Archive / Papers / Tait Papers


Small Collections Box 22

John Guthrie Tait, and his wife,  “Annie”

Given by Miss Margaret Tait, daughter of John Guthrie Tait, 1861-1945, (eldest son of Professor P.G. Tait, 1831-1901), Professor of English Literature and Principal of the Central College, Bangalore. Her father’s uncle was W.A. Porter, one of the new educationalists appointed by Sir Charles Wood and Principal Cumbaconum College, Madras.

A collection of letters, mainly from Bangalore, mostly written between 1920 and 1941, from various friends, to Miss Tait’s mother in Scotland.  In addition there are a few printed booklets, newspaper cuttings, a memoir by Miss M. Tait and an Indian books list.

  1. Letter to John Porter, uncle of Miss M. Tait, from C.B. Clarke, Calcutta, dated 18 January 1865, where he had gone to teach mathematics in University. Largely descriptive: first impressions of country and students.
  2. Letters to Mrs. Tait from a variety of friends in Bangalore, some giving news of station and of Maharajah and Maharani of Mysore, 1922-1937.
  3. From Mrs. McGann and Mrs. Irvine, both attached as friends and advisers to H.H. the Dowager Maharani of Mysore. 1921-50, but largely undated. Letters give domestic and social news of station.
  4. From Miss M.B. Ross Thompson, long resident in Bangalore. 1925-1936.
  5. From Indian servants to Mr. & Mrs. Tait; a few to Tait children. 1920-39.
  6. From the Revd. F.R. Sell, lecturer in Central College Bangalore, author of novels based on Indian history for use in Indian schools. Letters discuss his books and give college and station news. From F.R. Sell’s wife, Dora, at home in England with children. Domestic. 1925-1941.
  7. From two successive chaplains of Scots Kirk (St. Andrews) Bangalore. First concerns money left by Mrs. Tait for an endowment fund, second requests information concerning former members of church of Bangalore. 1923-1933.
  8. To Miss M. Tait: two letters from Kathleen Baker from Bangalore; two letters from Mary Hogg from Madras. Domestic and social. 1926-1937.
  9. (A) Four printed booklets:
    • Moments with Modern Musicians – Madame Alice Gomez by F. Klickmann c.1896.
    • Mysore Government Order dated 2 May 1908 on the retirement of Mr. J. Cook from the Service of the State of Mysore as Principal, Central College, Bangalore, since 1882.
    • ‘The case against language and rhetoric’ by J.G. Tait, M.A. from Madras Christian College Magazine of November 1919.
    • The Late Canon Edward Sell, D.D. 1932.
  10. Newspaper cuttings dated c.1930
  11. ‘Memories of Bangalore’ – TS memoir (12 pp) by Margaret Tait:
    • Children’s parties especially in Bangalore. Description and history of Central College: influence and work of John Cook, (Principal 1892-1908) on College and Bangalore Observatory and in installation of X-ray equipment.
    • Poona murders, 1897.
    • Notes from diaries of J.G. Tait, and J. Cook. Memories of spectacular events and daily life of a child. Cricket in Bangalore 1890-1914.
    • J.G. Tait succeeds J. Cook as Principal of the Central College, 1908. C. Rajagopalachari’s opinion of Mr. Tait, and other comments (Rajagopalachari was a pupil of Mr. J.G. Tait).
    • Memories of processions and the elaborate 1918 Armistice celebrations.

    11. List of over 400 Indian books owned by Miss Tait, mainly C20th., but with many C19th. and a few C18th.