Robert Douglas, Minister of Pencaitland

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Robert Douglas, son of Robert, an illegitimate son of Sir George D. of Lochleven, brother of William, fifth Earl of Morton. Educated at Univ. of St Andrews ; M.A. (1614) ; licen. about 1617. Almost immediately afterwards he was engaged as chaplain to one of the brigades of Scottish auxiliaries co-operating with Gustavus Adolphus in the Thirty Years' War. During that period he is said to have had no other book to read but the Bible, and committed nearly the whole of it to memory.

Returning to Scotland he became minister of Second Charge, Kirkcaldy, in 1628. He was a member of Assembly in 1638, and was transferred, in 1639 to the Second Charge of St Giles, Edinburgh. In 1641 he was removed to the Tolbooth Parish. He was Moderator of Assembly 1642— as also in 1645, 1647, 1649, and 1651. In 1643 he was elected a commissioner to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster.

In 1644 he was chaplain to one of the Scots Regiments in England. In 1649 he was again minister of St Giles, and assisted in the presentation of the Solemn League and Covenant to Parliament. In 1650 he was one of the ministers who waited on Charles II. at Dunfermline, to obtain his signature to a declaration of religion, when Charles refused to sign, and a serious division of the Church ensued. Douglas became a leader of the Resolutioners, the moderate party.

On 1st Jan. 1651 he preached at the coronation of Charles II. at Scone. Sent prisoner to London by Cromwell in 1653, he was soon released. In 1654 he was summoned to London (with others) to consult with the Protector upon the affairs of the Church of Scotland. In 1659 he preached the sermon at the opening of Heriot's Hospital. In 1661 he preached before Parliament.

After the Restoration he was offered the Bishopric of Edinburgh, but indignantly declined, and remonstrated with Sharp for accepting the Archbishopric of St Andrews. On 27th June 1662 he was translated to Greyfriars, Edinburgh, but refusing to conform to Episcopacy, he was deprived 1st Oct. of the same year. He was admitted as an "indulged minister" to this parish 2nd Sept. 1669, and died (buried 6th) Feb. 1674. " No man," it was said, "contributed more to the Restoration, and received less benefit from it."

He married

(1) Margaret Kirkcaldy, and had issue —

James, of Earnslaw  ;
Thomas, who died before 1667, when Alexander is called second son (G. R. Inhib., 12th March 1680);
Janet ;
Alexander, min. of Logie ;
Patrick, bapt. 28th Jan. 1642 (marr. Margaret Lothian), died before 1673 (G. R. Inhib., 26th Jan. 1674):
Elizabeth, bapt. 3rd Jan. 1643;
Archibald, bapt. 8th Jan. 1644;
Robert

(2) 20th Aug. 1646, Margaret Boyd, who survived him, and was buried 13th July 1692, and had issue —

Robert;
Margaret, bapt. 18th July 1658.

Note:
• Alexander Douglas, born 1640, son of Robert D., min. of Pencaitland ; educated at Univ. of Edinburgh ; M.A. (14th July 1659); was accepted as a preacher at the General Meeting of Presbyterians 6th July 1687 ; ord. in the meeting - house 15th Aug. 1688 ; died between 26th Jan. and 1st March 1720.



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