Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/326

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120 SAINT PATRICK.


clergy, long subdued by the compression of tyrannical force, was ever ready to burst forth in retaliation upon those whom they regarded as sinful oppressors of " the Lord's chosen people in Scotland;" but no lives were put in real hazard in any tumult, or bones broken, till the 14th of February, 1689, when provost Gibson, a stanch episcopalian, having, probably at the archbishop's instigation, imprudently forced access to the High church pulpit for a minister, while yet the question of the re-settlement of religion was pending, a riot ensued, at first mostly through the obstruction of zealous anti-prelatic females, about thirty of whom being wounded, a body of men, armed with sticks, stones, &c., came to their aid, and a desperate combat ensued, in which several were sorely hurt. The archbishop, meanwhile, prudently kept out of the way. When the new royalty succeeded, he counselled the malcontent nobles and gentry to take the prescribed oaths, but on design to break them, in the vain hope of bringing about a counter-revolution. From this time he sank into complete obscurity ; dying in Edinburgh, December 9, 1708, in his 76th year.

PATRICK, SAINT, the celebrated Apostle of Ireland, was born near the town of Dumbarton, in the nest of Scotland, about the year 372 of the Christian era. His father, whose name was Calpurnius, was in a respectable station in life, be- ing municipal magistrate in the town in which he lived. What town this was, however, is not certainly known, whether Kilpatrick, a small village on the Clyde, fire miles east of Dumbarton, Duntochar, another small village about a mile north of Kilpatrick, or Dumbarton itself. One of the three, however, it is presumed, it must have been, as it is described as being situated in the north- west part of the Roman province ; but though various biographers of the saint have assigned each of these towns by turns as his birthplace, conjecture has de- cided in favour of Kilpatrick. His father is supposed, (for nearly all that is re- corded of the holy man is conjectural, or at best but inferential,) to have come to Scotland in a civil capacity with the Roman troops, under Theodosius. His mother, whose name was Cenevessa, was sister or niece of St Martin, bishop of Tours ; and from this circumstance, it is presumed that his family were Chris- tians.

The original name of St Patrick was Succat or Succach, supposed to have some relation to Succoth, the name at this day of an estate not far distant from his birthplace, the property of the late Sir Hay Campbell. The name of Patricius, or Patrick, was not assumed by the saint until he became invested with the clerical character.

In his sixteenth year, up to which time he had remained with his father, he was taken prisoner, along with his two sisters, on the occasion of an incursion of the Irish, and carried over a captive to Ireland. Here he was reduced to a state of slavery, in which he remained for six or seven years with Milcho, a petty king in the northern part of that country. The particular locality is said to be Skerry, in the county of Antrim. At the end of this period, he effected his escape ; on which occasion, it is recorded, he had warning that a ship was ready for him, although she lay at a distance of 200 miles, and in a part of the country where he never had been, and where he was unacquainted with any one. On making his escape, he proceeded with the vessel to France, and re- paired to his uncle at Tours, who made him a canon regular of his church. St Patrick had already entertained the idea of converting the Irish, a design which first occurred to him during his slavery, and he now seriously and assiduously prepared himself for this important duty. But so impressed was he with the difficulty and importance of the undertaking, and the extent of the qualifications necessary to fit him for its accomplishment, that he did not adventure on it, until he had attained his sixtieth year, employing the whole of this long interval in