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Rev Robert Douglas






Rev Robert Douglas married Helen Douglas, daughter and heiress of Sir Robert Douglas of Kirkness, d1724, and his mother Dame Jean Balfour, d1746.  Robert died 28th September 1742.

On 1st May 1735 Mr Robert Douglas was ordained at Portmoak as successor to the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine after a vacancy of four years. He was one of a leet furnished by Sir John Bruce, who claimed the patronage, and his call was stated by the Presbytery to have been subscribed by the principal heritors, by a majority of elders, and by more than 60 heads of families, and, above all, it was concurred in by the patron. But Mr Hugh White, of whom nothing more is known, was the popular candidate, though, as was alleged, unworthy manoeuvres prevailed to put him in a minority of two on the moderation day.


The session, like the parishioners generally, was much divided, and 3 of the members, Messrs John White, sen. and jun., of Pittendreich, and Mr John White, Wester Balgedie, vacated their office in December 1734. The opposition, however, was temperately managed, the appeal against the settlement being withdrawn, and the hope expressed that Mr Douglas might prove himself an able minister of the New Testament, and, as Mr Erskine expressed it, "a blessing to the Church of Christ and to my dear people in Portmoak particularly." But after a trial of nine months dissatisfaction with Mr Douglas was not overcome, and six elders with a large body of the people acceded to the Associate Presbytery on ryth February 1736. After this petitions for at least week-day services were given in again and again, but it was not till Wednesday, 4th January 1738, that a Fast was observed at Portmoak, Messrs Moncrieff and Fisher officiating.

Supply was kept up for a time at rare intervals, but Milnathort being only three miles from the western part of the parish, where the Secession was strongest, the people were left to wait on the ministry of Mr Thomas Mair, who was now one of the Presbytery.


Robert and Helen had a daughter, Anna Jean, who married George Clephane of Carslogie.  Their son, Maj-Gen William Douglas Maclean Clephane, 21st of Carslogie, became Governor of Grenada, where he died in 1803. The General's daughter married Joshua Compton, 2nd Marquess of Northampton.





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Last modified: Thursday, 16 January 2020