The Collection encompasses 300 years of the history of the dissenting Presbyterian Churches but also includes unusual rarities reflecting wider religious issues. Dating from the 17th through to the 19th centuries, they are predominantly Presbyterian and there is an inevitable anti-Catholic and anti-Episcopalian tone throughout the collection. Many of the rare, early pamphlets relate to the early dissent from the established church and the formation of the Secession Church. Other, 17th century works are concerned with the religious questions of monarchy, church and state brought about by the English Civil War and, later, the union of 1707. Many of the 18th century works concentrate on the wider implications for the churches brought about by the questions of philosophy and religion, events such as the French Revolution and greater religious toleration. The 19th century pamphlets, which comprise the greater part of the collection, focus much on the events leading up to the disruption of 1843 and the formation of the United Presbyterian Church in 1847, particularly the church patronage question and the voluntary churches controversy. For any church historian interested in this particular period this Collection is an invaluable resource.

Keywords: Theology; history; politics; Church of Scotland; Free Church of Scotland; United Presbyterian Church.

Strengths: The main strength of the Collection lies in the fact that the various pamphlets over a 300 year period tell the often complicated history of the various dissenting Presbyterian Churches.


Identifier: Brown-Lindsay

Physical characteristics: 3650 items; 720 volumes and c. 2930 pamphlets.

Accumulation date range: pre-1900

Contents date range: 1795-1843

Associated Publications: Available on Library OPAC or WebPAC

Accrual Status: Closed

Custodial history/provenance: The Brown-Lindsay pamphlet volumes are that portion of the United Presbyterian College Library, Edinburgh, that came to the Free Church College in Aberdeen (now Christ's College), when that Library was dispersed amongst the three Free Church Colleges following union in 1900, and so relate to other portions now in Trinity College, Glasgow, and New College, Edinburgh. Following the formation of the United Presbyterian Church in 1847, the Revd John Brown, DD (1784-1858) and the Revd William Lindsay, DD (1802-1866) were among the founding members of the College and its first two professors of Exegetical Theology. The pamphlets that belonged to them, and formed part of their library, reflect their own interests and those of their time, but also contain a range of subject matter which mark them as theologians with a knowledge of much wider religious questions and their implications. The older part of Christ's College Library was deposited with Aberdeen University Library in 1986.

Access Control: Closed access - please request. Non-borrowable.