William Muir (divine)

Rev Dr William Muir by Sir John Steell
St Stephens Church Edinburgh
The grave of Rev William Muir, Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh

Very Rev William Muir DD FRSE LLD (1787–1869) was a Scottish minister of the Church of Scotland. He served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1838.


He was born in Glasgow on 11 October 1787 the son of William Muir a merchant. He was educated at Glasgow High School then went to Edinburgh University to study divinity.

He was licensed to preach in 1810. He returned to Glasgow as minister of St George's Church in 1812. In 1822 he took on the prestigious role as minister of New Greyfriars back in Edinburgh. In 1828 he moved to St Stephen's Church in Stockbridge, Edinburgh.[1] He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1824, his proposer being Alexander Brunton.[2] In 1838 he served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. In 1845 he was made dean of the Thistle Chapel and created chaplain in ordinary to Queen Victoria.

He retired in 1867 due to blindness and died at Ormelie House in Murrayfield in western Edinburgh on 23 June 1869. He is buried in Dean Cemetery in western Edinburgh. The grave lies in the central southern section and is marked by a large pink granite obelisk. It carries a bronze head sculpted by Sir John Steell.


  • Discourses on the Epistle of St Jude (1822)
  • Discourses on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia
  • Practical Sermons on the Holy Spirit (1842)
  • Metrical Meditations (1870)


He was married twice. In 1813 he married Hannah Black daughter of James Black, Lord Provost of Glasgow. In 1844 he married Anne Dirom, daughter of Lt Gen Alexander Dirom of Mount Annan.

Artistic recognitionEdit

His portrait by Thomas Guff Lupton is held by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.[3]


  1. ^ "Muir, William (1787-1869) (DNB00) - Wikisource, the free online library". En.wikisource.org. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  2. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  3. ^ "Rev. William Muir, 1787 - 1869. St Stephen's Church | National Galleries of Scotland". Nationalgalleries.org. Retrieved 2017-06-26.