John Simson, Professor of Divinity

Born: 1667 and died 2 February 1740 at Glasgow
Son of : Patrick Simson (1628-1715) and his second wife Janet Simson (nee Peadie, 1635-1714).
Brother of:
1. Anna Paisley (nee Simson) who married a Mr Paisley.
Half brother of:
1. Not known.
John married: Janet Stirling (1691-1782) eldest daughter to Mr James Stirling, Minister of the Gospel at Barony of Glasgow, and Margaret Dunlop his spouse, 31st October 1710, by Mr John Stirling, Principal of the Colledge of Glasgow.
John and Jean had issue:
1. Patrick Simson (1712-1716).
2. James Simson (1713-1716).
3. Margaret Simson (1715-1725).
4. Elizabeth Simson (1717-1721).
5. Joanna Simson (1719-1731).
6. Anna Morthland (nee Simson, 1720-1802) who married Matthew Morthland (1700s to 1765?)
7. Sarah Simson (1722-1723).
8. John Simson (1723-1730).
9. Elizabeth Simson (1724-?).
10. Patrick Simson (1727-1723).
11. James Simson (1729-1777).
12. Margaret Simson (1731-1733).
13. Sarah Simson (1732-1735).
14. Jean Moore (nee Simson, 1735-1820) who married Dr John Moore (1730-1802).

John Simson: An Overview

We know about John from a number of sources:
1. Records of the Carrick Moore Family.  By George Heath, 1912.
2. The case of Mr. John Simson professor of divinity in the University of Glasgow.  By James Davidson, 1727, Edinburgh.
3. An Enquiry into Mr Simson's Sentiments.  By Principle Hadow, 1730, Edinburgh.
4. The Religious Controversies of Scotland.  By Rev Henry F Henderson, 1905, Edinburgh. 

The entry in "Records of the Carrick Moore Family" by George Heath, 1912, reads as follows:

John Simson, son lawful to Mr Patrick Simson, Minister  of the Gospel at Renfrew and Janet Peadie, who was born July 13th, 1667, the eldest surviving son of the said Mr Patrick, finished his course of Philosophy and received his degree of Master of Arts in the University of Glasgow the . . . day of July, 1692.  Went to Holland to prosecute his studies August 1696, and having come from thence to London the spring following came safe home the August there after, and was licensed to preach the gospel July 13th, 1698, by the Presbytery of Paisley, after he had undergone the usual course of the tryals which they prescribed him.  Went abroad again to Holland the September following Governour to Mr John Montgomery, eldest son to Mr Francis Montgomery, of Griffin; and after staying with him a year and a half in Holland at the University of Utrecht, travelled with him through Flanders, part of France and England, and by the favour of God came safe home with him about the end of August, 1700.  After which he stayed till 1705 with his aged and infirm father, and assisted him in his work.  July 13th, 1705, he received a unanimous call to be Minister of the Parock of Troquier in the Presbytery of Dumfries and Stewartry of Kircudbright, brought to him by Mr James Guthray, Minister of Irongray, and Robert Rain, an heritor and elder of the same paroch, and was ordained minister of it the 20th day of September following by laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, Mr Robert Patoun, Minister of Dumfries moderating.
July 7th, 1708, he was transported from the said paroch to be Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow by the Commission of General Assembly.
Mr John Simson, Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow, was married to Jean Stirling, eldest daughter to Mr James Stirling, Minister of the Gospel at Barony of Glasgow, and Margaret Dunlop his spouse, 31st October 1710, by Mr John Stirling, Principal of the Colledge of Glasgow.


It would appear that John Simson was very bright and created a lot of controversy by making known his interpretation of various religious subjects.  This brought him into conflict with the Church and the "Simson Case" became quite well known at the time.


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