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Annals of Garelochside
Chapter III - Parochial Records; Church Minutes; John M'Leod Campbell

THERE are not many particulars of the ancient state of Row given in Origines Parochiales, but the details though meagre are of interest. The modern parish of Row, on the eastern side of the Gareloch, rises from the shore in two ridges of considerable height, one of them skirting the waters of the Gareloch and Loch Long, reaching an elevation of nearly 2000 feet, and the other tending towards Loch Lomond with the secluded pass of Glenfruin between. The latter glen, and the heights above, were not within the boundary of the ancient parish of Rosneath.

The greater part of the Lordship of Lennox, for it was to this noble family that the district belonged, was the property of Amelec, who, in May 1225, received from King Alexander at Cadihow a confirmation of the grant which his brother Maldoven, Earl of Lennox, made to him of the lands of Neved, Glanfrone, bloigliag, Letblaan, Ardereran, Kilmeagdhu, and Doleuchen, to be held of the said Afaldoven. In 13551, Donald, Earl of Lennox, confirmed to Walter de Fosselane the donation which Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, granted to Aviletb, Lord of Fosselane, of the lands of Keppach, Culgrayne, Camceskanys, Kyrkmychell, Ardengappil, Ardenaconvell, Letdovald, Bullernok, Fosselane, Glenfrone, and Muleig, together with all the lands and offices acquired by Walter within the said earldom, especially the office of forester of the woods of Levenax, and the office of Tossachiorschip of Levenax, both purchased from Patrik Lyndissay. Before long these lands were divided into distinct possessions. The lands of Faslane, and the lands of Ardincaple on the east side of the Gareloch, had each passed into possession of a baronial family, in the 13th century, who resided on the estate. Several of the clan Macfarlane settled in the northern part of the territory of Amelec, while the lands bordering Loch Long and the Gareloch sides were occupied by a colony of the clan Colquhoun. The barons of Ardincapil, who afterwards assumed the name of Macaulay, were the proprietors of that part of the Gareloch side during the wars of the succession.

From the careful sketch of the history, civil and ecclesiastical, contributed to the statistical account of the parishes in Dunbartonshire by the late Rev. John Laurie Fogo, for fifty years minister of Row, we learn many details of importance. It would appear that all the lands at that date, 1839, contained in the parish, constituted part of the original earldom of Lennox. Those which form the eastern shores of the Gareloch, and slope up into Glenfruin, were given by Alwyn, second Earl of Lennox, to his younger son Amelee, in the 12th century. This fine estate descended to Walter, son of Alan, who became the head of the house and married the heiress of the elder branch. Their family mansion was situated at Faslane, a beautiful bay on the upper part of the Gareloch, with well tilled green fields, now rising from its shore. Its site can be distinguished by a small mound near the murmuring burn which flows into the hay. According to Blind Harry, the Scottish hero Wallace was hospitably entertained at Faslane by his friend Earl Malcolm of Lennox, after he had plundered the town of Dunbarton and burnt Rosneath castle. After the succession of the Faslane branch of the family to the honours of Lennox, there is little notice of the castle, and in time the estate became subdivided into small portions or feus. The Macfarlanes acquired part of the northern extremity, and a good many of the Colquhouns settled on the Gareloch shores and largely peopled the peaceful valley of Glenfruin. Also in Glenfruin there resided for a long time a race of petty proprietors of the name of Macwalter, who claimed to be descended from a younger son of Lennox. The Macaulays of Ardencaple, who had assumed the former patronymic surname, gradually gained a considerable holding on the Loch side, which they kept for a long period. This family seems to have settled as landowners in the district in the 13th century. Their estate embraced the whole of the land on which the town of Helensburgh is built, and extended far up the Gareloch. There were two residences on the estate, one, the fine old ivy-clad castle of Ardencaple, part of which, with some modern additions, still stands amidst lofty trees near Cairndhu Point, and the small keep of Faslane. About two hundred years ago the fortunes of the family began to decline, and the then laird, Aulay Macaulay, had to dispose of his estates to the Colquhouns, and the last of the family died at Row in 1767.

The family of the Colquhouns of Luss have gradually gained possession of the whole parish of Row, and hold the extensive lands which once belonged to the Macaulays, Macfarlanes, and Buchanans. About the year 1500 the Colquhouns acquired their first holdings on the Gareloch, and the estate of Faslane was granted to Adam Colquhoun in 1553 by his relative the Earl of Lennox. The last possession in the parish which the Colquhoun family secured was the fine estate of Ardencaple, so long owned by the Macaulays, which only was purchased from the Duke of Argyll by the late Sir James Colquhoun in the year 1862.

