Disruption of 1843
The Disruption of 1843 was a schism or division within the established Church of Scotland, in which 450 evangelical ministers of the Church broke away, over the issue of the Church's relationship with the State, to form the Free Church of Scotland. It came at the end of a bitter conflict within the established Church, had major effects not just within the Church, but upon Scottish civic life. "The national church of the Scottish people" as recognised by Acts of Parliament, the Church of Scotland under John Knox and Andrew Melville, had always claimed an inherent right to exercise independent spiritual jurisdiction over its own affairs. To some extent, this right was recognised by the Claim of Right of 1689, which brought to an end royal and parliamentary interference in the order and worship of the Church, it was ratified by the Act of Union in 1707. On the other hand, the right of patronage, the right of a patron of a parish to install a minister of his choice, became a point of contention.
The difference was between those who held that this right infringed on the spiritual independence of the church, those who regarded it as a matter of property under the state's jurisdiction. As early as 1712 the right of patronage had been restored in Scotland, in spite of the remonstrances of the Church. For many years afterwards the General Assembly sought redress as a grievance, but the dominant Moderate party within the church acted in such a way as to avoid any confrontation with the state. In 1834, the Evangelical party attained a majority in the General Assembly for the first time in a century. One of their actions was to pass the Veto Act, which gave parishioners the right to reject a minister nominated by their patron; the intention was to prevent the intrusion of ministers on unwilling parishioners, to restore the importance of the congregational'call'. But the effect of the act was to polarise positions in the church, set it on a collision course with the state; the first test came with the Auchterarder case of 1834.
The parish of Auchterarder unanimously rejected the patron's nominee – and the Presbytery refused to proceed with his ordination and induction. The rejected individual, Robert Young, appealed to the Court of Session which, in 1838, by an 8–5 majority, held that in passing the Veto Act, the Church had acted ultra vires, had infringed the statutory rights of patrons. If, all the Church might have rescinded the Act, but the Court of Session went on to rule that the established Church was a creation of the State and derived its legitimacy by Act of Parliament; this directly contradicted the Church's Confession of its own self-understanding. As Burleigh puts it'The notion of the Church as an independent community governed by its own officers and capable of entering into a compact with the state was repudiated'; the question now moved from the issue of patronage, to the issue of the Church's spiritual independence. An appeal to the House of Lords was rejected. Other cases exacerbated the problem; the Presbytery of Dunkeld was summoned before the Court of Session for proceeding with an ordination despite a court interdict.
In 1839, the General Assembly suspended seven ministers from Strathbogie for proceeding with an induction in Marnoch in defiance of Assembly orders. In 1841, the seven were deposed for acknowledging the superiority of the secular court in spiritual matters. In response to the threat, the Evangelicals presented to parliament a Claim and Protest anent the Encroachments of the Court of Session, it recognised the jurisdiction of the civil courts over the endowments given by the state to the established Church, but resolved to give up these privileges rather than see the'Crown Rights of the Redeemer' compromised. This was rejected in January 1843. On 18 May 1843, 121 ministers and 73 elders led by Dr David Welsh, the retiring Moderator, left the Church of Scotland General Assembly at the Church of St Andrew in George Street, Edinburgh, to form the Free Church of Scotland. After Dr Welsh read a Protest, they walked out and down the hill to the Tanfield Hall at Canonmills where their first meeting, the Disruption Assembly, was held with Thomas Chalmers the first Moderator.
A further meeting was held on 23 May for the Signing of the Act of Separation by the ministers. 474 of the about 1200 ministers adhered. In leaving the established Church, they did not reject the principle of establishment; as Chalmers declared'Though we quit the Establishment, we go out on the Establishment principle. We are advocates for a national recognition of religion – and we are not voluntaries.' A third of the Evangelicals, the'Middle party', remained within the established Church – wishing to preserve its unity. But for those who left, the issue was clear, it was not the democratising of the Church, but whether the Church was sovereign within its own domain. Jesus Christ and not the King or Parliament was to be its sole head; the Disruption was a spiritual phenomenon – and for its proponents it stood in a direct line with the Reformation and the National Covenants. Splitting the Church had major implications; those who left forfeited livings and pulpits, had, without the aid of the establishment, to found and finance a national Church from scratch.
