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Fraser, Donald (DNB01)

FRASER, DONALD (1826–1892), presbyterian divine, born at Inverness on 15 Jan. 1826, was the second son of John Fraser (d. 1852), a merchant and shipowner of Inverness and provost of the burgh, by his wife Lillias, daughter of Donald Fraser (d. 12 July 1836), minister of Kirkhill, near Inverness. He was educated by private tutors, and in his twelfth year became a student at the University and King's College, Aberdeen, residing at the same time at the boarding school of George Tulloch at Bellevue House, Aberdeen. He graduated M.A. in March 1842, and in the autumn sailed for America in the brig Retrench, joining his father at Sherbrooke in Lower Canada. For a short time he turned to commerce, but on the failure of a firm in which he was junior partner he found himself without a calling.

Having become increasingly absorbed in religious work, he entered the 'John Knox' theological college at Toronto in the autumn of 1848 to prepare for the ministry, and took his third session in theology at the New College, Edinburgh. Returning to Canada in 1851, he was licensed as a preacher by the presbytery of Toronto, and on 8 Aug. was ordained to the Free church, Coté Street, Montreal. Here he remained until 1859, when he accepted a call to the free high church of Inverness. In 1870 he removed to the Marylebone presbyterian church, London, where he continued until his death. For more than twenty years he took a leading part in the presbyterian church of England, and he was moderator of the synod in 1874 and in 1880. He was also prominently connected with many missions and charities, and was a vice-president of the British and Foreign Bible Society. In 1872 he received the honorary degree of D.D. from the university of Aberdeen. Fraser died on 12 Feb. 1892 at Cambridge Square, Hyde Park, and was buried near his mother on 19 Feb. in the chapel yard at Inverness. On 28 Feb. 1852 he was married at Kingston in Canada to Theresa Eliza, fourth daughter of Lieutenant-colonel A. Gordon. By her he had four sons and one daughter.

Besides sermons, Fraser was the author of: 1. 'Synoptical Lectures on the Books of Holy Scripture,' London, 1871-6, 8vo; 4th edit. 2 vols. 1886. 2. 'The Church of God and the Apostasy,' London, 1872, 8vo. 3. 'Thomas Chalmers,' London, 1881, 8vo (Men wort h Remembering}. 4. 'The Speeches of the Holy Apostles,' Edinburgh, 1882, 8vo (Household Library of Exposition). 5. 'Metaphors in the Gospels,' London, 1885, 8vo. 6. 'Seven Promises expounded,' London, 1889. 8vo. 7. 'Mary Jane Kinnaird,' a biography of Lady Kinnaird, London, 1890, 8vo. 8. 'Sound Doctrine: a Commentary on the Articles of the Faith of the Presbyterian Church of England,' London, 1892, 8vo. Fraser also contributed to the 'Pulpit Commentary.' His 'Autobiography . . . and Selection from his Sermons,' edited by the Rev. James Oswald Dykes, D.D., appeared in 1892 (London, 8vo).

[Fraser's Autobiogr.; Times, 15 Feb. 1892; Biograph, 1880, iv. 3-6; Scotsman, 15 Feb. 1892; Inverness Courier, 16 Feb. 1892.]

E. I. C.