Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fraser, Robert William

FRASER, ROBERT WILLIAM (1810–1876), Scotch divine and miscellaneous writer, son of Captain Robert Fraser, was born at Perth in 1810, and is said to have been educated at the Edinburgh University, though his name does not appear in the list of Edinburgh graduates published by the Bannatyne Club, 1858. He was, however, accustomed to append the letters A.M. to his name. He was licensed to preach by the Edinburgh presbytery in 1840, and in 1843 was presented to the parish of Burntisland, where he so greatly distinguished himself as a preacher that in 1844 he was chosen to succeed Dr. Thomas Guthrie as minister of St. John's Church, Edinburgh. Here his eloquence in the pulpit and his devotion to his pastoral duties attracted a large congregation, which he retained until his death on 10 Sept. 1876. Fraser was the author of the following works:

  1. ‘Moriah, or Sketches of the Sacred Rites of Ancient Israel,’ Edinburgh, 1849, 8vo.
  2. ‘Leaves from the Tree of Life. A Manual for the Intervals between the Hours of Divine Service in each Sabbath of the Year,’ Edinburgh, 1851, 2nd edit. 1852, 16mo.
  3. ‘The Path of Life. A Discourse delivered on the Anniversary of the Birthday of George Heriot,’ Edinburgh, 1851, 12mo.
  4. ‘Turkey, Ancient and Modern. A History of the Ottoman Empire. With Appendix,’ Edinburgh, 1854, 8vo.
  5. ‘Elements of Physical Science, or Natural Philosophy in the form of a Narrative,’ London, 1855, 12mo, 3rd edit. under the title of ‘The Handbook of Physical Science,’ London, 1866, 8vo.
  6. ‘The Kirk and the Manse. Sixty illustrative Views in tinted lithography of the interesting and romantic Parish Kirks and Manses in Scotland. With descriptive and historical Notices and an Introduction,’ Edinburgh, 1857, 4to.
  7. He edited ‘Ebb and Flow, the Curiosities and Marvels of the Seashore. A Book for young People,’ London, 1860, 8vo.
  8. ‘Head and Hand, or Thought and Action in relation to Success and Happiness,’ Edinburgh, 1861, 8vo.
  9. ‘Seaside Divinity,’ London, 1861, 8vo.
  10. ‘The Seaside Naturalist. Outdoor Studies in Marine Zoology and Botany, and Maritime Geology,’ London, 1868, 8vo.
  11. ‘Gladdening Streams, or Waters of the Sanctuary. A Book for Fragments of Time in each Lord's Day in the Year,’ Edinburgh, 1868, 24mo.

[Scotsman, 12 Sept. 1876; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. M. R.