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Papers of Robert Wodrow (1679-1734), minister of Eastwood

Identifier: MS WOD3

Scope and Contents

The material comprises probatory discourses, sermons, and other theological writings.

List of manuscript volumes

  1. MS WOD3/1 Probatory discourses [in English and Latin] RW. 8°. No pagination. 19 discourses, 1679-1703, some autographed. No.19 incomplete. No. 9 was removed 6 April and presented to President Woodrow Wilson during his visit to the Peace Conference 1919. From General Assembly Library.
  2. MS WOD3/2 Communion sermons abroad, from [May] 1703 to February 1710. By RW. 12°. 466pp. From General Assembly Library.
  3. MS WOD3/3 Wodrow MSS vol 60. 4°. Contains: 1. Medulla theologiae Arminianae. Inchoata June 20 1640. A. Sam. Retorforti [Samuel Rutherford]. In 7 numbers. 2. Vindicatio locorum sacrae Scripturae... In three different papers, very large, but incompleat. 3. Jehova justitia nostra...probably by Mr James Wood. 4. Disputationes quaedam de sacra Scriptura. Incompleat. 5. Oratio de sacrificiis.
  4. MS WOD3/4 Wodrow MSS Chiefly sermons for 1645-46, etc. [Spine label.] 4°. Contains: 1. A catechism containing the grounds of the Christian religion. 2. A system divinity. In English. 3. Sermons on Job xxxi, Acts, Ephesians and Philip. D.D. [David Dickson?] 4. Sermon on 1 Corinthians xvi, 13. 5. Some letters of Samuel Rutherford. 5 dated 1637-39 6. Sermons by various preachers, mainly undated.


  • Creation: c.1640-c.1710


Conditions Governing Access

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers at Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ. Contact repository in advance:

Biographical / Historical

Robert Wodrow was the minister of Eastwood near Paisley in Renfrewshire. In addition to his ministry, he was a church historian and antiquarian. His entry in Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, (vol 3, p. 135-136) reads:

1703 ROBERT WODROW, youngest son ofJames W., Professor of Divinity, Univ. of Glasgow, was born in the Trongate there, April (or Sept.) 1679. At the very hour of his birth, soldiers under warrant of the Privy Council, were searching the house to seize his father, but the latter, having exchanged clothes with the physician's manservant, succeeded in escaping. Wodrow entered the University of Glasgow in 1691, and graduated M.A. 18th January 1697. He served as chaplain in the house of his kinsman, Sir John Maxwell of Pollok, and for several years he was librarian to the University of Glasgow. On 6th January 1703, he was licensed by the Presbytery of Paisley, and ordained to this charge 28th October of that year. In 1707 he was one of a Committee of Presbytery appointed to consult and act with the Commission in Edinburgh as to the best means of averting the evils with which the Union of the Kingdoms seemed to threaten the church and peopl eof Scotland. On the accession of George I in 1714, he was principal correspondent and adviser of the five ministers sent by the Assembly to London to plead the rights of the Church, and particularly to petition for the abolition of patronage. He assisted Principal Hadow in drawing up the Act of Assembly (1731) for the filling up of vacant parishes, the passing of which in the following year gave rise to the Associate Presbytery. He declined calls to Glasgow in 1712, to Stirling in 1717, and again in 1726. He died 21st March 1734. An enthusiastic collector of information on the history and personal ministry of the Church, he left behind him a vast accumulation of interesting and illuminative MSS. many of which were printed by the Wodrow Society (1841-50), the Maitland and other Clubs. The Wodrow MSS. are preserved in the Advocates' Library, and the Library of the University of Glasgow. He married November 1708, Margaret (died 27th January 1758), widow of Ebenezer Veitch, minister of Ayr, and daughter of Patrick Warner of Ardeer, minister of Irvine, and had issue —Janet, born 1710, buried 5th April 1773 ["Her days and nights were devoted to the poor, to whom she gave her personal but unostentatious attendance"]; Robert, his successor in this parish; Patrick, min. of Tarbolton; James, minister of Stevenston; Alexander, settled in America, had an estate there, and died about the end of the first American War; Mary, died unmarried; Margaret (married Matthew Biggar, minister of Kirkoswald); Marion, died unmarried; Martha, and six others died early.


The Oath of Abjuration considered in a Letter to a Friend (1712) ; The History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland from the Restoration to the Revolution, 2 vols. (Edinburgh, 1721-2; 2nd ed. [edited by Robert Burns, D.D., min. of St George's, Paisley, with Memoir of the author], 4 vols., Glas- gow, 1828-31); Life of James Wodrow, A.M., Professor of Divinity (Edinburgh, 1828); Collections upon the Lives of the Reformers and most Eminent Ministers of the Church of Scotland [Maitland Club], 2 vols. (Glasgow, 1834-45); Analecta : or Materials for a History of Remarkable Providences, mostly relating to Scotch Ministers and Christians, edited for the Maitland Club by Thomas Leishman, D.D., 4 vols. (Edinburgh, 1842-3); The Correspondence of the Rev. Robert Wodrow, edited for the Wodrow Society by Thomas M'Crie, D.D., 3 vols. (Edinburgh, 1842-3); Proposals for printing by subscription the History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland [n.p., n.d.]; Private Letters [to Robert Wodrow] now first printed from the Original Manuscripts, 1694-1732 (Edinburgh, 1829). —

[Memoir prefixed to History ; Anderson's Scottish Nation, iii., 667 ; Diet. Nat. Biog.}


4 bound volumes

Physical Location

MS WOD3/1 - MS WOD3/4

Related Materials

MS BOX 2/7/7 Letter from President Woodrow Wilson, Paris, 1919.

Physical Facet

Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the New College Library Special Collections Repository

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