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New College, Edinburgh: An American Link

New College, Edinburgh: An American Link

In the evenings I have begun reading New College Edinburgh: A Centenary History (1946), which I picked up at an Edinburgh book sale last year (a gem, I’ll say). I was interested to learn that in setting up the college in the mid 19th century, Revd. Dr. Cunningham, one of four early professors involved, was sent to America to survey the best American Universities to inform the Free Church how best to proceed (pp. 10–11). Whether anything he found there actually informed the plans for New College I do not know!

So there you have it, a small, early American link to New College, Edinburgh.

For those who are unaware: New College is now home to the Divinity School of the University of Edinburgh. It was established at its present location in 1846 as a theological training college for the Free Church of Scotland, a break away from the Church of Scotland (the College began meeting at 80 George Street as early as 1843). Later the College reintegrated with University.

(Pictured above: William Henry Playfair’s Design for New College and the High Church).

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