GEORGE HAY – Convert and
compatriot of Knox

Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae,
H Scott (1915) rev 1917, 1920
vol 6 p 294 Rathven, 1558

GEORGE HAY, born about
1530, was a younger son of William H., fifth of Talla, Tweedsmuir, and
Janet Spottiswood of that family. He appears first as rector of Rathven on
10th July 1558, and held the benefice in conjunction with Eddleston by a
dispensation from the Pope. He conformed at the Reformation and retained
both charges. On 19th Jan. 1560 he granted the kirk lands of Rathven and
Eddleston to his brother William Hay of Barro. On 24th Oct.
1561, at a meeting held in the study of James M’Gill at Edinburgh, he
supported the proposal to deprive Queen Mary of the Mass.

 As min. of Eddleston,
he attended the General Assembly, 29th June 1562, when he was app. to
preach throughout Carrick along with the Superintendent, John Willock, and
another. Knox preached in Kyle, the result of their co-operating labours
being a large accession to the Protestant cause and the subscribing of a
covenant at Ayr on 4th Sept. Knox mentions that soon afterwards, when the
Abbot of Crossraguel presented himself in Maybole to dispute about the
Mass, “the voyce of Maister George Hay so effrayed him, that efter ones he
wearyed of that exercise.”

On 8th May 1563 he sold the
prebendal manse of Eddleston, on the north side of Rotten Row, at Glasgow,
to his brother Andrew, rector of Renfrew. At a later date he signed
various charters as Canon of Glasgow. In a minute of the General Assembly,
30th Dec. 1563, he is called ” minister to the Privy Council,” and in 1564
he is spoken of as “minister to the Court.” In 1565he had a commission
from the Assembly to visit kirks, schools, and colleges, to eradicate
idolatry, etc., from Dee to Spey. In subsequent Assemblies he took a
prominent part and acted on the chief committees and commissions. [ cont
]]. In 1567 he had a third of the stipend of both his charges on condition
that he adequately supplied that at which he did not usually reside, andin
1568 he was sharply rebuked for failing to implement this with respect to
Eddleston. On 5th March 1570 he was elected Moderator of Assembly, and
desired to be relieved of his duties as commissioner in the north, but
that was not done. In 1574 Forsken, Dundurcus,and Bellie were in this
charge. In 1575 he was app. commissioner of Caithness. In 1577 he was app.
one of the deputies to the General Council at Magdeburg for constituting
the Augsburg Confession. Next year, on 25th July, Parliament app. him a
Visitor for the College of Aberdeen. In 1585 he appears as commissioner
for Banff; died in 1588.

He marr. Marion Henderson
of the Fordel family, who died Oct. 1577, and had issue George of Rannes,
died v.p.; James of Rannes, ancestor of that family, died about 1630
William, tailor burgess, Edinburgh; Janet.