Erskine, Henry

, a Scotch divine, was one of the younger of the thirty- three children of Ralph Erskine, of Shieltield, a family of considerable antiquity in the county of Merse, and descended from the noble family of Marr. He was born at Dryburgh, still the family-seat of the Buchan family, in 1624, where he received the rudiments of his education, and in 1650 took the degree of M. A. in the university of Edinburgh. He was ordained to the ministry by the presbyterians in England, to the Jiving of Cornhill, in | Durham, but soon after was ejected by the act of uniformity, on which he returned to his own country; but the persecution carried on at that time in Scotland against the presbyterians, obliged Mr. Erskine to take refuge in Holland, whence the want of the common necessaries of life induced him again to return to his native country, where he was apprehended and committed prisoner to the Bass, a strong fort in the mouth of the Forth. There he continued near three years till, through the interest of the then earl of Marr, his kinsman, he was set at liberty but such was the violence of the times, that he was again driven from Scotland. In 1687, when king James’s toleration, was proclaimed, Mr. Erskine embraced it; and on the re-establishment of presbytery in 1690, he was appointed minister of Churnside in the county of Berwick. He died August 10, 1696, aged sixty-eight, much respected by all who knew him, and left behind him several manuscripts, elucidating difficult passages in scripture; but these having been written in Latin, none of them were ever published. 1


Life of his son, ubi infra.—Calamy.