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History of the Parish of Banchory-Devenick
Ministers of the Parish


1425. John Clatt, vicar.* The probabilities are that this is the same John Clatt referred to by Kennedy as being the original founder of Saint Thomas’ Hospital, which stood near Saint Nicholas Church, Aberdeen. “ By the charter of foundation, dated May 28, 1459, Clatt granted all his lands and tenements in the Netherkirkgate for erecting the hospital in honour of God, the blessed Virgin Mary, and all Saints, and particularly for the honour of Saint Thomas, the martyr; and appointed Mr. John Chawmers to be master and rector. After his and the founder’s death, the patronage of the institution was to devolve upon the provost and community for ever. The founder also endowed it with annuities in perpetuity, amounting to 1 4s. 8d., arising from certain tenements in the town ; and also with an annuity of 6 merks, to be levied from the lands of Mondynes, in the county of Kincardine, for celebrating, in the hospital, masses for the salvation of his own soul, and for the souls of James II., and of Alexander Stuart, Earl of Mar, of his own father and mother, and of all the faithful departed, according to the custom of the age.’’

1497. Alexander Campbell, prebendary.

1508. Alexander Cabell, successor. He mortified ,10 of yearly rent to be paid from the land of Murie-croft, with its pertinents, to pray at the altar of St. Devenick. Adam Hepburn of Craggis “oblist hym and his airs to Alexander Cabell, persown of Banchory Dewynyk that forsamekle as the said Alexander had resignit the haf land of Murcroft, the foresaid Adam or his airis shuld deliver ane mortification of ten punds of annual rent to ane chaplainry fundit at Sanct Dewynik altar situat in the cathedrale kirk of Aberdeen and shuld present nain thereto bot quhom that pleiss the said Mr. Alexander.”1 It was expressly stipulated that after mass the tomb of the founder should be sprinkled with consecrated water, and the psalm, De Profundis, repeated. Cabell was one of the umpires chosen, in 1508, to define the marches between the lands of Ardefrie and those of Ardendracht and Ashallo.

1526. Henry Forsyth, successor.t 1541. Patrick Dunbar, successor.

1567. David Menzies, minister of Nigg and Banchory-Devenick, with Robert Merser, person, exhorter and administrator of the sacraments at a stipend of ^34 13s. 4d. Scots. Nothing is now known of the history of Menzies, but it is evident that he had not held the appointment for any lengthened period.

1571. Robert Merser. In this year, Merser, who had acted as assistant under Menzies, succeeded to the full charge. He was of the family of Innerpeffry, in Strath-earn, senior cadets of the Mersers of Meiklour. He had possibly secured the appointment through the influence of Erskine of Dun, superintendent of Angus and the Mearns, to whom the Mersers were related by marriage. In the assembly of 1575 a complaint was lodged against Erskine for admitting him to the office, on the ground “that he was unable to discharge his cure but, as it was stated that he had been duly put upon trial by his brethren of Aberdeen, nothing came of it. He died before 25th February, 1578-9, leaving three sons—Malcolm, rector of Crieff; Robert who succeeded to the benefice of Banchory-Devenick ; and Thomas.

1578. Robert Merser, son of the foregoing, succeeded. For some time previously he had acted as a regent in King’s College, and as such was the teacher of John Johnston, the eminent Latin poet and scholar, who by his last will and testament bequeathed to Merser, his “auld kynd maister,” his “white cap with the silver fit in taikin of thankful dewtie.” The Presbytery in 1602 “fund Mr. Merser negligent in teaching and exercising of discipline,” yet there was “a rare commendation of the people, and quhen they are assemble litill reverence or attendance geiven to the word teached, and therefore he was schaj^lie admonishit.” In the following year it was reported that “he teaches better and oftner now sen he has his residence in Aberdeen, than he did quhen he was resident with them, notwithstanding he was ordained to reside.” The Presbytery in 1610 “fund him sumquhat cauld in his doctrine and delyuerie thairof, and that he has delapidat his benefice, and therefore the auld processe to be reuiset.” The stipend in 1606 was given up at 200 merks.* Merser was one of the assenting parties to the Disposition, granted in 1613 to the “minister of sanct Nicolas of 200 lb. yeerlie out of the salmound fischerys teyndis vpon Done Water.”

