Correspondence relating to Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of letters of Newman to either Jane Whyte and Alexander Whyte, 1881-1885, or of Sir Frederick Whyte and C. Stephen Dessain to James Bartholomew Primrose and John Alexander Lamb, 1953-1960. There is also a letter from Fr. Henry Tristram to Lamb, 1953.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Henry Newman was born in London. He studied at Trinity College, Oxford, from 1817 and in 1822 was elected a Fellow of Oriel. He was ordained in 1824. Newman broke with Evangelicalism in 1830, and became involved in the Tractarian movement, composing a number of the Tracts for the times. His Tract XC provoked a storm which ended the movement and brought on the conversion to Catholicism of many Tractarians. In October 1845 Newman was received into the Roman Catholic Church and shortly after he went to Rome for a year and a half. On his return to England in 1848 he established a branch of the brotherhood of St. Philip Neri at Edgbaston, Birmingham. In 1879, he was summoned to Rome to be appointed Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. His other publications included The Arians of the fourth century (1833), lectures on Anglican difficulties (1850), lectures on Catholicism in England (1851), the poem The dream of Gerontius, and his philosophy of faith Grammar of assent (1870). Cardinal John Henry Newman died in Edgbaston on 11 August 1890.

Access Information

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


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Thorne, J. O. and Collocott, T. C. (eds.). Chambers biographical dictionary. Revised ed. Edinburgh: W. and R. Chambers, 1982.

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

Other Finding Aids

Local lists.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes at Special Collections Division, Edinburgh University Library, George Square, show various references to Newman related material (check the Indexes for more details): fragment of a letter of Newman to W. S. Lilly, enclosed with a letter of Lilly to C. Sarolea, 1913, at Sar.Coll.24; his Tract XC mentioned in a letter of I. Taylor to H. Moule, 1841, at Dc.4.102; remarks on C. Sarolea's introduction to Newman's Apologia pro vita sua in letter from D. Fitzgerald to Newman, 1912, at Sar.Coll.15; and, photograph of Newman, at Dc.4.102, misc., f.97.

In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes a substantial number of locations of Newman related material.