Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Scottish Nation

HALDANE, a surname derived from Haldenus, a Dane, who first possessed the lands on the borders called from him, Halden-rig. “In old charters,” says Mr. Alexander Haldane, in his Memoirs of Robert and James A. Haldane, (London, 1852), “in the rolls of parliament, and in other public documents, the name is variously written Halden, Haldane, Hadden, or Hauden. There is no doubt that it is of Norse origin.” In the 12th century a younger son of the border Haldens of that ilk became possessed of the estate of Gleneagles, Perthshire, by marrying the heiress of that family, and assumed the arms but not the name of Gleneagles. In 1296 the name of Aylmer de Haldane of Gleneagles appears in the Ragman Roll as among the barons who swore fealty to Edward I. Sir Bernard Haldane of Gleneagles married a daughter of William, Lord Seton. His son, Sir John Haldane, in 1460 married Agnes Menteith of Ruskie, one of the two co-heiresses of the half of the lands and honours of her maternal great-grandfather Duncan, last of the ancient Saxon earls of Lennox, beheaded by James I. In 1424, and in consequence assumed their armorial bearings. This Sir John Haldane was sent by James III. Ambassador to Denmark. He was also master of the king’s household, sheriff principal of the shire of Edinburgh, and lord-justice-general of Scotland beyond the Forth. In 1473 he was allowed to take out brieves in chancery for serving him one of the heirs of Duncan last earl of Lennox, and he had a long and tedious lawsuit with Lord Darnley as to the superiority of the earldom, which was gained by the latter. In 1482, when the duke of Gloucester, afterwards Richard III. Of England, invaded Scotland, Sir John Haldane, and three others, were appointed “joint captains, chieftains, keepers, and governors of the town of Berwick, and to defend it against the invasion of our old enemies of England.” The memorable defection, however, of the rebellious nobles at the bridge of Lauder, speedily caused the capitulation of that town. Sir John died in 1493. His son, Sir James, was, in 1505, appointed keeper of the king’s castle of Dunbar, but died soon after. The son of the latter, also Sir John Haldane, fell at Flodden.

