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The Scottish Nation

DRYSDALE, a surname originating from Dryfesdale, a parish in the district of Annandale, Dumfries-shire, which is popularly pronounced Drysdale. The name Dryfesdale is derived from the river Dryfe, and was at one time applied to the entire district through which that stream flows. It is now limited to the parish.

DRYSDALE, JOHN, D.D., an eminent preacher, third son of the Rev. John Drysdale, of Kirkaldy, was born in that town April 29, 1718, and received the rudiments of his education at the parish school of his native place under David Miller, who had also the honour of teaching Dr. Adam Smith and James Oswald of Dunnikier. In 1732 he removed to the university of Edinburgh, where he studied divinity, and, in 1740, was licensed to preach. After being for several years employed as assistant minister in the College church of Edinburgh he was in 1748, by the interest of the earl of Hopetoun, presented by the Crown to the living of Kirkliston, Linlithgowshire, and, in 1763, was translated to Lady Yester’s church, Edinburgh. He was afterwards appointed one of his Majesty’s chaplains for Scotland, with one-third of the emoluments of the deanery of the chapel royal. In 1773 and 1784 he was elected moderator of the General Assembly, He had always supported what was called the moderate party in the church, and at the meeting of the Assembly in May 1788, he was chosen principal clerk of assembly, but was unable, from declining health, to perform the duties. He died soon after, on June 16, 1788. After his death two volumes of his sermons were published by his son-in-law, Professor Dalzell.

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