You are on page 1of 387

Andrew Melville and Humanism

in Renaissance Scotland
15451622
Studies in the History of
Christian Traditions

General Editor
Robert J. Bast
Knoxville, Tennessee

In cooperation with
Henry Chadwick, Cambridge
Paul C.H. Lim, Nashville, Tennessee
Eric Saak, Liverpool
Brian Tierney, Ithaca, New York
Arjo Vanderjagt, Groningen
John Van Engen, Notre Dame, Indiana

Founding Editor
Heiko A. Oberman

VOLUME 154

The titles published in this series are listed at brill.nl/shct.


Andrew Melville and Humanism
in Renaissance Scotland
15451622

By

Ernest R. Holloway III

LEIDEN BOSTON
LEIDEN BOSTON
2011
Cover illustration: John Slezer. St Andrews The Prospect of the Town of St Andrews in
Theatrum Scotiae. 1693. [NLS shelfmark EMS.b.5.1] Reproduced by permission of the Trustees
of the National Library of Scotland.

This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Holloway III, Ernest R.


Andrew Melville and humanism in Renaissance Scotland, 1545-1622 / by Ernest R. Holloway III.
p. cm. -- (Studies in the history of Christian traditions, ISSN 1573-5664 ; v. 154)
Based on the authors thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Aberdeen, 2009, issued under
the title: Andrew Melville and humanism in the reign of James VI.
Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.
ISBN 978-90-04-20539-0 (hardback : alk. paper) 1. Melville, Andrew, 1545-1622.
2. Humanism--Scotland--History. I. Title.
BX9225.M4H65 2011
285.092--dc22
2011011258

ISSN 1573-5664
ISBN 978 90 04 20539 0

Copyright 2011 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Global Oriental, Hotei Publishing,
IDC Publishers, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers and VSP.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in
a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher.

Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by KoninklijkeBrillNV


provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center,
222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, MA 01923, USA.
Fees are subject to change.
CONTENTS

Acknowledgements  vii
A Melville Chronology  ix
Abbreviations  xi

I. Andrew Melville and the Melville Legend  1


1. The Melville Legend  1
2. The Development of the Legend  7
3. Demythologizing the Legend  13
4. Knox and Melville  18
5. Buchanan and Melville  22
6. Melville and Humanism  27

II. The Formative Years (15451563/4)  35


1. The Narrative History  35
2. Childhood and Family  37
3. Early Education  47
4. The University of St Andrews  53
5. Conclusion  58

III. France: Paris and Poitiers (1563/41569)  61


1. The Collge Royal and University of Paris  61
2. Petrus Ramus  74
3. George Buchanan  82
4. Poitiers  91
5. Conclusion  98

IV. Switzerland: Geneva (15691574)  101


1. The Academy of Geneva  101
2. Melvilles Genevan Circle  112
3. Joseph Justus Scaliger  131
4. Theodore Beza  136
5. Melvilles Departure  146
6. Conclusion  148
vi contents

V. Scotland: Glasgow (15741580)  151


1. Melville as Private Tutor  151
2. The University of Glasgow  155
3. A Humanist in Service to the Kirk  166
4. Fellow Humanists and Advocates of Reform  170
5. 1577 Nova Erectio  179
6. Relocation to St Andrews  185
7. Conclusion  187

VI. Scotland: St Andrews (15801607)  191


1. The University of St Andrews  191
2. The Controversy Over Aristotle  197
3. The Ecclesiastical Statesman  205
4. Exile in England: London, Oxford, and Cambridge  210
5. The Visit of Du Bartas  220
6. Melvilles Literary Circle  223
7. Melvilles Poetry  232
8. Conclusion  246

VII.England and France: London and Sedan


(16071622)  251
1. Prelude to Conflict  251
2. James VI and the Tower of London  260
3. The Melvini Epistolae  268
4. The University of Sedan  277
5. Arthur Johnston  283
6. Conclusion  287

VIII.Andrew Melville and the Renaissance


in Scotland  291
1. Melville the Humanist  291
2. Melville the University Reformer.  306
3. Melville the Ecclesiastical Statesman  315
4. Melville the Man  329
5. Conclusion  336

Selected Bibliography  337


Index of Melvilles Selected Works  359
General Index  361
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This study is based on my PhD thesis Andrew Melville and Humanism


in the Reign of James VI originally submitted to the University of
Aberdeen in 2009 and supervised by Nicholas J. Thompson in the School
of Divinity, History and Philosophy. During my time in Old Aberdeen,
I enjoyed interaction with a number scholars who contributed to the
development of my own thought on Melville, humanism, and the north-
ern European Renaissance but none were more helpful than my advisor
who generously gave of his time and skillfully assisted me in my investi-
gations. For this and his enduring friendship I remain in his debt.
Complementing the work of my supervisor, I would also like to thank
those who conducted my viva at Kings College, Mark Elliot of the
University of St Andrews and Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner of the
University of Aberdeen. I am most grateful for their careful perusal of
the thesis and their insightful and probing questions. Those hours of
examination were a sheer delight stimulating my own thought and
opening up new avenues of inquiry.
Another scholar who is owed special thanks for his indirect contri
bution to this work and his direct contribution to my development as
an historian of early modern Europe is my former American doc-
toralthesis advisor Carl Trueman. It was during his doctoral seminar
on the English Reformation that the seeds of my subsequent Aberdeen
research were sown. As an alumnus of and former Senior Lecturer at the
University of Aberdeen, his friendship helped make the transition from
Philadelphia to Old Aberdeen relatively seamless.
I would especially like to thank the members of staff of the Special
Collections at Kings College, the University of Aberdeen who graciously
provided invaluable assistance in the research process. Particular recog-
nition should be given to Mrs. B. J. Ellner and Miss M. B. J. Gait who
patiently and diligently tracked down materials from the Universitys
extensive collection of rare books and manuscripts. I am also most grate-
ful for the help provided by those members of the library staff during my
work at the University as a tutorial instructor and teaching fellow. To
those members of staff of the Bodleian Library, British Library, National
Library of Scotland, University of Edinburgh, and Bibliothque de
Genve, Universit de Genve I am deeply indebted for their excellent
assistance in locating correspondence, manuscripts, and rare books.
viii acknowledgements

Particular recognition is especially due to E.J. Brill, Leiden and its fine
editorial staff and scholars who have expertly supervised every phase of
the publication process. I am especially grateful to Mr. Ivo Romein, edi-
tor in the Brill History Department for his excellent assistance and for
the judicious review of the manuscript supplied by the anonymous
reader. It will always be my distinct honor to have had my work pub-
lished by Brill.
I am grateful to my family in the United States whose love, under-
standing, and support have made this work possible. In addition to the
generous support of my mother, Janet Davis Holloway, I would like to
offer special thanks to my late grandfather Ernest R. Holloway Sr. of
Dallas, Texas whose generosity has helped to make the costly venture
of living and studying abroad a reality.
Most of all I would like to thank my wife Rebecca whose sacrifices,
love, and devotion to me and our three children, Addison, Davis, and
Genevie, have made this work what it is today. Her role as my loving
companion and mother of our children has been complemented by her
indefatigable labors as my chief redactor, literary critic, and constant
supporter. To her and our three beautiful children this work is most
affectionately dedicated.

Ernest R. Holloway III


January 2011
A MELVILLE CHRONOLOGY

1545 Andrew Melville born near Montrose on the estate


of Baldovy
1557/581559/60Pursues Greek studies under Marsilier
1559/60 Matriculates at St Marys College, St Andrews
1563/64 Probably graduates from St Andrews, departs from
Scotland, and commences studies at the University
of Paris and the Collge Royal
15651566 Studies under Buchanan in Paris
1566/67 Departs from Paris and commences study at the
University of Poitiers
1569 Serves as classical tutor in Poitiers, departs from
Poitiers, commences work as a regent in the schola
privata of the Genevan Academy
1570 Attends Ramus lectures on dialectic in Lausanne
1574 First publishes Carmen Mosis, departs from Geneva,
returns to Scotland, appointed principal of the
University of Glasgow, tutors nephew
1575 Melville and Arbuthnot plan the reform of the
Universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen
1577 The University of Glasgow ratifies nova erectio
1578 Melville serves as moderator of the general
assembly
1579 St Andrews approves nova fundatio
1580 Melville transferred from the University of Glasgow
to become principal of St Marys
1582 Melville serves as moderator over two separate gen-
eral assemblies, Buchanan dies
1583 Arbuthnot intends nova fundatio for Kings College,
Old Aberdeen, Arbuthnot and Smeaton die
1584 Summoned before Privy Council in Edinburgh,
confronts James VI
15841585 Exile in England, resides in London, visits Oxford
and Cambridge
1586 returns to St Marys, warded briefly north of
the Tay
x a melville chronology

1587 Visit of Du Bartas; Melville serves as moderator of


the general assembly
1590 Delivers and publishes , appointed rec-
tor of the University
1594 Publishes Principis Scoti-Britannorum natalia;
Melville serves as moderator of the general
assembly.
1596 Confronts James VI at Falkland Palace
1597 Removed as rector of the University, prevented
from attending church courts
1602 Publishes Gathelus, confined within the precincts of
St Marys
1604 Composes Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria
1605 Supports Aberdeen assembly
1606 Summoned by the King to London to discuss the
1605 Aberdeen assembly
1607 Incarcerated in the Tower of London, deposed from
principalship
16071611 Melvini epistolae written, Psalm paraphrases and
Prosopopeia apologetica composed, Casaubon visits
Melville in the Tower
1611 Released from the Tower, banished from the king-
dom, accepts position at the University of Sedan,
John Johnston dies
1614 James Melville dies
1620 Viri clarissimi A. Melvini musae published
1622 Dies in Sedan
ABBREVIATIONS

Acta conventus AmstelodamensisActa conventus neo-Latini


Amstelodamensis
Acta conventus Sanctandreani Acta conventus neo-Latini
Sanctandreani
Acta conventus Torontonensis Acta conventus neo-Latini
Torontonensis
Acta conventus Turonensis Acta conventus neo-Latini
Turonensis
ACUSA Alumnus Chronicle of the University
of St Andrews
AHR American Historical Review
ARG Archiv fr Reformationsgeschichte
AUR Aberdeen University Review
BHR Bibliothque dHumanisme et
Renaissance
BUK Acts and proceedings of the general
assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland
CC College Courant
CH Church History
CJ Classical Journal
CTJ Calvin Theological Journal
DPS Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum
EBST Edinburgh Bibliographical Society
Transactions
EHR English Historical Review
GHJ George Herbert Journal
HJ Historical Journal
HS History of Science
HT History and Theory
HTR Harvard Theological Review
IR Innes Review
JBS Journal of British Studies
JEH Journal of Ecclesiastical History
JHE Journal of Higher Education
JHI Journal of the History of Ideas
xii abbreviations

JMAD The Autobiography and Diary of


Mr. James Melville; A True
Narratioune of the Declyneing
Aige of the Kirk of Scotland
JWCI Journal of the Warburg and
Courtauld Institutes
MAUG Munimenta Alme Universitatis
Glasguensis
MLR Modern Language Review
MP Modern Philology
Musae Anglicanae Musae Anglicanae: A History of
Anglo-Latin Poetry 15001925
NS Northern Scotland
ODNB Oxford Dictionary of National
Biography
PMLA Proceedings of the Modern Language
Association
RQ Renaissance Quarterly
RR Renaissance and Reformation
RSCHS Records of the Scottish Church
History Society
SCJ Sixteenth-Century Journal
Scotia Scotia: American-Canadian Journal
of Scottish Studies
SEL Studies in English Literature
SHR Scottish Historical Review
SJT Scottish Journal of Theology
SQ Shakespeare Quarterly
SR Studies in the Renaissance
TZ Theologische Zeitschrift
Viri Clarissimi Viri Clarissimi A. Melvini Musae et
P. Adamsoni Vita et Palindoia
WTJ Westminster Theological Journal
YES Yearbook of English Studies
Chapter one

ANDREW MELVILLE AND THE MELVILLE LEGEND

The Melville Legend

The intellectual legacy of Andrew Melville (15451622) as a leader of


the Renaissance and a promoter of humanism in Scotland is as complex
as the man himself. Few figures in early modern Scotland have been as
misunderstood as Melville. His work as an academic and university
reformer as well as his ecclesiastical labors have generated diverse
and, at times, conflicting assessments. Some, reflecting upon his labors
as a humanist and university reformer, have labeled him the Scots
Melanchthon,1 the Beza of Scotland,2 the first of Scotlands pure
scholars,3 a scholars scholar,4 the Second Founder of the University
of Glasgow,5 and even the chief restorer of the western university.6
Others, contemplating his efforts as an ecclesiastical reformer, have
designated him the Episcoporum exactor or ,7
the father of Scottish Presbyterianism,8 the Presbyterian mission-
ary to Scotland,9 the primary author of the 1578 Second Book of

1
James Bass Mullinger, The University of Cambridge: From the Royal Injunctions
of 1535 to the Accession of Charles the First (Cambridge, 1884), 365.
2
G.D. Henderson, Religious Life in Seventeenth-Century Scotland (Cambridge,
1937), 32.
3
John Durkan, The Cultural Background in Sixteenth-Century Scotland in David
McRoberts (ed.), Essays on the Scottish Reformation 15131625 (Glasgow, 1962), 291.
4
John Durkan and James Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577 (Glasgow,
1977), 276.
5
H.M.B. Reid, The Divinity Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654
(Glasgow, 1917), 1.
6
Alexander Gray, The Old Schools and Universities in Scotland, Scottish Historical
Review, 9 (Jan., 1912), 120. Cf. also Joseph H. Summers, George Herbert: His Religion
and Art (London, 1954), 55. Summers calls Melville the reformer of the Scottish
universities.
7
James Melville, The Autobiography and Diary of Mr. James Melville ed. Robert
Pitcairn (Edinburgh, 1842), 52, 369370.
8
James Kirk, Melvillian Reform in the Scottish Universities in A.A. MacDonald,
Michael Lynch, and Ian B. Cowan (eds.), The Renaissance in Scotland: Studies in
Literature, Religion and Culture (Leiden, 1994), 277.
9
Gordon Donaldson, The Scottish Reformation (Cambridge, 1960), 190.
2 chapter one

Discipline,10 and the de facto leader of the Scottish Presbyterians from


the 1580s on.11 Still others in assessing the period more broadly have
simply declared that he was the dominant figure in Scottish history for
thirty years.12 To be sure the more extreme characterizations have
arisen, in part, because of Melvilles own charismatic personality and
flamboyant histrionics. He was unquestionably a polarizing figure.
Consequently he has been portrayed in almost mythic terms as an
ancient prophet emerging from his seclusion to hurl denunciation and
protest13 and as a high-handed theocrat and militant champion of
Presbyterianism who preached sedition from the pulpit and who brought
about, almost single-handedly, the acceptance of presbytery in Scotland
in 1580.14 Whereas some have categorically denied that he was a church
leader at all,15 others have attributed to him a virtual omnipotence in the
churchs highest judicatory.16
Despite his decidedly Presbyterian commitments and avowed opposi-
tion to episcopacy, as seen in his 1604 Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria, he
has been labeled the intellectual grandparent of the Aberdeen
Doctors.17 Students of Scottish history will remember him as the one
who confronted James VI of Scotland in September 1596 at Falkland
Palace, calling him Gods sillie vassal, tugging on his sleeve, and boldly

10
J.H.S. Burleigh, A Church History of Scotland (London, 1960), 198; Charles
P. Finlayson, Clement Litill and His Library: The Origins of Edinburgh University Library
(Edinburgh, 1980), 17; Caroline Bingham, The Making of a King: The Early Years of James
VI and I (London, 1968), 149. Finlayson and Bingham refer to Melvilles Second Book
of Discipline. James Kirk debunks this all but universal belief in The Second Book of
Discipline, ed. James Kirk (Edinburgh, 1980), 45, 51.
11
James Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England (Cambridge,
2000), 57; James Doelman, The Contexts of George Herberts Musae Responsoriae,
George Herbert Journal, 2 (1992), 44. Doelman has also identified Melville as the chief
architect of Presbyterianism.
12
Samuel Eliot Morison, The Founding of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA,
1935), 132.
13
Reid, The Divinity Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654, 57.
14
D. Macmillan, The Aberdeen Doctors (London, 1909), 66, 7879; I. D. McFarlane,
Buchanan, (London, 1981), 470; Doelman, The Contexts of George Herberts Musae
Responsoriae, 45. McFarlane portrays Melville as having developed in Geneva a mili-
tant fundamentalism.
15
Reid, The Divinity Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654, 57.
16
Robert Sangster Rait, Andrew Melville and the Revolt Against Aristotle in
Scotland, English Historical Review (April, 1899), 257.
17
R.G. Cant, The University of St. Andrews: A Short History (St Andrews, 1992),
61, 67.
andrew melville and the melville legend 3

declaring his two kingdoms theory.18 Archbishop Spottiswoode, who


had been a student at the University of Glasgow while Melville served as
principal, later remarked that he was more like a madman than a
divine.19 Other historians, such as William Palmer, have simply dis-
missed him as a terribly misguided man.20 His opponents, because of
his intimate association with Calvins successor and his rigorous adher-
ence to the Genevan discipline, contemptuously labeled him Bezas
ape.21 Still others have characterized him as a belligerent, disagreeable,
strident agitator who initiated and sustained a firestorm of controversy
throughout his long and tumultuous career as Scotlands foremost uni-
versity reformer and indefatigable promoter of Presbyterianism.
Whereas some scholars have ranked his neo-Latin poetry as second only
to Buchanans in Scotland, calling him an excellent poet,22 others, while
recognizing his centrality among the Latin poets of his generation and
his position as a kind of unofficial Latin laureate to James VI, have
labeled him a mediocre poet.23 Others, in assessing his stature as a
Latin poet of the Scottish Renaissance, have simply identified him as
effectively Buchanans successor.24 As a result of the diversity of evalu-
ations, the conflicting assessments, and the fantastic caricatures, Andrew
Melville remains an enigma to historians of early modern Europe.25

18
David George Mullan, Scottish Puritanism 15901638 (Oxford, 2000), 259;
Episcopacy in Scotland: The History of an Idea, 15601638 (Edinburgh, 1986), 59; Michael
F. Graham, The Uses of Reform: Godly Discipline and Popular Behavior in Scotland and
Beyond, 15601610 (Leiden, 1996), 201.
19
John Spottiswoode, The History of the Church of Scotland Vol. II (Edinburgh, 1850),
200; Vol. III, 183.
20
Thomas McCrie, Jr., Life of Thomas McCrie, D.D. (Edinburgh, 1840), 232.
21
John Hill Burton, The Scot Abroad (Edinburgh, 1864), II, 90.
22
Thomas Fuller, The Church History of Britain Vol. III (London, 1868), 295; Izak
Walton, The Life of Mr. George Herbert (London, 1670), 35. Walton characterized Melville
as a man of learning, and the Master of a great wit, a wit full of knots and clenches: a
wit sharp and satyrical; exceeded, I think, by none of that Nation, but their Bucanon.
23
James W.L. Adams, The Renaissance Poets: (2) Latin in James Kinsley (ed.),
Scottish Poetry: A Critical Survey (London, 1955), 8182; J.H. Millar, A Literary History
of Scotland (London, 1903), 246. Millar bestows faint praise on Melvilles epigrams labe-
ling them as tolerable.
24
Paul J. McGinnis and Arthur H. Williamson (eds.), George Buchanan: The Political
Poetry (Edinburgh, 1995), 31, 318. They also refer to Melville as Buchanans successor
poet.
25
Cf. G.D. Henderson, The Burning Bush: Studies in Scottish Church History
(Edinburgh, 1957), 25; John Kerr, Scottish Education School and University: from Early
Times to 1908 (Cambridge, 1910), 128.
4 chapter one

To further complicate matters, there has developed over the years


what John Durkan has called the Melville legend, a mythical image
that emerged in part due to the success of his academic reforms and his
ecclesiastical influence.26 Despite David Mullans remark that Melvilles
influence is not easily overestimated, the mythical portrayal of the
reformer has flourished over the last two centuries and can be seen most
vividly in Robert Sangster Raits claim that Melville was all-powerful in
the General Assembly.27 Whereas Durkan is undoubtedly correct that
Melvilles successful university reforms and ecclesiastical influence con-
tributed to the growth of the legend, the Scots mythical status grew to
epic proportions with the publication in 1819 of Thomas McCries Life of
Andrew Melville. Conceived at the outset as the natural sequel to his
1811 Life of John Knox, McCries biography portrayed Melville as the
successor to Scotlands leading reformer and most eminent divine.
Relying heavily upon James Melvilles 1602 Diary, 1610 True Narratioune,
and William Scots Apologetical Narration, McCrie identified Melville as
the chief influence during the Jacobean period in promoting the New
Learning and the individual who, more than any other, led the Kirk in
Knoxs absence. Portrayed in Herculean terms, McCrie depicted Melville
as the master-spirit which animated the whole body, and watched over
the rights and liberties of the church.28 Indeed, James Kirk has charac-
terized McCries portrayal of Melville with only the slightest tinge of
hyperbole when he refers to the Reformer as Knox redivivus, his spirit
brought back to life, embracing the same beliefs and ideals of Knox
and the first generation Reformers.29 Despite the bilious effusion
expressed in the British Critic in February 1820, soundly condemning
the work as a piece of bitter partisanship and its author as a narrow bigot,
a more sympathetic reader in the Christian Instructor hailed the bio
graphy and its predecessor as the Iliad and Odyssey of the Scottish
Church.30

Durkan, The Cultural Background in Sixteenth-Century Scotland, 291.


26

Mullan, Scottish Puritanism 15901638, 16; Rait, Andrew Melville and the Revolt
27

Against Aristotle in Scotland, 250, 257.


28
Thomas McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville Vol. II (2nd edn., Edinburgh and London,
1824), 328, 333, 448449; Life of John Knox (Edinburgh, 1811); Melville, JMAD, 143;
William Scot, An Apologetical Narration of the State and Government of the Kirk of
Scotland Since the Reformation (Edinburgh, 1846). McCrie maintained that Melville
exercised the chief hand in establishing the ecclesiastical constitution of the Church of
Scotland.
29
James Kirk, John Knox and Andrew Melville: A Question of Identity? Scotia:
American-Canadian Journal of Scottish Studies, 6 (1982), 15.
30
McCrie, Life of Thomas McCrie, D.D., 238, 240, 244.
andrew melville and the melville legend 5

Notwithstanding the hagiographical character and the overtly parti-


san tone of McCries Life of Melville, the work represents a remarkable
achievement in Scottish history and continues to remain an authorita-
tive source on the life of the humanist and reformer. McCries thorough
examination of rare editions and manuscripts, careful paleographical
study, extensive Latin translations, and meticulous attention to detail
represent an attempt to provide a critical history at a time when such
scholarship was in its infancy.31 In light of this fact and in spite of the
efforts by critics to discredit the work as an undiscriminating pane-
gyric, Gordon Donaldson astutely remarked that McCrie was a pio-
neer in historical research whose work on the reformer exhibited a
range of scholarship which has not yet been surpassed in this field.32 His
biography since its publication in 1819 has remained the standard, sem-
inal work for historians on the life and achievements of Andrew Melville
and a valuable contribution to our understanding of the sixteenth-cen-
tury Scottish Renaissance. Whereas McCries work may be identified as
the proximate source for the Melville legend, the ultimate source may be
located in James Melvilles own hagiographical narrative history.33
Although the Diary of James Melville (15561614) may be identified
as the ultimate source of the Melville legend, the documents general
reliability in recording the details of Melvilles life, especially those
accounts which cannot be corroborated by external evidence, has been
assumed by many sixteenth-century historians. Given that its author
wrote this account some 30 or more years after many of the events
occurred and in some cases was not an eyewitness, a healthy degree of
skepticism is warranted when assessing these accounts. There are clear
instances in the Diary where the author is either confused or simply
mistaken and this may be accounted for on the grounds of faulty mem-
ory, inadequate research, partisan polemics, or exaggerated estimates.

31
Ian Henderson, Reassessment of the Reformers in Duncan Shaw (ed.), Refor
mation and Revolution: Essays Presented to the Very Reverend Principal Emeritus Hugh
Watt, D.D., D.Litt. on the Sixtieth Anniversary of his Ordination (Edinburgh, 1967), 34.
32
Gordon Donaldson, Sources for Scottish Church History 15601600 in Scottish
Church History (Edinburgh, 1985), 90.
33
Hugh Walker, Three Centuries of Scottish Literature: The Reformation to the Union
Vol I. (Glasgow, 1893), 83128; Graham, The Uses of Reform, 131; W.S. Provand,
Puritanism in the Scottish Church (Paisley, 1923), 57; Michael Lynch, Calvinism in
Scotland, 15591638 in Menna Prestwich (ed.), International Calvinism, 15411715
(Oxford, 1985), 235. Cf. Ian Hazlett, The Reformation in Britain and Ireland (London
and New York, 2003), 113133; Marjory A. Bald, James Melville: An Obscured Man of
Letters, Modern Language Review, 21 (July, 1926), 26168.
6 chapter one

There are also value judgments or sheer opinion which should not be
accepted at face value. To be sure, it was not James Melvilles intention to
provide either an official biography of his uncle or an history proper of
the period. It is as the title suggests an autobiography and diary, an his-
torical record written from the perspective of one intimately involved in
many of the events he records. If one views the authors proximity to
these events as providing a unique but limited perspective written by
one decidedly committed to his uncles cause, then the source may be
used critically along with other historical records to reconstruct the
events of the period. The authors moral probity combined with his
intention to provide a faithful and accurate account of the persons and
events of the period have together provided the grounds for its essential
reliability. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the Diary
should be admitted as evidence even as other partisan accounts and his-
torical records are consulted in endeavoring to understand the period.
The same critical approach employed in consulting John Spottiswoodes
and David Calderwoods respectives histories should be adopted in
perusing James Melvilles narrative history. The mere presence of bias or
overt partisanship far from becoming a disqualifiying factor simply
makes explicit the interpretative framework through which the events
are evaluated and assessed.
Without question the Diary is the single most influential historical
source and interpretation of the Jacobean Kirk and of the life, accom-
plishments, and significance of Andrew Melville. Despite the disparag-
ing efforts by critics to dismiss his narrative history as intellectual
narrowness and his ideas as harsh and exhibiting a certain naivety,34
the Diary has been praised by R.G. Cant as one of the great books of its
kind of all time and has occupied a central place for sixteenth- and
seventeenth-century historians of Scotland.35 Notwithstanding those
who would portray its author as one who played a more vigorous part
even than Knox in killing the old Scots sense of delight in the arts and
as one who indulged in much religio-literary flatulence,36 James
Melvilles narrative history consisting of his 1602 Diary and 1610 True

34
David Reid, Prose After Knox in R.D. Jack (ed.), The History of Scottish Literature
Vol. I (Aberdeen, 19871988), 189190.
35
Cant, The University of St. Andrews, 59. Cf also McCrie, Life of Thomas McCrie,
D.D., 239.
36
Maurice Lindsay, History of Scottish Literature (London, 1977), 109.
andrew melville and the melville legend 7

Narratioune, is largely responsible for providing the raw materials from


which the Melville legend has been constructed.37
Although not published until the nineteenth century, the Diary
and True Narratioune have served as indispensable historical documents
for understanding the period.38 In the line of George Wishart, Walter
Milne, and John Knox, James Melville unequivocally portrayed his uncle
as Knoxs successor in the Kirk, divinely placed there for putting on
of the ceapstean of the trew and right discipline and polecie.39 Even
though he avoided the error of later generations in ascribing primary
authorship of the Second Book of Discipline to his uncle, his Diary and
True Narratioune have dramatically shaped subsequent histories.40
David Calderwoods and John Rows respective histories as well as
William Scots Apologetical Narration have all conspicuously relied upon
Melvilles history in advancing their own interpretation even as many
more recent historians have done.41 Even John Spottiswoodes History,
while at variance at many points with the interpretations offered by the
presbyterian historians of the seventeenth century, has followed suit
in ascribing to Andrew Melville a place of supreme importance and
influence.42

The Development of the Legend

The image of Melvilles centrality and widespread influence in the


Jacobean Kirk was developed further by a number of historians during
the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1870 John Hill Burton
maintained that the Second Book of Discipline was the work chiefly of

37
Cf. A. R. MacDonald, A Fragment of an Early Copy of James Melvilles A True
Narratioune of the Declyneing Aige of the Kirk of Scotland, Innes Review, 47 (Spr., 1996),
8188.
38
James Melville, The Diary of Mr. James Melvill (Edinburgh, 1829).
39
Melville, JMAD, 72.
40
Robert Sangster Rait, The Universities of Aberdeen: A History (Aberdeen, 1895),
108; The Second Book of Discipline, 51.
41
Robert Pitcairn, Prefatory Notice in James Melville, The Autobiography and
Diary of Mr. James Melville ed. Robert Pitcairn (Edinburgh, 1842), xxiv. Cf. David
Calderwood, The History of the Kirk of Scotland by Mr. David Calderwood, ed.
T. Thomson, 8 vols. (Edinburgh, 184249); John Row, History of the Kirk of Scotland
from the Year 1558 to August 1637, ed. David Laing (Edinburgh, 1842).
42
Alan R. MacDonald, The Jacobean Kirk, 15671625 Sovereignty, Polity and Liturgy
(Aldershot, 1998), 14, 171, 173.
8 chapter one

Andrew Melville.43 Referring to Melville as the Melanchthon of


Scotland, James Bass Mullinger in 1884 explicitly identified him as the
successor, in no small degree, to John Knoxs reputation and influence.44
Similarly, Sir William Duguid Geddes in 1895 unequivocally declared
that Melville was [t]he successor of John Knox in the work of the
Scottish Reformation.45 In that same year, John Malcolm Bulloch sub-
stantially augmented this mythical image when he credited him with
having single-handedly effected the [educational] change in Scotland.46
In 1899 Robert Sangster Rait made no less a claim when he remarked
that Melville was no unworthy successor to Knox, even maintaining
that he left no less an impress upon Scotland than did Knox himself.47
By the turn of the century the portrait of Melville as Knoxs successor
and the leader of the Jacobean Kirk was firmly entrenched and was per-
petuated by a vast array of historians. In 1900 Charles Borgeaud identi-
fied Melville as the futur organisateur de lglise presbytrienne
dcosse48 while Roland Greene Usher in 1910 singled him out as the
chief leader of the Presbyterians.49 According to P. Hume Brown,
Melville was not merely Knoxs successor but it was his continental
learning which won for him a prestige that at once gave him a com-
manding position in the Church.50 Depicting his influence in dramatic
terms, W.S. Provand in 1923 claimed that the year 1575 marked the ces-
sation of the Church of Knox and the beginning of the Church of
Melville. Indeed, his controling influence in the church was signified by
the fact that the 1578 Second Book of Discipline was Melvilles work
asdecisively as the First Book was the work of Knox.51 This mythical

43
John Hill Burton, The History of Scotland: From Agricolas Invasion to the Revolution
of 1688 Vol. V (Edinburgh, 1870), 404, 469. Cf. also Thomas Thomson, A History of the
Scottish People from the Earliest Times Vol. IV (London, 1893), 348.
44
Mullinger, The University of Cambridge, 365.
45
William Duguid Geddes (ed.), Musa Latina Aberdonensis Arthur Johnston Vol. II
The Epigrammata and Remaining Secular Poems (Aberdeen, 1895), 54.
46
John Malcolm Bulloch, A History of the University of Aberdeen 14951895 (London,
1895), 7779.
47
Robert Sangster Rait, The Universities of Aberdeen (Aberdeen, 1895), 108; Andrew
Melville and the Revolt Against Aristotle in Scotland, 250.
48
Charles Borgeaud, Histoire de LUniversit de Genve LAcadmie de Calvin 1559
1798 (Genve, 1900), 108. Cf. also Cartwright and Melville at the University of Geneva,
15691574, American Historical Review, (Dec. 1899), 286.
49
Roland Greene Usher, Reconstruction of the English Church Vol. II (New York and
London, 1910), 162.
50
P. Hume Brown, History of Scotland to the Present Time: From the Accession of Mary
Stewart to the Revolution of 1689 (Cambridge, 1911), 129.
51
Provand, Puritanism in the Scottish Church, 54, 589.
andrew melville and the melville legend 9

image was further accentuated in 1923 by E.G. Selwyn when he


claimed that the act of establishing Presbyterianism in 1592 marks
thezenith of the power of Andrew Melville. With approbation he cited
the epigram while Knox made Scotland Protestant, Melville made it
Presbyterian.52
Adding further credence to the view of Melvillian succession, Samuel
Eliot Morison in 1935 repeated Mullingers epithet styling him the Scots
Melanchthon and claiming he was the dominant figure in Scottish his-
tory for thirty years.53 The alleged parallels implicit in such a compari-
son between Knox and Luther on the one hand and Melville and
Melanchthon on the other have only served to buttress the legend and
perpetuate the image. Following in Morisons footsteps, G.D. Henderson
in 1937 labeled Melville the Beza of Scotland and made this parallel
explicit when he claimed that the Geneva tradition of Calvin and Beza,
of Knox and Melville, lived on in seventeenth-century Scotland.54
In 1939 Henderson went even further in reinforcing this image when he
credited Melville with having established the full Presbyterian system
of Church government by Assembly, Synod, Presbytery and Kirk Session
thus earning the title the establisher of Scottish Presbyterianism.55 By
1940 the image of Melville as Knoxs successor had become so axiomatic
that even Leicester Bradner in his history of Anglo-Latin poetry inno-
cently referred to him as the leader of the presbyterian party.56
During the 1960s the legendary image of Melville was developed
along two distinct lines of presentation. The first continued to perpetu-
ate the view of Melvillian succession and may be seen in the work of
William Arbuckle and T. Angus Kerr. In 1964 in addition to identifying
Melville as Knoxs successor, Arbuckle maintained that he was the
leading figure in the Reformed Church and the father of Scottish
Presbyterianism. Crediting Melville for his influence in the production
of the Second Book of Discipline, Arbuckle maintained that Melville

52
Edward Gordon Selwyn (trans. and ed.), The First Book of the Irenicum of John
Forbes of Corse a Contribution to the Theology of Re-union (Cambridge, 1923), 2, 3, 7.
53
Morison, The Founding of Harvard College, 132.
54
Henderson, Religious Life in Seventeenth-Century Scotland, 32, 62; The Burning
Bush: Studies in Scottish Church History, 25, 51, 139, 220.
55
Henderson, The Burning Bush: Studies in Scottish Church History, 25, 51, 139, 220.
Cf. also William M. Campbell, The Triumph of Presbyterianism (Edinburgh, 1958), 12.
56
Leicester Bradner, Musae Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin Poetry 15001925
(New York and London, 1940), 151.
10 chapter one

functioned effectively as spokesman for the Church.57 In 1967 T. Angus


Kerr presented this mytical image in bold relief when he declared that
the reformer reigned supreme in the General Assemblies of the late
seventies and early eighties of the sixteenth century.58 A second line of
development was introduced in 1960 by Gordon Donaldson. In contrast
to G.D. Henderson, who conceived of Melville as essentially completing
the project introduced by Knox, Donaldson maintained that it was
Melville, not Knox, who was the originator of Scottish Presbyterianism.59
While Donaldson drove a wedge between Knox and Melville rejecting
the notion of Melvillian succession, he nevertheless portrayed him as
the leader in the Kirk who formed a party of energetic, zealous and
forthright young men who became for a time the most vigorous element
in the church.60 Despite this rejection, Donaldson credited Melville with
assuming upon the death of Knox the leadership of the militant section
of the Scottish clergy. Indeed, he so strongly identified his prominent
leadership with the presbyterian cause that he wrote not of the triumph
of Presbyterianism but of Andrew Melville.61 He was after all, according
to Donaldson, [t]he presbyterian missionary to Scotland.62
While providing analysis of Melville and the Melvillian movement,
James Kirk in 1972 augmented this image of the reformer by exploring
the ways in which he exerted his influence among the clergy of the
Scottish Kirk in the late sixteenth century. Drawing upon Thomas
Fullers corporeal analogy, Kirk maintained that if Thomas Cartwright
and Walter Travers could be labeled the head and neck of Englands
Presbyterian party, then Andrew Melville should be considered the
very heart of the Scottish Presbyterian movement.63 Underscoring the

57
William Arbuckle, A St. Andrews Diarist: James Melville 15561614 (Edinburgh
and London, 1964), 3.
58
T. Angus Kerr, John Craig, Minister of Aberdeen, and Kings Chaplain in Duncan
Shaw (ed.), Reformation and Revolution: Essays Presented to the Very Reverend Principal
Emeritus Hugh Watt, D.D., D.Litt. on the Sixtieth Anniversary of His Ordination
(Edinburgh, 1967), 110. Cf. Maurice Lee, Jr., James VI and the Revival of Episcopacy in
Scotland: 15961600, Church History, 43 (Mar., 1974), 55.
59
Donaldson, The Scottish Reformation, 191193.
60
Gordon Donaldson, Scotland: Church and Nation through Sixteen Centuries
(London, 1960), 71, 73.
61
Donaldson, The Scottish Reformation, 191, 224; Donaldson, Scotland: Church and
Nation, 71, 73.
62
Ibid., 190.
63
James Kirk, The Development of the Melvillian Movement in Late Sixteenth
Century Scotland (PhD Thesis, Edinburgh 1972), 142.
andrew melville and the melville legend 11

image of Melvilles centrality and his role as Knoxs successor, W. Stanford


Reid in 1974 maintained that Knox laid the groundwork for Andrew
Melvilles establishment of a truly presbyterian church.64 In keeping
with Reids characterization, Caroline Bingham in 1979 reinforceed this
legendary image by maintaining that Melville, a pure product of Calvinst
Geneva, inherited the mantle of John Knox after the latters death in
1572.65 Similarly, Jenny Wormald in 1987 referred to the great Andrew
Melville who, as the leader of the extreme presbyterians, intellectually
dominated an entire generation of young scholars. Writing of his influ-
ence, she contrasted the two extremes within the Jacobean Kirk as the
Melvillians on one side, the king on the other.66
During the last two decades historians have continued to perpetuate
the image of Melville as the dominating figure in the intellectual and
ecclesiastical life of Scotland in the second half of the sixteenth century.
In 1992 Ronald Cant portrayed him as not only dominating the univer-
sity by his personality for a quarter of a century but as the figure whom
the whole life of the city and university and much of that of Scotland
revolved. Fearing his persuasive abilities, Cant conjectured that the
crown deprived Melville of the office of rector of the University in a
deliberate attempt to curtail his influence in the Kirk. Not restricting his
influence to the Presbyterian party, Cant maintained that Melvilles
impact on his former pupil Patrick Forbes was so profound that he could
legitimately be regarded as the intellectual grandparent of the Aberdeen
Doctors.67 At the turn of the century, James Doelman reinforced this
common image of Melville by categorically declaring that he was the de
facto leader of the Scottish Presbyterians from the 1580s on.68
Other historians, such as Roger Mason and Michael Graham, while
avoiding such sweeping statements and declarations have nevertheless
employed terminology which implies a view of Melvilles central place
and influence. Mason in 1994 characterized the debate over ecclesiastical

64
W. Stanford Reid, Trumpeter of God: A Biography of John Knox (New York,
1974), 290.
65
Caroline Bingham, James VI of Scotland (London, 1979), 43, 45. Cf. also The Making
of a King: The Early Years of James VI and I, 71. Bingham explicitly identifies Melville as
Knoxs successor.
66
Jenny Wormald, No Bishop, no king: The Scottish Jacobean Episcopate,
16001625 in Bibliothque De La Revue DHistoire Ecclsiastique: Miscellanae Historiae
Ecclesiasticae VIII (Louvain, 1987), 259, 260, 262.
67
Cant, The University of St. Andrews, 60, 64, 67.
68
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 57.
12 chapter one

sovereignty as the struggle between James VI and the Melvillian pres-


byterians. In referring to the dramatic confrontations between the
presbyterians and the crown, he wrote of a distinct ecclesiastical party
which he designated the Melvillians and of Melvilles presbyterian
programme.69 Similarly, Michael Graham reinforced this image of
Melville as the primary spokesman for the Presbyterian party when he
referred to the leading Melvillians, the Melvillian battles of the 1570s
through the 1590s, the Melvillians commitment to practical moral
reform, the Melvilles and their followers, and the Melvillian mani-
festo. While such terminology requires at least some measure of
leadership exercised by Melville, it tends to suggest, when used with
out qualification, the theory of his dominance in the Jacobean Kirk.
According to Graham, Melvilles influence was not restricted to the local
confines of St Andrews and the Kingdom of Fife but was extended
nationally throughout Scotland.70 Although there have been instances of
authors taking exception to the view of Melvilles centrality and preemi-
nence in the Jacobean Kirk, such as H.M.B. Reid at the beginning of the
last century,71 and his influence in the Scottish universities, such as
Michael Lynch more recently,72 the McCrie thesis has been widely
accepted by a diverse group of historians and has only recently been
challenged by the historical investigations of Alan MacDonald and
Steven Reid.73 The mythical images of Melville have been promoted not
merely by partisan presbyterian historians but by a vast array of histori-
ans writing in the fields of European, university, intellectual, religious,
literary, and political history.74

69
Roger A. Mason, George Buchanan, James VI and the Presbyterians in Roger
A. Mason (ed.), Scots and Britons: Scottish Political Thought and the Union of 1603
(Cambridge, 1994), 114, 122.
70
Graham, The Uses of Reform, 151, 157, 190, 192, 210.
71
Reid, The Divinity Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654, 57.
72
Michael Lynch, The origins of Edinburghs Toun College: a revision article, Innes
Review, 33 (1982), 314. Cf. also Steven John Reid, Aberdeens Toun College: Marischal
College, 15931623, IR, 58.2 (2007), 173195.
73
MacDonald, The Jacobean Kirk, 15671625. Cf. Hazlett, The Reformation in
Britain and Ireland, 127; Steven John Reid, Education in Post-Reformation
Scotland: Andrew Melville and the University of St Andrews, 15601606 (PhD Thesis,
St Andrews, 2008).
74
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 188. Reid, in emphasizing
the hyperbole of Presbyterian rhetoric, does not account adequately for those other
historians who have contributed to the promotion of the legend.
andrew melville and the melville legend 13

Demythologizing the Legend

Alan MacDonald in 1998 offered a radical challenge to the view of


Melvillian succession by denying Melvilles centrality. In his ecclesiasti-
cal history of the reign of James VI, MacDonald argued that Melville did
not assume the leading role or even a prominent position in the refor-
mation of the Kirk.75 In contrast to the prevailing historical opinion rep-
resented by Michael Lynch, Patrick Collinson, and David Stevenson,
who have unequivocally affirmed Melvilles prominent leadership in the
Jacobean Kirk, MacDonald has argued that there is no evidence to
support this conclusion.76 While his work has served to stimulate fresh
thought in the reevaluation of old assumptions, caution readers against
the uncritical acceptance of nineteenth-century hagiographies, and dis-
courage the unwitting endorsement of tendentious interpretations of
the Jacobean era, he has not explicitly stated what would constitute a
leading role, nor has he delineated what sort of evidence would warrant
such a designation.77
The effort to determine Melvilles ecclesiastical position and influence
is complicated by the intimate relationship between the Kirk and uni-
versity. Few historians of early modern Scotland would contest Melvilles
prominence and influence in the universities given his respective posi-
tions as principal of the University of Glasgow and St Marys College as
well as rector of the University of St Andrews. From 1574 until 1607 it
would be difficult to find a divine in Scotland who exerted greater
influence in the preparation of candidates for the ministry than
Melville himself. Likewise, it would be equally difficult to identify a
Renaissance scholar who did more to contribute to the growth of
humanism in Scotland during this period than Melville. In light of his

75
Cf. also Alan R. MacDonald, James VI and the General Assembly, 15861618
in Julian Goodare and Michael Lynch (eds.), The Reign of James VI (East Lothian,
2000), 171.
76
Lynch, Calvinism in Scotland, 15591638, 234236; Preaching to the Con
verted? 321; Patrick Collinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (Oxford, 1967),
110; Roger A. Mason, George Buchanan, James VI and the Presbyterians in Roger
A. Mason (ed.), Scots and Britons: Scottish Political Thought and the Union of 1603
(Cambridge, 1994), 114, 122; Stevenson, Kings College, Aberdeen, 15601641, 31;
MacDonald, The Jacobean Kirk, 14, 171, 173.
77
Cf. Felicity Heal, Reformation in Britain and Ireland (Oxford, 2003), 369; Mullan,
Episcopacy in Scotland, 136150; Maurice Lee Jr., Archbishop Spottiswoode as
Historian, Journal of British Studies, 13 (Nov., 1973), 146.
14 chapter one

rominent service as a leading doctor in the Kirk, it is unclear how this


p
may be reconciled with MacDonalds contention that Melville did not
occupy a prominent position in the reformation of the Kirk. There has
been very little reflection on the significance of Melvilles repeated serv-
ice as a moderator of the general assembly, an assessor to the moderator,
a member of various ecclesiastical committees and commissions, and
his provincial service as a regular preacher in local parishes as well as his
extensive service as an ecclesiastical statesman. When this service is
considered in its totlaity, a fuller, more textured and nuanced portrait of
Melville emerges.
Intimately bound up in MacDonalds rejection of the McCrie thesis is
his corresponding abandonment of the misleading and frequently ill-
defined label Melvillian. Whereas the term Melvillian may not only
be imprecisely applied but also, in a certain sense, problematic,
MacDonald has called for a fundamental revision of the Melvillian inter-
pretation commonly endorsed and most elaborately articulated by James
Kirk.78 In his thesis Kirk enumerated 155 Melvillian preachers and
defined the category broadly to include either some measure of support
for Presbyterianism or advocacy of the two kingdoms theory, namely
the separation of the civil and ecclesiastical spheres. MacDonald is mis-
taken when he identifies the year 1610 as the earliest instance of the
use of the term Melvinian by archbishop Gledstanes.79 Indeed, twenty
years earlier archbishop Patrick Adamson had used the term Melvinian
faction in his dedication to his Latin paraphrase of the book of
Revelation.80 It is also significant that five years earlier in 1585 Adamson
had published his Declaration in defense of the 1584 Black Acts criticiz-
ing the presbyterians in general and Melville in particular. Such exclu-
sive concentration upon Melville by his opponent only confirms the
subsequent portrayal of his prominent leadership by presbyterian
historians.81 To put it quite simply, if Melville were an obscure and

78
Kirk, The Development of the Melvillian Movement in Late Sixteenth Century
Scotland.
79
MacDonald, The Jacobean Kirk, 175.
80
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 314. McCrie writes that Adamson informs the
King that he had prepared a work entitled Psillus, in which he had sucked out the sedi-
tious poison infused by the Melvinian faction, defended the Episcopal authority and the
royal supremacy, and warned the neighboring kingdom of England of the rocks on
which the church of Scotland had struck.
81
Patrick Adamson, A Declaratioun of the Kings Maisties Intentioun and Meaning
Toward the Lait Actis of Parliament (Edinburgh, 1585), A iijAiiij; Mason, George
Buchanan, James VI and the Presbyterians, 128.
andrew melville and the melville legend 15

i nconsequential figure it would make little sense for an individual of


Adamsons standing to elevate such a person by directly engaging that
individual in criticism. Despite the early usage of the term Melvinian
dating back to at least 1590 by Adamson and James Kirks broadly con-
ceived definition, MacDonald has maintained that there is no evidence
of a coherent, self-aware band of ministers pursuing an ideologicalgoal.82
Again it is difficult to assess this claim due to MacDonalds omission in
supplying a precise definition of the controversial term ideological.83
To be sure, there does not seem to be any consensus among historians
in their use of the term Melvillian. Depending upon the context, it may
refer to the content, methods, or staffing reforms proposed by Melville
in the University of Glasgows 1577 nova erectio or its corresponding
foundations at St. Andrews, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh. Likewise, it may
refer to those who, in some sense, supported presbyterianism, objected
to episcopacy, and opposed a state dominated Kirk. The very use of the
term, whatever its precise meaning, at least implies significant, though
not necessarily exclusive or even dominant, leadership in both univer-
sity and Kirk. In addition, the ideas associated with the term, such as the
two kingdoms theory, the denial of royal supremacy in church govern-
ment, the general assemblys continued right to existence regardless of
the crowns religion, the doctrine of ministerial parity, or even the
humanistic reforms introduced into the Scottish university system did
not originate with Melville. By failing to recognize the legitimate precur-
sors to Melvilles ideas and reforms in the Kirk and Scotlands medieval
universities, as well as the broader educational reform movements on
the continent, Melvilles significance has been exaggerated and an inac-
curate estimate of his role in the Scottish Renaissance and Reformation
has been formed.
Moreover, it has been observed that Melville emerged during the
Jacobean era as an iconic figure for those who affirmed ministerial par-
ity and the two kingdoms theory.84 While there is evidence to support
the contention that Melville was viewed as a leading spokesman in the
Kirk, it is not necessary to insist upon the notions of fixed clerical parties

MacDonald, The Jacobean Kirk, 17375; James VI and the General Assembly,
82

15861618, 185.
83
On the controversial term ideology see John Gerring, Ideology: A Definitional
Analysis Political Research Quarterly, 50 (Dec., 1997): 957994; F. Lewins, Recasting
the Concept of Ideology: A Content Approach British Journal of Sociology, 40
(Dec., 1989): 678693.
84
Mason, George Buchanan, James VI and the Presbyterians, 128.
16 chapter one

or exclusive and dominant leadership. To be sure, MacDonald has pro-


vided a valuable service in observing the fluidity of such categories and
even calling into question the value of the category Melvillian.
Nevertheless, his conclusions regarding Melvilles alleged prominence
and leadership in the Kirk should be treated with caution since his study
is based primarily on the records of presbyteries and synods during the
Jacobean era.85 While this evidence is indeed valuable and has provided
much needed qualification and nuance to an understanding of Melville,
there nevertheless remain other important lines of evidence that ought
to be considered before any conclusions are drawn. James Melvilles
Autobiography and Diary, Melvilles role in the poetic wars between the
Presbyterians and Anglicans, and his service as a purveyor of the New
Learning in Scotland need to be assessed along with these official eccle-
siastical records. In addition, Melville must be situated within the
broader context of the northern European Renaissance and French
humanism before his significance can be determined. While it is not
necessary to accept all of MacDonalds conclusions, his work has had the
heuristic effect of exposing faulty assumptions and unwarranted opin-
ions and has encouraged a reevaluation of the life, literary productions,
academic reforms, and influence of Andrew Melville.86
Along with MacDonalds work, Steven Reids recent thesis has con-
tributed to demythologizing the Melville legend. Although he identifies
Melville as the leading influence in the Jacobean Kirk87 and the leader
of the Presbyterian wing of the Kirk from his return to Scotland in
1574 until his imprisonment in the Tower of London in 1607, Reid
has demonstrated, by a careful examination of unpublished historical
records of the University of St Andrews, that Melvilles influence in edu-
cational reform has been exaggerated.88 While his narrative history has
provided further nuance in understanding Melvilles role in university
reform at St Andrews, the works institutional focus has prevented a
more thorough examination of Melvilles life and work in relation to the
French humanism of the sixteenth-century Renaissance.

85
MacDonald, The Jacobean Kirk, 15671625, 4.
86
Kirk, The Development of the Melvillian Movement in Late Sixteenth Century
Scotland, 355; The Second Book of Discipline, 5152.
87
Steven John Reid, Early Polemic by Andrew Melville: The Carmen Mosis (1574)
and the St Bartholomews Day Massacres, Renaissance and Reformation, 30.4 (Fall
2006/2007), 76.
88
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 4.
andrew melville and the melville legend 17

In addition to providing a limited sketch of Melvilles early years and


education in Scotland, Reid has explored in some detail his relationship
with Petrus Ramus and George Buchanan but has ignored the role of the
humanist Thodore de Bze or Beza in Melvilles formation. In his exam-
ination of Melvilles academic training during this period there is like-
wise no discussion of the role of the legal humanism of the French
Renaissance. While the evidence is admittedly limited, Reid provides no
discussion of Melvilles study under Franois Hotman and only briefly
acknowledges the tutelage of Franois Baudouin in Paris.89 Similarly, in
his survey of Melvilles time in Geneva there is no discussion of Melvilles
relationship with the divine Lambert Daneau, the Latin poet Paulus
Melissus, and the humanist printer Henri Estienne. Reid provides very
little analysis of either Melvilles academic colleagues at Glasgow or the
1577 nova erectio. Creating a new narrative based upon untapped archi-
val sources,90 Reid has introduced important lines of evidence, but has
neglected others.
Regardless of these omissions, Reids work exposes the necessity of
situating Melville more deeply within the milieu of his vast network of
humanist associates and the culture of the Renaissance. While it is cer-
tainly true that Melvilles religious calling dominated his future career
in Scotland as his years of service as principal of St Marys indicate,91
Reids emphasis upon the theologian Melville92 does not account suf-
ficiently for his deep-seated humanism and the extent to which the val-
ues and methods of the northern European Renaissance shaped his
intellectual outlook and determined the trajectory of his academic
career. Reids emphasis upon Melvilles religious calling results in a
neglect of the many ways in which French humanism conditioned his
intellectual life, and has mistakenly led him to pit the specialists in arts
at St Leonards over against the theologian Melville.93 Since Reid does
not define the extent of Melvilles reservations about Ramus work, it
is impossible to evaluate his comparison of Melville with the St Leonards
regents who purportedly possessed more reservations about the merits

Ibid., 29.
89

Ibid., i.
90
91
Ibid., 32.
92
Ibid., 122.
93
Ibid. 122, 193. Despite the revealing admission that his work perhaps gives too
negative an assessment of his [Melvilles] achievements, Reid does not revisit those
places in the thesis which exhibit an unnecessarily negative and uncharitable evalution.
18 chapter one

of the Ramist method.94 Nevertheless, the work has helped to correct a


number of misconceptions regarding Melvilles role in the reform of the
University of St Andrews and to reevaluate his place within Scottish
history.

Knox and Melville

The acceptance of the Melville legend in its various forms by scholars


over the last two centuries may be attributed in part to the striking simi-
larities, dramatic events, and colorful personalities of John Knox and
Andrew Melville. Not only were their lives filled with drama, but they
closely resemble one another at several points. For instance, both were
from the east coast of Scotland and thus were in contact with continen-
tal Protestantism as it made its inroads into the country via the port
cities. Both were connected with the influential Angus laird John Erskine
of Dun, Andrew through his oldest brother Richard and Knox through
his relationship with George Wishart. Both found themselves deeply
enmeshed at a young age in the religious conflicts of their day, Knox at
the siege of St Andrews castle and Melville at the siege of Poitiers.95 Both
occupied prominent positions and exercised considerable influence
within Scottish society, Knox as Minister of Edinburgh and Melville as
principal of the University of Glasgow and St Marys College, St Andrews.
Both participated in the various judicatories of the Kirk, Knox possess-
ing until his death in 1572 the power to convene a General Assembly,
while Melville served on various committees and as moderator of the
General Assembly on numerous occasions.96 Both exhibited enlightened
self-interest by fleeing to avoid religious persecution or imprisonment.
Knox fled in 1554 from England to the continent shortly after Mary
Tudor assumed the throne, while Melville fled from Scotland to England
in 1584 in order to avoid incarceration by James VI.97 Both were exiles

94
Ibid.
95
Kirk, John Knox and Andrew Melville: A Question of Identity? 16, 20.
96
Shaw, The General Assemblies, 2, 15758; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 117,
178, 290, 369. Melville served as moderator of the General Assembly in 1578, 1582,
1587, and 1594.
97
James Kirk, John Knox and the Historians in Roger A. Mason (ed.), John Knox
and the British Reformations (Aldershot, 1998), 18; Gordon Donaldson, Knox the
Man in Duncan Shaw (ed.), John Knox: A Quartercentenary Reappraisal (Edinburgh,
1975), 21; Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England, 15848, Records of the Scottish
Church History Society, 14 (1963), 69.
andrew melville and the melville legend 19

who lived in England and on the continent and who enjoyed social
intercourse with the leaders of the Reformed movement.
In consequence of their time abroad in England and on the continent
both were cosmopolitan in their outlook, men of education and culture
who eschewed provincialism and exhibited a broad intellectual outlook.
Knox studied at both the University of St Andrews and the Academy of
Geneva while Melville studied at the Universities of St Andrews, Paris,
and Poitiers as well as at the Collge Royal and Calvins Academy where
he also taught in the schola privata. Knox lived for a time in Berwick,
Newcastle, Frankfurt, and Geneva while Melville resided in London,
Paris, Poitiers, Geneva, and Sedan.98 Always the scholar, Melville, while
in London, took advantage of his proximity to Oxford and Cambridge
and visited with a number of humanists associated with those seats of
learning. Both returned to their native land and quickly became involved
in ecclesiastical reform, Knox participating along with the five other
Johns on the committee which drew up the First Book of Discipline while
Melville was involved along with over thirty individuals in drafting the
Second Book of Discipline.99
Compared with the literary corpus of such continental reformers as
Luther and Calvin, neither Knox nor Melville can be considered prolific
authors. Both valued the opportunity to speak to their own age rather
than compose books for subsequent generations. Both suffered for their
Protestantism, enduring imprisonment and, in Melvilles case, banish-
ment. Knox was incarcerated in the French galleys and later released to
England while Melville was confined to the Tower of London and subse-
quently banished to the continent to live out his remaining days. Both
dramatically and publicly confronted the monarch, Knox leaving Mary
Stewart in tears after his conference with her while Melville incurred the
ire of her autocratic son by tugging on his sleeve and calling him Gods
sillie vassal. Both vigorously advocated the freedom of the pulpit and
the right of the General Assembly to its continued existence.100 Both
were men of principle whose deep convictions, sense of obligation, and
zeal for reform often made them uncompromising, implacable, and

E.G. Rupp, The Europe of John Knox in Duncan Shaw (ed.), John Knox
98

A Quartercentenary Reappraisal (Edinburgh, 1975), 117; Euan Cameron, Frankfurt


and Geneva: The European Context of John Knoxs Reformation in Roger A. Mason
(ed.), John Knox and the British Reformations (Aldershot, 1998), 65173.
99
The First Book of Discipline ed. James K. Cameron (Edinburgh, 1972), 4; The
Second Book of Discipline, 4546.
100
Kirk, John Knox and Andrew Melville: A Question of Identity? 16.
20 chapter one

seemingly incapable of employing a more conciliatory approach in


negotiating matters of reform. When these similarities are considered
without reference to their profound differences, the image of Melville
as Knoxs successor and the leader of the Jacobean Kirk gains credibil-
ity and the intimate link forged between the two divines appears
indissoluble.101
While there exist a number of obvious parallels between Knox and
Melville, there remain important differences that should caution the
reader from forging too tight a link between them. Despite the fact that
they were both from the east coast, Knoxs social origins were rather
obscure and by comparison humble. He hailed from the Haddington
area of East Lothian, while Melville was well-known as the son of an
Angus laird near Montrose. Likewise, their university education differed
profoundly. Although both studied at St Andrews and Geneva, Knox
was trained in the medieval scholastic tradition and may even have sat
under the famous John Mair, while Melville studied under some of
the leading humanists of the French Renaissance. Although Melvilles
education at St Andrews was still in many respects medieval in charac-
ter, his time on the continent exposed him to the latest philological
studies, literary forms, pedagogical methods, and classical texts of the
Renaissance.102
Perhaps the most obvious difference between them was that, while
Knox served as a priest, notary, and minister for much of his adult life,
Melville, though a ruling elder in the congregation of St. Andrews, a
Doctor of the Kirk, and one who regularly preached on the Sabbath to
the inhabitants of St Andrews, was never ordained to the ministry.103

101
Hazlett, The Reformation in Britain and Ireland, 119; McCrie, Life of Andrew
Melville, I, 231; Pearson, Thomas Cartwright and Elizabethan Puritanism 15351603,
250; On Knox see Jaspar Ridley, John Knox (Oxford, 1968); W. Stanford Reid, Trumpeter
of God: A Biography of John Knox (New York, 1974). Cf. McCrie, Life of Thomas
MCrie, 235. Cf. also Charles Borgeaud, Histoire de luniversit de Genve: L Acadmie de
Calvin 15591798 (Geneva, 1900); Karin Maag, Seminary or University? The Genevan
Academy and Reformed Higher Education, 15601620 (Aldershot, 1995); Gillian Lewis,
Calvinism in Geneva in the time of Calvin and of Beza (15411605) in Menna
Prestwich (ed.), International Calvinism, 15411715 (Oxford, 1985), 3970; The Geneva
Academy in Andrew Pettegree, Alastair Duke, and Gillian Lewis (eds.), Calvinism in
Europe 15401620 (Cambridge, 1994).
102
Kirk, John Knox and Andrew Melville: A Question of Identity? 1617.
103
William Ian P. Hazlett, Ebbs and Flows of Theology in Glasgow 14511843 in
William Ian P. Hazlett (ed.), Traditions of Theology in Glasgow 14501990: A Miscellany
(Edinburgh, 1993), 7; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 339. In spite of his absence, an
ordination service was performed for Melville at the old parish church of Govan. In 1591
he became a ruling elder in St Andrews.
andrew melville and the melville legend 21

While Melville spent more than forty years teaching at Poitiers, Geneva,
Glasgow, St. Andrews, and Sedan, Knox never occupied an academic
post. If it may be said that Knox was primarily a preacher and evangelist,
then Melville was primarily a scholar and intellectual. If Knoxs essential
vocation was prophetic, then Melvilles was academic.
Although both were exiles, Knoxs time abroad involved primarily
ministerial service in England, Germany, and Switzerland whereas
Melvilles time on the continent was absorbed in academic pursuits at
Paris, Poitiers, Geneva, and Sedan. Whereas Melville devoted himself at
an early age to the mastery of Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac,
obtaining a high degree of proficiency in those ancient languages, Knox
never acquired an adequate knowledge of them.104 While Knox wrote in
the vernacular in a number of literary genres, including history, political
theory, theology, and liturgics, Melville often wrote in Latin and
preferred the genre of poetry in the tradition of Buchanan. While the
1574 Carmen Mosis, 1590 , and 1594 Principis Scoti-
Britannorum Natalia among others significantly enhanced Melvilles
reputation as an elegant and erudite Latin poet, there is nothing in the
corpus of Knoxs writings that is comparable to them. Whereas Knoxs
Historie and First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of
Women represent significant contributions to the fields of sixteenth-
century history and political theory, Melville left the task of recording
the events of the Jacobean Kirk to his nephew and never committed to
writing in any systematic way his well-known theory of the two king-
doms. Though his political views are expressed in some of his poetry, he
never composed a systematic treatise on politics. Indeed, while neither
author was prolific, the number of Knoxs publications far exceeds
anything Melville ever published.105 When these basic differences are
brought into clear focus, the attempt to identify or equate Knox and
Melville or to portray the latter as his sole successor oversimplifies and

Kirk, John Knox and Andrew Melville: A Question of Identity? 1617.


104

Jane E. A. Dawson, The Two John Knoxes: England, Scotland and the 1558
105

Tracts, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 42 (Oct. 1991), 555576; Trumpeting Resistance:


Christopher Goodman and John Knox in Roger A. Mason (ed.), John Knox and the
British Reformations (Aldershot, 1998), 131153; Scott Dolff, The Two John Knoxes
and the Justification of Non-Revolution: A Response to Dawsons Argument from
Covenant, JEH, 55 (Jan., 2004), 5875; Steven Ozment, The Age of Reform 12501550:
An Intellectual and Religious History of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe (New
Haven, 1980), 419434; Roger A. Mason, Knox, Resistance and the Royal Supremacy
in Roger A. Mason (ed.), John Knox and the British Reformations, (Aldershot, 1998),
154175.
22 chapter one

obscures Melvilles distinctive contribution to the Scottish Renaissance


and Reformation.

Buchanan and Melville

In addition to the assertion that Melville was Knoxs successor, there


have been efforts to identify Melville as Buchanans successor as a Latin
poet of the Scottish Renaissance.106 Indeed, some authors have charac-
terized him as succeeding the elder humanist as a kind of unofficial
Latin laureate to James VI107 in light of Melvilles return to Scotland in
1574 and Buchanans death shortly thereafter in 1582. Following
Buchanans death Melville did perform those literary functions com-
monly associated with a Latin laureate. In 1590 he composed and recited
the at the coronation of Queen Anne of Denmark in the
abbey church of Holyroodhouse.108 In 1594 he published Principis Scoti-
Britannorum natalia honoring the birth of Prince Henry and hailing
him as the one who would unite the crowns of Scotland and England
and vanquish the Catholic powers in Rome and on the Iberian
Peninsula.109 In 1603 he wrote Votum pro Iacobo sexto Britanniarum rege
on the accession of James VI to the throne of England.110 In 1605 he
celebrated the discovery of the infamous gunpowder plot entitled
Conjuratio puluerea anno 1650 [sic] Novemb. 5.111 In these respects it
seems clear that Melville occupied a place of literary prominence as a
court poet composing and orally delivering his Latin verses on special
occasions.
Melvilles literary status was confirmed by the visit of the French
Huguenot poet Guillaume de Salluste du Bartas to Scotland in 1587.
James revealed his own estimation of Melvilles abilities when he brought

106
McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan: The Political Poetry, 31.
107
Adams, The Renaissance Poets: (2) Latin, 82; Bradner, Musae Anglicanae:
A History of Anglo-Latin Poetry 15001925, 152.
108
Andrew Melville, Ad Scotiae Regem, Habitvm in Coronatione
Reginae. 17. Maij 1590 (Edinburgh, 1590); McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 301;
Spottiswoode, The History of the Church of Scotland, Vol. II, 408.
109
Andrew Melville, Principis Scoti-Britannorvm Natalia (Edinburgh, 1594); McCrie,
Life of Andrew Melville I, 376377; McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan:
The Political Poetry, 278279.
110
Andrew Melville, Viri Clarissimi A. Melvini Mvsae et P. Adamsoni Vita et Palindoia
(1620), 12.
111
Bradner, Musae Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin Poetry 15001925, 152;
Melville, Viri Clarissimi, 1518.
andrew melville and the melville legend 23

the distinguished French poet to St Andrews to hear him lecture. Having


earned a reputation as an elegant Latinist and poet while on the conti-
nent and being well connected within French Huguenot circles, Melville
was an obvious choice to impress the visiting poet.112 Even after he fell
out of favor with King James and emerged as a symbol of opposition to
the Anglican Church and James efforts to centralize power in the
Scottish Kirk, Melvilles poetry continued to occupy a prominent
position during the years surrounding the 1618 Perth Assembly.
Approximately 15 years after its composition, Melvilles famous poetic
satire Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria continued to draw attention due pri-
marily to its then current role in the controversy surrounding the Perth
Articles. From George Herberts Musae responsoriae to Thomas
Atkinsons Melvinus delirans to George Eglishems Adversus Andreae
Melvini cavillum in aram regiam epigrammata prophylactica to verses
written by Thomas Wilson, John Barclay, and John Gordon, Melvilles
Latin poetry occupied a strategically conspicuous position in the
Episcopal controversy.113
To be sure, there are a number of respects in which Melville more
closely resembles Buchanan than Knox. Both were humanists, Latin
poets, classical scholars, academic reformers, and private tutors. Both
spent a significant period of their life on the continent studying and
teaching. Both were profoundly shaped by the humanism of the French
Renaissance and cultivated relationships with the leading figures of that
intellectual movement. Both may be properly termed French humanists
as their time in France, and in the case of Melville, French-speaking
Switzerland, left an indelible imprint in their intellectual formation.
Both men earned for themselves a European reputation as elegant
humanists and academics despite their meager literary publications.
When they both returned to Scotland their respective reputations rested
more on hearsay than on publication, yet the respect that they com-
manded was not unwarranted. Neither man was a forward-looking
humanist in the sense that they remained wholly uninterested in cer-
tain aspects of the Renaissance, such as Neo-Platonic philosophy, the
visual arts, and music.114 Both were captivated by a love of Latin poetry
and cultivated the art over the course of their entire lives. Both published

Bingham, James VI of Scotland, 105.


