The principal acts of the general assembly, convened at Edinburgh, May 20, 1830.
I. Sess. 1, May 20, 1830.—The King's Commission to James Ochoncar Lord Forbes
produced, and ordered to be recorded.
The General Assembly, &c.
II. Sess. 1, May 20, 1830.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly,
presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
George, R., &c.
III. Sess. 3, May 22, 1830.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious
May it please your Majesty, &c.
IV. Sess. 9, May 29, 1830.—Commission of the General Assembly to certain Ministers and
Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
The General Assembly, &c.
V. Sess. 9, May 29, 1830.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for the
Reformation of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and for Managing his
Majesty's Royal Bounty to that end.
The General Assembly, &c.
VI. Sess. 9, May 29, 1830.—Overture and Interim Act relating to Students residing beyond
the Bounds of this Church, before their entrance on the Study of Divinity.
VII. Sess. ult., May 31, 1830.—Overtures and Interim Acts relative to the Attendance of
Students of Divinity on the Classes of Church History and Hebrew.
VIII. Sess. ult., May 31, 1830.—Act appointing the Presbyteries of Lerwick and Burravoe,
and Synod of Shetland.
The General Assembly called for the Report of the Committee on the Petition from
the Presbytery of Shetland, which was given in by Dr Baird, the Convener, and
read, the tenor whereof follows:—
The Committee respectfully reports,
1. That on mature consideration of the details stated in the petition of the Presbytery of Shetland, they are of opinion that it would be expedient to divide the present Presbytery, not into three Presbyteries as petitioned for, but into two; the one
of these two to be called the Lerwick Presbytery, to hold its ordinary meetings at
Lerwick; and the other to be called the Burravoe Presbytery, to hold its ordinary
meetings at Burravoe, in the parish of Yell.
2. That the committee have come to the above opinion from the authentic information obtained by them, that the purposed arrangement would be acceptable to all the
members of the present Presbytery; that it is required by the physical localities of
the Shetland Isles, and that it will tend to relieve the ministers, agents, and parties
having business in connection with that court, from many of the perils and difficulties to which they would otherwise be exposed in travelling over hills and mosses,
without roads, or along rocky shores, through rapid and boisterous tides, to any one
fixed place of meeting.
3. That the committee recommend, if the subdivision humbly suggested above is
approved and authorised by the Assembly, that the Presbytery of Lerwick shall con
sist of the following parishes, viz.:—Dunrossness, Walls, Sandsting, Tingwall, Lerwick,
and Bressay; and that the Presbytery of Burravoe shall consist of the following parishes, viz.:—Nesting, Delting, Northmavine, Yell, Fetlar, and Unst; thus comprising six parishes in each of the two Presbyteries.
4. That the committee are of opinion, that the said two Presbyteries should be
appointed to form a Synod with full synodical powers; that Lerwick should be appointed as the fixed place of the meetings of the Synod of Shetland, where its records should be kept, and where the records of the present Presbytery should be deposited and kept in retentis.
5. That the Presbytery of Lerwick should be appointed to meet at Lerwick on the
second Wednesday of July next, and proceed to business; that the Presbytery of
Burravoe should be appointed to meet at Burravoe on the third Wednesday of July
next, and proceed to business; and that the Synod of Shetland should be appointed
to meet at Lerwick on the last Wednesday of April 1831, and proceed to business.
(Signed) Geo. H. Baird, Convener.
The General Assembly approve of the report, and enact in terms thereof, and
order the same to be inserted in the printed Acts of the General Assembly.
IX. Sess. ult., May 31, 1830.—Report concerning Schools.
The General Assembly called for the Report of the Committee for classing Returns
of the Examination of Schools, which was given in by Dr Stirling, the Convener,
and read. The General Assembly approve of the Report, and appoint it to be
inserted among the printed Acts.
