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Papers of The Very Rev Prof James Whyte (1920-2005)

Identifier: AA5

Scope and Contents

Sermons and addresses, 1948-1996; lectures, 1949-1982; class notes and lecture notes, 1949-1982; correspondence, 1988-1989 and 1964-1970; newspaper cuttings, 1988-1989 and 1964-1969; publications and articles, 1902-1970; church magazines, 1929-1993; conference papers, 1978; moderatorial papers, 1988-1989; University Christian Consultative Group papers, 1970-1972; Church of Scotland and the Congregational Union of Scotland papers, 1959-1967; personal papers, 1848-1983; photographs 1911 and 1960.

See also External Documents (below).


  • Creation: 1848-1993

Conditions Governing Access

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers at Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ. Contact repository in advance:

Biographical / Historical

Professor James Aitken Whyte was a leading Scottish Theologian and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He was educated at Daniel Stewart’s College and the University of Edinburgh where he studied philosophy and divinity. After his ordination he spent three years as an army Chaplain and then in 1948 was inducted to Dunollie Road Church in Oban. James Whyte moved to Mayfield North Church in Edinburgh in 1954 and in 1958 was appointed to the chair of practical theology and Christian ethics at the University of St Andrew’s where he remained until 1987. His primary interests were in liturgy and ecclesiastical architecture and he also lectured on pastoral care. James Whyte was called upon to preach at the memorial service for the victims of the Lockerbie disaster on 4th January 1989. The service was relayed around the world and was widely cited in the press having had a great impact. The full text of this sermon was published in Laughter and Tears: Thoughts on Faith in the Face of Suffering (Edinburgh, St Andrew’s Press, 1993).

Included in the collection are family papers which belonged to Elizabeth Wilson Whyte née Mill (1920-1988), who was married to James Whyte. The papers relate to James Mill (1862-1949) and Rev Adam Davidson (1830-1908). James Mill was Elizabeth’s paternal grandfather: her father was Rev George Scott Mill (1891-1987). James Mill married Janet Carlyle Davidson (1864-1935), daughter of Rev Adam Davidson.

James Mill (1862-1949) was born in Arbroath and educated at Arbroath High School and Daniel Stewart’s in Edinburgh. He graduated M.A. at Edinburgh University and went on to lecture in Latin there for 31 years.

Rev Adam Davidson (1830-1949) was the Minister of the Parish of Yetholm. As well as being the father of Janet Carlyle Mill (1864-1935), wife of James (above), he was also the father of Lieutenant-Colonel James Little Davidson, DSO, ISM (1865-1933)

NB The PDF catalogue attached to this record has not yet been updated to reflect the information on the Mill family papers.


37 boxes


The original administrative order has been adhered to where possible.

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Repository Details

Part of the New College Library Special Collections Repository

New College
Mound Place
Edinburgh EH1 2LU. Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379