The lands in the parish were greatly improved during the last thirty years, chiefly from additional drainage and fencing, and those capable of cultivation were all under crops. But a great deal of the land consisted of the slopes rising from the Gareloch, all the upper part of which was moor and heather. Glenfruin was capable of much more cultivation, as it had abundance of low-lying fertile land, and had once supported a considerable population. Attention had been recently given to the breeding of cattle, and the dairy farms were mostly made up of Ayrshire cows, not of a very pure breed. The cattle, for feeding purposes, were of the `West Highland stock, but the recently formed agricultural association was leading to a variety of improvements in the breeding of cattle. The sheep were mostly of the black-faced breed, and a few Cheviots; the average rate of grazing a full-grown one, to the farmer, was about 5s. Male farm servants living with the farmer received on an average 8 in the half year, and female servants 4. Masons, carpenters, and other artizans were usually paid 3s. Gd. per day. The farm buildings mostly were very inferior; leases usually ran for nineteen years. The lime quarries in the parish were not constantly worked, as Irish lime was cheap and easily got, and slate was little in demand. In Glenfruin the population had greatly decreased, for, almost within the memory of living persons, there were forty-five families of farmers, besides a number of cottars, whereas, in 1839, there were only ten farmers and four families of cottars. Little more grain was grown, with the exception of some barley, than was sufficient for the farmers and their establishments. About 1000 worth of potatoes and 500 of hay was sent out of the parish yearly, and the total rental of Row was stated to be between 4000 and 5000, nine-tenths of which was drawn by Sir James Colquhoun.

Such was the state of the parish in 1830, and it had not materially changed since the account given of it in the former statistical record of 1792, written by the then minister, the Rev. John Allan. At that time the whole of the upper lands were covered with heath, but, since the introduction of sheep, a greater expanse of pasture was visible. There were about sixty-five farmers, but many of the farms then possessed by one tenant used to be occupied by three or four, in addition to cottars. There were from 4500 to 5000 sheep altogether, the average price of white wool being 7s. a stone. At that time the parish more than supplied itself with provisions for the requirements of its inhabitants, and potatoes, grain, beef, and mutton were sent to the markets of Greenock, Paisley, and Glasgow. Beef, veal, and mutton were 6d. per pound, and even cheaper in summer; butter cost 9d. and 10d. per pound; a hen cost Is. to 1s. 3d.; meal 1s. per peck, oats 16s. per boll. These prices were double what the same commodities brought forty years before. The farm servants wages were, for men, 8 and 9, and women, 3 and 4 per annum, and day labourers on farms 10d. to Is. per day. Fishing was carried on in the Gareloch, and salmon, mackerel, and herring were taken in quantities with nets, and sent to Greenock, the price of salmon being 6d. per pound, and haddocks 1d. Porpoises and seals were sometimes taken, and occasionally a bottle-nose whale would be driven aground. The sea ware was most used for manure, and kelp was burnt in small quantities. The chief fuel used was peat, though coals, which were dear, were sometimes brought from GIasgow.

There were two schools in the parish, one with from thirty to forty scholars in winter, and half that number in summer. The schoolmaster received 80 Scots, but, including his fees as Session Clerk, the total emoluments were barely 18 sterling per annum. Thirty years before that date Mr. Glen, who then owned the estate of Portincaple, mortified a piece of land for the support of another schoolmaster in Glenfruin, and he had more scholars than attended the parish school, and higher emoluments. The poor of the parish were well cared for; in addition to the church-door collections, amounting to 12 a year, there was the interest of 220 of Stock; the number of regular poor on the roll was eight, and a similar number received occasional relief. There were eleven ale, or whiskey houses, and one inn, at what is now known as Cairndhu point, which had been erected as one of the stages for post horses on the road recently made by the Duke of Argyll between Inveraray and Dunbarton. There were eight landowners or heritors, only one of whom, a small proprietor, constantly resided in the parish. English was generally spoken, but many used the Gaelic language. The population seemed to be more addicted to seafaring pursuits than to a life on shore, for there were twenty-five or thirty seamen in the navy from Row, but not one soldier. One village existed in the parish, said to contain a hundred people, which had been lately built, and this probably was the now flourishing town of Helensburgh. The account concludes by remarking that "the young people, especially the females, are fond of dress, and more expensive in that way than their circumstances can well afford," which naive observation may not be considered inapplicable, in many other parishes, even at the present day.

