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Collection CH2/473 - Presbytery of Lewis

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Reference code

GB 234 CH2/473


Presbytery of Lewis


  • 1742-1919 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

6 volumes

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Name of creator

Church of Scotland (1560-)

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Due to the disordered religious life of the Outer Hebrides, and despite many efforts during the 16th and 17th centuries, it was not until the 18th cent that efficient church government could be set up in the aforementioned islands. King James VI granted a charter to a company of persons, who were termed the 'undertakers', giving them power to found a settlement in Lewis by force of arms. The first expedition to establish a church court in the islands took place in 1598, but was unsuccessful and many lost their lives. The expedition was repeated in 1601, again without success, and in 1610 the minister of the parish of Garioch was sent to the islands and is recorded to have reported back that the islanders were, 'strangers to the gospel'. In 1724 the General Assembly severed the entire district of the Outer Islands. (from Lewis in the North to Barra in the South). from the Presbytery of Skye. This annexation formed the new jurisdiction of the Presbytery of the Long Island. In 1742 Harris, and the Islands lying to the south of it, were disjoined from Lewis and erected as the Presbytery of Uist. From this time on the remaining territory to the north became known as the Presbytery of Lewis. The register of the Presbytery begins in July 1742. The Presbytery of Lewis formerly sat within the Synod of Glenelg and later of Ross, Sutherland and Caithness.

[Source: National Records of Scotland online catalogue:]

Minutes 1742-1919 (5 volumes); Separate register 1746-1774 Includes register re fund for widows and children of ministers, 1768-1919 (1 volume)

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  • English

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Paper records

Finding aids

Full catalogue available through National Records of Scotland online catalogue at catalogue reference CH2/473

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