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The Aberdeen Doctors
Appendix III - The Aberdeen Doctors

[I am indebted for the following biographical notices of the "Doctors" to the Editors of Bishop Forbes' Funeralls, Gordon's Scots Affairs, and Spalding's Troubles, to Irving's Lives of Scottish Writers, and Wodrow.]


Dr. John Forbes of Corse, the well-known son of Bishop Patrick Forbes, by his wife Lucretia, daughter of David Spens of Wormiston in Fifeshire, was perhaps the most learned theologian whom Scotland has produced. (B. Forbes' Funeralls.)

During the unhappy "Troubles" of the seventeenth century, the city of Aberdeen may not inappropriately be said to have been the Oxford of Scotland, whether we regard the attachment of the great body of the citizens to the Royal party, or the learning and abilities of the eminent persons who, by the provident care of Bishop Patrick Forbes, were found, at the breaking out of the Civil War, occupying its pulpits and academic chairs. The effect of their Episcopal teaching was not evanescent. In later times, when an attempt was made by the Civil Power to blot that Church from the face of Scotland,—deserted and forsaken by her members in many parts of the country land particularly by those of the higher classes,—she found her chief stay and support, till the pressure of penal legislation was lightened, among the humble peasantry of Aberdeenshire.

Those famous Divines of the seventeenth century, " the Aberdeen Doctors," who made so remarkable and powerful a stand in argument against the Covenanters, have been celebrated by Clarendon (Hist, of Rebell. Oxford, 1826, vol. i. p. 145), and Burnet (Life of Bishop Bedell, Preface), and the excellence of their characters, and the eminence of their abilities and erudition admitted by writers of all parties (Funeralls of Bishop Forbes, p. 6).

The following account of the arrival of Covenanting Commissioners in Aberdeen in 1638, and of their reception there, is contained in the History of Scots Affairs from M.DC.XXXVII. to M.DC.XLI., by James Gordon, Parson of Rothie-may, published by the Spalding Club, and edited with great care and ability. Its author has been thus described: " Though a firm loyalist, and perhaps favourable to a moderate Episcopacy, he was hostile to the Liturgy and the Book of Canons, as well on account of their matter, as on account of the way in which they were introduced" (Preface). The work is a valuable contribution to the historical literature of Scotland :—

"I must now leave the Commissioner (Marquess of Hamilton) upon his journey towards Greenwitch, wher the King was at that tyme, and for a whyle remove the stage to the northe of Scottland, wher the most considerable opposition for learning and armes that the Covenant was lycke to meete with, stood as yet unbrocken. For how soone

Hamiltoune was gone for England, with Covenanters, who knew how much it concerned them to cleare the coast in thes places by appoyntment from the Tables, sent towards Aberdeen a select number for to invite such of the ministry and gentrye in to the Covenant, who either by Huntlyes authority or example, or by the Doctors of Aber-deenes means wer withheeld. Thes of greatest note who went about that expedition, wer James Grahame, Earle of Montrosse, and Arthur Erskin of Scottish Craig, brother to the Earle of Marre ; Lord Couper; Alexander, Master of Forbesse ; Sir Robert Graham, Morfey ; Sir Thomas Burnett, Leyes. Of the ministry, wer sent Mr. Alexander Henderson, minister (then) at Lewchars in Fife ; Mr. David Dickson, minister at Irving, in the west ; and Mr. Andrew Cant, minister at Pettsligo, in Buchan, in the shyre of Aberdeene ; Mr. James Guthry, afterwards minister at Strivling: Who came (with others good-willers to the worke) to Aberdeen upon Frydaye, July twentieth (1638), in the afternoon. But no sooner wer they alighted from their horses but the doctors, and divinitye professors, and ministers of Aberdeen, (who befor had lowde advertishments of ther progresse), did presently send unto the ministers some Queries concerning the Covenant, professing withall that if they could satisfee their doubtes, they would not refoose to joyne in Covenant with them, and protested that they wishd the floorishing of relligion as much as anye, and that the reason whye they had sent them that paper was that it might be knowne to ther bretherne that, if hithertoo they had not founde themselves inclynde to enter in Covenant with them, they and all men might know that it was not without weightye causes, which concerned their consciences in all, which they both desyred and wer willing to be resolved. They who sent them the challendge wer, Dr. Johne Forbesse of Corse, doctor and professor of divinitye in Aberdeen ; Dr. Alexander Scrogye, minister at Old Aberdeen ; Dr. William Leslye, principall of the King's Colledge of Old Aberdeene, and professor of divinitye; Dr. Robert Barron, minister at Aberdeene and professour of divinitye in the Marischall College of New Aberdeene ; Dr. James Sibbald, minister at New Aberdeene ; Dr. Alexander Rosse, minister at New Aberdeene. True it is, that Dr. William Guild, minister at Aberdeen, did lyckewayes sub-scrybe the Queeres with the rest; but he fell off and subscrybed the Covenant, alone of all the rest, befor ever the disput came the lenth of a replye ; therefor he is not to be added upon anye just accompt. Ther is no questione but the three Covenanter ministers were ill matched for ther abilityes with the maist pairt of thes Aberdeene doctors, and it was impar congressus A chilli ; yet did they not declyne the challendge, and ther for returned unto them ane ansuer in wrytte to-morrow after ther arryvall, Saturdaye, July twenty-first. Nor needed the ansuer they sent to the doctors any long tyme to consult upon it, for it was but a kynde of declinator of the dispute and a smoothing of matters, and something worse then silence. Nor wer they come to Aberdeen with ane intention to dispute it with ther pennes ; the bussnesse was to trye whom they could fetche to ther partye by allurments and pairtly by that terrible argument ab incommodo, which moves many to swallow downe thinges contrare to knowledge and conscience. Yet ther rethoricke drew off non but Dr. Guild, a man of little learning in comparison of most of the rest, and some others who wer inclynd ther waye befor ther comming. Or, if they gott ane acessione of other proselittes, they were some poor mechanickes or of the faeminine gender ; yet, all putt together, not able for to macke anything lycke a pairtye ther."—Vol. i. pp. 82, 83.

Among these learned divines the name of Dr. John Forbes of Corse has ever been conspicuous. Dr. George Garden, in the Dedication to Queen Anne of the folio edition of Dr. Forbes' works, published by the Wetsteins at Amsterdam in 1702-3, informs us that he stood at the head of the Doctors. The head, however, in this literary conflict has been claimed for various of the other combatants on the same side. Dr. Baron has been placed by the indefatigable Chalmers " at their head " (Caledonia, vol. i. p. 884), thus confirming the words of Middleton (Appendix to Archbishop Spottiswoode's History, p. 29), that Dr. Baron " bare the greatest share of that famous debate, anno 1638, between the Doctours of Aberdene and the Covenanters." It is to be remarked, however, that in Mr. Maidment's Catalogues of Scottish Writers (Edinburgh, 1833, p. 131), we find a statement in a letter from Bishop Sage to Bishop Gillan in these terms: " The demands, replys, and duplys of the Doctors of Aberdeen, as I was informed when there, though subscribed by six, were all formed and digested by Dr. Seely (a provincialism for Lesley), Principal of the Old Town College." The fair inference from all this would seem to be, that these were the three leading members of the learned confraternity, to either of whom it is impossible to assign the first place.

