Sunday, May 11, 2008

Did David Houston preach at Glastry?

Rev David Houston is perhaps the single most important of the Ulster Covenanter ministers. Jack just sent me a 6500 word article he's written, detailing Houston's life. With his permission I might well post it on the Covenanters blog (although that's what this blog has turned into anyway!).

In Michael Shields' Faithful Contendings Displayed, (printed 1780) on page 280 he writes of Houston "...first his license, then his ordination, which was to the parish of Grastrie, a little before the Restoration..."

In a copy I have of The History of Old Cumnock (printed 1899), on page 175 among mountains of marginalia, "Grastrie" is suggested to have been "Glastry, Presbytery of Ards", which is just between Ballyhalbert and Kircubbin.

Houston is known to have spent time in Newtownards, so to be just about 15 miles down the road at Glastry is entirely possible. There's a Presbyterian church there, I think it was built around 1777 - funny enough the current Minister is called Cameron!

There's also a Methodist tradition that John and Charles Wesley came to Glastry - there's a Methodist church there too.