A native of Troqueer, this free church minister was also an author and poet.

William Maxwell Hetherington, born 1803 - died 1865.

WILLIAM MAXWELL HETHERINGTON, D.D., LL.D., was born June 4, 1803, in the parish of Troqueer, which, though adjoining the town of Dumfries, is situated in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. His early education was of the most limited character, and he was nineteen years of age before he began the study of Latin or Greek. After nine months of instruction in the classics he enrolled himself as a student in the University of Edinburgh, where he afterwards attained a high rank for scholarship. During his college days he devoted much of his leisure to the cultivation of his poetic proclivities, celebrating the scenes and manners of his native county. In 1829 he published his first work, entitled "Twelve Dramatic Sketches, founded on the Pastoral Poetry of Scotland," full of gentle feelings, lively pastoral descriptions, and agreeable pictures of Scottish character; but the failure of Mr. Hetherington's publisher prevented the volume meeting with the success which it would otherwise have had. In these “Sketches" the young author introduced a number of songs in the style of the "Gentle Shepherd," many of them very beautiful and popular.

Mr. Hetherington was licensed as a probationer of the Established Church, and in 1836 was ordained to the ministerial charge of the parish of Torphichen, in the presbytery of Linlithgow. He proved an eloquent preacher, and although diligent in the discharge of his pastoral duties, he found time in his sequestered rural charge for the prosecution of literary composition. In 1838 he produced perhaps the most popular of his works, The Minister's Family, which had a large circulation in Great Britain and the United States. Three years later he published the History of the Church of Scotland, his most important contribution to literature, and the one by which he will be best known to posterity. This was followed in 1843 by his History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines.

Mr. Hetherington took a leading part in the "Non-intrusion" controversy, and at the secession in 1843 he joined the Free Church of Scotland. He was afterwards transferred to St. Andrews, that his talents might be turned to account not only in gathering an influential congregation, but in instructing the Free Church students attending the university in that town. During the first year of his residence here he established the Free Church Magazine, which he continued to edit till the year 1848, when he accepted the position of minister of Free St. Paul's Church, Edinburgh. During his residence in Edinburgh he was a frequent contributor to the reviews and religious periodicals, especially the British and Foreign Evangelical Review. In 1857 he was unanimously appointed by the General Assembly to the chair of Apologetics and Systematic Theology in the Free Church College of Glasgow. He died May 23, 1865, and in accordance with his own request was buried in the Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh, the last resting-place of Hugh Miller, Dr. Chalmers, and Dr. Guthrie.

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