Riding Committees

Riding Committees were committees of the General Assembly sent to supersede a presbytery which had refused to ordain a presentee over a reclaiming parish. The first instance occurred in 1717, when a presbytery refused to ordain a Mr. John Hay in the parish of Peebles, and the General Assembly passed an act "appointing certain brethren to correspond with the Presbytery of Peebles, and to act and vote in their meetings at their next ensuing diet, and thereafter, until the settlement of Mr. John Hay in the parish of Peebles be completed, and to concur with them in his ordination." By this device both the opposition of the people and the conscientious reluctance of the presbytery were surmounted. The last instance of a settlement effected by means of a riding committee was that of Mr. Watson in the Presbytery of Linlithgow, May 30, 1751.

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