Papers of David Bogue (1750-1825)

Scope and Content

The collection consists of notes on Bogue's lectures at Gosport College (c 1790-1825); notes on Bogue's sermons (1771-1825); notes on missions; addresses to students and ordination charges; and an occasional diary (1793-1797; 1799-1802; 1814-1817).

Administrative / Biographical History

David Bogue, mission promoter and missionary educator, was born in 1750 in Coldingham, Berwickshire, Scotland. The son of John Bogue, a small landowner and magistrate, he studied divinity at Edinburgh University with a view to entering the ministry. As an opponent of the system of church patronage he was unable to find a ministry in Scotland and eventually, in 1777 after some time in London, became pastor at a Congregational church in Gosport, Hampshire. In 1789 he opened a small seminary for training ministers. Bogue has been described as the architect of the modern missionary movement. He was a prominent supporter of evangelism in Hampshire and the Scottish Highlands but, more importantly, was a pioneer of the London Missionary Society (LMS). Sermons, meetings and articles initiated by Bogue led directly to the formation of the LMS in 1785 and he became a long-serving director of the Society. Unable to go to India as a missionary himself he set about training and educating missionaries in his seminary, convinced that such preparation was vital for success. He trained at least 115 missionaries for the LMS, nearly half of them for India, and his lectures were used for training indigenous ministers in the field. Bogue was part of a mission to France in 1802, he was active in establishing the Religious Tract Society and the British and Foreign Bible Society and was a proponent of Jewish missions. With James Bennett he wrote a four volume History of Dissenters which became a standard. He received a D.D. from Yale in 1815. Bogue died in 1825 in Brighton while on a preaching tour on behalf of the LMS.


The collection is arranged as 11 volumes of lecture notes (MSS BOG 1-6); 3 boxes of lecture notes (MSS BOG 7); 4 boxes of sermons (MSS BOG 8); and 2 boxes of miscellaneous items including diaries (MSS BOG 9).

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Not clear


The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) Anderson, G. H. (ed.). Bibliographical Dictionary of Christian Missions. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1998. (2) Cameron, Nigel M. de S. (ed.) Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1993. (3) Stephen, L. (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1886.

Compiled by Caroline Brown, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division. Revised by Graeme D Eddie

Other Finding Aids

The Index to Manuscripts held at New College Library mentions the collection. A handlist is filed in the New College Inventory of Manuscripts under MSS BOG.

Conditions Governing Use

Contact the repository for details.

Custodial History

The papers originally included A meditation occasion'd by the earthquake, at London Febr. 8 1749 and Thoughts on the Last Judgement (1753) bound in one volume. This was removed from the Bogue papers and is stored separately at New College Library reference MSS MED 2 (see Index to Manuscripts, New College).

Related Material

New College also holds a collection relating to Bogue's son, David Bogue, consisting mainly of lecture notes from the University of Glasgow (MSS BOGU). An item removed from the Bogue collection is now New College Library reference MSS MED2. New College also holds separately some of Bogue's sermons and sermons by others on the occasion of his funeral.