Open a form to report problems or contribute information

 
1 Introduction 2 Message details 3 Upload file 4 Submitted
Page 1 of 4

Help and advice for Disruption of 1843

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it. We have a number of people each maintaining different sections of the web site, so it is important to submit information via a link on the relevant page otherwise it is likely to go to the wrong person and may not be acted upon.

Disruption of 1843

Leaders of the Disruption of 1843

This list of 'Ministers who gave their adhesion to the Free Presbyterian Church 1843' was transcribed from an article in 'The Scotsman', 31 May 1843 by Fionnghal NicPhadraig.

The Free Church of Scotland was a Scottish denomination born of the mass migration of over 440 [1] ministers from the Church of Scotland in a schism known as the 'Disruption of 1843'. This was by far the largest secession ever from The Church of Scotland - the Established Church in Scotland – and a massive political statement.

The spelling is exactly as I found it in the newspaper record, with the exception of Mc/Mac names where I've replaced the M' with the more familiar Mc/Mac to make it more likely to be picked up by the search engines.I've left abbreviated fore-names exactly as listed.

Though not a lot of detail accompanies the ministers' names, this list does indicate:

  • Where they were based in 1843
  • Those who are:
    Quoad Sacra Ministers
    Assistants & Successors
    Ministers of parliamentary churches
    Ministers without charges
    Professors

Some are not so labelled, so I cannot answer for them. I know no more about these individuals or their lives than is recorded here. I have done my level best not to include any typos but be advised only to use this list as a guide. Guide though it may be, it can be used as a jumping off point for further research or even confirmation of some already carried out.

A Quoad Sacra Parish is one created and functioning for ecclesiastical purposes only

  • Ministers quoad civilian - 261
  • Ministers Quoad Sacra - 139
  • Professors, Ministers of Parliamentary churches, and Assistants and Successors - 44

Total list of adherents to the protest as of Monday, May 29, 1843 - 444.
Please note: Though this comment from "The Scotsman" indicates there were 444 adherents, they actually pubished (at this date) only 386, which is the number in our list. Work proceeds to discover the others. Other sources have suggested a figure as high as 470. It was a brave move and a tremendous act of faith, as they gave up their homes and incomes in pursuit of their calling. Some suffered very badly in the following years with no church and many landlords against them and unprepared to allow them on their land.

Ministers are great people to have amongst your forebears. They crop up in the local papers, parish magazines, they signed documents &c, in general, they were well known, leaving a wealth of information out there for us to find. In the following few examples, you can see how the above material may be put to use.

A report in 'The Scotsman' - dated, Sat., 20th May 1843, page 3, records an important assembly meeting shortly before the adhesion, where the above-listed Professor Welsh, Edinburgh, had the chair and proposed the highly respected and powerful preacher, Thomas Chalmers, 1780-1847, Professor of Divinity, Edinburgh, as their first ever Moderator.

Three of the Bonars listed, were brothers, Horatio, John and Andrew, all joining the Free Presbyterians.

From the "Scotsman" list

  a   David Crichton, Minister at Inverbrothock, Arbroath  

From the 1841 Census

Piece Place Enumeration District Civil Parish Ecclesiastical Parish, Village or Island Folio Page Address
SCT1841/272 Arbroath - Angus 9 Arbroath Arbroath 9 2 Gayfield
 
Surname First name(s) Sex Age Occupation Where Born Remarks
CRIGHTON David M 35 Minister Of The Gospel Outside Census County (1841) Married with a family

This Quoad Sacra Minister is shown - by the 1841 Census - to have his name spelt slightly differently...David Crighton. The census doesn't indicate which church he belongs to, but from the list we learn that not only was he with the Church of Scotland, but he also, 2 years later, gave allegiance to the new break-away church, the Free Presbyterians.

 

From the "Scotsman" list

  James Lumsden, min. at Barry  

From the 1841 Census

Piece Place Enumeration District Civil Parish Ecclesiastical Parish, Village or Island Folio Page Address
SCT1841/274 Barry -Angus 6 Barry - 6 8 Barry Manse
 
Surname First name(s) Sex Age Occupation Where Born
LUNSDEN James (Rev) M 30 Minister Of The Parish Outside Census County (1841)
LUNSDEN Grace F 25 - Outside Census County (1841)

James has been misrecorded as Lunsden here in the census. He won't have been in this Manse much longer as his commitment to the Free Church would lose him all rights to his Church of Scotland home and income. But he did OK. Rev. James Lumsden, D.D., is remembered as a 'disruption elder', he became Professor of Symantic Theology at the Free Church College in Aberdeen and also Principal of the same college.

 

From the "Scotsman" list

  e    R.J. Brown, Professor of Greek, Aberdeen, professor  

From the 1841 Census

Piece Place Enumeration District Civil Parish Ecclesiastical Parish, Village or Island Folio Page Address
SCT1841/168 Aberdeen/Old Machar - Aberdeenshire 20 Gilcomston - 8 3 Golden Square
 
Surname First name(s) Sex Age Occupation Where Born
BROWN Robert M 48 Professor of Greek Outside Census County (1841)
BROWN Jane F 50 - Aberdeenshire

Although we don't yet have his middle name, we not only know he had one but now know that his first was Robert.

From the 1851 Census

Piece Place Enumeration District Civil Parish Ecclesiastical Parish, Village or Island Folio Page Schedule Address
SCT1851/168 Aberdeen/Old Machar - Aberdeenshire 20 Old Machar - 144 6 15 19 Golden Square
 
Surname First name(s) Rel Status Sex Age Occupation Where Born Remarks
BROWN Robert James Head M M 58 Professor of Greek Overseas - British - Holland Marischal College, Aberdeen (A.M.D.D.)
BROWN Jane Wife M F 62 Professor's Wife Aberdeenshire – Aberdeen  

Now we have his middle name and the listed alliance to the Free P's shows us where his sympathies lie.

In an interesting record of the 6th general assembly of the Free church, The Scotsman – Sat., 22nd May 1847, page 3, Professor Brown retires as the assembly's 5th Moderator, and nominates Dr Sievewright to be the next. He also is found in the accompanying list.