21/02/2017

History

The Presbytery of Inverness is first mentioned in 1592 when it was fully settled and established by an act of Parliament. Then there were only two charges in Inverness, the first charge of Inverness was what is now the Old High Church. The second charge became the West Church, which moved to become Inshes Church now.

“Ecclesiastical State – There are three ministers of the Established Church in Inverness. The patrons of the livings are the King and the Honourable Mr Fraser of Lovat. The King is patron of the first and the third living, Mr Fraser of the second. The stipend of the first and the second ministers, by a decreet passed in the year 1754, is to each 84 bolls 1 firlot 2 pecks 2 lippies victual, half bear half oatmeal, and L.541 :8 :6 Scots money. Each of them has a glebe; bur neither of the glebes is 4 acres. They have no manses, though they are entitled to them by law. The third minister is paid out of the Bishop’s rents of Moray and Ross. The stipend is precisely L.108, 10s Sterling. The church for the English congregation was built in the year 1772, by the magistrates, in consequence of a compromise with the heritors, who were to have a preference of seats at an equitable yearly rent. The church is an elegant structure. It is 92 feet long, and 45 broad, with a convenient session-house adjoined. a new church is now building for the Gaelic congregation, and will be completed in the course of next summer, at the joint and equal expense of the heritors on the one hand, and the Magistrates and six incorporations on the other. There was likewise added a sum of L.110 Streling, being the interest arising from Mr George Duncan’s mortification formerly mentioned. This church is 76 feet in length, and 38 in breadth. There is a small Antiburgher congregation here; but they can afford very little for the support of theie minister, whether the Associated Congregation add any thing to the living, we know not. There is a Scots Episcopal congregation, but small. ther is likewise a Methodist meeting house, which is attended chiefly by the manufacturers lately come hither from other places.” (Inverness 1793 – First Statistical Account of Scotland).

The presence of the church in Inverness is, of course, older than Presbyterianism. In the 6th century AD St Columba is said to have visited the pagan Pictish King Bridei, King of Fortriu, at his base in Inverness. While winning Bridei’s respect, Columba did not win the king’s conversion. Nor did he established a church in Inverness when he came, because Inverness would only be a very small and insignificant settlement.  However, a settlement had been established by the 6th century, to which the first royal charter was granted by Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim (King David I) in the 12th century.

In 1233 a Dominican Friary was founded in Inverness, and the friars went about preaching in the area. The Dominican monks were known as black friars because of the colour of their habits. By about 1300 the Bishop of Moray was scandalised at the neglect by the monks of Arbroath for their church of Inverness.