Richard Baxter Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection consists of:

  • Annual reports written by Baxter for the Church of Scotland Mission Committee
  • Circular letters from the Baxters
  • Notebooks
  • Correspondence
  • Reports on the United Church Lay Training Centre, Chilema
  • Photographs
  • Papers relating to the 1964 crisis in Malawi
  • Papers, articles and reports by Baxter

Administrative / Biographical History

Richard Fraser Baxter, Church of Scotland missionary in Malawi, was born in Glasgow on 25 February 1925. He was educated at Glasgow High School then, from 1943, at Glasgow University and Trinity College from where he graduated M.A. (1946) and B.D. (1951). Between 1944 and 1946 he served with the Royal Marines and from 1950 to 1951 he was an assistant minister at St Enoch's-Hogganfield, Glasgow. After completing his course at Trinity, Baxter worked as Scottish Secretary of the Student Christian Movement in Schools until 1954 when he was ordained.

In the same year Baxter and his new wife Julie Renate (Ray, b 1927) left for Malawi (Nyasaland) where they worked as missionaries with the Church of Scotland until 1969. They were first based in Zomba where Baxter was district missionary and responsible for the mission schools. His educational work continued when he moved to Blantyre in 1958 to be Education Secretary of Blantyre Synod. After a period of leave the Baxters were stationed, from 1960, at Mulanje and Richard Baxter spent the next four years travelling between villages visiting congregations, schools and churches and training elders. In 1964 he was appointed minister of St Michael's and All Angels Church, Blantyre then a year later became the first Warden of the United (Anglican / Presbyterian) Lay Training Centre at Chilema. The Baxters left Malawi in 1969 and Richard Baxter took a post as Warden of Scottish Churches House, Dunblane which he held until 1974. From 1975 to 1982 he was minister at Kirkmahoe, Dumfries then between 1983 and 1995 acted as assistant minister at churches in Edinburgh with a spell in 1990 as interim Director of the Church of Scotland Centre, Tiberias, Israel. Baxter retired from active work in 1995 having served on a number of Church of Scotland committees. A keen singer and artist his interest in African music continued and a number of his illustrations and cartoons have appeared in publications. He was awarded an OBE in 1964.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers. It is essential to arrange an appointment in advance to view the archive in order that someone can be available to help. Please contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the Centre in 2001 by Richard Fraser Baxter.

Other Finding Aids

A paper catalogue to the collection is available to researchers at the Centre.

Archivist's Note

Description originally written and researched by Caroline Brown in July 2001. This was added to Archives Hub in August 2012 by Louise Williams.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction of materials (for example by digital camera) is free for private research and educational use, although we ask researchers to sign an agreement. Please contact us for enquiries on using the material in a commercial setting, for which there will be a fee. Contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Accruals

No further additions to the colleciton are expected.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names