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DURIE, a surname derived from the estate of Durie in Fifeshire, which was anciently the inheritance of a family of the name of Durie, but for a long time in possession of the Gibsons, the first of whom, a lord of session, purchased it in the reign of James the Sixth. The Duries obtained it in the reign of Alexander the Second. The castle of Rossend, Burntisland, was built in 1382. Of this family was Andrew Durie, bishop of Galloway in 1541, and abbot of Melrose as early as September 24, 1527, who died in September 1558. Calderwood has a curious entry concerning him. According to him Bishop Durie was very fond of cards: “He died as he lived,” he says. “The articles of his belief were, – I referre: decart you. Aha! The four kings, and all made: the devil goe with it, it is but a varlett! From France we thought to have gotten a ruby, and yitt he is nothing but a Cohubie!” (It is explained in a note that these were terms in the card-playing of the period, including a pun at the expense of M. Rubie). With such faith and such prayers, departed out of this life that enemy of God and his truth, who had vowed that so long as they that were prelates lived, that word called the Gospel should never be preached within this realm. [Calderwood’s Hist., vol. i. p. 352.] In the time of James the Fifth Robert Durie of Durie, leaving an only daughter, the king by virtue of the ward, married her to Sir Alexander Kemp, his favourite, from whose posterity Sir Alexander Gibson bought the lands of Durie. [See GIBSON, Sir Alexander, Lord Durie.] The estate subsequently came into the possession of a family of the name of Christie.

During the struggle between the church and the court, in the reign of James the Sixth, there were two ministers of the name of Durie, who then acted a prominent part, namely John Durie, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, in 1574, and Robert Durie minister of Anstruther (father and son). The former, for his opposition to the bishops, brought upon him the persecution of the court, and was the particular object of enmity of the king’s favourite, the dissolute duke of Lennox. In 1580, with Mr. Walter Balcanquhal, he was summoned before the secret council, and charged to enter prisoner in the castle of Edinburgh, for inveighing in a sermon against the French courtiers. The sentence, however, was soon recalled. He was one of the ministers who held a conference with the Regent Morton, on the morning of his execution, June 2, 1581, when the earl made his celebrated confession. On the 30th May 1582 he was again cited before the council for having, in a sermon, styled the duke of Lennox and the earl of Arran, the court favourites, abusers of the king, and charged to remove out of Edinburgh, which city he accordingly left. That he and the cause of the church must have been very popular is proved by the warm reception he experienced on his return to Edinburgh in the following September. Calderwood says, “As he is coming from Leith to Edinburgh upon Tuesday the 4th of September, there met him at the Gallow Green, (that is, about the middle of Leith Walk) two hundred men of the inhabitants of Edinburgh. Their number still increased till he came within the Nether Bow. There they began to sing the 124th Psalm, ‘Now Israel may say,’ &c. They came up the street till they came to the Great Kirk (St. Giles’) singing thus all the way, to the number of two thousand. They were much moved themselves, and so were all the beholders. The duke (of Lennox) was astonished and more affrayed at that sight than at any thing that ever he had seen before in Scotland, and rave his beard for anger.” [Calderwood’s Hist. vol. iii. p. 646.] He was called before the king and council on the 13th December 1583, for having said that the raid of Ruthven had produced some good effects, when, after being examined, the council decided that he had transgressed the act, and, therefore, should be punished at the king’s will, on which he was banished to Montrose. He was a member of several of the subsequent General Assemblies which met at Edinburgh, and was engaged in most of the more important transactions of the Presbyterian church at that interesting period of her history.

His son, Mr. Robert Durie, minister of Anstruther, was one of the six ministers who were condemned at Linlithgow in 1606, and banished the realm, for declining the jurisdiction of the privy council, and holding a General Assembly at Aberdeen after the king had prohibited its meeting.

DURIE, or DURY, JOHN, in Latin DURÆUS, a learned divine of the seventeenth century, was born and educated in Scotland, and was for some time minister of Dalmeny. He was the son of Robert and grandfather of John, above. In 1624 he went to Oxford for the sake of the public library, but being zealously bent on effecting a union between the Lutherans and Calvinists, he published his plan in 1634, and obtained the approbation and recommendation fo Laud, archbishop of Canterbury, of the bishops of Kilmore and Exeter, and others. The same year he appeared at a famous assembly of the evangelical churches in Germany, at Frankfort, and afterwards negotiated with the divines of Sweden and Denmark. In 1641 we find him in London as one of the members of the Assembly of Divines, and he was also one of the preachers before the long parliament. He afterwards quitted the Presbyterian party, and joined that of the Independents. travelling into Germany for the advancement of his scheme, he obtained from the divines of Utrecht an authentic testimony of their good intentions, which he annexed to a Latin work, published in 1662 at Amsterdam, under the title of ‘Johannes Duraei Irenicorum Tractatnum Prodromus,’ &c. The discouragements he encountered in endeavouring to serve the church by the plan he had hitherto advocated, induced him to have recourse to another expedient of a still more impracticable nature, namely, the attempt to re-unite all sects of Christians by means of ‘A New Explication of the Apocalypse,’ which he published at Frankfort in 1674. At this time he resided in Hesse, where the princess Hedwig Sophia, then regent of that country, had assigned him a free house and well-furnished table, with free postage for his letters. The time of his death is unknown, but is supposed to have been about 1675. He was the author of a great many publications, relating principally to his two grand schemes for bringing about an accommodation and union between the protestant churches, a list of which is subjoined:

      Informatio de iis, qui in Studio Ecclesiasticae Concordiae inter Evangelicos prosequendo, agitare instituit Duraeus erga Ecclesiarum Danicarum Theologos. Bren. 8vo.

