Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

SECEDE, v. Sc. usage, in reference to the Secession from the Church of Scotland in 1732 of a group of ministers led by Ebenezer and Ralph Erskine in protest against limitations in the powers of a congregation to appoint its minister. The word ‘secession' was used in this protest but the dissenters called themselves formally “The Associate Presbytery” and after expulsion from the Church of Scotland in 1740 formed themselves and their followers into an independent church which was itself later split in 1747 into a Burgher and Antiburgher Church, these two being again split into Old and New Light sections (see Light, II. 5.). The New Light churches reunited in 1820 as the United Secession Church (the first official use of the name Secession), and the Old Light in 1842, with the name of the Synod of Original Seceders. The Secession Church amalgamated with the Relief Church in 1847 as the United Presbyterian Church, q.v., now merged with the Church of Scotland in 1929, the Original Seceders following in 1956.

Hence Seceder, Secehder, Secaider, and erron. form Sinceder (Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 76; Abd. 1904 E.D.D.), a member of any of the branches of this church; Seceding. [sə′sid, ‡-′sed] Sc. 1740  Acts Gen. Assembly 7:
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland . . . proceeded to the Affair relating to the seceding Ministers.
Sc. 1743  J. Currie New Testimony 1, 3:
The Objections raised against that Work by sundry, particularly by the Seceding Brethren. . . . Many are of Opinion 'tis washing a Blackmore to endeavour the Conviction of Seceders.
Sc. 1746  E. Erskine in
J. McKerrow Hist. Secession Ch. (1839) I. 265:
In this, your noble family and we who are Seceders from the Established Church, do happily agree; for our Secession from the present judicatories goes purely and only upon this very ground.
Sc. 1772  Edb. Ev. Courant (29 June):
During the administration of the holy sacrament in a seceding congregation at Pathhead.
Abd. 1779  Aberdeen Jnl. (1 Feb.):
[He] is a Seceder, and speaks much in their Manner and Dialogue.
Bwk. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 XVI. 355:
All the parishioners are staunch Presbyterians either of the Establishment or of the Secession; the Seceders are not above 1 in 12 in proportion to the adherers to the Kirk.
Sc. 1819  Scots Mag. (July) 75:
The committees appointed by the Associate and General Associate Synods, to deliberate on the proposed union between the two great bodies of Seceders.
Peb. 1836  J. Affleck Poet. Wks. 130:
Tam nails them aff a short petition Wi' a lang seceder face.
Sc. 1839  J. McKerrow Hist. Secession Ch. I. 183:
The pronouncing of the sentence of deposition against the eight brethren [in 1740], made the separation betwixt the Secession and the Establishment final.
Abd. 1877  W. Alexander Rural Life 3:
The “Seceder”, when, in due time, he became an existing entity, here and there, was ordinarily regarded, and described as a pestilent fanatic.
Slk. 1875  Border Treasury (20 March) 383:
Religious — I dinna mean Seceder-faced.
Sc. 1887  Jam., Memoir 15:
One of the most important public affairs in which Dr Jamieson was ever engaged. was bringing about the union of the two branches of the Secession, the Burghers and Antiburghers.
Abd. 1891  T. Mair Arn And His Wife 63:
He leukit to be steerin' for The new Secaider kirk.
Fif. 1897  D. Pryde Queer Folk 7:
Their religion, too, was of the olden type. They were Original Seceders, would not enter an Established Church, travelled miles to attend a Dissenting Chapel, believed every iota of the Bible and the Confession of Faith, kept the Sabbath strictly, abhorred novels as “parcels o' lees”, and looked upon food that had not been consecrated by a long grace as absolute poison.
Sc. 1906  Rymour Club Misc. 33:
There was an auld Seceder Cat, and it was unco gray, It brocht a moose into the hoose upon the Sabbath day.
Abd. 1936  Abd. Univ. Review (July) 199:
The orra man wiz a Secehder born.
Sc. 1956  Scotsman (17 May) 7:
Nine of the 12 congregations of the United Original Secession Church are to accede to the Church of Scotland, it was unanimously decided at a meeting of the Synod of the Secession Church in Glasgow yesterday.

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Secede v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down