Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/184

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

BUCCLEUCH, Dukes of. [See Scott.]

BUCHAN, Earls of. [See Comyn and Erskine.]

BUCHAN, ALEXANDER PETER (1761–1824), physician, was born at Ackworth, near Pontefract, in 1764, being the son of Dr. William Buchan, author of ‘Domestic, Medicine’ [q. v.] He was educated at the high school and university of Edinburgh, studied anatomy and medicine also in London under the Hunters and Dr. George Fordyce, and proceeded to Leyden, where he graduated M.D. on 11 July 1793. Settling in London, he became physician to the Westminster Hospital in 1813, but resigned that office in 1818. He was reelected in 1820, and died on 5 Dec. 1824.

Buchan's works include ‘Enchiridion Syphiliticum,’ 1797; ‘Treatise on Sea Bathing, with Remarks on the Use of the Warm Bath,’ 1801; ‘Bionomia, or Opinions concerning Life and Health,’ 1811; ‘Symptomatiology,’ 1824; besides a translation o Daubenton's ‘Observations on Indigestion,’ 1807; an edition of Dr. Armstrong's ‘Diseases of Children,’ 1808; and the twenty-first edition of his father’s ‘Domestic Medicine,’ 1813.

[Munk's Coll. of Phys. (1878), in. 5.]

G. T. B.

BUCHAN, ANDREW of (d. 1309?), bishop of Caithness, was, previous to his elevation to the Bishopric, abbot of the Cistercian abbey of Cupar (Coupar) Angus, to which he had been preferred in 1272, In the Ragman roll his name appears as paying homage to Edward at the church of Perth 24 July 1291, and at Berwick-on-Tweed 28 Aug. 1296. He was nominated to the bishoric of Caithness by Pope Boniface VIII, 17 Dec. 1296 (Theiner, Vet. Mon. ed. 1864, No. ccclix. pp. 163-4). Spotiswood affirms that he lived as bishop thirteen years, but wrongly gives the date of his consecration as 1288. The date of his death is usually given as 1301, but this appears to be mere conjecture, and there is no evidence to show that his successor Ferquhard was bishop before 1309.

[Rental Book of Cupar-Angus, ed. Charles Rogers (Grampian Club), i. 15-29; Anderson's Orkneyinga Saga, lxxxv-vi.]

T. F. H.

BUCHAN or SIMPSON, ELSPETH (1738–1791), the head of a religious sect generally known as ‘Buchanites,’ was the daughter of John Simpson and Margaret Gordon, who kept a wayside inn at Fatmacken, between Banff and Portsoy. She was born in 1738, In early life she was employed in herding cows, and afterwards entered the house of a relation, by whom she was taught reading and sewing. During a visit to Greenock she made the acquaintance of Robert Buchan, a working potter, whom she married, They quarrelled and separated, and in 1781 she removed with the children to Glasgow. Having heard Hugh White, of the Relief church at Irvine, preach in Glasgow at the April sacrament of 1783, she wrote him a letter expressing her high approval of his sermons, and stating that no preacher she had ever previously listened to had so fully satisfaction her spiritual needs. The result was that she removed to Irvine to enjoy the privilege of his ministry, and converted both him and his wite to the belief that she was a saint especially endowed and privileged by heaven, White’s final conclusion being that she was the woman mentioned in the Revelation of St. John, while she declared him to he the man child she had brought forth. On account of his proclamation of these peculiar doctrines White was deposed from thc ministry by the presbytery. In May 1784 the magistrates banished the sect from the burgh, and following the supposed guidance of the star which led the wise men to Bethlehem, they settled on the farm of New Cample, in the parish of Closeburn, Dumffiesshire. They were joined here by one of two persons in good positions in life, and their numbers ultimately reached forty-six. Mrs. Buchan, whom they named their ‘spiritual mother,’ professed to have the power of conferring the Holy Ghost by breathing, and also laid claim to certain prophetic gifts. They believed in the millennunn as close at hand, and were persuaded that they would not taste of deatllirbut would be taken up to meet Christ in the air. The following account of them by Robert Burns, the poet, may be accepted as strictly accurate: ‘Their tenets are a strange jumble of enthusiastic jargon; among others she pretends to give them the Holy Ghost by breathing on them, which she does with postures and gestures that are scandalously indecent. They have likewise a community of goods, and live nearly an idle life, carrying on a great farce of pretended devotion in hams and woods, where they lodge and lie together, and hold likewise a community of women, as it is another of their tenets that they can commit no mortal sin' (Burns to J. Burness, August 1781). It is affirmed that Burns had an attachment to a young woman who joined the Buchanites, and that he spent a whole night and day in vainly endeavouring to persuade her to return. His song ‘As I was a walking’ was set to an air to which, according to him, the ‘Buchanites had set