That branch of the Ure family from which the subject of this sketch is descended was originally from France, and supposed to be Huguenots, settling in Scotland, where, in the Parish of Shotts, Lanarkshire, Robert Ure was born, January 23, 1823. His parents were John and Barbara (Dalziel) Ure, his father being a manufacturer of the ironwork to machinery.
At nineteen years of age our subject came to Hamilton, Ontario, and there, while following other employments, he pursued his studies in private with an ultimate view to the ministry, under Alexander Gale, M.A., entered Knox College, Toronto, in the spring of 1845, and was graduated from the Theological Department in 1850. His first pastorate was at Streetsville, where he remained for twelve years, settling in Goderich in 1862. He is senior pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church, his associate being Rev. James Sieveright. They preach at two stations in the country.
As a preacher Dr. Ure ranks high. His discourses are far from common place, thoughtful, and often distinguished by felicitous expression, their leading characteristic seeming to be spiritual reflectiveness. In listening to Dr. Ure, the hearers feel that the preacher is uttering aloud, meditations with which his own mind and heart have been exercised. His delivery is some what lacking in ease and variety, yet it is by no means unpleasing; and those who are accustomed to it soon come to think it even sweet.
Dr. Ure received his honorary title of Doctor of Divinity from Queen’s College, Kingston, May 7, 1876 a fitting recognition of his scholastic attainments and his talents. For two years he was a Lecturer at Knox College, on Apologetics, still retaining his pastoral relation and preaching here, being obliged finally to resign on account of ill health. He is appointed to give lectures on Homiletics at Queen’s College during the session of 1879-80. When the Knox College Alumni Association was formed in the spring of 1879, Dr. Ure was chosen its first President.
Within the last twenty years there have been two unions of Presbyterian Churches in Canada, and in the deliberations pending each of these unions, Dr. Ure took a prominent part. Prior to the consummation of the union of the Presbyterian Church of Canada and the United Presbyterian Church, he was convener of the Committee, for eight years, of the former body, and Dr. Taylor, of Montreal, of the latter, Dr. Taylor, the elder man, being Moderator the first year, and Dr. Ure, the second. He was also member of the Union Committee, when a :few years later, the Presbyterian Church in Canada in connection with the Church of Scotland, united, he serving during all the time that the negotiations were pending.
Dr. Ure is much interested in the subject of education, and was for years a Trustee of the Grammar School, aiding essentially in raising the grade of public instruction in Goderich.
Dr. Ure was first married in October, 1851, to Miss Margaret Gale, sister of Rev. Alexander Gale, first pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Hamilton, she dying without issue in December, 1869; and the second time, December 3, 1878, to Mrs. Mary McDonald, daughter of James Fraser, Esq., of Inverness, Scotland, and widow of John McDonald, formerly Sheriff of Huron County.