Correspondence of John Erskine D.D.

Scope and Content

The material consists of Erskine's correspondence with the Rev. Dr. J. Ryland.

Administrative / Biographical History

The theologian John Erskine was born in Edinburgh in 1721. He was educated at Edinburgh University and became a minister. He was ordained Minister of Kirkintilloch in 1744. Early in his career he cultivated relations with other churches and ministers in Europe and in colonised countries, particularly in America. When it became obvious that Britain and the States would part company he wrote many pamphlets urging both sides to make concessions and to avert war. Erskine also cultivated relations with churches and ministers in the Netherlands and Germany. In 1753 he became Minister at Culross, Fife, and was also Minister at Greyfriars in Edinburgh. The degree of D.D. was conferred on him by Glasgow University in 1766. His publications includeTheological dissertations(1765),Considerations on the spirit of Popery(1778), and the two volumes ofSketches and hints of church history and theological controversy, chiefly translated and abridged from modern foreign writers(1790 and 1797). John Erskine D.D. died on 19 January 1803.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Accession no. E99.14.

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.

Related Material

The local Indexes show other references to Erskine related material in the Laing Collection and elsewhere (check the Indexes for more details): letter to the Earl of Buchan, March 1788, at La.II.588; letters to the Hogue Society for defending Christianity, 1790 and 1793, at La.II.587; letter to a bookseller, 1802, at La.II.151; portrait of Erskine, by Raeburn, offered for exhibition in a letter of C. Stuart to the Committee of Management of the Scott Exhibition, 1871, at La.IV.17 (Drummond); and, an account of Erskine's death in a letter from C. Stuart to A. Fuller, 1803, at Dc.4.103.