History of the Parish of Neilston Chapter XVI. Succession of Ministers
The succession of
ministers in the parish and other churches of Neilston since 1602,
has been as follows :
In 1602, the Rev.
In 1632, the Rev. John Law. In 1649, this gentleman was deposed, and
during the vacancy William Semple, a gentleman from Ireland,
The vacancy does not appear to have been filled up till 1657, when
the Rev. Hugh Walker was ordained. This gentleman was outed, most
probably for non-conformity, in 1662, during Middletons odious and
contemptible administration in Scotland, which has been previously
In 1668 (or 1669), the Rev. David Brown was ordained; and in 1701,
he was translated to Glasgow. This gentleman preached in the prison
of Paisley on Wednesday, 9th June, 1697, being the day before the
execution of the several persons condemned for witchcraft through
the Bargarran imposture, referred to elsewhere.
In 1707, the Rev. John Millar was ordained.
In 1733, the Rev. Alexander Clerk was presented to the church by
Lord Dundonald, and was opposed by some of the people, but the
Presbytery sustained the call, which was confirmed by the General
Assembly. He died in 1736.
In 1737, the Rev. Henry Millar was ordained ; and died in 1771.
In 1772, the Rev. John Wilson was ordained; and died in 1784.
In 1785, the Rev. John Monteath was ordained, and was translated to
Houston in 1797; he died in 1843, in the ninety-first year of his
age, and the sixty-third of his ministry.
In 1798, the Rev. William Hood was ordained; and died in 1804. Over
this gentlemans grave a very unseemly squabble took place regarding
the inscription to be placed on the tombstone the heritors wished
raised to his memory.
In 1804, the Rev. Alexander Fleming, afterwards D.D., was ordained ;
and died 10th June, 1844.
In 1845 the Rev. Hugh Aird was ordained ; and died in 1872, very
suddenly during the night.
In 1873, the Rev. Thomas Miller, formerly of Lamington, was
translated from St. Stephens, Glasgow ; he died in 1878.
In 1879, the Rev. Peter MLeod, who had been ordained in 1874, was
translated from Dundee. He had formerly been assistant to the Rev.
Hugh Aird, and his appointment was opposed by some of the people;
but the Presbytery sustained the call, and it was not carried to the
General Assembly. This gentleman, by his urbanity, general kindness,
and liberality, lived to gain the respect and goodwill of nearly all
those who opposed him when he came to the parish. He retired from
the church because of infirm health a few years before his death,
which took place in 1896, when a mural tablet bearing the following
inscription was placed in the church :
In loving Memory of Rev. PETER M'LEOD,
Ordained, 17th Sepr., 1874,
Died, 17th Deer., 1896.
An earnest preacher of the Gospel,
A diligent pastor and a true friend.
As a token of esteem and affection,
By the Congregation.
In 1895, the Rev.
Robert Barr, M.A., the present incumbent, was ordained, having
previously been appointed assistant and successor.
Rev. Alexander Martin, M.A. and B.D. This gentleman, a native of our
town, after being licensed, acted as assistant in two parishes with
much acceptance ; but, in consequence of his health giving way, he
was obliged to retire from the active prosecution of the regular
NEILSTON UNITED FREE CHURCH.
Connected with the
Free Church, the Rev. Mr. Robertson conducted a Mission in Neilston,
previous to the erection of the present building, which was opened
in September. 1873.
In September, 1873, the Rev. Archibald Ferguson, the present
incumbent, was ordained their first minister.
UPLAWMOOR QUOAD SACRA PARISH CHURCH.
Mr. Alexander Horne
acted as missionary in this village for upwards of twenty-three
years, and died in 1881; when he was succeeded by Mr. Nicol. now an
esteemed missionary in Dairy, Ayrshire.
In 1888, the present church was erected, mainly by the generous
efforts of the Honourable Mrs. Mure and other members of that
family, when the memorial stone was laid with masonic honours by
Colonel Mure of Caldwell.
In IS89, the Uev. David Stewart, the present incumbent, was ordained
their first minister.
From the period of
the Reformation, 24th August, 1560, at which date the Popes
jurisdiction in Scotland was finally and formally abolished, till
1862, there had been no place of Roman Catholic worship in Neilston;
but in that year the present chapel of St. Thomas was opened, and
the Rev. James MNamara appointed their first pastor. This
gentleman, who was much respected in the district, was subsequently
removed to Pollokshaws, 1881, where he became Dean, and afterwards
Canon, of the Pro-Cathedral, Glasgow. He was succeeded by the Rev.
Bernard Tracy, 1881, from Pollokshaws, presently Dean Tracy of St.