      The Haldanes of Gleneagles gave their hearty support to the Reformation in Scotland, and in 1585, when the earl of Angus and the other banished lords returned from England, the laird of ‘Glennegeis,’ as he is styled by Calderwood, (vol. Iv. P. 390), took a prominent part in what was called “the raid of Stirling,” which had been concocted with the exiled nobles by the master of Gray. He was a prisoner in the town when it was attacked, but was enabled to join the assailants, and assisted in the armed remonstrance with the king, which brought back the banished ministers, and drove the earl of Arran into disgrace and banishment. When Sir William Stewart, colonel of the royal guard, was repulsed from the West Port of Stirling, he “was followed so hardlie that Mr. James Haddane, brother-german to the laird of Glennegeis, overtooke him; and as he was laying hands on him, was shott by the colonell’s servant, Joshuah Henderson.” In 1650 Sir John Haldane of Gleneagles was a leader in the Presbyterian army opposed to Cromwell, and fell in the rout at Dunbar. His successor, also Sir John Haldane, conferred a large portion of the Menteith or Lanrick estates on a younger son, Patrick Haldane. The eldest son, Mungo Haldane of Gleneagles, a member of the Scottish parliament, is mentioned by Nisbet in his account of the gorgeous public funeral of the duke of Rothes, lord-chancellor, in 1681, as in the procession bearing the banner of his relative, the earl of Tullibardine, afterwards marquis of Athol. On his death in 1685 he was succeeded by his son John Haldane, who, previous to the Revolution, sat in the Scottish parliament for Dumbartonshire. In 1688 he was a member of the convention parliament, and at the Union was one of the four members for Perthshire. He was the first member for the county of Perth in the first British parliament, and one of the commissioners for settling the equivalents at the union. He took a prominent part in the politics of his day, and on the passing of the Septennial act in 1716, he spoke strongly in its favour. He was twice married: first, to Mary, third daughter of David Lord Maderty; and, secondly, to Helen, only daughter of Sir Charles Erskine of Alva, ancestor of the earls of Rosslyn, and had a large family by both wives. His eldest son, successively M.P. for the counties of Perth and Stirling, died in 1757, at the age of seventy-three, unmarried. He was succeeded by his brother, Patrick, who was first professor of history at St. Andrews; then M.P. for the St. Andrews burghs; then solicitor-general; a royal commissioner for selling the forfeited estates; and in 1721 was appointed a lord of session. “This appointment,” says Mr. Alexander Haldane,”gave rise to a curious lawsuit as to the right of the Crown to appoint a judge or senator of the college of justice, ‘without the concurrence of the college itself.’ The matter was carried by appeal to the House of Lords (see Robertson’s Appeal Cases, p. 422,) and decided in favour of the Crown; but Patrick Haldane’s right was not insisted on, and he received another appointment. He was objected to as not being a practising advocate, but the pamphlets which appeared on the occasion, one of them attributed to the celebrated Duncan Forbes of Culloden, indicate strong political and personal rancour. Mr. Patrick Haldane is, amongst other things, not only charged with bribery at his elections, but with having induced his younger brother, James Haldane, then under age, the grandfather of Robert and James Alexander Haldane, to assist in carrying off and imprisoning hostile voters, on pretended charges of high treason and Jacobitism.” [Memoirs, page 8, Note.] Patrick’s only son, George, a brigadier-general in the army, and M.P. for the Dundee and Forfar burghs, died in 1759 governor of Jamaica, predeceasing his father ten years. The estate of Gleneagles being very much burdened, was sold to Captain Robert Haldane, a younger brother of the half-blood, who had returned from India, with a large fortune, being the first Scotsman who ever commanded an East India Company’s ship. He also acquired by purchase the estate of Airthrey, near the Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, and becoming M.P. for the Stirling burghs, is referred to in the Letters of Junius. He died at Airthrey, 1st January 1768, leaving that estate to his nephew, Captain James Haldane, of the Duke of Albany, East Indiaman, and entailling Gleneagles and Trinity Gask, in Perthshire, on the male descendant of his two sisters, Margaret, wife of Cockburn of Ormiston, East Lothian, and Helen, married to Alexander Duncan of Lundie, mother of the celebrated admiral Viscount Duncan, with remainder to his nephew, the said Captain James Haldane. George Cockburn, the son of the elder sister, on succeeding to Gleneagles, took the name and arms of Haldane, but on his death, without issue male, in 1799, that estate devolved on Admiral Lord Duncan, the eldest surviving son of the younger sister, the maternal grandmother of Robert and James Alexander Haldane, of whom a memoir is given in the following pages. Their father, Captain James Haldane of Airthrey, was the only son of Colonel James Haldane, who served from 1715 to 1741, in that squadron of the royal horse now known as the 2d regiment of life-guards. He died at sea, 9th December 1742, near Jamaica, on the Carthagena expedition, in command of General Guise’s regiment of infantry. On 15th December 1762, his son married his first cousin, Katherine, daughter of Alexander Duncan of Lundie, and had, with a daughter, who died in infancy, two sons; Robert, born at London 28th February 1764; and James Alexander Haldane, a posthumous child, both of whom acquired a prominent name in the modern religious history of Scotland, as narrated in a subsequent memoir. The elder son, Robert, succeeded to the estate of Airthrey, and built Airthrey castle in 1791. A few years previously he had constructed a lake covering thirty acres on his grounds, in which, soon after, he was nearly drowned. “It was winter,” says his nephew, the biographer of the family, “and during the frost, there was a large party of visitors and others on the ice, enjoying the amusement of skating and curling. He was himself standing near a chair on which a lady had been seated, when the ice suddenly broke, and he was nearly carried under the surface. With his usual presence of mind, he seized on the chair, which supported him, and quietly gave directions to send for ropes, as a rash attempt to extricate him might have only involved others in the impending catastrophe. Providentially there was help at hand; and by laying hold of the ropes brought by a gamekeeper and an old servant, he was happily extricated from his perilous position.” [Memoirs, p. 42.] the estate of Airthrey is now the property of Lord Abercromby, having been purchased from Robert Haldane in 1798, by the celebrated General Sir Ralph Abercromby.

      Of the Lanrick branch of the Haldanes, above referred to, Mr Alexander Haldane informs us that it only lasted two generations. He says, “Patrick, the first proprietor died young, having married Miss Dundas of Newliston, who was, through her mother, one of the younger coheiresses of the original stock of Halden of Halden-rig in the south. The eldest coheiress of that family was married to John, first earl of Stair, who, in her right, acquired the lands of Newliston. Patrick Haldane left two younger sons, one of whom was a professor at St. Andrews, and was burned to death whilst reading in bed. John, the elder son, took part in the rebellion of 1745, but contrived to escape forfeiture, and returned after man years of exile to die at Lanrick, in 1765, at the age of 85. He left six daughters, who had numerous descendants. Some of the male heirs of Lanrick are said to be still found in the north of Scotland. James Oswald, Esq. of Auchencruive, is the male representative of the eldest daughter of John Haldane. The Rev. James Haldane Stewart, vicar of Limpsfield, in England, is descended from the Lanrick family, his grandfather, Stewart of Ardshiel, who commanded the right wing of the rebel army at Culloden, having married a granddaughter of Patrick. Mr. Stewart of Ardshiel on one occasion fought with and disarmed Rob Roy. Sir Walter Scott has borrowed the incidents of this adventure in his tale, giving the catastrophe a turn more suited to the dignity of his hero. It is the scene at the clachan of Aberfoyle.” [Memoirs of the Haldanes, p. 6, Note.]

