Copyright (C) 2023 by Patrick's People all rights reserved Updated 26 November 2023
arrow arrow
LESLIE, John 4th of Kininvie
(About 1580-)
OGILVY, Margaret
(About 1582-)
SHARP, William Factor to Earl of Findlater, Sheriff-Clerk of Banffshire
LESLIE, Isabella
(About 1601-)
SHARP, James Archbishop of St Andrews, Most Reverend Mr


Family Links


SHARP, James Archbishop of St Andrews, Most Reverend Mr 2 3 4

  • Born: 4 May 1618, Banff Castle, Banffshire, Scotland 5
  • Marriage (1): MONCRIEFF, Helen on 6 April 1653 1
  • Died: 3 May 1679, Magnus Muir, Fife, Scotland 3

   Cause of his death was murder.3

James married Helen MONCRIEFF on 6 April 1653.1 (Helen MONCRIEFF was born about 1630.)

  Marriage Notes:

(at Crail in 1648)

"James Sharp, pres. by John, Earl of Crawford, in 1647 ; adm. 27th Jan. 1648 ; trans, to be third professor in the New College of St Andrews 16th Jan. 1661 [afterwards Archbishop of St Andrews (q.v.)]."

from Fasti Ecclesiae (vol 5)

(Archbishops: St Andrews)

"James Sharp, born Banff Castle, 4th May 1618 [not 1613 as in Dict. Nat. Biog.], son of William S., provost and sheriff-clerk of Banffshire, and Isobel, daugh. of John Leslie of Kininvie, and grandson of David S., merchant, Aberdeen, by a daughter of Haliburton of Pitcur ; educated at King's College, Aberdeen; M.A. (1637); studied divinity under Drs John Forbes of Corse and Robert Baron ; proceeded to Oxford where he was an intimate of Jeremy Taylor ; became Professor of Philosophy, Univ. of St Andrews, 1643; ord. to Crail 27th Jan. 1648; elected one of the mins. of Edinburgh in 1650, the General Assembly sustaining his call against the refusal of the Presb., but the invasion under Cromwell intervened and prevented his acceptance. In 1651 he became leader of the Resolutioners ; on 28th Aug. that year he was made prisoner by Cromwell's forces at Alyth, and taken to London, where he lay in the Tower until 10th April 1652 when he was released on giving his bond not to remove from the city ; on 17th June he was allowed to return to Scotland, and later he was given full liberty. In 1657 he went to London to interview Cromwell on behalf of the Resolutioners, but did not succeed. In 1659 he identified himself with the programme of General Monk, and penned the Declaration which, in Monk's name, was widely circulated, and led to the Restoration. In 1660 he was one of the deputation of six ministers sent to London to represent the views of the Resolutioners, and in May he had an interview with Charles II. at Breda ; app. a royal chaplain, and had the Chair of Divinity at St Andrews, 12th Jan. 1661 ; nominated Archbishop of St Andrews and consecrated (at London) 15th Dec. following; app. a Privy Councillor in 1664. On 9th July 1668 he narrowly escaped a pistol shot in the High Street of Edinburgh by James Mitchell [Bishop Honyman of Orkney {q.v.), his companion, was wounded, and never fully recovered ; the assailant was executed in 1678]. On 3rd May 1679, at Magus Moor, near St Andrews, he met his death at the hands of John Balfour of Burleigh, and others, whose intention was the capturing or slaying of the sheriff-substitute of the shire, the chief offender in the persecution of the local Covenanters. He was buried in the parish church of St Andrews, where an ornate marble monument was erected by his son. His portrait, by Lely, is in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. By the Presbyterians, Sharp was execrated as a traitor, bent on his own aggrandisement and advancement, sharing and abetting the King's duplicity. Episcopalian opinion has regarded him as the victim of circumstance, who yielded only when he found that Presbyterianism could no longer be maintained. Recent research has not altered the first of these judgments. The editor of the Lauderdale Papers (Osmund Airy) [vol. i., p. x.] declares that 'a careful perusal of the whole series will save any future biographer from the temptation of endeavouring to palliate a life of petty meanness such as has seldom been exceeded in history. In the most comprehensive sense of the word Sharp was a knave, pur sang, and one who, to retain the price of his knavery, eagerly submitted to be cajoled, threatened, bullied, or ignored, by bolder men as served their turn.'

He marr. 6th April 1653, Helen, daugh. of William Moncrieff of Randerston, and had issue - Sir William of Scotscraig, created a Baronet 1683, died Jan. 1712 ; John, bapt. Feb. 1665 ; Isabella (marr., cont. 18th Dec. 1679, John Cunningham of Barns ; Catherine ; Margaret, born 8th Dec. 1664 (marr. 11th Oct. 1683, William, Lord Saltoun), died 1734 ; Penelope (marr. John Dubh Mackinnon of that Ilk); Agnes, buried March 1666; Robert, sheriff-clerk of Banff."

from Fasti Ecclesiae (vol 7)< 1 6


1 e-books, Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae vol. 7 Ross Sutherland Caithness etc (1928).

2 e-books, The History of the Province of Moray by Lachlan Shaw (1882).

3 e-books, Historical Records of the Family of Leslie 1067-1869 vol. 3 by Col. Leslie of Balquhain (1869).

4 e-books, The Scots Peerage ed. Sir James Balfour Paul vol. 7 (1910).

5 Internet Site,

6 e-books, Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae vol. 5 Fife Angus and Mearns by Hew Scott.

Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This website was created 26 November 2023 with Legacy 9.0, a division of; content copyrighted and maintained by website owner