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

David Ferguson, Magister - 10th December 1663.



Magister DAVID FERGUSON was the great grandson of the famous DAVID FERGUSON, Minister of Dunfermline, to whose admission as a Burgess reference has already been made (vide page 76). His grandfather, Dr WILLIAM FERGUSON, was also a Burgess, and from the present entry it appears that the name of his father was also on the Roll.

This succession of Burgesses carries back the connection of the family with Dundee for over one hundred and fifty years. DAVID FERGUSON studied at St Andrews University, and took his degree there in 1648. He was introduced as Minister of Strathmartine in April, 1664, and remained in this charge till his death, in July, 1696. On 20th December, 1695, he executed a Deed of Mortification, assigning 6,000 merks "for the use, maintenance, and education of two poor male children, not under the age of nine years at their admission, nor above the age of fourteen years while they are at school." The conditions of this benefaction are that the recipients are "to be of my own surname, and nearest of blood to me , quhilk failing, any other two male children of my nearest relations; quhilk failing, any other two poor male children, begotten of good and honest parents, in ane lawful marriage."

These children were to be "maintained, educated, and brought up in the Grammar School of Dundee, and to be lodged and boarded with one of the surname of FERGUSON, in case there be any can do the same; and to furnish the said children with sufficient clothes and necessaries for their bodies, head, and feet their coats being always of a grey colour, lined, with blue sleeves." The patrons had power to send such children as showed aptitude for learning to S. Leonard's College, St Andrews, for four years; or, if they inclined to be tradesmen, to apprentice them to learn some trade, paying their apprentice fees out of the proceeds of the fund.

By an express stipulation, the patrons are empowered "to deprive and exclude from this Mortification such as are children of thieves, night walkers, breakers of yards, drunkards, whoremasters, swearers, liars, or otherwise scandalous in their lives;" and it is provided "that both of them own the Protestant religion." The funds of this Mortification at present amount to over £4,000, and are now administered under a scheme fixed by judicial authority.