Reverend Patrick Simpson

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Patrick Simson, Min. of Stirling

Also Known As: "Reverend Patrick Simpson"
Birthdate: (62)
Birthplace: Perth, Perthshire, Scotland
Death: March 31, 1618 (62)
Perth, Perthshire, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of Reverend Andrew Simpson and Violet Simpson
Husband of Martha Simpson
Father of Adam Simson, Min. of New Abbey and Isobel Simson
Brother of Rev Patrick Andrew Simpson; Reverend William Simpson; Reverend Archibald Simpson; Reverend Alexander Simpson; Katherine Home and 5 others

Occupation: Minister
Managed by: Alisdair James Smyth
Last Updated:

About Reverend Patrick Simpson

Biographical Summary

"Patrick Simson, born Perth, 1556, son of Andrew S., min. of Dunbar ; educated at New College, St Andrews ; M.A. (1574) ; became reader at Borthwick; completed his education at Bridgestock in England ; adm. to Spott in 1577 ; trans, to Cramond in 1582 ; adm. to the vicarage there 30th Aug. 1586; trans, and adm. to this charge 7th Aug. 1590 ; pres. by James VI. May 1591. When preaching before the King in 1598 he exhorted him to beware "lest he drew on himself secret wrath by setting up manifest idolatry." Immediately after sermon his Majesty arose and "forbade him to meddle in these matters." He was a member of twelve out of fifteen Assemblies held prior to 1610 ; was named by Assembly of 1606 constant Moderator of Presbytery, but refused to accept. He drew up a Protest to Parliament against the introduction of Episcopacy 1st July 1606 ; was chosen Moderator of Conference at Falkland 15th June 1608 ; was offered a bishopric and pension by the King, but frequent attacks of disease broke down his constitution, and he died 31st March 1618. He marr.

(1) Martha (died 13th Aug. 1601), daugh. of James Barron, Provost of Edinburgh, and had issue —

  • James, served heir 9th Oct. 1618
  • Lilias, born 1590-1 (marr. John Gillespie, min. of Kirkcaldy)
  • Adam, born May 1594, min. of New Abbey
  • a son who became a min. in Ireland, was killed by rebels, and whose widow got relief from the Presb. of Linlithgow 5th July 1643
  • Janet (marr., cont. 18th July 1608, Henry Talpe, burgess of Kinghorn)
  • Isabel, had a "maiden bairn" by Henry, third son of William, first Lord Cranstoun, who was decerned 29th July 1617 to marry her, but decreet was reduced 31st July 1618

(2) a daugh. of John Barron of Kinnaird and Elizabeth Learmonth of the Balcomie family, she survived him."

SOURCE: Fasti ecclesiae scoticanae: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the reformation, Vol. IV, page 318

Patrick, was a martyr of the reformed church of Scotland for opposing the secular authority of bishops. Secular authority had allegedly been granted to bishops in 312 AD by the Emperor Constantine. Such authority was subsequently claimed by Popes and later reimposed in England by Protestant rulers, Henry, Edward, Elizabeth & James, after 1534. In every case it was hoped that Bishops would add moral authority to secular government. However, compromises necessary to rule a diverse population undercut the moral authority of Bishops. Previously in Rome, religion had been a matter of free choice, so long as the official rites of Empire were not entirely neglected. Social realities in a polyglot empire were simply too vast for the bishops to comprehend, much less dictate. After 312 AD Bishops gradually assumed authority over all subjects’ thoughts & words, as well as deeds. Prior to 312 AD a Christian theory of government had been unnecessary. They were a small sect on the periphery of Roman society, and their concerns were primarily personal, otherworldly or moral. Secular Bishops discouraged dissent, even in speculative areas like theology. Patrick Simpson considered that the power to dictate any desired shape to a spiritual community fatal to spiritual freedom, and was too tempting to be resisted by prelates. Patrick entered New College at St. Andrews University [founded 1413] at age 14 & graduated at age 18, about 1580. He was a Greek scholar. He then studied at a private library at Bridgeport, England. He was called home when his father was sick in 1584, and preached at Spotkirk near Dunbar for 3 years. In August 1590 he was transferred to Stirling. In 1598 Patrick preached before King James, warning him against restoring old church practices. He attended the church assembly at Aberdeen in 1605 & in 1606 he wrote a protest to Parliament against harassment of ministers who resisted "Popish" influences. In 1608 he was chosen moderator of a kirk Assembly at Falkland Palace. In 1610 he charged the assembled bishops & noblemen convening at Stirling with defection from ancient Christian customs. He wrote books including "A Short Compend of the Historie of the First Ten Persecutions moved against Christians..." Patrick m1. ca.1589 Martha Barron, d/o James Barron, provost of Edinburgh College. Martha d.13 Aug 1601. [Martha’s sister was wife of Robert Rollock 1544-1589?, s/o David Rollock of Powhouse & Duncrub, Perthshire, & Marion Livingston, d/o Henry Livingston of Westquarter], principal of Edinburgh by 1586. Patrick may have m2. a Rollock sister. He died 31 March 1618. His funeral on 1 Apr 1618 was preached by Henry Livingston. Another sermon was given in a private house before Lady Mary Erskine by his brother, Rev. Archibald Simpson of Dalkeith, who had been silenced by the bishops for opposing prelacy.

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Reverend Patrick Simpson's Timeline

Perth, Perthshire, Scotland
May 1594
Age 38
March 31, 1618
Age 62
Perth, Perthshire, Scotland
April 1, 1618
Age 62