Girish Mahajan (Editor)

James Mitchell (Scottish minister)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
James Mitchell (Scottish minister)

Very Rev Dr James Mitchell AM DD VD (1830-1911) was a Scottish minister and social organiser. He served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1901.



He was born in October 1830 in the manse, Garvock in northern Scotland the son of Rev James Mitchell, the local minister. He was educated by Dr Melvin at Aberdeen Grammar School. He entered Marischal College in 1846 studying Moral Philosophy and Logic, graduating MA in 1850. He then entered Divinity Hall in Aberdeen and studied Systematic Theology, Biblical Criticism and Theology for a further 4 years. In May 1854 he was licensed to preach at Fordoun, but almost immediately thereafter (July) was translated to be Rev Dr Barry's assistant at St Enoch's Church in Glasgow. In 1855 he moved again to Deer Church in Peterhead. He settled there for several years but in 1864 was selected to take join South Leith Church, then one of the most populated single parishes in Scotland, and a collegiate church (various ministers sharing the large task). He shared the task with Rev Henry Duff.

In 1872, following the Education Act of that year, the Dr Bells School in Leith became thereafter funded by the state and its previous endowment became unused. Mitchell organised for these funds to be redirected to create a Navigation School on Commercial Street. In the same year he organised a free soup kitchen and the building of Leith Model Lodging House (for homeless men) on Parliament Street. In 1888, linked to the Leith Improvement Scheme of that year, Mitchell organised for the owners of the various villa owners, around Leith Links to plant trees around the newly improved park.

He served on the Educational and Charitable Boards of Leith and was Chairman of the Leith Hospital Board. He travelled widely and was Convenor of the Continental Chaplaincy Committee. In 1881 Aberdeen University granted him an honorary doctorate (DD).

In 1901, at the very advanced age of 71, he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He retired in 1904 aged 74.

He died at home, 14 Abercomby Place in Edinburgh. He is buried in the northern Victorian extension to Dean Cemetery on the main east-west path. His wife Janet Stewart Sceales of Leith, lies with him.

A memorial also exists in South Leith Parish Church.


He married three times. firstly to Georgina Skelton, daughter of James Skelton, Sheriff Subsistute of Aberdeen. His second wife, daughter of Rev Charles Haycock, died in 1867. In 1875 he married his third wife, Janet Sceales.


James Mitchell (Scottish minister) Wikipedia

Similar Topics
Youre a Big Boy Now
Yves Meyer
YC the Cynic