Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Rev. Robert Craighead

Male Abt 1633 - 1711  (~ 78 years)

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  • Name Robert Craighead  [1
    Prefix Rev. 
    Birth Abt 1633  [2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Death 22 Aug 1711  Londonderry, Londonderry, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5
    Person ID I20496  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of TWK
    Last Modified 20 Nov 2020 

    Family Agnes Heart,   b. Bef 17 Dec 1648 
    Marriage Abt 1668  [3
    +1. Rev. Thomas Craighead,   b. Abt 1670, Donoughmore, Donegal, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. Apr 1739, Newville, Cumberland, Pennsyvania Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 69 years)
    +2. Katherine Craighead,   b. Abt 1673, Donoughmore, Donegal, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 10 Apr 1754, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 81 years)
    Family ID F12324  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 21 Dec 2018 

  • Notes 
    • From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

      Craghead, Robert (c. 1633–1711), minister of the Presbyterian General Synod of Ulster and author, was born in Scotland to unknown parents and graduated MA from the University of St Andrews in 1653. In 1658 he commenced his ministry in Donoughmore, co. Donegal. In 1661 he was one of thirty-six Presbyterian ministers in Ireland ejected from his parish for refusing to conform to the established church. He remained with his people and contrived to exercise an effective ministry among them. The troubles of 1689 drove him and his family into the besieged city of Londonderry, and from it to Glasgow, where for a time he ministered in a congregation.

      On 1 July 1690 he was called to be minister of the Presbyterian congregation in Londonderry, and remained there until his death. The bishop of Derry from 1691 to 1702 was William King, afterwards archbishop of Dublin. King had already crossed swords with Joseph Boyse, minister of Wood Street congregation in Dublin, on the subject of Presbyterian worship, hoping to persuade his readers to follow his own pilgrimage from Presbyterianism to Anglicanism. His representations of Presbyterian practice were factually incorrect, and Craghead felt impelled to answer them in two pamphlets, An Answer to a Late Book Intituled ‘A Discourse Concerning the Inventions of Men in the Worship of God’ (1694) and An Answer to the Bishop of Derry's Second Admonition to the Dissenting Inhabitants of his Diocese (1697). Neither work reveals Craghead as a particularly effective controversialist. His replies to King are orderly, thorough, and factual. They contain a wealth of information about Presbyterian life and spirituality, and especially about Presbyterian public worship. They confirm the very large numbers attending Presbyterian services in north-west Ulster at this time. While Boyse and Craghead display common purpose in their defence of Presbyterian forms of worship, it is fascinating to discern contrasting views on points of detail. Boyse reflects the broader and more English practice of Dublin Presbyterianism, while the stricter Ulster-Scot ethos of northern congregations is firmly embodied in Craghead's work. Craghead's pamphlets lack the grace of Boyse's writing, and the fire of good polemic, but are none the less an important contribution.

      Craghead's other writings were of a devotional and practical kind. His Advice for the Assurance of Salvation (1702) and the posthumous Walking with God (1712) have both been lost to posterity. His Advice to Communicants was first published in Glasgow in 1695, and was reprinted several times. It was an attempt to deal with many of the problems and difficulties felt by the ordinary people with whom Craghead worked as a pastor. It is a rich treasure house of Christian devotion and evidences the scrupulous care given by Craghead and others of his generation to the doubts and questions of his people. Through all his writings runs a firm Calvinist theology. Craghead married Agnes, daughter of the Rev. John Hart, minister of Taughboyne, and they had three sons: Thomas, Robert, and Samuel. Craghead died in Londonderry on 22 August 1711.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1579] The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States, Who Were Themselves Notable or Left Descendants Notable in American History by Gary Boyd Roberts. Second edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2022.

    2. [S2647] Charles Edward Banks, "Diary of Reverend William Homes." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 48:446, 1894; 49:413, 1895; 50:155, 1896.

    3. [S376] Janet and Robert Wolfe Genealogy.

    4. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004-ongoing.

    5. [S4303] Lineage of the Bowens of Woodstock, Connecticut by Edward Augustus Bowen. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Riverside Press, 1897.