Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, H Scott (1915) rev 1917, 1920
vol 5 p 239 St Andrews Second, 1697

ALEXANDER SHIELDS, born 1661, son of James S., miller, Haughhead, parish
of Earlston, Berwickshire, and Helen Brown, and brother of Michael S.,
author of Faithful Contendings Displayed; educated at Univ. of Edinburgh,
where he graduated M.A., ” with no small applause,” whilst in his
fifteenth year (7th April 1675). He studied theology at Utrecht. On
returning home he made his way to London, was amanuensis to John Owen, D.D.,
and came into close touch with some of the leading Puritans, who persuaded
him to accept licence as a preacher. In 1684 he was ord. min. of a
congregation meeting in the Embroiderers Hall. On11th Jan.1685 he was
apprehended while preaching in a private house in .Gutter Lane, from the
words in Genesis xlix., 21: ” Naphtali is a hind let loose,” afterwards
the title of his famous Treatise and was confined in Newgate. After the
death of Charles II. he was sent to Scotland and kept for a time in the
Edinburgh Tolbooth, whence he passed to the dungeons of the Bass. After
fourteen months he was again brought to Edinburgh and offered his liberty,
on condition that he would cease from preaching and “live orderly.” That
he declined to do, and was recommitted to the Tolbooth, but escaped in
female disguise about the end of Nov. 1686. Next month he cast in his lot
with James Benwick, whose biographer he became. The two became fast
friends, and collaborated in writing the Informatory Vindication, for
which Renwick was condemned. S. was asked to superintend its publication,
but failed to find a printer. He crossed to Holland, saw the work through
the Press there, and busied himself with the completion of his Hind. After
the Revolution he joined the Church of Scotland, and was received into
communion, 25th Oct. 1690, with his associates, Thomas Linning and William
Boyd. On4th Nov. 1691 he was adm. chaplain to the Cameronian Regiment
serving in the Netherlands, and was present at Namur and Steinkerk. On the
Peace of Ryswick he returned home, was called this charge 4th Feb. 1696,
and adm. 15th Sept. 1697. Appointed senior min. to the Second Darien
Expedition, he sailed in the “Rising Sun”  24th Sept. 1699, his charge at
home being supplied by brethren in his absence. It is to be noted that S.
and his companions were really the first foreign missionaries of the
Church of Scotland, the Commission of Assembly having, on 21st July,
charged them” particularly that you labour among the natives for their
instruction and conversion, as you have access.” On the failure of the
Expedition, he sailed for Scotland, heartbroken by the profligacy of the
settlers and the little success his labours had met among them, but died
of malignant fever in the house of Isobel Murray, Port Royal, Jamaica,
14th June 1700. All attempts to identify his burial-place have failed. He
was unmarr. Descendants of his brother Michael, who accompanied the
Expedition, and of other members of his family are still found in Jamaica.
S. was ” of low stature, ruddy complexion, quick and piercing wit, full of
zeal, and firm in the cause he espoused; pretty well skilled in most
branches of learning, in arguing very ready, only somewhat fiery; but in
writing on controversy he exceeded most men of that age.”