National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Archibald Campbell Tait (1811-1882)

Archibald Campbell Tait (1811-1882)

Archbishop of Canterbury, 1869-1882

Archibald Campbell Tait was ordained in the Church of England in 1836 and succeeded Thomas Arnold as headmaster of Rugby School in 1842. He married Catharine Spooner, daughter of the archdeacon of Coventry, on 22 June 1843. They moved to Carlisle in 1849 where he was deacon until 1856, the year that they lost five children to scarlet fever. As Bishop of London his preaching, outreach work, sound administration and church leadership impressed Queen Victoria who advocated his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury. He was enthroned in February 1869, the first Scot to become head of the Church of England. He died on 3 December 1882 at his official country residence in Surrey. His Scottish son-in-law, Randall Davidson, was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1903.

Birth in 1811

Archibald Campbell Tait was born on 21 December 1811, the son of Crawford Tait and Susan Campbell. The entry in the Old Parish Register for Edinburgh records that he was baptised on 25 December by Dr McKnight.

Birth and baptism entry for Archibald Campbell Tait

Birth and baptism entry for Archibald Campbell Tait (27 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 685-1/56, page 142