This was done with remarkable energy and sacrifice. Another implication was that the church they left was more tolerant of a wider range of doctrinal views. There was th
Westhill is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland 7 miles west of the city of Aberdeen. The town of Westhill covers the area, the Western Kinmundy and Blackhills Farming areas; the population in 2006 was 10,392. As of June 2016, the population grew to an estimated 12,040 people, 65.3% being aged from 18-64. The creation of Westhill just outside Aberdeen was the idea of local solicitor Ronald Fraser Dean in 1963. With the backing of the former Aberdeen District Council, the Secretary of State for Scotland and supported financially by Ashdale Land and Property Company Ltd. the new settlement of Westhill was created upon the old farming land. Since construction of the first houses in 1968, Westhill has undergone a gradual expansion, much of, tied to the North East's oil and gas economy. In 2007/8 a major expansion of the industrial estate brought several thousand workers to the area. Most of these are in specialist sub-sea engineering oil service companies, making Westhill a world centre in sub-sea engineering.
The name Westhill was created in 1859 when John Anderson from Strichen bought the adjoining small estates of Wester Kinmundy and Blackhills. Both of these names were old, dating back to at least the 16th Century, but Anderson seems not to have liked them, he therefore created the name Westhill from the other two names. This is recorded in the Register of Sasines December 2, 1859. Wester Kinmundy and Blackhills were established either side of a geographical area known as'The Clash', this was a marshy bog listed as being sited between Brodiach/Borrowstone area and Skene, it is thought the remnants of this area is still apparent but nowadays named Denman Park. Major housing expansions are to the west of Westhill. Many new housing estates are being built from companies such as Stewart Milne and Bett Homes. Westhill Business Park is growing, with an increasing number of companies creating offices in the park. Due to the demand for offices, many planning permission applications for using the unused land to the South-West have been submitted.
The growth has been such that the Postal Area known as Skene has been renamed Westhill, so that for postal purposes, the once two-horse-hamlet of Westhill now covers many square miles. During the 1980s the local authority boundaries were to be moved such that Westhill would fall within the City of Aberdeen; this was seen as a cost-cutting venture, however the community set up a "Don't Move Westhill" campaign, stopped the town's absorption into Aberdeen. No new attempt to move the boundaries to include Westhill have been made since. Westhill has three primary schools. Westhill has a secondary school, Westhill Academy; the academy services Westhill and pupils in the surrounding area. It was opened in 1979, since many improvements and extensions have been made to increase the capacity of the Academy; the number of pupils is 1000, however this figure is expected to rise. In 2010 the school came 27th in the league tables for all independent schools in Scotland. All the schools in Westhill are run by Aberdeenshire Council.
Olympic canoeist Tim Baillie has a gold post box on Westhill Drive in commemoration of his gold medal in the canoe slalom C-2 event in the 2012 Olympics. In part of the Grampian Regional Council Brotherfield Nursey, is the 2.5 acre home of The Beechgrove Garden, a gardening based television programme broadcast since 1978 on BBC Scotland. Episodes have broadcast from the site since 1996; the A944 runs straight through Westhill, this connects Westhill with Kingswells and Aberdeen to the east, as far as Mossat to the west. The B9119 branches off from the A944 just before Westhill and this route continues on towards Echt connecting to the A93. Westhill is served by Stagecoach Bluebird. Stagecoach run two daily bus services; the X17 connects Elrick Westhill to Aberdeen Union Square via Queens Road. This service operates every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday, every 30 minutes on Sundays. Service 218 connects Westhill to Aberdeen Union Square via Kingswells Park and Ride and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary every 3 hours Monday to Saturday, with no service running on Sundays.
