GILLESPIE, WILLIAM (1776–1825), poet, was the eldest son of the Rev. John Gillespie (1730–1806), minister of Kells in Galloway. He was baptised 18 Feb. 1776. He attended the parish school, and also received private instruction from the schoolmaster, who lived in the manse. In 1792 he entered Edinburgh University, where he studied theology and also, as a secondary subject, medicine. From early years he had been devoted to painting, poetry, and music. A common print of a view of Kenmure Castle was executed from a drawing made by him when about fourteen years of age. While at Edinburgh he wrote a poem entitled ‘The Progress of Refinement,’ which was not, however, published till some years later. He found subjects for some of the poems (which were published along with it) in a tour through the western highlands, which he took with Alexander Don, to whom he was tutor. At the end of his university course he was licensed as preacher by the presbytery of Kirkcudbright (1 Aug. 1798), and on 7 Aug. 1800 was ordained assistant and successor to his father. On 29 April 1806 his father died, after having been minister of Kells for forty-two years, and he became sole minister. In 1820 he was chaplain to the stewartry of Kircudbright yeomanry cavalry, and the commandant wrote to him, asking whether in his service before the force he would pray for the queen. He returned an evasive answer, but in the prayer for the royal family he inserted the words, ‘Bless also the queen.’ On this the commandant ordered him to consider himself under arrest, that is to say, as was subsequently explained, not at liberty to go out of the county (30 July). Gillespie then published the sermon which he had preached before the yeomanry, with a preface and appendices explaining the circumstances, and proving the illegality of his arrest.
On 26 July 1825 he married Charlotte Hoggan; but while on his wedding tour he was attacked by erysipelas, and died on 15 Oct. in the fiftieth year of his age. He was long remembered in his parish for the refinement of his tastes, his hospitality, and his kindness to students.
Besides contributions to the ‘Scots Magazine’ and other periodicals, his works were: a life of John Lowe, author of ‘Mary's Dream,’ in Cromek's ‘Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song,’ pp. 342–60; ‘The Progress of Refinement, an allegorical poem, with other poems,’ Edinburgh, 1805, 8vo; ‘Consolation, with other poems,’ Edinburgh, 1815, 8vo; ‘The Rebellion of Absalom: a discourse preached at Kirkcudbright on the 30th July last,’ Dumfries, 1820, 8vo.
[Thomas Murray's Literary Hist. of Galloway, 2nd ed. pp. 275–82; private information; Brit. Mus. and Bodleian Library Catalogues; Hew Scott's Fasti, ii. 716.]
GILLIES, ADAM, Lord Gillies (1760–1842), Scottish judge, born in 1760, youngest son of Robert Gillies of Little Keithock, Forfarshire, and brother of Dr. John Gillies [q. v.], historian, was admitted an advocate on 14 July 1787. On 20 March 1806 he became sheriff-depute of Kincardineshire, on 30 Nov. 1811 succeeded Lord Newton as an ordinary judge of the Royal College of Justice, and in March 1812 succeeded Lord Craig as a lord of justiciary. On Lord Meadowbank's death he was appointed, 10 July 1816, a lord commissioner of the jury court. In 1837 he resigned his seat as a lord of justiciary, and was appointed a judge of the court of exchequer in Scotland. He died at Leamington on 24 Dec. 1842. He took little part in politics; in early life his views were whig, but subsequently they became tory. As a judge he was strong, learned, and impartial.
[Ann. Reg.; Brunton and Haig's Senators of the Royal Coll. of Justice; Anderson's Scottish Nation.]
GILLIES, JOHN, D.D. (1712–1796), theological writer, was born in 1712, at the manse of Careston, near Brechin, where his father, John Gillies, was minister, and after prosecuting his literary and divinity courses and being employed as tutor in several families of note, became minister of the college church, Glasgow, 29 July 1742. In this charge he remained till his death fifty-four years after (29 March 1796). It is said of him that besides preaching three times every Sunday, he delivered discourses in his large church three times a week to crowded audiences, published for some time a weekly paper, and regularly visited and catechised his parish. His first wife was Elizabeth (d. 1754), daughter of the Rev. John McLaurin, a distinguished preacher [q. v.], and his second, Joanna (d. 1792), sister of Sir Michael Stewart. Gillies is best known for a work entitled ‘Historical Collections relating to the Success of the Gospel,’ 2 vols. Glasgow, 1754. To this an appendix was added in 1761, and a supplement in 1786. Another work of considerable magnitude was entitled ‘Devotional Exercises on the New Testament,’ 2 vols. London, 1769, 8vo. He published, likewise, ‘Exhortations to the Inhabitants of the South Parish of Glasgow,’ 2 vols. Glasgow, 1750, 12mo; ‘Life of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield,’ London, 1772, 8vo; ‘Essays on the Prophecies relating to the Messiah,’ Edinburgh, 1773, 8vo; ‘Hebrew Manual for the use of Students;’ ‘Psalms of