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WAMPHRAY. The United Presbyterian congregation so designated is situated in the village of Gateside, from which it originally took its name. Gateside is in the parish of Wamphray, Upper Annandale, Dumfriesshire, 17 miles north-east of Dumfries.
Wamphray was among the earliest formed congregations of the Relief Church, and originated in the high moderatism and general unacceptability of the ministers of Wamphray and Johnston, contiguous parishes in the district. The persons forming it are known to have worshipped many years in the open air, but the date of their organisation as a congregation has not been ascertained. Church built, 1777 ; sittings, 300. The church was rebuilt, and opened in May 1850, at a cost of £300, with 250 sittings.
Before obtaining a fixed pastor, the congregation called Mr Nicolson, who preferred Pittenweem ; Mr Taylor, who preferred Earlston; and Mr Gilmour, afterwards of Banff, from whom the call was withdrawn.
Ist Minister.—THOMAS MARSHALL. Ordained 1778. Died 1781, in the third year of his ministry.
2d Minister.-GEORGE HALLIBURTON NICOLSON, previously of Pittenweem. Translated to Wamphray 1782. Died 1792, in the roth year of his ministry.
3d Minister.—DECISION LAING. Ordained 20th July 1797. Translated to Balfron 19th July 1804.
4th Minister.—HENRY PATERSON. Ordained ist August 1805. Died 14th June 1847, in the 71st year of his age and 42d of his ministry. Moderator of Relief Synod, 1821.
5th Minister.—JOHN BRASH, from East Campbell Street, Glasgow, of which his father was minister. Called to Aberchirder and Wamphray. Ordained 13th January 1851. Called by Cameronian Church in New York. Emigrated thither and settled as its minister, 1854.
The congregation called Mr John Hyslop, now of Leven.
6th Minister.—David Mann, from Braehead. Ordained 26th December 1855. Demitted his charge 28th March 1871, having accepted a call to Walton, county Huron, Ontario.
MOFFAT. Moffat is a village in Dumfriesshire, 16 miles north of Lockerbie, 21 north-east of Dumfries, and about 20 south-east of Biggar.
A few persons resident in the vicinity of Moffat travelled up Annandale to Cousten, to hear the Rev. Ralph Erskine and the Rev. James Fisher preach there in 1739, and were then induced to connect themselves with the Seceders, and become part of the congregation of Ecclefechan at its formation. When the congregation of Biggar began, a portion of the Seceders in and about Moffat connected themselves with it. From this circumstance the Rev. Mr Low, of Biggar, was led to preach occasionally in Moffat, at which times the members of the Secession congregation of Ecclefechan and those of Biggar, resident in the district, were brought together, and perceiving that they were sufficiently numerous to maintain ordinances among themselves, they applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the Associate (Burgher) Presbytery of Edinburgh, 1780. They worshipped in the
open air till 1790, when they took possession of a church they had built for themselves, containing 380 sittings. A new church was opened in 1862, with sittings for 750, at a cost of £4000.
Before obtaining a fixed pastor the congregation called Mr Leckie, who was appointed by the Synod to Peebles.
Ist Minister.—HECTOR CAMERON, from Bridge of Teith ; called to Ayton, Jedburgh, Paisley, and Moffat. Ordained 1794; called to Barrhead 1799, and again in 1800, but continued in Moffat, and died there 1805, in the 37th year of his age and 11th of his ministry.
2d Minister. - JOHN MONTEITH, from Dunblane. Ordained 27th September 1809. Died 23d April 1844, in the both year of his age and 35th of his ministry.
3d Minister.—JOHN RIDDELL, from Greenlaw. Called to the Secession Church, Campbleton, and Moffat. Ordained 4th March 1845. Called to Albion Chapel (London), East Bank (Hawick), and Leicester, but remained in Moffat. Died 13th January 1868, in the 50th year of his age, and 23d of his ministry. Author of “The Reformation from Popery ; its Causes, Characteristics, and Claims.” A volume of sermons was published after his death, with a Memoir by Dr A. Thomson.
The congregation called Mr Matthew Galbraith, M.A., who preferred Aberdeen.
4th Minister.—WILLIAM HUTTON, previously of Cumnock. Admitted 13th October 1869.
LANGHOLM. Langholm is a Burgh of Barony, and capital of the district of Eskdale, Dumfriesshire; 18 miles north-east of Annan, 12 north of Longtown, and 23 south of Hawick.
