Nevile Davidson

Last updated

Nevile Davidson

Moderator of the General Assembly
Church Church of Scotland
In officeMay 1962 to May 1963
Predecessor A. C. Craig
Successor James S. Stewart
Other posts Minister of Glasgow Cathedral (1935–1967)
OrdinationMay 1925
Personal details
Birth nameAndrew Nevile Davidson
Born(1899-02-13)13 February 1899
North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
Died20 December 1976(1976-12-20) (aged 77)
Buried Glasgow Necropolis
Education North Berwick High School
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
New College, Edinburgh

Andrew Nevile Davidson, DL , ChStJ (13 February 1899 – 20 December 1976) was a senior Church of Scotland minister. He served as Moderator of the General Assembly between May 1962 and May 1963. [1]


Early life and education

Davidson was born on 13 February 1899 to the Revd James Davidson and his wife Constance (daughter of Sir Andrew Agnew, 8th Baronet). [1] He was a "son of the manse", as his father was a Church of Scotland minister. [2] He was educated at North Berwick High School. [1] He studied philosophy at the University of Edinburgh and graduated with an undergraduate Master of Arts (MA Hons) degree in 1921. [1] [2]

Having graduated from university, Davidson remained in academia for the next three years. From 1921 to 1924, he was an assistant lecturer in logic and metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh. [1] He worked under Professor Norman Kemp Smith. [3] During this time, he also studied divinity at New College, Edinburgh in preparation for ordained ministry in the United Free Church of Scotland. [2] [4]

Ordained ministry

From 1924 to 1925, Davidson served as an assistant minister at St George's, Edinburgh, as part of his training for ordination. [1] In May 1925, he was ordained in the United Free Church of Scotland and called to be the minister of St Mary's Church, Old Aberdeen. [3] [4] [5] It was during his time at St Mary's, in 1929, that the United Free Church of Scotland was incorporated into the Church of Scotland, and he therefore became of minister of the latter. [4] [6] In March 1932, he moved to Dundee where he had been elected the minister of St Enoch's Church; he had been the only nominee. [3] He only spent two years in Dundee before moving on. [1]

In November 1934, Davidson was elected the minister of Glasgow Cathedral in succession to the Very Revd Lauchlan Watt. [7] He took up the appointment in 1935 and remained until his retirement. [1] In 1936, he founded the Society of Friends of Glasgow Cathedral. [8] In July 1946, he was appointed a Chaplain-in-Ordinary in Scotland to King George VI; [1] [9] the appointment ended on King George's death in 1952. [1] In August 1952, he was appointed a Chaplain-in-Ordinary in Scotland to Queen Elizabeth II; [10] the appointment ended in 1969. [1] He was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, serving between May 1962 and May 1963. [4]

Davidson belonged to the high church tradition of Presbyterianism. He served as President of the Scottish Church Society twice; from 1945 to 1947, and from 1967 to 1970. [1]

Davidson retired from full-time ministry in 1967. [1]

Military service

On 21 October 1935, Davidson was appointed an honorary chaplain in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. [11] During World War II, he served as a chaplain in the British Army. From 1940 to 1942, he served as a Chaplain to the Forces attached to the 52nd (Lowland) Division, Territorial Army. [1]

Later life

Davidson died on 20 December 1976. [4] His funeral was held at Glasgow Cathedral on 24 December. [12] He is buried with his wife in Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow, Scotland. [13]

Personal life

Davidson's engagement to his future wife was announced in the newspapers on 23 November 1943. [14] On 19 January 1944, he married Margaret Helen de Carteret "Peggy" Martin (1918-1991) during a service at Glasgow Cathedral. [15] [13]


In July 1947, Davidson was appointed an Officer of the Venerable Order of St John (OStJ). [16] In June 1950, he was promoted to Chaplain of the Venerable Order of St John (ChStJ). [17] On 30 July 1962, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) to the Lord Provost of Glasgow. [18] In April 1969, he was appointed an Extra-Chaplain in Scotland to Queen Elizabeth II. [19]

Davidson was the recipient of the 1961 St Mungo Prize, awarded to the individual who has done most in the previous three years to improve and promote the city of Glasgow. [20]

Related Research Articles

Alexander Bruce, 6th Lord Balfour of Burleigh

Alexander Hugh Bruce, 6th Lord Balfour of Burleigh, was a Scottish Unionist politician, banker and statesman, who took a leading part in the affairs of the Church of Scotland. He was Secretary for Scotland between 1895 and 1903.

The Bishop of Argyll and The Isles is the Ordinary of the Scottish Episcopal Diocese of Argyll and the Isles.

The Dean of the Chapel Royal, in any kingdom, can be the title of an official charged with oversight of that kingdom's chapel royal, the ecclesiastical establishment which is part of the royal household and ministers to it.

