Carstairs, Or Carstares, William, a Scottish divine, born at Cathcart, near Glasgow, Feb. 11, 1649, died Dec. 28, 1715. He was educated at Edinburgh and Utrecht, devoted himself warmly to the prince of Orange, and became minister of an English church at Leyden. After returning home, he took offence at the conduct of the Episcopal party, through whose influence he was arrested, after which he retired again to Holland. He was brought back on a charge of having been accessory to the Rye House plot, and put to the torture in 1682. Being dismissed, with the king's pardon, he again went to Holland, where he rose still higher in favor with the prince of Orange, who made him his chaplain in 1685; and as King William's chaplain and confidential secretary, 1688-1702, he contributed much to the establishment of the Presbyterian government in Scotland. During the reign of Anne he still retained his chaplaincy. In 1704 he became professor of divinity at Edinburgh, and was four times moderator of the general assembly.