1627. Andrew Melvin or Melvill, M.A., successor, was admitted about 1627, and subscribed the Covenant in 1638. Spalding says he was recognized as a shrewd business man, and adds, that when he, along with two other ministers, was chosen to represent the Presbytery at the Assembly of 1641 “Mr. Androw is vrgit to dimit, whiche ignorantlie contrair his credit, he did.”

1651. William Robertson, who had been educated at King’s College, Aberdeen, succeeded. He married in 1630 Isobel Gordon, who, with three sons and three daughters, survived him. He died 16th June, 1656, aged about 46 years.

1657. David Lyell, eldest son of Walter Lyell, town clerk of Montrose, and licensed as a preacher of the gospel by the Presbytery of Brechin in 1656, was presented to the charge of Banchory-Devenick in the following year, and ordained there by the Presbytery of Aberdeen. The famous Andrew Cant, who then held a city charge, was present at the ordination, and when Lyell, three years later, pronounced the sentence of deposition upon him, the latter, who was in church at the time, stood up and in a sorrowful voice exclaimed, “ Davie, Davie, I kent aye ye wad do this sin the day I laid my hands on your heid.” Cant, by the way, once “ teichit at Banchorie-Devnik, to whome flokkit sindrie puritanes out of Abirdein to heir him—a gryte covenanter—veray bussie in thir alterations and mortall enemy touardis the bischoppis.” Lyell was translated to the the third charge of Aberdeen in 1666, and thence to the first charge in Montrose in 1673. He was elected minister of Edinburgh (Trinity College Church) 18th December, 1678, but he did not accept it, and died in March 1696, in the 62nd year of his age. He had a “ thundering way of preaching,” was very popular with his parishoners, and mortified a considerable sum for behoof of the poor of Montrose.

1667. James Gordon, M.A., was the son of Dr William Gordon, physician, and professor of medicine in King’ College, Aberdeen. Spalding describes him as “ane of the foundit memberis of the colledge of Old Abirdein, and common procuratour thairof, a godlie, grave, lerned man, and singular in commoun warkis about the colledge, and putting wp on the stepill thairof most glorious, as you sie, ane staitlie crowne throwne doun be the wynd abefoir.” He had no sooner secured the pastorate of Banchory-Devenick, at Martinmas 1667, than he threw himself with the utmost zeal into the fierce contest then raging throughout the country, whether the Presbyterian or Episcopalian form of church government should obtain the supremacy. Dr. Grub, in his Ecclesiastical History of Scotland’ says that “from conviction and hereditary feeling, strongly attached to the hierarchy, the parson of Banchory submitted with reluctance to those defects which the prudence or timidity of the Bishops did not attempt to remedy. Having considerable family influence, he was probably looked up to as a leader by the younger clergy, who composed the discontented party. The records of the diocese show that he was of a hasty temper ; and, according to the statements of his opponents, his zeal was sharpened by disappointed ambition.” He was present at the meeting of the Bishop’s Court on 23rd May, 1676, when the “masters of aither of the colledges,” were ’‘appoynted to think upon the most feasable way for restraining the students from Inglish speaking within the Colledge gates, from swearing and obscene talking.”4 In 1679 he published a book entitled The Reformed Bishop, or XIX. Articles, tendered by a well-wisher of the present government of the Church of Scotland (as it is settled by law) in order to the further establishment thereof. The work, which was remarkable for its erudition and argumentative tenor, denounced in the most scathing terms the so-called corruptions prevailing throughout the Church. No names of individuals were mentioned, but the references were of such a pointed character that it was impossible to mistake for whom they were intended. The author concluded by urging the establishment of such a moderate Episcopacy as Charles I. was ready to grant— a system he stated, which, in that king’s own words, “ would at once satisfy all just desires and interests of good bishops, humble presbyters, and sober people ; so as church affairs should be managed neither with tyranny, parity, nor popularity, neither bishops ejected, nor presbyters despised, nor people oppressed.”

The publication of the work caused the utmost anger and bitterness, not only in Aberdeen, but throughout the whole country. A pasquil of the period, epigrammatically told the parson, who became nicknamed the “Reformed Bishop,”

“If your book had never been seen,
You had been Bishop of Aberdeen,
If you had been Bishop of Aberdeen,
Your book had never been seen.”

