Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hardy, Thomas (1748-1798)

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HARDY or HARDIE, THOMAS (1748–1798), Scottish divine, son of the Rev. Henry Hardy, minister of Culross, Fifeshire, and Ann Halkerston, was educated at the university of Edinburgh. Licensed as a preacher in 1772 he soon obtained the parish of Ballingry, Fifeshire. In 1782, at a time when the chronic controversy in the church of Scotland concerning patronage was running high, Hardy published a pamphlet entitled Principles of Moderation, addressed to the Clergy of the popular interest in the Church of Scotland,' with a view to uniting the two parties in the church. Admitting the unpopularity of patronage, and confessing that 'either the Act of Queen Anne (1712) or the church of Scotland must go,' he urged that in the meanwhile patronage was the law, and must be maintained by the church till it was altered by act of parliament, and advised that both parties should unite in demanding from parliament the repeal of Queen Anne's Act, and the substitution for the single patron of a committee of each parish, the patron, a delegate from the heritors (landowners), and a delegate from the kirk session. In 1842, on the eve of 'the disruption,' the pamphlet was reprinted. In 1783 Hardy was called to be a colleague of Dr. Hugh Blair [q. v.] in the High Church, Edinburgh, whence in 1786 he was translated to the New North Church (now West St. Giles'). In conjunction with this living he held the chair of church history in the university of Edinburgh. Cumming, his predecessor in the chair, had never lectured, but Hardy, besides being an elegant preacher, was a good lecturer, and his class was one of the best attended in the university. He was moderator of the general assembly of 1793, chaplain to the king, and dean of the Chapel Royal 1794. He died 21 Nov. 1798. Hardy was twice married, and left children by both wives. A portrait of him. is given in Kay's 'Portraits.' Besides his 'Principles of Moderation' Hardy published 'A Plan for the Augmentation of Stipends,' 1793, 'The Patriot,' 1793, and six single sermons.

[Scott's Fasti, i. 68; Cunningham's Church Hist, of Scotland; Bower and Grant's Histories of Edinburgh University; Kay's Edinburgh Portraits, &c.]

J. C.