Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Baron, Robert (1593?-1639)

BARON, ROBERT (1593?–1639), divine, was at St. Andrews, where he is said to have distinguished himself in a disputation held before James I in 1617 (Preface to Metaphysica). He was minister of Keith in 1619, and was professor of divinity in the college of St. Salvator, St. Andrews, where he published ‘Philosophia Theologiæ ancillans,’ 1621. He became professor of divinity in Marischal College, Aberdeen, and minister of Greyfriars in 1624. In 1627 he received his D.D. degree, and published on this occasion his ‘Disputatio theologica de formali objecto fidei, hoc est, de Sacræ Scripturæ divina et canonica authoritate.’ This was answered by Turnbull, a Scotch Jesuit, to whom he replied in 1631 in a treatise called ‘Ad Georgii Turnebulli Tetragonismum Pseudographum Apodixis Catholica, seu Apologia pro disputatione de formali objecto fidei.’ In 1633 he published a ‘Disputatio theologica de vero discrimine peccati mortalis et venialis.’ In 1635 he contributed a funeral sermon to the collection called ‘Funerals of … Patrick Forbes, Bishop of Aberdeen.’ He took part in a famous debate against the covenanting commissioners in 1638, and on 20 March 1639 fled by sea to England, with other Aberdeen doctors, on the approach of Montrose, and was nominated by Charles I to the see of Orkney. He died at Berwick on his return, 19 Aug. 1639, aged about forty-six. He left a widow, who was forced to allow the inspection of his library by the presbytery of Aberdeen. She and her children received compensation for their sufferings on the Restoration. Besides the above, he is the author of ‘Metaphysica generalis: accedunt nunc primum quæ supererant ex parte speciali; opus postumum ex musæo A. Clementii Zirizæ,’ London (1657?), and Cambridge, 1685. He left various manuscripts, some of which are preserved in the King's College library, Aberdeen. For a full account of these writings see Gordon's ‘Scots Affairs,’ iii. 236–9, note.

[Scott's Fasti Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ, iii. 205, 473; Grub's Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, ii. 372, iii. 8, 56, 64; Gordon's Scots Affairs (Spalding Club), iii. 89, 90, 235.]

L. S.