Our Houses

House competitions across the three campuses are colourful affairs as students represent Cargill, Chalmers, Hamilton and Wishart with a sense of pride and camaraderie. Green, blue, red and yellow House shirts make spectacular bodies of colour and House chants ring out with gusto. House competitions in a variety of activities including sports, music events and charity efforts, build a friendly rivalry for the prestigious House Cup, presented at the end of each year.

But where did these four House names come from? To delve back into history and discover the stories behind the House namesakes is a sobering lesson; for these four men were martyrs. Donald Cargill, James Chalmers, Patrick Hamilton and George Wishart were men who paid the ultimate price for their belief.

Read their stories below.


Donald Cargill was born at Rattrie in Perthshire in 1619 and studied at Aberdeen University and then at St Andrews.
In 1655 he was ordained the minister of the Barony Church in Glasgow, but was deposed when the persecution of the Presbyterians was resumed under Charles II.

He became one of the most prominent field preachers at the Covenanters and fought with them at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge.
He was seized and put to death in Edinburgh on July 17th, 1681.


James Chalmers was born in the fishing village of Ardrishing, Kintyre in 1841.
After serving the Church in Glasgow and attending Glasgow University he became a Missionary with the London missionary Society and worked in the islands of the Pacific, chiefly in Rarotonga.
Later he was transferred to New Guinea and in addition to his missionary work did much to open up that country.
He was known as Tamate-Father and was the friend of Robert Louis Stevenson.
In 1901, when about to start new work in Goarberi Island, he was clubbed to death by the natives.


Patrick Hamilton was born near Glasgow in 1500. After being at the local school he studied first in the University of Paris and then at Marburg where he came under the influence of Martin Luther.
On his return to Scotland he lectured in the University of Aberdeen, but his views brought upon him hatred of the church authorities.
He was arrested in 1528 and burned at the stake outside St Salvator’s College, St Andrews on February 29th, 1528. Outside that College to this day is a stone with the letters P.H. which the students traditionally jump over.


George Wishart was born in Kincardineshire in 1513.
He became a schoolmaster at Montrose, but was in danger of arrest for teaching the Greek New Testament.
He fled to England where he became a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
He returned to Scotland in 1543 and boldly proclaimed the doctrines of Luther. He was protected by a band of old friends, chief of which was John Knox.
In 1546 he was arrested by Cardinal Beaton and hanged at St Andrews, his body afterwards being burned.