Ordination of women in the Church of Scotland

The Church of Scotland was one of the first national churches to accept the ordination of women. In Presbyterianism, ordination is understood to be an ordinance rather than a sacrament; ministers and elders are ordained; until recently deacons were "commissioned" but now they too are ordained to their office in the Church of Scotland.

Alexander Asher Scottish politician

Alexander Asher was a Scottish politician and lawyer, who was elected as Member of Parliament for the Elgin Burghs constituency from 1881 until his death in 1905. He was also Solicitor General for Scotland on three occasions, and was Dean of the Faculty of Advocates.

William Grant, Lord Grant, was a Scottish advocate, a Unionist politician, and a judge. Born to the Grant's distillery family who created Glenfiddich whisky, he was one of Scotland's Great Officers of State for the last twelve years of his life.

The Ecclesiastical Household is a part of the Royal Household of the sovereign of the United Kingdom. Reflecting the different constitutions of the churches of England and Scotland, there are separate households in each nation.

Ronnie Selby Wright

The Very Rev. Ronald William Vernon Selby WrightCVO TD JP FRSE FSAScot was a Church of Scotland minister. He became one of the best known Church of Scotland ministers of his generation and served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1972/73.

Iain Torrance

Iain Richard Torrance, is a retired Church of Scotland minister, theologian and academic. He is Pro-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, Honorary Professor of Early Christian Doctrine and Ethics at the University of Edinburgh, President and Professor of Patristics Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary, and an Extra Chaplain to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland. He was formerly Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland, and Dean of the Order of the Thistle. He is married to Morag Ann, whom he met while they were students at the University of St Andrews, and they have two children.

Idris Jones 20th and 21st-century Scottish Anglican bishop

Idris Jones is a retired Anglican bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church. He was the Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway from 1998 to 2009 and was als Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church from 2006 to 2009.

Sir Thomas David King Murray, Lord Birnam, was a Scottish advocate and judge who served for two years as Unionist Member of Parliament (MP).

James Hutchison Cockburn was a Scottish scholar and Church of Scotland clergyman.

David Alexander Syme Fergusson is a Scottish theologian. He is Professor of Divinity at New College in the University of Edinburgh. In April 2021, he will take up the post of Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He is a minister of the Church of Scotland.

John McIntyre (1916–2005) was a Scottish minister and theologian. He was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1982/83 and Chaplain to the Queen in Scotland from 1990 to 1996.

James Leslie Weatherhead was a minister of the Church of Scotland and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 1993–1994.

Charles Warr

Very Rev Charles Laing Warr KCVO DD FRSE DL LLD (1892–1969) was a Church of Scotland minister and author in the 20th century.

Hugh Osborne Douglas was an eminent Church of Scotland minister in the 20th century.

Archibald Main, was a Scottish ecclesiastical historian, Church of Scotland minister, military chaplain, and academic. From 1915 to 1922, he was Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of St Andrews. From 1922 to 1942, he was Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Glasgow. He served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from 1939 to 1940.

Charles William Gray Taylor

Charles William Gray Taylor was a 20th-century Scottish minister who served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1942.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "DAVIDSON, Very Rev. (Andrew) Nevile". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. April 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 "Glasgow Cathedral Vacancy". The Courier and Advertiser (25394). 24 October 1934. p. 7.
  3. 1 2 3 "New Dundee Minister Elected". The Courier and Advertiser (24568). 2 March 1932. p. 7.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Very Rev Dr Nevile Davidson". The Times (59894). 23 December 1976. p. 12.
  5. "Minister of Glasgow Cathedral". Aberdeen Press and Journal (24903). 25 October 1934. p. 6.
  6. "Leaving St Mary's Church". Aberdeen Press and Journal (24100). 30 March 1932. p. 8.
  7. "Dundee Minister Elected". The Evening Telegraph and Post (18081). 7 November 1934. p. 3.
  8. "Friends of Glasgow Cathedral". Glasgow Cathedral. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  9. "No. 37670". The London Gazette . 30 July 1946. p. 3887.
  10. "No. 39616". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 August 1952. p. 4200.
  11. "No. 34215". The London Gazette . 1 November 1935. p. 6901.
  12. "Court Circular". The Times (59896). 29 December 1976. p. 10.
  13. 1 2 "Margaret Helen De Carteret Martin Davidson". Find a Grave. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  14. "News". The Courier and Advertiser (28228). 23 November 1943. p. 2.
  15. "Former Dundee Minister Weds". The Courier and Advertiser (28277). 20 January 1944. p. 3.
  16. "No. 38010". The London Gazette . 8 July 1947. pp. 3132–3133.
  17. "No. 38952". The London Gazette . 23 June 1950. pp. 3258–3259.
  18. "No. 42746". The London Gazette . 31 July 1962. p. 6096.
  19. "No. 44827". The London Gazette . 15 April 1969. p. 3935.
  20. "AP Somervillen". A P Somerville. The Glasgow Story. Retrieved 5 August 2017.