Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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TOUT , THOMAS FREDERICK ( 1855 - 1929 ), historian ,

who is fully treated by V. H. Galbraith in D.N.B., 1922-30 and by Sir Maurice Powicke in Proceedings of the British Academy , 1929 . Although Tout did most of his work in Manchester he is noted here since much of his work dealt with Wales and it was in Wales that it was begun. He was professor of history at St. David's College , 1881-90 . In the words of Galbraith , ‘ his years at Lampeter were the making of him ’; and Powicke says, ‘ at Lampeter , Tout found himself ’. He learnt Welsh , and immersed himself not only in the work of the college but also in the life of the town of Lampeter ; when it became a borough in 1884 , Tout was one of its first aldermen , and he often presided over the town council . He also took an interest in the history of Wales . He wrote very many of the articles relating to Wales in D.N.B. Before Sir John Lloyd in 1893 undertook the work, Tout wrote mostly on the Welsh of the Middle Ages; but his knowledge was not confined to that period — it was he e.g. who wrote the article on Charles of Bala ; note also his paper ‘ Wales under the Stuarts ’ in Liverpool Welsh Nat. Soc. Trans. , 1891-2 , 24-41. The main result of his study of Welsh history was to realise (as he demonstrated quite clearly in his books) that the history of England in the 13th c. cannot be understood without giving full weight to the ‘ Welsh problem’. He did not write a book specifically on the history of Wales , but some of his papers which are of Welsh interest can be cited here: ‘ The Welsh Shires ’ ( Cymm. , ix), ‘ Wales and the March during the Barons’ Wars, 1258-67 ’ (in Historical Essays by Members of Owens College , 1902 , 76-136), ‘ Flintshire, its History and Records ’ ( Flints. Hist. Soc. Proc. , i, 1-38), The Captivity and Death of Edward of Caernarvon , 1920 , the treatment of the old boroughs of Wales in his Mediaeval Town Planning , 1917 , and the Welsh sections of his important book The Place of the Reign of Edward II in English History , 1914 . Tout was b. in London , 28 Sept. 1855 , and d. there, 23 Oct. 1929 .


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 2001