Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Jamieson, Robert (1802-1880)

JAMIESON, ROBERT, D.D. (1802–1880), Scottish divine, son of a baker in Edinburgh was born there on 3 Jan. 1802. He was educated at the high school, where he carried off the chief honours, and matriculated at Edinburgh University, with the intention of studying for the medical profession. Before he had completed his course, however, he decided to devote himself to the ministry; for that purpose he entered the Divinity Hall, and was licensed as a preacher on 13 Feb. 1827. Two years afterwards he was presented by George IV to the parish of Weststruther, in the presbytery of Lauder, and entered on that charge on 22 April 1830. There he remained till 23 Nov. 1837, when he was translated to the church of Currie, in the presbytery of Edinburgh, to which he was presented by the magistrates of that city. At the time of the disruption of 1843 he made strenuous efforts to prevent a schism, on the ground that the reforms demanded might be accomplished without imperilling the existence of the established church. When Dr. Forbes, minister of St. Paul's, Glasgow, who was one of the disruption leaders, resigned his charge, Jamieson was appointed his successor by the magistrates of Glasgow, and was admitted as minister on 14 March 1844. The university of Glasgow conferred the degree of doctor of divinity upon him on 17 April 1848. For many years Jamieson took a prominent part in ecclesiastical business, and in 1872 he was unanimously chosen moderator of the general assembly. He continued to occupy his place as minister of St. Paul's until his death on 26 Oct. 1880. Jamieson specially charged himself with the oversight of young men studying for the ministry, and his students' class exercised an important influence throughout the church.

Jamieson married in 1830 his cousin, Eliza Jamieson, and had three sons and three daughters. The eldest son, George S. Jamieson, followed his father's career and was minister of Portobello.

The principal works of Jamieson were: 1. ‘Eastern Manners illustrative of the Old and New Testaments,’ 3 vols., 1836–8. 2. ‘Manners and Trials of the Primitive Christians,’ 1839. 3. ‘Accounts of Currie and of Weststruther for the New Statistical Account,’ 1840. 4. Revised and enlarged edition of Paxton's ‘Illustrations of Scripture,’ 1849. 5. ‘Commentary on the Bible,’ 1861–5, in conjunction with Edward Henry Bickersteth, now bishop of Exeter, and Principal Brown of Aberdeen.

[Scott's Fasti, i. 147, 537; Glasgow Herald, 27 Oct. 1880; private information.]

A. H. M.