Rev William Masterton (1816-1895)

Reverend William Masterton (1816-1895)

Free Church minister

William studied at University and New College, Edinburgh, and was ordained at Inverkeillor in 1848. For several years he was clerk of the Presbytery of Arbroath. In 1872 he received from the King of Denmark the order of the Dannebrog (Knight of Denmark) in recognition of the services he rendered to young Danes who were engaged in the study of agriculture in Forfarshire. He became a senior minister in 1880. Later that year he gave evidence in a high profile divorce case involving the Rev. Lilley of Arbroath and his wife Margaret Salmond. He was one of the witnesses called by the defence (Mrs Lilley).


William Masterton, minister of Inverkeillor Free Church, was the eldest son of Alexander Masterton, blacksmith, and Helen Honeyman. He was born in Larbert and married Janet Lumsden and is a member of the large connected family of Mastertons that flourished in Culross.  Fuller details of the extended family of the Reverend William Masterton are given in the following link. His elder son, Robert Alexander Masterton studied law but died at the age of 24. His second son James Lumsden Masterton, became a bank manager.

2. For translation of English into Latin.
Thomas Brydon, Lochmaben; William Masterton, Larbert; Charles Roberts, Tillicoultry....

The Scotsman
8th May, 1841

ARBROATH. - The Free Presbytery of Arbroath held its usual meeting on Wednesday. Having resumed consideration of the Inverkeillor call in favour of Mr Masterton, they sustained it. Mr M. intimated his acceptance of it, and his trials were appointed.

Aberdeen Journal
Wednesday 9th August, 1848


At Pitcairnfield, on the 26th ult., by the Rev Professor Lumsden, the Rev William Masterton, of the Free Church of Inverkeillor, to Janet, daughter of the late Mr James Lumsden, Dysart, Fifeshire.

Dundee Courier
3rd August, 1859

At Waulkmills, on the 6th inst., by the Rev. William Masterton, Free Church, Inverkellor (sic), Mr Robert Forbes, farmer and flaxspinner, Hatton of Braco, to Jane Mathew, eldest daughter of Mr James Hynd, farmer Baysack Mills.

Caledonian Mercury
Tuesday 13th December, 1859

BIRTHS: MASTERTON At the Free Church Manse, Inverkeillor, on the 5th inst., Mrs Masterton, of a son.

Dunfermline Press
Wednesday 16th December, 1863

FREE CHURCH SYNOD OF ANGUS AND MEARNS.- - The autumn meeting of this Synod was held in Arbroath yesterday. The opening sermon was preached by the retiring Moderator, Mr Inglis, Dundee. After which, Mr Masterton, Inverkeillor, was appointed Moderator. In accordance with previous intomation, Mr Wilson, Dundee, having been appointed one of the clerks of the General Assembly, resigned his office as clerk to the Synod, to which office Mr Mitchell, Craig, was elected. Several reports by committees were given in.

Edinburgh Evening Courant
28th October, 1868

ARBROATH FREE PRESBYTERY. - The monthly meeting of this Presbytery was held yesterday - Rev. Mr Masterton, Inverkeillor, moderator. Rev. Mr Braidwood, deputy from the Foreign Missions Committee, addressed the Presbytery in support of the scheme for providing manses for the missionaries of the Church in India and Africa, after which the Presbytery, on the motion of Dr Crichton, expressed their approbation of the scheme, and agreed to recommend it very cordially to the members of the Free Church within their bounds. Mr John Chalmers, preacher of the Gospel, and lately assistant to the Rev. Sir Henry Moncreiff, Edinburgh, having been elected minister of Ladyloan congregation, gave his trial discourses, and the Presbytery appointed his ordination to take place on Thursday the 20th inst. Mr Salmond gave in a report on the Duncan Bursary Trust, which is for the education of young men within the Arbroath distrct for the ministry of the Free Church. This was the first year of the distribution, and the bursars appointed by the committee of the Presbytery, after examination, were Messrs David Carnegie, John Jamieson, David D. Ormond, David Young, and J.F. Anderson. Fromn the usual statement as to the Sustentation Fund, it appeared that for the four months to 15th September there was a decrease of 5, 17s. in the contributions within the bounds of the Presbytery.