HALDANE, JAMES ALEXANDER, distinguished for his Christian labours, was born at Dundee on the 14th July 1768, within a fortnight after the death of his father, Captain James Haldane of Airthrey, in the county of Stirling, who was cut off by sudden illness at the early age of thirty-nine. His widow, Katherine Duncan, only survived her husband about six years, when her two sons, Robert, and James Alexander, were left under the guardianship of her brothers – the elder of whom was Lieutenant-colonel Alexander Duncan of Lundie, and the younger, Adam Duncan, was the future hero of Camperdown.

      The pious example and instructions of their mother exercised an important influence on both her sons. After receiving the first part of their education under private tutors, and at the grammar school of Dundee, the brothers were sent to the High school and college of Edinburgh, and boarded with Dr. Adam, the rector, the celebrated author of the ‘Roman Antiquities,’ and other valuable works. In his seventeenth year, James A. Haldane entered the service of the East India Company, as a midshipman, on board the Duke of Montrose. Previous to joining which an offer was made to his uncles by Mr. Coutts, the eminent banker, to take him into his bank, but which was declined. For three generations the family had possessed the chief interest in one of the Company’s chartered ships, the property of which was shared with Mr. Coutts, and with the family of Dundas of Arniston, At the time Mr. James Haldane entered the service, the command of the Melville Castle was held by Captain Philip Dundas, the brother of Viscountess Duncan, and the father of Robert A. Dundas, Esq., afterwards Mr. Christopher, M.P. for Lincolnshire. An arrangement provided, that as soon as Mr. J. A. Haldane attained the age which qualified him for the command, Captain Philip Dundas should retire in his favour. During the eight years which intervened, Mr. Haldane made four voyages to Bengal, Bombay, and China. In his fourth voyage he was second mate, and in 1793, having passed the necessary examinations, he obtained the command of the vessel named, the Melville Castle. He was then in his twenty-fourth year, and was considered a skilful navigator, a good seaman, and an officer distinguished alike for his firmness and suavity of manner.

      His life at sea was distinguished by many of those narrow escapes from dangers to which a sailor is often exposed. During his first voyage, when going aloft as a midshipman to reef the sails, the man next to him, and whom the captain had ordered to go first, was knocked from the year, and drowned in the sea. At another time, Mr. Haldane fell out of a boat at night, and was only saved by keeping fast hold of the oar with which he had been steering. On another occasion he narrowly escaped being murdered by Malays on an island, where, led by curiosity, he had penetrated alone into the woods. He came to the fire where the savages had been carousing, but escaped without injury, whilst one of the boat’s crew was killed, and another badly wounded. At a later period he had received a very eligible appointment from Sir Robert Preston, as third officer of the Foulis Indiaman. But he was detained in Scotland too long, and on his arrival in London, found that the ship had sailed the day before, and that his place had been filled up. This was a great disappointment, but it turned out for him a providential circumstance, as the Foulis was never heard of.

      During the months he remained in command of the Melville Castle, a desperate mutiny on board the Dutton (ne of the East India fleet, lying near Spithead) gave occasion for the display of that daring courage and presence of mind for which he was at all times conspicuous. The mutiny broke out in the night, and the crew threatened to carry off the ship to a French port. Shots were fired, and blood was shed. The captain of the Dutton, expecting to be overpowered, left the ship to seek for assistance from the admiral at Portsmouth. It was in the midst of this scene of confusion, in a dark night, that Captain Haldane ordered out his own boat, and went alongside the Dutton. The mutineers threatened to sink him if he did not sheer off, and to murder hm if he dared to board. Regardless of the menaced violence, he effected his purpose by a skilful manoeuvre, and threw himself into the midst of the angry mutineers; when, partly by that calm and resolute determination, before which the guilty are ever disposed to quail, and partly by kindly and persuasive appeals to their reason and good sense – to which they listened the more readily, because he was himself always popular as an officer – he quelled the mutiny without further bloodshed. He was both publicly and privately complimented for the combination of gallantry and judgment shown in this timely service, by which he had averted serious mischief. This, however, was only one of the many instances of his characteristic zeal, enterprise, and resolution. One of the captains under whom he sailed, was wont to say, that if in the night it blew hard, he never slept in comfort unless James Haldane was on deck. On one occasion he was enabled, by his skilful seamanship and prompt resolution, to avert the loss of the ship in the Mozambique Channel, nearly under the same circumstances, and in the same seas, where the Winterton was wrecked in 1792, when commanded by the late Captain Dundas of Dundas.

