Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/327

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ALEXANDER PENNECUIK, M.D.


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travelling from place to place, in quest of religious instruction and information. During- this period he studied, also, for some time, under St Germanus, bishop of Gaul. By this ecclesiastic he was sent to Rome with recommendations to pope Celestine, who conferred upon him ordination as a bishop, and furnished him with instructions and authority to proceed to Ireland to convert its natives. On this mission he set out in the year 432, about the time that a similar attempt by Palladius had been made, and abandoned as hopeless. St Patrick was, on this occasion, accompanied by a train of upwards of twenty persons, among whom was Germanus. He sailed for Ireland from Wales, having come first to Britain from France, and attempted to land at Wicklow, but being here opposed by the natives, he proceeded along the coast, till he came to Ulster, where, meet- ing with a more favourable reception, he and his followers disembarked. He soon afterwards obtained a gift of some land, and founded a monastery and a church at Downe, or Downpatrick. From this establishment, he gradually ex- tended his ministry to other parts of Ireland, devoting an equal portion of time to its three provinces, Ulster, Munster, and Connaught, in each of which he is said to have resided seven years, making altogether a period of one and twenty. During this time, he paid frequent visits to the Western Isles, with the view of disseminating there the doctrines which he taught. Being now far advanced in years, he resigned his ecclesiastical duties in Ireland, and returned to his native country, where he died. The place, however, at which this event occurred, the year in which it occurred, the age which he attained, and the original place of his interment, have all been disputed, and differently stated by different authors. The most probable account is, that he died and was buried at Kil- patrick this, indeed, appears all but certain from many circumstances, not the least remarkably corroborative of which is, the name of the place itself, which signifies, the word being a Gaelic compound, the burial place of Patrick that he died about the year 458 ; and that he was about eighty-six years of age when this event took place.

PENNECUIK, ALEXANDER, M.D., author of a " Description of the County of Tweeddale," and of various poems, was born in 1652, being the eldest son of Alexander Pennecuik of Newhall, county of Edinburgh ; who had served as a surgeon, first to general Bannier in the Thirty Years' war, and afterwards in the army sent by the Scots into England, in 1644, in terms of the Solemn League and Covenant. The latter individual sold, in 1647, the original property of his family, to the ancestor of the Clerks, baronets, who have since possessed it, and purchased, instead, the smaller adjacent estate of Newhall, to which he afterwards added by marriage, that of Komanno in Peeblesshire. The subject of the present memoir, after being educated to the medical profession and travelling, as would appear, on the continent, settled at no advanced period of life on these patrimonial estates, where for some years he devoted himself with warm filial affection to the care of his aged parent. The elder gentleman died at an advanced age, after having seen five kings of Scotland, and been contem- poraneous with four revolutions in the state religion; which would seem to indicate that he survived the year 1692, the date of the last establishment of presbytery. The subject of this memoir then acceded to the possession of New- hall and Romanno, continuing, however, to practise as a physician, in which profession he seems to have enjoyed a high reputation. Dr Pennecuik was one of a small knot of Scottish gentlemen who cultivated letters and science at a time of comparative darkness in this country, the latter end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries. His literary efforts were chiefly confined to facetious poetry, for which he seems to have found models in Butler