Theologian, mathematician, Master of St John's College. Charles Taylor was born in Westminster in 1840, the son of a tea dealer. Following his father's death, Taylor's family moved to Hampstead. Taylor was educated at St Marylebone and All Souls, London, and then at King's College School, before entering St John's College in 1858 as a sizar. In 1860 he was elected to a foundation scholarship and in 1862 graduated ninth wrangler in the mathematical tripos and with a second class in classics. In 1863 Taylor obtained a first class in the theological examination, with distinction in Hebrew, and more honours followed in 1864, when he was elected to both the Tyrwhitt and Crosse scholarships and to a Fellowship at St John's.
Taylor published a number of books and papers in the field of mathematics, mainly concerning geometry. He joined the London Mathematical Society in 1872 and served as president of the Mathematical Association in 1892.
Taylor was ordained in 1866, and in 1873 was elected to a College lecturership in theology. He was a renowned Hebrew scholar. In the 1870s Taylor was active in the revision of the College statutes, and he was also a member of the Cambridge University Commission, tasked with improving the state of the University. Upon the death of W.H. Bateson in 1881, Taylor was elected Master of St John's, receiving the degree of DD later that year. In 1887 he was made Vice-Chancellor of the University, a post he held for two years. In October 1907, Taylor married Margaret Dillon, but only ten months later he died suddenly in Nuremberg while on a foreign tour. A stained glass window was installed in St John's College Chapel in 1910, at Mrs Taylor's expense, in memory of her husband.
A keen oarsman, Taylor rowed in College boat races from 1863 to 1866. He was also fond of walking and climbing and was a member of the Alpine Club from 1873 until his death.
Catalogue of Taylor's books, lecture notebooks, passports,some invitation cards and menus, letters, annotated copies of his works, College bills.
Given by Mrs Margaret Taylor, 1950.