      It was during the detention of the East India fleet at the beginning of 1794, that the change took place which altered the whole current of his future life. It was not sudden, but gradual – not the result of enthusiastic excitement, but of calm reflection, as will be seen by the following extract from a letter to one of his old messmates: – “I had a book by me, which, frm prejudice of education, and not frm any rational conviction, I called the Word of god. I never went so far as to profess infidelity, but I was a more inconsistent character – I said that I believed a book to be a revelation from God, whilst I treated it with the greatest neglect, living in direct opposition to all its precepts, and seldom taking the trouble to look into it, or if I did, it was to perform a task – a kind of atonement for my sins. I went on in this course till, whilst the Melville Castle was detained at the Motherbank by contrary winds, and having abundance of leisure for reflection, I began to think that I would pay a little more attention to this book. The more I read it, the more worthy it appeared of God; and after examining the evidences with which Christianity is supported, I became fully persuaded of its truth.” Instead of being, as heretofore, careless about religion, he now came to see that it was the most important interest of man; and an unexpected opportunity having occurred, which enabled him to transfer his command, he sold out of the service, and relinquishing the prospect of the great fortunes made by his contemporaries – several of whom became East India Directors, and members of parliament – he retired into private life. His biographer says that his brother had previously laboured earnestly, although without success, to induce him to settle at home, and in the neighbourhood of Airthrey. When, therefore, he heard that an opportunity had occurred of disposing of the command for the sum of £9,000, being at the rate of £3,000 a voyage, exclusive of the captain’s share in the property of the ship and stores, which amounted in all to £6,000 additional, Mr. Haldane wrote strongly recommending that this offer should be accepted. His letter decided the matter, and Captain Haldane returned with his wife to Scotland early in the summer of 1794.

      Nothing, however, was further from Mr. Haldane’s purpose at this time than to become a preacher. It was his intention to purchase an estate, and lead the quiet life of a country gentleman, But, during his residence in Edinburgh, he became acquainted with Mr. David Black, minister of Lady Yester’s, and with Dr. Walter Buchanan, previously minister of Stirling, but then of the Canongate church, through whom he was introduced to several pious men actively engaged in schemes of usefulness. His enterprising mind gradually became interested in their plans for instructing the poor and neglected population in Edinburgh and the surrounding villages; and he was further stimulated to engage in preaching by the visit of the celebrated Charles Simeon, of King’s college, Cambridge, whom, in 1796, he accompanied in a tour from airthrey through a considerable part of the Highlands. Mr. Simeon, in his journal, relates that, a short time before their tour ended, they ascended together to the top of Benlomond, and there, impressed by the grandeur of the surrounding scenery, kneeled down and solemnly consecrated their future lives to the service of Almighty God.

      His brother, Mr. Robert Haldane, had in early life a decided inclination towards the ministry of the Church of Scotland; but his guardians had dissuaded him from following it out. In 1780 he entered the navy, joining the Monarch ship of war under his uncle, Admiral Duncan, from which ship he was shortly transferred to the Foundroyant, in which he evinced signal proofs of naval skill and intrepidity in the action with the Pegasé, under Admiral Jervis, afterwards Earl St. Vincent, and also when the vessel formed part of the fleet of Earl Howe in his successful expedition to Gibraltar. On the peace of 1783 he retired from the navy, and after residing for some time at Gosport, enjoying the intercourse of his friend Dr. Bogue, an eminent clergyman of the Independent persuasion, he became a student in the university of Edinburgh before the close of the ensuing year. For two sessions he divided his time between studying at college and travelling n the Continent; and having married in 1785, he settled at Aitrhrey in the autumn of that year. Shortly after his brother James Haldane’s devotion of himself to the service of God, being determined to dedicate his life, talents, and property to the diffusion of the gospel in India, Robert sold his beautiful and romantic estate of Airthrey to the late General Sir Robert Abercromby; and applied to Government and the East India company for permission to go to Bengal with three Presbyterian clergymen – the Rev. Dr. Bogue of Gosport, the Rev. Dr. Innes, then minister of Stirling and chaplain to the castle, and the Rev. Greville Ewing, assistant to Dr. Jones of Lady Glenorchy’s church, Edinburgh. Mr. Haldane was to have defrayed all the expenses of this mission, which included several catechists, or Scripture readers; and he also became bound to pay to each of his three principal associates £3,500, in order to secure their worldly independence. This benevolent design was frustrated by the refusal of the East India Company to sanction it; and both Mr. Robert Haldane and his brother James thereupon resolved to devote themselves to propagating the gospel at home.

      Mr. James Haldane preached his first sermon on the 6th May 1797, at the school-house of Gilmerton, near Edinburgh, then a very neglected spot, and inhabited chiefly by colliers. Several laymen, invited by a pious tradesman in the village, had previously preached there – especially the excellent Mr. Aikman, a gentleman of independent fortune, whose time and means, like those of Mr. Haldane, were given to the advancement of the gospel. The well-known Dr. Stuart of Dunearn was present at Mr. Haldane’s first sermon, and was so struck with it, that he pronounced him to be indeed a “Boanerges.” Subsequently Mr. Haldane attracted great attention, preaching on Sunday evening with great earnestness in the open air to thousands on the Calton Hill, in Bruntsfield Links, or in the King’s Park, Edinburgh.