NORTH CHURCH. A meeting for Christian fellowship had existed in Langholm for some time previous to 1780. At one of its meetings held that year, the conversation among the members happened to turn on the defections of the Church of Scotland generally, and the character of the ministrations then afforded in the parish church of Langholm particularly, with both of which all of them declared themselves much dissatisfied. The result of this conversation was the adoption of a resolution to withdraw from the Establishment and connect themselves with the Secession. This was accordingly done by a successful application for supply of sermon to the Associate (Burgher) Presbytery of Edinburgh, 20th March 1781. In 1782, the people commenced building a place of worship for themselves, but the work proceeded very slowly. The walls were not raised to their intended height till 1784, and were not roofed in till 1785, when further procedure was prevented by want of funds. On the 6th of October 1786, a gentleman unknown in the place passed the edifice, and seeing it in the state described, was led to inquire into the cause, and, on being informed by one conversant with the circumstances, handed his informant a sum sufficient for the completion of the undertaking, and departed. At their urgent request, he gave them his name, and received an obligation from them that they would expend the money for the purpose for which he had given it, charging them, at the same time, not to make it public. The money was faithfully expended, and the secret of it faithfully kept. No man knoweth it unto this day. By next year, the little sanctuary was finished, and occupied by an organised congregation. A staff of elders were ordained in 1787. Second Church built, 1822 ; sittings, 550. The foundation-stone of a new church was laid on ist May 1866. The church was opened by Dr Cairns on 29th May 1867. It cost £2110, and is seated for 600. .
ist Minister.— JOHN JARDINE, from Blackfriars, Jedburgh, called to Belford and Langholm. Ordained 14th April 1789. Died 6th April 1820, in the 71st year of his age, and 31st of his ministry. A volume of his Sermons, with a Memoir prefixed, was published after his decease.
2d Minister.—JOHN DOBIE, from Loreburn Street, Dumfries. Ordained 30th August 1821. Called, in 1822, to Maryport, but continued in Langholm. Died 6th February 1845, in the 45th year of his age, and 24th of his ministry.
The congregation then called Mr Alexander Wallace, who preferred Alexandria.
3d Minister.-WILLIAM BALLANTYNE, from Lauder. Ordained 31st December 1846.
SOUTH CHURCH. About the year 1798, the minister of the parish of Canonbie, which adjoins that of Langholm, became incapacitated for his duty, and an unacceptable preacher was appointed as his assistant. Several of the parishioners withdrew from the Established Church in consequence, and connected themselves with the Relief congregation in Waterbeck, the site of which place of worship is between 9 and 10 miles from Canonbie. Finding this place much too distant to allow of regular attendance, they applied for and obtained supply of sermon at Canonbie in 1800, from the Relief Presbytery of Dumfries. Encouraged by the attendance, and disliking the open-air worship which they had for some time practised, they applied to the Duke of Buccleuch, sole proprietor of the land in the parish, for a site on which to build a church. He sought time to consider the application, but his consideration did not seem approaching any issue. Wearied out by applications and delay, they turned their attention to the town of Langholm, 6 miles distant from the village of Canonbie, as a place where they might possibly obtain their object, and where, they were aware, they had several sympathisers. A site was obtained from Mr Walter Young, who owned a small property in the town, and who still further aided the cause by connecting himself with the Relief Church, of which he continued a consistent member till his death. Church built, 1807 ; sittings, 650.
Before obtaining a fixed pastor, the congregation called Mr John Barr, who accepted the call; but, receiving one soon afterwards from the congregation of Dovehill, Glasgow, over which he was subsequently settled, he refused to implement his engagement in Langholm, for which he was publicly rebuked at the bar of the Synod.
Ist Minister.—THOMAS GRIERSON. Ordained 16th December 1812. Deposed roth May 1815. Continued to preach for some time at different places without any ecclesiastical connection, but ultimately removed to Glasgow, and died 8th February 1829.
The congregation then called Mr John Nichol, who preferred the congregation of Cathcart Street, Ayr.
2d Minister.-PATRICK H. PEACOCK, from the congregation of Canal Street, Paisley. Ordained 30th March 1820. Resigned 8th May 1821. Removed to Paisley, pursued a secular calling, and died there.
The opposition which the congregation had to encounter at its commencement, and the untoward circumstances which occurred in it afterwards, nearly annihilated it; and, for a number of years, it had ceased to meet in a congregated capacity. In 1830, Mr James Watson was ordained over the Relief congregation of Waterbeck, and soon after took up the cause of Langholm in a kindly spirit. Through his instrumentality, the congregation rallied again, and in a few years obtained another pastor.
3d Minister.—JAMES Cross, from Dalkeith (West). Ordained ad June 1835. Translated to Newcastle, 7th February 1843.
4th Minister.-WILLIAM WATSON, from Broomgate, Lanark. Ordained 20th March 1844. Author of "Christian Stewardship,” or the Life of Henry Craigie, W.S.
WATERBECK. Waterbeck is a village in the parish of Middlebie, Dumfriesshire, 20 miles east of Dumfries, and 43 north-east of Ecclefechan.
