Nineteen letters from Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay, 1848-1861.

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Nineteen letters from Rev Alexander Duff, missionary, to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

ms718: Autograph letter signed, Rev Alexander Duff, missionary, to Dr Macintosh Mackay.

Reports on massacres at Meurat and Cawnpore [India] and an uprising in favour of the Mogul, and also on his own state of health, together with a report on the financial state of the mission in Bengal. Raises the question of the proposed Presbyterian College in Australia.Signed Alexander Duff.Calcutta, 19 September 1857. (16pp.)

ms719(A): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Expressing general concern at the problems of the Church, particularly in the Highlands.Signed Alexander Duff.Tenby, South Wales, 18 April 1851. (4pp.)

ms719(B): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Seeking news of the government inquiry into the Highlands. Ill health has forced him to take time off. Suggests that a Highlander preach at the next meeting of the Assembly in Tanfield Hall [Edinburgh].Signed Alexander Duff. With envelope.Tenby, Pembrokeshire, 10 April 1851. (4pp.)

ms719(C): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Pressure of work is likely to keep him from the Highlands this summer and from the proposed synod of Argyll in November.Signed Alexander Duff.Cargill by Perth, 20 August 1850. (4pp.)

ms719(D): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

The bearer of the letter is Mrs McCallum, wife of a Calcutta [India] merchant and a member of the Free Church, who proposes to reside, with her two children, at Dunoon.Signed Alexander Duff. With envelope.Calcutta, 15 November 1848. (3pp.)

ms719(E): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Asks that Mackay assume responsibility for the London mission for the present. Advice on the content of a sermon to the Assembly.Signed Alexander Duff.Edinburgh, Newington, 15 May ny. (4pp.)

ms719(F): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Regrets that Dr Candlish will not be going to London. Observations on the forthcoming Synod of Argyll in the New Year.Signed Alexander Duff.Edinburgh, 8 June [1850]. (4pp.)

ms719(G): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

A throat problem has prevented Duff from dealing with problems in Perthshire and he regrets he cannot accompany Mackay to Stornoway [Western Isles].Signed Alexander Duff.Edinburgh, 2 July 1850. (2pp.)

ms719(H): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Applauding the work being done on the foundation of a Presbyterian College in Australia and on the composition of a board of Trustees, and urging the foundation of schools. The unification of reformed Presbyterian traditions in Australia is a desirable goal. Observations on Government funding in Australia and India and on private donations.Signed Alexander Duff.Calcutta, 18 September 1857. (16pp.)

ms719(I): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

On the importance on a visit to the Highlands immediately after the August commission of the Assembly.Signed Alexander Duff.Kelso, 18 June 1851. (4pp.)

ms719(J): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Although shortly to be in Greenock [Renfrewshire], he regrets that he will not be able to make time to visit Mackay in Dunoon. Notes the need for a visit to the Highlands.Signed Alexander Duff.Edinburgh, 5 March 1852. (4pp.)

ms719(K): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

He leaves tomorrow for the Shetland Islands and hopes to meet Mackay either at Fort William [Invernesshire] or at Oban [Argyllshire] in mid August. Asks if Mackay intends to visit the Synod of Glenelg.Signed Alexander Duff.Newington, 17 June 1852. (4pp.)

ms719(L): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

The Presbytery [of Oban ?] has met and has accepted the [association ?] plan. Weather delayed the sailing of Donald Mathison, deacon to Dr Candlish, and his family to Stornoway so Duff agreed to allow the Breadalbane to take them.Signed Alexander Duff.Oban, 3 September 1852. (4pp.)

ms719(M): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Expects to be able to meet Mackay at Oban on 15 August, noting that this is the Sabbath. Desires to visit the Islands with Mackay.Signed Alexander Duff.Gairloch, 4 August 1852. (4pp.)

ms719(N): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Congratulates Mackay on his decision to go to Australia. Lady Pirie asks that Mackay come to dinner on Friday when Miss Wrench will be present and the project of [Charles] Dickens can be discussed.Signed Alexander Duff.Lady Piries, Champion Hill, Camberwell, Monday 11 April 1833 [Recte 1853, when April 11 fell on a Monday] [cf letter Q]. (3pp.)