112

Doelman, The Contexts of George Herberts Musae Responsoriae, 4748.


113
114
I. D. McFarlane, George Buchanan and European Humanism, Yearbook of English
Studies, 15, Anglo-French Literary Relations Special Number (1985), 33, 3638.
24 chapter one

poems that celebrated the births of the future monarchs, Buchanan


composing the Genethliacon in honor of James VI, while Melville com-
posed the Natalia in honor of Prince Henry.115 Both employed poetic
satire in ridiculing their religious opponents, Buchanan in his infamous
Franciscanus and Melville in his notorious Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria
and In Aram Anglicanam ejusque apparatum, among others.116 Both
were keenly devoted to the study and promotion of the classical litera-
ture of the ancient world and bathed their minds in the texts of antiq-
uity. Both studied, taught, and served as principal at the University of St
Andrews, Buchanan at St Leonards from 15661570 and Melville at St
Marys from 15801607. Both demonstrated a desire to reform Scotlands
medieval universities with Buchanan drafting his proposal for the reform
of the University of St Andrews in the 1560s while Melville emerged as
the driving force behind Glasgows 1577 nova erectio and its similar new
foundations at St Andrews and Old Aberdeen. Both were politically
minded and active, Buchanan in composing his 1579 De iure regni apud
Scotos dialogus and Melville in composing his own political poetry and
in his role as an ecclesiastical statesman opposing the ever encroaching
authority of the crown.117 And yet, despite these numerous and striking
parallels, the differences between Buchanan and Melville remain so sig-
nificant that any attempt to equate or tether them too closely runs the
risk of gross over-simplification and distortion.
This attempt to forge too close a link between the two humanists has
prevented historians from fully appreciating Melvilles unique contribu-
tions to the intellectual and cultural life of Renaissance Scotland.
In addition to their obvious temperamental differences, one of the
most conspicuous differences between them was generational. While
even this difference should not be pressed too sharply, nearly 40 years

115
Andrew Melville, Principis Scoti-Britannorvm Natalia (Edinburgh, 1594);
McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan: The Political Poetry, 154162. The full title
of Buchanans poem is: Genethliacon Jacobi Sexti Regis Scotorum.
116
Parasynagma Perthense et Ivramentvm Ecclesi Scotican et A.M. Anti
tamicamicategoria (1620), 4147; Viri Clarissimi, 24. The full title of Melvilles poem is:
Prosvpplici Evangelicorvm Ministrorvm in Anglia ad Serenissimum Regem contra
Larvatam gemin Acadmi Gorgonem Apologia, sive Anti-tami-cami-categoria.
117
J. W. L. Adams, Scottish Neo-Latin Poetry in P. Tuynman, G. C. Kuiper, and
E. Keler (eds.), Acta Conventus Neo-Latini Amstelodamensis (Mnchen, 1979), 5.
On Buchanans politics see J. H. Burns, The True Law of Kingship: Concepts of Monarch
in Early Modern Scotland (Oxford, 1996), 185221; Political Ideas of George Buchanan,
Scottish Historical Review, 30 (1951), 6068.
andrew melville and the melville legend 25

s eparated the two men and with this age difference emerged different
models of humanistic scholarship and methods. Although Buchanan
himself seemed almost to span the generational gap by writing, publish-
ing, and teaching through both the 1520s, 1530s, and 1540s, as well as
through the 1560s and 1570s, he nevertheless belonged more to the
older model of humanism as represented by Bud and Erasmus. Melville,
on the other hand, was the product of that generation of humanists rep-
resented by Joseph Justus Scaliger and the methods of critical scholar-
ship he developed. While both men were French humanists and shared
many of the values and methods peculiar to the northern European
Renaissance, their generational differences should not be ignored or
minimized.118 Certainly Buchanan himself exerted a profound influence
upon the young Melville during and after his Parisian years, and yet he
was only one of a number of intellectual influences that contributed to
the young humanists formation.
In addition to temperamental and generational differences, the
emphasis of their humanist education on the continent was quite differ-
ent. While Melville attended the legal lectures of Franois Baudouin and
Franois Hotman while he was in Paris and Geneva respectively and
devoted three years of his life in Poitiers to the study of jurisprudence,
this training in legal humanism and the new jurisprudence was wholly
absent in Buchanans studies. Similarly, there is nothing in Buchanans
university training that even approximates the formal study of divinity
Melville pursued during his five years in Geneva. Unlike Melville who
studied under some of the most distinguished theologians in the
Reformed Protestant tradition of the sixteenth century, Buchanan, while
a long-time friend of his fellow humanist Theodore Beza, never formally
studied theology.119 Whereas Melville, from the beginning of his time in
Paris under Jean Mercier and Jean de Cinqarbres, as well as during his

Charles G. Nauert, Jr. Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe (Cambridge,
118

1995), 167; McFarlane, George Buchanan and European Humanism, 34, 36; Peter
Sharratt, Peter Ramus and the Reform of the University: the Divorce of Philosophy and
Eloquence? in Peter Sharratt (ed.), French Renaissance Studies 154070 Humanism and
the Encyclopedia (Edinburgh, 1976), 4; W. Leonard Grant, The Shorter Poems of George
Buchanan, 15061582, Classical Journal, 40 (Mar., 1945), 332. On Scaliger see Anthony
T. Grafton, Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship Textual Criticism
and Exegesis Vol. I (Oxford, 1983); Joseph Scaligers Edition of Catullus (1577) and the
Traditions of Textual Criticism in the Renaissance, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld
Institutes, 38 (1975): 155181; Joseph Scaliger and Historical Chronology: The Rise and
Fall of a Discipline, History and Theory, 14 (May, 1975), 156185.
119
McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan: The Political Poetry, 116.
26 chapter one

time in Geneva under Cornelius Bertram, had applied himself to the


acquisition of the Ancient Near Eastern languages Hebrew, Aramaic,
and Syriac with a view to reading the Old Testament, Buchanans early
academic experience largely lacked this decidedly Semitic orientation.
While we know that he possessed a copy of Sebastian Munsters Hebrew
dictionary and that his Latin paraphrases of the Psalms indicate that he
was conversant with contemporary Hebrew manuals and teaching, it is
unclear how far Buchanan pursued his study of Hebrew.120 Even if it can
be demonstrated that he attended the Hebrew lectures of Franois
Vatable at the Collge Royal, the philological study and emphasis of
Melville at this point remains fundamentally distinct from that of
Buchanan.121
The effort to identify Melville as Buchanans successor becomes all the
more difficult from a purely literary perspective. Despite Melvilles polit-
ical poetry, there is nothing in his limited corpus that even begins to
approximate Buchanans political tryptich, the Rerum Scoticarum his-
toria, De iure regni apud Scotos dialogus, and the Baptistes.122 Likewise,
Melville never composed anything like Buchanans biblical dramas
Jepthes, on Jepthes infamous vow and Baptistes, an acknowledged alle-
gory on political tyranny.123 Melvilles Latin paraphrases of a handful of
Psalms, while respectable enough as specimens of Latin poetry, do not
belong to the same literary order as Buchanans Psalm paraphrases for
which he became internationally famous and which have been called
the classical translation of the century.124 To be sure, Melvilles 1574
Carmen Mosis, a Latin paraphrase of Deuteronomy 32 and his Latin
paraphrase of Job 3 may be viewed as literary productions in the tradi-
tion of Buchanans Psalm paraphrases, but even these compositions
never achieved the same degree of European acclaim as Buchanans

120
McFarlane, George Buchanan and European Humanism, 35.
121
Abel Lefranc, Histoire du Collge de France (Paris, 1893), 381; Le Collge de France
(Paris, 1932), 19; McFarlane, Buchanan, 249.
122
McFarlane, George Buchanan and European Humanism, 39. On the Rerum
Scoticarum historia see McFarlane, Buchanan, 416440. On the De iure regni apud Scotos
dialogus see Roger A. Mason and Martin S. Smith (eds. and trans.), A Dialogue on the
Law of Kingship among the Scots: A Critical Edition and Translation of George Buchanans
De Iure Regni apud Scotos Dialogus (Aldershot, 2004).
123
D. F. S. Thomson, George Buchanan: The Humanist in the Sixteenth-Century
World, Phoenix, 4 (Win., 1950), 81.
124
Johannes A. Gaertner, Latin Verse Translations of the Psalms 15001620,
Harvard Theological Review, 49 (Oct., 1956), 278. On Buchanans Psalm paraphrases see
I. D. McFarlane, Notes on the Composition and Reception of George Buchanans Psalm
Paraphrases in I. D. McFarlane (ed.), Renaissance Studies, Six Essays (Edinburgh and
London, 1972), 2162; Buchanan, 247286.
andrew melville and the melville legend 27

Latin poetry.125 Although Buchanans De Sphaera had attempted to cap-


ture the genius of the Ptolemaic view of the universe by putting it into
Latin hexameters for the instruction of young Timolon de Coss,
Melville never attempted such a scientifically ambitious poetic produc-
tion.126 Whereas Melville began work on his famous national Scottish
epic Gathelus during the years 1594 through 1602 developing further his
idea of a great Scoto-Britannic monarchy which would crush their
Catholic and Iberian enemies, nothing even remotely like it ever occurs
among all the poems that comprise Buchanans oeuvre.127 While we may
speak of the great tradition of Buchanan, Melville, Leech, and the
Johnstons as comprising a distinguished and highly gifted group of
Latin poets in Scotland during the sixteenth and early seventeenth cen-
turies, the substantial differences between Buchanan and Melville should
discourage any facile identification or gratuitous labeling of Melville as
his successor.128

Melville and Humanism

Any attempt to reevaluate Andrew Melvilles place within the Renais


sance in Scotland in the sixteenth century must carefully situate him
within the broader context of the northern European Renaissance in
general and French humanism in particular. Even more than his early
years in Scotland, his time in France and Switzerland determined his
intellectual outlook and established the trajectory of his philological, lit-
erary, and academic pursuits. His development was so profoundly
shaped by the humanism of the French Renaissance that his significance
and influence cannot be properly appreciated without reference to his
French associations and context. Nevertheless, from his return in 1574
until his banishment in 1611, Melvilles humanism developed primarily,
though not exclusively, on Scottish soil. Not only did he form important
relationships with some of the leading literary and academic figures of
the Scottish Renaissance during this period but he contributed to the

125
On the Carmen Mosis see Arthur Johnston (ed.), Deliti Ptarum Scotorum
(Amsterdam, 1637), 8490; P. Mellon, LAcadmie de Sedan Centre dInfluence Franaise
A Propos dun Manuscrit du XVII Sicle (Paris, 1913), 156163, 167168.
126
Thomson, George Buchanan: The Humanist in the Sixteenth-Century World, 86.
Cf. I. D. McFarlane, The History of George Buchanans Sphra in Peter Sharratt (ed.),
French Renaissance Studies 154070 Humanism and the Encyclopedia (Edinburgh, 1976),
194212; Buchanan, 355378.
127
McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan: The Political Poetry, 32; 284286.
128
Bradner, Musae Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin Poetry 15001925, 198.
28 chapter one

humanistic culture of late sixteenth- and early seventeenth- century


Scotland through his academic reforms, Latin poetry, and Latin corre-
spondence. Consequently, care must be taken as well to explore his
native humanist influences and associates before his role in the develop-
ment of the Scottish Renaissance can be reassessed.
The necessity of situating Melville within the context of the European
Renaissance and French humanism may be established by the fact that
there exists no full-length study of this kind. Even the closest compre-
hensive study, in addition to being outdated, is much broader in scope
than the current study and does not sufficiently explore this intellectual
and cultural milieu. While McCries biography remains an extremely
valuable work despite its filiopietistic character and its efforts to find an
heroic figure who could inspire the Scottish Kirk and contribute to the
shaping of Scotlands national identity, the developments in intellectual,
religious, and institutional history since its publication in 1819 are signi
ficant enough to warrant a re-evaluation of Melvilles life and work. The
institutional histories of St Andrews,129 the Collge Royal,130 University
of Paris,131 Poitiers,132 Geneva,133 Glasgow,134 Aberdeen,135 and Sedan,136

129
Ronald Gordon Cant, The University of St Andrews: A Short History (St Andrews,
1992); The College of St. Salvator (Edinburgh and London, 1950); D.W.D. Shaw (ed.), In
Divers Manners A St Marys Miscellany (St Andrews, 1990); J. Herkless and R. K. Hannay,
The College of St Leonard (Edinburgh, 1905).
130
Antonio Alvar Ezquerra, Les origines du College de France (Paris, 1998); A. Lefranc,
Le Collge de France (15301930) (Paris, 1932); Histoire du Collge de France (Paris,
1893).
131
Andr Tuilier, Histoire de L Universit de Paris et de La Sorbonne Tome I Des origi-
nes Richelieu (Paris, 1994); James K. Farge, Orthodoxy and Reform in Early Reformation
France: The Faculty of Theology of Paris, 15001543 (Leiden, 1985).
132
Hilary J. Bernstein, Between Crown and Community Politics and Civic Culture in
Sixteenth-Century Poitiers (Ithaca and London, 2004); Prosper Boissonnade, Histoire de
lUniversit de Poitiers pass et present (14321932) (Poitiers, 1932).
133
Karin Maag, Seminary of University? The Genevan Academy and Reformed Higher
Education, 15601620 (Aldershot, 1995); Paul F. Geisendorf, LUniversit de Genve
15591959 (Genve, 1959); Borgeaud, Histoire de LUniversit de Genve LAcadmie de
Calvin 15591798.
134
John Durkan and James Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577 (Glasgow,
1977); J. D. Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951 (Glasgow, 1954).
135
David Ditchburn, Educating the Elite: Aberdeen and Its Universities in
E. Patricia Dennison, David Ditchburn, and Michael Lynch (eds.), Aberdeen before 1800:
a New History (East Linton, 2002), 327346; David Stevenson, Kings College, Aberdeen,
15601641: From Protestant Reformation to Covenanting Revolution (Aberdeen, 1990);
G. D. Henderson, The Founding of Marischal College (Aberdeen, 1947); Steven John
Reid, Aberdeens Toun College: Marischal College, 15931623, 173195.
136
P. Mellon, LAcadmie de Sedan Centre dInfluence Franaise A Propos dun
Manuscrit du XVII Sicle (Paris, 1913).
andrew melville and the melville legend 29

in addition to studies of George Buchanan,137 Pierre de la Rame,138


Joseph Scaliger,139 and Thodore de Bze140 among others, strongly sup-
port the need for reassessment. Furthermore, recent studies in the his-
tory of sixteenth-century jurisprudence,141 the neo-Latin poetry of the
period,142 and the understanding of humanism in relation to scholasti-
cism necessitate a fresh re-evaluation.143 It is the contention of the present
work that the legendary and mythical images of the academic reformer
and divine have developed primarily as a result of not properly situating
his life and work within this intellectual, cultural, and religious milieu.
By examining his intellectual development, vast network of humanist
relationships, representative literary publications, and extensive corre-
spondence in relation to French humanism, an attempt will be made to
determine Melvilles significance and place within the European and
Scottish Renaissance.
In an effort to determine Melvilles role in Scottish intellectual life in
the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, it is necessary to
define at the outset the terms Renaissance, humanista or humanist,

137
McFarlane, Buchanan; McGinnis and Williamson (eds.), George Buchanan: The
Political Poetry; Roger A. Mason, Introduction in Roger A. Mason and Martin S. Smith
(ed. and trans.), A Dialogue on the Law of Kingship among the Scots A Critical Edition
and Translation of George Buchanans De Iure Regni apud Scotos Dialogus (Ashgate,
2004). For a more extensive listing of recent works on Buchanan see chapter 3.
138
Howard Hotson, Commonplace Learning: Ramism and its German Ramifications,
15431630 (Oxford, 2007); Walter J. Ong, S.J. Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue:
From the Art of Discourse to the Art of Reason (Cambridge, MA, 1958); Ramus and Talon
Inventory: A Short-Title Inventory (Cambridge, MA, 1958). For a more extensive listing
of recent works on Ramus, see chapter 3.
139
Anthony T. Grafton, Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship
Vol. I Textual Criticism and Exegesis (Oxford, 1983).
140
Alain Dufour, Thodore de Bze: Pote et Thologien (Genve, 2006); Kirk
M. Summers (ed. and trans.), A View from the Palatine: The Iuvenilia of Thodore de Bze
(Arizona, 2002); Paul-F. Geisendorf, Thodore de Bze, (Geneva, 1949).
141
Donald R. Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship: Language, Law,
and History in the French Renaissance (New York, 1970).
142
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England; W.L. Adams,
The Renaissance Poets: (2) Latin; Bradner, Musae Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin
Poetry 15001925.
143
Paul Oskar Kristeller, Renaissance Thought and Its Sources (New York, 1979);
Nauert, Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe; Erika Rummel, The Humanist-
Scholastic Debate in the Renaissance & Reformation (Cambridge, MA and London,
1995); John MacQueen, (ed.), Humanism in Renaissance Scotland (Edinburgh, 1999);
S. L. Mapstone and J. Wood, (eds.), The Rose and the Thistle: Essays on the Culture of Late
Medieval and Renaissance Scotland (East Linton, 1998); Anthony Grafton and L. Jardine,
From Humanism to the Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth- and
Sixteenth-Century Europe (Cambridge, MA, 1986).
30 chapter one

humanismus or humanism, and studia humanitatis or humane stud-


ies.144 The term Renaissance, as it is used here, is an historical designa-
tion referring to a movement which began in the fourteenth and
continued through the sixteenth century.145 While some historians have
identified an earlier and a later stage of Renaissance humanism, namely
one which began in fourteenth-century Italy and the other which lasted
through the seventeenth century in northern Europe, our concern will
be with the movement in northern Europe from about 1550 through
1625.146 In an effort to avoid diluting the term to little more than a
chronological time-frame, the term Renaissance, as used here, desig-
nates a set of intellectual and cultural values associated with the studia
humanitatis.147 The term humanista or humanist simply refers to a
teacher or student of the studia humanitatis, a technical designation
consisting of a group of disciplines, namely grammar, rhetoric, poetry,
history, and moral philosophy studied through the medium of classical
Greek and Latin literature.148
Despite the difficulty in identifying the distinctive meaning of the
term humanism, which has led some to suggest that the noun ought to
be discarded,149 the term, as it is used here, does not refer to a new phi-
losophy that emerged in the sixteenth century but rather a new method
of intellectual inquiry. As has been correctly observed, the humanism
of the Renaissance was not a philosophy150 at all, though it certainly

144
A valuable discussion of these terms may be found in Paul Oskar Kristeller,
Renaissance Thought and Its Sources (New York, 1979), 2132.
145
Paul Oskar Kristeller, Renaissance Thought II: Papers on Humanism and the Arts
(New York and London, 1965), 2.
146
Alan Perreiah, Humanistic Critiques of Scholastic Dialectic, Sixteenth Century
Journal, 13:3 (1982), 6.
147
Euan Cameron, The Impact of Humanist Values, Historical Journal, 36:4
(1993), 963.
148
Erika Rummel, Et cum theologo bella poeta gerit: The Conflict between Humanists
and Scholastics Revisited, SCJ, 23:4 (1992), 718; Perreiah, Humanistic Critiques of
Scholastic Dialectic, 3; Nauert, Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe, 1213;
Kristeller, Renaissance Thought II, 3.
149
Cameron, The Impact of Humanist Values, 964.
150
Charles G. Nauert, Humanism as Method: Roots of Conflict with the Scholastics,
SCJ, 29:2 (1998), 432; Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe, 196; Cameron,
The Impact of Humanist Values, 957. Since humanism is a method, it is possible to
speak of Christian humanism, humanist theology, Humanist Aristotelianism, and
Humanist dialectic. Cf. Eugene F. Rice, Jr., Humanist Aristotelianism in France:
Jacques Lefvre dEtaples and his circle in A.H.T. Levi (ed.), Humanism in France at the
End of the Middle Ages and in the Early Renaissance (Manchester, 1970), 132149;
Anthony Levi, Humanist Reform in Sixteenth-Century France, Heythrop Journal,
6 (Oct., 1965), 447464.
andrew melville and the melville legend 31

ossessed within it certain philosophical implications regarding human


p
nature, the capacity and limitations of human reason, and the purpose
of human life.151 While no one has as yet convincingly defined or identi-
fied a set of commonly shared beliefs held among all humanists and
while humanism never amounted to a comprehensive philosophical
system, it did represent a new way of interpreting the classical authors
which challenged the scholastic methods advocated by the medieval
schoolmen.152 Instead of employing dialectical reasoning and appealing
to medieval theologians in support of their arguments, the humanists
adopted a philological approach to the text and frequently looked to
classical and patristic authorities in support of their arguments.153
The new method of the humanists amounted to a new historical-
mindedness which endeavored to understand these classical texts in
historical perspective, taking into account context, historical circum-
stances, and authorial intention. Instead of approaching a text as a bun-
dle of individual statements without any context or reference to
historical circumstances, the humanists of the Renaissance exhibited
historical sensitivity to words, records, and texts in their efforts to inter-
pret correctly the classical authors.154 While humanism as a method of
intellectual inquiry offered a challenge to the methods employed by the
late medieval scholastics, both humanist and scholastic techniques did
frequently co-exist in the same person, discipline, and educational insti-
tution without any necessary incompatibility.155 Likewise, humanists
and scholastics not only co-existed but actually cooperated with one
another during the Renaissance.156
There are several senses in which we may speak of Melville as a
humanist. First and most obviously, he was a classical humanist who
devoted himself to the mastery of the Greek and Latin languages and
literature, taught these languages and literature, and cultivated the art of
Latin poetry throughout his long life. His classical humanism, while
having its origins at the Montrose grammar school and his study
under the Greek scholar Pierre de Marsilier, took on its most definitive

151
Charles G. Nauert, Jr., The Clash of Humanists and Scholastics: an Approach to
Pre-Reformation Controversies, SCJ, 4 (Apr., 1973), 11; Humanism and the Culture of
Renaissance Europe, 12, 16.
152
Nauert, Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe, 21.
153
Rummel, Et cum theologo bella poeta gerit, 718.
154
Nauert, Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe, 17, 20.
155
Cameron, The Impact of Humanist Values, 957.
156
Perreiah, Humanistic Critiques of Scholastic Dialectic, 6.
32 chapter one

character in Paris at the Collge Royal under Adrian Turnbe and at


Geneva under Franois Portus. His skills as a Latin poet were signifi-
cantly honed through the private and public instruction he received
from Buchanan during the latters stay in Paris from 15651566 and
were cultivated back in Scotland while he served as a kind of Latin laure-
ate to James VI and engaged in poetic warfare with his Anglican ecclesi-
astical opponents.
Second, he was a legal humanist who was trained in the new jurispru-
dence at the Universities of Paris and Poitiers and the Academy of
Geneva during the height of the French Renaissance. Sitting under both
Franois Baudouin and Franois Hotman, Melville received instruction
from some of the most distinguished and prominent leaders associated
with the legal humanism of the French Renaissance.157 Third, Melville
was a philological and Christian humanist who, in addition to Greek,
mastered Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac in an effort to interpret Scripture.
Studying Hebrew and its cognates under Jean Mercier and Jean de
Cinqarbres at Paris and continuing these studies under Corneille
Bertram at Geneva, Melville became one of the leading purveyors of the
Semitic tongues in Scotland upon his return in 1574.158
From the beginning of his academic life at Montrose until the very
end at Sedan, Andrew Melville remained a thoroughgoing humanist,
and any attempt to reassess his life and place within the Scottish
Renaissance and Reformation must take that fact into account. Even
before he openly identified himself with the Protestant cause, he pro-
fessed his devotion to the studia humanitatis of the Renaissance. There
is no evidence that he ever renounced or even distanced himself from
the humanism and the humanistic methods he imbibed during his time
in France and Switzerland. His humanism was a constitutive feature of
his intellectual makeup, and yet it in no way detracted from his ability as

157
McFarlane, Buchanan, 10. On the legal humanism of the Renaissance see Donald
R. Kelley, Legal Humanism and the Sense of History, Studies in the Renaissance, 13
(1966), 184189; Guillaume Bud and the First Historical School of Law, American
Historical Review, 72 (Apr., 1967), 807834; The Rise of Legal History in the Renaissance,
History and Theory, 9:2 (1970), 174194; Linton C. Stevens, The Contribution of French
Jurists to the Humanism of the Renaissance, SR, 1 (1954), 92105; Michael L. Monheit,
Guillaume Bud, Andrea Alciato, Pierre de lEstoile: Renaissance Interpreters of Roman
Law, Journal of the History of Ideas, 58 (Jan., 1997), 2140.
158
On Christian Humanism see Alasdair A. MacDonald, Zweder R.W.M. von Martels,
and Jan R. Veenstra (eds.), Christian Humanism Essays in Honour of Arjo Vanderjagt
(Leiden, 2009).
andrew melville and the melville legend 33

a leader of Protestantism in Scotland, but only enhanced it. It is only


when Melville has been carefully situated within the broader movements
of the northern European Renaissance, French humanism, and the
Scottish Renaissance that his significance as an intellectual leader in
Scotland can be accurately and soberly determined. When Melvilles life
and intellectual contributions have been freshly reassessed, the histori-
cal figure will emerge as the corresponding legends, myths, and imagi-
nary constructions are discarded.
Chapter two

THE FORMATIVE YEARS


(15451563/4)

The Narrative History

Were it not for the diarist and narrative historian James Melville and
his efforts at chronicling his own life in relation to the broader ecclesi-
astical, political, and cultural developments of late sixteenth- and early
seventeenth-century Scotland, our knowledge of the life of Andrew
Melville would be extremely limited.1 Melville himself did not write an
autobiography nor do we have any extant letters from his hand prior to
1572. While studying and teaching in Geneva we know that he corre-
sponded with his brothers Richard and James, probably in the years
1572 or 1573, yet, sadly, none of these letters have survived. We also
know that while he was in Paris and Poitiers during the years 1563/4-
1569 he was in communication with his brothers back in Scotland and
that this correspondence was interrupted by the French wars of religion,
leading his family to believe that he had perished in the conflict.2 The
earliest correspondence we have from his hand is a letter written to Peter
Young on 14 April 1572 at the very end of his time on the continent just
prior to his return to Scotland.3 Whatever correspondence he did write
prior to 1572 simply has not survived. This lack of material from Melville
himself only underscorces the indispensable nature of James Melvilles
narrative history.

1
On James Melville see William Arbuckle, A St Andrews Diarist: James Melville
15561614 (Edinburgh and London, 1964); Marjory A. Bald, James Melvill: An
Obscured Man of Letters Modern Language Review, 21 (July, 1926), 26168; Henry S.
N. McFarland, The Education of James Melvill (15561614), Aberdeen University
Review, 36 (Aut., 1956), 362370; A.R. MacDonald, A Fragment of an Early Copy of
James Melvilles A True Narratioune of the Declyneing Aige of the Kirk of Scotland, Innes
Review, 47 (Spr., 1996), 8188.
2
James Melville, The Autobiography and Diary of Mr. James Melvill ed. Robert Pitcairn
(Edinburgh, 1842), 30. James Melville writes that there had been correspondence
between Andrew and his brothers during his time in France but that it had been four or
fyve yeirs sen they gat anie letters or word from him.
3
Letter of Andrew Melville to Peter Young, 14 April 1572, Bodleian, Smith
MS. 77, 27.
36 chapter two

While James Melvilles work is exceedingly valuable, especially regard-


ing the early years of Melvilles life, the Diary (1602) and True Narratioune
(1610) are not without their own historical discrepancies and errors and
thus must be consulted critically and cautiously. These discrepancies
may be seen from the very opening page of the Diary, which identifies
1556 as the year of James birth while Andrew himself maintained it
was 1557.4 Likewise, James stated that he commenced his studies at
St Leonards College, St Andrews in November 1571 while the official
records of the University state that he matriculated in 1570 and was
graduated in 1572.5 Similarly, James identified June 1575 as the month
in which his father Richard died while the neo-Latin poet John Johnston
identified the date as 25 May 1575 in his poem entitled Richardus
Melvinus.6 While it is certainly possible that Johnston himself is mis-
taken, it would not be the first time James Melville confused dates.
Furthermore, James is mistaken when he claims that his uncle served as
a Professour of Humanitie in the Collage in Geneva.7 Rather than
serving as a professor of humanity in the schola publica of the Genevan
Academy, Melville served as a regent in the second class in the schola
privata, the lower-level Latin school.8 James also mistakenly identified
1578 as the year Melville first published his Carmen Mosis. According to
McCrie, the Carmen Mosis along with chapter 3 of the book of Job and
various epigrams, were first published in Basel in 1574.9 Despite such

4
Melville, JMAD, 13
5
James Maitland Anderson (ed.), Early Records of the University of St. Andrews
(Edinburgh, 1926), 168, 279; Melville, JMAD, 24; Thomas McCrie, Life of Andrew
Melville Vol. I (2nd edn., Edinburgh and London, 1824), 59; Arbuckle, A St Andrews
Diarist: James Melville 15561614, 7. McCrie erroneously repeats Melvilles Diary at this
point in accepting 1571 as the year of matriculation.
6
William Keith Leask (ed.), Musa Latina Aberdonensis: Poetae Minores Vol. III
(Aberdeen, 1910), 123124.
7
Melville, JMAD 4142.
8
Registres de la Compagnie des Pasteurs de Genve, tome III 15651574 (eds.), Olivier
Fatio and Olivier Labarthe (Genve, 1969), 23; Charles Borgeaud, Cartwright and
Melville at the University of Geneva, 15691574, American Historical Review, 5:2 (1899),
287; Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 109; Maag, Seminary or University? 9.
9
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 86; P. Mellon, LAcadmie de Sedan Centre
dInfluence Franaise A Propos dun Manuscrit du XVII Sicle (Paris, 1913), 155163;
167168. Alan R. MacDonald repeats this error in Best of Enemies: Andrew Melville
and Patrick Adamson, c. 15741592 in Julian Goodare and Alasdair A. MacDonald
(eds.), Sixteenth-Century Scotland: Essays in Honour of Michael Lynch (Leiden and
Boston, 2008), 262. Both the Carmen Mosis and verse paraphrase of Job chapter 3 may
also be found in Arthur Johnston (ed.), Deliti Ptarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637),
8490. The full title of this rare 1574 edition as provided by McCrie is: Carmen Mosis, ex
deuteron, cap. XXXII. quod ipse moriens Israli tradidit ediscendum & cantandum
perpetu, latina paraphrasi illustratum. Cui addita sunt nonnulla epigrammata, & Iobi
Cap. III. latino carmine redditum. Andrea Melvino Scoto avctore. Basile M.D. LXXIIII.
the formative years (15451563/4) 37

conflicting evidence and occasional inaccuracies, James Melvilles Diary


and True Narratioune remain a substantially reliable source of informa-
tion, providing insight and knowledge unavailable in other sources and
documents of the period.
The value of the Diary and True Narratioune for reassessing Melvilles
contribution to the Renaissance in Scotland may be seen especially in
his unique qualifications as an author. James Melvilles intimate associa-
tion with his uncle, his role within the intellectual and religious life of
Scotland, and his remarkable attention to detail peculiarly qualified him
to write not only a narrative history of the period but an account of his
uncles role within it. His firsthand observations and experience working
with his uncle at the Universities of Glasgow and St Andrews enabled
him to offer not merely his own assessments but a personal and intimate
account from Melvilles closest humanistic companion. Although
Melville served as James tutor, academic mentor, and university col-
league, they were for four decades the best of friends. Separated by only
11 years, James admired and revered Andrew more as a father figure
than a mere uncle. Their intimate association and devotion to one
another, while preventing a more critical and dispassionate narrative,
provides a unique perspective into the personal dimensions of Melvilles
life as a humanist, university reformer, ecclesiastical statesman, and
man. His literary adroitness in vividly depicting those anecdotes and
vignettes of his uncles life have provided not merely a certain animated
savour, but a vivacity seldom captured in narrative histories.10 The Diary
and True Narratioune continue to occupy a strategically vital place as the
principal authoritative source documents for the life and work of
Melville. Given the proximity of the author to his subject and his
firsthand experience of many of the events he records, it is the next best
thing to an actual memoir or correspondence by Melville himself.

Childhood and Family

Andrew Melville was born the youngest of nine children to Richard


Melville and Giles Abercrombie on 1 August 1545 on the estate of
Baldovy on the South Esk, one mile southwest of Montrose, Angus.11

Maurice Lindsay, History of Scottish Literature, (London, 1977), 127.


10

Melville, JMAD, 38; Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 1516. Reid


11

has helpfully observed that Melville himself confirmed the day of his birth in Bucholtzers
38 chapter two

The Melvilles of Baldovy in Angus were members of the lesser gentry or


lairds and were those who early on had been receptive to Protestantism.
Due to the loss of his father during the last phase of the Rough Wooings
at the disastrous Battle of Pinkie in 1547 when he was only two and the
death of his mother when he was only twelve, Andrew was brought up
by his eldest brother, Richard and his wife Isobel Scrimgeour.12 Richards
role in young Andrews life was more akin to that of a father than an eld-
est brother, and his religious views and humanistic sensibilities undoubt-
edly shaped Andrews own intellectual outlook and confirmed the
Protestant trajectory of his thought. Even before Andrews birth, the
Melvilles of Baldovy had become advocates of religious reform and
the Protestant cause.13 Indeed, it has been suggested that Richard Melville
senior may have been one of those who John Knox had in mind when he
wrote of men who professed the gospel and who died at the Battle of
Pinkie under the Earl of Angus.14 Andrews immediate family was well-
situated within Scottish society. Several of his brothers served as either
clergymen in the case of Richard, James, and John or civil servants in the
case of Thomas, Walter, and Roger. Whereas Walter served as a magis-
trate of Montrose and Roger a burgess of Dundee, Thomas rose to
become secretary deputy of Scotland.15
Several, though not all, of the Melville brothers received a university
education and by it were exposed to the humanism of the Renaissance.
Although Robert, David, and Roger did not enjoy the advantages of such
advanced study, it was said of the last by Robert Bruce of Edinburgh
that if he had been given the educational experience of Andrew,
Roger would have been the most singular man in Europe.16 Whereas
James received his university education from St Salvators, St Andrews

Isagoge Chronologica. Cf. Abraham Bucholtzer, Isagoge Chronologica, Id est: Opusculam


ad Annorum Seriem in Sacris Bibliis Contexendam, Compendio Viam Monstrans ac
Fundamenta Indicans (In Officina Sanctandreana, false imprint, 1596), National Library
of Scotland, E.84.f.16.f. OO VIIIv.
12
McFarland, The Education of James Melvill (15561614), 362; Melville, JMAD,
38; Leask, Musa Latina Aberdonensis III, 124. On the Rough Wooings see Alec Ryrie, The
Origins of the Scottish Reformation (Manchester, 2006), 7294; Marcus Merriman, The
Rough Wooings: Mary Queen of Scots, 15421551 (East Linton, 2000); The assured
Scots: Scottish collaborators with England during the Rough Wooing, Scottish Historical
Review, 47 (1968), 1034.
13
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 10.
14
Frank D. Bardgett, Scotland Reformed: The Reformation in Angus and the Mearns
(Edinburgh, 1989); 3334; James Kirk, John Knox and Andrew Melville: A Question of
Identity? Scotia: American-Canadian Journal of Scottish Studies, 6 (1982), 16.
15
Melville, JMAD, 38.
16
Melville, JMAD, 1415, 3839; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 34, 1011.
the formative years (15451563/4) 39

atriculating in 1555, Richard and Thomas were given the advantage of


m
traveling to the continent where they encountered the New Learning of
the Renaissance and the ideas of the Reformation.17 Thomas, who is
described by his nephew as a fyne schollar, could not have avoided
direct contact with the ideals, values, and fruits of the Renaissance as
he traveled in both Italy and France during the sixteenth century.18
Likewise, Richard in 1542, traveling with John apparent of Dun the son
of John Erskine of Dun as his tutor, spent two years on the continent and
was thoroughly exposed to the humanistic methods and values of conti-
nental humanism as well as to Reformation thought.19 He studied first in
Denmark at the University of Copenhagen under John Macalpine (or
Johannes Machabus as Philip Melanchthon Latinized his name).20
Upon completing his studies in Denmark under Macalpine, Richard
traveled to Germany where he studied under one of Germanys preemi-
nent Christian humanists Philip Melanchthon at the University of
Wittenberg.21 He also apparently studied at the Lutheran University of
Greifswald where he matriculated in 1546.22
Richards association with John Erskine of Dun and his son over this
period, as well as his time of study under Macalpine and Melanchthon,
indicate that his earliest Protestant influences were Lutheran and his
formative academic influences were thoroughly humanistic in character.

17
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, 261; McCrie, Life of
Andrew Melville I, 4.
18
Melville, JMAD, 38.
19
On John Erskine of Dun see Thomas Crockett, The Life of John Erskine of Dun
(Edinburgh D. Litt. Diss., 1924); Bardgett, Scotland Reformed; John Erskine of Dun:
A Theological Reassessment, Scottish Journal of Theology, 43 (1990), 5986; James
S. McEwen, John Erskine of Dun, 150891 in Ronald Selby Wright (ed.), Fathers of the
Kirk (London, 1960), 1727; D. F. Wright, Erskine, John, of Dun (15091590), Oxford
Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 18 (Oxford, 2004), 540542; Robert Wodrow,
Collections upon the Lives of the Reformers and Most Eminent Ministers of the Church of
Scotland Vol. I (Glasgow, 1834), 368.
20
Bardgett, Scotland Reformed, 34; John Erskine of Dun: A Theological Reassessment,
61; Thorkild Lyby Christensen, Scots in Denmark in the sixteenth century, SHR, 49
(1970), 137. Cf. Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 263; Reid,
Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 16. Kirk and Reid have inverted the chronol-
ogy maintaining that Richard Melville went first to Germany to study with Melanchthon
and then to Denmark to study with Macalpine. This chronology is not supported by
James Melvilles Diary. Cf. Melville, JMAD, 14.
21
Leask, Musa Latina Aberdonensis III, 123124.
22
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 263; Th. A. Fischer, The
Scots in Germany: Being a Contribution Towards the History of the Scot Abroad
(Edinburgh, 1902), 314. On Melanchthon see Manfred P. Fleischer, Melanchthon as
Praeceptor of Late-Humanist Poetry, Sixteenth Century Journal, 20:4 (1989), 559580.
40 chapter two

Erskine of Duns trip to the continent had earned him the religious sou-
briquet Lutheran though we cannot say for certain that he himself
accompanied his son John and Richard Melville to the universities of
Copenhagen and Wittenberg.23 Lutheranism, of course, in Scotland had
first appeared in the 1520s. Despite James Vs ambiguous political policy
towards Protestantism seen in his vigorous opposition to heresy on the
one hand and his tolerance of moderate reformers on the other, his firm
adherence to the Catholic faith and his efforts to suppress Protestantism
won him from the papacy the prestigious honor of the Blessed Sword
and Hat.24 Notwithstanding James Vs efforts to repress Protestantism,
Lutheran teaching had won over to its cause such individuals as the
Observant Franciscan James Melville, George Gilbert, Alexander Allane
or Alesius25, and Patrick Hamilton26 and had made inroads into
Edinburgh, Leith, Ayr, Stirling, St Andrews,27 Dundee,28 Perth and even,
albeit in a much more limited way, the Catholic stronghold of Aberdeen.29
South of Aberdeen in Angus Lutheranism was influential and contrib-
uted to the Protestant culture that produced George Wishart,30

23
Bardgett, Scotland Reformed, 34. For a helpful analysis of the progressive develop-
ment of Erskine of Duns life and thought see Bardgett, John Erskine of Dun:
A Theological Reassessment.
24
Ryrie, The Origins of the Scottish Reformation, 78, 40.
25
John T. McNeill, Alexander Alesius, Scottish Lutheran (15001565), Archiv fr
Reformationsgeschichte, 55 (1964), 161191; J. H. Baxter, Alesius and other Reformed
Refugees in Germany, Records of the Scottish Church History Society, 5 (1934), 93120;
O. Clemen, Melanchthon und Alexander Alesius, ARG, 5 (1929), 1731; Gerhard
Mller, Protestant Theology in Scotland and Germany in the Early Days of the
Reformation, RSCHS, 22:2 (1985), 103117.
26
James Edward McGoldrick, Patrick Hamilton, Luthers Scottish Disciple, Sixteenth
Century Journal, 18 (Spr., 1987), 8188.
27
Gotthelf Wiedermann, Martin Luther versus John Fisher: Some Ideas concerning
the Debate on Lutheran Theology at the University of St Andrews, 152530, RSCHS,
22:1 (1984), 1334.
28
On the Reformation in Dundee, the Geneva of Scotland see Bardgett, Scotland
Reformed; J.H. Baxter, Dundee and the Reformation (Dundee, 1960).
29
McGoldrick, Patrick Hamilton, Luthers Scottish Disciple, 87; Gordon Donaldson,
Aberdeen University and the Reformation, Northern Scotland, 1 (Dec., 1972), 133;
Bruce McLennan, The Reformation in the Burgh of Aberdeen, NS, 2 (197475), 124
126. On the Reformation in Aberdeen see Allan White, The Impact of the Reformation
on a Burgh Community: The Case of Aberdeen in Michael Lynch (ed.), The Early
Modern Town in Scotland (London, 1987), 81101; The Reformation in Aberdeen in
J.S. Smith (ed.), New Light on Medieval Aberdeen (Aberdeen, 1985); Charles H. Haws,
The Diocese of Aberdeen and the Reformation, IR, 12 (Aut., 1971), 7284; Gordon
Donaldson, Scotlands Conservative North in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
in Scottish Church History (Edinburgh, 1985), 191203.
30
On Wishart see John Durkan, Scottish Reformers: the Less than Golden Legend,
IR, 45 (Spr., 1994), 210; George Wishart: His Early Life, SHR, 32 (Apr., 1953), 9899;
the formative years (15451563/4) 41

Henry Balnaves,31 Erskine of Dun, and the Melvilles. Thus, the early
presence and reception of Lutheranism in Angus may have served as the
initial impetus in Erskine of Duns choice of Copenhagen and Wittenberg
rather than Zurich and Geneva.32
Erskine of Dun undoubtedly chose Denmark due to the presence of
the Scottish scholar Macalpine who, prior to his decision to join the
Protestant movement in 1534, had labored as prior of the Dominican
convent in Perth.33 Having adopted Protestant views, the prior was sum-
moned by James Hay, bishop of Ross, to give an account of them at
Holyrood. Instead, he fled to England and remained there several years.34
After his time in England, he traveled to Germany where he studied
at the University of Wittenberg, meeting Luther and becoming a
close friend of Melanchthon.35 His close association with Melanch
thon accounts for both his Lutheranism and his humanism. Prior to
Macalpines conversion to Protestantism, he had been thoroughly trained
in late medieval scholasticism at the University of Cologne, completing
his course of study in 1525. Although a proponent of Protestant thought
and an advocate of Renaissance humanism, he still retained some aspects
of his scholastic training as evidenced by his participation in a formal
scholastic disputation conducted under Luthers supervision at Witten
berg in 1541.36 Nevertheless, Macalpine is said to have been deeply
influenced by Melanchthons humanism and the humanistic tradition

Jasper Ridley, John Knox (Oxford, 1968), 2744; Margaret H.B. Sanderson, Ayrshire and
the Reformation: People and Change 14901600 (East Lothian, 1997), 6568.
31
On Henry Balnaves see Hugh Watt, Henry Balnaves and the Scottish reforma-
tion, RSCHS, 5 (1935), 2329.
32
Gerhard Mller, Protestant Theology in Scotland and Germany in the Early Days
of the Reformation, RSCHS, 22:2 (1985), 103117; W. Stanford Reid, Lutheranism in
the Scottish Reformation, Westminster Theological Journal, 7 (May, 1945), 91111;
James K. Cameron, John Johnsones An Confortable Exhortation of Our Mooste Holy
Christen Faith and Her Frutes: An Early Example of Scots Lutheran Piety in Derek Baker
(ed.), Reform and Reformation: England and the Continent c.1500-c.1750 (Oxford, 1979),
133147; Aspects of the Lutheran Contribution to the Scottish Reformation 1528
1552, RSCHS, 22:1 (1984), 12.
33
Christensen, Scots in Denmark in the sixteenth century, 137.
34
Richard L. Greaves, Macalpine, John (d. 1557), ODNB, Vol. 34 (Oxford, 2004),
10261027.
35
Leask, Musa Latina Aberdonensis III, 111; Christensen, Scots in Denmark in the
sixteenth century, 137.
36
Anthony Ross, Some Notes on the Religious Orders in Pre-Reformation Scotland
in David McRoberts (ed.), Essays on the Scottish Reformation 15131625 (Glasgow,
1962), 200201.
42 chapter two

during his stay in Germany.37 In 1542 he was made a doctor of theology


and was appointed professor at the University of Copenhagen. Thus,
when the son of Erskine of Dun and Richard Melville arrived in
Denmarkto study under Macalpine they were thoroughly exposed to
Lutheran theology and the German humanism38 that characterized both
Melanchthons and Macalpines thought.39
Of course, if there had been any doubt regarding either their Protes
tantism or their advocacy of Renaissance humanism following their
time of study in Copenhagen under Macalpine, their decision to study
under Melanchthon at Wittenberg removes any suspicion of their reli-
gious and intellectual orientation. Although Philip Melanchthon did not
enjoy the same degree of notoriety for his humanism as did Bud and
Erasmus, he emerged over the course of his career as a humanist of the
first order who became the source from which neo-Latin circles of
poets flowed wave after wave.40 He has been called the father of the
younger Wittenberg circle of poets41 and Peter Lotz, Germanys
foremost poet of the sixteenth century,42 regarded Melanchthon as
the center around which the literature and learning of Protestant
humanism had revolved.43 From his earliest days as a student and
teacher at Tubingen, Melanchthon was firmly grounded in the
humanism of the Renaissance, reading widely in the ancient authors.
Having been profoundly influenced by the prince of the humanists,
Erasmus himself, he studied the writings of Aristotle, Homer, Vergil,

37
Christensen, Scots in Denmark in the sixteenth century, 137.
38
On German humanism see Lewis W. Spitz, The Religious Renaissance of the German
Humanists (Cambridge, MA, 1963). On Melanchthons evangelical humanism see John
Schofield, Philip Melanchthon and the English Reformation (Aldershot, 2006), 154.
39
On Macalpine see John Durkan, Scottish Evangelicals in the Patronage of Thomas
Cromwell, RSCHS, 21 (19811983), 139140; A. F. B. Petersen, Dr Johannes Macchabeus:
Scotlands contribution to the Reformation in Denmark (PhD Thesis, Edinburgh.,
1935).
40
Fleischer, Melanchthon as Praeceptor of Late-Humanist Poetry, 560. On Melanch
thons humanistic influence throughout Europe see Karin Maag (ed.), Melanchthon in
Europe: His Work and Influence beyond Wittenberg (Grand Rapids, 1999); Maria
Grossman, Humanism in Wittenberg, 14851517 (Nieuwkoop, 1975).
41
Ibid., 561.
42
Eckhard Bernstein, Review: Petrus Lotichius Secundus: Neo Latin Poet, SCJ, 15:4
(1984), 511. Martin Opitz designated Melanchthon unser Lotichius der Frst aller
Deutschen Poeten.
43
Fleischer, Melanchthon as Praeceptor of Late-Humanist Poetry, 561. Just as he
had done with Macalpine and in traditional humanist fashion, Melanchthon persuaded
Lotz to Latinize his name. Cf. Bernstein, Review: Petrus Lotichius Secundus: Neo Latin
Poet, 511.
the formative years (15451563/4) 43

Terence, and Cicero and, like his relative Reuchlin, devoted himself to
the study of Hebrew.44 Over the course of his life, he never abandoned
his love of writing poetry and plays. Indeed, he has been credited with
influencing some one hundred poets.45 For roughly half a century
Luthers colleague contributed to Germanys neo-Latin literature by pro-
ducing prologues for the Latin and Greek plays he directed, Latin para-
phrases from such classical authors as Hesiod, Homer, Plato, Opianus,
and Plutarch and approximately four hundred epigrams and carmina.46
He extolled the eloquence and erudition of poetry to his students and
urged them to write neo-Latin verse, providing them with his own
example. Despite his self-deprecation, calling himself malus poeta,
Melanchthon provided his students with a model of how to cultivate this
humanist art form and thereby contribute to this growing body of neo-
Latin literature in Reformation Germany.47 In light of Melanchthons
influential role in the promotion of neo-Latin literature in Germany
during the sixteenth century, Richard Melvilles own cultivation of bonae
litterae and of the art of neo-Latin poetry was undoubtedly enhanced
and augmented. Indeed, in this respect Andrew Melville may be viewed
as the intellectual benefactor of his eldest brothers education and asso-
ciation with the German scholar as well as an intellectual descendant of
Melanchthon, the neo-Latin poet.
Richard Melvilles Protestant humanism was further cultivated by his
fellow companions during his time abroad. The leader of this continen-
tal expedition, John Erskine of Dun, demonstrated his own commit-
ment to the New Learning of the Renaissance not only by his choice of
Copenhagen and Wittenberg but also by the intellectual foresight he
exhibited in recruiting Pierre de Marsilier to return with him in 1543 to
Scotland to teach Greek at the Montrose grammar school.48 During the
late 1530s the school had employed the services of George Wishart, who

44
David A. Gustafson, Review: Melanchthon in Europe: His Work and Influence
beyond Wittenberg, SCJ, 31:2 (2000), 490; Schofield, Philip Melanchthon and the English
Reformation, 4.
45
Fleischer, Melanchthon as Praeceptor of Late-Humanist Poetry, 561, 563. On
Petrus Lotichius Secundus see Stephen Zon, Petrus Lotichius Secundus: Neo-Latin Poet
(New York, Frankfurt on the Main, Berne, 1983).
46
Ibid., 562. Melanchthon himself did not publish most of these poetic effusions.
Instead, they were published by his admirers against his wishes.
47
Ibid., 564.
48
Melville, JMAD, 39; Bardgett, John Erskine of Dun: A Theological Reassessment,
6162.
44 chapter two

himself had been hired to teach the New Testament in Greek.49 Given
Erskine of Duns relationship with Wishart as both a neighbor and an
extended relative, as well as his subsequent recruitment of Marsilier to
teach Greek at Montrose, it seems likely that he supported Wisharts
efforts at teaching Greek at the school in the 1530s. While the traditional
date for Marsiliers arrival in Scotland has been 1534,50 the year 1543
seems to coincide better with the limited evidence available.51 Never
theless, Erskine of Duns recruitment of Marsilier underscores his own
humanistic values and Renaissance sensibilities, which were, in turn,
undoubtedly influential in Richard Melvilles own humanistic forma-
tion. Indeed, Erskine of Duns influence on Richard Melville may be seen
most vividly in the latters decision to send young Andrew to study
under Marsilier at Montrose.52
The influence of the Renaissance on Richards own educational expe-
rience on the continent may be seen most vividly in his love of the neo-
Latin poetry of the Italians in general and of the verses of Pier Angelo
Manzolli or Marcellus Palingenius Stellatus in particular.53 Although
little is known about Palingenius, he was present in Rome during
Leo Xs pontificate and apparently studied medicine about the year 1530
in Rimini. As is evident from the Zodiacus Vitae,54 he also studied
Neoplatonic philosophy and experimented with alchemy, magic, and
astrology.55 While there is some debate regarding the exact year
of publication, it seems to have been printed about the year 1531.56

49
John Durkan, Scottish Reformers: the Less than Golden Legend, IR, 45 (Spr.,
1994), 5; Jane E. A. Dawson, Knox, John (c.15141572), ODNB, Vol. 32 (Oxford, 2004),
1530.
50
Thomas McCrie, Life of John Knox (Edinburgh and London, 1850), 4.
51
Wright, Erskine, John, of Dun (15091590).
52
Melville, JMAD, 39; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 6, 11.
53
The author of the Zodiacus Vitae, Marcellus Palingenius Stellatus, is generally iden-
tified as Pier Angelo Manzolli of the town of La Stellata in the province of Ferrara.
Marcello Palingenio is the anagrammatic pseudonym of Pier Angelo Manzolli.
Cf. Corinne Mandel, Review: Le Zodiaque de la vie (Zodiacus Vitae) XII Livres by
Jacques Chomarat, SCJ, 29 (Spr., 1998), 143145; Alessandro Perosa and John Sparrow
(eds.), Renaissance Latin Verse: An Anthology (London, 1979), 295.
54
Jacques Chomarat, (trans. and ed.), Le Zodiaque de la vie (Zodiacus Vitae) XIILivres.
Palingne (Pier Angelo Manzolli dit Marzello Palingenio Stellato) (Geneva, 1996).
55
Perosa and Sparrow, Renaissance Latin Verse: An Anthology, 295; Francis
R. Johnson, Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England (Baltimore, 1937), 146.
56
Johnson, Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England, 145; Rosemond Tuve,
Introduction in The Zodiake of Life by Marcellus Palingenius, trans. Barnabe Googe
(New York, 1947), vi.
the formative years (15451563/4) 45

His neo-Latin poetry was viewed as subversive due to its stinging cri-
tique of the clergy, condemned as heretical by Pope Paul IV, and included
in the Index of Prohibited Books in 1559. As a heretic, not only was the
Zodiacus Vitae denounced, but his bones were actually exhumed and
burned as a final insult and condemnation. Indeed, so little is known for
certain about him that questions still remain regarding his profession,
whether he was a professor of grammar, a physician, or even a former
priest.57 What is clear about Palingenius poetry is that it was exceed-
ingly popular with Protestants, like Richard Melville, going through
some sixty editions and numerous translations and becoming a staple
in the classrooms of Protestant England.58 As Barnabe Googe translated
the Zodiacus Vitae59 into English between 1560 and 1565 producing
both partial and complete translations, it became the most popular
astronomical poem of the English Renaissance.60 Far from being a
purely Protestant document, the Zodiacus Vitae contains attacks upon
Luther as well as the Catholic Church.61 Comprised of twelve books with
each chapter named after one of the signs of the Zodiac and consisting
of approximately 10,000 lines, this neo-Latin didactic poem was written
in hexameters and was, like so many lengthy Renaissance poems, calcu-
lated to provide a comprehensive account of all learning.62 It has been
described as a mine of Renaissance commonplaces, most of them with
a long history in medieval or classical literature.63
As an advocate of the New Learning, Richard admired the classical
purity and style of Palingenius as well the moral quality of his Latin

57
Mandel, Review: Le Zodiaque de la vie (Zodiacus Vitae) XII Livres, 143144; Tuve,
Introduction, vi.
58
Perosa and Sparrow, Renaissance Latin Verse: An Anthology, 295; Mandel, Review:
Le Zodiaque de la vie (Zodiacus Vitae) XII Livres, 143144. Cf. Michael West, The
Internal Dialogue of Shakespeares Sonnet 146, Shakespeare Quarterly, 25 (Win., 1974),
115. West calls the Zodiacus Vitae a common textbook that Shakespeare may have read
as a schoolboy. Cf. Arthur F. Marotti, Patronage, Poetry, and Print, Yearbook of English
Studies, 21 Politics, Patronage, and Literature in England 15581658 Special Number
(1991), 5; Foster Watson, The Zodiacus Vitae of Marcellus Palingenius Stellatus: An Old
School-Book (London, 1908).
59
Palingenius, The Zodiake of Life by Marcellus Palingenius trans. Barnabe Googe;
Johnson, Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England, 145146.
60
Johnson, Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England, 149; Perosa and Sparrow,
Renaissance Latin Verse: An Anthology, 295.
61
McFarland, The Education of James Melville (15561614), 363.
62
Perosa and Sparrow, Renaissance Latin Verse: An Anthology, 295; Johnson,
Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England, 146; Tuve, Introduction, ix.
63
Tuve, Introduction, xii.
46 chapter two

poetry.64 In contrast to the Catullan style of poetry cultivated by Giovanni


Pontano, who seemed to delight himself in stimulating the prurient
impulses of his readers by means of his fescennine verse, the morally
upright character of Palingenius poetry possessed a strong appeal
to Richard Melville.65 Indeed, it has been argued that the Zodiacus
Vitae represents in essence a moral tract in the Erasmian tradition.66
Growing up in his fathers house, James Melville testified to the fact that
Richard not only delighted himself in Palingenius Zodiacus Vitae by
repeating passages from it to his children, but he actually had them
memorize portions of the Italian poets Latin verse from the Cancer, the
fourth book of the poem.67 Growing up under the influence of his older
brother and surrogate father Richard, Andrew cultivated a love of
neo-Latin verse at any early age and his poetic sensibilities were devel-
oped by the frequent and casual exposure to the poetry of Palingenius.
Even in his old age at the University of Sedan, Melville wrote to his
nephew James quoting the poet, referring to him as your favourite
Palingenius, and declaring that the very mention of whose name gives
me new life.68
In addition to its literary elegance and moral integrity, the Zodiacus
Vitae may have functioned in the life of the young humanist as his earli-
est model of Aristotelian criticism and dissent. Against those sixteenth-
century Aristotelians who dogmatically maintained the philosophers
infallibility in matters of natural science, Palingenius poem was cited
by the English mathematician Thomas Digges in his treatise on the the-
ory of Copernicus. Digges, like Richard Melville, was so familiar with

64
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 16. Melville, JMAD, 20.
65
Walther Ludwig, The Origin and Development of the Catullan Style in Neo-Latin
Poetry in Peter Godman and Oswyn Murray (eds.), Latin Poetry and the Classical
Tradition: Essays in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Oxford, 1990), 189, 196;
Melville, JMAD, 20. Cf. Mary Morrison, Catullus in the Neo-Latin Poetry of France
before 1550, Bibliothque dHumanisme et Renaissance, 17 (1955), 365394; Ronsard
and Catullus: The Influence of the Teaching of Marc-Antoine de Muret, BHR, 18 (1956),
240274; Leicester Bradner, Musae Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin Poetry 1500
1925 (New York and London, 1940), 149; James W. L. Adams, The Renaissance Poets
(2) Latin in James Kinsley (ed.), Scottish Poetry A Critical Survey (London, 1955), 84.
Bradner identifies Thomas Maitland as the Latinist who introduced into Scotland the
imitation of Ovid and Catullus in his elegies and epigrams.
66
Mandel, Review: Le Zodiaque de la vie (Zodiacus Vitae) XII Livres, 144.
67
Melville, JMAD, 1920; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 16; McFarland, The
Education of James Melville (15561614), 363. Cf. Palingenius, The Zodiake of Life
trans. Googe, 4061.
68
Andrew Melville, Melvini epistolae, 295; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 287.
the formative years (15451563/4) 47

Palingenius poem that he is reported to have the whole Aquarius


ofPalingenius bie hart: & takes mutch delight to repeate it often.69 By
criticizing Aristotle and debunking his infallibility, Palingenius in the
Zodiacus Vitae may have provided a model of Aristotelian dissent for
the young humanist or, at the very least, contributed to the weakening
hold the philosopher had on so many fields of study. While presenting
in many respects the conventional sixteenth-century cosmology, he
nevertheless disagreed with and criticized Aristotle. Indeed, a number
of Palingenius ideas subsequently came to be identified with Copernicus
and the new astronomy.70 Within this domestic intellectual milieu
Andrews earliest attitudes were formed. Some of his brothers, while
traveling extensively on the continent, had been exposed to the ideals,
values, and sensibilities of the Renaissance. In the case of Richard, he
received the benefits of university instruction under some of the most
prominent humanist Protestant scholars of the sixteenth century. In
such circumstances, it is not surprising that Andrew would cultivate
early a love for humane studies and bonae litterae.

Early Education

As a rather sickly young boy growing up in the home of his brother


Richard, Andrew delighted himself in study. Perceiving at an early age
his intellectual aptitude and disposition for learning, Richard placed
Andrew at the Montrose grammar school under the tutelage of one
Thomas Anderson.71 At Montrose Melville received a thorough founda-
tion in the Latin language and literature as well as in French. While we
have no direct record of what precisely was taught at the Montrose

Johnson, Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England, 162163, 192.


