Skip to main content

Papers of Rev. Earle Monteith Macphail

Identifier: Coll-91

Scope and Contents

The papers at shelfmark Gen. 2044-2073 consist of notebooks of notes from lectures at Edinburgh University and in India, 1878-1890.

At MSS 2592-2593 there are personal papers including correspondence, a school notebook of handwriting dated 1875, and a school fees receipt dated 1869; photographs; notes of Natural Philosophy classes, 1879; and, essays, 1879. There is material marking celebrations of Edinburgh University Tercentenary; material of the Dialectic Society and the Diagnostic Society; the Students' Representative Council; the University Union; and, the New College Examination Board. There are also papers relating to Madras Christian College.

At SC-Acc-2021-0068 there are ten letters sent by Earle Montieth Mcphail during his time in Madras to his family back in Scotland. They are dating from 1891 to 1893, and are dated: 20th July 1891; - 9th September 1891; 22nd December 1891; 10th March 1892; 21st June 1892; 5th July 1892; 12th August 1892; 24th August 1892; 31st August 1892; and 2nd February 1893.


  • Creation: circa 1869-1930

Biographical / Historical

Earle Monteith Macphail was born in Aberdeen in 1861. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and then at Edinburgh University where he was awarded the degree of M.A. in 1883. He then studied Divinity at Edinburgh, at New College. While at Edinburgh he was one of the founders of the Edinburgh University Students' Representative Council, 1883-1884, and was President of the Council in 1885. Macphail also studied abroad at Jena, Tuebingen, and Berlin Universities, after which he was ordained as a missionary of the United Free Church of Scotland in 1890. That year too, he became Professor of History and Economics at Madras Christian College. He became Principal of the College in 1921. Earlier, in 1899, he became a Fellow of Madras University, and in 1909 and again in 1919 he was the Representative of the University on the Legislative Council of the Governor of Fort St. George. In 1921 and 1922 he was a Member of the Legislative Council. In 1921 too, Macphail was a Member of the Central Education Advisory Board for India. Between 1923 and 1925 he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Madras, as well as being a Member of the Indian Council of State in 1924. Between 1925 and 1927, he was the Representative of the European Constituency of Madras in the Legislative Assembly of India. In 1919, Macphail was awarded the CBE, and in 1924 he was made Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire. He died in Edinburgh on 19 January 1937.


2 boxes; 31 separate notebooks; 1 box of notebooks.

Physical Location

Gen. 2044-2073; MSS 2592-2593.

SC-Acc-2021-0068 is in MS 2593.

Papers of Earle Monteith Macphail
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379