FERGUSON (FERGUSSON), DAVID: Scotch Reformer; b., perhaps at Dundee, c. 1525; d. at Dunfermline (16 m.n.w. of Edinburgh), Fifeshire, Aug. 13, 1598. He was a glover by trade, but later acquired an education, though there is no evidence that he ever attended a university. He was one of the earliest teachers of the Reformed doctrines, being chosen pastor at Dunfermline in the first appointment of ministers in Scotland in 1560. In 1567 he was also made pastor of Rosyth, for which Cumnock and Beith were substituted in 1574. He preached before the regent at Leith on Jan. 13, 1571-72, protesting against the alienation of the estates of the Church for the personal use of the nobility or governmental purposes. This sermon received the approval of the General Assembly of the same year, and was heartily indorsed by John Knox. Ferguson was moderator of the General Assembly in 1573 and again in 1578, and for a number of years he was one of the assessors to the moderator. His acquaintance with James 1. as well as his ready wit, caused him to be repeatedly chosen one of the deputies of the General Assembly when it wished to bring matters to the attention of the king, and in Aug., 1583, he was one of the seven ministers cited by the king to attend a convention held at St. Andrews to answer for certain proceedings of the Assembly. At the meeting of the Synod of Fife at Cupar in Feb. 1597-98, Ferguson was the oldest minister in Scotland, but was still able to protest vigorously against any measure which he considered conducive to the reintroduction of episcopacy into Scotland. The works of Ferguson were: An Answer to an Epistle written by Renat Benedict, the French Doctor, to John Knox (Edinburgh, 1563); the sermon already noted (1572); the posthumous Scottish, Proverbs (1641); and Epithalamium mystieum Solomonis regis, sine Analysis eritico-poetics Cantici Canticorum (1677). His T;-acts were edited at Edinburgh for the Bannatyne Club in 1860.
Bibliography: John Row, Historie of the Kirk of Scotland (Wodrow Society publication), Edinburgh, 1842; Introductory notice to the Bannatyne Club's reprint of Ferguson's Tracts, ib. 1869; Hew Scott, Fasti ecclesiee Scotean'e, II., ii. 565-566, 3 vols., ib. 1866-71; DNB, xviii, 341-342.
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