Dr„ John Forbes oJ Corse was born on the and of May 1503, and by the death of an older brother in 1625, became the heir of the family. After leaving school, he studied in King's College, Aberdeen, and subsequently at Heidelberg and other foreign seminaries. He returned to Scotland in 1619 an accomplished scholar and theologian, and remarkable for his sincere and fervent piety. The same year he was, with universal approbation, appointed Professor of Divinity in King's College, Aberdeen, the duties of which he discharged with great applause. He took part in the discussions which followed the adoption into the Church of the Five Articles of Perth, and published in defence of these regulations his Iremcam, addressed to " the lovers of peace and truth in the Church oi Scotland." In the discomfiture of the Royal party after the famous Glasgow Assembly oi 163S, when the Bishops were " excommunicated " and " deposed," he of course shared (Bishop Forbes' Funeralls, p. 9).

The Covenanters were anxious to join to their party a man of Forbes' character and erudition. The proceedings set on foot, for the purpose of depriving him of his chair, were not summary, but failing at last to satisfy the dominant party, he was ejected. " He had purchased two houses," says Dr. Irving, a Presbyterian writer, " adjoining to the College, and had assigned one of them to the Professor of Divinity, and the other to the Cantor, a person on the foundation. In the deed of conveyance he neglected to reserve to himself a liferent oi the Professor's house ; nor can it be mentioned without regret and indignation, that he was obliged to vacate it for his successor in office"(Lizes of Scottish Writers, Edin., Svo, 1839, vol. ii. p. 50).

Still refusing to subscribe the Covenant, he was forced into exile. He passed a few years in Holland, and was allowed to return to Scotland in 1646. He died in 164S at his country house of Corse, and was buried in the churchyard of Leochel, having been some time before his death refused permission by the Presbytery of Aberdeen to have his bones laid beside those of his father and wife in the Cathedral Church. No monument marks his place of sepulture. " His Diary, or, as he himself entitles it, ' Spiritual Exercises/ in his own handwriting, is still preserved at Fin try House, the residence of Sir John Forbes of Craigievax, who now represents the family of Corse. It extends from the 3rd of February 1624 to the close of 1647, and contains many interesting particulars of private history, outlines of sermons, expositions of passages of Scripture, meditations, and prayers, all characteristic of the sound learning and habitual piety of its author. It was included in Dr. Garden's edition of his works but in a Latin cress, which much impairs, in many cases, its highly impressive phraseology " (JYfir Statistical Account oj Scotland, Lc-ochd, and Cushnie, p. 111S). By his wife Soete Roosboom (Sweet Rosetree), a native of Holland, he had nine children. He was survived by only one of them, a son, who, in the words of Dr. Garden in his copious life of Forbes, prefixed to the edition of his Works above mentioned, was " prcziiorum ha:ii rero erudi-iionis et virktium herns," the heir of his father's property, but not of his learning and virtues (Vita R. T\ J oh. Forocsii d Corse, § ex.). He was named George, and married a daughter of Kennedy of Kermuck, an ancient family (now extinct), in which the office of Constable of Aberdeen vras hereditary.

This title of Constable of Aberdeen was retained by them till the end of the sixteenth century. George Forbes and his wife had issue. (Lumsden's Genealogy of the Family of Forbes, with continuations,Inverness, 8vo, 1819, p. 22.)

The principal works of Forbes are : Theologies Moralis Libri decern in quibus Preecepta Decologi exponuntur, et varies circa Dei legem et specialia ejusdem Prescepta Controversies dissolvuntur, et casus conscienticz explicantur ; his Irenicum already mentioned ; Liber de Cura et residentia Pastorali; Instructions Historico-Theologicce,characterised by Bishop Burnet as " a work which, if he had finished it, and had been suffered to enjoy the privacies of his retirement and study to give us the second volume, had been the greatest treasure of theological learning that perhaps the world has yet seen " (The Life of William Bedell, D.D., Bishop of Kilmore in Ireland, London, 1685, 8vo, Preface E). He also wrote a work entitled A Peaceable Warning to the Subjects in Scotland : Given in the Yeare of God 1638, Aberdene, Imprinted by Edw. Raban, the Yeare above written.


Robert Baron was a younger son of the family of Kinnaird in Fifeshire (Vita R. V. Joh. Forbesii a Corse, § xlii., prefixed to the Amsterdam folio edition of Forbes' Works, 1702-3 ; Sibbald's Hist, of Fife and Kinross, London, 8vo, 1803, p. 427, App.), and a brother of Dr John Baron,Principal of St.Salvador's College, St. Andrews, who did not show the same perseverance and consistency in resisting the Covenant all along manifested by his brother (Gordon's Hist, of Scots Affairs, published by the Spalding Club, Aberdeen, MDCCCXLI. v. ii. p. 5 ; Baillie's Letters and Journals, Edin. MDCCCXLI. v. ii. p. 98). The learned Professor of Divinity at Aberdeen was educated at St. Andrews, " where, as we learn from an anecdote preserved by Clementius, his early proficiency in learning attracted the notice of King James vi. : De ipso Authore ejusque vita et excessu plura fortasse alias trademus, si necessaria subsidia suppeditentur. Lubet interim hie attexere, quod a B.M. Parente meo notatum comperio, dum in An-dreapolitana Academia studiorum causa versaretur. Narrat ergo in Pugillaribus suis, nostrum hunc Baronium imberbem adhuc et admodum juvenem, Anno CI3Iq CXVII coram Rege Jacobo, et frequentissimo Auditorum ccetu, summa ingenii ac judicii dexteritate Disputationem sustinuisse de materia miscelli generis, maxime Politica. Regem inter haec vultu in Baronium defixo, singularem attentionem atque admirationem prae se tulisse. Tandem in verba erupisse, Baronium interrogasse ut sibi vellet exhibere demonstrationem certae cujasdam Theseos, (quae fuerit, non possum scire); qua ab Adolescente accepta, palam et ilium et illam laudavit, pluraque in eandem rem adjecit, omnia Latino sermone ; admirantibus cunctis, turn singularem Maximi Regis affectum et benevolentiam, turn ipsius Adolescentis miram jam ilia aetate sagacitatem ac promptitudinem " (Note by editors of Gordon's Scots Affairs, v. iii. p. 236). " After having for a short time professed Philosophy at St. Andrews, on the advancement of Patrick Forbes of Corse to the See of Aberdeen in i6i8,Baronsucceeded him in the cure of the parish of Keith, in the district of StrathjRa, in Banffshire, where he appears to have married, as his lady is described in a passage in Gordon's Scots Affairs, as having been " borne " in Strathisla. In 1624 he was appointed one of the clergy of the city of Aberdeen, and was nominated the first Professor of Theology in Marischal College, on the institution of that chair in 1625 " (Vita R. V. Joh. Forbesii a Corse, § xlii.; Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen, v. ii. p. 119).

