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PRESBYTERY OF BUCHAN.
In 1824 the United Associate Synod divided the Presbytery of Aberdeen into those of Aberdeen and Stewartfield. The Presbytery of Stewartfield changed its name into that of Buchan, as more descriptive of its locality, in 1847, at which time it included most of the congregations which have since formed the Presbytery of Banff, and two which have been transferred to the Presbytery of Aberdeen.
CLOLA. Clola is a hamlet in the parish of Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, 16 miles east of Craigdam, and 2 south-east of Stewartfield.
The Rev. Mr Forbes of Old Deer was one of the 42 ministers who protested against the Act of Assembly, 1732, and otherwise took part in the measures which led to the Secession of the “Four Brethren,” but did not secede with them. He continued notwithstanding to inveigh from the pulpit against the corruptions of the Church of Scotland, and thereby produced in the minds of several of his parishioners dissatisfaction both towards himself and the Church so impugned by him. They withdrew from his ministry in consequence, and along with other Seceders in the surrounding district helped to form the congregation of Craigdam. They continued in connection with this congregation till 1766, when, along with the Seceders in the parish of New Deer, they were separated from it, and formed into the united congregations of Whitehill and Clola, both of which the minister supplied till they also were disjoined. Church built, 1784; sittings, 392.
Ist Minister.-WILLIAM MITCHELL. Ordained as minister of the united congregations of Whitehill and Clola, 14th November 1770. After 1777, Mr Mitchell confined his ministerial labours wholly to Clola, and left Whitehill to be supplied with another minister. At the union of the two great branches of the Secession in 1820, he took part with the “Protestors ” against the union, and thus became separated from the United Associate Synod. Mr Mitchell died in April 1832, in the 84th year of his age, and 62d of his ministry. The congregation joined the Free Church in 1852.
WHITEHILL. Whitehill is in the parish of New Deer, Aberdeenshire, 13 miles south-west of Fraserburgh, 16 west of Peterhead, and 33 north of Aberdeen.
The Rev. Mr Mair, of New Deer, was one of the ministers who protested against the act of Assembly, 1732, and otherwise took part with “The Four Brethren” in the procedure which led to their Secession, but did not himself secede. This gave offence to many of his parishioners, who, in consequence, took part with parishioners of Old Deer, Tarves, and Methlic, in forming the Secession Congregation of Craigdam. With this congregation they remained connected till 1766, when, with the seceders in Old Deer, they were separated from it, and formed into the United Congregations of Clola and Whitehill, with a place of worship at each, the minister preaching every third Sabbath at the latter place. First church built, 1770; second built, 1823; sittings, 450.
ist Minister.-WILLIAM MITCHELL. Ordained over the congregations of Clola and Whitehill, 1770. After 1777, Mr Mitchell confined his ministerial labours wholly to Clola, and the people of Whitehill were thus left to make choice of a pastor for themselves.
The congregation called Mr Aitken, who was appointed by the Synod to Kirriemuir.
2d Minister.-WILLIAM BARLAS, from Perth (North) Ordained 26th August 1779. Called in 1781 to Aberdeen, but continued in Whitehill. Deposed 5th September 1797. Emigrated to America, and died in New York, 7th January 1817. A volume of his sermons, and another of his letters, consisting of his correspondence with the Rev. John Newton, of pious memory, were published after his death.
3d Minister.—John BUNYAN, from Howgate, of which his father was minister. Ordained at large 1780, along with several probationers, to allow of their dispensing the sacraments in remote districts. Admitted to Whitehill 18th December 1798, after nearly 20 years itinerancy. Died zoth December 1821, in the 70th year of his age, and 23d year of his ministry.
The congregation called Mr James Gilfillan, who was appointed to Stirling.
4th Minister.—ADAM Lind, from Craigdam. Ordained 7th August 1823. Died 3d May 1862, in the 75th year of his age, and 39th of his ministry. A Memoir of his Life was published by his nephew, Rev. A. Lind, Elgin.
The congregation called Mr J. A. Murray, who preferred Burntisland, and Mr M'Donald.
5th Minister.—JOHN PATERSON, from Galston. Called to Kinkell and Whitehill. Ordained 7th June 1864.
PETERHEAD. Peterhead is a seaport town in the district of Buchan, Aberdeenshire, 32 miles north-north-east of Aberdeen, and 40 east-south-east of Banff.
PETERHEAD (FIRST), Now Extinct. This congregation originated with members of the congregation of Clola, resident in and about Peterhead, who, finding it inconvenient to travel between these places weekly, applied to the Presbytery to be formed into a separate congregation, with its seat in the town, which was allowed, 1790. Church built, 1794 ; sittings, 507.
Before obtaining a fixed pastor the congregation called Mr Clark, afterwards of Dalreoch, who declined the call.
