Alexander Orrock 1652-1711

From Book Owners Online
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

Alexander ORROCK 1652-1711

Biographical Note

Born in Fife to Alexander Orrock of Orrock and Elizabeth Wemyss, the sister of John Wemyss of Bogie. He was educated at St Salvator's College, St Andrews, where he received his M.A. in July 1668. The next nineteen years of his life are unknown, but in 1687 he was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of St Andrews. He was a determined opponent of episcopacy, and after several arrests and imprisonments, was inhibited from preaching. In 1692, after the revolution settlement, he was called to the charge of St Andrews, but the synod refused to settle him there. Consequently he was admitted to the charge of Hawick, in the Scottish borders, where he remained as minister until his death in 1711. He left 9000 merks for the endowment of a grammar school; 1600 merks for the poor of the parish; and 4 silver communion cups and a baptismal basin to the Church.


Orrock bequeathed his library to his successor as minister of Hawick, which were deposited in the National Library of Scotland in 1980, catalogued under 'Orr'. 41 volumes survive, comprising mostly of 17th-century theological works, including several works on Socinianism, such as the French protestant Samuel Marensius treatise against the Socinianism of Johannes Völkel Hydra Socinianismi expugnata (Groningae, 1662)(NLS Orr.8). Orrock also owned an 8 volume folio set of Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum quos Unitarios vocant, a collection of writings by Polish Unitarians, first published in 1665 (NLS Orr.15-22).

Further research is required to establish whether Orrock inscribed his books, whether the surviving volumes are the full extent of his library, and indeed whether all books deposited at the NLS belonged to Orrock, as at least one was printed after his death.

  • NLS Orrock Collection]
  • Scott, Hew et al. Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae: The Succession of Ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation, 9 vols, new edn. Edinburgh, Oliver & Boyd, 1915–61.