Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Haliburton, George (1628-1715)

HALIBURTON, GEORGE (1628–1715), bishop successively of Brechin and Aberdeen, son of William Haliburton, A.M., minister of Collace, Perthshire, was born at Collace in 1628. His father was brother-german to James Haliburton of Enteryse, and was connected with the notable family of the Haliburtons of Pitcur, while his mother was a daughter of Archbishop Gladstanes of St. Andrews. Having studied at St. Andrews University, George took his degree as master of arts in 1646, and two years afterwards he was presented to the parish of Coupar-Angus. His strong episcopalian proclivities brought about his suspension from this charge in September 1650; but this sentence was reversed in November 1652, and he continued to retain his position as minister of Coupar-Angus long after he had gained high ecclesiastical preferment. In 1673 the degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by the university of St. Andrews, and he was promoted by Charles II to the bishopric of Brechin on 30 May 1678. The revenues of this bishopric, though once very extensive, had been greatly reduced at the Reformation, and it appears from the ‘Register of the Privy Seal’ that on 28 Jan. 1680 the king presented Haliburton to the additional parish of Farnell in Forfarshire, on the ground of the poverty of the bishopric. Haliburton retained this plurality of benefices until he was translated from Brechin to the bishopric of Aberdeen on 15 July 1682. He remained in Aberdeen till the abolition of episcopacy by the estates in April 1689, when he retired to the small estate of Denhead, Coupar-Angus, which he had purchased. He resisted the appointment of the presbyterian minister to the church of Halton of Newtyle, which was in the neighbourhood of his residence, and from 1698 till 1710 he conducted services there according to the episcopal ritual in defiance of the authorities, until age and infirmity compelled him to desist. He died at Denhead on 29 Sept. 1715, being then in his eighty-seventh year, leaving a widow and a family of three sons and one daughter.

[Wodrow's Hist. of the Kirk of Scotland; Keith's Cat. of Scottish Bishops; Hew Scott's Fasti Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ; Millar's Roll of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee.]

A. H. M.