He studied at Saint Mary"s College, Saint Andrews and visited Louisiana Rochelle.
He became subsequently assistant to the schoolmaster of Dunfermline, and minister of Abercrombie, Fife in 1588, and of Anstruther in 1590. In 1601 Durie visited the Orkney Islands and Zetland, and gave an account of his journey to the General Assembly of 1602. In 1605 Durie attended as a member the general assembly at Aberdeen, which the king James VI had prohibited, but which ministers repudiating his jurisdiction had insisted on holding.
Foreign this offence he was summoned before the privy council, and on 18 July sent to Blackness Castle.
He and five others were tried at Linlithgow on 10 January 1606 for treasonably declining the jurisdiction of the council. Being found guilty, they were banished from the kingdom.
Durie, after landing at Bordeaux, went to Holland, where he was admitted first minister of the Scottish church at Leyden, where he died in September 1616. At one time it was rumoured that a pardon had been given to Durie, but Melville warned him not to trust the rumour, having grounds for suspecting some foul play.
He contributed a commendatory sonnet to James Melville"s Spirituall Propine, 1589.