Papers of Sir Charles John Pearson (1843-1910)

Scope and Content

The papers of Sir Charles John Pearson consist entirely of correspondence between himself and MPs, peers, and professors. There are letters and fragments of letters on mostly personal, legal, academic and parliamentary matters, some undated but largely between 1839 and 1909.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles John Pearson was born in Midlothian on 6 November 1843. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and then he studied at Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities before attending Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he was awarded the first class degree of B.A. in 1866. He was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple, London, and was a member of the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland. During his career, Pearson was: Sheriff of Chancery, 1885-1888; Procurator of the Church of Scotland, 1886-1890; Sheriff of Renfrew and Bute, 1888, and Sheriff of Perthshire, 1889; Solicitor-General for Scotland and QC, 1890; Lord Advocate for Scotland, 1891-1892 and 1895-1896; Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, 1892-1895; and, a Judge of the Supreme Court of Scotland, 1896-1909. Pearson was also the Conservative MP for Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities. Sir Charles John Pearson died on 15 August 1910.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

The material was presented by Pearson's daughter-in-law, Mrs. Margaret Pearson, Newbridge, Midlothian, in 1964, Accession no. E64.39.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Who was who. A companion to 'Who's who' ... 1897-1916. London: A. and C. Black, 1920.

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

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.

Related Material

The local Indexes show another reference to Pearson related material (check the Indexes for more details): a letter to Pearson from P. G. Tait, 24 October 1891.