Article XI written by Alexander Gunn aka A Native of Badbea was printed in the Northern Ensign on 29 January 1880 – Part C
Rev Samuel Campbell“Mr McLauchlan was succeeded by Mr Campbell, who was well known to the present generation - a most amiable, kind, and simple-minded man - but not a great preacher. His other qualities, however, endeared him very much to the people under his charge.”
“Mr Campbell was in Berriedale when the memorable Disruption took place, and he at once cast in his lot with the non-intrusion party. I well remember the day when a deputation from Edinburgh and the Presbytery were to expound the principles of the Disruption to the Berriedale congregation. We met in the church and the proceedings had begun, when a messenger arrived from Auchastle from the laird prohibiting the use of the church for the meeting. All at once the order was obeyed, and we retired to the church-yard, the speakers standing in the shelter of the end of the church, as it was a very stormy day, with wind and rain.”
”Mr Campbell left manse and church cheerfully, and there was not a minister in the Free Church that had to submit to more inconvenience for conscience sake than Mr Campbell. Near the close of his ministry a comfortable manse and church were provided for him at Balnabruich, Dunbeath, where he ended his days in peace, respected while he lived, and much regretted when he died.”
|The comfortable Berriedale Manse left by Mr Campbell||Leaving the Manse - Annals of Disruption|
Rev Angus Logan“The gentleman who succeeded Mr Campbell in Berriedale entered the fold, not by the door, but climbed in another way, and we will leave others to sound his praises. He had no congregation however. The whole congregation with three or four exceptions followed Mr Campbell.”
The Church at Berriedale:
|The Berriedale Church||A Scottish Sacrament by Henry John Dobson|
There had long been a Church of Scotland in Berriedale. In 1823 the Commissioners of Parliament commissioned Thomas Telford, Civil Engineer, to undertake the construction of 31 Highland churches and 42 manses throughout Scotland. Following the granting of suitable land by James Horne, proprietor of Langwell Estate, the Berriedale Church with its distinctive bell tower and manse was completed in 1826.
James HorneA stone plaque was placed over the door of the Berriedale church stating: "On the application of James Horne of Langwell, who granted all the required Accommodations Lands etc Gratis 1826
|Source: Bill Fernie Caithness.org|
James Horne, the owner of the Langwell estate, was the person referred to in Alexander Gunn’s article as the Laird from Auchastle. There are many stories of the cruel and heartless treatment and evictions of tenants on the Langwell estate by James Horne. Now losing patronage and power was serious stuff for him. At the disruption many other proprietors, seeing the establishment being rejected, also took a hard line, leaving ministers and parishioners in extreme hardship. Later Horne dismissed a factor [leaseholder] because he had kind-heartedly let the congregation worship in an old building. James Horne would have known of the sufffering of the minister and school teacher as detailed below but obviously was totally devoid of any sympathy.
The disruption was the result of tensions within the Church of Scotland, between the Moderates, who were interested in their position within the established church, and the Evangelicals who were strict Calvinists. The British Parliament allowed wealthy landowners to appoint ministers to local churches (see the notices above where the King or Queen appoint). The Evangelicals wanted freedom from the state, and the right of congregations to elect their own ministers. Many Evangelicals decided to leave the established church.
At the opening session of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1843, the Evangelicals read a statement that it was impossible to hold a free assembly of the church. They then went to another hall and organized the first General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland. The event came to be known as the Disruption.
About 450 ministers and laity of the Church of Scotland, gave up all claims to income, churches, professorships, and ministers’ homes provided by the established church. Over time the new Free Church of Scotland church set up voluntary funds that supported ministers, built new churches, homes, and schools. But the hardships many ministers and their families endured for years were severe. Anyone found supporting the dissenting ministers was also dealt with harshly by the landowners. Thus the disruption had a huge effect on Scottish life and culture.
|The Disruption Assembly By David Octavius Hill|
What is known about Samuel Campbell?