About the middle of the Seventeenth century Row was formed into an independent parish by the separation of land from Rosneath on the one side and Cardross on the other. The portion detached from the former parish lay principally on the east side of the Gareloch, while what was taken from Cardross was chiefly in the valley of Glenfruin. In 1620 Parliament was petitioned to transfer the church of Rosneath to the opposite lands of Ardenconnell, but in place of this the Church Commissioners erected Row into a distinct parish, though it was not till 1618 that the boundaries of the new parish were finally settled and a deed of erection for the church was procured. In that year Mr. Archibald M`Lean, the first minister, was translated to it from the parish of Kingarth. It appeared that the formation of this parish was chiefly owing to the then laird of Ardencaple, who generously built the church at his own expense, besides giving land for it and for the glebe to the extent of ten acres.

The original church was erected near the site of the existing edifice in a fine situation overlooking the beautiful bay of Row, with some old plane trees surrounding the churchyard. In 1163 a new church was reared just in front of where the present one stands, and an addition to it was made in 1827. Attached to this church was the burying ground of the Macaulays of Ardencaple, who long owned the lands in the neighbourhood. The fragment which remains is a stone sculptured with armorial bearings, the shield of irregular shape has emblems or arms of the Macaulays and Drummonds, with the initials V. W. and M. D. and date 1579, which takes us back to the time of Humphrey Macaulay of Ardencaple, and, as he lived before the erection of Row into a parish, the stone must have belonged to some other building. The church was a very unadorned edifice, with a long sloping roof and a porch in front surmounted with a small bell tower and two rows of windows ; while inside everything was of the plainest description, and even after 1832, there was not even a wooden floor. This church remained till 1851, when it was replaced by the existing building, with its handsome Gothic tower, a conspicuous object in the landscape, towards the cost of which Sir James Colquhoun and the late Robert Napier of Shandon were large contributors. There is a costly organ, several stained glass windows, and some good carved work in the church.

Surrounding the churchyard are a number of large plane trees, while the old parish school stood until a few years ago, at the end of the churchyard, and immediately adjoining was the master's dwelling house. There are a good many tombstones and monuments, some of early dates, the most conspicuous of the latter being the sitting figure on a high pedestal erected by Robert Napier of Shandon to his friend Henry Bell, the engineer, famous in steam navigation. One of the old ministers, the Rev. Robert Anderson, who succeeded to the parish in 1684, has a monument to his memory, standing against the wall facing the village green, with the following inscription on the back:


In front the monument is decorated with the usual devices of an hour glass, a skull and cross bones, below which there is an inscription in Latin, commencing "Hic situs est Mr. Robertus Anderson," and ending, "Anno Domini A1DCCVIII." There is also the tombstone of the Rev. John Allan, who was minister, and who died 28th March, 1812, in the 75th year of his age. All the older tombstones are in the portion of the churchyard which lies to the front of the church, and the graves in the upper part only date from the building of the new church. The boundary wall of the old churchyard can be traced from two fragments which are left, and the row of old plane trees on the west side show how the road at one time was inside of what is now the wall round the ground. The most noticeable tomb is the memorial erected by Sir Andrew Buchanan of Craigend to his parents, which consists of part of the gable wall and a small window of the old church; the mantling ivy giving it a venerable appearance. The stone statue of Henry Bell is a chaste and simple work of art, the sculptor having invested the face of the distinguished inventor with a placid air of repose. Appropriate inscriptions on the pedestal record the dates of birth and death of the builder of the Comet, and his memorable triumph in his little vessel. Over twenty years ago his remains were removed from their first resting place in the old part of the ground, and re-interred in front of the statue. On several of the older stones are to be seen designs indicating the trade followed by the person to whom the tombstone is set up, such as compasses, squares, shoes, implements, cross-bones, hour glasses on one or two skeletons are engraved, decorations all of the rudest description. Several of them are dated in the early part of last century, and a good number are in memory of inhabitants of Row bearing Highland names, such as M'Farlanes, M'Murrichs, M'Callums, M'Lacblans, M`Kinlays, M'Intyres, Campbells. There is one tomb, made of iron cast at the Shotts Iron Company in 1829, as the massive slab records in large letters, and resting on iron pillars, which was placed there by Henry Bell in memory of Captain Robert Bain of the Cornet. Captain Bain died in 1827, and the momument narrates how by that vessel a communication was opened up between the Western Islands of Scotland and Glasgow through the Crinan Canal in 1819. This was erected as a tribute of honour for sixteen years' faithful service, by Henry Bell, engineer, Helensburgh.

