James Pitt-Watson

James Pitt-Watson (9 November 1893 – 25 December 1962) was a notable 20th-century Scottish minister and academic. He was Professor of Practical Theology at Glasgow University and served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1953.[1] He has been described as an "ecclesiastical politician".[2]

James Pitt-Watson
Moderator of the General Assembly
ChurchChurch of Scotland
In office1953 to 1954
PredecessorGeorge Johnstone Jeffrey
SuccessorErnest David Jarvis
Personal details
Born9 November 1893
Died25 December 1962(1962-12-25) (aged 69)
OccupationChurch minister and academic


James Pitt-Watson was born on 9 November 1893. He was educated at George Heriot's School, an independent school in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied and trained for ministry at the University of Edinburgh.[3]

Pitt-Watson was ordained for the Church of Scotland in 1920.[3] He was minister of St. Mungo's Parish Church in Alloa church in central Scotland from 1929 to 1946.[4] During his time as Moderator he presented a Bible to Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation, saying, "Here is wisdom, this is the royal law, these are the lively Oracles of God."[5] Other duties as Moderator included opening the new church at Colinton Mains in south-west Edinburgh[6]

He died on Christmas Day, 25 December 1962. His obituary was written by the Very Rev A C Craig.[7]


He was father to Rev Prof Ian Pitt-Watson (1923-1995).[8] Through his son Ian, he is grandfather to the Scottish businessman, David Pitt-Watson.


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