|Birth name||John Guthrie Tait|
|Date of birth||24 August 1861|
|Place of birth||Edinburgh, Scotland|
|Date of death||4 October 1945(aged 84)|
|Place of death||Edinburgh, Scotland|
|Notable relative(s)||Peter Guthrie Tait, father|
Frederick Guthrie Tait, brother
|Rugby union career|
John "Jack" Guthrie Tait (24 August 1861 – 4 October 1945) V.D. was a Scottish educator who became principal of the Central College of Bangalore prior to the First World War. In his early adulthood, Tait was a notable sportsman playing rugby union as a forward for Cambridge University and represented the Scotland international team twice between 1880 and 1885. As well as being a talented rugby player, Tait was, like his brother Frederick Guthrie Tait, a notable amateur golfer.
He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy from 1871 to 1877 before studying Law at Peterhouse, Cambridge, from 1880. He received his BA in 1884, and on 7 November the same year was admitted at Lincoln's Inn. Tait was called to The Bar on 25 April 1888 and was awarded his MA in 1890.
In 1890 he travelled to India and took up a post in the Government Education Department at Mysore, Karnataka. He became Professor of Languages and vice-principal of Central College of Bangalore, and in 1908 he was made principal of the college.
He was commissioned a Captain in the Bangalore Rifle Volunteers on 31 October 1893. He resigned his commission as a Lieutenant-Colonel 12 July 1917. He was awarded the Volunteer Decoration for his long service.
In his later life, Tait became a keen student of the works of Sir Walter Scott, and assisted the editors of the centenary edition of the Letters of Sir Walter Scott, and brought out a revised text of The Journal of Sir Walter Scott based on the original manuscript.
He died in Edinburgh in 1945. He is buried next to his parents in the churchyard of St John's Episcopal Church, Edinburgh. The grave lies on the second burial terrace, down from Princes Street on the east side of the church.
Rugby Union career
Tait first came to note as a rugby union player when he represented Edinburgh Academicals.
In 1880, now a freshman at Peterhouse, Tait was selected for the Cambridge University team. At the end of the year Tait was part of the Cambridge team to face Oxford University in the annual Varsity Match, now played at Blackheath. This was Tait's first sporting 'Blue', and the game ended in a respectful draw. Tait missed the 1881 game, but was back in the team for the 1882, led by fellow Peterhouse student Herbert Fuller. The game was won by Oxford, thanks to a clever try scored by Alan Rotherham.
In 1880 he was selected for the Scotland national team, in a Home Nations friendly against Ireland. Scotland were easy victors, winning by three goals to nil; but despite the victory Tait was not part of the Scotland team that faced England for the Calcutta Cup just two weeks later.
Tait played one final notable game, when in 1885 he was called back into the Scotland side, to once again face Ireland, this time as part of the 1885 Home Nations Championship. The game ended in another Scottish victory, but Tait would not represent his country in rugby again.
– Tait writing from India, recalling time training his brother at golf
Tait was a keen golfer, and in his younger days he taught his younger brother, Frederick Guthrie Tait, the basic techniques of the sport. Before leaving for India, Tait entered several amateur golfing tournaments, and in 1887 reached the semi-final stage of the Amateur Championship at Hoylake; being eventually knocked out by John Ball. Although the tutor of his brothers, Frederick would surpass Tait in style and ability, and Frederick's style "...was neater, more finished, more polished, than Jack's (John)."
Results in major championships
Note: Tait played in only The Amateur Championship.
|The Amateur Championship||R32||SF||DNP||DNP|
|The Amateur Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Amateur Championship||DNP||R16|
DNP = Did not play
R256, R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
Yellow background for top-10
His younger brother was Lt Frederick Guthrie Tait.
- Godwin, Terry (1984). The International Rugby Championship 1883-1983. London: Willows Books. ISBN 0-00-218060-X.
- Low, John L. (1900). F. G. Tait, A Record; Being his Life, Letters, and golfing diary. London: J. Nisbet & Co.
- Marshall, Howard; Jordon, J.P. (1951). Oxford v Cambridge, The Story of the University Rugby Match. London: Clerke & Cockeran.
- John Tait player profile Scrum.com
- Provisional Bibliography of Peter Guthrie Tait The University of Edinburgh, School of Mathematics
- "Tait, John Guthrie (TT880JG)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- January 1908 Indian Army List
- London Gazette 8 February 1919
- Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
- The Review of English Studies, 1948. Pg 261 oxfordjournals.org
- Low (1900), pg 168.
- Low (1900), pg 170.
- Hutchinson, Horace G. (1919). Fifty Years of Golf. Offices of Country life. p. 103.
- "Golf Amateur Championship: Tournament at St Andrews". The Herald. Glasgow. 22 September 1886. p. 8. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- "Golf Amateur Championship: Result of Final Round". The Herald. Glasgow. 5 August 1887. p. 9. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- "Golf The Amateur Championship: The Second Day's Play". The Herald. Glasgow. 9 May 1901. p. 10. Retrieved 21 March 2011.