The Associate Presbytery

The Annals of the Associate Presbytery etc.





When the United Original Secession Church was constituted in 1842 through the union of the two anti-burgher strands of the secession movement, there were two ministers who remained outwith the union: James Wright, minister of Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, and Andrew Lambie, minister of Pitcairngreen, Perthshire. These men, along with an elder, constituted themselves into a Presbytery: the Associate Presbytery.

As a corporate body, this Presbytery did not last for long but the congregations that had constituted that Presbytery remained in existence – Presbyterian in principle but independent in practice. Then they splintered further so that there were several congregations who considered themselves “original seceders”. Here we give a brief account of these congregations and their ministers.

In regard to the Annals of the Congregations, I am almost entirely dependent on a study by Archibald MacWhirter, entitled The last Anti-burghers; a footnote to Secession History, published in 1944 in the Records of the Scottish Church History Society and available online here. What is found below is a summary of this study and serves the purpose of pointing researchers to MacWhirter’s work.

Since first publishing this the following material has been drawn to my attention:

Archibald MacWhirter, The Last Anti-Burghers: A Footnote to Secession History, Scottish Reformation Society Historical Journal 3 (2013): 275-340.

Norman Campbell, Rev. James Wright of Infirmary Street and Lauriston Street, Edinburgh, Scottish Reformation Society Historical Journal 5 (2015): 145-209.

Norman Campbell & Douglas B. Somerset, A Note on James Wright and Andrew Lambie, Scottish Reformation Society Historical Journal 6 (2016): 247-257.

Norman Campbell, Rev. Walter Macleod: a wise penman, Scottish Reformation Society Historical Journal 7 (2017): 271-281.

As time permits, I shall digest this new material and update my web-site accordingly.

The Annals of the Ministers consist of mainly genealogical material which I have gathered from different sources. It is not an exhaustive account of these men. It must be read in conjunction with their ministries as described in the congregational section and for this purpose there are links provided. It is designed to give basic information about who’s who in this area and to be simply a starting place for researchers, whether ecclesiastical or genealogical.

If the provision of the Annals of the United Original Secession Church, 1852-1956 – which is also on this web-site – closes a gap in the provision of Scottish Presbyterian Annals of the 19th century, then this closes a small crack – or rather it brings to the attention of researchers, MacWhirter’s work which really closed the crack.

The Congregations of the Associate Presbytery etc.


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Detailed Account
For MacWhirter’s account of this congregation, of which what follows is a summary, see The last Anti-burghers, pp.259-262.

The congregation, which met in Peter Street Hall, Dundee, was small and in financial difficulties. Nevertheless it received some help from the Pitcairngreen congregation and a promise of help from Edinburgh, Lauriston; and they had a regular ministry for a time. Thomas Callander ministered here for a short time. Thereafter David Berry ministered here from 1848.

However on 18th July, 1849, the Edinburgh Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland considered an application from Berry and the Dundee congregation to be received into the Reformed Presbyterian Church. The Associate Presbytery then met with the Dundee congregation on 31st July following. Berry explained what led them to apply to the Reformed Presbyterian Church as did John Jack, his elder. The Presbytery, however, did not accept these explanations, and in due course, on 3rd October, the congregation was received into the Reformed Presbyterian Church. The already existing Dundee Reformed Presbyterian congregation was small and its members were encouraged to join Berry’s Church.

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Previous History
For the previous history of this congregation see Edinburgh, Infirmary Street (Antiburgher), Scott, Annals, p.326.
Detailed Account
For MacWhirter’s account of this congregation, of which what follows is a summary, see The last Anti-burghers, pp.270-276.


James Wright was inducted here on 2nd October, 1834. In 1842, he and the majority of his congregation became part of the Associate Presbytery. The majority section retained the church building and assumed the debt on it, while the minority section received the congregational library on the payment of a stipulated amount. The building in Infirmary Street was then sold to the Free Tolbooth congregation and a new building was erected in Lauriston Street.

On 26th October, 1865, Duncan Wright was ordained here as colleague and successor to his father. However in 1869 he requested leave of absence on health grounds and he travelled to Australia. On his return two years later, he declined to take up again his duties as a pastor, and his father again shouldered the burden of the work in the congregation.

However, his ministry was in danger of being undermined through charges laid against him by some people. On 27th September, 1873, ten members of Session urged him to take steps to clarify the situation. He expressed his willingness to go with any experienced elder and have the matter out with his accusers. As the accusations were in written form, the ten members of Session did not think this sufficient. Subsequently, Wright tendered an oath denying the charges but this was not acceptable to all; the party opposed to him then asked him to resign if he could not clear himself of this fama. The outcome was that on 14th December, 1873, a section of his congregation withdrew from his ministry to form the Edinburgh, Forrest Road, congregation.

Despite this reduction in numbers, the congregation still wished a colleague and successor to be appointed for their aging minister. On 23rd April, 1874, Walter Mcleod was ordained to that position.

