Ralph Wardlaw was born in Dalkeith, Midlothian on 22 December 1779 and died in Easterhouse, Glasgow on 17 December 1853. After attending grammar school in Glasgow he studied at Glasgow University, without graduating. In 1795 he became a theological student of the Associate Synod of the Secession Church, with which he had extensive family connections, but on completing his qualifications in 1800 he joined the Independents. His whole professional career was spent as a minister (1803–53) in Glasgow, and as a professor (1811–53) in the Congregational college there. He was created DD of Yale in 1818 and friends canvassed his candidacy for the Chair of Mental and Moral Philosophy at London University in 1828. This, and subsequent theological posts in England, he consistently resisted. Known principally as a theological writer, he also preached and published on social issues; he campaigned against slavery and against prostitution.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.