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Smith, William Robertson (1846-1894) theologian and Semitic scholar
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Letter from T. C. Hodson to Lady Frazer

10 Wood Lane, Highgate, London, N.6. - Thanks her for the printed copy of Sir James' acceptance of the Freedom of Glasgow; wonders what would have happened had Sir James gone to Balliol, 'faced the High Church flood, and engaged in the raging controversies of philosophy'; finds himself in their University [having been named William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology]; rejoices Frazer has paid tribute to Tylor, whom he knew, and to Robertson Smith, a great scholar whose work he admires greatly.

Copy letter from Edw. Clodd to J. G. Frazer

Strafford House, Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Dated 23/6/12 - Thanks him for Cowper's 'Letters'; has not read Robertson Smith's 'Life' [by J. S. Black and G. W. Chrystal] in detail but thinks too much space is given to the heresy-hunting story.

Copy letter from J. G. Frazer to R. R. Marett

St Keyne's, Cambridge. Dated 11 May 1911 - [John] Roscoe is giving a series of lectures on the tribes of Central Africa and could repeat the lectures he is giving at Cambridge in Oxford, and gives his postal address to Marett; thanks him for his inaugural lecture ['The Birth of Humility'] and takes issue with Marett's interpretation of Robertson Smith's views of the order in which ritual and dogma appear, stating that he believed that dogma occurred prior to ritual, not the other way around, and adds that R. M. Meyer has ascribed the same belief to Frazer; in a postscript he questions Marett's regard for [William] McDougall as an authority on psychology and says his friend James Ward does not think highly of him.

Copy letter from R. R. Marett to J. G. Frazer

Exeter College, Oxford. Dated May 13, 1911 - Will certainly try to get [John] Roscoe to lecture at Oxford, and asks if the lecture series is being paid for by the Church Missionary Society, as he would otherwise have to set about raising money at once; replies to Frazer's letter about his lecture ['The Birth of Humility'] and his interpretation of Robertson Smith's views of the order in which ritual and dogma appear, reviewing what Robertson Smith believed about dogma, that it was theory or reasoned belief, and disagrees with Frazer's statement that 'savage ritual ... [bears] the imprint of reflexion and purpose ... as clearly as any actions of civilised men' in that both types of religion are not equally reflexive, and that the 'savage ritual' is unreflective; states that he is vigorous in his counter-argument because he is up against 'a giant'; he, [William] McDougall, and [Lucien] Lévy-Bruhl have been trying to emphasise the mobbish character of primitive religion and religious life; closes by saying he thinks the field has a crying need for criticism.

Copy letter from J. G. Frazer to R. R. Marett

St Keyne's, Cambridge. Dated 17 May 1911 - Confirms that the Church Missionary Society is paying for the lectures that [John] Roscoe will give, and is glad to hear that he will be invited to give them at Oxford; continues their debate over Robertson Smith's views of the order in which ritual and dogma appear and what he meant by dogma, believes he was expressing a novel view of the importance of the study of ritual and that there was some thought in the minds of the first men, even though it may not be as reasoned as dogma; he thinks ritual bears the impress of some thought and purpose quite as much as civilised men, and responds to Marett's statement about psychologists, stating that he doesn't think them better qualified than those who study savage ritual, even such a friend as James Ward; agrees about the importance of criticism; was glad to hear that Marett is coming closer to his views on some points.

Letter from A. van Gennep to J. G. Frazer

Clamart, Seine - Has a copy of 'Early History of Kingship', informs him of research in his book 'Tabou et totémisme à Madagascar' which describes his theory of sanctity and taboo, different from Robertson Smith's, and also describes his theory of positive and negative rites much like Frazer's.

Letter from J. Oliver Stephens to Sir James Frazer

The Presbyterian College, Carmarthen - As a former Advanced Research Student at the University of Cambridge, asks for help in attesting to the value of the degree to the University of Leeds, where he is applying for the Philosophy and History of Religion chair; has been told by the Registrar that he was one of the last men awarded a B.A. in Advanced Research before the Ph.D. was instituted. Says his knowledge of Hebrew will be useful, and remembers Frazer's story of Robertson Smith and how the language had helped with research into Primitive Religion.

Letters from James George Frazer

15 letters and two cards, accompanied by a clipping of Frazer's obituary.

