661 followed his father to become rector of St Mary Church, under the patronage of Sir Edward Mansel. He also held the livings of Gelli-gaer and Llan-maes as well as becoming Prebendary of Llandaff Cathedral. He married Jane Carne, who was a descendent of John Stradling 1563 - 1637, and they had five children. He became widely known in south Wales as an antiquarian and collector of medieval Welsh manuscripts.


Thomas Wilkins is known to have owned several particularly valuable manuscripts namely The Red Book of Hergest (1400), the Book of the Anchorite of Llandewi Brefi (1346) and the Analectea Glamorganica (assembled 1657). The two former documents are now held at Jesus College Oxford, having been donated by Thomas Wilkins' son, a lawyer also called Thomas, in 1701. The Analectea, which is a collection of various manuscripts, is at the National Library of Wales. Edward Lhwyd visited Thomas Wilkins in 1697 specifically to make a copy of the Red Book, as Wilkins refused to lend it.

In his 1698 will, somewhat damaged, Wilkins made bequests of a number of books including Sanderson's Sermons, Hooker's Ecclesiastical politie, Heylyn's Theology of the creed and Speed's History of Great Britain. His inventory of 1699 lists the value of 'His study of books' at £50. There is no mention of manuscripts although these seem to have been left to his son, Thomas.

Inscription of Thomas Wilkins

Characteristic Markings

Thomas Wilkins' signature can be found on the end paper of The Book of the Anchorite, stating that it was bound by him in 1684.


  • NLW LL 1699-167 Will of Thomas Wilkins of St Mary church, Glamorgan, 1699.
  • Morgan, Prys Glamorgan and the Red Book. Morgannwg. 1978; 22: 42 - 60.