Young, George (1777-1848) (DNB00)

YOUNG, GEORGE (1777–1848), theologian, topographer, and geologist, was born on 15 July 1777 at a small farmhouse called Coxiedean in the parish of Kirknewton and East Calder, Edinburghshire, and spent four years in the university of Edinburgh, where he was known as one of John Playfair's favourite students, and where he made distinguished progress in literary and philosophical studies. Having completed with high honour his university course in 1796, he commenced the study of theology under George Lawson (1749–1820) [q. v.] at Selkirk, and in 1801 he was licensed to preach by the presbytery of Edinburgh of the associate secession church. In the summer of 1805 he first visited Whitby, and in January 1806 he was ordained pastor of the chapel of the united associate or new presbyterian congregation in that town. At this place of worship, situate in Cliff Lane, he officiated and preached for forty-two years. On 24 April 1819 the university of Edinburgh conferred upon him the degree of M.A. (Cat. of Edinburgh Graduates, 1858, p. 219). He afterwards became a doctor of divinity, but it does not appear where he obtained that degree. He was also a corresponding member of the Wernerian Natural History Society, and an honorary member of the Yorkshire and Hull literary and philosophical societies. He died at Whitby on 8 May 1848. There is a portrait of him in the museum at Whitby, painted by Edward Cockburn, and another portrait hangs in the vestry of the chapel in Cliff Lane.

In addition to some minor works, he wrote: 1. ‘Evangelical Principles of Religion vindicated, and the inconsistency and dangerous tendency of the Unitarian Scheme exposed; in a series of letters addressed to the Rev. T. Watson: in reply to his book entitled “A Plain Statement of some of the most important Principles of Religion as a preservative against Infidelity, Enthusiasm, and Immorality,”’ Whitby, 1812, 8vo. 2. ‘A History of Whitby and Streoneshalh Abbey; with a Statistical Survey of the Vicinity to the distance of twenty-five miles,’ Whitby, 1817, 2 vols. 8vo. A very valuable topographical work. 3. ‘A Geological Survey of the Yorkshire Coast: describing the Strata and Fossils occurring between the Humber and the Tees, from the German Ocean to the Plain of York,’ Whitby, 1822, 4to; illustrated with numerous engravings by John Bird. 4. ‘A Picture of Whitby and its Environs,’ Whitby, 1824, 12mo; 2nd edit. Whitby, 1840, 8vo. 5. ‘The Life and Voyages of Captain James Cook, drawn up from his Journals and other authenic documents,’ London, 1836, 8vo. 6. ‘Scriptural Geology, or an Essay on the High Antiquity ascribed to the Organic Remains embedded in Stratified Rocks (Appendix … containing Strictures on some Passages in Dr. J. Pye Smith's lectures, entitled “Scriptures and Geology”),’ 2 pts. London, 1838–40, 8vo; 2nd edit. London, 1840, 8vo.

[Evangelical Mag. 1849, new ser. xxvii. 13; Robinson's Whitby, pp. 145, 161–3; United Presbyterian Mag. 1849, iii. 97.]

T. C.