In 2019–20 the Foundation worked on the creation of an exhibition for the newly-constructed Livingston Centre at Killinchy Parish Church. The centre is named in honour of John Livingston, the first post-Reformation minister in Killinchy. Born at Monyabroch (Kilsyth) in Stirlingshire in 1603, Livingston moved to Ireland in 1630 to become pastor of this parish. On account of his nonconformist views, Livingston was deposed from the Killinchy ministry by the bishop of Down and Connor in 1635.

In the following year he was one of the leaders of the first attempt to establish an Ulster colony in America – the unsuccessful voyage of the Eagle Wing. Returning to Scotland in 1637, he became involved heavily in the Covenanting period, meeting both Charles II and Oliver Cromwell. In 1662, following the restoration of episcopacy in Scotland, he was banished from Scotland, sailing to Holland in the following year. He died in Rotterdam in 1672.

Livingston Centre 1 reduced

Livingston and his wife Janet had 15 children, the youngest of whom, Robert, emigrated to America and founded a dynasty that has been one of the most influential in American history. Robert’s descendants include a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, two US Presidents, a First Lady, Congressmen, Senators, Governors, businessmen, entrepreneurs and military heroes. The exhibition looks at other aspects of local history, including the Middle Ages, the Scottish settlements of the seventeenth century, the 1798 Rebellion and the 1859 Revival.

  • Livingston Centre 2
  • Livingston Centre 4
  • Livingston Centre 1
  • Livingston Centre 3
  • Livingston Centre 5