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Collection Acc 12272 - Rev Dr James Calder MacPhail and of sheriff J R M MacPhail papers

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GB 233 Acc 12272


Rev Dr James Calder MacPhail and of sheriff J R M MacPhail papers


  • 1860-1930 (Creation)

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Name of creator

MacPahil, Rev Dr James Calder, fl 1868-fl 1879 (fl 1868-fl 1879)

Biographical history

A native Gaelic speaker born in Lochbroom, Wester Ross, Dr. MacPhail was responsible for the creation of a bursary scheme for the Free Church of Scotland, instituted in 1869, to send Gaelic-speaking boys from areas of the Highlands and Islands, many desiring to study for the ministry of the Church but then without schools able to take them to a level to enable them to enter university, by sending them to a Grammar School in a University town.
[Course: Scottish Archive Network]

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Papers relating to the continuation of a MacPhail Bursary scheme, set up posthumously by his family, and other papers, some of the Highland Committee of the United Free Church, are addressed to Sheriff MacPhail or his sister. Papers relating to the Park [Pairc] Deer Raid in Lewis, 1887, a celebrated incident in the land reform campaigns of this period, are those of the raiders? defence solicitors and counsel.

1-5. Papers of Dr Calder MacPhail, relating to his bursary scheme.
1. (i) Printed copy of MacPhail's letter to the editor of The Presbyterian, April 1868, advocating grammar school bursaries for suitable Gaelic-speaking school pupils, with a report of discussion on the subject in the Free Church General Assembly, May 1868, extracted from the Daily Review.
(ii) Printed reports, 1871,1873, 1876,1878, of the committee for the administration of grammar school bursaries for Gaelic-speaking young men; with a circular letter to ministers, 1871, of MacPhail as Secretary to the Committee.
(iii) Four letters, 1876,1878, 1903, on bursary business.
(iv) Printed notices and circulars, 1877 n.d.
2-5. Letters addressed to Dr MacPhail, 1879, on bursary business from sponsors and testimony-providers (mostly ministers), and pupil applicants from various parts of the Highlands and Islands.
2. Jan-May, 1879.
3. June, 1879.
4. July, 1979.
5. Aug-Dec 1879.
6. (i) Copy of a letter of Donald McLaren to the Free Church Trustees, 1849, donating £7000 for the increase of the means of education and religious instruction in Scotland, and particularly in the Highlands and Islands.
(ii) Two memorandums, n.d. of the Highland Committee of the Church on the grammar school bursary scheme.
(iii) Correspondence with the Miss Drummond's Trustees (benefactors of the bursary fund), 1903.
(iv) Draft declaration and deed of trust, 1924 for the James Calder MacPhail Trust.
7. Correspondence, 1907-30, of Sheriff MacPhail and his sister concerning their father's scheme.
8. Letter to Sheriff MacPhail, and memorial for opinion of counsel, of the Highlands and Islands Fund, on the application of the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland for a grant from the Fund to assist with the evacuation of St. Kilda, 1930.
9. Proof of an article by E G Ravenstein FRGS 'On the Geographical Distribution of the Celtic Speaking Population of the British Isles' read before the Statistical Society [London], 15 April 1879: with pencil marginalia, mostly in the part devoted to Scotland, and probably by Dr Calder MacPhail.
10-16 Papers, Nov 1887- Jan 1888 of the solicitor and counsel for the persons accused of mobbing and rioting, before the High Court of Justiciary, Edinburgh, the ?Park Deer Raid? case. For an account of this episode in the land movement, see I.M.M. MacPhail, The Crofters' War, Stornoway, 1989, pp.202-6; the case, dependent on some participants turning King?s Evidence, collapsed and all accused in this case were acquitted.
10. Declarations by the accused, Stornoway, 28 Nov. 1887.
11. Copy of a memorandum by Donald MacRae, schoolmaster at Balallan and accused of being the instigator of the Raid, for his counsel, 1887.
12. Statement by Donald MacRae: with lists of witnesses and defence notes on them.
13. Copies of Crown precognitions, 1888.
14. Copies of the defence precognitions, 1888.
15. Copies of indictment of the accused and the lists of assize, 1888.
16. Cuttings from The North British Daily Mail, 2-3 Jan, on the trial and on destitution in the parish of Lochs, Lewis, the scene of the Raid.
17. Obligation, 1673, of Rory Loreane of Killruan in the county of Galloway, to John Harris: this item is possibly a stray from another collection.

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  • English

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Digital item level catalogue available through the National Library of Scotland Manuscripts Catalogue at

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