69

Ibid., 69, 147, 149. Palingenius wrote in Book VIII, Scorpius the following:
70

Whatsoeuer Aristotle saith, or any of them all, / I passe not for: since from the truth
they many times doe fall. / Oft prudent, graue, and famous men, in errors chance to
slide, / And many wittes with them deceiue when they themselues go wide: / Examples
only serue, so much must errors folowed bee, / Let no man iudge me arrogant, for reason
ruleth mee, / She faithfull guide of wisemen is: let him that seekes to finde / The Truth,
loue hir, and followe hir with all his might, and minde.
71
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, x, 244. Although we can-
not be certain due to the limited historical evidence available, there is a Thomas Anderson
listed as having matriculated at St Andrews in 1539 who belonged to the northern
Nation of Albania, one of the four Nations (Angusia, Albania, Laudonia, Britannia) into
which the University had been divided. Both the chronology and the geography suggest
that this may be the Thomas Anderson associated with the Montrose grammar school.
48 chapter two

grammar school during Andrews time there in the 1550s, we do have a


limited sketch of the curriculum provided by his nephew, who attended
schools in both Logie and Montrose in the 1560s.72 Given the short
period of time that elapsed between Andrews and James education
in the schools of Logie and Montrose, it seems reasonable to assume
an essential similarity and continuity in the curriculum.73 According
to James Melville, in addition to a thorough grounding in Latin
grammar, syntax, and etymology, as well as instruction in French
pronunciation and reading, students at Logie studied the Eclogues of
Vergil, the Epistles of Horace, the Epistles ad Terentiam of Cicero, and
the Minor Colloquia of Erasmus. When James was sent to Montrose, he
was again taught Latin grammar and was further instructed in Terences
Phormio and Vergils Georgics. Thus, even at the most rudimentary level
of education in Scotland, the effects of northern European humanism
and the flowering of the Renaissance were felt. Indeed, we learn from the
brief sketch provided by James Melville that the writings of Erasmus
were as much a part of the students education as were Vergil, Horace,
and Cicero.74
In Aberdeen in 1553, with the exception of the elementarians who
were given the concession of speaking in Scots since their conversational
Latin was inadequate, students were prohibited from speaking in the
vernacular and required to speak only in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French,
and Gaelic.75 While the Aberdeen grammar school may not have been
entirely representative of Scottish primary education in the middle of
the sixteenth century, when Melville completed his course of study at
Montrose, he chose to remain an additional two years under the private
tutelage of the French scholar Pierre de Marsilier. Under Marsilier
he received intensive instruction in Greek and benefited from the

72
Melville, JMAD, 3839.
73
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 7.
74
Melville, JMAD, 17, 21.
75
John Strong, The Development of Secondary Education in Scotland, School
Review, 15 (Oct., 1907), 595; John Durkan, Education in the Century of the Refor
mation in David McRoberts (ed.), Essays on the Scottish Reformation 15131625
(Glasgow, 1962), 149, 152. Grammar schools, sometimes referred to as great schools or
high schools, stood in contrast to little schools which by the sixteenth century had
abandoned the effort of teaching everything in Latin. For a thorough discussion of edu-
cation in Scotland during the sixteenth century see John Durkan, Education: The
Laying of Fresh Foundations in John MacQueen (ed.), Humanism in Renaissance
Scotland (Edinburgh, 1990), 123160; John Kerr, Scottish Education School and University
from Early Times to 1908 (Cambridge, 1910), 129.
the formative years (15451563/4) 49

pportunity to improve his command of French from a native speaker.


o
Perhaps his decision to put off going directly to university suggests that
he thought he could not receive such classical instruction in any of
Scotlands universities and that this local opportunity with Marsilier was
simply too promising to pass up. Whatever his precise reasons for delay-
ing, Melvilles decision to place himself under the tutelage of this French
scholar of the Greek language intimates that even at this early stage in
his life he had his sights set on France and the humanistic studies of the
Renaissance.76
Whereas James Melville is certainly correct that his uncle was given
an uncommon opportunity to study Greek, he seems to have exagger-
ated its rarity.77 The slogan Graecum est, non legitur describing the alleg-
edly Greekless state of Scotland before the time of Row and Melville is,
in certain respects, questionable and in others simply erroneous.78
Despite efforts at St Andrews in 1538 to establish a trilingual college for
Scotland at St Marys College on the pattern of the Collegium trilingue at
Louvain and the Collge Royal in Paris, the universities of St Andrews
and Glasgow prior to the 1550s provided little, if any, instruction in
Greek.79 Referring to the study of Greek and Hebrew, James Melville
declared, bot the langages war nocht to be gottine in the land.80 While
Melville stated that only the most rudimentary instruction was even
provided at St Andrews, there is evidence that a university student in
1564 offered to provide instruction in both Greek and Hebrew in Elgin
for the year 1566.81
If we may accept James Melvilles generalization to be true in somecent-
ers of Scottish society, the most notable exception, of course,wasKings
College, in Old Aberdeen where it appears the university had made the

76
Melville, JMAD 39.
77
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 263.
78
John Durkan, The Cultural Background in Sixteenth-Century Scotland in David
McRoberts (ed.), Essays on the Scottish Reformation 15131625 (Glasgow, 1962), 28889.
79
Cf. James K. Cameron, A Trilingual College for Scotland: The Founding of St Marys
College in D.W.D. Shaw (ed.), In Divers Manners (St Andrews, 1990), 2942; Ronald
Gordon Cant, The University of St Andrews: A Short History (St Andrews, 1992), 4150.
80
Melville, JMAD, 30.
81
Cameron, A Trilingual College for Scotland, 2942; St Marys College 1547
1574-The Second Foundation: The Principalship of John Douglas in D.W.D. Shaw (ed.),
In Divers Manners (St Andrews, 1990), 4357; Reid, Education in Post-Reformation
Scotland, 16. Reid notes that the earliest recorded example of formal Greek instruction
occurred in 1556 when bishop Robert Reid appointed Edward Henryson to deliver a
series of public lectures in Edinburgh. Cf. William Forbes-Leith, Pre-Reformation
Scholars in Scotland in the Sixteenth Century (Edinburgh, 1974), 8.
50 chapter two

study of the Greek language and literature a part of its curriculum.82


During the first third of the sixteenth century, the scholars at Elphinstones
college in Old Aberdeen under the leadership of the Renaissance human-
ist and principal Hector Boece were widely regarded by the broader
European community for their intellectual distinction.83 Elphinstone
himself had from the very beginning established the trajectory at Kings
in favor of the New Learning and is generally recognized as the intel-
lectual leader of the revival of learning under James IV.84 Regarded as
one of the leading Scottish humanists of the early sixteenth century,
Hector Boece is said to have brought to Scotland the first glimmerings
of the Renaissancedawn. His 1527 Scotorum Historiae, while devoid of
the skepticism towards medieval chronicles exhibited by other human-
ists of the period and despite his own penchant toward historical embel-
lishment, embodies the elegant Latin promoted by the advocates of the
New Learning.85 Under his leadership the study of the classics flourished
and Kings College emerged as the only Scottish university where there is
evidenceto support the contention that Greek was taught beyond the

82
Durkan, The Cultural Background in Sixteenth-Century Scotland, 28889; John
Veitch, Philosophy in the Scottish Universities Mind, 2 (Jan., 1877), 75; Alexander
Grant, The Story of the University of Edinburgh during its First Three Hundred Years
(London, 1884), 44. Despite Grants assertion that there was no trace of Greek having
been taught in any Scottish University prior to the Reformation, the Greek orations at
Kings College in 1541 at the time of James Vs visitation at least suggest the possibility
that it was taught. Indeed, Grants own supposition that such Greek orations must have
been the work of some scholar, happening to be in Aberdeen is devoid of historical
evidence.
83
Hastings Rashdall, The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages, Vol. II eds.
F.M. Powicke and A.B. Emden (Oxford, 1936), 319; I.D. McFarlane, Buchanan (London,
1981), 8. On Hector Boece see J.H. Burns, The True Law of Kingship: Concepts of Monarch
in Early Modern Scotland (Oxford, 1996), 5492; N. R. Royan, The Relationship between
the Scotorum Historia of Hector Boece and John Bellendens Chronicles of Scotland in
Sally Mapstone and Juliette Wood (eds.), The Rose and the Thistle: Essays on the Culture
of Late Medieval and Renaissance Scotland (East Linton, 1998), 136157; D. Broun, The
Birth of Scottish History, SHR, 76 (1997), 422; A.A.M. Duncan, Hector Boece and the
Medieval Tradition in Scots Antiquaries and Historians (Dundee, 1972), 111; Roger
A. Mason, Scotching the Brut: Politics, History and National Myth in Sixteenth-Century
Britain in Roger A. Mason (ed.), Scotland and England 12861815 (Edinburgh, 1987),
6084; W. Douglas Simpson Hector Boece in Quartercentenary of the Death of Hector
Boece First Principal of the University (Aberdeen, 1937), 729; J.B. Black, Boeces
Scotorum Historiae in Quartercentenary of the Death of Hector Boece First Principal of
the University (Aberdeen, 1937), 3053.
84
John Durkan, The Beginnings of Humanism in Scotland, IR, 4 (Spring, 1953), 5.
85
Roger A. Mason Scotching the Brut, 64; McEwen, John Erskine of Dun, 1508
91, 18. Cf. also John Durkan, Early Humanism and Kings College, AUR, 48 (Spring,
1980), 259279.
the formative years (15451563/4) 51

most elementary rudiments of the language.86 Following Elphinstones


death in 1514, Boece, along with his colleague John Vaus, continued to
promote the New Learning until by the year 1534 the Italian humanist
Giovanni Ferrerio87 on his visit to Kings College, Aberdeen praised it as
the most celebrated of Scotlands universities.88 When James V and his
wife Mary of Guise paid a royal visit to Aberdeen in 1541, they were
greeted with Greek prose offered by the students of Kings College.89
Curiously, even the statutes of Kings for the year 1553 evidence the fur-
ther influence of the Greek language upon the institution where a
Latinised Greek was employed to describe the offices of headmaster,
under-teachers, and the enforcers of statutes as archididascalus, hypo-
didascali, and nomophylaces respectively.90 Though there is evidence
of decline at the university by the time of Alexander Galloways 1549
visitation, it is unclear how this impacted the study of Greek.91
Moreover, the study of Greek was by no means confined to Old
Aberdeen and its medieval university. Knowledge of the Greek language

86
McEwen, John Erskine of Dun, 150891, 18; Melville, JMAD, 30. As James
Melville testified, Our Regent begoud and teatched us the A, B, C, of the Greik, and the
simple declintiones, bot went no farder.
87
On Ferrerio see John Durkan, Giovanni Ferrerio, Humanist: His Influence
in Sixteenth-Century Scotland in K. Robbins (ed.), Religion and Humanism (Oxford,
1981), 18194; Giovanni Ferrerio: A Brief Chronology in John Durkan and James
Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577 (Glasgow, 1977), 404405.
88
McLennan, The Reformation in the Burgh of Aberdeen, 119; David Stevenson,
Kings College, Aberdeen, 15601641: From Protestant Reformation to Covenanting
Revolution (Aberdeen, 1990), 12; Grant, The Story of the University of Edinburgh, 43. For
an excellent account of Kings College, Aberdeen during the late fifteenth and early six-
teenth centuries see Leslie J. Macfarlane, William Elphinstone and the Kingdom of
Scotland 14311514 (Aberdeen, 1985), 290402; Kings College, Aberdeen: The Creation
of the Academic Community, 14951532, AUR, 56 (Aut., 1995), 211222; A Short
History of the University of Aberdeen, AUR, 48 (Spr., 1979), 118; John M. Fletcher,
Welcome Stranger or Resented Intruder? A Reconstruction of the Foundation of the
University of Aberdeen in the Context of European University Development in the Later
Middle Ages, AUR, 52 (Aut., 1988), 298313. Ferrerius wrote: What can be more
learned and elegant in the round of educational subjects, and especially in history, than
Hector Boece? What more finished and delightful in the mysteries of theology than
William Hay? What more apt in the relief of sickness and in knowledge of geography
than Robert Gray, the Professor of Medicine? In canon law you will hardly find any one
to surpass Arthur Boece; and to pass over other accomplished and learned men, what
more exact in grammar than John Vaus?
89
Robert Sangster Rait, The Universities of Aberdeen (Aberdeen, 1895), 8182; John
Malcolm Bulloch, A History of the University of Aberdeen (London, 1895), 60; Alexander
Grant, The Story of the University of Edinburgh (London, 1884), 44.
90
Durkan, Education in the Century of the Reformation, 152.
91
Stevenson, Kings College, Aberdeen, 15601641, 12; Bulloch, A History of the
University of Aberdeen, 6667; Rait, The Universities of Aberdeen, 8192.
52 chapter two

and its literature was also possessed by such fifteenth-century Scottish


scholars as the humanist and classicist Archibald Whitelaw, secretary of
James III, and John Ireland92 courtier-cleric to James III and James IV. In
addition to these individuals, a number of sixteenth-century Scots, such
as John Mair,93 George Buchanan,94 Florence Wilson,95 George Wishart,
Archibald Hay,96 George Hay,97 and Ninian Winzet,98 also possessed a
knowledge of the language. Many Scots, like Wishart, may have acquired
their knowledge of Greek from places like Louvain and Paris, and upon
their return to their native land only made the knowledge and study of
the Greek language and its literature more available.99 Some scholars,
such as Buchanan, following in the steps of Erasmus and Bud, and in
company with Joseph Justus Scaliger, taught themselves Greek with
little or no external assistance.100 Thus, while Andrew Melvilles early

92
On John Ireland see J. H. Burns, John Ireland: theology and public affairs in the
late fifteenth century, IR, 41 (1990), 151181.
93
On John Mair see John Durkan, John Mair in The University of Glasgow
14511577, 155165; John Major: After 400 Years, IR, 1 (Dec., 1950), 131139.
94
On George Buchanan see I.D. McFarlane, George Buchanan and French
Humanism in A.H.T. Levi (ed.), Humanism in France at the end of the Middle Ages and
in the early Renaissance (Manchester, 1970), 295319; George Buchanan and France in
J.C. Ireson, I.D. McFarlane, and Garnet Rees (eds.), Studies in French Literature presented
to H.W. Lawton by colleagues, pupils and friends (Manchester, 1968), 223245; George
Buchanan and European Humanism, Yearbook of English Studies, 15 Anglo-French
Literary Relations Special Number (1985), 3347; D.F.S. Thomson, George Buchanan:
The Humanist in the Sixteenth-Century World, Phoenix, 4 (Win., 1950), 7794.
95
On Florence Wilson see D. Baker-Smith, Florens Wilson and His Circle: migrs
in Lyons, 15391543 in G. Castor and T. Cave (eds.), Neo-Latin and the Vernacular
in Renaissance France (Oxford, 1984), 8397; Florens Wilson and the politics of
irenicism in A. Dalzell, C. Fantazzi, and R.J. Scheck (eds.), Acta conventus neo-Latini
Torontonensis (1991), 189198; John Durkan, heresy in Scotland: The Second Phase,
RSCHS, 24 (199092), 342343.
96
On Archibald Hay see Euan Cameron, Archibald Hays Elegantiae: Writings of a
Scots Humanist at the Collge de Montaigu in the Time of Bud and Beda in Jean-
Claude Margolin (ed.), Acta conventus neo-Latini Turonensis (Paris, 1980), 277301.
97
John Durkan, George Hays Oration at the Purging of Kings College, Aberdeen,
in 1569: Commentary, NS, 6 (1984), 97112.
98
On Ninian Winzet see J.H. Burns, Three Scots Catholic Critics of George
Buchanan, IR, 1 (1950), 92109; Catholicism in Defeat: Ninian Winzet, 15191592,
History Today, 16 (1966), 788795; Mark Dilworth, Ninian Winzet: Some New
Material, IR, 24 (1973), 125132.
99
Durkan, The Cultural Background in Sixteenth-Century Scotland, 289.
100
On Erasmus acquisition of Greek see Rachel Giese, Erasmus Greek Studies,
Classical Journal, 29 (Apr., 1934), 517526. On Bud see Tilley, Humanism under
Francis I, 457; David O. McNeil, Guillaume Bud and Humanism in the Reign of Francis
I (Genve, 1975), 810; Linton C. Stevens, How the French Humanists of the Renaissance
Learned Greek, Proceedings of the Modern Language Association, 65 (Mar., 1950),
24048. On Scaliger see Anthony T. Grafton, Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of
the formative years (15451563/4) 53

acquisition of Greek was not unprecedented or as rare as his nephew


suggests, his knowledge of the language was certainly uncommon in
Scotland. It also indicates that he had embraced the humanistic sensi-
bilities cultivated by his eldest brother Richard during his time on the
continentand that he possessed at a young age the deeply held convic-
tion regarding the necessity of a knowledge of Greek for a thoroughly
educated scholar.101

The University of St Andrews

Melville entered the class of 1559-60 at St Marys College, where John


Douglas presided as provost, to pursue his university education.102 While
the reasons for choosing St Andrews over Glasgow and Aberdeen may
seem obvious given Glasgows decrepit condition and Aberdeens reli-
gious environment, the reason for the choice of St Marys over the more
overtly Protestant St Leonards is unclear. Unlike Catholic Aberdeen in
the conservative North, which, for all of its promotion of the New
Learning, remained resistant to Protestantism, St Andrews had proved
itself to be a breeding ground for heresy and appealed to those inclined
toward the new theology arriving from the continent.
While the choice of St Andrews underscores the Protestant orienta-
tion of the Melvilles of Baldovy, the choice of St Marys is not immedi-
ately obvious. Perhaps the presence and leadership of Douglas at the
College attracted the Melvilles.103 Douglass personal qualities may have
been a compelling factor contributing to the choice of St Marys.
According to James Melville, the provost of the College and rector of the

Classical Scholarship Vol. I Textual Criticism and Exegesis (Oxford, 1983), 101103;
Joseph Scaligers Edition of Catullus (1577) and the Traditions of Textual Criticism in
the Renaissance, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 38 (1975), 155156;
Warren E. Blake, Joseph Justus Scaliger, Classical Journal, 36 (Nov., 1940), 85; George
W. Robinson, (trans.), Autobiography of Joseph Scaliger with Autobiographical Selections
from his Letters his Testament and the Funeral Orations by Daniel Heinsius and Dominicus
Baudius (Cambridge, 1927), 3031.
101
P. Hume Brown, George Buchanan: Humanist and Reformer (Edinburgh,
1890), 13.
102
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St Andrews, 267; Reid, Education in
Post-Reformation Scotland, 16. Reid observes that, despite the official records, Melville
himself stated that he commenced his studies at St Marys in 1560. Cf. Bucholtzer,
Isagoge Chronologica, f. QQ IIIr. On John Douglas see Cameron, St Marys College
15471574-The Second Foundation: The Principalship of John Douglas, 4357.
103
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 264. Cameron, St Marys
College 15471574-The Second Foundation, 4344.
54 chapter two

University exhibited great tenderness to the young Melville, taking him


betuix his legges at the fyre in wintar, and warm his hands and cheiks,
and blessing him, say, My sillie fatherles and motherles chyld, its ill to
wit what God may mak of thie yit!104 He also seems to have moved pro-
gressively in the direction of Protestantism during the late 1550s.
Although he was apparently involved in condemning to death Scotlands
last Protestant martyr Walter Milne in 1558, by the middle of 1559 he
appears to have favored the establishment of a reformed congregation in
St Andrews. Of course, by 1560 his allegiance to the Protestant cause
was unmistakable as he was appointed to the commission of six that
drafted the Scots Confession and First Book of Discipline.105
Prior to his commitment to Protestantism, Douglass own humanistic
sensibilities may have served as a further inducement in favor of
St Marys. As head of the College, Douglas was the driving force behind
the implementation of archbishop John Hamiltons nova fundatio of
1555, which endeavored to breathe new life into a moribund institution
by incorporating, among other things, specifically humanist reforms.106
The reforms proposed by Hamilton and implemented partially by
Douglas were part of a much broader program of Catholic reform asso-
ciated with the provincial councils of 1549, 1552, 1556, and 1559. In
keeping with Catholic reform on the continent as embodied in the
Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, these provincial councils
attempted to suppress heresy by establishing lectureships in theology at
collegiate churches and cathedrals, promoting the importance of preach-
ing and giving bishops broad discretionary powers in regulating it, and
requiring members of monastic orders to attend university to be for-
mally trained in theology.107 From the time of his appointment to
the archepiscopal see in 1549, Hamilton had desired to implement at
St Marys a distinctively humanist course of study encompassing gram-
mar, rhetoric, poetry, music, arts, medicine, theology, and laws. In the

104
Melville, JMAD, 39.
105
On the Scots Confession and First Book of Discipline see W. Ian Hazlett, The Scots
Confession 1560: Context, Complexion and Critique, ARG, 78 (1987), 287320;
G.D. Henderson, The Burning Bush: Studies in Scottish Church History (Edinburgh,
1957), 2341; W. Stanford Reid, French Influence on the First Scots Confession and
Book of Discipline, WTJ, 35 (1972/73), 117; The First Book of Discipline ed. James
K. Cameron (Edinburgh, 1972).
106
Cameron, A Trilingual College for Scotland, 42; Cameron, St Marys College
15471574-The Second Foundation, 46.
107
Ryrie, The origins of the Scottish Reformation, 9597.
the formative years (15451563/4) 55

early 1550s Douglas emerged at St Andrews as the individual who could


lead the University in reform. Despite his auspicious beginning as rector
in 1552 when the University was described as florentissima respublica
litteraria, under Douglass leadership the New Foundation charter was
only partially implemented.108 Nevertheless, the changes at the College
from 1555-1559 would have appealed to Melvilles growing humanist
sensibilities and may have contributed in his selection of St Marys.
At St Marys Melville continued his humanistic studies, drawing the
attention of his regents and fellow students by his ability to read Aristotle
in Greek rather than relying, like everyone else, on a Latin translation of
his writings. His practice of reading Greek texts was accentuated by the
fact that the regents in the college were unable to read Greek and were
thus dependent upon Latin translations.109 According to his nephew,
Andrew emerged from his course of study at St. Andrews having earned
the distinguished reputation as the best philosopher, poet, and Grecian,
of anie young maister in the land.110
Even while a student, his reputation as a scholar of humane studies
and bonae litterae reached the attention of the visiting Italian poet Pietro
Bizzarri. Trained in classical letters at Venice, Bizzarri left Italy in 1545
due to his support of the Reformation and spent some time pursuing his
studies in Germany. In 1549 he traveled to England where he became a
fellow at St Johns College, Cambridge and subsequently attached him-
self to Francis Russell, the Earl of Bedford, who had been appointed the
governor of Berwick. While in the service of Russell as probably his sec-
retary and Italian tutor, he became associated with the court of Mary
Stewart.111 At this time Melville met his fellow humanist and neo-Latin
poet and apparently made such an impression upon him that Bizzarri
composed twelve lines of Latin verse in honor of the young Scot.112

108
Cameron, St Marys College 15471574-The Second Foundation, 46.
109
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St Andrews, 267; Melville, JMAD, 30,
39. McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 12; H.M.B. Reid, The Divinity Principals in the
University of Glasgow 15451654, (Glasgow, 1917), 5; Durkan and Kirk, The University of
Glasgow 14511577, 265.
110
Melville, JMAD, 39.
111
Kenneth R. Bartlett, Bizzarri, Pietro (b. 1525, d. in or after 1586), ODNB, Vol. 5
(Oxford, 2004), 886888.
112
Petri Bizzari, Ad Andream Milvinum in Janus Gruterus (ed.), Delitiae cc. Italorum
Poetarum, huius superorisque aevi illustrium Vol. I (Francofurti, 1608), 437438; McCrie,
Life of Andrew Melville I, 1617; Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 18.
Despite Reids assertion that Melville must have met Bizarri through Buchanan, there
is little evidence to support this conjecture.
56 chapter two

The only other Scottish scholar to receive such a tribute was the human-
ist and neo-Latin poet George Buchanan.113 The fact that the young
Melville, as a mere university student, shared this honor with the accom-
plished Buchanan corroborates James Melvilles statement regarding his
reputation during his student days at St Andrews. Melvilles growing
reputation as a young classical scholar who possessed a remarkable
degree of intellectual ability and learning as well as one who held out
great promise as a purveyor of the New Learning in Scotland was only
enhanced by his association with Bizzarri and the laters Latin verses
written in honor of him.
The year 1560 was not only the first full year of Melvilles university
studies at St Andrews, but more importantly it was the year of the formal
recognition of Protestantism in Scotland. The revolution of 1560 effected
profound religious, political, social, and educational changes in Scotland
and has been called arguably the first modern revolution.114 In addi-
tion to outlawing Catholicism, establishing Protestantism, terminating
the auld alliance, and forming a new political relationship with England,
a significant part of the Reformation agenda involved the reforming of
the Scottish university system.115 By the time of the Reformation all three
of Scotlands fifteenth-century foundations were in desperate need of
reform and renewal, and specific measures were prescribed to resusci-
tate and reorganize them. Despite the proposals for reform embodied in
the 1560 First Book of Discipline and the specific recommendations for
the reform of St Andrews offered by George Buchanan, Scotlands medi-
eval universities changed very little, and St Andrews in particular from
1560 until 1579 repeatedly experienced reformatory delays.116 Indeed,
the conditions in the days of Knox had deteriorated to such an extent
that James Melville referred to the ignorance and negligence of tham
that sould haiff teatched Theologie with the result that Regents and
schollars carit na thing for Divinitie.117
The condition of St Andrews during the 1560s provided little incen-
tive for those interested in the study of theology.118 Melville accordingly

113
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 17.
114
Ryrie, The origins of the Scottish Reformation, 1.
115
On the extensive provisions made in the First Book of Discipline see First Book
of Discipline, 137155.
116
Cant, The University of St Andrews, 51, 5457, 59.
117
Melville, JMAD, 124.
118
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 263; Reid, The Divinity
Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654, 9. Cf. Early Records of the University
of St Andrews, 267, 348.
the formative years (15451563/4) 57

avoided a theological course of study altogether, and went through the


standard arts course, building upon the humanistic foundation that had
been laid at Montrose under Marsilier. James Melville, who studied at
St Leonards during the early 1570s, has left a brief description of the
course of study he pursued. Given the tardiness of university reform
throughout Scotland, we may reasonably assume that the curriculum at
St Marys resembled that of St Leonards.119 Students at St Andrews
received extensive instruction in Aristotles philosophy, beginning with
his dialectic or logic and proceeding to a study of his ethics, physics, and
finally to his metaphysics or prima philosophia. In addition to the study
of Aristotle, they studied arithmetic and attended, with the exception of
the first year students, the lectures delivered by the principal.120 Despite
the efforts to reform the University prior to the Reformation, the efforts
to restructure the curriculum to incorporate the New Learning of the
Renaissance fell short of what humanists, such as Archibald Hay and
John Douglas, had envisioned. As Rashdall has remarked, the curricu-
lum at St Andrews was still in many respects thoroughly medieval in
character.121
Although James Melville has remarked that his uncle past his cuirse
at St Marys, there is no evidence in the official records of the University
that Melville ever completed his course of study and took his degree.
Despite St Marys incomplete records, it is possible that he did complete
his course of study and graduate. It is curious that among the names of
graduates listed for the year 1563, none are from St Marys College.
Melville had matriculated at St Marys in the same year that John Gordon,
William Collace, Archibald Bankhead, Andrew Simson, Thomas
Beggart, William Braidfut, and Archibald Hog had all matriculated at
St Leonards. Given that all of these students also graduated in 1563, one
would naturally expect Melville to have graduated at this time as well.
In light the incomplete records, one is only warranted in affirming that
he probably completed his course of study and was graduated M.A. in
1563/4.122

119
Early Records of the University of St Andrews, 279. Cf. James K. Cameron, St. Marys
College 15471574-The Second Foundation: The Principalship of John Douglas in
D.W.D. Shaw (ed.), In Divers Manners: A St Marys Miscellany (St Andrews, 1990), 2942.
120
Melville, JMAD, 2429; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 346347.
121
Rashdall, The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages, II, 310311.
122
Melville, JMAD, 39. Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, 158, 267.
Cf. also Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 265; Reid, The Divinity
Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654, 9.
58 chapter two

Perhaps due to the inadequate incorporation of the New Learning at


St Andrews Melville chose to discontinue his course of study and go
instead to Paris, the epicenter of the northern European Renaissance, to
cultivate further his humanist learning.123 If, as the official records of the
University seem to indicate, he commenced his studies in the autumn or
winter of 1559, then, as Durkan and Kirk have suggested, it is much
more likely that the young scholar left St Andrews in 1563 rather than
1564 and headed to the continent. However, as Reid has pointed out, the
Latin verses of Bizzarri offered to the young Melville during the formers
visit to the Scottish court during the late spring of 1564 complicate the
issue.124 If Melville met Bizzarri at this time, then a departure date of
1564 seems more likely. Whether he departed in 1563 or 1564 his choice
of Paris rather than Geneva or Wittenberg is significant and intimates
that his priority was not theological instruction but rather a more exten-
sive training in and exposure to the studia humanitatis of the French
Renaissance.125

Conclusion

Despite the contention that the limited evidence regarding Melvilles


early life inhibits any further analysis, a careful reading of James
Melvilles Diary and an investigation of the historical particulars sur-
rounding it reveals a number of significant observations regarding his
early humanism.126 Melvilles earliest exposure to the New Learning of
the Renaissance was mediated through his eldest brother Richard who
himself had studied under two of the most prominent Protestant human-
ists on the continent, namely, Macalpine and Melanchthon, and was on
intimate terms with one of Scotlands earliest promoters of the study of
Greek, Erskine of Dun. Having imbibed the humanist values of the
northern European Renaissance, Richard cultivated a love for neo-Latin
poetry and instilled that passion in the members of his household. In
promoting the poetry of Palingenius, Richard set before Andrew a model
of literary elegance, a comprehensive account of all learning, strong

123
Cameron, St Marys College 15471574-The Second Foundation: The Principalship
of John Douglas, 46; A Trilingual College for Scotland: The Founding of St Marys
College, 3442.
124
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 18; McFarlane, Buchanan, 228.
125
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 265.
126
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 43.
the formative years (15451563/4) 59

moral virtues, Aristotelian criticism and dissent, and an incisive critique


of the clergy. We know from Melvilles subsequent correspondence that
the very mention of Palingenius name brought him joy and a renewed
invigoration.127
While James Melvilles exaggeration regarding his uncles acquisition
of Greek has contributed to the development of the Melville legend, his
uncles knowledge was uncommon in Scotland at this time and remark-
able for one so young. His skill in the Greek language was complemented
by his ability to craft Latin verse for which he was praised by Bizzarri.
Though Melville was by no means viewed as Buchanans poetic equal, he
was nevertheless given the unusual distinction of being honored along
with Buchanan by Bizzarris encomiastic Latin verse. While St Andrews
during Melvilles student days was far from a thriving center of the New
Learning, Melville continued to tutor himself in Greek, reading Aristotle
in the original rather than in Latin translation as the regents were forced
to do. Thus, the reputation he acquired as a young classical scholar dur-
ing these years while exaggerated by his nephew, is substantially con-
firmed by his early acquisition of Greek at Montrose, his practice of
reading Aristotle at St Andrews, and the Latin encomium he received
from Bizzarri.

Melville, Melvini epistolae, 295.


127
Chapter three

FRANCE: PARIS AND POITIERS


(1563/41569)

The Collge Royal and University of Paris

Having concluded his education at St Andrews in 1563/4, Melville


undertook a perilous journey to France sailing first to England and then,
due to an enormous storm which carried him south to Bordeaux,
traveled north to Dieppe before eventually arriving at Paris to com-
mence his studies at the University.1 In traveling to France to continue
his university education, Melville aligned himself with a long tradition
of Scottish scholars who, prior to the fifteenth century, were forced to
seek their education abroad due to the absence of a university in Scotland.
From the thirteenth through the sixteenth centuries Scottish students
wandered all over Europe studying at universities in France, Italy, Spain,
England, and Germany among others. Even with the founding of uni-
versities in St Andrews, Glasgow, and Old Aberdeen during the fifteenth
century, Scottish students continued to travel abroad for university
instruction. On account of the intermittent warfare between England
and Scotland throughout the late Middle Ages, the political implications
the Auld Alliance had for the Hundred Years War, and the alignments
taken by each country following the Schism of 1378, Scottish students
overwhelmingly preferred France over any other country in Europe
and predominantly chose the queen of universities north of the Alps,
the University of Paris. Of the more than 400 Scots who traveled abroad
to pursue their education in the fourteenth century, nearly two-thirds of
them attended the University of Paris.2

1
James Melville, The Autobiography and Diary of Mr. James Melvill ed. Robert Pitcairn
(Edinburgh, 1842), 39; J. D. Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951 (Glasgow,
1954), 64. Melville was apparently tormented with sie-seiknes and storme of wather
such that he was in real danger of schipwrak.
2
Donald E.R. Watt, Scottish Masters and Students at Paris in the Fourteenth
Century, Aberdeen University Review, 36 (Aut., 1955), 169171; Hastings Rashdall, The
Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages Vol. I eds. F. M. Powicke and A. B. Emden
(Oxford, 1936), 276; Vol. II, 302. Alexander Grant, The Story of the University of
Edinburgh (London, 1884), 2. There does seem to have been a temporary change in
policy during the thirty-five year period from 13571393 when passages of safe
62 chapter three

The choice of Paris over the much closer institutions to the south,
Oxford and Cambridge, may be explained in part by the friendship cul-
tivated between the two countries made possible by the Auld Alliance
established in 1295 and renewed by every French and Scottish monarch,
with the exception of Louis XI, until the mid-sixteenth century. The alli-
ance culminated in 1558 with the union of the French and Scottish
crowns but was shortly terminated upon the death of Franois II on
5 December 1560.3 Although by the time Melville completed his course
of study at St Andrews Scotland had rejected the Auld Alliance in favor
of an alliance with Protestant England, Scottish students continued to
flock to Paris to avail themselves of the New Learning of the French
Renaissance. Melvilles friend and fellow neo-Latin poet Joseph Justus
Scaliger, who attended the University of Paris in 1559 just before Melville
commenced his studies there, estimated that there were then approxi-
mately 30,000 students studying at the University.4
Even more significant than the prestigious reputation and honored
place of the University of Paris among the universities of Europe was the
role that the newly established Collge Royal played in the promotion of
the New Learning of the French Renaissance.5 Many sixteenth-century
scholars from John Mair, Guillaume Bud, and John Annand to George
Buchanan and Andrew Melville held the opinion that a translatio studii
had occurred which made Paris, and no longer Rome, the new Athens
and the real heir of that great city.6 Institutions, such as the Collge

conduct were extended to Scottish masters and students but proof of their activities at
Oxford or Cambridge is all but non-existent.
3
Elizabeth Bonner, French Naturalization of the Scots in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth
Centuries, Historical Journal, 40 (Dec., 1997), 10851086. Many French and Scots alike
believed that their alliance went back some 800 years to the time of Charlemagne
and Achaius, sixty-fifth King of Scots. Interest in the Auld Alliance was renewed by
Henry IV and James VI during the 1590s but declined slowly after the union of the
Scottish and English crowns in 1603 and then rapidly declined after the parliamentary
union of 1707.
4
Thomas McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville Vol. I (2nd edn., Edinburgh and London,
1824), 1819; Anthony T. Grafton, Joseph Scaligers Edition of Catullus (1577) and the
Traditions of Textual Criticism in the Renaissance, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld
Institutes, 38 (1975), 155; Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship
Vol. I Textual Criticism and Exegesis (Oxford, 1983), 126.
5
Samuel Eliot Morison, The Founding of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA, 1936),
12; Walter Ong, Educationists and the Tradition of Learning, Journal of Higher
Education, 29, (Feb., 1958), 61. On the University of Paris see Andr Tuilier, Histoire de
L Universit de Paris et de La Sorbonne Tome I Des origines Richelieu (Paris, 1994);
Rashdall, The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages I, 269583.
6
John Durkan, The Cultural Background in Sixteenth-Century Scotland, in David
McRoberts (ed.), Essays on the Scottish Reformation 15131625 (Glasgow, 1962), 283.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 63

Royal founded in 1530 by Franois I to promote the study of disciplines


either not taught or taught very poorly at the conservative University of
Paris, only provided further warrant for designating Paris the Athens of
the North.7 Just as Scots, such as Robert Bruce, Alexander Cockburn,
Peter Young, Gilbert Walker, and Alexander Arbuthnot, traveled to
Louvain, Basel, Geneva, Rostock, and Bourges respectively to pursue
their university studies, so Melvilles path from St Andrews to Paris was
a well-worn one which Scottish students had trod for generations.8 One
need only think of George Buchanan who, after completing his course in
arts at St Andrews, traveled to Paris following his teacher John Mair.9
When Melville arrived in Paris, he found himself in the company of
a sizeable Scottish contingent, consisting of both Catholics and Protes
tants. With the outlawing of Catholicism at the time of the Reformation
some Scots chose to go into exile in France with a view to returning with
the restoration of the old faith. Catholics, such as the Jesuits Edmund
Hay10 and Thomas Smeaton,11 as well as Protestants such as Melvilles

Cf. Colin M. MacDonald, John Major and Humanism, Scottish Historical Review, 13
(Oct., 1915), 149158. On the conservative University of Paris see James K. Farge,
Orthodoxy and Reform in Early Reformation France: The Faculty of Theology of Paris,
15001543 (Leiden, 1985).
7
Isabelle Pantin, Teaching Mathematics and Astronomy in France: The Collge
Royal (15501650), Science and Education, 15:24 (2006), 189; I. D. McFarlane,
Buchanan (London, 1981), 2, 10. On the Collge Royal see Marc Fumaroli (ed.), Les
origines du College de France (Paris, 1998); A. Lefranc, Le Collge de France (15301930)
(Paris, 1932); Histoire du Collge de France (Paris, 1893).
8
I.D. McFarlane, George Buchanan and European Humanism, Yearbook of English
Studies, 15, Anglo-French Literary Relations Special Number (1985), 33; Hans Georg
Wackernagel (ed.), Die Matrikel der Universitt Basel, (Basel, 1956), Vol. II, 95;
S. Stelling-Michaud, (ed.), Le Livre du Recteur de LAcadmie de Genve (15591878)
(Geneva, 1959), Vol. I, 81; Adolph Hofmeister (ed.), Die Matrikel der Universitt Rostock,
(Rostock, 1889), Vol. II, 148; Francisque-Michel, Les cossais en France, les Franais en
cosse Vol. II, (London, 1867), 119; John Durkan and James Kirk, The University of
Glasgow 14511577 (Glasgow, 1977), 265266. On Alexander Arbuthnot see James Kirk,
The Development of the Melvillian Movement in Late Sixteenth Century Scotland,
(PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1972), 359364.
9
P. Hume Brown, George Buchanan: Humanist and Reformer, (London, 1890),
3446, 4760; McFarlane, George Buchanan and European Humanism, 33. On John
Mair (or Major) see Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 155165;
John Durkan, John Major: After 400 Years, Innes Review, 1 (Dec., 1950), 131139;
Francis Oakley, From Constance to 1688: The Political Thought of John Major and
George Buchanan, Journal of British Studies, 1 (1962), 1219.
10
On Edmund Hay see Alasdair Roberts, Hay, Edmund (c.15341591), Oxford
Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 25 (Oxford, 2004) 991.
11
On Thomas Smeaton see John Durkan, Smeaton, Thomas (15361583), ODNB,
Vol. 50 (Oxford, 2004), 985986.
64 chapter three

former classmate at St Andrews Thomas Maitland12 and his associate at


Geneva Gilbert Moncrieff, the future physician to James VI, together
constituted a portion of the Scottish community at Paris during Melvilles
residence.13 James Melville identified Maitlands Protestantism when he
described him as a young gentilman of guid literature and knawlage in
the treuthe of religion. Similarly, Moncrieff s Protestantism is implied
in his association with Melville as those with whom the Catholic Smeaton
consulted first in Paris and subsequently in Geneva regarding the reli-
gious controversies of the day.14
In 1564 Edmund Hay became rector of the Collge de Clermont in
Paris and in this capacity Melville may have had occasion to make his
acquaintance.15 Certainly, their mutual friendship with Smeaton in con-
nection with their ethnic ties may also have provided the circumstances
for their association. While the evidence for Melvilles relationship with
Hay is at best suggestive, his interactions with Maitland, Moncrieff, and
Smeaton are well substantiated and indicate that, in addition to his devo-
tion to the studia humanitatis of the Renaissance, he freely engaged in
religious discussions with the Catholic Smeaton during his student days
at Paris. This is clearly implied by James Melville when, after mentioning
Smeatons preoccupation with the trew way of salvation and his asso-
ciation with Melville and Moncrieff in Paris, he adds that he was Yit
lothe to alter his mynd wherein he was brought upe. Melville, Moncrieff,
and Maitland were among those Protestant advocates whom James
Melville describes as Smeatons loving frinds and companions.16 During
Melvilles time in Paris, more than a dozen Scottish students are known
to have studied at the University. Among those whom Melville may have
had contact with were two St Andrews graduates, George Bellenden,
who attended St Marys while Melville was there, and the future bishop
of Aberdeen, David Cunningham.17

12
On Thomas Maitland see William S. McKechnie, Thomas Maitland, SHR,
4 (1907), 274293; James Maitland Anderson (ed.), Early Records of the University of St
Andrews, (Edinburgh, 1926), 267.
13
Stelling-Michaud, Le Livre du Recteur de LAcadmie de Genve (15591878), Vol. I,
96; Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 266; Melville, JMAD, 7273;
Charles Borgeaud, Cartwright and Melville at the University of Geneva, 15691574,
American Historical Review, 5:2 (1899), 288.
14
Melville, JMAD, 73.
15
Alasdair Roberts, Hay, Edmund (c.15341591), 991.
16
Melville, JMAD, 73.
17
W. A. McNeill, Scottish Entries in the Acta Rectoria Universitatis Parisiensis, 1519
to c. 1633, SHR, 43 (Apr., 1964), 85; Anderson, Early Records of the University of
St Andrews, 157, 265.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 65

While Melvilles Scottish compatriots formed an important part of his


intellectual culture while in Paris, even more significant for his develop-
ment as a humanist were the teachers he sat under. There exists a most
unfortunate gap in the records of the Acta Rectoria of the University of
Paris during the years 15541567, so that it is impossible to confirm
either the rectorate of Adam Blackwood or the incorporation of Gilbert
Moncrieff, Thomas Craig, Thomas Maitland, and Andrew Melville.
However, James Melville remarked that his uncle remeanit in the
Universitie twa yeiris at his awin studies perhaps intimating that he was
not an incorporated member of the University.18 If at his awin studies
indicates that Melville resided in Paris as an independent scholar not
matriculated at the University, then the lacunae in the records of the
Acta Rectoria for these years are not problematic. However, the fact that
these records no longer exist leaves open the possibility that Melville
was in fact an incorporated member of the University. James Melvilles
remark that his uncle remeanit in the Universitie may indicate his
incorporation. We are told that during his second year in Paris he grew
sa expert in the Greik, that he declamit and teatchit lessones, uttering
never a word bot Greik, with sic readines and plentie, as was mervelus to
the heirars.19 Unfortunately, we are not told by James Melville where,
how long, and in what capacity he lectured in Paris nor does it necessar-
ily constitute proof of his incorporation. While such details would be
helpful in forming a clearer view of Melvilles involvement, the fact of his
lecturing remains a strong indicator of his own involvement in the intel-
lectual life of Paris and his contributions to the humanistic studies pro-
moted at both the University and Collge Royal during the highpoint of
the French Renaissance of the 1560s.20
While at Paris Melville attended a wide variety of lectures heiring the
lightes of the maist scyning age in all guid lettres, the kings publict pro-
fessors.21 From this description and the names provided by his nephew
it is clear that, in addition to lectures he attended at the University,
Melville also studied at the Collge Royal, auditing lectures in mathe-
matics, Hebrew, and Greek and Latin literature. The Collge Royal had
been initially established with five lecteurs royaux with two scholars

18
Ibid., 66; Melville, JMAD, 39; Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 1451
1577, 267. On Adam Blackwood see J.H. Burns, Three Scots Catholic Critics of George
Buchanan, IR,1 (1950), 9599.
19
Melville, JMAD, 40.
20
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 267.
21
Melville, JMAD, 3940.
66 chapter three

appointed in both Hebrew and Greek and one in mathematics. While


these subjects maintained a priority, other fields of study were soon
introduced, such as the elegant Latin of the humanists, philosophy, rhet-
oric, oriental languages, and medicine.22 Patterned on the trilingual
model of Louvain, the Collge Royal in typical humanist fashion stressed
the centrality of the three ancient languages, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.23
Joining the mathematician Oronce Fin were the Hebrew scholars
Franois Vatable and Agazio Guidacerio and the Greek scholars Pierre
Dans and Jacques Toussaint. Together these scholars constituted the
original core of lecteurs royaux who attracted scholars from all over
Europe in search of the New Learning.24
Bud had hoped that Erasmus himself would lead this college of
humanists and ensure its success by appealing to the largest audience
possible and stimulating the humanistic movement of the Renaissance
through publication.25 By conferring no degrees and making their lec-
tures available to the general public on a wide variety of subjects the
Collge Royal appealed to independently-minded scholars, such as
Joseph Scaliger and Andrew Melville.26 Since the lecteurs royaux were
paid out of the Royal treasury and were not subject to the faculties of the
University, the independence, creativity, and critical thinking fostered
there attracted many humanists who were eager to cast off the shackles
of late medieval scholasticism and promote the New Learning. The
broad application of the New Learning to a number of fields of growing

22
Pantin, Teaching Mathematics and Astronomy in France: The Collge Royal
(15501650), 189. Pantin maintains that a third Royal Lecturer in Hebrew was added
in 1531. Cf. Lefranc, Le Collge de France, 19. Lefranc differs from Pantin at this
point recording three Royal Lecturers appointed in 1530. He identifies them as
Agathias Guidacerius (15301540), Franois Vatable (15301547), and Paul Paradis
(15301549).
23
Tuilier, Histoire de L Universit de Paris et de La Sorbonne, 313. Cf. also Jean-Claude
Margolin, rasme et la Collegium Trilingue Lovaniense in Marc Fumaroli (ed.), Les
origines du Collge de France (15001560) (Paris, 1998), 257278.
24
Lefranc, Le Collge de France, 15, 19, 21; Tuilier, Histoire de L Universit de Paris et
de La Sorbonne, 313. On the first Lecteurs Royaux see Marie-Madeleine de La Garanderie,
mergence de la notion de lecteur royal: Prfigurations du nouvel enseignement in
Marc Fumaroli (ed.), Les origines du Collge de France (15001560) (Paris, 1998), 318;
Lefranc, Histoire du Collge de France, 169201.
25
David O. McNeil, Guillaume Bud and Humanism in the Reign of Francis I (Geneva,
1975), 34; Pantin, Teaching Mathematics and Astronomy in France: The Collge Royal
(15501650), 191.
26
Grafton, Joseph Scaligers Edition of Catullus (1577) and the Traditions of Textual
Criticism in the Renaissance, 155.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 67

importance in the sixteenth century such as historiography, philosophy,


jurisprudence, medicine, political theory, and the sciences only increased
the international standing of the Collge Royal and attracted scholars
from all over Europe27
In the field of mathematics Melville attended the lectures of Pascal
Duhamel, Pierre Forcadel, and Jacques Charpentier.28 Pascal Duhamel
joined Fin in 1540 as a second lecturer in mathematics and remained
there until his death in 1565.29 Although it has been said that Duhamel
was not as creative as Fin, he was successful at importing and adapting
foreign works on mathematics. In 1560 Pierre Forcadel, with assistance
from his former teacher Pierre de la Rame or Petrus Ramus, was
appointed royal lecturer in mathematics and continued in this capacity
until 1573. Unlike his humanist counterparts at the Collge, Forcadel
was described by Ramus as sine litteratura, sine philosophia and as
one who possessed little in the way of letters.30 He consequently taught
in French only and restricted himself to arithmetic and Euclid. Despite
these humanistic detractions, he has been credited with introducing a
new type of arithmetic text that was written in French and included
commercial rules and illustrations from the world of business. In doing
this he was able to bring a new prestige to commercial arithmetic.31
Forcadels colleague Jacques Charpentier joined him in 1566 when he
was appointed lecturer in mathematics, and he continued in this capac-
ity until his death in 1574.32 Charpentier was a well-known Aristotelian
who had earlier opposed Ramus views, accusing him of treason to the

27
George Buchanan and European Humanism, Yearbook of English Studies,
15 Anglo-French Literary Relations Special Number (1985), 3637.
28
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 267. On Pierre Forcadel
see Natalie Zemon Davis, Sixteenth-Century French Arithmetics on the Business Life,
Journal of the History of Ideas, 21:1 (1960), 1848. Cf. also Pantin, Teaching Mathematics
and Astronomy in France: The Collge Royal (15501650), 189207.
29
Pascal Duhamel is sometimes spelled Pasquier and Du Hamel. Lefranc, Histoire du
Collge de France, 381; Davis, Sixteenth-Century French Arithmetics on the Business
Life, 31; Pantin, Teaching Mathematics and Astronomy in France: The Collge Royal
(15501650), 190191. Fins fellow humanists called him the restorer of mathematics
while modern historians have regarded him as the best French mathematician of his
generation. Less than generous estimates of Fins academic stature include that of
Natalie Davis, who has remarked that Fin was not a great mathematician. On Fin see
Lefranc, Le Collge de France, 36.
30
Pantin, Teaching Mathematics and Astronomy in France: The Collge Royal
(15501650), 191192, 202; Lefranc, Le Collge de France, 15; Histoire du Collge de
France, 382; Davis, Sixteenth-Century French Arithmetics on the Business Life, 35.
31
Davis, Sixteenth-Century French Arithmetics on the Business Life, 31, 3435.
32
Lefranc, Le Collge de France, 15; Histoire du Collge de France, 382.
68 chapter three

University. Subsequent to his appointment at the Collge, he disdained


teaching arithmetic, geometry, and technical astronomy and chose
instead to assume the title of philosopher. While it is impossible to deter-
mine how much mathematical instruction Melville received from
Charpentier, the lecturers assumption of the mantle of philosopher sug-
gests that along with the teaching of mathematics he also taught
philosophy.33
Along with his study of mathematics, Melville is said to have attended
the medical lectures of Louis Duret.34 Although there is no mention of
Melville having attended the medical lectures of Jean Goupyl, who
served as a lecteur royal from 15551564, James Melville does record
that his uncle sat under the medical scholar Louis Duret.35 Duret did not
receive his appointment at the Collge Royal until 1567 when Melville
was in Poitiers, yet he may have been given, as Melville apparently had
been given in Greek, the opportunity to lecture without holding an offi-
cial position. It is likely that it was in the capacity of an unofficial lecturer
that Duret delivered a series of medical lectures at the Collge which
Melville attended. With the assistance of his son Jean, Duret edited and
translated into Latin Hippocrates Prognostics. The work was published
in Paris posthumously in 1588 under the title Hippocratis Magni Coacae
Praenotiones. In addition to lecturing at the Collge for approximately
two decades from 1567 until 1586, Duret served both Charles IX and
Henry III with distinction, earning their confidence and becoming their
favorite physician.36
In addition to Durets medical lectures, Melville audited the legal lec-
tures delivered at the Collge by Franois Baudouin.37 Like Duret and
Melville, Baudouin was permitted to deliver lectures without himself

33
Pantin, Teaching Mathematics and Astronomy in France: The Collge Royal
(15501650), 192193; Frank Pierrepont Graves, Peter Ramus and the Educational
Reformation of the Sixteenth Century (New York, 1912), 46. Charpentier was required to
remedy his mathematical deficiencies by reading Aristotles De Clo, Procluss book of
the Sphere or Euclids Elements, and Sacrobosco.
34
Melville, JMAD, 39.
35
Lefranc, Le Collge de France, 16; Histoire du Collge de France, 382. Lefranc lists
both 1567 and 1568 as the year Duret officially assumed his post as a lecteur royal.
36
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 24.
37
On Franois Baudouin see Donald R. Kelley, Historia Integra: Franois Baudouin
and His Conception of History, JHI, 25 (Jan.-Mar., 1964), 3557; Gregory B. Lyon,
Baudouin, Flacius, and the Plan for the Magdeburg Centuries, JHI, 64 (Apr., 2003),
253272; Julius Heveling, De Francisco Balduino jurisconsult (Arras, 1871); J. Duquesne,
Franois Bauduin et la rforme, Bulletin de lAcadmie delphinal, 5e sr., IX (1917),
55108.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 69

holding an official lectureship within the Collge Royal. During Melvilles


time in Paris, Baudouins lectures to large audiences on the Pandects or
Digest of Justinian were said to have been enthusiastically received.38 In
1542 he had begun his academic career by publishing a work on
Justinians agricultural legislation entitled Justiniani leges de re rustica. In
this work he exhibited his enthusiasm for the new jurisprudence by
applying himself to the task of restoring the text.39 In 1545 he published
his own commentary on Justinians institutes entitled Justiniani institu-
tionem seu elementorum libri quattuor, and in 1546 he made his most
famous contribution to the legal humanism of the sixteenth century by
publishing the Justinian, a succinct history of Roman law up until his
own century.40 His history has been called perhaps the first history of
Roman legal science and his encyclopedic humanism was clearly
exhibited in his De institutione historiae universae et eius cum jurispru-
dentia conjunctione written in 1561. Based upon lectures he had deliv-
ered at the University of Heidelberg earlier that year, the work was at
once a public declaration of legal humanism and an historical method.41
It demonstrated that he was not simply a humanist and a grammarian,
but he was an historian of the mos gallicus school of law. Baudouin
adopted this historical and philological method of studying Roman law
established by Bud and Andrea Alciato and became, along with Jacques
Cujas, one of the most significant restorers of classical Roman law in the
sixteenth century.42 In conjunction with Baudouin, Alciatos and Buds
French disciples included such prominent legal scholars as Franois
Hotman, Jacques Cujas, and Franois le Douaren.43 Together they helped

McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 28.


38

Donald R. Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship: Language, Law,


39

and History in the French Renaissance (New York, 1970), 118.


40
Kelley, Historia Integra: Franois Baudouin and His Conception of History, 41.
41
Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship, 118, 129.
42
Kelley, Historia Integra: Franois Baudouin and His Conception of History, 37,
4142. On Cujas see Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship, 112115;
Coleman Phillipson, Jacques Cujas, Journal of the Society of Comparative Legislation,
New Ser., 13:1 (1912), 87107. Cf. also Linton C. Stevens, The Contribution of French
Jurists to the Humanism of the Renaissance, Studies in the Renaissance, 1 (1954),
92105; Donald R. Kelley, The Rise of Legal History in the Renaissance, History and
Theory, 9:2 (1970), 174194; Legal Humanism and the Sense of History, SR, 13 (1966),
184189. On the mos gallicus school of legal scholarship see Zachary Sayre Schiffman,
An Anatomy of the Historical Revolution in Renaissance France, Renaissance Quarterly,
42 (Aut., 1989), 507533; McNeil, Guillaume Bud and Humanism in the Reign of Francis
I, 1525.
43
On Hotman and Douaren see Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship,
87115.
70 chapter three

to usher in what has been called a golden age of Roman law which
began in 1550 with the death of Alciato and the emergence of Le Douaren
and concluded in 1590 with Cujas and Hotmans deaths.44
During this golden age of Roman law Melville sat under one of the
leading legal scholars of the mos gallicus school. The historical and phil-
ological methods of the mos gallicus school undoubtedly appealed to
Melvilles humanistic instincts and his attendance of Baudouins lectures
in Paris represents the beginning of his legal training, which he contin-
ued in Poitiers and Geneva under Hotman. Baudouin was both a legal
humanist in the model of Alciato and a Christian humanist in the pat-
tern of Erasmus, and this model, the combination of an historical and
philological approach to jurisprudence with a program for ecclesiastical
reform, was set before young Melville in Paris.45 Melvilles devotion to
the study of the new jurisprudence, mathematics, medicine, Latin,
Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic emphatically underscores his deep-seated
humanism and his own penchant towards Renaissance polymathy. His
study of medicine, mathematics, and jurisprudence was not intended to
prepare him for a professional career as a physician, mathematician, or
attorney but was viewed as possessing intrinsic value and as indispensa-
ble in becoming a well-rounded scholar.
In the pattern of Erasmus, Melville delayed his pursuit of biblical
study and first immersed himself in the languages and literature of
antiquity.46 His humane studies, like those of Buds, were focused pri-
marily upon the study of Greek and Latin authors as indicated by his
attendance of the lectures of Petrus Ramus, Professor of Philosophy and
Eloquence, and Adrien Turnbe,47 regius professor of Greek. In this
respect, Melvilles humanist pursuits mirrored the path established by
Bud himself.48 Bud had approached classical studies as preparatory to
the study of Scripture. In his work De studio, Bud advanced the view
that the study of the Greek and Roman authors prepared ones mind
for the study of the biblical text.49 Although Melville himself never

44
Donald R. Kelley, Guillaume Bud and the First Historical School of Law, 828.
45
Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship, 122. On Baudouins Christian
humanism see 122128.
46
Rachel Giese, Erasmus Greek Studies, Classical Journal, 29 (Apr., 1934), 526.
47
On Turnbe see John Lewis, Adrien Turnbe (15121565): A Humanist Observed,
(Geneva, 1998).
48
David O. McNeil, Guillaume Bud and Humanism in the Reign of Francis I (Geneva,
1975), 12.
49
R.R. Bolgar, Humanism as a Value System with Reference to Bud and Vivs
in A.H.T. Levi (ed.), Humanism in France at the end of the Middle Ages and in the early
Renaissance (Manchester, 1970), 203204.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 71

consciously identified his classical studies in these terms nor did he


make any effort while in Paris to pursue a theological course of study, his
devotion to the cultivation of elegant Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and its
ancient near-eastern cognates suggests that he believed that a knowl-
edge of them was necessary to the study of Scripture. Despite no indica-
tion from Melville himself that he, in fact, intended to pursue theological
study, his nephew identified the purpose of his uncles legal studies in
Poitiers as Theologie, wherto he was dedicat from his mothers wombe.50
If his study of Renaissance law was viewed as preparatory for his subse-
quent study of divinity, certainly his study of Greek, Hebrew, and
Aramaic may also be viewed in that light. Indeed, his devotion to the
study of these languages as the basic linguistic and philological tools
needed for interpreting ancient texts at least intimates that he may have
had theological studies on his intellectual horizon. Certainly, his own
encyclopedic humanism would not rule this out.
The most distinguished classical scholar Melville sat under in Paris
was the French humanist Adrien Turnbe. Regarded by some as the
most renowned Greek scholar of the day in Europe, Turnbe succeeded
Jacques Toussaint in 1547 as a lecteur royal in Greek at the Collge and
served in that capacity until 1561.51 At that time he became a royal lec-
turer in Greek and Latin Philosophy and occupied that post until his
death in 1565.52 In 1551 Henry II appointed Turnbe imprimeur royal
with the responsibility of overseeing the production of Greek texts. As a
noted scholar and printer Turnbe assisted Denis Lambin in prepar-
ing his 1563 edition of Lucretius De rerum natura. Lambin, in turn,
praised Turnbes classical expositions of Plato, Aristotle, Theophrastus,
Plutarch, Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Pindar, Aristophanes, Hero
dotus, Thucydides, Polybius, Demosthenes, Cicero, Horace, and others.
Recognized for his immense classical scholarship and erudition, Turnbe
exercised an extraordinary influence over the rising generation of
humanist scholars to which Melville belonged and of which Joseph
Scaliger was the most prominent. Indeed, Joseph Scaliger declared that
Turnbe was the greatest and most learned man (Turnebus vir max-
imus erat doctissimusque) of his age.53 Highly regarded as both a

Melville, JMAD, 40.


50

Warren E. Blake, Joseph Justus Scaliger, Classical Journal, 36 (Nov., 1940), 85;
51

Lefranc, Histoire du Collge de France, 381; Le Collge de France, 18, 21.


52
Donald R. Kelley, Review: Adrien Turnbe (15121565): A Humanist Observed,
Sixteenth Century Journal, 31 (Sum., 2000), 519; Lefranc, Histoire du Collge de France,
381; Le Collge de France, 18, 21.
53
Lewis, Adrien Turnbe (15121565) A Humanist Observed, 16, 105106.
72 chapter three

neo-Latin poet and a proponent of the conjectural method of textual


criticism, Turnbe brought together the creative, literary sensibilities of
a bard with the rigorous, scientific methods of a textual critic.54 His
quarrel with Ramus over Ciceros De fato in the 1550s involved not only
academic and ideological but personal differences which degenerated
into bitter polemics.55 In addition to Ramus distinctive humanistic
influence on the young Scot, Melvilles decision to audit Turnbes lec-
tures indicates that he was made aware of the methodological differ-
ences between his two great masters. Melvilles love of classical literature
was undoubtedly fueled by Turnbes own ardent affection for the classi-
cal life and letters. Turnbes opinion that Greek was the creator and
guardian of all true learning was a sentiment which resonated deeply in
the heart of the Scottish humanist.56 Indeed, Melvilles own love for the
Greek language, as manifested by his uttering never a word bot Greik
in his public lectures on the subject, stands as a tribute to Turnbes
influence upon the young classical scholar.57
The decided emphasis of Melvilles university studies in Paris was
upon the languages of antiquity. His nephew described his devotion to
the study of the Hebrew language by stating that upon it he was spe-
cialie sett. At the Collge Royal he attended the Hebrew lectures of Jean
Mercier and Jean de Cinqarbres. Although James Melville includes as a
marginal note a certain Salinacus along with the mathematicians Pascal
Duhamel and Pierre Forcadel, Lefranc does not mention Salinacus
teaching either mathematics, as James Melville seems to suggest, or
Hebrew as McCrie has conjectured.58 Neither is there any evidence from
James Melvilles Diary to support Kirks claim that Melville studied
Hebrew under Joseph Scaliger in Paris.59 As with Duret and Baudouin,

54
Kelley, Review: Adrien Turnbe (15121565): A Humanist Observed, 519. On
Turnbes poetry see Lewis, Adrien Turnbe (15121565) A Humanist Observed,
263294.
55
Lewis, Adrien Turnbe (15121565) A Humanist Observed, 213261.
56
Ibid., 223225.
57
Melville, JMAD, 40.
58
Ibid., 39; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 25; Lefranc, Le Collge de France, 15, 19;
Histoire du Collge de France, 381382; James Kirk, Melvillian Reform in the Scottish
Universities in A.A. MacDonald, Michael Lynch, and Ian B. Cowan (eds.), The
Renaissance in Scotland: Studies in Literature, Religion and Culture (Leiden, 1994), 280.
McCrie identifies Salinacus with Joannes Salignacus who he describes as the favorite
scholar of Vatablus. Franois Vatable served as a royal lecturer in Hebrew from 1530
until 1547.
59
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 267.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 73

Salinacus may have lectured unofficially in mathematics or Hebrew.


Which discipline he lectured on is difficult to determine.60
Known as the celebrated Mercerus, Mercier began his lecturing on
the Hebrew language and literature in 1547 and continued until his
death in 1570.61 While at the Collge Royal, Mercier achieved such a
distinguished reputation that the Jews went to hear him and owned
that he understood Hebrew the best of any man of that age.62 Recognizing
Merciers eminent qualifications as a leading French Hebraist and
desiring to obtain his services for his soon to be established Academy, in
March 1558 John Calvin endeavored to persuade Mercier to abandon
his position at the Collge Royal and accept a position lecturing in
Geneva.63 Although Mercier declined the appealing offer citing family
reasons, the offer itself provides insight into his own religious position.64
Given the distinctively religious character and discipline of the Genevan
Academy, Calvins solicitation of Mercier suggests that the latter was
Protestant in sympathy if not in commitment and may even have dis-
cretely adhered to the Huguenot cause. Mercier established his place as
one of the sixteenth centurys foremost Hebraists and scholars of the
languages of the ancient near-east by publishing in 1560 in Paris the first
separate treatise on Chaldaic grammar entitled Tabul in grammaticen
lingu Chald.65 In addition to his Old Testament commentaries,
hepublished elementary treatises as well as translations from Hebrew
and Aramaic.66

60
Jean-Eudes Girot, The notion de lecteur royal: le cas de Ren Guillon (15001570)
in Marc Fumaroli (ed.), Les origines du Collge de France (15001560) (Paris, 1998), 78,
92. Girot refers to L. Salignac as among nine lecturers in March of 1566. Along with
Salignac he identifies L. Duret, L. Du Chesne, J. Dorat, D. Lambin, E. Forcadel, and
J. Mercier plus deux lecteurs non nomms.
61
Lefranc, Le Collge de France, 19; Histoire du Collge de France, 381.
62
Israel Baroway, The Hebrew Hexameter: A Study in Renaissance Sources and
Interpretation, ELH, 2 (Apr., 1935), 85.
63
Karin Maag, Seminary or University? The Genevan Academy and Reformed Higher
Education, 15601620 (Aldershot, 1995), 13.
64
Charles Borgeaud, Histoire LUniversit de Genve LAcadmie de Calvin 15591798
(Genve, 1900), 3637.
65
Joannes Mercerus, Tabul in grammaticen lingu Chald: quae & Syriaca dicitur
(Paris, 1560).
66
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 23. Cf. Joannes Mercerus, Commentarii
locupletiss. In prophetas quinque priores inter eos qui minores vocantur: quibus adi-
uncti sunt aliorum etiam commentarii, ab eodem excerpti. (Geneva, 1583); Commen
tarijin librum Iob: Adiecta est Theodori Bezae epistola, in qua de huius viri doctrina, &
istorum commentariorum vtilitate disseritur. (Geneva, 1573); Commentarij in Salo
monis Prouerbia, Ecclesiasten, & Canticum canticorum (Geneva, 1573); Euangelium
74 chapter three

Jean de Cinqarbres joined Mercier in 1554 as a royal lecturer in


Hebrew and Aramaic and labored in that capacity until 1587.67 Although
it has been said that Cinqarbres did not possess the intellectual genius of
Mercier, he nevertheless exhibited a thorough mastery of Hebrew gram-
mar. He displayed his extensive knowledge of Hebrew grammar and
syntax in his 1556 De re grammatica Hebrorum opus.68 Together
Mercier and Cinqarbres constituted an impressive faculty of Hebraic
and Aramaic language and literature which was not easily surpassed in
the universities of Europe. From them Melville received the foundation
of his Hebraic and ancient near-east studies which were so highly prized
by the young humanist that when he left Poitiers in 1569 for Geneva, he
left behind all of his books except for a litle Hebrew Byble in his belt.69

Petrus Ramus

While it is evident that the young Melville was influenced by a number


of humanists associated with the University of Paris and the Collge
Royal, one of the most influential figures in his intellectual development
while on the continent was the controversial and celebrated Petrus
Ramus.70 Melville, who first attended Ramus lectures in Paris, was so

Hebraicum Matthi, recns ludorum penetralibus erutum, cum interpretatione Lat.


(trans.) (Paris, 1555); Chaldaea translatio Abdiae et Ionae prophetarum:Latino sermone
recens donata, cum scholiis per Iohannem Mercerum, (Paris, 1550).
67
Lefranc, Le Collge de France, 19; Histoire du Collge de France, 381.
68
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 23.
69
Melville, JMAD, 41.
70
On Ramus see Howard Hotson, Commonplace Learning: Ramism and its German
Ramifications, 15431630 (Oxford, 2007); C. Perelman, Pierre de la Rame et le decline
de la rhtorique, Argumentation, 5 (Nov., 1991), 347356; Kees Meerhoff, Logic and
Eloquence: A Ramusian Revolution, Argumentation, 5 (No., 1991), 357374; Guido
Oldrini, En Qute dune mthodologie: la position du ramisme, Argumentation,
5 (Nov., 1991), 387401; Peter Sharratt, The Present State of Studies on Ramus, Studi
Francesi, 4748 (1972), 201213; Peter Ramus and the Reform of the University: the
Divorce of Philosophy and Eloquence? in Peter Sharratt (ed.), French Renaissance
Studies 154070 Humanism and the Encyclopedia (Edinburgh, 1976), 420; Walter
J. Ong, S.J. Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue: From the Art of Discourse to the
Art of Reason (Cambridge, MA, 1958); Ramus and Talon Inventory: A Short-Title
Inventory (Cambridge, MA, 1958); Ramist Classroom Procedure and the Nature of
Reality, Studies in English Literature, 15001900, 1 (Win., 1961), 3147; Wilbur Samuel
Howell, Logic and Rhetoric in England, 15001700 (Princeton, 1956); Reijer Hooykaas,
Humanisme, Science et Rforme, Pierre de la Rame, 15151572 (Leyden, 1958);
Pierre Albert Duhamel, The Logic and Rhetoric of Peter Ramus, Modern Philology,
46 (Feb., 1949), 163171; Norman E. Nelson, Peter Ramus and the Confusion of Logic,
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 75

impressed by the classical scholarship of the French humanist that he


not only attended his lectures on Ciceros Catilinarian orations from his
In Catilinam when he came to Geneva, but he also made a special trip
with his fellow Scot Gilbert Moncrieff to Lausanne in July 1570 to attend
his lectures on dialectic.71 Ramus held the unique distinction of being
the first and only professor of philosophy and eloquence in the history
of the Collge Royal, and he was granted a royal writ in 1557 that has
been described as perhaps the most sweeping copyright in the history
of publishing, protecting not only his previously published works but
any future publications as yet unwritten.72 Undoubtedly, his fame was
linked with the prestigious position he held at the Collge. Appointed
regius professor in 1551, he continued in that capacity for many years
and was even appointed, upon the death of Pascal Duhamel in 1565,
dean of the whole college of regius professors.73 Although he had previ-
ously held posts at the Collge du Mans, the Collge de lAve Maria,
andthe Collge de Presles, his rise to fame was inextricably linked to
hishigh-profile position as regius professor as well as to the boldness
of his ideas, the exquisite elegance of his Latin, and the dynamism of
his rhetorical performances. His fame and reputation also benefited
from his relationship with his longtime friend Charles of Lorraine,
Cardinal of Guise, who succeeded in persuading Henry II to lift the ban
against the teaching and writing of Ramus which had been imposed on
him by Francis I in 1544.74 As a court favorite in the late 1540s, Ramus
remained popular with Charles IX and his mother even at the time of

Rhetoric, and Poetry, The University of Michigan Contributions in Modern Philology,


No. 2 (Ann Arbor, 1947); Howard C. Barnard, The French Tradition in Education: Ramus
to Mme Necker de Saussure (Cambridge, 1922); Frank Pierrepont Graves, Peter Ramus
and the Educational Reformation of the Sixteenth Century (New York, 1912); Charles
Waddington, Ramus: sa vie, ses crits et ses opinions (1855).
71
Melville, JMAD, 40; Borgeaud, Cartwright and Melville at the University of
Geneva, 15691574, 288; Graves, Peter Ramus and the Educational Reformation of the
Sixteenth Century, 99100; Gillian Lewis, The Geneva Academy in Andrew Pettegree,
Alastair Duke, and Gillian Lewis (eds.), Calvinism in Europe, 15401620 (Cambridge,
1994), 60.
72
Ong, Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue, 4, 25.
73
Lefranc, Le Collge de France, 18; Histoire du Collge de France, 381; Ong, Ramus,
Method, and the Decay of Dialogue, 25.
74
Ong, Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue, 2122, 2425, 33. As Ong tells us,
Nicholas de Nancel in his 1599 Life of Peter Ramus maintained that Ramus was by far
the leader of his whole age in speaking and writing Latin. Ong remarks that, despite the
rather obvious Gallic bias of Nancel, his assessment is representative of the general
opinion of him held by contemporaries who were avid connoisseurs of Latinity.
76 chapter three

his brutal assassination in 1572 during the St Bartholomews Day


massacres.75
His fame and influence in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
were matched only by the seemingly endless controversies in which he
was embroiled.76 Even if one dismisses Ramus 1536 MA thesis at the
Collge de Navarre, entitled Quaecumque ab Aristotele dicta essent,
commentitia esse (Everything that Aristotle has said is false) as either
unattested during his own life or meaning something other than merely
false, his earliest publications on logic in 1543 enmeshed him in con-
troversy from which he was unable, and perhaps unwilling, to extricate
himself.77 His Dialecticae partitiones and Aristotelicae animadversiones
provoked a violent response from various quarters. These works were
opposed by the faculty of theology at the University of Paris, the rector
of the faculty of arts Pierre Galland, and the Portuguese legal scholar
Antoine de Gouveia.78
Unfortunately, his writings won him the unwarranted and unwanted
image of the archenemy of Aristotle.79 Far from being an anti-
Aristotelian, Ramus approach to Aristotle was essentially conservative
in character, endeavoring to revise and adapt his writings on logic and
rhetoric by stripping away the accumulated accretions and errors of pre-
vious centuries and restating in a succinct and practical fashion the

75
Histoire du Collge de France, 381; Lefranc, Le Collge de France, 18; Ong, Ramus,
Method, and the Decay of Dialogue, 25; Graves, Peter Ramus and the Educational
Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, 103107. Ramus was apparently shot, stabbed, and
thrown from a window whereupon his body was dragged with a rope to the Seine where
a surgeon decapitated him and had the torso thrown into the river. His body was subse-
quently drawn back to shore and mutilated further.
76
On Ramus influence in the field of theology see Donald K. McKim, The Functions
of Ramism in William Perkins Theology, SCJ, 16 (Win., 1985), 503517; Keith L.
Sprunger, Ames, Ramus, and the Method of Puritan Theology, Harvard Theological
Review, 59 (Apr., 1966), 133151.
77
Philip W. Cummings, A Note on the Transmission of the Title of Ramuss Masters
Thesis, JHI, 39 (Jul., 1978), 481; Sharratt, Peter Ramus and the Reform of the University,
5. An excellent examination of the M.A. thesis and term commentitia may be found in
Ong, Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue, 3647. Ong provides the following
paraphrase of Ramus Quaecumque: All the things that Aristotle has said are inconsist-
ent because they are poorly systematized and can be called to mind only by the use of
arbitrary mnemonic devices. Samuel Eliot Morison rendered the Ramist thesis as eve-
rything in Aristotle was forged or false. Cf. Graves, Peter Ramus and the Educational
Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, 26. Graves translated commentitia as simply
false; Duhamel, The Logic and Rhetoric of Peter Ramus, 163. Duhamel renders the
statement as, Whatever is to be found in Aristotle is false.
78
Sharratt, Peter Ramus and the Reform of the University, 56.
79
Sharratt, The Present State of Studies on Ramus, 207.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 77

advances of other scholars.80 Despite his outspoken criticisms of


Aristotle, it was the Aristotle which had been disfigured beyond recog-
nition by the late medieval scholastics which he rejected. His criticisms
appealed to sixteenth-century humanists who wanted education to be
liberated from the tyranny of the scholastic Aristotle and the barbarisms
associated with the Middle Ages. Ramus was himself an Aristotelian
who based his reform of logic squarely upon the work of the ancient
Greek philosopher.81 By repeatedly pitting the medieval interpretations
of Aristotle against what Aristotle actually said, Ramus endeavored to
restore what he considered the proper interpretation of his writings.82
Just as there were many different Renaissance Aristotelianisms in the
sixteenth century, so there were many different medieval Aristotelianisms
during the High and Later Middle Ages.83 One need only think of the
different philosophical schools represented by Averroism, Thomism,
Scotism, Albertism, and Ockhamism to gain a sense of the diverse
approaches to the interpretation of Aristotles writings and the divergent
ways in which his thought was respectively appropriated. During the
Renaissance each of these schools of thought continued their allegiance
to the philosophers writings and yet frequently there were basic areas of
disagreement. Thus, Ramus opposition to the ancient Greek philoso-
pher, and by extension Melvilles, must be understood within the broader
context of the diverse forms of Renaissance Aristotelianism and their
different interpretive approaches to the text of Aristotle.84
In sharply criticizing Aristotelian thought, Ramus was but one critic
among the widespread anti-Aristotelian movements of the age. His
contemporary critic Pierre Galland viewed him as repeating what had
already been expressed by Lorenzo Valla, Juan Luis Vives, Cornelius

Duhamel, The Logic and Rhetoric of Peter Ramus, 163.


80

Graves, Peter Ramus and the Educational Reformation of the Sixteenth Century,
81

1617, 156; Duhamel, The Logic and Rhetoric of Peter Ramus, 163. On Renaissance
Aristotelianism see Paul Oskar Kristeller, Renaissance Thought and Its Sources (New
York, 1979), 3249; Charles B. Schmitt, Towards a Reassessment of Renaissance
Aristotelianism, History of Science, 11 (1973), 159193; Neal Gilbert, Renaissance
Aristotelianism and Its Fate: Some Observations and Problems in John P. Anton (ed.),
Naturalism and Historical Understanding: Essays on the Philosophy of John Herman
Randall, Jr. (New York, 1967), 4252.
82
Ong, Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue, 42.
83
Gilbert, Renaissance Aristotelianism and Its Fate: Some Observations and
Problems, 4849. Gilbert describes the different forms of Renaissance Aristotelianism
in national and geographic terms when he writes of Italian Aristotelianism, Iberian
Aristotelianism, and Germanic Aristotelianism.
84
Schmitt, Towards a Reassessment of Renaissance Aristotelianism, 160.
78 chapter three

Agrippa, Rudolf Agricola, and Philip Melanchthon. Likewise, his long-


time colleague and biographer, known by the disparaging epithet lit-
tle Ramus, Nicolas de Nancel, identified Jacques Lefvre dEtaples,
Bartholomew Latomus, and Johann Sturm as those who preceded Ramus
in criticizing Aristotelianism.85 Criticism of Aristotle and selective oppo-
sition to Aristotelianism had been present during the Middle Ages in
such thinkers as Al-Ghazzali, Bonaventura, Crescas, and Nicolas of
Autrecourt, as well as in such Renaissance figures as Petrarch, Leon
ardo Bruni, Thomas More, and Erasmus.86 Thus, Ramus criticisms of
Aristotelianism were not exceptional or unprecedented but were a part
of a broader pattern of Aristotelian dissent prevalent in the early
modern period.
The early Ramus, as seen in his 1543 Aristotelicae animadversiones,
failed to recognize the merits of Aristotles logic and accused the Greek
philosopher of being obscure, confused, contradictory, puerile, and
inept.87 His ferocious and immoderate attack upon the Greek philoso-
pher attracted much attention from both critics and supporters. The
later Ramus, as seen in those editions of the animadversiones and in the
Studies on Dialectic, exhibited a completely different attitude and tone
towards Aristotle. Much milder, Ramus expressed his deep admiration
of Aristotle and even claimed to be a better Aristotelian than his
Aristotelian opponents. While it is true that he never accepted Aristotles
philosophical system in its entirety, Ramus, nevertheless, demonstrated
his own Aristotelianism by appropriating certain principles from the
philosophers writings and employing them in strategic ways in his own
works.88 One need only think of the three basic principles of reform
which undergirded his proposals to restructure the course of university
instruction and which were embodied in the terms natura (nature),
ratio (system), and exercitatio (practice), which he appears to have

85
Ong, Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue, 22, 38. On Johann Sturm see
Barbara Sher Tinsley, Johan Sturms Method for Humanistic Pedagogy, SCJ, 20 (Spr.,
1989), 2340; Pierre Mesnard, The Pedagogy of Johann Sturm (15071589) and Its
Evangelical Inspiration, SR, 13 (1966), 200219.
86
Schmitt, Towards a Reassessment of Renaissance Aristotelianism, 162163.
87
Graves, Peter Ramus and the Educational Reformation of the Sixteenth Century,
143144; Ong, Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue, 30. Ong describes Ramus
1543 dialectical works critiquing Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian as savage in
character.
88
Ibid. On Ramus use of Aristotles class of causes and the categorical syllogism see
149151. Cf also Duhamel, The Logic and Rhetoric of Peter Ramus, 165.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 79

borrowed from Quintilian and may ultimately be traced back to


Aristotlehimself.89
The impact of Ramus criticisms of the medieval interpretations of
Aristotle and the influence of his logical, rhetorical, and educational
reforms on Melville may be seen most vividly in Melvilles own opposi-
tion to the St Andrews axiom Absurdum est dicere errasse Aristotelem
(It is absurd to say that Aristotle erred.). Even as Ramus had endeav-
ored to overthrow the scholastic readings of Aristotle by going directly
to the Greek text and avoiding altogether the Latin versions of the
schoolmen which had polluted the purity of the philosophers thought,
so Melville at Glasgow attempted to schaw that Aristotle could err, and
haid erred.90 Similarly, when he was relocated to St Marys, he opposed
those regents at St Leonards who were presumably advocating one or
more of the late medieval approaches to Aristotles writings and thought.
Melvilles critique of Aristotle occurred within the context of his theo-
logical lectures and addressed the material differences between
Aristotelian philosophy and historic Christian thought on, among other
subjects, the doctrines of God, providence, and creation. While it is ten-
dentious to suppose that the opposition to Melville amounted to some-
thing like an organized conspiracy among Melvilles colleagues,91 his
critique initiated an oratorical war between himself and the St Leonards
regents and students who offered publict orations against Mr Androes
doctrine.92 In addition to the orations by the regents, a number of stu-
dent theses were presented publicly at the time of the annual summer
commencement, which challenged Melvilles critique by defending and
upholding the philosophers views and arguments.93 As dean of the fac-
ulty of theology, Melville served as either praeses or moderator on many
of these occasions and availed himself of the opportunity to reply to
their arguments.94 While James Melvilles remarks regarding his uncles

Ibid., 109.
89

Melville, JMAD, 67.


90
91
Robert S. Rait, Andrew Melville and the Revolt Against Aristotle in Scotland,
English Historical Review, 14 (Apr., 1899), 257.
92
Melville, JMAD, 123124.
93
Ronald Gordon Cant, The St Andrews University Theses 15791747:
A Bibliographical Introduction, Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions, 2.2
(1941), 105150; Ronald Gordon Cant, Supplement to The St Andrews University
Theses, EBST, 2.2 (1941), 263273; Melville, JMAD, 124.
94
Melville, JMAD, 124; Cant, The St Andrews University Theses 15791747:
A Bibliographical Introduction, 115. James Melville wrote: and when thair counned
80 chapter three

glorious triumph within a yeir or twa should not be taken at face value
since late medieval interpretations of Aristotelian philosophy persisted
at St Andrews, some, such as Andrew Duncan and John Malcolm, were
won over to Melvilles point of view.95 Both Duncan and Malcolm, who
graduated MA from St Leonards in 1575 and 1578 respectively, were
among the regents who opposed Melvilles teaching.96 While James
Melville has exaggerated the extent and success of his uncles reforming
efforts at St Andrews, at the heart of Melvilles proposal lay the funda-
mental humanistic conviction that the restoration and critical appro-
priation of Aristotelian thought was only possible through a careful
reading of his writings in their original language and with historical sen-
sitivity. Only by going ad fontes and perusing not a few buikes of
Aristotle in Latin translation but a number of texts throughout his
broader corpus in the original Greek paying particular attention to his-
torical and philological issues could a true understanding of Aristotles
thought be possible and a critical appropriation of it be made.97
Melvilles efforts to subvert the scholastic version of Aristotle espoused
at Glasgow and St Andrews should not be interpreted as constituting
opposition to Aristotle himself. While Melville, along with the 1583
General Assembly, recognized the basic incompatibility of certain tenets
of Aristotles philosophy with historic Christian teaching, his own advo-
cacy of Aristotelian thought was indicated in his use of such Aristotelian
texts at Glasgow as the Physica, De ortu et interitu, De clo, and De vir-
tutibus et vitiis, as well as the philosophers writings on logic and ethics.98

haranges cam at thair Vickes and promotiones of Maisters, he lut tham nocht slipe, but
af-hand answerit to tham presentlie with sic force of treuthe, evidence of reasone, and
spirituall eloquence, that he dashit tham, and in end convicted tham so in conscience,
that the cheiff Coryphoes amangs tham becam grait students of Theologie, and speciall
professed frinds of Mr Andro, and ar now verie honest upright pastors in the Kirk.
95
Ibid., 124. James Melville wrote: Bot within a yeir or twa, Mr Andro, be his delling
in publict and privat with everie an of tham, prevalit sa, that they fell to the Langages,
studeit thair Artes for the right use, and perusit Aristotle in his awin langage; sa that,
certatim et serio, they becam bathe philosophers and theologes, and acknawlagit a
wounderfull transportation out of darknes unto light. Bot, indeed, this was nocht done
without mikle feghting and fascherie, and the authoritie of the Generall Assemblie inter-
ponit, in end.
96
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St Andrews, 171, 173 175, 179,
281, 285.
97
Melville, JMAD, 124.
98
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 279280; Melville, JMAD,
49, 54. On Aristotles De ortu et interitu see Cf. Charles H. Lohr, Renaissance Latin
Aristotle Commentaries: Authors Pi-Sm, Renaissance Quarterly, 33 (Win., 1980),
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 81

Although De virtutibus et vitiis is regarded by some scholars as spurious


and is excluded from the list of authentic works of Aristotle, many in the
sixteenth century, such as James Melville, believed it to be authentic and
referred to it as Aristotle de Virtutibus.99 When one considers the pos-
sible range of texts included under the rubric of Aristotles Ethiks, such
as Ethica nicomachea, Ethica eudemia, and Magna moralia and his
Logic, which could include the Categoriae, De interpretatione, Analytica
priora, Analytica posteriora, Topica, and De sophisticis elenchis, the dis-
tinct impression is formed that the Aristotelian corpus taught at Glasgow,
while not exhaustive, was fairly represented. Rather than jettisoning the
entire corpus of Aristotles works, Melville appears to have made liberal
use of them. His unwillingness to abandon Aristotles writings and his
efforts to restore the true meaning of the Aristotelian text simultane-
ously reveal both the profoundly conservative and progressive aspects of
his thought.
Ramus influence on the young Melville while in Paris and subse-
quently in Geneva and Lausanne may be seen in his adoption of many
of the academic reforms that had been proposed by the French human-
ist in his 1562 Advertissements sur la rformation de luniversit de Paris
au roy. The popularity of Ramus new approach to logic and rhetoric
based on a method of dichotomized classifications that made communi-
cating and learning the art of reasoning easier possessed a strong appeal
to those eager to see the old scholastic approach supplanted by the
advances of the New Learning. By applying the dichotomous classifica-
tion of logic to the entire arts course covering both the trivium (gram-
mar, rhetoric, dialectic) and the quadrivium (mathematics, physics,
metaphysics, ethics), Ramus was able to propose a comprehensive
scheme for reforming the university curriculum.100 This Ramist model
of university reform had been set before Melville while studying in Paris
at the Collge Royal, and he endeavored to implement it to some extent
upon his return to Scotland in 1574. When Melville was appointed prin-
cipal of the University of Glasgow, he immediately introduced many of
the humanistic reforms that had been modeled for him while on the

633634. Aristotles works on logic or the Organon include the following six works:
Categoriae, De interpretatione, Analytica priora, Analytica posteriora, Topica, and De
sophisticis elenchis. It is unclear how many of these texts were used at Glasgow under
Melvilles supervision.
99
Melville, JMAD, 49.
100
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 276.
82 chapter three

continent. Combining the latest humanist learning and methods from


the continent with the more traditional elements of the university
curriculum, Melville introduced the Dialecticae and Geometriae of
Ramus, the Rhetorica of Ramus colleague Omer Talon, and the 1566
Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem of Jean Bodin whose work
embodied Ramist tendencies.101 While Melvilles intellectual loyalties to
his Parisian master were not exclusive or unqualified, the influence of
Ramus humanistic reforms on his own thought and subsequent univer-
sity modifications was undeniably palpable.

George Buchanan

Along with Ramus a second and even more formative influence in


Melvilles humanistic development during his time in Paris was the
Scottish scholar George Buchanan.102 Contrary to McCries supposition
that Melville met Buchanan when the latter visited St Andrews, Melville
appears to have first met him in 15651566 in Paris. While it is possible
that the two may have crossed paths while Melville was a student at
St Andrews given Buchanans return to Scotland about the year 1561 and
their mutual humanistic interests, it is impossible to affirm this with

101
Melville, JMAD, 46, 49; Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577,
276; Kenneth D. McRae, Ramist Tendencies in the Thought of Jean Bodin, JHI,
16 (Jun., 1955), 306323; A Postscript on Bodins Connections with Ramism, JHI,
24 (Oct., 1963), 569571. Cf. also Julian M. Franklin, Jean Bodin and the Sixteenth-
Century Revolution in the Methodology of Law and History, (New York, 1963).
102
On Buchanan see I.D. McFarlane, Buchanan (London, 1981); George Buchanan
and French Humanism in A.H.T. Levi (ed.), Humanism in France at the end of the Middle
Ages and in the Early Renaissance (Manchester, 1970), 295319; George Buchanan and
France in J.C. Ireson, I.D. McFarlane, and Garnet Rees (eds.), Studies in French Literature
presented to H.W. Lawson by colleagues, pupils, and friends (Manchester, 1968), 223245;
George Buchanan and European Humanism, 3347; A Scottish European: George
Buchanan, 15821982, College Courant, 70 (1983), 914; D.F.S. Thomson, George
Buchanan: The Humanist in the Sixteenth-Century World, Phoenix, 4 (Winter, 1950),
7794; Roger A. Mason and Martin S. Smith, Introduction in Roger A. Mason and
Martin S. Smith (eds. and trans.), A Dialogue on the Law of Kingship among the Scots
(Aldershot, 2004), xvlxxi; Roger A. Mason, George Buchanan and Mary Queen of
Scots, Records of the Scottish Church History Society, 30 (2000), 127; Rex Stoicus:
George Buchanan, James VI and the Scottish Polity in John Dwyer, Roger A. Mason,
and Alexander Murdoch (eds.), New Perspectives on the Politics and Culture of Early
Modern Scotland (Edinburgh, 1982), 933; George Buchanans Vernacular Polemics,
15701572, IR, 54 (Spr., 2003), 4768; J.H. Burns, Political Ideas of George Buchanan,
SHR, 30 (1951), 6068; Three Scots Catholic Critics of George Buchanan, IR, 1 (1950),
92109; John Durkan, Buchanans Judaising Practices, IR, 50, (1964), 186187;
P. Hume Brown, George Buchanan: Humanist and Reformer (Edinburgh, 1890).
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 83

certainty.103 In light of their common association with Pietro Bizzarri,


they may have met prior to 1565 but there is simply no way of confirm-
ing this.104 We do know that they most certainly did not meet in Paris
during the late 1550s.105 It is curious and startling in light of other evi-
dence that James Melville makes no mention of his uncle having spent
any time with Buchanan in Paris during their stay. Even when it is con-
ceded that James list of scholars with whom his uncle studied was not
exhaustive but representative, the ommission of a scholar of Buchanans
stature is as inexplicable as it is glaring.
In an introductory poem to Buchanans Rerum scoticarum historia,
Melville claimed in the title that Buchanan had been his tutor when he
wrote Andreas Melvinus Geo[rgio] Buchanano Prceptori suo &
Musarum parenti.106 Melvilles claim to have been tutored by Buchanan
is substantiated by a letter he wrote from Geneva to Peter Young in April
1572. Reflecting upon his student days in Paris, he remarked that
Buchanan had courteously explained to him the locos difficiliores of
his Psalm paraphrases and epigrams. He characterized his relationship
with Buchanan as similar to that of a father and son and claimed to have
been amantissime complexus (lovingly embraced) and to have been
shown tanti beneficij (much kindness) by the elder scholar. Given
the generational difference between them and the absence of Melvilles
own father growing up, the statement and having lovingly embraced
me as a son suggests that he viewed Buchanan as a father-figure and his
corresponding respect, admiration, affection, and actions support this
understanding.107 There can be no question from this letter and his

103
McFarlane, Buchanan, 206, 240; Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow
14511577, 264.
104
Ibid., 228.
105
Mason and Smith, Introduction, xlii. Melville did not arrive in Paris until late in
1563 or 1564, making this an impossibility.
106
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 15; Thomas Ruddiman (ed.), Georgi Buchanani
Opera Omnia Vol. I (Edinburgh, 17141715), 21. McFarlane, Buchanan, 240. On Bucha
nans Historia see McFarlane, Buchanan, 416440; Brown, George Buchanan: Humanist
and Reformer, 293328; Roger A. Mason, Scotching the Brut: Politics, History and
National Myth in Sixteenth-Century Britain in Roger A. Mason (ed.), Scotland and
England 12861815 (Edinburgh, 1987), 6084; J.H. Burns, The True Law of Kingship:
Concepts of Monarchy in Early Modern Scotland (Oxford, 1996), 185221.
107
Letter of Andrew Melville to Peter Young, 14 April 1572, Bodleian, Smith MS. 77,
2728.
84 chapter three

subsequent actions that he numbered himself among the studiosissimi


and admiratores of Buchanan.108
While in Paris, Melville cultivated a relationship with the elder
humanist, enjoying his stimulating companionship and learned conver-
sations. He expressed his deep-felt gratitude for Buchanans kindness
when he remarked that from those days in Paris he never forgot what
had been done for him. Melville read privately with Buchanan and
attended his public lectures where the humanist commented on his
Psalm paraphrases and epigrams.109 One of the centurys finest neo-Latin
poets showed Melville the literary nuances of his own distinctive poetry,
ranging from his use of language, versification, and themes to the differ-
ent poetic forms of paraphrases and epigrams. In short, the young
scholar received a thorough introduction to the art of poetic construc-
tion. It is possible that Buchanans poetic instruction went well beyond
merely studying his Psalm paraphrases and epigrams to include other
poetic forms used by the Latin poets of the sixteenth-century Renaissance,
such as elegies, epitaphs, icons, and sylvae. While we lack the evidence
to affirm this with certainty, the possibility remains distinct, as Buchanans
stay in Paris was of some length and this private instruction was much
more than a couple of tutorials.110
Profoundly impressed with Buchanans neo-Latin poetry, referring to
his paraphrases and epigrams in rhapsodic terms as aureum (splen-
did) and a plane diuinum (plainly divine) work, Melville seriously
contemplated devoting his time to exegeting his Psalm paraphrases and
providing succinct glosses, thereby illustrating artem Poet et mentem
Prophet (the art of the poet and mind of the prophet).111 Preoccupied
with the long-awaited publication of Buchanans Sphra,112 Melville
wrote of how we are consumed every day with eagerness to receive

108
Ibid; McFarlane, Buchanan, 256.
109
Ibid.
110
McFarlane, Buchanan, 241. For an excellent discussion of these poetic forms see
Kirk Summers, A View from the Palatine: The Iuvenilia of Thodore de Bze (Temple, AZ,
2001), 3839, 9293, 144145, 318319.
111
Letter of Andrew Melville to Peter Young, 14 April 1572, Bodleian, Smith MS. 77,
27; McFarlane, Buchanan, 256.
112
On the Sphra see McFarlane, Buchanan, 355378; The History of George
Buchanans Sphra in Peter Sharratt (ed.), French Renaissance Studies 154070
Humanism and the Encyclopedia (Edinburgh, 1976), 194212.
113
Letter of Andrew Melville to Peter Young, April 1572, Bodleian, Smith MS. 77, 28.
Melville wrote: Quin et Sphr mundi diuturno iam desiderio contabescimus.
McFarlane, Buchanan, 360. On the Sphra see McFarlane, Buchanan, 355378;
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 85

it.113 His love of neo-Latin poetry was fueled by the example, personal
interaction, and instruction provided by Buchanan. In Paris under the
tutelage and personal influence of Buchanan Melville began to lay the
foundations for his own neo-Latin verse. In a letter dated June 1573
Melville once again expressed his deep admiration for the elder human-
ist, calling him Scoti nostr lumen (the glory of our Scotland) and
expressing his abiding affection for him declaring that he would gladly
embrace, Buchanan almost face to face and in person.114
Following his time of study under Buchanan in Paris during the mid
1560s, Melville maintained his contact with the senior humanist during
the 1570s and 1580s. When he returned to Scotland from the continent
in 1574, he was visited in Edinburgh by Buchanan who, along with
Alexander Hay and James Halyburton, attempted to persuade the young
scholar to accept the position as domestic instructor to James Douglas,
fourth earl of Morton and regent of Scotland.115 Although Melville
declined the offer, preferring instead to wait for a university post akin to
the lecteurs royaux at the Collge Royal, his relationship with Buchanan
was in no way damaged. Both Melville and Buchanan, along with Peter
Young and James Lawson, served on a committee of the 1574 General
Assembly to evaluate Patrick Adamsons history of the book of Job in
Latin verse.116 When Melville was on his way to assume his post at the
University of Glasgow in late October 1574, he stopped in Stirling for
two days where he met James VI but more importantly conferrit at
lynthe with his dear friend and senior humanist Buchanan.117 It is a

The History of George Buchanans Sphra in Peter Sharratt (ed.), French Renaissance
Studies 154070 Humanism and the Encyclopedia (Edinburgh, 1976), 194212.
114
Letter of Andrew Melville to Peter Young, June 1573, Bodleian, Smith MS. 77, 29;
Quoted in McFarlane, Buchanan, 470. Melville wrote: Buchananum, Scoti nostr
lumen, fere in oculis, et prsens prsentem libenter amplectar. Cf. also Andrew
Melville, Viri clarissimi A. Melvini musae et P. Adamsoni vita et palindoia [sic] et celsae
commissionis ceu delegatae potestatis regiae in causis ecclesiasticis brevis & aperta descrip-
tio (1620), 6; Arthur Johnston (ed.), Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637),
115. In addition to Ad regem de Buchanani historia and Ad G. Buchananum, Melvilles
estimation and affection for Buchanan may be seen in the epitaph Georgij Buchanani
epitaphium. Obijt 28. Septemb. 1582.
115
Melville, JMAD, 45. On Alexander Hay see Reid R. Zulager, A Study of the Middle
Rank Administrators in the Government of King James VI of Scotland, 15801603
(PhD Thesis, Aberdeen, 1991). On the Regent Morton see George R. Hewitt, Scotland
under Morton 157280 (Edinburgh, 1982).
116
Acts and proceedings of the general assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland from the Year
M.D.L.X. Part I ed. Thomas Thomson (Edinburgh, 1839), 310.
117
Melville, JMAD, 45, 48.
86 chapter three

testimony to Melvilles deep admiration and respect for Buchanans


extensive academic experience and the elder scholars personal influ-
ence that he would take the time to consult with him before assuming
his post at Glasgow. Aware of his own relative youth and inexperience,
Melville recognized the need to confer with one who had recently served
as principal of St Leonards College from 1566 to 1570 and who previ-
ously had spent more than three decades of his life on the continent, and
many of those years in academic positions.118
Melvilles respect, deference, and admiration for Buchanans abilities
as a classical scholar may also be seen in his recommendation to Thomas
Jack in 1574 to submit a draft to Buchanan of his own Onomasticon
poeticum, a classical dictionary in verse later published in 1592 in
Edinburgh.119 In 1579 Buchanan and Melville were once again reunited,
this time to serve on the committee to assess the current dissatisfactory
state of the University of St Andrews and to propose ways of reforming
the institution. Although by this time Melville had played a leading role
in successfully reforming the University of Glasgow and had emerged as
the leading committee member, there can be no doubt given their rela-
tionship and Buchanans eminence as a European humanist that his
input and counsel weighed heavily in Melvilles own thinking.120 Indeed,
while many with good reason may have regarded Melville as the lead-
ing committee member in 1579 given the dramatic reversal of fortune
at Glasgow under his leadership, Melville himself, never regarded him-
self as Buchanans superior. His actions, quite to the contrary, were char-
acterized by the bold familiarity of one supremely confident in his own
assessments yet filled with a profound admiration and respect for the
one whom he called Scoti nostr lumen.

118
McFarlane, George Buchanan and European Humanism, 33; Brown, George
Buchanan: Humanist and Reformer, 241. Apart from the years 15351539 when he was
in Scotland, Buchanan was in France and Portugal from c.15251561 occupying posi-
tions at the Collge de Ste Barbe, the Collge de Guyenne in Bordeaux, and the college
at Coimbra.
119
Ronald Bayne, Jack, Thomas (d. 1598), rev. James Kirk, ODNB, Vol. 29 (Oxford,
2004), 461462; McFarlane, Buchanan, 421422. The full title of Jacks classical diction-
ary is Onomasticon poeticum, sive, propriorum quibus in suis monumentis usi sunt veteres
poetae, brevis descriptio poetica.
120
McFarlane, Buchanan, 444445. On the New Foundation at St Andrews see Ronald
Gordon Cant, The New Foundation of 1579 in Historical Perspective (St Andrews, 1979);
The University of St Andrews: A Short History (St Andrews, 1992), 5167; James K.
Cameron, The Refoundation of the University in 1579, Alumnus Chronicle of the
University of St Andrews, 71 (Jun., 1980), 310.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 87

During the last days of Buchanans life Melville became one of his
companions. Despite the great disparity in their ages and temperaments,
they possessed a mutual respect and admiration for the others intellec-
tual ability and disposition.121 They also shared common humanistic
interests, such as a desire to reform university studies in Scotland by
bringing them into conformity with the latest and most innovative
learning of the European Renaissance, a mutual love of the classical lit-
erature of ancient Greece and Rome, and a frequent recourse to the art
of Latin verse composition. The convergence of their religious and polit-
ical views also served to strengthen their relationship. Whereas Buchanan
eventually came to share Melvilles commitment to presbyterian polity,
so Melville became an ardent supporter of Buchanans radical politics.122
In contrast to Hercules Rollock, who appears to have been in awe of the
great humanist and unable to forge any type of close association, Melville,
as a close friend of Buchanans and fellow humanist, offered his own
unsolicited criticisms of the Historia.123 In September 1581 after hearing
of his declining health, Melville, along with his nephew and Thomas
Buchanan, visited the aged scholar at his home eager to spend time with
him and consult the Historia. Upon entering Buchanans room and
finding him tutoring a young servant in the alphabet, Melville, with the
familiarity and ease of a dear friend remarked, I sie, Sir, yie are nocht
ydle to which he responded, Better this nor stelling sheipe, or

Ibid. 470.
121

Mason and Smith, Introduction, xlii. Melvilles copy of Buchanans Historia


122

(1582) is one of only eight volumes in the possession of the University of St Andrews
which have survived from his original library. The other volumes at St Andrews which
we know came from his library are: Walter Travers, Ecclesiasticae disciplinae (Heidelberg,
1574); Lorenz Rhodoman, Poiesis Christiane (Frankfurt, 1589); Johann Jacob Grynaeus,
Christ Eudoson disputabitur VI (Basel, 1589); Dionysius Periegetes, Dionysii Alex.
Et Pomp. Melae situs orbis descriptio (Geneva, 1577); Marcus Verrius Flaccus, M. Verrij
Flacci quae extant (1576); Thodore de Bze, Theodori Bezae Vezelii volumen tracta-
tionum theologicarum (Geneva, 1570); Jean Calvin, Commentaires de M. Iean Calvin, sur
les conq livres de Moyse (Geneva, 1564); Carolus Bovillus, Aetatum mundi septem sup-
putatio, per Carolum Bouillum Samarubrinu[m] (Paris, 1520).
123
Letter of Hercules Rollock to Peter Young, 1573, Bodleian, Smith ms. 77, 3334;
McFarlane, Buchanan, 471. On Hercules Rollock see Leicester Bradner, Musae
Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin Poetry 15001925, 125126; James W. L. Adams,
The Renaissance Poets (2) Latin in James Kinsley (ed.), Scottish Poetry a Critical Survey
(London, 1955), 85; James Maitland Anderson (ed.), Early Records of the University of
St Andrews (Edinburgh, 1926), 160, 162, 271. Melville, JMAD, 120. James Melville wrote,
Thairefter he shew us the Epistle Dedicatorie to the King; the quhilk, when Mr Andro
haid read, he tauld him that it was obscure in sum places, and wanted certean words to
perfyt the sentence.
88 chapter three

sitting ydle, quhilk is als ill! After Melville offered his own improve-
ments to the text and Buchanan indicated that such alterations would
have to be made by others, the three men proceeded to see the work
through the press.124 Melvilles enthusiasm for the Historia may be seen
in the extensive annotations he made in his own copy of the work.125 His
visit and conversation with Buchanan at his home reveals a certain inti-
macy and familiarity that had been cultivated over many years but which
has its roots during the young Scots student days in Paris when he stud-
ied under the great humanist and was treated as a son.
Buchanans impact on Melvilles development as a young humanist
may be seen particularly in the area of neo-Latin poetry in general and
in his imitation of the Psalm paraphrases in particular.126 Buchanans
poetry has been called an impressive example of Renaissance culture
and his Psalm paraphrases the classical translation of the century.127
Henri Estienne in his edition of the Psalm Paraphrases called Buchanan
poetarum nostri saeculi facile princeps (easily the chief of the poets of
our age) while Florent Chrestien described Buchanan in his translation
of the Jephthes as prince des potes de nostre sicle (prince of the
poets of our century).128 Although it may be the case that Estiennes
remark was nothing more than typical humanist hyperbole, which
meant distinguished and was applied to many poets of the age, the
fact remains that Buchanans neo-Latin poetry occupied a place of

124
Melville, JMAD, 120.
125
Roger A. Mason, George Buchanan, James VI and the Presbyterians in Roger
A. Mason (ed.), Scots and Britons: Scottish Political Thought and the Union of 1603
(Cambridge, 1994), 125.
126
On Buchanans neo-Latin poetry and Psalm paraphrases see W. Leonard Grant,
The Shorter Latin Poems of George Buchanan, 15061582, CJ, 40 (Mar., 1945), 331
348; D.F.S. Thomson, The Latin Epigram in Scotland: The Sixteenth Century, Phoenix,
11 (Sum., 1957), 6378; Roger Green, George Buchanans Psalm Paraphrases in
I.D. McFarlane (ed.), Acta Conventus Neo-Latini Sanctandreani (New York, 1986),
5160; I.D. McFarlane, George Buchanans Latin Poems from Script to Print:
A Preliminary Survey, Library, 24 (Dec., 1969), 277332; Notes on the Composition
and Reception of George Buchanans Psalm Paraphrases in I.D. McFarlane (ed.),
Renaissance Studies, Six Essays (Edinburgh and London, 1972), 2162.
127
McFarlane, Buchanan, 484; Johannes A. Gaertner, Latin Verse Translations of the
Psalms 15001620, Harvard Theological Review, 49 (Oct., 1956), 278, 287. While it is
difficult to deny the elegance of Buchanans Psalm paraphrases, it has been observed that
elegant Latin is about the last kind of medium suitable to Hebrew poetry.
128
Brown, George Buchanan: Humanist and Reformer, 241; McFarlane, Buchanan, 17.
McFarlane records Estiennes words as poeta sui saeculi facile princeps (easily the
chief poet of his age).
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 89

preeminence among the neo-Latin poetry of the sixteenth century.129


His Psalm paraphrases, which were augmented by the Psalm transla-
tions of Theodore Beza, first appeared in 1566 and became the most
famous of all 16th century translations. The sixteenth century exhibited
a ravenous appetite for Latin poetry and the popularity of these metrical
translations underscores this phenomenon. Not only were Buchanans
Psalm paraphrases phenomenally successful, but popular complete
translations were produced by Eobanus Hesse, Theodore Beza, Flamino-
Spinula, and Latomus-Nannius. Latin verse translations of the Psalms
were produced by Protestants and Catholics alike and the Penitential
Psalms (Ps. 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) were a favorite portion of the
Psalter which attracted translators. Perhaps due to their therapeutic
character, Buchanan began his Psalm paraphrases while he was impris-
oned by the Inquisition in a Portuguese monastic jail during the years
15601561, while Melville himself, in addition to his other neo-Latin
poetry, composed his Latin paraphrases of the Psalms while he was
imprisoned in the Tower of London from 16071611.130 Indeed, based
on a letter Melville wrote to his nephew Ex Turri, Jan. 8, 1610, Melville
actually published a portion of the Psalm paraphrases during his
imprisonment.131
Despite James Melvilles efforts to discourage his uncle from duplicat-
ing what Buchanan himself had already executed, Melville produced
Latin paraphrases of Psalms 1, 2, 16, 36, and 129.132 While he recognized
that his own Psalm paraphrases were not of the same order as those of
Buchanan, he viewed himself as one who was compelled to yield to the
muse.133 He may have written others that simply have not survived,
as his poetical effusions were frequent, recreational, and a regular part
of his correspondence with his nephew.134 As an ardent admirer of

129
Gaertner, Latin Verse Translations of the Psalms 15001620, 287; J. W. L. Adams,
Scottish Neo-Latin Poetry in P. Tuynman, G. C. Kuiper, and E. Keler (eds.), Acta
Conventus Neo-Latini Amstelodamensis (Mchen, 1979), 5. Joseph Scaliger praised
Buchanan as unus in tota Europa omnes post se relinquens in Latina poesi.
130
Ibid., 275278; Melvini epistolae, Special Collections, University of Edinburgh,
87, 93.
131
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 216; Melvini epistolae, 144.
132
Andrew Melville, Paraphrases des Psaumes IIIXVIXXXVICXXIX. MSS,
Special Collections, University of Edinburgh; Melvini epistolae, 87, 93; P. Mellon,
LAcadmie de Sedan Centre dInfluence Franaise A Propos dun Manuscrit du XVII Sicle
(Paris, 1913), 202207.
133
Melvini epistolae, 87, 101.
134
Ibid., 87, 93, 100102.
90 chapter three

Buchanans Latin Psalm paraphrases, he looked to them as a model of


how such poetry should be written.135 Buchanans Psalm paraphrases
were themselves vehicles which promoted the humanism of the
Renaissance and introduced the student by vivid example to Horatian
meters. In contrast to Eobanus Hesse, who wrote all of his paraphrases
in elegiac couplets, Buchanan adapted Horatian meters to the entire
body of paraphrases. In the pattern of Jean de Gagnay, whose para-
phrases were published approximately twenty years before Buchanans
during the years 15461547, the humanist maintained that the mood of
the Psalm should be expressed through its meter.136 By employing
Horatian meters, Buchanan provided an elegant model of poetic com-
position that was both appealing to the literary sensibilities of the young
classicist and extremely useful for his own future poetic compositions.
In addition to his Psalm paraphrases, there is evidence that Buchanans
influence may also be seen in Melvilles epigrams Classicum and Tyr
annus both published in his 1574 Carmen Mosis. Recent study of these
epigrams has revealed similarities of style and material content between
Buchanans and Melvilles poetry, suggesting that the latter learned more
than mere literary form or artistic technique from him but was actually
introduced to his radical politics as subsequently embodied in his 1579
De iure regni apud Scotos dialogus.137
While it remains a point of speculation that the two men may have
discussed Buchanans radical politics during their time in Paris or even
that he may have sent a copy of the De iure regni to Melville via their
mutual humanist associate Peter Young, it has been correctly observed
that the tone of the Classicum reflects the sentiments of popular resist-
ance, and the reference to Brutus in the Tyrannus is similar to Buchanans
own poetic reference made in his 1552/3 preface to Marc-Antoine de
Murets work Julius Caesar.138 Moreover, the accusation brought against
Melville at the royal visitation of the University in 1597 that he had
maderather liberal use of Buchanans ideas in his lectures on the civil
magistrate at St Andrews appears to be justified.139 Given Melvilles time

135
McFarlane, George Buchanan and European Humanism, 45.
136
Ibid., 46.
137
Steven John Reid, Early Polemic by Andrew Melville: The Carmen Mosis (1574)
and the St Bartholomews Day Massacres, Renaissance and Reformation, 30.4 (Fall
2006/2007), 7172.
138
Ibid. Cf. Arthur Williamson and Paul McGinnis, (eds.), George Buchanan: The
Political Poetry (Edinburgh, 1995). Johnston, Delitiae poetarum scotorum, 112.
139
Mason, George Buchanan, James VI and the Presbyterians, 125; McCrie, Life of
Andrew Melville II, 2627.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 91

studying under Buchanan in Paris and the influence that the latter
exerted in the young humanists formation, such similarities are not
surprising.

Poitiers

By the year 1566 Melville had studied for two years under some of the
leading exponents of the French Renaissance and had decided to pursue
his legal studies further at Poitiers.140 His choice of Poitiers over the
other legal schools at the universities of Toulouse, Orlans, and Bourges
is not immediately obvious. The law school at the University of Toulouse
during the reign of Francis I (15151547) has been called the most cel-
ebrated in France. The medieval legal scholars Francesco Accorso and
Bartolo da Sassoferrato were revered at Toulouse, a conservative strong-
hold of medieval jurisprudence. Despite its conservative character and
its scholastic approach, the humanist professor of civil law Jean de
Boysson was one of the earliest advocates of the new jurisprudence at
the University.141 In 1547 Jacques Cujas began teaching at Toulouse and
while he was there published a work of Ulpian based upon a newly dis-
covered manuscript. As a philological and legal humanist, Cujas earned
such a reputation as a legal scholar that he has been called the final
authority in the interpretation of classical jurisprudence.142 At the
University of Orlans the distinguished Professor of Roman Law Pierre
de lEstoile established himself as the keenest lawyer of all the doctors
of France and contributed greatly to the Universitys international repu-
tation. Despite his own conservative approach utilizing the Accursian
and Bartholian commentaries, LEstoile and the seven other doctors of
jurisprudence at Orlans attracted the likes of John Calvin, Franois
Hotman, and Theodore Beza.143

140
Prosper Boissonnade, Histoire de l Universit de Poitiers pass et present (1432
1932) (Poitiers, 1932), 96.
141
Raymond A. Mentzer, Jr., The Legal Response to heresy in Languedoc, 1500
1560, SCJ, 4 (Apr., 1973), 2021; Arthur Tilley, Humanism under Francis I, English
Historical Review, 15 (Jul., 1900), 473. On the University of Toulouse see G. Boyer and
P. Thomas, (eds.), Luniversit de Toulouse: son pass, son prsent (1929).
142
Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship, 113114.
143
Quirinus Breen, John Calvin: A Study in French Humanism, (Hamden, CT, 1968),
4, 41; Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship, 107; Robert D. Linder,
Calvinism and Humanism: The First Generation, Church History, 44 (Jun., 1975), 170.
Cf. Michael L. Monheit, Guillaume Bud, Andrea Alciato, Pierre de lEstoile: Renaissance
Interpreters of Roman Law, JHI, 58 (Jan., 1997), 32. Monheit has argued that Estoiles
92 chapter three

Perhaps the most attractive school of law from a humanist point of


view was the University of Bourges. In 1529 a new trajectory in legal
studies was established with the acquisition of Andrea Alciato, making
Bourges a leading center of the new jurisprudence. Although Alciato
remained in Bourges only four years (15291533), he was able to intro-
duce legal humanism into the field of history and was succeeded by such
distinguished legal scholars as Franois le Douaren, Franois Baudouin,
Jacques Cujas, and Franois Hotman.144 With such an illustrious succes-
sion of legal scholars of the new jurisprudence and such eminent stu-
dents of the Protestant persuasion as John Calvin, the University of
Bourges possessed a powerful appeal to the young Scottish humanist.
Moreover, Scots, such as James Boyd, the future archbishop of Glasgow,
and Alexander Arbuthnot, the future principal of Kings College,
Aberdeen, had traveled to Bourges to be trained in the new jurispru-
dence and contributed to the pattern of Scottish students who traveled
to study at the University.145
The University of Poitiers, while not able to boast of such renowned
legal humanists of the new jurisprudence as were associated with the
law school at Bourges, nevertheless, had produced such distinguished
legal scholars as the practicing lawyer and Bartolist Andr Tiraqueau
whom Franois Rabelais praised as le bon, le docte, le sage, le tant
humain, tant dbonnaire et equitable Tiraqueau.146 Part of Poitiers
appeal to Melville was undoubtedly its place in the promotion of the
French Renaissance. As Bernstein has remarked, sixteenth-century
Poitiers was a center of Renaissance culture in its own right.147 Similarly,
Boissonnade has maintained that Poitiers occupied la troisme place
aprs Paris et Lyon dans lhistoire de la Renaissance and that it flattered
itself with the ambitious name dAthnes de la France.148 Poitiers school
of law has been called la seconde de France, aprs celle de Paris and its
distinguished reputation enabled it to attract notable masters to its

interpretive approach to the Corpus iuris Civilis of Justinian was completely alien to
those of the humanists.
144
Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship, 103, 107, 112, 118.
145
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 272.
146
Tilley, Humanism under Francis I, 473; Donald R. Kelley, History, English Law
and the Renaissance, Past & Present, 65 (Nov., 1974), 28. On Tiraqueau see J. Brjon,
Andr Tiraqueau (14881558) (Paris, 1937).
147
Hilary J. Bernstein, Between Crown and Community: Politics and Civic Culture in
Sixteenth-Century Poitiers (Ithaca, 2004), 10.
148
Prosper Boissonnade, Histoire de Poitou (Paris, 1977), 188.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 93

chairs, such as Rgnier, Irland, Longueil, Le Sage, and Sainte-Marthe, as


well as une foule dtudiants coming from different places throughout
Europe.149 The arts faculty at the university with its nine colleges con-
tained representatives des vieilles traditions, as well as des humanistes
fameux and could boast of such illustrious scholars as Marc-Antoine
Muret and Jacques Peletier du Mans.150
In addition to the Universitys reputation in promoting the New
Learning and its prestigious law school, the city itself was one of the
most significant centers for jurisprudence in France. Possessing one
ofthe countrys great presidial courts after 1552 as well as an unusu-
ally large and extremely active royal snchausse court, Poitiers
attractedan uncommonly sizeable legal contingent of judges, lawyers,
and other legal personnel. Due to Paris relative inaccessibility, litigants
often traveled to the much closer Poitiers to resolve their disputes.
Consequently, the courts legal jurisdiction was unusually large and
only contributed to the legal character of the city.151 Thus, both the
University and the city offered much to Melville the humanist in search
of further legal study, as well as the opportunity to utilize his training as
a classical scholar.
James Melville maintained that Andrew taught as a regent in the
Collge of St Marcean. If we may understand the reference to St Marcean
as equivalent to St Marthe, then it appears that he taught for three years
at the University of Poitiers in the Collge Royal de Sainte-Marthe. We
are also told that Melville, in the opinion of his nephew, haid the best
lawers at Poitiers.152 In light of the absence of any confirming evidence,
it is possible that he taught in an unofficial capacity as he had previously
done in Paris. It is also possible that he was employed as a classical
instructor along the lines of his subsequent service in Geneva in the
schola privata. Whatever his precise academic capacity, we may infer
from his subsequent service as a private classical tutor in Poitiers that he

149
Ibid. 185186; Bernstein, Between Crown and Community, 10. Bernstein main-
tains that Poitiers school of law was the Universitys pride and was ranked second only
to Paris, Bourges, or Toulouse.
150
Ibid. 185186.
151
Bernstein, Between Crown and Community, 7.
152
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 269; Melville, JMAD, 40;
Francisque-Michel, Les cossais en France Les Franais en cosse, 165, 205; Charles
Borgeaud, Histoire de LUniversit de Genve LAcadmie de Calvin 15591798 (Genve,
1900), 109.
94 chapter three

was actively employed in promoting the studia humanitatis of the


Renaissance.
Melvilles decision to go to Poitiers was not in any sense unusual or
unprecedented. Many Scottish scholars, who sought to study or even
teach jurisprudence, progressed from Paris to Poitiers.153 Prior to
Melvilles arrival in 1566, Robert Ireland and Duncan McGruder had
taught law at Poitiers while a certain Richard Lawson apparently pur-
sued his study of jurisprudence at the University during the 1560s.
Ireland was appointed an ordinary reader in law and taught up until his
death in 1561 while McGruder served as a regent in law in 1562.154 Even
after Melvilles time of study in Poitiers, Scottish scholars such as Thomas
Bicarton, Adam Blackwood, and Thomas Barclay among others contin-
ued to travel to Poitiers to study and teach jurisprudence.155 Perhaps
some of the Scottish appeal of Poitiers was tied to the generosity and
beneficence of the exiled archbishop and former chancellor of the
University of Glasgow James Beaton II. Several years after Melville had
left, Beaton was elected chancellor of the University in 1573 and served
in that capacity until 1582.156 During the 1560s while he was in exile
Beaton seems to have provided Scottish students in Paris and perhaps
also in Poitiers with bursaries. While it is impossible to say for certain
that Melville was the recipient of such a bursary or the beneficiary of
Beatons influence in helping to secure his academic appointment at
Poitiers, it remains a distinct possibility.157
Melville may have been attracted to Poitiers by the presence of the
Ramist scholar Duncan McGruder who edited and published a work of
Talon entitled Tabulae in rhetoricam in Paris in 1559. George Buchanan

153
Ibid.
154
Boissonnade, Histoire de lUniversit de Poitiers, 153; John Durkan, Scottish
Reformers: the Less than Golden Legend, IR, 45 (Spr., 1994), 18; Durkan and Kirk, The
University of Glasgow 14511577, 269.
155
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 268. On Adam Blackwood
see J.H. Burns, Three Scots Catholic Critics of George Buchanan, IR,1 (1950), 9599.
Cf. also Leicester Bradner, Musae Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin Poetry 15001925
(New York and London, 1940), 125, 129. There is evidence that both Hercules Rollock
and William Hegate studied and/or taught at the University of Poitiers.
156
Boissonnade, Histoire de l Universit de Poitiers, 45; Francisque-Michel, Les
cossais en France, Vol. II, 139.
157
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 268. On James Beaton see
Mark Dilworth, Archbishop James Beaton II: a career in Scotland and France, RSCHS,
23 (19871989), 301316; William James Anderson, On the early career of James
Beaton II, archbishop of Glasgow, IR, 16 (1965), 221224.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 95

has also been identified as a possible source who may have influenced
the young Scot in the direction of Poitiers while he was in Paris in 1565
1566.158 While both of these conjectures have merit given Melvilles
adoption of certain aspects of Ramus thought and his close relationship
with Buchanan, it is impossible to affirm either with certainty. We do
know that, in the judgment of James Melville, the purpose of his study of
jurisprudence was Theologie, wherto he was dedicat from his mothers
wombe. We also know from this same source that during his time in
Poitiers Melville covertly identified with the French Huguenots. After
bluffing his way out of a precarious situation involving the Catholic
forces of Henry I, Duke of Guise, James Melville remarked Giff it haid
com to the warst, he was resolved, being weill horst, to haiff gottin him
to the campe of the Admirall, wha was in persone beseageand the
town.159 While Melvilles guile reveals as much about his own instincts
toward self-preservation as it does regarding his religious orientation,
Poitiers reputation from the late 1550s as a center for the dispersion of
Reformed belief probably attracted Melville to the city and its distin-
guished university.160
In light of Melvilles reported intention and his own religious commit-
ments, the presence of members of the law faculty who either embraced
Reformed Protestantism or were at least sympathetic to it may have
attracted Melville to Poitiers. As early as 1534 Calvin had traveled to
Poitiers where he found sympathy for the new faith and gained what
Biossonnade has called le premier groupe de novateurs. Calvin is said
to have taught all over Poitiers, instructing not only clerics and magis-
trates but students and professors of the University.161 He is even said to
have celebrated the Lords Supper first for la petite glise quil forma.
Both in Poitiers and in the region of Poitou Calvin recruited adherents
to the Reformed faith among whom were Vernou and the professor of
jurisprudence Babinot or Bonhomme. These ardents aptres of Calvin
propagated the new faith all throughout the region.162 By 1555 one of the
earliest Protestant churches in France was established in Poitiers and it
has been suggested that it was here that the notion of a national Protestant

Ibid., 269.
158

Melville, JMAD, 40.


159
160
Bernstein, Between Crown and Community, 154.
161
Boissonnade, Histoire de Poitou, 200; Bernstein, Between Crown and Community,
154.
162
Ibid.
96 chapter three

synod was conceived. Although Beza in his Histoire ecclsiastique in dis-


cussing Calvins travels during the years 15331535 does not mention
that he spent any time in Poitiers, local tradition affirms that he, in fact,
did.163 By the 1550s and 1560s Genevan-inspired churches emerged
throughout the area as the Protestant faith spread in France.164
Certainly Poitiers itself, while maintaining the image of a Catholic
city, possessed a respectable Huguenot contingent. In 1557 Poitiers
became the place where the first failed attempt by the French Reformed
churches to form a collective ecclesiastical government occurred when
they drafted the Articles Polytiques.165 The Protestant church of Poitiers
in 1559 sent delegates to Paris for the first National Synod of the French
Protestant churches while in 1561 they hosted the second National
Synod.166 The region of Poitou in 1560 possessed sixteen Reformed
churches with the principle ones located in Poitiers, Loudun,
Chtellerault, Niort, and Fontenay. By 1561, only one year later, the
number of Reformed churches in the region had grown to twenty-two.
Members of the nobility of both the Haut and Bas Poitou, the clergy,
abbots and abbesses, the upper middle class of merchants and attorneys,
and many of the craftsmen of the Bas-Poitou and villages adoptaient
avec ferveur les principes calvinistes.167
When Protestantism in 1562 emerged as a political and military force
to be reckoned with and civil war broke out in France, French Protestant
communities were forced to decide whether they would defend mili-
tarily their new faith. Whereas some Protestant communities, like
La Rochelle, decided not to merge their religion with national politics

163
Bernstein, Between Crown and Community, 154. The full title of Beza work is:
Histoire ecclsiastique des glises rformes au royaume de France, 3 vols. (Paris,
18831889).
164
Judith Pugh Meyer, La Rochelle and the Failure of the French Reformation, SCJ,
15 (Sum., 1984), 171. On the growth of Protestantism in France see Pierre Dez, Histoire
des protestants et des glises rformes du Poitou (La Rochelle, 1936); Samuel Mours, Le
Protestantisme en France au XVIe sicle (Paris, 1959); Menna Prestwich, Calvinism in
France, 15551629 in Menna Prestwich (ed.), International Calvinism, 15411715 ed.
Menna Prestwich (Oxford, 1985), 71107; David Nicholls, France in Andrew Pettegree
(ed.), The Early Reformation in Europe (Cambridge, 1992), 120141.
165
Glenn S. Sunshine, Geneva Meets Rome: The Development of the French
Reformed Diaconate, SCJ, 26 (Sum., 1995), 333.
166
John Quick, Synodicon in Gallia Reformata (London, 1692), Vol. I, 220; Bernstein,
Between Crown and Community, 153; Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 1451
1577, 269; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 29.
167
Boissonnade, Histoire de Poitou, 201. Among the clergy he mentions abbots from
Larau, Valence, and Saint Maixent while he specifically mentions an abbess of Saint-
Jean de Bonneval senfuyait Genve.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 97

and support the Prince of Cond, Louis I de Bourbon, until 1568, other
Protestant centers during the early 1560s, such as Poitiers, Rouen, and
Lyon, declared their allegiance to the cause of Protestantism and sup-
ported the union of their political and military views with their reli-
gion.168 In 1562 the Protestant constituency in Poitiers was strong enough
to take control of the city, and by the summer of that year the city had
become a haven for Protestant troops from the entire region. Although
Poitiers was recaptured by the Catholics after only a few months, a
Huguenot presence remained and Protestants continued to come to the
University to study and teach.169
During Melvilles time in Poitiers, the French wars of religion again
broke out, forcing the University to close temporarily. James Melville
writes that the Collages war giffen upe, because of the seage leyed to the
town, quhilk was lang and feirfull.170 On 24 July 1569 the French
Huguenots under the command of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny laid
siege to the capital of Poitou for seven weeks. Poitiers was defended by
the young Catholic Henry I, Duke of Guise, who repeatedly pushed back
and defied Colignys attempts to take the city.171
During the siege, with the closing of the University Melville found
employment as a tutor to the son of an honourable councellar of
Parliament.172 Like his own paternal mentor George Buchanan, who
served as the personal tutor to Gilbert Kennedy, Lord James Stewart,
Timolon de Coss, and James VI, and in the tradition of the prince of
the humanists Erasmus, Melville fulfilled the role of a private purveyor
of the New Learning.173 As a classical scholar, he undoubtedly tutored

168
Meyer, La Rochelle and the Failure of the French Reformation, 171172. On the
French wars of religion see N.M. Sutherland, The Huguenot Struggle for Recognition
(New Haven, 1980); The Massacre of St. Bartholomew and the European Conflict 1559
1572 (London, 1973); The Role of Coligny in the French Civil Wars in Acts du Colloque
LAmiral de Coligny et son temps (Paris, 1974), 323339; Philip Benedict, Rouen During
the Wars of Religion (Cambridge, 1981); Robert M. Kingdon, Geneva and the Coming of
the Wars of Religion 15551563 (Geneva, 1956); Geneva and the Consolidation of the
French Protestant Movement 15641572 (Genve, 1967); James Westfall Thompson,
The Wars of Religion in France 15591576 (New York, 1957). On the region of Poitou and
the wars of religion see Boissonnade, Histoire de Poitou, 199217 and Bernstein, Between
Crown and Community, 153163.
169
Bernstein, Between Crown and Community, 153, 156.
170
Melville, JMAD, 40.
171
Boissonnade, Histoire de Poitou, 204.
172
Melville, JMAD, 40; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 29.
173
McFarlane, Buchanan, 4251, 174177; Melville, JMAD, 48; Grant, The Shorter
Latin Poems of George Buchanan, 15061582, 334. On Gilbert Kennedy see Marcus
98 chapter three

his young pupil in the language and literature of the Greeks and Romans.
The humanistic character of his instruction may be seen vividly in the
tragic account of his students death recorded by James Melville. In this
vignette the nature and emphasis of Melvilles instruction, as well as the
paternal character of his relationship with his young pupil, are revealed.
As Admiral Colignys troops were assaulting Poitiers, a shot of artillery
misfired, penetrated the wall of the young boys room, and pierced his
thigh, mortally wounding him.174 Calling out in distress for his tutor,
Melville rushed to his room where he caught him in his armes and
listened to his pupil utter the words ,
(Master, I have completed my course.). If this account is
authentic, it reveals a personal side to Melvilles instruction that is often
overshadowed by his more flamboyant theatrics and volatile disposition.
The same paternal tenderness and compassion which Melville had
received from Buchanan as his pupil in Paris, he expressed as he held his
dying student in his arms. James Melville remarked that bern gaed
never out of his hart; bot in teatching of me, he often rememberit him
with tender compassion of mynd. When Coligny lifted the siege of
Poitiers in September 1569 after weeks of intermittent cannon fire,
Melville took the opportunity to leave the city where he might pursue
his studies in peace at Geneva.175

Conclusion

A careful examination of Melvilles time in Paris and Poitiers yields a


number of important insights regarding his relationship to the European
Renaissance and French humanism. Far from the portrait of a restless
young intellectual who seemed to lack focus and direction, Melvilles
early course of study in Paris and Poitiers reveals a young scholar whose
deep-seated humanism and penchant towards Renaissance poly-
mathyled him to engage in a broad course of study.176 In the pattern of
other sixteenth-century humanists who went to great lengths to expose

Merriman, Kennedy, Gilbert, third earl of Cassillis (c.15171558), ODNB, Vol. 31


(Oxford, 2004), 241242; On James Stewart see Andrea Thomas, Stewart, James, earl of
Moray (15001544/5), ODNB, Vol. 52 (Oxford, 2004), 684685.
174
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 29; Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow
14511577, 269. McCrie interpreted James Melvilles description as referring to a
cannon ball while James Kirk interpreted this as a stray bullet.
175
Melville, JMAD, 4041; 158.
176
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 43.
france: paris and poitiers (1563/41569) 99

themselves to the latest developments of the European Renaissance,


Melville embarked on a liberal course of study, which included mathe-
matics, medicine, and law, as well as the ancient languages, Latin, Greek,
Hebrew, and Aramaic among others. Privileged to study under such dis-
tinguished scholars as Duhamel, Forcedel, Charpentier, Duret, Baudouin,
Turnbe, Mercier, Cinqarbres, Ramus, and Buchanan, Melvilles aca-
demic and intellectual trajectory was profoundly shaped by these advo-
cates of the New Learning. While it is important not to exaggerate the
influence of Ramus on Melvilles development, the latters subsequent
critical and selective appropriation of the Frenchmans insights at
Glasgow and St Andrews finds its origins in his attendance upon the
humanists lectures at the Collge Royal. Despite James Melvilles omis-
sion of any reference in his Diary to his uncle having studied with
Buchanan during his days in Paris, the elder humanist exerted the most
profound influence on the young scholar during these years. His private
and public instruction in the composition of Latin verse provided a
model of literary elegance and poetic dexterity which remained with the
young humanist for the rest of his life.
When viewed from the perspective and context of European human-
ism, Melvilles broad course of study was neither remarkable nor unprec-
edented. Nor was it as comprehensive as it might have been. The young
scholar, while exploring numerous fields of study, left others essentially
untouched. There is no evidence that he showed even the slightest inter-
est in the Renaissance approach to music, the visual arts, and Neo-
Platonic philosophy.177 While the University of Poitiers was certainly
among the leading centers in the study of jurisprudence in France in the
sixteenth century, there seems to be little justification for James Melvilles
boast that his uncle haid the best lawers.178 Melvilles study of the new
jurisprudence under Baudouin in Paris, as well as his subsequent legal
studies at Poitiers, emphatically underscores his commitment to the
New Learning and places him within the broader tradition of European
humanists who were eager to apply the latest critical methods to this
field of study. Notwithstanding his initial study of law in Paris and
Poitiers, Melville would continue to exhibit his seemingly insatiable
humanistic appetite for the New Learning by auditing the legal lectures
of Franois Hotman in Geneva.

McFarlane, George Buchanan and European Humanism, 33.


177

Melville, JMAD, 40.


178
Chapter four

SWITZERLAND: GENEVA
(15691574)

The Academy of Geneva

In late 1569 Melville assessed the political and social instability of France
created by the wars of religion and, with no foreseeable end to the con-
flict, determined to travel to Switzerland where he hoped to find a more
suitable environment to pursue his studies.1 While there is little evidence
to suggest that Geneva was Melvilles next logical stop, it is not difficult
to see how his previous humanistic studies in Scotland and France, as
well as his early Protestant influences, might converge in his own forma-
tion leading him to Geneva and the study of theology.2 Although La
Rochelle as a primary political and military center for the national
Reformed movement was much closer and more convenient than dis-
tant Geneva, it could not offer either the social stability or the academic
opportunities available in the Swiss city.3 Protestant England remained
an option for the young humanist, but Melville during these early years
never seems to have been greatly attracted to either Oxford or Cambridge,
preferring instead the continental universities of Paris and Poitiers as
well as those newer institutions which led the way in promoting the New
Learning of the Renaissance in the sixteenth century, such as the Collge
Royal (1530) and the Academy of Geneva (1559).4 Just as Geneva was a

1
James Melville, The Autobiography and Diary of Mr. James Melvill ed. Robert Pitcairn
(Edinburgh, 1842), 41.
2
John Durkan and James Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577 (Glasgow, 1977),
269270.
3
Judith Pugh Meyer, La Rochelle and the Failure of the French Reformation,
Sixteenth Century Journal, 15 (Summer, 1984), 171. On La Rochelle see Kevin C. Robbins,
City on the Ocean Sea: La Rochelle, 15301650 Urban Society, Religion, and Politics on the
French Atlantic Frontier (Leiden and Boston, 1997).
4
Menna Prestwich, Calvinism in France, 15551629 in Menna Prestwich (ed.),
International Calvinism, 15411715 (Oxford, 1985), 85; Paul F. Geisendorf, LUniversit
de Genve 15591959 (Genve, 1959), 23; James Bass Mullinger, The University of
Cambridge: From the Royal Injunctions of 1535 to the Accession of Charles the First
(Cambridge, 1884), 368; James W. L. Adams, The Renaissance Poets (2) Latin in James
Kinsley (ed.), Scottish Poetry a Critical Survey (London, 1955), 82; Leicester Bradner,
Musae Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin Poetry 15001925 (New York and London,
1940), 151152. Andrew Melville, Antitamicamicategoria in Parasynagma Perthense et
Iuramentum Ecclesi Scotican et A.M. Antitamicamicategoria (1620), 43. Although
102 chapter four

city of refuge for Protestants, such as Joseph Scaliger three years later,
following the horrific events of the St Bartholomews Day massacre in
1572, so in 1569 in the midst of Frances bloody civil war Melville traveled
to Geneva in search of a safe environment for further study.5 Like
Lambert Daneau who had been attracted to the Academy in 1560
because it offered the purest source of that celestial doctrine and
embodied one of the richest markets of commerce in humanist litera-
ture,6 Melville, aware of the Academys humanistic character and intent
upon pursuing a theological course of study, resided in Geneva for five
years during the quhilk tyme his cheiff studie was Divinitie.7
To study at the Genevan Academy from an intellectual and religious
standpoint was compelling, appealing to Melvilles humanist sentiments
as well as his Protestant sensibilities. From the very beginning, Calvins
Academy bore the humanistic imprint of its founder and most influential
voice.8 He was assisted early on by one of his most trusted associates and
fellow humanist Pierre Viret, who aided the reformer in recruiting fac-
ulty and planning the curriculum.9 Just as Viret had recruited Christian
humanists such as Mathurin Cordier in 1545 and Theodore Beza among
others in 1549 to serve on the faculty at the Academy of Lausanne, so he
aided Calvin in attracting some of the leading humanists to constitute
the first faculty of the Academy of Geneva.10

Melville later attacked the English universities in his poem Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria


(1604) due to their opposition to the Millenary Petition and their role in the Episcopal
controversy, he, nevertheless, expressed his sincere admiration for both seats of learning
and during his visits to both universities developed an appreciation for William
Whittaker, John Rainolds, George Carleton, and Thomas Savile.
5
Karin Maag, Seminary or University? The Genevan Academy and Reformed Higher
Education, 15601620 (Aldershot, 1995), 36. Cf. R. G. Philip, Scottish Scholars at
Geneva, 15591650, Records of the Scottish Church History Society, 6 (1938), 216231.
6
Olivier Fatio and Olivier Labarthe (eds.), Registres de la Compagnie des Pasteurs de
Genve tome III 15651574 (Genve, 1969), 90; Charles Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit
de Genve: LAcadmie de Calvin 15591798 (Genve, 1900), 52, 639. Cf. also Geisendorf,
LUniversit de Genve 15591959, 30; Maag, Seminary or University? 31.
7
Melville, JMAD, 42.
8
On Calvins humanism see Quirinus Breen, John Calvin: A Study in French
Humanism (Hamden, CT, 1968); John Calvin and the Rhetorical Tradition, Church
History, 26 (Mar., 1957), 321; Franois Wendel, Calvin et lhumanisme (Paris, 1976);
Calvin, Sources et Evolution de sa Pense Religieuse (Genve, 1985); William James
Bouwsma, John Calvin: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait (New York, 1988); Basil Hall, John
Calvin Humanist and Theologian (London, 1956); Charles Partee, Calvin and Classical
Philosophy (Leiden, 1977); Robert D. Linder, Calvinism and Humanism: The First
Generation, Church History, 44 (Jun., 1975), 167181.
9
On Viret see Robert Dean Linder, The Political Ideas of Pierre Viret (Genve, 1964);
Jean Barnaud, Pierre Viret: sa vie et son uvre (15111571) (Saint-Amans, 1911).
10
Robert D. Linder, Pierre Virets Ideas and Attitudes Concerning Humanism and
Education, CH, 34 (Mar.,1965), 25, 2728. On the Academy of Lausanne see Louis
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 103

The first rector of the Academy, the distinguished poet and Greek
scholar Theodore Beza, ensured the humanistic character of the institu-
tion through his leadership, recruiting, and modifications. Despite his
absence from Geneva from June 1559 to May 1563 when he led the
Genevan delegation at the Colloquy of Poissy and served Cond in
Orlans, his role as leader of the Genevan company of pastors following
Calvins death in 1564 significantly enhanced his influence over the
Academy.11 In light of Bezas presence in the Academy, Buchanan, dur-
ing their time in Paris, may have directed the young Melville to Geneva.
In his tribute to Beza, entitled Ad Theodorum Bezam, composed during
the 1560s, Buchanan sent him a collection of his poems for his own
evaluation, declaring mihi unus/ Beza est curia, censor et Quirites
(To my way of thinking, Bezas opinion is the only one that counts He
is judge, critic, and public for me.).12
Beza consistently labored to find suitable faculty for both the schola
privata and the schola publica, and he may be credited with introducing
the chair of medicine and two chairs in law.13 Simon Simoni was
appointed in 1565 as a professor of arts and a lecturer in medicine. His
tenure in the Academy was short, lasting only until 1567 when he left
Geneva due to an altercation he had with Niccolo Balbani, the minister
of the Italian Church in Geneva.14 In the same year of Simonis appoint-
ment, Domaine Fabri and Henry Scrimgeour began delivering public
lectures on jurisprudence.15 By 1566 Pierre Charpentier was appointed

Junod and Henri Meylan, LAcadmie de Lausanne au XVIe sicle (Lausanne, 1947);
Henri Meylan, La Haute Ecole de Lausanne 15371937 (Lausanne, 1937).
11
Gillian Lewis, The Geneva Academy in Andrew Pettegree, Alastair Duke and
Gillian Lewis (eds.), Calvinism in Europe, 15401620 (Cambridge, 1994), 52. On the
Colloquy of Poissy see Donald Nugent, Ecumenism in the Age of the Reformation: The
Colloquy of Poissy (Cambridge, MA, 1974); Philippe de Flice: Le Colloque de Poissy
(1561), Bulletin Societ de lHistoire du Protestantisme Franais, 107 (Jul.-Sep., 1961),
133145; Paul-F. Geisendorf, Thodore de Bze (Genve, 1949), 125166.
12
Paul J. McGinnis and Arthur H. Williamson (eds.), George Buchanan: The Political
Poetry (Edinburgh, 1995), 116117. Buchanan wrote: Quae si judicio tuo probentur, /
Ut classis modo in ultim referri / Possint centurias, nihil timebo / Censuram invidi,
nihil morabor / Senatus critici severitatem, / Nihil grammaticas tribus: mihi unus / Beza
est curia, censor et Quirites.
13
Maag, Seminary or University? 23.
14
Ibid., 28; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 9499, 638.
15
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 90; Geisendorf, LUniversit de Genve
15591959, 3941. On Henry Scrimgeour see John Durkan, Henry Scrimgeour,
Renaissance Bookman, Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions, 5:1 (19711987),
131; W.A. McNeill, Scottish Entries in the Acta Rectoria Universitatis Parisiensis
1519 to c. 1633, Scottish Historical Review, 43 (Apr., 1964), 6686; Franois de
104 chapter four

professor of law and served in that capacity until 1570. Although neither
Simoni nor Scrimgeour nor even Charpentier enjoyed great success as
lecturers at the Academy, Beza had desired from its inception to have
both chairs in medicine and law.16 While Bezas positive relationship
with the Genevan magistrates made it easier for him than it had been for
Calvin to encourage the study of civil law in the schola publica, his own
profound humanistic conviction of the intrinsic value of the study of the
new jurisprudence for the benefit of the commonwealth led him to play
an influential role in establishing not one but two chairs of law in the
Academy.17
During the Academys opening ceremony on 5 June 1559 Beza identi-
fied the institution as a respublica scholastica where students and doc-
tors labor together so that men of reason and intelligence will be
metamorphosed out of wild and savage beasts. Far from derogating
profane studies, Beza in his address recognized great value in studying
the profanas gentes, especially the Greeks. Such classical study was
conceived of by him as not merely providing the necessary philological
knowledge for the study of Scripture but as actually possessing wisdom
in itself. Appealing to Solomon and Daniel as exemplars who possessed
profane learning, Beza maintained that the Egyptians were recipients
of wisdom even as Moses and the Israelites had been.18 By unequivocally
declaring the intrinsic value of the authors of classical antiquity, Beza
established the humanistic trajectory of the Genevan Academy, creating
an intellectual environment that appealed to the advocates of the New
Learning.
The humanistic character of the Academy was greatly enhanced dur-
ing the first months of 1559 when Beza was joined by several former
members of the teaching staff of the Academy of Lausanne. In 1558 a
disagreement arose between the Lausanne town council and the minis-
ters of the city, resulting in the mass exodus of the entire teaching staff,
many students, and most of the ministers of Lausanne.19 The Genevan

Borch-Bonger, Un ami de Jacques Amyot: Henry Scringer in Mlanges offerts


M. Abel Lefranc (Paris, 1936), 362373; James Maitland Anderson (ed.), Early Records of
the University of St Andrews (Edinburgh, 1926), 128, 132, 231.
16
Ibid., 52, 92, 638; Beza wrote, Si, comme nous lesprons de sa bont, Dieu qui a
inspir ces desseins en assure lheureuse excution, on songera achiever ce qui a t
commenc, soit aussi ajouter le reste, savoir lenseignement du droit et de la mde-
cine. Cf. also Maag, Seminary or University? 2527; Lewis, The Geneva Academy, 49.
17
Maag, Seminary or University? 23.
18
Lewis, The Geneva Academy, 3940.
19
Ibid., 38.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 105

Academy became the direct beneficiary of this rupture, receiving from


Lausanne its first professor of Hebrew Antoine-Raoul Chevalier, profes-
sor of Greek Franois Brauld, and professor of arts Jean Tagaut.20 All of
these scholars had been Bezas academic colleagues at Lausanne while he
had occupied the chair of Greek.
From its inception, the Genevan Academy, in keeping with the
trilingual institutions at Louvain and Paris, promoted the New Learning,
stressing both the value and necessity of the mastery of Latin, Greek,
and Hebrew.21 What distinguished the Academy of Geneva from its tri-
lingual counterparts in Louvain and Paris was its distinctively Reformed
confessional character. Students of both the schola privata and the schola
publica of the Academy were required to subscribe to a lengthy confes-
sional statement in order to matriculate, underscoring its distinctively
religious character.22 In this academic environment and intellectual
milieu Melville labored and further pursued his humanistic and theo-
logical interests.
Melville traveled from Poitiers to Geneva on foot with a Frenchman,
leaving everything behind but a little Hebrew Bible, which he carried in
his belt.23 In addition to being conducive for travel, his choice of this
book above all others underscores his deeply held humanistic value of
the study of ancient languages and indicates the religious direction of his
future studies. His study of the Hebrew language, which he began at the
Collge Royal under Mercier and Cinqarbres, he intended to continue at
Geneva under Corneille Bertram or Cornelius Bertramus.24 Indeed, it is
probably this same Hebrew text which he continued to carry on his per-
son and which he famously thrust on the table fifteen years later in 1584
before James VI and his privy council in Edinburgh.25
Presumably, Melvilles Reformed colleagues at Poitiers had provided
him with the necessary introductory letters when he arrived at the gates

20
Maag, Seminary or University? 14; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 638;
Geisendorf, LUniversit de Genve 15591959, 2829. On Tagaut see Marcel Raymond,
Jean Tagaut, pote franais et bourgeois de Genve, Revue du XVIe sicle, 12 (1925),
98140.
21
Geisendorf, LUniversit de Genve 15591959, 2021; Lewis, The GenevaAcad
emy, 43.
22
Maag, Seminary or University? 1617; Lewis, The Geneva Academy, 4748.
23
Melville, JMAD, 41.
24
Geisendorf, LUniversit de Genve 15591959, 41; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit
de Genve, 638.
25
Melville, JMAD, 142.
106 chapter four

of Geneva.26 After persuading the guards that they were not pure scol-
lars and that he had letters from his acquentance to Monsieur di Beza,
they were permitted to enter the city and were taken to him.27 Melvilles
letters of introduction are likely to have briefly described his previous
academic study in Scotland and France, his work as a classical instructor
at Paris and Poitiers, and his adherence to Reformed Protestantism.
Sadly, however, these documents have not survived.
We are told by James Melville that upon meeting the young Scot,
Beza, perceaving him a schollar put him within a twa or thrie dayes
to tryell in Virgill and Homer.28 If procedures were followed in Melvilles
case, he was interviewed and examined by the company of pastors and
subsequently approved by the small council of the city of Geneva.29
Upon sustaining these exams, James Melville maintained that his uncle
was made a Professour of Humanitie in the Collage.30 Thomas McCrie,
following James Melville, wrote of Melville filling the chair of Humanity
in their Academy.31 As Charles Borgeaud observed at the beginning
of the last century, neither assertion can be supported from the records
of the council. Although the Academy of Geneva was comprised of both
the schola privata and the schola publica, each schola remained distinct.
Instead of serving as a professor in the schola publica of the Academy,
Melville served as a regent in the second class of the schola privata.32
Both James Melville and McCrie confused two distinct yet intercon-
nected aspects of the Genevan Academy and, as such, exaggerated
Melvilles position. Whereas the schola privata was the lower-level Latin
school, the schola publica was commonly regarded as the Academy

26
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 269.
27
Melville, JMAD, 41. Cf. H. M. B. Reid, The Divinity Principals in the University of
Glasgow 15451654 (Glasgow, 1917), 17. Reid conjectures that Melville was annoyed by
this remark since St Leonards College was the college of poor scholars and Melville was
a St Marys College man. While such a supposition is possible, it is more likely given his
own awareness of the situation that Geneva did not need two more poor scholars.
28
Ibid.
29
Maag, Seminary or University? 1718.
30
Melville, JMAD, 4142; Cf. also Alexander Grant, The Story of the University of
Edinburgh During its First Three Hundred Years (London, 1884), 127; Reid, The Divinity
Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654, 17. Grant wrote that Melville had
been Professor there from 1569 to 1574 while Reid maintained that Melville was
appointed as professor of Humanity (Latin) in the Collge de Genve.
31
Thomas McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville Vol. I (2nd edn., Edinburgh and London,
1824), 32.
32
Fatio and Labarthe, Registres de la Compagnie des Pasteurs de Genve, III, 23;
Charles Borgeaud, Cartwright and Melville at the University of Geneva, 15691574,
American Historical Review, 5:2 (1899), 287; Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 109.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 107

proper.33 Thus, Melville was nominated, along with Hugues Roy, on 10


November 1569 a regent in the schola privata of the Genevan
Academy.34
While it is true that Melvilles position in the Academy has been exag-
gerated and that his timing was crucial, his immediate appointment in
the schola privata to teach Latin and Greek may be viewed as a recogni-
tion of his classical attainments. Certainly, this appointment contributed
further to his growing European reputation. Having lectured in Greek at
the Collge Royal and served as a regent at the University of Poitiers for
three years, Melville only enhanced his reputation as a classical scholar
through this appointment.35 As Hume Brown once maintained, Melville
might hold his own against any foreign scholar in the matter of classical
attainments.36 Indeed, when one surveys the scholarly contingent in
Geneva during this period and considers the intellectual stature of
Theodore Beza, Franois Portus, Pierre Charpentier, Corneille Bertram,
Job Veyrat, Joseph Scaliger, Lambert Daneau, Franois Hotman,
Ennemond de Bonnefoy, Henry Scrimgeour, Henri Estienne, Paul
Melissus, and Jacques Lect, Melvilles appointment in the schola privata
may be viewed as a testimony to his abilities as a classical scholar and a
recognition of his literary attainments.37
To be sure, the timing of Melvilles arrival and appointment was
indeed fortuitous. Had he arrived in Geneva at a time when there were
no vacancies in either schola, his experience would have undoubtedly
been different. However, there is no reason to treat as mutually exclusive
Melvilles abilities and attainments on the one hand and his timely arrival
in Geneva on the other.38 While it is important not to exaggerate either
Melvilles position in the schola privata or how he was selected to serve
in it, it is equally critical not to diminish his abilities and growing repu-
tation in accounting for his appointment. What is clear from James
Melvilles account and from other historical sources is that his uncle

Maag, Seminary or University? 9; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 43.