      Trium in Ecclesia Anglicana Episcoporum, (sc. Davenanti Martoni, et Halli,) Sententiae de Pacis rationibus inter Evangelicos usurpandis. J. Duraeo traditae. 1634. Et cum Sententiis quorundam Ecclesiae in Gallia pastorum et Syllabus quorundam Scriptorum de Ecclesiastica Reconciliatione. Amst. 1636, 8vo. London, 1638, 8vo.

       Hypomnemata de Studio pacis Ecclesiasticae. Amst. 1636, 4to.

      The Copy of a Petition, as it was tendered by Mr. Dury, to Gustavus, late King of Sweden when he was at Elbing, in Prussia, in the year 1628. Lond. 1641, 4to.

      A Discourse concerning Peace Ecclesiastical. Camb. In Latin. Lond. 1641, 4to.

      A motion tending to the Public Good of this Age and Posterity, or the Copies of certain Letters written by him to a worthy Knight, at his ease. Lond. 1642, 4to.

      Petition to the House of Commons, for the Preservation of True Religion. Lond. 1642, 4to.

      Petition to the House of Commons; whereunto are added, certain Considerations, showing the necessity of a Correspondence in Spiritual Matters, between Protestant Churches. Lond. 1642.

      Copy of a Letter to Lord Forbes in Sweden. London, 1643, 4to.

      Epistolary Discourse to Thomas Godwyn, Nye, and Hartlib, concerning Independency. Lond. 1664, 4to.

      Discourse against Toleration.

      Letters to Lady Ranaloe. 1645, 4to.

      Israel’s Call to march out of Babylon into Jerusalem opened, in a Sermon. Lond. 1646, 4to.

      Of Presbytery and Independency, &c. 1646, 4to.

      Model of Church Government, or the Grounds of the Spiritual Frame and Government of the House of God. Lond. 1647.

      The Peacemaker; or the Reconciliation to be procured between the Reformed Churches. Lond. 1648, 4to.

      The Reformed Library-keeper, and Bibliotheca Augusta Sereniss. Princ. de Augusti Ducis Brunovicensis et Lunenburgi; et Wolfenbuttle. Lond. 1648, 4to. Lond. 1650, 12mo.

      An Epistolary Discourse to Mr. Thomas Thorowgood, concerning his conjecture, that the Americans are descended from the Israelites, &c. 1649, 4to.

      A Reasonable Discourse, concerning the Reformation of Religion and Learning. Lond. 1649, 4to.

      Considerations concerning the Present Engagement. Lond. 1649, 4to. 1650.

      Seasonable Discourse for Reformation. 1649, 4to.

      The Reformed School, published by Hartlib. 1650, 12mo. With a Supplement, 1651.

      Impartial Consideration of, and Answer to, the Humble Proposals of sundry Divines concerning the Engagement; and Objections against taking the Engagement answered. Lond. 1650, in answer to an antagonist.

      Just Reproposals to Humble Proposals. Lond. 1650, 4to.

      Disengaged Survey of the Engagement. Lond. 1650, 4to.

      Two Treatises concerning the Matter of Engagement. Lond. 1650, 4to.

      A Case of Conscience, concerning Ministers meddling with State Matters, in or out of their Sermons, resolved more satisfactorily than heretofore. Lond. 1650, 4to.

      The Main Scruple against the Engagement removed. Lond. 1651.

      Conscience Eased. 1651, 4to.

      Earnest Plea for Gospel Communion. 1654.

      Summary Platform of Divinity. 1654.

      A Case of Conscience, whether it be lawful to admit Jews into a Commonwealth, resolved Lond. 1656, 4to.

      The Plain Way of Peace and Unity in Matters of Religion. Lond. 1660, 8vo.

      Irenicorum Tractatuum prodromus, in quo praeliminares continentur tractatus de. 1. Pacis Ecclesiae remoris e medio tollendis. 2. concordiae Evangelicae fundamentis sufficienter jactis. 3. Reconciliationis religiosae procurandae argumentis. 4. Methodo investigatorio ad controversias omnes sine contradicendi studio, et praejudicio, pacifice decidendas. Amst. 1662, 8vo.

      Consultationum Irenicarum prodiorthasis. Chest. 1664, 12mo.

      A New Explication of the Apocalypse. In French. Franc. 1674.

Electric Scotland Note:

The Minister at Dalmeny, was a different John Durie (1623-1656), son of Simeon and therefore also a grandson of John and cousin to “DURÆUS”..

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