      In the summer of 1797, he made a very extensive tour, in company with his friends Mr. Aikman and Mr. Rate, through the northern counties of Scotland and the Orkney Isles. This tour, partly from the novelty of lay preaching, and partly from the previous lethargy of the times, produced a great sensation. The common people thronged in crowds to hear, and whilst much good was effected, not a little opposition was awakened in some quarters. At Aberdeen the town drummer was fined a guinea for intimating a sermon by Mr. Haldane in the College Close, but the preacher sent him the money, that he might be no loser. On a subsequent occasion he preached in the streets of Aberdeen on a Sabbath evening, and next morning, one of his hearers was found dead, on his knees, in the attitude of prayer. In the following summer the celebrated Rowland Hill visited Scotland with the view of preaching. In his published journal there is a graphic description of his first interview with Mr. James Haldane. He had arrived at Langholm, where he met Mr. Haldane, accompanied by Mr. Aikman, who were on a preaching tour through the south of Scotland. “These gentlemen,” says Mr. Hill, “were then unknown to me. I was told, but in very candid language, their errand and design; that it was a marvellous circumstance – quite a phenomenon – that an East India captain – a gentleman of good family and connection – should turn out an itinerant preacher; that he should travel from town to town, and all against his own interest and character. This information was enough for me. I immediately sought out the itinerants. When I inquired for them of the landlady of the inn, she told me she supposed I meant the two priests who were at her house; but she could not satisfy me what religion they were of. The two priests, however, and myself soon met, and, to our mutual satisfaction, passed the evening together.”

      The same system of peaching tours was carried on for a succession of years, in conjunction with Mr. Aikman, Mr. Innes, Mr. John Campbell, afterwards well known as a missionary and traveller in Africa, and others, till the gospel had been thus proclaimed not only in every part of the mainland, from the north to the south, but also in the Orkney and Shetland islands, where the most striking effects were produced. The two brothers were among those who, in December 1797, established in Edinburgh ‘The Society for Propagating the Gospel at Home,’ and they formed two of the first committee of twelve directors, all of whom were laymen, and nine of them engaged in business.

      Up to this period neither of the Messrs. Haldane had left the Church of Scotland; but the visits of Mr. Simeon and Mr. Rowland Hill, and, above all, the excitement produced throughout the country by the itinerants, induced the General Assembly to issue ‘a Pastoral Admonition,’ warning the people against strange preachers, and prohibiting Episcopalians or other strangers from occupying the pulpits of the Scottish church. Hitherto peaching in Edinburgh had been conducted in the Circus in Leith Street, so as not to interfere with the hours of public worship in the city churches; but after the pastoral admonition, the brothers Haldane, with Mr. Aikman, several ministers, and many of their lay friends, seceded from the establishment. Mr. Robert Haldane, at an expense of £30,000, erected or purchased large places of worship in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Perth, Dunkeld, Dumfries, Elgin, and several other places in Scotland. Mr. James Haldane undertook to officiate in a newly erected chapel in Leith Walk, called after Mr. Whitfield’s places of worship, a Tabernacle. But he stipulated that this should not interfere with his labours as an itinerant preacher ‘in the high-ways and hedges.” His ordination took place on Sunday, 3d February 1799.

      In 1798, Mr. Robert Haldane had accompanied Mr. Rowland Hill in a preaching tour through Scotland, and subsequently into Gloucestershire, and during his journey, besides resolving upon the erection of these places of worship, he conceived the idea of educating a number of pious young men for the ministry unconnected with any church. In following out this project he established theological seminaries in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Elgin, Granton in Strathspey, Gosport, &c., under Messrs, Ewing, Innes, Aikman, John Campbell, Cowie, Ballantyne, Macintosh, Dr. Bogue, &c., and expended large sums of money, the students being all maintained at his expense, both married and unmarried. The number thus trained for the preaching of the gospel amounted to about four hundred, amongst whom were some who in their after career acquired considerable eminence, such as, Dr. Russell of Dundee, Principal Dewar of Aberdeen, Mr. John Angell James of Birmingham, Mr. Orme of Camberwell, Mr. Maclay of New York, and others. He also undertook to defray the expenses of bringing over to England, and educating in the principles of Christianity, a number of African children from Sierra Leone, with the view of sending them back to their own land to act as missionaries among their countrymen, a scheme which originated with Mr. John Campbell. Twenty boys and four girls were accordingly brought to England by Governor Zachary Macaulay, in June 1799, but as that gentleman objected to their education being under the sole management of Mr. Haldane, – who had taken the lease of a house and prepared it for their reception in the King’s Park, Edinburgh, afterwards used for the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, and immortalized by Sir Walter Scott in the Heart of Mid Lothian, as that of the laird of Dumbiedykes – he declined to act under a committee, and the children were educated by funds provided in London.

