David Calderwood (1575-1650), Scottish divine and historian, was born in 1575. He was educated at Edinburgh, where he took the degree of M.A. in 1593. About 1604 he became minister of Crailing, near Jedburgh, where he became conspicuous for his resolute opposition to the introduction of Episcopacy. In 1617, while James was in Scotland, a Remonstrance, which had been drawn up by the Presbyterian clergy, was placed in Calderwood's hands. He was summoned to St Andrews and examined before the king, but neither threats nor promises could make him deliver up the roll of signatures to the Remonstrance. He was deprived of his charge, committed to prison at St Andrews and afterwards removed to Edinburgh. The privy council ordered him to be banished from the kingdom for refusing to acknowledge the sentence of the High Commission. He lingered in Scotland, publishing a few tracts, till the 27th of August 1619, when he sailed for Holland. During his residence in Holland he published his Altare Damascenum. Calderwood appears to have returned to Scotland in 1624, and he was soon afterwards appointed minister of Pencaitland, in the county of Haddington. He continued to take an active part in the affairs of the church, and introduced in 1649 the practice, now confirmed by long usage, of dissenting from the decision of the Assembly, and requiring the protest to be entered in the record.
His last years were devoted to the preparation of a History of the Church of Scotland. In 1648 the General Assembly urged him to complete the work he had designed, and voted him a yearly pension of £800. He left behind him a historical work of great extent and of great value as a storehouse of authentic materials for history. An abridgment, which appears to have been prepared by himself, was published after his death. An excellent edition of the complete work was published by the Wodrow Society, 8 vols., 1842-1849. The manuscript, which belonged to General Calderwood Durham, was presented to the British Museum. Calderwood died at Jedburgh on the 29th of October 1650.