Johns, Barrhead. The Rev. Dnncan Brown was his successor, and on
his removal to Hamilton he was succeeded, 1900, by the Rev. Aloysius
Reifenrath, the present incumbent.
In the Established
Church, the clergymen have been : the Rev. Mr. Salmon, the Rev. Mr.
Mungal, the Rev. Thomas Buchanan, and the Rev. Duncan Cameron, B.D.,
the present incumbent.
The United Secession Church : Rev. James Tait.
In the United Presbyterian, now the Arthurlie United Free Church,
the clergymen have been ordained in the following order : the Rev.
Mr. Lowe, the Rev. William Clark, M.A. ; and the Rev. Duncan S.
Brown, M.A., the Rev. J. G. Clark, M.A., present incumbent.
In what was the Free, hut now the South United Free Church, the
succession of ministers has been: the Rev. Mr. Salmon (this
gentleman came out of the Established Church, Barrhead, at the
Disruption in 1843, and was consequently the first pastor of the
Free ('hurch there); the Rev. Mr. Stewart succeeded him; the Rev.
Ivy M'Lachlan being his successor; the Rev. William Young, the
The Evangelical Union Congregational Church.The succession of
clergymen in this church has been : the Rev. Mr. M'Callum, the Ilev.
Mr. Davidson, father of Davidson the poet, the Rev. Mr. Andrew, who
was translated to Dundee; the Rev. Edward Bruce Kirk, the present
incumbent (this gentleman has a very extensive knowledge of
astronomy, on which subject he is frequently engaged as a lecturer).
The Wesleyan Church.In this church the clergymen are changed every
three years. The succession hitherto has been: the Rev. Mr. Butcher,
the Rev. C. M. Weeks; the Rev. W. F. Howard.
St. Johns Roman Catholic Chapel, Prior Park.This church was
solemnly opened on the 17th October, 1841, and has sitting
accommodation for 800 persons. The succession of clergymen has been
: Rev. Fr. Bremner, founder, 1841; Rev. Jas. Purcell, appointed at
opening, 18411845 (church opened by Bishop Murdoch), built school,
1842; Rev. John Sheedy, 1845-1858, built presbytery house ; Rev.
Thos. Keane, 18581869, built Neilston Chapel, 1861-2 (opened 1862,
by Bishop Murdoch; Rev. John MGinnes, 1869-1873; Rev. Thos.
Frederick Carlin, 1873-1893 Rev. Bernard (now Dean) Tracy,
1893, present incumbent, with Revs. Fr. Henry Edgar and Fr.
Medical Profession of Neilston.
The members of the
medical profession who have practised, or are now in practice in
Neilston, are :
Dr. William Young, a native of the town. This gentleman removed to
Glasgow, where he became eminent in his profession.
Dr. Charles Ritchie. This gentleman also went to Glasgow, where he
obtained considerable eminence. Dr. Ritchie contributed an article
to the G'lasgoiv Medical Journal for August, 1828, entitled,
Remarks on the Medical Topography of the Parish of Neilston.
Dr. Craig, Dr. Jas. Wallace, Dr. Ferguson, Dr. William Wilson, Dr.
Thomas Young (brother of the above William Young); Dr. Dunlop (this
gentleman removed to Greenock); Dr. Lambert, Dr. Kidd, Dr. George
Smith, Dr. James Mason (this gentleman removed to England).
Presently in practice there are: David Pride, M.D. and J.P./and his
son, Wallace Ainsworth Pride, M.B. and C.M.
Medical Profession of Barrhead.
Members of the
medical profession who have practised, or are now in practice in
Barrhead, are :
Dr. John Brown, Dr. T. C. Adam, and Dr. Robert Colquhoun.
Dr. Joseph Bell, a native of the town, who, after having been in
Barrhead for several years, removed to Glasgow, where he gained a
high reputation, and for many years was Lecturer on Materia Medica
in Andersons College, and Clinical Lecturer at the Royal Infirmary,
where he was one of the physicians.
Dr. Thomas Young, of Neilston, also carried 011 practice in Barrhead.
John M'Kinlay, M.D.; Dr. MAulay ; Robert Corbett, M.D.; Dr.
Anderson; Dr. Lambert (also of Neilston); David Ligat, M.B. and C.M.
(this gentleman removed to London); Dr. James Mason (removed from
Neilston, and subsequently to England) and Dr. Turner.
The present practitioners are: Dr. John M'Kinlay, J.P. (son of the
above Dr. M'Kinlay) ; Robert Corbett, M.B. and C.M. (son of the
above Dr. Corbett); Dr. Allan MLeod, Dr. Calderwood, Dr. Davidson.