Service N17 is the night version of the X17, operating via Queens Road to Aberdeen every hour from 0020 to 0415. There is a much less frequent service provided by Bains Coaches; the route 777 connects Oldmeldrum to Westhill and through to Aberdeen, however this service only passes through Westhill 3 times Monday to Friday. Westhill has several active church congregations. Trinity Church is an ecumenical project involving the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church. In addition, evangelical services are held by the Westhill Baptist Church located at the Westdyke Leisure Centre. In 2016, a Buddhist centre established at Kinmundy, Varapunya Meditation Centre offering Buddhist practice and meditation. Westhill & District Residents Association Website Scottish Episcopal Church congregation, Trinity Church, Westhill Westhill Baptist Church, Westhill Westhill Marketing, Westhill Skene Heritage Society
Pulpit is a raised stand for preachers in a Christian church. The origin of the word is the Latin pulpitum; the traditional pulpit is raised well above the surrounding floor for audibility and visibility, accessed by steps, with sides coming to about waist height. From the late medieval period onwards, pulpits have had a canopy known as the sounding board or abat-voix above and sometimes behind the speaker in wood. Though sometimes decorated, this is not purely decorative, but can have a useful acoustic effect in projecting the preacher's voice to the congregation below. Most pulpits have one or more book-stands for the preacher to rest his or her bible, notes or texts upon; the pulpit is reserved for clergy. This is mandated in the regulations of the Roman Catholic church, several others. In Welsh Nonconformism, this was felt appropriate, in some chapels a second pulpit was built opposite the main one for lay exhortations and other speeches. Many churches have a second, smaller stand called the lectern, which can be used by lay persons, is used for all the readings and ordinary announcements.
The traditional Catholic location of the pulpit to the side of the chancel or nave has been retained by Anglicans and some Protestant denominations, while in Presbyterian and Evangelical churches the pulpit has replaced the altar at the centre. Equivalent platforms for speakers are the bema of Ancient Greece and Jewish synagogues, the minbar of Islamic mosques. From the pulpit is used synecdochically for something, said with official church authority. In many Reformed and Evangelical Protestant denominations, the pulpit is at the centre of the front of the church, while in the Catholic and Anglican traditions the pulpit is placed to one side and the altar or communion table is in the centre. In many Christian churches, there are two speakers' stands at the front of the church; the one on the left is called the pulpit. Since the Gospel lesson is read from the pulpit, the pulpit side of the church is sometimes called the gospel side. In both Catholic and Protestant churches the pulpit may be located closer to the main congregation in the nave, either on the nave side of the crossing, or at the side of the nave some way down.
This is the case in large churches, to ensure the preacher can be heard by all the congregation. Fixed seating for the congregation came late in the history of church architecture, so the preacher being behind some of the congregation was less of an issue than later. Fixed seating facing forward in the nave and modern electric amplification has tended to reduce the use of pulpits in the middle of the nave. Outdoor pulpits attached to the exterior of the church, or at a preaching cross, are found in several denominations. If attached to the outside wall of a church, these may be entered from a doorway in the wall, or by steps outside; the other speaker's stand on the right, is known as the lectern. The word lectern comes from the Latin word "lectus" past participle of legere, meaning "to read", because the lectern functions as a reading stand, it is used by lay people to read the scripture lessons, to lead the congregation in prayer, to make announcements. Because the epistle lesson is read from the lectern, the lectern side of the church is sometimes called the epistle side.
In other churches, the lectern, from which the Epistle is read, is located to the congregation's left and the pulpit, from which the sermon is delivered, is located on the right. Though unusual, movable pulpits with wheels were found in English churches, they were either wheeled into place for each service where they would be used or, as at the hospital church in Shrewsbury, rotated to different positions in the church quarterly in the year, to allow all parts of the congregation a chance to have the best sound. A portable outside pulpit of wood and canvas was used by John Wesley, a 19th century Anglican vicar devised a folding iron pulpit for using outdoors; the Ancient Greek bema means both'platform' and'step', was used for a variety of secular raised speaking platforms in ancient Greece and Rome, from those times to today for the central raised platform in Jewish synagogues. Modern synagogue bimahs are similar in form to centrally-placed pulpits in Evangelical churches; the use of a bema carried over from Judaism into early Christian church architecture.
It was a raised platform large, with a lectern and seats for the clergy, from which lessons from the Scriptures were read and the sermon was delivered. In Western Christianity the bema developed over time into the chancel; the next development was the ambo, from a Greek word meaning an elevation. This was a raised platform from which the Epistle and Gospel would be read, was an option to be used as a preacher's platform for homilies, though there were others. Saint John Chrysostom is recorded as preaching from the ambo, but this was uncommon at this date. In cathedrals early bishops seem to have preached from their chair in the apse, echoing the position of magistrates in the secular basilicas whose general form most large early churches adopted. There were two ambos, one to each side, one used more as a platform on which the choir sang.
