List of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

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List of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is a complete list of Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from the Reformation to the present day. Some listed below also currently have their own article. The location of the parish or other post during the Moderator's year in office is also listed (in brackets).

Since 1714 the General Assembly has normally been held annually every May. Moderators-designate are nominated in the October of the previous year; a formal vote is taken at start of the General Assembly (in May), then the new Moderator takes the chair. He/she holds office for one year; his/her final act is to formally open the following year's General Assembly and preside over the formal election of a successor.

The Moderator of the current year (when a minister) is styled "The Right Reverend", while past Moderators are styled "The Very Reverend".[1]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

No General Assembly until 1638

No General Assembly after 1653 until the restoration of Presbyterianism in 1690. Gabriel Cunningham (now very old) acted as Interim Moderator in 1690 (as though there had been no gap) until Kennedie was chosen to succeed him.

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

  • 1801 William Ritchie DD (Kilwinning)
  • 1802 James Finlayson DD (Edinburgh: High Church, also Professor of Logic at the University of Edinburgh)
  • 1803 Gilbert Gerard DD (Professor of Divinity, University of Aberdeen)
  • 1804 John Inglis DD (Edinburgh)
  • 1805 George Hamilton DD (Gladsmuir)
  • 1806 William Taylor DD, jr. (Glasgow)
  • 1807 James Sheriffs DD (Aberdeen)
  • 1808 Andrew Grant DD (Kilmarnock)
  • 1809 Francis Nicoll DD (Mains and Strathmartine)
  • 1810 Hugh Meiklejohn DD (Abercorn, also Professor of Church History at the University of Edinburgh)
  • 1811 Alexander Rankin DD (Glasgow: North West Church)
  • 1812 William MacMorine DD (Caerlaverock)
  • 1813 Andrew Brown DD (Edinburgh: Old Church, also Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Edinburgh)
  • 1814 David Ritchie DD (Edinburgh: St Andrew's, also Professor of Logic at the University of Edinburgh)
  • 1815 Lewis Gordon DD (Drainie)
  • 1816 John Cook DD (Professor of Divinity, St Andrews)
  • 1817 Gavin Gibb DD (Glasgow: St Andrew's, also Professor of Hebrew, University of Glasgow)
  • 1818 John Campbell DD (Edinburgh)
  • 1819 and 1843 Duncan MacFarlan DD (Drymen, later Principal of the University of Glasgow)
  • 1820 Thomas M'Knight DD (Edinburgh: Old Church)
  • 1821 Duncan Mearns DD (Professor of Divinity, Aberdeen)
  • 1822 David Lamont DD (Kirkpatrick-Durham)
  • 1823 Alexander Brunton DD (Edinburgh: Tron Kirk, also Professor of Oriental Languages, University of Edinburgh)
  • 1824 Andrew Duncan DD (Ratho)
  • 1825 George Cook DD FRSE (Laurencekirk)
  • 1826 Thomas Taylor DD (Tibbermore)
  • 1827 Robert Haldane DD (Principal, St Mary's College, St Andrews)
  • 1828 Stevenson M'Gill DD (Professor of Divinity, Glasgow)
  • 1829 Patrick Forbes DD (Oldmachar)
  • 1830 William Singer DD (Kirkpatrick-Juxta)
  • 1831 James Wallace DD (Whitekirk)
  • 1832 Thomas Chalmers DD LLD (Professor of Divinity, University of Edinburgh)
  • 1833 John Stirling DD (Craigie)
  • 1834 Patrick M'Farlan (Greenock)
  • 1835 William Aird Thomson DD (Perth)
  • 1836 Norman Macleod DD (The Highlanders' Friend) (Glasgow: St Columba)
  • 1837 Matthew Gardiner DD (Bothwell)
  • 1838 William Muir DD LLD (Edinburgh: St Stephen's)
  • 1839 Henry Duncan DD (Ruthwell)
  • 1840 Angus Makellar DD (Pencaitland)
  • 1841 Robert Gordon DD (Edinburgh: High Church)
  • 1842 David Welsh DD (Professor of Church History, University of Edinburgh)

The "Disruption" in the Church of Scotland took place in 1843, with approximately one-third of the ministers leaving to form the Free Church of Scotland.