The old church faced the sea, and its foundations can be faintly traced about the middle of the churchyard. The session house, which closely adjoined, remained for some time after the church was demolished, and was inhabited for a considerable time by a well known native of Row, Jenny M'Auslan, the post runner for Helensburgh. Her humble ruinous dwelling in a grassy hollow beside the Aldonault burr, on the Ardenconnal estate, had been pulled down by orders of the then proprietor, who suspected Jenny of harbouring doubtful wanderers at times. A good many stories are still current regarding Jenny, who was one of the "characters" of the locality, and a well known figure on the Loch side, as she went with her bag from house to house. There are still some in the neighbourhood who can recall the old church, and I)r. M'Leod Campbell preaching in it with his peculiar fervour. The pulpit was next the loch, and at the two ends of the church were galleries, one on the left being Lord John Campbell's pew, and on the right the Ardenconnal pew. The bare earth constituted the floor of the church, and the seats were of rough deal boards, by no means inviting their occupants to repose. On sacramental Sabbaths there were the usual scenes enacted which were so little in keeping with the holy occasion—wooden tents on the green before the church-yard, in which were dispensed liberal supplies of spirituous liquors, along with bread and cheese, and homely bannocks. All the time the devoted Campbell, or Edward Irving, or some other ministers, were addressing the communicants in the adjoining church, almost within hearing of the revelry so little befitting the solemn services. The upper part of the churchyard contains a good many handsome modern monuments, one of them dedicated to a number of boys who died aboard the old Cumberland training ship, destroyed by fire in the Gareloch a few years ago, while beside the burying ground of Robert Napier, is the grave of his lifelong friend the Rev. John Laurie Fogo.

There seem to have been several other small places of worship scattered about the parish of Row, one in Glenfruin, another on the lands of Kirkmicbael, and a third at Kilbride, but there are few remains of them in existence. The proposal to erect Row into a separate parish was strongly opposed by the ministers of the adjoining charges of Rosneath and Cardross. Robert Watson, the minister of Cardross, thinking that the interest of his benefice might suffer, offered to contribute 100 merks towards building a church, or chapel of ease, in Glenfruin, and to surrender 210 pounds Scots out of his stipend for its endowment. The lairds of Luss and of Culcreuch agreed to make a gift of the site of the old chapel of Kilbride, but the General Assembly preferred to erect the new parish. The minister of Rosneath appears to have officiated for about a year in the new church at Row. The following was the succession of ministers of Row parish.

1648. Archibald M'Lean of Kingarth, in Bute, was ordained there, translated to Kilmodan in 1651. Considerable difficulty experienced in getting ministers able to preach in Gaelic, and there being no manse, a long vacancy ensued.

1658. James Glendinning, A.M., formerly of Largs, admitted June, until one having Gaelic should be got. Deprived by Act of Parliament and Privy Council, 1662, continued till June 1663.

1665. Hugh Gordon, A.M. Translated from Comrie ; in 1683 transferred to Cardross.

1684. Robert Anderson, succeeded, but demitted the charge at the Revolution. Degree of A.M. from Glasgow University, 1675. Translated to Dunbarton, second charge, before 1689. Returned to Row before 1704, died 1708, aged 53. His son John admitted to bursary, Glasgow, 1718.

1710. Archibald 'Curry. Licensed by Presbytery of Dunoon, December 1708. Died in 1717.

1719. John Allan, native of Kilmadock, became schoolmaster at Campbeltown, and licensed by Presbytery of Kintyre, October, 1713, ordained 1719 ; died in 1765, in his 81st year. Married Anne, daughter of Archibald Wallace, minister of Cardross, died 1783; an only son who succeeded to the parish, and a daughter, married to Mr. Macfarlane, minister of Drymen.

1761. John Allan, son of preceding minister, licensed 1760, by Presbytery of Dunoon. Got the church rebuilt 1763. Died in 1812 in 75th year. Married 1771 Elizabeth Colquhoun, died 1813, leaving two daughters married to ministers of the Church of Scotland. Wrote Account of Parish in Statistical History.

1812. Alexander M'Arthur, son of the schoolmaster of Inishail. Licensed by Presbytery of Selkirk, April, 1805; became tutor in the family of Thomas Earl of Elgin. Presented to the parish of Row by George William, Duke of Argyll, in 1812, translated to Dairsie in 1825.

