John Caird (theologian)

The Very Reverend
John Caird
Born (1820-12-15)15 December 1820
Died 30 July 1898(1898-07-30) (aged 77)
Nationality Scottish
Education Greenock Academy
Alma mater Glasgow University
Occupation theologian

John Caird FRSE (/kɛrd/; 15 December 1820 – 30 July 1898) was a theologian. He entered the Church of Scotland, of which he became one of the most eloquent preachers. He served as the Principal of Glasgow University from 1873 until 1898.


He was born in Greenock the son of John Caird of Caird and Co and Janet Young. His younger brother was Edward Caird.

He was educated at Greenock Grammar School, and then attended Glasgow University (MA 1845).

After being a minister at Newton-on-Ayr, at Lady Yester's Church, Edinburgh (1847-1849), and at Errol, Perthshire (1849-1857), Caird was transferred to Park Church, Glasgow (1857–62).

In 1862 he became Professor of Divinity at the Glasgow University, and in 1873, following the death of Thomas Barclay,[1] became Principal of the university, a post he held for 26 years, until 1898.[2]

Glasgow University made him a Doctor of Divinity in 1860 and Edinburgh University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) in 1884.

A sermon on Religion in Common Life, preached before Queen Victoria, made him known throughout the Protestant world. He wrote An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (1880), and Spinoza (1888).[3]

Caird delivered the 1892-1896 Gifford Lectures at the University of Glasgow, entitled The Fundamental Ideas of Christianity.

In 1897 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

He died in Greenock and is buried in Greenock Cemetery.[4]


He married Isabella Glover in 1858.



External links

Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Caird, John.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Thomas Barclay
Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow
1873 to 1898
Succeeded by
Professor Robert Story

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