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Annals of Garelochside
Chapter IV - Parochial Records; Succession of Ministers; The Story Family; Ecclesiastical Conditions


FROM the Origines Parochiales we are informed that the ancient parish of Rosneath contained the present parishes of Rosneath and Row, with a small part of Cardross and Luss, on the east, but exclusive of Glenfruin, and a part of the coast of the Gareloch which formerly belonged to Cardross. The modern and existing parish of Rosneath consists of the Rosneath peninsula, lying between the two arms of the sea, Loch Long and the Gareloch. It is bounded on the south by the broader and more troubled estuary of the Clyde, and it stretches for about eight and a half miles in length from the "Green Isle" point, opposite to Greenock, to Portincaple on Loch Long side. Within these limits is embraced a wonderful variety of scenery, in some places all the silence and seclusion of a Highland moor, with its robe of purple heather, feathery bracken, and yielding cushions of velvet moss, in others the sylvan greenery and rich pasture of an agricultural country. The parish consists mainly of one continuous ridge, rising from the wooded point opposite Greenock, in gradually increasing lines of elevation to the bill of Knock-na-Airidhe, or as it is more commonly called—Tomnahara, near Mambeg farm, at a height of 717 feet above the sea. All the upper table-land of the ridge is covered with heather or marsh, with many a clear mountain stream-let pursuing its rock-impeded course down to the loch.

The date of erection of the first church of Rosneath is not known, but the ancient church of Neueth, which was dedicated to St. Modan, was situated on the Ros, or promontory, in the district of Neueth. At a short distance from the castle of Rosneath, it stood near the shore upon the site of the present church, and its name being taken from its situation was sometimes styled the church of Neueth, or the church of Rosneth. It is uncertain when the church of Neueth was founded, but the earliest notice of it occurs in the grant which Alwyn, Earl of Lennox, made to the church of Kilpatrik before 1199, and which was witnessed by Michael Gilmodyn, pastor of Neueth. Amelec, also called AuIeth, a younger son of Alwyn, and who seems to have bad this district as his inheritance, granted the church of Rosneth, with all its just pertinents, in pure and perpetual alms, to the Monks of Paisley, to be held by them as freely as their other churches, acquired by gift of the patrons. This grant was confirmed by Amelec's brother, Earl Maldoven, and subsequently by King Alexander at Trefquer on the 12th March, 1225. About the same time, Amelec granted a salt pan in his land of Rosneth to the Monks of Paisley, and to this gift Nevinus, parson of Neueth, and Gilmothan, son of the sacristan of Neueth, are witnesses. In the settlement of a dispute which arose between Walter, bishop of GIasgow, and William, Abbot of Paisley, regarding vicarial churches held by the Monks in the diocese of Glasgow, and which the bishop was grievously oppressing, it was appointed by amicable compositors in the church of Peblis in 1227 "that the church of Neueth should be ceded to the Monks in proprios usus, and exempted from the payment of procurations, on condition that they should present to the church a fit secular chaplain, who should answer to the bishop de Episcopalibus. [In Origines Parochiales it is stated, "The Church of Rosneath was dedicated not to St. Nicholas but to St. Modan, abbot and confessor, who withdrew from the monastery at Falkirk, where he had converted the surrounding tribes, to the western coasts of Scotland, not far from Dunbertane and Loch Gareloch in a lovely spot sequestered from men by waves and mountains; there is the parish church of Rosneath dedicated in honour of him, and there do his relics rest in honour in a chapel of the cemetery of that church." Spottiswoode gives it as the belief of some that Rosneath was a Priory of canons regular, belonging to the Abbey of Cambuskenneth, of the order of St. Augustine, founded by the Earls of Lennox.]

At a later period Rosneath was known as " the parochine without and within the isle." About 1620, Parliament was petitioned to transport the kirk of Rosneath to the lands of Ardenconnel, on the mainland; and, between 1643 and 1648, the boundaries between it and Cardross were settled, and the new parish of Row was erected. Much difficulty was experienced in erecting the new parish of Row, but in time a presentee was inducted, with the proviso that, when the measure was matured, it should receive his sanction, and that he would be willing to alienate a portion of the tiends to provide a competent living for the minister. The Laird of Ardencaple only agreed to his admission on condition of his preaching alternately in the new church of Row. Upon quite insufficient evidence, for no trace of the building remains, it was supposed that the Earls of Lennox founded at Rosneath a religious house of canons regular, and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary. The church continued in the possession of the Monks of Paisley, who drew all the revenues till the Reformation, a curate being employed in preaching and performing divine service. At the Reformation the revenue was let by the Abbot for 146 13s. 4d., and in 1587 the patronage and titles, which were then held for life by Lord Claud Hamilton, were granted to him and his heirs for ever. Subsequently the patronage of the church was acquired by the Argyll family, who retained it till the abolition of patronage in the Church of Scotland. It is certain that the rectory of Rosneath long continued an appanage of the Abbey of Paisley. In 1591 when the Regality of Paisley was erected, Rosneath was worth 3 chalders of oatmeal, besides vicarage and small tithes, a great diminution from the revenue of 1545. In 1635 the stipend was fixed at 7 chalders of oatmeal, and one of bear, besides communion elements, which was converted into 4 bolls of bear.

