Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 21.djvu/371

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

Europeans in the island. (Mill, Hist. vii. 353 et seq.) Gillespie appears to have had disputes with Raffles respecting the military establishment requisite for the safety of the European population, and to have preferred charges against Raffles which the court of directors of the East India Company considered openly disproved. Lady Raffles implies that Gillespie continued to make grave accusations against her husband after their supposed reconciliation (Memoir of Raffles, pp. 133, 204). Gillespie became a major-general on 1 April 1812, and in October of that year threw up his Java command, in which he was succeeded by Sir Miles Nightingale, and returned to India, where he was appointed to a command at Meerut. In 1814 he commanded the Meerut division of the Bengal troops in the war against Nepaul. Among the frontier defences was the fort of Kalunga (Kalanga), near Deyra Dhoon, perched in an almost inaccessible position in the Himalayas, with stockaded approaches. An attack on Kalunga was fixed for 31 Oct. 1814, the troops being told off in four small columns to attack the four faces of the fort. Three of these columns had to make long detours over difficult ground, and a preconcerted signal was agreed upon. Meanwhile the Ghoorka garrison made a sortie, and Gillespie, thinking to follow them in after their repulse, attempted to rush the fort with a dismounted party of the 8th dragoons. This manœuvre failed. Without waiting for the other columns, he renewed the attack with some companies of the 53rd foot which also failed, in the course of which Gillespie, who was in front encouraging the men, was shot through the heart (Mill, Hist. viii. 23–7). His body was brought to Meerut for interment, where an obelisk was erected to his memory. Small obelisks on the hillside make the place where Gillespie and his comrades fell, but all traces of the hill-fort had vanished years ago. The news of his death not having reached England, he was included in the K.C.B.'s made on New Year's day 1815. A public monument by Chantrey, dated 1820, is in St. Paul's Cathedral. As a commanding officer, Gillespie inspired his men with admiring confidence. He was a keen sportsman; among his recorded feats was the killing of a tiger in the open on Bangalore racecourse.

[Memoir of Sir Robert Rollo Gillespie, with engraved portrait (London, 1816). The work supplements the narrative of Major William Thorn, whose Conquest of Java (London, 1816, 4to) gives the most detailed account of Gillespie's achievements in the far East,—a romantic chapter of Indian story. See also Mill's Hist. of India, vols. vii. and viii.; Lady Raffles's Memoirs of Sir Stamford Raffles, and Colonel Welsh's Forty Years' Military Reminiscences, ii. 322 et seq. For the 19th and 20th light dragoons see Colburn's United Serv. Mag. Dec. 1873 and Oct. 1876. Gillespie's letters to Sir John Cradock, relating to Vellore, are in Brit. Mus. Addit. MSS. 29181 fol. 236, 29192 fol. 297.]

H. M. C.

GILLESPIE, THOMAS (1708–1774), founder of the relief church, was born in 1708 at Clearburn, in the parish of Duddingston, near Edinburgh, and, his father having died early, he owed his first training to his mother. He deeply studied philosophy and divinity at Edinburgh University, but did not complete his course, and went for ten days to the secession divinity hall at Perth under Wilson. He was early brought under the notice of Thomas Boston the elder [q. v.] He is said to have received part of his training as a minister of the gospel at Northampton under Philip Doddridge [q. v.] In the list of Doddridge's students supplied by his assistant Orton (see Monthly Repository, 1815, pp. 686 sq.) Gillespie's name, in the erroneously extended form of Thomas Bageholt Gillespie, stands first for 1741. But his connection with Doddridge's academy must have been very brief. He was licensed for the ministry 30 Oct. 1740 by ‘a presbyterian class,’ according to Scott, or by a number of independent ministers under Doddridge's presidency, according to Struthers. Doddridge's association was, however, a mixed body of presbyterians and independents. Gillespie received his ordination in England 22 Jan. 1741, and was admitted to the parish of Carnock, near Dunfermline, 4 Sept. 1741. His ministry at Carnock obtained the approval of the Rev. Dr. John Erskine, of the Greyfriars Church, whose family estate of Carnock was in the parish. Gillespie favoured the religious revivals proceeding in his neighbourhood, in the parishes of Cambuslang and Kilsyth.

The law of patronage in the church was now exciting much attention in Scotland. A strong party maintained the right of presentation, even in opposition to the wishes of the people. In 1749 Andrew Richardson received a presentation to the parish of Inverkeithing, in the presbytery of Dunfermline, but was opposed by the people. The case coming before the commission of the general assembly, the presbytery of Dunfermline were enjoined to induct Richardson. Upon their refusal to comply the commission appointed a