Scottish Episcopal Church
The seven dioceses of the Scottish Episcopal Church make up the ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion in Scotland. The church has, since the 18th century, held an identity distinct from that of the Presbyterian-aligned Church of Scotland. A continuation of the Church of Scotland as it was intended by King James VI, as it was for the 30-year period from the Restoration of Charles II to the re-establishment of Presbyterianism in Scotland following the Glorious Revolution, the Episcopal Church of Scotland is now a member of the Anglican Communion, it recognises the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury as president of the Anglican Instruments of Communion, but without jurisdiction in Scotland per se. This close but ambivalent relationship – consisting of a partial recognition of the authority of the Church of England, yet concurrent claim of independence – results from the unique history of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Scotland's third largest church, the Scottish Episcopal Church has 303 local congregations.
According to the Mission Atlas Project, 85,000 affiliates identify with the Scottish Episcopal Church with the members being "largely upper middle class with a large number of landed aristocrats." In the 2011 Census a total of more than 100,000 residents of Scotland declared themselves to be either Episcopalians or members of another denomination of the Anglican Communion. The all-age membership of the church in 2017 was 30,909 of. Weekly attendance was 12,149; the current Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church is Mark Strange, elected since 27 June 2017. The Scottish Episcopal Church was called the Episcopal Church in Scotland, reflecting its role as the Scottish province of the Anglican Communion. Although not incorporated until 1712, the Scottish Episcopal Church traces its origins including but extending beyond the Reformation and sees itself in continuity with the church established by Ninian, Columba and other Celtic saints; the Church of Scotland claims the same continuity. The church is sometimes pejoratively referred to in Scotland as the "English Kirk", but this can cause offence.
This is in part due to the fact that it is, nonetheless, a union of the non-juring Episcopalians with the "qualified congregations" who worshipped according to the liturgy of the Church of England. Saint Ninian conducted the first Christian mission to. In 563 AD, Saint Columba travelled to Scotland with twelve companions, where according to legend he first landed at the southern tip of the Kintyre peninsula, near Southend. However, being still in sight of his native land he moved further north along the west coast of Scotland, he was granted land on the island of Iona off the Isle of Mull which became the centre of his evangelising mission to the Picts. However, there is a sense in which he did not leave his native people, as the Irish Gaels had been colonising the west coast of Scotland for some time. Aside from the services he provided guiding the only centre of literacy in the region, his reputation as a holy man led to his role as a diplomat among the tribes, he visited the pagan king Bridei, king of Fortriu, at his base in Inverness, winning the king's respect and Columba subsequently played a major role in the politics of that country.
He was very energetic in his evangelical work. He was a renowned man of letters, having written several hymns and being credited with having transcribed 300 books personally, he was buried in the abbey he established. The Scottish church would continue to grow in the centuries that followed, in the 11th century Saint Margaret of Scotland strengthened the church's ties with the Holy See as did successive monarchs such as Margaret's son, who invited several religious orders to establish monasteries; the Scottish Reformation was formalised in 1560, when the Church of Scotland broke with the Church of Rome during a process of Protestant reform led, among others, by John Knox. It reformed its doctrines and government, drawing on the principles of John Calvin which Knox had been exposed to while living in Switzerland. In 1560, the Scottish Parliament abolished papal jurisdiction and approved Calvin's Confession of Faith, but did not accept many of the principles laid out in Knox's First Book of Discipline, which argued, among other things, that all of the assets of the old church should pass to the new.
