The History of Leith

October 31, 2008

The Story of Dr Wishart

Dr. Wishart or Wiseheart was born in East Lothian in 1609, and educated in the university of Edinburgh, where he took his degrees, and entered into holy orders. He became minister of North Leith, but was deposed in 1638, for refusing to take the Covenant, and was also imprisoned for his loyalty in the nastiest part of the Tolbooth at Edinburgh, called the Thieves’ Hole. On his release, he came to Newcastle; and, within five weeks after his appointment to this lectureship, he was declared unfit to hold it by the house of commons. On this he returned to Scotland, and accompanied the gallant Marquis of Montrose as his chaplain. On the defeat of the loyalists in 1645, he was taken prisoner; but his amiable character disarmed the fury of the Covenanters, and he escaped death. He then went abroad, and became chaplain to Elizabeth queen of Bohemia, sister of Charles I. with whom he came over into England in 1660, to visit her royal nephew, Charles II. Dr. Wishart immediately became minister of St. Andrew’s, and soon after resumed his lectureship. Upon the restoration of episcopacy in Scotland, he was consecrated bishop of Edinburgh June 1, 1662, in which station he evinced much generosity and charity. He saved many persons from death; and, having been a prisoner himself, he was always careful at dinner to send the first dish from his table to the prisoners. He died in 1671, and was buried in the abbey of Holyrood House, under a magnificent tomb, with a long Latin inscription. He wrote the History of the War in Scotland under the conduct of the Marquis of Montrose, in elegant Latin, and of which several translations have been given.

From: ‘St Nicholas’ church: Clergy and lecturers’, Historical Account of Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Including the Borough of Gateshead (1827), pp. 276-291.

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