1825. John M'Leod Campbell, ordained in 1825, son of Rev. Dr. Campbell, minister of hilninver, in Argyllshire. In 1831, Mr. Campbell was deposed by sentence of the General Assembly on the ground of holding and teaching doctrines on the assurance of faith and the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ, which were contrary to the standards of the Church of Scotland. No one disputed the earnest and lofty character of Mr. Campbell, and his ability and originality as a thinker, while his parishioners were devotedly attached to their minister. After the sentence of the General Assembly he left the shores of the Gareloch for a number of years, during part of which he preached in a church at Partick. Subsequently he returned to Rosneath, purchased a residence not far from the Clachan village, to which he gave the Gaelic name of Achnashie, "Field of Peace," and there he died in 1872, and his honoured remains rest in the churchyard of Rosneath, near the old ruined church which had so often resounded to his eloquent voice.

1831. John Laurie Fogo, a native of Sanquhar, born in 1796, student in the University of Edinburgh, presented by George William, Duke of Argyll, and ordained in March. He entered the parish under difficult circumstances, but his courteous and winning way and attractive personality soon gained many friends. He was a careful and accurate observer of men and things, and full of religious enthusiasm and evangelical fervour. In 1835 he married Jane Mathie Fogo, heiress of the small property of Rhu, near Doune, when he assumed her name. Mr. Laurie lived to an advanced age, faithfully discharging his duties as minister to the last, and died in 1882, greatly lamented. Earnest and evangelical as a preacher, he was intimately acquainted with all his parishioners, and spared no labour and knew no fatigue, in ministering to the wants of the aged poor. All along the shores of the Gareloch Mr. Laurie was greatly loved and widely known, both by high and low, he always took part in the school examinations at Row, Rosneath, and Helensburgh, besides frequently officiating at Communion seasons at these places, while, as a physician, at one time his services were much in request and cheerfully rendered. He laboured on though in feeble health, and when he died, in the fulness of years, it was felt that a true Christian and gentleman had been summoned away by that Master for whom he had indeed laboured with his whole heart.

Mr. Laurie was welcomed to the parish by his greatly loved predecessor, who knew his sterling qualities, and urged the Row congregation to give him their warm support. He gratefully alluded to this long afterwards in these words, "In looking forward to Row as my home I expected I should meet with trials and discouragements of a disunited parish, for I came as successor to Dr. M'Leod Campbell, a man much and deservedly loved by all who knew him. Many in the parish were anxious to leave the church with him, but, from this source of looked for difficulties I was speedily delivered by Dr. Campbell advising his friends not to leave the church, but to give his successor their support." Feeling that the requirements of the parish were but inadequately met by the church at Row, Mr. Laurie preached alternately on the Sabbath evenings in Ilelensburgh, Garelochhead, and Glenfruirr, occupying the schoolhouses on these occasions. He also diligently endeavoured to raise the funds necessary to provide a place of worship for the adherents of the Church of Scotland both at Helensburgh and Garelochhead. Very soon his labours were crowned with success for, mainly through the great exertions of Mr. James Bennett Browne of Bendarroch, the church at Garelochhead was, in 1839, erected into a parish quoad sacra. At Helensburgh Mr. Laurie Fogo, in seeking to endow a similar church, was warmly assisted by a committee of gentlemen, amongst whom may be mentioned the late Sir James Colquhoun, and Mr. Alexander of the Hermitage. The church was opened in May 1847. As showing the appreciation with which Ni. Laurie was held, it may be mentioned that, in the course of his ministry, he received four calls to other churches, all of which he felt constrained to decline, as he preferred to continue with the congregation and friends at Row whom he loved so dearly.

Mr. Laurie Fogo proved himself, during his long ministry of fifty years at Row, to be a worthy representative of those devoted, simple, and hard working men who, for generations, have adorned the ranks of the Scottish clergy. Rarely absent from his pulpit, he delivered his message of salvation through the merits of a Crucified Redeemer with an affecting persuasiveness which moved even callous hearers. his prayers, especially, were fervent and full, as he presented the pleadings of his flock at the Throne of Grace. On the occasion of his Jubilee, in 1881, the sum of 2,500 was raised by his congregation and friends, and a large company of his neighbours and ministerial brethren assembled to do him honour. The venerable minister was greatly affected by this unexpected testimonial, and asked his friend and co-Presbyter the Rev. Mr. Dunn, of Cardross, to express his deep sense of gratitude for so munificent a gift. Soon after the good old minister of Row entered into his rest.

