Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Haliburton, George (1616-1665)

HALIBURTON, GEORGE (1616–1665), bishop of Dunkeld, was the son of George Haliburton, minister of Glenisla, Forfarshire, from 1615 to 1651 (Scott, Fasti, vi. 748). Graduating at King's College, Aberdeen, in 1636, he was on 1 Aug. 1642 presented by the general assembly to the parish of Menmuir in his native county, and in the year following attended the Scots army at Newcastle. He was translated to the second or collegiate charge at Perth in 1644, and was at Perth when it surrendered to Montrose after his victory at Tippermuir (1 Sept. 1644). For ‘conversing, eating, drinking, and asking a grace at dinner with’ the excommunicated marquis he was deposed by the commission of the general assembly on 27 Nov. 1644. The assembly ratified the sentence (26 Feb. 1644–5), but on making submission on his knees to the presbytery he was reponed by the assembly in June of the same year. In December 1651 he was silenced by the English garrison at Perth, and forbidden to preach ‘for preaching in the king's interest notwithstanding his defeat at Worcester.’ On the Restoration he was nominated (1661), along with James Sharp and others, a parliamentary commissioner for visiting the universities and colleges of Aberdeen. He was spoken of for the see of the Isles, but was appointed to that of Dunkeld, to which he was consecrated (without re-ordination, though he was only in presbyterian orders) at Holyrood on 7 May 1662. He had no liking for harsh measures, but strictly enforced the law, depriving his own kinsman, George Halyburton, minister of Aberdalgie, Perthshire, the father of Thomas Halyburton [q. v.] He died at his own house in Perth on 5 April 1665, leaving two sons, James and George, by his marriage with Catherine Lindsay. Keith calls him ‘a very good, worthy man;’ writers of the other side admitted he was a ‘man of utterance,’ but inferred insincerity from his frequent changes. He had been a zealous covenanter, and ended by accepting a bishopric, but he was all along a royalist.

[Haliburton's Memoirs; Lamont's Diary; Keith's Catalogue; Hew Scott's Fasti, iv. 615, 838, vi. 841–2; Grub's Eccl. Hist., &c.]

J. C.