Having taken a very prominent part in the controversy against the leaders of the Covenant, as already mentioned, he only escaped formal expulsion from his chair, if not danger to his life, by voluntary exile. He fled to Berwick, and died there in the month of August 1639 (Spalding's History of the Troubles in Scotland, Bannatyne Club edition, Edin. MDCCCXXVIII. vol. i. pp. 105, 106, 107). Baron some time before his death had been elected to fill the See of Orkney, but was never consecrated (Keith'sCatalogue of Scottish Bishops, Bishop Russel's edition, Edin. 1824, p. 227). His decease is thus with commendable feeling alluded to by the restless and conceited but acute and energetic Principal Baillie : "My heart was only sore for good Dr. Barron; after he had been in London printing a treatise for the King's authoritie in Church affairs, I suspect too much to his country's prejudice, he returned heavilie diseased of his gravell; he lay not long at Berwick till he died. Some convulsions he had, wherein the violent opening of his mouth, with his own hand or teeth, his tongue was somewhat hurt; of this symtome very caseable, more din was made by our people than I could have wished of so meeke and learned a person " (Letters and Journals, Edin. MDCCCXLI. vol. i. p. 221).

Baron is described by Bishop Sydserf in the preface to the " Considerationes Modestce et Pacificce " of William Forbes, first Bishop of Edinburgh (sub fine), as " vir in omni Scholastica Theologia, et omni literatura versatissimus," and as he died before the rancour of political and religious animosity rose to its height, writers of all parties have united in praise of his virtues and learning. A number of these testimonies are collected in a copious biographical note by the editors of Gordon's Scots Affairs, vol. iii. p. 235, where a list of his writings, both printed and in manuscript, will be found (Bishop Forbes' Funeralls, p. 28).

Arthur Johnston, the celebrated Latin poet, addressed various of his pieces to him, and in the following well-turned epigram has celebrated his praises and those of William Forbes, Bishop of Edinburgh: " De Gulielmo Forbesio et Roberto Baronio, Theologis Abredonensibus " :—

" Nil quod Forbesio, Christi dum pascit ovile Nil quod Baronio comparet, orbis habet. Eloquio sunt ambo pares ; discrimen in uno est, Quo lubet, hie mentes pellicit, ille rapit."

(Eppigrammata Aberdonice, 1632, p. 14.)

The same poet has two epigrams on Baron's discussion with George Turnbull, a learned Jesuit. We subjoin the latter of the two : " De DiatribaRoberti Baronii D. Theologi ad versus Trumbullium :—

" En sacra Baronius movet et Trumbullius arma, Pene sub Icariis natus uterque rotis, Ambo Sacerdotes, divinae Palladis ambo

Artibus et calami dexteritate pares, Hoc discrimen habes : magno molimine causam, Hie agit Ausonii Prtesulis, ille Dei."

(Ibid. p. 13.)

The following notices relating^) Dr. Baron, and very characteristic of the excited state of religious feeling in Scotland after the well-known Glasgow Assembly of 1638, in which the Bishops were " excommunicated," are interesting:—

Baillie writes to Spang in September 1640: " Our Assemblie at Aberdeen was kept with great peace. We found great averseness in the hearts of manie from our course albeit little in countenance . . . Poor Baroun, otherways ane ornament of our Nation, we found has been much in mnltis the Canterburian way ; great knavery and intercourse with his Grace (Archbishop Laud) we found among them, and yet all was hid from us that they could" (Letters and Journals, Edin. MDCCCXLI. v. i. p. 248).

The Parson of Rothiemay tells us when narrating the proceedings of the same Assembly at Aberdeen : "Dr. Robert Barron was deade the yeare befor, yet somewhat must be done concerning him. They thought him not orthodoxe in some of his tenents ; therfor, such of his papers as wer unprinted they must see them, and they must be censurd and purgd. His widdow had reteered to the Strayla, wher she was borne ; therfor order was sent to (General) Monroe with all expeditione, for to searche the place wher she stayd, and send her-selfe, and such papers of her husbands as she had besyde her (if ther should be any founde), to Aberdeen under a sure gward. This was readily obeyd by Monroe, who made the gentlwoman prisoner at the Assemblyes instance, and sent her, and all such papers as could be founde besyde her, under a safe convoy to Aberdeen ; whither she was no sooner come but she must delyver the key of her husband's librarye, that it might be searched jtfor .manuscripts and letters. Some letters wer founde wryttne by the Bishopp of Rosse, concerning the printing of the Booke of Canons, and a timber piece of tailly du pierre, whereupon was cut the Kings armes, to be printed into the frontispeece of that booke. Thes letters wer publickly reade in that Assemblye, as if they had imported something very extraordinar; but ther was none present to ansuer for them. Only the printer, Edward Raban, ane Englishman, was calld upon ; but because they could not formally challendge him for printing the Bishopps canons, therfor it was objected that he had manked ane common prayer in a new editione of the psalm booke, which some yeares befor he had printed in a large octavo. It was a forme of ane evning prayer, whence he had tackne of the conclusione for want of paper, it being the closure of the last sheete of the booke. Ther wer other coppyes of that prayer readde, and they wold needs have the printer confesse that he had throwne away all that clause out of designe, or by warrant of some of the ministers of Aberdeen. The printer protested solemnly that what he did was of himself, and was done for want of paper ; and simply that if they wer offended, he craved them humble pardone ; that he could instance that, except in that coppy, he had never omitted to print the conclusione of that evning prayer in any other editione of the psalmes in meeter, and should never omitte it againe. So, after a rebooke for his rashnesse in curtailing a prayer, he gott licence to be gone, without furder censure."—Gordon's Scots Affairs, vol. iii. pp. 235-239.

At the" Restoration, the merits of Baron were not forgotten : two hundred pounds were presented by Parliament to his " relict and children." (Acts of Pari, of Scotland,Edin. folio. MDCCCXXX., vol. vii. App. p. 78.—E.)

The following is as complete a list of Dr. Baron's writings as can be furnished :—

1. Philosophise Theologise Ancillans, hoc est, Pia et

sobria explicatio Qusestionum Philosophicarum in Disputationibus Theologicis subinde occur-rentium. Avctore Roberto Baronio, Philosophise Prof essore, in illustri CollegioS.Salvatoris. Andreapoli, Excudit Eduardus Rabanus, Uni-versitatis Typographus, 1621. Cum Privilegio. 8vo. Oxoniae, 1641. 8vo. Amstelodami, 1649. i2mo. " Et," says Antonius Clementius, " in Belgio ssepius, in 12."—The first part of the work is dedicated to the Archbishop of St. Andrews ; the second to Alexander Gladstane, Archdeacon of St. Andrews ; and the third to Sir John Scot of Scotstarvet. Prefixed to the volume are two commendatory poems; the one addressed: " Dr. R. Baronio, quondam discipulo suo," and subscribed, " H. Danskinus, amceniorum literarum professor Andreap ; " the other signed " Iacobus Gle^ius, humaniorum literarum professor Taoduni. ' Henry Danskin is one of the Contributors to the Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum.

2. Disputatio de Authoritate S. Scripturse, seu de

Formali Objecto Fidei. Abredoniae, 1627, 4to. This treatise, says Dr. Garden, " ediderat Baronius cum S.S.Theologiae Doctor renunciatus est." Vita Johannis Forbesii, § xliii. It was assailed by George Turnbull, a learned member of the Society of Jesus, and professor of theology at Pont-a-Mousson, in a work published at Rheims, in 1628, with the title of De Imaginario Circulo Pontificio, contra Baronium.

