Papers of Professor Samuel Henry Butcher (1850-1910)

Scope and Content

The collection consists largely of notes of lectures, but there is also a little correspondence and a common-place book. Notes include: lectures on Greek, 1882-1883, at Gen. 2051-2056; notes on Greek literature, 1882-1883, at Gen. 2073/4, and 1893-1894, at Gen. 808, and also 1894-1895 at Gen. 616; lectures on Aristitle's theory of poetry and on Attic comedy, 1886-1888, at Dk.3.7/1-3; lectures on Greek constitutional history, 1892-1893, at Gen. 807; lectures on Greek and Roman history, 1892-1893, at Gen. 1992/1; and, lectures on Greek literature and syntax, Plato, Demosthenes and Aristotle, 1895-1898, at Gen. 1891-1893. There are lectures on Aristotle's poetics, 1900s, and a commonplace book at E94.103-104. Correspondence includes: a letter to Sir C. J. Pearson, 1895, at Gen. 756, no. 63; a letter to an unnamed person, 1883, at Gen. 2169/28; letters and a postcard to P. G. Tait, 1884-1901, at Gen. 2169/29-33; a letter to Mr. Putnam, the publisher about Harvard lectures, 1904; and, a letter to Lady Magnus, 1910, at Gen. 1790, no.155.

Administrative / Biographical History

Samuel Henry Butcher was born in Dublin on 16 April 1850. He was the son of Samuel Butcher, Bishop of Meath. Butcher was educated at Marlborough and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a Lecturer at University College, Oxford, until 1882 when he became Professor of Greek at Edinburgh University. Between 1889 and 1896 he was a member of the Scottish Universities Commission, and in 1901 he was a member of the Royal Commission on University Education in Ireland. Later on, in 1906, Butcher was a member of the Royal Commission on Trinity College, Dublin. He lectured at Harvard University in 1904 and was an honorary foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1905. From 1906, Butcher was the Unionist MP for Cambridge University. Professor Samuel Henry Butcher died 29 December 1910.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Lectures on poetics and commonplace book, received 1994, Accession nos. E94.103 and E94.104. Letters at Gen. 2169 received May 1983, Accession no. E83.32. Lectures at Gen. 2051, purchased May 1978, Accession no. E78.15. Lectures on Greek and Roman history received April 1975, Accession no. E75.59. Letter to Putnam purchased 1974, Accession no. E74.26. Lectures at Gen. 1891-1893 received April 1972, Accession no. E72.10. Lectures at Gen. 807-808 received November 1942, Accession nos. E65.31-32. Letter to Pearson received 1964, Accession no. E64.39. Letter to Lady Magnus purchased with others in 1964, Accession no. E64.10. Lectures at Gen. 616, received December 1962, Accession E62.60


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 one or two other references to Butcher related material (check the Indexes for more details): notice of Butcher in Sir J. S. Flett's account of student days, 1886-1894, at Dc.6.116, ff.5-8. In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: correspondence, Unknown location, NRA 782 Gore; correspondence with members of the Balfour family, National Archives of Scotland, Ref. GD433 passim NRA 10026 Balfour; letters (15) to Oscar Browning, 1876-1909, Cambridge University, King's College Archive Centre, Ref. OB NRA 21235 Browning; letters to Sir Francis Galton, 1905-1906, London University, University College London (UCL) Manuscripts Room, Ref. GALTON NRA 19968 Galton; letters to Gilbert Murray, 1892-1910, Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, Ref. MSS Gilbert Murray NRA 16865 Murray; correspondence with Sir Horace Plunkett, 1909-1910, Plunkett Foundation for Cooperative Studies, Ref. BUTC NRA 16228 Plunkett; letters (17) to Wilfrid Ward, 1901-1909, St Andrews University Library NRA 26993 Ward; and, letters (17) to Alexander Campbell Fraser, 1883-1909, National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. Dep 208 NRA 27273 Fraser.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names