Atkins, James

, bishop of Galloway in Scotland, was the son of Henry Atkins, sheriff and commissary of Orkney, and was born in the town of Kirkwall, in the stewartry of Orkney. He was educated in the college of Edinburgh, where he commenced M, A. and from thence went to Oxford in 1637-8, to finish his studies Under the tuition of Dr. Prideaux, the regius professor of divinity. Soon after he was appointed chaplain to James marquis of Hamilton, his majesty’s high-commissioner for Scotland, in which station he acquitted himself so well, that, by the application of his noble patron upon his return to England, he obtained from the king a presentation to the church of Birsa, in the stewartry of Orkney. Here he continued some years, and his prudence, diligence, and faithfulness in the discharge of his office, procured him much veneration and respect from all persons, especially from his ordinary, who conferred upon him the dignity of Moderator of the presbytery. In the beginning of 1650, when James marquis of Montrosc landed in Orkney, Dr. Atkins was nominated by the unanimous votes of the said presbytery, to draw up a declaration in their names, | containing the strongest expressions of loyalty and allegiance to king Charles II., for which the whole presbytery being deposed by the assembly of the kirk at that time sitting at Edinburgh, Dr. Atkins was likewise excommunicated as one who held a correspondence with the said marquis. At the same time the council passed an act for the apprehending and bringing him to his trial but upon private notice from his kinsman sir Archibald Primrose, then clerk of the council, he fled into Holland, where he lay concealed till 1653, and then returning into Scotland, he settled with his family at Edinburgh, quietly and obscurely, till 1660. Upon the restoration of the king, he accompanied Dr. Thomas Sydserf, bishop of Galloway (the only Scotch bishop who survived the calamities of the usurpation) to London, where the bishop of Winchester presented him to the rectory of Winfrith in Dorsetshire. In 1677, he was elected and consecrated bishop of Murray in Scotland, to the great joy of the episcopal party; and, in 1680, he was translated to the see of Galloway, with a dispensation to reside at Edinburgh, on account of his age, and the disaffection of the people to episcopacy. At this distance, however, he continued to govern his diocese seven years, and died at Edinburgh of an apoplexy, October 28th, 1687, aged seventy -four years. His body was decently interred in the church of the Grey-friars^ and his death was extremely regretted by all good and pious men. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. II, Bio. Brit.