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John Welch



Born to a Scottish laird in Dumfriesshire in 1570, John Welch early proved a grief to his father, not infrequently running away from school as a young lad, and subsequently joining the border thieves. But soon his clothes turned to rags, and like the prodigal son he resolved to return to his father. Though at first his father reproached and threatened him severely, his tearful request - made on bended knee - for pardon "for Christ's sake", along with the pleas of a female relation, persuaded him to be reconciled. Being then sent to college the young Welch thrived and was admitted to the ministry of the Gospel. As a pastor Mr Welch was outstanding for his holiness of life and fervency in both prayer and preaching, and his bravery brought him success in quelling bloody riots and reconciling enemies in the streets of Ayr. He married a daughter of John Knox, and when after imprisonment he was banished from Scotland for his Presbyterian principles, his wife waited on King James VI (James I of England) to request Welch's return. The King having discovered on inquiry that Mrs Welch was a daughter of John Knox, he exclaimed, "Knox and Welch! the devil never made such a match as that" - to which the woman replied, "It's right like, sir; for we never speired [i.e., asked] his advice". John Welch died in London, still an exile for the cause of Christ, in 1622.



John Welch and the Friar in France