James Wright died in February, 1878, and Mcleod then became the sole pastor. In 1883 Mcleod published in manuscript form a refutation of the charges brought against James Wright.

Mcleod had a long and peaceful ministry. He died in October 1912.

Thereafter the congregation had no settled minister. Services continued to be conducted with sermons being read on the Sabbath, first of all by the elders in general, and then by John Mcleod, the Session Clerk and son of the last minister. Historical lectures were also offered by the same method.

MacWhirter’s account of the congregation stops at the time of World War II. At that time, their building was threatened with demolition and the congregation was divided as to whether the site offered for rebuilding was acceptable or not.

I can only add that in the early 1960s I attended this congregation a couple of times on a Sunday afternoon. They met in an old flat, now long since demolished, at the north end of George 4th Bridge in Edinburgh. They worshiped according to the traditional pattern and the sermons of Walter Mcleod were still being read, fifty years after his death. By that time, they had, I think, been reduced to about a dozen worshipers.

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Previous History
This was formed by the party who split from the Lauriston Street congregation in 1874.
Detailed Account
For MacWhirter’s account of this congregation, of which what follows is a summary, see The last Anti-burghers, pp.276-282.

Those who separated met in the Oddfellows Hall, Forrest Road. They immediately got in touch with Andrew Lambie who had separated from ministerial fellowship with James Wright many years previously. After some discussion, it was agreed that he should constitute them a congregation and be the moderator of Session. He then moved to Edinburgh to become their pastor. When exactly he moved we cannot say but an advert in The Scotsman reads: “Original Secession Church. Mr Andrew Lambie, Minister of the Gospel, Almond Bank, will preach in New Hall, 14 Forrest Road, tomorrow, at 11 and 2.15” (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 21st March, 1874, p.1). That suggests that though preaching in Edinburgh he has not yet moved there: he is of “Almond Bank”. He doesn’t appear in the PO Directory till the 1875-76 edition which shows him to be living at 24 North Bruntsfield Place.

But in 1876 there arose a dispute between him and some in the congregation. The minister opposed the calling of congregational meetings to discuss the affairs of the church. Such meetings, he held, were un-Presbyterian, indeed, they were sinful. William Scott supported the validity of congregational meetings in a pamphlet that he published and to which Lambie replied in a pamphlet of his own. This battle came to a climax in a Session meeting of 22nd April, 1879, when Lambie intimated his resignation. Supporters of Lambie held the view that the dispute was not simply about congregational meetings but was motivated by the fact that Lambie refused to ordain William Scott to the ministry acting alone.

This congregation soon moved to a new site and was general referred to by a new name: Edinburgh, South Clerk Street.

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Previous History
This is a continuation of the story of the congregation Edinburgh, Forrest Road
Detailed Account
For MacWhirter’s account of this congregation, of which what follows is a summary, see The last Anti-burghers, pp.276-282.

A group of people originally constituting part of the Edinburgh, Adam Square, UOS congregation, had separated from that body along with their minister Archibald Brown. They had acquired a church building in South Clerk Street, Edinburgh, and worshipped there from 1871 till the health of their minister failed in 1879. A union with the small congregation worshipping there was proposed, but this proposal came to nothing because of historical theological differences. The Forrest Road congregation therefore took over the use of the building. Hence the notice in The Scotsman (Edinburgh, 12th July, 1879, p.1 ) intimating that the associate congregation sometime meeting in Oddfellows Hall, Forrest Road, had now removed to 35 South Clerk Street. The number actually was 36 South Clerk Street.

Shortly thereafter William Scott was invited to deliver trial discourses with a view to him being called as their minister. He was reluctant to accept this call – perhaps because of his poor health – but eventually did so, though, there being no Presbytery, he was never ordained to the task.

After a few years there was again unhappiness in the congregation over the minister’s unpunctuality in starting the worship – about 45 minutes late was the average. This was explained in terms of the state of the minister’s health. When the situation continued for years without improvement, some pointed out that there was a member of the congregation well equipped to be minister – a reference to Henry Paton. Eventually, when the Session proved unable or unwilling to resolve the problem, there was a split in the congregation on 17th April, 1892, and what became known as the Edinburgh, Gorgie Road, congregation was formed.

The congregation was already a small congregation; this split left it weaker yet. In 1912 the average attendance was 12.

Scott died in 1926. Thereafter a few remaining members held Sabbath afternoon devotional meetings in a house in Warrender Park Road. This continued for about five years when the congregation was dissolved.

The church building was sold to a Jewish congregation. When MacWhirter wrote on the subject it was then occupied by an evangelical congregation.

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Previous History
This is the continuation of the story of the group that split from the congregation previously referred to as Forrest Road 1.
Detailed Account
For MacWhirter’s account of this congregation, of which what follows is a summary, see The last Anti-burghers, pp.282-283.