33

Borgeaud, Cartwright and Melville at the University of Geneva, 15691574, 287.


34
35
Melville, JMAD, 39. At the conclusion of his time at St Andrews Melville had earned
the reputation of the best philosopher, poet, and Grecian, of anie young maister in the
land.
36
P. Hume Brown, George Buchanan: Humanist and Reformer, (Edinburgh,
1890),236.
37
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 638639; Louis Clment, Henri
Estienne et Son Oeuvre Franais (Paris, 1899), 2.
38
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 33.
108 chapter four

exhibited such proficiency in Latin and Greek during his examination


that his appointment was natural and obvious especially in light of the
vacancies created in the Academy due to the plague.39
During the years 15671572 the Academy suffered from recurring
outbreaks of the plague, which served as an obvious deterrent and took
its toll on both the staff and students. In 1568 Frederick III, Elector
Palatine, removed his son Christopher, Count Palatine, from the schola
publica due to the plague, while in 1571 Job Veyrat, lecturer in arts, died
and Franois Portus, lecturer in Greek, as well as the visiting scholar
Thomas Cartwright were both incapacitated because if it.40 In 1569, the
very year of Melvilles arrival, the schola privata had lost two of its regents
to the plague and by 1571 the situation had deteriorated to the point
that Beza himself had to assume responsibility for some of the public
lecturing.41 Beza wrote to Heinrich Bullinger on 19 September 1571: Le
collge infrieur est dispers. Je soutiens seul ce qui reste de lcole pub-
lique, pour autant que mes forces le permettent (The lower college is
disorganized. I alone am sustaining this with the rest of the public school,
for as far as my strength permits.)42 While the Academy in both its parts
suffered significantly from the plague, losing students and faculty by
withdrawal, physical incapacity, or even death, it is possible that Beza
exaggerated the situation.43
Although Melville, like Cartwright, may have succumbed to the
plague, contributing to the disarray of the schola privata, James Melville
gave no indication of this in his cursory account of his uncles time in

39
The cumulative list of Melvilles classical attainments made him an obvious choice.
Due to his early and uncommon acquisition of Greek in the late 1550s prior to his entry
at university, his reputation at St Marys, his study under Turnbe and lecturing in Paris,
and his study and teaching in Poitiers, Melville had accumulated an impressive set of
credentials. Indeed, he may even have been overqualified for the rather modest post.
40
Maag, Seminary or University? 31; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 119,
638; Beza wrote to Heinrich Bullinger on 19 September 1571: La peste nous infeste trs
fort et dautres maladies sy joignent qui en emportent beaucoup. Job Veyrat professeur
de philosophie est mort. Portus, qui est plus que sexagnaire, souffre de la fivre. Un
Anglais, homme pieux et savant, qui nous tait dun grand secours, commence lan-
guir. Cf. A.F. Scott Pearson, Thomas Cartwright and Elizabethan Puritanism 15351603
(Cambridge, 1925), 49.
41
Ibid., 3132.
42
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 119.
43
Ibid., 120. Beza wrote to Bullinger on 16 October 1571: La contagion semble per-
dre pied dans la ville, presque rduite en solitude. Mais comme le mal a gagn dun ct
Lausanne et de lautre Lyon et quil fait rage sur les deux rives de notre lac, je ne sais o
placer quelque esprance, si ce nest en la clmence infinie de notre Dieu qui certe ne
nous abandonnera pas.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 109

Geneva. If he had suffered from the plague, one would expect, given the
other accounts provided by him of Melvilles health, to find some men-
tion of it in his narrative history. We do know from Melvilles 1574 testi-
monial that, in addition to being commended for his diligent service to
the Academy, his service to the victims of the plague is mentioned.44
Moreover, we also know that Melville was absent from Geneva from July
to September 1570 when he traveled with his fellow Scotsman Gilbert
Moncrieff to Lausanne to attend Ramus lectures on dialectic.45 Yet this
brief absence could hardly have contributed to any sort of crisis faced by
the faculty of either school. We also know that a severe outbreak of the
plague forced the temporary closing of the Academy during 1570.46 And
yet even if Beza in 1571 was not exaggerating the situation and the schola
privata was in disarray, his remarks to Bullinger need not be interpreted
to mean that the entire faculty of the schola privata was incapacitated
and incapable of fulfilling their academic responsibilities. Indeed, given
what we know of Melvilles robust health during his adult life, it would
not be surprising if he had remained unaffected by the plague during his
time in Geneva.47 Nevertheless, his continued presence and classical
instruction must have functioned as a stabilizing force in the midst of
debilitating losses.
The schola privata of the Genevan Academy consisted of seven dis-
tinct classes. The regents were responsible to conduct the students
through the successive grades preparing them for the more advanced
studies offered in the schola publica. The curriculum spread over the

44
Borgeaud, Cartwright and Melville at the University of Geneva, 15691574,
288289.
45
Ibid., 288; The Council of Lausanne records the following: Le 5 septembre 1570
Andr Melvin et Gilbert Mengrifz, escolliers escossois, prennent cong. Cf also Frank
Pierrepont Graves, Peter Ramus and the Educational Reformation of the Sixteenth Century
(New York, 1912), 99100.
46
Lewis, The Geneva Academy, 60; Pearson, Thomas Cartwright and Elizabethan
Puritanism 15351603, 48.
47
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 197198; Melvini epistolae, Special Collections,
University of Edinburgh, 329. During the winter months of 1608 at the age of 62, Melville
was subjected to extreme cold weather as a prisoner in the Tower of London as evi-
denced by the fact that the Thames remained continuously frozen for several months.
Despite being exposed to the harsh living conditions of the Tower, Melvilles health
remained unaffected. In fact, as evidence of his good health and mental attitude, the
humanist wrote his nephew James a letter in Greek communicating that his health
remained strong. Although toward the end of his life during his exile in Sedan he
suffered from rheumatism, gout, and gravel, these maladies were not uncommon to a
person of his advanced age during this period and consequently do not indicate a weak
constitution.
110 chapter four

seven classes focused primarily upon the mastery of Latin and Greek, as
embodied in the classical authors of the Greco-Roman world, as well as
on religious instruction and practice.48 In the seventh and lowest class
the young boys were taught to read and write French and Latin using the
bilingual Catechism. In the sixth class the students studied Latin gram-
mar in relation to French grammar, and in the fifth class they examined
Latin syntax and began to practice Latin composition, taking the Bucolics
of Vergil as their model of eloquence. After several years of careful study
of the rudiments of the Latin language, the students in the fourth class
were introduced to more advanced Latin, analyzing the Letters of Cicero,
the Elegies of Ovid, Tristia, and Ex Ponto.49 The students in the fourth
class also received an introduction to the study of Greek. When they
progressed to the third class, in addition to an intensive study of Greek
grammar, they were taught to interpret Ciceros Letters, De Amicitia, De
Senectute in Greek and Latin, Vergils Aeneid, Caesars Commentaries,
and the Hortatory Speeches of Isocrates. The second class of the schola
privata, while utilizing the Latin history of Livy and the Greek histories
of Xenophon, Polybius, or Herodian, also progressed to the difficult task
of reading the Greek poet Homer. Both The Paradoxes and shorter
Speeches of Cicero were to be included as part of the curriculum of the
second class. The first and most advanced class was introduced to the
rudiments of dialectic or logic and rhetoric and was guided through
the speeches of Demosthenes in the Olynthiacs and Philippics as well as
in the Orations of Cicero.50 This class was taught how to cultivate the
elegant use of Latin and Greek and was instructed in poetic word choice
by carefully analyzing the works of Homer and Vergil.51
Within this sevenfold division of classes, Melvilles primary academic
responsibilities were to the more mature students of the schola privata
and involved advanced instruction in both Greek and Latin literature,
focusing primarily upon the genres of history and poetry. As a regent in
the schola privata, he was also required to sit with and oversee his pupils
during the two Sunday services, the catechism class, and the Wednesday

48
Maag, Seminary or University? 16.
49
Also known by the title Epistulae ex Ponto. Cf. Jan Felix Gaertner (ed. and trans.),
Epistulae Ex Ponto, Book I: Epistulae Ex Ponto, Book 1 (Oxford, 2005).
50
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 628629; W. Stanford Reid, Calvin
and the Founding of the Academy of Geneva, Westminster Theological Journal, 18 (Nov.,
1955), 2728.
51
Lewis, The Geneva Academy, 4142; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve,
4344; Geisendorf, LUniversit de Genve 15591959, 24.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 111

and Saturday morning sermons. This involvement by the regents in the


spiritual exercises and discipline of their pupils contributed to the dis-
tinctive character of the education offered at the Genevan Academy and
underscores its peculiarly religious nature.52
While Melville served as a classical scholar in the schola privata, he
availed himself of the remarkable opportunities for study in the schola
publica not only in the area of theological and biblical study but even
more broadly in humane studies. From its inception a primary objective
of the schola publica had been to provide the French Reformed Church
with ministers and thus aid France in the continuing work of religious
reform.53 The Protestant Reformed character of the school was firmly
established by the central role given to the Genevan company of pastors
in overseeing the operation of the Academy, the provision of theologi-
caland exegetical instruction, the model of a linguistically based tex-
tual scholarship, and the requirement of doctrinal adherence by its
students.54
Although there was a firm adherence to the Reformed faith in both
schools of the Academy, there was as well an unyielding commitment to
the intrinsic value of the studia humanitatis in preparing scholars for
service in the ecclesiastical, academic, and civil spheres of society. The
schola publica, no less than the schola privata, reflected a certain type of
classicism by promoting the study of bonae litterae.55 Two of the three
original public professors were to devote a significant portion of their
instruction to the examination of what the pagan authors of antiquity
had to offer in such areas as moral philosophy, rhetoric, poetry, history,
and ethics. The professor of Greek, for example, was to lecture not on the
New Testament but upon the moral philosophy of Plato, Aristotle,
Plutarch or a Christian philosopher. In the afternoons, he was supposed
to read from some Greek historian, poet, or orator who possessed the
purest literary style. Likewise, after dinner the professor of arts was to
expound Aristotles Rhetoric and the best known of Ciceros orations as

52
Maag, Seminary or University? 16; Lewis, The Geneva Academy, 40. For a broader
consideration of the role of the Genevan consistory in the exercise of discipline see E.
William Monter, The Consistory of Geneva, 15591569 Bibliothque d Humanisme et
Renaissance Travaux et Documents, 38 (1976), 467484.
53
Cf. David Nichols, France in Andrew Pettegree (ed.), The Early Reformation in
Europe (Cambridge, 1992), 120141.
54
Maag, Seminary or University? 19; Lewis, The Geneva Academy, 46, 48; Borgeaud,
Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 44.
55
Lewis, The Geneva Academy, 44.
112 chapter four

well his treatise on rhetoric De oratore. Even in the very formation of


definitions and distinctions, students in the schola publica were taught
to employ in the process the approved Aristotelian-Ciceronian man-
ner. Despite the perilous tendencies that were thought to accompany
the study of poetry, instruction in it found a place as a catalyst in the
interpretation of Scripture.56 In all of these respects the Academy of
Geneva showed itself to be a thoroughly humanistic institution devoted
to the careful study of the authors of classical antiquity and to the culti-
vation of elegant Latin and Greek. The distinguishing feature of this
humanist approach was its recognition of the normative function of
Scripture in determining from the profane authors of antiquity what was
compatible with it.

Melvilles Genevan Circle

Equally if not more formative to Melvilles work as a classical scholar in


the schola privata were the scholars he sat under and the relationships he
formed with his fellow humanists during his five years in Switzerland.
Prior to his arrival in 1569, the Academy during the first five years of its
existence enjoyed considerable success, drawing students from Italy,
Germany, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, France, and the other
Swiss cantons.57 During these years the Academy attracted a number of
students who subsequently distinguished themselves, such as Jean de
Serres, the future rector of the Academy of Nmes, Florent Chrestien,
later tutor to henri of Navarre, Philippe Marnix who became counselor
to William of Orange, Thomas Bodley, founder of the Bodleian Library,
Peter Young, subsequent tutor to James VI, Philippe Birgan, later teacher
of Hebrew at Cambridge and Saumur, Simon Girard and Michel Hortin,
who served as professors of Greek and Hebrew at Lausanne, and Jacob
Ulrich who became professor of Latin and Logic in Zurich.58 Despite the
diminished numbers during the years 15671572 on account of the
plague, Geneva continued to attract distinguished scholars, such as
Corneille Bertram, Joseph Scaliger, Lambert Daneau, and Franois
Hotman, who greatly enhanced the Academys intellectual life and

56
Ibid., 43.
57
Ibid., 4950.
58
Geisendorf, LUniversit de Genve 15591959, 31; Lewis, The Geneva Acad
emy,50.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 113

r eputation throughout Europe.59 The years 15571587 have been called


the heyday of Calvinist Geneva due in large part to the extraordinary
collection of scholars who resided in the city during those years.60 Driven
to Geneva by severe social instability brought about by the French wars
of religion and the massacres of St Bartholomews Day, they ensured that
Geneva became not only a city of refuge for French Protestants but a city
teeming with more scholars than it was able to support financially.61
Melvilles position in the schola privata gave him natural access and
opportunity to forge relationships with other members of the faculty, as
well as visiting scholars who held no official position in the Academy.
When Melville arrived in Geneva in late 1569, Henry Scrimgeour
had been residing there since 1561.62 A fellow Scot from Dundee who
was connected with the Melvilles of Baldovy through the marriage of
his sister Isobel to Richard Melville, Scrimgeours presence in Geneva
may in fact have been another significant factor in attracting the
younghumanist to the Swiss city.63 Educated at St Andrews, Scrimgeour
distinguished himself as a young scholar and, upon the completion
of his studies, traveled to Paris where he sat under the humanists
Guillaume Bud and Petrus Ramus.64 After studying briefly under the
Scottish logician William Cranston, he proceeded to the University of
Bourges to study civil law for four years under guinaire Baron and
Franois Le Douaren.65 During his time in Bourges, Scrimgeour forged
a relationship with the Greek scholar Jacques Amyot and, on his recom-
mendation,became the private tutor to the sons of the secretary of state

Maag, Seminary or University? 32, 46.


59

Gillian Lewis, Calvinism in Geneva in the time of Calvin and of Beza (15411605)
60

in Menna Prestwich (ed.), International Calvinism, 15411715, 4041.


61
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 42.
62
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 7375, 638.
63
John Durkan, Henry Scrimgeour, Fugger Librarian: A Biographical Note,
Bibliotheck, 3 (19601962), 68. Durkan refers to Scrimgeour as an uncle of Andrew
Melville. Cf. also Durkan, Henry Scrimgeour, Renaissance Bookman, 20. Melville is
identified as another nephew.
64
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St Andrews, 128, 132; Durkan, Henry
Scrimgeour, Renaissance Bookman, 2; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 73;
Marie-Claude Tucker, Scrimgeour, Henry (1505?1572), Oxford Dictionary National
Biography, Vol. 49 (Oxford, 2004), 536537. Durkan includes Adrian Turnbe as one of
Scrimgeours instructors in Paris.
65
Durkan, Henry Scrimgeour, Renaissance Bookman, 2. On William Cranston see
Alexander Broadie, The Tradition of Scottish Philosophy: A New Perspective on the
Enlightenment (Edinburgh, 1990); Cranston, William (c.15131562), ODNB, Vol. 14
(Oxford, 2004), 3839.
114 chapter four

GuillaumeBochetel.66 After several years of service, Scrimgeour returned


to Scotland having been commended by Bochetel to Mary of Guise as a
homme de honneste vie, de vertu et de grand savoir tant en lettres
grecques que latines.67 Between the years 1558 and 1564 Scrimgeour
served Ulrich Fugger by traveling between Augsburg and Italy collecting
rare books and manuscripts in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.68 As an accom-
plished Hellenist, Scrimgeour had been offered in 1562 the chair of
Greek in the Genevan Academy which had recently been vacated by
Franois Brauld in 1561. Although he declined the offer, he was subse-
quently persuaded by Calvin in 1563 to serve as a lecturer in arts suc-
ceeding Claude Baduel.69 After a short period of service, he was appointed
a professor of law in 1565 and served in that capacity until 1568.70
Contrary to McCries assertion that the Scot occupied the chair of civil
law in the Academy until his death in 1572,71 Scrimgeours lectures on
jurisprudence were so poorly attended and attracted such bitter com-
plaints from the students that the Genevan magistrates forced him to
resign his post in 1568.72
Despite his forced resignation and the unexpected death of his wife
that same year, Scrimgeour continued to reside in the fourteenth-
century castle known as Villette located just outside of Genevaontheriver
Arve.73 James Melville remarked that during his uncles timeinGeneva
he became weill acquented with my eam, Mr. Hendrie Scrymgeour
and was said to have been a frequent visitor at his lodgings in town, and
also at the Violet.74 Melvilles esteem and affection for Scrimgeour may

66
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 73. Cf. Borch-Bonger, Un ami de
Jacques Amyot: Henry Scringer in Mlanges offerts M. Abel Lefranc (Paris, 1936),
362373.
67
Tucker, Scrimgeour, Henry (1505?1572), 536537.
68
Durkan, Henry Scrimgeour, Renaissance Bookman, 1218; McCrie, Life of
Andrew Melville I, 3940; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 73; Tucker,
Scrimgeour, Henry (1505?1572), 536537; Paget Toynbee, The Vatican Text (Cod.
Vat. Palat. Lat. 1729) of the Letters of Dante, Modern Language Review, 7 (Jan., 1912),
2; E. H. Kaden, Ulrich Fugger et son Projet de Crer Genve une Librairie publique,
Geneva, 7 (1959), 127136.
69
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 74; Durkan, Henry Scrimgeour,
Renaissance Bookman, 17; Tucker, Scrimgeour, Henry (1505?1572), 536537.
70
Ibid., 7375, 92, 638.
71
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 40.
72
Maag, Seminary or University? 27; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 638;
Durkan, Henry Scrimgeour, Renaissance Bookman, 18.
73
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 78; Durkan, Henry Scrimgeour,
Renaissance Bookman, 19.
74
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 41; Melville, JMAD, 42.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 115

be seen in a poem he wrote in honor of the humanist, entitled De vita et


obitu clarissimi viri domini Henrici Scrimgeri, jurisconsulti ac philosophi
peritissimi.75 Scrimgeours estimation of Melville is recorded by the young
Scot, who after declining repeated requests to return to Scotland to tutor
the young James VI, was urged by Scrimgeour Te, Meluine te patria
alma vocat (You, Melville our nourishing home calls you).76
Melvilles own love for Scrimgeour was seen most demonstrably in
the impact of his death on him in September 1572. Overcome by grief at
the enormous personal loss of a dear friend, relative, and esteemed
father, Melville asked Andrew Polwarth to inform Scrimgeours nephew
Peter Young of his death.77 For Melville Scrimgeours death represented
not merely the loss of one of the sixteenth-centurys finest Scottish
humanists but more poignantly the loss of a close friend and father-
figure. In Scrimgeour, Melville had found not only a kindred humanist
whose love of Greek literature, devotion to the new jurisprudence,
extensive travels, and unique collection of rare books and manuscripts
were a source of intellectual refreshment and stimulation but also a fel-
low countryman with whom he had a natural affinity and regarded as a
father.78 Although belonging to different generations, their travels
throughout Europe gave each a common, cosmopolitan outlook on life.
Indeed, Melville declared of his fellow Scot Cosmopolita fuit Scrimgerus
(Scrimgeour was refined).79 Their study at the universities of StAndrews

75
Andrew Melville, De vita et obitu Clarissimi Viri Domini Henrici Scrimgeri,
Jurisconsulti ac Philosophi peritissimi, Bodleian, Cherry MS. 5. Melville wrote: Fando
ornare tuas laudes non Daedala fandi / Copia, non Pitho, non Dea Suada queat, / Sol
secli, Scrimgere, tui, decus addite Diuis! / Par laudi immensae fama nec ipsa tuae. / Qui
docto antiquas Latio instaurauit Athenas / Et Romano orbi ius vetus atque nouum /
Scrimgerus laudum libans fastigia carpit / Omnia, laude maior et inuidia.
76
Ibid. Melville wrote: Te, Meluine, inquit, te patria alma vocat; / Cui melior iuueni
sanguis, cui robur ab annis: / Redde animi, ingenii, consiliique tui / Ostende et lumen
patriae: et vestigia dele / Et luxu et fastu turgida Pontificum.
77
Letter of Andrew Melville to Peter Young, June 1573, Bodleian, Smith MS. 77, 29;
Durkan, Henry Scrimgeour, Renaissance Bookman, 31; Henry Scrimgeour, Fugger
Librarian: A Biographical Note, 69. Melville wrote: Quum ex Scrimgeri morte hau-
sissem tantum virus acerbitatis, quantum ex optimi Parentis obitu filius amantissimus
haurire potuit maximum, ea tempora consequuta sunt, quae maerorem animi mirum
quantum augerent, si meus hic dolor accessionem capere posset.
78
Melville, De vita et obitu Clarissimi Viri Domini Henrici Scrimgeri, Bodleian,
Cherry MS. 5. Melville wrote of Scrimgeour the bibliophile: Fuggerana Palatinae stat
bibliothecae / Aemula; Scrimgero cura utriusque fuit /. Huc spolia, huc praedas, huc
rapti orientis honores / Transtulit; his orbi floruit occiduo. / Macte animo, diuine heros:
haec clara tropaea / Sunt tua, luxum et opes barbarus hostis habet.
79
Ibid.
116 chapter four

and Paris, as well as their exposure to some of the greatest minds of the
French Renaissance, naturally attracted them to each other and provided
the basis for an immediate rapport, a mutual understanding, and an
intimate friendship. This common intellectual culture of European
humanism further augmented their familial and national bonds and
served only to accentuate their strong personal ties.
As he had done in Paris, while in Geneva Melville devoted himself to
the mastery of the ancient languages Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and
Syriac.80 Just two years before his arrival in Geneva, Corneille Bertram
had been appointed professor of Hebrew at the Academy in 1567 and
continued in that capacity for the next nineteen years until 1586. Bertram
had fled to Geneva during the first war of religion, becoming a pastor in
the city and, in consequence of his marriage, a nephew of Beza.81 Trained
in bonae litterae in Paris, especially studying the Hebrew language under
Jean Mercier during the years 15531556, Bertram proceeded, in typical
humanist fashion, from there to Toulouse where he commenced his
study of jurisprudence for six years. While in Toulouse he embraced
the Reformed religion, began preaching, and later accepted a call to
arural parish where, in his leisure, he was able to revisit his first stud-
iesof the Hebrew language. When in 1566 for health reasons Antoine-
Raoul Chevalier stepped down from the chair of Hebrew at the
Academy,Bertram replaced him and was appointed professor of Hebrew
in 1567.82
In addition to providing much needed continuity to the study of
Hebrew and its cognate languages for almost two decades in the young
Academy, Bertram published two significant works in 1574. The first
work, entitled De politia judaca explored the ancient Jewish polity and
religious organization and was dedicated to Beza, who had commis-
sioned the work.83 Bertram recognized his debts to his fellow humanist
and produced a scholarly volume which was valued by those in the
Reformed church.84

80
Melville, JMAD, 42.
81
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 102, 638.
82
Ibid., 102103.
83
Maag, Seminary or University? 40; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 103.
The full title is De politia judaica, tam civili quam ecclesiastica, jam inde a suis primordiis,
hoc est, ab Orbe condito, repetita.
84
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 103104.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 117

The second of Bertrams works compared Hebrew and Aramaic gram-


mar and was entitled Comparatio grammatic Hebraic & Aramaic.85
The work not only exhibited a remarkable knowledge of these ancient
near-eastern languages, but it was well received by the scholarly com-
munity in Geneva and was accompanied by the Latin epigrams of
Antoine de la Faye and Andrew Melville.86 Melvilles enthusiasm for the
work led him to compose four Latin poems, recommending it to the
world of ancient near-eastern scholarship.87 Both volumes by Bertram
were of particular interest to him and were undoubtedly influential in
the development of his views of ecclesiastical polity and in his
understanding of the languages of Hebrew and Aramaic. Just as he had
shared a love of Greek and an appreciation of the new jurisprudence
with Scrimgeour, so Melville found in Bertram a mutual passion for
Hebrew and its cognate languages and a shared interest in civil and
ecclesiastical polity.
Not only were they drawn together in Geneva by their common
humanistic interests and values, but they both were products of the
Collge Royal and both had studied under the same instructor, Jean
Mercier. Far from being superficial similarities, these common experi-
ences, influences, and interests constituted the basis upon which
Melvilles relationship with Bertram was founded and developed. His
epigrams indicate not merely his high estimate of Bertrams erudition
and eloquence, but they exhibit his own command of the Latin language.
Their inclusion intimates Bertrams own high regard for Melvilles abili-
ties as a neo-Latin poet and a judge of ancient near-eastern languages.
Thus, despite Melvilles youth and lack of scholarly publications, he
enjoyed a collegiality and scholarly rapport with Bertram due in large
part to his own impressive attainments in the field of Semitic
languages.
In addition to attending the lectures of Bertram,88 Melville endeav-
ored to perfect his knowledge of classical Greek by sitting under the

85
Ibid., 104. The full title is: Comparatio grammatic Hebraic & Aramic atque
adeo dialectorum Aramicarum inter se: concinnata ex Hebraicis Antonij Ceuallerij pr-
ceptionibus, Aramicisque doctorum aliorum virorum obseruationibus: quibus & quam-
plurim ali in utraque lingua adiect sunt.
86
Cornelius Bertram, Comparatio grammatic Hebraic & Aramic (Geneva,
1574).
87
Ibid.; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 33; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de
Genve, 104.
88
Melville, JMAD, 42.
118 chapter four

Greik born Franois Portus, who served as professor of Greek in the


Academy from 1561 until 1581.89 When Franois Brauld stepped down
from his position as lecturer in Greek in 1561, Pierre Viret wrote to
Calvin commending Portus to him saying, Cest un homme fort instruit
dans les bonnes lettres, dune pit solide et plein de zle pour la religion
rforme (This is a strong man educated in good literature, of a robust
piety and full of zeal for the reformed religion.).90 The classical scholar
Isaac Casaubon, who succeeded Portus when appointed professor of
Greek at the Academy in 1582, described his predecessor as a man whose
Sincera pietas, virtus excellens, et singularis doctrina, bonis omnibus
venerabilem reddebant. (sincere piety, eminent virtue, and remarkable
learning, restored all good men to that which is venerable).91 During
his lifetime Portus edited and published texts from Homer, Aphthonius,
Hermogenes, and Dionysius Longinus, as well as a translation of the
hymns of Synesius of Cyrenia.92 However, his most significant literary
works were published posthumously by his son Emile Portus who suc-
ceeded Melville upon his departure as regent of the second class in the
schola privata and who subsequently served as a professor at Lausanne
and Heidelberg.93 After Portus death, his son published his commentar-
ies on Pindar in 1583, his introductions to all of the plays of Sophocles
in 1584, his commentaries on Xenophon in 1586, and a collaborative
Greek-Latin lexicon in 1592. Although it is impossible to say with cer-
tainty that these posthumous publications were derived from Portus
public lectures in the Academy, this remains a distinct possibility.94
In attending his lectures, Melville appears to have become an inti-
mate friend of Portus such that he wald reassone about the right pro-
nuntiation of the Greek language with his colleague and instructor.95
Whereas Portus pronuncit it efter the comoun form, keeping the
accents, Melville had adopted an alternative method of pronunciation
that was controllit be precepts and reasone. Exasperated at the audacity

89
Ibid; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 638.
90
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 77, 638.
91
Pearson, Thomas Cartwright and Elizabethan Puritanism 15351603, 49; McCrie,
Life of Andrew Melville I, 34.
92
Maag, Seminary or University? 41.
93
Borgeaud, Cartwright and Melville at the University of Geneva, 15691574, 288;
Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 76.
94
Maag, Seminary or University? 41; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve,
7677.
95
Pearson, Thomas Cartwright and Elizabethan Puritanism 15351603, 49; Melville,
JMAD, 42.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 119

of the young humanist correcting the pronunciation of his own native


tongue, the Greek would exclaim, vos Scoti, vos barbari! Docebitis nos
Grcos pronunciationem lingu nostr, scilicet? (You Scots, you
barbarians! Will you teach Greeks like me the pronounciation of our
own language?)96 In these confrontations Melville appears to have
adopted the new method of pronunciation first introduced in Paris by
Ramus but which actually had been promoted earlier by Erasmus him-
self. In 1528 Erasmus had advanced a new and improved method of
pronunciation in his dialogue between Leo and Ursus, entitled de recta
Latini Graecique sermonis pronuntiatione. Although some scholars in
Germany, such as Melanchthon, continued to follow the method passed
down by Reuchlin, who had learned his method from scholars of the
Italian Renaissance, in England at Cambridge Erasmus innovation was
warmly received by the young scholars John Cheke, Thomas Smith, John
Ponet, Roger Ascham, and John Redman. In Geneva the learned printer
and humanist Henri Estienne also promoted this new method.97 Just
as the Erasmian method of pronunciation had made inroads into
Cambridge and Geneva, so it had apparently made its way into Paris
via Ramus at the Collge Royal where Melville had immersed himself
so thoroughly in the study of the Greek language. Thus Melvilles appar-
ent impertinence was actually grounded in a different method of
pronunciation and is reflective of a later and more critical effort by
northern European humanists to correct a perceived incongruity in the
development of the Greek language. His willingness to engage Portus in
this manner also suggests not merely the young Scots excessive self-
confidence and audacity but a close relationship in which such argu-
ments could be expressed in a lively and forcible manner and legitimate
disagreements could be tolerated. Several years after he left Geneva,
Melville continued to remember with great fondness his Greek instruc-
tor and friend.98
While in Geneva, Melville continued his study of the new jurispru-
dence by auditing the lectures of one of the most distinguished legal
scholars of the sixteenth century Franois Hotman.99 Like Lambert

Melville, JMAD, 42.


96

Mullinger, The University of Cambridge, 5457, 63. A treatise by Terentianus, enti-


97

tled de Litteris et Syllabis, was also received well by a number of scholars at Cambridge.
98
Andrew Melville, Epitaphium Jacobi Lindesii in Arthur Johnston (ed.), Delitiae
Poetarum Scotorum (Amsterdami, 1637), Vol. II, 123.
99
Melville, JMAD, 42.
120 chapter four

Daneau, Joseph Scaliger, Hughes Doneau, and Ennemond de Bonnefoy,


Hotman had fled to Geneva for safety in 1572 following the events of the
St Bartholomews Day massacres.100 Perceiving the signs of serious social
instability as indicated by the attempt on Colignys life in the summer of
1572, with the help of his students he barely escaped from Bourges and
a most certain death.101 Having been asked by la Compagnie to deliver
law lectures without financial compensation, both Hotman and Doneau
agreed and began lecturing in October 1572. This temporary arrange-
ment was brought to an end for Doneau when in January 1573 he
accepted a position as a professor of law at the University of Heidelberg.102
Fearful of losing Hotman and needing to secure a replacement for
Doneau, la Compagnie elicited the services of Cujas colleague and
would-be successor Bonnefoy.103 On 14 May 1573 the magistrates of
Geneva persuaded Hotman and Bonnefoy to agree to a three year con-
tract at 800 and 700 florins respectively. On 24 May, less than two weeks
later, Bonnefoy began lecturing on Justinians Pandects while Hotman
commenced his lectures on Justinians Code.
Prior to coming to Geneva, Bonnefoy had been an extremely popular
lecturer at Valence due in large part to his extensive knowledge of
Byzantine law. Under the direction of Henri Estienne, he published in
1573 in Geneva the first work to explicate the civil and ecclesiastical
legislation of Byzantium entitled Juris Orientalis. This work immediately
established Bonnefoys European reputation as an accomplished legal
scholar. Sadly, his services to the Academy were cut short by his untimely
death on 10 February 1574.104 Although James Melville does not men-
tion either Doneau or Bonnefoy as lecturers that his uncle audited while
in Geneva, given Melvilles general humanistic interests, his particular
devotion to the study of the new jurisprudence, and his ardent love of

100
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 123127, 132; Maag, Seminary or
University? 42, 47.
101
Donald R. Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship Language, Law
and History in the French Renaissance, (New York, 1970), 206.
102
Maag, Seminary or University? 47; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve,128.
103
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 44; Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve,
126, 128. McCrie, citing Cujacii Observationes, writes that Cujas esteemed him so highly
as to declare, that if he were dying, and desired, like Aristotle, to choose his successor, he
would name Bonnefoy.
104
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 128129. The extended title is Juris
Orientalis libri III, ab Enimundo Bonefidio J.C. digesti, ac notis illustrati et nunc primum
in lucem editi cum Latina interpretatione.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 121

Greek, there is a very strong likelihood that he did, in fact, attend their
lectures.105 The list of names James Melville includes in his Diary should
not be understood as an exhaustive or comprehensive account of all of
the scholars with whom Melville formed relationships or studied under
but rather as a representative sample of the most distinguished scholars
with whom he was associated.
Identified by James Melville as the renounedest lawer in his tyme,
Hotman had built an immense scholarly reputation prior to coming to
Geneva.106 Lecturing first on Roman law at the University of Paris in
1546, rhetoric and dialectic at Lausanne from 15501555, and civil law
at Strasbourg, Valence, and Bourges, Hotman had earned the reputation
as a first-rate scholar of jurisprudence.107 Despite his commentary on the
Twelve Tables, his study of Roman coinage, and his survey of the history
of Roman law, Hotman became increasingly wary of the study of Roman
law due in large part to its associations with the corruptions found in
Italian society. He even progressively developed doubts regarding the
worth of legal humanism due to its relationship with Italian culture.108
In 1567 he published his Anti-Tribonianus in which he underscored the
value of humanistic and literary studies during the students early years,
and yet he ultimately maintained that the study of Roman law held no
significant place in French schools. Indeed, the Anti-Tribonianus has
been called the most radical of all works issuing from the historical
school of law and an obituary for legal humanism.109 Notwithstanding
his objection to the Code of Justinian as an incomplete compilation of
Roman law, Hotman accepted a chair of Roman law at the Genevan
Academy and lectured on the very code which he had criticized so
sharply.110

105
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville, I, 45; Maag, Seminary or University? 27. In this
respect it is also possible, though less likely in light of the circumstances, that Melville
attended the lectures of Pierre Charpentier. Suspected of ethical impropriety, displeased
with his failure to fulfill his teaching responsibilities, and dissatisfied with his success as
a lecturer, the Genevan magistrates eventually dismissed Charpentier on 23 January
1570.
106
Melville, JMAD, 42; Maag, Seminary or University? 48.
107
Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship Language, Law and History in
the French Renaissance, 106107; Linton C. Stevens, The Contribution of French Jurists
to the Humanism of the Renaissance, Studies in the Renaissance, I (1954), 101.
108
Ibid., 107109.
109
Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship Language, Law and History in
the French Renaissance, 109.
110
Stevens, The Contribution of French Jurists to the Humanism of the Renaissance,
101102; Kelley, Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship Language, Law and
122 chapter four

The work for which Hotman is most well known, the Francogallia,
was published in Geneva in 1573 in the wake of the events of the St
Bartholomews Day massacres. Like Buchanan, who began to compose
the first draft of his 1579 De iure regni in 1567, Hotman probably began
writing the Francogallia in that same year and subsequently expanded it
in 1576 and 1586.111 Compelled to formulate the precise nature and lim-
its of legitimate government and the conditions under which political
resistance is warranted, the Francogallia has been frequently grouped
together with such resistance literature as Theodore Bezas 1574 Du droit
des magistrats and the 1579 Vindiciae contra tyrannos usually attributed
to Philippe Duplessis-Mornay.112 The work has been so strongly identi-
fied with French Protestantism that it has been called le manifeste poli-
tique des huguenots.113 Although the Francogallia exhibits a decidedly
different emphasis to the political doctrines of obligation found in many
of the works of Calvinist resistance theory, because of the radical nature
of their political theories, Hotman, Beza, and Duplessis-Mornay have
been disparagingly labeled the monarchomach triumvirs or the three
king-killers.114

History in the French Renaissance, 109. Cf. also Pierre Mesnard, Franois Hotman
(15241590) et le complexe de Tribonien, Bulletin de la Socit de lhistoire du protes-
tantisme franais, 101 (1955), 117137; David Baird Smith, Franois Hotman, Scottish
Historical Review, 13 (Jul., 1916), 328365.
111
Ralph E. Giesey and J.H.M. Salmon, Editors Introduction in Ralph E. Giesey
and J.H.M. Salmon (ed. and trans.), Francogallia (Cambridge, 1972), 4, 7, 3852, 8190,
99107. Cf. Ralph E. Giesey, When and Why Hotman Wrote the Francogallia,
Bibliothque dhumanisme et renaissance, 29 (1967), 581611.
112
Scott M. Manetsch, Theodore Beza and the Quest for Peace in France, 15721598
(Leiden, 2000), 6365; Giesey and Salmon, Editors Introduction, 4; Borgeaud, Histoire
LUniversit de Genve, 131; Roger A. Mason and Martin S. Smith Introduction in
Roger A. Mason and Martin S. Smith (eds. and trans.), A Dialogue on the Law of Kingship
among the Scots (Aldershot, 2004), xlvi. Other Calvinist treatises often associated with
these works are Buchanans 1579 De iure regni apud Scotos dialogus, the 1581 Apology of
the Prince of Orange, John Knoxs 1558 First Blast and Lambert Daneaus 1575 Ad Petri
Carpenterii Petri Fabri responsio. Hubert Languet may have contributed to Duplessis-
Mornays Vindiciae, as well as to the Apology of the Prince of Orange. In addition to
Duplessis-Mornay and Languet, Johan Junius de Jonge has been suggested as the author
of the Vindiciae. On the authorship of the Vindiciae see Ernest Barker, The Authorship
of the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos, Cambridge Historical Journal, 3:2 (1930), 164181;
Derek Visser, Junius: the Author of the Vindiciae contra Tyrannos? Tijdschrift voor
Geschiedenis, 84 (1971), 510525.
113
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 131.
114
Giesey and Salmon, Editors Introduction, 5; Manetsch, Theodore Beza and
the Quest for Peace in France, 15721598, 6364; Ralph E. Giesey, The Monar
chomachTriumvirs: Hotman, Beza and Mornay, BHR, 32 (1970), 4156; Donald
R. Kelley, Franois Hotman: A Revolutionarys Ordeal (Princeton, 1973), 227263. On
Calvinist resistance theories see Robert M. Kingdon, Calvinism and resistance theory,
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 123

Hotmans Francogallia was an influential treatise with which Melville


would have been familiar and which constituted an important part of
Genevas political and intellectual milieu. Melvilles avid interest in polit-
ical affairs as evidenced by his numerous political epigrams and partici-
pation in ecclesiastical politics throughout his career in Scotland from
his return in 1574 until his exile in 1611 was first nurtured in Geneva
where Hotmans treatise was an important, provocative, and thoughtful
example of the developing political theories of the Huguenots of the
1570s.115 Not only is it highly probable that Melville read this treatise,
but, given the political climate of Geneva as indicated by Bezas own
1574 Du droit des magistrats and Daneaus 1575 Ad Petri Carpenterii
Petri Fabri responsio, it is equally likely that Melville had many discus-
sions with his fellow humanists and perhaps even Hotman himself over
the principles embodied in the Francogallia. Given his relationship with
other scholars, such as Buchanan, Portus, Bertram, and Scaliger, with
whom he had freely offered either critical suggestions to improve their
work or complimentary poetic epigrams, the possibility of Melvilles
direct interaction with Hotman on the Francogallia remains distinct.
Whereas other humanists such as Hercules Rollock had felt uncomfort-
able, for instance, engaging George Buchanan, Melville never seems to
have been daunted by the intellectual stature or reputation of the human-
ists with whom he interacted. On the contrary, his supreme confidence
in his own intellectual abilities led him to engage these fellow scholars as
an equal who was capable of improving their work or offering his own
scholarly approbation and praise.
While at best we may argue for the high probability that Melville read
and perhaps even discussed the Francogallia with Hotman himself, there
is evidence of a direct link between Melvilles own 1574 Carmen Mosis

15501580 in J.H. Burns (ed.), The Cambridge History of Political Thought 14501700
(Cambridge, 1996), 193218; The Political Resistance of the Calvinists in France and
the Low Countries, Church History, 27 (1958), 316; Quentin Skinner, The Origins of
the Calvinist Theory of Revolution in Barbara C. Malament (ed.), After the Reformation
(Manchester, 1980), 309330; Paul Moussiegt, Hotman et Du Plessis-Mornay, Thories
Politiques des Rforms au XVI Sicle (Geneva, 1970).
115
Johnston, Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum, Vol. II, 108109, 111112, 117. The follow-
ing epigrams by Melville are illustrative of not merely his avid political interests but his
participation in the Huguenot propaganda movement: Ad novissimos Galli Martyres,
1572, Gasper Colinius, Galliarum Thlassiarcha, Pax Gallica, Ad Carolum Galliarum
tyrannum, Sanguinis inusitato fluxu pereuntem, Mari regin Scotorum Epitaphium,
Classicum, Tyrannus, and Ad Regem & Reginam. On the Huguenot propaganda move-
ment see Robert Kingdon, Myths about the St Bartholomews Day Massacres, 15721576
(Cambridge, MA, 1988).
124 chapter four

and Hotmans 1573 De furoribus Gallicis, which was later revised and
republished in 1575 under the title Gasparis Colinii Castellonii magni
quondam Franciae amiralii vita. In this work Hotman, like Melville after
him, portrayed Gaspard de Coligny as a devout Protestant martyr. The
thematic similarities suggest that Melville was familiar with Hotmans
De furoribus Gallicis and may even have circulated his own elegiac verse
on Coligny among his fellow humanists in Geneva. In the same year that
Hotman published De furoribus Gallicis, Melville, along with Theodore
Beza and others in Geneva, contributed a poem on Coligny from the
Carmen Mosis to the small pamphlet Epicedia illustri heroi Caspari
Colinio [] poetis decantata and thereby became involved in the
Huguenot propaganda movement.116
The decided humanistic emphasis of Melvilles labors and studies in
Geneva during the years 15691574 was further enhanced by the theo-
logical course of study he simultaneously pursued. From 15701572 the
city of Geneva became the beneficiary of three theologians, who not
only elevated the reputation of the city and Academy but became
colleagues of Melville and undoubtedly shaped the contours of his
theology. After serving as a junior and senior fellow at Trinity College,
Cambridge, Walter Travers was forced out of his position by John
Whitgift, Master of the college, and traveled to Geneva where he became
good friends with Beza.117 At the same time, Thomas Cartwright had
been deprived of the Lady Margaret Chair of Divinity at the University
of Cambridge and in June 1571 came to Geneva where he was asked by
the Genevan ministers to deliver lectures in theology twice a week.118

116
Steven John Reid, Early Polemic by Andrew Melville: The Carmen Mosis (1574)
and the St Bartholomews Day Massacres, Renaissance and Reformation, 30.4 (Fall,
2006/2007), 73; Epicedia illustri heroi Caspari Colignio, Colignii comiti, Castilionis dom-
ino, magno Galliarum thallasiatchae variis linguis a doctis piisque poetis decantata
(Geneva, 1573), GLN2464.
117
S. J. Knox, Walter Travers: Paragon of Elizabethan Puritanism (London, 1962), 27;
Thomas Fuller, The Church History of Britain Vol. III (London, 1868), 29. In October
1582, Beza in writing Travers referred to him as mi carissime frater and their relation-
ship as amicitia vetus nostra.
118
On Cartwright see Patrick Collinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (London,
1967); Leonard J. Trinterud (ed.), Elizabethan Puritanism (Oxford, 1971); Peter Lake,
Anglicans and Puritans? Presbyterianism and English Conformist Thought from Whitgift
to Hooker (London, 1988); C. G. Bolam, The English Presbyterians: From Elizabethan
Puritanism to Modern Unitarianism (London, 1968); John K. Luoma, Who Owns the
Fathers? Hooker and Cartwright on the Authority of the Primitive Church, SCJ, 8 (Oct.,
1977): 4559; The Primitive Church as a Normative Principle in the Theology of the
Sixteenth Century: The Anglican-Puritan Debate over Church Polity as Represented by
Richard Hooker and Thomas Cartwright, (PhD Dissertation, Hartford Seminary
Foundation, 1974).
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 125

Beza, who once remarked of Cartwright that the sun does not see a
more learned man, had undoubtedly been influential in Cartwrights
appointment.119 Approved by the Council, Cartwright began to lecture
at a vital period in the early years of the Academy when it had been beset
by devastating losses due to the plague.120 Cartwright himself had been
weakened by it but was, nevertheless, able to render valuable service to
the schola publica where, presumably, Melville attended his public lec-
tures.121 Although Beza was unable to find a suitable post for Travers, the
English divine was able to devote himself to the composition of his mag-
num opus published in 1574, entitled Ecclesiasticae disciplinae et anglica-
nae ecclesiae ab illa aberrationis, plena e verbo dei, & dilucida explicatio.122
Cartwright had apparently written the preface to Travers Ecclesiasticae
disciplinae explicatio where he gave his wholehearted approbation to
the work, commending it as a jewel and a treasure to the people of
England.123
James Melville, in his cursory account of his uncles associates and
teachers, did not include either Cartwright or Travers. However, their
outspoken advocacy of Presbyterianism, their ecclesiastical writings,
and their subsequent invitation at the recommendation of Melville in
1580 to accept the chairs in biblical interpretation at St Andrews suggest
that Melville had audited Cartwrights lectures and was acquainted with
their published theological writings. The letter of invitation written to
both men also indicates Melvilles personal and academic esteem for

119
Hastings Robinson (ed.), The Zurich Letters, Comprising the Correspondence of
Several English Bishops and Others, with some of the Helvetian Reformers during the Early
Part of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth (Cambridge, 1842), 313.
120
Borgeaud, Cartwright and Melville at the University of Geneva, 15691574, 285;
Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 107108, 118123; Pearson, Thomas Cartwright and
Elizabethan Puritanism 15351603, 47. The Register of the Council for 28 June 1571
reads: Anglois ministre. Les ministres ayant fait advertir quil y a icy un Anglois, excel-
lent thologien, lequel ils ont pri de faire quelques leons en thlogie, le jeudi et le
vendredi, ce quil leur a promis faire gratuitement, sil est trouv bon par Messieurs,
arrest quon laprouve.
121
Pearson, Thomas Cartwright and Elizabethan Puritanism 15351603, 49.
122
Walter Travers, Ecclesiasticae disciplinae et Anglicanae ecclesiae ab illa aberrationis,
plena E Verbo Dei, & dilucida explicatio (Rupelae, 1574). Although Rupelae or La
Rochelle is given as the place of publication, it is very likely that it was not published
there but rather in Heidelberg. Cf. Knox, Walter Travers: Paragon of Elizabethan
Puritanism, 2930; A. F. Johnson, Books Printed at Heidelberg for Thomas Cartwright,
The Library: Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, series 5, 2 (Mar., 1948),
284286.
123
Thomas Cartwright, Prfatio ad lectorem in Ecclesiasticae disciplinae explica-
tio; Knox, Walter Travers: Paragon of Elizabethan Puritanism, 29.
126 chapter four

their singular erudition and piety.124 While such praise and flattery was
customary among sixteenth-century humanists, especially when it was
part of an academic recruiting effort, such encomiums were, neverthe-
less, derived from Melvilles personal experience in Geneva as a col-
league, auditor, and friend. We do know that Melville read and approved
of Travers treatise and Cartwrights preface as indicated by his presenta-
tion of it to his close friend and colleague Alexander Arbuthnot, princi-
pal of Kings College, Aberdeen.125 Just as its Presbyterian principles
resonated with the young Scot, so its Latin elegance and classical
references possessed a powerful appeal to the humanists literary
sensibilities.126
The third member of this theological triumvirate to arrive in Geneva
during these years was Lambert Daneau.127 A former student at the
Academy and a French Reformed minister in Gien from 15601572,
Daneaus arrival following the St Bartholomews Day massacres brought
an experienced cleric to the canton and a theologian who could assist
Beza in his lecturing.128 Prior to his arrival in Geneva, Daneau had stud-
ied in Paris at the Collge Royal under Adrian Turnbe where he acquired
the philological and critical methods developed by the humanists.
Following his time in Paris he traveled first to Orlans where from
15531557 he studied civil law and subsequently to Bourges where from
15581559 he continued his legal studies.129 Leaving Bourges, he traveled
to Geneva to hear Calvin, and in 1560 he received a call to serve as min-
ister in Gien.130

124
Fuller, The Church History of Britain Vol. III, 140141; Gordon Donaldson,
Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England, 15848, Records of the Scottish Church History
Society, 14 (1963), 67; Knox, Walter Travers: Paragon of Elizabethan Puritanism, 52;
Mullinger, The University of Cambridge, 366.
125
Pearson, Thomas Cartwright and Elizabethan Puritanism 15351603, 53, 142.
126
John Pentland Mahaffy, An Epoch in Irish History: Trinity College, Dublin: Its
Foundation and Early Fortunes 15911660 (London, 1903), 84; Knox, Walter Travers:
Paragon of Elizabethan Puritanism, 3132.
127
On Daneau see Olivier Fatio, Mthode et Thologie: Lambert Daneau et les Dbuts
de la Scolastique Rforme (Genve, 1976); Christoph Strohm, Ethik im frhen
Calvinismus: humanistische Einflsse, Philosophische, Juristische und Theologische
Argumentationen sowie Mentalittsgeschichtliche Aspekte am Beispiel des Calvin-Schlers
Lambertus Danaeus (Berlin, 1996).
128
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 222; Fatio and Labarthe (eds.),
Registres de la Compagnie des Pasteurs de Genve, III, 90; Maag, Seminary or University?
4243; Fatio, Mthode et Thologie, 514. Fatio identifies 1562 as the year Daneau began
his ministry at Gien.
129
Fatio, Mthode et Thologie, 1; Fatio and Labarthe (eds.), Registres de la Compagnie
des Pasteurs de Genve, III, 90.
130
Fatio and Labarthe (eds.), Registres de la Compagnie des Pasteurs de Genve, III, 90.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 127

Received as a habitant of Geneva on 29 September and examined by


la Compagnie on 11 October 1572, Daneau was placed not far from the
town in the bucolic parish of Vandoeuvres where he served as minister
for two years. In June 1574 he was relocated from Vandoeuvres to the
city parish of Saint Pierre where he could more easily assist Beza in
teaching theology at the Academy.131 Due to health problems, he was
unable to continue in both capacities as a lecturer and a preacher and
in 1576 la Compagnie released him from his ministerial responsibilities.
At that time Daneau became the first professor of theology in the
Genevan Academy who was not also laboring as a minister of a local
congregation.
A prolific author, Daneau wrote on a whole host of subjects from
games of chance, witchcraft, and physics to Christian friendship, danc-
ing, geography, fashion, and clothing. He wrote commentaries on
Augustines Enchiridion and On heresies as well as biblical commentaries
on Philemon, I Timothy, and the Minor Prophets. He wrote treatises on
the Lords Supper, the Antichrist, the situations in which a Christian
may lawfully bear arms, and a summary of Peter Lombards Sentences.132
As Bezas colleague, there is a strong likelihood that Melville knew
Daneau and attended his lectures. Although James Melville makes no
mention of his uncle having enjoyed his personal acquaintance or
audited his lectures, McCrie maintains that Melville did, in fact, culti-
vate a relationship with Daneau.133 While the extant evidence to support
this contention is admittedly limited, the cumulative consideration of
the success and influence of Daneaus lecturing, Melvilles association
with Beza whom Daneau assisted and the Scots own enthusiastic devo-
tion to the study of theology, as well as his subsequent praise of Dani
immortalia dicta in his poem Epitaphium Jacobi Lindesii, written in
1580 suggest that he, in fact, personally knew Daneau and had audited
his theological lectures.134
During Melvilles time in Geneva, he established relationships with a
number of humanists who subsequently distinguished themselves in the

Ibid., 138; Maag, Seminary or University? 43.


