1788-1865; b. 16 jan., Killean [var. Killead], Co. Antrim; regarded as
founder of the liberal tradition of modern Presbyterianism, instigated
by the secession to form the non-subscribing Presbyterian Church; ed.
privately and Glasgow, 1904; MA, 1807; ord. 1809; Presbyterian pastor,
Dunmurry, Co. Down; first advocated Catholic Emancipation, 1813; head
of English at Belfast Academical Institution, 1817; rebutted Henry Cookes
attack on Arianism in the BAI, and also his larger attempt to tighten
Presbyterian discipline; speech in favour of religious liberty, Strabane,
1827; adopted remonstrance, 1829, and fnd. remonstrant Synod of Ulster,
leading Unitarianism in secession for Presbyterian Synod, 1830; supported
Catholic Emancipation and Disestablishment but opposed Repeal; defeated
Cooke in attempt to exclude Unitarians from faculty in BAI, elected Prof.
of Ecclesiastical History by Antrim and Munster Synods combined; original
editor of Bible Christian; author of many pamphlets; contributed
Outlines of the History of Presbyterianism in Ireland to the Irish Unitarian Magazine, 1846-47; d. 18 Dec.; there is a portrait
by J. P. Knight. ODNB DIH FDA WJM
John M. Barkley, A Short History of the Presbyterian Church [q.d; infra]; Andrew Boyd, Montgomery and the Black Man (Dublin: Columba Press 2006), 88pp.
John M. Barkley, A Short History of the Presbyterian Church [q.d], remarks that Montgomery was loved by his friends and respected by his enemies ... Cooke on the other hand was extremely self-possessed and appeared to have been admired rather than loved (117pp.).
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Bon mot: Montgomery is said to have remarked of the Westminster Confession that it either contradicts what is said in the Bible, in which case it is heretical, or reiterates what is stated in the Bible, in which case it is redundant. (Information supplied by Jim Brown; UUC/Philosophy.)
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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 3, notes that Henry Montgomery anonymously
published 3 long articles in the Belfast daily Northern Whig, Dec.
1829-Jan. 1830, attacking the landlordism of Marquis of Hertford in Co.
Antrim; when Hertford threatened libel, OConnell volunteered to
act in his defence; Montgomerys friendship with OConnell ended
when the former published an attack on the latter, 1 Feb. 1831. (Letters
selected in FDA3, 341ff.)
Thomas Witherow: Autobiography of Thomas Witherow (1990
edn.) makes allusion to Montgomery: He was in every way an amiable
and estimable man, whom I could have loved as well as admired, had it
not been that his Arian opinions made me afraid of him (quoted by
J. W. Nelson, reviewing the autobiography in Linen Hall Review (Sept.