The Reverend Stuart Gibbon

Gibbon is chosen as the minister at Kinraddie by parish vote with a thumping majority. After the war he goes to America.

'Curly bull'

Gibbon appeals to the uneducated villagers of Kinraddie because he is young and handsome and has a powerful voice. His trial sermon, based on the Song of Solomon in the Bible, contains overt sexual references which titillate the villagers.

At first he is popular as he visits all his parishioners and is quick to flatter them. However, he proves to be all talk – when he promises to help Chris with her studies, for example, he dismisses her quickly with an unsuitable book.

Promiscuous

The topic of the sermon proves ironic as Gibbon is an inveterate womanizer – the bull image proves very appropriate, and he is frequently compared to other animals too, suggesting his brutish nature.

His strong sex drive sees him taking his wife to the bedroom during the day, which shocks their maid, and he is frequently mentioned in connection with servant girls. At Chris's wedding he is discovered with a farm girl – the big curly bull was kissing the quean like a dog lapping up its porridge.

Drunken

He gets so drunk at Chris's wedding he has to leave to be sick. Chae says he sounds like a cat with a fish-bone in his throat. After his daughter is born he gets appallingly drunk with friends in Aberdeen and makes a public spectacle of himself.

Hypocritical

He continues unabashed to perform as Kinraddie's minster despite his disreputable lifestyle. He even lectures Will about his relationship with Mollie.

Rabble-rousing

When the war comes, Gibbon had fair become a patriot. He preaches a sermon about 'pro-Germans', suggesting those men who have not yet joined up are tinks and traitors and a shame to Kinraddie. This turns the tide of public anger on Rob.

Unpatriotic and self-seeking

He avoids active service himself, although he gets a chaplain's uniform. He had done well for himself, it was plain to see. After the war he turns his back on Scotland and emigrates to America.

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