Hog, Thomas (DNB00)

HOG, THOMAS (1628–1692), Scottish divine, was born at Tain, Ross-shire, in the beginning of 1628, ‘of honest parents, native Highlanders, somewhat above the vulgar rank’ (Stevenson, Memoirs of the Life of Mr. Thomas Hog). He was educated at Tain grammar school, and Marischal College, Aberdeen, where he proceeded to the degree of M.A. In 1654 he received license, and became chaplain to John, earl of Sutherland. On 24 Oct. 1654 he was ordained minister of Kiltearn, a parish six miles from Dingwall, on the shore of Cromarty Firth, and entered on the discharge of his duties with great ardour. In the controversy between the resolutionists and protesters, then at its height, he sided warmly with the protesters, and was in consequence deposed in 1661 by the synod of Ross. Hog then retired to Knockgandy in Auldearn, Nairn, where he continued to minister in private. In July 1668 he was delated by the Bishop of Moray for preaching in his own house and ‘keeping conventicles.’ For these offences he was imprisoned for some time in Forres, but was at length liberated at the intercession of the Earl of Tweeddale, upon giving bail to appear when called on. Not having, however, desisted from preaching, ‘letters of intercommuning’ were in August 1675 issued against him, forbidding all persons to harbour or help him in any way. He was arrested in January 1677, and next month was committed to the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, whence he was taken to the Bass Rock. It is said that, at the instigation of Archbishop Sharp, he was confined in the lowest and worst dungeon in the place. In October 1677, owing to some influence exerted on his behalf, he was brought back to the Tolbooth, and in a short time liberated altogether, but forbidden to go beyond ‘the bounds of Kintyre’ ‘under the pain of one thousand merks.’ In 1679 he was again imprisoned in Edinburgh, but was soon liberated. From this time he seems to have laboured without molestation until November 1683, when he was charged before the Scottish privy council with keeping ‘house conventicles.’ As he refused to answer the charge, it was held as confessed, and he was fined in five thousand merks, and banished from Scotland in January 1684. He went to London, and was arrested on suspicion of complicity in Monmouth's plot, but was released in 1685, and fled to Holland, where the Prince of Orange made him one of his chaplains. He returned to Scotland in 1688, and in 1691 was appointed chaplain to the king, and restored to the parish of Kiltearn, as he is said to have predicted thirty years before would be the case. On 4 Jan. 1692 he died, and at his own request was buried underneath the threshold of his church door, with this inscription over the remains: ‘This stone shall bear witness against the parishioners of Kiltearn if they bring an ungodly minister in here.’

[Memoirs of the Life of Mr. Thomas Hog, by Andrew Stevenson, Edinburgh, 1756; Wodrow Correspondence; Scott's Fasti Eccl. Scot. i. 395, v. 299–301.]

T. H.