“A Man of Extremes”: Politics and Piety in Samuel Rutherford of Anwoth (c. 1600-61)

Friday 26th October : 7.30pm

Celebrating Samuel Rutherford and the restoration of the Rutherford monument.  An illustrated talk by Professor John Coffey.

£2 (incl. refreshments), under 16s free  

Excursion on Saturday 27th October.  Free. No booking required.
Speaking at an international conference on Samuel Rutherford in St Andrews this spring Professor John Coffey is said to have likened the restoration of the Rutherford monument at Gatehouse to the restoration of interest in Rutherford himself.
Samuel Rutherford is best know for his letters and his polemical work Lex Rex.  He was born about 1600 and was Minister of Anwoth parish, here in Gatehouse from 1627 to 1639.  For part of that time he was banished to Aberdeen where he began an intense correspondence with his parishioners and others.  His letters proved very popular and were circulated widely.  Within 6 years of his death in 1661 the letters were collected and published and remain in print today.  In 1639 Rutherford became Professor of Divinity at St Mary's College at the University of St Andrews and was later principal of the college. In 1644 his work Lex Rex, the Law and the Prince was published, arguing that Monarchs such as Charles the First were subject to the law and did not rule by Divine Right.  Rutherford's ideas was taken up by other thinkers and had a strong influence on the framers of the American constitution.  On the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 Lex Rex was ordered to be burnt and Rutherford was accused of treason but he died in St Andrews before he could be brought to trial.
In the 1830s there was a movement to build a monument to Samuel Rutherford on the Boreland hills overlooking Anwoth and in 1842 the monument was completed.  It was struck by lightning in 1847 and rebuilt.  By 2016 the monument was again in danger of collapse and the Gatehouse Development Initiative set about raising the necessary funds to restore it.  Restoration work was completed at the end of August 2018.
We are fortunate that the expert on Samuel Rutherford will be at the Mill on the Fleet to share his thoughts on this important  Scottish Divine as we celebrate the restoration of his monument.

Samuel Rutherford