Abandoned Sermon, 1904

On Sunday 24th January 1904, the Blantyre Parish church service at High Blantyre was cancelled at short notice, for a somewhat bizarre reason.

A widespread feeling of sympathy spread throughout Blantyre when it became known that Rev Scrimgeour Turnbull , the respected parish minister wasn’t well after inadvertently causing injury to his eyes.

For some time, the minister had been troubled by a weakness of his eyes and had become used to flushing his eyes before sermons with a watery solution, bathing them with a special mixture reserved for that purpose.

However, on that particular morning, just before conducting the midday service, he went to bathe his eyes as usual, but unfortunately lifted a carbolic lotion by mistake. A carbolic lotion containing mild acid. The result may have been very much more serious had he not immediately rinsed them with water, but the error was enough for him to suffer intense pain and shortness of sight. It was reported a week later that he was making a good recovery, but the service would be cancelled for a second week.

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