The Roll of Probationers 1

The Roll of Probationers 1


Who were the Signatories?


The signing of the Act of Separation and Deed of Demission by the ministers who left the Establishment at the Disruption is well known. What is not so well known is that there was a similar secession by many probationers of the Church of Scotland. The story of this movement by these licensed preachers is told in Chapter 14 of Thomas Brown’s Annals of the Disruption.

As there had been ongoing preparations to leave the Establishment on the part of the ministers, so there had been on the part of probationers. A movement was started among them at the time of the ministers’ Convocation in November, 1842. Thomas Brown states: “A numerous band of young men resolved to cast in their lot with the outgoing ministers.” There were about 70 or 80 men at a Convocation of Probationers held in December that year. And when the Disruption took place there were 192 probationers who gave in their names to the Free Assembly, indicating their commitment to that Church.

There were two stages in this matter. On Friday, 19th May, the probationers presented a memorial to the Free Church Assembly. This was presented by Dr Gardner, himself a probationer. There were almost 200 who adhered to this memorial which stated that they entirely and cordially concurred in those principles which had dictated the present secession (Scotsman, 20th May, 1843: 3).

To formalise the situation, the Assembly drew up a Deed of Demission to be signed by the probationers adhering to them. This was approved on Saturday, 27th May, 1843, and probationers were invited to sign it, separating themselves from the Establishment (Scotsman, 31st May, 1843: 3). The full text of this document is available here: Deed of Demission for Probationers.

The names of the 192 men who originally expressed their intention to adhere to the Free Church are given in James McCosh’s book The Wheat and the Chaff gathered into Bundles: a Statistical Contribution towards the History of the Disruption of the Scottish Ecclesiastical Establishment, p.116. The Probationers’ Deed of Demission and the names attached to it is available in the National Records of Scotland (CH1/16/1/1). Though 192 men gave in their names originally, only 84 signed the official Deed of Demission – and the names of 13 of these were not on the Roll of Probationers. Here are the names of these 84 men – the names of the 13 “new” probationers are printed in bold:

Harry Anderson, Markinch
William Andson, Southwick
David Arthur, Kilmarnock
James Bain, Helensburgh
John Bain, Fortrose, Ross-shire
Robert Bremner, Erskine
George Brown, Edinburgh
John Bryden, St Quivox, Ayr
Thomas Brydon, Newbattle
Peter Brydie, Glasgow
J. Hay Burn Edinburgh
William Chalmers Burns
Thomas Burnside, Glasgow
Thomas Christie, Glasgow
Alexander Cleghorn, Edinburgh
James Cullen, Edinburgh
James Cumming, Edinburgh
Andrew Cunningham, Duns
Archibald Currie, Glasgow
George Dalziel, Edinburgh
Thomas B. Dodds, Edinburgh
W. S. Donald, Fife
Robert Duncan, Glencorse
Peter Edgar, Linlithgow
John Ferguson, New Kilpatrick
David Fraser, Contin
John Garson, Orkney
Hamilton Gibson, Glasgow
Robert Gibson Glasgow
Andrew Glen, Irvine
Thomas Halley, Edinburgh
George Hislop, Edinburgh
Peter Hope, Edinburgh
John Jaffray, Edinburgh
Gilbert Johnstone, Glasgow
Joseph Gavin King, Stewarton
Henry M. Laird, Leslie
Gilbert Laing, Irvine
Robert Laing, Jedburgh
William Leishman, Edinburgh
Neil Livingston, Glasgow
James Logan, Glasgow
James McConechy, Stevenston
Thomas McCrindle, from South Africa
Archibald McDougall, Glasgow
John McFarlan, Greenock
Archibald McGilivray, Keith
David Norris Mackay, Glasgow
John McKay, Clyne
John C. McKenzie, Glasgow
John Macpherson, Laggan
William Makellar, Pencaitland
John Matheson, Kilmuir
John Millar, Edinburgh
David Mitchell, Edinburgh
William Moffat, Cairnie
James Morrison Denny
Nathaniel Moyes, Edinburgh
Patrick Muirhead, Cramond
John Paterson, North Leith
Andrew Peebles, Dunfermline
James Porteous, Maybole
Eneas M. Rate, Edinburgh
Samuel William Reid, Greenock
John Robertson, Edinburgh
William Robertson, Rathven
Robert Ross, Glasgow
Alex. F. Russel, Gairloch
C. G. Scott Edinburgh
James Scott, Edinburgh
Dugald Shaw, Muckairn
James Simpson, Firth
William Sinclair, Ellon
James G. Small, Edinburgh
David Smith, Glasgow
James Smith, Glasgow
Peter Steele, Dalkeith
Alexander Steele, Dalry
George Stevenson, Alloa
John Tindal, Edinburgh
Alex. Urquhart, Cross and Burness
Alexander Wallace, Edinburgh
James Watson, Edinburgh
Jamieson Willis, minister-elect, Strathbungo


What then happened to these men? Did they remain loyal to their original commitment? What follows is an attempt to identify these men and what eventually became of them. It is not intended to give a full biographical account of each one but to give sufficient information as that researchers might the more easily identify them.

In regard to the sources used, these are mentioned in each entry where they are unique to that individual. It can be taken for granted that the standard reference materials for such biographical study have been routinely consulted: census and birth, marriage and death indexes, etc.; Post Office Directories; and Lists of Students at the four ancient Scottish Universities, Presbytery Minutes, and so on.

In regard to the method used, in general each man is first identified in the 1841 census or in University records, and with the extra information thus supplied, a picture is then built up using other sources. Unfortunately, there are a number who cannot with any certainty be identified. But perhaps as time passes, we may be able to add information to this study. Like much else on this web-site, this is a work in progress.

In regard to their presentation here, the names are in alphabetical order, Mc and Mac not being distinguished. Where a man’s name in the Roll appears in a slightly different form in the Deed, then the fuller form is used and the other is not noted, for example, William Chalmers Burns is the name on the Deed and is the preferred format, the form on the Roll being W.C. Burns. Where the place of residence in the Roll differs from that in the Deed, both places are given.

Finally, we need to make an attempt to categorise what happened to these men and to draw conclusions. That is the subject of another study: The Roll of Probationers 2: What became of the Signatories?.


Adam, John

Name on Roll: John Adam, Larbert, Falkirk
John Adam was ordained in West Free Church, Alloa, in 1843.

Adams, David

Name on Roll: David Adams, Dundee
In the 1841 census, David Adams was a teacher in Dundee, aged 65. A notice in the Dundee Courier on 7th April, 1846, tells of his death at his home, 26 Hawkhill, Dundee, on 28th March, 1846. He was a native of Perth. He studied at St Andrews University, Fife, and was thereafter licensed by the Presbytery of Dundee. He was the projector and for some time master of the Royal Orphan Hospital in Dundee. He had been a teacher for considerably above half a century.

On 19th July, he was summoned to appear before the Presbytery of Dundee regarding the report that he had seceded from the Church of Scotland. As he did not appear, as requested, on 2nd August, his licence was withdrawn.

That brief statement can be filled out somewhat. The records of St Andrews University show that he studied in the United College from 1794; and in St Mary’s from 1815 to 1820. The suggestion there that he was born in Dundee the son of James Adams and Jean Duncan is not valid: he was not born in Dundee as both the newspaper reference above and the 1841 census show.

The Dundee Directories mention him as a teacher in Small’s Wynd (1818). Thereafter he shows as a teacher in Scott’s Close, Nethergate, his house being in Hawkhill.

He married Ann Heron and they had family born in Dundee including: Alexander Heron Adams (born on 29th October and baptised on 18th November, 1804); David Adams (born on 1st and baptised on 15th June, 1806); Ann Adams (born on 9th and baptised on 26th June, 1808); William Adams (born on 24th July and baptised on 5th August, 1810); Agnes Adams (born about 1815); and Jean Adams (born about 1820).

Aird, Hugh

Name on Roll: Hugh Aird, Selkirk
He was a teacher in Selkirk in 1841. He had been the teacher in the parochial school there since Martinmas, 1836. The nature of his work there can be judged by his answers to a Government Questionnaire: Answers made by Schoolmasters in Scotland, p.291. [See here Parochial Schools – Queries to which these Answers are a response.]

He became a Church of Scotland minister; he was ordained in Wishaw in 1844 and translated to Neilston in 1845. See Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, Vol.3, p.282 and p.160.

Allan, John

Name on Roll: John Allan, Rothes
John Allan was ordained in Garmouth Free Church in 1843.

Anderson, Frederick Fotheringham

Name on Roll: Frederick F. Anderson, Greenock
Frederick Fotheringham Anderson was ordained in Whithorn Free Church in 1844.

Anderson, Harry

Name on Roll and Deed: Harry Anderson, Markinch, Fife
Harry Anderson was ordained in Juniper Green Free Church in 1844.

Anderson, John

Name on Roll: John Anderson, Greenock
John Anderson was ordained in Inverkip Free Church in 1844.

Andson, William

Name on Roll and Deed: William Andson, Arbroath (Roll); Southwick (Deed)
William Andson was ordained in Kirkmahoe Free Church in 1844.

Arthur, David Findlay

Name on Roll and Deed: David Arthur, Kilmarnock
David Findlay Arthur was ordained in Banchory Devenick Free Church in 1844.

Bain, James

Name on Roll and Deed: James Bain, Helensburgh, Dunbarton
James Bain was ordained in Delting Free Church in 1847.

Bain, John

Name on Deed: John Bain, Fortrose, Ross-shire
John Bain was ordained in Logiepert, Angus, in 1845.


Ballingall, John H.

Name on Roll: J. H. Ballingal, Markinch, Fife
John H. Ballingall was ordained in Kinghorn Free Church in 1846.

Barclay, Charles William

Name on Roll: Charles W. Barclay, Calcots, Elgin
Charles William Barclay was ordained in Enzie Free Church in 1844.

Bethune, William

Name on Roll: William Bethune, Kennoway, Fife
He was in Kennoway, Fife, in 1841. By 1851 he was living in Canada. This enables us to give the following picture of him:

He was born on 1st February, 1801. He studied in the United College, St Andrews, from 1814. He also studied at Edinburgh University. He studied teaching as an assistant in the Madras school at the foot of Leith Wynd. He became the head-master of Kennoway School in 1830 and also served as Session Clerk.

He left Scotland shortly after the Disruption and was the first minister of Chalmers Presbyterian Church, Walpole, Haldimand County, Ontario. In the 1851 census he is designated a Presbyterian Minister Free Church (see here). He died in Walpole on 26th December, 1859, aged 58, and was buried in Chalmers Presbyterian Cemetery, Walpole (see here).

He married Ann Fleming who was born in Kennoway, Fife, on 19th December, 1814, the daughter of William Fleming and Christian Storrar. She died on 18th February, 1894, and was buried with her husband.

They had issue including, born in Kennoway: Alexander Bethune baptised on 24th November, 1833; William Fleming Bethune born on 7th and baptised on 19th April, 1835 – he married Helen Storar and had a son George Henry Bethune; Christina Bethune baptised on 2th February, 1837; Isabella Bethune baptised on 9th December, 1838; Jane Bethune baptised on 14th March, 1841; Henry Fleming Bethune baptised on 8th July, 1843.

And, born in Ontario, Canada: Ann Bethune, born about 1844; Margaret Bethune, born about 1847; David Bethune born in December 1850, who died on 29th April, 1851; James Bethune born in 1851, who died on 25th September, 1863; Janet Bethune born about 1852; and Elizabeth Ann Bethune born in 1855.

Bremner, Robert

Name on Roll and Deed: Robert Bremner, Erskine, Paisley
Robert Bremner was ordained in Gorbals Free Church, Glasgow, in 1843.

