Papers of Thomas Moffat Murchison, 1907-1984, Church of Scotland minister and Gaelic scholar

Scope and Content

  • Notes on church history, especially Wester Ross, c1900s
  • Papers relating to the Highland Development League, 1947-1953
  • Articles, lectures, press cuttings, mainly relating to Highlands, 1935-1969
  • Sermons, c1900
  • Papers relating to Kenneth MacLeod, 1872-1955, Church of Scotland minister, c1900s

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Moffat Murchison was born on 27 July 1907. He was educated at the High School in Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland, and from 1926 to 1932 at the University of Glasgow and Trinity College, gaining an MA in 1929. He became Doctor of Divinity in 1964. He was a Minister Church of Scotland, first at Glenelg, in the Scottish Highlands, 1932-1937; then at St Columba, Copland Road, Glasgow, 1937-1966; and finally at St Columba Summertown Church, Glasgow, 1966-1972. He was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1969.

In addition to his career in the Church, Murchison was a prominent Gaelic scholar. He was crowned Bard of the National Mod in 1958 and was the Chief of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, Scotland, in 1961. He was also president of the Highland Development League. He published numerous articles in English and Gaelic and was involved in several broadcasts. His publications included: 'The Plight of the Smallholders' (1935); and 'Gaelic prose writing of Donald Lamont' (1960). He edited 'Alba, A Miscellany' (1948) and 'The Golden Key' (1950). Furthermore, he was the editor of 'The Gael' from 1946 to 1957. He died in January 1984.


The material is arranged loose in boxes, in the order in which it was received.

Access Information

Access is open, however an appointment may be required. Please email Archives and Special Collections for advice:

Acquisition Information

Gift : Mary Murchison : June 1986 : ACCN 4609

Gift : Mary Murchison : June 1992 : ACCN 4758

Gift : Donald Meek : Jan 2012 : ACCN 4994

Other Finding Aids

See also University of Glasgow Collections

Additional comments on the papers can be found in Anja Gunderloch, 'The Gaelic Manuscripts of Glasgow University' (Department of Celtic, 2007), pp 20-23. This is available online as a PDF or in the Special Collections reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents. Applications for permission to quote should be sent to Archives and Special Collections, please email:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History

Held by the previous owner


A small group of papers (3 boxes) were received from Donald Meek, Murchison's literary executor, in 2012.


Geographical Names