Minister.—THOMAS Milne, from Chalmers' Street, Dunfermline. Ordained 14th July 1796. Resigned 12th December 1815. Became probationer, but retired after a time from the list of preachers, and lived privately in Dunfermline till his death.
The congregation then continued vacant till the union of the two great branches of the Secession, when the remaining members united with those of the second congregation. The place of worship belonging to them was afterwards sold to the Independents.
PETERHEAD (SECOND). This congregation originated in a dispute which had arisen among the members of the first congregation. Finding that harmony could not be restored, 43 of them applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the Associate (Burgher) Presbytery
of Perth, 30th December 1799. Church built 1800 ; sittings, 500. A new church was opened on 16th May 1858, with sittings for 750, at a cost of £1387, 75. 2 d.
ist Minister.-ROBERT CAMPBELL, from Tarbolton. Ordained 27th May 1802. Died 28th May 1852, in the 78th year of his age, and 51st of his ministry. Mr Campbell published a discourse which he had preached on behalf of Missions, and another occasioned by the death of Mr Glass of Aberdeen.
The congregation called Mr Drummond, who preferred Carlisle, and Mr W. Morrison, who preferred Ayr.
2d Minister.—JAMES FRAME, from Lanark. Called to Newcastle and Peterhead. Ordained 4th January 1854. Translated to Perth (York Place), 24th February 1861.
3d Minister.-WILLIAM GALLETLY, from Edinburgh, Bristo Street. Ordained ist January 1862. Demitted his charge on accepting the superintendentship of the Edinburgh City Mission, 22d December 1869. Now minister of Tillicoultry.
4th Minister.—JOHN Dickson, from Edinburgh, Portsburgh. Called to Colinsburgh and Peterhead. Ordained 9th November 1870.
NEW DEER. New Deer is a parish in Aberdeenshire. The place of worship belonging to the United Presbyterian congregation of New Deer is in the wood of Artamford, by which name the congregation is more generally designated in the locality, and stands about half-a-mile from the village of New Deer, 5 miles south-west of Whitehill, and 6 from Stewartfield.
The congregation of Artamford or New Deer originated in some difference which had taken place among the members of the congregation of Whitehill, which led a portion of them to apply for supply of sermon to the Associate (Burgher) Presbytery of Aberdeen, 1803, which was granted. Church built, 1804; sittings, 380.
Before obtaining a fixed pastor, the congregation called Mr Maclaurin, who was appointed by the Synod to Coldingham.
ist Minister.- FULLERTON PATERSON, from Biggar, North. Called to Queensferry and New Deer. Ordained 30th August 1809. Died 18th June 1853, in the 78th year of his age, and 44th of his ministry.
A call was given to Mr Erskine, who preferred Burghead; to Mr MQueen, who preferred Milngavie; and to Mr Harrower, who declined the call, and was afterwards of Eyemouth.
2d Minister.—JOHN ALEXANDER, A.M., from Kilmarnock (Princes Street). Ordained 4th November 1856. Demitted his charge on account of ill health, 10th January 1865. Lived some time in Dollar. Died in Glasgow, 11th August 1871.
3d Minister.—CHARLES GORDON SQUAIR, from Nairn. Called to Burray, Dubbieside, Boveedy, and New Deer. Ordained 10th August 1865.
FORGUE, (Now EXTINCT). Forgue is a parish in Aberdeenshire. The building erected for a place of worship stands on a spot of land called Bogfountain, 9 miles south of Huntly.
The dissenting congregation of Forgue originated with persons in the district who took part with the Rev. Mr Cowie in liis movement in favour of “ The Taber
nacle Men” (see Huntly). Mr Cowie preached to them as often as practicable till his death. Shortly after this event, the Rev. Ebenezer Brown of Inverkeithing, being by appointment of Synod on a mission tour to the north, visited Forgue, and, after preaching there, was requested by the people to obtain regular supply of sermon for them from the Associate (Burgher) Synod, which he did in 1806. Church built, 1805; sittings, 400.
Mr WALTER GRAHAME, from Biggar (North), was ordained minister of the Secession congregation, Forgue, 1806. Resigned the same year; and after itinerating some time as a probationer, returned to Forgue and resumed his pastoral relation to the congregation there, without induction, or formal recognition of the Presbytery's authority in the matter. Withdrew in like manner, 1831. Removed to Aberdeen and lived privately there till his death. Forgue was supplied with sermon after this as a mission station till 1842, when it was abandoned for want of encouragement, and the congregation became extinct.
SAVOCH OF DEER. Savoch is a district in the southern part of New Deer parish, Aberdeenshire. The church and manse stand apart from any village, 5 miles west of Stewartfield, 6 south-east of New Deer, 7 from Ellon, the post-town, and i mile from Auchnagatt, the sub-post-office.