Brichan, James Brodie

Name on Roll: James B. Brichan, Forres
He was born in 1810 in Dyke, Moray, the son of David Brichan, minister of Dyke, and Ann Allan. He studied at the United College, St Andrews, from 1823; and in the Edinburgh Divinity Faculty, 1830-31. He served as a probationer in the Church of Scotland before joining the Free Church “to which he was ever afterwards zealously attached.” He was best known as an antiquarian and author. He played a major part in the production of Origines Parochiales Scotiae. The antiquities ecclesiastical and territorial of the parishes of Scotland. He died of pleurisy in Edinburgh on 17th March, 1864.

The History of the Province of Moray, Vol.2, p.240

Scotsman, Edinburgh, 23rd March, 1864, p.2)

Brown, George

Name on Roll and Deed: George Brown, Dundee (Roll); Edinburgh (Deed)
George Brown was ordained in Castle Douglas Free Church in 1843.

Brown, John Ferguson

Name on Roll: John F. Brown, Edinburgh
He was born (or baptised) in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, on 20th February, 1805, the son of John Brown and Elizabeth Ferguson. He matriculated in Glasgow University in 1821.

He was a teacher in Edinburgh from 1830 till his death. He was a classical teacher and then House governor of George Watson’s Hospital, 1832-37. Then he was teacher in the Southern Academy, George Square, from 1837 till 1845. Thereafter he was simply designated “teacher” in the Directories. From 1842 till his death he lived at 7 Upper Gray Street. An advert in the Scotsman on 7th September, 1869, reads: “The REV JOHN F. BROWN (late of the Southern Academy) can accommodate TWO or THREE YOUNG GENTLEMEN as BOARDERS to whose Education and Comfort every attention will be paid.” This shows he was a licentiate.

In 1843, he was identified by the Presbytery of Edinburgh as a preacher within their bounds who had seceded; he did not respond to the Presbytery’s letter of enquiry regarding his position, and accordingly he was deprived of his licence.

He died in 1872 in Newington, Edinburgh. He was married to Isabella. There is no clear sign of a family.

Bryden, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John Bryden, St Quivox, Ayr
He was born on 15th and baptised on 18th January, 1798, the son of David Bryden and Jean McIlwraith.

He matriculated in Glasgow University in 1819 when he was described as the 3rd son of David, farmer, Ayr. Preacher of the gospel.

He died on 28th December, 1847, at Fenwickland, near Ayr, the last surviving son of David Bryden, merchant, Ayr (Galloway Advertiser etc, 6th January 1848). He had at least five brothers who predeceased him. Three of them attended Glasgow University. David died while in the midst of his trials for licence; and James was also a student of theology.


Brydie, Peter

Name on Deed: Peter Brydie, Glasgow
This is surely the Peter Brydie who matriculated in Glasgow University in 1823, the third son of Andrew Brodie, farmer in the county of Perth. He studied Theology in Glasgow 1827-1831. This man’s birth is recorded in Muthill, Perthshire, in 1808, the son of Andrew Brydie and Ann or Lilias Stirling. In 1852 he was listed in The Home and Foreign Missionary Record as a probationer under the Hamilton Presbytery living in Rawyards. He married Maria Finlay in Maryhill, Glasgow, in 1858. In 1861 they were living in Dundee and the Post Office Directory of that year has him as a Reverend, living at 70 Hilltown, Dundee. He died in Balmerino, Fife, in 1864. His widow, an annuitant, was living with her sister in Glasgow in 1881 and she died in Dennistoun, Glasgow, the following year.

Brydon, Thomas

Name on Deed: Thomas Brydon, Newbattle
John Thomas Brydon was ordained in Stow, Midlothian, in 1846.


Burn, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John Burn, Madeira (Roll); J. Hay Burn (Edinburgh)
A letter to the English Presbyterian Messenger in April, 1847, informs us that the Scottish Church there commenced about 1840 through the initiative of Dr Henderson of Glasgow. The first regular minister was Rev. John Burn who was followed by Rev. John Morrison Whitelaw, who was ordained for service there in June, 1842. This sets a limit for John Burn’s ministry in Madeira.

It is possible that this is the Rev. John Burn commemorated on a stone in Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh: Findagrave. He was born in Dirleton, East Lothian, on 12th August, 1809, the son of John Burn, tenant farmer in Kingston, Dirleton, and his wife Pelham Maitland. He had at least eight siblings. His father died before he was a teenager.

However, we cannot yet be certain of this identification.

Burns, Islay

Name on Roll: Isla Burns, Edinburgh
Islay Burns was ordained in St Peter’s Free Church, Dundee, in 1843.

Burns, William Chalmers

Name on Roll and Deed: W. C. Burns, Kilsyth (Roll); William Chalmers Burns, preacher of the gospel.
He was the son of William Hamilton Burns, minister of Kilsyth, who became a Free Church minister. After an itinerant evangelistic ministry in the British Isles and abroad, W.C. Burns was ordained as a missionary of the English Presbyterian Church to China. For an obituary of him, see here. For his many ministerial connections see here and for a general account of his life, see here.

Burnside, Thomas

Name on Roll and Deed: Thomas Burnside, Girvan, Ayrshire
Thomas Burnside was ordained in Falkland Free Church in 1845.

Campbell, Donald

Name on Roll: D. Campbell, Cluny, Aberdeen
This is surely the Donald Campbell who, according to Ewing’s Annals and Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae had been ordained in Cluny as assistant minister in 1841. Prior to that, according to the Presbytery Minute which recorded his settlement there, he had previously been missionary in St Cuthbert’s, Edinburgh. He served as minister in Ballater Free Church from 1844. He signed both the Roll of Probationers (as in Cluny) and the Supplementary Deed of Demission (as in Ballater). His Obituary makes it clear that by June, 1843, he had already been appointed to work in Ballater; he must have signed the Deed of Demission after that date. Why he signed the Probationers’ Roll is not clear as, according to the Minutes of the Presbytery of Kincardine O’Neil, he was ordained on 30th June, 1841.

In 1841 he was living with William Campbell, minister of Cluny, his brother, who did not come out at the Disruption.

Campbell, Murdoch

Name on Roll: Murdoch Campbell, Poolewe, Dingwall
There was a Murdo Campbell living in Drumchork, Poolewe, in 1841. He was aged 30, employment not stated. It is impossible to say at present whether this is the probationer or what happened to him.

The only University student found of this name was a Murdo Campbell, rossensis, enrolled in 1811 and in 1812 in King’s College, Aberdeen.

We cannot with certainty identify the probationer who signed the Roll with either of these men.

Christie, Thomas

Name on Roll and Deed: Thomas Christie, Glasgow
He was born on 3rd December, 1800, in Glasgow, the son of John Christie and Agnes Miller. He matriculated in Glasgow University in 1815. He studied theology there from 1821-25 and 1829-30. In 1833, he was a missionary in St John’s, Glasgow, and was paid £50 per annum drawn from the givings of the people. From 1835-1841 he stayed at 11 York Street, Glasgow. In 1851 he was visiting the Free Church minister in Stromness, Orkney, and was designated a preacher. In 1861 and 1871 he was living in Rothesay, Bute. In 1881 he was still there and was designated, “Free Church Minister in Charge”. For at least some of the time, he stayed in Alma Terrace, Rothesay. He died there on 19th March, 1882. He never married; and his sister Janet lived with him.

Clarke, Charles

Name on Roll: Charles Clarke, Kinnell, Dingwall
He was baptised on 11th September, in Urquhart and Logie Wester, the son of Charles Clarke, farmer, and Ann McIntosh. He studied in King’s College, Aberdeen, from 1807 and graduated M.A. In 1841 and 1851 he was a farmer, living in Kinkell Castle in his native parish.

He had been summoned by his Presbytery to clarify his position and he wrote a letter to the Presbytery saying he was determined to adhere to his Protest and Deed of Demission. He was declared to be no longer a licentiate of the Church of Scotland on 28th June, 1843.

In a notice of the Inverness Courier of 18th June, 1845, he is designated “tacksman of Kinkell”. He died, unmarried, at Smithfield, Ferintosh, on 21st July, 1860. On his death record, he is designated “Rev. no charge”. He is commemorated on the gravestone of his parents and other members of his family in the Old Graveyard, Urquhart (see Gravestones).

Clarke, D.

Name on Roll: D. Clarke, Kintyre
Not identified as yet. There was only one Clark(e) dealt with by the Presbytery of Kintyre after the Disruption – the one that became minister of the Free Church in Killean (see below). One wonders if this man’s name has been counted twice.

Clarke, Donald Robert

Name on Roll: Donald R. Clarke, Kilmun, Dunoon
Donald Robert Clarke was ordained in Aberfeldy Free Church in 1843.

Clarke, Duncan

Name on Roll: Duncan Clarke, Killean, Tarbert
Duncan Clark was ordained in Killean Free Church in 1843.

Cleghorn, Alexander

Name on Roll and Deed: Alexander Cleghorn, Broughty Ferry, Dundee (Roll); Edinburgh (Deed)
Alexander Cleghorn was ordained in Leuchars Free Church in 1845.

Cobban, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alexander Cobban, Inverallochy, Fraserburgh
Alexander Cobban was ordained in Rathen Free Church in 1843.

Cowans, George

Name on Roll: George Cowans, Dumfries
He was born on 22nd and baptised on 24th May, 1795, in Perth, the son of James Cowans and Euphan Williamson. George Cowans appears as a preacher in Dumfries in the 1841 census. He lived thereafter in Dumfries until his death there in 1874 aged 77. He was chaplain in the Crichton Royal Institution there. In 1861, his occupation was “Minister Establishment Church.” In the Dumfries Sheriff Court Index of Wills etc., he is designated Rev. George Cowans, Chaplain to prison of Dumfries, residing in Dumfries.

He married Ann Watson, banns being proclaimed in Edinburgh and Dumfries in December, 1831. They had a daughter Rebecca Euphemia Cowan who was baptised in Dumfries on 28th October, 1835. She married Frank Cavendish Ward in St George, Edinburgh, in 1883; and, on his death, James A. Greig, farmer, in Moffat, Dumfries-shire, in 1893.

Cullen, James

Name on Roll and Deed: James Cullen, Edinburgh
James Cullen was ordained in Kelty Free Church in 1844.

Cumming, James

Name on Roll and Deed: James Cumming, Edinburgh
He was born in Edinburgh about 1800, the son of James Cumming, rector of the grammar school, Canongate. His brother, Alexander Cumming, was a Free Church minister.

He was a pupil at Edinburgh High School. He attended Edinburgh University where he twice gained prizes in the Mathematical Department. He was admitted to the Edinburgh Dialectic Society, 10th January, 1818 (see History of the Dialectic Society, p.166). He tutored privately including the children of James Moncreiff and George Bell. In 1823 he was head classical teacher in The Darlington Academy, County Durham, England.

He taught classics in Edinburgh Academy from its inception in 1824. The Testimonials which he presented were printed. A manuscript note by Lord Henry Cockburn reads: “I understand this Gentleman to be well qualified; yet his testimonials seem poor. He has since been elected, however, in the 3rd year of the school and is doing admirably.” He was then Rector of Glasgow Academy. Glasgow University awarded him the LL.D. degree in 1850. He was HM Inspector of Schools.

He was frequently designated “Rev James Cumming”. He served as a Presbytery elder at the Free Church General Assembly. He died on 15th December, 1875.

He married Margaret Meldrum in Edinburgh in April, 1821. She died in Edinburgh in 1886.

They had issue including: James Cumming, born about 1820 in Edinburgh – he was a banker in Jedburgh 1859-1891 and died in 1905; Frederick Cumming born about 1825 in England – he went into the merchant service and died in 1843 of fever in Calcutta on his first voyage; Jane Cumming, born about 1825 in Darlington, County Durham, England; Jessie Cumming, born about 1825 in Darlington; Margaret Cumming born on 28th October, 1827, in Edinburgh; Alexander Cumming born in Edinburgh on 21st October, 1829; he became a Free Church minister; Ann Crowe Cumming, born in Edinburgh on 8th December, 1831; Mary Cumming, born in Edinburgh on 20th February, 1834; William Cumming born on 23rd April, 1837.

