Robert Norrie 1647-1727

From Book Owners Online

Robert NORRIE OR NORIE ca.1647-1727

Biographical Note

Son of Robert Norrie, incumbent of Lethnot and Lochlee. He received his MA from St Leonard’s College, University of St Andrews 27th July 1667. He was ordained a minister of the Church of Scotland on 30th May 1678. Norrie served as Incumbent of Dunfermline between 1678 and 1686. He was appointed Incumbent (2nd charge) of South Church, Dundee in 1686, serving alongside Robert Rait ca.(1651-1704). Norrie refused to pray for the new monarch William of Orange, and subsequently came under sentence of deprivation from the Privy Council 29th August 1689.

Norrie and Rait established a meeting house at Dudhope for their Episcopalian congregation, where they remained until 1703, despite the efforts of Privy Council to have them removed. Owing to the support of the Episcopalian and Jacobite dominated town council, Norrie and Rait were allowed to erect a new meeting house in the Seagate in Dundee in 1704, where Norrie remained until his death. After the 1715 Jacobite rising and the subsequent election of a Presbyterian town council, Norrie came under a sentence of deposition 26th December 1716 for disloyalty. He prosecuted before the Lords of Justiciary on 29th July 1717 for “intruding into parish churches, leasing-making and praying for the Chevalier.” He was consecrated Bishop of Brechin in 1724. Norrie married Isabel Guthrie, eldest daughter of John Guthrie of Westhall, in April 1708.


The full extent of Norrie’s library is unknown. Books which have been identified include the work of the exiled Scottish Catholic Nicole Burne The disputation concerning the controuersit headdis of religion (Paris, 1581); Philosophiae naturalis adversus Aristotelem (Amsterdam, 1649) (U 888.5) by French natural philosopher Sébastien Basson, which argued against the natural philosophy of Aristotle; Johannes Buxtorf's Hebrew Manual (Basel, 1613), afterwards owned by George Bruce, Master of Dundee’s Grammar School. Norrie also owned George Gillespie's A Dispute Against the English-Popish ceremonies obtruded on the Church of Scotland (London, 1637), held by Dundee Central Library. Gillespie’s work argued against the Episcopal innovations of in the seventeenth-century Scottish Church.

Norrie had antiquarian interests, evidenced by his ownership of the unique medieval Manuscript Historia Norwegie, held by the National Records of Scotland. The MS is bound with Fasciculus temporum omnes antiquorum cronicas complectens, a world chronicle from Genesis to the era of Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484), by Werner Rolewinck (Strasbourg, 1487). The title page is inscribed by Norrie. The latter also has an inscription recounting how it was presented by Bishop Robert Reid of Orkney to his chamberlain Thomas Tulloch in the year 1554. After Norrie, the bound volume then passed into the ownership of the Earl of Panmure, and was kept at Brechin Castle.

Characteristic Markings

Books identified as Norrie’s are inscribed “Robert Norie mnr att Dundie”

Inscription of Robert Norrie (Dundee Central Library)