There is reason to believe that the castle of Rosneath existed as a royal castle before the end of the twelfth century; it was said to have been burnt by Sir William Wallace. In the reign of Robert II. the lands of Rosneath were granted by Mary, the widowed Countess of Monteith, to John de Drommond, and by him given to Alexander do Nienteth. They were legally annexed to the Crown, along with the castle of Dunbarton in 1455, but Colin, first Earl of Argyll, Chancellor of Scotland, had a charter of the lands of Rosneath, under the Great Seal in 1489. [The following note is from the flclensburgh Guide, published in 1871. " It appears from the ecclesiastical records that the kirk of Row was at first an ease, or subordinate, place of worship for local accommodation, served by the minister of Rosneatb. An Act of General Assembly, of date 27th August, 1639, empowered the Presbytery to take measures for settling both parishes of Rosneath and Cardross, with Ease. When the Presbytery began their proceedings on 4th February, 1640, the `Kirk upon the Row of Connel' existed, and M'Aulay of Ardencaple required the ease to be there. At another meeting held the same month, Mr. George Lindsay, minister of Rosneatb, offered security to maintain a helper ; but Mr. Robert Walton, minister of Cardross, rather than that any part of his parish should be united to Rosneath, made a large offer for building a church and maintaining a helper for Glenfruin. There ensued a long and keen conflict between contending parties. The minister of Rosneath, instead of being disburdened of the part of his charge east of Gareloch, was charged with having to preach every second Sabbath at the kirk of Row. At length (3rd July, 1643) the Lords Commissioners for the plantation of kirks decreed the disjunction so long contended for. As much of Rosncath lying to the east of Kirkmichael was annexed to Cardross, as was disjoined from Cardross to be annexed to the kirk of Row. The part of Cardross taken to make up the new parish embraced the Bannachras, Glenfruin, and lands about Garelochhead. The compensation received by Cardross, from Rosneath, lay between Kirkmichael and the present church. Till then, that church stood on Cardross Point, at the influx of the Leven with Clyde. Row continued to be without a settled ministry till the Presbytery, on 27th September, 1648, appointed the admission of Mr. Archibald MacLeane, of Kingarth, as its first minister,"]

The following may be given as the succession of ministers of the parish of Rosneath, commencing from the early, and perhaps doubtful, records of pre-Reformation times. First we have St. Modan, who lived in the sixth century, and is supposed to have set out from Iona on a mission of Christianity, towards Loch Etive, near which he dwelt for a considerable time, and subsequently on the shores of the Kyles of Bute. From thence he crossed the mountainous district of Cowal until he reached the shores of Loch Long, where he found himself opposite Rosneath, in which secluded spot he took up his abode, making occasional missionary tours to the surrounding districts of Dunbarton and Stirling shires.

1200. ,Nlichaele Gilmodyne, Parson of Renyt.
1225. N evinus, Parson of Rosneath.
1350. Sir Richard Small, Rector in time of David II.
1458. William, Chaplain.
1515. Sir John Clerk, Curate.
"Rosneith, 20 February, 1515.—William Lyndsay of Bunnill by virtue of a precept from the Lord of Lennox deliverit the halie water stoup to John Buntyn of the priests clerkship of Rosneith. Sir John Clerk, Curate of Kirk, deliverit the said stoup to the said John Buntyn as the gift of the Abbot of Paisley as parson and vicar of the said Church after the tenor of the Lord's gift." (Camstradden writs).
1545. Dean John Sclater and Mr. John Wood had a nineteen years' tack of the vicarage and parsonage of Rosneath, with the glebe and house, from John, Abbot of Paisley, they paying 220 merks and 2 chalders of meal as rent, besides paying the curate and keeping the Kirk in repair.
1565-76. Malcolm Steinson was exhorter here, with stipend of 40 lib, and, about same time, Ninian Galt was reader, perhaps at the chapel of Kilmahew. M. Steinson translated to Luss before 1585.
1566. David Colquhoun, Minister.
1585. George M`Gleis, Reader at Kilmaronock.
1574 to 1580. George Lyndsay, A.M., 1614. Translated from Bunnill. Was member of Court of High Commission, 21 October, 1634, of General Assembly in 1638, died 1644, aged 69. Becoming old, got an assistant with 500 merks of salary in 1640.
1639. Robert Lyndsay, A.M. Son of preceding. Ordained to preach and catechise at Row, 19 March, 1644, on a stipend provided by his father, died 1647.
1646. Ewen Cameron, A.M. Translated from Dunoon—called 29 March, admitted 4 August. Member of Assembly, 1647, was opposed to the erection of Row, and returned again to Dunoon before October, 1648. During his incumbency Row parish was formed, and he was compelled to give up one chalder of the parsonage teinds, and all vicarage east of the Gareloch, in support of the new charge, which he was to supply, as well as his own, till a regular minister was obtained.
1651. Ninian Campbell, A.M. Translated from Kilmalcolm, called in November, 1650, admitted 12 March, died 1657 aged 58. In his time Gaelic found to be unnecessary, as only 30 persons found who could speak it. Published a treatise upon Death.
1659. Adam Gattie, A.M. Educated at Edinburgh University. Licensed by Presbytery June 1659, admitted November same year. Deprived by Act of Parliament 1662. Before the Presbytery of Paisley 1666 for living so near his former charge without licence, but reported in following March as having bone to Ireland.
1665. Alexander Cameron, translated from Balfron, admitted April, 1680, and demitted in June.
1682. James Gordon, A.M., son of Mr. Hugh Gordon, minister of Row; had his degree from University of GIasgow, July 1673; passed trials and received testimonials from Presbytery 1680; recommended by Archbishop St. Andrews for Port of Monteith 1681, presented to Rosneath in July and installed October, 1682; deprived by Privy Council September, 1689, for not reading Proclamation of Estates, and not praying for their Majesties, William and Mary ; died 1694, aged 40; left a son, William.
1689. Robert Campbell, ordained minister of Presbyterian congregation in Ireland, 1671. August called, and accepted December; got testimonial of his having served to Whitsunday, 1691. Married Margaret Kelso.
1691. Duncan Campbell, A.M. Translated from Inverkip, ad-
mitted July, died November, 1707, at age of 72.
1709. Neil Campbell, translated from Kilmalie ; admitted July; translated to Renfrew June, 1716. In 1728 was chosen Principal of Glasgow College.
1719. Daniel i1T'Laurin, translated from Kilfinan, admitted June, died February, 1720. "A man of rare parts and honest." Only 26 Gaelic families in parish.
1722. James Anderson, son of Mr. John Anderson, one of the ministers of Glasgow, ordained July ; died June, 1744. Married Margaret Turner, who survived him 40 years. Became senior annuitant on Ministers Widow's Fund, died 1784. One of their sons was John Anderson, Professor of Natural Philosophy in University of Glasgow, and founder of the Andersonian Institution.
1745. Matthew Stewart, son of Dugald Stewart, minister of Rothesay ; born 1717 ; educated at Grammar School, ILothesay ; studied at University of Glasgow and Edinburgh; favourite pupil of professors of mathematics in both cities ; licensed by Presbytery of Dunoon, May, 1744; presented to Rosneath by Archibald, Duke of Argyll, and ordained May, 1745. Elected Professor of Mathematics in Edinburgh University, and resigned parish in October, 1747. Wrote various abstruse works on mathematical problems; and his son, Dugald Stewart, who afterwards attained such eminence as a professor of moral philosophy, was elected jointly with his father to the chair in 1775. Died January, 1785 ; 68 years old.
1749. Andrew Duncanson ; translated from Kilcalmonell; presented by Archibald, Duke of Argyll in 1748 ; admitted January, 1749 ; demitted, on getting an allowance, in 1763, and died April, 1772.
1764. John Kennedy ; licensed by Presbytery of Haddington,
1763; presented to parish by John, Duke of Argyll, June, 1764, and died a year after.
1766. George Drummond; descended from a representative of the family of Hawthornden ; licensed by the Presbytery of Stirling in 1761 ; presented by John, Duke of Argyll, August, 17 65. Got the church rebuilt in 1780; received degree of D.D. from University of Edinburgh in June, 1800 ; died in 1819 in his 82nd year, and in the 53rd of his ministry. "A gentleman of high respectability, deep erudition, and eminent worth." Married Catharine Buchanan, widow of Mr. M`Gowan of Mains of Kilmaronock.