  • 1844 John Lee DD LLD MD (Principal, University of Edinburgh)
  • 1845 Alexander Hill DD (Professor of Divinity, Glasgow)
  • 1846 James Paul DD (Tullynessle)
  • 1847 John Paul DD (Edinburgh: West Kirk)
  • 1848 George Buist DD (Professor of Church History, St Andrews)
  • 1849 Alexander L. Simpson DD (Kirknewton)
  • 1850 John Graham DD (Killearn)
  • 1851 John Macleod DD (Morven)
  • 1852 Lewis W. Forbes DD (Boharm)
  • 1853 James Barr DD (Glasgow: St Enoch's)
  • 1854 James Grant DD DCL (Edinburgh: St Mary's)
  • 1855 Andrew Bell DD (Linlithgow)
  • 1856 John Crombie DD (Scone)
  • 1857 James Robertson DD (Professor of Church History, University of Edinburgh)
  • 1858 Matthew Leishman DD (Govan)
  • 1859 John Cook DD (Professor of Church History, St Andrews)
  • 1860 James Maitland DD (Kells)
  • 1861 Colvin Smith DD (Inveraray)
  • 1862 James Bisset DD (Bourtie)
  • 1863 James Craik DD (Glasgow: St George's)
  • 1864 William R. Pirie DD (Principal, University of Aberdeen)
  • 1865 James Macfarlane DD (Duddingston, near Edinburgh)
  • 1866 John Cook DD (Haddington)
  • 1867 Thomas Jackson Crawford DD FRSE, (Professor of Divinity, University of Edinburgh)
  • 1868 James S. Barty DD (Bendochy)
  • 1869 Norman MacLeod DD (Glasgow: The Barony)
  • 1870 George Ritchie DD (Jedburgh)
  • 1871 Robert Horne Stevenson DD (Edinburgh: St George's)
  • 1872 Robert Jamieson DD (Glasgow: St Paul's)
  • 1873 Robert Gillan DD (Inchinnan)
  • 1874 Samuel Traill DD (Professor of Divinity, Aberdeen)
  • 1875 James Sellar DD (Aberlour)
  • 1876 George Cook DD (Borgue)
  • 1877 K. M. Phin DD (Convener of the Home Mission Committee)
  • 1878 John Tulloch DD LLD (Principal, St Mary's College, St Andrews)
  • 1879 J. Crystal DD LLD (Auchinleck)
  • 1880 Archibald Watson DD (Dundee)
  • 1881 James Smith DD (Cathcart)
  • 1882 William Milligan DD (Professor of Biblical Criticism, Aberdeen)
  • 1883 John Rankin DD (Sorn)
  • 1884 Peter M'Kenzie DD (Dingwall: Urquhart)
  • 1885 A. F. Mitchell DD (Professor of Church History, St Andrews)
  • 1886 John Cunninghame DD LLD (Principal, St Mary's College, University of St Andrews)
  • 1887 G. Hutchison DD (Banchory-Ternan)
  • 1888 W. H. Gray DD (Liberton)
  • 1889 Paton J. Gloag DD LLD (Galashiels)
  • 1890 A. K. H. Boyd DD LLD (St Andrews)
  • 1891 James MacGregor DD (Edinburgh: St Cuthbert's)
  • 1892 Archibald Charteris DD LLD (University of Edinburgh)
  • 1893 J. Marshall Lang DD LLD (Glasgow: The Barony)
  • 1894 Robert Herbert Story DD LLD (Principal of the University of Glasgow)
  • 1895 Donald Macleod DD (Glasgow: Park Church)
  • 1896 Archibald Scott DD (Edinburgh: St George's)
  • 1897 William Mair DD (Earlston)
  • 1898 Thomas Leishman DD (Linton)
  • 1899 John Pagan DD (Bothwell)
  • 1900 Norman Macleod DD (Inverness)

20th century[edit]

  • 1901 James Mitchell DD (South Leith)
  • 1902 James Curdie Russell DD (Campbeltown)
  • 1903 John Gillespie LLD (Mouswald)
  • 1904 John McMurtrie DD (Convener, Committee on Foreign Missions)
  • 1905 Andrew J. Milne LLD (Fyvie)
  • 1906 T. B. W. Niven DD (Pollokshields)
  • 1907 J. R. Mitford Mitchell DD (Convener, Colonial Committee)
  • 1908 Theodore Marshall DD (Convener, Home Mission Committee)
  • 1909 James Robertson DD (Whittinghame)
  • 1910 Pearson McAdam Muir DD (Glasgow Cathedral)
  • 1911 Alexander Stewart DD (Principal of St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews)
  • 1912 S. Marcus Dill DD (Alloway)
  • 1913 Andrew Wallace Williamson DD (Edinburgh: High Kirk (St Giles’ Cathedral))
  • 1914 Thomas Nicol DD (Professor of Biblical Criticism, Aberdeen)
  • 1915 David Paul LLD (Edinburgh: Robertson Memorial)
  • 1916 John Brown DD (Glasgow: Bellahouston)
  • 1917 James Cooper DD DCL DLitt (Professor of Church History, Glasgow)
  • 1918 James Nicoll Ogilvie DD (Edinburgh: New Greyfriars')
  • 1919 William Paterson Paterson DD LLD (University of Edinburgh)
  • 1920 Thomas Martin DD (Peebles)
  • 1921 James A. M'Clymont CBE DD (Convener of the Committee on Chaplains to H. M. Forces)
  • 1922 John Smith DD (Glasgow: Partick)
  • 1923 George Milligan DD DCL (University of Glasgow)
  • 1924 David Cathels DD (Hawick)
  • 1925 John White DD LLD (Glasgow: The Barony)
  • 1926 John D. M'Callum DD (Larkhall)
  • 1927 Norman Maclean DD (Edinburgh: St Cuthbert's)
  • 1928 J. Montgomery Campbell DD (Dumfries)
  • 1929 Joseph Mitchell DD (Mauchline)

The union of the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church of Scotland occurred in 1929, the newly reunited church henceforth being known as the Church of Scotland.

21st century[edit]

See also[edit]



  • Church of Scotland Yearbook 1908 edition, 1933 edition, 1966 edition and 2003-04 edition ISBN 0-86153-353-4. The 1908 yearbook entries (1560-1908) were compiled by the late Rev Dr Robert W. Weir.


External links[edit]