Row, William (DNB00)

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ROW, WILLIAM (1563–1634), Scottish presbyterian divine, born in 1563, was second son of John Row (1525?–1580) [q. v.], minister of Perth. He studied at the university of St. Andrews, where he graduated in 1587. Two or three years afterwards he was appointed minister at Forgandenny, in succession to one of his own name, probably a relative, and on 6 March 1589, by act of privy council, he was one of five charged with the maintenance of the true religion throughout the bounds of Perth, Stormont, and Dunkeld (Masson, Reg. P. C. Scotl. iv. 466). On occasion of the ‘Gowrie conspiracy’ Row was one of the ministers who refused to give thanks publicly for the king's delivery until the fact of the conspiracy should be proven, and he was consequently cited to appear at Stirling before the king and council. On the plea that his life was in danger, an effort was made to deter him from obeying the summons. Nevertheless, he went to Stirling and boldly defended himself, arguing that Andrew Henderson, the Earl of Gowrie's chamberlain, and alleged would-be assassin of the king, had been not punished but rewarded. He was a member of the assembly held in 1602, and also joined in the protest against the proposed restoration of episcopacy, which was presented at the first session of the parliament which met at Perth on 1 July 1606. In 1607 he was moderator of the synod held at Perth, to which James VI sent the captain of his guards, Lord Scone, to compel the acceptance of a permanent moderator. Scone threatened Row that if he opposed the scheme ten or twelve of his guards would discharge their culverins at him. Row, nothing daunted, preached from ten till two, bitterly inveighing against the proposed appointment. Scone did not understand Latin, but, on being informed of Row's meaning, severely rebuked him. He was ultimately put to the horn, and summoned before the privy council. Failing to appear, in June 1607 he was arrested and imprisoned in Blackness Castle (ib. vii. 349n., 350n., 385–91, 522, viii. 7, 421, 434, ix. 258). On the petition of the assembly he was released in June 1614, and in 1624, through the favour of Alexander Lindsay, bishop of Dunkeld, patron of the parish, and an old fellow-student of Row, his son William was appointed his assistant and successor. It is said that he refused, even under these circumstances, to recognise the ecclesiastical supremacy of his old friend, placing their former regent, John Malcolm, now minister of Perth, at the head of his table, instead of the bishop. Row died in October 1634.

[Fasti Eccl. Scot.; Melville's Autobiogr.; Row's and Calderwood's Hist.]

W. G.