FP100: No. 61

Statue of Rev Ralph Erskine, Dunfermline
Statue of Rev Ralph Erskine, Dunfermline

Rev Ralph Erskine

The statue of The Reverend Ralph Erskine (1685-1752) stands outside what was once St Andrew’s Erskine Church in the centre of Dunfermline.

Erskine was one of the founders of the Secession Movement, following his deposition by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1740.

He was minister of the first Secession Church in Dunfermline, which opened in 1741, having previously preached to his congregation in a tent and a barn while it was being built.

This church was later replaced by the Queen Anne Street Burgher Church, which was built slightly to the north on the same site, and was renamed Erskine Church and then St Andrew’s Erskine Church.

The building ceased to be used as a place of worship in 1998, and the congregation moved to a new building to the north of the town.

The statue of Erskine on the southern side of the site marks the approximate location of his pulpit in the first church.

Erskine – who was twice married and had 14 children – gradually became unfit for pastoral work in the 1750s due to heart disease. His last sermon was in October 1752 and he died the following month.