Thomas Smeaton ~ Theologian

Thomas Smeaton (1536-1583) theologian born at Gask. Educated firstly in Perth and then at St Salvator’s College (St Andrews) where he stayed as a regent until ousted during the Reformation. With several other members of St Andrews, Smeaton travelled to Paris where he worked at the university. In Paris, Smeaton resolved to become a Jesuit and began a course of study in Rome to this end, proved difficult by illness. However, Smeaton eventually renounced not only the Jesuits but also Roman Catholicism. He travelled to England after the St Bartholomew’s Day massacres and then on to Scotland where he became minister of Paisley Abbey and Dean of the Arts Faculty of Glasgow University. Smeaton soon rose up the ranks of the Protestant Church and by 1579 he was moderator. He concerned himself with ‘debate and controversy’ and wrote several treatise. In 1580, Smeaton became Principal of Glasgow University. Smeaton died at Glasgow in 1583. He left a wife and son. The eighteenth-century civil engineer and designer of Perth Bridge, John Smeaton, was likely a descendent of Thomas Smeaton.