3. Ad Georgii Turnbulli Tetragonismum Pseudo-

graphum Apodixis Catholica, sive Apologia pro Disputatione de Formali Objecto Fidei. Abredonias, 1631, 8vo. This work is dedicated to Bishop Patrick Forbes, and commendatory verses by Dr. Arthur Johnstone and Dr. William Johnstone are prefixed to it. Turnbull published in reply, Sententia Juris in Calumni-atorrem contra Baronium. Reims, 1632. " How much," says Sir Thomas Urquhart, " the Protestant faith oweth to Doctor Robert Baron for his learned treatises (against Turn-bull the Jesuite), de objecto formali fidei, I leave to be judged by those that have perused them." Tracts, p. 122. Arthur Johnstone has two copies of verses, " De diatriba Roberti Baronii D. Theologi adversus Trumbullium." Art. Jonstoni, Poemata, p. 376.

4. Disputatio Theologica, De vero discrimine peccati

mortalis et venialis deque impossibilitate implendi legem Dei ob quotidianam peccatorum venialium incursionem. Cui Annexa est Appendix de possibilitate prsestandi legem con-sideratam secundum 67reuceiav Evangelicam. Authore Roberto Baronio, Ecclesiaste Abre-donensi, S.S. Theologia Doctore, et ejusdem in Academia Marescallana Professore. Abredonise, Excudebat Edwardus Rabanus, 1633, 8vo. Amstelodami, 1649, i2mo. This treatise is dedicated by the author to Sir Paul Menzies of 16 ^•nmundie, the Provost, and to the otnen magistrates and the Town Council of Aberdeen. It was printed at their charge ; the expense, it appears, amounting to nearly one hundred and eleven pounds Scots, of which twenty-one pounds were paid for the paper, " sevyn rym coft from Robert Cruickshank," Aberdeen Council Register, vol. lii. p. 115, and the City Treasurer's Accounts for 1633. The work called forth an answer from William Chalmers or Camerarius, a member of the Society of Jesus.

5. A sermon, Preached at the Funerall of the R.R.

Father in God, Patricke Forbes, Late Lord Bishop of Aberdene, in the Cathedrall Church of that Dioces, the 9 of Aprill 1635, by Robert Baron, Doctor and Professor of Divinitie, and one of the ministers of God's Word in the Burgh of Aberdene. This is printed in Bishop Forbes' Funeralls, pp. 1-58.

6. Rob. Baronii, Tbeologi ac Philosophi celeberrimi,

Metaphysica Generalis. Accedunt nunc primum quae supererant ex Parte Speciali. Omnia ad UsumTheologiasaccommodata. OpusPostumum Ex museo Antonii Clementii Zirizaei. Londini, Ex Officina J. Redmayne, n. d., i2mo. The preface is dated from Ziriczee in Zealand, the fifteenth of February, 1657, and the work was doubtless published in that year. Dr. Irving refers to an edition in 8vo. published in Ley den also in 1657. And a third, in i2mo., appeared at London in the following year, bearing this imprint : Londini, Ez Officina R. Danielis et vaeneunt apud Th. Robinson et Ri Davis Bibliopolas Oxonienses. 1658. Dr. Watt in his Bibliotheca Britannica, enumerates a fourth edition, at Cambridge, in 1685. 8vo. There is preserved in a volume of tracts, in the library of The Marischall College (N. 5, 10) a fragment consisting of sixteen pages in small quarto, evidently printed by Edward Raban, and, so far as can be determined from internal evidence, written by Dr. Baron. It is entitled—

7. An Epitaph or Consolatorie Epistle, upon the

death of the sayd young man ; Written to his mother, by M. R. B., Preacher of the Evangel.

The works which Baron left behind him in manuscript seem to have been numerous. The following

are enumerated by Dr. Garden :—

8. Disputationes Theologicas de Triplici Hominis

Statu. This is preserved in the library of The King's College, and extends to two hundred and twelve pages.

9. Isagoge ad saniorem doctrinam de Praedestina-

tione et de Articulis annexis.

10. Tractatus de Antecedaneis seu Dispositionibus praeviis ad Justificationem, deque vero dis-crimine Vocationis et Sanctificationis.

11. Disputationes quaedem Theologicae: la. De regula Fidei principali. (This is preserved in the library of The King's College.) II a. De visibili et ordinario Controversiarum Iudice. Ill a. De monarchia, Suprematu, et Iudiciaria Infallibiltate Pontificis Romani. IV a. De Ecclesia Christi in terris militante. The contents of this last tract, which the author left unfinished, are more particularly indicated by Garden, Vita Johannis Forbesii, § xliii.

12. Septenarius Sacer de Principiis et Causis Fidei Catholicas. This is preserved in the library of

The King's College, and eHends to one hundred and twenty-six pages.

Besides these, Charteris (who calls him " very learned in the scholastick theology, and deservedly judged to be inferior to none of the Protestants in that kind of learning ") attributes to Baron other two works : " De Scientia Media " and " Disputatio de Universalitate Mortis Christi, contra Rheter-fortem." Maidment's Catalogues of Scottish Writers, p. 23. But these are, perhaps, merely parts of some of the treatises enumerated by Garden. The latter work was directed against the well-known Samuel Rutherford, who, in his letters from Aberdeen, makes several allusions to his controversy with Baron : " Dr. Barron hath often disputed with me, especially about Arminian controversies, and for the Ceremonies : three yokings laid him by ; and I have not been troubled with him since : now he hath appointed a dispute before witnesses. . . . I am openly preached against in the pulpits, in my hearing, and tempted with Disputations by the Doctors, (especially by Dr. Baron in ceremoniall and arminian controversies, for all are corrupt here)." Mr. Rutherford's Letters. The Third Edition. Now divided in three Parts, pp. 48, 180, 221. Printed in the year 1675. 8vo.

13. Consilium Philosophicum. This occurs in an imperfect list of Baron's works prefixed to the edition of his Metaphysica Gcneralis, which appeared in London in 1658. The same catalogue mentions, among the printed works of Baron, " Metaphysica Generalis, cum Re-liquiis Partis Specialis,in 8,"alluding apparently to some less perfect edition of the Mctaphysica

Generalis than that to which the list was prefixed. Arthur Johnstone has addressed more than one of his poems to Dr. Baron : " Ad D. Robertum Baronium Theologum de obitu filioli" (A. Jonstoni, Poemata, p. 182), and " Ad Robertum Baronium " (Id. p. 308).


