Ministers of Strathbrock
The Church was dedicated to St. Nicolas, and was a prebend belonging to the Provostry of Kirkheugh, It was removed and the name changed to UPHALL, in the seventeenth century.
1562. MICHAEL SMITH. The Gen. Assembly 30th June ordained the Superintendent of Lothian to summon him to purge himself of certain crimes laid and to be laid to his charge. [Booke of the Kirk, Keith’s Hist.]
1570. THOMAS DOWGLAS, entered at Beltyn with a stipend of lx li; trans. to Dalkeith about 1573. [Reg. Min., Colleg. Ch. Mid. Lothian.]
1585. THOMAS MOWBRAY, deprived 8th Oct. 1590. [Reg. Assig., Edin. Presb. Reg.]
1590. PATRICK SCHAIRPE, A.M., son of Mr John S., one of the original students in the Univ. of Edinburgh, and attained his degree at the first graduation 9th Aug. 1587; he built the manse, and continued in 1597. He marr. Jean Gudlad, who afterwards marr. his successor. [Reg. Laur. Univ. Edin., Edin. Grad., Reg. Assig., Edin., and Stirl. Presb. Reg.]
1598. ALEXANDER KEYTH, or KEITH, A.M., studied and obtained his degree at the same Univ. 28th July 1596, adm. 19th Sept. 1598; one of those adhering to the protestation for the liberties of the Kirk 27th June 1617; insinuations of intemperance were made against him, but he continued in 1633. He marr. Jean Gudlad, widow of the preceding, and had Robert, Alexander, and Jean. [Reg. Laur. Univ. Edin., Edin. Grad., Reg. Assig., Presb., Edin. Presb., Syn., and Sess. Reg., Booke of the Kirk, Orig. Lett. ii., Calderwood's Hist., Morrison's Dec. xvii.]
1639. ALEXANDER KEITH, AM., son of the preceding, studied and acquired his degree at the Univ. of Edinburgh 26th July 1634, adm. previous to 16th Aug. 1639; deposed by the Gen. Assembly 21st July 1649. According to appointment he gave up the things belonging to the church to the Presb. Clerk 3d Oct. following. Having "expressed his greif for particular failing in the sentence of deposition," he was reponed by the Synod 8th May 1656; he had £100 ster. allowed by Parliament 12th July 1661, on account of his sufferings. He marr. 19th May 1640, Margaret, daugh. to James Monteath of Kersebank, and had Katharine, Lues, Jean, and Margaret; 2dly Jan. 1654. [Reg. Laur. Univ. Edin., Presb., Syn., Sess., and Falkirk Sess. Reg., Peterkin's Records, Acts of Ass. and Part. vii]
1655. WILLIAM DEWCATS, or DUGUID, AM., studied and was laureated at the Univ. of Edinburgh 30th July 1646. Had intruded himself 27th March 1655, “over the bellie of the people,” without any call, or legal admission. [Edin. Grad., Presb. (Protesting) Reg.]
1659. JOHN MOUBRAY, A.M., likewise studied, and was graduated, at the Univ. of Edinburgh 15th April 1645, licen. by the Presb. of Haddington 30th Nov. 1653, became chaplain to the laird of Kirkhill, called 7th March and 30th June 1658, ord. and adm. 9th Nov. 1659; coll. 10th Oct. 1662; outed by a rabble before 13th April 1689, voluntarily demitted 6th Aug. 1690, which the Presb. accepted, lived peaceably after, went to England and obtained a living. He marr. 20th Feb. 1662, and had Helen and Margaret, twins, John, William, Catherine, and Elizabeth. [Presb., and Sess. Reg., Reg. Collat., MS. Acc. of Min. 1689, Rule's Sec. [ Vindication.]
1690. GEORGE BARCLAY, trans. fr. Gargunnock, called 10th Aug. and adm. 30th Sept., was a member of the Assemblies 1690, 1692, and died 29th July 1714. He left jc merks to the poor; and on the settlement of his colleague gave up the whole stipend. [Presb., and Sess. Reg., Reg. Gen. Ass., Peterkin's Constitution of the Church, Wodrow's Anal. i., and Corresp. i.]
