A new influence had come into the burgh. One which in time was to affect the religious and social life on the people in many unusual ways.
Anyone taking a boat out on Sunday morning was fined, brewers of ale and those carrying items for brewing were fined, women were fined if they did not cover their heads during church service - to name a few.
The fines collected were deposited in the Poor Box and contributed to relief of the poor, widows and orphans and those in dire distress.
This was the time of the Witch Hunts, when the Kirk Session, encouraged by the Minister, searched the town for evidence against suspects. Several women were burned as witches on the land at Ferrymuir. ( Read more in April 2015 Archive).
A search for a successor ensued over a long period without result, until the Privy Council relented, and John Primrose was welcomed back in December 1669 until he died in 1673 aged 45.
The church then remained vacant until Donald Campbell was ordained in in 1693, however he died in 1697.
During this time, in July 1671, it was decided to build a school using local stonework. The school was built at the south end of churchyard and still stands today. In 1672 the school was ready for occupancy.
In 1724 the burgh's affairs were in a state of confusion and disorder and the burgh was in dire financial straits, owing much to the Crown, and the Kirk Session claimed the town owed 400 Scots Merks (in 16th and 17th centuries about 13 shillings 4d, later raised to 14 shillings -per Merk) to the Poor Box, amongst other debts, and the Reverend James Kid was in arrears of his stipend and demanded a sum of £879.10.8d which was due to him. It was then claimed that Reverend James Kid had lifted money from the Poor Box for his own use. Investigations considered this deemed to be untrue. To raise money for the Poor Box, fines were increased and new ones introduced, for profanities and swearing, walking through the town during time of divine worship brought fines, even children were not allowed to play outside on the Lords Day. The Town Council was forced to appoint two 'Burgesses' as constables to apprehend the numerous transgressors.
Rev James Kidd died in February 1744 and The Council decided to approach Rev Archibald Mcauley. Parishioners were against this , and suggested to approach Mr Walter Paton of Linlithgow, however the council stuck to their decision and Mr Mcauley was ordain in September 1745
In the year 1780 the Kirk Belfry was in a shattered condition and for some months it was deemed too dangerous to continue to ring the bell. The old 'bird cage; structure was repaired in its present form, with a pillar of stone and lime inside the church.
The Reverend Thomas Dimma was ordained in 1820. He gave 34 years of Service and after his death in 1854, he was buried in the Old Kirk Churchyard.
Revered David Millar, Minister of Queensferry from 1884 – 1897, was born in 1841 and died in 1897. He is buried in Dalmeny Cemetery.
The final Communion Service was held in the Old Kirk in March 1962 and after 365 years the congregation left to join that of Queensferry Parish Church.
Following this, the building was sold in 1970 and converted into offices, taken over by the YMCA, and acted as a Community Centre until 1999, when it was sold and converted into a house.
1633- 1641 - Robert Gibbison
1641 – 1650 – Ephraim Melville
1650 – 1652 – John Dick – did not take up post
1652 – 1662 - John Primrose
1662 - 1669 - vacant
1669 – 1673 - John Primrose
1674 -1678– George Robinson (until 1683)
1678 - 1681 - John Philip
1682 - 1683 - Archibald Buchan
1683 - 1686 - Alexander Skirving
1696 - 1689 - William Smyth
1689 - 1690 - John Dalgleish
1690 – 1693 – vacant
1693 – 1697 - Donald Campbell
1697 – 1700 -vacant
1700 – 1709 - John Grierson
1710 - 1743 - James Kid
1746 – 1781 - Archibald McAuley
1782 - 1820 - John Henderson
1820 – 1854 - Thomas Dimma
1855 – 1861 - William Lockhart
1861 - 1870 - Thomas Andrews
1872 - 1884 - John White
1884– 1897 - David Millar
1897 - 1900 -D Melville Stewart
1900 - 1944 - W. Bower Wilson
1944 - 1953 - William Horsburgh
Cemetery closed 1900
Church closed 1956 – sold 1970. Became YMCA,- sold 1999. Converted into a house.
Source of Information – Queensferry Parish Church website - http://www.qpcweb.org/pages/early-beginnings.
Also 'History of Queensferry', by Dr John Mason -1963. (unpublished).
(Much of Dr Mason's information came from parish records.)