Gilbert Rule

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Dr Gilbert Rule (1629 (approx) – 1701 [1]) was a nonconformist divine and the Principal of Edinburgh University from 1690 to 1701.

Rule had previously been Regent in the University of Glasgow,[1] afterwards sub-Principal of King's College, Aberdeen. Before the Restoration, he had been the minister at Alnwick, Northumberland. Having been ejected from his parish by the Act of Uniformity 1662, he came to Scotland and shortly thereafter was imprisoned in Bass from preaching in St. Giles Church and baptizing two children.

In 1672, along with his brother Robert (a presbyterian minister), Rule travelled to Derry, where Robert was installed as minister until 1688. The First Derry Presbyterian Church records say:

"The congregation was vacant in 1670 and abortive attempts were made to induce Scotsmen to come across. Success came when the Rev. Robert Rule of Kirkcaldy and his brother Gilbert the celebrated Principal of Edinburgh came over. Robert accepted a call, was installed in 1672 and remained unmolested in his charge until 1688 when he fled to Scotland and did not return."

Gilbert served as minister to the presbyterian congregation of Wood Street Church, Dublin from 1682 until 1687, as a colleague of Daniel Williams. At the revolution he became one of the ministers of Greyfriars Kirk.[1] On 26 September 1690, Rule was elected Principal of Edinburgh University.[1] His predecessor as Principal, Dr Alexander Monro had been ejected for not taking the oath of allegiance to William and Mary, and wrote a work in defence of his faith called "An Enquiry into the New Opinions (chiefly) Propagated by the Presbyterians of Scotland; Together with some Animadversoins on a Late Book entitled 'A defense of the Vindications of the Kirk'; in a Letter to a Friend at Edinburgh". This prompted Gilbert Rule to respond with a book called "The Good Old Way Defended".[2]

He died in 1701 and is buried in Greyfriars Churchyard.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Historical Notes of the Rule Family, Scots Peerage, 2006
  2. ^ [History of The Munros of Fowlis by Alexander Mackenzie, 1898]


Presbyterian Church titles
Preceded by
Daniel Williams
Minister of Wood Street Presbyterian Church, Dublin
With: Daniel Williams,1682-1687
Joseph Boyse,1683-1687
Succeeded by
Joseph Boyse
Academic offices
Preceded by
Alexander Monro
Principal of Edinburgh University
Succeeded by
William Carstares