      The establishment of churches on the Congregational plan gave great offence to many of the friends of the two brothers, and their motives were often questioned, while their objects and character were exposed to much unmerited obloquy and misrepresentation. The pastoral admonition of the General Assembly of the Established church, passed in 1799 against vagrant teachers and Sunday schools, already referred to, was not the only ecclesiastical attempt which was made to crush the itinerating preachers. In 1796 the General Associate Synod had passed a Resolution against the constitution of missionary societies, and testified against co-operating with persons in religious matters not of their communion. The Cameronians at Glasgow, and the Relief Synod also prohibited any of their members or ministers from countenancing them, or giving them the use of their pulpits. The Antiburgher Synod, in 1799, even went so far as to depose the Rev. George Cowie of Huntly, one of their most eminent ministers, for attending the sermons of the so called missionary preachers. Of Mr. James A. Haldane, Mr. Cowie declared that “he carried his credentials as a preacher with him.” Previous to 1800, Mr. J. A. Haldane had preached the gospel, says his biographer, “in every part of Scotland, and abundantly distributed religious tracts, from the Solway Firth in the south round about to the Tweed, and thence beyond Caithness and the clustering Orkneys and Shetlands even to the Ultima Thule of the romans. He had also skirted the fastnesses of the Highlands from Dunkeld to Sutherland, but had felt the difference of language an obstacle to his progress in those districts.” During the panic in this country produced by the French Revolution, party spirt ran high in Scotland, and in the excitement of the times the two brothers, but especially Mr. Robert Haldane, were charged with holding levelling and revolutionary opinions. So persevering and reiterated were these attacks, that in 1800 the latter found himself compelled, in self-vindication, to publish a narrative of his proceedings with, a statement of his principles, in a pamphlet, which had an extensive circulation, entitled, ‘Address to the Public, by Robert Haldane, concerning Political Opinions, and the plans lately adopted to promote Religion in Scotland.’ This publication was well-timed, and proved very useful in silencing the calumnies which had been circulated regarding his views and designs, and particularly it was thought to be instrumental in putting a stop to a proposed measure of Mr. Pitt, then prime minister, for the suppression of unlicensed preaching and the punishment of lay-preachers.

      In June 1800 Mr. James Haldane entered upon a new preaching tour, his fourth, accompanied by Mr. Campbell. This time their journey extended to Arran and Kintyre. At Ayr, two years before, he had met with strong opposition from the magistrates; at North Berwick he had also experienced some obstruction, as had been the case at Aberdeen, as already related. At Kintyre, on this occasion, he and Mr. Campbell were both arrested at a place not far from Campbelton, for preaching in the open air. The gentleman who made himself most conspicuous in their arrest was a major in the army, the heir to a baronetcy. They were conducted under the escort of a sergeant and a party of volunteers, thirty miles to the residence of the sheriff of Argyle, spending a night on the road in custody at Lochgilphead. After some conversation the sheriff ordered them to be set at liberty, thus admitting the lawfulness of field-preaching; and, on their return the same route, they preached at all the villages where they had been previously expected, when the people flocked in crowds to hear them. Their arrest had excited much interest in the district, and on this occasion Mr. Haldane preached with more than his usual power. For the work of an itinerating preacher he was peculiarly fitted, especially where he had to contend with opposition. “The habits he had acquired at sea,” says Dr. Lindsay Alexander, in the funeral sermon which he preached on his death in February 1851, “in battling with the elements and with the untamed energy of rude and fearless men, stood him in good stead when called to content for liberty of speech and worship, in opposition to the bigoted and tyrannical measures of those who would fain have swallowed up alive the authors of the new system. He was not a man to quail before priestly intolerance or magisterial frowns. Dignified in manner, commanding in speech, fearless in courage, unhesitating in action, he everywhere met the rising storm with the boldness of a British sailor and the courtesy of a British gentleman, as well as with the uprightness and the unoffensiveness of a true Christian. To the brethren who were associated with him, he was a pillar of strength in the hour of trial; while, upon those who sought to put down their efforts by force or ridicule, it is hard to say whether the manly dignity of his bearing or the blameless purity of his conduct produced the more powerful effect in paralysing their opposition, when he did not succeed in winning their applause.”

      Mr. Robert Haldane also engaged in field-preaching, but not so extensively as his brother, who, in September 1801, crossed over to Ireland, and preached to crowded congregations in various parts of Ulster. On the death of his second child, a little girl under six years old, on 5th June 1802, Mr. James Haldane published an interesting little memoir, entitled ‘Early Instruction recommended, in a Narrative of Catherine Haldane, with an address to Parents on the Importance of Religion.’ He afterwards again visited Ireland on a preaching excursion, and in 1805 made a second tour into Breadalbane, extending it this time as far as Caithness, which was the last of his long itinerating tours. From this period till his death he was never absent long from his congregation in Edinburgh. About 1808, various discussions which had arisen relative to church order, apostolic practice, and baptism, led to a rupture in the Tabernacle church, and Mr. James Haldane, who had adopted Baptist sentiments, was deserted by some who had till then been his colleagues. In consequence of a dispute with Mr. Greville Ewing, styled “the father of Congregationalism in Scotland,” relative to the Tabernacle in Glasgow, built by Mr. Robert Haldane for that gentleman, the latter also, in 1811, left the new connexion, and Mr. Haldane published two pamphlets explanatory of the transactions between them. [See memoir of the REV. GREVILLE EWING.]

