Archibald Charteris

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Archibald Hamilton Charteris (13 December 1835 – 24 April 1908) was a Scottish theologian, a Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, professor of biblical criticism at the University of Edinburgh and a leading voice in Church reforms. He is credited as being the father of the Woman's Guild.

Life[edit]

Born in Wamphray,[1] Dumfriesshire, Charteris studied at the University of Edinburgh. He was a parish minister in Galloway and then Glasgow. In 1868 he became Professor of Biblical Criticism at the University of Edinburgh, until his retirement due to ill health in 1898. He was Moderator of the General Assembly in 1892.

He was appointed a Chaplain-in-Ordinary in Scotland to King Edward VII in October 1901.[2]

Charteris was a conservative Biblical scholar, and a mild Calvinist. In April 1875, he was accused of writing an anonymous review in the Edinburgh Evening Courant of William Robertson Smith's article on the Bible in the Encyclopædia Britannica. His criticism led indirectly to Robertson Smith's trial for heresy in the Free Church of Scotland.

However, it was perhaps as a Churchman that Charteris exercised his greatest influence. He was instrumental in initiating the Church's Committee of Christian Life and Work in 1869. He founded the magazine Life and Work in 1879, and began the Young Men's Guild and the Woman's Guild. He also was a leading proponent of the restoration of the office of Deaconess within the Church. In 1887 he founded the Church of Scotland's Womens Guild.[3] In 1880 he passed the editorship of Life and Work to Rev John McMurtrie.[4]

In 1900-1901 he is listed as living in Cameron House on Dalkeith Road (now part of Edinburgh University's Pollock Halls of Residence).[5]

Family[edit]

His brother was Matthew Charteris, Regius Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics at Glasgow University.[6]

His wife was Catherine Charteris, daughter of Sir Alexander Anderson (advocate and Provost of Aberdeen). They married on 18 November 1863 in Aberdeen.[7]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Obituary of Matthew Charteris, BMJ, July 1897
  2. ^ "No. 27367". The London Gazette. 22 October 1901. p. 6847. 
  3. ^ http://www.skeneparish.com/guild.html
  4. ^ http://www.lifeandwork.org/about-us/who-we-are
  5. ^ Edinburgh and Leith Post Office Directory 1900-1901
  6. ^ Obituary of Matthew Charteris, BMJ, July 1897
  7. ^ Lesley Orr Macdonald, ‘Charteris , Catherine Morice(1837–1918)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004

Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology Wright, D.F. et al. (eds) Edinburgh 1993