After completing two terms at the university, Robert returned to Perth as an apprentice in the weaving business and in 1736 he went into partnership with his brother William, my 6 x great grandfather on my birth father's branch, manufacturing linen.
In 1737 he married John Glas’s eldest daughter, Catherine.
After his election to the office of Elder in the Perth Glassite church in 1744, Robert withdrew from the weaving business in order to concentrate his energies on the church.
Robert and Catherine did not have any children and Catherine died in 1746. Following her death, having no commitments, and with the church funding his lifestyle, Robert devoted the rest of his life to the Glasite church and teachings. Apparently, he was a great speaker, more forceful than Glas and also more controversial. He was largely responsible for spreading the church's doctrines both within Scotland and elsewhere. As a result of this, certainly outside Scotland, the Glasites became known as Sandemanians, reflecting his importance.
He emigrated to New England in 1764, settling in Danbury, Connecticut, which became the sect principal centre. He and a number of his followers set about establishing churches in many other towns and cities. He preached wherever he could find an audience - in taverns, public houses, and Separatist churches. He attracted sizeable crowds and because of the teachings he was even threatened with violence. On 14 December 1764 a mob in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, broke the windows of a meeting house where he was preaching and gave him four days to leave - which he did !
He must have returned as, despite opposition from orthodox congregationalists, he founded a number of churches in America including one of the first 'Churches of Christ' in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on May 4, 1765.
Remembering this was only ten years before the American War of Independence and anti British feelings were high, in 1765 Robert and his Portsmouth followers became even more unpopular when they expressed their loyalty to the British Crown. They proclaimed that the scriptures explicitly said that citizens had a duty to support those in political authority, which did not go down too well with his public. Over this period the numbers attending his church began to gradually decline and he was said to have “became very obnoxious by taking the part of Britain”.
In 1770 a Danbury judge fined Robert and an accomplice £40 each because they ignored an order issued four weeks previously to leave town as "strangers and undesirable persons". The sentence was never carried out and he continued to preach to his congregation.
He is buried at Wooster Street Cemetary, Danbury Fairfield County
Connecticut in USA. His headstone reads :
"Here lies until the resurrection the body of Robert Sandeman, a native of Perth, North Britain; who in the face of continual opposition from all sorts of men long and boldly contended for the ancient faith that the bare work of Jesus Christ, without a deed or thought on the part of man, is sufficient to present the chief of sinners spotless before God; to declare this blessed Truth as testified in the Holy Scriptures, he left his country - he left his friends; and after much patient suffering, finished his labors at Danbury, April 2,1771 AE. 53."
Finally, I will share a remark from the Heros and Famous Scots website which says :
"He could appear to some people as a religious zealot but he was in fact just a person who believed he was right and was not about to change his opinion for anyone without proof that they were in fact correct."
Heros and Famous Scots http://www.cranntara.org.uk/heroess.htm