When Andrew Lambie resigned his charge on account of unhappiness over his views on congregational meetings, some of his people supported him and he continued to conduct services even while the remanent congregation was using the same building.

Numbers were low but Lambie continued his ministry till his death on 23rd May, 1886. Even then the congregation continued, mainly through the work of an elder, Charles Martin, Lambie’s son-in-law. They left the Forrest Road premises in 1898 and worshiped thereafter in Charles Martin’s house.

The congregation was dissolved in 1902 on the death of Charles Martin.

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Previous History
This is the story of the group which split away from Edinburgh, South Clerk Street, in 1892.
Detailed Account
For MacWhirter’s account of this congregation, of which what follows is a summary, see The last Anti-burghers, pp.282-283

This group was formed when a section of the South Clerk Street congregation separated from the parent body. At first they met in the Oddfellows Hall in Forrest Road, Edinburgh, when sermons of sound preachers were read. When all hope of a return to the South Clerk Street congregation was gone they agreed to hear trial sermons from Henry Paton, who was one of their number. Thereafter, on 11th January, 1893, one elder and eight members signed a call to him to be their minister. He accepted the task, though without ordination – as there was no Presbytery to ordain him; the Lord’s Supper was soon dispensed and later two elders and a deacon were duly appointed.

MacWhirter points out at that stage that there were three independent Anti-burgher congregations functioning in Edinburgh, each with a minister: Walter Mcleod in Lauriston Street, William Scott in South Clerk Street, and Henry Paton in what came to be known as Gorgie Road. What he does not point out is that these three men belonged to the same family circle: Scott was a nephew of Mcleod and he married his cousin, who was a niece of Mcleod; Paton had married another niece of Mcleod. One wonders what relations were like within the family. Paton did, indeed, publicly appeal for a conference to promote unity amongst these original seceders but nothing came of it.

On 20th August, 1896, Paton received permission from the Dean of Guild Court in Edinburgh “for a hall for the Associated Congregation of Original Seceders, Argyll Park Terrace, Edinburgh (The Glasgow Herald, 21st August, 1896).

Nothing, however, could have come of that because later the congregation acquired a building in Gorgie Road, Edinburgh, which had been a Free Church Mission Hall. Or as The Scotsman put it: “The old Free Church at Gorgie, vacated by Mr Kilpatrick’s [William Kilpatrick’s] congregation in favour of the new building in Slateford Road, was opened yesterday as a branch of the Original Secession Church when the Rev. Henry Paton, M.A., preached three times” (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 22nd November, 1897, p.9).

There were at this stage 21 members on the roll. This congregation was aggressively evangelistic according to the pattern of the time, for example, there was a Sunday School attended by 50 children.

In 1902 Paton attended a conference on Psalm Singing in Belfast, Ireland, where he met Dr Kerr of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. From this contact, Paton and his congregation were drawn towards that denomination. On 26th September that year, the Gorgie Road congregation applied for admission to the Reformed Presbyterian Church. On 12th May, 1903, this application was accepted. Paton, though he had never been ordained formally, was accepted as a minister: “The minister and the congregation were not and are not chargeable with any lawful neglect of Presbyterial order … in exceptional circumstances and times … men have been asked to undertake the ministration of Word and Sacrament, when ordination was impossible.” On 22nd May, 1903, effect was given to this decision, when representatives of the Reformed Presbyterian Church met with the congregation and gave the right hand of fellowship to the minister and elders.

The church building had been undergoing extensive alterations and was reopened on 29th May, 1903 (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 30th May, 1903, p.10).

However, even with this new affiliation the congregation did not prosper. On 24th March, 1907, the last service was held, and the church building was sold to the Baptists. The congregation was not formally disbanded, but Paton and his family thereafter attended Loanhead Reformed Presbyterian Church, Midlothian.

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Previous History
See Pitcairngreen (Antiburgher), Scott, Annals, p.415.
Detailed Account
For MacWhirter’s account of this congregation, of which what follows is a summary, see The last Anti-burghers, pp.262-270.

Andrew Lambie was ordained here on 29th April, 1829. At a meeting of the Session on 25th June, 1842, it was agreed that the congregation would be in connection with the Associate Presbytery.

However, there arose a difficulty in Lambie’s relationship with James Wright, Edinburgh, Lauriston Street. This story is told in detail in MacWhirter in the pages mentioned above. As a result, on 20th January, 1850, Lambie announced the break up between them, which in effect brought to an end the Associate Presbytery. But it did not bring to an end this congregation. True, the congregation was diminished in size because some of the elders and members took James Wright’s side in the dispute. As a result, the church building was used for worship for the last time on the last Sabbath of October, 1853. Shortly thereafter the building was removed and the stones used to construct a number of cottages.

