John Row, Min. of Perth (1526 - 1580)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Alisdair Smyth
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About John Row, Min. of Perth

Biographical Summary

"John Row, born "in a landward roume called Row," near Dunblane, about 1526 ; educated at the Grammar School of Stirling and St Leonard's College, St Andrews, where he matriculated in 1544 ; M.A. ; studied Canon Law and practised as an advocate in the Consistory Court of St Andrews ; app. in 1550 agent for the Scottish clergy at Rome, where he remained seven or eight years ; Licentiate of Laws (20th Feb. 1556), and LL.D. Padua. The fame of his talents and learning led to his intimacy with Pope Paul IV. and some of the cardinals, and would probably have led to his promotion ; but owing to ill-health he was compelled to return to Scotland, when he was appointed nuncio to investigate the causes of the Reformation and to devise means for checking its progress. He reached Eyemouth on 29th Sept. 1558, but finding himself unable to fulfil his injunctions, returned to Rome before 11th May 1559. After a short residence there, he came back by persuasion of James, Prior of St Andrews, afterwards Earl of Moray, and having seen the falsehood and imposition of a pretended miracle at St Allaret's Chapel, Musselburgh, he joined the Reformers. He was adm. to Kennoway in April 1560, before the Reformation was fully established ; was one of six min. appointed by the Lords of the Congregation for "writing in a book their judgments touching the Reformation of religion." These appeared in the Confession of Faith and First Book of Discipline ; trans, (by consent of the General Congregation of Edinburgh) 17th July, and adm. before 20th Dec. 1560 ; app. by the General Assembly, 10th July 1568, to visit Galloway ; is styled Commissioner of Nithsdale and Galloway, March 1570 ; elected Moderator of the General Assembly 21st July and 25th Dec. 1567, 24th April 1576, and 11th June 1578; died 16th Oct. 1580, at which time he held the vicarages of Twynholm and Terregles in Galloway. He was " a cautious and prudent reformer, of moderate views, benevolent disposition, and amiable and winning manners, a wise and grave father, of good literature according to the time." He was skilled in the original languages of Scripture, and did much towards building up the Reformed Church in Scotland. He marr. 1560, Margaret, second daugh. of John Beaton of Balfour, and had issue —

  • Thomas, died young
  • James, min. of Kilspindie, bapt. 25th June 1562
  • William, min. of Forgandenny, born 1563
  • Oliver, died young
  • John, min. of Carnock, bapt. 6th Jan. 1568
  • Robert; Archibald, min. of Stobo, bapt. 23rd March 1571
  • Patrick, died young
  • Colin, min. of St Quivox, bapt. 1st March 1576
  • Henry , died young
  • Catherine (marr. William Rigg of Athernie, merchant, Edinburgh), died 15th Dec. 1615
  • Mary (marr. Robert Rynd, min. of Longforgan)."

SOURCE: Fasti ecclesiae scoticanae: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the reformation, Vol. IV, page 229

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