Papers of John Beveridge

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The papers include correspondence (392 letters, dating from 1884 to 1940), various MS translations, original articles and lectures, and miscellaneous items. The main interest of the collection is in material relating to Beveridge's three major interests of Norway, Esperanto, and bee-keeping.

The Norwegian material includes enquiries through the press about the Norwegian clairvoyant, Johan Flottum, and the Scottish expedition and massacre at Kringen in 1612. Beveridge was personally acquainted with several prominent Norwegian clergymen and theologians, and the letters provide an account of the controversy between the established Norwegian Lutheran church and the free churches at the turn of the century. His attempts to gain recognition in this country (in the form of honorary DDs of Glasgow University) for Bishop J N Storen and Professor N O Kolsrud - successfully in the case of the latter - are documented. The Norwegian translator and writer of books for children, Ingeborg von der Lippe-Konow, is represented by 12 letters. The Norwegian material in the miscellaneous papers falls into two main groups: MS translations of works on Norway, Norwegian church history and theology, and original notes and MS articles on Norwegian folk- culture, history, artists and preachers, mainly published under the pseudonym "Gamle Norge'.

Beveridge himself gathered together material for the individual subjects into scrapbooks and folders. Beveridge's work for the Esperanto translation of the Bible is outlined in correspondence with J C Rust, W M Page, editor of the British Esperantist, J M Warden, chief editor of the Esperanto translation of the Bible, and Dr L L Zamenhof, the originator of Esperanto. The correspondence also includes a collection of Esperanto postcards from Esperantists in a wide range of countries in Europe and beyond. The Esperanto material among the miscellaneous papers includes articles on and guidance rules for Bible translators, a few translations of short stories (some delivered as lectures), programmes for Esperanto congresses in Dundee (1911), Glasgow (1919) and Rothesay (1935), and orders of service, prayers and a sermon (all in Esperanto) for an Esperanto service held in Dunfermline Abbey in 1937.

Beveridge's third interest, bee-keeping, is represented by lists of beemasters, honey judges etc in Scotland, and an obituary article by Beveridge on J W Moir, missionary and bee-keeper.

Other items include information about congresses of the International Order of Good Templars (Oslo 1914, Trondheim 1930) of which Beveridge was a member, the Trondheim cathedral centenary celebrations (1930), and Glasgow University commemoration day (1939). The correspondence also includes letters from local dignitaries, MPs, and Presbyterian clergymen concerning church bazaars, building restoration funds, visiting preachers and other social functions. In particular Beveridge corresponded with MPs and clergymen about the Temperance Bill (Scotland), passed in 1913, for which he was an ardent campaigner.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Reverend John Beveridge (1857-1943) was born in Ayr, the son of a solicitor. He was educated at Ayr Academy and Glasgow University, where he graduated MA and BD before taking his divinity training at New College, Edinburgh. He was ordained into the United Presbyterian Church in 1882 and ministered in Stow (Midlothian), Wolverhampton, Dundee, Fossoway (Kinross-shire), and Gartmore (Perthshire) before retiring from the regular ministry in 1926. He spent two winters in the Pyrenees before settling in Edinburgh. His wife, Alice Alexandra Henderson (of Sydney, New South Wales), whom he had married in 1884, predeceased him, and he was survived by two daughters, three grand- daughters and three great-grandsons, on his death in August 1943.


As far as possible the primarily chronological order of the original material has been maintained within the listing. However, some of the letters have been listed in groups, in order to present a more coherent summary of the content. The correspondence is contained within one box (ms36242) with the exception of those letters pasted into printed works in the Beveridge Collection. The miscellaneouspapers are contained in two boxes, the first (ms36243) holding material relating exclusively to Norway, and the second (ms36244) containing the remainder.

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment with the Archivist. Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted.


Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

The list is available on the manuscripts database of the University of St Andrews Special Collection Department.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 227 procedures.

Custodial History

Accessioned in February 1971.

Related Material

Beveridge's printed book collection is also held at GB 227. See K C Fraser's 'The Beveridge Collection in St Andrews University Library' in The Bibliotheck, vol.5, no.6, 1969, for more information.