|Activity||Patrick Gillespie (1616-1675), principal of Glasgow University, was the son of John Gillespie, minister of Kircaldy ,and Lilias Simson. He graduated from St Andrews University, 1635 and was the minister of the second charge in Kirkcaldy, 1642 and the High Church of Glasgow, 1648. |
Gillespie was an extreme Covananter and a friend and supporter of Cromwell. After the Battle of Dunbar, 1650, he condemmed the treaty made with Charles II and he raised an armed 'Westland Force' under officers recommended by him, and wrote the 'Remonstrance' (1650), a seditious paper which was addressed parliament and which was condemned by church and state. In 1651 Gillespie was deposed from the ministry for opposing the General Assembly, but disregarded the sentence and made the first schism in the church since the Reformation. Gillespie became leader of a group in favour of independency and who preferred Cromwell to the King.
He was appointed Principal of the University of Glasgow, 1652, in the face of opposition from the establishment. In 1653 Cromwell called upon Gillespie to withhold the stipend from any minister who was not supported by at least four men of their party. This was known as ‘Gillespie's Charter’. Gillespie then spent about a year in London, preaching before the Protector, but during his visit he was seriously ill. On his return to Glasgow he was accused by the town council of neglect of duty and maladministration of funds. In 1659 he returned to London and again was granted more income from the college revenues. In 1659 he was called to the Outer-High Church, Edinburgh.
At the Restoration he sent his wife to intercede for him, but he was deprived of his office and imprisoned in Stirling Castle. He was tried in 1661 and having professed penitence, was confined to Ormiston. He obtained no further employment in the ministry and died at Leith in 1675. Gillespie's publications include, 'Rulers' Sins the Cause of National Judgments' (1650); 'The Ark of the Testament opened' (1677).