      Towards the end of 1809 Mr. Robert Haldane had bought the estate of Auchingray, in Lanarkshire, as a country residence. In the summer of 1816 he entered upon a missionary tour on the continent, and his name thenceforth became connected with the revival of vital Christianity in France and Switzerland. In Geneva particularly, by his conversational meetings with the theological students, he was enabled to lead them to right views of the great doctrines of the gospel, a cold and dry Socinianism being all that at that period was taught in their divinity course. The Rev. Dr. Caesar Malan, Dr. Merle D’Aubigne, the author of the History of the Reformation, and other eminent ministers, were among his converts while at Geneva. In the following year he went to Montauban, on the Tarn, the centre of education for the Protestants of the Reformed church in France, where he resided for two years, and was also the means of effecting much good among the ministers and students of theology in that place. A translation of his ‘Evidences of Christianity,’ and his ‘Commentary on the Romans,’ in French, were published at Montauban, while he was there, the latter in two volumes 8vo, and copies distributed all over France and Switzerland. For long after, each student of divinity, on leaving college at Montauban, received a copy of the Commentary out of a stock left for the purpose. From his residence at Geneva and Montauban originated the establishment of the Continental Society, an active auxiliary of which was, mainly through his influence, founded at Edinburgh in the spring of 1821. It was formed on the model of his own original association in Scotland for propagating the gospel at home. At the end of 1824, he was the originator of the Bible Society controversy, in which Dr. Andrew Thomson of St. George’s church, Edinburgh, took such a prominent part, and published various pamphlets against the circulation of the Apocrypha with the Bible by the British and Foreign Bible Society. This controversy lasted nearly twelve years, and led to the purification of the Society and to the circulation of the pure Word of God without any intermixture. His last labours were bestowed on a careful revision of his ‘Exposition of the Romans,’ which was published in 1842, with a valuable treatise on the ‘Testimony of the Word of God, with regard to the state of the Heathen destitute of the Gospel.’ He died 12th December 1842, in his 79th year, and was buried within one of the aisles of the old cathedral of Glasgow. No portrait of him exists. He had married in April 1786, Katherine Cochrane Oswald, second daughter of George Oswald of Scotstown, by whom he had a daughter, Margaret.

      His brother, Mr. James Haldane, survived him nine years. His labours and itinerancies had been the means of awakening thousands to concern for their eternal welfare, of which there were many testimonies. Dr. Andrew Thomson of St. George’s (of whom a memoir is afterwards given in its place) remarked, that in examining candidates for admission he found a greater number of instances of awakenings attributed to the preaching of Mr. James Haldane than to any other preacher in Edinburgh. For five years he conducted ‘The Scripture Magazine;’ the chief object of which was to establish the grand truths of the gospel; and, amongst other valuable essays from his pen, and ‘Notes on Scripture,’ it contains a series of articles which he once thought of collecting into a volume, under the title of the ‘Revelation of Mercy.’ This design he never accomplished, but he published, in 1818, a valuable little tract, ‘The Revelation of God’s Righteousness,’ embodying an epitome of his views. Like his brother, he condemned the erroneous doctrines enunciated by the Rev. Edward Irving, and published a “Refutation” of them. He subsequently published a treatise on the Atonement. On the completion of the fiftieth year of his pastoral office, on 3d February 1849, a jubilee meeting was held, on 12th April thereafter, which was very gratifying to him. This eminent servant of the Lord died on 8th February 1851, in his 84th year. From a portrait of him, by Colvin Smith, prefixed to Memoirs of Robert and James A. Haldane by their nephew, Alexander Haldane, Esq., Barrister in law, (published in 1852), the following woodcut is taken:

[portrait of James Haldane]

      He was twice married. His first wife, whom he married immediately after his appointment as captain of the Melville Castle, was Mary, only daughter of Alexander Joass, Esq. of Colleinwart, Banffshire, by Elizabeth, eldest sister of the celebrated Sir Ralph Abercromby. By this lady he had three sons and six daughters. She died 27th February 1819, and he married a second time, 23d April, 1822, Margaret, daughter of Dr. Daniel Rutherford, professor of botany in the university of Edinburgh, the maternal uncle of Sir Walter Scott, and by her he had three sons and three daughters.

      It may be said of both the brothers Haldane, as has been well remarked by the writer of one of their obituary notices, that in all their undertakings for the promotion of religion at home, they proceeded hand in hand. Although each was distinguished by a determined will, and strong adherence to his own views of duty, there was between them a remarkable harmony of design and oneness of spirit; and never, during their long and honourable course of mutual co-operation, was there one jarring feeling to distract their zeal for the common object which they steadily pursued. That object was the glory of Christ and the salvation of their fellow-men; and from the moment they undertook to devote their lives to labour in the gospel, there was no looking back to the gay world which they had left. Wealth, honour, worldly renown and reputation, were all forsaken; nor did the seducing hope of earning a name and a place in the Christian world ever tempt their ambition. In the matter of personal sacrifice, the one abandoned a beautiful estate, with its natural accompaniments of worldly position and influence: the other relinquished an honourable and lucrative post, with the certain prospect of fortune. Each dedicated intellectual talents of no common order to the same cause: the one by his preaching, but much more by his writings; the other by his writings, but much more by his preaching, taught and vindicated the same truths. While the elder brother was expending thousands and tens of thousands of pounds in the education of missionaries and preachers – in the erection of chapels, and in the circulation of the Scriptures – the other was, at his own cost, travelling through the destitute parts of Scotland, and the north of Ireland, preaching the gospel to listening multitudes; and afterwards, for more than half a century, discharging without emolument, or the shadow of worldly recompense, the daily duties of a minister.

