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STRACHAN, JOHN, 1778-1867.
John Strachan letter, 1850 June 12

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/gs6db

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Strachan, John, 1778-1867.
Title: John Strachan letter, 1850 June 12
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 301
Extent: 0.01 cubic ft. (1 folder)
Abstract:Contains one letter in which Strachan asks an unknown Church of England cleric for funds to support an Anglican university in Toronto.
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)], John Strachan Letter, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Aimee Morgan, 2005.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

John Strachan, first bishop of Toronto, was born on April 12, 1778 to John Strachan and Elizabeth Findlayson of Aberdeen. He was educated at King’s College, Aberdeen, and at St. Andrews. Strachan went to Canada in late 1799, after being invited to take a position in a new college planned at Kingston. The college was never established, and Strachan found work as a private tutor. In 1804 he was ordained a priest of the Church of England. In subsequent years, he held positions as rector of York (1812), archdeacon of York (1827), and bishop of Toronto (1839).

As bishop, Strachan traveled widely through his province, establishing churches and schools. In 1827 he founded the University of King’s College in Toronto. The university was affiliated with the Church of England until 1850, when the provincial government took control of its endowment and made it a secular institution. In response, Strachan launched a major fundraising campaign, and went on to establish Trinity College under royal charter.

Strachan married in 1807. His wife, Ann, was the daughter of Thompson Wood and the widow of Andrew McGill of Montreal. The couple had six children. Strachan died in Toronto on November 1, 1867.

Biographical Source: Michael Gauvreau, ‘Strachan, John (1778-1867)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

Scope and Content Note

In this letter, dated June 12, 1850, Strachan asks an unknown Church of England cleric for funds to support an Anglican university in Toronto. Strachan writes, "...the means of providing a University education in the principles of the Church of England for the Members and Ministry of that Church have been violently destroyed in my Diocese by the withdrawal of the Charter of King’s College and the seizure of its endowment."