Papers relating to Robert Baillie (1599-1662)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-778
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English, and Latin.
  • Physical Description
      circa 530 leaves, 11 volumes, miscellaneous. Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
  • Location
      MSS BAILL. 1-5

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of: a conference by letters with a Canterburian Minister anent the Arminian tenet of the Saint's apostasie; Duorum studiosorum de geniculatione ... collatio; A peaceable consideration of a paper against kneeling; Commentariolus de praecipius Pontificorum armoribus; Tractatus de forma et causa justificationis; Oratio in Academia Glasguensis comitiis habita a R.B. anno 1627; Oratio in laudem linguae Hebraeae in Academia comitiis ... 1629; and, My brothers books . There is also a list of Baillie's books at Carnbrue, 22 July 1708, a list of books wanting, a list of books lent, Carnbrue, 26 August 1710. The collection includes: letters and journals, 1637-1662, and copies 1710 and 1728, and undated; and, sermons from January 1648 to January 1652.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Baillie was born in Glasgow in 1599. He studied at Glasgow University acquiring an M.A., and then studied theology. He was ordained by Archbishop Law of Glasgow, and in around 1622 he became a Regent (Professor) of Philosophy at Glasgow University. Although his had been an Episcopal ordination and he had been in favour of episcopacy, he became a Minister of the Parish of Kilwinning, Ayrshire, within the Church of Scotland. Baillie had been opposed to the 1637 Book of Common Prayer and by the late 1630s, and the beginning of the civil war, he was being drawn into the covenanting side. He was a member of the 1638 General Assembly. In 1639 he became Chaplain to Lord Eglinton's regiment and was with the Covenanter army under Leslie. In 1642 he was appointed Professor of Divinity at Glasgow University. Baillie attended the Westminster Assembly from 1643 and in 1649 he went to the Netherlands with others to persuade Charles II to accept the Covenant and the Crown. In 1661 he was appointed Principal of Glasgow University. Robert Baillie died in July 1662.

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) Stephen Leslie. and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 1. Abbadie-Beadon. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1908. (2) Keay, Julia. and Keay, Julia (eds.). Collins encylopaedia of Scotland. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994.

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, Special Collections Division, Edinburgh University Library, George Square show various references to Baillie related material (check the Indexes for more details): mention of Baillie in a letter of J. Smith, Minister of Avoch, to W. Laing, Bookseller, 15 March 1820, at La.IV.17; letter of Madame Racchia replying to enquiries by D. Laing about a portrait, papers etc., of Baillie, in 1846, at La.IV (Douglas); mention of Baillie in letters from T. Miller D.D. Minister of Cumnock, to D. Laing, 1817 and 1818, at La.IV.17; mention in letters of J. S. Reid to D. Laing, 1836-1851, at La.IV.17; mention in letters of W. Duncan to D. Laing, 1841, at La.IV.17; and, mention in a letter of J. Richardson to D. Laing, 1842, at La.IV.17.

In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: letters and journals (3 volumes) relating to affairs in Scotland, 1637-1662, (18th century transcript), Glasgow University Library, Special Collections Department, Ref. MS Gen 1239-41; correspondence with William Spang (copies), 1637-1643, National Library of Scotland, Ref. MS 1908, and correspondence and sermons, 1637-1639, Ref. Adv MSS 20 6 4, 32 3 12.