Sir David P. Chalmers was appointed (July 1898) royal commissioner to inquire into the disturbances.
The question of pluralities began to be agitated in 1813, and gave rise to a long struggle, in which Dr Thomas Chalmers took a notable part, and which terminated in the regulation that a university chair or principalship should not be held along with a parish which was not close to the university seat.
Under Thomas Chalmers, however, the church extension committee struck out a new line of action.
All hope being lost that parliament would endow the new churches built by the church extension scheme of Dr Chalmers, it was felt that this also must be the work of voluntary liberality.
Among books professedly dealing with the Free Church question, the most valuable are Sydow's Die Schottische Kirchenfrage (Potsdam, 1845), and The Scottish Church Question (London, 1845); Buchanan's Ten Years' Conflict (1849); Hanna's Life of Chalmers (1852); and Taylor Innes on The Law of Creeds in Scotland (1867).