      Mr. Robert Haldane’s works are:

      Address to the Public, concerning Political Opinions, and Plans lately adopted to promote Religion in Scotland. Edin. 1800, 8vo.

      The Evidences and Authority of Divine Revelation. Edin. 1816, 8vo. French edition, 1817. 3d edition, enlarged, 2 vols. 8vo. 1834.

      Two pamphlets in 8vo. Relating to a controversy with the Rev. Greville Ewing of Glasgow on the subject of the Tabernacle in that city; one of them published in 1810.

      Letter to M. Cheneviere, Professor of Theology at Geneva. In French and English. Edin. 1824, 12mo.

      Commentary on the Romans. In French. Montauban, 1817, Also a German edition.

      Review of the conduct of the British and Foreign Bible society relative to the Apocrypha, and to their administration on the Continent; with an Answer to the Rev. C. Simeon, and Observations on the Cambridge Remarks, 1825.

      Second Review of the same. 1826. Occasioned by a Letter (by Dr. Steinkopff, the former secretary of the Society) addressed to Robert Haldane, Esq., containing some Remarks on his Strictures relative to the Continent and to Continental Bible Societies.

      Authenticity and Inspiration of the Scriptures. 1827. This work had a rapid sale, and went through several editions. It was used as a class book by Dr. Chalmers when professor of theology; also by Dr. Steadman, the head of the Baptist college at Bradford.

      Six pamphlets on the Apocrypha question, on the establishment of the Edinburgh Corresponding Board. 1827-8. Three others on the same subject, after the formation of the Trinitarian Bible Society. 1831.

      The Conduct of the Rev. Daniel Wilson (afterwards bishop of Calcutta) on the continent, and as a member of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, and of the British and Foreign Bible Society, considered and exposed. Edin. 1829.

      Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans, with Remarks on the Commentaries of Dr. Macknight, Professor Moses Stuart, and Professor Tholuck, 3 vols. First vol. In 1835; 2d in 1837; and 3d in 1839; new edition 1842. On this work he was engaged, more or less, for nearly thirty years. A German translation of it was also published.

      Letter to the Right Hon. Thomas B. Macaulay, M.P. for Edinburgh. Edin. 1839.

      Various letters in the newspapers in answer to the Rev. Dr. John Brown, on the subject of payment of the Annuity Tax, and afterwards published separately in a pamphlet. Edin. 1840.

      Subjoined is a list of Mr. James A. Haldane’s works:

      Early Instruction recommended, in a narrative of Catherine Haldane (his daughter, a child about six years old), with an Address to Parents on the importance of Religion. Edin. 1801. Several editions. Translated into Danish.

      Treatise on the Lord’s Supper. Edin. 1802, 8vo.

      View of the Social Worship and Ordinances of the First Christians. Edin. 1805, 12mo. Several editions.

      Treatise on the Duty of Forbearance. Edin. 1811, 8vo. Relating to the subject of Infant Baptism.

      Reply to two pamphlets on the same subject. Edin. 1812.

      Doctrine and Duty of Self-Examination; the substance of two Sermons preached in 1806. Edin. 8vo, new edit. 1823.

`Observations on the Association of Believers.

      The voluntary Question Political, not Religious. 1823.

      The Revelation of God’s Righteousness. 1818, 3d ed. 1851.

      Strictures on a Publication upon Primitive Christianity, by Mr. John Walker, formerly Fellow of Dublin College. 1819.

      Observations on Universal Pardon, the Extent of the Atonement, and Personal Assurance of Salvation. Edin. 1827, 8vo.

      Refutation of the heretical doctrine promulgated by the Rev. Edward Irving respecting the Person and Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. Edin. 1828.

      Answer to Mr. Henry Drummond’s Defence of the heretical doctrine promulgated by Mr. Irving. Edin, 1830, 12mo.

      Man’s Responsibility; the nature and Extent of the Atonement; and the Work of the Holy spirit; in reply to Mr. Howard Hinton and the Baptist Midland Association. Edin. 1842, 12mo.

      The Doctrine of the Atonement; with Strictures on the recent publications of Drs. Wardlaw and Jenkyn on the subject. Edin. 1845, 16mo, new edition, 1847.

      An Exposition of the Epistle to the Galatians, Edinb. 1848, 16mo.

Return to The Scottish Nation Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus