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Biography of Reverend John Henry Horton McNeill

John Henry Horton McNeill graduated from the University with an MA in 1891, and a BD in 1896.

John Henry Horton McNeill was born in Strathbungo, Renfrew on the 12 December 1872, and was the son of Alexander, a Commission Merchant. John grew up with two brothers, older brother George Alexander Campbell McNeill and younger brother Alister Argyll Campbell McNeill. He attended Madras College in St Andrews and the Glasgow High School before, in 1886, at the age of only 13, matriculating at the University of Glasgow to begin his studies for an Arts degree. In his first year, John enrolled to study Junior Latin, Mathematics, and Greek, followed in his second with classes in Middle Latin and Middle Greek. In his third year John studied Junior Latin, Junior Greek, and Upper Junior Mathematics, followed in his fourth with classes in Logic and Literature. In his fifth year John took classes in Natural and Moral Philosophy, and graduated with an MA on the 24th of April 1891.

John continued to study at the University after graduation, taking on a degree in Divinity in 1892. In his first year he took classes in Hebrew, Divinity, and Church History - the later of which he won a class prize in. John then took a year out, and returned to his studies in 1894, winning first prize in his Senior Hebrew Class. He was also given an award for his essay on "The Subject of Special Lectures to Divinity Students". In his final year he took classes in Bible Criticism, and Senior Church History, before graduating with a BD on the 14th of April, 1896. He was also awarded the Black Fellowship, for most distinguished student of the year.

In May 1896, John undertook research at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and was awarded a Theologie scroll on the 28th of July, 1896.

Having completed his studies, John began his working life in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he worked as an Assistant minister in the St Andrew's Church. He held this post for three years between 1897 and 1900, before travelling to India to become the chaplain of the Indian Ecclesiastical Establishment attached to the Scottish and Highland Regiments.

John married Lilian Sophie Currie, and their daughter - Lilian Evelyn - was born in India on the 18th of August, 1912.

John was involved in active service in the North West Frontier of India in 1908. He was then involved in military operations in France and Mesopotamia in World War I. To discover more about this period of John's life, please click here.

After the War John returned to India, serving as a Pastor in the Madras Presidency's Church of Scotland branch. By the conclusion of his time in India in 1922, John had been made Senior Chaplain of the Madras Presidency. He then moved to Switzerland to take up the post of Minister at the Chapel of the Maccabees, where he worked until 1925. John then spent a year as locum tenens in the second charge of Brechin Cathedral.

In 1927, John became minister of Gargunnock Church, in Stirlingshire. During his time as minister he took an interest in the history of the Gargunnock Parish Church, presenting a paper on “Glimpses of Church Life in Old Days” to the local Natural History and Archaeological Society in 1930. He served as a minister there until 1934, when he travelled to India to become Commandant of the Indian Military Hospital in Rawalpindi " a role he held until 1937.

By 1947, John was serving in the St Andrew's Hospice in Jerusalem. In the build up to the Palestinian Civil War, on the 31st of January 1947, John and his daughter were given notice by the Government of Palestine to evacuate.

John died on the 3rd of December, 1952.


Reverend John Henry Horton McNeill
Born 12 December 1872.
Died 3 December 1952.
GU Degrees: MA, 1891; BD, 1896;
University Link: Graduate
Occupation categories: reverends
Additional Information: R3/1/1 (vol 2)
Record last updated: 30th Aug 2017

Country Associations

Argentina Argentina, Buenos Aires

Germany Germany, Thuringia, Jena

India India, No Region

Israel Israel, Jerusalem

Scotland Scotland

Switzerland Switzerland, Geneva

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