Wodrow, Robert

, a Scotch ecclesiastical historian, son to the rev. James Wodrow, professor of divinity in the university of Glasgow, was born there in 1679, and after passing through his academic course, was chosen in 1698 librarian to the university. He held this office for four years, during which he had many valuable opportunities for indulging his taste in the history and antiquities of the church of Scotland. In 1703 he was ordained minister of the parish of Eastwood, in which humble station he continued all his life, although he had encouraging offers of greater preferment in Glasgow and Stirling. He died in 1734, at the age of fifty-five. He published in 1721, in 2 vols. folio., a “History of the singular sufferings of the Church of Scotland, during the twenty-eight years immediately preceding the Revolution,” written with a fidelity which has seldom been disputed, and confirmed, at the end of each volume, by a large mass of public and private records. In England this work has been little known, except perhaps by an abridgment in 2 vols. 8vo. by the Rev. Mr. Cruickshanks, but since the publication of the historical work of the Hop. Charles James Fox, as well as by the writings of Messrs. Sommerville and Laing, it has greatly risen in reputation as well as price. “No historical facts,” Mr. Fox says, “are better ascertained than the accounts which are to be found in Wodrow. In every instance where there has been an opportunity of comparing these accounts with the records and authentic monuments, they appear to be quite correct.” Mr. Wodrow also left a greafc many biographical memoirs of the Scotch reformers and presbyterian divines, which are preserved in the university library of Glasgow. 1


Encyclop. Britannica, last edition.