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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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JARDINE, ROBERT (1840-1924)

JARDINE, ROBERT, Presbyterian minister, St Andrew's Church, Chatham, 1878-81; b. Augusta, Grenville Co., Ont., 19 Jun 1840, s/o John J. Jardine and Jean McCreath, natives of Girvan, Ayrshire, Scotland; m. 1873, Agnes Hunter, of Glasgow, Scotland; d. New York City, 10 Jan 1924.

Robert Jardine was descended from a Dumfriesshire family of some distinction, one branch of which had settled in Ayrshire several generations prior to his birth. Among his Canadian relatives were Robert and Alexander Jardine, leading Saint John businessmen in the middle years of the 19th century.

Jardine was educated at the grammar school in Brockville, Ont., and the universities of Queen's (BA 1863, MA and BD 1866) and Edinburgh (DSc 1867). Upon completion of his studies he joined the faculty of the University of New Brunswick as professor of philosophy. It was hoped that he would help infuse new life into the provincial institution, but after only two years he resigned and went back to Scotland, where he made a decision to become a missionary.

Ordained in 1870, Jardine spent seven years in India, mainly as head of the theological training college connected with the University of Calcutta. He was married in Calcutta in 1873 and had two sons born there. In those years, he was a contributor to The Calcutta Review and other distinguished periodicals and had two books published, one of which was a textbook entitled The Elements of the Psychology of Cognition (London, 1874).

Jardine returned to Canada in 1878 and was inducted in December of that year as the minister of St Andrew's Church, Chatham. He was much respected by the congregation and was popular throughout the Miramichi community as a public speaker. He sometimes appeared on the podium in support of local causes, as he did in 1881 when he spoke on "The Great Pyramid" to help raise funds for St Mark's Church at Douglastown. A colleague observed that he had "high culture" but was "not a recluse or a bookworm." He remained until April 1881 and then went back to Brockville. He later occupied pulpits at Prince Albert and other centers on the Prairies.

In 1893 Jardine left the Presbyterian church because of "altered views on orthodox doctrines." Between 1895 and 1898 he was pastor of the short-lived Church of Our Father (Universalist) in Chicago. Nothing is known of the church affiliations of his later years, when he resided in Pecatonica, Illinois, St Louis, Missouri, and possibly elsewhere. In 1921, three years before his death, he returned to live in Brockville. It is stated in Fasti Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ that he was "a man of great force of character, widely versed in philosophy, and a preacher of distinction."

Sources

[b/d] FES [m] Telegraph 17 Dec 1873 / Advance 20 Jan 1891; Advocate 25 Dec 1878; Appleton's; Cyclo. Can. Biog. 1886; Gleaner 5 Oct 1867; Jack, D.; MacMillan DCB; Telegraph 28 Apr 1881; Walkington; UNB Mem. Vol.


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