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which salary is declared to be by and attom the casualties, which formerly belonged to the rea ders and clerks of the Kirk session. And if the heretors or major part of them shall not convene, or being convened shall not agree among themselves, then, and in that case, the Presbytery shall apply to the Commissioners of the supply for the shire, who, or any five of them, shall have power to establish a school, and setttle and modify a salary for a schoolmaster, not being under one hundred merks, nor above two hundred merks yearly, as afore; and to stent and lay on the same upon the heretors conformably to their valued rent, which shall be as valid and effectual as if it had been done by the heretors themselves. And because the proportion imposed upon every heretor will be but small, therefore, for the better and more ready payment thereof, it is statuated and ordained, that if two terms proportions run in the third unpaid, then those that so fail in payment, shall be liable in the double of their proportions then resting, and in the double of every term's proportion that shall be resting thereafter, until the schoolmaster be completely paid; and that without defalcation. And that letters of horning,


and all other executorials necessary be directed at the instance of the schoolmaster, for payment of the said stipend, and double of the propor tions in manner aforesaid; and discharges all suspensions to pass against schoolmasters of the salaries, except upon consignation or a valid discharge and if any suspension be past, that the lords discuss the same summarily, without abiding the course of the roll. And it is hereby declared, that life renters, during the lifetime, shall be liable in payment of the proportions imposed on the lands life rented; and execution, in manner foresaid, shall pass against them for that effect; and the heretors shall be always free of the same during the life renter's lifetime. And if any person find themselves wronged by the inequality of the proportions imposed, it shall be lawful for them to seek redress thereof before the commissioners of supply, sheriff of the shire, or other judge competent, within the space of a year and a day after the imposing of the stent, and no otherwise. And also it is declared, that the providing of the said schools and schoolmasters is a pious* use within the parish, to which it

* There was a circumstance in the religious establishment both of Scotland and New England, extremely favourable to

shall be lawful leisinne to patrons, to employ the vacant stipends as they shall see cause; excepting from this act the bounds of the synod of Argyle in respect, that by a former act

these schools, the co-operation of the parochial clergy. The period preparatory to holy orders, was very generally filled up by the exercise of the duties of the parish school

master. This has many advantages. It prepares the clergy for those parochial functions, which they are going to sustain. It gives consequence and consideration to these seminaries of instruction, on account of the literary and respectable character of the masters thus acquired: and it affords a provision for the scholar, in the interval between the period of his education and of his admission to the exercise of his religious functions. It is thereby, in many instances, not only contributory to the future usefulness and respectability of the clergyman, but it is convenient to his present pecuniary circumstances. These advantages are still further extended in Scotland, by that which exists only partially in the other parts of the British empire; the constant residence of the parochial clergy. "The clergyman," says Dr. Currie," being every where resi"dent in his particular parish, becomes the natural patron " and superintendant of the parish school; and is enabled in

various ways to promote the comfort of the teacher, and "the proficiency of the scholars. The teacher himself is "often a candidate for holy orders, who, during the long

course of study and probation required in the Scottish "church, renders the time, which can be spared from his pro"fessional studies, useful to others as well as to himself, by "assuming the respectable character of schoolmaster." Dr. Beattie was educated at one of these parish schools; and on his quitting the Marischall College at Aberdeen, was five years schoolmaster of the little obscure parish of Ferdoun; where he continued his studies, and produced some of his most beautiful poetical compositions..

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of Parliament, in the year one thousand six hundred and ninety, the vacant stipends within the said bounds are destined for the setting up and maintaining of schools in manner therein mentioned: and the said vacant stipends are hereby expressly appointed to be thereto applied, at the sight of the sheriff of the bounds foresaid. And lastly, His Majesty with the advice and consent aforesaid, ratifies and approves all former laws, customs, and constitutions, made for establishing and maintaining of schools within the kingdom, in so far as the same are not altered nor innovate by this pre

sent act.

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October 2, 1807.




DE IT ENACTED,* That every town within this province, having the number of fifty householders or upwards, shall be constantly provided of a schoolmaster, to teach children and youth to read and write. And where any town or towns have the number of one hundred families, or housholders, there shall also be a grammar school + set up in every such town, and some discreet person of good conversation, well instructed in the tongues, procured to keep such school; every such schoolmaster to be suitably encouraged and paid by the inhabi


* Reports, Appendix to Vol. III., this Act for the support of FREE SCHOOLS was passed in 1692.

+ Many of these free schools were kept by young men, who had just taken their bachelor's degree, at Harvard College, and were looking forward to holy orders; filling up this interval with occupation, which, at the same time that it offered a supply towards the expense of their education, afforded not merely a preparation for the general object to which they were to be devoted, but a personal and practical knowledge of those persons, for whom, and for whose reli gious instruction, they were to be ordained.

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