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The History of Fettercairn
Chapter XXXII.—Eminent Men (of the Present)


THE Rev. Alexander Roberts, D.D., Professor of Humanity in the University of St. Andrews, received a part of his early education in the parish, at Old Mains of Fasque, under Mr Durward. He entered King's College in 1843, as first bursar (30) over 108 competitors; graduated M.A. in 1847 and gained the Simpson Greek Prize of 70. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Brechin in 1851, ordained F.C. minister of Stonehaven in 1852, called to St. John's Wood, London, in 1857, had D.D. from Edinburgh University in 1864, and was appointed to the Chair of Humanity at St. Andrews in 1871. In 1870 he was elected a member of the New Testament Revision Company. He is the author of various works, of which the chief is " Greek, the language of Christ and His Apostles."

The Rev. John Falconer, emeritus minister of Ettrick, son of the late Alexander Falconer, Bogendollo, was born 20th July, 1831; attended Fettercairn Parish School; entered the Glasgow High School in 1848, and Glasgow University in 1849. He studied divinity at St. Andrews. Licensed by the Presbytery of Fordoun in 1857, he was soon after appointed to the mission church of Ardentinny, Lochlong. In 1859 he was elected to the Parish Church of North Esk, Musselburgh, and in 1864 was translated to the church and parish of Ettrick. After a ministry of thirty-seven years he retired, and now resides in Edinburgh.

Alexander Whyte, younger son of the late Rev. Alexander Whyte, was born at the manse of Fettercairn on 5 th March, 1834. He attended the Parish School under the Rev. James Low, and thereafter the Arts classes at Marischal College, devoting himself to the study of Botany and Natural History. After a few years he proceeded to Ceylon and settled in business at Colombo, where by long experience he qualified himself for preferment. He was elected a Fellow of the Zoological and the Linnaean Societies. In 1891 he received the appointment of Naturalist at the headquarters of the British Central African Administration at Zomba, and senior officer under the Chief Commissioner, Mr H. H. Johnston, C.B. Returning to England in 1897 he brought home an immense collection of specimens, and was presented with the Zoological Society's medal in recognition of his valuable services. He is said to have discovered about 500 new species of animals and plants in Africa. He returned in July, 1898, to undertake in Uganda the establishment of experimental gardens, and to aid in developing the resources of that country.

David Hall, A.M., advocate, Sheriff-Substitute of Ayrshire at Kilmarnock, son of the late James Hall, merchant, Fettercairn, was born there in 1836. He attended the Parish School and the Montrose Academy, and obtained medals for Latin, Greek and Mathematics. He proceeded, in 1851, to Edinburgh University, where he carried off medals and other prizes in the senior Humanity and Moral Philosophy classes. He studied law at the Universities of Berlin and Heidelberg, as well as at Edinburgh. In 1859 he was chairman of the committee of students who carried Mr Gladstone's election as first Lord Rector, and after the inaugural address was appointed by the Senatus to present him to the Vice-Chancellor. He was called to the bar in 1860, and appointed Sheriff in 1883.

Alexander Cameron, Headmaster of Monikie Public School, was born at Glenlyon in 1836, and removed to Fettercairn in 1852; became pupil teacher in the Parish School, and entered the Edinburgh Training College in 1857. He was appointed to Fisherrow School, Musselburgh, in 1860, to the Parish School of Fern, Brechin, in 1865, and to Monikie School in 1874.

Hugh Knox, headmaster of the Public (late Parochial) School of Buittle, Castle Douglas, was born at Shettleston in 1842, removed with his parents to Fettercairn, attended the Parish School, served as pupil teacher, entered the Edinburgh Training College in 1860, and after finishing a successful course and gaining a high certificate wa& appointed to his present charge.