The Edinburgh Academy Register, 1824-1914

Testimonials in favour of J. Cumming … submitted to the Directors of the Edinburgh Academy

Cunningham, Andrew

Name on Roll and Deed: Andrew Cunningham, Duns
Andrew Cunningham was ordained in Dundonald Free Church in 1843.

Cunningham, Robert

Name on Roll: Robt. Cunningham, Polmont, Falkirk
Robert Cunningham was ordained in Polmont Free Church in 1843.

Currie, Archibald

Name on Roll and Deed: Archibald Currie, Glasgow
Archibald Currie was ordained in Abercorn in 1844.


Dalziel, George

Name on Roll and Deed: George Dalziel, Edinburgh
In 1841 there was a George Dalziel, aged, 40 born in England, a visitor in Edinburgh and a “preacher”.

He was born in Wooler, Northumberland. In 1852 he appears on a list of Free Church Probationers under Edinburgh Presbytery and in 1881 he still calls himself a licentiate of the Free Church.

He was chaplain of the Magdalen Asylum for many years, of which his wife was matron. Thereafter he lived at 3 Leven Street, of which property he was the owner.

He died in Edinburgh in 1884.

He married Helen Lindsay in Edinburgh in December, 1848, she already being matron of the Asylum. She died in Edinburgh in 1874.

They had issue: Margaret Helen Dalziel, born in Edinburgh in 1852. She died in Colinton, Edinburgh, in 1931.

Dickson, James

Name on Roll: James Dickson, Maryton, Montrose
James Dickson was ordained in Maryton Free Church in 1846.

Dodds, Thomas Boswell

Name on Deed: Thomas B. Dodds, Edinburgh
Thomas Boswell Dodds was ordained in Lochee, Dundee, in 1844.


Donald, William S.

Name on Roll and Deed: W. S. Donald, Strathmiglo, Kinross
William S. Donald was ordained in Fraserburgh Free Church in 1844.

Douglas, William

Name on Roll: William Douglass, Perth
William Douglas was ordained in Muthill Free Church in 1843.

Duncan, Archibald

Name on Roll: Archibald Duncan, Kirkwall, Orkney
Archibald Duncan was ordained in Orphir Free Church in 1844.

Duncan, George

Name on Roll: George Duncan, Sprouston, Kelso
Not identified as yet.


Duncan, Robert

Name on Deed: Robert Duncan, Glencorse
The most likely person is the Robert Duncan who was born on 10th July, 1812, the son of Robert Duncan, minister of Dundonald, Ayrshire (FES, Vol.3, p.36), and his wife Mary Wharrie. Mary Wharrie was a sister of Thomas Smith Wharrie, minister at Symington, Ayrshire (FES, Vol.3, p.74), who married Eliza Fraser, the daughter of John Fraser, minister of Libberton (FES, Vol.1, p.254).

According to certificates presented to the Presbytery of Ayr on 25th January, 1837, he studied in Edinburgh. From 1831 to 1834 and 1835-36, he studied Divinity under Thomas Chalmers; and Church History under David Welsh in whose class “he distinguished himself by his faithful application to the business of the class.” He also studied Hebrew for two years under Alexander Brunton. He was then resident for a time within the Presbytery of Lanark but by December, 1836, he was living in the parish of Symington, Ayrshire. On 7th December, 1836, he was proposed for licence in the Presbytery of Ayr. The following month, he presented his certificates to the Presbytery, was examined and it was agreed that he be taken on trial for licence subject to the consent of the Synod.

Lanark Presby 29th March 1837 receive notice of intentin of Ayr Presby to licence Rbt Duncan. But no explanation of how he came under their presby.
Ayr Presby: 7th December 1836: Dr Auld moved that he be taken on trials for licence. Currently residing in parish of Symington. But lately come from the Presby of Lanark, certificate signed by Moderator and Clerk. Appted to appear and produce his certificates. 25th January 1837 he appeared and gave in successful application to the business of the class. David Welsh; Two years of Hebrew under Alexander Brunton; These were adjudged to be satisfactory and he was examined and agreed that he be taken on trials for licence if the Synod agree. On 24th April, 1837, he was again examined and trials for licence were set. On 26th July, he passed all these trials and he was licensed.
However, on 1st August, 1838, “Robert Duncan preacher of the gospel appeared at the bar of the Presbytery [of Lanark] and confessed that he was guilty of an irregular marriage with Mary Peat. The Presbytery in the meantime agreed to suspend him from the exercise of his Office of preacher, sine die.” On 5th September that year, he was mentioned again: “In reference to the application of Mr Robert Duncan, the Presbytery decline to give any judgement until he condescend upon the time when he … and Mary acknowledged themselves to be husband and wife and what witnesses he can produce in attestation of this fact.” In accordance with that decision, the case was brought up again on 31st October: “Mr Robert Duncan appeared and requested the Presbytery to examine the following witnesses concerning his alleged irregular marriage, viz. Marrion Peat, ‘That about two years ago she had frequently heard Robert Duncan call Mary Peat his wife, in the fields, at hay time, and in the house, but thought that he was in jock and that about a year past in hay time he told her that he had given Mary Peat the marriage ring, that she never saw him put on the marriage ring on her finger till after the child was born’. Being asked if she knew her cousin to be with child previous to its birth, answered no. She further said that at her brother’s marriage, on her uncle’s proposing to give his daughter to a young man, that Robert Duncan said perhaps she is not yours to give, this happened in November, 1837, being asked if she ever heard her own mother say that Mary Peat was not the wife of Robert Duncan, when the said Robert Duncan declared that she was, all this she still thought was a jock. She further declared that she never heard of them being privately married.

“George Peat, brother of the former witness, often heard Robert Duncan claim that Mary Peat was his spouse “in spring summer and harvest” 1837, and that he thought him in earnest, but he never heard Mary Peat call him husband. About two years ago, he saw Robert take Mary by the hand and called her his wife and she assented.

“The Presbytery found no evidence of a private marriage and found them guilty of fornication, and he was ordered to compear before the Presbytery to answer the charge. He protested and appealed to the Synod.”

There is no reference that I can find in the Minutes of Synod of this matter coming before that court. From Duncan’s reaction, it seems that he blames the ministers of Presbytery for not attending Synod. However the papers probably never reached the Synod. A Committee of Synod reported that there were only two causes brought to their attention; Duncan’s was not one of them.

Whatever be the exact situation, the Presbytery of Lanark on 8th May, 1839, received a letter from him dated 6th May from Pathhead: “If members of Presbytery don’t have to attend Synod as a matter of duty, I am far from willing to put them to the trouble on my account.

“I beg to intimate to you as Clerk of Presbytery that I have already resigned my license and ceased to be a member of the Church of Scotland, so that all proceedings regarding this case are at an end.

“This appeared to me the only course I could pursue as it was idle contending with men predetermined to do me all the injury in their power.”

After that emphatic repudiation of Presbyterial authority, it comes as a surprise to find that he came back to the Presbytery of Lanark. On 22nd February, 1843, the court dealt with a letter from Mr Robert Duncan “expressing deepest regret for having acted towards the Presbytery in the way that he did, on a former occasion, and making a humble apology for his conduct and beseeching the Presbytery to take up his case, and proceed in it as they shall see cause.” A committee was therefore appointed to deal with him and to report.

This they duly did. They had met with Duncan and, “perceiving in him tokens of the deepest contrition for his past conduct and a willingness to submit to the discipline of the Presbytery,” they recommended that he should be seriously admonished, that the sentence of suspension should be removed and he should be restored to his status as a probationer.

He was a farmer at Fulford, Glencross, Midlothian, both in 1841 and 1851. This shows he was born in Dundonald, Ayrhsire, about 1813. In 1851, as well as being a farmer of 150 acres, employing 12 men, he was described as “occasionally preaching”. He was married to Mary Peat, who was from Lesmahagow and whose mother Janet was from Dalserf. In 1861 he was a retired farmer living at Easter Newton, Kirknewton. His wife was alone in Whitehill, Dalserf, in 1871. He died in Dalserf in 1867 and he is commemorated on the Wharrie family gravestone in Lesmahagow kirkyard: “Rev. Robert Duncan, 1812-1867; Mary Peat his wife 1815-1874”. He is therefore the Rev. Robert Duncan, Whitehill, Dalserf, mentioned in FES, Vol.7, p.632 (and in the Matriculation Album of Glasgow University) in connection with a Robert Duncan who had gone to Canada in 1832. He is not that Robert Duncan as these sources suggested.


Edgar, Peter

Name on Roll and Deed: Peter Edgar, Linlithgow
Peter Edgar was ordained in Memus Free Church in 1844.

Elmslie, William

Name on Roll: Wm. Elmslie, Honeybank, Aberdeen
William Elmslie was ordained in Insh Free Church in 1843.

Fairbairn, Henry

Name on Roll: Henry Fairbairn, Greenock
There was a Henry Fairbairn (Revd), 30, Preacher of the Gospel, living in Glasgow in 1841, born outside the county.

He was baptised on 14th December, 1806, in Campsie, Stirlingshire, the son of Thomas Fairbairn and Jean Cassells.

He matriculated in Glasgow University in 1829, when he was described as the oldest son of Thomas Fairbairn, merchant, Lanarkshire; as a student of theology in Glasgow 1836-37; and as a preacher of the gospel.

The same source says he died at 4 Nicholas Street, Glasgow, in July, 1851.

For many years his father, and then his widowed mother, was a spirit dealer at 199 High Street.

He was with his widowed mother at 6 Nicholas Street in 1851 when he is described as a probationer of the Church of Scotland.

Fairbairn, John Clarkston

Name on Roll: John Fairbairn, Edinburgh
John Clarkston Fairbairn was ordained to Allanton Free Church in 1844.

Fairweather, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alexander Fairweather, Dundee
Alexander Fairweather was ordained to Botriphnie Free Church in 1843.

Ferguson, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John Ferguson, New Kilpatrick, Glasgow
John Ferguson was born in Strathblane, Stirlingshire, in 1795, the son of Fergus Ferguson, farmer, and Agnes Gardener. He studied theology at Glasgow University, 1821-22. In 1851 he was a probationer of the Free Church, living in Coull, Aberdeenshire. In 1861 he was living in Aberdeen, a preacher of the Free Church. He died, unmarried, in Aberdeen and an inscription on his grave in St Peter’s Cemetery there, reads:

In memory of
Of the Free church of Scotland
who died in Aberdeen
On the 26th April 1867 aged 70 years


Findlater, Eric John

Name on Roll: Eric J. Findlater, Ardentinny, Cowal
Eric John Findlater was ordained in Balquidder Free Church in 1846.

Fraser, Colin

Name on Roll: Colin Frazer, Gairloch, Dingwall
A summary of his life is found in Findagrave: “Rev. Colin Fraser was born at Slattadale in the Parish of Gairloch around 1807, to Roderick Fraser (c.1768-1857) and Mary MacLean (c1783-1869). He was baptised on 29 January 1807.

“He was a minister and preacher of the Free Church of Scotland, at Fasnakyle by Beauly, and thereafter at Talladale, close to Loch Maree in the parish of Gairloch, where he died on 8 November 1889.”

By way of enlargement and confirmation, there are the following facts:

He matriculated in King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1826 (“Colin Fraser, Rossensis”) and graduated M.A. He became parish school-master in Gairloch in 1830, for which task he received £30 yearly. A means of discipline was “a moderate use of the whip; which, however is rather held up in terrorem for maintenance of order than applied as a general corrective to a dull understanding or a bad memory.”

In 1841 he was living in Achtercairn, Gairloch, and designated “schoolmaster”.

In 1861 he was living in Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire which is quite compatible with him ministering at Fasnakyle. Indeed, in 1875 Reverend Colin Fraser was proprietor of a site for a Church etc in Fasnakyle (NRS VR010300017).

