David Williamson"Minister at the West Church [St. Cuthbert's], having also been a burgess and guild brother." The Scottish Record Society, The Faculty of Advocates in Scotland, 1532-1943."Graduated M.A. at the Univ. of St. Andrews in 1655; was recommended by the Masters of the New College 24th March, and licenc. by the presb. thereof, 23 June. 1658; became helper to Alexander Balfour, min. of Abdie, in 1659; pres. by Charles II 13th July, and ord. 30 November, 1661, when twenty-five years of age. Deprived by the Act of Parliament 11 June, and that of the Privy Council 1 October 1662, for not conforming to the Episcopacy, but continued to 13 April, 1665, having refused a call to Glasgow, in June preceding. When preaching his farewell sermon, he declared, 'I will return and die minister of this kirk,' which he did." Fasti. Eccl. Scot. Vol. 1, pp 96, 101."This gentleman was turned out of his kirk, with many others, in the troublesome times of Charles II, about 1660, but restored at the Revolution by King William. He was one of the Commissioners sent from the Kirk of Scotland to congratulate his Majesty on his accession to the throne of these kingdoms in 1688; and was much noticed by the Ladies at Court, as having been the husband of seven wives. He was Moderator of the General Assembly in 1702, and died esteemed by all in 1706. It is a singular circumstance, that a minister in public life in 1652, should have a son who only died in 1795." The Scots Magazine, August 1795."The burial place is on the Knowe, and counting from the north is the fourth enclosure that faces east... Captain at Battle of Bothwell Bridge, 1679..." Silences That Speak, St. Cuthbert's, pages 56-59, small hill known as the 'Knowe' south-west of the door. Here grazed nowt [Oxen, cattle], horse and sheipe until 1597 when a stone wall was built around it. See Photo. The Parish Church of St. Cuthbert, Churchyard Guide, lot 451: 22388, 22389, 22390. List of Notable Monuments, C. "The Daintie Davie' of Scots songs. There is a portrait, by Sir John Medina, in St. Cuthberts. Rosemary McCallum. See etching. Lorimer's Early Days of St. Cuthbert's Church. Dr. Pitcarirn's satire of 'The Assembly' (Lorimer). The Kirk below the Castle, pp 13, 15-16.
CHURCH: Minister of St. Cuthbert's, or West Kirk, 1689.David Williamson 1661 - In this year, King Charles II (reign 1660 - 85) re-instated bishops, and banned the Assembly. Reverends Reid and Williamson of the West Kirk were amongst about 350 non-conforming ministers deprived of their charges. David Williamson, probably the most romantic of St Cuthbert’s Ministers, prophesied he would "return and die minister of this Church".
He served the persecuted Covenanters over many years, preaching in the hills and fields. His most famous narrow escape took place at the house of a Lady Cherrytrees near Edinburgh. Troopers arrived suddenly, but the astute Lady Cherrytrees gave Williamson a night-gown and put him into bed with her daughter, Jean Kerr.
That escapade may have earned him the sobriquet of "Dainty Davy" but he may also have been dainty in person. He was probably a lady’s man because he married seven times, including the girl in the bed! As he prophesied, he returned in happier days as Minister of St Cuthbert’s.
1688 - The "Glorious Revolution" replaced James VII (also James II of England, reign 1685-1688) with William and Mary and the Presbyterian Church was restored in Scotland. Rev Williamson and Rev Anderson substantially increased St Cuthbert’s congregation. This was reflected in collections for the poor whose numbers had continued to grow. 1706 - Reverend David Williamson died aged about 72 years. He was buried next to his predecessor, Robert Pont but his widow erected no headstone - perhaps because her six predecessors would have had to be listed!
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AchievementsCHURCH: Minister of St. Cuthbert's, or West Kirk, 1689.
CHURCH: Formerly in Collegiate Charge.
CHURCH: Restored to his former parish, 1690.
CHURCH: Member of Assembly, 1692.
CHURCH: Moderator to the Assembly, 1702.
PUNISHMENT: Denounced as a rebel, 1674; arrested, 1688; liberated after a fortnight's imprisonment.
found on ancestry.com
The Reverend David WilliamsonA Covenanting minister denounced as a rebel on 6th July 1674 for hold conventicles, and intercommuned on 6th August the following year. After a final indulgence granted to the Church in 1687, he returned to Edinburgh where a meeting-house was erected for him in the village then known as Water of Leith. However, he was arrested again the following February, his name having been discovered in papers belonging to the Covenanting leaded Renwick, though released in a fortnight, the date of the reference being found to be within the period covered by his indemnity. Some time afterwards, he was arrested for refusing to pray for the Prince of Wales, but again released. He was restored to his Lothian parish by the General Assembly of 1690, the first to meet after what Burns called 'the glorious Revolution,' and was one of the Commissioners sent to London to congratulate William of Orange on his accession to the throne. He became Moderator to the General Assembly in March 1702, but died the following August.
His matrimonial adventures were no less robust than his professional career. He was married seven times and had at least nine children.
The manner of his wooing of his second wife, Jean, daughter of the Kerrs of Cherrytrees, was celebrated in a song 'Dainty Davy'. The event occurred about 1690, and in Burns's words in his Notes on Scots Song, Williamson 'begat the daughter of Lady Cherytrees with child, while a party of dragoons was searching her house to apprehend him for being an adherent of the Solemn League and Covenant. The pious woman had put a lady's night-cap on him... and passed him to the soldiery as... her daughter's bed fellow.'
Burns's reference to the fiddle in 'The Jolly Beggars' 'shoring' (or offering) 'Dainty Davie' is thus a reference to Williamson's sexual member, the prowess of which is also commemorated in numerous lampoons to be found in Maidment's A Packet of Pestilent Pasquils (1688)
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