The ministry of Dr. Drummond brings us to a period, within the memory of one or two aged natives of the parish, who can recall the church of those days. Dr. Drummond seems to have been one of the old "Moderate" ministers of the Church of Scotland, and he added to his modest stipend by farming the Strouel farm, with the aid of two men and horses. For some time he had been tutor to the laird of Luss, and through his influence with the Duke of Argyll, the tutor became minister of Rosneath. He married a widow possessed of some property on the water of Endrick, who appears to have been of a managing turn.

On one occasion, at a rent-collection at Luss, Dr. Drummond happened to be present along with Sir Humphrey Colquhoun and the Sheriff of Dunbarton. The party were at dinner when, on a sudden, three men, with blackened faces, having overcome the resistance of the servants, rushed into the room and attacked the ,astonished gentlemen. Evidently they hoped, in the excitement following this unwelcome intrusion, to secure the rent-money, which lay loose in a paper inside the press. However, the minister of Rosneath made a valiant defence, first laying hold of a chair, and then the poker, with which he struck one of the robbers violently on the head. The wound was the means of identifying the man, John Gray by name, and he was subsequently convicted for his crime at Dunbarton. Owing to loss of blood from a wound he received in the struggle, Dr. Drummond was long an invalid, and ill the closing years of his ministry the duties of parish minister were almost entirely performed by assistants. Allusion is thus made in a letter from Mr. Robert Campbell, long factor on the Argyll property, to Lord John Campbell in 1815, who writes: "The poor infirm body Brown, who assisted Dr. Drummond, died on Friday last. The old doctor, whose mind is almost gone, has entered into some engagement with our idiotical schoolmaster, Graham, to make him his assistant, although he wants two years of his divinity studies, and was, on that account, refused a license by the Presbytery of Dunbarton." In the autumn of 1815 an offer was made to the Rev. Robert Story, who had recently received license as a preacher from the Presbytery of Haddington, to become assistant to old Dr. Drummond, which was accepted.

Robert Story, for over forty years minister of R.osneath, was born in the village of Yetholm, a few miles from Kelso, in March, 1790. His father, George Story, taught the Parish school, besides acting as factor or agent for Mr. `Vauchope of Niddrie, his mother being Margaret Herbert, of a Northumbrian family. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh, and, amongst others, had for one of his instructors the eminent Dugald Stewart, son of the former minister of Rosneath. For the next two or three years he acted as tutor in the families of Mr. Macpherson Grant at Ballindalloch, the Earl of Dalhousie, and others, and then was appointed assistant to old Dr. Drummond at Rosneath, after having been licensed in 1815. At that time the spiritual condition of the parish was at a very low ebb. Where there are now seven places of worship belonging to the different denominations, there was then the old church at the Clachan of Rosneath. None of the numerous villas, extending for more than four miles on the Loch Long side of the peninsula, which now form such a feature in the landscape, were then in existence. On a Sabbath morning the farmers and their servants, and the humble cottagers, might be seen crossing the moor by the various pathways which led to the House of God from the different farmhouses. And in simple rustic attire, the women would be seen sitting beside the Clachan burn, washing their feet in the limpid water, and donning their stockings and shoes which had, up to that point, been carried in their hands.