Fraser, David

Name on Roll and Deed: David Fraser, Contin, Dingwall
The key to identifying this man is that he was schoolmaster in 1841, living in Contin with his wife Mary. The same man was in Edinburgh in 1851 with his wife and with a nephew, John MacDonald, 18, born in Urray.

Working from there we can say that he was baptised on 3rd January, 1802, in Munlochy, Ross and Cromarty, the son of Donald Fraser and Isabella McKenzie. He was educated at the Munlochy school. He matriculated in King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1819 (“David Fraser, Rossiensis”), and graduated M.A. He became parish headmaster in Contin at Martinmas, 1821.

His marriage to Mary MacDonald was recorded in both Contin and Urray in 1840. She was the daughter of Donald MacDonald, minister in Urray, and Anne MacDonald. Her brother, James MacDonald, was minister of Urray and later of the Free Church there; he married Mary Kennedy, the daughter of John Kennedy, minister in Killearnan. James MacDonald and Mary Kennedy produced the John MacDonald who was with David Fraser and his wife in 1851. For the ministerial connections of the Kennedy family see the Kennedy Tree.

For several years he was Secretary to the Free Church’s Committee for the Highlands and Islands. He died at his home in Edinburgh on 10th August, 1854.

Fraser, John

Name on Roll: John Fraser, Erchless, Beauly
John Fraser was ordained in Kiltarlity Free Church in 1843.

Gardiner, James

Name on Roll: Dr James Gardiner, Edinburgh
James Gardner was ordained in Dunnichen Free Church in 1844.

Garson, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John Garson, Sandwich, Orkney
John Garson was ordained in Birsay Free Church in 1844.

Gatherer, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alexander Gatherer, Dundee
Alexander Gatheror was ordained in Kincardine O’Neil Free Church in 1844.

Gibson, Hamilton

Name on Deed: Hamilton Gibson, Glasgow
Hamilton Gibson was ordained in Fenwick, Ayrshire, in 1846.


Gibson, Robert

Name on Roll and Deed: Robert Gibson, Glasgow
Robert Gibson was ordained in Kirkbean and Southwick Free Church in 1844.

Glass, Charles

Name on Roll: Charles Glass, Carronshore, Falkirk
Charles Glass was ordained in Laurencekirk Free Church in 1844.

Glen, Andrew

Name on Roll and Deed: Andrew Glen, Irvine
Andrew Glen was ordained in Glenbervie Free Church in 1844.

Gordon, Adam

Name on Roll: Adam Gordon, Portsoy
He was not the parochial school master of Fordyce but taught an “adventure school”. A report on this school in 1842, stated that Gordon was a licentiate of the Church of Scotland and had been teacher there for about six years and “though he has not gone through a Course of strictly professional Training he seemed tolerably conversant with the explanatory Method and in his practical Application of it manifested some Skill. He was deficient in Energy and the Organization of the School was not good” (Accounts and Papers Volume 7, p.248).

In 1841 he was living with his wife and four children in Hill of Portsoy, Fordyce, a Rev. and a teacher.

The Presbytery of Fordyce took up his case with the Presbytery of Deer, because he was now residing within the bounds of the Deer Presbytery. On 17th January, 1844, the Presbytery of Deer reported to the Presbytery of Fordyce that he had been some time employed as a preacher in the New Secession Church in Rosehearty in the Parish of Pitsligo. The Presbytery then reply that it is the responsibility of Deer Presbytery to deal with Gordon, but it is not clear that anything was done about him.

But by 1851 he was dead and his widow and family were living in St Andrews, Fife. She was an annuitant and there were three lodgers in the house. She was born in Forgan, Fife. Thereafter she lived in Partick in 1861 and in Edinburgh in 1871. She died in Newington, Edinburgh, in 1881.

So what do we know of Adam Gordon?

His marriage to Eliza(beth) Gordon was recorded in Monifieth, Angus, in 1834. They had issue including: George Gordon born 1835 in Dundee; William Gordon born in 1836 in Bervie, Kincardineshire; Jane Gordon born in 1838 in Kincardine O’Neill, Aberdeenshire; Alexander Leeth Gordon born in 1840 in Kincardine O’Neil, Aberdeenshire; and Adam Gordon born 1844, Fordyce, Banffshire.

He may be the Adam Gordon who matriculated in King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1817 and graduated M.A. from Marischal College. This man was the son of James Gordon of Craigton, Kincardine O’Neill, and was probably the Adam Gordon born there to James Gordon and Mary Adam in 1801. Note that two of Adam’s children were born in Kincardine O’Neill so he must have had some contact with the place.

Graham, William

Name on Roll: William Graham, Comrie, Crieff
Not identified as yet.

Grant, James

Name on Roll: James Grant, Aberdeen
There was a Rev. James Grant, Donaldson’s School, Aberdeen, who was in 1851 a Free Church probationer. The PO Directories show him to be a teacher at Donaldson’s School from at least 1839 till 1864. Most of that time he lived at Eastfield Cottage with his sister Margaret. He died in 1866.

He was born on 15th February, 1799, in Old Machar, the son of Alexander Grant, merchant, and Anne Taylor.

He probably studied in Marischal College, Aberdeen, from 1823.

On 6th September, 1843, he was cited to compear before the Presbytery of Aberdeen on 3rd October as there had arisen a fama that he had seceded from the Church of Scotland. On that date, he did not appear in Presbytery and was deprived of his licence.

He died in Aberdeen in November, 1866. He is commemorated on a gravestone in the family plot in St Clement’s Churchyard in Aberdeen – see James Grant.

Grant, Peter

Name on Roll: Peter Grant, Lochbroom, Dingwall
Peter Grant was ordained to St Stephen’s Free Church, Perth, in 1844.

Gray, Thomas

Name on Roll: Thomas Gray, Aberdeen
Thomas Gray was ordained in Inverurie Free Church in 1843.

Greig, James

Name on Roll: James Greig, Craig, Montrose
James Greig appears in the 1841 as a teacher, aged about 30, in Craig, with his mother, Agnes. He appears in Dundee in 1851, a probationer of the Free Church. In 1861 he is in Dundee, aged 54, and appears to be a teacher. That same year a Rev James Greig appears in the PO Directory at 7 Albert Street, Dundee.

He was probably the son of Robert Greig and Agnes Frazer and was born in Craig, Angus, in February, 1807.


Halley, Thomas

Name on Roll and Deed: Thomas Halley, Edinburgh
He was born in Forgandenny, Perthshire, about 1796. Thomas Halley appears in the 1841 census in Edinburgh, a clergyman living at 10 South Charlotte Street, with Mary aged 30 born in England.

Thomas Halley was presented by the Earl of Wemyss to the parish of Rhynd, Perthshire, to be assistant and successor to James Traquair, who had been suspended (for him see here). This was dated 8th November. On 8th January, the Presbytery of Perth dealt with the matter. Dates were fixed for him to preach in Rhynd and for the moderation of a call to him. However, when the Presbytery met for moderation objections were lodged by 29 members of the congregation. They set “forth certain defects in his voice and utterance, of which they complained as rendering him inaudible”. They would seek spiritual food elsewhere if Halley were settled over them. The matter dragged its way through the courts of the church to Assembly level. As a result, Halley was asked to preach again in Rhynd but there were still objections after he had done so and there were more appeals to higher courts. Finally, on 14th July, 1846, Halley intimated that he resigned all interest in his presentation and the patron was so informed.

The Valuation Rolls show that he was an extensive proprietor in Perthshire in 1855 and in Edinburgh in 1865.

In 1851 he was resident in Tibbermore, Perthshire. The Post Office directories show him to be living at 6 Henderson Row Edinburgh from 1856 to 1870. In 1871 He was living in Collessie, Fife, with his married daughter. He died there that year.

He married as the Carlisle Journal of 13th June, 1840, tells us: “On Friday, the 12th inst., at St. Mary’s Church, by the Rev. Benjamin WARD, the Rev. Thomas HALLEY, Edinburgh, to Mary, youngest daughter of the late Edward ROWLAND, Esq., of this city.” She died in Edinburgh in 1856.

They had issue including Mary Rowland Halley, who was born on 15th November, 1846, in Tibbermore, Perthshire. She married Charles Gulland in Edinburgh in 1870.

“LEUCHARS”. Dundee Courier, 3rd December, 1844.

“PRESBYTERY OF GLASGOW.” Caledonian Mercury, 20th February. 1845.

“The Church.” Dundee Courier, 27th May, 1845.

Hainings Tree

Perth Presbytery, Minutes (1839-1846), NRS CH2/299/27


Hewitson, William Hepburn

Name on Roll: William H. Hewitson, Dalmellington, Ayrshire
William Hepburn Hewitson was ordained by the Free Presbytery of Edinburgh in 1844 for service in Madeira.

Hislop, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alexander Hislop, Glasgow
Alexander Hislop was ordained in Arbroath East Free Church in 1844.

Hislop, George

Name on Roll and Deed: George Hislop, Edinburgh
He was born in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, about 1791, the son of William Hislop and Barbara Imrie (or Imray).

In 1843, Edinburgh Presbytery listed him as a preacher who had seceded. He did not reply to their request to clarify the issue and he was held as confessed and deprived of his licence.

He died on 16th June, 1855, in Edinburgh. He is commemorated in the family grave in Alloa Auld Kirk: “Rev. George Hislop for 21 years chaplain Calton prison Edinburgh … in whom was united the Christian, the Gentleman and the Scholar.”

Hope, Peter

Name on Roll and Deed: Peter Hope, 22 India Street, Edinburgh
Peter Hope was ordained in Johnstone and Wamphray Free Church in 1844.

Ingram, William

Name on Roll: William Ingram, Gartly, Strathbogie
William Ingram was ordained in Rothiemay Free Church in 1843.

Jaffray, John

Name on Deed: John Jaffray, Edinburgh
John Jaffray was clerk to the Mission Committee of the Free Church. As the post was adjudged to be strictly ecclesiastical, he was ordained in June, 1843.

Johnstone, Gilbert

Name on Roll and Deed: Gilbert Johnstone, Glasgow
Gilbert Johnstone was ordained in Mauchline Free Church in 1844. Later he joined the Church of Scotland.

King, Joseph Gavin

Name on Roll and Deed: Joseph Gavin King, Stewarton
Joseph Gavin King was born (or baptised) on 1st November, 1812, in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, the son of Alexander King and Ann Smith. He entered Glasgow University in 1825 when he is described as the second son of Alexander, merchant, Stewarton. He studied divinity in Glasgow 1831-33. In 1841 he was 25, a preacher, living in Neilston, Renfrewshire. On 12th October, 1842, the Presbytery of Irvine granted him a Presbyterial certificate “one of their licentiates, now in America”.

He cannot be identified thereafter.

Kingan, Robert

Name on Roll: Robert Kingan, Scalloway, Lerwick
He was born on 30th April and baptised on 28th May, 1815, in Barony, Glasgow, the son of John Kingan, school-master, and Bethia Thomson. In 1841, he was 25, a divinity student, living in Edinburgh.

The General Assembly in October, 1843, heard that in July, he had been appointed to the work in Hamilton, Ontario, and had left for his post shortly thereafter. Because of difficulties with his voice, he was unable to continue in the ministry. He taught for a time in Cobourg, Ontario, where he also worked for his father-in-law. In the 1861 census he was F.C. Presbyterian. He moved to Peterborough, Ontario, where he opened up a hardware shop which remained in the family for three generations. He acted as elder in the Presbyterian Church there. He died at his home, 272 Brock Street, Peterborough, on 19th November 1893.

He married Jane Jeffrey. She died in Peterborough on 13th May 1892.

