Scottish Episcopal Church, Theological Institute Collection (Urquhart Collection)


Scottish Episcopal Church, Theological Institute Collection (Urquhart Collection)


This collection is from the library of the Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church (formerly known as the Edinburgh Theological College). It consists of nearly 2,800 pamphlets and tracts collected in 190 volumes. Although the bulk of the collection dates from the mid-19th century onwards, there is also a wide range of pamphlet material published between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. There are also some periodicals, offprints, typescript and manuscript material and two bibles printed on the continent in the early 17th century. The collection is named after Adam Urquhart (1793-1860), son of William Urquhart the second laird of Craigston in Aberdeenshire, who was an advocate and Sheriff of Wigtownshire (see Urquhart collection). Urquhart edited a small number of works on 17th century Scottish history and was one of the leading figures in the administration of the Scottish Episcopal Church in the first half of the 19th century. Fourteen of the volumes in the collection were formerly owned by Bishop Patrick Torry (1763-1852), who was appointed Bishop of Dunkeld and Dunblane in 1808 and of St. Andrews in 1838, and his son, John Torry (1800-1879), Dean of St. Andrews. Patrick Torry was brought up in the Church of Scotland, but ordained in the Anglican ministry as a deacon in 1782 and a priest in 1783. He was a close friend of Lord Forbes of Pitsligo, who owned some of the volumes in the Urquhart Collection. The collection is a rich source of material on 19th century religious controversies in Scotland such as the Oxford Movement, the Disruption of 1843, and the publication of the Scottish Prayer Book of 1849. This was a period of considerable growth for the Scottish Episcopal Church following enforcement of the penal statutes during the previous century. There is also discussion of wider issues such as cremation, slavery, construction of new churches and the role of the laity. The Torry volumes are particularly strong in Scottish provincial imprints and also include material printed in South Africa and the United States.


The collection is not catalogued and has not been assigned a shelfmark. A list of the volumes (though not of all the items in the volumes) is available on request.


The collection was deposited in the Library by the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1994, shortly before the Institute moved out of Coates Hall on Grosvenor Street, Edinburgh.




Episcopal Church (Scotland)