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Rev Robert Craighead
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Birth: 1633, Scotland
Death: Aug. 22, 1711, Ireland

Timeline of the lives of Rev. Robert and Agnes Hart Craighead

SOURCE: Janet and Robert Wolfe Genealogy

Father: Thomas Craighead
Mother: Janet Ferguson
Partner: Agnes Hart/Heart

DAU: Katherine Craighead Born: 1678, Donoughmore, Co. Donegal, Ireland
SON: Robert Craighead Born: 1684, Donoughmore, Co. Donegal, Ireland
SON: Thomas Craighead Born: ABT 1670, Donoughmore, Co. Donegal, Ireland
SON: Stephen Craighead
SON: Samuel Craighead

1653 M.A. degree from the University of St. Andrews, Feb. 15, 1653.

1658 Ordained to a Presbyterian congregation in Donoughmore, County Donegal (near Castlefinn) in 1658. Minister at Donoughmore, Ireland for 30 years.

1689 Removed to Londonderry, and was pastor there at the time the gates were closed against the army of King James. Escaped during the memorable siege and made his way to Glasgow (19 June 1689), where a part of his family had preceded him, and were residing.

1689 Called to a meeting house in Glasgow 3 July 1689, officiating either in the Inner High or Tron Church. His reception by the public authorities, as well as by his brethren in the Church of Scotland, was so spontaneous and cordial that, on subsequently publishing a volume entitled Advice to Communicants for Necessary Preparation and Improvement for the Lord's Supper, he dedicated it to the Lord Provost, the Bailiffs, the Deacon Convener, and the inhabitants of Glasgow.

1690 Returned to Ireland 3 Apr 1690 and admitted to Derry.

1690 On 1 July 1690 he was called to be minister of the Presbyterian congregation in Londonderry.

1698 Returned to Scotland and admitted to Blackfriars.

1700 Went back to his former charge in Derry about 1700, and remained there until his death.

SOURCE: [Hugh Scott, "Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, The Succession of Ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation," Vol. III, Glasgow and Ayr, Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1920, p. 398 and 453]

The bishop of Derry from 1691 to 1702 was William King, afterwards archbishop of Dublin. King had already crossed swords with Joseph Boyse, minister of Wood Street congregation in Dublin, on the subject of Presbyterian worship, hoping to persuade his readers to follow his own pilgrimage from Presbyterianism to Anglicanism. His representations of Presbyterian practice were factually incorrect, and Craghead felt impelled to answer them in two pamphlets, "An Answer to a Late Book Intituled 'A Discourse Concerning the Inventions of Men in the Worship of God' "(1694) and "An Answer to the Bishop of Derry's Second Admonition to the Dissenting Inhabitants of his Diocese" (1697). His replies to King are orderly, thorough, and factual. They contain a wealth of information about Presbyterian life and spirituality, and especially about Presbyterian public worship. They confirm the very large numbers attending Presbyterian services in north-west Ulster at this time. While Boyse and Craghead display common purpose in their defence of Presbyterian forms of worship, it is fascinating to discern contrasting views on points of detail. Boyse reflects the broader and more English practice of Dublin Presbyterianism, while the stricter Ulster-Scot ethos of northern congregations is firmly embodied in Craghead's work.

Craghead's other writings were of a devotional and practical kind. His Advice for the Assurance of Salvation (1702) and the posthumous Walking with God (1712) have both been lost to posterity. His Advice to Communicants was first published in Glasgow in 1695, and was reprinted several times. It was an attempt to deal with many of the problems and difficulties felt by the ordinary people with whom Craghead worked as a pastor. It is a rich treasure house of Christian devotion and evidences the scrupulous care given by Craghead and others of his generation to the doubts and questions of his people. [A. W. Godfrey Brown, ‘Craghead, Robert (c.1633–1711)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004]
Family links: 
  Thomas Craighead (1607 - 1711)
  Janet Ferguson Craighead (1600 - 1660)
  Agnes Hart Craighead (1648 - ____)*
  Katherine Craighead Homes (1672 - 1754)*
*Calculated relationship
Created by: Observer4wing
Record added: Jun 20, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92233640


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