Mr. Story was introduced to his charge by Dr. Thomas Chalmers, who was his warm friend, and a frequent visitor at the manse, and soon proved that he was a minister of ardent piety and enthusiastic temperament. At the same time he was a favourite in society, and his exceedingly handsome and striking appearance, his cultured mind, and agreeable manners, made the young minister to be courted by the wealthy, and even the titled, in the land. In the year 1837 he was in indifferent health, and sought relief by a change of residence in England, visiting, amongst others, the celebrated but erratic Edward Irving. Some time after his return from England Mr. Story was happily united in marriage to Miss Helen Boyle Dunlop, one of a numerous family, her father Mr. Dunlop of Iieppoch, near Helens-burgh, being a well known banker in Greenock. One of his sons was the greatly esteemed John Dunlop, the father of the temperance cause in Scotland, whose name is held in high honour amongst the friends of that great movement. Mrs. Story, a clever, practical, and energetic lady, was long spared to be a comfort to her husband, and soothed him in his last lingering illness, and died at Rosneath in 1882, greatly regretted by her many friends. Mr. Story cultivated intimate relations with his near neighbour the Rev. John Macleod Campbell of Row, and stood by his side during the painful controversy in the Church courts which issued in the deposition of the latter from his ministry, on the ground of certain views which he held regarding the Atonement.

During the time of his peaceful ministry in his quiet vineyard at Rosneath, Mr. Story ever kept a watchful eye upon the movements and ecclesiastical controversies of the period, though he was never very prominent in Church courts. After the Disruption of the Church of Scotland, and when he had returned home from the General Assembly of 1843, he found his hitherto happy, and undivided, parish in the full throes of the painful excitement of that memorable time. Party spirit in the district ran very high, angry controversy ensued, but the good minister of Rosneath wrote: "If the agitation shall lead to the conversion of any from the error of their ways, I shall be thankful for it all." One worthy man, the coachman of a local gentleman of great influence, who drew with him not a few of those who looked up to him as a guide and friend, gave probably a unique reason for his joining the ranks of the Secessionists. A friend meeting the wavering charioteer, said to him, "And what will you do John?" to which query came the ready response, "I'll gang whar the horse gangs."

Towards the close of the year 1849, symptoms of failing health began to manifest themselves in Mr. Story, whose upright form, dark kindling eye, and long, flowing, white hair, attracted observation wherever he moved. He consulted two doctors in Edinburgh, and was advised not to preach out of his own pulpit, as he was evidently suffering from heart disease. Thus stricken, though seemingly in the prime of life, with all his faculties unimpaired, he meekly submitted to the Will of his Heavenly Father. He undertook the labour of raising funds for the now place of worship in the summer resort of Cove, on the shores of Loch Long, which it was considered desirable to erect. For the next few years Mr. Story was obliged to have the aid of assistants in the carrying on of his ministerial work, though he rarely delegated to them his beloved duties of visiting the sick, or such occupations as demanded but little exertion of voice or strength. As the years of 1858 and 1859 gradually passed away it was evident that the days of the much loved pastor of Rosneath were drawing to a close. Many of his dearest friends came to the manse in order once more to see its honoured head, and have a few farewell words of communion and fellowship. For friends and parishioners alike he ever had the same winning smile and kindly welcome, and the blessing, though sometimes well nigh inaudible, was hardly ever omitted. His son and successor in the ministry, who was doing work in a church at Montreal, was hurriedly summoned across the Atlantic, but arrived too late to take farewell of his beloved father, who died on 22nd November, 1859. To the end his spirit was calm, and his intellect unclouded, though the body was wasted and enfeebled. A chaste and simple monument, with a medallion, all the work of William Brodie, the well known sculptor, was erected to his memory inside the parish church. The inscription bore that it was "dedicated by his parishioners and friends to the revered memory of Robert Story, for forty-two years the faithful and beloved minister of the church and parish of Rosneath."

The Rev. Professor Story, his son, received the presentation to the parish of Rosneath, from the Duke of Argyll, when quite a young man, in the year 1860. The patron knew that the parishioners would approve of the appointment, for indeed the presentee had been brought up amongst them, and his abilities were early recognised. His career at Edinburgh University had been a successful one, and he had gained both credit and experience in Montreal, where he had officiated for eighteen months as assistant minister in the Presbyterian Church of St. Andrew. After being inducted to the parish of Rosneath, Mr. Robert Herbert Story diligently laboured in the spirit of his father, and although, in many respects, the externals of church worship had changed, he sought ever to maintain a high standard of service and preaching. From an interesting volume about the ministers and churches in 1880, of Helensburgh and neighbourhood, the following particulars are taken. "Even those who esteemed the father most, recognised in the son if not a more faithful and earnest, a more effective preacher. His preaching from the first was fresh in thought, devout in tone; graceful and poetic in diction. As he grew in knowledge and experience, it became richer, wiser, and more spiritual. The high-toned preaching of the young minister, and the orderly and dignified devotional service which he conducted, soon made the parish church of Rosneath a centre of spiritual attraction to the surrounding district. In the summer season the church was overcrowded, and it became necessary to add transepts, containing nearly two hundred sittings, to the original building. By this time, about 1867, the battle of the organ had been fought and won, and an organ with the unanimous, or all but unanimous, assent of the parishioners was placed in the north transept of the enlarged parish church. Not long afterwards the Scottish Hymnal received the sanction of the General Assembly, and was of course adopted by the congregation of Rosneath."