William Cramond, A.M., LL.D., F.S.A. (Scot.), Cullen, was born at Fettercairn in 1844. His education began at Lady Harriet Forbes's School, but on removing to Auchin-blae he attended the Parish School of Fordoun. He became pupil teacher in the Sessional School, Montrose, 1857-61, and mainly by private study and assistance from the Rev. A. Ritchie, now of Methlick, gained a good bursary at Aberdeen University, gained prizes in Classics, Mathematics, Natural History, &c, and graduated with first-class honours in Classics. He passed for a teacher's First Class Certificate, and was appointed Parochial schoolmaster of Lumpbanan, 1868-71, and thereafter of Cullen. He received the degree of LL.D. in 1890 from the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of " The Annals of Banff," in two vols., for the New Spalding Club; " Annals of Cullen "; "Church and Churchyards of Cullen, Boyndie, Deskford, Rathven, Speymouth, and Fordyce"; "Plundering of Cullen House"; "Charters of Banff and Cullen"; "The Bede House of Rathven"; "Illegitimacy in Banffshire"; "TheMilnes of Banff"; "The Castle of Balveny"; "The Annals of Fordoun," &c. He was presented in 1892 with the freedom of Banff in recognition of his eminent attainments as an antiquary.

The Rev. Thomas Nicol, D.D., Edinburgh, was born at Castleton of Kincardine in 1846. After attendance at Fettercairn Parish School, he became pupil teacher in White's School, Montrose. Almost entirely by private study he gained the fourth bursary (204 competitors) at the University of Aberdeen, 1864, and became first prizeman in Greek and Christian Evidences, and took a high place in Latin, Logic, and Moral Philosophy. He graduated M.A., 1868, with First Class Honours in Classics and in Moral Philosophy, And carried off the Simpson Greek Prize of <70, the Hutton Prize of .30, and obtained in the same year the Fullerton Scholarships for Classics and Philosophy. He studied divinity one session at Aberdeen, and afterwards at Edinburgh, with special distinction in Biblical Criticism, and graduated B.D. in 1871. After studying at Tubingen University he was licensed by the Presbytery of Fordoun, assisted in St. Stephen's, Edinburgh, was ordained minister of Kells, 1873, and translated to Tolbooth Parish, Edinburgh, in 1879. He acted as Examiner in Theology, and occasional substitute for the professor of Biblical Criticism in the University, from which he has had the degree of D.D. for his scholarship and eminence in the Church. He is author of "Recent Explorations in Bible lands," which has circulated largely in Great Britain and America, and his lectures on "Recent Archaeology of the Bible" are now published. He was Groall lecturer for 1897-98; and since 1886, Editor of the Church of Scotland " Home and Foreign Missionary Record."

George Harris, headmaster of Chapel School, Kirkcaldy, was born at Aucbinblae in 1849. He removed with his parents to Fettercairn, attended the Free Church School, and acted as pupil teacher from 1864 to 1867. After an attendance for two sessions at the Edinburgh Free Church Training College, he was appointed to his present situation in 1869.

The Rev. Charles Durward, D.D., minister of Scoonie, was born at Keith in 1850, and having, in 1859, removed with his parents to Fettercairn, attended the Parish School, and afterwards the Grammar School of Aberdeen. He entered the University of St. Andrews in 1867; graduated M.A. in 1871, and B.D. in 1874. He was licensed by the Presbytery of St. Andrews, ordained to the South Church, Greenock, in 1875, and translated to Scoonie in 1881. In recognition of his scholarship and of his services to the Church, he received the degree of D.D. in 1899 from the University of St. Andrews.

The Rev. Alexander Murray Scott, A.M., minister of Commerce Street Free Church, Aberdeen, was born at Oldmains of Fasque in 1854. He attended the Free Church School of Fettercairn, and served as pupil teacher from 1867 to 1871. He graduated M.A. at Aberdeen University in 1875, was licensed in 1879, and ordained to his present charge in 1881. He was, for the term of 1894-7, a member of the Aberdeen School Board.

The Rev. John Fawns Cameron, minister of Blairingone, was born at the schoolhouse of Fettercairn in 1855. After attending the Parish School and the Aberdeen Grammar School he entered the University of St. Andrews. In 1880 he was licensed by the Presbytery of St. Andrews. Having served as missionary at Boarhills under the late Dr. A. K. H. Boyd of St. Andrews, and thereafter as assistant at Largo under the late Dr. Davidson, and at Crieff under the late Principal Cunningham, he was ordained to his present charge in 1885.

