Records of St Clement's Church, Aberdeen

Scope and Content

Register of baptisms, St Clement's Church, Aberdeen, 1837-85. The register, which was begun, and maintained, by Reverend Alexander Spence (1804 - 1890), records name, date of birth, date of baptism, sex, mother's name, father's name, father's occupation, and address.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Spence (1804 - 1890), son of Reverend William Spence of Glenbuchat, graduated MA Marischal College, 1822. He was licensed by the Church of Scotland Presbytery of Aberdeen in 1827, and ordained minister of St Clement's parish church, Footdee, Aberdeen in 1837. He, along with most of his congregation, joined the Free Church of Scotland in the Disruption of 1843, and remained minister (from 1878, senior minister) of St Clement's Free Church until his death in 1890. He also served as Clerk of Aberdeen Free Church Presbytery. His son, Alexander Easton Spence (b 1860), was ordained to the Free Church of Scotland, Insch, Aberdeenshire, in 1886.

It is believed that St Clement's church, Footdee, Aberdeen, was built in 1828, although recent archaeological excavations in the area suggest that there was a church on the site, or in its vicinity, since the early middle ages. A new church was built in Prince Regent St., Aberdeen in 1843, for the newly formed St Clement's Free Church Congregation. This was replaced in 1883.

For further details see Hew Scott, Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation, edited by John Alexander, new edition, 9 vols, (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1915-1961), vi, 28 - 29; Annals of the Free Church of Scotland 1843 - 1900, edited by William Ewing, 2 vols. (Edinburgh: Clark, 1914), i, 324; vol. 2, 175; and Alexander Gammie, The Churches in Aberdeen: Historical and descriptive (Aberdeen: Aberdeen Daily Journal Office, 1909), pp 56 - 58. See also, Aberdeen City Arts Department, The ship of faith: the story of St. Clement's Church and Fittie (Aberdeen: Aberdeen City Arts Department, 1991); and Marcus K. Milne, St. Clement's parish church, Aberdeen, 1498-1980 (n.p.,, ? 1980) (these items are deposited in the University's Local studies collection: refs. L pAa8 V5 StC s and L pAa8 V5 StC M, respectively)


Single item

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Gifted to the University in 1933, by J.M. Bulloch, LLD

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Custodial History

Purchased by J.M. Bulloch, LLD, by public auction of the effects of James F. Pratt (d 14th Oct 1929), registrar, 5th - 6th Sept 1932. Pratt's second wife, Helen Lockhart Gibson Donaldson (d 20 Jan 1932) was the widow of James Martin Dower, minister of the Church of Scotland. Her father, Andrew Davidson Donaldson, was late minister of St Clement's United Free Church, Aberdeen.


No accruals expected

Related Material

A number of printed sources relating to Reverend Spence's activities in the Free Church of Scotland, and to his support of the Aberdeen Association for the reclaiming of Fallen Females, are deposited in the University's Local studies and pamphlet collections. For further details see Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original