CUNNINGHAM, WILLIAM (1805-1861), a Scottish theologian and ecclesiastic, was born at Hamilton, in Lanarkshire, on the 2d October 1805. After the usual course of study at the university of Edinburgh, in which he acquitted himself with distinction, he was licensed to preach in 1828. Two years afterwards he was ordained to a collegiate charge in Greenock, where he remained for three years, refusing during that time a presentation offered him to a parish in Glasgow. In 1834 he was transferred to the charge of Trinity College parish, Edinburgh. His removal thus coincided with the commencement of the period known in Scottish ecclesiastical history as the Ten Years' Conflict, in which he was destined to take a leading share. In the stormy discussions and controversies which preceded the Disruption the weight and force of his intellect, the keenness of his logic, and his firm grasp of principle made him one of the most powerful advocates of the cause of spiritual independence ; and he has been generally recognized as one of three to whom mainly the existence of the Free Church is due, the others being Chalmers and Candlish. On the formation of the Free Church in 1813 Cunningham was appointed professor of church history and divinity in the New College, Edinburgh, of which he became principal in 1847 in succession to Chalmers. His career as a professor was very successful, his controversial sympathies combined with his evident desire to bo rigidly impartial qualifying him to be an interesting delineator of the more stirring periods of church history, and a skilful disentangler of the knotty points in theological polemics. His logical faculty and his total lack of imagination perhaps made him too ready to seek to compress all spiritual truth within the rigid limits of intellectual forms. These qualities are ref ected in two able works published posthumously in 1862, his Historic Theology in the Christian Church and his Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation. In' 1859 the church marked its sense of obligation to him by appointing him moderator of the General Assembly. He hail received the decree of D.D. from the university of Princeton in 1842. He died on the 14th December 1861. Though impulsive and unsparing and sometimes apparently a little unscrupulous in debate, Cunningham was like many great controversialists of his class distinguished for the amiability, simplicity, and integrity of his character. His intellectual rigidity was balanced by a considerable breadth of sympathy, as is evidenced by the fact that he was one of the founders of the Evangelical Alliance. A Life of Cunningham by Rainy and Mackenzie appeared in 1871. A theological lectureship at the New College, Edinburgh, was endowed in 1862, to be known as the Cunningham lectureship.