"In October (1665) we have the first
mention of a name which will subsequently frequently be met with.
It is that of Mr Alexander Pitcarne, who was then ordered
to undergo `tryalls,` he having obtained a presentation from the
Bishop of Sandwick and Stromness.
In the autumn the Bishop seems to have gone south, and had
then obtained the promise of Mr Pitcairn;s services.
A graduate of the University of St Andrews, he appears to
have belonged to that district, and from his seal, related to the
old family of Pitcairn of that Ilk, which carried - `2nd
and 3rd argent, an eagle with wings displayed sable,
for Ramsay` in addition to `quarterly 1st and 4th
argent, three lozenges` (Nisbet’s Heraldry, i.215).
His wife, Elizabeth Sinclair, was the eldest lawful
daughter of John Alexander, Dean of Guild of St Andrews in Fife,
and through her he succeeded to some landed estate in that county.
At least he was well known to the Bishop.
He was soon appointed Dean, and proved himself worthy of
the Bishop’s patronage.”
A double-headed eagle (part of the
Forthar arms), Pitcairn’s seal, was affixed to a letter written
by him to the Rev. James Douglas.
Although Bishop Bruce never came to
Orkney, he appointed the Rev. A. Pitcairn, Dean – a fact which
Mr John Wilson, the remaining Episcopal clergyman in the Cathedral
of St Magnus, informed the magistrates and Kirk-session of, on 17th