Item 35: Dated 15 Dec. [no year]. Thanks him for his testimonial, and while the Aberdeen position is filled, he will endeavour to deserve the kind words in his future work.
Item 36: 23 June 1913 Congratulates him on the Oxford degree, will be sending a new and enlarged ‘Psyche’ and Part VI of the new G.B. to show that he has not been squandering his time or the trust placed in him.
Item 37: 25 June 1914 Thanks him for the congratulations; it is hard to be finished with the work, like the parting of an old friend; was grieved at the death of W. Aldis Wright, happy in his successor.
Item 38: 1 July 1908 Congratulates him on his new honour; asks if he has heard anything more of the Lorimer Fison business; visiting William Wyse.
Item 39: Letter to Sir Henry Cholmondeley Jackson, 26 Feb 1922. Thanks him for the copy of ‘Totemism’ which had belonged to his father; his father’s death has left a ‘sad blank’ at Trinity; wonders if his father had a chance to see his ‘Apollodorus’.
Item 40: 25 Oct 1887 Replies to Jackson’s criticisms and disagrees about the line between consummation and subsequent intercourse, and discusses the limitation of the effusion of blood as well, the value of virginity, and related matters.
Item 41: 27 Oct 1887 more of the same discussion.
Item 42: 9 Nov 1887 sends a copy of ‘Totemism’, sends a theory.
Item 43: 9 Nov 1887 a moment’s discussion with Robertson Smith has shown him the error in a theory.
Item 44: 1 May 1888 Refers to evidence from Samuel Gason on the prohibition of sexual intercourse.
Item 45: 22 Aug 1888 a long letter; discusses the comparison of metaphysics and superstition; asks him to save the letter for Robertson Smith.
Item 46: 24 Aug 1888 thanks him for being a sounding board for his theories, mentions that Robertson Smith is a stern utilitarian whom he does not dare to mention ghosts and spirits to.
Item 47: 18 Apr 1904 Asks his advice about Manchester.
Item 48: 2 May 1904 gives his reason for declining Manchester, encloses a letter from Baldwin Spencer criticising his circumcision theory.
Item marked as 'with 35-48': Undated Thanks him for the letter and cutting, is interested in the different motives and train of thought that influences men in different stages of culture; thinks McLennan treated savages as if they were influenced only by what we consider rational motives
Item marked as 'with 35-48': Undated, Friday asks him to put his last letter in the fire and that he should stick to facts, mentions an East Indian tradition that people leave their souls at home when they go out to fight.
Item marked as 'with 35-48': Card, undated about rules armies have about hair or feces falling into enemy hands where they can make magic with it
Item marked as 'with 35-48': Card undated refers to an article in Anthropological Journal discussing totem clans and rules for burying them in a certain direction.
Item marked as 'with 35-48': The Times obituary for Frazer

Copy letter from A. van Gennep to J. G. Frazer

Clamart, Seine. Dated 26.I.1906 - Has a copy of [Lectures on the] 'Early History of Kingship', informs him of research in his book 'Tabou et totémisme à Madagascar' which describes his theory of sanctity and taboo, different from Robertson Smith's, and also describes his theory of positive and negative rites much like Frazer's.

Letter from Henry Jackson to J. G. Frazer

Aldourie, Bournemouth - Thanks him for the GB; thanks him for the letter of Nov. 18, reporting the success of his efforts on behalf of Spencer and Gillen, and for the letter of Dec. 6 acknowledging his pamphlet on the Eumedian Ethics, written in order to pay a compliment to [Franz] Susemihl, and mentioning that [Solomon] Schechter would be visiting Bournemouth, but he missed him; saw him once or twice during Robertson Smith's illness, but did not become acquainted, and will accept his introduction; is glad to hear Mrs Frazer's health has improved in Rome, and the discoveries in the Forum are most interesting, especially the confirmation of his theory about the perpetual fire, and asks about the current thinking on the location of the Temple of Vesta; his friend H. M. Plowden has gone 'completely off his head' according to F. Brandt; College news: the dividend is £200, the M.C. [Henry Montagu Butler] is in better health by living quietly, a committee has been appointed to consider the College statutes; in the university [William] Ridgeway has made an uncalled for attack on Walter Leaf, a pity as not everyone knows what Ridgeway is capable of; his wife is 'still immovable in bed.

Letter from W. M. Ramsay to J. G. Frazer

Aberdeen - Invites Frazer to join him on a trip to Phrygia in 1894-1895, wishes to excavate and lists other places of interest; hopes [Robertson] Smith continues to improve; discusses Pausanias X.31.7.

Letter from Henry Jackson to J. G. Frazer

Trinity College, Cambridge - Thanks him for 'Sir Roger de Coverley'; before Frazer was an undergraduate he had a high opinion of his learning and literary gifts and finds the book completely justifies that estimate; especially liked his appreciation of Robertson Smith, Howitt and Fison.

Accompanied by the envelope.

Letter from John F. White to Frazer

Craigtay, Dundee -Thanks him for his recollections of Robertson Smith, shares some of his own; doesn't know Burkitt, asks if he could get some notes from him; is working hard on a lecture on 'Expression in Greek Sculpture'. Accompanied by an envelope.