Skip to main content

Collection of John Hector (1845-1934)

Identifier: CSWC 4

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of three volumes which seem to date from after Hector's return from India but contain extracts from lectures given and hymns, songs and verses collected while he was there: (1) volume, similar to a commonplace book, with hymns, songs and verses noted by Hector, some translated by him from Bengali or French, and some other notes and newspaper articles (various dates); (2) extracts from Hector's lectures to his students in Calcutta (extracts written by Hector at a later date?), notes on books, articles and events (from c 1914-1918) with newspaper cuttings on the war, and a cutting on the Scottish Churches College (was Duff College); (3) volume of notes by Hector for addresses to meetings includes cuttings and articles about missions and missionaries (1927-1930).


  • Creation: 19th century-20th century

Language of Materials

English French Bengali

Conditions Governing Access

Contact the repository for details.

Conditions Governing Use

Contact the repository for details.

Biographical / Historical

John Hector, United Free Church of Scotland missionary in Calcutta, India, was born in Aberdeen on 21 December 1845. Educated at Aberdeen University he graduated MA in 1860 and later DD in 1884. He attended Aberdeen Free Church College then secured a post teaching missionaries at Kinnoir, Huntly in 1870 followed by a spell as a missionary assistant at Paisley St George's in 1871. In the same year he was ordained for foreign mission service with the Free Church and was appointed to Calcutta. In 1876 Hector married Margaret Pittendrigh and in 1887 he became principal of Duff College, Calcutta. He oversaw the recovery of the college from a period of depression and it developed into a well organised and efficient institution. His skilful management and genial personality made him popular with both teachers and pupils and his period as principal saw the largest pupil numbers the college had yet had. Hector was invalided home and formally retired from the mission on 31 December in 1902. He was the Duff Lecturer in Evangelistic Theology at the United Free Church Colleges between 1904 and 1905. Hector died on 19 December 1934.


3 Volumes


The material is in three volumes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The material was deposited at the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World by Hector's grandson Gordon Hector.


None expected.

Related Materials

The archives of the United Free Church are with the Church of Scotland material in the National Library of Scotland and contain many letters to Hector.


The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) Lamb, J. A. (ed.). Fasti of the United Free Church of Scotland 1900-1929. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1956. (2) Tomory, A. and MacDonald, K. S. Story of our Bengal Missions. Edinburgh: United Free Church, circa 1904.

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