Mr. R. Herbert Story, while faithfully attending to his parochial duties, began to contribute in various ways, to literature, and published in 1862 the much admired biography of his father, which had a good circulation. Besides writing in magazines and publishing occasional pamphlets on subjects connected with Church history, he wrote in 1870 the Life and Remains of Dr. Robert Lee, with whom he had long been in terms of intimate friendship. Being fully in sympathy with Dr. Lee in his views regarding a more elaborate system of Church service, he narrated, with much fulness of detail, the ecclesiastical controversies in which for a long time the minister of Greyfriars was engaged. Again in 1874, Mr. Story gave to the world a book, the preparation of which involved him in considerable.-labour, the Life of Principal Carstares, from whom, through his mother's family of the Dunlops, he was collaterally descended. There is much valuable matter in this book, with reference to the story of the "Resolutioners and Protesters," and of the period after the Revolution Settlement of 1688. Carstares was in many respects a powerful personage. Macaulay writes of him in his History as follows:—"William had, however, one Scottish adviser who deserved and possessed more influence than any of the ostensible ministers. This was Carstares, one of the most remarkable men of that age. He united great scholastic attainments, with great aptitude for civil business, and the firm faith and ardent zeal of a martyr with the shrewdness and suppleness of a consummate politician." Sketches of the policy and characters of many of the notable men of that eventful period, the Prince of Orange, Shaftesbury, Monmouth, James the Second, Argyll, Russell, Sidney and others, appear in. the volume, which enhanced its author's literary reputation. These volumes and the solid work which he had done on behalf of the Church of Scotland were recognised by the University of Edinburgh conferring the degree of D.D. upon Mr. Story, whose diligent pen was frequently enlisted also in the literature of Church defence. A volume of sermons, entitled Creed and Conduct, a little book on the Health haunts of the Riviera, a monograph on Saint Modan of Rosneath, and one or two minor works were also brought out by Dr. Story, and he was mainly instrumental in starting the Church Service Society, whose objects were to vary and improve the form of worship in the Church of Scotland. He also edited for a time, a magazine with the title of the Scottish Church, which was published mainly in the cause of Church defence, though containing much matter of general interest, and more recently has edited, and contributed to, a new history of the Church of Scotland in five volumes. The same volume from which an extract has been given further remarks, "Dr. Story for the last fifteen years has taken an active part in the work of Church courts. The Presbytery of Dunbarton, recognising his power as a debater, and his ability as a man of business, has elected him annually as one of its representatives in the venerable Assembly. The wisdom of this departure from custom, in the matter of representation, has been proved by the position to which Dr. Story has risen in the great Council of the Church. . . . Of late years, thanks to the attacks of the Liberationists, party distinctions in the Church of Scotland have been well nigh obliterated. The Church is now of one party, that which exists for the defence of an institution, with the continued existence of which she believes that much that is best in the nation's life is bound up. Of this great party Dr. Story is recognised as one of the most able and influential members." Dr. Story is one of Her Majesty's Chaplains, and a number of years ago was appointed to the office of Junior Clerk of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. On the lamented death of the late Rev. Professor Milligan of Aberdeen, he was promoted to the post of principal Clerk of Assembly, and in 1894 the crowning honour was conferred upon him by his election to the high and responsible office of Moderator of the Church of Scotland. Several handsome presentations were made to Dr. Story on this occasion, from the congregation of St. Andrews Church, Montreal, from his old parish of Rosneath, from his students in Glasgow University, and the sum of five hundred guineas, from friends in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. Sir James King, of Glasgow, in making the latter presentation, said, "they recognised in Dr. Story a faithful pastor, an eloquent preacher, a learned teacher, a brilliant debater, and an accomplished man of letters." In his reply Dr. Story stated "he came behind none of his predecessors in the Moderator's chair in his desire to do justice to the high office, and to try to preserve its traditions unbroken and untarnished—the traditions of the chair of the oldest and most venerable legislative body in the British Empire."

Having been appointed to the chair of Church History in the University of Glasgow, Dr. Story had reluctantly to resign the parish of Rosneath, and took leave of the congregation to whom he had so long ministered on Sunday 5th June 1887. The parish church was crowded at the noon-day service, many visitors having come long distances to hear the farewell discourse, which was from the text, Joshua vii. 10. In concluding his sermon the preacher said, "the thought that the tie which has connected you and me for so many years is now broken, and that I shall never again stand here as minister of this parish touches me too deeply to be spoken about, all the more that I know it is not a matter of indifference to you—to some of you a matter of much concern and regret. The years that have passed over us have seen many a wonderful change. How many have been taken from us—the beloved! the unforgotten! They have brought, too, much happiness, and many a good and perfect gift. May the coming years be yet fuller to you of outward prosperity and inward peace. Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together. Maintain the beauty of God's house, and the reverence and seemliness of its services. Keep His commandments, and be always mindful of His poor. With this I say farewell. When in the days to come you assemble here for worship, think sometimes not unkindly of one whose thoughts, on the Lord's Day at the house of prayer, will never be far from this dear and familiar place. I commend you all unto God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among them all which are sanctified, and to whom be all glory in the Church, world without end. Amen."

During Dr. Story's ministry the Kirk-Session had lost several of its old and valued members, who had officiated as elders in his father's lifetime. On the vacancy being declared, a congregational committee was formed, the Rev. J. Webster of Row being moderator, and in August a new minister was elected, the Rev. Alfred Warr, .K.A., who was educated at Edinburgh University, and had for some time acted as assistant in St. Cuthbert's Church. Mr. Warr took high honours at the University, gaining the first place in Professor Flint's classes of Divinity in the two sessions of 1882-83 and 1884. lie also took a high place in the class of Church History in the sessions of 1883-84. He was also awarded the first Gray prize for an essay on "The supremacy of conscience in man's moral nature," and - the Hepburn prize open to all students of the Faculty of Divinity. His carefully prepared discourses indicate a well-cultured mind. He is a member of the School Board, and takes an appreciative interest in all that is for the benefit of the children of the parish. He entered with great energy into the scheme for enlarging the church at Rosneath, for which a considerable sum of money was raised. At its re-opening, the well-known Dr. M'Gregor of St. Cuthbert's, who had testified to Mr. Warr's ability and zeal, preached an eloquent sermon to a large congregation. During the agitation in defence of the Church of Scotland, Mr, Warr's services were often availed of in addressing meetings throughout the country. His arguments and illustrations were telling and forcible, and he threw himself into the defence movement with much enthusiasm.

