Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Welsh, David

WELSH, DAVID (1793–1845), Scots divine and author, youngest son of David Welsh, sheep farmer, of Earlshaugh and Tweedshaws, was born at Braefoot, Moffat, on 11 Dec. 1793. He was educated at Moffat parish school, the high school of Edinburgh, and Edinburgh University, and on 7 May 1816 was licensed to preach by the presbytery of Lochmaben. On 22 March 1821 he was ordained minister of the parish of Crossmichael in Kirkcudbrightshire, and on 6 Sept. 1827 he was translated to St. David's Church, Glasgow. In October 1831 he was appointed professor of ecclesiastical history in the university of Edinburgh, and on leaving Glasgow received from the university the degree of D.D. At the meeting of the general assembly of 1842 he was chosen moderator of the assembly, which adopted ‘the claim of right,’ and was one of the leaders of those who, on 18 May 1843, formed themselves into ‘the general assembly of the Free Protesting Church of Scotland,’ with Dr. Chalmers as its first moderator. Welsh had the honour of laying their ‘protest’ on the table of the assembly. He had to resign his chair, and his appointment as secretary to the bible board, made in 1839, was cancelled. In two months he collected 21,000l. for building the ‘new college’ at Edinburgh. In 1844 he was appointed librarian of the college and professor of church history. He died suddenly at Camis Eskin on the Clyde on 24 April 1845, survived by his wife—sister of William Hamilton, provost of Glasgow—and four children. Welsh became the first editor of the ‘North British Review’ in 1844. He was the author of: 1. ‘Account of the Life and Writings of T. Brown, M.D.,’ Edinburgh, 1825, 8vo. 2. ‘Sermons on Practical Subjects,’ Edinburgh, 1834, 8vo. 3. ‘Elements of Church History,’ Edinburgh, 1844, vol. i. 8vo. 4. ‘Sermons: with a Memoir by A. Dunlop,’ Edinburgh, 1846, 8vo. He also edited the ‘Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind,’ by Thomas Brown, 1834. He contributed the articles ‘Jesus’ and ‘Jews’ to the seventh edition of ‘Encyclopædia Britannica.’

[Anderson's Scottish Nation; Scott's Fasti; Wylie's Disruption Worthies; Dunlop's Memoir; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Allibone's Dict.; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen; Addison's Graduates of Glasgow Univ. 1898.]

G. S-h.