Writers, Past and Present, in
notary public; Mr. Auld, Mr. Matthew Anderson, writer and banker;
Mr. Robertson, W.S.; Mr. Alexander Robertson-Ferguson, writer and
banker; Mr. John Anderson ; Mr. Robert A. Doak, M.A.; David Hunter.
Writers, Past and Present, in
Mr. Matthew Anderson,
of Neilston, writer and banker; Mr. Archibald Brownlie, writer and
banker; Mr. Joseph Watson, writer and banker; Mr. William Fife, Mr.
Jas. B. Paton, Mr. John MKinlay, Mr. Robert Stewart (also bankers)
; Mr. Pattison (who is also Burgh Fiscal) ; Mr. Duncan Watson.
Teachers, Past and Present, of
Mr. Eadie ; Mr. John
Gardner, M.A., was appointed parochial schoolmaster in 1812, which
office he continued to hold till 18G2, when he resigned. He was a
superior scholar and a very successful teacher. It is curious to
note, as in striking contrast to the interest taken in educational
matters in the present day, that the number of scholars receiving
tuition when he retired was 92. His retiring allowance was £23 6s.
8d., being two-thirds of his salary at the time, with a further
yearly sum of £15, being a sum equal to the annual value of his
dwelling-house and yard.
Mr. William Paton was appointed his successor on 1st September,
1862. This gentleman died in 1869, aged sixty-two years.
Mr. Duncan Martin Doak, J.P., was appointed his successor, in 1869.
He was a gentleman of great energy and organizing power ; and during
his incumbency the national system of compulsory education was
introduced into parochial schools in 1872, which had the effect of
revolutionising the educational methods of our country, greatly
increasing the number of scholars, and enlarging the school
accommodation. Mr. Doak died in 1905, when
Mr. D. G. Nicolson, who was at the time headmaster in the Board
school in Uplawmoor, was translated to Neilston school. For the
first time in the experience of any of the public schools in the
parish, a venture was made, Christmas, 1906, by the issue,
quarterly, of a magazine, under the designation of Neilston Public
School Magazine, which is under the editorship of the headmaster,
and is to be supported by the writings of the children of the school
as far as possible. The journal gives promise of being a highly
Teachers in Barrhead.
Until the year 1876,
Barrhead, if not entirely without, was very inadequately supplied
with regular school accommodation. But in that year, by a voluntary
effort on the part of the principal inhabitants of the town, this
defect was made up, and a school of quite a superior character was
erected and provided for; and Mr. Rodger, the present esteemed
teacher, was appointed master, 1870. With the introduction of the
national system of education in 1872, this school was taken over by
the School Board, under the management of which it has been very
greatly enlarged, and, since 1906, with full equipment and special
staff of teachers, has become the centre of the Higher Grade
education, with Mr. Rodger as headmaster. This gentleman retired in
In order to meet the educational wants of the greatly-increased
population of the burgh, two additional large schools have been
erected Cross-Arthurlie School, headmaster, Mr. Ferguson; and
Grahamston School, headmaster, Mr. M'Conochie, M.A.each school
being thoroughly provided as to staff, space, and other
requirements, in accordance with the Education Code.
There is also a large and thoroughly efficient school attached to
St. Johns Roman Catholic Chapel, Darnley Road. At the opening of
the new addition to this school, on 1st September, 1905, the Rev.
Dean Tracy said the school from which they were now withdrawing was
opened in Water Road in 1S42, and had the honour of being the first
school built in Barrhead.
Teachers in Uplawmoor.
Previous to the
Education Act of 1872 coming into force, education in this village
was placed upon no very secure or satisfactory basis. There had
almost always been a kind of adventure school in the village, and
the number of teachers that passed through it was very considerable,
mostly Divinity students, there only for a year or twoMr. Caldwell,
Mr. Thos. Sproul, Mr. Dove, Mr. Craig (Dominie Craig) Mr. Kidd, Mr.
Pattison, and Mr. Crow. But, about 1858, a committee of the
inhabitants and surrounding farmers took upon themselves to collect
the money necessary to pay a teacher, and the late Colonel Mure
generously granted a school-house and a cottage for the teacher to
reside in ; and when the premises were ready for opening, the late
Mr. R. C. B. Watt was appointed schoolmaster, he being the first
certificated teacher in the village. This gentleman saw the
Education Act introduced, and continued as headmaster under the
School Board for many years in the new and enlarged school; but in
1890 he retired on the age limit, and died in Pollokshaws, to which
he had removed in 1907. Mr. Watt was succeeded in the headmastership
by Mr. D. G. Nicolson, who, on being transferred to Neilston, was
succeeded by Mr. John Little. He retired in 1910, and was succeeded
by Mr. Young from Barrhead.
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