Whyte2 Info 4a: Elizabeth helen Whyte, John Davidson Close info Window

Extract from the book
First 100 years of Presbyterianism on the Isle of Mann
Transcribed by Frances Coakley www.manxnotebook.com/

Mr. Davidson was a native of Auchtergaven, in central Perthshire,
where the family lived for many generations, and are still represented.
There is a tradition that they fled from the West Country to escape persecution in the days of the Covenanters and settled on the Highland Border.
Mr. Davidson was born on August 10th, 1852, and received his early education at the parish school, and later, at a revived subscription school in the village.
He afterwards went to Carlton Place Academy, Glasgow, and after spending a year or more in a merchant's office, became an agent of Glasgow City Mission.

Rev. Davidson

In 1875 he entered Glasgow University.
He took the full four years' curriculum, and, in 1879, started his theological course in the United Presbyterian Hall, Edinburgh.
On the result of the entrance examination he was awarded the MacKinlay bursary of tc30 a year for three years. Immediately his studies were completed, he took charge of a preaching station at Walton, a rising suburb of Liverpool. Within three months it was formed into a congregation, and he was invited to be the first minister. For health reasons he declined, accepting a call to Beaumont, Northumberland. He was ordained and inducted in the closing days of 1882. In 1886, he married Elizabeth Helen, daughter of the Rev. John Whyte, a United Presbyterian minister in Nairnshire.

Both at Beaumont and St. Andrew's Mrs. Davidson was a true helpmeet to her husband, and entered with zest into the work of the congregation. Four years after coming to Douglas, she had a very serious illness, which crippled her activities, but her interest in church work never flagged. During his ministry of twelve years at Beaumont the membership was greatly increased, and important additions were made to the church and manse. For several years prior to leaving, he was Clerk of Berwick Presbytery.

In January, 1895, a call was addressed to him from this congregation which he accepted, and he entered upon a long and fruitful ministry at St. Andrew's in the month following. The name of Mr. Grant Paton, a respected Liverpool elder, known in both Synod and Presbytery for his ardent support of the Sustentation Fund, should not be forgotten in connection with Mr. Davidson's happy settlement in Douglas.

wyt2info6 sheet2

At the induction service the Rev. J. Mellis, then of Southport; and a son of the first minister preached, and, as he still survives, though retired from the active ministry, there is a living link with the origin of the Church a century ago. By patient and tactful work, both in the pulpit and by pastoral visitation, the new minister gradually drew the people about him, and the first outward expression of the new spirit was the decoration of the church in 1897. At the same time the need of additional rooms for meetings was realised, and a project started to provide a new and more modern manse for the minister, thus freeing several rooms in the old manse for church purposes.
A large bazaar was organised, and with the proceeds a commodious house was purchased in Somerset Road, which visiting preachers and others have often characterised as a model manse.
It cost £800, and when the minister took possession there was not a penny of debt.

Isle of Man examiner 1908


MR. Davidson is a native of Perthshire, and received his elementary education at the parish school of Auchtergaven. From it he passed to Carlton Place Academy. Glasgow, and studied for four years at Glasgow University. He afterwards took a three years theological course at the United Presbyterian College, Edinburgh. In 1882 he was licensed by the Presbytery of Liverpool, and a few months later was ordained and inducted to Beaumont Church, Northumberland. For some years he acted as Clerk of Berwick Presbytery. In 1895 he accepted a call to St. Andrew’s, Douglas. Since his advent to Douglas, Mr Davidson has identified himself with many social and philanthropic movements, and is especially interested in the Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Animals, and the Nursing of the Poor schemes promoted by Noble’s Trustees.

Isle of Mann Examiner February 1920 Farewell meeting at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Douglas, in honour of Rev. John Davidson, who retires after a 25 years' pastorate. Isle of Mann Examiner January 1930 Death of the Rev. John Davidson, J.P., pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Douglas, from 1895 to 1920. He was in his 78th year.
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