Papers of Duncan Macfarlan, 1771-1857, clergyman, Principal of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, 1823-1857

Scope and Content

  • Correspondence and papers, 1805-1857;
  • Predominantly correspondence as University Principal, 1823-1857;
  • Sermons and sermon notes, undated family papers and correspondence, 1746-1865.

Administrative / Biographical History

Duncan Macfarlan was born at Dryman, Stirling, Scotland, where his father was minister, on 27 September 1771. He married his cousin Anne on the 28 August 1797 and had 5 sons and 4 daughters. Macfarlan attended the University of Glasgow, Scotland, where he was awarded a Master of Arts degree in 1778 and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1806. He was Minister of Drymen from 1792-1823, and the High Church, Glasgow, 1824-1857. He served two terms as the University's Dean of Faculties from 1806-1808 and 1810-1812; and was Principal from 1823-1857. He was a Chaplain to King George III in Scotland in 1815 and a Dean of the Chapel Royal from 1820-1824. He was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1819 and again in 1843, the year of the Church of Scotland schism known as the Disruption. He originated the Colonial Scheme of the General Assembly in1835, and continued as its Convenor until 1856. He died at Glasgow on the 25 November 1857.


"Fasti Eccleslae Scoticanae: The Succession of Ministers in the Parish Churches of Scotland. From the Reformation, AD 1560, to the Present Time" Vol. II., Part I, (Edinburgh, 1968)


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received - it is predominantly arranged chronologically.

Access Information

Access to records within this collection is open, however an appointment may be required. Please email Archives and Special Collections for advice:

Acquisition Information

Acquired before the introduction of formal accessioning procedures.

Other Finding Aids

See also University of Glasgow Collections

Manual file level list available in searchroom

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in London (NRA 17695)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents. Applications for permission to quote should be sent to Archives and Special Collections, please email:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures.

Custodial History

The papers have been in the custody of Glasgow University Archive Services since at least the 1960s.


None expected

Related Material

Glasgow University Library Special Collections have a number of collections that contain related material, including GB 247 MS Gen 1717/2-4: Papers of Duncan Macfarlan (1771-1857)

GB 233 MS 4948-54 National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division Correspondence with William Mure 1841-1853

Location of Originals

This material is original

Corporate Names

Geographical Names