From the Book of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee 1513 to 1885.

Magister John Guthrie, Bishop of Moray - 4th July 1633



The fact of the enrolment of four Prelates of the Episcopal Church upon the Burgess Roll of a Burgh so entirely devoted to Presbyterianism as Dundee then was requires some explanation. A comparison of dates will show that the admission of these four Bishops took place at the time when CHARLES I. was making a Royal progress through this part of the Kingdom after his Coronation. At the end of June, 1633, the KING set forth from Edinburgh upon a sporting tour, journeyed by Linlithgow and Dunfermline to Falkland Palace, where he remained for several days, ultimately reaching Perth on the 8th of July. It was whilst he was at Falkland that the Bishops who had accompanied him game to Dundee for the purpose of being made Burgesses; their personal presence in the town being proved negatively, since it is not stated that the honour was conferred upon them in absence. It may therefore be concluded that the honour was paid to the KING in their persons rather than to the form of ritual which they sought to introduce.

JOHN GUTHRIE, Bishop of Moray, was descended from Sir. ALEXANDER GUTHRIE of that Ilk, and MARGARET LYON, daughter of JOHN, LORD GLAMIS, his direct ancestor being JOHN GUTHRIE of Hilltown, fourth son of SIR ALEXANDER. He was the son of PATRICK GUTHRIE of Collieston and MARGARET RAIT. He studied at St Andrews, and took his degree of M.A. There in 1597, and was appointed reader at Arbroath in the same year. Two years afterwards he was presented by the KING to the Church of Kinnell. Thence he was translated to Arbirlot, in 1603, and remained there until his removal to the Second Charge at Perth, in 1617. Four years afterwards he was appointed Minister of Edinburgh, and remained there until he was raised to the Bishopric of Moray, in 1623. At an early stage in his career he showed decided leanings towards Prelacy, and immediately before the date of his entry as a Burgess he had officiated in the presence of the KING in S. Giles' Church, Edinburgh, wearing full canonical robes. It is asserted that his appearance in this garb at the time was one of the earliest indications which the Scottish people had observed of the KING'S design to thrust Episcopacy upon them; and it was rapidly followed by the overthrow of the Prelatic party.

The General Assembly held at Glasgow in 1638 deposed him from his Bishopric, and he took refuge in the Episcopal Palace of Spynie, hoping to escape the violence of the Presbyterians in that remote spot. In this expectation he was disappointed. MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT MONRO of Foulis, at the head of 300 men, invested the Palace, on 16th July, 1640, and took the BISHOP prisoner. He was conveyed to Edinburgh, and imprisoned there until November, 1641, at which time he was liberated by the General Assembly after repeated petitions to that powerful body, an express condition of his release being that he should not return to the Diocese of Moray. In 1636, he had acquired the Barony of Guthrie from his kinsman, PETER. GUTHRIE of that Ilk, and he spent the remainder of his life there in close retirement. He died at Guthrie on 28th April, 1649, and was buried in the Kirk of Guthrie, beside his wife, NICHOLAS WOOD, who had predeceased him four years before that date. He had two sons, Magister JOHN GUTHRIE, Minister of Duffus, and Magister ANDREW GUTHRIF, who was taken prisoner at Philiphaugh, and beheaded at St Andrews. The Bishop's only surviving daughter, BETRIA, succeeded to the estate, and kept the lands in the family by marrying her relative, FRANCIS GUTHRIE of Gagie. His present representative is JOHN DOUGLAS MAUDE GUTHRIE, Esq. Of that Ilk.