The Kirk-Session at present consists of Mr. William Stewart, the much esteemed parish schoolmaster, Surgeon-General Bidie, C.I.E., Mr. Alexander Airth, Mr. David Silver, and Mr. Finlay DT`Callum.

The various storms which, from time to time, agitated the ecclesiastical atmosphere in the west of Scotland had but a small effect in a secluded parish like Rosneath. It was not till about the period of the long ministry of Dr. Drummond that the beautiful peninsula became much known to the outer world. During his uneventful rule, the affairs of the parish were conducted in the quiet way usual in rural districts, and the Session records afford an insight into the morals and manners of the neighbourhood. In 1766 the sum paid for support of the poor was 59 8s. The following inventory of utensils was taken as the property of the Session : "Two silver cups for the Communion; four Communion tablecloths, big and small; two pewter flagons; a big pewter plate; a pewter basin for baptism; two mortcloths, one large, one small. [Rosneath old Communion cups. The author is indebted to the Rev. Thomas Burns, I.A., who has written a valuable work on old Scottish Communion plate, for the following :—" They are about the oldest in Scotland, and it would be interesting to know who was the donor of them. Their type is thoroughly characteristic of the age. They were made in Edinburgh by a famous goldsmith, John Mosman, who was admitted to the Incorporation of Goldsmiths in 1575. The cups were made in 1585-6. Dlosman was Deacon in that year, and they bear his Deacon's punch. They stand 8_' inches high, and have a depth of bowl of 33 inches. There are most valuable on account of their antiquity, apart from their historical associations."] The Session appoints that the large mortcloth be let out within the parish for.2s. 6d., and the small one for Is. 6d. Sterling."

The school fees were appointed as follows:—" For such as read English only, Is. 6d. for each quarter. For those who read and write only, 1s. 6d. for each quarter. For those who learn English, writing, and arithmetic, 2s. 6d. for each quarter. For Latin, 2s. 6d." There were frequent cases of discipline in connection with members of the church, and the offenders had to submit to a solemn rebuke administered to them before the congregation, in addition to being fined. One of the heritors seems, more than once, to have given cause for rebuke, whose fine was sometimes four and five guineas, but those lower in the social state were Iet off with a payment of five shillings. The school was long held in the church, but, in October 1766, it was reported that "the school could not be kept longer in the Kirk on account of the coldness of the weather, and the Session appoint the house formerly possessed by David Guthrie to be cleaned and the school kept there." On 10th November, 1773, it is stated that "the bason made use of in baptisms almost wore out, Treasurer to get it exchanged, and pay the balance." The Duke of Argyll had ordered gates to be made for different entries into the churchyard. On 8th May, 1776, "The Session, considering that they have more of the poor's money on hand than they choose to keep by them without bearing interest, and as no private person of good security can be found to take it, they therefore unanimously resolve to put 120 into any one of the banks of Glasgow, and for that purpose they now lodge the money with their Moderator, hereby appointing him to lay it out as above as soon as convenient."

Time rolled on, and the aged Dr. Drummond pursued "the even tenour of his way," and was succeeded, in 1815, by the Rev. Robert Story, both of whom ministered in the old church, whose ivy clad ruins now stand in the churchyard, beside the Clachan burn. It is by no means a venerable structure, having been built about the year 1770, on the site of a much older and more ornate edifice. The latter was of a more uniform and cruciform shape, with a row of stone images round the pulpit, and the ornamental basin for holy water was at one side of the entrance door. Also, on the right-hand side of the doorway were five or six "jougs," as they were termed, iron manacles for detaining wrong doers by the neck. It is believed that old Dr. Drummond, who must have had severely Protestant proclivities, persuaded the Duke of Argyll to pull down the edifice dedicated to the Virgin Mary, although for his Grace's convenience there was a special gallery and staircase in the church, However, one relic of the old church still survives in the shape of the interesting and peculiar belfry, which surmounts the existing ruin in the church-yard, the bell having been transferred to the present parish church, where it does duty every Sabbath. A considerable portion of the wall, on the side of the church near the manse, with the west gable wall, surmounted by the picturesque old belfry, still stands in the centre of the church-yard, the outside overgrown with clustering masses of ivy. The two windows in the wall, and the door in the gable are all of the simplest style, and the architecture of the plainest and least ornate description. Still, there is a charm about the relic of a byegone century, whose roofless walls and ivy-mantled stones speak with thrilling, though inaudible, accents to those who can recall the happy days when the old church rang with the soul-moving strains of many a grand and pathetic psalm or paraphrase. Mute they are now, save when of a soft summer's evening from the summit of the old belfry the mavis may be heard pouring forth its liquid, trilling notes, until the warm air is resonant of song, as the strain is echoed by his fellows from their sylvan retreat.

Inside the church, when it was used for public worship, everything was of the plainest description. The seats were of rough deals, and the floor was long only of earth, while a gallery ran round three sides of the interior—the pulpit standing between the two windows next the manse. The walls of the building were plain and whitewashed, and grew green through damp and mould, and altogether the church had a forlorn appearance, although it was regarded with affection by many of the old forefathers of the parish. When the sacrament was dispensed, there was one long table running down the passage, from door to door, the minister and elders occupying one end. The crowds who assembled to hear celebrated preachers, such as Edward Irving, were fain to fill the church-yard, and listen to the great pulpit orator, who declaimed from the "tent."