Dr. Sibbald was a son of the respectable family of Sibbald of Kier in the County of Kincardine. He was educated at Marischal College, Aberdeen, in which University he was nominated a Regent in 1619. (Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen, vol. ii. p. 118.) He was appointed one of the Clergy of the City in 1625, and faithfully and zealously discharged the duties of his cure till he was obliged to fly from Scotland in 1638. He returned next year, and we are told by Spalding " he was wiell-come, entered to his ministrie in Aberdein, and served ther for a whyle." He was ejected by the Presbyterian Assembly held at Aberdeen in 1640. Principal Baillie writes : " Dr. Sibbald in manie points of doctrine was found verie corrupt ; for the which we deposit him, and ordained him without quick satisfaction to be processed. This man was there of great fame ; it was laid on poor me to be all their examiner, and moderator to their process." (Letters and Journals, Bannatyne Club Edition, Edinburgh, MDCCCXLII., vol. i. p. 248.)

The Parson of Rothiemay has left us the following account of Dr. Sibbald's expulsion and character: " To Dr. James Sibbald it was objected befor the

Assembly that he had preached poynts of Armin-ianisme publickly in the pulpitt of New Aberdeen ; that speacking to one who was doing pennance upon the stoole of repentaunce, he had saide that if he had improved the grace givne him from God, he needed not to have fallne in that sinne, etc. Some of his private conferences to this purpose was objected. His accuser was Mr. Samwell Ruther-foord who, in former tymes, had been his hearer at such tymes as Mr. Samwell was confyned in Aberdeene ; finally that he refoosed to subscrybe the Covenant. His maine fault was, that he had opposed it, having had a hand in the Aberdeens querees ; that ruind him, though least objected. He spoke for himselfe, and deneyed Mr. Samwell's accusation ; but it was bootlesse, for, by vote of the Assembly, he was deposed, and he and Dr. Scroggye (if my memory faile not) ordered to be processed, if they subscrybe not the Covenant ; which seems to me to have been the cause why not long after he fledd to Ireland, and ther was placed minister at Dublin till his deathe. As for his Arminianisme objected to him, it was strainge they should accuse him for preaching that way, befor theye had condemned it in Glasgow Assembly, 1638 ; for after that, they could lay nothing of it to his charge ; nor did I ever heare him tainted with it, except so farr as Mr. Samwell Rutherfoord objected it ther, yet but—testis singularis. It will not be affirmed by his very enemyes, but that Dr. James Sibbald was ane eloquent and painefull preacher, a man godly, and grave, and modest, not tainted with any vice unbeseeming a minister, to whom nothing could in reason be objected, if you call not his ante-covenanting a cryme." (Gordon's Hist, of Scots Affairs, 1637-1641, published by the Bannatyne Club, Aberdeen, MDCCCXLI., vol. iii. pp. 228-230.)

Sibbald fell a victim to the plague' raging in Dublin during his assiduous and unremitting attention to the infected. His name appears among those of the Clergy oi Dublin who subscribed a declaration in favour of the Liturgy in 1647. (Bishop Mant's History of the Church in Ireland, vol. i. p. 591.)

He left a volume of posthumous sermons, published at Aberdeen in 1658. At the Restoration, two hundred pounds were voted by Parliament to the relict and children of Dr. Sibbald. (Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, folio, Edin. MDCCCXX., vol. vii. App. p. 78.) (Vita R. V. Joh. Forbesi a Corse, § 47, by Dr. Garden, prefixed to the Amsterdam edition of 1702-3, of Dr. Forbes, whole works ; Note by editors to Gordon's Scots Affairs, ad loc. cit.) He was one of the contributors to Bishop Patrick Forbes' Funeralls.


Dr. Scroggie owed his preferment in the Cathedral of Aberdeen to the discriminating favour of Bishop Patrick Forbes, who advanced him in 1621, from the charge of the parochial cure of Drumoak in the neighbourhood. As rector of this parish, and a member of the Chapter of Aberdeen, he will be found subscribing some of the official documents connected with the induction of Bishop Forbes to the See of Aberdeen in 1618. (Bishop Forbes' Funeralls, p. 79.) The Parson of Rothiemay gives us the following account of his deposition by the Committee of the Covenanting Assembly sitting at Aberdeen in 1640: " Dr. Alexander Scroggye his parishioners wer examined concerning his lyfe and his calling. It was objected unto him that he preached long upon one texte, that he was cold in his doctrine, and edifyd not his parishioners ; finally, that he refoosed to subscrybe the Covenant, evne then, though accused; and with little ceremony he was sentenced and deposed from his ministrye by the voice of the Assemblye, August fyrst. He could have gott qwarter for all his other faultes ; but his joyning in the queeres was unpardonable in ther eyes, who herein wer party as weall as judges to him and all the rest. I must vindicate him from the other aspersions ; To my knowledge, he was a man sober, grave, and painefull in his calling ; his insisting upon a text longe was never yet made, nor could be matter of accusatione to any, if the text wer materiall and the discourse pertinent, and not tautologicall, which his observes ever wer; and for his cold delyvery, his age might excuse it, it being long since observed that—

"Intererit multum, Davusne loquatur, an heros;
Maturusne senex, an adhuc florente juventa

For he was then of great age, which might weall have excused other omissions or escapes in his discipline which were impertinently objected, and, at farrest, could have pleaded only for a colleague to him, considering his numerouse and vast parosh, not to be paralelled in thes places, as extending not onlye over Old Aberdeen, but to the very portes of New Aberdeen, and a great pairt of/the countrey neerest Aberdeene." (Gordon's S1 ots Affairs, vol. iii. p. 226-227.) Baillie, in his account of the same Assembly, describes Scroggie as " ane old man, not verie corrupt, yet perverse in the Covenant and Service Book." (Letters and Journals, Edinburgh, MDCCCXLI., vol. i. p. 248.)

