Letters of Professor John Caird (1820-1898)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-632
  • Dates of Creation
      19th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      5 letters Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
  • Location
      Gen. 1429/10/11; Gen. 1730 Caird; Gen. 1981/53

Scope and Content

The correspondence is composed of: letters, one of which is to Archdeacon Farrar, August 1897; letter to Mr. Bell who is presiding at a lecture; and undated letter about Herbert Spencer.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Caird was born in Greenock on 15 December 1820. He was the brother of the philosopher Edward Caird (1835-1908). He was educated in Greenock and in his father's engineering office before studying at Glasgow University from which he graduated in 1845. He then prepared himself for the Church and was appointed to the Parish of Newton-on-Ayr . In 1847 he was Minister at Lady Yester's, Edinburgh, and then from 1849 at Errol, Perthshire, where he stayed until 1857 when he was appointed to Park Church, Glasgow. In 1857 too, Caird preached before Queen Victoria at Balmoral. In 1860 he was given the honorary degree of D.D. by Glasgow University, and in 1862 he was appointed Professor of Divinity at Glasgow University. On the completion of the new buildings on Gilmore Hill, he revived the university chapel. Caird was appointed Principal of Glasgow University in 1873. He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Edinburgh University in 1884. His publications include the sermon given at Balmoral entitled Religion in common life and Introduction to the philosophy of religion (1880). Professor John Caird died in the home of his brother at Greenock on 30 July 1898.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Farrar and other letters, acquired January 1970, Accession no. E70.2. Spencer letter, purchased 1974, Accession no. E74.25


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol.22. Supplement. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1909.

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 local Indexes show reference to Caird related material (check the Indexes for more details): letter to Sir W. Muir about the Gifford Lectures, April 1890, at Dk.2.14, p.12. In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: 1855-97: correspondence with Blackwoods, 1855-1897, National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. MSS 4111-4714 passim; and, letters to Gilbert Murray, 1888-1897, Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, Ref. MSS Gilbert Murray NRA 16865 Murray.

Corporate Names