The congregation of Waterbeck originated in the general dissatisfaction felt in the district, both with the doctrine taught and the deportment maintained by the minister of the parish of Middlebie. Application was made by the dissatisfied parties to the Relief Presbytery of Dumfries for supply of sermon, 18th March 1790, which was granted. Sermon was continued at Craigs till the following year, after which it was afforded statedly at Waterbeck. The place of meeting there, till a church was built, was on the bank of a stream in a holm now used as a garden. The congregation was organised in 1790, and a session formed by Mr Thomas Stothart and Mr John Smith, previously elders of the Established Church. Church built, 1792, at a cost of £400; a gallery was added in 1804; sittings, 490.
Before obtaining a fixed pastor, the congregation called the Rev. John Selkrig, a minister in connection with the Church of Scotland in Workington, Cumberland, but the Presbytery refused to sustain the call, till he made application to be received as a minister of the Relief Church. This he refused to do, and the matter dropped. They afterwards called Mr Smart, who preferred Mainsriddell; Mr Gellatly, who preferred Haddington ; Mr Grimmond, who preferred Coupar-Angus; and Mr Boag, who preferred Castle-Douglas.
Ist Minister.— JAMES GEDDES. Ordained 19th March 1794. Died 1802, in the eighth year of his ministry.
2d Minister.—John MʻFARLANE, from Head Street, Beith. Ordained 6th June 1803. Translated to Bridgeton, Glasgow, ad September 1810.
3d Minister.—DANIEL STRUTHERS, from Anderston, Glasgow. Ordained 23d May 1811. Díed 28th October 1829 in the 43d year of his age and 19th of his ministry.
4th Minister.—John Watson, from Dovehill, Glasgow. Ordained 16th September 1830. Loosed from his charge 9th April 1839. Emigrated to Nova Scotia, and became minister of a congregation there. Author of “Room at the Gospel Feast ;” and “ Christian Loyalty," a discourse preached ist July 1838, the Sabbath after the Coronation of Queen Victoria.
5th Minister.—ROBERT HAMILTON, from Saltcoats (East). Ordained 13th January 1840. Resigned 6th May 1851. Emigrated to Australia, and became minister of a congregation at Collingwood.
6th Minister. - DAVID S. GOODBURN, from Peebles (West). Called to Berwick, Kilham, and Waterbeck. Ordained 29th January 1852.
ANNAN. Annan is a royal burgh, and capital of Annandale in Dumfriesshire, 15 miles east by south of Dumfries, 12 south of Lockerbie, and 5 south of Ecclefechan.
SECESSION CONGREGATION. A number of persons, chiefly belonging to the Established Church, resident in Annan, thinking there was room in the town, which then contained nearly 4000 inhabitants, for another place of worship, there being at the time no other than the parish church, applied for and obtained supply of sermon from the Associate (Burgher) Presbytery of Selkirk, 1799. The supply of sermon was discontinued the following year, but renewed again in 1803, with greater success. In the meantime, a place of worship had been erected by the Independents, and a minister ordained over a congregation. In 1807 a number of members belonging to the Secession congregation of Ecclefechan, resident in the town, petitioned the Presbytery to be disjoined from Ecclefechan and joined to Annan, which was allowed. The Independent interest having failed, the Seceders purchased the place of worship belonging to it, which they occupied till 1836, when they erected the one now occupied by the amalgamated Secession and Relief Congregations, at a cost of £1100 for the building, and £150 for the ground ; sittings, 746.
ist Minister.—WILLIAM GLEN, D.D., from Lochwinnoch. Ordained 15th April 1807. Resigned 1817. Became missionary to Astrachan in Russia, under the auspices of the Scottish Missionary Society. Continued there after the breaking up of the mission, and prosecuted a Persian translation of the Old Testament Scriptures, in which he had been previously engaged. Returned to Scotland in 1836, and proceeded to Persia the following year, under the auspices of the United Associate Synod, with a view to complete his work. Returned to this country again in 1842, in order to get his translation printed, which was done partly at the expense of the London Bible Society, and partly at that of the United Associated Synod. Had the degree of D.D. conferred upon him by the University of St Andrews in 1845. Returned to Persia in company with his son in 1847 to circulate his translation of the Scriptures in that country, and died there while so engaged, 12th January 1849, in the 72d year of his age, and 42d of his ministry.
The congregation called the Rev. George Lawson, previously of Bolton, Lancashire, who was appointed by the Synod to Kilmarnock; and Mr John Law, who was appointed to Newcastleton.
2d Minister.—JAMES DOBBIE, A.M., from East Campbell Street, Glasgow. Ordained 16th August 1820. Accidentally poisoned 22d May 1846, in the sist year of his age, and 26th of his ministry.
The subsequent history of the Secession Congregation of Annan is identical with that of the Relief Congregation in the same place, after 1847, which is given below.
RELIEF CONGREGATION. In May 1833, Mr Maxwell, Rector of Annan Academy, and James Simpson, Esq., of the Commercial Bank, Annan, were on a visit to the Rev. Edward Dobbie of Burnhead, when the conversation turned on the religious state of Annan, and the