Collection MS 9 - The Glasite Church

Identity area

Reference code

MS 9

Title

The Glasite Church

Date(s)

  • 1728-20th century (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

2.2 linear metres

Context area

Name of creator

(1725-)

Administrative history

Reverend John Glas (1695-1773), while Presbyterian minister at Tealing (Forfarshire) in 1725, set up a society of nearly one hundred people for monthly celebration of the Lord's Supper and closer religious fellowship.
In 1729 he published "Testimony of the King of Martyrs", embodying his opposition to interference of the Solemn League and Covenant. In 1728, the Synod of Angus and Mearns suspended him as minister, which was confirmed in 1730 by the General Assembly.
He set up a church in Dundee whose members became known as Glasites and, in 1733, built their first meeting house in Perth where he was helped by his son-in-law Robert Sandeman. Other churches in Scotland followed and then in England; Robert Sandeman exported the faith to America where its followers became known as Sandemanians.
Central beliefs of the Glasites include the view that Christ's Kingdom is purely spiritual and wholly separate from the state, "the agape" (Love Feast), the osculum pacis (Kiss of Peace) and ritual washing of feet. Glas also introduced the idea of a simple meal at the church for worshippers, hence the church gaining the nickname of the Kail Kirk.
The last of the Sandemanian churches in America ceased to exist in 1890. The London meeting house finally closed in 1984 and the last Elder of the Church died in Edinburgh in 1999. Many Glasites joined the general body of Scottish Congregationalists, and the denomination may now be considered extinct.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Congregational and membership lists comprising original and copies of lists of members of the Glasite church across Scotland, England and North America, many with annotated comments and details of baptisms, marriage and death. Service registers noting dates of services and texts for the day. Ceremonies, ordinations, procedures and prayers comprising notes and other papers relating to baptism, death, ordinations and marriages. Sermons, discourses and exhortations comprising papers, notebooks, drafts and letters with devotional and theological poems, hymns, notes and letters, mainly concerning the beliefs and debates of the church. Copies and original correspondence relating to individuals and congregations, concerning family and congregational news, disputes and schisms, and the life of the church in the 20th century. Scrapbooks and letter books containing copy and original correspondence between individuals and churches, notes and news cuttings, often concerning church disputes on matters such as ‘the eating of blood and of things strangled’. Journals and narratives comprising transcriptions of letters, narratives, accounts and diaries describing events and activities of members of the church'.
Property and land records comprising plans and correspondence and petition relating to the building of the Edinburgh meeting houses and their sale. Accounts, invoices and receipts, tenders, promissory notes and correspondence mainly relating to the Barony Street Chapel, Edinburgh. Engravings, photographs and postcards featuring members of the church. Newscuttings, histories, lectures, articles and other ephemera. Correspondence and papers relating to various persons' research into the Church, mainly addressed to Gerard Sandeman. Notes and documents relating to births, deaths and marriages of Glasite families. Items used within church services

Accruals

Not expected

System of arrangement

Usually chronological within broad series subjects. The arrangment and description of the original deposit has been subsumed by a complete rearrangment which took into account several deposits made over several years. Many of the records describe bundles and files of papers, sometimes of a mixed nature, which were put and kept together by the various depositors and which have not been divided by the archive.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act (2018), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, 2018) and any other relevant legislation or restrictions. Clinical information is closed for 100 years.

Conditions governing reproduction

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges may be made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply; please check with the Duty Archivist.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Descriptive Lists

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Name access points

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Description control area

Description identifier

MS 9

Rules and/or conventions used

Description compiled in line with the following standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) General International Standard Archival Description; International Council on Archives, ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families; National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997

Status

Catalogued

Dates of creation revision deletion

Originally arranged and described by Michael Bolik. Newer deposits meant rearrangement and listing by Jan Merchant, Senior Archivist, 2019-2020

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

Accession area

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Related genres