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Alexander Sandison was born in April 1854 in Cullivoe, Yell, Shetland, the eldest of a family of ten. As the third in a series of eldest sons named Alexander, he was known within the family as Looie.
He was educated at the Queen Street Institution, Edinburgh, and later at Cheshunt College, Herts; and was ordained as a Congregational minister in 1880. He immediately took up the prestigious position of Pastor of the Kings Weigh House Church, in Fish Street Hill, City of London. The Church building was compulsorily purchased for railway development in 1883: Rev Alexander was then responsible for finding a new site at Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, and for overseeing the building of a new Weigh House, which finally opened in 1891. In 1901, feeling a sense of personal failure, he resigned his pastorate of the Weigh House. He then returned for a time to Shetland. In 1904, he moved to Croydon, to become Minister of South Croydon Congregational Church, Aberdeen Road. He lived at 29 St Peters Road, South Croydon.
He retired from his ministry in June 1919, and the family moved in October to `Lynnbank, 21 South Park Hill Road. He died on 15 November 1921.