In Annals of the Disruption. By Thomas Brown, Pub 1893, are the following fascinating statements by Rev Samuel Campbell minister of Berriedale:
- We suffered much hardship as a congregation. We could not get sites for our church and manse for eleven years. , . . The teacher and myself lived in a most miserable place. The people would not dare to receive us into their houses. The teacher, therefore, put a temporary roof upon the ruin of an old cottage.
- In that miserable place we lived for seven years. ...
- If there were heavy rain during the night, there was a pool of water before my bed to welcome my rising in the morning.
- If there was high wind, the ashes were blown up in my face.
- The wind had free course under the foundation, the house having been built upon a heap of stones.
- It was so damp and cold that I had to wear my greatcoat at the fireside.
- I felt, by degrees, that my life was in danger. My feet began to swell much from the dampness of the place. ... I walked about a great deal, to prevent my getting worse, if possible.
- One night I was awakened from sleep by a tremendous noise on the roof of the house, very like the noise of people in danger of shipwreck on the sea-shore. There was a great storm of wind, which was carrying away the roof. The noise was made by men, who came together to keep the roof on the house, if possible. They raised their voices to the highest pitch, the wind was so high that they could not otherwise hear each other.
- But, in spite of all their exertions, the roof was carried away, and the curtains of my bed had enough to do to withstand the storm. They have been more than once, upon other occasions, flapping about me like the sails of a ship in a storm.
- Feeling my life thus exposed to danger, I set about building a school-house and teacher's dwelling-house—the teacher's house first. We entered the teacher's house before it was plastered. We had to remove from one room to another till it was finished. It was very damp and uncomfortable, but better than the place we were in."
- These trials passed away. Twelve years after the Disruption saw the congregation in a new church and the minister in a comfortable manse.
- Though he had been thus successful after a fight so hard, he shows little disposition to take credit either for his trials or his success. " We are apt," he says, " to complain of our trials and losses, but what are they in comparison with those of the first preachers of the Gospel? We have suffered much, yet it is not impossible that some may have suffered as much for His sake, and have forsaken His service at last.
- We have need of praying, like David, ' Lord, search me, and know my heart : try me, and know my thoughts.' We have need of the operation of the Holy Spirit to number us among the blessed." Pages 185 & 186
|It is hard to imagine how bad the old cottage was||These two pictures are the remains of old cottages at Badbea|
- At Berriedale, in Caithness, the congregation obtained the use of a cottage, an old schoolhouse. After trying for a considerable time to meet in the open air, by permission of the factor they took possession of this cottage, enlarged it for the purpose, and used it for many years, till in 1857 their church was built—the only subject of regret being, that the factor was dismissed, losing his situation, as was believed, because of the considerate kindness he had showed to the people. Page 214
- Mr. Campbell, of Berriedale, Caithness, states: " I preached during the winter and spring of 1843-4, from October till May, and was not once interrupted by a shower of rain or snow all that time, and I preached almost always in the open air. Such a circumstance would seem to me incredible had I not experienced it. ... I could not but look upon it as an evidence of God's approval of our conduct, in separating from the Establishment in the circumstances." Pg 224
|Meeting for Worship from Annals of the Disruption|
- Another who went for a time to labour in the same country –Mr Campbell, of Berriedale, in Caithness – states his experience: “During the winter and spring of 1843, the work was very heavy, for the excitement caused by the Disruption – the hunger and thirst of the people for hearing the Word – was very great. They were not satisfied with hearing on the Sabbath; we required to preach to them on week-days also, not only in the open air during the day, but at night also in private houses. In the Island of Islay I preached forty times in two weeks. Their earnestness was the same everywhere, and the opportunity of preaching the word was remarkable during the whole of the year. Pg 374
|Preaching at the sea-side||Parishioners walk out of church in protest at the unpopular appointment of a minister in the parish of Marnoch, Strathbogie in 1841.|