The 1560 Reformation Settlement was not ratified by the crown for some years, the question of church government remained unresolved. In 1572 the acts of 1560 were approved by the young James VI, but under pressure from many of the nobles the Concordat of Leith allowed the crown to appoint bishops with the church's approval. John Knox himself had no clear views on the office of bishop, preferring to see them renamed as'superintendents'; the Scottish Episcopal Church began as a distinct church in 1582, when the Church of Scotland rejected episcopal government and adopted a presbyterian government by elders as well as reformed theology. Scottish monarchs made repeated efforts to introduce bishops and two ecclesiastical traditions competed. In 1584, James VI of Scotland had the Parliament of Scotland pass the Black Acts, appointing two bishops and administering the Church of Scotlan
Skene is a small farming community in North East Scotland some 10 km west of Aberdeen. The two traditional villages are Kirkton of Lyne of Skene; as the name suggests, Kirkton is still the location of Skene Parish Church. Lyne means'glade' or'enclosure'. Kirkton of Skene consists of a main road that runs through its centre that branches off into a small warren of 5 or so streets that service just under 100 houses, a pub - The Red Star Inn, a big playpark, a village hall, the church and "The Village Store" the local shop; the main concentration of population in the area is further east at the newer settlements of Westhill and Elrick, both of which are built around ancient hamlets. Nearby are the Loch of Skene and Skene House. Map referencesKirkton of Skene: grid reference NJ803077 Lyne of Skene: NJ766103 Skene Heritage SocietyGazetteer for ScotlandKirkton of Skene Lyne of Skene
Mortsafes were contraptions designed to protect graves from disturbance. Resurrectionists had supplied the schools of anatomy in Scotland since the early 18th century; this was due to the necessity for medical students to learn anatomy by attending dissections of human subjects, frustrated by the limited allowance of dead bodies - for example the corpses of executed criminals - granted by the government, which controlled the supply. The authorities turned a blind eye to the grave-rifling because surgeons and students were working to advance medical knowledge, they kept publicity to a minimum to prevent people from realising. The cases of grave-robbing that came to light caused riots, damage to property and fatal attacks. In the early 19th century, with the great increase in numbers of schools and students, there was continual rifling of lonely graveyards, fights in city burial grounds and other disturbances. Men were employed to steal bodies and transport them from place to place across the sea, for sale to medical schools.
Revelations led to public outrage in Scotland, where there was great reverence for the dead and a literal belief in the Resurrection. It was popularly believed. Many people were determined to protect the graves of relatives; the rich could afford heavy table tombstones, vaults and iron cages around graves. The poor began to place pebbles on graves to detect disturbances, they dug heather and branches into the soil to make disinterment more difficult. Large stones coffin-shaped, sometimes the gift of a wealthy man to the parish, were placed over new graves. Friends and relatives took hired men to watch graves through the hours of darkness. Watch-houses were sometimes erected to shelter the watchers. One watch-house in Edinburgh is a three-storey castellated building with windows. Watching societies were formed in towns, one in Glasgow having 2,000 members. Many kirk session houses were used by watchers; the mortsafe was invented in about 1816. These were iron or iron-and-stone devices of great weight, in many different designs.
They were complex heavy iron contraptions of rods and plates, padlocked together - examples have been found close to all Scottish medical schools. A plate was placed over the coffin and rods with heads were pushed through holes in it; these rods were kept in place by locking a second plate over the first to form heavy protection. It would be removed by two people with keys, they were placed over the coffins for about six weeks removed for further use when the body inside was sufficiently decayed. There is a model of a mortsafe of this type in Aberdeen. Sometimes a church hired them out. Societies were formed to purchase them and control their use, with annual membership fees, charges made to non-members. Publicity surrounding the crimes of Burke and Hare heightened, it was about this time that vaults - repositories for dead bodies - were built by public subscription in Scotland, with their use governed by rules and regulations. Some of these were above ground while others - in Aberdeenshire - were wholly or underground.
In one village, Udny Green, in Aberdeenshire there is a unique morthouse, a circular building with a thick studded wooden door and an inner iron door. Inside there is turntable to accommodate seven coffins. A coffin would be moved round as further ones were added and by the time it reappeared the body would be of no use to the dissectionists. All communities near the Scottish schools of medicine in Edinburgh and Aberdeen employed some means of protecting the dead; some used watching. There are watch-houses in the remoter Scottish areas, in the Borders, two have been found in the English county of Northumberland; the mortsafes are lying in churchyards and burial grounds. One has been restored and hung in a church porch, with an explanatory note, by the East Lothian Antiquary Society. There are one or two in museums but those on display have any indication of what they are or how they were used; some documents appertaining to mortsafes and other protection devices are still in existence in libraries and record offices.
There are two mortsafes in reasonable condition outside the old Aberfoyle church in Stirling, 30 miles from the nearest School of Anatomy in Glasgow. One can be found, in a rusted state, to the right of the door outside Skene Parish Church, Kirkton of Skene, Aberdeenshire. Another in reasonable condition can be found in the kirkyard at the remote hamlet of Towie, west of Alford. Tullibody, as well as having a famous stone coffin, is recorded to have had an iron coffin case as an attempt to thwart local body-snatchers. YouTube video and commentary on a mortsafe in Prestwick, Ayrshire. Echoes of the Scottish Resurrection Men