They had issue, born in Peterborough, including: Elizabeth Janet Kingan; Jane Jeffrey Kingan born 1850, died there 1931; John Kingan born 1853; Andrew Jeffrey Kingan born 1855; Mary Jeffrey Kingan born 1857, died there 1938; Margaret Isabella Kingan born 1860; Robert Gordon Kingan born 1861, died there 1945; William Francis Kingan born 1864, married Jean I. Tainter in Michigan, USA, died Durham, Ontario, 1929; Annabella G. Kingan born 1868; and Frederick Andrew Kingan born 1869.




Laing, Gilbert

Name on Deed: Gilbert Laing, Irvine
He was born in Edinburgh on 15th February, 1801, the son of William Laing, bookseller, and Helen Kirk. He probably was the Gilbert Laing who was assistant to William Grant minister of Cross and Burness prior to the Disruption (Report of the Commissioners of Religious Instruction, Scotland). He was certainly in Ayrshire at the time of the Disruption, for he preached for David Landsborough of Stevenston on the first Sunday after the Disruption (Annals of the Disruption). He appears in Edinburgh in all the censuses but died at his home in Langley Bank, Scone, Perthshire, on 9th January, 1877, and is buried in Scone (Findagrave). For his will see NRS LAING GILBERT 29 / 1 / 1877 REV., LANGLEY BANK, SCONE, D. 09/01/1877 AT LANGLEY BANK, TESTATE PERTH SHERIFF COURT SC49/31/105

He was brother of the Scottish antiquarian, David Laing (see David Laing).


Laird, Henry Moncreiff

Name on Roll and Deed: Henry M. Laird, Prinlaws, Fife
Henry Moncreiff Laird was ordained in Leslie Free Church in 1843.

Lang, Robert

Name on Roll and Deed: Robert Lang, Jedburgh (Roll); Robert Laing, Jedburgh (Deed)
Robert Lang was ordained in Nenthorn in 1843.

Lawson, George

Name on Roll: George Lawson, Drumblade, Huntly
In 1841, George Lawson shows up in the census, living in the Manse in Rothiemay, Banffshire. He was then 25, a preacher of the gospel, born outwith the county. In a list of Probationers in 1851-52 he appears as Rev. George Lawson, 50 Canal Street, Perth. In the 1851 census he is living in Perth, a Free Church probationer, born in Drumblade, Aberdeenshire, about 1812.

This means he was baptised on 27th December, 1811, in Drumblade, the son of George Lawson and Jean Spence.

A George Lawson died in St Nicholas, Aberdeen, in 1859, aged 48. His mother’s maiden name was Spence.

Leishman, William

Name on Roll and Deed: William Leishman, Edinburgh
He was born in Edinburgh and studied at the University there. He appears there in the 1841 census, aged 30, a preacher. He was sent to Canada by the Free Church Colonial Committee and became minister of St Gabriel Street Presbyterian Church, Montreal, Canada, on 4th March, 1846. Being under stress, he resigned his charge on health grounds and returned to Scotland where he appears in the 1851 census in Burntisland, Fife, as “minister pro temp Free”. He then settled in Australia, serving in two charges in Victoria and finally in Sydney, New South Wales, where he died on 24th November, 1870, aged 64.

His parents’ names are not provided in his death record and we cannot as yet identify them.

Rev. William Leishman

Lindsay, Robert

Name on Roll: Robert Lindsay, Blackridge, Bathgate
A Robert Lindsay was living in Blackridge, Torphichen in 1841. He was a schoolmaster, 38, married to Martha, with three of a family.

He went to Canada with the Church of Scotland but joined the Free Church in 1844 and was minister in Ayr, Ontario (see here).

He married Martha Warden from Ireland on 31st March, 1832, in Dalkeith, Midlothian. They had issue including: Joseph Lindsay, born about 1833, who became a dentist in Ayr, Ontario; Elisabeth Lindsay, born about 1835, who married James Cairncross in Brant, Ontario, in 1866; Robert Lindsay, born Bathgate, West Lothian, who married Augusta Brown, in Brant, Ontario, in 1867.

Waterloo County

Livingston, Neil

Name on Roll and Deed: Neil Livingston, Glasgow
Neil Livingston was ordained in Stair Free Church in 1844.

Logan, James

Name on Roll and Deed: James Logan, Glasgow
He was born in Muthill, Perthshire, the son of George Logan and Ann Scott. George Logan was a minister of the Church of Scotland who wrote a letter of adherence to the Free Church but died before signing the Deed of Demission. He is counted as a Free Church minister in Ewing’s Annals.

James Logan matriculated in Glasgow University in 1812.

In 1851, he was living in Roberton, Selkirkshire, and gave as his occupation a Free Church minister.

In 1881, he was living at 23 Ardbeg Road, Rothesay, Bute, a retired Free Church minister.

He died there, unmarried, on 23rd March, 1886.

Lyall, William

Name on Roll: William Lyall, Edinburgh
William Lyall was ordained in Broxburn Free Church in 1844.

MacAra, William

Name on Roll: William McAra, Perth
William MacAra was ordained in Strathmiglo South Free Church in 1844.

McAulay, James

Name on Roll: James McAulay, Nottingham
James MacAulay appears in the 1841 census. He was a tutor in the home of Henry and Lady Lucy Smith, in Rushcliffe, Wilford, Nottinghamshire. He was born in Scotland about 1817. (Lady Lucy Smith née Leslie-Melville was born in Scotland: the daughter of the 7th Earl of Leven and 6th Earl of Melville.)

Thereafter he is traceable in the censuses and he can be identified as the James MacAulay whose life is described in the Dictionary of National Biography. He was born in Scotland in 1817, and was a medical doctor, a writer and latterly editor of the Religious Tract Society. There is no mention there of his theological studies or his ministerial work. So, can we identify him with the man who, as a probationer, sided with the Free Church?

The article above referred to speaks of an early publication of James MacAulay on Cruelty to Animals. But this was a prize essay dedicated to Thomas Chalmers, Professor of Theology, and awarded to students in the Theological Faculty. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Edinburgh on 29th December, 1841 (Minutes of Edinburgh Presbytery).

There are two other publications attributed to this same James MacAulay:

I am a Presbyterian, or, Reasons for belonging to the Presbyterian Church in England: intended chiefly for the younger members of that church, by the Rev. James Macaulay, M.A., minister of the Presbyterian Church, Edward Street, Waradour-Street, Soho, London: Francis Baisler, 1846.

The good old way. An address on the principles of the Presbyterian Church, delivered before the Presbytery of London. On the induction of the Rev. Alexander Ross to the Pastoral charge of Hanover Presbyterian Church, at Brighton, 17th March, 1847 , by the Rev. James Macaulay, M.A., London: James Nisbet and Co., Berners Street, 1847.

There is room to fit this ministerial work into the life of MacAulay as described in the Dictionary of National Biography.


McCombie, Robert

Name on Roll: Robert McCombie, Aberdeen
Robert McCombie was ordained in Leslie and Premnay Free Church in 1844.

McConechy, James

Name on Roll: James McConachy, Rothesay (Roll); Stevenston (Deed)
James McConechy was ordained in Kilmaurs Free Church in 1844.

McCosh, John

Name on Roll: John McCosh, Abernyte, Carse of Gowrie
John McCosh was born (or baptised) in Maybole on 30th April, 1804, the son of Robert McCosh and Agnes Lockhart. He matriculated in Glasgow University in 1827 when he was described as the second son of Robert McCosh, farmer, Maybole.

His gravestone in Maybole graveyard is a wee bit obscure in parts but tells the rest of the story: “Sacred to the memory of John McCosh, preacher of the gospel, died at Maybole on 3rd May, 1844. He was assistant at Abernyte where his usefulness was appreciated throughout a wide district and when the Disruption took place he was one of that noble protesting band of preachers who adhered to the Free Church of Scotland. Recently … two congregations called him to be their minister but it pleased the Great Head to call him to the company of just men made perfect…”

McCrindle, Thomas

Name on Deed: Thomas McCrindle from South Africa
Thomas McCrindle was ordained in Yarrow, Selkirkshire, in 1847.


McCririe, Archibald Little

Name on Roll: A. L. McCririe, Cairnryan, Stranraer
Archibald Little McCririe was ordained in Cairnryan Free Church in 1846.

McDonald, James

Name on Roll: James McDonald, Fortrose
James McDonald was ordained in Glass Free Church in 1843.

MacDonald, John

Name on Roll: John McDonald, Dunoon
There were four John McDonalds who signed the Probationers Roll. There were several John McDonalds who were ordained as Free Church ministers shortly after the Disruption. Three of these ministers we have identified with some degree of certainty as men who signed the Probationers’ Roll. This one we cannot be sure of. But he may have been the John MacDonald who was ordained in Clyne Free Church in 1850.

MacDonald, John

Name on Roll: John McDonald, Aberdeen
John MacDonald was ordained in Blackburn Free Church, Aberdeenshire, in 1843.

MacDonald, John

Name on Roll: John McDonald, Dunnet, Thurso
John MacDonald was ordained in Fearn Free Church in 1843.

MacDonald, John

Name on Roll: John McDonald, Helmsdale, Golspie
John MacDonald ordained in Helmsdale Free Church in 1843.

McDougall, Archibald

Name on Roll and Deed: Archibald McDougall, Glasgow
Archibald McDougall was ordained in Glasgow Tradeston Free Church in 1843.

McDougall, John

Name on Roll: John Macdougall, Edinburgh
John McDougall was ordained in Dundee Chapelshade Free Church in 1844.

McFarlan, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John McFarlan, Greenock
John McFarlan was ordained in Prestwick Free Church in 1844.

McGillivray, Alexander Gordon

Name on Roll: Alex. G. Macgilivray, Lairg, Sutherlandshire
Alexander Gordon McGillivray ordained in Lairg Free Church in 1843.

McGillivray, Archibald

Name on Roll and Deed: Archibald McGilivray, Ceres, Fife (Roll); Keith (Deed)
Archibald McGillivray was ordained in Keith Free Church in 1843.

McIntyre, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alexander McIntyre, Strontian, Appin
He was baptised in the parish of Ardnamurchan and Strontian, Argyll, on 10th November, 1806, the son of Donald McIntyre and Isabella Stewart. He matriculated in Glasgow University in 1826 and studied theology there 1831-33. There was an Alexander McIntyre, preacher of the gospel, aged 30, born outwith the county, staying with Roderick Macleod, Snizort, Isle of Skye, Inverness-shire, in 1841.

He went to Prince Edward Island in 1848 and ministered there for some years “a powerful and zealous preacher”. He then returned to Scotland, only to emigrate to Victoria, Australia. He found a Gaelic congregation at Ahalton, in the upper Hunter Valley. He preached also in Maclean, on the north coast, on the Manning, and the Shoalhaven, and settled finally in Geelong. He died there in 1878. He was an evangelistic preacher of unusual power, mainly speaking in Gaelic.

The Daily Patriot, July 5, 1895

A Refreshing History

McIntyre, Murdo

Name on Roll: Murdo McIntyre, Lochbroom, Dingwall
He was baptised in Gairloch, Ross and Cromarty, on 25th December, 1805, the son of John McIntyre and Ann McKenzie. He matriculated in King’s College, Aberdeen in 1822. In 1841 he was a schoolmaster living in Inverlaal, Lochbroom. In 1851 he was a probationer of the Free Church of Scotland, living in Kilmorack. By 1881, he was living in Dingwall, Ross and Cromarty, still a Free Church probationer. He died there in 1885. He never married.

McKail, John

Name on Roll: John McKail, Glasgow
John MacKail was ordained to Malta in 1843.

Mackay, David Norris

Name on Roll and Deed: David Norris McKay, Drainie, Elgin
David Norris Mackay was ordained to Lossiemouth Free Church in 1844.

MacKay, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John McKay, Clyne, Golspie
John MacKay was ordained in Lybster Free Church in 1844.