131

Maag, Seminary or University? 43, 45. For an exhaustive account of Daneaus pub-
132

lications see Bibliographie des Oeuvres de Daneau in Fatio, Mthode et Thologie,


1105.
133
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 41.
134
Henry Martyn Baird, Theodore Beza The Counsellor of the French Reformation
15191605 (New York, 1899), 326327; Knox, Walter Travers: Paragon of Elizabethan
Puritanism, 28; Melville, Epitaphium Jacobi Lindesii, qui obit Geneva, 17 Cal. Iul. 1580
in Arthur Johnston (ed.), Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum, 123.
128 chapter four

literary world of the sixteenth century and who even honored the Scot
with their generous judgments and neo-Latin poetry.135 The celebrated
German humanist, poet, and musician, Paulus Melissus, met Melville in
Geneva during his stay from 1568 to the beginning of 1571 and was so
impressed by the young classical scholar that he composed a poem con-
cerning Julius Caesar Scaliger addressed Ad Andr. Melvinum
Celurcanum.136 The German Pliadist137 composed similar poems
addressed to and in honor of such humanists and Genevan worthies as
Franois Portus,138 Henri Estienne,139 Joseph Scaliger,140 and Franois
Hotman,141 as well as George Buchanan142 and Pierre Ronsard.143 During
his time in Geneva he lived near Beza and Estienne and became quite

135
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 41.
136
Pierre de Nolhac, Un Pote Rhnan Ami de la Pliade: Paul Melissus (Paris,
1923),27; Melissi schediasmatum poeticorum, pars tertia. Secundo recognita, atque edita
(Paris, 1586), liber vii, 226; James E. Phillips, Elizabeth I as a Latin Poet: An Epigram on
Paul Melissus, Renaissance News, 16 (Win., 1963), 289, 291. Celurcanum means an
inhabitant of Montrose. Cf. McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 44. Melissus was also
known by his given name Paul Schede or Schedius. cf also Harold G. Carlson, Classical
Pseudonyms of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in Germany, German Quarterly,
13 (Jan., 1940), 17. The earliest biographical account may be found in Jean-Jacques
Boissard, Icones quinquaginta virorum illustrium (Frankfort, 15971599).
137
J. A. van Dorsten, Poets, Patrons, and Professors: Sir Philip Sidney, Daniel Rogers,
and the Leiden Humanists (Leiden and London, 1962), 50.
138
Melissus wrote numerous poems to Franois Portus who, in turn, composed his
own replies. They were published in Melissi Schediasmata Poetica, (Frankfort, 1574),
8586, 9597, 137139, 145, 155156, 162. The following titles are illustrative of their
poetry: Pro Francisco Porto Febricitante; Ad Fr. Portvm Cretensem; Ad Franciscvm
Portvm Cretensem; Fr. Porti Responsvm; Porti Responsvm; Fr. Porto Cretensi; Portus
Respondet; Ad Franciscvm Portvm; and Portvs ad P. Melissvm.
139
Melissus also wrote numerous poems to Henri Estienne who, in turn, responded
with his own poetry. These poems were collected and published in Paulus Melis
sus, Melissi Schediasmata Poetica, 100102, 145147, 157, 159162. The following
titles include: Ad Henricvm Stephanvm; Parisiensem; In Francofordiensis Emporii
Encomium, ab H. Stephano Scriptum; H. Stephanvs Ad P. Melissvm, E Pago Qvodam
proximo ei in quo ille degebat; Melissi Responsvm Ex temporal; H. Stephanvs Ad endem
P. Melissum, ex eodem pago, postriedie; Respons. Melissi; P. Melissi Hendecasyll;
Ad Henricum Stephanum; Henr. Stephani Hendecasyll; quibus Paulo Melisso respondet,
and Melissi Anacreontevm, Qvo Per replicationem H. Stephano respondetur.
140
Melissus and Scaliger exchanged poems. Cf. Paulus Melissus, Ad Iosephvm
Scaligerum Iulij Csaris F and Iosephvs Scaliger Ivlii Cs. F. ad Paulum Melissum, potam
laureatum in Melissi Schediasmata Poetica, 164167.
141
Paulus Melissus, In Fran. Hotomani ivrisconsulti Francogalliam in Melissi
Schediasmata Poetica, 102103.
142
Paulus Melissus, Ad Georgivm Bvchananum Scotum in Melissi Schediasmata
Poetica, 810.
143
Paulus Melissus, Ad Petrvm Ronsardvm Eq. Vindocinum in Melissi Schediasmata
Poetica, 3133.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 129

close with the latter as Estiennes letters indicate. He also attended the
Greek lectures of Portus and continued the revision of his Latin transla-
tion of Greek epigrams.144
Born in 1539 in Melrichstadt, Franconia, Melissus early in his life
established himself as a Greek and Latin poet and musician, publishing
several volumes of Latin poetry and producing a German metrical trans-
lation of the Psalms modeled after the edition produced by Beza and
Marot. In 1564 Emperor Maximilian II named Melissus poet laureate
and in 1579 during a stint in Italy he received the honorific titles Comes
Palatinus, Eques auratus, & Civis Romanus (Count Palatinus, Golden
Knight, and Citizen of Rome). He spent time in Paris with numerous
members of the Pliade such as Ronsard and Dorat during 1567 and,
like the former, was particularly influenced by the Catullan style of
poetry of Giovanni Pontano.145 By 1586 he was serving the Elector
Palatine at Heidelberg where he continued in this capacity until his
death in 1602. More well-known than his poem addressed to Melville is
Melissus 1580 Latin poem entitled Ad Elisabetham Angliae, Franciae,
Hiberniae Reginam, in which he ingratiated himself to Elizabeth I.146
Although the historical records at this point are limited, it is not dif-
ficult, in light of their mutual classical tastes, their love of Greek and
Latin literature, and their cultivation of the art of neo-Latin poetry, to
understand how Melville and Melissus would have had an instant rap-
port and common bond as humanists and advocates of bonae litterae.
They moved in the same humanistic literary circles in Geneva, enjoying
common friendships and auditing the same course of lectures.147 A cur-
sory examination of the Latin poetry exchanged between Melissus and
Portus, Estienne, and Scaliger on the one hand and the poetry written by
the German humanist to Hotman, Buchanan, and Melville, indicates

144
Pierre de Nolhac, Un Pote Rhnan Ami de la Pliade: Paul Melissus (Paris, 1923),
2728.
145
Walther Ludwig, The Origin and Development of the Catullan Style in Neo-Latin
Poetry in Peter Godman and Oswyn Murray (eds.), Latin Poetry and the Classical
Tradition: Essays in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Oxford, 1990), 189, 196; Mary
Morrison, Ronsard and Catullus: The Influence of the Teaching of Marc-Antoine
de Muret, BHR, 18 (1956), 271; Phillips, Elizabeth I as a Latin Poet: An Epigram on
Paul Melissus, 291.
146
Phillips, Elizabeth I as a Latin Poet: An Epigram on Paul Melissus, 291; Nolhac,
Un Pote Rhnan Ami de la Pliade: Paul Melissus, 824. Cf. Ad Auroram in Melissi
Schediasmata Poetica (Paris, 1586) reprinted in van Dorsten, Poets, Patrons, and
Professors: Sir Philip Sidney, Daniel Rogers, and the Leiden Humanists, 212.
147
Nolhac, Un Pote Rhnan Ami de la Pliade: Paul Melissus, 28.
130 chapter four

that the Scot was a member of a literary circle of humanists in Geneva


and suggests that he was well acquainted with the poeta laureatus
Melissus himself.
Another humanist with whom Melville was associated during his
time in Geneva was the learned printer and classical scholar Henri
Estienne.148 Having established himself at an early age as a hellniste de
la valeur (a Hellenist of worth) who had studied under the renowned
Greek scholars Pierre Dans, Jacques Toussain, and Adrien Turnbe,
Estienne in 1551 joined his father Robert, the illustrious Renaissance
printer, in Geneva where the latter had set up his printing press after
leaving Paris due to persecution from the Sorbonne.149 From 1546
Estienne had assisted his father in the work of his printing-house, even
collating for him a manuscript of Dionysius of Halicarnassus. After a
trip to Italy in 1552, in 1554 he traveled to Paris where in the printing-
house which his father had abandoned he published a first edition of
Anacron translated in Latin verse.150 In 1555 he returned to Geneva
where he established his own printing-house. When his father Robert
died in 1559, he inherited his printing-house and was officially recog-
nized as his successor. In 1565 he published his first treatise in French,
entitled Trait de la conformit du langage franois avec le grec, and
in 1566 he published his well-known lApologie pour Hrodote.151 With
the publication in 1572 of the Thesaurus lingu Grc, Estienne con-
firmed his place among the leading humanists and printers of the six-
teenth century.152 As a connoisseur of classical literature, Estienne was
undoubtedly impressed with Melvilles linguistic and poetic abilities
seen particularly in the humanists 1574 Carmen Mosis and other poetic
effusions. Perhaps these literary productions were the occasion which
led him to heap lavish praise upon the young Scot as a cultivator of ele-
gant Latin verse.153

148
On Estienne see Clment, Henri Estienne et Son Oeuvre Franais; Bndicte
Boudou, La Potique dHenri Estienne BHR, 52:3 (1990), 571592; Henri Estienne
diteur d Historiens ou Comment crie l Histoire? Nouvelle Revue du Seizime sicle,
19:1 (2001), 3750; Mars et Les Muses dans lApologie pour Hrodote dHenri Estienne
(Genve, 2000).
149
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 69; Boudou, Mars et Les Muses dans
lApologie pour Hrodote dHenri Estienne, 2122; Clment, Henri Estienne et Son
Oeuvre Franais, 2.
150
Boudou, Mars et Les Muses dans lApologie pour Hrodote dHenri Estienne, 22.
151
Clment, Henri Estienne et Son Oeuvre Franais, 23.
152
Boudou, Mars et Les Muses dans lApologie pour Hrodote dHenri Estienne, 7.
153
Isaac Casaubon, Isaaci Casauboni Epistol (Rotterdam, 1709), 129; McCrie, Life of
Andrew Melville I, 41.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 131

Joseph Justus Scaliger

Without question the most celebrated scholar of the sixteenth century


under whom Melville studied in Geneva and cultivated an acquaintance
was Joseph Justus Scaliger or Joseph della Scala. Scaliger has been called
by general consent the greatest scholar of the sixteenth century,154 le
prince des lettrs de son temps (the prince of letters of his time)155 or
princeps litteratorum, (the prince of literature)156 the most learned
of mortals,157 and the greatest scholar of modern timesif not indeed
of all time.158 In his own day, Scaliger was judged to be the greatest
scholar of his age by friend and foe alike as indicated by the concurrence
of such opposing scholars as Isaac Casaubon and Cesare Baronio.159
Indeed, Isaac Casaubon referred to Scaliger along with Beza and Jacques-
Auguste de Thou as the three suns of the learned world.160
Born in 1540 and educated for three years at the Collge de Guyenne
at Bordeaux where Michel de Montaigne had been a student and the
humanists George Buchanan and Marc-Antoine Muret had taught,
Scaliger was educated primarily by his father Julius Caesar Scaliger, one
of the most prolific and wide-ranging scholars of the sixteenth cen-
tury.161 Julius Caesar Scaliger had first established his literary reputation
in 1531 when he published his critique of Erasmus 1528 Ciceronianus.162
In 1540 he significantly enhanced his reputation as a Latinist by publish-
ing an innovative and influential work on Latin grammatical theory
entitled De causis latinae linguae.163 As an accomplished and elegant

Anthony T. Grafton, Joseph Scaligers Edition of Catullus (1577) and the Traditions
154

of Textual Criticism in the Renaissance, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes,
38 (1975), 156.
155
Geisendorf, LUniversit de Genve 15591959, 48.
156
Warren E. Blake, Joseph Justus Scaliger, Classical Journal, 36 (Nov., 1940), 91.
157
Hugh Nibley, New Light on Scaliger, CJ, (Feb., 1942), 292.
158
George W. Robinson, Joseph Scaligers Estimates of Greek and Latin Authors,
Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 29 (1918), 133.
159
Anthony T. Grafton, Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship
Vol. I Textual Criticism and Exegesis (Oxford, 1983), 1.
160
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 35.
161
Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, 101. On Julius Caesar Scaliger see Vernon Hall, Jr. The
Preface to Scaligers Poetices Libri Septem, Modern Language Notes, 60 (Nov., 1945),
447453; David Marsh, Review: Julius Caesar Scaligers Poetics, Journal of the History
of Ideas, 65 (Oct., 2004), 667676; Myriam Billanovich, Benedetto Bordon e Giulio
Cesare Scaligero, Italia Medioevale e Umanistica, 11 (1963), 187256.
162
Vernon Hall, Jr. Life of Julius Caesar Scaliger (14841558), Transactions of the
American Philosophical Society, New Ser., 40:2 (1950), 99. The title of this work was Pro
M. Tullio Cicerone, contra Desiderium Erasmum Roterodamum.
163
Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, 101.
132 chapter four

Latinist, he taught Joseph at an early age to write both Latin prose and
verse and cultivated in him a taste for the art of neo-Latin poetry. He
gave his son the daily assignment of composing a brief piece of Latin
rhetoric and dictated to him his own Latin verses. Indeed, when Joseph
was less than seventeen years old, he composed his first Latin tragedy on
the mythical figure Oedipus.164 In contrast to his father who believed in
the superiority of classical Latin to Greek, Joseph was captivated by the
Greek language and maintained that they who know not Greek, know
nothing.165 Following his fathers death in 1558, Scaliger went to Paris to
study Greek at the Collge Royal under Adrian Turnbe. Finding his
own knowledge of Greek inadequate, he discontinued attending
Turnbes lectures and taught himself the language, claiming to have
learned Homer in twenty-one days and the other Greek poets within
four months.166 While he undoubtedly learned to read and write Greek
poetry, the alleged speed at which he accomplished this task is doubtful
and his claim never to have consulted a Greek lexicon or grammar is
equally unlikely.167 Indeed, when one considers Scaligers own singular
vanity and egotism, as well as the fact that his father bred in him an air
of aristocratic superiority which had no basis in reality, these claims
amount to, at best, implausible hyperbole.168
In addition to Greek, Scaliger claimed to have taught himself Hebrew,
apparently learning the language by comparing the Hebrew text with the
text of the Vulgate. Encouraged in the study of the Oriental languages in
1562 by Guillaume Postel, he learned the language so well that when he
encountered Jews in Italy and southern France he is said to have freely

164
George W. Robinson (trans.), Autobiography of Joseph Scaliger with Autobio
graphical Selections from his Letters his Testament and the Funeral Orations by Daniel
Heinsius and Dominicus Baudius (Cambridge, 1927), 30.
165
Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, 102; Robinson, Autobiography of Joseph Scaliger, 31.
166
Robinson, Autobiography of Joseph Scaliger, 3031. Scaliger wrote: I learned
grammar exclusively from observation of the relation of Homers words to each other;
indeed, I made my own grammar of the poetic dialect as I went along. I devoured all the
other Greek poets within four months.
167
Grafton, Joseph Scaligers Edition of Catullus (1577) and the Traditions of Textual
Criticism in the Renaissance, 155. As one writer has remarked of his not having con-
sulted a lexicon or grammar, It is not easy to say why this should be matter for boasting,
or what other credit could accrue to him from it, than that of having given himself much
unnecessary trouble.
168
Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, 102; Joseph Scaligers Edition of Catullus (1577) and the
Traditions of Textual Criticism in the Renaissance, 155; Blake, Joseph Justus Scaliger,
83. Julius Caesar Scaliger lied to his son, telling him that he was a great aristocrat of the
della Scalas of Verona. Cf. also Julia Haig Gaisser, Catullus and his Renaissance Readers
(Oxford, 1993), 179.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 133

conversed with them in Ancient Hebrew.169 Although the extent of


Scaligers knowledge of Arabic has been debated, he is reported to have
learned Persian, Syriac, Aramaic, English and Russian in addition to
Greek and Hebrew. In typical Renaissance polymath fashion, he applied
himself to the fields of astronomy and mathematics, mastering them
and providing at least some basis for the high estimate of his abilities
offered by contemporary and subsequent scholars.170
Scaligers two major fields of study were classical philology and his-
torical chronology. His passion for classical philology led him to devote
the first half of his career to the field of textual criticism.171 In 1565 he
published his first work on textual criticism, entitled Coniectanea, on
Varros De lingua latina. In this work Scaliger provided not only an exe-
getical and text-critical commentary on Varro but he indulged in exten-
sive digressions, correcting and explicating a diverse body of Greek and
Latin writings. This work firmly established him as a master of Latin
textual criticism and an accomplished critic of Greek poetry. He endea-
vored to improve the classical culture of sixteenth-century Europe by
correcting, emending, and replacing portions of original Greek texts
which had been lost. By immersing himself in Varro, he endeavored to
improve his own ability to write Latin verse and imitate the poetic style
of the Roman authors of the second century BC. In his efforts to com-
bine classical and ancient near-eastern philology, he exhibited his own
encyclopedic knowledge and ingenuity in the work of textual restora-
tion.172 In 1583 he published his De emendatione temporum or Treatise
on the Correction of Chronology in which he endeavored to gather, revise,
and coordinate the chronological systems of the Hebrews, Egyptians,
Babylonians, Ethiopians, Phoenicians, Syrians, Persians, Arabs, Greeks,
and Romans and to relate them to the recent discoveries in the field of
astronomy by Nicolaus Copernicus and Tycho Brahe. Whereas the de

Robinson, Autobiography of Joseph Scaliger, 31; Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, 104;Joseph


169

Scaligers Edition of Catullus (1577) and the Traditions of Textual Criticism in the
Renaissance, 155156; Nibley, New Light on Scaliger, 293. Nibley maintains that
Scaliger did not learn Hebrew on his own as he claimed but rather shortly after he began
his study of the language sought out instruction from experts in the field.
170
Karl H. Dannenfeldt, The Renaissance Humanists and the Knowledge of Arabic,
Studies in the Renaissance, 2 (1955), 112; Grafton, Joseph Scaligers Edition of Catullus
(1577) and the Traditions of Textual Criticism in the Renaissance, 156.
171
Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, 2; Joseph Scaligers Edition of Catullus (1577) and the
Traditions of Textual Criticism in the Renaissance, 156. Cf. Gaisser, Catullus and his
Renaissance Readers, 178192.
172
Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, 107108, 113, 118.
134 chapter four

emendatione temporum has been called his greatest historical work, in


1606 he published his Thesaurus temporum or Treasure House of Dates
in which he assembled and restored all of the various aspects of ancient
Oriental, Greek, and Roman chronology.173
Driven to Geneva by the French wars of religion and the horrors of
the St Bartholomews Day massacres, Scaliger arrived in the Swiss city in
September 1572.174 Although Melville appears to have first met Scaliger
in 1570 when the latter visited the city, the two humanists cultivated
their relationship during the years 15721574.175 Job Veyrat, lecturer in
arts, died in 1571, leaving a significant vacancy in the schola publica
which Scaliger himself filled for two years.176 While in Geneva, Scaliger
delivered public lectures and privately tutored pupils. As a lecturer his
audiences were small, as he himself disliked lecturing and apparently
did a rather poor job of it. His private tutoring was much more success-
ful, receiving such accolades as were given by a certain Claude Groulart
who had studied for fifteen months with him and who remarked that
hehad made more progress with Scaliger in a month than with others
in a year.177
During his time in Geneva, Scaliger formed relationships with his fel-
low humanists Beza, Estienne, and Melville among others, and their
mutual love and cultivation of neo-Latin poetry provided a basis from
which Scaliger and Melville built their friendship. Melville endeared
himself to his fellow humanist by composing a number of liminary
poems in honor of Julius Caesar Scaligers Poemata published in 1574.178

173
Grafton, Joseph Scaligers Edition of Catullus (1577) and the Traditions of Textual
Criticism in the Renaissance, 173; Blake, Joseph Justus Scaliger, 88, 90.
174
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 132.
175
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 43.
176
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 132133.
177
Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, 126.
178
Julius Caesar Scaliger, Poemata in duas partes divisa (Heidelberg, 1574); McCrie,
Life of Andrew Melville I, 4344. Melville wrote: Nobilis urbs rosei jam gaudet nomine
montis, / Qu prius a clo dicta Celurca fuit. cf. Andrew Melville, Ad Iulium Scaligerum
in Arthur Johnston (ed.), Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum hujus aevi illustrium (Amsterdam,
1637), 116117. Melville wrote: Ad Iulium Scaligerum. / Caesar, Aristoteles, Maro,
Mavors, Pallas, Apollo,/Tres sub Sole viri, tres super astra Dei, / Te genuere, vel hos
genuisti Scaliger unus / Tres sub Sole viros, tres super astra Deos. / Immo omnes Superas
unus, quos fama sacravit / Vel sub Soleviros, vel super astra Deos. Melville also wrote an
epigram in honor of both Julius Caesar and Joseph Scaliger entitled De Iulio, & Iosepho
Scaligeris: De Iulio, & Iosepho Scaligeris. / Scaliger aut pater, aut proles si carmina dic-
tat; / Scaligero solus Scaliger apta canit. / Scaligero patri par nemo, simillima proles /
Tam patri similes, quam pater ipse sibi. / Scaliger aut pater, aut proles, ambo unus, in
uno aut / Est pater in nato, aut in patre natus erit.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 135

While we cannot say for certain that Melville received private instruc-
tion from Scaliger, the combination of Scaligers reputation as a classical
scholar, their mutual literary interests, and Melvilles own insatiable
appetite for the studia humanitatis strongly suggests that he received
private instruction from him. It is a telling fact that, when Melville was
preparing to depart from Geneva in the spring of 1574, of all the people
who could have inherited his private garden at the college, Joseph
Scaliger obtained it.179 We do know that he attended Scaligers public
lectures and discussed various text-critical issues with him as indicated
by a conjectural emendation he offered him on the Latin poetry of
Marcus Manilius.180 Following their time in Geneva, Scaliger published
in Paris in 1579 an edition of five of the more difficult books on astron-
omy by Manilius, entitled Manilii quinque libros astronomicon commen-
tarius Castigationes.181 In acknowledging his debt to the Scottish
humanist, Scaliger referred to him as a learned youth when he wrote,
Andreas Melvinus Scotus, iuvenis eruditus.182 When Scaliger died
many years later in 1609, Melville referred to him as my friend the great
Scaliger and confessed that he had been deeply moved by the news of
his death.183 If indeed Scaliger were Europes premier interpreter of
classical texts, then Melvilles association with him afforded him the
opportunity to learn the critical methods he had applied in transform-
ing philology into a precise science.184
The critical methods of the humanists, which Melville evidently prac-
ticed and which Scaliger developed, were first learned in Paris under the
tutelage of Adrian Turnbe. Both Melville and Scaliger had studied
under Turnbe at the Collge Royal and had learned from him how to
recognize textual corruptions and correct them. They consequently
owed their Greek master a significant intellectual debt. Despite his

179
Borgeaud, Cartwright and Melville at the University of Geneva, 15691574, 290.
On 16 March 1574 the records recorded by the Secretary of the Council read: Joseph
Scaliger. Estant propos quil dsireroit avoir ung jardin, arrest quon luy baille celuy de
Mr Melvin, qui sen va en France, comment on dit.
180
Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, 126127; Borgeaud, Cartwright and Melville at the
University of Geneva, 15691574, 290.
181
Blake, Joseph Justus Scaliger, 88.
182
Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, 126127, 289. The full statement reads: Andreas Melvinus
Scotus, iuvenis eruditus admonuit me hic legendum esse, lapsumque diem.
183
Andrew Melville, Melvini epistolae, Special Collections, University of Edin
burgh,76.
184
Charles G. Nauert, Jr., Review: Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of
Classical Scholarship, col. I: Textual Criticism and Exegesis, Renaissance Quarterly, 38
(Spr., 1985), 107.
136 chapter four

efforts to portray himself as receiving little benefit from Turnbe,


Scaliger, in fact, drew upon his teachers methodological and substantive
insights in doing his own textual criticism. Far from the image of
Scaligers complete independence, their collaboration, seen particularly
in their discussions of various conjectures and the manuscript readings
Scaliger received from Turnbe, is confirmed by Turnebes own acknowl-
edgement of one of Scaligers emendations.185 The critical methods which
Scaliger learned from Turnbe and which he in turn developed in his
own distinctive way were undoubtedly exhibited in his public lectures
and private instruction. Melville appears to have incorporated certain
insights and methods developed by Scaliger in his own critical approach
to classical texts. For example, in Melvilles personal copy of Julius Caesar
Scaligers Poemata he included his own critical emendations of the text,
which consisted, in part, of references to those authors of antiquity
which Scaliger himself had endeavored to imitate.186

Theodore Beza

Whereas Scaliger was the most celebrated of the humanists Melville


knew and had studied under, without question the most influential
humanist in Melvilles formation during his time in Geneva was Theodore
Beza. Educated in the tradition of the studia humanitatis of the
Renaissance, Bezas careful study of the authors of antiquity enabled him
to quote extensively from them and imitate their literary style and ele-
gance.187 He himself had been profoundly shaped by humanist values
during his youth when he developed a reputation for two typically
humanist pursuits, philological study and poetic composition.188 In this
respect, Melvilles own humanistic development mirrored that of Beza.
Studying under the renowned Greek scholar Melchior Wolmar, who
himself had studied under Guillaume Bud and Jacques Lefvre dtaples
for seven years at Orlans and Bourges, Beza received an elite classical
education.189 He commenced his classical studies at Orlans in 1528 in

185
Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, 108109. Scaligers effort to conceal this fact is consistent
with his attempts to prove his fathers charade regarding the inherent superiority in abil-
ity and creativity of a della Scala.
186
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 4344.
187
Kirk Summers, Theodore Bezas Classical Library and Christian Humanism,
Archiv fr Reformationsgeschichte, 82 (1991), 194.
188
Linder, Calvinism and Humanism: The First Generation, 170.
189
Geisendorf, Thodore de Bze, 10; Summers, Theodore Bezas Classical Library
and Christian Humanism, 194.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 137

the home of Wolmar and subsequently followed him in 1530 to the


University of Bourges where he continued under his tutelage. Wolmars
influence was so profound upon the young Beza that he later celebrated
the day that he came to study at Wolmars home, 9 December 1528,
as his second birthday and regarded Wolmar as son second pre.190
He praised Wolmar as integerrimus omnium virorum (the most vir-
tuous of all men) and declared him to be more eloquent than Mercury,
Apollo, and the Graces.191
When Wolmar felt compelled for safety reasons to leave Bourges for
Tbingen in 1535, Beza was ordered by his father to return to Orlans to
continue his study of law.192 In contrast to Erasmus approach to pietas
litterata, which was the selective study of classical texts based upon their
moral value, Beza seems to have received a much broader exposure to
the literature of antiquity than most students, as indicated by his use of
such forbidden authors as Catullus, Martial, and Juvenal. Despite
Erasmus rejection of Livy as an author whose writings were morally
dubious, Beza thoroughly enjoyed the Roman historian as one of his
favorites. Indeed, in a single letter written in 1549 from Beza to Conrad
Gesner, the young humanist alluded to, cited, or incorporated passages
from Vergil, Catullus, Cicero, Pliny the Elder, Plautus, Plutarch, and
Homer, demonstrating his impressive command of the authors of antiq-
uity and his literary range as a classical scholar. Wolmar so infused Beza
with a passion for classical literature that while he was studying civil law
at Orlans he devoted the majority of his time to reading Greek and
Latin literature.193 His strongest desire as a young man was to study the

Jill Rait, Theodore Beza 15191605 in Jill Rait (ed.), Shapers of Religious
190

Traditions in Germany, Switzerland, and Poland, 15601600 (New Haven, CT, 1981),
8990; Henri Meylan, Bze et les Sodales dOrlans (15351545) in Charles Samaran
(ed.), Actes du Congres sur lancienne Universit dOrlans (Orlans, 1962), 95. Beza
wrote: Ita igitur factum ut ad te pervenirem anno Domini 1528, Nonis Decembries:
quem diem ego non aliter quam alterum natalem merito soleo celebrare.
191
Thodore de Bze, Ad Sodales, de Melchioris Volmarii, praeceptoris charissimi,
adventu in Galliam in Kirk M. Summers (ed.), A View from the Palatine: The Iuvenilia
of Thodore de Bze (Arizona, 2002), 222223. Beza wrote: At tu, Melchior, in loco
supremo / Sedens, Mercuriique Apollinisque, / Et vices Charitum supplebis unus. /
Quod si forte tua eruditione / Audita (quis enim tuam negarit / In caelum quoque tran-
siisse famam?) / Facundus veniat nepos Atlantis, / Aut Phoebus, Charitesve: tunc
manebis / Suprema nihilominus cathedra, / Et tacentibus omnibus loqueris. / Nam quis
(ni penitus caret cerebro) / Phoebo, Mercurioque, Gratiisque, / Neget Volmarium
eruditiorem?
192
Jill Rait, Theodore Beza 15191605, 90.
193
Summers, Theodore Bezas Classical Library and Christian Humanism, 195; Kirk
Summers, Theodore Bezas Reading of Catullus Classical and Modern Literature, 15
138 chapter four

poetry of classical authors and to cultivate his relationships with his fel-
low humanists. Upon returning to Orlans, he joined the sodales who
had gathered around the poet Jean de Dampierre and in this literary
circle Beza first began composing the Latin poetry which would later be
published under the title Poemata.194 When he completed his legal stud-
ies in Orlans in 1539, he moved to Paris where he intended to devote
himself more fully to humane studies and the cultivation of bonae
litterae.195
While in Paris Beza published in 1548 his Poemata or Iuvenilia, a col-
lection of epigrams, elegies, epitaphs, icones, and sylvae modeled on the
literary style of Catullus and Ovid.196 Beza hoped through publishing
this volume of poetry to win literary fame and establish himself as a
distinguished poet. Dedicated to his humanist preceptor and literary
father-figure Wolmar, the style of the Iuvenilia has been described as
that of an aristocratic Latin humanist.197 After Michel de Montaigne
read Bezas Poemata, he praised the young humanist as the greatest
French poet of the sixteenth century, maintaining that he had given to

(1995), 233245. cf. Mary Morrison, Catullus in the Neo-Latin Poetry of France before
1550, BHR, 17 (1955), 365394. Bezas devotion to the careful study of the Greek and
Latin authors of antiquity may be seen in his poem entitled Ad Bibliothecam in which
he refers to his books as Meae deliciae, meae salutes and after greeting Cicero, Catullus,
Maro, both Plinys, Cato, Columella, Varro, Livy, Plautus, Terrence, Ovid, Fabius,
Propertius, Sophocles, Isocrates, Homer, Plato, and Aristotle, he promised his precious
volumes the following: Non me unam hebdomadam procul, quid? immo / Non diem
procul unicum abfuturum. / Quid diem? Immo nec horulam, immo nullum / Punctum
temporis, ut libet pusillum.
194
Meylan, Bze et les Sodales dOrlans (15351545), 9596; Rait, Theodore Beza
15191605, 90. Cf. Fernand Aubert, Jacques Boussard, Henri Meylan, Un premier
recueil de poesies latines de Thodore de Bze, BHR, 15 (1953), 164191, 256294. The
Sodales were comprised of two groups. The older group consisted of Jean Truchon,
Pierre Bourdineau, Bazoches, Jacques Viart, Claude Framberge, Jacques, and Groslot
while the younger group was comprised of Germain, Vaillant de Guelis, Alexis Gaudin,
de Blois, Maclou Popon, Germain Audebert, and Beza.
195
Rait, Theodore Beza 15191605, 90. On Bezas poetry see Alain Dufour, Thodore
de Bze: Pote et Tholgien (Genve, 2006).
196
Anne Lake Prescott, English Writers and Bezas Latin Epigrams: The Uses and
Abuses of Poetry, SR, 21 (1974), 84; Summers, Theodore Bezas Classical Library and
Christian Humanism, 193, 201. cf. also A View from the Palatine: The Iuvenilia of
Thodore de Bze. On the use of Catullus during this period see Gaisser, Catullus and His
Renaissance Readers; Ludwig, The Origin and Development of the Catullan Style in
Neo-Latin Poetry, 183197; Morrison, Ronsard and Catullus: The Influence of the
Teaching of Marc-Antoine de Muret, 240274. For a broader consideration of the neo-
Latin literature during the first half of the sixteenth century see D. Murarasu, La posie
no-latine et la renaissance des lettres antiques en France (15001549), (Paris, 1928).
197
Natalie Zemon Davis, Peletier and Beza Part Company, SR, 11 (1964),
193194,199.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 139

poetry hir vogue and credit in our age.198 Bezas fellow humanist and
colleague Jacques Peletier regarded his Poemata to be a just exhibition of
the young scholars literary endowments and abilities.199 The appearance
of the Iuvenilia immediately solidified Bezas place within the literary
world of French humanism, as it was widely regarded as among the best
original compositions of the age.200 Despite his treatment of modern
subjects and his epigrams to modern scholars such as Erasmus, Marot,
and Rabelais, he followed the classical lyric and epigram forms of the
ancients and looked to Catullus, Propertius, Ovid, Homer, and Vergil as
literary models. In writing bucolics and pastorals, he followed Vergil
whom he called poetarum omnium principem (foremost of all the
poets). In composing elegies, he imitated Ovid while in constructing
jesting epigrams he patterned his own after Catullus and Martial.201
Thus, Beza drew upon a number of classical models for each genre in the
creative composition of his own neo-Latin poetry.
Bezas early poetry, which was written in imitation of Catullus and
Ovid, plagued his reputation for the rest of his life. Despite Erasmus and
Lefvres disapproval of the imitation of Catullus frivolous and vulgar
poetry, Beza used the ancient Roman poet as a model for his own com-
positions.202 He subsequently became entangled in controversy and was
forced in later editions of the Iuvenilia to omit the more controversial
poems altogether.203 The earliest collection of his poetry exhibited the
same tendency toward bawdy speech and obscene behavior which
Catullus own poetry embodied.204 In addition to portraying himself and

198
Linder, Calvinism and Humanism: The First Generation, 170; Prescott, English
Writers and Bezas Latin Epigrams, 84.
199
Davis, Peletier and Beza Part Company, 193, 213.
200
Summers, Theodore Bezas Classical Library and Christian Humanism, 201;
Linder, Calvinism and Humanism: The First Generation, 170.
201
Prescott, English Writers and Bezas Latin Epigrams, 8485; Summers, Theodore
Bezas Classical Library and Christian Humanism, 201202. Beza wrote: Proposueram
autem mihi in bucolicis et sylvulis quibusdam scribendis imitandum poetarum omnium
principem Virgilium, gravius nihil dum meditans; in elegiis autem Ovidium, cuius inge-
nii ubertate magis quam Tibulli munditie capiebar. In epigrammaton vero lusibus, quod
scribendi genus praecipue quadam ingenii proclivitate amplectebar, Catullum et
Martialem usque
202
Erasmus and Lefvre, of course, did not regard all of Catullus poetry as frivolous
and vulgar.
203
Morrison, Catullus in the Neo-Latin Poetry of France before 1550, 369; Ronsard
and Catullus, 241; Summers, Theodore Bezas Reading of Catullus, 242.
204
Summers, Theodore Bezas Reading of Catullus, 233, 242; Ludwig, The Origin
and Development of the Catullan Style in Neo-Latin Poetry, 190. Catullus stated that his
versus molles et iocosi were designed to produce in the reader a prurire.
140 chapter four

his friends chasing prostitutes through the streets, he employed lewd


language and grotesque figures. His poem to Candida, for example, was
not merely ribald but was regarded as salacious when he described the
meeting with Candida using the words Salve corculumque meum.
Salve mea mentula (Hello my little heart Hello, my little
soul) employing a pun on the word culum (Candidas bottom) and
a play on the diminutive of mens (mentula, which is also the word for
penis).205 Likewise, the moral quality of Bezas poetry was further
called into question with his poem ridiculing the effeminate grooms-
man.206 He later regretted these youthful poetic indulgences and, with
embarrassment, denounced them. Denying that they were, in any sense,
autobiographical, he claimed that the lines to Publia and Candida were
nothing more than fiction or what he called my poetical jests. Indeed,
in his work entitled Confessio Christianae fidei he confessed that he had
always delighted in poeticos lusus.207 In his later editions of the Iuvenilia
he explained his earlier poems as simply an exercise in imitation of the
great Roman authors of antiquity and claimed, as Martial and Catullus
had done, that his life was proba (honest).208 His religious opponents
used his poetry to besmirch his reputation, portraying him variously as
a dirty sinner with homosexual tastes, an effeminate, wanton, luxuri-
ous poet worthy of shame, the shame of Gaul, and a simoniac and
sodomite who deserved a place among the oversexed monks and reli-
gious. The Lutheran Tilemann Hesshus declared that Beza had exceeded
the filthiness of Martial and Catullus and the filthiness of all poets while
another critic declared him the most uncleane, lascivious, and shame-
lesse poet that ever lived.209

205
Prescott, English Writers and Bezas Latin Epigrams, 8586. Beza wrote: Nuper
Candidulam meam salutans, / Salve, inquam, mea mens, mei et lepores, / Corculumque
meum. Illa tunc, disertam / Cum sese cuperet mihi probare, / -Salve,inquit, mea men-
tula. O disertam / Et docto bene foeminam cerebro! / Nam si dicere corculum solemus,
/ Cur non dicere mentulam licebit?
206
Summers, Theodore Bezas Reading of Catullus, 242; Prescott, English Writers
and Bezas Latin Epigrams, 85. Bezas offending words were: Cum nequissimus omnium
sacerdos, / Urbanus tamen et facetus Hercle, / Utra sponsus erat, rogare coepit.
207
Prescott, English Writers and Bezas Latin Epigrams, 85, 87, 96, 102.
208
Summers, Theodore Bezas Classical Library and Christian Humanism, 203;
Prescott, English Writers and Bezas Latin Epigrams, 87.
209
Prescott, English Writers and Bezas Latin Epigrams, 101, 108109, 112. Beza was
described by his opponents in the following epigram: Here comes another of this vertu-
ous tribe / That profane bawdy Scurr, that Divels Scribe / Lascivious Beza, in undecent
sort / Betwixt his Candida, and Andebert.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 141

In addition to the Iuvenilia, Beza composed paraphrases of the Song


of Songs, epitaphs, epigrams, and emblemata as well as eclogues based
on the model of Vergil, a translation of Vergils death of Dido as found in
the Aeneid, and a collection of poems under the title Cato Censorius
Christianus.210 His most popular epigram celebrated the English defeat
of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and was entitled Ad serenissimam
Elizabetham angliae reginam. Beza is said to have cultivated a taste for
splenetic mockery and his anti-Catholic epigrams, such as the poem
entitled Ebrius ad mensam, which crassly depicts the functioning of
Pope Julius IIIs stomach, bladder, and lower colon, illustrate this pen-
chant. Likewise, in his epigram on the doctrine of transubstantiation,
entitled Si qua fides, Beza employs a bitter and ugly pun when he sug-
gests that instead of calling the Pope pontificem we call him carnificem
(carnifex, meaning not only maker of flesh but murderer).211
In 1550 Beza marshaled his knowledge of classical drama and pub-
lished Abraham sacrifant, the first neo-classical French play ever writ-
ten.212 Some scholars have called it the first French tragedy and have
hailed Beza as the originator of a new genre of drama, the biblical trag-
edy.213 Bezas contribution to French poetry may be seen in his comple-
tion of the French Psalter begun originally by Clment Marot.214 In 1550
Calvin had urged Beza to complete the translations of the remaining
Psalms into metrical French.215 Although Marot was the leading French
poet of his time, he had only translated 51 Psalms, leaving a substantial
amount of work for Beza to complete.216 Despite the fact that Bezas
translation of the Psalms has been generally ranked below Marots, his
translation was, nevertheless, published along with a portion of George
Buchanans Latin translation in 1566 and Jacobus Latomus metrical

Summers, Theodore Bezas Classical Library and Christian Humanism, 203.


210

Prescott, English Writers and Bezas Latin Epigrams, 9293, 100.


211
212
Summers, Theodore Bezas Classical Library and Christian Humanism, 204.
213
Rait, Theodore Beza 15191605, 101; Mario Richter, Bze, Thodore de
(15191605) in Franco Simone (ed.), Dizionario critico della letteratura francese, Vol. I
(Torino, 1972), 135.
214
Waldo Selden Pratt, The Importance of the Early French Psalter, Music Quarterly,
21 (Jan., 1935), 2627. On Marot see Anne Lake Prescott, The Reputation of Clment
Marot in Renaissance England, Studies in the Renaissance, 18 (1971), 173202;
Emmanuel Orentin Douen, Clment Marot et le Psautier huguenot (Paris, 1878).
215
Gillian Lewis, Calvinism in Geneva in the time of Calvin and of Beza
(15411605) in Menna Prestwich (ed.), International Calvinism, 15411715 (Oxford,
1985), 61; Davis, Peletier and Beza Part Company, 207.
216
Pratt, The Importance of the Early French Psalter, 2627.
142 chapter four

v ersions of Ecclesiastes and Jonah in 1588 and 1597.217 Bezas ardent love
of poetry was never fully extinguished, nor did he abandon poetic com-
position in his more mature years. Late in his life he openly confessed
his life-long love affair with poetry and his inability to walk away from
it.218 In his later years he diverted himself with that which had been the
pastime of his youth, the composition of Latin epigrams and poetic
verse.219 Similarly, his love of philology never abated throughout his long
career in Geneva. He unabashedly referred to his wife Philology and
frequently cited for philological and translation purposes such classical
authors as Euripides, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plautus, Terence, and Seneca
in his New Testament commentary.220
With the publication in 1574 of Du droit des magistrats, Beza extended
his literary contributions beyond the field of poetic composition and
bonae litterae to the area of political philosophy in general and to the
Protestant resistance literature of the second half of the sixteenth cen-
tury in particular.221 Along with Hotmans Francogallia, Duplessis-
Mornays Vindiciae contra tyrannos, and Daneaus Ad Petri Carpenterii
Petri Fabri responsio, Bezas Du droit des magistrats represents a sig-
nificant contribution to Huguenot theories of resistance, providing a
comprehensive defense of the function of lesser magistrates in resisting
tyranny.222 In 1573 the Genevan town Council rejected Bezas proposal
to publish the Latin version of his work, entitled De iure magistratuum
in subditos, fearing that it might incite rebellion in France and bring
unwanted blame upon the city.223 Indeed, Bezas radical theory of politi-
cal resistance was perceived by the French ambassador Jean de Bellivre,

217
Rait, Theodore Beza 15191605, 101; Johannes A. Gaertner, Latin Verse
Translations of the Psalms 15001620, Harvard Theological Review, 49 (Oct., 1956),
275. Bezas translation appeared with Buchanans entire translation in 1581 and 1593.
218
Linder, Calvinism and Humanism: The First Generation, 179.
219
Baird, Theodore Beza: The Counsellor of the French Reformation 15191605, 341.
220
Davis, Peletier and Beza Part Company, 204; Summers, Theodore Bezas Classi
cal Library and Christian Humanism, 200, 204; Rait, Theodore Beza 15191605, 91.
221
On Bezas political theory see A. A. van Schelven, Bezas De Iure Magistratuum in
Subditos, ARG, 45 (1954), 6283; Robert M. Kingdon, The First Expression of Theodore
Bezas Political Ideas, ARG, 46 (1955), 8899; Introduction in Du droit des magistrats
(Geneva, 1970). The full French title of Bezas work is: Du droit des magistrats sur leurs
subiets traitt tres necessaire en ce temps, pour advertir de leur devoir, tant les magistrats
que les subiets: publi par ceux de Magdebourg lan MDL: et maintenant revue et augment
de plus ieurs raisons et exemples. Psal. 2 / erudimini qui iudicatis terram.
222
Manetsch, Theodore Beza and the Quest for Peace in France, 15721598, 68.
223
van Schelven, Bezas De Iure Magistratuum in Subditos, 62; Manetsch, Theodore
Beza and the Quest for Peace in France, 15721598, 67.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 143

who remarked that among the Huguenot political treatises it was by far
the most destructive book written.224 Of course, Beza had twenty years
earlier first articulated his political ideas in his 1554 De haereticis a civili
magistratu puniendis in which he drew upon sources from classical
antiquity in support of his views and articulated in embryonic form his
theory of resistance by the lesser magistrates.225 His 1574 Du droit des
magistrats built off Hotmans Francogallia and made overt application to
Frances contemporary political situation, implicitly urging the
Huguenots to resist the Valois king. With Hotman he stressed the right
and responsibility of the Estates General in resisting tyranny but went
beyond, arguing that the lesser magistrates also shared this right and
responsibility, especially in defense of true religion.226 While we cannot
say for certain that Melville read De haereticis and Du droit des magis-
trats, his five years of study under Beza and the political milieu of the
Academy make it highly probable that he had in fact read Bezas works
and was well acquainted with his political philosophy.227
As professor of theology at the Academy from 1558 until 1599, Beza
exercised an extraordinary influence upon his auditors and Melville was
no exception.228 For five years Melville observed how the humanist
employed his philological and literary skills in the interpretation of
Scripture and in his approach to theology. Although Beza himself
regarded Aristotle as the sharpest of all the philosophers and made his
writings an essential part of the curriculum of the Academy, he should
not be viewed as the originator of neo-Scholasticism within the Reformed
tradition.229 Rather, in Bezas writings and approach to education we find
the confluence of both humanist and scholastic techniques without

Manetsch, Theodore Beza and the Quest for Peace in France, 15721598, 69.
224

Kingdon, The First Expression of Theodore Bezas Political Ideas, 88, 90, 9293,
225

9899.
226
Manetsch, Theodore Beza and the Quest for Peace in France, 15721598, 6669.
227
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 49.
228
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve, 638; Rait, Theodore Beza
15191605, 92.
229
Summers, Theodore Bezas Classical Library and Christian Humanism, 198, 200.
On Beza and scholasticism see Robert Letham, Theodore Beza: A Reassessment,
Scottish Journal of Theology, 40 (1987), 2540; Marvin W. Anderson, Theodore Beza:
Savant or Scholastic? Theologische Zeitschrift, 43:4 (1987), 320332; Jeffrey Mallinson,
Faith, Reason, and Revelation in Theodore Beza 15191605 (Oxford, 2003), 4880;Richard
Muller, Calvin and the Calvinists: Assessing Continuities and Discontinuities between
the Reformation and Orthodoxy, Calvin Theological Journal, 30 (1995), 347375; Christ
and the Decree. Christology and Predestination in Reformed Theology from Calvin to
Perkins (Grand Rapids, MI, 1986).
144 chapter four

any necessary incompatibility or tension.230 Beza made liberal use of


Aristotelian categories in his political theory and in his doctrines of the
Eucharist, the decrees of God, and the hypostatic union. In his teaching
courses on Demosthenes and Aristotle, he underscored his Renaissance
conviction of the importance of cultivating rhetorical elegance as well as
logical clarity. In his emphasis upon rhetorical and syllogistic logic, he
combined the rhetorical skills of both the Renaissance and Middle Ages
and approximated in his delivery the rhetorical ideals of Quintillian and
Cicero.231
It is quite possible that Bezas Aristotelianism served as a moderating
influence in Melvilles own approach to the philosophers writings.
We know from Melvilles early years that although Palingenius poetry
was a model of Aristotelian dissent, he nevertheless found enough merit
in Aristotles writings while at St Andrews to peruse them in the origi-
nal. While in Paris this model of dissent was undoubtedly accentuated
under one of Aristotles sharpest and most outspoken critics, Ramus
himself. However, sitting under Beza for five years and enjoying count-
less conversations with him over the authors of antiquity, he had set
before him a sophisticated model and selective appropriation of the
philosophers writings. Sadly, it is as difficult to discern the extent of
Melvilles advocacy of Bezas Aristotelianism as it is to assess with any
degree of precision his endorsement of Ramus critique of Aristotle. We
know from Melvilles subsequent academic career that he himself became
an outspoken critic of Aristotle at both Glasgow and St Andrews and
probably assumed a prominent role during the 1580s when the General
Assembly openly condemned Aristotles errors. Nevertheless, like Beza,
the conservative quality of Melvilles humanism and classicism pre-
vented him from dismissing the philosopher altogether and, in turn,
enabled him to promote a critical reading of his writings in Greek, pay-
ing particular attention to philological, grammatical, and historical
issues. While we are not able to attribute definitively Bezas influence on
Melville at this point, it remains a strong possibility that the Frenchman
influenced him in this direction.
Melville found in Beza not merely an erudite and worthy theological
successor to Calvin, but an elegant Latinist and Renaissance poet whose

230
Euan Cameron, The Impact of Humanist Values, Historical Journal, 36:4
(1993),957.
231
Summers, Theodore Bezas Classical Library and Christian Humanism, 198,201.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 145

common love of philology and poetry resonated with the young


humanist and could only have served to elevate his already high estima-
tion of the Frenchman. Whereas there is nothing in Melvilles neo-Latin
poetry comparable to Bezas controversial poem to Candida and the
poem about an effeminate groomsman, Melville did share his penchant
for splenetic mockery, as his offending poem which resulted in his four-
year imprisonment in the Tower of London vividly illustrates.232 Both
viewed poetic composition as play and indulged in it recreationally
throughout their lives. Indeed, the composition of Latin verse and epi-
grams appears to have functioned therapeutically, providing a creative
outlet through which they could express themselves in a manner
consistent with their aristocratic, humanist culture. Bezas Latin Psalm
translations, which Melville had certainly perused as they were pub-
lished together with Buchanans in 1566, were models from which the
young Scot could derive inspiration for his own paraphrases and neo-
Latin poetry.233 In light of Bezas own humanist influence during this
period in Melvilles life, it is not surprising that the young Scot published
in 1574 a number of Latin poems, most notably his Carmen Mosis and
paraphrase of Job chapter 3.234 Even in his old age, Melville, like Beza,
continued to employ the use of epigrams in his ecclesiastical polemics as
his 1620 Viri Clarissimi A. Melvini Musae illustrates.235
In Beza, Melville also found an eloquent and carefully nuanced theory
of the origin and limits of political power, as well as the rights of subjects
to resist tyranny. In conjunction with Hotmans Francogallia with which
Melville was most certainly familiar, Bezas Du droit des magistrats pro-
vided him with those political principles which became such a constitu-
tive part of his own political theory. Although Beza and Melville differed
in their assessment and appreciation of Ramus critical approach to
Aristotle, both remained staunch advocates of the intrinsic value of
Aristotles writings and their place in the university curriculum. Indeed,

232
Andrew Melville, Viri clarissimi A. Melvini musae et P. Adamsoni vita et palindoia
[sic] et celsae commissionis ceu delegatae potestatis regiae in causis ecclesiasticis brevis &
aperta descriptio (1620), 24.
233
James Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England (Cambridge,
2000), 58.
234
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 86. The full title is: Carmen Mosis, Ex Deuteron.
Cap. XXXII. quod ipse moriens Israli tradidit ediscendum & cantandum perpetu, latina
paraphrasi illustratum. Cui addita sunt nonnulla Epigrammata, & Iobi Cap. III. latino
carmine redditum. Andrea Melvino Scoto Avctore. Basile M.D. LXXIIII.
235
Andrew Melville, Viri Clarissimi A. Melvini Musae et P. Adamsoni Vita et Palindoia
(1620).
146 chapter four

when considered from the standpoint of the humanism of the European


Renaissance, the parallels between Beza and Melville are not superficial
but substantial and multifaceted.

Melvilles Departure

During Melvilles time in Geneva, beginning in 1569 and continuing


until 1572, repeated efforts were made by Buchanan and the Regent Mar
to persuade Henry Scrimgeour to return to Scotland to employ his
scholarly abilities in service of his homeland. Despite these repeated
pleas, Scrimgeour declined the offers and recommended in his place the
services of Melville. Alexander Young came to Geneva in 1572 bearing
letters for Scrimgeour and discovered to his delight that Melville was
residing there and teaching in the schola privata of the Academy.236 Upon
Youngs return to Scotland he brought with him not only the good news
of Melvilles prosperity in Geneva but letters from him to his brothers
Richard and James. Apparently, five years had passed since they had last
heard from him, and they feared he had died in the bloody civil wars in
France. When Young returned to Geneva a second time he brought with
him a letter written in Latin from Melvilles nephew James and letters
from his brothers urging him to return to Scotland. At this time Andrew
Polwarth, who had enrolled at St Marys College, St Andrews in 1556
and who later became minister at Paisley and dean of faculty at the
University of Glasgow, had been acquainted with Melville in Scotland
and visited Geneva with his pupil the bishop of Brechin, Alexander
Campbell. Polwarth urged Melville to return to his homeland where his
scholarly gifts could be employed in service of his country. After careful
consideration and with no desire to leave his home of five years or his
circle of humanists, Melville finally consented to the requests and deter-
mined to return to Scotland.237
As Melville was preparing to depart from Geneva in April 1574,
he received from the Academy a testimonium vitae et doctrinae.238

236
Durkan, Henry Scrimgeour, Renaissance Bookman, 20.
237
Melville, JMAD, 30, 42; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 5253; James Maitland
Anderson (ed.), Early Records of the University of St Andrews (Edinburgh, 1926), 262;
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 271.
238
Letter of Thodore de Bze and Jean Pinault to Andrew Melville 12 April 1574,
Bibliothque de Genve, Ms. Fr. 408, f. 3031; Borgeaud, Cartwright and Melville at the
University of Geneva, 15691574, 288289; Fatio and Labarthe (eds.), Registres de la
Compagnie des Pasteurs de Genve, III, 133134, 295.
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 147

The Academy of Geneva did not issue licenses or degrees upon the
successful completion of a course of study. Rather the Ordre of the
Genevan Academy stated that students who had successfully sustained
a demanding oral examination were awarded a testimonium vitae et
doctrinae in either the grade of mediocre or honourable. In May
1572 a certain Thomas van Til received a testimonium from the Academy
while in 1574 Antoine de La Faye was issued one as he departed to
pursue his study of medicine in Italy.239 Melvilles testimonium was
issuedwiththe grade of honourable as Beza wrote to the Church of
Scotland extolling his erudition, piety, and assiduity in serving the schola
privata and commending him to her as the strongest proof of their
affection.240
Melvilles decision to leave Geneva and his humanistic coterie was
not an easy one nor was it made without some degree of regret.241
During his five years in Geneva, he had grown accustomed to life
thereand had formed a number of relationships with his fellow human-
ists, which he was not eager to see come to an end. Several years after
his departure in 1580 on the occasion of the death of his Genevan
friendand fellow Scot John Lyndsay, Melville composed a poem enti-
tledEpitaphium Jacobi Lindesii in which he expressed his affection for
many of those scholars with whom he had labored for so many years and
under whom he had studied. Praising Beza, Daneau, Bertram, Portus,
Jean de Serres or Serranus, Antoine de la Faye, Charles Perrot, Simon
Goulart, Pinauld, Henri Estienne, and William Keith, Melville reflected
nostalgically with deep affection upon those who had become such a
part of his life while he was in Geneva and expressed his admiration for
those who had made Geneva what it was to the Protestant world of the
sixteenth century.242

239
Lewis, The Geneva Academy, 47. On Thomas van Til see Fatio and Labarthe
(eds.), Registres de la Compagnie des Pasteurs de Genve, III, 3637, 4142, 4950, 52, 54,
7374, 279.
240
Borgeaud, Cartwright and Melville at the University of Geneva, 15691574,
288289; Lewis, The Geneva Academy, 47.
241
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 5354.
242
Melville, Epitaphium Jacobi Lindesii, qui obit Geneva, 17 Cal. Iul. 1580 in Johnston,
Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum, 123. Melville wrote: Iam Genevam, Genevam ver pietatis
alumnam, / Florentem studiis clestibus omine magno / Victor ovans subis: ac voti jam
parte potitus / Iam Bez dulci alloquio Suadque medulla, / Et succo ambrosi clesti,&
nectaris imbre / Perfusus; jam Dani immortalia dicta, / Cornelique Palstinas, Portique
sorores / Grajugenas: jam Serrana cum lampade Faii / Phbas artes geminas, clarumque
Perotti / Sidus, Gulardique jubar, lumenque Pinaldi, / Et Stephani Musas varias ope-
rumque labores, / Necnon ingentis Calvini ingentia fata, / Et magnum atq;memor Keithi
magni, atq; sagacis / Glaspi desiderium, sanctique Colessi / Edoctus
148 chapter four

Conclusion

While James Melville remarked that his uncles chief studie was
Divinitie during his five years in Geneva, a careful study of the histori-
cal situation, Melvilles relationships, and documents of the period reveal
that he not only continued his humanistic course of study but extended
his vast network of relationships with a number of the leading figures of
the northern European Renaissance. Far from setting aside his devotion
to the studia humanitatis, he labored for five years as an instructor in the
schola privata of the Genevan Academy, teaching the language and lit-
erature of ancient Greece and Rome. Taking advantage of his strategic
position, he continued his study of the new jurisprudence by attending
the lectures of one of the leading legal scholars of the sixteenth century,
Franois Hotman and probably the legal lectures of Hughes Doneau and
Ennemond de Bonnefoy. Always interested in expanding his network of
humanist associates, he cultivated friendships with his extended relative
Henry Scrimgeour, Paul Melissus, and Henri Estienne. Under Joseph
Scaliger, he honed the critical methods which he presumably learned
under Adrian Turnbe in Paris, applying them in the task of recognizing
textual corruptions and correcting them.
We have also observed the strong likelihood that Melville attended
the theological lectures of Lambert Daneau and Thomas Cartwright and
had read the writings of the English divine Walter Travers. The intellec-
tual kinship he experienced with these Reformed divines, while grounded
in a common theology, was, nevertheless, strengthened by their advo-
cacy of humanist values. Without question the single most influential
figure in Melvilles life during this period was Theodore Beza whose lec-
tures he attended daily and whose preaching he regularly sat under.
Finding in Beza a model of the integration of both humanist and scho-
lastic techniques, Melville had exemplified before him a different
approach to the use of Aristotle than what he had seen under Ramus.
Bezas love of philology and Latin poetry resonated deeply with Melville,
and it is quite likely that his satirical poems functioned as further poetic
models for the young humanist. Indeed, it is no coincidence that during
his stay in Geneva he composed a number of Latin poems which, while
exhibiting the influence in both style and content of George Buchanan,243
may also resemble in its crass depiction certain of Bezas anti-Catholic

Reid, Early Polemic by Andrew Melville, 71.


243
switzerland: geneva (15691574) 149

epigrams.244 Continuing his philological studies, Melville attended


Corneille Bertrams lectures on Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac and
Franois Portus lectures on the Greek language. By virtue of the poetry
which he wrote in honor of Bertrams scholarship and his interaction
with Portus over the correct pronunciation of ancient Greek, he appears
to have been on familiar terms with both scholars and to have formed
with them important friendships.
To be sure, James Melvilles unintentional error regarding his uncles
service within the Academy has contributed to the mythical image of
the reformer by ascribing to him a more distinguished position than
what he actually held. His position, as has been observed, was much
more modest and humble than what either his nephew or McCrie have
portrayed.245 While Melville appears from the official records of la
Compagnie to be a rather obscure and inconsequential figure in the his-
tory of the Academy and one who was by no means irreplaceable, his
service was valued by Beza and his associates and his scholarly reputa-
tion continued in the city for several decades following his departure.
Indeed, over 25 years later Isaac Casaubon would write to Melville in
1601, maintaining that he had first heard of his widely recognized piety
and erudition through Beza, Henri Estienne, and Jacques Lect.246 While
it has been pointed out that Melvilles request to assist in the teaching of
theology at the Academy was denied by la Compagnie, this eager request
by one so young and with such little experience does not appear to have
reflected poorly upon his subsequent reputation.247

244
Melville, JMAD, 44.
245
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 43.
246
Isaac Casaubon, Isaaci Casauboni Epistol (Rotterdam, 1709), 129.
247
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 34.
Chapter five

SCOTLAND: GLASGOW
(15741580)

Melville as Private Tutor

By March 1574 Melville decided to return to Scotland and requested


permission from la Compagnie to leave the Academy.1 While it is unclear
what role he envisioned he would play back in his native land, he evi-
dently desired an academic post in which he might serve as a purveyor
of the New Learning. His replacement in the schola privata was Emile
Portus, son of the professor of Greek, Franois Portus. The ease with
which la Compagnie filled Melvilles post underscores as much Genevas
abundance of scholarly resources as it does the Scots modest role within
the Academy. To be sure Melville was replaceable, yet it can hardly be
sustained that the schola privata was not diminished by his absence.2
Indeed, while there appears to have been no resistance or protest to his
request, this may be explained as easily by the educational and ecclesias-
tical needs in Scotland as by anything else. Granted his request and car-
rying with him the Academys testimonium vitae et doctrinae, he traveled
with Andrew Polwarth and Alexander Campbell from Geneva south-
west toward Lyon.3 From Lyon they traveled through the Franche-Comt
north to the River Loire, and from there they advanced to Orlans. Three
Frenchmen accompanied them on part of their journey, a priest, a phy-
sician, and a military officer with whom Melville discussed religious
matters. After cleverly avoiding detection as Protestants traveling from
Geneva when they arrived and were questioned by the soldiers at the
gates of Orlans, Melville and his countrymen did not remain long in
the city but traveled north to Paris where they resided for several days

1
Olivier Fatio and Olivier Labarthe (eds.), Registres de la Compagnie des Pasteurs de
Genve tome III 15651574 (Genve, 1969), 133134, 295.
2
Steven John Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland: Andrew Melville and
the University of St Andrews, 15601606 (PhD Thesis, St Andrews, 2008), 35.
3
Letter of Thodore de Bze and Jean Pinault to Andrew Melville 12 April 1574,
Bibliothque de Genve, Ms. Fr. 408, f. 3031; James Melville, The Autobiography and
Diary of Mr. James Melvill ed. Robert Pitcairn (Edinburgh, 1842), 4243; P. Mellon,
LAcadmie de Sedan centre dinfluence franaise a propos dun manuscrit du xvii sicle
(Paris, 1913), 258259.
152 chapter five

and enjoyed the company of their fellow Scots, especially Lord Ogilvy.4
Leaving Paris on 30 May, they traveled northwest to Dieppe, sailed on to
Rye in East Sussex, and progressed to London where they remained a
short while. Once they purchased horses, the Scots traveled north to
Berwick and then on to Edinburgh where they arrived at the beginning
of July.5
Shortly after Melville was situated in Edinburgh, he was approached
in an official capacity by George Buchanan, Alexander Hay, and James
Halyburton on behalf of the Regent Morton, James Douglas, with an
offer as a domestic instructor. Declining this prestigious, albeit politi-
cally motivated, offer of employment in favor of a future academic post,
Melville requested time to spend with his friends and retired to the
family estate at Baldovy where he resided for three months with his
brother Richard and his family. During these months he had the oppor-
tunity to reestablish and cultivate what became the single most impor-
tant humanist relationship of his life, his friendship with his nephew
James Melville.6
Born the third son of Richard Melville and Isobel Scrimgeour on
25 July 1556 at Baldovy, James was educated first at the Logie Grammar
School near Montrose where he studied for five years under one William
Gray, master of the school and minister in that town. Following his time
of study at Logie, he was sent to the Montrose Grammar School where
he studied for two years under one Andrew Miln.7 Receiving at both
schools a classically oriented and religiously based education, James
proceeded in 1570 to St Leonards College, St Andrews where he
commenced his university studies under the regent William Collace.8

4
Melville, JMAD, 4344.
5
Thomas McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville Vol. I (2nd edn., Edinburgh and London,
1824), 56; Melville, JMAD, 44. On the day that Melville left Paris, Charles IX died of
tuberculosis. When Melville arrived in London, he composed an epigram in light of the
event, indicating that he had not forgotten the horrific events surrounding the
St Bartholomews Day massacres. Melville seemed to delight himself in the irony of
Charless death when he crassly depicted the French monarchs blood bursting from
several orifices. He wrote: Naribus, ore, oculis atque auribus undique et ano, / Et pene
erumpit qui tibi, Carle, eruor, / Non tuus iste eruor: Sanctorum at cede cruorem, / Quem
ferus hausisti, concoquere haud poteras!
6
Melville, JMAD, 4547; J. D. Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951 (Glasgow,
1954), 64. Mackie suggests that this offer of employment may have arisen from Buchanans
own personal influence.
7
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 59; Melville, JMAD, 1617, 2022.
8
James Maitland Anderson, (ed.), Early Records of the University of St. Andrews
(Edinburgh, 1926), 158, 168, 267, 279; Melville, JMAD, 24; McCrie, Life of Andrew
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 153

Despite the initial difficulty he had in understanding Collaces Latin


lectures on George Cassanders rhetoric, James, with the help ofhisregent,
overcame this obstacle and applied himself to the study of Aristotles
Organon, Physica, and Ethica, Ciceros De legibus, and Justinians Institu
tiones as well as to the study of mathematics, astronomy, and music.9 The
medieval character of St Leonards curriculum is suggested in James
Melvilles reference to a compend of Collaces philosophy.10 Ratherthan
going ad fontes in typical humanist fashion and studying a broad array
of classical texts in their original language paying careful attention to
historical and philological issues, a compendium was used, which dis-
tilled the salient features of dialectic, definition, division, enunciation,
syllogism, enthymeme, and induction. While his brief enumeration of
subjects should not be taken as exhaustive, there is a noticeable lack of
literary breadth in the Colleges use of ancient texts. Rather than employ-
ing a broad array of classical literature which contained ideas hostile to
the prevailing religious, political, and social ideas of sixteenth-century
Scotland, a much more limited body of safe Greek and Roman authors
was used.11
The absence of a more pronounced humanistic curriculum is all the
more surprising given the fact that immediately prior to James Melvilles
matriculation at St Leonards the humanist and university reformer
George Buchanan had served as principal from 15661570.12 Buchanan
himself had been appointed in 1563 to participate in a commission to
investigate the state of the University of St Andrews and to propose
measures for its reform. Out of this investigation Buchanan developed
his own proposal for reform which assigned an important place to
classical studies.13 Despite Buchanans presence and leadership, the

Melville I, 59; Henry S. N. McFarland, The Education of James Melvill (15561614),


Aberdeen University Review, 36 (Aut., 1956), 365; William Arbuckle, A St Andrews
Diarist: James Melville 15561614 (Edinburgh and London, 1964), 7. In contrast to
James Melvilles assertion that he began his studies at St Leonards College in 1571, the
official records of the University list him as having matriculated in 1570 and as having
been graduated BA in 1572. McFarland maintains that the University records assign the
year 1569 as the year of matriculation, but this is inconsistent with the official records.
9
It is unclear which ethical works of Aristotle are in view in James Melvilles account.
It is possible that both the Ethica Nicomachea and Ethica Eudemia were studied.
10
Melville, JMAD, 25.
11
Charles G. Nauert, Jr., Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe (Cambridge,
1995), 194195.
12
I.D. McFarlane, Buchanan (London, 1981), 169.
13
P. Hume Brown (ed.), Vernacular Writings of George Buchanan (Edinburgh, 1892),
23.
154 chapter five

c urriculum at St Leonards still retained several aspects of its medieval


heritage while it incorporated, to a limited extent, the New Learning of
the Renaissance.14 According to the official records of the University,
James successfully completed his course of study and determined as a
bachelor in 1572. Although he himself writes of having continued his
studies at St Leonards until 1574, when he presumably took his MA, the
graduation roll for that year appears to be incomplete as his name is not
found in the records.15
Despite his previous studies at St Andrews, James discovered to his
own chagrin his educational deficiencies when he attempted to converse
with his uncle in Latin. He later confessed: He fand me bauche in the
Latin toung, a pratler upon precepts in Logik without anie profit for the
right use, and haiffing sum termes of Art in Philosophie without light of
solid knawlage.16 Aware of a number of glaring deficiencies, Melville
endeavored to address them by taking his young nephew under his pri-
vate tutelage and, over the course of three months both in private
instruction and personal conversation, immersing him in a robust and
rigorous course of classical study. Beginning with the ancient poets and
drawing attention to their literary elegance and verbal dexterity, he
taught his nephew how to read and properly interpret the Latin verse of
Vergil (Melvilles cheiff refreschment efter his grave studies) and
Horace, as well as a comedy of Terence, the Commentarii of Caesar, and
Sallusts De coniuratione Catilinae. Among modern authors he took
James through a selection of Buchanans Psalm paraphrases as well as
Jean Bodins Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem both first
published in 1566.17 As expected Melvilles instruction was character-
ized by a decidely philological, linguistic, and grammatical emphasis,
studying Clenards Greek grammar, Martinius Hebrew grammar, and

14
Melville, JMAD, 2529, 31. On William Collace see Anderson, Early Records of the
University of St. Andrews, 267. On the study of Cassanders rhetoric see Joseph S.
Freedman, Cicero in Sixteenth-and Seventeenth-Century Rhetoric Instruction,
Rhetorica, 4 (Sum., 1986), 227254.
15
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, 168; John Durkan and
James Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577 (Glasgow, 1977), 275; Melville, JMAD,
28. James Kirk maintains that he was graduated in 1574 but the official records of the
University, which are incomplete, are unable to confirm this.
16
Melville, JMAD, 3637, 46. James added: bot I perceavit at annes that I was bot an
ignorant bable, and wist nocht what I said, nather could schaw anie use thairof, bot in
clattering and crying.
17
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 275. Kirk refers to Melvilles
use of Bodin as something of a novelty.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 155

Reuchlins Hebrew lexicon.18 In addition to reading the epistle of Basilius,


Melville provided a selective introduction to the literature of the New
Testament, reading in the original language, among other things, chap-
ters from the Gospel of Matthew and Pauls epistle to the Romans.
Reflecting upon this intensive course of study, James later remarked,
I lernit mikle mair by heiring of him in daylie conversation, bathe that
quarter and thairefter, nor ever I lernit of anie buik.19 James remarkthat
he learned much more from his uncles daylie conversation than from
any book may be the earliest reference to Melvilles practice of table talk
which he utilized so effectively in his reforming efforts at Glasgow.