The present minister of Row is the Rev. John M. AVebster, son of the Rev. David Webster, of Fetlar, in the Shetland Islands, who was appointed colleague and successor to Mr. Laurie Fogo in December, 1876. Born at Aberdeen, Mr. Webster passed his boyhood in that far off island of the Shetland group where his father was minister for nearly thirty years, and, in due time, was sent to the University of Aberdeen, where he took a high place, especially in the classes of Logic and Moral Philosophy. After passing through his course of Arts, he graduated with honours in the department of Mental Philosophy, and then went to Edinburgh University, where he studied in the Divinity Hall to qualify himself for license. In 1872 he was appointed assistant in Sandyford Church, Glasgow, where then, as now, one of the most evangelical and honoured ministers in the Church of Scotland, the Rev. Dr. Elder Cumming, faithfully preaches the Gospel. Mr. Webster, after his appointment as assistant first, and then as colleague and successor to Mr. Laurie Fogo, soon gained the confidence and esteem of those who worshipped in the parish church. He was a willing worker, and entered into the pleasures as well as the sorrows of the parishioners, and he ever sought to strengthen the kindly ties which united him to the aged minister of Row. In July, 1881, on the death of his father, Mr. Webster received a gratifying and unanimous requisition, in which many members of the Free Church joined, that he should become minister of Fetlar parish, but he felt constrained to decline the call. On the occasion of the jubilee of his friend and colleague, Air. Laurie Fogo, graceful expression was given by Mr. Webster to the regard which he felt towards the beloved minister in whose honour they were assembled. He also testified to the generous manner in which his aged friend, although not sympathising with some of the changes in the church service, had 11 never allowed any personal feelings to stand in the way of anything that would promote the welfare of the parish." Courteous and genial in manner, Mr. Webster enjoys much esteem as minister of the parish, and his pulpit discourses evince the preparation of a well cultured mind. He is chaplain to the local corps of Rifle Volunteers, to whom he has frequently addressed words of counsel, while he is ever ready to respond to an invitation to preside at meetings of societies existing for the mutual improvement and strengthening the religious life of the younger members of his own or other churches.

At Garelochhead there are two places of worship, the Established Church, where the Rev. Mr. Calderwood officiates with marked ability since the death of the Rev. John Paisley, who filled the charge for over forty years. The Free Church is represented by the Rev. Walter E. Ireland, M.A., whose grandfather, the Rev. Dr. Ireland, was minister of North Leith in the early part of the present century. Mr. Ireland has laboured to the great satisfaction of his congregation since January, 1880. Shandon Free Church, a neat Gothic building near the pier, which was rebuilt eleven years ago, has for its minister the Rev. Hugh Miller, M.A., who was elected in 1882. He was a distinguished student in the Free Church College, particularly in the department of Natural Philosophy, and his abilities as a preacher are much appreciated in his present sphere of labour.

An account has been given of how the church of Row was originally established, and of its ministers. At one time there were several places of worship within the district now contained in the parish of Row before the year 1648, when it was created. One was at Faslane, the ancient residence of the Lennox family, where a small portion of the chapel remains in a ruinous state. Another was in Glenfruin, with considerable lands attached, and a few fragments of the chapel were built into the adjoining schoolmaster's house. There was also at Kirkmichael, in Helensburgh, a third place for celebrating worship, though no trace of it remains, but religious service is said to have been performed in it in the early part of last century by an indulged Episcopalian minister. At first it was intended that the parish church of Row should be placed in Glenfruin, which, at that time, was the most populous part, but the tenantry succeeded in getting it built in its present situation. The first minister was chosen from his ability to preach in Gaelic, but that language is now only spoken by a very few of the oldest inhabitants, and the last who used it in the pulpit was the Rev. Mr. Allan, who died in 1812.

There is hardly anything of general interest to be gleaned from the Kirk Session records, which do not go back farther than 1719, when the Rev. John Allan was minister, and elders, John Service, John M'Ausland, Humphrey Bane, Archibald M'Ausland, Archibald Taylor, John M'Aulay, Robert Service, and Patrick M'Turner. The handwriting is not easy to decipher, in some places, and there are often gaps of several years. After 1767, there is no entry till 1776, in which year there was one Session meeting as to an Act of General Assembly, anent the age of ruling elders, no one to be ordained until he was twenty-one years old. In 1779 there was one meeting, Mr. Allan, minister, a case of discipline. The next meeting was 1793, another case of discipline. None of these minutes were signed by the moderator. There appears to be no other session records until 8th May, 1832, when Mr. Laurie Fogo was minister of the parish, from which date they are kept with regularity. None of the proceedings of the famous Row heresy case, resulting in the deposition of the Rev. J. M'Leod Campbell, seem to be preserved, at least there is no trace of them in the existing records.

