period travelling abroad he worked in a bank until he secured
from William Maule, the Whig MP for Forfarshire and a local
landowner, the living of Arbirlot. A popular preacher, Guthrie
helped his parishioners by establishing a savings bank and using
his medical knowledge to help them in times of sickness.
Guthrie moved to Old Greyfriar's in Edinburgh. Shocked by the
poverty he witnessed in the city, Guthrie was responsible for
the implementation of several social reforms in the parish.
This included the establishment of schools and the introduction
of a system of district home visitors.
period Guthrie developed radical political ideas and worked
closely with Joseph Hume, the Whig MP for Montrose. A member
of the Temperance Society, Guthrie also campaigned for better
believed that improved schools would reduce youth crime and
in 1847 published his book Plea for Ragged Schools, or Prevention
is Better Than Cure. With the support of the Edinburgh Review,
Guthrie was able to raise enough money to form a Ragged School
where children were fed, clothed and given training. The success
of Guthrie's ideas encouraged the government to provide funding
for what later became known as industrial schools.
retired from the ministry in 1864, he worked for the Sunday
Magazine. Thomas Guthrie died in 1873.