| becoming impatient, was about to retire when Davidson "pulled
him by the sleeve" and held him fast till he had concluded
On the 25th March 1599 Davidson was summoned at the instance
of the King before the Assembly, but being indisposed he did
not appear. On the 5th April following he was again called
by the Presbytery for the same case, but the meeting was again
postponed on account of Davidson's sickness. The Commissioners
protested, but the brethren were unmoved and no more is heard
of the matter.
A note in the Records of the Presbytery of Haddington states:
"A Presbyterial visitation of Prestonpans Parish was
held on the 15th July when, the minister being removed, the
people were demanded if they found anything in their pastor's
life and conversation to find fault with? They answered they
had nothing. Being demanded if he taught sensibly and planely?
they all with ane voice thanked God for him. "
At apparently the same visitation, July 1598, Mr Davidson
conveyed the manse to his parishioners, on the condition that
he and his representatives should be refunded the cost of
erection, excepting "four hundred merks, " which
he bestowed as "a free gift. " The parish still
reaps the benefit of this sum as " Davidson's Mortification.
Owing to feeble health Mr Davidson was, for about three years,
unable to take any active part in the public business of the
In May 1601 he addressed anew his protest to the General Assembly
against ministers sitting in Parliament. " Shall we,
brethren, " he wrote, " sleep still on Delilah's
knee till she say ' the Philistines be upon thee, Samson?'"
Informed of this new protest, the King hastened to the Assembly,
and assured the House of his firm determination to uphold
the best interests of the Church. He summoned Davidson before
the Privy Council, and demanded that he should at once enter
ward at Edinburgh Castle. Davidson entered the castle on the
26th May, but was liberated the following day. Five days afterwards
he was permitted to resume his ministerial functions, but
was restrained from travelling beyond the bounds of the parish.
On the 28th April 1602 the Presbytery of Haddington resolved
as follows: —
" Forasmekell as Mr Jhone Davidson has remaned in ward
within his own paroche this long time, it was ordained that
his case shd be remembered to the Provincial Assembly
that some suit and dealing may be made to his Majtie for his
Mr Davidson addressed the king on the 22nd June in a respectful
communication entreating that his liberty as "a free
subject" might be restored. He was answered that the
final withdrawal of his protest would alone secure the royal
clemency. Davidson never withdrew his protest and never received
King James's pardon. See further.
EXTRACTS FROM THE SESSION RECORDS OF SALT PRESTOUN,
Under the first Minister, John Davidson. "The
following are the names of the first 12 children who received
baptism at Salt Prestoun after the appointment of the Rev.
John Davidson, first minister after the Reformation: — Ninian
Moore, 17th Oct. 1596. Then follows Ninian Reid, Agnes Davidson,
Mark Acheson, Johane Gray, Beckie Shadowie, George Black,
Isobell Staigg, James Lyndsay, Barbara Wood, John Matheson.
Witnesses to the above, besides the parents, were John Banks
and Dr William Wallace. May 5th 1597, Margret Acheson. The
witnesses were Alex. Acheson, elder, of Gosford, and George
Acheson, his brother. And on the 29th of May 1598 George Acheson;
George Hamilton of Preston, witness; George Acheson, witness;
Alex. Acheson, witness; and George Fallsyde, elder, witness.
The following were elders during 1596 up to 1601—John Banks,
George Acheson, David Hamilton, W. Nicholson, George Hamilton,
John Cubie, Alex. Acheson, and George Fallsyde. John Ker was
admitted minister to the parish of Salt Prestoun ye 11th day
of April 1605. "