Rev John Witherspoon
(1723-1794)

Died aged c. 71

John Knox Witherspoon (February 5, 1723 – November 15, 1794) was a Scottish-American Presbyterian minister and a Founding Father of the United States. Witherspoon embraced the concepts of Scottish Common Sense Realism, and while president of the College of New Jersey (1768–94; now Princeton University), became an influential figure in the development of the United States' national character. Politically active, Witherspoon was a delegate from New Jersey to the Second Continental Congress and a signatory to the July 4, 1776, Declaration of Independence. He was the only active clergyman and the only college president to sign the Declaration. Later, he signed the Articles of Confederation and supported ratification of the Constitution. In 1789 he was Convening Moderator of the First General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

Laigh Kirk. Until 1738 when Laigh Kirk was erected Paisley's only church had been the Abbey. This new church, later called Laigh or Low because of its geographical position, had as one of its early ministers Rev. John Witherspoon. He later left Paisley for America and became the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence.

15 New St, PA1 1EZ, Paisley, United Kingdom where he minister

Alexander Wilson 'Father of American Ornithology' 1766-1813 poet, artist, explorer & scientist. A pioneer in the scientific study of birds. Baptised, Laigh Kirk, 10 July 1766

Paisley Arts Centre, Paisley, United Kingdom where he worked