James Hamilton (1814-67)

Scottish Presbyterian minister and botanist

James Hamilton, D.D. (1814-67) was a Scottish Presbyterian minister and author of biographies, tracts, hymns, memoirs, and bible studies. He earned an M.A. from Glasgow University, D.D. from the University of Edinburgh, was a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (F.L.S.) and was a lecturer and journalist. He edited the Presbyterian Messenger and Evangelical Christendom and was also a respected botanist. He ministered at the National Scotch Church in Regent Square, London for most of his life.

Books published by The Greater Heritage

1814: James is born in Paisley on November 27th.

1827: James begins his Journal of the literary occupations of James Hamilton at the young age of 13.

1828: James enters Glasgow University at age 14.

1836: The Hamilton family moves to Edinburgh after the death of James’ father. James becomes acquainted with Thomas Chalmers while attending Edinburgh University.

1837: James travels over one-thousand miles throughout Scotland looking for botanical specimens.

1838: James becomes the assistant to Dr. Robert Smith Candlish at St. George’s Church, Edinburgh.

1841: James is ordained at Roxburgh Church in Edinburgh and soon thereafter is called to preach at the National Scotch Church in Regent Square, London.

1847: James marries Annie Moore, daughter of John Moore of Calcutta.

1849: James begins work on the Presbyterian Messenger.

1851: James visits The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in Hyde Park, London.

1854: James begins editing the YMCA magazine Excelsior.

1864: James delivers a lecture entitled “Books and Reading” to the crowds at Charles Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle. That same year he becomes editor of Evangelical Christendom.

1867: James dies on November 24th.

Fun facts:
  • James wrote  all  the  botanical articles  in  Patrick  Fairbairn’s  Imperial  Bible  Dictionary.
  • He held to an extremely regimented academic lifestyle and was incredibly well read yet was often sickly.
  • He was friends with Robert Murray M’Cheyne.
“Break off your sins by repentance, and from their fearful consequences take refuge in a Saviour’s intercession.” “Like the snow which shapes the cedar into a new and graceful figure, sorrow gives the Christian a new aspect of loveliness. It brings out the meekness, the endurance, and elasticity of the better nature within him; and it evinces how invulnerable is his hidden life.” “And though you, Christian brother, may not occupy a place of prominence, you may fill a place of usefulness.” “The person of Immanuel is the great storehouse of the Church’s strength and happiness; and it is by apprehending His character and availing ourselves of His kindness that we are to grow in hope towards God and in personal holiness.” “Wherever a soul believes in Jesus, loves Him, is made one spirit with him, and depends on Him for wisdom, strength, and righteousness, that soul is united to Jesus.”