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Robert Leighton

1611-1684. Archbishop of Glasgow. Graduate of Edinburgh University, he was ordained in 1641 when he became minister of Newbattle, which post he relinquished on appointment in 1653 as principal of Edinburgh University. On the reimposition of the episcopal system he was “reordained” and consecrated bishop of Dunblane in 1661. A man of ascetic habits, he gave his entire income, apart from his own frugal expenses, to the poor, but his passive acquiescence in the government's persecution of the Covenanters* has tarnished his reputation-though he described persecution as “scaling heaven with ladders fetched out of hell.” His ruling passion was to achieve the unity of the Church in Scotland, to further which aim he reluctantly became archbishop of Glasgow in 1670. Disappointed in his quest, he retired to Sussex and engaged in works of charity. Among his devotional writings is a notable commentary on 1 Peter.