Francis Hutcheson was born in the Manse of Saintfield Presbyterian Church, at Drumalig, in 1694.
He is probably the person from Saintfield who has had most impact on the world, through his philosophical writings in the eighteenth century. These were highly regarded by the founders of the United States of America and his ideas were incorporated into the Virgina Bill of Rights which was the forerunner of the American Constitution. To see a list of twelve reprints of his books click here
One of Hutcheson’s propositions was that people did not have to suffer poor government. This was very controversial in the times when monarchs were believed to be anointed by God. It gave permission, in turn, for the American War of Independence, the French Revolution and the Society of United Irishmen.
In commemoration of Francis Hutcheson’s major influence on the evolution of liberal democracy throughout the world, a blue plaque has been erected in his honour on the front gable of the Guildhall beside First Saintfield Presbyterian Church.
The following article was written by Mr Philip Orr, a local historian and expert on Francis Hutcheson.
It was published in the Down Survey in the year 2000 by the Down County Museum