He was summoned for trial in January, 1680, before an Episcopal Synod at which Archbishop Burnet presided. The Synod, while acknowledging the error of the parson, took a charitable view of the case. “ For all which malicious, slanderous and impious defamations,” runs the closing passage of the sentence, “notwithstanding that the said Mr. James Gordon hath rendered himself justly obnoxious to the highest and heaviest censure of the Church, as having incurred the curse of wicked Cham in the most eminent degree, yet we have, in order to the vindication of the honour of the Church and its governors, and for the reclaiming, if possible, of the said Mr. James out of the snare of the Devil, into which, through his malice and ambition, he hath wilfully thrown himself, thought fit at this time to proceed only to the sentence of deposition.” In an Act of the Privy Council in November, 1680, the book was classed among seditious and forbidden works, such as Buchanan’s De Jure Regni, Calderwood’s History, and Napktali. This sentence was considered by many as more severe than the offence warranted ; but Mr. Gordon having expressed his sorrow, and craved pardon of all whom he had offended by publishing the work, the Bishops recalled their former sentence, and, on 14th March following, he had the satisfaction of being re-instated to his office and benefice at Banchory-Devenick. In 1689 he and the minister of Cruden were appointed by the Synod of Aberdeen to draw up an address relative to the proposed h abolition of Prelacy, &c. ; and, five years later, he appeared before a Commission, and lodged a formal protest against the authority exercised by the late Assembly. Besides publishing The Reformed Bishop, he was the author of many other works—Request to Roman Catholics, 1687; Some Observations on the Fables of sEsop, 1700; Reflections on L'Estrange's Translation of /Esop's Fables, 1700; The Character of a Generous Prince, 1703; Some Charitable Observations on Forbes' Treatise of Church Lands and Tithes, 1706; Some Just Reflections on a Pasquil against the Parson of Banchory, 1706—(the two latter were answered by Mr. William Forbes, afterwards professor of law in the University of Glasgow); Queries about Popery. He was married to Elizabeth Forbes, by whom he had issue. His eldest son, James, who married Catherine Collison, was for sometime a rector in Yorkshire, and afterwards episcopal clergyman of Montrose. Like his father he also fell into the bad graces of his brethren, for “ intruding upon the paroche of Foveran”— an offence for which he was summoned before “ a considerable number of the clergy of the country,” at the instance of the laird of Udny. “It would fill a volume to give an account of this affair,” wrote Wod-row’s correspondent, Langlands, “ but, in short, after a prepared speech, larded with Latine phrases, had by Mr. James Gordon of Banchrie, they gave in some queries to which they got an answer, then gave in an appeal with these queries in its bosome.” The appeal was withdrawn from, however, and the matter thereupon dropped. Gordon’s other son was George, who graduated M.D. at King’s College in 1696. Notwithstanding the strong episcopalian tendencies which all along pervaded the parson of Banchory-Devenick, he took a keen interest in the temporal, as well as the spiritual welfare of his parishioners. It was no doubt through his personal influence over his hearers that he got them to submit to the introduction of Episcopacy. As proprietor of the lands of Ardoe, and a connection of the powerful family of Seaton, he was possessed of a considerable annual income. In i7iohe mortified 40 pounds Scots, to be paid annually in all time coming from the lands of Ardoe, for the benefit of the poor of the parish. The deed of mortification is of the most exacting and unalterable character, winding up by insisting that the minister and members of session, as patrons, “shall duly maintain and administrate the same in all time coming, and adhere thereto in the terms expressed without any change or alteration whatsomever, as they will answer to God ; and as they would wish to be saved at the great day of judgment.” He died 24th December, 1714, aged 74.

1716. John Maitland, son of an advocate in Aberdeen, was licensed by the Presbytery of Aberdeen in May, 1700; ordained minister of Skene in September following; was called by the Presbytery to Banchory-Devenick, jure devoltito, 17th August, 1715; and inducted there on ist March following. He married Agnes, daughter of Mr. Thomson, advocate in Aberdeen, and she survived him. He died in March, 1727, in the 27th year of his ministry. As a clergyman he was beloved and respected by his parishioners, who deeply regretted his premature demise. His son, James, became minister of the parish of Sorbie on the south-east corner of Wigton-shire.