The following remarks regarding Dr. Scroggie, and his gradual submission to the Covenant, appear in the pages of the garrulous contemporary narrator Spalding, who, it would seem, was in the habit of attending divine service in the cathedral where he officiated. This may account for his very frequent notices of Dr. Scroggie, which are further interesting on account of the various curious circumstances characteristic of the times to which they refer (Bishop Forbes' Funeralls, p. 80) : " Doctor Scrogie gave the communion, upon Yeull (Christmas) day (1638), in Old Aberdein, notwithstanding the same was forbidden by the Assemblie acts." (History of the Troubles,Bannatyne Club edition, Edinburgh, MDCCCXXVIIL, vol. i. p. 85.) "Upon Sunday the 9®Rith of Aprile (1639), devotion be stranger ministers throw all the pulpits of New Aberdein, seeing their own ministers were fled and gone. The Nobles and others filled the churches. After sermon, intimation was made of the sentence of excommunication pronounced be Mr. Alexander Hendersone, moderator of the Assembly, against the Archbishops of St. Andrews and Glasgow, the Bishops of Edinburgh, Aberdein, Galloway, Ross, Dumblain, Brechine, charging all men not to hear their preaching nor bear them company, under paines of censure of the kirk. Mr. Patrick Leslie minister at Skeyne (Doctor Scroggie being fled and obscure) preached this samen Sunday in the Old toun, and made the like intimation out of the pulpit of the same sentence" (Ibid. p. 116). "Wednesday the 19th of Aprile (1639) ane solemne fast was keeped throw New Aberdein, but none in Old Aberdein, for Dr. Scroggie durst not be sein. Both before and afternoon, there was preaching and prayers. Mr. Robert Douglas minister at Kirkcaldie preached before noon. After sermon he read out the covenant, and caused all the haill toune's people con veined, who had not yet subscrived, to stand up before him in the kirk, both man and woman ; and the men subscrived this covenant. Thereafter, both man and woman was urged to swear be their uplifted hands to God, that they did subscrive and swear this covenant willingly, freely, and from their hearts, and not for any fear or dread that should happen. Syne the kirk scailled and dissolved. But the Lord knows, how thir toune's people were brought under perjurie for plaine fear, and not from a willing mind, by tyranny and oppression of thir covenanters, who compelled them to swear and subscrive, suppose they knew it was against their hearts" (Ibid. pp. 116, 117). " Upon the first day of December (1639), being Sunday, Doctor Scroggie celebrated the communion in Old Aberdein. He, in his sermon, begane now to exhort the people to obey the ordinances of the kirk, with much such matter. Allwayes, the people received the samen sitting (Doctor Forbes took it after the samen manner), and no kneiling was there, as was wont to be. The minister gave it to two or three nearest him, then ilk ane took his own communion bread out of the bassen, and in like manner the minister gave the cup to the two nearest him, syne ilk ane gave the cup to his neighbour. Strange to see such alterations ! One year giveing the communion to the people kneiling, by vertue of ane act of parliament founded upon Perth articles ; and that self same ministers to give the communion after another manner, sitting, at the command of the General Assembly, unwarranted by the king " (Ibid. p. 179). " Sunday the 7th of June (1640), Doctor Scroggie preached in Old Aberdein, and celebrat the communion ; but there was scarce 4 burds of communicants, in respect of thir troubles " (Ibid. p. 210). " Ye heard before, how sundrie ministers were summoned be ordinance to compear before ane committee holden at Aberdein the 7th of July. Well, this committee was holden, wher Mr. John Forbes, parsone of Auchterless, was simpliciter deprived ; Mr. John Ross, minister at Brass, Mr. Richard Maitland, minister at Aberchirder, Mr. Alexander Strachan, minister at the Chappell of Garioch, Doctor Sibbald, one of the ministers at Aberdein, Mr. Andrew Logie, parson of Rayne, with some others, were all suspended frae preaching till the third day of the nixt general assembly. Doctor

Forbes of Corss, and DoctorjScrogM, both attending, yet none of them at this time was called, except Doctor Scroggie, he was with the rest also suspended" (Ibid. p. 224). " Doctor Scroggie is accused for not subscriveing the covenant; besydes, for concealing of adulteries within his parish and some fornications, abstracting of the beidmen's rents in Old Aberdein, with some other particulars maliciously given up against him ; and whereupon Mr. Thomas Sandilands, commissar (his extreme enemy), Mr. Thomas Lillie, and Thomas Mercer were brought in as witnesses, after Doctor Scroggie's answer to ilk article was first wrytten ; But shortlie upon the first day of August, be this committee was he deposed and simpliciter deprived, and preached no more at Old Aberdein nor elsewhere " (Ibid. p. 233). "Sunday, being Whytsunday and 13th of June, Mr. William Strachan gave the communion in Old Aberdein, as before, the second time. Doctor Scroggie, notwithstanding he was forbidden out of pulpit to come to the table, as he had not subscrived the covenant, took his communion ; whilk bred some fear to the minister, doubtfull to refuise him the communion or to give it ; but no impediment was made to him, and so he received it " (Ibid. pp. 326, 327). " Wednesday the 23rd of June (1641), Doctor Scroggie, ane old reverend preached at this kirk, is now, sore against his will, compelled to quitt his dwelling house in Old Aberdein, and yeards pleasantly planted for the most part be himselfe ; so he removes this day his wife, bairnes, haill familie, insight plenishing, goods and gear furth and from the samen, and delivers the keys to Mr. William Strachan, that he may enter, alse-weill to the bigging as to the pulpite. Himselfe transported all to Ballogie, and took ane chamber for his comeing and goieng in New Aberdein. Thus is this wise, famous, learned man handled in his old age. Allwayes, it is said, the said Mr. William Strachan payed him for his planting 400 merks before he gatt entress " (Ibid. p. 328). " To this Assembly (1641), doctor Alexander Scroggie (after he is deposed, put frae his kirk and house, and spulzied of his goods) gives now in ane supplication (notwithstanding of his wryteing with the rest of the Aberdein's doctors against the covenant) offering to swear and subscrive the samen, whilk he had refuised before, and to doe what farder it should please the brethrein to injoine him. The Assembly heard glaidly his supplication, and referred him to the committee of the kirk at Edinburgh, ordaining him to go ther and give them full content, whilk he promised to doe, and whilk he did at leisure " (Ibid. p. 333). " Doctor Scroggie came not to this Provinciall Assembly, as was ordered befor by the committee of the kirk at Edinburgh, but stayed in Edinburgh, and writt his excuse ; but the moderator and bretherin accepted not thereof pleasantly. Allwayes, he wrought so, that he had gifted to him, out of Ross, eight chalders victuall dureing his lifetime, since his kirk was taken frae him. Mr. Alexander Innes, minister at Rothemay,his goodsone, and deposed frae his kirk, also Mr. Alexander Scroggie his sone deposed frae his regencie, as ye have heard before, ilk ane of them had gotten some pension frae the king " (Ibid. p. 345). " Thuirsday 26 May (1642), the presbitrie of Abirdene changes thair presbiter day of weiklie meiting fra Thuirsday to Tuysday. It was first changeit fra Fryday to Thuirsday, and now fra Thuirsday to Tuysday; sic changes now goes. Doctor Scroggie comperis befoir this presbitrie, and produces, wnder his owne hand, his owne recantatioun."

Dr. Scroggie survived till 1659, when he died at Rathven, in Banffshire, in the ninety-fifth year of his age (Gordon's Scots Affairs, vol. iii. p. 22, note). The elder of his two sons, Alexander, was a Professor in King's College, Aberdeen (Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen, vol. ii. p. 405). He was deposed from his chair, as we have already seen from Spalding's Narrative, in 1639. The younger was named William. The same author tells us : " Tuysday 20 September (1642), Mr. Alexander Scrogie, younger, exercisit heir in Old Abirdene, befoir the presbitrie, veray learnedlie, to his gryte commendatioun. He wes referrit to be minister at Forgelyn, albeit deposit frae his regencie of the Colledge of Old Abirdene, as ye may sie befoir. Mr. William Scrogie, his brother, thairefter exercised lykuaies lernedlie." (Spalding's History of the Troubles in Scotland, vol. ii. p. 82.) Alexander appears to have been appointed first minister of the cathedral church of Aberdeen in-1659 (Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen, vol. ii. p. 352) ; and William was ultimately advanced to the See of Argyl in 1666. He died in 1675. " He was buried in the churchyard of Dumbarton, and his executors erected a handsome monument over his grave, adorned with his arms and an inscription " (Keith's Catalogue of Scottish Bishops, Bishop Russell's edition, Edin. 1824, p. 291). See note by editors of Gordon's Scots Affairs above referred to. This "Funerall Speach" (one of the sermons in Bishop Forbes' Funeralls) is the only writing of Dr. Scroggie known to exist.

dr. ross

Dr. Ross was one of the " Doctors " who propounded to the Covenanters the celebrated queries, and was prevented by sickness from flying with the other Royalists and Churchmen from Aberdeen in 1639. " He was the son of James Rosse, minister at Strachan in the Mearns, afterwards in the parish church of St. Nicholas in Aberdeen. He himself was, in 1631, translated from the parochial cure of Insch in The Garioch, to the chapel of St. Clement, in Futtie, near Aberdeen ; and was, in 1636, preferred to St. Nicholas' Church in Aberdeen. ' He was,' says Spalding, ' a learned divyne, weill beloved of his flock and people whyle he was in life, and after he was dead, heaviely regretted ' " (Hist, of Troub., vol. i. p. 167). He has been sometimes confounded with another divine of the same name, Alexander Ross, chaplain in ordinary to King Charles the First, and master of the Free School of Southampton, a voluminous writer, who is now perhaps most generally known from the lines of Butler—

"There was an ancient sage philosopher That had read Alexander Ross over, And swore the world, as he cou'd prove, Was made of fighting and of love."