At that stage, Lambie left for Glasgow and became a teacher there, but he visited the people in Pitcairngreen every three months or so and services were then conducted in Almondbank schoolhouse. Then in 1861 he returned to Pitcairngreen and on the last Sabbath of May that year, regular services were resumed. They were held for a year in Ruthven Castle and then in a schoolhouse/church which Lambie had purchased and developed at Bridgeton of Almondbank. He and his daughter conducted a school in that building. In 1865 he was the tenant of the property; in 1875 he was the proprietor and occupier. In 1885 he was the proprietor of three house at Bridgeton “by Almondbank” and of a fourth building which was designated as the Original Secession Church.

So matters continued until early in 1874 when Lambie received an invitation from a section of the Edinburgh, Lauriston Street, congregation, which had split off and was known as Edinburgh, Forrest Road. When in Edinburgh he visited Almondbank regularly in the summer and occasionally at other times as well. He constituted the session with the help, we are told, of Charles Martin of the Forrest Road congregation. This was Lambie’s son-in-law.

There was a split in the Forrest Road congregation and those who departed had William Scott as their minister. He occasionally visited some in Pitcairngreen who took his side of the argument. This continued until 1892.

Lambie died in May 1886. Services were continued thereafter, with men reading sermons, until 1906 when the congregation was dissolved.



Annals: The Ministers of the Associate Presbytery etc.


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He was born in Edinburgh on 18th March and baptised on 28th March, 1820, the son of David Berry, builder, and Catherine Scott.

Education / Early Life
MacWhirter in The last Anti-burghers p.273 says he studied at Edinburgh University 1840-41, 1843-45 and under James Wright of the Original Secession Church.

He married Jane Reid Anderson on 17th April, 1860, in Pollokshields, Glasgow (Registration: 1860 646/1 23 Govan). She was born in Port Glasgow, Renfrewshire, about 1840, the daughter of Thomas Anderson, and Margaret McNicoll. Her father is variously described. One source says he was a cotton manufacturer but in his daughter’s marriage record of 1860 he was a builder; and in the 1851 census he was a master carpenter employing three men. Certainly he worked for Anderson & Henderson’s. They were timber merchants, wrights and builders.

He began a ministry in Dundee in 1848.

He and his congregation applied to join the Reformed Presbyterian Church in 1849 and the congregation was receive into that church in October that year. But it appears there was some uncertainty about Berry’s ecclesiastical status and not till May, 1850, was he received as an ordained probationer. He preached here and there until he was inducted in Wick, Caithness, on 11th June, 1856. He resigned on 3rd June, 1873, in order to engage in literary work, and he moved to Edinburgh. He joined the Free Church at the Union of 1876 and was inducted to Graham Street, Airdrie, Lanarkshire. He resigned his charge in 1885.

He died on 2nd April, 1887, at 117 Goldhawk Road, London, England, and he was buried in Fulham there. His wife died in Wick, Caithness, on 10th October, 1864.

They had issue including:

(1) David Anderson Berry born on 17th July, 1862, in Wick, Caithness. He married Gertrude Griffiths in the 3rd quarter of 1887 in Fulham, London, England. He was a consulting ophthalmologist and physician. He was active in the Christian world, being for a couple of years pastor of an independent church in England. He also wrote on Christian themes, for example, The Seven Sayings of Christ on the Cross, Glasgow: Pickering & Inglis. He died in the 2nd quarter of 1926 in Essex, England. In his will, he left money to institute the David Berry Medal, for historical study, in memory of his father; also the David Anderson-Berry Medal for medical research.

(2) Thomas Anderson Berry born on 13th April, 1864, in Wick, Caithness. He died at Argyle Square, Wick, on 17th June, 1864 (The Dundee Courier & Argus, 21st June, 1864).

He translated from the original Danish Professor Schiern’s book, Life of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell.

Copse Road Chapel

See Ewing’s Annals here

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He was born about 1803, the son of Thomas Callander, manufacturer, and Mary Richardson.

He was licensed by the Secession Church on 13th August, 1833. He was town missionary in Ayr for a few months in 1840. He served for a short time in the Original Secession Church in Dundee. He then became a Baptist minister. At his death he was a Baptist minister in Rothesay.

He died of heart disease at 6 Argyle Terrace, Rothesay, Bute (Registration: 1860 558/ 23 Rothesay).

1833, Antiburgher, Student, Scott, Annals, p.572; General, Scott, Annals, p.138.

Other Information
Looking for him in the 1841 and 1851 censuses there is really only one candidate, although the ages do not fit exactly.

In 1841 there was a Thomas Callander living at 21 College Street, Glasgow. He was a writing master, aged 35, born outwith the census county. In 1851, this same man was in Bridgend, Ceres, Fife. The head of the home was Jane Richardson, 63, unmarried, a grocer, born in Dundee. With her were Thomas Callender, nephew, married, aged 45, a teacher of writing, born in Dalkeith, Midlothian; and Marjory Callender, married, aged 35, teacher’s wife, born in Ceres, Fife, “wife of nephew”. As Thomas Callander’s mother was a Richardson, this makes good sense.

