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Symson, Andrew

Record IDcni00058655
Last Edit2014-03-14

General Note

Son of Andrew Symson 'Minister of God's Word', born about 1638, possibly in England. Andrew was the youngest son, was educated at Edinburgh High School and Edinburgh University and graduated in arts 19 July 1661. He had already at that date taken up a place as usher at Stirling Grammar School 2 March 1661. He was licenced to preach in January 1663 and settled in Kirkinner. This was the unhappy time when James II was persecuting the Ministers of the Church of Scotland and Symson was one of the young ministers sent to fill the gaps in the local ministry, and found himself preaching to an empty church. From time to time he had to hide, and eventually the Earl of Galloway took him into his own house for his protection. During this time he served as Clerk to the Synod of Galloway. At some time after he became Minister of Kirkinner, he married Jane Inglis. In a certificate of 15 October 1684, they had two sons over the age of 12, Andrew and David. The youngest son Matthias was born about 1672, and so does not appear on the certificate. On 12 January 1686 he was presented to the parish of Douglas. In 1689 he was outed by hs parishoners because he had been 'obtruded on them without their consent and lawfull call' and on 23 March 1692 the parish was declared vacant. Mr Andrew. Burgess and Guild Brother 'late Minister at Kirkinner, therafter at Douglas by right of admission of Bailie Alexr Baird 24 March 1697. "In 1700 Mr. Matthias Symson, a student in Divinity, set up a small house; but he, designed to prosecute his studies, left the house to his father, Mr. Andrew, one of the suffering clergy, who kept up the house till about a year ago (1712) that he died." “Watson”. The laws of Scotland in matters criminal. In 1700 he started printing on his own account. He frequently uses a monogram of the letters M and S, presumably a device cut for his son Matthias. Andrew Symson died 20 January 1712. “EBS.iii.v”. "Catalogues of Mr Symson's books will be publish'd next week, both of those to be exposed by auction and those to be exposed by lottery." “Scots Post-Man” 1 July 1712. The National Library of Scotland has “Bibliotheca Symsoniana; a catalogue of books in the library of the late ... Andrew Symson”. Edinburgh, 1712. Andrew Symson was the author or editor of a number of works, the most important being “A large description of Galloway”, not published until 1823. He printed his long poem “Tripatriarchicon; or, The lives of the three patriarchs... digested into English” in 1705. Apprentices: John Harvie 3 January 1707; Robert Fleming 8 February 1710, Guild Brother 31 August 1748. There is some biographical information in the manuscript notes to a copy of his “A Letter from Mr Andrew Symson to Mr William Forbes” (NLS MS Acc 9596).

More Information

Dates of Activity1697-1711
Activityprinter and bookseller
Online Ressourcehttp://www.nls.uk/
Scottish Book Trade Index online (list)

Place of Activity

Place of ActivityEdinburgh
Shop at the West End of the High Exchange (1711)
Edinburgh; At the foot of the HORSEWYND

Related Entries

See alsoSYMSON, Matthias, printer, Edinburgh, c. 1672- (1700)
Printing office (1697 - 1711)
at the foot of the Horse Wynd in the Cowgate, **Edinburgh


HeadingSymson, Andrew
used in: National Library of Scotland, Scottish Book Trade Index


Found inDNB [under Simson]. — Watson 18. — EdinBurg. — Aldis 1904. — NLS Impr Ind. — W.J. Couper 'Andrew Symson: printer and poet' “Scottish History Review” xiii 47-67 (1916)