The Rev. Dr Henry Duncan is the Roseline Journey's second "wise man". He was ordained minister of Ruthwell Parish church in 1779. Duncan was Lord Mansfield's (the first "wise man") preacher when home on his estate in the final years of his life.
The majority of heritable property around the Parish of Ruthwell and the Mabon stone in the time of Rev Duncan belonged to the Murray family, the Mansfield Dynasty. The family were the proprietors throughout the middle ages, but sold it in 1975 to pay death duties. The Mansfields were, however, not destined for the council estate, their second home is the auspicious Scone Palace, former home to the Stone of Destiny. William David Murray, the Viscount of Stormont (1835-1893) and the 5th Earl of Mansfield (1860-1906) are buried inside Ruthwell church. A stunning glass window incorporating the Mansfield coat of arms, is a memorial to this close historical link.
Henry Duncan (8 October 1774 – 12 February 1846), minister of Ruthwell parish church in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, founded the world's first commercial savings bank. He was also a keen amateur geologist, author, publisher, philanthropist and social reformer.
As a boy he met the poet Robert Burns, who visited Dr. Duncan's father at Lochrutton Manse. Duncan was educated in Dumfries at the Academy. In 1810 Duncan opened the world's first commercial savings bank, paying interest on its investors' modest savings. The Bank was set up to distribute interest to the rural workers in the event of harvest failures. The minister had witnessed, in his own parish, what demoralising and abject poverty part of his congregation had to endure and had set about to do something about it.
The Ruthwell Museum is dedicated to the life and works of Henry Duncan and states that, on the 10 May 1810, in the Society Room in Ruthwell, he put to his parishioners his ideas for a parish bank. The established banks needed £10 to open an account, in Ruthwell sixpence was enough. The deposits were placed with the Linen Bank in Dumfries and received 5% interest. Members received 4% interest - on whole pounds. The surplus provided a charity fund, tiered interest for long-term savers and a sum for administering the bank. All the administration in Ruthwell was done by the Minister himself. Instead of taking any remuneration, Henry Duncan used the money due to him to build another school in the parish.
Within five years of the bank opening in Ruthwell, there were savings banks throughout the UK; the following year they spread to Europe and the United States. During that first year the total savings amounted to £151. Ten years later, in the United Kingdom, the total had reached over three million pounds.
In 1995 TSB was bought over by the Lloyds banking group, but, in order to retain Henry Duncan's charitable vision, part of the agreement treaty was that each year Lloyds TSB provide the Lloyds TSB charity Foundations with one per cent of the group's pre-tax profits averaged over three years.The TSB headquarters is still found in Edinburgh's George Street and is named Henry Duncan House.
"Gods Acre" is the name given by locals to the graveyard around Ruthwell Church. In 1802 as a man on a mission, Rev Duncan began to collect the scattered fragments of a large cross that littered the surface of the graveyard. Gravediggers added to the collection, as invaluable relics hidden deep in graves for decades returned to the light of day. The whole created an insidious puzzle, to recreate the divided structure's message and solve the mysteries of the 7th Century Celtic Cross.
The characteristics of the Ruthwell Cross are thought to be inherited from the original Celtic Church founded by Columba on the Holy Island of Iona.
Having survived the severely inclement Scottish weather for over 1000 years and escaped destruction at the hands of ravening Vikings, rampaging Normans, raging Anglo-Saxons and homicidal local clans, It's an ironic tragedy that the Ruthwell parish minister, Mr Gavin Young, in 1642, had to be forced, under deposition from his General Assembly and according to the Idolatrous Monument Act, to dismantle and disperse the famous landmark, or face being defrocked and humiliated.
The Ruthwell Cross's regretful demise, was a direct consequence of the Scottish Reformation movement and the new fundamentalist spirit of Presbyterianism that swept the country, breaking ties with France and demoting the importance of Roman Catholicism.
A titanic spirit of revolt swept the country; "It has been remarked with truth that never except among God's choosen people, the Jews, did any national transaction equal in moral and religious sublimity that which was displayed by Scotland on the great day of her national Covenant."
The instigated Mastermind and draftsman behind the Presbyterian system was no less than Lord Archibald Johnstone (1611-1663), who was a Scottish High Court Judge. His immediate family was from Johnstonebridge near Beattock, the same clan who were guardians of the Mabon Stone before Lord Mansfield's family
Saint Johnstone is the old name for Perth, there has been a place of religious service here dating back to Saint Columba. The main parish church in the centre of Perth is named after John the Baptist, guardian and patron of the Celtic Church. Perthshire is the central county in the Scots nation, the national heartland and Perth was capital of the Celtic Kingdom. The Moot hill and Scone Palace lie adjacent to Perth.The current home of the Earls of Mansfield,.Scone was also home to the Stone of Destiny and the crowning place of Scottish Kings right up to 8th of August 1296. Edward I's final act to demoralise the Scots was to plunder the precious stone of the realm and rehouse it in Westminster Abbey.
Knocking on destiny's door, in May 1559, John Knox, the opinionated, pragmatical presbyterian, on hearing of civil chaos at home returned from exile in Europe to ordain himself and stir things up. To a packed crowd in Perth,he delivered his "defamatory ,dictatorial denunciation of monuments to idolatry" speech, this sparked off a rampage of desecration in the ancient Church, the infectious mood of destruction spilled into nearby monastic sanctuaries. Scone Abbey itself did not escape the malicious intentions of the belligerent mob.
