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ARCHBISHOP SHARP OF ST. ANDREWS.
Having just seen the interesting and impartial article in the North British Review for June, 1867 (New Series, vol. vii. No. 92, pp. 398-455), on the above greatly maligned Primate of Scotland, it has occurred to me that the following notices of his life and ecclesiastical career may be deemed worthy of insertion in the columns of "N. & Q."
James Sharp was born May 4, 1618, in the Castle of Banff; son of William Sharp, sheriffclerk of Banffshire, by Isobel, daughter of Leslie, Laird of Kininvie, in the same county, through whom he was descended from the old family of Halyburtons of Pitcur, in the shire of Angus. (The Leslies of Kininvie, who were of the family of Earls of Rothes, still exist in the male line as possessors of their hereditary estate, though they are not mentioned either in Burke's Landed Gentry or in Walford's County Families; and the present Laird, G. A. Y. Leslie of Kin-lisle invie, has been a Deputy-lieutenant of the county of Banff since the year 1846.) His grandfather, David Sharp, had been a merchant in the city of Aberdeen towards the end of the sixteenth century: so that he was thus of "gentle birth" on both sides of the house.
He then proceeded to study divinity under the famous "Aberdeen Doctor," Forbes of Corse, and baron, where he was grounded in episcopal tenets. The outbreak of the Covenanting excitement in 1639, which dispersed the learned school of divinity in Aberdeen, and overthrew the established church of Scotland, drove him to Oxford, and it is also said to Cambridge; but returning to Scotland, he was chosen one of the Regents of Philosophy in St. Leonard's College, St. Andrews, in the beginning of the year 1643-the exact date of his induction there is not ascertained, but his signature is attached to a lease given by the masters of St. Leonard's College on July 5, 1643; and he continued in his office till the end of November, 1647. In that month he received a presentation to the parish of Crail from the Earl of Crawford, the patron; and having been "licensed to preach by the Presbytery of St. Andrews, December 29 following, he was ordained and admitted to be minister of Crail, in Fifeshire, on January 27, 1648. In 1660 he was nominated one of the royal chaplains for Scotland by King Charles II., with a pension of 2001. per annum; and, having resigned his parochial charge at Crail, on January 16, 1661, he was inducted as Professor of Divinity in St. Mary's, or the New College of St. Andrew's, in the end of February following. On the restoration of Episcopacy, Dr. Sharp was appointed by letters-patent, dated November 14, 1661, to the vacant Archbishopric of St. Andrew's and Primacy of Scotland; and, having been privately reordained on the same day as deacon and priest by the Bishop of London (his previous orders having necessarily been only Presbyterian, and, as such, not acknowledged by the Church of England,) together with Dr. Leighton, he was publicly consecrated in Westminster Abbey, on Sunday, December 15, of the same year, by the Bishops of London, Worcester, Llandaff, and Car
(Juxon's Register, fol. 237). He was enthroned, in his metropolitan cathedral, at St. Andrew's, on April 16, 1662; and sworn in as a member of the Scottish Privy Council, June 15, 1663. In 1664, he was made a member of the Court of High Commission, and had precedency given him over all the great officers of state in
Scotland, in virtue of his office as Primate of the kingdom. The remainder of the archbishop's ecclesiastical career is matter of history, and need not be further alluded to here beyond this, that he was ex officio Chancellor of the University of St. Andrew's from 1661 to 1679. His barbarous murder, by a party of fanatical Covenanters, took place on Magus-Moor, within two miles of St. Andrew's, on Saturday, May 3, 1679; when he was within a day of completing the sixty-first year of his age, and in the eighteenth of his episcopate. His remains were interred with great ceremony, on May 17, in the south aisle of Trinity parish church at St. Andrew's; where a magnificent marble monument, the work of a Dutch artist, was erected by his son to his memory, and still exists, though it has suffered considerably from neglect and sectarian malevolence.
The Primate's seal has upon it St. Andrew, with his cross in his left hand, and a crosier in the right. The family shield is below, with the motto: "Sigillum R. D. Jacobi Sharp, archiepiscopi S. Andreæ, 1661." On each side of the apostle is a triple scroll: on the first of which is the legend-" Sacratum ecclesiæ, Deo, regi"; and on the second-"Auspicio Car. II. ecclesia instaurata."
Archbishop Sharp was married, April 3, 1653, to Helen, daughter of William Moncrieff, Laird of Randerston-a small property lying between the village of Queensbarns and Crail, where the future Primate of Scotland was then Presbyterian minister of the parish-the marriage feast taking place at her father's house in Randerston. Little or nothing is known of this lady; but the malignant and vulgar scandal, which was so busy with his own name, has not spared his wife. They had a family of three children, one son and two daughters, viz.:
besides the present peer Alexander, seventeenth baron, there are numerous descendants. The Dowager Baroness Saltoun survived till August, 1734, when she died at a very advanced age at Edinburgh.
Sir William Sharp, of Stoneyhill, near Musselburgh, in Haddingtonshire, who was Keeper of the Scottish Signet, in 1673, and married before the year 1666, was a brother of the archbishop. See a folio volume in the Advocates' Library, at Edinburgh, marked "Papers for Kames' Dictionary, 1725-27." The Castle of Banff- where the Primate was born, and in which his father, the sheriff-clerk, is said to have "lived and died in great esteem and reputation with all who knew him". was infefted to Robert Sharp and his heirs, in 1662, on the legal "resignation" of Lord Auchterhouse. A. S. A.
A NOTE FOR OLIVER CROMWELL.
When visiting Beverley Minster lately, I was accosted by a mechanic, who asked me "What that figure was?" I said it represented an abbot or a monk. "Then," he replied, "I suppose this place was Roman Catholic before it came into the Church." "Yes," I said, "at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries." He rejoined, “Oh, I know, at the time of Oliver Cromwell." "No, no," I said, more than a hundred years before his time." His remark was, "Well, it's all the same."
I have been since thinking on the expression, and I cannot but believe that the same vague idea exists in the minds of many whose knowledge of English history is obtained from Goldsmith's Abridgment, where the events of a reign of many years are summed up in two or three pages. The same injustice of "all the same is meted out by those who ought to know better, but whose political prejudices warp their judgments, and cause them to see in Cromwell only a canting usurper guilty of every abomination.
Let me show, if I can, what a little, in my opinion, Cromwell had to do with the dilapidation of our ecclesiastical structures and architec
At the dissolution of the religious houses, "the greater part was dissipated in profuse grants to the courtiers, who frequently contrived to veil their acquisitions under a cover of a purchase from the Crown." What motive, then, had those who became the possessors to keep up the structures which would only serve to perpetuate the evidence of their spoliation? It would only be natural with men so circumstanced to precipitate the decay. We have many instances of the abbey walls having been found the best quarry in the neighbourhood, the stones being already ash