| which he was no mean alumnus, conferred upon him the degree
of Doctor of Divinity.
Rev. DONALD IVERACH.
Rev. Donald Iverach, successor to Dr Mackay, a native of Harpsdale,
Caithness, was bom in 1856. First attended the district school
at Harpsdale, afterwards the parish school at Halkirk. Was
a pupil teacher for four years, and afterwards attended the
Grammar School at Old Aberdeen for six months. In 1876 gained
a bursary which enabled him to prosecute his studies at Edinburgh
University. He took the curriculum and graduated in 1880.
During the vacations he acted as tutor to the family of J.
H. Davidson, Esq., Old Hall, Caithness. In 1880 he entered
the New College, Edinburgh. In the summer of 1881 he was missionary
to the Scotsmen who lived at Chapelizod, a village about four
miles west of Dublin. In 1882-3, he was missionary in Haddington,
and during the winter of 1883-4 acted as assistant to the
Rev. Robert Logan, Abington and Crawfordjohn. On the conclusion
of his studies at the New College he went to Canonbie, Dumfriesshire,
and continued there as assistant to the Rev. A. W. Milne for
about ten months.
In 188$ he received a unanimous call to Nenthorn, in the Presbytery
of Kelso, where he continued for fourteen years till called
to Prestonpans in 1899, where he still officiates with acceptance.
UNION OF THE FREE AND U. P. CHURCHES.
The union of the above churches caused neither sorrow nor
rejoicing at Prestonpans, though we remember the time when
the United Presbyterian body counted a goodly number of members
here. They all attended the late Mr Parlane at Tranent. There
are at the present time only four members here who were in
connection with the U. P. Church—Mrs and Miss Alexander, and
Mr and Mrs George Pringle. George is made of the old covenanting
metal; true to the core he will live and die as his father
did before him, a genuine United Presbyterian.
The good folks of Prestonpans have not been, as a rule, what
may be termed " shifty " in religious matters: true
they came out strong at the Reformation period; and no wonder,
considering the leaders they had, not only the Hamiltons,
who were ever in the van as Reformers, but a Davidson. who—though
formerly under the domination of the Pope, latterly, like
Knox, whom he followed in denouncing popery—feared the face
of neither king nor commoner.
A little over sixty years ago, and while the "ten years'
conflict'' raged, a very different lot from the Free Church
party attempted to carry the position as ecclesiastical reformers.
Who really were the drawers together of this party it would
be difficult now to discover. Our impression is that they
formed originally a temperance party only, and ultimately
met on Sundays and formed a church. Their place of worship
was called the " Meeting House "; this was a very
large upper flat in Meeting House or Watchmakers' Wynd, a
well known close a little to the east of Ayre's Wynd.
This religious body took to themselves the name of "
Methodists. " They had no regular preacher, but a somewhat
erratic gentleman, a great "total abstainer" or
"teetotaler" known as Temperance Thomson, took the
leading part. The Meeting House went on for quite a number
of years, but the place of meeting never became too small
for the Methodists.
The followers of the Prophet Joseph Smith became quite numerous
at one time in the district, and they succeeded the Methodists
in the Meeting House. Tranent was the headquarters of this
body, but between the villages of Prestonlinks, Prestonpans,
and Cuthill they had a good following. One or other of these
places, as the case might be, was the home and haunt of the
three brothers, Johnnie, Ralph, and Willie Smith. Willie worked
himself into a good position among miners, becoming coal manager
for a time at Prestonlinks and elsewhere. He was a very fluent
speaker, and got into great raptures when addressing a crowd.
He became a leader among the Mormons.
This was the same Willie Smith who, after getting all his
household "dipped" in the "dookin' hole"
near Cockenzie, at last prevailed upon his mother-in-law,
a sterling old native of the Pans, to get " dipped "
The day arrived and the new convert made her way to the "
dookin' hole, '' where a large congregation had assembled,
for there were many to be "dipped. "