REV. ANDREW LAIDLAW
A SON of the Rev. James Laidlaw, minister of Wanlockhead,
the minister of St. George's-in-the-Fields was born in 1845 at Fisherton,
Ayrshire, but as a child was taken to the upland village of the Lowthers, and
received his early education at the village school. Among his schoolfellows
there was the late Dr. Hastie, Professor of Divinity in Glasgow University.
Intending to become a business man, he spent three years in a commercial office
in Glasgow, but, under the influence of Dr. Robertson of the Cathedral, whose
early intimacy was to remain a force in his life, he changed his mind, and
entered the University. On receiving licence to preach, he was appointed
assistant to Dr. Burns of Glasgow Cathedral, and twelve months later, in 1870,
was ordained to the parish of Kirkpatrick-Durham, in the Presbytery of Dumfries.
There he remained for five years, till called to St. George's-in-the-Fields, to
succeed Professor Stewart of Glasgow University. Here he has one of the largest
congregations in the city, with a roll of members two thousand strong, and a
Sabbath school of a thousand children. During the thirty years of his ministry
in this charge Dr. Laidlaw has missed only a single communion service, when he
happened to be in South Africa, and from this fact, perhaps, may be gathered the
secret of his success.
In addition to the work of his great congregation, Dr. Laidlaw has done much public service. Specially interested naturally in the affairs of the southern counties of Scotland, he has long been an honorary director of the Galloway Brotherly Society, and in 1903 he was elected president of the Glasgow Dumfries-shire Society. Also in 1904 he occupied the position of president of the Society of Sons of the Clergy, which held its annual gathering in the city. The public work, however, by which he is best known is that in connection with Glasgow School Board. Of that body he was a member for some sixteen years, and was, at retiral in 1909, vice-chairman, after declining the chairmanship when elected to it in 1903. He was a member of all the committees of the Board, and convener of that on Teachers and Teaching.
In 1905 Glasgow University recognised his many zealous services by conferring on him the degree of D.D. Mrs. Laidlaw is a sister of the Right Hon. Charles Scott Dickson, one of the Members of Parliament for Glasgow, and lately Lord Advocate.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)