ms719(P): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Enclosing a donation for the widow of Morrison. Knows no more of the Cunningham proceedings Regrets his inability to address a public meeting in Glasgow.Signed Alexander Duff.Stirling, 28 July 1853. (8pp)

ms719(Q): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Notes the efforts of Miss Wrench in support of the poor Highlanders appeal. [Charles] Dickens has agreed to give an account of the Highlanders' condition in his Household Words which enjoys 'an almost universal circulation'. Asks that Mackay set out a statement of facts relating to the Highlanders.Signed Alexander Duff.Lady Piries, Champion Hill, Camberwell, London, 23 March 1853. (4pp.)

ms719(R): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Regrets that he was unable to meet Mackay in London but had to hurry to the Highlands where his mother was terminally ill.Signed Alexander Duff.Edinburgh, 22 August 1853. (4pp.)

ms719(S): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Congratulating him on the opening of his new church and noting the holding of united prayer meetings in Calcutta for the downfall of idols.Signed Alexander Duff.Calcutta, 8 August 1860. (4pp.)

ms719(T): Autograph letter, signed, Rev Alexander Duff to Dr Mackintosh Mackay of Dunoon, Argyllshire.

Concerning local ordinations and manpower requirements.Signed Alexander Duff.Calcutta, 22 January 1861. (4pp.)

Administrative / Biographical History

Rev Alexander Duff (1806-1878), Scottish missionary. He was born at Moulin in Perthshire, and educated at Perth Academy and then St Andrews University where he came under the influence of Thomas Chalmers, then professor of moral philosophy. He was ordained in 1829 as the first official Church of Scotland missionary to India. Shipwrecked twice on the 8 month voyage out, he worked in India until 1864, with trips home to regain his health and to fund-raise for his mission. He set up a Christian school which taught only in English, seeing this as the best language for education in India. It was a great success; he also saw a native ministry as the best way to convert the country to Christianity. His views on education were confirmed at the Indian Committees of Parliament in 1854.When the Free Church was formed in 1843, he joined it, acting as moderator in 1851 and 1873. He was instrumental in the foundation of Calcutta University in 1857. He had to return home for good in 1864 for the sake of his health; he was appointed convenor of the Free Church Foreign Mission Committee in Edinburgh, and raised money for a chair of Missions at New College, Edinburgh, becoming the first professor of evangelistic theology. He was involved in missionary activities in Southern Africa and Syria, and inspired the Alliance of Reformed Churches. He published widely on missions, church history, the disruption, the Indian Mutiny, education and theology.

Dr Mackintosh Mackay (1793-1873), Gaelic scholar and preacher, was born in Eddrachillis, Sutherland, and educated at St Andrews and Glasgow Universities. He was licensed by the presbytery of Skye, and after working as a schoolmaster in Portree, he was ordained to Laggan in 1825. Here he taught Gaelic to the young William Forbes Skene, who went on to be Historiographer Royal for Scotland. He moved to Dunoon, Argyllshire in 1832, and joined the Free Church at the disruption in 1843, organising Free Churches in the Highlands and acting as moderator in 1849. He then felt called to work in Australia, as minister of the Gaelic Church in Melbourne from 1854, then in Sydney. He returned home in 1862 to take up a charge in Tarbet, on the Isle of Harris. He compiled the Gaelic collections of the Highland Society into the Dictionarium Scoto-Celticum: a Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, published in 1828, corresponded with Walter Scott, and published sermons, biography, local church history, and edited the Free Church Gaelic periodical An fhianuis ('The witness').

Arrangement

Chronological order.

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Forming part of the Mackintosh Mackay papers, passed into the library by Principal Sir James Donaldson.

Note

Call number used to be ms718, ms719

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Paper: ms718, 4 sheets, 25.5 x 19.2, folded; ms719, various, 1 sheet - 4 sheets, folded, various sizes, min: 22.2 x 18.2cm, max: 37 x 22.5cm.; also 2 envelopes, one postmarked Tenby, April 11 1851.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Accruals

None