1728. John Lumsden, son of Alexander Lumsden of Auchenlett, schoolmaster of Chapel of Garioch, ordained minister of Keith-hall and Kinkell in 1721, and presented to the charge of Banchory-Devenick in 1728. He married a sister of the last laird of the Leslie family, who was proprietor of Pitcaple. This laird, who was an officer in the army, died in 1757, when the property fell to Mrs. Lumsden. Her two daughters subsequently sold Pitcaple to Henry Lumsden, grandfather of the present proprietor, Mr. Henry Lumsden.* Lumsden, who was an excellent preacher and a shrewd business man, was about 1734 honoured with the appointment as one of the Deans of the Chapel Royal. Two years later he was appointed professor of divinity in King’s College, Aberdeen, when he demitted his pastorate of Banchory-Devenick, and preached his farewell sermon there on 7th November,

1736. He was moderator of the General Assembly of 1746, and died in 1771.

1737. James Nicolson, who had been licensed by the Presbytery of Haddington in 1734, was presented to the charge of Banchory-Devenick by George II., in January,

1737, and ordained there on 13th September of that year. The way in which the presentation fell to him was remarkable. More than a century before, Thomas Garden, a younger son of one of the lairds of Banchory, and a prominent member of the incorporated trades of Aberdeen, leased from Mr. Menzies of Pitfodels the lands of Gilcomston, at the annual rental of 27 15s. 6d. He acquired a competency, and left to his eldest daughter 27,000 merks Scots—a very considerable sum in those days. To the regret of her relatives she married a Lieutenant Cadogan, at that time a subaltern officer in Oliver Cromwell’s army. But the marriage, though at first disappointing, proved in the end to be both advantageous and honourable. Her husband rose to be a colonel, a general, and latterly was created a peer. From him were descended the Lords and Earls Cadogan, the Dukes of Richmond and Leinster, Earl Verney, Lord Holland, the Right Hon. Charles James Fox, and other persons of the highest rank in England, through intermarriage with the Cadogan family. What is still more to their honour, they did not neglect their Scotch relatives, who at first thought themselves affronted by Miss Garden’s marriage. On the vacancy occurring at Banchory-Devenick through the resignation of Mr. Lumsden, Lord Cadogan used his influence at Court, with the result that the King gave the living to Mr. Nicolson, who was a son of the second daughter of Mr. Thomas Garden, and thus nephew of the first Lord Cadogan. In 1760 Mr. Nicolson instituted a process against the heritors which depended for six years, when he got decree establishing his former stipend out of the parsonage teinds, and throwing the vicarage on the heritors at 400 merks per annum. He was twice married : first, to Janet, daughter of George Haliburton, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and by her he had issue one daughter and two sons. Out of respect to Lord Cadogan, he named the daughter Cadogan, and one of the sons Charles, the other being named George Haliburton. Charles was for sometime minister of Amsterdam, and afterwards chaplain to the British Embassy at Constantinople. Mr. Nicolson’s second wife was Helen Thom, to whom he was married in May 1772. According to the quaint entry in the session book on 4th June following, “ at 7 o’clock in the morning,” he “ paid the debt of nature, aged 65 years.” Mr. Nicolson was deeply regretted by his parishioners with whom he was an especial favourite, for he was eminently a man of peace, who found his chief delight in the faithful and conscientious discharge of his parochial duties.5

1773. George Ogilvie, schoolmaster of Auchterhouse, licensed by the Presbytery of Dundee in 1747, was presented to the charge of Cortachy by its patron, John, Earl of Airlie, in 1748, and received a presentation to Banchory-Devenick from George III., in 1772, being inducted on 8th July of the following year. He died, 17th April, 1785, in the 65th year of his age and 37th of his ministry, survived by his wife, Katherine Anderson, who died, 28th March, 1800, aged 81, and two sons. One of these, Skene Ogilvie, was laureated at the University and King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1773; was licensed in 1776; ordained minister of Skene 1777; translated to Old Machar in 1784, and died 12th December, 1831.6

