Letters of R.W. Dale

Scope and Content

Letters from John Bright, 1862-1882; letters from W.E. Gladstone, 1875-1886; letters from John Morley, 1875-1886; letters from Henry Wace, 1875-1891. Subjects discussed in the letters include: British politics; the Irish Question; education in England and Scotland; religion and non-conformism; a new congregational church in Birmingham; the British Empire.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert William Dale was a Congregational minister. He joined the Congregational Church in 1844 and was admitted as a theological student at Spring College, Birmingham in 1847. In 1853 he graduated with an MA at London University and was then appointed assistant minister to John Angell James at Carrs Lane Chapel, Birmingham. He become the sole pastor in 1859 and remained a minister at Carrs Lane until his death. He was involved with social movements and local politics in Birmingham, and was particularly concerned with educational reform. He was, for example, a pioneer of the Birmingham School Board. He was also involved with the Congregational Union and was its Chairman in 1869 and presided over the international council of congregational churches in 1891. He also edited The Congregationalist from 1872-1878. He wrote and published extensively, including numerous sermons, pamphlets and theological works and he also compiled a hymnal, The English Hymn Book , published in 1874.

Reference: Dictionary of National Biography ( Vol XXII (Supplement), London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1909 ).


The letters are arranged by correspondent and alphabetically within each section.

Access Information

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was presented to the University of Birmingham by Dale's grand daughter.

Other Finding Aids

Please see online catalogue for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

University of Birmingham, Special Collections Department holds a rich collection of archives relating to missions, charities and other religious and ecclesiastical organisations and individuals.