Thomas Callender married Marjory Richardson on 21st September, 1849, in Ceres, Fife.

If we look for Marjory Richardson, prior to her marriage, the closest we have found so far is a Marjory Richardson, in the 1841 census, aged 25 but said to have been born in Angus. She was presumably the servant in the home, whose head was the minister: Robert Murray McCheyne.

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He was born about 1803 in Auchinleck, Ayrshire, the son of George Lambie, farmer, and Sarah Gall.

Education / Early Life
He matriculated in Glasgow University in 1816 and graduated M.A. in 1827. He entered the Secession Divinity Hall under Professor Dick, in 1822.

He married Margaret Clement on 9th December, 1832, the marriage being registered in both Crieff and Redgorton, Perthshire. She was born (or baptised) on 13th August, 1797, in Muthill, Perthshire, the daughter of William Clement and Cathrine Rintoul.

Ministry etc
He was licensed by the Presbytery of Ayr on 11th March, 1828. He was ordained in Pitcairngreen on 29th April, 1829. He declined to enter the union of 1842 and separated from the Synod.

In an interlude in his ministry in Picairngreen, Lambie lived in Glasgow and worked as a teacher for some time. From 1854 to 1861 his name appeared in the Glasgow PO Directories. His address at first was 198 Crown Street; and subsequently 40 Warwick Street, 379 St Vincent Street; and 3 Abbotsford Place; and he was teacher at 29 Cumberland Street. His designation at first was Original Seceder minister; minister and teacher, then minister and school-master; and finally teacher.

He then returned to Pitcairngreen resumed his ministry there, while also running a school there.

Then he returned to Edinburgh and ministered to a small congregation there that had split from James Wright’s congregation: Edinburgh, Forrest Road.

In 1881, he was staying with his son-in-law in Edinburgh and he was designated: “Minr To Remnant Of Origl Seceders Edinr & Almond Bank Perthshire”. He was also called “of the Remnant of Original Seceders” in 1875 when he conducted the marriage of his daughter (The Dundee Courier & Argus, 2nd September, 1875).

He died on 23rd May, 1886, at 2 Woodhead Place, Edinburgh, the cause of death being senility (Registration: 1886 685/5 412 Newington). His wife died in 1864 in Redgorton, Perthshire.

They had issue including:

(1) George Lambie born (or baptised) on 6th December, 1838, in Redgorton, Perthshire. He died in 1856 in Tradeston, Glasgow.

(2) Catherine Rintoul Lambie born (or baptised) on 18th November, 1839, in Redgorton, Perthshire. She married Charles Martin in 1875 in Newington, Edinburgh. He was a librarian and an elder in his father-in-law’s congregation. She died in 1923 in Morningside, Edinburgh.

Address to his Congregation showing that the Antiburgher Profession as such has been given up by the Synod of Original Seceders in their late union with the Original Burghers, and that that Profession ought still to be maintained, 1842

Pamphlet on cause of separation from James Wright, 1851

The Bible, the World’s Age, the Old Paths, and Divisive Courses, 1867

Antiburgher, Student, Scott, Annals, p.562; 1829, Pitcairngreen (Antiburgher), Scott, Annals p.416; General, Scott, Annals, p.125; General, Scott, Annals, p.139; General, Scott, Annals, p.329; Small, History, Vol.2, p.635

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He was born about in 1832, in Edinburgh, the son of John Mcleod, journeyman joiner, and Agnes Stobo.

John Mcleod and Agnes Stobo had family including the following:

(1) Agnes Mcleod born about 1817 in Forres. She married Archibald Simpson and had issue including:

Jessie Simpson. She married her first cousin William Scott (see below).

(2) Jessie Mcleod born about 1821 in Edinburgh. She married Alexander William Scott and had issue including:

William Scott born in England about 1847. He was a minister of the OS Church and married his cousin Jessie Simpson (above)

(3) James Mcleod born about 1829 in Edinburgh. He married Eliza Arnot and had issue including:

Agnes Mcleod who married Henry Paton, a minister of the OS Church.

(4) Walter Mcleod, born about 1832 in Edinburgh, a minister, as described here.

Education / Early Life
He was a teacher in Canongate Parochial School. He was later connected with the Free Church and acted as their missionary to an English-speaking Church in Landernan, Normandy, France. MacWhirter in The last Anti-burghers p.273 says he studied at Edinburgh University 1860-63 and under James Wright of the Original Secession Church.

He married Margaret Sutherland in 1867 in Liberton, Edinburgh. She was born about 1836 in Haddington, East Lothian, the daughter of David Sutherland, agricultural labourer, and Marion Dick.

He was licensed by the Associate Presbytery on 16th October, 1871. He was ordained as colleague and successor to James Wright, Edinburgh, Lauriston Street, on 23rd April, 1874. He continued there until his death.

