Review: Fasti of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland

  • Part I, 1840-1870; Part II, 1871-1890; Part III, 1891-1910.
  • Compiled by John M. Barkley.
  • Published by the Presbyterian Historical Society, 1986-7.

Anyone who, over the years, had made use of the Fasti of the Irish Presbyterian Church (1613-1840) must have often wished that the publication of the Fasti might have been continued down to more recent times in the history of the Church. But the immensity of the ask was however, so daunting that nothing was done, until about five years ago, when Dr. John M. Barkley responded to a request from the Hon. Secretaries of the Society and set about the work in his usual methodical fashion.

The number of hours spent in collecting and collating details of ministers, from the Minutes of the General Assembly, Minutes of Presbyteries, Journals, Newspapers, and other sources, is known only to the compiler! Some indication, however, of the vast amount of research involved may be indicated by noting that the names of over 1,500 ministers, together with details of place of birth, education, date of licensing, ordination and installation(s), marriage and other family information, publications and date of death, are given (where possible). In addition there are lists of statistics regarding the number of ministers who served in Ireland; those who served, in part or whole, Overseas; educational establishments attended; the trades and professions of ministers' fathers, etc.

Dr. Barkley modestly refers to his work as "a first draft, rather than a finished work"; but he has so thoroughly plumbed the depths of every available source that this publication is destined to be the definitive work on the Fasti of the Church for the period 1840 -1910.


This review was originally published in The Bulletin of the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland, March 1988.