Robert Durie

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Robert Durie (1555–1616) was a Scottish presbyterian minister.


Durie was second son of John Durie. He studied at St. Mary's College, St. Andrews and visited La Rochelle. He stayed with James Melville, whose wife is assumed to be his sister; accompanied Melville to the parliament of Linlithgow in December 1585, and to Berwick-on-Tweed in September 1586. He became subsequently assistant to the schoolmaster of Dunfermline, and minister of Abercrombie, Fife in 1588, and of Anstruther in 1590.[1]

He took part in the Church of Scotland mission to the island of Lewis in 1598, to evangelise the population, which set up ten parish churches. In 1601 Durie visited the Orkney Islands and Zetland, and gave an account of his journey to the General Assembly of 1602.[1]

In 1605 Durie attended as a member the general assembly at Aberdeen, which the king James VI had prohibited, but which ministers repudiating his jurisdiction had insisted on holding. For this offence he was summoned before the privy council, and on 18 July sent to Blackness Castle. He and five others were tried at Linlithgow on 10 January 1606 for treasonably declining the jurisdiction of the council. Being found guilty, they were banished from the kingdom. Durie, after landing at Bordeaux, went to Holland, where he was admitted first minister of the Scottish church at Leyden, where he died in September 1616.[1]

He was one of the closest friends of Andrew Melville, who was in banishment at Sedan when Durie was at Leyden. At one time it was rumoured that a pardon had been given to Durie, but Melville warned him not to trust the rumour, having grounds for suspecting some foul play. He contributed a commendatory sonnet to James Melville's Spirituall Propine, 1589.[1]


By his wife, Elizabeth Ramsay, Durie had five sons (John, Andrew, Eliezer, John, and James), and three daughters.


  1. ^ a b c d  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1888). "Durie, Robert". Dictionary of National Biography. 16. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainStephen, Leslie, ed. (1888). "Durie, Robert". Dictionary of National Biography. 16. London: Smith, Elder & Co.