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Walker, James (1770?-1841) (DNB00)


WALKER, JAMES (1770?–1841), bishop of Edinburgh and primus of Scotland, born at Fraserburgh about 1770, was educated at Marischal College, Aberdeen, whence he proceeded to St. John's College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1793, M.A. in 1796, and D.D. in 1826. In 1793 he was ordained a deacon of the Scottish episcopal church. After his return to Scotland he became sub-editor of the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica,’ the third edition of which was then being prepared by George Gleig [q. v.], bishop of Brechin. About the close of the century he became tutor to Sir John Hope, bart., of Craighall, and travelled with him for two or three years. In Germany he made the acquaintance of some of the foremost philosophers and men of letters, and devoted especial attention to metaphysical inquiry. The article on Kant's system in the supplement to the ‘Encyclopædia’ was the result of his researches at Weimar. On his return he was ordained priest and received the charge of St. Peter's Chapel, Edinburgh. On 30 Nov. 1819, during a visit to Rome, he conducted the first regular protestant service held in the city. In 1829 he resigned his charge of St. Peter's to his colleague Charles Hughes Terrot [q. v.], and on 7 March 1830 he was consecrated bishop of Edinburgh, and about the same time was appointed first Pantonian professor at the Scottish Episcopal Theological College, an office which he retained until his death. On 24 May 1837, on the resignation of George Gleig, Walker was elected primus of the Scottish episcopal church. He died at Edinburgh on 5 March 1841, and was buried in the burying-ground of St. John's episcopal chapel. He was succeeded as bishop of Edinburgh by Charles Hughes Terrot, and as primus by William Skinner (1778–1857) [q. v.]

In 1829 Walker published ‘Sermons on various Occasions’ (London, 8vo). He was also the author of several single sermons, and translated Jean Joseph Mounier's treatise ‘On the Influence attributed to Philosophers, Freemasons, and to the Illuminati on the Revolution of France’ (London, 1801, 8vo).

[Edinburgh Evening Courant, 12 March 1841; W. Walker's Life of Bishop Jolly, 1878, p. 152; Lawson's Scottish Episcopal Church, 1843, p. 419; Stephen's Hist. of the Church of Scotland 1841, iv. passim (with portrait); Gent. Mag. 1841, i. 351.]

E. I. C.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.273
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
68 ii 29 Walker, James (1770?-1841): for deacon read priest
33 for 1729 read 1829