The Sad Demise Of An Historic Part of Crieff : PART THREE

 The Old Parish Church in Church Street Crieff

July 2014


I thought it a good  idea  to list here the succession  to the  post of minister or rector in the Crieff Parish Church  from  the year 1560 . Why 1560 ? Well that was the year that officially the Church in the town/ village ceased  to be Catholic  and  became ( nominally ) Protestant . Am afraid  much of our local church history has  been formulated in the mind  set of our Calvanistic  ancestors . A lot of the truth , in my opinion  has  been dusted  under the carpet . Read about the kind of guys who" administered " unto the morally and spiritually weak and form your own opinions !

Ministers of Crieff Parish Church after Reformation

1560 : Alexander Christie – Catholic Priest joined Reformed Church- reader in Monzievaird in  1567 .

1563 : Thomas Drummond – probably knew John Knox ( Heavenor )

1572 : Hugh Currie Rector of Crieff could have been Catholic  but pointed out  that titles such as Rector could date back to 1560 “ an elementary but not uncommon error  to believe  that there was any religious significance in the use of such titles . 

Everyone  who held office  in the Church  in 1560  continued for the rest  of his life to be designated as he had been in 1560 “

1574 : William Drummond  began his ministry . Probably both William and Thomas  were connected  with Drummond Castle  . The Parish Ministers in those days   often were poor  relations of influential families . William was a contemporary of Andrew Melville At this time Church half Presbyterian and half Episcopalian

1592 : David Drummond was MA of Glasgow Gave up in 1636 and went to Ireland 

1635 : David Drummond ( nephew of  above ) an MA of St Andrews had been his uncle’s assistant . Son of James Drummond  , 5th Laird of Monzie – succeeded to lands of Kincardine and Trytoun and purchased  lands of Callander near Barvick.  These supplied considerable income from tiends towards his stipend .

1638 : National Covenant signed  pledging support  for Presbyterianism .David Drummond  supported  this  but when Civil war broke out he supported Royalists .Called  before Synod to answer charges  that he raised soldiers  for the Royalist cause . Charge was proved  and sentence of deposition passed in 1649 . Appealed  but sentence  not lifted . Continued to preach and take stipend . Got  fed up and resigned in 1658 and  became Rector of Omagh in N Ireland .Later was murdered for unknown reason .

1658 : Gilbert Murray an MA of St Andrews succeeded . Claimed he had made  a pact with Drummond  to share the stipend . Presbytery raised matter but Murray  refused to appear  . Probably connected to Murrays of Ochtertyre . Trimmed his sails  according to the religious wind  ! At outset  was  a staunch Presbyterian but became an Episcopalian and allowed  to continue his ministry .

1682  : His son William Murray also an MA of St Andrews appointed  his colleague and successor . Proved  to be  convinced Episcopalian .Lord’s Prayer used in worship and the Doxology was sung by the congregation  and the Apostles’ Creed was repeated at Baptisms – all of these frowned upon by the Presbyterians of the time .
1688 : The “ Revolution “ brought William and Mary to the throne .Murray did  not  support them  and was deposed for reading part of psalm 118 after the Jacobite victory at Killiecrankie  - “ This is the day God made , in it  we’ll joy triumphantly ”

1690 : Episcopacy  was overthrown and Presbyterianism established officially . Crieff  Church vacant for 9 years ( 1699 )

1699 : Appointment of John Drummond ( Glasgow University ) First problem  was when the Presbytery reported  “ horrid abuse  committed by some persons in the town of Crieff ,by their drinking King James’ health publicly at the Cross and abusing several inhabitants in the town .” Drummond  was asked  to draw up a list of offenders for the attention  of the Queen’s Advocate . Strict Presbyterianism had  arrived and Session Minutes  reflect the discipline  which now prevailed . it  notes “ the frequent profanation  of the Lord’s Day  by unnecessary walking  in the fields , idle talking , bearing of water . taking in of kail and the like “ Elders were asked  to “ take  strict notice  “ of such  infringements  with a view to discipline ” .

1754 : John  Drummond died

1755 : Succeeded by Thomas Stewart

1770 : Stewart suspended for life because of drunkenness which had been reported to them in 1763 .


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