Letters of Rev. John Sinclair (1797-1875)

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of: letter from Sinclair to the Rev. E. Power about his application to the National Society for the services of a schoolmaster, 1842; letter from Sinclair at the Vicarage, Kensington; and, letter to 'My dear Mr. Lockhart' with references to Macaulay's historical work.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Sinclair, the son of Sir John Sinclair (1754-1835), was born in 1797. He was educated at Edinburgh University and at Pembroke College, Oxford. In Edinburgh he helped found the Rhetorical Society and at Oxford he promoted a scheme which led to the formation of the Union Society. He was ordained as a deacon in 1819 and then as a priest in 1820. He worked in Sutterby, Lincolnshire, in Hackney, and in Edinburgh, before being appointed Secretary of the National Society in 1839. Sinclair was the mover behind negotiations between the Church and the Government which ended in an agreement in 1850 respecting the allocation of government money to elementary schools. In 1843 he had become Vicar of Kensignton, and in 1844 Archdeacon of Middlesex. Rev. John Sinclair died in Kensington on 22 May 1875.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Among miscellaneous letters purchased from E. Hall, February 1976, Accession no. E76.8.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 18. Shearman-Stovin. London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1909.

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.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: 1862-66 : correspondence with Baroness Burdett-Coutts, 1862-1866, Lambeth Palace Library, Ref. MSS 1380, 1385, 1387, and correspondence with A. C. Tait and related papers, 1856-1866, Ref. Tait NRA 8476 Tait; and, correspondence with Sir Robert Peel, 1835-1845, British Library, Manuscript Collections, Ref. Add MSS 40413-557 passim.