Cromarty East Church. SRCT.
Conservation News

Sir Thomas Urquhart Conference

03 February 2011

Sir Thomas Urquhart print

Sir Thomas Urquhart, born 400 years ago in 1611 is one of the  liveliest characters in Cromarty history.

To celebrate his life as Royalist soldier in the Civil war, inventor of a universal language and translator of Rabelais (amongst other feats) the Cromarty Arts Trust is holding a two-day conference in Cromarty this spring.

On Friday 15 April and Saturday 16 April people will be gathering from far and wide to learn more about his extraordinary life, the world in which he lived and his influence today.

Speakers at the event will include David Alston, well known to followers of the East Church conservation story, novelist Andrew Drummond, poet Richie McCafferty and professors from across Britain and the Atlantic.

The East Church will have its own small part to play in the occasion, as Clan Urquhart will be hosting a reception in the church on the Friday evening.

The East Church has its own tales to tell about Sir Thomas, as one of our first records of the building is as a result of him writing about an argument with the minister. The occasion was the putting up of a desk (table seat) in the church, without the minister, Gilbert Anderson, first seeking permission. As principal landowner in the parish, Sir Thomas would have expected such a request as his due.

wall plague to Sir Thomas Urquhart, East Church CromartySir Thomas writes that following this dispute Gilbert Anderson

‘did so rail against him and his family in the pulpit at several times . . . more like a scolding tripe-seller’s wife than good minister . . . squirting the poison of detraction and abominable falsehood, unfit for the chaire of verity, in the eares of his tenandry, who were the only auditors’.

Much more recently, in 1938, the Saltire Society put up a commemorative plaque to Sir Thomas showing that he was then, and continues to be an influence on modern writing.

You can find out more, and book a place at the conference on the Cromarty Arts Trust website.

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