Stewart, Andrew (d.1671) (DNB00)

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STEWART, ANDREW (d. 1671), Irish divine, was one of the four children of the Rev. Andrew Stewart (d. 1634) of Donegore co. Antrim, whom Robert Blair (1590–1666) [q. v.] describes as ‘a learned gentleman and fervent in spirit, and a very successful minister of the Word of God.’ The story of the father's death is graphically told by Robert Fleming the elder [q. v.] in his ‘Fulfilling of the Scriptures’ (i. 393).

There is some doubt as to the year of the younger Stewart's birth. The inscription on his tombstone states that at his death in 1671 he was ‘of his age the 46;’ but as he himself in his ‘Short Account’ speaks of having witnessed some of the scenes in the religious movement at Oldstone, co. Antrim, which took place in 1625, and his nephew, the Rev. Andrew Crawford, in a letter to Wodrow, dated 7 Sept. 1724, says that Stewart was ‘a young man’ at the time of this movement, he must certainly have been older than forty-six at death. In 1645 or 1646 he was settled as minister of Donaghadee, co. Down. In 1650 he fled to Scotland, owing to the troubles which arose in Ireland in consequence of the execution of Charles I. He returned to Donaghadee in 1652. In October of that year he appeared with other ministers before the commissioners of the revenue at Belfast to consider how the labours of the presbyterian clergy could be carried on ‘without disturbing the peace of the commonwealth,’ and in 1654 he was one of a deputation which waited on Fleetwood and the council in Dublin with a view to obtaining a share of the payment given by the government to ministers, a mission in which they were successful. Stewart was assigned a salary of 100l. per annum, to be paid by the commissioners of the revenue at Belfast (see R. M. Young, Historical Notices of Old Belfast and its Vicinity, 1896, p. 102). In the same year he took part in drawing up ‘The Act of Bangor,’ intended to prevent the troubles between the resolutioners and protesters in Scotland from spreading to Ireland. In 1661 he was one of the sixty-one presbyterian ministers of Ulster who were ejected from their parishes for nonconformity. In 1663 he was suspected—wrongly, as afterwards appeared—of complicity in Blood's plot [see Blood, Thomas], and was for a time imprisoned first in Carlingford Castle, and afterwards in Dublin. He died on 2 Jan. 1671, and was interred in Donaghadee churchyard.

Stewart compiled a ‘Short Account of the Church of Christ as it was (1) among the Irish at first; (2) among and after the English entered; (3) after the entry of the Scots.’ A copy of this is among the Wodrow manuscripts in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, where it was placed in 1724 by Stewart's nephew, the Rev. Andrew Crawford. It has not been printed in its entirety. The third and most important portion was appended by Dr. W. D. Killen to his edition of Patrick Adair's ‘True Narrative’ (Belfast, 1866) [see Adair, Patrick]. The work was evidently left unfinished by its author. It ends abruptly with an account of the establishment of the Antrim meeting in 1626.

[Patrick Adair's True Narrative; Killen's prefatory notice to Stewart's Short Account; Witherow's Historical and Literary Memorials of Presbyterianism in Ireland, vol. i.; Reid's Hist. vol. i.]

T. H.