Church at Kilmaurs, Ayrshire
Mother Church of the Secession in
From "The Kirk at Kilmaurs" by the Rev. Donald
Patience, retired minister at Kilmaurs.
[p. 2] Chalmers in his "Caledonia" tells us that
ancient church at Kilmaurs was dedicated to St.
Maure, a Scottish saint who is said to have died
899. This female saint was commemorated on 2nd
November. It is argued by others that the name
Mawers, or Mauris, thus making the saint to whom
church is dedicated masculine...the name Kilmaurs
derived from the Gaelic word cille meaning
church, or a cell, and the person to whom it was
dedicated, whether Maura or Mauris.
[p. 3] A charter of the monastery at Kelso
that the church at Kilmaurs, and its revenues,
in their possession in 1170. In 1245 a charter of
monks at Kelso, confirmed by William, Bishop of
Glasgow, conveyed the church to the Prior of
Lesmahagow, a vassal of Kelso.
The Cunninghame family had a close connection
Kilmaurs before the end of the 12th c. later in
15th c. they were responsible for the endowment
the church. The date of the endowment, according
Paterson's "History of Ayrshire..Ayrshire
is 13 May 1413. Sir William Cunninghame granted
mortified lands "for celebration in the parish
at Kilmaurs, for the safety of my own soul, and
(There is a parallel set of ministers [the
non-Secessionists presumably] who headed the
Glencairn Church during the incumbancy of the
Secessionist ministers listed below. Of note
- Hugh THOMSON, ordained in 1691, he resigned
- John MILLER, 1718-21; married to Christian
of witchcraft trials fame and founder of the
- Hugh COCHRANE, 1723-1733.
- Alexander MILLAR, 1788-1804, immortalized by
There is a remote possibility that my family ties
with all of these men in one way or another.
research on family ties is required.
Other names of note:
[p. 15] The congregation at Kilmaurs is called
Maurs-Glencairn, and Glencairn is derived from
the Glencairn Church of Scotland. Most of the
of that church, and a fascinating one it is, has
told in a booklet compiled by the Rev. Alexander
Borrowman and Mr. Robert Richmond, and published
the time of the bicentenary of the church in
The secessionist congregation, which began with
Smyton, was the mother-church of the Secession of
Ayrshire. As time passed, places in Ayrshire
under the jurisdiction of Smyton, set themselves
as independent bodies. The list of disjunctions
- William Sinclair, 1840-44, wrote the
Account of the parish.
- William Buchanan, 1844-52, was the
fellow ultimately let go for drunkeness.
- 1760 Colmonell
- 1763 Auchinleck
- 1772 Ayr
- (Dr. John RITCHIE's birthplace)
- 1773 Newmilns
- 1775 Kilmarnock, Gallow's Knowe, later
- 1777 Kilmarnock, Clerk's Lane, later Princes
- (See Dr. John RITCHIE)
- (See the Rev. James MORISON)
- 1777 Cumnock
- 1777 Tarbolton
- 1787 Fenwick
- 1797 Stewarton
The history of this congregation is largely the
history of the Church in Scotland from 1740
It was formed from the Established Church, and
(Ministers of the Secession Church include:
- 1740 the Associate Congregation
- 1747 the Anti-Burgher Kirk*
- 1820 the United Secession Congregation*
- (It was still known as the Associate
at the beginning of Rev. David ROBERTSON's
- 1847 the United Presbyterian Church
- 1900 the Smyton United Free Church
- 1929 the Glencairn Church of Scotland
- Rev. David Smyton, 1740-1789; he married
THOMSON, daughter of Rev. Hugh Thomson.
- Rev. David
- Rev. Francis Christie, 1847-1861; he married
© 1997 mjjodoin@webtv.
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