Robert Blair (moderator)

Robert Blair (Moderator)

Robert Blair (moderator)

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Robert Blair (1593–1666) was a Scottish Nonconformist divine, excommunicated in 1634. However, in 1646 he became moderator of the General Assembly.


He was a native of Irvine, Ayrshire. His father was a merchant-adventurer, John Blair of Windyedge, a younger brother of the family of Blair of that ilk; his mother was Beatrix Muir (of the house of Rowallan), who lived for nearly a century.

From the parish school at Irvine Blair proceeded to the university of Glasgow, where he took his degree of M.A. He is stated to have acted as a schoolmaster in Glasgow. In his twenty-second year he was appointed a regent or professor in the university. In 1616 he was licensed as a preacher of the gospel in connection with the established church (presbyterian) of Scotland. In 1622 he resigned his professorship.

Having gone over to Ireland, he was called to Bangor, County Down and ordained by Robert Echlin, the Bishop of Down, on 10 July 1623. But he was suspended in the autumn of 1631, and deposed in 1632 for nonconformity; Echlin had turned a blind eye in the 1620s to presbyterian clergy in his diocese, but Blair (on his own account) didn't react to hints by Theophilus Buckworth, Bishop of Dromore, and was then interviewed by James Ussher, who tried to persuade him with arguments current from John Sprint.Alan Ford, James Ussher (2007), pp. 166-8. By the intervention of the king, Charles I, he was restored in May 1634; but the former sentence was renewed, with...
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