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Papers of James Russell Macphail (1901-1968)

Identifier: CSWC 43

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of: draft manuscripts of King and Teacher, A Practical Guide to the Reading of the Bible, The Lord's Prayer, The Lord's Supper and The Benediction; other articles, addresses and broadcasts by Macphail; and issues of Societas Liturgica.


  • Creation: [ca. 1963-1969]

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

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Conditions Governing Use

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Biographical / Historical

James Russell Macphail, Church of Scotland missionary in Madras, India, was born in Glasgow on 18 July 1901. He was educated at Glasgow Academy then at Glasgow University (MA 1922) after which he studied theology at New College, Edinburgh. He went to Madras with the Church of Scotland in 1924 as a teacher at the Madras Christian College. In 1926 he returned to Edinburgh to be a student assistant and was ordained in 1928 returning to Madras in the same year. Macphail was in India for a total of 43 years during which time he was professor of English Literature, Warden and Principal of the college. He was author of several books and was made DD of Glasgow University. During his retirement Macphail prepared a manuscript to be published as King and Teacher. When he died it was almost ready for the press and was published posthumously in three parts as The Parables of Jesus - King and Teacher (Madras: CLS, 1976), The Sermons of Jesus - King and Teacher (Madras: CLS, 1977), and The Kingdom and the King (Madras: CLS, 1977). Macphail had retired in March 1968 and he died soon after on 28 September 1968.


4 boxes


The material is arranged as described above.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was presented to the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World


None expected.

Related Materials

The archives of the foreign missions of the Church of Scotland are held by the National Library of Scotland. The Centre holds other collections relating to the work of the Church of Scotland in India. The Centre also has books and pamphlets by Macphail.


The biographical history was compiled using: (1) The Kingdom and the King. Madras: CLS, 1977. (2) Fasti Ecclesiae Scotticanae. Vol. 11.

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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