Archibald Nicol, Coll, Argyll

Archibald Nicol, Coll, Argyll

There is a discrepancy between FES and Ewing’s Annals in regard to the minister of Coll prior to the Disruption.

FES, Vol.7, p.318 records that Archibald Nichol was born in 1798, was ordained to Coll in 1836 and translated to Walls and Sandness on 7th December, 1843. He died in 1884. Ewing has Archibald Nicol ordained to Coll in 1836; he continued there till 1852 and was then transferred to Shiskine, Isle of Arran, Bute.

The fact is that there are two men in the censuses whose careers have been conflated in FES:

(1) There is an Archibald Nicol whose age varies from census to census but in 1861 was said to have been born about 1799 in “Kilmory, Buteshire”. He was single. He was in Coll and moved to Arran.

(2) There is also an Archibald Nichol – Nichol with an “h” – born about 1804 in Holm, Roxburghshire. In 1841 he was a preacher in Papa Westray, Orkney. He married Eliza Gore in 1844 and was minister in Walls, Shetland.

It is clear from the Records of the Presbytery of Mull that Archibald Nicol was ordained in Coll in 1836. In August, 1843, he acknowledged that he had seceded from the church and he was declared no longer a minister of the Church of Scotland. See Presbytery Minutes in the National Records of Scotland: CH2/273/4/125-129; and CH2 273/5/65-75. So the minister of Walls was not previously in Coll and the Coll minister certainly joined the Free Church although he does not appear to have signed the Act of Separation and Deed of Demission.

This is confirmed by the monument, erected to the memory of Archibald Nicol of Shiskine Free Church, still visible adjacent to the present Free Church building, which states that he had been minister in Coll for 16 years before his translation to Arran.


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