Scotland - Church History


Information on the history and politics of the church in Scotland:

  • Protestant Nonconformity in Scotland - An Introduction by Sherry Irvine [Part One]  [Part Two] . A most informative article, which first appeared in Rootsweb Review Vol 4, No 17 (23 April 1999) and Vol 4, No 27 (30th June 1999).
  • Sources and Literature of Scottish Church History, by Malcolm B. MacGregor, published by McCallum in 1934 is a bibliographic guide. A more recent work which may also be of help is A Church History of Scotland, by J.H.S. Burleigh, published by Oxford University Press in 1960.
  • History of the Scottish Church by Rev. Edwin Lee.
  • A diagram and set of notes, to assist in the identification of the different entities that have existed during the turbulent history of the Church of Scotland, based on those originally compiled by Linda Merle, which may be of assistance.
  • The Free Church and the Leaders of the Disruption of 1843. (This third breakaway was the 'Disruption' associated with Thomas Chalmers and led to the formation of the Free Church. While the Seceders and Relief came about by the separation of one or two at a time the 'Disruption' saw over 400 hundred ministers resign from the Church of Scotland)
  • Scottish Preachers' Hall of Fame by Alan Newble.
  • The New Edinburgh Almanac and National Repository, by Oliver and Boyd, was published from 1837. With local supplements, it covered much of Scotland, and had detailed information on the churches and their denominations. The 1853 edition is available for search online in Ancestry (with details available to subscribers). Post Office Directories are also useful in providing details of churches.

For information on ministers and/or congregations, the following reference works may be of help:

  • Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae ("the succession of Ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation") by Hew Scott, new edition published at Edinburgh from 1915 to 1928 (7 volumes) with four more recent volumes taking the coverage up to 1999. Volumes I and II are provided online by David Walker in his Scottish Ministers pages. See also copies provided on the Internet Archive.
  • History of the Congregations of the United Presbyterian Church from 1733 to 1900 by Rev. Robert Small, published in 2 volumes in 1904 at Edinburgh
  • Annals of the Free Church of Scotland edited by Rev. William Ewing, published in 2 volumes in 1914 at Edinburgh
  • The Fasti of the United Free Church of Scotland 1900-1929 edited by John Lamb, published at Edinburgh in 1956
  • The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland, its congregations, ministers and students by William J. Couper, published at Edinburgh in 1925
  • History of the Scottish Episcopal Church from the Revolution to the Present Time by John P. Lawson, published at Edinburgh in 1843
  • A Short History of the Episcopal Church in Scotland from the Restoration to the Present Time by Frederick Goldie, published in 1952
  • The Scottish Congregational Ministry 1794-1993 by Rev. Dr. William D. McNaughton, published in 1993 at Glasgow by the Congregational Union of Scotland
  • A History of Scottish Congregationalism by Harry Escott, published in 1960
  • Scottish Episcopal clergy 1689-2000 edited by David M. Bertie, publish at Edinburgh in 2000. ISBN 0-567-08746-8
  • Dictionary of Scottish Church history and theology edited by Nigel M. de S. Cameron [et al.], published at Edinburgh in 1993. ISBN 0-567-09650-5
  • Discontinued Parish and Congregational Names (2018) This list updates and corrects the ‘Index of Discontinued Parish and Congregational Names’ printed in the previous edition of the Year Book. As before, it lists the parishes of the Church of Scotland and the congregations of the United Presbyterian Church (and its constituent denominations), the Free Church (1843–1900) and the United Free Church (1900–29) whose names have completely disappeared, largely as a consequence of union.

For information on individual churches themselves, the following reference works may be of help: