Papers of William C Tait, 1889-1941, socialist labour politician

Scope and Content

  • Correspondence and papers sent to William Tait on British Section of International Socialist Labour Party (BSISLP) business, relating to branch and party matters 1927-1934
  • Reports and correspondence sent to Lewis Gordon on branch and party matters 1920-1926
  • Correspondence to Tait and Gordon relating to the Socialist Labour Party of Australia 1928-1934
  • Minutes of the Democratic Federation, the Socialist League and the Socialist Land and Labour League 1883-1888
  • Minutes of Social Democratic Federation (Edinburgh) 1896-1903
  • Minutes of SDF (Leith) 1902-1903
  • Minutes of Socialist Labour Party (Edinburgh) 1903-1912
  • Minutes of BSISLP (Edinburgh) 1912-1937
  • Minutes of Socialist Labour Party (Leith) 1909-1910
  • Minutes of National Executive Council, BSISLP 1918-1920, 1930-1937 and copies 1914-1932
  • Minutes of British Advocates of Industrial Unionism (Leith), 1908 and of Industrial Workers of GB (Leith) 1909
  • Letter books, BSISLP (Edinburgh) 1920-1929
  • Letter books, National Secretary BSISLP 1929-1936
  • Letter book, Socialist Labour Party (Edinburgh) 1911-1912
  • Letter book, BSISLP (Edinburgh) 1912-1936 (incomplete)
  • Letter book, International Labour Party 1943
  • Conference report 1918
  • Copies of correspondence 1923-1929
  • James Connelly's Labour Party membership card undated
  • Newspaper cutting and correspondence 1912
  • Transcription of a tape by William Tait; Copies of obituaries of Thomas Tait (1881-1941)
  • Membership cards for IWGB 1910-c1920
  • Cash books, various organisations 1903-1940
  • Minutes of British Advocates of Industrial Unionism, 1907-1908
  • Invoice book 1943
  • Club cards 1941
  • Membership cards of BSISLP 1933-1935
  • Minutes of Workers International League (Edinburgh Group) 1940-1944
  • 10 ledgers 1899-1939

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Tait was born in Leith on 11 January  1881  and died in Edinburgh on 12 May  1941 . His first serious contact with socialism came while he was serving in the army in the Boer War. He became an enthusiastic supporter of the Socialist Labour Party which he joined in  1912 , at a time when its headquarters were in Edinburgh. The Party was split, resulting in the formation of the British Section International Socialist Labour Party, which Tait joined. That party in turn became the Revolutionary Socialist Party in  1935 . He became secretary of the National Executive Council of the British Section, International Socialist Labour Party in the  1930s  and was involved in other socialist groups in Edinburgh. Tait was a motor driver, and was an active member of the Scottish Horse and Motormen’s Union for many years. Tait was a powerful speaker, often speaking for his cause in the open air at the Mound and at the foot of Leith Walk, Edinburgh.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information



Obituary in Workers Weekly, no. 61, 16 May 1941; also in Edinburgh Evening News, 12 May 1941

Other Finding Aids

Data about collection held on Stirling University Library web-based catalogue.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Manager, Library Liaison and Training.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 559 procedures

Custodial History




Related Material

No related material

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Fonds level description compiled by H M Kemp and Alan Borthwick, Scottish Archive Network project, 10 May 2002.


Geographical Names