SON of a man of business in Newcastle-on-Tyne, Dr. Corbett
was born in that city in 1837. He was educated, first at a school in Newcastle
kept by an uncle, and afterwards for five years at Croft House Boarding School.
It was the headmaster at Croft House, Mr. Joseph Coulthard, who first suggested
to him the ministry as a calling. He attended Glasgow University, studying in
the old classrooms in High Street under Professors Ramsay, Lushington, Buchanan,
Fleming, Blackburn, Thomson ( Lord Kelvin), and Weir. And he afterwards took his
theological course at the U.P. Divinity Hall in Edinburgh under Drs. Eadie,
Lindsay, McMichael, and Harper.
Subsequently he went to Berlin and Heidelberg and attended the classes of Professors Hengstenberg, Steinmeyer, and others. He received license from the Presbytery of Newcastle, and shortly afterwards obtained no fewer than four calls, to Burton-on-Trent, Alexandria, Kilcreggan, and Cape Colony. He accepted Kilcreggan, and was ordained there, June 17, 1862. Seven years later he was transferred to Coupland Street, Manchester, as successor to Dr. Scott, who had been appointed Home Mission Secretary to the United Presbyterian Church. In 1874 he was chosen the first minister of Camphill Church, Glasgow, in which charge he has since remained, and in 1884 he received the degree of D.D. from Glasgow University.
While in Kilcreggan Dr. Corbett did a considerable amount of editorial work in connection with the serial publications of Messrs. Blackie & Son. Afterwards, in Manchester, he acted as secretary to the Nonconformist Association called into existence especially for the furtherance of educational policy in view of Mr. Forster's Bill. And after returning to Scotland he was for several years editor of the United Presbyterian Magazine, now no longer published.
Camphill Church, of which Dr. Corbett has been minister for some thirty-five years, has over 1,000 members, and an annual income of more than £2,500, and it carries on a large mission work, especially in the district of Tradeston. On the occasion of his semi-jubilee as minister of the congregation, Dr. Corbett was presented with a number of valuable gifts.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)