The congregation originated in a system of itineracies set on foot by the United Associate Presbytery of Aberdeen, soon after the union of the two great branches of the Secession, 1820. The first sermon was preached at Savoch in August 1821. The place of worship for the first 7 years consisted of two thatched cottages thrown into one, with a pulpit placed on the floor, in the end. There, notwithstanding many disadvantages, the cause prospered. Chuch built 1828; cost £350; sittings, 310. Besides granting a quarter of an acre of ground as a site for the building, the Earl of Aberdeen contributed £50 towards its erection. He acted in the same generous manner when a manse was built in 1830.
ist Minister.-David Caw, from Methven. Ordained 1830. Resigned July 1832. Emigrated to America, and became minister of a congregation there.
2d Minister.—John HUNTER, from Blackfriars, Jedburgh. Ordained 11th July 1833. Died 3d June 1865, in the 62d year of his age, and 32d of his ministry.
3d Minister.-GEORGE BLAIR, from Leslie (West). Ordained 4th April 1866.
STEWARTFIELD. Stewartfield is a village in the parish of Old Deer, and district of Buchan, Aberdeenshire, 26 miles north of Aberdeen, 10 west of Peterhead, 2 south of Clola, and 3 from Mintlaw, the post-town.
The congregation of Stewartfield originated in the union between the two great branches of the Secession in 1820. The majority of the congregation of Clola, with which the person's forming the congregation of Stewartfield were previously connected, took part with their minister, Mr Mitchell, in his protest against that union, and with him abstained from joining in it. The minority approving of it, petitioned the United Associate Presbytery of Aberdeen to be recognised as a congregation in their connection, which was allowed. Church built 1822 ; sittings, 440. A new church was opened 19th March 1868, with sittings for 350, at a cost of £1138, 143,
ist Minister. David Allison, from Abbey Close, Paisley. Called to Arbroath, Anstruther, and Stewartfield. Ordained 8th July 1823. Resigned 30th November 1857. Died 7th July 1858, in the 59th year of his age, and 35th of his ministry.
2d Minister JAMES HENRY, from Whitehill. Ordained 16th December 1858.
ROSEHEARTY. Rosehearty is a fishing village in the parish of Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, 4 miles west of Fraserburgh, 16 east-by-north of Banff.
Several fishermen in the village of Rosehearty acquired a knowledge of and a relish for evangelical truth by the preaching of the Rev. Mr Mercer, minister of the parish of Pitsligo, who died about 1760. He was succeeded by a minister whose theological views were opposed to those of his predecessor, and whose ministrations produced great dissatisfaction in the minds of the persons referred to. Regarding him, however, as a person of high moral character, they did not withdraw from his ministry. About 1770 some of these men removed to Saltcoats and Ayr, to prosecute their calling. There they became acquainted with the doctrines taught, and principles maintained, by the Secession, and testified their approbation of them by entering its communion. In the course of a year a few of them returned to Rosehearty, and a Secession congregation being now formed at Clola, they connected themselves with it, though 18 miles distant. A few yeats after, the settlement of a minister at Whitehill, 11 miles distant, led to their being connected with that congregation till, in 1791, they erected a small place of worship in Rosehearty. Here they obtained sermon occasionally from the minister of Whitehill, with whose congregation they still remained in communion, and from probationers of the Secession Church who happened to be in the district, and not otherwise engaged. They were disjoined at their own request from Whitehill, and organised as a separate congregation, in 1822. They were supplied for a time every Sabbath with sermon during the herring-fishing season, and on other occasions once a fortnight. They ultimately became able to maintain ordinances constantly, and to have ministers ordained over them. The church was afterwards enlarged, and now accommodates 350 sitters.
ist Minister.-ROBERT JOHNSTON, from Chalmers Street, Dunfermline. Ordained 22d April 1828. Resigned 1832. Became probationer. Died in Jamaica in January 1853, in the 65th year of his age.
2d Minister.—WILLIAM BALFOUR, from Castle Street, Jedburgh. Ordained 16th April 1835.
New Leeds is a village in the parish of Strichen and district of Buchan, Aberdeenshire, on the road leading from Ellon, through Mintlaw, to Fraserburgh. It is 8 miles south of Fraserburgh, and 4 north of Mintlaw, the post-town.
The congregation of New Leeds originated in the home missionary operations of the United Associate Presbytery of Stewartfield. At the suggestion of the Rev. Mr Campbell of Peterhead, New Leeds was fixed upon as a mission station, and the Rev. Mr Allison, of Stewartfield, appointed to open it in June 1831. He preached in Langhill, in the house of Mr William Steven, one of his own elders, who kindly afforded accommodation to the congregation for a whole year. Organised, 1843.