Thomas Murchison

The Very Rev Thomas Moffat Murchison DD, MA (1907-1984) was an eminent Church of Scotland minister and Scottish Gaelic scholar.[1]

Early life

He was born 27 July 1907,[2] in Glasgow and brought up on the family croft in Skye.[3] He was educated at Kylerhea Primary School, Portree High School and Trinity College, Glasgow.[3]


In 1958 he was a Bard of An Comunn Gàidhealach.[3]

He was Minister of Glenelg from 1932 to 1937; St Columba Copland Road Church Glasgow from 1937 to 1966; and of St Columba Summertown Church, Glasgow from then until 1972.[4] He was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from 1969 to 1970.[5][6] He was the first Gaelic-speaking moderator since 1948 when Rev Dr Alexander Macdonald held the position.[3] He expressed concerns about support for crofters and the importance of developing the Western parts of the Highlands.[7]

He died on 9 January 1984.[8]

Personal life

Murchiston married Mary Black Morton Philp (1913-2010) in 1940.[9] He had two daughters, Anne and Fiona, and a son, Andrew.[3]


  1. Amongst others he wrote "The Plight of the Smallholders", 1935; "Alba: A Miscellany", 1948; " The Golden Key", 1950; and "The Gaelic Prose Writings of Donald Lamont" > British Library website accessed 15:17 GMT 15 March 2011
  2. “Who was Who” 1897-2007 London, A & C Black, 2007 ISBN 9780199540877
  3. "Former Bard is nominated as moderator". The Glasgow Herald. 16 October 1968. p. 1. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  4. "Death of Dr Thomas Murchiston". The Glasgow Herald. 11 February 1984. p. 6. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  5. The Times, Saturday, May 31, 1969; pg. 9; Issue 57574; col A Church And Nation
  6. "Moderator off on tour". The Glasgow Herald. 2 June 1969. p. 1. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  7. "Moderator urges more development in West Highlands". The Glasgow Herald. 19 September 1969. p. 5. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  8. The Very Rev Thomas Murchison Churchman and Gaelic scholar The Times Thursday, Jan 26, 1984; pg. 14; Issue 61748; col G

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