Papers of Dr Peter Bayne

Scope and Content

A small collection of Peter Bayne's personal papers, comprising his university diplomas (MA, Marischal College, 5 Apr 1850 and LL.D. University of Aberdeen, 8 Mar 1879); a photograph of him as an elderly man, n.d.; and a letter written by him to his cousin Ethel [? Miss Ethel Duguid], 22 Feb 1887, expounding his ideas against socialism.

Administrative / Biographical History

Peter Bayne, son of Rev Charles John Bayne (MA King's College, 1817) was born in Fodderty, Ross-shire, on 19 Oct 1830, and graduated from Marischal College, Aberdeen, MA 1850. He entered the theological classes at New College, Edinburgh, c 1850, intending to prepare for a career in the ministry, but, when forced to withdraw due to illness, turned his attention towards journalism and literature.

He earned early success and a sound reputation with short articles written for Hogg's Weekly Magazine, Tait's Edinburgh Magazine, and subsequently, c 1856, as editor of the Glasgow Commonwealth and the Edinburgh-based Witness. In 1860 he accepted the post of editor with the National Newspaper League Company's new venture, the Dial, in London. The magazine was a financial failure, and through his involvement with it Bayne became burdened with heavy debts. He resigned from post in 1862, and was subsequently appointed editor of the Weekly Review, the organ of the English Presbyterian Church. He was forced to resign in 1865 owing to liturgical differences with the Church, but began writing articles for the Christian World, under the editorship of James Clarke, and over the course of the following 20 years became a regular contributor to that journal; with infrequent contributions to other weekly newspapers and reviews, including the Spectator, Contemporary Review, and London Quarterly. He contributed to the fourth volume of the National History of England (1877), and was author of several other historical and religious works. These include Emma Cheyne: a Prose Idyll of English Life (London, 1875), published under the pseudonym of Ellis Brandt) and The Free Church of Scotland: Her Origins, Founders and Testimony (Edinburgh: T.&T. Clark, 1893, 2nd edn. 1894).

Bayne died at Norwood on 10 Feb 1896. He was married three times, and had 5 children by his first wife, Clotilda Gerwien. In 1879 he was awarded an LL D from the University of Aberdeen. For further details see DNB, Supplement 1, pp146 - 147.


None observed - listing in process

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Donated to the University in Jan 1993, by Peter Bayne's great grand-daughter, Miss I.M. Gaster.

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

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Additional Information

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