1785. George Morison, M.A., fifth son of James Morison of Elsick (who was Lord Provost of Aberdeen at the time of the Rebellion of 1745-46), was educated at the University and King’s College, Aberdeen, where he graduated in 1776. Passing through the Divinity course with distinction, he was licensed by the Presbytery of Aberdeen in 1782, received a presentation to the parish of Oyne in the Presbytery of Garioch in the same year, and in 1785 he was presented by George III. to the parish of Banchory-Devenick, being inducted 10th November of same year. From the outset he took the liveliest possible interest in his parishioners to whom he became greatly attached. In the discharge of the various parochial duties of the parish he was ably assisted by his wife, Margaret Jaffray (they were married 26th June, 1786), who was a descendant of the Jaffrays of Kingswells, Aberdeen, so well known from their connection with the Society of Friends. Mr. Morison’s brother, Thomas, who was at one time a physician in London, and subsequently proprietor of the estates of Elsick and Disblair, aided in the introduction of the benefits of vaccination into the parish. On the decease of this brother, the Rev. Mr. Morison succeeded to the estates mentioned, and the large annual income he subsequently derived enabled him to do many acts of benevolence. In the year 1800, when there was all but a famine in the district, he bought meal at exorbitant prices, stored it in a granary, and by his own hand doled it out from time to time to such as were in want. By these means he kept many from actual starvation. He had the degree of D. D. conferred upon him by the University and King’s College, Aberdeen, in 1824. He contributed handsomely to the fund for endowment of Portlethen Church (quoad sacra); erected a school and school-house at Portlethen, and bequeathed large legacies for the support of the teacher, as also for a female school teacher at Banchory-Devenick. Perhaps his greatest act of liberality, however, was the erection in 1837 of the suspension bridge across the Dee at Cults. Previous to this a parish boat was the only method by which communication could be maintained between the north and south side of the parish. Owing, however, to frequent floods of the river and floes of ice in the winter season, this mode of transportation could not always be depended on. The construction of the bridge cost about 1400, which was borne entirely by Dr. Morison, who also left a large sum to the minister and kirk-session of the parish as trustees “ to maintain and uphold it in time coming.” The bridge, which is popularly known as the chain or shaking bridge, bears the following inscription on a cast-iron plate which is built into the south-east parapet:—

MDCCCXXXVII.
SAINT DEVENICK BRIDGE,
ERECTED BY GEORGE MORISON, D.D. OF ELSICK, FOR THE ACCOMMODATION OF THIS PARISH, OF WHICH HE HAS NOW BEEN LII. YEARS PASTOR. JOHN SMITH, ARCHITECT;
J. DUFFUS & CO., G. DONALDSON AND G. BARCLAY, CONTRACTORS.

In recognition of his munificence and liberality the parishioners presented him with a handsome testimonial on the occasion of his jubilee. He was the author of several publications—two single Sermons 1831-32 ; A Brief Outline of the External Framework and Internal Constitution of the Appomtments of the Church of Scotland, as by Law established, 1840 ; State of the Church of Scotland in 1830 and 1840 Contrasted, 1840 ; Accounts of the Parish (Sinclairs IV. and New Stat. Acc. XI. XXI). He died on 13th July, 1845, father of the Church of Scotland, in the 88th year of his age, and 63rd of his ministry. The tribute paid in the minutes of the kirk-session on his death represents the feeling of the whole district. “To enumerate instances of his private benevolence would be endless, as in this way he was 1 continually doing good. As moderator of this court the session bear testimony to his excellent judgment and enlightened views in the management of the whole business, to his great anxiety to economize the poor’s funds, and to supply the poor at the same time with the necessaries of life, to his mixture of impartiality and tenderness in the exercise of church discipline, and to his conciliatory, kind and friendly demeanour towards the other members of the session. In fine, the session feel with deep regret that, in the death of Dr. Morison, the parish has sustained a great public loss, the extent of which is perhaps not yet fully felt, and which, in many respects they fear it is not probable will in their day ever be repaired.” At his death his nephews, Captain Robert Farquhar of the Madras Infantry, succeeded to Elsick, and Professor Mearns of King’s College, Aberdeen, to Disblair, respectively. Elsick was subsequently sold to the deceased Sir Alexander Bannerman, Bart, of Crimon-mogate, whose ancestors had previously owned it; and Disblair now belongs to Professor Mearns’ son, the Rev. Dr. Mearns, minister of Kinnefif. The Rev. D. G. Mearns, the only son of Dr. Mearns, is the present minister of Oyne, to which Dr. Morison was first called.