The Scotsman
6th October, 1870

MINISTER KNIGHTED BY THE KING OF DENMARK. - The Free Church Presbytery of Arbroath met yesterday - the Rev. Mr Innes, Panbride, moderator. The usual returns were given in, when it appeared that an increase in the Sustentation Fund for the past three months had been over £25. It was intimated that at next meeting the "Mutual Eligibility Scheme" would be considered. It transpired at the meeting that since they had last met one of their number, the Rev. Mr Masterton of Inverkeillor, had received the honour of knighthood from His Majesty the King of Denmark. The order is that of the Danneborg, and is in recognition of services rendered by Mr Masterton to the Danish Agricultural Society. Mr Masterton received the congratulations of his brethren present.

Dundee Courier
5th September, 1872

MINISTER KNIGHTED BY THE KING OF DENMARK. The Free Church Presbytery of Arbroath met on Wednesday, when it transpired that since they had at last met one of their number, the Rev. Mr Masterton of Inverkeillor, had received the honour of knighthood from His Majesty the King of Denmark. The order is that of the Danneborg, and is in recognition of services rendered by Mr Masterton to the Danish Agricultural Society. Mr Masterton received the congratulations of his brethren present.

Aberdeen Journal
Wednesday 11th September, 1872

Edinburgh, Wednesday Night: - ...... Rev. Mr Masterton, Free Church minister, Inverkeiller, stated that his impression at the meeting the deputation had with Mrs Llley was that she was willing for a reconciliation. The position Mr Lilley took up was somewhat of a defiant position. When it was stated to him that it was desirable that he should do something to abate the great scandal, his answer was that his door was open, but that he would not lift his finger to do anything else. As to the scene with Mr Comrie at the Presbytery,witness said Mr Comrie had made some remark about the duty of the Presbytery to Mrs Lilley, and Mr Lilley sprang foward to where Mr Comrie was standing, and taking hold of his coat with one hand, he held up his other hand in Mr Comrie's face, and charged him with being a coward, and said that if he would come out for five minutes he would show him that. Witness did not form any idea at the time as to what Mr Lilley meant by that.

By the COURT - Mr Lilley was angry and very much excited at the time....

The Glasgow Herald
9th December, 1880

The Aberdeen Journal

FASHIONABLE WEDDING IN ABERDEEN - Yesterday afternoon the marriage of Miss Margaret Lumsden Masterton, daughter of Rev. Sir W. Masterton and Mrs Masterton of Inverkeillor, Forfarshire, with Octavus Emil Adolph of Bodal, Denmark, was celebrated in Ferryhill Free Church. There was a large and brilliant assemblage of ladies, the area of the church being completely filled. The Rev. W. Nixon, late of St John's, Montrose, officiated. The bridesmaids were Miss Masterton, Edinburgh; Miss Leeman, Aberdeen; Miss Margaret Lumsden, Pitcairnfield; Miss Amy Lumsden, Aberdeen. The father and the mother of the bride were present, and among those who were also present at the ceremony were Mr and Mrs Franz Adolph, Copenhagen; Mr and Mrs Lumsden, Ferryhill House; Mr and Mrs David Lumsden, Pitcairnfield, Perth; Mr and Mrs Robert Salmond, Fernlee, Arbroath; Mrs Nixon, Montrose; Mrs Macdonald, Kepplestone; Mr and Mrs J. R. McCombie, Mr J. Murray Garden, advocate, and Mrs Garden; Dr and Miss Binnie, Rev. C. A. Salmond, Glasgow; Rev. James Innes, Panbride; Rev. David Carnegie, Culsalmond; Rev. Professor Salmond, D.D., Aberdeen; Rev. James Iverach, Ferryhill; and Rev. James Selkirk, Free East Church. At the conclusion of the marriage ceremony the newly-wedded pair received the hearty congratulations of their relatives and friends; and as they retired from the church the organ pealed forth Mendelssohn's Wedding March - Miss Smith, Ferryhill Place, presiding. The praise was conducted by Mr H. Souper. After the ceremony Mr and Mrs Lumsden entertained the wedding guests to luncheon at Ferryhill House, which was decorated with flags, the entrance door being beautifully adorned with pot plants. The wedding party were photographed in front of the house. This is the second marriage which has taken place within the Ferryhill Free Church.

The Aberdeen Journal
Thursday, 15th June, 1882

THE MODERATOR OF THE ENSUING GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE FREE CHURCH. - The Rev. John Adams, B.D., Aberdeen, was on Thursday ordained to the pastoral charge of Inverkeillor Free Church, Presbytery of Arbroath, as colleague and successor to the Rev. Wm. Masterton, who retires from the active duties of the pastorate after a ministry of forty years.

The Scotsman
15th December, 1888