Cowper, William

, bishop of Galloway, was born at Edinburgh in 1566, and at eight years old was sent by his father to the school of Dunbar, where he made great proficiency in grammar-learning, and evinced a pious disposition, which adhered to him throughout life. Five years | after he studied at the university of St. Andrew’s, but made less progress in philosophy than in divinity, to which he was particularly attached. On his return home in 1582, his parents recommended various pursuits, hut his inclination still being to that of divinity, he resolved to go to England, in which, as he informs us, lie arrived but scantily provided; yet just as he had spent the little money he brought with him, he was engaged as an assistant teacher with a Mr. Guthrie, who kept a school at Hoddesden, in Hertfordshire. There he remained three quarters of a year, and having occasion to go to London, was hospitably received by the famous Hugh Broughton, who assisted him for the space of a year and a half in his theological studies. At the age of nineteen he returned to Edinburgh, was admitted into the church, and appointed to preach at the parish of Bothkenner in Stirlingshire. When he arrived at this his first charge, he found a church almost in ruins, without roof, doors, pulpit, pews, of windows, yet such was the effect of his labours, that in less than half a year, the parishioners bestowed a complete repair on the church, with suitable ornaments. From this place, in about eight years, he was removed to Perth, where he continued to preach for nineteen years, not only on the Sundays, but every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evening. About the close of this period he was appointed by king James, on the recommendation of some prelates whom his majesty consulted, to be bishop of Galloway, in which see he continned until his death, Feb. 15, 1619, at which time he was also dean of the Chapel Royal. His works were afterwards collected and published at London in one volume folio, 1629, consisting of treatises on various parts of scripture, many of which were originally delivered as sermons, and left by him in a fit state for the press They breathe, says a recent writer, a spirit of cordial piety, and if we consider the time and country of the writer, the simplicity and strength of his style maybe thought peculiarly worthy of commendation. He introduces several of his religious treatises with a variety of dedicatory epistles, which shew that his ardent devotion was united to great elegance of manners. He appears to have been familiar with many illustrious persons of his time, and there is a sonnet prefixed to his commentary on the Revelation, by that adjrurable Scotch poet, Drummond of Hawthornden. 1

1 Taken chiefly from “The Life and Death of bishop Cowper, &c.London,