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Robert Baillie


1599 - 1662

Influential divine and academic. Born in Glasgow, Baillie was educated at the University in the city. He was appointed as Parish Minister in Kilwinning (North Ayrshire) in 1631. In 1637, he led the movement to reject the Book of Common Prayer which was being enforced on Scotland by King Charles I. This led to the National Covenant of 1638 and the same year Baillie was a member of the famous General Assembly held in Glasgow, at which the Church of Scotland abolished Episcopalian system and its Bishops. This led to the Bishop's Wars of 1639-40, during which Baillie accompanied General Sir Alexander Leslie (c.1582 - 1661) and the Scottish army as a chaplain.

During the Civil War, he was one of the five Scottish Presbyterian clergymen who went south to meet with the English Puritans in the Westminster Assembly (1643-9) which brought together a series of agreed statements of faith and church governance. In 1649 he was one of the commissioners sent to the Netherlands to invite Charles II to become King of Scotland, subject to strict conditions which the King was later to set aside.

An able theological scholar, Baillie was appointed to the Chair of Divinity at the University of Glasgow (1642) and became the Principal of that institution in 1661.

He died in Glasgow, despondent that the Episcopalian system was again being enforced in Scotland.


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