He died on 12th October, 1912, in Morningside, Edinburgh. He was buried in Newington Cemetery. His home had been at 112 Thirlstane Road, Edinburgh. His wife died there in 1914.

They had issue including:

(1) Marion Mcleod born in 1868 in Newinton, Edinburgh. She died in 1929 in Morningside, Edinburgh.

(2) Thomas Alexander Mcleod born in 1869 in Newington, Edinburgh. He died there the following year.

(3) Agnes Mcleod born in 1871 in St Giles Edinburgh. She died there the following year.

(4) Margaret Mcleod born in 1872 in St Giles, Edinburgh. She died in 1947 in Morningside, Edinburgh

(5) John Mcleod born in Edinburgh about 1873. He married Ann Milligan Douglas in 1895 in Morningside, Edinburgh. In 1912 he was Session Clerk to the Lauriston Street congregation.

(6) Alison Mcleod born in 1874 in St Giles, Edinburgh. She married George Cormack Duff in 1928 in Morningside, Edinburgh. She died in 1931 in St Andrew, Edinburgh.

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He was born on 2nd June, 1854, in Edinburgh, the son of James Sinton Paton, bookbinder, and Jane Davies.

Education / Early Life
He attended Heriot School there. He became a bookbinder. He worked at his craft and studied in evening schools until he was able to enter Edinburgh University. MacWhirter in The last Anti-burghers p.273 says he graduated M.A. in 1880 and that he studied under James Wright of the Original Secession Church.

He married :

(1) Agnes Mcleod on 2nd June, 1880, at the bride’s home, 12 Oxford Street, Edinburgh (Registration: 1880 685/5 182 Newington). His address at the time was 5 Parkside Street, Edinburgh. The officiating minister was William Scott and the witnesses were Charles J. Paton and Eliza Stobo Mcleod. Agnes Mcleod was born about 1857 in Edinburgh, the daughter of James Mcleod, clothier, and Eliza Arnot. James Mcleod was the brother of Walter Mcleod, a minister of the OS Church, and of Agnes McLeod who was the mother of William Scott, the officiating minister.

(2) Mary Anne Gilchrist on 7th June, 1898, at Darling’s Hotel, Viewforth Place, Edinburgh (Registration: 1898 685/2 206 St Andrew (Edinburgh)). He was then of Myrtle Terrace, Edinburgh. She was born in Edinburgh in 1859, the daughter of Robert Gilchrist, joiner, and Margaret Henderson?. At her marriage she was of 5 Viewforth Gardens, Edinburgh. She was a teacher. In 1881, her brother David Gilchrist was a student of divinity. It is most likely that he became the minister of Musselburgh United Presbyterian Church in which case see in the General Index of Scottish Presbyterian Ministers here and scroll down to Gilchrist, David: 1886, Millhill, Musselburgh (Relief).

He became a minister of the OS Church – of the congregation that became known as Edinburgh, Gorgie Road.

Thereafter he joined the Reformed Presbyterian Church, with his congregation on 29th May, 1903. When that church building was closed in 1907, he maintained his connection with the Reformed Presbyterian Church. He attended Loanhead, Midlothian, Reformed Presbyterian Church. He played a full part in the life of his new denomination. He represented them at the American Synod in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in May, 1909. He attended the Pan-Presbyterian Council in New York, USA, in June that year, and in September, 1911, in Budapest, Hungary.

He was better known for his literary activities. In May, 1910, a case was brought against “the Rev. Henry Paton, M.A., record researcher, 184 Mayfield Road, Edinburgh.” The case was brought against him by the Earl of Crawford who had, through the agency of William Alexander Lindsay, K.C., instructed Paton to supply all abstracts in the Acts and Decreets of the Court of Session which referred to the Lindsays. Between 1902 and 1908, Paton had been paid £476 10/6 for such extracts. In the course of his work, Paton made rough notes “partly in Pitman’s shorthand and partly in longhand, with contractions peculiar to the defender”. Crawford maintained that these notes were his property, while Paton claimed them as his own. The judge found in Paton’s favour (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 27th May, 1910, p.10).

He succeeded Sir William Fraser as inspector and reporter for Scotland to the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts and was responsible for several of its published volumes. He helped in the publication of 24 volumes of the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland. He also helped to edit a volume of Acts of the Lords of Council in Civil Cases.

As a member of the Scottish History Society he edited three volumes of The Lyon in Mourning. He also prepared for the press Registers of Edinburgh Marriages, Interments in Greyfriars’ Churchyard, and Register of Births and Marriages of Dunfermline; seven volumes of The Clan Campbell; a revised edition of History of Peebles-shire; and the Register of the Rev. John MacMillan. He transcribed other documents and conducted much genealogical and historical research.

He died on 25th February, 1942, at Inchewan, Peebles. He was buried on 28th February, in Peebles Cemetery (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 28th February 28, 1942, p.8).

