Ian Maclaren – author and theologian – born John Watson 3 November 1850 at Manningtree in Essex. He studied at Stirling and then Edinburgh University before undertaking theology at New College, Edinburgh and Tubingen. In 1874 he became a minister in the Free Church of Scotland. Amongst his positions were ministries at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sefton Park (Liverpool) and Logiealmond in Perthshire. He retired from the Liverpool ministry in 1905. Amongst his academic positions is included the Lyman Beecher lectureship at Yale University (1896). Reverend Watson became moderator of the synod of the English Presbyterian Church in 1900. As a writer using the pseudonym Ian Maclaren he produced several works: Scottish Life,Beside the Bonnie Briar Bush (1894), The Days of Auld Lang Syne (1895), Kate Carnegie and those Ministers (1896) and Afterwards and other Stories (1898). Watson also wrote theological books under his own name: The Upper Room (1895),The Mind of the Masters (1896) and The Potter’s Wheel (1897). He died 6 May 1907 whilst in the United States.