The now church was commenced in 1853, and finished in the end of that year—a plain building, in the early English style, from the plans of Mr. Cousin, architect, Edinburgh. Since then two additions have been made to the edifice, and in 1895 a new vestry and an organ chamber have been erected, and the wings have afforded a considerable increase to the accommodation for seat-holders. The interior has a handsome appearance, though it is rather dark, owing to the introduction of several stained-glass windows—one erected many years ago by Mrs. Oliphant, the distinguished authoress, a frequent visitor to the parish and manse, in memory of a beloved young daughter, and another, at the opposite end, to the memory of Dr. Macleod Campbell. There are a number of mural monuments on the walls of the church, the chaste one in Ayrshire stone and white marble to the revered memory of old Mr. Story, and the space on the chancel wall below Mrs. Oliphant's window is occupied by a finely illuminated table of the commandments, the Lord's prayer being on the east wall—all drawn and designed in medieval pattern by Mr. W. A. Muirhead of Edinburgh. The new marble font and ornate oak pulpit, resting on a marble pedestal, were both gifts to the church, the former from Dr. Carnachan, and the latter from Mr. William Donaldson.

Rosneath churchyard is beautifully situated, with the Clachan burn running past its wall. At one time there was a low, half-ruined dyke surrounding the spot, and some fine old plane trees grew at intervals within the turf-covered wall. It was thought better to remove these, though many mourned their destruction, the dyke was rebuilt, and the old church put into more decent condition, while ivy was carefully trained up its mouldering walls. The old enclosed grave of Dr. Drummond, the minister, with very high railings, was altered by the removal of the railings, the two large gravestones being taken from their position against the wall of the church and laid flat upon the ground. Inside the ruin, and fixed with rivets into the window, is an interesting memorial 'stone, with curious scroll work, similar to what is seen on the ancient town crosses in many parts of Scotland. This stone, some years ago, was dug up in the churchyard, and is, doubtless, of great antiquity. The editor of the proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries thus describes the stone. "The monument is a shaped slab about 5 feet long, 20 inches wide, and 5 inches thick, ornamented on both faces, and on both edges with patterns of interlaced work. On the obverse it presents a cross of the whole length of the slab, the centre filled with a spiral pattern, and the shaft and summit with patterns of interlaced work. The reverse also bears a cross of the whole length of the slab; the ornament is much more defaced, but seems to consist entirely of interlaced work and fret. The edge of the stone has its ornaments also of interlaced work. The monument thus differs entirely in the character of its ornaments from the crosses and slabs decorated with foliagenous scrolls which are so common in the Wrest Highlands. Its style is earlier, and corresponds with the purely Celtic ornamentation of the erect and shaped slabs of the western area of Scotland."

The mantling-ivy has covered a good part of the ruined walls of the old church, giving it a more venerable appearance than its actual age, and it forms a decided addition to the picturesqueness of the spot. On being removed from the old belfry, the church bell was fixed in its appropriate place in the new edifice, and its soft, pleasing tone is heard every Lord's day, and also, according to an old custom, at midnight on the last day of the year. The old bell is now getting considerably worn, as it was cast towards the close of the seventeenth century in Holland. It bears the appropriate inscription "Soli Dei Gloria—Johannes Burgerhuys me fecit." As. the soft, mellow tones of the old bell, indicating the birth of a new year, are wafted across the peaceful waters of the Gareloch, the response is heard from the steeple of the Row church, but with a more resonant sound, the omen, as it were, of a year of joyous anticipation.

Although the Rosneath churchyard is undoubtedly of great antiquity, for it must be remembered that, even in the charter of the twelfth century, the building was designated the Church of St. Nicholas,—and the whole peninsula was styled the Virgin's promontory,—with one or two exceptions there can hardly be said to be any ancient monuments. There are two or three old grey, lichen covered stones, one, with slightly bevelled edges, lying flat on the ground, which are, probably, of a great age, and on one of them what seems like the tracing of a sword or cross may be discerned. Another which is broken in two has three heads roughly carved on it, and part of the Colquhoun coat of arms. Most of the older head stones bear Celtic names inscribed on them, indicating the large number of Highland families formerly located in the district. Campbells, M'Arthurs, M'Farlanes, M'Colls, M'Kellars, M'Lellans, M'Aulays, and others, form the majority of the names on the stones, though Turners, Chalmers, and Ritchies seem to have lived long in Rosneath. An ancient looking stone bears to be in memory of Janet Liston, "Spouis" to John Ramsay, servant to John, Duke of "Argyel," 1744,—a little way off is a small slab, with the initials P.V.—H.M. 1721. Another venerable looking stone is evidently in memory of a shoemaker, for plainly delineated on its face are a boot, an old-fashioned, high-heeled shoe, and the curved knife used in cutting leather. The grave of the Rev. Robert Story, and his widow, is close to the wall of the churchyard next the manse, and is marked by a marble Iona cross, with an appropriate inscription. A white rose bush grows on the grave, and sheds its leaves over the resting place of the beloved pastor, whose voice so long sounded in the mouldering ruin close by. Two other ministers of Rosneath are buried not far off, their flat monumental stones greatly decayed, the Rev. James Anderson died in 1744, and Rev. J. Kennedy in 1765. Near the wall round the churchyard, on the west, is the slab, rudely sculptured with a cherub's head and wings, two human figures, a coffin, a coat of arms, and weighing scales, to the memory of Archibald Niven, who sailed ferry boats to Greenock, and did all sorts of work, including teaching, in the olden times, and died 1735. Tradition speaks of the famous John Balfour of Burley, one of the murderers of Archbishop Sharp, being buried in Rosneath churchyard. It is affirmed that he found an asylum at Rosneath under the assumed name of Andrew Salter, and that his descendants continued there for generations, and were always considered of more gentle degree than the farmers of the district. The last of the race died about the year 1810, and two small, moss grown, stones, only a little elevated above the grass in the south-east corner of the churchyard, are pointed out as the spot where rest the bones of the dauntless Covenanter.