His first wife died on 5th November, 1896, in St George, Edinburgh. His second wife died on 18th May, 1941, in Peebles.

They had issue including:

(1) Henry Mcleod Paton born on 31st March,1881, in Newington, Edinburgh. He married Jessie Harvey Brodie, at Hillview, Liberton, on 10th October, 1935 (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 12th October, 1935, p.24). He became curator of Historical Records in General Register House, Edinburgh. He died on 6th August, 1958, in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire.

(2) Agnes Mcleod Paton born in 1883 in St George, Edinburgh. She died on 17th March, 1935, at Ingleneuk, Dirleton, East Lothian. She was buried in Newington Cemetery, Edinburgh, on 20th March (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 20th March, 1935, p.22).

(3) Eliza Jane Mcleod Paton born on 29th January, 1886, in St George, Edinburgh. She is said to have died on 6th February, 1900; her death was registered in 1901 in Newington, Edinburgh.

(4) James Mcleod Paton born on 14th August, 1890, in St George, Edinburgh, a twin. He emigrated to the USA. He died in Oakland, California, USA.

(5) Jessie Alison Mcleod Paton born on 14th August, 1890, in St George, Edinburgh, a twin. She married Charles Henry Carter in Peebles in 1920. She died in the 4th quarter of 1974 in Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

1903, Robb, Cameronian Fasti, p.26

Obituary (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 28th February, 1942, p.3)

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Andrew Ritchie of Edinburgh, Lauriston, was licensed by the Associate Presbytery on 22nd June, 1863. He was suspended in 1865.

We do not know with certainty who this man was but the most likely candidate so far is the Andrew Ritchie who became a United Presbyterian minister in 1864. See 1864, Yetholm (Burgher, New Light), Small, History, Vol.2, p.275; 1882, Erskine, Stirling (Burgher), Small, History, Vol.2, p.670; Call, Small, History, Vol.2, p.198

We will research him more fully if that identification proves to be correct. But in summary, this man was born about 1833 in Eastwood, Renfrewshire, the son of Thomas Ritchie, farmer, and Margaret Strang. In 1851 and in 1861 he was a teacher. He married Frances Calder in Yetholm, Roxburghshire, in 1877. They had issue including: (1) Isabella Hamilton Ritchie, born in Yetholm in 1878, She married Thomas Wright in Stirling in 1899 and died in Stirling in 1951. (2) Margaret Strang Ritchie born in Yetholm in 1881. She died in Stirling in 1965.

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He was born in Winchester, Hampshire, England, about 1847, the son of Alexander William Scott and Jessie Mcleod. His mother was a sister of Walter Mcleod, a minister of this church; and of James Mcleod, the father-in-law of Henry Paton, another O.S. minister. In 1881 his father was designated a Chelsea Pensioner; elsewhere he was an accountant. The family appear to have moved around for a time: William Scott had an older sister, Isabella, born about 1846, and a younger sister Alice, born about 1853, both of whom were born in Canada. Other siblings about whom we know were born in Scotland: Walter was born about 1855 in Edinburgh; and younger siblings were born in Perth.

Education and Early Life
MacWhirter in The last Anti-burghers p.273 says he studied at Edinburgh University for some time up to 1880 and under James Wright of the Original Secession Church.

He married Jessie Simpson in 1900 in Newington, Edinburgh. She was born about 1855 in Edinburgh, the daughter of Archibald Simpson, shoemaker, and Agnes Mcleod. See under Walter Mcleod for the ramifications of this family.

He was minister of Edinburgh, South Clerk Street, congregation.

He was a historian of Scottish families of high rank and lineage.

He died of general debility on 1st January, 1926, at 263 Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh. His wife died in 1931 in Newington, Edinburgh.

There is no evidence that they had issue.

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He was a probationer of the Free Church who occasionally preached in the Edinburgh, Lauriston Street Church. He was excluded from his membership there on 19th October, 1868, after he had expressed dissatisfaction with the settling of Duncan Wright as colleague and successor to his father. He preached in a hall to some supporters for a time and joined those who separated from James Wright in 1873. He became a minister of the United Original Secession Church – see here.

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He was born (or baptised) on 30th July, 1839, in Edinburgh, the son of James Wright, minister of Edinburgh, Lauriston Street, and Isabella Duncan.

Education / Early Life
MacWhirter in The last Anti-burghers p.273 says he studied at Edinburgh University 1856-58 and under his father.

He was ordained as colleague and successor to his father in Edinburgh, Lauriston Street, on 26th October, 1865. In 1869 he asked for leave of absence on health grounds and took a voyage to Australia. On his return he declined to take up his pastorate. The reason for this was made known to the Presbytery but was never stated publicly. He resigned his post but remained as a member of the congregation till his death.

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He was born in Ayr about 1803. There was a James Wright born (or baptised) in St Quivox, Ayrshire, on 30th August, 1803, the son of James Wright and Barbara Murchie.

