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Frederic William Farrar papers, 1825-1904

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/f93q8

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Farrar, F. W. (Frederic William), 1831-1903.
Title: Frederic William Farrar papers, 1825-1904
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 062
Extent: 0.6 cubic ft. (2 boxes)
Abstract:Contains approximately 375 letters written to Farrar from other British theologians and scholars.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


[after identification of item(s)], Frederic William Farrar Papers, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Cynthia Crouch, October 1986.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Anglican theologian and scholar, Frederic William Farrar, was the second son of Charles Pinhorn Farrar and his wife Caroline Turner. He was born on August 7, 1831 in the fort at Bombay, India. At the age of three, he was sent with his elder brother to live with two aunts in Aylesbury, until their parents returned to England. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1854 and proceeded to obtain his Master of Arts in 1857, and Doctorate of Divinity in 1874.

In 1854, Farrar accepted a mastership at Marlborough College, where he showed special gifts as a master. On Christmas day 1854, he was ordained deacon, and priest in 1857. He left Marlborough in November 1855 to take mastership under Dr. Vaughn at Harrow College. Reverend Farrar remained at Harrow for fifteen years. While at Harrow, Farrar devoted much of his time to literary pursuits, earning for himself a reputation in the fields of fiction, philology, and theology.

He published a number of works including Eric, or Little by Little (1858), Julian Home: a Tale of College Life (18th ed., 1905), An Essay on the Origin of Language: based on Modern Researches and especially on the Works of M. Renan (1860), and Families of Speech (1890). In 1866, Farrar was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in recognition for his work as a philologist. He composed a card of Greek Grammar Rules and published A Brief Greek Syntax (1867). In 1870, he visited Palestine with Walter Leaf to finish research for his Life of Christ (1874). He also completed the Life of St. Paul (1879) and The Early Days of Christianity (1882).

In 1876, he accepted a canonry of Westminister with the rectory of St. Margaret's parish. In 1883, he was appointed archdeacon of Westminister. In 1890, he was chosen chaplain to the House of Commons. In 1895, he became dean of Canterbury on the recommendation of Lord Rosebery. In three years, he raised 19,000 pounds in public subscriptions for the repair and restoration of Canterbury Cathedral. In 1899, his right hand was affected by muscular atrophy, which slowly attacked all his muscles. After a long illness, he died on March 22, 1903.

Scope and Content Note

Arranged chronologically from 1825 to 1904, most of the approximately 375 letters are written to Farrar from other British theologians and scholars. It is unclear to whom the 1904 letter is written. Many of the letters to Farrar concern matters of the Church of England, including letters from Frederick Temple, Bishop of Liverpool, and William Boyd Carpenter, Bishop of Liverpool. Most of the letters concern the daily routine matters of English school masters. A few of the letters from William Sanday and Dr. Whewell, however, offer criticisms of works by Farrar. Some of the 1888 correspondence concerns Farrar's efforts to erect a monument to Admiral Robert Blake. There also are some letters concerning the Church of England Temperance Party. Among the more notable correspondents are William H. Thompson, Dr. Whewell, Lord Rosebery, William Sanday, and George Trevelyan. (See also the selected list of correspondents below.)

A few letters written by Farrar, mostly to Sir Edwin Arnold, are among the undated materials, but were probably written between the 1870s and the 1890s. In one of his letters to Sir Arnold, regarding sending Arnold's son to Marlborough, Farrar states "Don't fear any brutalities! I have been Public School Master for sixteen years and have never touched a boy in the way of corporal punishment yet. Even as a Headmaster, I have never yet flogged a boy, and hope that I never shall, though I cannot yet see my way to the formal and final abolition of the punishment..."

Arrangement Note

Organized chronologically.

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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 Correspondence, 1825-1861
1 2 Correspondence, 1865-1866
1 3 Correspondence, 1867
1 4 Correspondence, 1868-1869
1 5 Correspondence, 1870
1 6 Correspondence, 1871
1 7 Correspondence, 1873-1875
1 8 Correspondence, 1876-1877
1 9 Correspondence, 1878-1880
1 10 Correspondence, 1881
1 11 Correspondence, 1882-1886
1 12 Correspondence, 1887
1 13 Correspondence, 1888
1 14 Correspondence, 1889
1 15 Correspondence, 1890 January-August
1 16 Correspondence, 1890 October-December
1 17 Correspondence, 1891 January-March
1 18 Correspondence, 1891 April-December
1 19 Correspondence, 1892 January-June
1 20 Correspondence, 1892 July-December
1 21 Correspondence, 1893
1 22 Correspondence, 1894
1 23 Correspondence, 1895 January-April
1 24 Correspondence, 1895 May-December
1 25 Correspondence, 1896 January-May
1 26 Correspondence, 1896 June-October
1 27 Correspondence, 1896 November-December
1 28 Correspondence, 1897 January-April
1 29 Correspondence, 1897 May
1 30 Correspondence, 1897 June-September
1 31 Correspondence, 1897 October-December
1 32 Correspondence, 1898 January-April
1 33 Correspondence, 1898 May-December
2 1 Correspondence, 1899 February-March
2 2 Correspondence, 1899 April-December
2 3 Correspondence, 1900 April-September
2 4 Correspondence, 1900 November-December
2 5 Correspondence, 1901
2 6 Correspondence, 1902-1904
2 7-11 Correspondence, undated