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Smith, William Robertson, 1846-1894 (theologian and Semitic scholar)

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1846 - 1894

Biography

William Robertson Smith (1846-1894), theologian and Semitic scholar, was born at New Farm, Keig, in the Vale of Alford, Aberdeenshire, and educated at home by his father. He was elevated to a bursary at Aberdeen University in November 1861. In November 1866 he entered New College, the theological hall of the free church in Edinburgh. In May 1870 he was chosen for the chair of oriental languages and exegesis of the Old Testament in the Free Church College of Aberdeen, and in 1875 he was appointed a member of the Old Testament revision committee. When, in 1870, arrangements were made for the issue of the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Smith was invited to contribute on subjects bearing upon biblical criticism, and especially on that of the Old Testament. Smith's articles, 'Angel', in vol. ii of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and 'Bible' in vol. iii, both appeared in 1875, and attracted hostility from men of influence in the free church. A committee was appointed by the assembly of 1876 to investigate the articles, and its 1877 report was so hostile that Smith found it necessary to demand a formal trial by 'libel' (indictment) for his alleged heresies and errors. The proceedings that followed were protracted and involved. As a result, Smith practically ceased to be an acting professor in 1878. Following a vote of want of confidence, Smith was removed summarily from his chair in June 1881. Immediately after his dismissal Smith accepted an invitation to become editor-in-chief of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and he consequently transferred his residence from Aberdeen to Edinburgh. In 1883 he was appointed to the position of Lord Almoner's Professor of Arabic at Cambridge. He settled in the city for the rest of his life, first as a guest of Trinity College, and from October 1885, on his election to a fellowship, at Christ's. He held the Lord Almoner's Professorship until December 1886, when he was elected to the chief librarianship of the university. In 1889 he exchanged this for the Adams Professorship of Arabic. He died at Christ's College on 31 November 1894.

Found in 13 Collections and/or Records:

 Fonds

F.A. Brockhaus: Correspondence to the Library and W. Robertson Smith, 1886

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/152-153
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 1886
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

From W.R. Smith, Cambridge. With envelope., 17 March 1886

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7603/22
Dates: 17 March 1886
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

John Henry Middleton: Correspondence to W. Robertson Smith, W.H. St John Hope, Francis Jenkinson and J. Peile, 1886-1891

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/959-963
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 1886-1891
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Kurt Thiele: Report on William Robertson Smith

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8661
Scope and Contents

'William Robertson Smith: Ein Bericht seines Wirkens von seinem Neffen Kurt Thiele', a photocopy of a report on Smith's works.

Dates: 1969
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Letter from W. Robertson Smith to A.E. Crawley, 8 Feb. 1893

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.5944/21/3
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Includes correspondence, verses, notes and miscellaneous papers.

Dates: 8 Feb. 1893
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Item

Letter from William Robertson Smith to Frances Clark, 24 Nov. 1886

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8954/118
Scope and Contents

Accepts an invitation

Dates: 24 Nov. 1886
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

LĂ©opold Victor Delisle: Correspondence to W. Robertson Smith, Edward Beck, and Francis Jenkinson, 1886-1901

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/355-358
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 1886-1901
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Samuel Sandars: Letter to W. Robertson Smith, 1887

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/1242
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 1887
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Series — Box: MS Add.8856: Box 1

Samuel Sandars: Letters to University Librarians about books (Sandars Bequest), 21 Dec. 1871-11 June 1895

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8856/49-64
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 21 Dec. 1871-11 June 1895
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Series

W. Robertson Smith: Memorial; letters etc., 1894-1896

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.5944/42
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Includes correspondence, verses, notes and miscellaneous papers.

Dates: 1894-1896
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

William Robertson Smith: Letters

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7449
Dates: 1868-1889 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

William Robertson Smith: Papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7476
Scope and Contents Comprises: lectures on various subjects including Old Testament poetry, Old Testament liturgy and general Biblical subjects; notebooks on the Old Testament and other Biblical subjects, and Arabic and Semitic language notes; sermons arranged in canonical order; papers relating to William Robertson Smith's libel trial for alleged heresies and errors; memoranda, including early family correspondence and accounts of family members; assorted newscuttings, rough notes and a small number of...
Dates: 1860-1894 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

William Wright: Letter to William Robertson Smith, 1888

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/1536
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 1888
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

Additional filters:

Type
Archival Object 10
Collection 3
 
Subject
Sermons 2
Theology 2
Arabian Peninsula 1
Bible 1
Poetry 1
∨ more