McKenzie, Colin

Name on Roll: Colin McKenzie, Munlochy, Ross-shire
He was born on 13th September, 1814, the son of John MacKenzie, minister of Lochcarron, and Eliza Fairbairn. (Note John MacKenzie did not join the Free Church at the Disruption.) He matriculated in King’s College, Aberdeen in 1826 and graduated M.A.. He became parochial school-master of Knockbain in May, 1835, and was also Session Clerk. (Note Munlochy was a village in the Knockbain Parish.) He became minister of Petty Parish, Inverness-shire, in 1843 and was transferred to Contin, Ross and Cromarty, in 1852.

McKenzie, John C.

Name on Roll and Deed: John C. McKenzie, Tain (Roll); Glasgow (Deed)
He was John Charles McKenzie, a native of Inverness born about 1816. He matriculated in King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1827 and graduated M.A. He studied at Edinburgh University and graduated M.D. in 1840. In 1841 he was a teacher in Tain. He became Professor of Classical Literature and Mental Philosophy in the Free Church College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He died in March, 1850.

The Northern Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, p.206

McKenzie, William

Name on Roll: William McKenzie
Not identified as yet.

McLaine, Duncan

Name on Roll: Duncan McLaine, Blantyre
In 1841 he was living in Blantyre, a clergyman, aged 29. He was a missionary who conducted services in a chapel school there. His stipend was paid by Henry Monteith & Co’s print works. He served in that capacity for almost four years. He died in Blantyre in 1844 and was buried there.

Blantyre Works Cemetery.

McLean, George

Name on Roll: George McLean, Culsalmond
The only relevant George McLean in 1841 is one who lived in Aberdeen, a preacher, aged 30, born in England.

He was the son of George McLean and Catherine MacGregor. They were married in Dingwall, Ross and Cromarty, in 1803. Their son George was born on 20th July, 1807, in Saint Ives, Huntingdonshire, England.

He matriculated in King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1831. He graduated in 1835 and the University record identifies him as the minister of Campbeltown, Argyll. He is George Frederick McLean (see Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, Vol.4, p.51). That source says he was born in Dingwall, but the census of 1851 says the Campbeltown minister was born in England; and his death record in Victoria, Australia, states he was born in London, England.

On 20th December, 1843, Duke Street Gaelic Chapel, asked authority to hold a meeting on 28th December to discuss the vacancy. This authority was granted. On 3rd January, 1844, an extract minute from Duke Street came to the Presbytery, reporting the election of Rev. George McLean, preacher of the gospel, to be their minister. Also presented was his letter of acceptance and a certificate of licence from the Presbytery of Aberdeen, dated 30th March, 1841. McLean then preached at the Presbytery on John 14, 8 and was received as a probationer within the bounds. Trials for licence were prescribed. But on 18th January, the trials were postponed until McLean should produce a Presbytery certificate from the Presbytery of Aberdeen. On 25th January, he produced a certificate from Aberdeen Presbytery and delivered his exercises. He was appointed to preach in Duke Street on 4th February and the Presbytery was appointed to meet on 15th February for his ordination, which duly took place on that date.

It may be relevant to note that on 3rd November, 1843, a George Maclean, preacher of the gospel, compeared before the Presbytery of Dingwall, and “requested a Presbyterial Certificate of character for the time during which he has recently resided within the bounds of the Presbytery – when the Presbytery resolved to certify as follows: viz. that Mr George Maclean returned to Dingwall in the month of July last and applied to the Presbytery to be admitted on their Roll of Probationers, which the Presbytery however declined, until Mr Maclean should produce a Presbyterial Certificate from the Presbytery within which he had last resided. That he has not as yet laid any such certificate before the Presbytery – But that in so far as is known to the Presbytery, his conduct while he resided within their bounds has been such as became a preacher of the Gospel.”

On 3rd June, 1844, 90 members in Campbeltown presented a petition to their Presbytery asking that McLean be settled over them, they stated that he was the minister of Duke Street Gaelic Chapel. The rest of his career is stated in FES.

McLeod, Henry

Name on Roll: Henry McLeod, Kincardine, Ross-shire
Henry MacLeod was ordained in Ardclach Free Church in 1844.

McMillan, John

Name on Roll: John McMillan, Port of Menteith, Doune
John MacMillan was ordained in Culsalmond Free Church in 1844.

McNab, John

Name on Roll: John McNab, Culloden, Inverness
He was born on 20th and baptised on 22nd December, 1807, in Dailly, Ayrshire, the son of John McNab, sawyer, and Elisabeth Johnstone. He matriculated in Glasgow University in 1823.

In 1841 he was living in Culloden, aged 30 and a preacher of the Gospel. In 1851 he was lodging in Edinburgh, aged 43, a probationer of the Free Church of Scotland and a native of Dailly, Ayrshire. He was a tutor in the household of Forbes of Culloden for 10 years. Subsequently he was a tutor in London, then abroad. He died suddenly in Florence, Italy, on 25th January, 1870, while visiting his friend John Richardson MacDougall.

English Cemetery, Florence

McPherson, Cosmo

Name on Roll: Cosmo McPherson, Tomintoul, Abernethy
Cosmo MacPherson was ordained in Dalguise and Strathbraan Free Church in 1845.

MacPherson, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John Macpherson, Laggan
John MacPherson ordained in Lairg Free Church in 1845.

McRae, Donald

Name on Roll: Donald Macrae, Carloway, Stornoway
Donald McRae was ordained in Cross Free Church in 1844.

McTavish, John

Name on Roll: John McTavish, Brodick, Arran
John MacTavish was ordained in North Ballachulish Free Church in 1843.

Makellar, William

Name on Roll and Deed: William Makellar, Pencaitland, Tranent
William Makellar was ordained in Pencaitland Free Church in 1843.

Matheson, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John Matheson, Kilmuir, Ross-shire
John Matheson was ordained in Forgue Free Church in 1844.

Meston, William

Name on Roll: William Meston, Aberdeen
He was from Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire. He was born about 1791, the son of Thomas Meston. He matriculated in Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1803 and graduated M.A. He was a language teacher in Aberdeen. In 1841 he was in Aberdeen, a teacher, aged 50. A Post Office Directory confirms that he was a licentiate. He probably died about 1846.

Millar, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John Millar, Edinburgh
John Miller (or Millar) was born (or baptised) on 14th August, 1811, in Edinburgh, the son of John Miller and Marion Gardiner or Gardner.

In 1841 he was living at home in Edinburgh, a preacher of the gospel. In 1851 he was still at home and he was the Classical Tutor at New College, Edinburgh. On 24th July, 1854, he announced in the Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh) that he had succeeded to the entire charge of the Nest Academy in Jedburgh. He died in Jedburgh in 1855 and The Aberdeen Journal on 3rd October that year records him as a “bankrupt, now deceased”. He is commemorated on the family stone in St Cuthbert’s Churchyard, where his connection with New College is acknowledged (Findagrave).

Milne, Nicholson

Name on Roll: Nicholson Milne, Lochlee, Forfarshire
In 1841, he was a schoolmaster, in Lochlee, aged 35. In 1851, he was a Free Church Home Missionary living in Paisley, born in Glenbervie, Kincardineshire. Thereafter in the censuses he appears as a teacher of Latin and Greek. He died in 1885 in Glasgow, aged 81.

This suggests that he was the Nicolson Milne who was baptised on 18th December, 1804, the son of Alexander Milne. He was educated in Montrose, so he is also the Nicholson Milne, “Angusianus”, who matriculated in King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1826 and who graduated M.A. He became parochial school-master in Lochlee, Angus, on 18th July, 1837.

Mitchell, David, Blairdaff

Name on Roll: David Mitchell, Blairdaff, Garioch
David Mitchell was ordained in Blairdaff Free Church in 1843.

Mitchell, David, Glasgow

Name on Roll and Deed: David Mitchell, Wick (Roll); Edinburgh (Deed)
David Mitchell was ordained in St Luke’s Free Church, Glasgow, in 1843.

Moffat, William

Name on Deed: William Moffat, Cairnie
William Moffat was ordained in Cairnie in 1843.

Moir, Robert

Name on Roll: Robert Moir, Edinburgh
In 1841 and in 1851, he had a school in Edinburgh – latterly in Canonmills House. Thereafter he was a minister of the Church of Scotland in Careston and in Rothiemay where full details of his life are given.

Morgan, John

Name on Roll: John Morgan, Colgrain, Dumbarton
There is a John Morgan who was Church of Scotland minister in Lerwick from 1844. For him, see FES, Vol.7, p.286. But there is no reason to think he had a connection with “Colgrain, Dumbarton”. So this man is unidentified as yet.

Morison, John

Name on Roll: John Morison, Elie, Fife
Not identified as yet.

Morrison, James

Name on Roll and Deed: James Morison, Kiltearn, Dingwall (Roll); Denny (Deed)
James Morrison was ordained in Urquhart Free Church, Moray, in 1844.

Moyes, Nathaniel

Name on Deed: Nathaniel Moyes, Edinburgh
Not identifiable

Muirhead, Patrick Thomas

Name on Roll and Deed: Patrick Muirhead, Cramond, Edinburgh
Patrick Thomas Muirhead was ordained in Kippen in 1846.

Munro, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alexander Munro, Halkirk, Thurso
Not identified as yet.

Munro, Donald

Name on Roll: Donald Munro, Dowally, Dunkeld
Not identified as yet.

Murray, David

Name on Roll: David M. Murray, Creich, Bonar Bridge
David Murray was ordained in Muckairn Free Church in 1844.

Nicol, Archibald

Name on Roll: _____ Nicoll, Coll, Tobermory
Archibald Nicol was the minister in Coll having been ordained there in 1836. Why he signed this document and not the Act of Separation etc. is not clear. For more of him see here.

Nicol, Harry

Name on Roll: Harry Nicol, Auchindoir, Rhynie
Harry Nicoll was ordained in Auchindoir Free Church in 1843.

Ogilvie, George

Name on Roll: George Ogilvie, Dundee
George Ogilvie was ordained in Maryculter Free Church in 1844.

Paterson, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John Paterson, North Leith
John Paterson was ordained in Tranent Free Church in 1843.

Paton, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alexander Paton, Perth
There was an Alexander Paton, preacher, living in Perth in 1841 and 1851, born about 1798 in Dunbarney, Perthshire. This must surely have been the Rev. Alexander Paton “commonly known as ‘Poet Paton’ who struggled to support himself by teaching languages” (The Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder, 15th June, 1883, p.7)

He studied at the United College 1814-18 and at St Mary’s College, St Andrews, 1818-1821. He may have been the Alexander Paton who was baptised in Dunbarney, Perthshire, on 14th June, 1795, the son of James Paton.

Patrick, Joseph

Name on Roll: Joseph Patrick, Bridge of Earn, Perth
Joseph Patrick was ordained in Ochiltree Free Church in 1844.

Peebles, Andrew

Name on Roll and Deed: Andrew Peebles, Dunfermline
Andrew Peebles was ordained in Colliston Free Church in 1843.

Philip, George

Name on Roll: George Philip, Aberdeen
George Philip was ordained in Stonehaven Free Church in 1843.

Pollock, William

Name on Roll: William Pollock, Glasgow
He was born in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, about 1798. In 1841, he was living in Glasgow, aged 35, a missionary. In 1851, he was aged 49, living in Edinburgh, a native of Stonehouse, a probationer of the Free Church.

Porteous, James

Name on Roll and Deed: James Porteous, Maybole
James Porteous was ordained in Ballantrae in 1843.

Rate, Eneas McIntosh

Name on Roll and Deed: Eneas M. Rate, Edinburgh
He was baptised on 21st February, 1805, in Sion Meeting House, formerly Bondgate Meeting House, Alnwick, Northumberland, England, the son of Joseph Rate, minister, and Mary McIntosh. He matriculated in Glasgow University in 1819. In their records he is said to have been “a licentiate and missionary in Falkirk of the Free Church.”

In 1841 he was living in Edinburgh, aged 35, a preacher. He is mentioned as the Secretary of the Continental Committee of the Free Church. Indeed he seems to have had a special interest in the Continent: in 1840 he wrote two artciles on The Evangelical Church of Lyons, in France for The Scottish Christian Herald (see here).

