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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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secured on the lands of Preston, in support of the school which he founded for teaching of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and instructing the youth in virtue and learning. He was intrepid and fearless in supporting what he considered to be the interests of the church. He protested against the proceedings of the Assembly, 1598, which had permitted certain of the ministry to sit and vote in Parliament, and wrote a letter to the Assembly met at Burntisland in 1601 on the same subject, which so offended His Majesty that he ordered him ' to ward' in the Castle of Edinburgh, May 26th, but next day changed it to his own house at Prestonpans, and five days later he was permitted to discharge his ministerial functions, but not to go beyond the limits of his own parish. He was advised to congratulate His Majesty on his accession to the crown of England, which he did in a dutiful letter without further explanation. He disbelieved the story of the 'Gowrie conspiracy, ' and seemed to have had, at the time, a foreknowledge of future events. He was the author of a great many works.
" 1605. John Kerr, A. M., son of A. Kerr of Fadounside, of the house of Roxburgh, and the widow of Knox the Reformer. This John Kerr had been a gay youth, and had just returned from France, when he met the preceding incumbent (Davidson), who solemnly charged him to cast off his scarlet cloak, lay aside his gilded rapier, and betake him to his Book, ' for you are the man, ' said he, ' who is to succeed me in the ministry of this place, ' He did so accordingly; studied, and attained his degrees at the University of Edinburgh, 28th July 1596, and was admitted 11th April 1605. He married Barbara, daughter and co-heiress of Johnston of Elphinston, and had three sons and four daughters. He died on the 16th February 1644, about sixty-eight years of age, and thirty-ninth of his ministry.
" 1638. Robert Kerr, second son of the preceding minister, studied and graduated at the University of Edinburgh; became helper on the 11th April 1638, both he and his father having given satisfaction to the parish that no other stipend should be exacted than that which was possessed by the incumbent. This was the first ordination in Scotland irrespective of the Bishop since Episcopacy had been established. He was presented by Sir Alex. Morrison of Prestongrange; called on the 7th, and installed on the loth June 1642. He was deputed to attend the East Lothian regiment with the army; was translated to Haddington, much against the wish and in face of prolonged opposition by the parishioners, 7th October of the latter year.

" 1648. John Oswald, A. M. Translated from Edinburgh Tolbooth Church; presented by the Laird of Prestongrange, 15th December 1647, and admitted 12th April following, ' being a rare instance of removal from Edinburgh to a country charge. ' He was called to Duns, but declined acceptance. He married Katherine, daughter of John Forbes of famous memory, minister of Delft. He died April 1653, aged fifty-three, twenty-fourth year of his ministry; was deep in debt at his decease.
" 1654. Patrick Cooke, son of Patrick Cooke, minister of Stenton, born 21st July 1626; called 24th November 1675, being freed from his acceptance at Whitinghame, and ordained February thereafter. He was selected in 1670 as one of the preachers styled 'The Bishop's Evangelists, ' for enlightening the Presbyterians in the West. He died August 1672, forty-seven years of age, nineteenth of his ministry. Married Margaret Cockburn; was deep in debt at his decease.
" 1673. George Moneypenny, ordained a Presbyterian in England; called on the 18th, admitted and installed on the 20th November. He died in November 1675. He left a son, Mr William, an advocate in Edinburgh; was deep in debt at his decease.
" 1676. James Buchan, A. M. Translated from Skirling; installed before the 17th September. Deprived because he refused to take the test of 1681. A riot ensued 26th February 1682, when Brown, the schoolmaster, by direction of the Bishop, was supplying the pulpit; in consequence of which, the Privy Council, 30th March, fined Sir William Hamilton jmviijc merks for looking on and laughing, and Sir Alexander Morrison of Prestongrange, the patron, iiijm merks, for not preventing the disturbance.
" 1682. Robert Ramsay, A. M. Translated from Port; admitted 19th October; deprived by the Committee of Estates, loth May 1689, for not reading the Proclamation enjoined by the Estates, 11th April previous, and not obeying the same. He was removed by force; his whole library, etc., being sold by auction to defray expenses in ejecting him.
" 1687. John Moncrief, A. M., son of Mr Alex. Moncrief, minister of Scoonie. Studied at St Salvador and St Andrews; was a minister, and was denounced for keeping conventicles, living in the Synod, 6th July; and admitted by a committee of the number, 21st October 1687, to the meeting house, and to the church before 26th May, 1689. Was translated to Edinburgh Trinity College Church.
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