(1883); a board of church erection in 1844; a board of work for freedmen; and a board of ministerial relief; after the union of 1869 the Board of Home Missions was removed from Philadelphia to New York City.
The Southern Church, unlike the Northern, is not working through “boards,” but through executive committees, which were formerly more loosely organized, and which left to the presbyteries the more direct control of their activities, but which now differ little from the boards of the northern Church. It has: an executive committee on foreign missions (first definitely organized by the Assembly in 1877), which has missions in China (1867), Brazil (1869), Mexico (1874), Japan (1885), Congo Free State (1891), Korea (1896) and Cuba (1899); and executive committees of home missions (1865), of publication and sabbath school work, of ministerial education and relief, of schools and colleges and of colored evangelization (formed in 1891). Permanent committees on the “sabbath and family religion,” the “Bible cause” and “evangelistic work” report to the General Assembly annually.
The United Presbyterian Church has a board of foreign missions (reorganized in 1859) with missions in Egypt (1853), now a Synod with four presbyteries (in 1909, 71 congregations, 70 ministers and 10,341 members), in the Punjab (1854), now a synod with four presbyteries (in 1909, 35 congregations, 51 ministers and 17,321 members), and in the Sudan (1901); and boards of home missions (reorganized, 1859), church extension (1859), publication (1859), education (1859), ministerial relief (1862), and missions to the freedmen (1863).
Presbyterians of different churches in the United States in 1906 numbered 1,830,555; of this total 322,542 were in Pennsylvania, where there were 248,335 members of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (the Northern Church), being more than one-fifth of its total membership; 56,587 members of the United Presbyterian Church of North America, being more than two-fifths of its total membership; 2709 members of the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, three-tenths of its total membership; the entire membership of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States and Canada (440), 3150 members of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church, nearly one-fourth of its total membership; and 2065 members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America, general synod, about five-ninths of its total membership. The strength of the Church in Pennsylvania is largely due to the Scotch-Irish settlements in that state. Philadelphia is the home of the boards of publication and of Sunday schools of the Northern Church; and in Allegheny (Pittsburg) are the principal theological seminary of the United Presbyterian body and its publishing house. In New York state there were 199,923 Presbyterians, of whom 186,278 were members of the Northern Church and 10,115 of the United Presbyterian Church of North America. In Ohio there were 138,768 Presbyterians, 114,772 being of the Northern and 18,336 of the United Presbyterian Church. The other states with a large Presbyterian population were Illinois (115,602; 86,251 of the Northern Church; 17,208 of the Cumberland Church; 9555 of the United Presbyterian Church); New Jersey (79,912; 78,490 of the Northern Church); Tennessee (79,337; 42,464 being Cumberland Presbyterians, more than one-fifth of the total membership; 6640 of the Colored Cumberland Church, more than one-third of its membership; 21,390 of the Southern Church; and 6786 of the Northern Church); Missouri (71,599; 28,637 of the Cumberland Church; 25,991 of the Northern Church; 14,713 of the Southern Church); Texas (62,090; 31,598 of the Cumberland Church; 23,934 of the Southern Church; 4118 of the Northern Church; and 2091 of the Colored Cumberland Church); Iowa (60,081; 48,326 of the Northern Church; 8890 of the United Presbyterian Church); and North Carolina (55,837; 41,322 of the Southern and 10,696 of the Northern Church). The Northern Church had a total membership of 1,179,566. The Southern Church had a total membership of 266,345. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church had (in 1906, when it became a part of the Northern Church) 195,770 members. The Colored Cumberland Church had a membership of 18,066. The United Presbyterian Church of North America had a total membership of 130,342. The Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church had a total membership of 13,280. The Associate Reformed Synod of the South had a membership of 13,201. The Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America had in 1906 a membership of 9122. The “Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America, General Synod,” had a membership of 3620. The Associate Presbyterian Church, or Associated Synod of North America had a membership of 786. The Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States and Canada had a membership in the United States of 440.
On American Presbyterianism, see Charles Hodge, Constitutional History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, 1706–1788 (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1839–1840); Records of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America from 1706 to 1788 (ibid., 1841); Richard Webster, History of the Presbyterian Church in America (ibid., 1858); E. H. Gillett, History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (2nd ed., ibid., 1873); C. A. Briggs, American Presbyterianism (New York, 1885). There is a good bibliography on pp. xi-xxxi of R. E. Thompson’s History of the Presbyterian Churches in the United States (ibid., 1895), vol. vi. of the American Church History Series; in the same series in vol. xi. are sketches of “The United Presbyterians,” by J. B. Scouller, “The Cumberland Presbyterians,” by R. N. Foster, and “The Southern Presbyterians,” by Thomas C. Johnson. Other works on the separate churches are: E. B. Crisman, Origin and Doctrines of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (St Louis, 1877) and W. M. Glasgow, History of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in America. (Baltimore, 1888).
PRESBYTERY, in architecture, that portion of the choir of a church in which the high altar is placed, and which is generally raised by a few steps above the rest of the church. It is reserved for the priests, and in that respect differs from the choir, the stalls in which are occasionally occupied by the laity. In Westminster Abbey the space east of the transept is the presbytery, and the same arrangement is found in Canterbury Cathedral. In San Clemente at Rome the presbytery is enclosed with a marble balustrade or screen. For the use of the word in Church government see Presbyter and Presbyterianism.
PRESCOT, a market town and urban district in the Ormskirk parliamentary division of Lancashire, England, 8 m. E. of Liverpool by the London & North Western railway. Pop. (1901), 7855. It is of considerable antiquity, and received a grant for a market and fair in the 7th year of Edward III. A church existed in the 13th century. The present church of St Mary is in various styles, with a lofty tower and spire and carved timber roof. The chief industry is the making of watches, and the town has long been celebrated for the production of watch movements and tools. The industry was first introduced in 1730 by John Miller from Yorkshire. There is also a manufacture of electric cables. John Philip Kemble, the actor, was born at Prescot in 1757. To the north of the town is Knowsley Park, the demesne of the earls of Derby, with a mansion of various dates from the 15th century onward, containing a fine collection of pictures. Prescot was formerly of greater importance in relation to the now populous district of south-west Lancashire; it was also a postal centre, and it is curious to notice that such addresses as “Liverpool, near Prescot” were necessary.
PRESCOTT, WILLIAM HICKLING (1796–1859), American historian, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on the 4th of May 1796. His grandfather was Colonel William Prescott (1726–1795), who commanded at the battle of Bunker Hill; and his father was a well-known lawyer. He received his earlier education in his native city, until the removal of his family in 1808 to Boston. He entered Harvard College in the autumn of 1811, but almost at the outset his career was interrupted by an accident which affected the subsequent course of his life. A hard piece of bread, flung at random in the Commons Hall, struck his left eye and destroyed the sight. After graduating honourably in 1814 he entered his father’s office as a student of law; but in January 1815 the uninjured eye showed dangerous symptoms of inflammation. When at last in the autumn he was in condition to travel, it was determined that he should pass the winter at St Michael’s and in the spring obtain medical advice in Europe. His visit to the Azores, which was constantly broken by confinement to a darkened room, is chiefly noteworthy from the fact that he there began the mental discipline which enabled him to compose and retain in memory long passages for subsequent dictation; and, apart from the gain in culture, his journey