From 1851 he was living in Falkirk, Stirlingshire. By 1881 he was an “Independent, Gentleman.” He was particularly responsible for the establishing of the Bainsford Free Church. A hall was gifted to this congregation by his trustees (see here).

He resided at Bleachfield House, Falkirk, and died there on 16th September, 1893.

Publication – by him:
The Scottish Christian Herald, 2nd series, Vol.2, p.270, The Encouraging Progress of Protestantism in France; p.277, The Peculiar Claims of France upon the attention of the Christian World; The Evangelical Church at Lyon in France, 1, pp. 689 and 705; 2nd series, Vol.3, p.230, Recent Operations of the Evangelical Society; Memoir of a Child, pp. 308 and 326; p.477, Protestantism in Belgium since the Days of the Reformation; p.501, State of Religious Parties in Belgium since 1830; p.517, The Belgian Evangelical Society

Reid, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alexander Reid, Edinburgh
He was born in Thornhill, Dumfries-shire, about 1802. He was a prominent educationalist in Edinburgh, and was at one time Inspector of the Free Church Primary Schools. His career is detailed here. His name in censuses and Directories accords with the picture of his life given there. He died on 29th June, 1860.

He married Eliza Christian Greig on 26th December, 1833, in Edinburgh. She was the daughter of James Greig, Parish minister of Dalmeny, West Lothian. They had issue, born in Edinburgh, including: George Ferguson Reid born 1835, died 1837; Jane Ann Reid born 1835, died 1841; James Robert Reid born 1838; Alexander Reid born 1841; John Reid born 1842, died 1843; Eliza Reid born 1845; Eleanor Reid born 1850.

Reid, Edward

Name on Roll: Edward Reid, Aberdeen
He was born in Old Machar, Aberdeen, on 21st and baptised on 24th August, 1806, the son of Thomas Reid, miller, and Helen Smith. He matriculated in Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1821 and Graduated M.A. In Marischal’s records he is described as governor of St Nicholas Poorhouse.

In the censuses and Directories he was variously styled: Supreintendent, House of Industry and Refuge (1841) (for the House of Refuge see here); Governor of St Nicholas Poorhouse (1851) (for the Poorhouse see here); Superintendent, House of Refuge (1865-66); and Secretary Industrial School Association (1866-67). He died in St Machar, 1877, aged 70.

In 1851, he was a widower. He may have married Ann Isabella Dunn in 1847. There is no sign of family.

Reid, Samuel William

Name on Roll and Deed: Samuel William Reid, Greenock
Samuel William Reid was ordained in Muirkirk Free Church in 1845.

Rhind, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alexander Rhind, Forres
Alexander Rhind was ordained in Knockando Free Church in 1844.

Riddoch, Alexander William

Name on Roll: A. W. Riddoch, Shapinshay, Orkney
Alexander William Riddoch was ordained in Stennis Free Church in 1844.

Robertson, Andrew

Name on Roll: Andrew Robertson, Greenock
This is probably the Andrew Robertson living in Clarence Street, Greenock, in 1841, 45, a teacher, with Jane also 45, both born in Renfrewshire. This man appears in the Greenock Directory for 1841-1848, as Rev. Andrew Robertson, boarding establishment, 9 Clarence Street. It is not yet clear what happened after that.

Robertson, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John Robertson, Edinburgh
John Robertson was ordained in Saline Free Church in 1843.

Robertson, Samuel

Name on Roll: S. Robertson, Madeira
Samuel Robertson was ordained in Pencaitland Free Church in 1845.

Robertson, William

Name on Roll and Deed: Wm. Robertson, Rathven, Banffshire
William Robertson was ordained in Aboyne Free Church in 1844.

Rose, Donaldson

Name on Roll: Donaldson Rose, Aberdeen
Donaldson Rose was ordained in Kennethmont Free Church in 1843.

Ross, Robert

Name on Roll and Deed: Robert Ross, Glasgow
Robert Ross was ordained in Troon Free Church in 1843.

Ross, William

Name on Roll: William Ross, Fodderty, Dingwall
William Ross was appointed school-master in Fodderty, Ross and Cromarty, on 1st December, 1836. He was educated at Aberdeen and Edinburgh. He appears in 1841 as Rev. William, teacher, in Contin, Ross and Cromarty, living with Rev. John Mackenzie – no obvious sign of any family with him.

The same man seems to be resident thereafter in Tain, Ross and Cromarty. In 1851, he is a probationer of the Free Church; in 1861, a preacher.

He was born in Aberdeen about 1804. He probably is the William Ross who matriculated in Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1817 and who graduated M.A. His father was William. So he may have been the William Ross who was baptised in Aberdeen on 1st March, 1804, the son of William Ross and Elizabeth Ross.

William Ross died in Tain in 1870.

He married Barbara Gray Ross. She died in Tain in 1877 aged 65. They had issue born in Fodderty: Hugh Ross baptised on 1st October, 1841; and Catherine Ross born about 1845. The birth of Hugh Ross in 1841 suggests that his parents were married by the time of the 1841 census, yet they are not together. But Barbara Ross is in the school house in Fodderty – therefore her husband must have been away to the neighbouring parish on a visit.

Russell, Alexander Fraser

Name on Roll and Deed: Alex. F. Russel, Gairloch, Dingwall
Alexander Fraser Russell was ordained in Kilmodan and Southhall Free Church in 1844.

Scott, Charles Graham

Name on Roll and Deed: Charles G. Scott, Edinburgh
Charles Graham Scott was baptised in Edinburgh on 12th July, 1815, the son of John Scott and Elizabeth Graham.

In 1841 he was living at Clarence Street, Edinburgh, aged 25, a preacher. He was a member of the Committee that promoted the foundation of Pilrig Free Church. In 1861 and 1871 he was living in the London area. In 1881, he was again in Edinburgh, at Pilrig Street and he was a Free Church Minister, living off Income from Colonial Property. In 1872 he became an elder in the Pilrig Free Church congregation. He died in Edinburgh in 1884.

Pilrig Church

Scott, George B.

Name on Roll: George B. Scott, Culross
He was born on 26th and baptised on 29th June, 1817, in Culross, Perthshire, the son of David Scott and Elspeth Hewieson.

In 1841 he was a teacher in Carnock, Fife. In 1851, he was a baker. He then moved to England the censuses from 1861-1901 show him to be a city missionary in Everton, Lancashire. His death, aged 86, is recorded in West Derby, Lancashire – a district which included Everton – in the 4th quarter of 1903.

He married Mary Drummond in Torryburn, Fife, in 1846. She died in West Derby in 1887 aged 70. They had issue, born in Torryburn, including: David Scott born in 1847; Isabella Scott born in 1850; and James Scott born 1854.

David Scott

Scott, James

Name on Roll and Deed: James Scott, Edinburgh
Not identified as yet.

Scott, William, Carmyllie

Name on Roll: William Scott, Carmylie, Arbroath
He was cited to appear before his Presbytery because he was thought to have adhered to the Free Church. He failed to appear and on 28th June, the Presbytery of Arbroath declared him to be no longer a probationer of the Established Church. Not identifiable at present.

Scott, William, Melrose

Name on Roll: William Scott, Melrose
William Scott was ordained in St Mark’s Free Church, Glasgow, in 1843.

Scott, William, Glasgow

Name on Roll: William Scott, Glasgow
There is a William Scott visible in 1841 – a teacher in Carmyllie, Angus, aged 40. He became the master there on 16th May, 1827, and he was also a licentiate of the Established Church and the Session Clerk. He had studied at King’s College, Aberdeen. There are two possible students both of them Aberdonians.

There is a William Scott, probationer and missionary, in Glasgow in 1851. He was 50, a native of Monymusk, Aberdeenshire, lodging with David Smith – see below for him. There was a William Scott baptised in Monymusk on 20th July, 1800, the son of Alexander Scott and Margaret Tough.

We don’t know if these two are one and the same person, nor can we trace them further, at the moment.

Shaw, Dugald

Name on Roll and Deed: Dugald Shaw, Muckairn, Lorne
Dugald Shaw was ordained in Laggan Free Church in 1848.

Shepherd, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alexander Shepherd, New Deer
In 1841, he was living in New Deer, Aberdeenshire, with Barbara, who, we think, was his sister. Both are aged 20 and he was an assistant school-master. He became a Church of Scotland minister – see FES, Vol.2, p.202.

Simpson, James

Name on Roll and Deed: James Simpson, Firth, Orkney
James Simpson was ordained in Abernethy Free Church, Perthshire, in 1844.

Sinclair, William

Name on Deed: William Sinclair, Ellon
William Sinclair was ordained in Grange, Banffshire, in 1844.

Skinner, Hugh

Name on Roll: Hugh Skinner, Helmsdale, Golspie
He was born at Avoch, Ross and Cromarty, about 1802, the son of Hugh Skinner, fisherman, and Betty Skinner.

A Hugh Skinner “Rossensis” matriculated in King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1825.

In 1841 he was in Loth, Sutherland, a teacher. In 1851, 1861 and 1871 he was living in Killearnan and was the parochial school-master – which means that he had given up his allegiance to the Free Church.

He died, unmarried, on 22nd June, 1880, in Avoch, a school-master (Registration: SKINNER HUGH 78 1880 059/A 18 Avoch)

Small, James Grindlay

Name on Roll and Deed: James G. Small, Edinburgh
James Grindlay Small was ordained at Bervie Free Church in 1847.

Smith, David

Name on Roll and Deed: David Smith, Glasgow
In 1851, a David Smith lived at 116 Renfrew Street, Glasgow. He was a classical teacher; an M.A., born in Benholm, Kincardineshire. With him, amongst others, were his brother Charles A. Smith, and his nephew, William R. Thomson, a student born in Africa. Also there, as a lodger, was William Scott – see above for him.

David Smith was the son of Andrew Smith, farmer, and Helen Taylor. His birth is recorded in Benholm on 11th May, 1811. He was the brother of Robert Smith, a Free Church minister. Another brother, Andrew, was a teacher in Lovedale, South Africa, and his sister Isabella had also gone to South Africa as a teacher. (Their names are listed as Free Church missionaries here.) This Isabella married as his second wife William Ritchie Thomson, who had been a missionary of the Glasgow Missionary Society in South Africa. She was therefore the step-mother of the “nephew” William Rodger Thomson, who was staying with David Smith in 1851.

David Smith matriculated in Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1828, and graduated M.A. He then was a teacher in Glasgow, his name appearing in the Post Office Directories from 1843 till 1861. From 1842 till 1852 he resided at 116 Renfrew Street; and from 1852 till 1861 he resided at 42 Hill Street. From 1848 he is designated as the classic tutor in the Free Church Normal Seminary; later he is a lecturer in classics and English literature.

He disappears from the Scottish records in 1860-1861 and it appears he then went to South Africa. His brother, Charles Abercrombie Smith, who was staying with him him in 1851, went out to South Africa that year and distinguished himself there. Perhaps David went with his brother. At any rate, a usually not very reliable source says he died of senile decay on 26th August, 1899. at Rochester House, Victoria Road, Observatory, South Africa (Geni). (Observatory is a suburb of Cape Town.)

Smith, James

Name on Roll and Deed: James Smith, Glasgow
James Smith was ordained in Cramond Free Church in 1847.

Spencer, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alex. Spencer, Fordoun, Auchinblae
Alexander Spencer was ordained in Ordiquhill and Ord in 1845.

Steel, Alexander

Name on Roll: Alexander Steel, Burghead, Elgin
According to his grave stone, he was born in Perth and Kinross on 6th January, 1803.

In 1841 he was living at Brander Street, Burghead, Moray. He was aged 35, a teacher, born outside the county.

On 10th May, 1843, he applied for and was given a Presbyterial Certificate of character and conduct during his residence in the area, as he had prospects of moving outwith the bounds of the Presbytery. He then went to Canada (Our Church Fathers, p.39).