During Mr. Story's ministry at Rosneath, and up to the memorable period of the Disruption of the Church of Scotland, in May 1843, there was little overt expression of dissent in the parish. The wave of ecclesiastical excitement which passed over Scotland at that time stirred up to unwonted agitation the placid waters of the Gareloch district, with the result that, in duo time, a Free Church was established at Rosneath. The congregation assembled for the first time for worship in the schoolhouse at Knockderry, and on alternate Sabbaths there, and at the old saw mill, a little way up from the Mill Bay near Campsail. The Rev. John Grant of Pettie was inducted to the charge on 7th November, 1843, and the Rev. Dr. M`Farlane of Greenock, at the close of the service, laid the foundation of the existing edifice. It is a commodious unpretending church, situated at the rise of the brae above Mill of Campsail, and two wings were added to the main building in 1858. The success which attended the Free Church of Rosneath, especially in its early days, was largely due to the commanding influence, and strong personality of Mr. Lorne Campbell, the Duke of Argyll's chamberlain. He was a man of fine presence, of much benevolence and kindliness of heart, of powerful will, and could sway men in an eminent degree. He was held in the highest esteem by the Argyll family, and his word was law throughout the peninsula. In 1855, owing to ill health, Mr. Grant, the minister had to employ an assistant, and soon after the present incumbent of the church, the Rev. John M'Ewan, was appointed to the post. Mr. M'Ewan was born in Glasgow, and educated at the High School there, and for a time was a clerk in Laird's shipping office. During his long occupancy of the pastorate of the church Mr. M`Ewan has laboured with the greatest zeal and faithfulness, his earlier discourses having attracted the favourable attention of the Rev. Dr. Candlish, who for several summers resided at Kilcreggan. He is a diligent student, a vigorous defender of the faith, orthodox, and evangelical, and, in all weathers, may be encountered in remote corners of his parish, attending to the duties of his sacred calling.

For the accommodation of the summer population in Kilcreggan and Cove, on the Loch Long side of the peninsula, there was erected at Craigrownie the present commodious quoad sacra parish church. The foundation stone was laid on July 31, 1852, and the church was completed the same year at a cost of over 1100. The architecture is of early English Gothic, with chancel, nave, and transepts, and the church was originally seated for 350, but increased accommodation was gained by an addition in 1889. It has a fine commanding situation on the high ground overlooking the waters of Loch Long and the Frith of Clyde, and an excellent manse stands in the vicinity of the church. For thirty-four years the late Rev. Dr. David Shanks filled its pulpit,—an able minister, an eminent master of Oriental languages, and one who was sincerely mourned by his attached congregation. His successor, the present minister, is the Rev. Kenneth A. Macleay, B.D., a student of St. Andrews, who at that time was assistant at WVallacetown near Ayr. The late Principal Cunningham of St. Andrews, in introducing Mr. Macleay to the congregation, spoke of the eminence which he had gained in his philosophical studies. Of a more retiring and studious temperament is the Rev. John Stevenson, who is minister of the iron chapel near Kilcreggan pier, erected in 1869, for the use of worshippers of the Church of Scotland in that part of Rosneath. Those who appreciate a quiet, reverent, thoughtful discourse, find such in the pulpit utterances of Mr. Stevenson, who has laboured in his sphere of duty for over twenty-three years. The only other regular place of worship on the Loch Long side of the peninsula, apart from the small iron chapel at Peatoun, which is occasionally open in summer, is the United Presbyterian Church at Kilcreggan. This is a handsome structure, and was built in 1869, holding over 600 persons, and there is an excellent manse on the adjacent ground. The present minister is the Rev. Armstrong Black, who was for some years in charge of a large church in the West-end of Edinburgh, but which, through ill health, he resigned. Culture, breadth of thought, poetic fervour, and earnestness of tone, characterise his discourses. He has recently accepted a call to Egremont, Cheshire.

Any account of the ecclesiastical features of Rosneath would be incomplete, without referring to the so-called miraculous manifestations of a member of the family of Campbells of Fernicarry, in the gift of "tongues," which are associated with the famous Edward Irving. This erratic divine and marvellous preacher fully believed in the pentecostal gifts of one, at least, of the family, Mary Campbell. Her elder sister, Isabella, who was of a saintly nature, had a brief and blameless life, and her early death was brought into prominence in the beautiful memoir of this devoted Christian, written by the Rev. Robert Story, and widely circulated both in this country and America. The quiet, secluded spot is shown at the back of Fernicarry where the pious Isabella was wont to resort for prayer, an inscription upon a stone marking the holy place. She had been so much in communion with her Heavenly Father, that many stories were repeated of the marvellous spiritual insight which she possessed, and her influence was profound over those who had been in attendance on the sufferer, or were admitted to her friendship. Her sister Mary became known about this time in connection with those who really believed that some strange gifts had been vouchsafed to men. Mary was young and beautiful, and being in delicate health she had a highly susceptible nervous temperament, and numbers of visitors, attracted by the fame of her pious sister, came to Fernicarry. One Sabbath evening, in March 1830, Mary Campbell, in the presence of a few friends, begun to utter strange sounds which she believed to have resemblance to the tongues spoken by the disciples in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. This language she affirmed to be that spoken in a group of islands in the Southern Pacific Ocean, and imagined it was a manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit, and an invitation to her to proceed as a missionary to these remote parts of the earth. Soon after this Mary Campbell, after a surprising, or, as she affirmed, "miraculous" recovery, was married to a young man of the name of Caird, who had been attracted to Fernicarry by reading her sister's memoir. She was taken up by Edward Irving, who had full confidence in her manifestations of the spirit and her strange "tongues," and was introduced through him to various people of some position in the fashionable religious world. But in their society her piety and fervour began rapidly to deteriorate, her missionary zeal cooled, and the transient excitement caused by her reputed "gifts," soon passed away.


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