The first minute of 1719 narrates how the minister wishes to be informed of the state of the parish, as to the state of the funds, what were the church "utensils," and as to the poor money. The utensils were a common table, with forms and tablecloth, some towels, and a basin for baptisms, the amount of funds being 16 13s. 4d. Scots, with 22 pounds Scots for "marriage dues." The "Bedell" reports that, whereas the session appoints him yearly 4 pounds Scots, and a pair of shoes valued at 2 merks, payable Martinmas yearly, he wants his shoes for the last year, and is paid 2 merks for them. 11 poor persons are relieved by a small distribution of 1 pound Scots each. Next year a session meeting is held at Garelochhead, and other meetings for discipline cases. In 1720, owing to their being troubled with "groundless and inconsiderable processes of complaint," the session orders that any informer with a complaint must hand in a crown along with it, which is forfeited if the complaint is not found true. In August 1720, there is " collection for Lithuania, 6 pounds Scots." At a meeting in November, 1720, "John Smith, Patt. M'Ghinney, Walter Wilson, and Alexander Thomson, being summarised to ye dyet compeared and being interrogate whys. or not they employed Alexander M'Gormley, the excommunicate person as formerly, they owned they did, but at the same time told that he was again received into ye bosom of the church, then they being removed and the session finding it was through ignorance they did employ him, called them in and admonished them to be warry of it for the future, and so dismissed them."

On 22nd January, 1721, "Dugald Campbell having compeared according to appointment, and being interrogated whiy,. (as was reported) he had broken a whin rod at his brother Duncan his marriage, he owned he did, but at ye same time affirmed (tho : deponed) he neither spoke nor thought anything when he did it, nor knew any charm in it, but only did it according to custom, which, when ye session heard, and saw what he did was thro : ignorance, he was interrogate, whiyr. he acknowledged he was in ye wrong in so doing, and if he was sorry for what offence he had given to many, he replied he was, and accordingly dismissed."

Several session meetings in 1721 were taken up with the case of a woman who had been heard to utter malignant expressions of hatred, and predictions of evil, against her master, a farmer at Faslane, and was publicly rebuked for her heinous offence. Offences against morality were unhappily too common, and the guilty parties had to submit to rebuke before the congregation. In 1723 complaint was made that Robert M'Aulay in Gareloch had publicly proclaimed that the minister had made false representations to the congregation regarding the charity school at Faslane, and he was censured therefor. In 1724 James Davie chosen elder by "plurality of voices." Regular apportionments of the Poor money made yearly, 3 of the Session Funds loaned to Patrick M'Auslane, Stuckenduff, on good security.

In April, 1733, the elders from Glenfruin report that the schoolmaster complained of the paucity of children attending the school in the glen, and the elders proposed that something should be awarded him out of the funds, and accordingly be was awarded 4s. sterling, and that he should be paid the quarter's wages due from such poor children whose parents could not pay. The Session also appointed 3s. to be paid to Christian Turner for her encouragement in keeping a school at Gareloch-head. In the same year the Presbytery recommends all Sessions in their bounds to have a collection, from house to house, in favour of sufferers by the late fire at Paisley. In 1767, complaints made of the dilatoriness of parties paying their children's fees to the parish school, and it was ordered that no children be admitted without paying their fees at entry, except in the case of paupers. In 1779, two parties rebuked for contracting an irregular marriage, and in acknowledgment of their rebuke they signed the Kirk Session minutes, and agreed to live as Christian spouses. No further meeting of Session seems to have been held till January, 1793, when a couple who had contracted an irregular marriage paid half a guinea to the poor of the parish in acknowledgment of their sin.

In 1832, when the Rev. John Laurie was minister, the minutes again commence to be regularly kept, but they have nothing of general interest. In 1839, a new Session Officer is appointed for 4 sterling per annum. His duties were to ring the bell on Sabbath days, to toll the church bell at funerals, to clean the church, deliver citations from the Kirk Session, and attend their meetings. In April, 1840, Mrs. B , of Helensburgh, being accused of indecent and unbecoming language towards her sister, was refused a token of admission to the Lord's Supper, but now appeared and expressed sorrow for her conduct, and after being seriously admonished by the moderator, received a token of communion. On 27th August, 1854, the Session agreed to petition the Presbytery to take up the subject of the profanation of the Sabbath by the sailing of the steamer Emperor on that day. Nearly all the Session meetings, till the volume ends in 1862, were taken up with breaches of morality and rebukes following thereon.