1706. JOHN WILKIE, AM., studied and had his degree from the Univ. of Edinburgh in 1699, licen. by the Presb. 20th June 1705, called to be colleague 10th April, and ord. 28th Aug. 1706; pres. to Currie April 1718, but it was not insisted on. He died 28th May 1762, in 56th min. He marr. Euphan Skein, and had Charles, min. of Ecclesmachan. - Publication - Sermon preached at Mid Calder Edin. 1720, 12mo. [Edin. Grad., Presb., Syn., and Abercorn Sess. Reg., Law's Mem. (Pref.)]
1763. WILLIAM GIB, trans. fr. Kilmany, pres. by Henry David Earl of Buchan in Dec. 1762, adm. 27th Oct. 1763; died 3d Dec. 1795, aged 62, in 35th min. He marr. ten days before his death Elizabeth Rintoul of Middleton, who died 14th May 1809. [Presb. Reg., Scots Mag. Ivii.]
1796. DAVID URE, A.M., son of a weaver in Glasgow, educated in the same trade, but an insatiable thirst pressed him to acquire classical learning at the grammar school, and go through a literary course at the Univ. of his native city, where he took his degree, and secured the favourable notice of Dr Moor, Professor of Greek. While attending the Divinity Hall he assisted the schoolmaster of Stewarton, and subsequently taught a subscription school near Dunbarton. Being licen. by the Presb. of Glasgow 11th June 1783, he became assist. to the Rev. David Connel, min. of Kilbride, with only ten pounds a-year, and his maintenance. Disappointed of the succession by female intrigue, he assisted a min. at Newcastle, till he became known to Sir John Sinclair, by whom he was employed in drawing up agricultural surveys of Dunbarton, Kinross, and Roxburgh, superintending the publication of the last volumes, and making up the general indices of the Statistical Account, and supplying those of various parishes. Appreciating his meritorious endeavours David Steuart, Earl of Buchan, pres. him, Dec. 1795, and, he was ord. 14th July 1796; but died of dropsy 28th March 1798, in 2d min. Blessed with a strong and vigorous mind, which adversity could neither subdue, nor prosperity elate, he persevered in the objects, whether of classical or scientific research, with unconquerable ardour. He travelled always as a pedestrian, with bread and cheese in his pocket, and quenching his thirst at the limpid spring. In the pocket of his great coat he secured such minerals or other curiosities as attracted his notice, had a tin-box for preserving curious plants, a stout stick, armed with steel, which occasionally served as a spade or pick-axe; a few small chisels, and other tools; a blow-pipe, with its appurtenances; a small liquid chemical apparatus; optical instruments, &c., so that others sometimes called him a walking-shop, or laboratory. Seemingly indifferent to all weathers, heat or cold, wet or dry, a patient observer, and an accurate describer of nature, while his kindness to an aged and widowed mother, from very slender means, bespoke the warmth of his affection, and the goodness of his heart. - Publications - History of Rutherglen and East Kilbride, Glasg., 1793, 8vo; Accounts of East Kilbride, of Rutherglen, and of Killearn (Sinclair's St. Acc. iii., ix., xvi). [Presb. Reg., Scots Mag. lxx.]
1798. JOHN FERGUSON, schoolmaster of Inverary, licen. by that Presb. 19th Sept. 1785, and ord. by them as chaplain to the 74th Foot 19th Feb. 1788, pres. by David Steuart, Earl of Buchan, Aug., and adm. 28th Sept. 1798; died 14th Dec., 1835, in 77th age, and 48th min. He marr. Enea Fisher, who died 1st Dec. 1858, in her 88th year, and had Angus, Duncan, William, John, his successor in the benefice, Archibald, Jessie, and Lilias. [Presb., and Syn. Reg., &c.]
1824. JOHN FERGUSON, jun., son of the preceding, studied at the Univ. of Edinburgh, licen. by the Presb., 24th Sept. 1823, pres. by David Steuart, Earl of Buchan, to be assist. and suc. Dec. following, ord. 29th April 1824; deposed 19th June 1838 for immorality, went to Australia, where he engaged himself in agriculture. [Presb., and Syn. Reg., &c.].
Source : Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae - Part I Synod of Lothian and Tweedale by Hew Scott (1866).