Robert Milne Murray, M.D., son of the late Alexander Murray, teacher, was born at Fettercairn in 1855. He received his early education from his father, and entered the University of St. Andrews in 1871, graduated M.A. in 1875, proceeded to the University of Edinburgh and took the degree of M.B. in 1879. He holds the position of Lecturer on Midwifery and the Diseases of Women in the School of Medicine of the Royal Colleges; and also the appointment of Medical Electrician to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Dr. Murray has written a large number of papers on Medical and Scientific Subjects, and is the author of a work entitled "Chemical Notes and Equations," and also of a Text-book of Midwifery.

David Prain, M.D., was born at Fettercairn on 11th July, 1857, and after attending the Parish School he entered the Aberdeen Grammar School in 1872, and the University of Aberdeen in 1873. He graduated M.A. in 1878, with Honours in Natural Science; and in the same year acted as assistant to the Professor of Botany and to the Curator of the Natural History Museum. Having fulfilled an engagement as Master in Ramsgate College, he returned in 1880 and attended the medical classes at Aberdeen for two years, and the same at Edinburgh for one year, graduating M.B. and CM. with the highest Academical Honours at Aberdeen, and L.R.C.P. at Edinburgh. For the session of 1882-3 he was Demonstrator of Anatomy in the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh; and for that of 1883-4, the same in the University of Aberdeen. By a competitive trial in October, 1884, for the Indian Medical Service, he gained the highest place, and was posted to the Bengal Presidency, where he served for two years on its north-eastern frontier. In 1887 he was appointed Curator of the Herbarium in the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta; and in 1898 succeeded Sir George King as Superintendent of the same and of the Cinchona cultivation in Bengal, as well as director of the Botanical Survey of India. He holds since 1895 the Professorship of Botany in the Calcutta Medical College, and is a Fellow of several learned societies, the Royal and the Botanical Societies of Edinburgh, the Linnsean Society of London, and the Societe Botanique de France. He published in 1894 an elaborate series of Papers detailing the Flora old and new of north-eastern India, and likewise of the Laccadive and the Andaman Islands.

The Rev. Alexander Middleton, A.M., B.D., minister of St. Margaret's Church and Parish, Arbroath, was born in the parish of Birse, and removed to Fettercairn in 1863, when his father, the late Hugh Middleton, entered upon the farm of Balnakettle. He received his early education at the Parish School and the Grammar School of Aberdeen, entered the University of that city in 1876, and graduated with distinction in 1880. After attending the Divinity Classes for a year in Aberdeen, and thereafter in Edinburgh, he obtained the degree of B.D., received license in 1884 from the Presbytery of Fordoun, and was appointed Assistant to the Rev. Dr. Marshall Lang, in the Barony Church, Glasgow. In 1892 he was ordained to his present charge.

George Robb, A.M., was born in Fettercairn village in 1863, and educated at the Parish School. He became a junior assistant in the Grammar School of Aberdeen, and entered the University in 1882. He graduated in 1886, and shortly after was appointed to the situation which he now holds, as Rector of the Academy of Rosario Santa Fe, Buenos Ayres.

George R. Croll, A.M., a native of the parish, had his early education at Inch School under Mr Murray, the Brechin High School, and the Grammar School of Old Aberdeen. He entered the University of St. Andrews in 1882, and graduated in 1887. He acted for a few years as Classical Master in Kelvinside Academy, Glasgow, and in 1897 was appointed Headmaster of the Royal Grammar School of Dunkeld.

George Harper, A.M., was born at Canterland, Mary kirk, in 1866. He removed with his parents to Fettercairn, attended the Parish School, and served as pupil teacher for three years (1880-3). After a session at the Grammar School of Old Aberdeen he entered the University of St. Andrews as first bursar, in 1884, and graduated with Honours in 1890. He was appointed in 1895 to his present situation as Headmaster of Slains Public School, Aberdeenshire.

William Abernethy, A.M., teacher, Coupar Angus, was born at Bogmuir on 1st July, 1873, attended the Parish School and the Montrose Academy, and served as pupil teacher in Fettercairn Public School from 1889 to 1892. He entered the Glasgow Established Training College in 1893 and the Glasgow University in 1895. After graduation in 1898, he was appointed to his present situation.


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