Hudibras, part i. cant. ii. v. 1-4.

(Gordon's Scots Affairs, printed for the Spalding Club, Aberdeen, MDCCCXLI. vol. iii. p. 209 note.) A ludicrous instance of this mistake occurs in Dr. Sheriff's Life of Guild.That biographer with much solemnity thus rebukes Butler for attacking the worthy clergyman of Aberdeen: " The attack could not possibly be more indelicate, or more personal, I had almost said more malicious. Whatever were the faults of Dr. Ross as a writer, he was respectable as a man ! " (Life of Guild, p. 39 ; Book of Bon Accord, or a Guide to the City of Aberdeen, small 8vo, Aberdeen, MDCCCXXXIX.— an admirable performance, equally remarkable for learning, taste, and spirit). At the Restoration, Parliament acknowledged his merits by granting the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds to his relict and children (Acts of Parliament of Scotland, Edin. folio, 1820, vol. iii. App. p. 78). He also contributed a sermon to Bishop Forbes' Funeralls.


For the greater portion of the folk./ing Notices of the amiable and accomplished Dr. William Leslie, Principal of King's College, Aberdeen—I am indebted to the accurate Editors of Gordon's Scots Affairs (vol. iii. p. 231 note) :—

"Dr. William Leslie was a descendant of the house of Kininvie, according to Dr. Garden, or of the family of Crichie, according to Bishop Keith. He studied at the King's College and University, and was in 1617 chosen one of its regents. He became its Sub-Principal in 1623 ; and about 1630 was preferred to be its Principal. ' Ye heard befor,' says Spalding, ' how Doctor Lesslie, principall of the Colledge of Old Aberdein, Doctor Sibbald, minister in Aberdein, and diverse others went to Berwick to the king. They came home with the town's commissioners in August. This Doctor Sibbald was wiellcome, entered to his ministrie in Aberdein, and served ther for a whyle ; but Doctor William Lesslie being before deposed, took himself to ane quiet chamber within the College, lived soberly in the toun upon his own charges, beheld patiently Doctor William Guild occupy his place thereafter, and the changes in thir difficult times. He was ane singular learned man, who could never be moved to swear and subscrive our Covenant, saying he would not hurt his conscience for worldly means. He was never heard to speak immodestly against the Covenant nor procedure of thir times, but suffered all things with great patience, attending God's will; none more fitt for learning, to his charge in the Colledge, and therwith godly and grave. It is said the King gave him some money at Berwick, wherupon he lived for a short whyle ; and it is true he had no great means to the fore (left) of his own, at this time '(Hist, of Troub., vol. i. p. 172). ' Therafter, doctor Lesslie rendered the haill keyes of this colledge, librarie, and all whilk he had, to doctor Guild, wherewith he shortly possessed himself. Doctor Lesslie was tollerat to keep ane chamber within the colledge to himself, wherin to ly and to study ; but bought his meat throw the Old Toun wher he pleased, with great modestie, resolveing with patience to abyde God's good will without murmuration or appearance of discontent, wher or in whatsoever societie he happened to be ' (Ibid. p. 329). His deposition from the office of Principal is thus animadverted *7 upon by the Parson of Rothkmay : ' To Doctor William Lesly was objected, that he was lazie, and neglective in his charge, and they strove to brande him with personall escapes of drunknesse ; and, finally, that he wold not subscryve the Covenant, etc., for which he was deposed, as the rest wer. I must pleade for him as for the rest, wherin I shall speacke truthe. His lazinesse might be imputed to his reteerd monasticke way of living, being naturally melancolian, and a man of great reading, a painefull student, who delyted in nothing else but to sitte in his studye, and spend dayes and nights at his booke, which kynde of lyfe is opposite to a practicall way of living. He never marryd in his lyfe time, but lived solitary ; and if some-tymes to refresh himself, his freends took him from his bookes to converse with them, it ought not to have been objected to him as drunknesse, he being knowne to have been sober and abstemiouse above his accusers. He was a man grave and austere, and exemplar. The Universitye was happy in havinge such a light as he, who was eminent in all the sciences, above the most of his age. He had studyed a full Encyclopedia ; and it may be questioned whither he excelld most in divinity, humanity, or the languages, he being (of course) professor of the Hebrew and Divinitye. And it was ther unhappinesse to wante him ; for since that tyme he was never paralleled by any Principall who succeeded him. For some years therafter he lived private, in the house of the Marquesse of Huntlye, who was a freend to learning and learned men, and had him in great esteeme and honour. After Huntly was engadged in the warre, Dr. Lesly reteered to his kinnesman, Alexander Douglasse of

