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Alexander Haldane

Alexander Haldane (1800–1882), newspaper proprietor and barrister, was born in Edinburgh, the fifth of nine children of James Alexander Haldane (1768–1851), and so was a nephew of Robert Haldane of Airthrey (1764-1842). He was educated at Edinburgh High School and the University of Edinburgh before moving to London, where he entered the Inner Temple in 1820. In August 1822 he married Emma Corsbie Hardcastle (1800–1867), youngest daughter of Joseph Hardcastle of Hatcham House, Surrey, a merchant and treasurer of the London Missionary Society; they had one son, James Robert Alexander Chinnery-Haldane, later Episcopalian bishop of Argyll and the Isles, and five daughters.

Haldane had a prominent role within Anglican evangelicalism, being associated with Edward Irving and Henry Drummond and participating in the early prophetic conferences at Albury. He later, however, distanced himself from the movement that was to result in the formation of the Catholic Apostolic Church. In 1828 he began to write for the fledgling Record newspaper, and subsequently became its chief proprietor and the dominant influence on editorial policy for half a century. Under his leadership The Record was the major public voice of a new school of evangelicals that emerged about 1830. The Recordites, as they were called, followed Haldane in affirming the verbal inspiration of the Bible, attacking liberal theology and Catholicism, maintaining a rigorous sabbatarianism, and staunchly defending the established church.

Although never an MP Haldane was keenly interested in politics and was an active force in a variety of parliamentary and ecclesiastical networks. He wrote the lives of his father and uncle, describing their careers as itinerant evangelists, in The Lives of Robert and James Haldane, published by the Trust as a facsimile reprint of the third edition of 1853. He died in London in 1882 and was buried at Paddington cemetery.

[Edited from the entry for Haldane, by John Wolffe, in The Dictionary of National Biography.]