The case in the Church Courts which attracted great attention, and excited widespread sympathy, was the deposition in 1830 of the Rev. John M'Leod Campbell, a very faithful and earnest servant of God. Soon after his appointment as minister of the parish, in 1825, it was seen that he was a man of no ordinary character, and of deep theological acquirements, although his printed writings were somewhat involved, and occasionally obscure in style. When he succeeded to the living, the religious life of the people was at a very low ebb, there being a great deal of drunkenness and immorality. Smuggling and other unlawful practices were rife in the neighbourhood, and were regarded in a very indulgent light by the inhabitants. Though the population of the parish of Row was but little over 2000, there were no less than thirty public houses scattered over its narrow bounds, and thus ample facilities were offered for intemperance. All this Mr. Campbell set himself to reform, and he earnestly and prayerfully laboured to this end. He sought to present the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in a solemn and striking manner, pressing home, as a free and priceless gift, salvation for all who were willing to receive it, through the great atoning sacrifice on Calvary.

The following extract from a letter, prefixed to a collection of his sermons, gives Mr. Campbell's views of his preaching in his own words. "I was gradually taught to see that so long as the individual is uncertain of being the object of love to his God, and is still without any sure hold of his personal safety, in the prospect of eternity, it is in vain to attempt to induce him to serve God under the power of any purer motive than the desire to win God's love for himself, and so to secure his own happiness; consequently, however high the standard, correspondence with it was sought under the influence of unmingled selfishness, making every apparent success only a deeper deception. And thus I was gradually led to entertain the doctrine commonly expressed by the words 'Assurance of Faith,' having first seen that the want of it precluded singleness of heart and eye in the service of God, and then having found, in studying the Epistles to the first Christian Churches, that its existence, in those addressed, was in them taken for granted, and in every practical exhortation was presupposed, I accordingly began to urge on my people that, in order to their being in a condition to act purely, under the influence of love to Him, and delight in what He is their first step in religion would require to be, resting assured of his love in Christ to them as individuals, and of their individually having eternal life given to them in Christ.
"I think this was the character of my preaching in the latter part of the year 1826, but I cannot easily fix; and in the summer of 1827, I think, it was first understood that offence was taken with what I taught. This, however, for some time amounted merely to the complaint, 'that I carried my subject too far,' and no one ventured then to advance the charge of heresy. It was at the same time, also, that I first enjoyed the happiness of seeing many awakened from their false security, and not a few to delight themselves in the Lord; and what my pressing of high attainments as the fruits of faith had been unable to accomplish, I now found produced by the earnest demand for the true faith itself."

However, rumours as to the unsoundness of Air. Campbell's teaching, and to its being in opposition to the standards of the Church of Scotland, grew more definite, and at last, on 30th March, 1830, a memorial libelling their minister was presented, from twelve of his parishioners, to the Presbytery of Dunbarton. In the libel Mr. Campbell was accused of promulgating doctrines contrary to the Word of God, and to the Confession of Faith,—namely, the doctrine of universal atonement by the death of Jesus Christ, of pardon for the whole human race, and that assurance is of the essence of faith and necessary for salvation. In Mr. Campbell's answers to the libel he repelled the charge of teaching doctrines inconsistent with Scripture and the standards of the Church of Scotland, and that, "as to the extent of atonement, I hold and teach that Christ died for all men; that the propitiation which He made for sin was for the sins of all mankind; that those for whom He gave Himself an offering and a sacrifice unto God were the children of men, without exception and without distinction; and this the Scriptures teach." After due examination of witnesses the libel was found "proven," and on appeal to the Synod the judgment of the Presbytery was affirmed, so that the General Assembly, as the ultimate court of decision, was appealed to by the minister of Row. The case came on for hearing at the Assembly's meeting in Edinburgh in May, and a petition in favour of Mr. Campbell was presented by 420 of his individual parishioners, 150 of whom were heads of families, comprising a very large majority of the population of Row. Able pleadings on behalf of Mr. Campbell were advanced by his friends, Rev. Robert Story of Rosneath, Rev. John Wylie of Carluke, and others, while various well known ministers were heard on the other side. The defendant's venerable father made a touching appeal on behalf of his son, in which he said, "Moderator, I am the oldest father at present in this house; I have been forty years a minister in the Church. . . . I bow to any decision to which you may think it right to come. Moderator, I am not afraid for my son; although his brethren cast him out, the Master whom he serves will not forsake him; and while I live I will never be ashamed to be the father of so holy and blameless a son." In spite of this affecting address, and the sympathy it evoked, the General Assembly, by a majority of 119 to 6, adhered to the finding of the Presbytery, and passed sentence of deposition on John Macleod Campbell from the office of the ministry of the Church of Scotland.

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