The University of Glasgow

With Melvilles return to Scotland, news of his literary attainments, aca-


demic experience, and humanist relations at Paris, Poitiers, and Geneva
spread through the report of his associates Andrew Polwarth, Alexander
Campbell, Peter Young, Gilbert Moncrieff, and George Buchanan. News
of his return quickly spread throughout Scotland between the time of
his arrival in Edinburgh at the beginning of July and the meeting of the
General Assembly in August 1574.20 Of course, the testimonium vitae et
doctrinae composed by Beza and issued by the Genevan Academy only
enhanced the young Scots reputation and led advocates of two of
Scotlands three universities to contemplate how they might recruit him
to lead their respective institutions. In addition to the personal reports
and official correspondence, Melvilles reputation as a humanist and
Latin poet was significantly enhanced by his 1574 Carmen Mosis.21

18
On the use of Clenards Greek grammar in the sixteenth century see Foster Watson,
The English Grammar Schools to 1660: Their Curriculum and Practice (Cambridge, 1908),
487, 513514.
19
Melville, JMAD, 4647. James Melville does not specify whether they read together
Commentariorum libri VII de bello gallico or Commentariorum libri III de bello civili.
Perhaps they read or consulted both works in their study of Caesars writings.
20
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 63. A vivid illustration of how Melvilles scholarly
reputation preceded him may be seen in the decision of the 1574 General Assembly to
include him, prior to having been formally introduced to him, in the committee com-
missioned to evaluate Patrick Adamsons history of Job in Latin verse. Along with
Melville, George Buchanan, Peter Young, and James Lawson were to execute this
assignment.
21
Arthur Johnston (ed.), Deliti Ptarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637), 8490;
P. Mellon, LAcadmie de SedancCentre dInfluence franaise a propos dun manuscrit du
xvii sicle (Paris, 1913), 155163; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 86. Thomas McCrie
provided the following bibliographical information from a copy of this work belonging
156 chapter five

Although James Melville wrote as though this work had been first pub-
lished in 1578, the first edition was actually printed at Basel in 1574.22
McCrie hailed the Latin paraphrase as unquestionably the finest poem
in the collection, or perhaps of any that Melville wrote, and maintained
that it was worthy of the scholar of Buchanan, and deserves a place
among the productions of those modern writers who have attained great
excellence in Latin poetry.23 Thomson, somewhat more critical in his
assessment of Melvilles poetry, praised the opening of the Carmen Mosis
as magnificent and observed that Melville combined in himself the
high purpose of the older Humanists and the verbal virtuosity of the
expanding Renaissance.24
Written in response to the 1572 St Bartholomews Day massacres and
in honor of its victims, the Carmen Mosis, Job 3, and several shorter
poems were, according to James Melville, well received among Protes
tants, leaving Melvilles literary audience in hope of graitter warks.25
Recent study of the Carmen Mosis and other poems published with it in
1574 has noted the decidedly Protestant political agenda of Melvilles
poetry and has identified it as belonging to a larger body of Calvinist
literature written in response to the events surrounding August 1572.26

to David Laing: Carmen Mosis, ex Deuteron, cap.xxxii. quod ipse moriens Israli tradidit
ediscendum & cantandum perpetu, latina paraphrasi illustratum. cui addita sunt non
nulla epigrammata, & Iobi cap. iii. latino carmine redditum. Andrea Melvino Scoto avc
tore. Basile M.D. LXXIIII.
22
Melville, JMAD, 63. James Melville writes: That yeir my uncle dedicat to the
King his Carmen Mosis, with certean Epigrames, and a chapter of Job in vers For a
discussion of the date of this work see Mellon, LAcadmie de Sedan Centre dInfluence
Franaise, 155. I have been unable to locate the 1574 edition that McCrie cites. James
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England (Cambridge, 2000), 59.
Doelman identifies the year of publication as 1573 but cites no bibliographical proof
in support of it.
23
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 8688; II, 331. McCrie quotes Zouch in Waltons
Lives lauding the Carmen Mosis as truly excellentexquisitely beautiful. McCrie pro-
vides little by way of rational argument or literary analysis to justify his assessment of the
Carmen Mosis, nor does he distinguish it from other poems written by Melville, such as
the , Principis Scoti-Britannorum Natalia, Gathelus and Anti-Tami-Cami-
Categoria.
24
D. F. S. Thomson, The Latin Epigram in Scotland: The Sixteenth Century, Phoenix,
11 (Sum., 1957), 70. While observing that Melvilles poetry was vigorous, Thomson,
nevertheless, remarks that it was full of faults, maintaining that it was uneven, often
devoid of literary taste, and much interlarded, in the fashion of the time, with Greek.
Cf. also Mellon, LAcadmie de Sedan, 155.
25
Mellon, LAcadmie de Sedan Centre dInfluence Franaise, 155, 163, 166; Melville,
JMAD, 63; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 51, 89.
26
Steven John Reid, Early Polemic by Andrew Melville: The Carmen Mosis (1574)
and the St Bartholomews Day Massacres, Renaissance and Reformation, 30.4 (Fall
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 157

The epigrams and short poems, while displaying Melvilles literary


adroitness and dexterity, indicate the extent to which he had embraced
the prevailing Calvinist construction of the religious and political events
associated with St Bartholomews Day.27 It is also very likely, in light of
the 1573 anonymous publication entitled Epicedia illustri heroi Caspari
Colinio [] poetis decantata published in Geneva, that Melville, whose
Latin verses were included in this collection, circulated his poetry among
his Genevan colleagues with a view to obtaining their approbation.28
At the time of the August Assembly commissioners representing the
universities of St Andrews and Glasgow offered their respective peti-
tions for Melvilles services as provost of St Marys College, St Andrews
and principal of the University of Glasgow. At the maist ernest instance
of the protestant archbishop of Glasgow James Boyd and the rector of
the University of Glasgow Andrew Hay to visit the University, Melville
consented and traveled to Glasgow where he was able personally to eval-
uate its condition.29 In addition to the most compelling factor in his
decision to go to Glasgow, namely its decrepit and moribund condition
what McCrie called a state of suspended animation Melville was
probably further attracted to Glasgow by the presence of Boyd whom he
had ostensibly met on the continent while the latter was studying civil
law at the University of Bourges under Jacques Cujas.30
In late October 1574 Melville set out from Baldovy with his
nephew James and his brother John, traveling to Dundee, Perth, and
Stirling where he stopped for two days to confer with George and

2006/2007), 6381. Cf. Robert M. Kingdon, Myths about the St Bartholomews Day
Massacres 15721576 (Cambridge, MA and London, 1988).
27
Johnston, Deliti Ptarum Scotorum, 108109, 112. These poems include: Ad
Novissimos Galliae Martyres, Pax Gallica, Ad Carolum, Tyrannum Galliarum, Vipera
Thusca, Cum Catulis, Classicum, and Tyrannus.
28
Reid, Early Polemic by Andrew Melville, 73. Cf. Epicedia Illustri Heroi Caspari
Colignio, Colignii Comiti, Castilionis Domino, Magno Galliarum Thallasiatchae Variis
Linguis A Doctis Piisque Poetis Decantata (Geneva, 1573), GLN2464; Paul Chaix et al.,
Les Livres Imprims Geneve de 1550 1600 (Geneva, 1966), 78.
29
Melville, JMAD, 4748; William Keith Leask (ed.), Musa Latina Aberdonensis Vol.
III (Aberdeen, 1910), 129. John Johnston wrote of the earnest desire of Glasgow to obtain
the services of Andrew Melville and Thomas Smeaton in his poem, entitled Andreas
Haivs.
30
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 66; Robert Wodrow, Collections upon the Lives of
the Reformers and Most Eminent Ministers of the Church of Scotland Vol. I (Glasgow,
1834), 208; Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 272. Indeed the
1573 re-foundation stated that the teaching at the University had almost gone to ruin
because of a lack of finances to support it. Cf. Mackie, The University of Glasgow 1451
1951, 6064.
158 chapter five

Thomas Buchanan, Peter and Alexander Young, and Gilbert Mon


crieff. James Melville remarked that Melville conferrit at lynthe with
Mr George Bowchanan, who at that time was writing his Rerum Scoti
carum historia (1582) and who had earlier developed his own proposal
for the reform of St Andrews.31 In addition to the privilege of meeting
the young James VI, Melvilles visit to Stirling underscores the bond he
had forged with Buchanan at Paris, as well as the relationships he had
built with Moncrieff and Young on the continent. His conference with
Buchanan was undoubtedly focused upon how best to resuscitate
Glasgow, which had been without a principal since John Davidson either
moved away or died. Davidson had served the University both in the
capacity of regent and principal until 1572 at the latest though he may
have left the University as early as 1570.32 While there is some reason to
doubt McCries assertion that with the death of Davidson the students
dispersed and the University was closed, there can be no question that
the institution was in dire straits by the summer of 1573.33 Indeed,
according to the 1573 foundation, which Andrew Hay had played a sig-
nificant role in crafting, the college was in such disarray that it declared
that through excessive poverty the pursuit of learning has become
utterly extinct.34 Not until 1574 did the University acquire Peter Black
burn, later bishop of Aberdeen, from St Andrews. With the University
facing severe financial problems, dramatic enrollment deficits, and seri-
ous staffing vacancies, Melville discussed with Buchanan his strategy for
resurrecting the institution and placing it on an equal footing with the
leading universities of Europe.35

31
Melville, JMAD, 48; Brown, Vernacular Writings of George Buchanan, 23. On
Buchanans Rerum Scoticarum historia see I. D. McFarlane, Buchanan (London, 1981),
416440; P. Hume Brown, George Buchanan: Humanist and Reformer (Edinburgh, 1890),
293328; Roger A. Mason, Scotching the Brut: Politics, History and National Myth in
Sixteenth-Century Britain in Roger A. Mason (ed.), Scotland and England 12861815
(Edinburgh, 1987), 6084; Rex Stoicus: George Buchanan, James VI and the Scottish
Polity in John Dwyer, Roger A. Mason, and Alexander Murdoch (eds.), New Perspectives
on the Politics and Culture of Early Modern Scotland (Edinburgh, 1982), 933; J.H. Burns,
The True Law of Kinship: Concepts of Monarch in Early Modern Scotland (Oxford, 1996),
185221. On Buchanans proposed university reforms see Brown, Vernacular Writings of
George Buchanan, 617; Ronald Gordon Cant, The University of St Andrews: A Short
History (St Andrews, 1992), 5457.
32
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 59, 63.
33
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 65; Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow
14511577, 250.
34
Cosmo Innes (ed.), Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis, Vol. I, (Glasgow,
1854), 8384; Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 249.
35
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 59, 63; Durkan and Kirk, The
University of Glasgow 14511577, 250. In addition to offering counsel to Melville
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 159

When Melville arrived in Glasgow in November 1574, he was greeted,


not by a full faculty of regents who were prepared to teach the entire
spectrum of the traditional medieval arts course, nor even by a band of
lecturers equipped with the most current knowledge and methods from
the continent, but rather by a single regent Peter Blackburn.36 Having
matriculated at St Marys College in 1568, Blackburn proceeded through
the traditional arts course and was graduated MA in 1572.37 Despite
the brief period of time he spent in France following his studies at
St Andrews, he did not embrace the New Learning as indicated by his
conformity to the ordour of the course of St Androis and also by his
resolute adherence to the St Andrews axiom: absurdum est dicere
errasse Aristotelem. Unlike the humanists of the sixteenth century who
delighted in criticizing and lampooning Aristotle and his disciples,
Blackburn appears to have been a vigorous advocate of the philosopher.38
Indeed, James Melville initially characterized Blackburn as a bitter pro-
pugnar of Aristotle, who, after rather heated arguments with Melville,
was disabused of baith wrang opinions and evill fasones.39 With
Blackburn to assist him in the daily operation of the University, Melville
gatheredaround himself a small band of capable pupils, who, with the
right training, could become regents and thus agents in the revitaliza-
tion of Glasgow.40
Assuming the lions share of the teaching responsibility and assigning
Blackburn only the administrative tasks of the University, Melville
taught a staggering array of courses in the tradition of the Renaissance
polymaths of the sixteenth century.41 Constrained by inadequate fund-
ing and a shortage of adequately trained scholars, he approached the
task of essentially teaching the entire curriculum by integrating the clas-
sical texts popular among Renaissance scholars with the most current
and innovative continental scholarship.42 His nephew maintained that

r egarding the best way to restore the University, Buchanan also, following the 1577 nova
erectio, gifted a number of volumes from his own personal library to support the
reform.
36
Melville, JMAD, 48. On Peter Blackburn see Robert Lippe (ed.), Selections from
Wodrows Biographical Collections: Divines of the North-East of Scotland (Aberdeen,
1890), 6679.
37
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, 167, 276.
38
Nauert, Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe, 203209.
39
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 253; Melville, JMAD,
48, 67.
40
Melville, JMAD, 49.
41
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 65; Melville, JMAD, 49.
42
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 280281.
160 chapter five

he teatche things nocht hard in this countrey of befor perhaps refer-


ring to the logic, arithmetic and geometry of Petrus Ramus, the rhetoric
of Omer Talon, or even the works on natural philosophy by Jean Franois
Fernel and on history by Johann Sleidan.43 In light of the absence of any
sources which might corroborate James Melvilles account, we may only
suggest that Melville may have used Ramus 1543 Dialectic, 1555 Dia
lectique, 1556 Dialectic Libri Duo, 1555 Arithmetic Libri Tres, 1567
Promium Mathematicum, and his 1569 Geometri. He may also have
utilized Talons 1567 Rhetorica, Fernelius 1571 Therapeutices Vniuersalis,
and Sleidans De Quatuor Summis Imperiis Libri Tres.
Although we have seen that there were notable exceptions in the six-
teenth century to the dictum Graecum est, non legitur in Scotland,
Melvilles extensive linguistic study of Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and
Syriac which he undertook on the continent under Turnbe, Portus,
Mercier, Cinqarbres, and Bertram was uncommon even among the most
erudite of Scottish scholars. Even Buchanan, one of Scotlands most dis-
tinguished Latinists of the age, never obtained the degree of learning
Melville acquired in the study of Semitic languages, nor did such study
ever carry within his own curricular scheme the place and significance
that it occupied in Melvilles.44 Indeed, Melvilles reputation as a distin-
guished Hebraist in Scotland, which began during his time in Glasgow,
may even be seen over fourty years later in George Herberts satire Musae
responsoriae written shortly after the publication of Melvilles Anti-Tami-
Cami-Categoria in 1620.45
By immersing his pupils in a sea of classical authors, including
Homer,Hesiod, Phocylides, Theognis, Pythagoras, Pindar, Isocrates,
Theocritus, Vergil, and Horace, he endeavored to illustrate and reinforce
their grammar, syntax, and literary elegance. Popular among Renaissance

43
Melville, JMAD, 49; Alexander Grant, The Story of the University of Edinburgh
During its First Three Hundred Years Vol. I (London, 1884), 82. James Melville also men-
tions Philip Melanchthon as an author his uncle used in the instruction of history. He
may have had in view the revised version of the Chronica of Johannes Carion which
Melanchthon and Caspar Peuser jointly published in Wittenberg in 1573.
44
Brown, Vernacular Writings of George Buchanan, 5. Hume Brown failed to appreci-
ate sufficiently the profound influence French humanism had on the thought, writings,
and university reforms of Melville. Writing of Melvilles preposterous plan, he dispar-
agingly remarked that this theological course sketched by Melville would have been but
the continuation of those arid methods and inane discussions of the schoolmen.
45
F. E. Hutchinson (ed.), The Works of George Herbert (Oxford, 1978), 391, 588; Mark
McCloskey and Paul R. Murphy (trans.), The Latin Poetry of George Herbert: A Bilingual
Edition (Athens, OH, 1965), 2427.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 161

umanists for its combination of ancient texts and geography and trans-
h
lated into Latin verse, the Orbis terrae descriptio, also known by the title
De situ habitabilis orbis, of Dionysius Periegetes as well as the Phaenomena
of Aratus and the De cosmographiae rudimentis of Johann Honter was
used by Melville.46 Lecturing on Aristotles Physica, De virtutibus, De
clo, De ortu et interitu, and Ethics, as well as Platos Dialogues, Euclids
Elementa geometrica, and Ciceros De officiis, Tusculanae disputationes,
and paradoxes, he modeled for his students a sympathetic, yet critical,
use of ancient sources based upon a careful reading of the text in its
original language.47
Along with Latin and Greek, Melville taught his students Hebrew,
Aramaic, and Syriac and lectured on the loci communes of theology, as
well as throw all the Auld and New Testament.48 By lecturing twice
everyday, including his public instruction on Sundays, he dramatically
altered the intellectual trajectory of the University of Glasgow and may
be credited with its academic resurgence and intellectual distinction
during this period.49 Within the span of two years James Melville main-
tained that the University of Glasgow was noble throwout all the land,
and in uther contreys also. Students came in such large numbers to
study with Melville that his nephew reports, the Collage was sa fre-
quent as the roumes war nocht able to receave tham. While James
remark that ther was na place in Europe comparable to Glasgw for guid
letters, during these years should not be accepted at face value, the dra-
matic reversal of fortune experienced by the University may be attrib-
uted to the indefatigable zeal and discipline Melville exhibited over the
span of six years and his strategic decision to train a small core of schol-
ars who themselves could assume responsibility for different areas of the
curriculum.50
Melvilles growing fame, which reportedly spread throughout Europe
attracting students from various quarters of the continent, may be

46
The edition in view here may have been: Dionysius Periegetes, Dionysius Lybicus de
situ habitabilis orbis, trans. Simon Leminus (Venice, 1543). Melville may also have used
the following editions of Aratus and Honter: . Ciceronis in
Arati Phnomena interpretatio (Paris, 1540); Johannes Honterus, De Cosmographiae
Rudimentis, & Omnium Properum Nomenclatura, Libri IIII (Basel, 1561).
47
Melville, JMAD, 49.
48
Ibid.
49
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 65; Durkan and Kirk, The University
of Glasgow 14511577, 276. James Kirk maintained that Melville effected something
akin to a major educational revolution at Glasgow.
50
Melville, JMAD, 4950.
162 chapter five

accounted for by a number of different factors. His arrival in Glasgow in


1574 at the age of 29 to take command of a university on the verge of
extinction made any improvements appear dramatic. Had he entered a
situation at a more advanced age where the institution was a thriving
center of the New Learning, his impact would probably not have
appeared so profound. The combination of Glasgows decrepit condition
with Melvilles youth and extensive learning only fostered the mythical
image of the humanist and reformer. Despite James Melvilles fanfare
regarding his uncle when the latter came to Glasgow, his European repu-
tation was based more upon hearsay than upon publications. Moreover,
his return in July 1574 followed the civil war in Scotland. With such
peaceful conditions those in both kirk and state who wished to advance
the agenda of university reform were now in a position to effect change.51
Thus, the political and social stability of the nation combined with the
Universitys condition created a theatre in which Melvilles abilities could
be displayed, resulting in something akin to a major educational
revolution.52
Central to Melvilles reforming efforts was his daily practice of table
talk with his regents, students, or with sic as war present efter denner
and supper.53 While his public lectures may account in part for the rapid
growth of his academic fame throughout Europe, his personal interac-
tion in these table talks proved to be a compelling attraction. Just as John
Mair had earlier in the century by his teaching attracted students to
Glasgow, so Melville drew students, in part, by his personal qualities
displayed in both his lectures and informal conversations around the
table.54 Not restricting his conception of university instruction to the
lecture hall or limiting it to the narrow confines of mere public exercises,
Melville instituted the practice of informal, daily discussions both
at mealles and efter. By posing a question and encouraging discussion
and debate, Melville added to his formal instruction a dynamically

51
David Stevenson, Kings College, Aberdeen, 15601641: From Protestant Reformation
to Covenanting Revolution (Aberdeen, 1990), 29.
52
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 276.
53
Melville, JMAD, 49.
54
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 276, 155165. On John
Mair see John Durkan, John Major: After 400 Years, Innes Review, 1 (Dec., 1950), 131
139; Introduction in Acta Facultatis Artium Universitatis Sanctiandree 14131588
(Edinburgh, 1964), llvi; J. H. Burns, The True Law of Kingship: Concepts of Monarch in
Early Modern Scotland (Oxford, 1996), 5492.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 163

ersonal dimension which appears to have been extremely beneficial to


p
his auditors in understanding the ancient authors.
In addition to theological topics, Melville often posed questions
pertaining to philosophy or the arts. Discussion of the classical authors
of antiquity with whom he was intimately acquainted was often the
subject of these table talks. Informal discussions and debates were fre-
quently the venue through which his erudition and literary skill were
displayed. Patrick Sharpe, master of the grammar school in Glasgow,
often remarked to James Melville that he had during these years lerned
mair of Mr Andro Melvill craking and pleying, for understanding of the
[classical] authors quhilk he teatched in the scholl, nor be all his comen-
tares. Despite Melvilles penchant to be overbearing in argument, stri-
dently employing reasone, words, and gesture to persuade his hearers,
James Melville testified, I haiff knawin him to haiff done as mikle guid
in sic conferences and meittings as be his publict doctrine. When ques-
tions were raised to which Melville had no particular opinion, he is
reported to have listened patiently and quietly, exercised caution,
restraint, and open-mindedness, and reasoned thairupon caldlie and
camlie aneuche till he war fullie resolvit, and fand his grounds sure. His
table talk was characterized by the free exchange of ideas, vigorous
debate, and respectful dialogue all within the broader context of a com-
mitment to Reformed Protestantism and the New Learning of the
Renaissance.55
During these years in Glasgow, a number of young scholars who were
trained under Melville subsequently went on to serve in the academy,
the church, or at the court of James VI. Among those who taught in
Scotlands universities were Patrick Melville and Duncan Nairn.56 The
son of Roger Melville, Andrews older brother, Patrick, after completing
his course of study and graduating in 1578, succeeded his cousin James
in 1580, becoming a regent responsible for teaching logic, mathematics,
and moral philosophy at Glasgow. Later he was made a professor of
Hebrew at St Marys College, St Andrews.57 Duncan Nairn was gradu-
ated from Glasgow in 1580 and was subsequently appointed second

Melville, JMAD, 50, 6667. Although James Melville admits that occasionally his
55

uncle being sure of a truethe in reasoning, he wald be extream hat, and suffer na man
to bear away the contrar, he also observed that when he was personally attacked by
Peter Blackburn in their debates over Aristotles writings the argument seassed, for the
Principall never spak a word mair.
56
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 71.
164 chapter five

master of the University of Edinburgh alongside the schools first princi-


pal Robert Rollock.58 Nairn was appointed as a regent to provide instruc-
tion in Latin for those students who were insufficiently prepared to
understand Rollocks Latin lectures.59 Although his Latin pupils were
regarded as occupying an infra-Academical position in the college as
unmatriculated students, Nairn was described by Henry Charteris as
viri morum elegantia et doctrina singulari (a man of remarkable
learning and elegance of manners).60
Throughout the period of Melvilles service at Glasgow of which we
have records, eleven out of twenty-one graduates entered the ministry.
In addition to archbishop John Spottiswoode, who had been a student
at Glasgow while Melville was principal, among those who entered the
ministry were John Blackburn, Hugh Fullerton, Ninian Young, John
Ross, Andrew Knox, Robert Darroch, Patrick Walkinshaw, Dougal
Campbell, James Cunningham, William Douglas, and Richard Ogill.61
Among those who studied at Glasgow during Melvilles principalship
and who entered into political service were Sir Edward Drummond
and Sir James Fullarton, both of whom acted as diplomats on behalf of
JamesVI.62 Sir Gideon Murray, who graduated in 1581, after being
imprisoned for murder in Edinburgh Castle in 15851586, was knighted
and appointed to the privy council in 1605. In 1611 he became one of
the Octavians as well as the lord high treasurer in 1613.63 Similarly,
Adam Newton, who was graduated from Glasgow in 1582, in addition
to serving as a professor of the Laws at the University of Edinburgh

57
Melville, JMAD, 84; Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 70; Durkan and
Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 292, 303, 311, 375; James K. Cameron,Andrew
Melville in St Andrews in D.W.D. Shaw (ed.), In Divers Manners A St Marys Miscellany
(St Andrews, 1990), 65. With Melville as principal of the University and James serving as
the second regent, Patrick Melvilles appointment as a regent has led James Kirk to refer
to the creation of something of a Melvillian dynasty at Glasgow.
58
Grant, The Story of the University of Edinburgh, 137.
59
D.B. Horn, A Short History of the University of Edinburgh 15561889 (Edinburgh,
1967), 6.
60
Grant, The Story of the University of Edinburgh I, 137, 145; Henrico Charterisio,
Vitae et Obitus D. Roberti Rolloci, Scoti in Robert Rollock, Select Works of Robert Rollock
Vol. I, ed. William M. Gunn (Edinburgh, 1849), xliii. Charteris wrote: Habito examine,
plerique qui comperti sunt ad capessendum cursum philosophicum minus idonei, curae
Duncani Narnii, viri morum elegantia et doctrina singulari, ut eos exactius in literis
humanioribus in sequentem annum institueret, commissi sunt.
61
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 375376.
62
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 70.
63
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 71; Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow
14511577, 381382.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 165

from 15901594, labored in the capacity of tutor and later Secretary to


Prince Henry of Wales.64 Most, if not all, of these graduates in some
capacity studied under Melville himself or his personally trained regents.
Whereas those who commenced their studies toward the end of Melvilles
time in Glasgow may not have attended his lectures, all of them had the
opportunity to benefit from his informal instruction in his daily table
talk.
When Melville arrived in 1574, the University lacked not only an ade-
quately trained academic staff but the financial means of supporting it.
Both the 1563 royal donation and the 1573 intended new foundation
produced by the town of Glasgow were unable to alter the Universitys
grim financial state.65 It was so impoverished that it could only afford to
support two full-time faculty. Melvilles goal of abolishing the medieval
regenting system and replacing it with specialists, therefore, had to wait
until his regents were properly trained and the means to support them
were secured.66 The acquisition of the parsonage and vicarage teinds of
the wealthy parish of Govan significantly improved the Universitys
financial picture though the full fruits would not be harvested until
some years later due to a previous legal arrangement made by the incum-
bent of Govan. Similarly, in June 1575 the lords of Council offered their
own assistance to the struggling University by ordering rent payments
to be made upon threat of imprisonment.67 With this additional revenue,
Glasgows financial picture improved and it was able to add an addi-
tional regent.68
After a year of extensive lecturing on a vast array of subjects and hav-
ing spent countless hours with his students in table talk, Melville in late
September 1575 delegated to his nephew as regent the responsibility
of teaching Greek grammar and literature. James lectured from Isoc
ratesParnesis ad demonicum, the first book of Homers Illiad, Hesiods
, and the poetry of Phocylides, as well as the dialectic
and rhetoric of Ramus and Talon respectively and Ciceros Catilinarian

Grant, The Story of the University of Edinburgh, I, 184186.


64

James Kirk, Melvillian Reform in the Scottish Universities in A.A. MacDonald,


65

Michael Lynch, and Ian B. Cowan (eds.), The Renaissance in Scotland: Studies in
Literature, Religion and Culture (Leiden, 1994), 280; Durkan and Kirk, The University of
Glasgow 14511577, 281.
66
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 281.
67
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 66; Durkan and Kirk, The University
of Glasgow 14511577, 281.
68
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 281.
166 chapter five

orations and paradoxes. The following year James continued his work as
a regent and lectured on arithmetic, geometry, logic, and moral philoso-
phy as well as Ciceros De Officiis, Aristotles Organon and Ethica, and
Platos Phaedo and Axiochus.69 By 1577 Melville had trained enoughschol-
ars that he was able to delegate his academic responsibilities even fur-
ther, giving the task of teaching Latin and Greek language and literature
to Blaise Lawrie while James Melville lectured on logic, mathematics,
and moral philosophy. Peter Blackburn taught astronomy and physics
while Melville himself lectured on the biblical languages and theology.70
Of course, the addition of regents required additional revenue to sup-
port them, and for this the University resorted to the old expedient of
the appropriation of benefices. Notwithstanding the revolutionary
reforms embodied in the1577 nova erectio, it did nothing to reform this
method of financing the University but instead endorsed it.71

A Humanist in Service to the Kirk

Second only during these years to Melvilles service as Principal of the


University of Glasgow was his extensive involvement in the Kirk at both
the provincial and national levels. On the provincial level, Melville
served as a regular preacher in the church of Govan during his princi-
palship at Glasgow.72 His service on the national scene was more varied.
As a humanist with a European reputation for classical studies, Melville
was, upon his return to Scotland, quickly recruited to employ his abili-
ties as a scholar in service to the Kirk. In 1574 he was appointed, along
with George Buchanan, Peter Young, and James Lawson, to evaluate
Patrick Adamsons history of the book of Job in Latin verse.73 Selected as
much for his attainments as a classical scholar and Latin poet as for his
knowledge of theology and the ancient languages of Scripture and their
cognates, Melville was called upon to provide an expert assessment of
Adamsons Latin verse translation. Along with James Lawson, Melville

69
Melville, JMAD, 5354.
70
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 69.
71
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 286287.
72
Shaw, The General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland 15601600, 140141; John
Durkan and James Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577 (Glasgow, 1977), 286287;
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 71, 92.
73
Acts and proceedings of the general assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland from the
M.D.LX. Part First M.D.LM.D.LXXVII ed. Thomas Thomson (Edinburgh, 1839), 310.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 167

brought to this commission an impressive command of Hebrew and


an extensive knowledge of its ancient near eastern cognates. His study
in Paris under Jean Mercier and Jean de Cinqarbres was well-known
to Buchanan, his former Parisian tutor, even as his study in Geneva
underCorneille Bertram was known to Peter Young, his literary corre-
spondent.74 Buchanans skill as a Latin poet and his ability to handle
ancient Hebrew texts had been firmly established in 1566 with the
publication of his celebrated Psalm paraphrases while James Lawsons
study of Hebrew on the continent and his service at St Marys and Kings
College solidified his place among the prominent purveyors of Hebrew
in Scotland.75 Similarly, in 1579 Melville was appointed to a commission
to evaluate the foundations of the colleges and the condition of the
University of St Andrews and to address any corruptions which per-
tained to the Kirk.76 There can be little question that Melvilles successful
efforts in leading the reform of the University of Glasgow and his aca-
demic experience on the continent provided the obvious grounds for his
selection to this commission.
During the 1570s Melville served on the national level as moderator
of the general assembly, a frequent assessor to the moderator, and a
member of various ecclesiastical commissions. In 1578 he was elected
moderator.77 As moderator, he worked in conjunction with those
appointed by the assembly as assessors to determine what matters would
be presented to it. In conjunction with this responsibility, he also had the
opportunity at the subsequent assembly to conduct its public worhip
and preach.78 While the moderator did not exercise a dominating or

Peter Young had been a student at the Genevan Academy from 1562 to 1568 and
74

may have studied under Corneille Bertram, who had been appointed professor ofHebrew
at the Academy in 1567. Alexander Young visited Geneva in 1572 and to his surprise
discovered Melville residing in the city pursuing his studies and teaching in the schola
privata of the Academy. It may have been through Alexanders report that Peter Young
learned of Melvilles study of Hebrew and its ancient near eastern cognates. Cf. Charles
Borgeaud, Histoire de lUniversit de Genve: LAcadmie de Calvin 15591798 (Genve,
1900), 102103. Paul F. Geisendorf, LUniversit de Genve 15591959 (Genve, 1959),
31. An example of Melvilles correspondence with Young during these years may be seen
in the following letter. Letter of Andrew Melville to Peter Young, 14 April 1572, Bodleian,
Smith MS. 77, 27.
75
Robert Lippe (ed.), Selections from Woodrows Biographical Collections Divines of
the North-East of Scotland (Aberdeen, 1890), 194.
76
BUK, II, 43435.
77
Ibid., xviii.
78
Duncan Shaw, The General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland 15601600
(Edinburgh, 1964), 139.
168 chapter five

controling influence in the assembly, the exercise of preaching could be


a potentially potent instrument for inspiring reform and influencing the
Kirks highest judicatory. From his return to Scotland in 1574 until his
relocation to St Andrews in late 1580, Melville served seven times as an
assessor to the moderator.79 Although his voice as an assessor was not
the only one nor was it even the most influential, Melville was in a posi-
tion from 1577 through 1580 to exert some influence on the general
assembly. Complementing his service as moderator and assessor to the
moderator, he also served on various commissions pertaining to ecclesi-
astical procedure and authority. In addition to serving on the committee
which drafted the 1578 Second Book of Discipline,80 in 1577 he was
appointed to a commission instructed to meet with the Regent to answer
questions and discuss the Kirks policy and jurisdiction.81 In 1578 he
was selected to serve on a commission to confer and reason with the
commissioners from the Lords of Secret Counsel regarding the book of
policy.82 In that same year he was appointed along with ten other com-
missioners to discuss with the King and his council the Kirks heads of
policy.83
When Melville was not serving as moderator, an assessor to the mod-
erator, or a commissioner, he labored at assemblies, court, and behind
the scenes as an ecclesiastical statesman to advance the cause of univer-
sity reform and development. In an effort to place the University of
Glasgow on a more secure financial footing, Melville, as an ecclesiastical
statesman, utilized a number of tactics to secure the living of the parish
of Govan for the University. After declining the benefice of Govan,
Melville reportedly delt ernestlie with the Regent him selff suggesting
that he personally appealed to him on behalf of the University. When
this approach proved unsuccessful, he then proceeded to lobby the
Regent behind the scences via his friend Patrick Adamson.84 James
Melville writes that his uncle be all moyen, namlie, of the said MrPatrik,
to haiff it annexit to the Collage indicating that Melville asked his friend

79
BUK, I, 381 392; II, 413, 418, 427, 449, 463.
80
The Second Book of Discipline, ed. James Kirk (Edinburgh, 1980), 4546.
81
David Calderwood, The History of the Kirk of Scotland Vol. III ed. Thomas Thomson
(Edinburgh, 1843), 388.
82
Ibid., 399, 401.
83
Ibid., 40203.
84
Alan R. MacDonald, Best of Enemies: Andrew Melville and Patrick Adamson, c.,
15741592 in Julian Goodare and Alasdair A. MacDonald (eds.), Sixteenth-Century
Scotland Essays in Honour of Michael Lynch (Leiden and Boston, 2008), 26364; Mackie,
The University of Glasgow 14511951, 66.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 169

to exercise whatever influence he had at court with the Regent to secure


the parsonage and vicarage tiends of Govan for the University.85 Similarly,
in 1578 Melville labored with Thomas Smeaton both at the Kirks assem-
blies and at court to establish an Anti-Seminarie at St Andrews.
According to James Melville, the two men cessit never, at Assemblies
and Court, till that wark was begoun and sett fordwart.86 Just as he had
worked with Adamson to secure a more stable financial arrangement for
the University of Glasgow, so he worked in conjunction with Smeaton to
establish a school of theology at St Andrews which would be able to
combat the ever-present threat of the reassertion of Catholicism in
Scotland. Both Melville and Smeaton had connections at court and used
them to advance their agenda. In laying the groundwork for the pro-
posed Anti-Seminarie at St Andrews, Smeaton developed relationships
with various members of the nobility in order to warn them of the dan-
gers of sending their sons to certain parts of Europe.87 It was Smeatons
and Melvilles hope that some of the nobility, instead of sending their
sons abroad to complete their education, would send them to this new
institution.
Melvilles labors as an ecclesiastical statesman were ordinarily con-
ducted as a member of an ecclesiastical commission which had been
directed to meet, confer, and reason with the the Regent, the Lords of
Secret Council, or with the King himself. During these years Melville
did not act independently as an ecclesiastical statesman nor were his
labors in this capacity unusual or exceptional. A number of individuals
during the 1570s were commissioned by the general assembly to per-
form similar functions on behalf of the Kirk and commonwealth. In this
respect, Melvilles service was ordinary. Rather than acting alone or in
isolation from his fellow commissioners, Melville acted in concert with
them and was merely one voice among many. While it does appear that
his selection to serve on the commissions in 1577 and 1578, which
addressed matters of ecclesiastical policy and jurisdiction, were made in
light of his knowledge and experience derived from his time on the con-
tinent in Geneva, he did not exert a dominant or controling influence on
any of these commissions. If his qualifications and experience warranted
regarding him as a primus inter pares among his fellow commissioners,

Melville, JMAD, 5354; Calderwood, History III, 369.


85

Ibid., 76; Calderwood, History III, 407.


86
87
Ibid., On the re-assertion of Catholicism and the Jesuit presence in Scotland see
Thomas M. McCoog S.J., The Society of Jesus in Ireland, Scotland, and England 1541
1588 (Leiden, 1996).
170 chapter five

his service did not distinguish him in this capacity. Nevertheless, the
mid to late 1570s were a period of intense ecclesiastical activity for
Melville and his service as an ecclesiastical statesman, moderator, asses-
sor to the moderator, and commissioner of the general assembly was
only to increase in the following decades.

Fellow Humanists and Advocates of Reform

As early as 1575 Melville had begun to indicate that his reforming ambi-
tions went far beyond the confines of Glasgow to include the reform of
Scotlands other medieval universities at St Andrews and Old Aberdeen.88
Following the 1575 general assembly he traveled to Angus with his
nephew and Alexander Arbuthnot, principal of Kings College, Old
Aberdeen.89 Arbuthnot had matriculated at St Marys College in 1552
where he studied and was graduated in 1554 and 1555.90 Following his
graduation he taught at St Andrews, being licensed to teach in 1556, and
served as an examiner in the faculty of arts in 1556 and 1558.91 In 1561
he traveled to the continent to further his education where he studied
civil law at the University of Bourges for five years under Jacques Cujas.92
Widely recognized as one of the most learned men of his age in Scotland
and highly regarded by his peers, upon his return to Scotland he was
appointed principal of Kings College in 1569 and upon James Lawsons
departure from the University in 1572 served as minister at St Machars
Cathedral in Old Aberdeen.93 Archbishop John Spottiswoode described
him as a polymath who was in all sciences expert; a good poet, mathe-
matician, philosopher, theologue, lawyer, and in medicine skilful, so as

88
Stevenson, Kings College, Aberdeen, 15601641, 29.
89
Melville, JMAD, 53. On Arbuthnot see Lippe, Selections from Woodrows Biographical
Collections Divines of the North-East of Scotland, 179192.
90
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, 152153, 256.
91
Annie I. Dunlop, Introduction in Acta Facultatis Artium Universitatis Sanctiandree
14131588 Vol. I, (Edinburgh, 1964), Lxxiv; James Kirk, Arbuthnot, Alexander (1538
1583), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 2 (Oxford, 2004), 318319.
92
Lippe, Selections from Woodrows Biographical Collections, 180.
93
Stevenson, Kings College, Aberdeen, 15601641, 26; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville
II, 375. McCrie mistakenly identifies 1568 rather than 1569 as the year Arbuthnot was
made Principal. Cf. P.J. Anderson, Officers and Graduates of University & Kings
CollegeAberdeen 14951860 (Aberdeen, 1893), 25; John Malcolm Bulloch, The University
of Aberdeen 14951895 (London, 1895), 79; Robert Sangster Rait, The Universities of
Aberdeen A History (Aberdeen, 1895), 101.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 171

in every subject he could promptly discourse, and to good purpose.94


Spending five years on the continent immersed in the study of the new
jurisprudence, Arbuthnot possessed a profound appreciation for the
New Learning and the humanist values cherished so deeply by Melville.
James Melville described him as a man of singular gifts of lerning, wis-
dome, godlines, and sweitnes of nature,95 and his untimely death in
1583 was a devastating personal loss to Melville.96 Melvilles sense of loss
at the death of Arbuthnot on 10 October 1583 was compounded by the
death of Thomas Smeaton just two months later on 13 December. These
deaths came shortly on the heels of another poignant loss for Melville,
the death of George Buchanan just one year earlier on 28 September
1582. Within the span of little over a year Melville had lost three of his
most trusted and intimate companions, fellow humanists, and advocates
of the New Learning.97
At their meeting in 1575 following the assembly Melville is said to
have discussed with Arbuthnot the haill ordour of his Collage in doc-
trine and discipline and to have aggreit, as thaireefter was set down, in
the new reformation of the said Collages of Glasgw and Aberdein.98 At
this meeting Melville also apparently gave Arbuthnot a copy of Walter
Travers Ecclesiasticae disciplinae explicatio.99 Although he had not

94
John Spottiswoode, The History of the Church of Scotland Vol. II (Edinburgh, 1850),
319. Spottiswoode wrote of Arbuthnot: by his diligent teaching and dextrous
government, he not only revived the study of good letters, but gained many from the
superstitions whereunto they were given. He was greatly loved of all men, hated of none,
and in such account for his moderation with the chief men of these parts, that without
his advice they could almost do nothing.
95
Melville, JMAD, 53.
96
Andrew Melville, Epitaphium Alexandri Arbuthneti in Arthur Johnston (ed.),
Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637), 120121. Melville wrote: Flere mihi si
fas privata incommoda, si fas / Publica, nec tua mi commoda flere nefas: / Flerem ego te,
mihi te ereptum, pater Arbuthnete, / Et pater, & patri lux oculusque tu. / Flerem ego
te superis carum caput Arbuthnete, / Et caput, & sacri corque animusque chori (eheu! /
Flerem ego sienti floret aut pudor, aut modus, / Flerem egote, te ehu! Flerem ego per-
petuo? / Delici humani generis: dulcissime rerum: / Quem Mus & Charites blando
aluere sinu. / Cujus in ore lepos; sapiens in pectore virtus: / Et Suad & Sophi vis bene
juncta simul. / Cui pietas, cui prisca fides, constantia, candor, / Et pudor, & probitas non
habuere parem. / Sacras & Themidis, medicas & ponis artes, / Et potis immensi pan-
dere jura poli. / Vis animi, vis ingenii, vis vivida mentis / Et terram, & pontum, & sidera
perdomuit. / Talis erat hic vum agitans: nunc there summo / Celsior, & summo non
procul inde Deo. / Perfrueris vera in patria cloque Deoque / Flix: hc tua me com-
moda flere nefas.
97
I.D. McFarlane, Buchanan, (London, 1981), 475.
98
Melville, JMAD, 53.
99
A. F. Scott Pearson, Thomas Cartwright and Elizabethan Puritanism (Cambridge,
1925), 142.
172 chapter five

acquired all of the linguistic tools Melville had obtained nor the formal
theological training, Arbuthnot has been described as Melvilles earnest
disciple, apt pupil, and intimate friend whose views were closely
united to Melvilles own.100 Seven years his junior, Melville admired
Arbuthnots extensive knowledge of jurisprudence, his skill as a poet, his
wit and ingenuity, and his vigorous strength of mind, as well as his piety,
faith, constancy, kindness, modesty, and integrity. From the epitaph
Melville wrote in honor of his beloved friend and colleague where he
referred to him as pater Arbuthnete, it appears that he may have had as
much an impact upon Melville as Melville had on him.101 Certainly the
close similarities between Glasgows 1577 nova erectio and Aberdeens
1583 intended nova fundatio confirm James Melvilles remark that
Melville and Arbuthnot were agreed in their basic views on university
reform.102 Both men had studied at St Marys College and had traveled to
France where they studied civil law at the leading centers of jurispru-
dence. Both were the direct beneficiaries of the French Renaissance,
studying in France during the 1560s, the apex of the movements intel-
lectual and cultural achievement.103 Both shared a common vision for
reform of Scotlands medieval universities.
However, despite their common influences, shared humanist values,
and basic educational agreement, it is, nevertheless, difficult to deter-
mine exactly who influenced whom, even as it is difficult to assess the
extent to which Arbuthnot embraced Ramism. While there is some
evidence to support the view that Ramism was present in Old Aberdeen
at Kings College, the absence of confirmation from official university
records to support this claim makes it impossible to affirm with

100
Bulloch, The University of Aberdeen 14951895, 77, 79; Rait, The Universities of
Aberdeen A History, 101; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 138. Cf. National Library of
Scotland, Wodrow MSS, folio vol., xlii, f.11r. J. Marshall Lang describes Arbuthnot as
a stauch friend and ally of Andrew Melville. Cf. J. Marshall Lang, Hector Boece and
the Principals in P.J. Anderson (ed.), Studies in the History and Development of the
University of Aberdeen (Aberdeen, 1906), 35.
101
Melville, Epitaphium Alexandri Arbuthneti, 121.
102
For the text and translation of the nova fundatio of Kings College, Aberdeen see
Anderson, Officers and Graduates of University & Kings College Aberdeen 14951860,
335347; Stevenson, Kings College, Aberdeen, 15601641, 149166. For the text and
translation of the University of Glasgows nova erectio see Durkan and Kirk, The
University of Glasgow 14511577, 430448.
103
Peter Sharratt, Peter Ramus and the Reform of the University: the Divorce of
Philosophy and Eloquence? in Peter Sharratt (ed.), French Renaissance Studies 154070
Humanism and the Encyclopedia (Edinburgh, 1976), 4; McFarlane, Buchanan, 10.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 173

c ertainty.104 At best, Ramus influence in the academic reforms proposed


under Arbuthnot may be inferred rather than proved.105 Indeed, the ear-
liest evidence that Ramus and Talons works were part of the curriculum
at Kings traces back only to 1641.106 Nevertheless, there are a number of
pieces of evidence to support the contention that Ramus and his writ-
ings were known and even studied at Kings College during the late six-
teenth and early seventeenth centuries. Principals Walter Stuart and
David Rait respectively possessed copies of Ramus Commentaries on the
Christian Religion and Omer Talons Rhetoric while principal William
Leslie owned a copy of Ramus Lectures on Mathematics.107 The very fact
that these works survived may indicate that Ramus writings were selec-
tively used by the teaching staff at Kings College. While we are not war-
ranted in affirming this with certainty, it remains a distinct possibility. In
conjunction with these works, two alumni, John Johnston and Robert
Howie, after completing their studies at Kings College in 1584 traveled
to the continent where they further pursued their education under
Ramist scholars.108 While again this evidence is not conclusive, it is
suggestive that Ramus thought and writings were to some extent part
of the curriculum at Kings, even as they had been at Glasgow and
St Marys.109
Arbuthnot agreed with Melville in abolishing the regenting system
and supplanting it with specialist instruction, even as he agreed more
basically on the place that the ancient languages should occupy in the
new scheme. Despite Arbuthnots own lack of knowledge of Hebrew,
Aramaic, and Syriac, his colleague at Kings College, James Lawson, had
been appointed along with him in 1569 as sub-principal due largely to
his knowledge of Hebrew.110 Indeed, upon his return from the continent

Kirk, Melvillian Reform in the Scottish Universities, 288289; Robert Letham,


104

The Foedus Operum: Some Factors Accounting for its Development, Sixteenth Century
Journal, 14: 4 (1983), 465.
105
James Kerr Cameron, Introduction in James Kerr Cameron (ed.), Letters of John
Johnston and Robert Howie (Edinburgh and London, 1963), xvixvii.
106
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 289.
107
Anderson, Officers and Graduates of University & Kings College Aberdeen 1495
1860, 2525; Stevenson, Kings College, Aberdeen, 15601641, 44.
108
Cameron, Introduction, xxiv, xxix. Cameron maintains that Johnston was a fol-
lower of the Ramists and an ardent opponent of the Aristotelians who had heard Ramus
and the Aristotelians discussed during his time at the Universities of Rostock and
Helmstdt.
109
Stevenson, Kings College, Aberdeen, 15601641, 45.
110
Ibid., 26, 28; Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 285, 289;
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, 267; Anderson, Officers and
174 chapter five

where he made himself master of the Hebrew tongue, Lawson taught


Hebrew at St Marys before transferring to Kings College.111 Lawsons
teaching at St Marys in the late 1560s and at Kings in 1569 and beyond
suggests that prior to Melvilles return, there was already a recognition of
the importance of the ancient languages in the curriculum at St Andrews
and Old Aberdeen. Melvilles promotion of the ancient languages should
be understood as an accentuation and development of an emphasis that
had existed since the proposed Reformation of Scotlands medieval uni-
versities in 1560.112
In addition to his relationship with Arbuthnot during these years,
Melville also formed relationships with two other humanist literary fig-
ures, Patrick Adamson and Thomas Smeaton. A graduate of the Perth
Grammar School, Adamson, also known by the name Constantine, was
educated at St Marys College matriculating in 1554, determining as a
bachelor in 1556 and designated a pauper, and graduating MA in
1558.113 After teaching for a brief period at St Marys and serving as min-
ister of Ceres in Fife, Adamson in 1566 traveled to France where he
studied law, like Arbuthnot, at the University of Bourges.114 Upon the
completion of his legal studies, Adamson returned to Scotland in 1570
at which time he was offered the office of principal at St Leonards College
as George Buchanan had demitted the office and had recommended
him as his replacement.115 Adamson and Buchanan had apparently met
while the latter was in France during the winter 15651566, at whichtime
Adamson composed a liminary verse for the humanists Franciscanus.
During his time in Paris he also began work on his Latin verse paraphrase

Graduates of University & Kings College Aberdeen 14951860, 39, 52; W.T. Orem, A
Description of the Chanonry, Cathedral and Kings College of Old Aberdeen, 172425
(London, 1782), 136140. Stevenson maintains that a certain Thomas Ogston, who also
had been appointed in 1569, reportedly possessed a knowledge of Hebrew and presum-
ably could have taught it when Lawson left Aberdeen in 1572 to become minister of
Edinburgh. The official records of the University, however, do not list any individual by
that name as regent. Neither does Orem identify Thomas Ogston in his list of regents.
111
Lippe, Selections from Wodrows Biographical Collections Divines of the North-East
of Scotland, 194.
112
For an extensive look at Scotlands universities during the medieval period see
John Durkan, The Scottish Universities in the Middle Ages 14131560 (Edinburgh
PhD, Thesis, 1959).
113
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, 154, 156, 259; James Kirk,
Adamson, Patrick (15371592), ODNB, Vol. 1 (Oxford, 2004), 288292.
114
James K. Cameron, Andrew Melville in St Andrews in D.W.D. Shaw (ed.),
In Divers Manners A St Marys Miscellany (St Andrews, 1990), 60; McCrie, Life of Andrew
Melville II, 384.
115
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 384; McFarlane, Buchanan, 224.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 175

of the Book of Job, the very work Melville was assigned to evaluate upon
his return in 1574, along with Buchanan, Young, and Lawson.116
After declining the offer to become principal of St Leonards, Adamson
became minister at Paisley in 1572 and chose to reside in Glasgow close
to the University where he emerged as a man of notable ingyne, letters,
and eloquence and became a grait frind and companion of Melville.117
It is possible that Melville and Adamson first crossed paths while the
latter was teaching at St Marys after his graduation in 1558 or even while
he was ministering at Ceres in Fife. They may also have become further
acquainted in France, as they possessed a mutual humanist mentor in
George Buchanan and both spent time with him while he was in Paris
during the winter 15651566.118 However they first met, these human-
ists found in each other a mutual adherence to Protestantism and pos-
sibly Reformed theology as Adamsons visit to Geneva to meet Beza
during his time on the continent may suggest as well as a devotion to
the art of neo-Latin poetry.
Despite Adamsons unequivocal alignment in 1576 with the Episcopal
party in the Kirk when he became archbishop of St Andrews, his writ
tenattacks against his fellow humanist, and the reputation as Melvilles
bitterest opponent earned as a result of his intrigue, Melville visited
him in his poverty and sickness in 1592, supported his family from his
own private resources, and obtained further financial support for him
from his friends in St Andrews.119 While Melville tended to overshadow
him in both the University and Kirk, Adamson was, prior to his ecclesi-
astical appointment as archbishop, an elegant Latin poet who published
in 1564 De papistarum superstitiosis ineptiis and in 1566 Genethliacum.120

McFarlane, Buchanan, 218, 240; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 63.


116

Melville, JMAD, 53; Kirk, Adamson, Patrick (15371592), 288.


117
118
McFarlane, Buchanan, 240.
119
Leicester Bradner, Musae Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin Poetry 15001925
(New York and London, 1940), 151; James W. L. Adams, The Renaissance Poets (2)
Latin in James Kinsley (ed.), Scottish Poetry A Critical Survey (London, 1955), 83;
Melville, JMAD, 289; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 218221, 312, 314316. Despite
Adamsons machinations and efforts to subvert the Presbyterian cause, he later fell into
disfavor with James VI and was helpless to prevent either the annexation of his tempo-
ralities or the sequestering of his annuity, which was given to the Duke of Lennox. Even
his elegant Latin verse addressed to the King in an effort to obtain his favor and financial
assistance fell on deaf ears. Abandoned and betrayed by those who had previously sup-
ported him, Adamson requested the provincial synod of Fife to remove his sentence of
excommunication, renounced his Episcopal views and his defense of Arrans parliament,
and expressed his profound regret for his opposition to the churchs judicatories.
120
Cameron, Andrew Melville in St Andrews, 63; Bradner, Musae Anglicanae, 152;
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 385.
176 chapter five

Not until 1618, well after Adamsons death, was his Poemata sacra pub-
lished in London during the same year as the famous Perth Assembly.121
Although Adamsons ecclesiastical alignment prevented a deepening of
his relationship with Melville, their friendship, which presumably existed
prior to their time in Glasgow, developed during the years 15741576
largely along humanist lines.122 They were undoubtedly drawn together
by their common educational experiences in Scotland and France stud-
ying civil law, their mutual friendship with Scotlands own poet laureate
Buchanan, and their shared humanistic sensibilities, values, and devo-
tion to the composition of Latin verse.
During these years in Glasgow, Melville also developed a close rela-
tionship with the humanist and Latinist Thomas Smeaton.123 Born in
Gask near Perth, Smeaton probably received his earliest formal educa-
tion at the Perth Grammar School where he was thoroughly trained in
the Latin language and its literature before proceeding to university.
In 1554 he matriculated at St Salvators College and was graduated in
1556.124 Following graduation, he taught as a regent in St Salvators in
1558 until the Reformation of 1560 at which time he traveled with
Provost William Cranston to the University of Paris.125 According to
Dempster, Smeaton taught Latin first at the University of Paris and sub-
sequently with great success, or magno ingenii applausu, at the Jesuit
Collge de Clermont.126 While in Paris he spent time with a number of
Protestant humanists among whom were Thomas Maitland, who had
been a classmate of Melvilles, having matriculated at St Marys in 1559
1560,127 Gilbert Moncrieff, and Andrew Melville.128 While he may have
served as a tutor to Maitland during their travels, Smeaton is reported to

121
Bradner, Musae Anglicanae, 151; Adams, The Renaissance Poets (2) Latin, 83.
122
Melville, JMAD, 5657. James Melville writes of Adamson accepting the archbish-
opric of St Andrews contrary to his previous statement to the General Assembly: And,
nevertheless, or the nixt Assemblie, he was seasit hard and fast on the bischoprik; wherby
all gossoprie ged upe betwin him and my uncle Mr Andro.
123
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 80.
124
Spottiswoode, History of the Church of Scotland Vol. II (Edinburgh, 1850), 320;
H. M. B. Reid, The Divinity Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654 (Glasgow,
1917), 83; Anderson, Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, 154, 259.
125
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, 254; John Durkan,
Smeaton, Thomas (15361583), ODNB, Vol. 50 (Oxford, 2004), 985986.
126
Thomas Dempster, Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Scotorum: Sive, De Scriptoribus
Scotis (Edinburgh, 1829), 586; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 379380; Reid, The
Divinity Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654, 97. Dempster writes: in
Claromontano ibidem collegio, magno ingenii applausu, easdem artes docuit ....
127
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, 267.
128
Melville, JMAD, 73.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 177

have written Epitaphium Metellani in honor of his fellow humanist and


friend.129 In 1572 after his visit to Italy Smeaton again came into contact
with Melville and Moncrieff when he stopped in Geneva. According to
Spottiswoode, while Smeaton was in Geneva he was there confirmed in
the religion to which a little before he was inclining.130 After a protracted
struggle with his Catholic faith and his further discussions with Melville
and Moncrieff, he traveled to Paris where he narrowly escaped with his
life, receiving the protection of the English ambassador Sir Francis
Walsingham from the St Bartholomews Day massacres in August 1572.
Following his escape, Smeaton traveled to England where he served as
schoolmaster at Colchester in Essex.131
After five years in England, Smeaton returned to Scotland in 1577
where he accepted the position as minister of Paisley Abbey. While there
seems to be little evidence to support McCries assertion that Smeaton
chose Paisley chiefly for the sake of enjoying Melvilles society, Melvilles
presence at the nearby University made the position more attractive.132
Their relationship, which had been founded on a mutual appreciation of
Latin literature and a commitment to the New Learning of the Renais
sance, was only enhanced by their now common profession of Reformed
Protestantism. In 1578 Smeaton was appointed dean of faculty, making
him Melvilles colleague, and after he succeeded the humanist as princi-
pal of the University in 1580, he demonstrated his commitment to the
New Learning of the Renaissance by drafting a constitution which
affirmed Melvilles reforms.133 According to James Melville, Smeaton and
his uncle mervelouslie conspiring in purposes and judgments, war the
first motioners of an Anti-Seminarie to be erected in St Androis.134
Melvilles influence over Smeaton may be seen in their 1578 confer-
ence where he successfully movit him to mak answer to the sam,

129
Dempster, Historia Ecclesiastica, 586; Spottiswoode, History of the Church of
Scotland II, 320; William S. McKechnie, Thomas Maitland, SHR, 4 (Apr., 1907), 293.
While Maitland was traveling through France on his way to Italy in 1571, he invited
Smeaton to join him.
130
Spottiswoode, History of the Church of Scotland II, 320.
131
Melville, JMAD, 73; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 381382; Durkan and Kirk,
The University of Glasgow 14511577, 334335.
132
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 382; Spottiswoode, History of the Church of
Scotland II, 320. Spottiswoode is mistaken when he identifies the year of Smeatons
return as 1578.
133
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 79; Durkan and Kirk, The University
of Glasgow 14511577, 277; Durkan, Smeaton, Thomas (15361583), 985986. Durkan
identifies 1577 as the year Smeaton was appointed dean of the faculty of arts.
134
Melville, JMAD, 76.
178 chapter five

r eferring to a polemical work written against Calvinism by Archibald


Hamilton, entitled De confusione Calvinian.135 In 1579 Smeaton pub-
lished his own reply to Hamilton under the title orthodoxa responsio.136
Although Smeatons work elicited a response from Hamilton in 1581,
entitled Calvinianae confusionis demonstratio, his work established that
he was skilled in the ancient languages and possessed an impressive
knowledge of patristic literature.137 When Smeaton died in Glasgow in
December 1583, Melville lamented the loss of Glasgua stella, who
along with the light of the north, Alexander Arbuthnot, had for years
repelled the darkness of ignorance in Scotland but who were now both
gone. Melville had lost not merely a fellow humanist and scholar of the
New Learning but a beloved and cherished friend in Smeaton.138
Smeaton, Arbuthnot, and Melville during these years constituted a
humanist triumvirate in Scotland and were described by James Melville
as thrie of the lernedest in Europe. While such encomiums may be
questioned, their promotion of the humanist values of the Renaissance
cannot. During these years, when the General Assembly met in Edin
burgh, they often resided together in the home of John Dury, an inti-
mate acquaintance of John Knox and minister of Leith, Edinburgh, and
Montrose, who frequently extended such hospitality.139 When Melville

135
Ibid., 7576; Archibald Hamilton S.J., De confusione Calvinian sect apud Scotos
ecclesi nomen ridicule usurpantis dialogus (Paris, 1577).
136
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 7980; Reid, The Divinity Principals
in the University of Glasgow 15451654, 104; Thomas Smeaton, Ad virulentem Archibaldi
Hamiltonii apostatae dialogum, de confusione Calvinianae sectae apud Scotos, impie con
scriptum, orthodoxa responsio (Edinburgh, 1579).
137
Spottiswoode, History of the Church of Scotland II, 320; Durkan and Kirk, The
University of Glasgow 14511577, 335; Archibald Hamilton S.J., Calvinianae confusionis
demonstratio, contra maledicam ministrorum Scotiae responsionem (Paris, 1581).
138
Andrew Melville, In Alexandrum Arbuthnetum & Thomam Smetonium, duo nos
tr gentis lumina, ad Septemtriones & Meridiem nuper extincta in Arthur Johnston (ed.),
Deliti Ptarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637), 121; Reid, The Divinity Principals in the
University of Glasgow 15451654, 102; Dempster, Historia Ecclesiastica, 586. Dempster
mistakenly identifies the year of Smeatons death as 1578. Melville wrote: Vix heu, vix
raptum deflevimus Arbuthnetum, / Vix heu justa datis solvimus inferiis; /Et premit
altera mors, et funere funus acerbat:/ Et magno extincto lumine majus obit. /Ille quidem
Arctoa tenebras de nocte fugabat:/ Fulgebas medio Glasgua stella die. / Quod si luce sua
spoliata est noxque diesque / Nostra, eheu quantis obruimur tenebris! / Aut ergo ten-
ebris revoca lucem; aut homin lux / Christe redi; ut nobis stet sine nocte dies.
139
Melville, JMAD, 78; Thomas McCrie, Life of John Knox (Edinburgh, 1850), 339;
John Spottiswoode, History of the Church of Scotland III (Edinburgh, 1850), 83. On John
Dury see Lippe, Selections from Wodrows Biographical Collections, 124164. When Dury
died in February 1600 Melville wrote Epitaphium D. Joan. Duraei, pastoris integerrimi et
fidissimi Celurcani, qui diem extremum clausit, Kal. Mart. 1600 in honor of his beloved
colleague and host.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 179

was transferred to St Marys College in 1580, there were present in all


three of Scotlands universities humanists whose deep devotion to the
New Learning of the Renaissance was second only to their commitment
to Reformed Protestantism.

1577 Nova Erectio

The culmination of Melvilles reforming efforts came on 13 July 1577


when James VI issued a nova erectio for the College, securing its finan-
cial stability by providing the means for a principal, three regents, a
steward, four poor students, a servant for the principal, a cook, and a
janitor. Certainly the most practical facet of the nova erectio was the new
financial arrangement it established. Acknowledging the Universitys
dire financial situation,140 the charter, in an effort to obviate the sting of
poverty, granted it the parsonage and vicarage of Govan, as well as the
sheriffdom of Renfrew with all teinds, emoluments and fruits, glebe
and manses, and all other advantages which by right or custom of our
kingdom may in any way belong thereto.141 By placing the University on
a secure financial footing, the reforms that Melville had envisioned and
discussed at length with Buchanan and Arbuthnot and his other fellow
humanists were now a reality.
The nova erectio has been rightly called a landmark in Scottish
university organization, and its influence on its sister universities,
St Andrews in 1579 and in Old Aberdeen in its intended new foundation
in 1583, has been well established. For three hundred years the nova
erectio remained a constitutive feature of the Universitys constitution.142

140
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 432, 441. The nova erectio
reads: Hinc est quod nos dum rem literariam passim per regnum in Dei gloriam pro-
movere studeremus animum etiam nostrum adiecerimus ad colligendas relliquias acad-
emie Glasguensis quam pre inopia languescentem ac iam pene confectam reperimus.
141
Innes, Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis I, 105106. The nova erectio
reads: Collegio nostro Glasguensi Totam et integram rectoriam de Govane cum vicaria
eiusdem jacentem in diocese Glasguensi et vicecomitatu nostro de Ranfrew vacantem
per decessum Magistri Stephani Betoun rectoris eiusdem non ita pridem vita functi cum
omnibus decimis emolumentis et fructibus gleba et mansionibus omnibusque aliis com-
modis que de iure aut consuetudine regni quomodolibet pertinere queant.
142
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 287288; Kirk, Melvillian
Reform in the Scottish Universities, 287, 430. On the new foundation at St Andrews see
Ronald Gordon Cant, The New Foundation of 1579 in Historical Perspective St Johns
House Papers, No. 2 (St Andrews, 1979); J. K. Cameron, The Refoundation of the
University in 1579, Alumnus Chronicle of the University of St Andrews, 71 (1980), 310.
On the new foundation at Kings College, Aberdeen see Stevenson, Kings College,
Aberdeen, 15601641, 160.
180 chapter five

Indeed, the philosopher Thomas Reid at the very end of the eighteenth
century once called the 1577 nova erectio the modern constitution of
the University of Glasgow.143 Neither the proposed reform of Scotlands
universities in 1560 by the First Book of Discipline, George Buchanans
specific proposal for the reform of the University of St Andrews in the
1560s, nor even Glasgows 1573 town charter came even close to achiev-
ing what the nova erectio of 1577 accomplished.144
Composed in what some have called the good Latin of the
Renaissance145 and what others have praised as excellent, if rather
florid, Latin,146 there can be little question that the author was none
other than Melville himself. While there are many reasons drawn purely
from the content of the document itself in support of Melvillian author-
ship, the humanistic language of the nova erectio tends to support this
view. In discussing one of the Universitys stated goals for its students,
the nova erectio declares its desire that students would become an orna-
ment to the commonwealth.147 In addition to honoring their parents
and training young men to be of service to the church, the distinctively
humanistic terminology an ornament to the commonwealth intimates
a distinctive set of values thoroughly consistent with the studia humani
tatis of the European Renaissance and a humanist scholar like Melville.148
Similarly, the classical reference to Cimmerian darkness also under-
scores the self-consciously humanistic character of the document and
indicates an author, such as Melville, thoroughly familiar with ancient
Greek literature.149
The nova erectio differs in a number of respects from previous pro-
posals for reform, reflecting Melvilles own distinctive humanistic char-
acter, values, and contribution to the reform of Scotlands medieval

143
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 73.
144
On the proposed reforms of the First Book of Discipline see Of the Erection of
Universities in The First Book of Discipline ed. James K. Cameron (Edinburgh, 1972),
137155. Brown, Vernacular Writings of George Buchanan, 617.
145
Mackie, The University of Glasgow 14511951, 73.
146
Grant, The Story of the University of Edinburgh, 84.
147
Innes, Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis I, 111; Durkan and Kirk, The
University of Glasgow 14511577, 446447. The text reads: Studentes autem quos magno
numero speramus passim ex toto hoc regno ad Gymnasium nostrum confluxuros / vol-
umes quiete et pacifice degere neminem ciuium verbo vel facto ledere Rectori
Gymnasiarche et regentibus morem gerere sedulos esse in bonarum literarum studiis vt
parentibus honori ecclesie vsui et reipublice ornamento esse queant.
148
For an excellent discussion of the humanist as ornament see David O. McNeil,
Guillaume Bud and Humanism in the Reign of Francis I (Genve, 1975), 4960.
149
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 447.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 181

universities. As one example, whereas both the First Book of Discipline


and Buchanans Opinion provided a place for instruction in Hebrew, nei-
ther proposal required the principal to possess a competency in Syriac
as did the nova erectio.150 Of course, by the summer of 1577 Melville had
for the last three years at Glasgow been engaged in a rigorous program
of instruction in Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac, demonstrating
from such different literary genres as poetry, sapiential literature, his-
torical narrative, and epistles how to translate and properly interpret the
ancient canonical texts.151 The nova erectio rather than introducing new
instruction merely codified what Melville had been progressively imple-
menting since 1574.
Melvilles reforms of Glasgows curriculum reflected his own human-
istic values and may be seen most vividly in the introduction of the study
of Greek during the freshman year, the undergraduate study of Hebrew,
and the study of history.152 He blended the use of classical sources with
the most current and innovative scholarship of the European Renaissance.
Similarly, in contrast to Glasgows 1573 town charter, which concen-
trated on the importance of studying the philosophies to the exclusion
of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, geography, history, Greek, and
Hebrew, the 1577 nova erectio, in keeping with the academic trends on
the continent, provided a place for such studies.153 Given Melvilles thor-
oughly humanistic training, it is not difficult to appreciate the profoundly
humanistic character of the reforms which he implemented at Glasgow.
His time on the continent in France and Switzerland profoundly shaped
the contours of his humanism, and his subsequent university reforms in
Scotland cannot be accurately understood or appreciated apart from the
milieu of the sixteenth-century French Renaissance.

150
Innes, Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis, Vol. I, 106; Durkan and Kirk,
The University of Glasgow 14511577, 433, 442; The First Book of Discipline, 141, 143;
Brown, Vernacular Writings of George Buchanan, 14. The nova erectio reads: Is in sacris
literis probe institutus ad aperienda fidei misteria et reconditos diuini verbi thesauros
explicandos idoneus linguarum etiam gnarus et peritus sit oportet inprimis vero
Hebraice et Syriace cuius professorem esse instituimus, linguam enim sanctam vt par est
promoueri inter subditos nostros cupimus vt scripturarum fontes et misteria rectius
aperiantur.
151
Melville, JMAD, 49.
152
Samuel Eliot Morison, The Founding of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA,
1935),134.
153
Kirk, Melvillian Reform in the Scottish Universities, 281; Durkan and Kirk, The
University of Glasgow 14511577, 285. On Glasgows 1573 town charter see Innes,
Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis I, 8290.
182 chapter five

The thoroughly humanistic character of the nova erectio may be seen


particularly in the primary functions of the principal. As one who was to
be learned and skilled in the ancient languages of Greek, Hebrew,
Aramaic, and Syriac, the principal was to provide, as Melville had,
instruction in these languages and to lecture upon the text of Scripture
on alternate days throughout the week. In stressing the importance of
original language study and by modeling for his pupils a method of exe-
gesis which paid careful attention to historical and philological issues,
the principal embodied a number of humanist values central to the
northern European Renaissance.154
Perhaps the most revolutionary measure Melville employed in the
reform of the University of Glasgow was the replacement of the outdated
system of regenting with specialist instruction. By replacing the medie-
val system of regenting, Melville was, in one sense, breaking radically
from how university education had been conducted in Scotland during
the Middle Ages.155 In another sense, he was merely bringing Scottish
university instruction up-to-date with the latest developments on the
continent.156 Of course, in 1560 the First Book of Discipline had theoreti-
cally proposed to dispense with the system of regenting in favor of read-
ers for each separate subject, but these plans were never implemented.157
The task of supplanting the regenting system, which was left to Melville
when he arrived in Glasgow in late 1574, could not be accomplished
immediately because of Glasgows deplorable financial state and an
inadequately trained regent. In abolishing the practice of regenting,Glas
gow became the first of Scotlands medieval universities to implement
specialist instruction and through it to introduce the New Learning.158

154
Innes, Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis I, 106; Durkan and Kirk,
The University of Glasgow 14511577, 433, 442. The text reads: Itaque dicto nostro
Gymnasiarche committimus quo sedulitatis exemplum toti Collegio diligentia sua sub-
ministret vt indies singulos horam saltem vnam prelegendo impendat quo tempore
maxime erit oportunum Alternis autem diebus prelectionem Theologicam selegat ad
explicandos scripturarum recessus alternis linguam ipsam sanctam auditoribus
explicaturus.
155
Grant, The Story of the University of Edinburgh, 147.
156
Innes, Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis I, 109; Durkan and Kirk, The
University of Glasgow 14511577, 435, 444. The nova erectio reads: Tres autem hos
regentes nolumus prout in reliquis regni nostri Academiis consuetudo est nouas profes-
siones quotannis immutare quo fit ut dum multa profiteantur in paucis periti inuenian-
tur verum in eadem professione se exerceant vt adolescentes qui gradatim ascendunt
dignum suis studiis et ingeniis preceptorem reperire queant.
157
Cameron, The First Book of Discipline, 138150.
158
Kirk, Melvillian Reform in the Scottish Universities, 281.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 183

This profound change in university instruction was evidently borne out


of Melvilles own experience on the continent, especially at the Collge
Royal with its Lecteurs Royaux. As James Melville later wrote of his
uncles declining the Regent Mortons offer of service, Mr Andro yit
liked nocht to be in Court, bot rather to be in sum Universitie, and pro-
fess thair as the Kings Lectors in Parise.159 Although the old system of
regenting was restored at Glasgow during the era of the Covenanters in
the seventeenth century, Melvilles leadership reveals that he was a for-
ward-thinking humanist who was in touch with the most current aca-
demic trends of the European Renaissance.160
The abolition of the regenting system was effectively accomplished in
the nova erectio in the section that delineated the academic responsibili-
ties of regents. The first regent was designated a professor of the princi-
ples of rhetoric and was assigned the duty of Greek language instruction,
teaching his students to write and deliver speeches in both Greek and
Latin.161 While the first regent was to teach rhetoricfromthemostapp
roved authors, the second regent was to provide instruction in dialec-
tics and logic out of the best authors, conveniently identified as Cicero,
Plato, and Aristotle among others. In addition, the second regent was to
teach arithmetic and geometry. The third regent was given the responsi-
bility to lecture on physiology, geography, astronomy, general chronol-
ogy, and the observation of nature, as well as to superintend the college
in the principals absence. Then, so as to remove all doubt that the nova
erectio was, in fact, abolishing the old regenting system, it declared, it is
not our will that these three regents change every year into new courses
but they shall exercise themselves in the same course.162
Surprisingly, in light of the high-profile position that Ramist litera-
ture occupied in Melvilles curriculum at Glasgow, the works of Ramus
and Talon are not explicitly mentioned in the nova erectio. There are
references to the most approved authors and the best authors, which
are identified as Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero.163 However, despite such

Melville, JMAD, 45.


159

Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 280; Grant, The Story of
160

the University of Edinburgh, 147.


