Letters of Reverend Robert Rainy (1826-1906)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-653
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      2 letters; 3 volumes, miscellaneous exercise books, 2 boxes. Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
  • Location
      Gen. 1983/1-2; MSS RAI 1-5

Scope and Content

The material at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division, at Gen. 1983/1-2, is composed of an undated letter to 'dear Chris', and a letter to Rainy dated 1 February 1887. The material at New College Library, at MSS RAI 1-5, is composed of: an exercise book and loose exercise book pages of church history and class lectures in church history, 1862-1899; manuscript and typescript of a projected Life of St. Augustine; notes for further work; an illuminated address of the Edinburgh Presbytery of the United Free Church of Scotland to Rainy, 1901, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his ordination; and bound volume of newspaper cuttings, obituaries, tributes on the occasion of Rainy's death.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Scottish divine Robert Rainy was born in Glasgow on 1 January 1826. He was educated at school in Glasgow and then studied at Glasgow University where he graduated with the degree of M.A. then at New College, Edinburgh. He became a Minister of the Free Church in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, 1851-1854, then at the Free High Church, Edinburgh, 1854-1862. Rainy became Professor of Church History, New College, Edinburgh, 1862-1900, and he was Moderator of the United Free Church Assembly in 1900 and in 1905. His publications include Life of Principal Cunningham (1871), Delivery and development of Christian doctrine (1874), The bible and criticism (1878), The epistle to the Philippians (1892), and The ancient Catholic church (1901). The Rev. Robert Rainy died on 22 December 1906.

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) Who was who ... 1896-1916. 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.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: correspondence with W. E. Gladstone, 1874-1892, British Library, Manuscript Collections, Ref. Add MSS 44444-515 passim; and, correspondence mainly with Lord Rosebery, 1881-1895, and undated, National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. MSS 9657, 10090-10148 Passim