Letters of Rev. John Cumming (1807-1881)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-875
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      6 letters. Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
  • Location
      Gen. 1429/10/29; Gen. 1801/4/4; Gen. 2039/117; Gen. 1981/69-70

Scope and Content

The collection consists of: letter dated 1854 from Cumming in London; letter, 1872, from Woburn Square, planning a meeting; note about 'the hour and service' and about distribution of leaflets; letter to Mr. Jones regretting he cannot attend a meeting of the Tract Society on India but blessing it; note from Cumming offering support; and letter from Cumming referring to 'Roman Catholics'.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Cumming was born in Fintray, Aberdeenshire on 10 November 1807. He was educated in Aberdeen and studied at Aberdeen University, graduating in 1827. He was licensed to preach by the Aberdeen Presbytery in 1832 and while tutoring in London was invited to preach at the National Scottish Church at Crown Court, Covent Garden (Crown Court Church Of Scotland, Russell Street). His preaching attracted a large congregation to the small church and by 1847 a larger one could be built. He used church income to fund schools in London. In pamphlets and letters, Cumming opposed those who went on to form the Free Church. The Rev. John Cumming died in London on 5 July 1881, and he was buried at Kensal Green.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Item at Gen. 1428, among other miscellaneous letters, purchased 1970, Accession no. E70.2., and also item at Gen. 1801, Accession no. E70.3. Item at Gen. 2039/117, among miscellaneous letters, purchased February 1976, Accession no. E76.8.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Stephen, Leslie. and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol.5. Craik-Drake. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1908.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.