He married Janet McTaggart on 21st February, 1851, at Pickering, Ontario County, Ontario. She was Scottish born. They had issue including: Janet, Alexander, John, James and Mary – all born in Ontario. They settled in Southwold, Elgin, Ontario. In 1871 he was a farmer there and “F.C. Presbyterian”.

He died there on 21st August, 1890, and was buried in Hunter Cemetery there: Findagrave

In memory of Reverend
who died August 21, 1890
aged 87 years & 8 months
A native of Perthshire, Scotland
In peaceful silence here I lie
Regardless of what passes by
But though I moulder neath this sod
My life is hid with Christ in God


Steele, Alexander

Name on Roll and Deed: Alexander Steele, Johnstone, Paisley (Roll); Dalry (Deed)
Alexander Steele was ordained in Dalry in 1844.

Steele, Peter

Name on Roll and Deed: Peter Steele, Dalkeith
He was born on 15th February, 1794, in Coldingham, Berwickshire, the son of William Steele and Isabel Johnston. He attended Edinburgh High School and Edinburgh University and graduated M.A. in 1818. He ran a small business in Eccles, Berwickshire. He was appointed Rector of Dalkeith Grammar School on 15th April, 1826. He sat as an elder for the Dalkeith Presbytery at the Free Assembly of 1843. He wrote the major part of the article on Dalkeith in the New Statistical Account (see here).

He was ejected from his post at the Disruption and started an Academy in Dalkeith, till he was appointed as lecturer in Classics and English in Moray House Free Church Training College in 1848. He died in St Andrews, Fife, in 1871. Edinburgh University’s Steele Prize is awarded in his memory.

He married Eliza Peddie on 6th May, 1825, in Edinburgh. Her death was registered in Newington, Edinburgh, in 1866. They had issue born in Dalkeith, Midlothian, including: Isabella Johnston Steele born in 1826; Anne Smart Steele born in 1829, married James Browning, classical master in the Glasgow Collegiate and Commercial Academy, in July, 1851 (see here); Peter William Steele born in 1831 Dalkeith; James Peddie Steele born in 1836; Eliza Peddie Steele born in 1837; Catherine Graham Steele born in 1839; Marjory Jane Steele born in 1842.

Papers of the British School at Rome, Vol.IX, 1: this source has an obituary of James Peddie Steele and references to others of the family.

Stephen, William Couston

Name on Roll: W. C. Stephen, Culross
William Couston Stephen was born on 1st and baptised on 5th July, in Culross, Perthshire, the son of John Stephen and Janet Couston. Note: his names are variously spelled: Stephen or Stephens; Couston or Coustin. And Culross was then in Perthshire, not in Fife.

He was with his family in Culross in 1841, aged 35, a preacher.

On 21st June, 1843, the Presbytery of Dunfermline declared him no longer a preacher in connection with the Church of Scotland. (Steven was his name there.)

He was in Culross in 1851 but he was then 49, “a Proprietor of Lands and Houses”. The valuation rolls bear this out. He died in Culross in 1878. In the Dunblane Sheriff Court Index of Wills etc., he is described as “Rev., Probationer Free Church of Scotland.”

Stevenson, George

Name on Roll and Deed: George Stevenson, Alloa
George Stevenson was ordained in Tullibody Free Church in 1843.

Stewart, Murdoch

Name on Roll: Murdoch Stewart, Calcots, Elgin
In 1841, he was living in Calcotts, St Andrews Lhanbryd. He was aged 30 – an assistant teacher, working for Charles Barclay who later became a Free Church minister. Murdoch Stewart, however, accepted a colonial appointment under the Established Church – see Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae (FES), Vol.7, p.608. But FES, Vol.8, p.735 acknowledges that he associated himself with the Free Church.

Stirrat, Robert

Name on Roll: Robert Stirrat, Dalry, Irvine
Robert Stirrat was ordained in High Free Church Airdrie in 1843.

Storie, John

Name on Roll: John Storie
There is a John Storie whose ministries are recorded in Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae (FES): 1838, North Sunderland, Hew Scott, Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae (FES), Vol.7, p.517; 1844, South Shields, FES, Vol.7, p.480; and 1860, Tasmania, FES, Vol.7, p.602. Yet he is said to have been ordained in the Free Church: Jubilee History: “Rev. John Storie appeared before the Presbytery of Castlemaine on 24th December, 1857. It appeared from his credentials that he had been an ordained minister of the Free Church of Scotland, South Shields, in connection with the Presbytery of Newcastle-on-Tyne. A call in his favour from Free Church Presbyterians in Castlemaine was laid on the table of Presbytery, 4th May, 1858, and he was inducted into the charge of a new congregation in Templeton Street on the 1st June following. On the 26th September, 1860, he accepted a call from St. Andrew’s Church, Hobart Town.”

There are difficulties with this identification: if he was ordained in 1838, why does he sign the Probationers’ Roll? If he is not this man, what do we make of his Free Church credentials?

Despite these difficulties, it seems reasonably certain that this is the John Storie who signed the Roll of Probationers.

Stuart, Athole

Name on Roll: Athole Stewart, Blair Athole
Athole Stuart was ordained in Blair Atholl Free Church in 1844.

Sutherland, Robert

Name on Roll: Robt. Sutherland, Dunbeath, Caithness
He became a minister in Australia – see Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, Vol.7, p.599. In 1851 he was in his family home and was described as a probationer of the Free Church. He was brother-in-law of John MacBeath, a Free Church minister – see there for a reference to Robert Sutherland’s sad death.

Thomson, Allan

Name on Roll: Alan Thomson, Greenock
Allan Thomson was ordained in North Berwick Free Church in 1846.

Thorburn, Adam

Name on Roll: Adam Thorburn, Edinburgh
Adam Thorburn was ordained in Strathkinness Free Church in 1843.

Traill, Robert

Name on Roll: Robert Trail, Panbride, Fife
Robert Traill was ordained in Boyndie Free Church in 1846.

Tweedie, John

Name on Roll: John Tweedie, Stockbridge, Edinburgh
The following is taken from the Gutenberg Project’s The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Vol.4: “John Tweedie was born in the year 1800, in the vicinity of Peebles, where his father was a shepherd. Obtaining a classical education, he proceeded to the University of Edinburgh, to prosecute his studies for the Established Church. By acting as a tutor during the summer months, he was enabled to support himself at the university, and after the usual curriculum, he was licensed as a probationer. Though possessed of popular talents as a preacher, he was not successful in obtaining a living in the Church. During his probationary career, he was employed as a tutor in the family of the minister of Newbattle, assisted in the parish of Eddleston, and ultimately became missionary at Stockbridge, Edinburgh. He died at Linkfieldhall, Musselburgh, on the 29th February 1844. Tweedie was a person of amiable dispositions and unaffected piety; he did not much cultivate his gifts as a poet …”

He may have been the John Tweedie who was baptised on 21st October, 1798, in Manor, Peebles-shire, the son of John Tweedie and Nicholas Moffat.

Tyndal, John

Name on Roll and Deed: John Tindal, Lanark (Roll); Edinburgh (Deed)
He functioned for a time as a probationer within the Free Church. But he became disillusioned with the Free Church on various counts, not least their lack of attachment to the Second Reformation. He then became attached to what was known as the Associate Presbytery and occasionally occupied the pulpit of their Laurieston Street, Edinburgh, congregation. He became dissatisfied with them and was excluded from membership on 19th October, 1868. He then preached in a hall for a time to a small number of supporters.

On 24th May, 1881, he was received into the United Original Secession Church and he was duly licensed that day. He was employed as a salaried preacher to vacant congregations – see here.

Urquhart, Alexander

Name on Roll and Deed: Alex. Urquhart, Cross and Burness, Orkney
Alexander Urquhart was ordained in Sanday Free Church in 1843.

Waddell, P. Hately

Name on Roll: P. Hately Waddell, 115 Graeme St., Glasgow
He was only for a short time associated with the Free Church. His dealings with the Girvan congregation indicate that he never became a Free Church minister. His life is fully described in Wikipedia.

There it says that he was ordained in Rhynie and it does suggest that the point at issue was “the rigid definitions contained in the Westminster Confession” and that he “voluntarily resigned his charge”. The Free Church’s view was that he had never been ordained in Rhynie; that the conflict centred on the relation of the Church to the State; and that he voluntarily sent in his licence. See a letter from a Free Church minister putting the record straight: “Mr WADDELL’S CASE.” Caledonian Mercury, 20th May, 1844.

Walker, John

Name on Roll: John Walker, Stranraer
John Walker was ordained in Newton Stewart Free Church in 1843.

Wallace, Alexander

Name on Roll and Deed: Alexander Wallace, Edinburgh
This was not the Alexander Wallace, aged 35, clergyman, who appeared in the 1841 Edinburgh census with Professor William Wallace of Edinburgh University. That man died in 1842.

Nor is it likely that he was the Alexander Wallace whose ministry is described in Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, Vol.7, p.654 – not unless FES is mistaken about him being educated in Canada and gaining a B.A. in 1843. On the other hand, FES seems to be mistaken in him being a native of Glasgow: Findagrave says he was a native of East Lothian.

There are other possibilities – all of which are to be discounted. Unidentified as yet.


Waters, Thomas

Name on Roll: Thomas Waters, Moffat
Thomas Waters was ordained in Lauder Free Church in 1843.

Watson, Hiram

Name on Roll: Hiram Watson, Logie Almond, Perth
Hiram Watson was ordained in Logiealmond Free Church in 1843.

Watson, James

Name on Roll and Deed: James Watson, Edinburgh
The Presbytery of Edinburgh deprived him of his licence on 27th December, 1843, because he had adhered to the Free Church.

Not identified as yet.

Whyte, William

Name on Roll: William Whyte, Edinburgh
He was born in Edinburgh about 1805. He first appears in the Post Office Directories in Edinburgh in 1835-36 when he was simply William Whyte, teacher, Infirmary St.. By 1836 he was Rev. William Whyte, classical teacher, George Watson’s Hospital. Later he was Rector of Haddington Burgh School.

We know this is the man because he recanted. He wrote to the Presbytery of Haddington asking to be reinstated as a probationer. He had joined the Free Church but was now convinced by his experience of the sin of the secession (Scotsman, 30th August, 1845, 4).

However, he did not make a good impression as a teacher: “Historically, the Burgh schools mostly had a good reputation, an exception being under Rev. William Whyte who retained his office despite reports of violence and even death due to his brutal discipline” (Wikiwand).

More details about his transgressions are documented, for example, in Haddington Burgh Schools and the Rev. William Whyte by Irene MacDonald; and in Whyte v.School Board of Haddington.

He married Eliza in Haddington in 1844. From the marriage record her surname appears to be Graham, but the birth record of their son has her as Elizabeth Graham MacFarlane. And so does her death record.

He probably died in 1875 in Edinburgh, aged 68. His wife died in North Leith in 1876 aged 68. They had issue: Hugh Weir Whyte born in Haddington in 1846, died in Edinburgh in 1876.

Willis, Jamieson

Name on Deed: Jamieson Willis, minister-elect, Strathbungo
Jamieson Willis was ordained in Kirkpatrick-Durham, Kirkcudbrightshire, in 1845.

Wilson, George

Name on Roll: George Wilson, Alves, Elgin
He was born in Banffshire about 1799. He was educated at the Parish School of Rathven; the Grammar School of Aberdeen; and King’s College, Aberdeen. He matriculated there in 1818 and graduated M.A. in 1822. He became parochial school-master in Alves in April, 1822.

He was there in the 1841 census aged 40, with Margaret also 40. It was reported to the General Assembly in October, 1843, that his services had been obtained for a school in Malta – “he had risen to high distinction in his profession as parochial schoolmaster at Alves.” Strangely, he was ordained to the eldership.

He died on 24th March, 1871, in Arradoul House, Enzie. Banffshire.