Appointment of Gilbert Rule as Principal of Edinburgh University, 1690

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Following the purge of Episcopalian and Jacobite teaching staff in 1690, the appointment of Gilbert Rule (c1629-1701) as Principal signalled an attempt to turn Edinburgh University into a strict Presbyterian seminary. Rule scrutinized lecture notes taken by both staff and students for signs of doctrinal or moral deviancy. He further subjected staff members to lengthy examinations, resulting in the dismissal of Alexander Douglas (d. 1692), Professor of Hebrew, and the departure of David Gregory (1659-1708) for Oxford. He also served on Privy Council committees to restore the traditional, scholastic system of teaching philosophy at Scottish universities and to produce a doctrinally pure philosophy textbook on which a new pan-Scottish university curriculum might be formed.

Other University Events in 1690


  • Alexander Bower, The History of the University of Edinburgh. 3 vols. Edinburgh, 1817-1830.
  • Sir Alexander Grant, The Story of the University of Edinburgh during its First Three Hundred Years, 2 vols (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1884)