Knox's expressive and passion filled sermons, and his willingness to tackle the established system, won him widespread respect. He was seen as the right man for the job, to cast aside the nation's submissive domination by the Catholic Church. His purposeful manner was intensified when he was appointed minister at Scotland's principal Church, Saint Giles on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
Shortly afterwards, in early 1560, the resourceful Knox sent speculative letters southward, looking for help and intimating that Scotland would soon become a vassal state of England's arch enemy, France, pleading the Protestant cause to the Protestant Queen Elizebeth. The Scottish Catholic Regent, Mary of Guise's, antagonistic reign was ended when, in spring of 1560, the English fleet sailed up the Firth of Forth and captured the port of Leith.
John Knox's personnal vendetta towards the French had been fuelled when he was taken prisoner 13 years before by French navy forces at Saint Andrews, Fife in 1547. After a relgious fall out resulting in the death of a Cardinal. Knox along with other Scots protestants were chained and brought under the lash to serve as galley slaves. Surviving penal servitude for 19 months on a French slave galley gave him the right credentials to mount a counter-attack on the French convention and religious customs. The resentful, brutal scars of vengeance ran deep. Almost as soon as Leith was in the hands of the English, Mary of Guise died in Edinburgh Castle on 10th of June 1560.
No sooner was the Royal funeral completed, than industrious John Knox and Lord Johnstone where kicking the French and English out of their country by signing the "Treaty of Edinburgh".This agreement required the immediate departure of both French and English troops.The sly old fox's instinctive foresight was masterly.
The Scottish Church Reforms were heard in Parliament on the 25th of August 1560. Jubilation, shouts of triumph and intense rejoicing came about when the spokesman annouced the demise of bondage to the Roman Catholic Church and the birth of the Scottish Protestant Church. The era of servitude to the Pope was terminated. Knox and three other ministers were commissioned to compile the doctrinal teachings of the new Church, referred to as the "First Book of Discipline."
The Roman God, Terminus, gives his name to endings and boundaries and is often depicted as a bust on a boundary stone. A new Terminal stone of religious reformation in Scotland was planted on the 20th December 1560 when the first constituted General Assembly of the Reformed Protestant Kirk was held in the small Magdalen Chapel in Edinburgh.
The slender Magdalen Chapel, built originally as a Catholic place of worship and Guildhall of the masonic "Guild of Hammermen", now sits under the shadowy arch of George IV Bridge. Its equivocal location is equidistant from Greyfriars Church and Saint Giles Cathedral, the High Kirk of Scotland. Saint Giles is the Patron Saint of Healing (beggars & blind), Blacksmiths (alchemy union) and the Ram(agnus dei). His emblem is an arrow (divine providence), all these features figure prominently in the Ruthwell Cross.
Saint Giles' striking qualities and his work in unpretentious healing in humans and animals to improve standards in welfare, created the role model for the Knights of Saint John Hospitallers. St Giles' influence on The Hospitallers was reciprocated in a number of their most cherished possessions. Hence The High Kirk in Scotland and Saint Gilles Castle, Lebanon, built in the 12th Century by the Crusaders who occupied the Gateway Castle to Jerlusalem from 1144-1271.
True Guardians of the pilgrim routes and protectors of travellers on their way to the shrines of medieval Christendom.
John the Baptist plays an inaugural role in the Christian story. After hearing about the death of John, Jesus went out on the healing waters in his boat, to ponder and reflect on what the human condition amounted to. In the shadow of John's name and tribute, he embarked on a mission of healing the sick, to show us the way forward and indoctrinated humanity with a sense of compassion, dignity and hope. in a cruel and treacherous world, his gift is a glimer of light on the pathway to help us find our future.
Depictions of healing are a major aspect of the Ruthwell cross with significant detail in its carved messages. John the Baptist's role is pivotal in the link from the past to help us understand and reconstruct the lost messages. In addition to being the initial Patron Saint of Freemasons, John was also considered to be the Patron Saint of Knights Hospitaller. The Ruthwell cross lies in the ancient lands that belonged to the Knights Hospitallers, which included the Terminal-Mabon Stone on the start of the Roseline in Scotland. . The Mabon Stone was to be a beacon marker to help us bridge the past to the present and maintain Jesus' charitable and healing dedications towards those in need. The Hospitallers went on to found the Saint John's Ambulance. The cross of Saint George would be accepted on both sides of the border as a sign to heal the sick and injured.
Later the International Red Cross Movement would adopt the Cross of St George as its sign. Today, the Red Cross/ Red Cresent is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers worldwide. It started to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for every human being and to prevent and alleviate human suffering, without discrimination based on nationality, race, religion, class or political opinion.
Gifts from God & Fatherhood of the present day healers. Recognisable to everybody in the U.K. as the Saint John's Ambulance service. This humbling service of compassion, goes a long way to help us restore our faith in the human race. Professional & proficient healers preceding and preparing us for the ministrations of the main healer.
Reflective of John The Baptist's role in preceding Christ, Our Redeemer and Saviour.