Spynye, a gentleman who entertained him till his death, which fell not out till after the Englishes were maisters of Scotland. He dyed of a cancer, whiche physitions know proceedes from melancoli-ouse bloode. Pittye it was that he left not mor behynde him of his learned workes ; but the reason was, his naturall bashefullnesse, who had so small opinion of his owne knowledge, that he could scarce ever be gottne drawne for to speacke in publicke.' ' Hie est ille cujus eruditio omne genus, et sacra et exotica, omnibus qui eum norunt mage nota est, quam sibi. Hie est ille, qui si se aut nosset (quae est ejus modestia, et de se existi-matio exilis) aut nosse vellet, singulari ornamento nobis esse posset, ut jam plane magno est. Hie est ille denique qui etsi omnia non sciat, neque enim hoc mortalis est, pauca tamen ignorat' (A. Strachani Panegyric. Inaug. in Aut. Acad., Aberd. p. 38). Sir Thomas Urquhart writes: ' To the conversation of Dr. William Lesly (who is one of the most profound and universal scholars now living), his friends and acquaintance of any literature are very much beholding, but to any books of his emission nothing at all; whereat every one that knoweth him, wondreth exceedingly ; and truly so they may ; for though scripturiency be a fault in feeble pens, and that Socrates, the most learned man of his time, set forth no works ; yet can none of these two reasons excuse his not evulging somewhat to the public view, because he is known to have an able pen, whose draughts would grace the paper with impressions of inestimable worth ; nor is the example of Socrates able to apologize for him, unless he had such disciples as Plato and Aristotle, who, having reposited in their braines the scientifick treasures of their masters' knowledge, did afterwards (in their own works) communicate them to the utility of future generations; yet that this Caledonian Socrates (though willing) could not of late have been able to dispose of his talents, did proceed from the merciless dealings of some wicked Anites, Lycons, and Melits of the Covenant; the cruelty of whose perverse zeal will keep the effects of his vertue still at under, till by the perswasion of some honest Lysias, the authority of the land be pleased to reseat him into his former condition, with all the encouragements that ought to attend so prime a man' (Tracts, p. 123). Dr. Garden describes him as ' Vir egregie literatus, in linguis Orientalibus versatissimus, in Latina et Graeca Poeta eximius, cujus varia in utraque scripta adhuc exstant poemata. Eruditione politiori insignis, cui omnes Authores Classici probe noti ac familiares erant, in quoseruditasconscripsit notas acemendationes,quae, cum Vir eximius iniquitate temporum varie jactatus fuerit, interciderunt. Praelectiones habuit Theo-logicas antiquas quarum quaedam exstant' (Vita JohannisForbesii, §1). ' The many high encomiums,' says Dr. Irving, ' bestowed on Dr. William Lesley, must excite our deepest regret that he should have bequeathed so small a portion of his knowledge to posterity. Although he was regarded as a profound and universal scholar, he never courted the fame of authorship ' (Lives of the Scottish Poets, vol. i. p. 136, Edin. 1814). Dr. Garden has preserved in his life of Dr. John Forbes (li.) a learned fragment by Leslie on the writings of Cassiodorus, ' Scriptorum Cassiodori accuratior Nomenclatura.' " According to Bishop Keith (Catal. of Scot.

Bish., p. 309), Dr. William Leslie^ was the brother of John Leslie, Bishop successively of the Isles, of Raphoe, and of Clogher, father of the excellent and learned Charles Leslie, the author of A Short and Easy Method with the Deists, and many other admirable works.

He printed some Latin verses in Bishop Forbes' Funeralls.


William Guild, Doctor of Divinity, was the son of Matthew Guild, a citizen and burgess of Aberdeen, and by trade an armourer. The elder Guild figures in the records of the city as a sturdy opponent of the new system of things attempted to be introduced at the religious revolution in Scotland in the sixteenth century, when the general legislature, as well as the local magistrates of the country, began to interfere with the games and amusements of the people, for the purpose of suppressing those demonstrations of mirth and festivity which formerly had not only been allowed, but encouraged and regulated by those in authority.

Although Guild was a party to the celebrated queries propounded by the " Aberdeen Doctors " to the Commissioners of the Covenant on their arrival in Aberdeen in July 1638, he was one of the first of the inhabitants of any note who subscribed that famous " Band." This, however, he did not do in unqualified terms. The following conditions were insisted upon by him and by the Rev. Robert Reid, then minister of Banchory-Ternan: " That we acknowledge not, nor yet condemn, the Articles ofjPerth to be unlawfull or heads of Popery ; but only promise (for the peace of the Church, and other reasons) to forbear the practice thereof, for a time. 2do, That we condemn no Episcopall Government, secludeing the personall abuse thereof. 3tio, That we still retaine, and shall retaine, all loyall and dewtifull subjection and obedience unto our dread Soveraigne the King's Majestie. And, that in this sense, and no otherwayes, we have put our hands to the aforesaid Covenant" (Spalding's Hist, of Troubles, Bannatyne Club edition, vol. i. p. 58). Although, from the terms of his restricted signature to the Covenant, it might be supposed that he was at this period a supporter of Episcopacy, he was a member of the Glasgow Assembly in 1638, which subverted the Scottish Hierarchy, and at a subsequent period he subscribed the Covenant without restriction or limitation. On the expulsion by the Covenanters of Dr. William Leslie, the amiable and learned Principal of King's College, the claims of Guild were preferred over those of his competitor, the well-known Robert Baillie. From this situation he was deposed, it is said, through the jealousy and dislike of the fervent and enthusiastic Mr. Andrew Cant (Gordon's Scots Affairs, vol. i. p. 88 ; vol. iii. p. 286), but it would appear that he was not actually displaced till the visitation of Cromwell's military Commissioners in 1651. Dr. Guild died at Aberdeen in 1657. By his last will he founded three bursaries in the Marischal College, and bestowed various other charitable bequests.

Guild wrote various works, principally theological, but none of any great merit. A long list of these will be found in Mr. Maidment's Catalogues of Scottish Writers, Edin. 8vo, 1833, p. 36. As may be supposed, he was no favourite with his contemporary townsman Spalding. This decided, but in general fair and candid Churchman, for once seems to have allowed his feelings to get the better of his calmer reason. He has certainly pressed too hard upon Guild (Bishop Forbes' Funeralls, pp. 93, 95, 96).


Dr. William Forbes was born at Aberdeen in 1585. His father was of the family of Corsindae, and his mother was sister of an eminent physician, Dr. James Cargill. He was educated in the Marischal College, and resided for some time at several of the continental universities, and at Oxford. He was successively minister at Alford, at Monymusk, and at Aberdeen ; and, in 1618, was appointed Principal of the Marischal College. He was subsequently, for some time, one of the ministers of Edinburgh ; but his zeal for Episcopacy and liturgical observances rendered him unpopular among the inhabitants of the capital. He therefore gladly accepted an invitation to resume his former office as one of the ministers of Aberdeen, where his principles were more in accordance with those of his flock. When Charles 1. visited Edinburgh, in 1633, Dr. Forbes preached before him. The King was so pleased that he declared the preacher to be worthy having a bishopric created for him. This circumstance, no doubt, along with his acknowledged ability and uprightness, led to his nomination as first Bishop of Edinburgh—on the creation of that see. He was consecrated in February 1634, hut did not long survive his promotion. He died on the nth April following, and was interred in the cathedral of St. Giles, where a monument was erected to his memory, with an inscription, a copy of which will be found in Maitland's History of Edinburgh, p. 184. A brief memoir of Dr. Forbes was prefixed to hisConsiderationes, Modestae et Pacificae; and a more extended biography of him may be found in Dr. Irving's Lives of Scottish Writers, vol. ii. pp. 1-10. An engraving from a contemporary portrait of the learned prelate is given in Pinkerton's Iconographia Scotica, Lond. 1797. Besides the posthumous work just mentioned,^ he wroteAnimadversions on the Works of Cardinal Bellarmin. These, after his death, came into the possession of Dr. Baron, who intended to prepare them for the press ; but they disappeared during the subsequent troubles, and have not since been discovered. Sir Thomas Urquhart, who says that he was " so able a scholar that since the days of Scotus Subtilis, there was never any that professed either divinity or philosophy in Scotland, that, in either of these faculties did parallel him," adds, that " he left manuscripts of great learning behind him, which, as I am informed, were bought at a good rate by Doctor Laud (late Archbishop of Canterbury) " (Sir T. Urquhart'sTracts, p. 133). Writers of almost every class have united in acknowledging the learning and piety of Dr. William Forbes. These manuscripts were subsequently printed and translated under the title of Consider ationes, Modestae et Pacificae in 2 vols., with a life by Bishop Sydserf.

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