Edward CAIRD (1835–1908)
His wife Frances Caroline CAIRD, née Wylie (1831–1916)
St Michael section: Row 5, Grave C49

Edward Caird


In Memory of
Master of Balliol College

Formerly Fellow of Merton,
Professor of
Moral Philosophy
in the University of

Born at Greenock
22 March 1835

Died at Oxford
1 Nov. 1908




Also of
Caroline Frances
his wife
Born 2 Dec. 1831. Died 19 May 1916

God is not the God of the dead but of the living.




This grave marker is made of granite and has a wheeled Celtic cross with knotted ropes





See the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for the full academic career
of Edward Caird, Philosopher and college head



Left: Edward Caird in
Vanity Fair
, 4 April 1895

Edward Caird was born at Greenock on 22 March 1835, the sixth son of John Caird and Janet Young. His father, who was the partner of the engineering firm of Caird & Co., died when he was an infant, and other members of her family helped his mother Janet bring up their many children. Edward was largely brought up in Greenock by his aunt, Jane Caird.

Edward went to study at the University of Glasgow in 1850. In 1860 won a Snell exhibition, a scholarship that allowed Scottish students to study at the University of Oxford, and he was matriculated from Balliol College on 13 October 1860. He was awarded a first class in the final classical school in 1863 and was elected a tutor at Merton College in 1864.

In 1866 Caird returned to Scotland on being elected Professor of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow

On 8 May 1867 Edward Caird married Caroline Frances Wylie (born in Carluke, Lanarkshire in 1831), the daughter of the Revd John Wylie. They had no children.

At the time of the 1871 census the Cairds were living at the University of Glasgow at Partick. They had three servants (a cook, table-maid, and gardener), and were being paid a visit by Lewis Campbell (a Professor of Greek) and his wife, and John Wylie (78). They were still there in 1881, when Caroline’s sister Miss Katherine Wylie (54) was living with them.

Master's Lodgings, Balliol


In 1893 Caird was unanimously elected Master of Balliol College. One of his first tasks was to allow women to attend Balliol lectures, and he also gave lectures at Toynbee Hall.

The 1901 census shows him at the age of 66 living with his wife Caroline (69) and his sister-in-law Miss Annie Wylie (66) at the Master’s Lodgings in Broad Street (right). They had four servants: a lady’s maid, parlourmaid, housemaid, and kitchenmaid.

He began to suffer from a paralytic illness, and resigned the mastership in 1907. He and his wife and sister-in-law moved to 12 Bardwell Road.


Caird died in 1909:

† Edward Caird died at 12 Bardwell Road at the age of 74 on 1 November 1909 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).

Although he died in the new parish of St Andrew in north Oxford, presumabely because of his Mastership of Balliol he was buried near two other prominent Balliol men, T. H. Green and Benjamin Jowett, in the St Michael section (where plots appear to have been reserved for Balliol men when the St Mary Magdalen section was full).

The following obituary appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 7 November 1908:

It is with great regret that we announce the death of Dr. Edward Caird, late Master of Balliol, which took place at his residence, 12, Bardwell-road, at twenty past nine on Sunday evening. Dr. Caird’s health had been failing for some time, and was the prime cause of his resignation of the Mastership last year. The decline had been more marked of late, and so critical had become his condition towards the end of last week, that the Balliol Sunday evening concert and other college festivities were suspended. The tolling of the chapel bell between ten and eleven o’clock gave intimation to many people of the late Master’s decease.

Dr. Caird was 73 years of age, having been born at Greenock in March, 1835. He was the sixth son of Mr. John Caird, partner in the engineering firm of Caird and Co. He was educated at Greenock Grammar School, Glasgow University and Balliol College, and as an undergraduate at Oxford gained the Pusey and Ellerton Scholarships. He graduated in 1863, having secured a first in Mods. and 1st Class Honours in Lit. Hum. In 1867 he married, his bride being the daughter of the Rev. John Wylie, of Carluke, Lanarkshire. A year previous, Dr. Caird was appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Glasgow, a position he held until his election to the Mastership of Balliol in 1893. His first great work was that of the “Philosophy of Kant,” published in 1878. In 1883, St. Andrew’s University paid honour to his scholarship by conferring the honorary degree of LL.D. Then followed a series of publications: “Hegel” in Blackwood’s series, “The Religion and Social Philosophy of Comte,” “The Critical Philosophy of Kant,” and “Essays on Literature and Philosophy.” The Gifford lectures by him at St. Andrew’s and Glasgow University, on the “Evolution of Religion” and “The Evolution of Theology in the Greek Philosophers” were also published. Further honours were conferred upon Dr. Caird before his return to Oxford by the Universities of Oxford, Wales, and Glasgow. In 1898, Cambridge conferred the hon. Degree of D.Litt. During his office as Master of Balliol, Dr. Caird was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, a select body upon which Oxford is well represented. He was also appointed a corresponding member of the Institute of France (Académie des Politiques) and an Hon. Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Königsberg.

Dr. Caird, as a leader of liberal thought in Oxford, justly merited the popular title of “Jowett’s Successor.” His loss will be severely felt at the present time, when Oxford is striving to adjust herself to the requirements of the age. Death was due to paralysis.


The funeral on Thursday was attended by a numerous gathering or prominent members of the University and others. The body was removed from the residence in Bardwell-road in an open hearse, which, together with the coffin, was covered with beautiful wreaths, to Balliol College chapel, where the first part of the Burial Service was read. The officiating clergy were the Rev. H. H. Gibbon, chaplain of Balliol, Rev. W. Addis, Balliol, and the Rev. J. A. Harries, Vicar of St. Andrew’s, Oxford. At the conclusion of the service the hymn, “How bright these glorious spirits shine,” was sung, and the organist, Dr. Ernest Walker, played the Dead March in “Saul.” The body was carried by six servants of the college to the St. Giles’ Gate, where it was placed in the hearse, and a procession, which was of great length, was formed and walked to St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery, in Walton-street, where the remains were interred close to the graves of Professor T. H. Green and Professor Jowett.

At the time of the 1911 census Mrs Caroline Frances Caird was living with her sister Katherine Wylie at 12 Bardwell Road with three servants (a cook, parlourmaid, and housemaid). She died five years later in 1916:

† Mrs Caroline Frances Caird, née Wylie died at 12 Bardwell Road at the age of 84 on 31 May 1916 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery with her husband.

The Oxford Journal Illustrated of 31 May 1916 published two photographs of her funeral: (1) her coffin being carried into St Andrew’s Church, Linton Road for the funeral service and (2) the funeral cortège on its way to the cemetery.



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