The committee of the General Assembly for classing Returns from Presbyteries,
respecting the Examination of Schools, reports as follows:—
1st, That regular returns of all the schools within their bounds have been transmitted to your committee by the following Presbyteries, viz.:—
5 St Andrews,
2d, That returns, more or less regular and complete, have been sent from the following Presbyteries, viz.:—
3d, That a letter has been received from the Moderator of the Presbytery of North
Isles, praying to be excused for not sending up any return to this Assembly, as, be
fore he and his co-presbyters received the Assembly's order of 30th May 1829, the
unfavourable season had set in, and they were unable, in their insular situations, to
accomplish presbyterially the examination of their schools, but promising implicit
obedience to the Assembly's injunctions on this subject in all time coming.
4th, That from the remaining nineteen Presbyteries of the Church, no returns of
any kind have been received.
5th, That in the Abbey parish of Paisley, and West parish of Greenock, though
landward parishes, there are no schoolhouses, and that, notwithstanding the attention of the Assembly has been drawn by your committee on some former years to the
situation of the parish of Lochs, in the Presbytery of Lewis, yet no steps seem yet
to have been taken to get a schoolhouse built in that parish.
6th, That a complaint, which accompanies this report, has been made by the Presbytery of Mull, of the conduct of certain teachers of the Gaelic School Society within their bounds; but your committee are fully persuaded that, when the justice of
this complaint is made known to that society, by which the interests of education
have been so greatly promoted, immediate steps will be taken for its redress.
7th, That in several returns which have been made, due care has not been taken
to have them authenticated by the signatures of the moderator and clerk of Presbytery,
or even by the minister of the parish in which the school is situated. Nor do some
of the Presbyteries, from which the most complete returns have come, seem to be
aware of the obligations under which they lie, to see that the teachers within their
bounds take the oaths to government; a striking example of this is afforded in the
towns of Paisley and Greenock, for, out of fifty-nine schools in the former of these
towns, forty-five of the teachers have not qualified to government; and out of thirtyfour schools in the latter, twenty-nine of the teachers are in the same state.
8th, That your committee have great satisfaction in perceiving, that where the
duty of Presbyterial examination of schools has regularly taken place, the very best
effects have resulted from it,—that the methods of teaching have been improved,—that the zeal and diligence both of the teachers and taught have been powerfully excited. And your committee cannot conclude this report without expressing their
earnest desire that the venerable Assembly would continue to enforce upon all the
Presbyteries of this Church, and especially upon those from which no returns have
come, the faithful performance of a duty so eminently calculated to promote the best
interests of the rising generation.
(Signed) John Stirling, Convener.
X. Sess. ult., May 31, 1830.—Overture as to printing Extracts from the Records of the
Inferior Church Courts. (fn. *)
The General Assembly called for the Overture from the Presbytery of Ellon on the
printing of Extracts from the Records of the Inferior Church Courts, which was
produced and read as follows:—
"Unto the venerable the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, it is
humbly overtured by the Presbytery of Ellon, that, for enabling the members of Assembly more fully to understand all matters coming before them, it be enacted, that
the 16th Act of the General Assembly, 1700, discharging the printing of any part of
ecclesiastical processes without allowance, be repealed, and that, in future, all overtures be printed and laid on the Assembly's table, in sufficient numbers, for the use
of members, on the first Monday of its sitting, unless in the case of matters coming
to the knowledge of the Court during its sitting, and which may require immediate
attention; but that, in every such case, the overture to be proposed shall be printed
and laid on the Assembly's table at least three days before it shall be discussed; and
that it be farther enacted, that in all references, complaints, or appeals, the record of
the Inferior Court shall be printed, and a sufficient number of copies for the use of
members, in all causes coming before the Court before the Wednesday, be laid on
the Assembly's table the first Saturday of its sitting, and of all others on the first Monday of the Assembly."
The General Assembly agree to transmit the overture for the consideration of
XI. Sess. ult., May 31, 1830.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.
The next General Assembly of this National Church is to be holden at Edinburgh,
on Thursday, the 19th day of May 1831.
Collected and extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by
John Lee, Cl. Eccl. Scot.