1826. William Paul, M.A., eldest son of the Rev. William Paul, minister of Maryculter, afterwards professor of natural philosophy in King’s College, Aberdeen, was born at the manse of Maryculter on 27th September, 1804. His mother was daughter of the Rev. John Hutcheon, minister of Fetteresso. He attended the Grammar School, Old Aberdeen, and subsequently King’s College, at which he graduated in arts in 1822. In that year he went to England, where he taught for sometime very successfully, in a private academy in Colchester. Even whilst attending his divinity course in Aberdeen, he contrived between the sessions to visit England, and find work there as a tutor. In the spring of 1826, when little more than 21 years of age, he was licensed by the Presbytery of Aberdeen, and thereupon became assistant to his grand-uncle, Dr. Morison, at Banchory-Devenick. In the autumn of the same year he was ordained as a minister, but it was not till eight years later that he received the formal appointment as assistant and successor, in the charge of Banchory parish. By this time Dr. Morison, the senior minister, was getting old and infirm, and the burden of the ministerial work now devolved almost entirely upon his ordained assistant. In July, 1845, on the decease of Dr. Morison, he succeeded to the full charge. He discharged his duty well and faithfully. “As a preacher,” in the words of a newspaper obituary notice, “he was earnest, simple, and persuasive, adapting his language to the understanding of the humblest of his flock; but by his elegance of style and lucidity of arrangement, attracting and instructing the most cultured. But in his parochial, as distinguished from his ministerial work, he took special delight. To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, to attend the sick beds of his people, and to minister advice, encouragement and consolation, he accounted the highest privilege and the most sacred duty of a Christian minister.” As a linguist and educationist, he had few, if any, equals in the ministry, and as such he attained much distinction. In 1857 he published, Analysis and Critical Examination of the Hebrew Text of the Book of Genesis, preceded by a Hebrew Grammar and Dissertation on the Genuineness of the Pentateuch, and on the Structure of the Hebrew Language. In recognition of the excellence of this publication his Alma Mater conferred on him the degree of D.D. Continuing his biblical studies with earnestness and assiduity, he produced in 1870 another work, entitled The Scriptural Account of the Creation Vindicated by the Teaching of Science, or a New Method for Reconciling the Mosaic and Geological Records of Creation. Again in 1878 he published a third book, entitled The Authorship and Date of the Books of Moses, which was followed two years later by The Past and Present of Aberdeenshire. Through having for many years acted as presbytery-clerk he acquired an excellent knowledge of church law, and his opinions were recognized alike in the General Assembly as in the inferior Church Courts. During the trying time of the Disruption, when some fifteen of the churches within the bounds of the Aberdeen Presbytery were without ministers, the work of finding substitutes lay entirely on his shoulders, but so completely did he combat the difficulty that not one was even temporarily closed. For this signal service the members of the Presbytery subsequently presented him with a magnificent salver and handsome tea service, both of silver. Again on the occasion of his jubilee in 1876 he was presented by the congregation and friends with an illuminated address and valuable purse of sovereigns. He was twice married—first to a daughter of the late Baillie Stewart of Aberdeen, and secondly to Miss Margaret Smith, daughter of the minister of the parish of Bower in Caithness. The latter survived him, and is now resident in Edinburgh. By his first wife he had a large family, of whom five daughters and four sons are still alive. Of the latter, William is an advocate in Aberdeen ; George is partner of the well-known legal firm of Dundas & Wilson, W.S., Edinburgh; David is minister of the parish of Roxburgh; and the fourth, Edward, is principal of a college in America. From 1881 Dr. Paul’s health gradually declined, and, though carefully nursed, he passed quietly away on Sunday, 27th April, 1884, in the 80th year of his age, and 58th of his ministry.

1881. William Fyfe Lawrence, M.A., only son of Mr. William Lawrence, farmer, Kirkbuddo, near Forfar, and nephew of the Rev. John Fyfe, M.A., professor of moral philosophy in the University of Aberdeen, was born in the parish of Carmyllie. He received his early education at the parish school, thereafter at the Grammar School, Old Aberdeen, and entered King’s College as a bursar, graduating in 1878. Choosing the ministry as a profession, he was licensed by the Presbytery of Aberdeen in 18S1. In the summer of that year he acted for three months as assistant to Dr. Paul, who, a month or two later, owing to his failing health, applied to the Presbytery for an assistant and successor. Mr. Lawrence became a candidate for the vacancy, and, in December following, when the election took place, obtained a majority of votes, and was thereupon elected. His ordination took place in the church on 26th January, 1882, when the deceased Rev. William Oliver of Greyfriars, Aberdeen, presided. On the decease of Dr. Paul in April 1884, Mr. Lawrence succeeded to the full charge. In 1888 instrumental music was introduced into the services, and the congregation willingly raised the necessary amount to liquidate the cost of the instrument. An additional^o was at the same time collected as an augmentation to the minister’s income, which had been materially reduced owing to the fall in the fiars’ prices, by which four-fifths of the stipend of Banchory-Devenick is regulated. Mr. Lawrence who is possessed of excellent mental abilities, is a powerful preacher, and takes an active interest in the affairs of the Parochial Board. In January, 1885, he married Miss Lizzie Milne, daughter of Mr. William Duncan, who is a large quarry owner near Arbroath.


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