Education / Early Life
He entered the Divinity Hall in 1824 under Professor Paxton. Apparently, he had thought on going into the United Secession Church in 1820 rather than siding with the Protestors so, to ensure his soundness, he was set an exercise on the subject: “Is it consistent to attend upon any one ordinance in a church with which we cannot hold fellowship in all the ordinances of religion?” In his exercise, he gave the hoped for answer – the negative.

He married Isabella Duncan. Perhaps that was the marriage that took place on 27th September, 1834, in Coupar Angus. She was born (or baptised) on 29th December, 1811, in Alyth, Perthshire, the daughter of John Duncan, and Isabella Baxter.

He was licensed by the Presbytery of Ayr on 9th June, 1828. He was called to Midholm, Selkirkshire, Dollar, Clackmannanshire, and Coupar Angus and to the Associate Congregation of Original Seceders in Coupar Angus he was ordained on 3rd February (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 17th February, 1830, p.107). Synod agreed he should be loosed from Coupar Angus and translated to Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, as colleague and successor to Professor Paxton (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 13th September, 1834, p.2). (This reversed the decision of a previous Synod which had decided he should be retained in Coupar Angus (Caledonian Mercury, Edinburgh, 17th May, 1834).) He was settled in Edinburgh on 2nd October, 1834.

He remained outside the union of 1842. The Infirmary Street Church was sold and he and his congregation moved to a building they had erected in Lauriston Street. The congregation was then known as Edinburgh, Lauriston Street.

Under the heading of “A Students’ Midnight Freak” the Glasgow Herald reported on 30th June, 1860, how their home in Argyll Square, Edinburgh, was broken into at 4.30 a.m. Mrs Wright had heard the noise of the door being forced open and had screamed. Her husband had then found an intruder in the house. He asked him to go but he refused and “abused the rev. gentleman in a most unbecoming manner”. When the police arrived, the intruder “was found coolly lying on the sofa in the library, and singing to himself”. While the solitary policeman went for reinforcement, the intruder, who had then been joined by others, left the house. They were later apprehended in the High Street. The main culprit was fined £5 with the alternative of 30 days’ imprisonment.

He died on 24th February, 1878, at Villa West, Wardie Crescent, Granton Road, Edinburgh (The Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder, 1st March, 1878). He was buried in St Cuthbert’s Cemetery there. He “united to good natural talents not a little subtlety in conduct, the absence of which would have been beneficial to him. In lecturing, he excelled.”

His wife died at 4 Gilmore Place, Edinburgh, on 16th July, 1865 (The Caledonian Mercury, Edinburgh, 19th July, 1865).

They had issue including:

(1) James Wright born in Edinburgh about 1837.

(2) Isabella Baxter Wright born about 1838 in Edinburgh. She died there on 3rd April, 1838.

(3) Duncan Wright born (or baptised) on 30th July, 1839, in Edinburgh. Later he appears as Duncan John Wright. He became a minister of this church.

(4) Barbara Wright born (or baptised) on 22nd April, 1841, in Edinburgh. She married Alexander Buchanan, master grocer, in 1865 in Newington, Edinburgh. She died at 16 St Bernard Row (Malta Green), Edinburgh, on 26th January, 1921, “last of the family of Jas Wright, Lauriston”. She was buried in Echobank Cemetery on 29th January (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 29th January, 1921, p.18).

(5) Ann Duncan Wright born (or baptised) in Edinburgh on 11th November, 1843. She married George W. G. Sutherland, railway clerk, in 1869 in St Giles, Edinburgh. She died at 22 Lochrin Buildings, Edinburgh on 7th October, 1912 (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 9th October, 1912, p.16). She was said to be the 4th daughter of her father – which means there is a daughter missing from the list above.

(6) Mary Wright born (or baptised) in Edinburgh on 9th April, 1846. She died at 12 Argyle Square, Edinburgh, on 14th May, 1861, aged 15th – “third surviving daughter” of James Wright (Dundee Courier and Daily Argus, 17th May, 1861).

(7) James Duncan Wright born (or baptised) in Edinburgh on 29th January, 1847.

(8) Helen Wright born about 1849 in Edinburgh. She died there on 6th March, 1853.

(9) Sarah Armstrong Wright born (or baptised) in Edinburgh on 9th February, 1852. Later she appears as Sarah Jane Wright.

For publications see: Scott, Annals, p.563.
The Scottish Christian Herald, Vol.2, p.601, The Special Privileges of the Nobles of Israel

Antiburgher, Student, Scott, Annals, p.562; 1830, Coupar Angus (Constitutional), Scott, Annals, p.294; Small, History, Vol.2, p.279; 1834, Edinburgh, Infirmary Street (Antiburgher), Scott, Annals, p.326; General, Scott, Annals, p.126; General, Scott, Annals, p.139; Call, Scott, Annals, p.306; Call, Scott, Annals, p.401; Call, Scott, History, Vol.2, p.635