161
Innes, Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis I, 108.
162
Durkan and Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577, 435, 444.
163
Innes, Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis I, 108109; Durkan and Kirk,
The University of Glasgow 14511577, 435, 444. The text reads: Proximus Dialectice et
Logice explicande operam dabit earumque precepta in vsum et exercitationem proferet
idque ex probatissimis auctoribus vt Cicerone Platone Aristotile de vita et moribus
et policia administratione / que studia huic secundo regenti degustanda prebemus.
184 chapter five

references and the liberal use of Ramus and Talons writings in the
Universitys curriculum, their writings failed to obtain official sanction
by inclusion in the nova erectio. This absence suggests that Melville
employed Ramus writings not as a complete replacement for the most
approved authors but as a pedagogical enhancement and refinement of
those ancient sources. The explicit reference to Aristotle in the nova
erectio again underscores Melvilles own Aristotelianism and the con-
servative nature of his reforms. Like his fellow humanists, he had no
intention of jettisoning all of the ancient sources and texts that had been
used during the Middle Ages.164 Rather, he endeavored to retain as many
texts as possible, integrating with them the most current scholarship
from the continent and teaching his students how to read them properly
using the philological tools and critical methods of the humanists of the
Renaissance.
It is impossible to determine the precise extent to which Melville him-
self endorsed Ramism because of the paucity of primary source materi-
als which have survived from this period. However, we can say that he
must be recognized as the first to give Ramist literature a place within
the university curriculum in Scotland. Despite the claims that George
Buchanan was the first to introduce Ramism into the University of
St Andrews165 and the corresponding contention that St Andrews, along
with Oxford, was the first centre of Ramism in the British Isles,166 there
is good reason to remain suspicious of both claims. Although Ramus
and Buchanan probably first met in Paris after Buchanans time in
Coimbra, corresponded in the year 1567 regarding the place of mathe-
matics at St Andrews, and maintained cordial relations, the evidence
that he spread Ramism at St Andrews during his time as principal of
St Leonards is at best tenuous.167 His advocacy of Ramism is certainly
undermined by the place that he allocated to the rhetoric of Cicero and
the logic of Aristotle in his Opinion on the reform of the University.168

164
Nauert, Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe, 195.
165
James Bass Mullinger, The University of Cambridge: From the Royal Injunctions
of 1535 to the Accession of Charles the First (Cambridge, 1884), 410; Frank Pierre
pont Graves, Peter Ramus and the Educational Reformation of the Sixteenth Century
(New York, 1912), 213; Waddington, Ramus (Pierre de la Ramee): sa vie, ses ecrits et ses
opinions (Dubuque, 1964), 396.
166
I. D. McFarlane, George Buchanan and French Humanism in A.H.T. Levi (ed.),
Humanism in France at the end of the Middle Ages and in the early Renaissance
(Manchester, 1970), 298.
167
McFarlane, Buchanan, 169; George Buchanan and French Humanism, 298.
168
Wilbur Samuel Howell, Logic and Rhetoric in England, 15001700 (Princeton,
1956), 188; Brown, Vernacular Writings of George Buchanan, 9, 12.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 185

Indeed, Buchanans educational reforms, while embodying the ideals


and values of the northern European Renaissance, were reflective of an
earlier and different generation of humanists. His educational perspec-
tive, while representing a departure from the old medieval and scholas-
tic model of education, was not as philosophically or methodologically
oriented as was Ramus. Consequently, there is reason to conclude that
Buchanan did very little to advance the cause of Ramism in Scotland.169
Likewise, although Roland MacIlmaine, who had matriculated at
St Marys College in 1565 and took his bachelors degree in 1569 and his
masters in 1570,170 later published in London in 1574 Ramus Dialecticae
libri duo and a translation of his work, entitled The Logike of the moste
Excellent Philosopher P. Ramus, there is no evidence that he advocated
Ramism while resident at St Andrews.171 Indeed, James Kirk has argued
that no Ramist connection with St Andrews can be established prior to
Melvilles arrival in 1580. He observes that the first appearance of pre-
scribed Ramus texts at St Andrews appeared during the 1580s after
Melville had arrived and implemented further reforms.172 Consequently,
it appears that the first introduction of Ramism or Ramist literature in
the curriculum of the Scottish universities occurred at Glasgow follow-
ing Melvilles arrival in 1574.173

Relocation to St Andrews

After six years of service as principal of the University of Glasgow, it was


determined in light of St Andrews 1579 nova fundatio, which in effect
made St Marys College a school of theology, that Melville should be
relocated to St Andrews to head up the newly reorganized college.174
James VI had written a letter to the General Assembly, requesting its
concurrence in this decision, which also included naming Thomas
Smeaton as Melvilles successor as principal at Glasgow.175 St Andrews

McFarlane, Buchanan, 169.


169

Anderson, Early Records of the University of St Andrews, 164165, 273.


170
171
Howell, Logic and Rhetoric in England, 15001700, 179180. The full title is The
Logike of the moste Excellent Philosopher P. Ramus Martyr, Newly translated, and in diu
ers places corrected, after the mynde of the Author.
172
Kirk, Melvillian Reform in the Scottish Universities, 284.
173
Melville, JMAD, 49.
174
Ronald Gordon Cant, The New Foundation of 1579 in Historical Perspective (St
Andrews, 1979); James K. Cameron, The Refoundation of the University in 1579,
Alumnus Chronicle, 71 (Jun., 1980), 310.
175
Melville, JMAD, 83; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 159.
186 chapter five

nova fundatio was brought about in large measure as a result of its most
wretched inefficiency176 and backsliding,177 which had brought the
university into a deplorable state. Although the First Book of Discipline
had envisioned its lofty prominence, the University had repeatedly
underachieved, sinking lower and lower into disrepute until finally
Parliament was forced to intervene in 1563, appointing a commission to
investigate its condition and to offer proposals for its reform.178 Neither
the plans contained in the First Book of Discipline or in Buchanans
Opinion were ever implemented, leaving St Andrews in a disorganized
and declining state.179 The Regent Morton, along with several commis-
sioners in 1574, visited the University and immediately implemented
reforms related to instruction in theology, Greek, Hebrew, and rhetoric,
but these changes did little to bring about significant change or to elevate
the institution.180 Still more drastic measures were needed. With the
hope that Melville might do for St Andrews what he had done so effec-
tively and efficiently at Glasgow, his services were requested, and, despite
his initial opposition, he eventually consented.181
The 1579 nova fundatio of St Andrews, in effect, followed the pattern
of reform laid out at Glasgow in the 1577 nova erectio and, as such, bears
the distinctive imprint of Melville himself.182 Although for a long time
the 1579 nova fundatio was thought to have been Buchanans produc-
tion, given his eminence among the members of the committee, it is
now recognized as having been significantly influenced by Melville
though the work itself should be viewed as a joint production of the
whole body of commissioners.183 At Glasgow Melville had borne the

176
P. Hume Brown, George Buchanan Humanist and Reformer: A Biography
(Edinburgh, 1890), 237.
177
McFarlane, Buchanan, 445.
178
Ronald Gordon Cant, The University of St Andrews: A Short History (St Andrews,
1992), 54.
179
Melville, JMAD, 124. James Melville writes of the ignorance and negligence of
tham that sould haiff teatched Theologie, maid, that Regents and schollars carit na thing
for Divinitie; yea, it was evin a pitie to sie that ignorance and profannes that was amangs
tham. And as for Langages, Arts, and Philosophie, they haid na thing for all, bot a few
buikes of Aristotle, quhilk they lernit pertinatiuslie to bable and flyt upon, without right
understanding or use thairof.
180
Cant, The New Foundation of 1579 in Historical Perspective, 56; Cant, The
University of St Andrews, 59.
181
Melville, JMAD, 83.
182
Cant, The University of St Andrews, 5859; The New Foundation of 1579 in Historical
Perspective, 7.
183
Brown, George Buchanan Humanist and Reformer, 239240; McFarlane,
Buchanan,445.
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 187

responsibility of providing all of the theological instruction. Under the


new plan for St Marys, theological instruction was to be divided among
five specialist professors. While the first professor was responsible to
provide instruction in Hebrew and Syriac, the second and third were to
expound the Old Testament. The fourth and fifth professors were to lec-
ture on the New Testament and Systematic Theology respectively with
the principal occupying the latter position.184 All in all, St Andrews nova
fundatio amounted to an application, extension, and elaboration of the
reforms implemented two years earlier at Glasgow under Melvilles lead-
ership. Although Melville was not resident in St Andrews at the time of
the 1579 nova fundatio, no one elses presence and influence was more
discernable.
Despite opposition from those greatly concerned with the welfare of
Glasgow, such as its rector Andrew Hay who had also grown quite
attached to the young principal, Melville and his nephew left Glasgow
with infinit teares in November 1580 and by December were situated
in St Andrews at St Marys College.185

Conclusion

A study of Melvilles years in Glasgow reveals a number of ways in which


he incorporated the latest humanistic trends of the Renaissance into his
reform of the University. In the tradition of the Renaissance poly-
maths of the sixteenth century, upon his arrival in Glasgow, Melville
assumed responsibility for teaching essentially the entire arts curricu-
lum. Although constrained by the necessities of his circumstances, he,
nevertheless, approached the reform of Glasgow from the perspective of
a European humanist thoroughly committed to the promotion of the
studia humanitatis of the Renaissance and the incorporation of the latest
academic trends from the continent. His reforms as embodied in the
1577 nova erectio, while innovative and novel in one sense, were at the
same time profoundly conservative in another. In abolishing the medi-
eval system of regenting and replacing it with specialist instruction and
introducing the study of Greek during the freshman year and the under-
graduate study of Hebrew, Melville attempted to apply within the Scottish
context what had been modeled for him in France and Switzerland.

Cant, The New Foundation of 1579 in Historical Perspective, 7.


184

McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 160; Melville, JMAD, 84.


185
188 chapter five

Inthis respect, he may be viewed as a progressive and forward-looking


humanist. Certainly his insistence in the nova erectio that the principal
possess a competency in Syriac and his own use of Ramus and Talons
respective works represents a bold innovation within the Scottish uni-
versity system. Nevertheless, despite the high profile that Ramus writ-
ings occupied in Melvilles reforms, it is impossible to determine the
extent to which he himself endorsed Ramism. While the extent of
Melvilles Ramism remains an open question and while the works of
Ramus and Talon are conspicuously absent from the nova erectio,
Melville should be recognized as the first to give Ramist literature a place
within the university curriculum in Scotland.
Despite these bold innovations, Melvilles curriculum also reveals his
profound conservatism. Prescribing the most approved authors and
identifying the best authors as Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, Melville
attempted to retain as much continuity with the past as possible. Far
from rejecting the philosopher, Melville underscored his own
Aristotelianism and the conservative nature of his reforms by specifi-
cally mentioning Aristotle. In his liberal and generous use of classical
texts, he sought to retain as many as possible while teaching and mode-
ling for his pupils how the most recent humanist methods could be
employed in interpreting them.
Whereas James Melvilles gross exaggeration regarding Glasgows
incomparable place in Europe for the study of humane letters during
these years has undoubtedly fueled the Melville legend, his role in revers-
ing Glasgows fortunes and introducing the learning of the ancient world
to the University is well documented. Melvilles success at Glasgow owed
as much to timing and circumstances as to any other single factor. Had
Scotland continued in a state of civil war or had the Kirk and state lacked
the resolve to implement the needed academic reforms, it is difficult to
conceive how Melvilles reforming efforts could ever have achieved the
level of success they reportedly did. Glasgows transformation should
not be conceived as the work of a solitary individual. The financial and
practical support offered by James Boyd, archbishop of Glasgow, Patrick
Adamson, and the Privy council made Melvilles academic reforms pos-
sible.186 Similarly, during these years Melville worked in concert with his
fellow humanists Alexander Arbuthnot, Thomas Smeaton, and James
Melville in planning and implementing various university reforms.

Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 68.


186
scotland: glasgow (15741580) 189

Moreover, Melvilles success at Glasgow and his ability to attract students


from all over Europe may be attributed in part to his daily practice of
table talk. These personal and informal discussions of the classical
authors of antiquity enabled him to exhibit his profound learning and
literary skill, as well as his knowledge of philosophy and the arts.
Together with his formal lectures, they constituted a compelling and rig-
orous course of university instruction consistent with the latest intel-
lectual trends on the continent.
In addition to providing strategic leadership at the University and
coordinating the reform of the Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews,
Melville played an active part in the ecclesiastical affairs of the Kirk dur-
ing the mid and late 1570s. Complementing his provincial service as a
regular preacher in the parish of Govan, as principal of the University,
Melville labored on the national level as moderator of the 36th general
assembly in 1578, an assessor to the moderator, a member of various
ecclesiastical commissions, and an ecclesiastical statesman. His aca-
demic training and experience on the continent were drawn upon as he
participated in commissions which required expertise in classical and
humane studies as much as in divinity and theology. While Melville the
humanist became a remarkable resource for the Kirk combining a thor-
ough knowledge of classical studies with an impressive command of the
languages, literature, and theology of the Christian tradition, he contin-
ued to figure prominently in those commissions which pertained to the
Kirks policy and jurisdiction.
Chapter six

SCOTLAND: ST ANDREWS
(15801607)

The University of St Andrews

Melvilles relocation to St Andrews in December 1580 represents a sig-


nificant transition in the humanists life and work as well as the begin-
ning of a new era in University instruction. Even as 1574 was a watershed
year in Scottish university history,1 so 1580 marks the beginning of the
most significant period of university service and literary production in
the life of Andrew Melville. For approximately a quarter of a century,
Melville served as principal of St Marys College and emerged as one of
the leading humanists of the Scottish Renaissance, exerting considerable
influence over the rising generation of scholars and clerics and elevating
the academic reputation of the University.2 Although his labors at
Glasgow appear to have been more successful than those at St Andrews,
his limited success in impacting the arts curriculum may be explained,
in part, by his more narrowly circumscribed field of service in the school
of divinity. Despite his seven year service as rector of the University from
15901597, his impact on the other two colleges was much more modest
than has previously been thought. The extent of Melvilles reforms at
St Andrews was not nearly as successful as his nephew portrays in his
Diary. Recent study of this period has revealed that the teaching at St
Salvators and St Leonards, in a number of important respects, remained
unchanged and Melvilles extensive involvement in ecclesiastical politics
and the various controversies in which he was embroiled detracted from
his ability to implement thorough reform.3 Nevertheless, the St Andrews
period constitutes a significant chapter in the development of Melvilles
humanism in Scotland and his arrival at St Marys signals the first time

1
John Durkan, Education: The Laying of Fresh Foundations in John MacQueen
(ed.), Humanism in Renaissance Scotland (Edinburgh, 1990), 156.
2
The notable exceptions were, of course, his brief period of exile in England from
15841585 and the months during 1586 when he was warded north of the Tay.
3
Steven John Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland: Andrew Melville and
the University of St Andrews, 15601606 (PhD Thesis, St Andrews, 2008), 192,
100102, 122.
192 chapter six

the college had at its helm someone capable of executing the plan for
reform embodied in the 1579 nova fundatio.
While the University during the sixteenth century witnessed the addi-
tion of two new colleges, St Leonards in 1512 and St Marys in 1538,
neither year represents a radical break with the medieval past. Despite
the intention to found a collegium trilingue at St Marys after the pattern
of Louvain and Paris, St Leonards, St Salvators, and St Marys main-
tained an essentially medieval approach to university instruction.4 Not
until the adoption in 1579 of the nova fundatio is there any discernable
departure by the University from its medieval moorings.5 Referring to
these changes at St Andrews as a Humanist revolution appears to go
beyond what the evidence will actually support. However, the nova fun-
datio was intended to be a radical break in certain areas with the univer-
sitys medieval past.6 Of course, with the Reformation of 1560 and the
First Book of Discipline came extensive plans to reform Scotlands medi-
eval universities, but, unfortunately, they were never fully implemented.7
Likewise, the Regent Morton in 1574 and 1576 had also proposed
reforms, which did little to alter the current state of St Andrews.8 Prior
to the 1579 nova fundatio, most of the proposals for reform had remained
theoretical and were not implemented while those which were did not
fundamentally alter the character of the instruction.9
In December 1580 a commission of some brethrein and barons, Sir
Andrew Ker of Fadounside, the lairds of Lundie and Braid, James
Lawson, and John Dury, accompanied Melville and his nephew to
St Andrews where he was installed as principal of St Marys College,
delivered his inaugural address, and commenced his academic labors.10

4
James K. Cameron, A Trilingual College for Scotland: The Founding of St Marys
College in D.W.D. Shaw (ed.), In Divers Manners: A St Marys Miscellany (St Andrews,
1990), 2942.
5
For the text of the 1579 nova fundatio see Evidence, Oral and Documentary, taken
and received by the Commissioners for visiting the Universities of Scotland Vol. III,
University of St Andrews (London, 1837), 183186.
6
G. D. Henderson, The Founding of Marischal College Aberdeen (Aberdeen,
1947),14.
7
The First Book of Discipline ed. James K. Cameron (Edinburgh, 1972).
8
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 191.
9
Hastings Rashdall, The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages eds. F. M. Powicke
and A. B. Emden (Oxford, 1936), 312313; Ronald Gordon Cant, The New Foundation
of 1579 in Historical Perspective (St Andrews, 1979), 6.
10
David Calderwood, The History of the Kirk of Scotland Vol. III, ed. Thomas Thomson
(Edinburgh, 1843), 476; James Melville, The Autobiography and Diary of Mr. James
Melville ed. Robert Pitcairn (Edinburgh, 1842), 84; Thomas McCrie, Life of Andrew
Melville Vol. I (2nd edn., Edinburgh and London, 1824), 163164.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 193

Although for some time James Melville had intended to travel to France,
where he might further study the French language, he was persuaded by
his uncle to accompany him to St Andrews to assist in the work of theo-
logical instruction. Giving himself to the task of lecturing on the loci
communes of theology, his nephew taught Hebrew while their colleague
John Robertson lectured on the Greek language and the literature of the
New Testament.11 Despite the robust provisions set forth in the 1579
nova fundatio for five masters, the initial faculty consisted of a truncated
staff of only three.12 Joining the two Melvilles was Robertson whom
James Melville described as a guid weill-conditionet man, but of small
literature and giftes.13 In spite of an incomplete and partially deficient
staff, Melville compensated for these limitations himself by teaching the
loci communes of theology, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Syriac, as well as the
primary books of the Old and New Testaments.14 As he had done at
Glasgow, though in a much more limited fashion, he assumed the pri-
mary burden of providing comprehensive instruction in the field of
divinity, including discussions of the most difficult and abstruse mys-
teries of revealed religion.15
His arrival at St Andrews and the remarkable breadth of his personal
instruction attracted not only students, such as Stephen Powle, but even
regents, such as John Malcolm and Andrew Duncan, to attend his lec-
tures.16 Most notably among the regents of St Salvators College who
probably attended his lectures was the future principal of the University
of Edinburgh, Robert Rollock.17 Rollock had matriculated at St Salvators

11
Melville, JMAD, 8384, 86. Always the humanist, Melville provided for his nephew
intensive tutoring in French literature as well as of Plutarches Lyves and Heliodors
Ethiopic Historie, conferring the Greik with the Frenche.
12
Evidence, Oral and Documentary, 183184; Cant, The New Foundation of 1579 in
Historical Perspective, 7.
13
Melville, JMAD, 84.
14
Vita Patrici Adamsoni Opera Tho. Voluseni J. C. in Patrick Adamson, De Sacro
Pastoris Munere ed. Thomas Wilson (London, 1619), 4. Thomas Wilson, one of Melvilles
auditors during these early years at St Andrews, wrote: qui primo quadriennii seu quin-
quennii curriculo (quo statio integro, testimoniu fero oculatu, strenuus etia ipse & assid-
uus auditor eram,) docte quide & perfecte, Idomatis Hebri, Chaldi, Syri, & Rabbuinor
notiti ac praxin edocuit: quin etiam summ Theologi, I. Calvini Institutionibus,
aliorumq[ue] optimorum Theologorum operibus descriptam, una cu prcipuis
utriusq[ue] fderis libris, abditisq[ue] & abstrusis sacr Scriptur mysteriis, erudite
quidem & accurate .
15
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 165.
16
Letter of Stephen Powle to Andrew Melville, 30 April 1583, Bodleian,Tanner MS.
168 f. 203v; Melville, JMAD, 123124.
17
Melville, JMAD, 84; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 166. On Rollock see George
Robertson and Henry Charteris, De Vitaet Morte Roberti Rollok, Academi Edinburgen
194 chapter six

in 1574 and received his BA in 1576 and his MA in 1578, studying under
the regent John Carr.18 During the early 1580s Rollock probably formed
a relationship with Melville, which continued after he was appointed
principal at Edinburgh in 1583. Given Melvilles vision for reforming the
Scottish universities and his relationships with Arbuthnot in Aberdeen
and Smeaton in Glasgow, we can be almost certain that Melville was in
communication with the principal of the new university. We know that
he, like his fellow humanist and reformer Theodore Beza,19 carefully
perused and highly valued Rollocks writings, as his epitaph De Rolloci
scriptis indicates.20 Moreover, the similarities of the two men and the
texts they used in their teaching at their respective universities suggest
an intellectual kinship consistent with many of Melvilles other humanist
relationships.
The evidence in support of Rollocks alleged Ramism is limited and
may not have been a factor which attracted him to Melville. It is, how-
ever, highly probable that he attended Melvilles lectures for other rea-
sons during these years.21 We know from James Melvilles account that
he specifically identified Rollock as one of his own Hebrew pupils.22
In light of Rollocks interest in acquiring a knowledge of Hebrew and
Melvilles impressive mastery of it, as well as its ancient near eastern cog-
nates Aramaic and Syriac, the likelihood that Rollock attended his lec-
tures remains strong. Despite the benefit which Rollock would have
derived from such instruction, there is surprisingly little evidence at
the University of Edinburgh during the early years of Melvilles own

Primarii, Narrationes; Auctoribus Georgio Robertson, et Henrico Charteris (Edinburgh,


1826); Henry Charteris, Narrative of the Life and Death of Mr Robert Rollock of Scotland
in Robert Rollock, Select Works of Robert Rollock Vol. I, ed. William M. Gunn (Edinburgh,
1849), lviilxxxvii.
18
James Maitland Anderson, (ed.), Early Records of the University of St. Andrews
(Edinburgh, 1926), 175, 179, 285; Charteris, Narrative, lxi.
19
James Kerr Cameron (ed.), Letters of John Johnston c.15651611 and Robert Howie
c.1565-c.1645 (Edinburgh and London, 1963), 332; Rollock, Select Works of Robert
Rollock I, 10.
20
Andrew Melville, De Rollici Scriptis in Robertson and Charteris, De Vita et Morte
Roberti Rollok, Academi Edinburgen Primarii, Narrationes; Auctoribus Georgio
Robertson, et Henrico Charteris (Edinburgh, 1826), 79.
21
Michael Lynch, The Origins of Edinburghs Toun College: A Revision Article,
Innes Review, 33 (1982), 9. Cf. James Kirk, Melvillian Reform in the Scottish
Universities in A.A. MacDonald, Michael Lynch, and Ian B. Cowan (eds.), The
Renaissance in Scotland: Studies in Literature, Religion and Culture Offered to John
Durkan (Leiden, 1994), 292294. Alexander Grant, The Story of the University of
Edinburgh During its First Three Hundred Years (London, 1884), 238; McCrie, Life of
Andrew Melville I, 166; Robert Letham, The Foedus Operum: Some Factors Accounting
For Its Development, Sixteenth Century Journal, 14:4 (1983), 465466.
22
Melville, JMAD, 86.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 195

istinctive humanist influence in reforming the colleges teaching meth-


d
ods. Glasgows 1577 nova erectio and St Andrews 1579 nova fundatio
had theoretically abolished the old medieval system of regenting, replac-
ing it with specialist instruction,23 yet Edinburgh under Rollocks early
leadership continued to employ the old system.24
While regenting was not abolished under Rollocks leadership during
the Universitys early years, selective efforts were made to integrate other
aspects of the European Renaissance. John Adamson, a former pupil of
Rollocks and later principal of the University of Edinburgh, maintained
on the basis of his own direct knowledge of the curriculum during these
early years at Edinburgh that Ramus Dialecticae and Talons Rhetorica
were used by the principal in his instruction. In contradiction to McCrie,
who claimed that Rollock was not led astray by admiration of the
Ramean logic,25 there is evidence that he did, in fact, employ both
Ramus and Talons texts.26 Writing of Ramus Dialecticae, W. L. Alexander
maintained that Rollock attached the greatest value, as an instrument
so admirably adapted to the study of logic, that no one, in his opinion,
who was ignorant of it, could either excel in synthetical, or know any-
thing of analytical, reasoning.27
Rollocks use of Ramus and Talons writings, combined with his own
reportedly high estimation of Ramus Dialecticae, may very well indicate
Melvilles influence. While the evidence falls short of providing a direct
link between Melville and Rollock, it is, nevertheless, suggestive. We
may at least say that, if Melville was not the primary Ramist influence on

23
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 8687, 116. Reid observes that
while at St Leonards College the practice of regenting continued despite the nova funda-
tio, instruction in Greek and Latin was available. The situation with St Salvators was
much more bleak with no evidence of changes of title or profession, or anything that
suggests reform was embraced by the college.
24
D. B. Horn, The Origins of the University of Edinburgh Part 2, University of
Edinburgh Journal, 22 (1966), 307; Lynch, The Origins of Edinburghs Toun College,
10. On the early years of the University of Edinburgh see D. B. Horn, A Short History of
the University of Edinburgh 15561889 (Edinburgh, 1967), 19; The Origins of the
University of Edinburgh, UEJ, 22 (1966), 213225; Robert Kerr Hannay, The Foun
dation of the College of Edinburgh in A. Logan Turner (ed.), History of the University of
Edinburgh 18831933 (Edinburgh and London, 1933), 116; John Lee, The University of
Edinburgh from its Foundation in 1583 to the year 1839: A Historical Sketch (Edinburgh,
1884); Alexander Bower, The History of the University of Edinburgh: Chiefly Compiled
from Original Papers and Records, Never Before Published (Edinburgh, 1817).
25
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 422.
26
Kirk, Melvillian Reform in the Scottish Universities, 295.
27
W. L. Alexander, Introduction in Charles Ferme, A Logical Analysis of the Epistle
of Paul to the Romans ed. W. L. Alexander (Edinburgh, 1850), xii.
196 chapter six

Rollock, he certainly confirmed a sympathetic yet critical appropriation


of his writings. Much like Melville, the evidence at this point is so lim-
ited that it is impossible to determine precisely the extent of Rollocks
endorsement of Ramism. Nonetheless we can say that Adamsons
account of the early curriculum used by the principal firmly establishes
that Rollock was not hostile to Ramism but found some value in his
writings. His own stress upon the importance of the study of Greek and
Hebrew for interpreting ancient texts and the critical use of Aristotles
Logica, Physica, and Ethica are consistent with Melvilles own reform
policies and may indicate his influence.28
When Melville arrived in St Andrews, he encountered significant
opposition from various members of the University and town. From the
former provost of St Marys Robert Hamilton, the former regent John
Caldcleugh, the regents at St Leonards John Malcolm and Andrew
Duncan to the provost, ballies, and town council of St Andrews, James
and William Lermont, and David Russell, Melville was embroiled in
mikle fighting and fascherie from the very beginning.29 To be sure,
some of these controversies were not personally motivated per se but
rather indicate opposition to him as the symbolic representative of the
new order of things at the University. Certainly, Robert Hamiltons
financial complaint against the College or John Caldcleughs audacious
interruption in the principals chamber regarding his displacement
should not be construed as the result of Melvilles deliberate agitation or
provocation. Both controversies were initiated by those who sincerely
felt that they had received injustice at the hands of the College, and
Melville, as the symbolic head of the institution, bore the brunt of their
anger and disdain.
The 1579 nova fundatio had clearly made provision for both
the appointment of the maist qualifiit personis knawin to us and the
removal of those personis now occupeing the place of maisteris in the

28
Kirk, Melvillian Reform in the Scottish Universities, 295; Ferme, A Logical
Analysis of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans, xii, 2526; Gunn, Select Works of Robert
Rollock, 388. Rollocks criticism of the Aristotelian tradition may be seen in his sermon
on I Corinthians 2 in which he wrote of the followers of Aristotle: Out wil he cum, ane
Thomist, ane Scotist, that hes the spreit of ane man onlie, and ane very subtile, or rather
ane Sophistical Spreit, ane humane Philosopher, and he will judge of the gospel of Jesus
Christ, and turne it over in humane Philosophie. They have turned the gospell of Jesus
to Aristotle, all thair writings ar bot spreitles. Thair is not sa mekle as ane smel of the
Spreit of Jesus in them all.
29
Melville, JMAD, 122127.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 197

said College.30 Moreover, broad discretionary powers had been given to


Melville in constructing his own academic staff at St Marys. Not want-
ing to harm Glasgow by depleting it of its well-trained regents and aware
that the commissioners desired to leave two positions initially vacant,
Melville took with him only his fellow humanist and nephew James to
assist him in his reform of St Marys.31 Neither the Hamilton nor the
Caldcleugh affairs came about as a result of Melvilles intentional instiga-
tion. On the contrary, unlike several of his other encounters, he appears
to have been merely the recipient of complaints and legal action.32
Other controversies which occurred during these years came about in
large measure because of the manner and occasion in which Melville
attempted to address a number of perceived problems in both the
University and town. Rather than allowing the local ecclesiastical judi-
catory to address morally scandalous issues, on more than one occasion
Melville took it upon himself to use the public forum of the pulpit to
address such problems. While some have characterized these encoun-
ters as displaying remarkable conviction and unshakable courage,33
others have observed his severity, questionable judgment, and lack of
diplomacy in attempting to achieve his objectives.34 His confrontational
approach, especially as it related to James VI, not only proved to be
counterproductive but self-destructive ultimately leading to his exile,
imprisonment in the Tower of London, and banishment to the continent
to live out the remainder of his life. However one assesses Melvilles per-
sonal shortcomings, we can at least apply to him the description John
Johnston once applied to James Lawson: Corpore non magno, mens
ingens, spiritus ardens (physically small, but immensely intelligent
and of a fiery spirit).35

The Controversy over Aristotle

One of the controversies for which Melville was largely responsible was
the debate surrounding Aristotle at St Andrews. Melville, it will be

Evidence, Oral and Documentary, 184.


30

McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 164.


31
32
Melville, JMAD, 122123.
33
Ronald Gordon Cant, The University of St Andrews: A Short History (St Andrews,
1992), 61.
34
James K. Cameron, Andrew Melville in St Andrews in D.W.D. Shaw (ed.),
In Divers Manners: A St Marys Miscellany (St Andrews, 1990), 64.
35
Charles P. Finlayson, Clement Litill and His Library: The Origins of Edinburgh
University Library (Edinburgh, 1980), 25.
198 chapter six

remembered, had vigorously opposed that bitter propugnar of Aristotle


Peter Blackburn at Glasgow, challenging the St Andrews axiom Absur
dum est dicere errasse Aristotelem and encouraging his regents and
students to go beyond the medieval interpretations of Aristotle to the
Greek text itself.36 At St Andrews he appears to have followed a similar
procedure of direct confrontation of his academic opponents by launch-
ing what some have labeled scathing attacks on the medieval
Aristotelianism of his colleagues, which in turn resulted in bitter dis-
putations and threats of violence for over a year.37
Prior to Melvilles arrival in December 1580, significant opposition to
Ramism and advocacy of Aristotelian philosophy had been embodied in
the principal of St Salvators John Rutherford, the most celebrated mas-
ter of scholastic philosophy in Scotland.38 Recognized as a distinguished
Greek scholar and staunch advocate of Aristotelianism, Rutherford as
the head of this stronghold of anti-Ramist thought symbolically repre-
sented at St Andrews during the 1570s the opposition which Melville
subsequently encountered. Although Rutherford himself passed off the
scene in 1577, his influence at St Salvators continued with some of those
who had studied under him becoming regents and perpetuating his
opposition to the innovations introduced by the French humanist.39
Despite such opposition, there were those at St Salvators, such as David
Martine, Homer Blair, and Robert Wemyss, who promoted the New
Learning by teaching Greek and by using Ramus Arithmetique and
Talons Rhetorica.40 Thus, while there was some opposition to Ramus at
St Salvators, there was also support as evidenced by the selective use by
certain regents of Ramus and Talons writings.
While it is difficult to determine with certainty whether Melville
intended to provoke the regents of St Leonards, that certainly was the
result. His approach to the text and philosophy of Aristotle, while sym-
pathetic as a humanist and classical scholar, was openly critical of those
aspects of the philosophers thought which he believed were incompat-
ible with orthodox Christian thought. Although we cannot be certain of

36
Melville, JMAD, 67.
37
Cant, The University of St Andrews: A Short History, 62; McCrie, Life of Andrew
Melville Vol. I, 170.
38
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 367. On Rutherford see John Durkan, John
Rutherford and Montaigne: An Early Influence? Bibliothque dHumanisme et Renais
sance, 41 (1979), 115122.
39
Lynch, The Origins of Edinburghs Toun College: A Revision Article, 9.
40
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 97.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 199

all of his criticisms of Aristotle, it is likely, in light of his service on the


1583 commission of the General Assembly to identify the errors con-
tained in the profane authors taught in the schools, that Melville took
issue with such Aristotelian doctrines as the conception of God as
thought thinking itself and the eternality of matter, two philosophical
doctrines not easily reconcilable with the Christian doctrines of God,
providence, and creation.41
These criticisms, which were presented during the ordinary course of
his lectures, instigated an oratorical war between him and some of the
regents and scholars of St Leonards. James Melville records that the
regents of philosophy at St Leonards sa dressit publict orations against
Mr Androes doctrine in an effort to protect their Grait Diana of the
Ephesians, thair bread-winner, thair honour, thair estimation from
public humiliation and disgrace.42 Some students studying for their
masters degree at St Leonards used the occasion of their graduation to
respond to Melvilles criticisms and defend various versions of medieval
Aristotelianism in their Theses philosophicae. Melville, in turn, was pre-
pared with his own extemporaneous replies and is said to have dashit
tham, and in end convicted tham sa in conscience, that the cheiff
Coryphoes amangs tham becam grait students of Theologie.43
While James Melvilles hyperbole regarding his uncles success should
not be taken too seriously, Melville was successful to a certain extent in
inculcating many of the humanistic values of the Renaissance, such as
original language study, philology, and an historically sensitive and criti-
cal approach to textual interpretation.44 The very humanist methods and
tools he had acquired and cultivated in France and Switzerland under
Turnbe and Scaliger respectively, he undoubtedly applied and modeled
for his students teaching them how to interpret ancient texts properly.45

Calderwood, History III, 743745.


41

Melville, JMAD, 123124.


42
43
On the St Andrews academic theses see Ronald Gordon Cant, The St Andrews
University Theses 15791747: A Bibliographical Introduction, Edinburgh Bibliographical
Society Transactions, 2.2 (1941), 105150; Supplement to the St Andrews University
Theses, EBST, 2.2 (1941), 263273; J. F. Kellas Johnstone, Notes on the Academic
Theses of Scotland, Records of the Glasgow Bibliographical Society, 8 (1930), 8198;
Melville, JMAD, 124.
44
Melville, JMAD, 124. James Melville portrayed his uncle as having within a yeir or
twa persuaded everie an of tham sa that, certatim et serio, they becam bathe philoso-
phers and theologes, and acknawlagit a wonderfull transportation out of darknes unto
light.
45
On Turnbe see John Lewis, Adrien Turnbe (15121565): A Humanist Observed,
(Geneva, 1998). On Scaliger see Anthony T. Grafton, Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the
200 chapter six

Sitting under Scaliger, Europes premier interpreter of classical texts, in


Geneva, Melville could not help but incorporate such philological train-
ing in his own exposition of the classical texts of Aristotle in his instruc-
tion at St Andrews.46 In doing this he attempted to refute the various
versions of late medieval Aristotelianism which had distorted the true
meaning of Aristotles writings, and endeavoring to salvage and appro-
priate what could be of service to his own Christian philosophy and
theology. By modeling for his students a careful reading of the Greek
text of Aristotle, paying particular attention to the texts historical con-
text and peculiar philological issues, Melville also provided a vivid illus-
tration of the most current humanist methods of the French Renaissance
and a direct challenge to those embodied in the old medieval and scho-
lastic approaches to Aristotles writings.
Moreover, in the passage under discussion in the Diary, James Melville
makes no mention of Ramus or his writings but refers specifically to the
heads of theology proper, namely God, providence, and creation among
other topics.47 Far from intimating that Ramism was completely endorsed
to the neglect of Aristotle at St Andrews,48 James Melville stressed the
philosophical differences between Aristotle and Christianity. Indeed,
Ramus and his writings do not appear to be involved in this account in

History of Classical Scholarship Vol. I Textual Criticism and Exegesis (Oxford, 1983);
Joseph Scaligers Edition of Catullus (1577) and the Traditions of Textual Criticism in
the Renaissance, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 38 (1975), 155181;
Joseph Scaliger and Historical Chronology: The Rise and Fall of a Discipline, History
and Theory, 14 (May, 1975), 156185; H. J. De Jonge, Joseph Scaligers Historical
Criticism of the New Testament, Novum Testamentum, 38 (Apr., 1996), 176193.
46
Charles G. Nauert Jr., Review: Anthony Grafton. Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the
History of Classical Scholarship, Vol. I: Textual Criticism and Exegesis, (Spr., 1985), 107.
47
Melville, JMAD, 123124. Melville wrote: This was of the Regents of Philosophie,
namlie in St Leonards Collage, wha heiring, in Mr Androes ordinar publict lessones of
Theologie, thair Aristotle, amangs the rest of the philosophers, the patriarches of heresie,
as ane of the ancients termes tham, mightelie confuted, handling the heids anent God,
Providence, Creation, &c., maid a strange steir in the Universitie, and cryed, Grait Diana
of the Ephesians, thair bread-winner, thair honour, thair estimation, all was gean, giff
Aristotle sould be sa owirharled in the heiring of their schollars; and sa dressit publict
orations against Mr Androes doctrine. But Mr Andro insisted mightelie against tham in
his ordinar lessones; and when their counned haranges cam at their Vickes and promo-
tiones of Maisters, he lut tham nocht slipe, but af-hand answerit to tham presentlie with
sic force of truthe, evidence of reasone, and spirituall eloquence, that he dashit tham,
and in end convicted tham so in conscience, that the cheiff Coryphoes amangs tham
becam grait students of Theologie, and speciall professed frinds of Mr Andro, and ar
now verie honest upright pastors in the Kirk.
48
Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 118. Reid, of course, does not
advocate this position but it is unclear who he has in view in this characterization. This
certainly was not the opinion of James Melville.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 201

any way. Nowhere does he claim that John Malcolm or Andrew Duncan
became great students of Ramus, but rather that they became grait stu-
dents of Theologie and good friends of Melville.49 The specific claim
made by James Melville was not that his uncle won them over to Ramism
but that, through both private and public interactions, he persuaded
them to go ad fontes and read Aristotle in the original. The Melvillian
reform did not blindly bind individuals to a conservative or reductive
mode of teaching.50 Instead, James Melville presents it as a humanistic
approach to the study of classical texts, which dispenses with Latin
translations and scholastic commentaries and invites the scholar to
engage the text in its original language, paying careful attention to its
historical context and philological peculiarities.
James Melville also indicates that his uncle spoke with these regents
and scholars over a one to two year period in publict and privat, per-
haps suggesting that Melville continued the practice of table talk he had
instituted at Glasgow.51 Melville had witnessed the effectiveness of this
method of instruction in persuading such recalcitrant Aristotelians as
Peter Blackburn and in providing a more thorough discussion and anal-
ysis of classical literature.52 Enjoying such success with this informal
pedagogical approach, it is difficult to imagine why Melville would have
discontinued the practice. Indeed, given the strategic significance of
Melvilles table talk in his approach to university instruction and its
effectiveness in conveying to his pupils and fellow academics the New
Learning, it is highly unlikely that he would have abandoned it.
Not only was it Melvilles practice to be present at the St Marys gradu-
ations, which like the other two colleges occurred annually toward the
end of July, but it appears that he attended the graduations of the other
colleges as well.53 He may have done this, in part, due to the fact that

Melville, JMAD, 124.


49

Reid, Education in Post-Reformation Scotland, 120.


50
51
Melville, JMAD, 124.
52
Ibid., 4950.
53
Johnstone, Notes on the Academic Theses of Scotland, 83, 89; Cant, The St
Andrews University Theses 15791747: A Bibliographical Introduction, 143147.
In the Theses theologicae the Holy Spirit is said to have presided at these disputations
while Melville served merely as the moderator. Indeed, Johnstone calls Melville and his
colleague at Edinburgh Robert Rollock the founders of the printed Theses in Scotland.
There are seven Theses theologicae which were printed in Edinburgh by Robert Waldgrave
during the years 15951602. The only complete set of this earliest collection of StAndrews
Theses is housed in the Special Collections at Kings College, the University ofAberdeen
with five of the seven being unique. These Theses Theologicae are: Christopher Jansen,
202 chapter six

prior to the completion of the Universitys Parliament Hall in 1643


graduations were customarily held at St Marys.54 He also most cer-
tainly attended these events because he was engaged in an oratorical
war that challenged both his Christian faith and his deeply cherished
humanist values. The challenge which confronted Melville was both
theological and methodological. Theologically, certain Aristotelian phil-
osophical doctrines were perceived as threats to the purity of Christian
teaching. Methodologically, the late medieval scholasticism at StAndrews
with its dependence upon Latin versions and commentaries posed an
obstacle to Melvilles introduction of humanist methods of interpret-
ingclassical texts. While we cannot affirm with certainty that a disputa-
tion was part of the graduation ceremony, we do know that Melville
exercised his prerogative as principal of St Marys and professor of
sacredliterature to dispute those who attacked his views in their Theses
philosophicae.55
Among those at St Leonards who were won over to Melvilles human-
istic cause were the regents Andrew Duncan and John Malcolm.56 Prior
to their appointment as regents both men had matriculated at St
Leonards and taken their MA in 1575 and 1578 respectively.57 Both men
presumably were among those regents who delivered public orations
against Melville and yet, despite their initial opposition, were eventually
persuaded by his criticisms and embraced his humanistic values and
methods. Although the 1579 nova fundatio had made specific provision
for instruction in Greek during the first year, continuing the course of
arts study at St Leonards and St Salvators, in James Melvilles judgment
the ignorance that characterized the regents of St Leonards was tied

1595 De prdestinatione. Sive de cavsis salvtis et damnationis tern dispvtatio; Jean


Masson, 1597 De libero arbitrio theses theologic; Class Theses, 1599 Scholastica diatriba
de rebvs divinis ad anquirendam & inveniendam veritatem; Patrick Geddie, 1600 De ivs-
tificatione hominis coram deo theses theologic; John Scharp, 1600 Theses theologic de
peccato; Thomas Lundie, 1602 Vtrum episcopus Romanus sit antichristvs necne?; Andrew
Morton, 1602 Theses theologic de sacramentis, & missa idololatrica.
54
Cant, The St Andrews University Theses 15791747: A Bibliographical
Introduction, 113, 143147; Supplement to the St Andrews University Theses,
266, 271.
55
Cant, Supplement to the St Andrews University Theses, 266; Melville, JMAD, 124.
For a broader consideration of Scottish academic graduation theses see P. J. Anderson,
Notes on Academic Theses, with Bibliography of Duncan Liddel (Aberdeen, 1912);
J. F. Kellas Johnstone, The Lost Aberdeen Theses (Aberdeen, 1916); Samuel Eliot Morison,
The Founding of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA, 1935), 126139.
56
Melville, JMAD, 124.
57
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St. Andrews, 171, 173, 175, 179, 281.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 203

directly to their inability to read Aristotle in the original Greek with


historical and philological sensitivity.58 As James Melville maintained,
They fell to the Langages, studeit thair Artes for the right use, and
perusit Aristotle in his awin langage.59 Thus, this purported victory
ofMelvilles was portrayed by his nephew as not merely the triumph of
Christianity over the pagan Aristotle but the triumph of the methods of
humanism over the methods of late medieval scholasticism. While the
extent of Melvilles victory at St Andrews remains an open question,
there can be no doubt that James interpreted his uncles success as both
a victory for Reformed Protestantism and the humanism of the European
Renaissance.60
By 1583 the controversy over Aristotle at St Andrews had developed
into such a crisis that the general assembly felt compelled to intervene
and form a commission to identify the errors contained in the writings
of the profane authors of antiquity used in the schools with particular
attention given to Aristotle. Both the timing of the commission and its
composition strongly suggest that it was constituted to settle authorita-
tively the Aristotle controversy at St Andrews. In addition to Melville,
the commissioners appointed were Thomas Smeaton, James Lawson,
Peter Blackburn, James Martine, Robert Wilkie, and Nicol Dagleish.61
In their report to the assembly the commissioners expressed their
concern that the youth being curious, and of insolent spirits, drinke in
erroneous and damnable opinions; and mainteane their godless and
profane opinions obstinatlie in disputations, and otherwise, to the great
slander of the Word of God. The commission then proceeded to enu-
merate twenty propositions as erroneous, false, and against the reli-
gioun.62 If the report of the commission accurately depicted and

Evidence, Oral and Documentary, 184; Melville, JMAD, 124.


58

Melville, JMAD, 124.


59
60
For a sample of the type of theses produced by the scholars of St Salvators during
Melvilles service at St Andrews see Theses aliqvot philosophic in publicam disputa-
tionem a generosis nonnullis Saluatoriani gymnasij adolescentibus (Edinburgh, 1603).
61
Acts and proceedings of the general assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland from the
M.D.LX. Part Second M.D.LXXVIIIM.D.XCII ed. Thomas Thomson (Edinburgh, 1840),
63839; Calderwood, History, III, 743.
62
Calderwood, History III, 743745. The Commission wrote: 1. Omnis finis est opus
aut operatio. 2. Civilis scientia est prstantissima, ejusque finis prstantissimus, et sum-
mum hominis bonum. 3. Honesta et justa varia sunt et inconstantia, adeo, ut sola opin-
ione constent. 4. Juvenes, et rerum imperiti, et in libidinem proclives, ab audienda
morum philosophia arcendi. 5. Quod aliud ab aliis bonis, et per se bonum est, et causa
cur ctera bonum sunt, non est summum bonum. 6. Dei agnitio nihil prodest artifici, ad
hoc ut arte sua bene utatur. 7. Summum bonum vel minimi boni accessione augeri, et
204 chapter six

identified the situation at St Andrews, then these words provide an


important qualification to James Melvilles remarks regarding his uncles
glorious triumph over the defiant and recalcitrant Aristotelians at
St Leonards. These twenty propositions indicate that the concern over
the erroneous and false views of Aristotle was not confined to the locus
of theology proper but was extended to the loci of anthropology, escha-
tology, and ethics as well. With a distinctive teleological and ethical
focus, the commissioners avoided in these propositions the abstruse
speculations of the medieval schoolmen and evidenced their own prac-
tical orientation and use of the authors of antiquity. Although singled
out primarily because of the supremacy of Aristotelian philosophy in
the schools of the universities, Aristotle was not the only profane author
in view.63 Rather the commissioners referred to a specific, yet undefined,
group of profane authors used in the schools who also promoted opin-
ions and views contrary to Scripture.64 From the curricular descriptions
contained in the 1579 nova fundatio we know that this undefined
group of profane authors included Plato and Cicero and probably
included such classical literary figures as Homer, Vergil, and Horace
among others.65
By participating in this commission it is likely, given Melvilles position
at St Andrews and his role in the current controversy over Aristotle, that
he exerted a strong influence on this body and may even havedrafted
these philosophical propositions himself. Certainly, there were few on
the commission who possessed a superior grasp of the Greek and Latin
authors of antiquity or who understood more profoundly the areas
where their views were incompatible with historic Christian thought.
While limited evidence prevents any definitive judgment at this point,
the cumulative weight of the historical circumstances surrounding the

reddi potest optabilius. 8. Pauper, deformis, orbus, aut infans, beatus esse non potest.
9. Bonum ternum bono unius diei non est magis bonum. 10. Felicitas est actio animi
secundum virtutem. 11. Potest aliquis, sibi studio suo, felicitatem comparare. 12. Homo
in hac vita cumulate, et esse, et dici potest beatus. 13. Post hanc vitam, nemo potest
vel esse, vel dici beatus, nisi propinquorum vel amicorum ratione. 14. Natura apti ad
virtutem eam agendo comparamus. 15. Virtus est habitus electivus, in ea mediocritate
positus, quam ratio prudentis prscribit. 16. Libera est nobis: voluntas ad bene agen-
dum. 17. Mundus est physice ternus. 18. Casus et fortuna locum habent in rebus natu-
ralibus et humanis. 19. Res viles et inferiores non curat Dei providentia. 20. Animi pars
una, vel etiam plures sunt mortales, et qu hinc pendent, et necessario consequuntur.
63
Charles G. Nauert, Jr. Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe (Cambridge,
1995), 9.
64
Calderwood, History, III, 743.
65
Evidence, Oral and Documentary, 184.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 205

commission, as well as the commissions own declaratory propositions,


suggest that Melville played a leading role in the formulation of this
document even as he had played a leading role in opposing the errors of
late medieval Aristotelianism at Glasgow and St Andrews.

The Ecclesiastical Statesman

Melvilles relocation to St Andrews in 1580 brought with it not only new


academic challenges at the University but also increased opportunities
for service in the Kirk. His new position at St Marys may have opened
opportunities for him which might not have otherwise presented them-
selves. His growing reputation as a distinguished humanist, classical
scholar, Latin poet, and university reformer coupled with his growing
fame as an exegete and theologian made him an obvious choice for those
commissions which required expertise in both profane and sacred lit-
erature. His involvement in the Kirk on both the provincial and national
levels was remarkable given his academic responsibilities at St Marys
and the University during his service as rector in the 1590s. Of course,
Melvilles ecclesiastical service during these years should be viewed as an
extension and accentuation of his labors which he had performed while
principal of the University of Glasgow. Not content merely with a life of
quiet scholarship, Melville served locally as a ruling elder, a member of
the provincial assembly of Fife, and a regular Sabbath day preacher, as
well as nationally as a moderator of the general assembly, an assessor to
the moderator, a member of numerous ecclesiastical commissions, and
an ecclesiastical statesman.
Within the town and parish of St Andrews Melville served for a time
as a ruling elder. In 1591 he became a ruling elder in the parish where
he attended the weekly meetings of session, assisted the pastors in the
visitation and inspection which preceded the administration of com-
munion, and participated as a member of presbytery in the weeklyexer-
cise of delivering a discourse to the judicatory.66 As a member of the
provincial assembly which convened at St Andrews in April 1591, he
was appointed, along with Robert Wilkie, David Ferguson, and Nicol
Dagleish, to obtain from Patrick Adamson a fuller and clearer recantation
in the vernacular of his errors.67 In conjunction with his local service on

McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 337, 339.


66

Calderwood, History V, 119.


67
206 chapter six

s ession and the provincial assembly, he preached regularly on the


Sabbath day in the parish of St Andrews. Just as he had been a regular
preacher in the parish of Govan during his principalship at Glasgow, so
in St Andrews he continued this practice.68 Indeed, his preaching was
apparently so successful and influential that the King in 1587 ordered
Melville and the masters of St Marys to desist from preaching in English
on the Sabbath to the inhabitants of the burgh and those outside it.
The fact that the King took specific measures to curtail Melvilles preach-
ing may indicate that his sermons were well attended and were having
some influence upon the town and its parish, which the King found
undesirable.69 While the available evidence prevents us from affirming
this with certainty, the Kings actions indicate, at a minimum, that he
feared Melvilles influence.
From 1581 until 1597, when the King successfully banned all masters,
professors of the university, and doctors of divinity from service in the
courts of the Kirk, Melville served four times as moderator of the gen-
eral assembly and six times as an assessor to the moderator.70 Twice in
1582 as well as in 1587 and 1594 Melville served as moderator. When he
was not serving as moderator during these years, he labored as an asses-
sor to the moderator in the years 1581, 1582, 1583, twice in 1588, and
1590.71 Although it is important not to exaggerate the power and influ-
ence of either the moderator or the assessors to the moderator, together
they did determine what matters would be brought before the assembly
for its consideration as the Kirks highest judicatory. In this respect,
Melville, along with his colleagues, was in a position to direct the atten-
tion of the assembly to those ecclesiastical matters which they deemed
to be of greatest importance and necessity.
In conjunction with his service as moderator and assessor to the mod-
erator, Melville continued his labors on the national scene by serving on
a number of ecclesiastical commissions which addressed matters of uni-
versity reform, philosophical errors, and matters of discipline among

68
Duncan Shaw, The General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland 15601600,
(Edinburgh, 1964), 140141; John Durkan and James Kirk, The University of Glasgow
14511577 (Glasgow, 1977), 286287; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 71, 92.
69
Calderwood, History IV, 607.
70
Evidence, Oral and Documentary, Taken and Received by the Commissioners
Appointed by His Majesty George IV for Visiting the Universities of Scotland. VolumeIII.
University of St. Andrews (London, 1837), 197; BUK, II, xviii, 548, 685; III, 819; Melville,
JMAD, 6162, 128129; Calderwood, History III, 398, 598, 622; IV, 615; V, 307.
71
BUK, II, 522, 585, 626, 703, 767.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 207

others. In 1583 at the April meeting of the general assembly Melville was
appointed to serve on a commission to evaluate the academic staff of the
University of Aberdeen to determine whether they be sufficient and
qualified and conforme to the new erectione.72 He was directed by the
assembly to convene on 5 September 1583 with Thomas Smeaton and
Nicol Dagleish to trie and examine the said members of the College of
Aberdeen, if they be correspondent to the order and provisione of the
said erectione.73 Similarly, in 1593 at the meeting of the general assem-
bly held at Dundee Melville was appointed to a commission to visit the
Colledge of Auld Aberdeine and to try and examine the doctreine,
lyfe, and deligence of the Maisteris therof assessing the discipline,
order, and financial situation of the University.74 Melvilles service on the
1583 and 1593 commissions pertaining to the University of Aberdeen
originated in part because of his own success in leading the reform at
Glasgow and should be viewed as an extension of his service on the 1579
St Andrews commission.75
In 1583 at the October meeting of the general assembly Melville was
appointed, along with six other commissioners, to enumerate the erro-
neous propositions found in the writings of Aristotle and other profane
authors of antiquity.76 As previously suggested, there can be little doubt
that the controversy over Aristotle at St Andrews was primarily in view
in the erection of this commission. Given Melvilles outspoken criticism
of Aristotle at both Glasgow and St Andrews and his reputation as a
classical scholar and theologian, there can be little doubt that he emerged
as a leading figure on this commission and may even have been the
dominant voice on this occasion. His selection on this commission was
based as much upon his humanist reputation and mastery of classical
literature as it was upon his growing fame as a theologian and professor
of sacred literature.
Having acquired firsthand experience and reflected deeply upon mat-
ters of ecclesiastical discipline and policy while in Geneva, Melville was
an obvious choice for those commissions which addressed such matters.
In 1581 at the October meeting of the general assembly, Melville was
appointed along with Robert Pont, James Lawson, Thomas Smeaton,

72
BUK, II, 624; Calderwood, History III, 707.
73
Ibid., 625.
74
BUK, III, 811.
75
BUK, II, 43435.
76
Ibid., 63840.
208 chapter six

and Alexander Arbuthnot to confer regarding the accusations brought


against Robert Montgomery, minister at Stirling. Sixteen accusations
against Montgomery were enumerated. They ranged from derrogating
the original languages of Scripture and distorting the words of the apos-
tle to teaching that ecclesiastical discipline is an indifferent matter,
maintaining that the ministry is guilty of sedition and ought not to med-
dle in matters of state, and asserting that there is no evidence in the New
Testament of presbyteries or the eldership.77 Similarly, in 1583 at the
April meeting of the general assembly Melville was appointed along with
seven other commissioners to examine and try the witnesses against the
bishop of Aberdeen.78 In both of these instances, Melville was called
upon to consult with his fellow commissioners and adjudicate matters of
doctrine and discipline.
Melvilles labors as an ecclesiastical commissioner frequently involved
him in the work of an ecclesiastical statesman. His service in this capac-
ity was ordinarily conducted as a member of a commission in which he
was merely one commissioner among many. In this respect, his work as
an ecclesiastical statesman was neither unusual or exceptional. Many
individuals, such as Robert Rollock, Robert Bruce, Walter Balcanquhal,
James Balfour, Robert Pont, David Lindsay, John Davidson, and James
Melville among others, were engaged in ecclesiastical diplomacy with
the King, members of court, and parliament.79 What frequently distin-
guished Melvilles labors as an ecclesiastical diplomat was a combination
of his outspoken candor and fiery disposition. Despite his penchant for
controversy and his inclination toward direct confrontation, he exer-
cised on numerous occasions considerable self-restraint and a willing-
ness to work within the accepted diplomatic channels in order to
accomplish both university and ecclesiastical reform. The pattern of
ecclesiastical diplomacy he practiced while principal of the University of
Glasgow in the 1570s only increased and intensified during his service at
St Andrews as the Kirk faced a delicate relationship with the crown and
the ever-present threat of the reassertion of Catholicism in the Kingdom
of Scotland.
Shortly after Melville arrived in St Andrews he was appointed along
with Thomas Smeaton at the October meeting of the general assembly in
1581 to compose a supplication to the King and the Lords of Articles.

77
Calderwood, History III, 577583.
78
Ibid., 709.
79
Calderwood, History IV, 490; V, 115, 13031.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 209

Inthis document they requested that parliament not pass any legislation
which would be inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture.80 In 1582 at
the June meeting of the general assembly Melville was appointed to a
commission to present to the King and nobility at Perth the greivances
of the assembly and to crave remedie.81 Instructed to exhibit to the
King and nobility all reverence, dew obedience, and submission,
Melville emerged as the outspoken leader of this commission first sign-
ing the document and then calling upon his fellow commissioners to do
likewise.82 Upon his return from exile in England in 1586, Melville is
reported to have traveled throughout the country urging further reform
and waiting on court and parliament.83 In addition to his persuasive
efforts among the people, Melville used his connections at court among
the nobility and in parliament to advance the cause of reform. He keenly
understood the importance of securing the necessary political support
to advance his agenda and so lobbied behind the scenes for further
reform.
In 1588 Melville performed a number of functions as an ecclesiastical
statesman. At the February meeting of the general assembly he was
appointed to a commission to confer with the Kings council regarding
such matters as Catholicism, discipline, the planting of kirks, and the
poor.84 At this same assembly he was selected along with four others to
present to the King the articles composed by Robert Pont and James
Melville.85 Chosen at the August meeting of the assembly along with
Robert Bruce and Andrew Hay, Melvile was directed to present to the
Chancellor the request of the assembly to take possession of the ship and
its crew from Dunkirk, suspected of espionage. Likewise, at this same
assembly, he was appointed along with Robert Bruce, PatrickGalloway,
and David Ferguson to exhort the King to continue to defend true
religion.86 In these instances, Melville served both the Kirk and com-
monwealth as an ecclesiastical statesman by pressing the King and his
council regarding matters of reform which had broad implications for
Scottish society.

Calderwood, History III, 587.


80

Ibid., 627.
81
82
BUK, II, 581; Calderwood, History III, 631. There were at least twenty commission-
ers, in addition to Melville, who were appointed by the assembly.
83
Calderwood, History IV, 491.
84
Ibid., 652.
85
Ibid., 653.
86
Ibid., 684.
210 chapter six

Exile in England: London, Oxford, and Cambridge

In 1584 Melvilles reforming efforts at St Marys came to an abrupt halt


when he was forced to flee the country or face imprisonment on account
of his unreverent behaviour before his Majestie.87 The events leading
up to Melvilles flight from Scotland may be traced back to 23 August
1582 when William Ruthven, Earl of Gowrie, with the help of the Earls
of Angus and Glencairn, effected a coup detat by seizing the young James
VI and displacing the Duke of Lennox, Esm Stewart, from power.88
Despite archbishop Patrick Adamsons subsequent calumny that Melville
had been priuie to dyuers conspiracies, there is no evidence to support
the view that Melville had anything to do with this political coup.89 His
role as a prominent spokesman and representative of those ministers
who expressed undisguised delight in the Kings captivity only served
to strengthen the tie between him and those who sought to effect radical
political change.90 The fact that Melville had, along with James Lawson,
Walter Balcanquhal, and John Dury, at the General Assembly approved
of the Ruthven Raid only contributed to Melvilles subsequent awkward
situation.91
When in June 1583, King James escaped from his disaffected aristo-
cratic captors and the Ruthven regime crumbled, Melville was left in the
politically awkward position of having loose ties with those who had
confined the King. With the help of James Stewart, Earl of Arran,
theKing introduced a number of measures which amounted to a con-
servative backlash and which culminated in the so-called Black Acts
of 1584.92 James, at the time of his escape, retreated to the castle of

87
Ibid., 11.
88
Caroline Bingham, James VI of Scotland (London, 1979), 6162; Julian Goodare,
Scottish Politics in the Reign of James VI in Julian Goodare and Michael Lynch (eds.),
The Reign of James VI (East Lothian, 2000), 3536.
89
Patrick Adamson, A Declaratioun of the Kings Maisties Intentioun and Meaning
Toward the Lait Actis of Parliament (Edinburgh, 1585), A iiij.
90
Lynch, The Origins of Edinburghs Toun College: A Revision Article, 3.
91
David Hume, The History of the House and Race of Douglas and Angus Vol. II
(Edinburgh, 1743), 307.
92
Roger A. Mason, George Buchanan, James VI and the Presbyterians in Roger
A. Mason (ed.), Scots and Britons: Scottish Political Thought and the Union of 1603
(Cambridge, 1994), 125126, 129; Gordon Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in
England, 15848, Records of the Scottish Church History Society, 14 (1963), 69. The Black
Acts, as the presbyterians called them, reestablished episcopal authority and banned
unauthorized public meetings. Although these anti-presbyterian measures were effec-
tive in immediately stemming the tide of the movement, James failed to enforce his own
legislation and in just two short years the country witnessed a reversal of policy in favor
of the presbyterians.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 211

St Andrews, providing Melville with ample opportunity to clarify his


position relative to the Ruthven Raiders and express his support of the
crown. Against the counsel of Sir Robert Melville, Andrew declined to
do so. By February 1584, those at court who had endeavored to predis-
pose the King against Melville succeeded when the humanist was sum-
moned on the 15th of the month to appear before the privy council at
Edinburgh.93
Melville had been accused of seditious and treasonous speech uttered
in a sermon and in prayers during the previous month. His accuser,
William Stewart, maintained that Melville had said in a sermon That
the King was unlawfully called to the kingdom.94 Bearing a letter from
the rector, deans of faculties, professors, regents, and masters of the
University declaring his innocence, Melville appeared before this body
to deny these allegations, explain his words, and affirm his submission
and loyalty to the crown. In addition to the support of the University, he
possessed testimonies of his innocence and loyalty to the King from the
Kirk session of St Andrews and the presbytery, as well as from the prov-
ost, bailiffs, and town counsel.95 The sermon in question was from the
book of Daniel in which Melville was alleged to have made what
Adamson styled odious comparisons of his Maiesties progenitours and
counsale.96 Melville acknowledged that he had in his sermon made an
innocuous reference to King James III, but he denied that he ever had
the Kings mother, Mary Stewart, in view in his application of the text of
Daniel. After stating the responsibility of ministers to apply the exem-
ples of Gods mercie and judgements in all ages, to kings, princes, and
people of their time, Melville reminded James that whether it be by
electioun, successioun, or other ordinar middes that kings are advanced,
it is God that makes kings; which all is easlie forget by them.97
After extensive interviews and questioning, the privy council deter-
mined to proceed forward with a trial. Registering his objections to
being tried by a civil, rather than an ecclesiastical court, he produced a

McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 196197.


93

Hume, History of the House and Race of Douglas and Angus II, 308.
94
95
Calderwood, History of the Kirk of Scotland IV, 35, 710.
96
Adamson, Declaratioun, A iij.
97
Calderwood, History of the Kirk of Scotland IV, 89; Reid, Education in Post-
Reformation Scotland, 105. While it is unnecessary to justify either Melvilles line of
reasoning or his manner of presentation, Reids characterization of the tone of Melvilles
sermon and defense as haughty unrepentance is mistaken and does not recognize
either Melvilles concern to uphold the supreme authority of Scripture or his allegiance
to his monarch and country.
212 chapter six

Hebrew Bible and challenged the King and privy council to show him
from the text where he had erred in his interpretation.98 Melville was
found guilty of irreverent behavior before the privy council and of deny-
ing its judgments and was sentenced to be warded in Edinburgh Castle.
When the place of confinement was changed from Edinburgh to
Blackness Castle, Melville had already planned his escape and fled the
country with the help of his brother Roger.99 Before fleeing he composed
in advance a defense of himself and his actions in his Apology in an
effort to clarify the reasons for his voluntary exile.100
While the choice of England was obvious as the nearest country where
Melville might find refuge, the political and ecclesiastical climate of the
country gave him pause as to its suitability.101 Archbishop Adamson did
not believe that Melville and his colleagues would be received by
Elizabeth nor would the Anglican clergy, he thought, tolerat suche
beastlie men as yee are, to infect the youth of that countrie.102 So unin-
viting was England that Melville appears to have seriously contemplated
returning to the continent where he might resume his academic life.
As a product of the French Renaissance and as one who spent the most
formative years of his life on the continent, he found the prospect of
returning attractive. However, while England gave Melville and his asso-
ciates reason to wonder whether it were a suitable place of exile, the
Scottish refugees did see in England some hope for themselves. Some

98
Melville, JMAD, 141142.
99
Calderwood, History of the Kirk of Scotland IV, 1012. Even after Melville left
Scotland in February 1584 he continued to maintain his symbolic role as a prominent
and outspoken advocate of the presbyterian cause. Archbishop Adamson certainly
viewed him in this light as he singled him out in his defense of the Black Acts in his 1585
Declaratiuon. Cf. Adamson, A declaratioun of the Kings Maiesties intentioun and mean-
ing toward the lait Actis of Parliament. (Edinburgh, 1585), A iij A iiij. In response to
Adamsons Declaratioun, two works were written in February 1585. The first, An Answere
to the Declaratioun, was probably written by Melville himself while the Dialogue between
Zelator, Temporizar and Palomon was probably written by James Melville. Cf. Calderwood,
History of the Kirk of Scotland Vol. IV, 274294, 295339. Adamson also wrote Assertiones
Quaedam, ex aliis eiusmodi innumeris erroneae, per Andream Melvinam, novam et inau-
ditam Theologiam profitentem, in suis praelectionbus de Episcopatu, pro certis et indubita-
tis in medium allatae, ac palam affirmatae, in Scholis Theologicis fani Andreae, Regni
Scotiae metropoleos in Patrick Adamson, Opera, ed. Thomas Wilson (1620); Melville
wrote Floretum Archiepiscopale, National Library of Scotland, Wodrow Folio XLII,
ff. 126r127v. For a brief discussion of these last two works see Reid, Education in Post-
Reformation Scotland, 110111.
100
Hume, History of the House and Race of Douglas and Angus II, 308. For the Apology
cf. 309313.
101
Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England, 15848, 69.
102
Calderwood, History of the Kirk of Scotland IV, 90.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 213

viewed Elizabeth as a notable instrument of God for the advancement


of religion and the Puritans as those who were in a similar situation to
their own. In light of such sentiments, Melville wrote letters to Jean
Castoll and Stephen Powle, informing them of his intention to go to
London and inquiring about accommodation.103
Although Melville had fled to Berwick on 17 February, he was fol-
lowed in May and June of that year by a whole host of ministers and
scholars among whom were James Lawson, Walter Balcanquhal, Robert
Pont, James Carmichael, Patrick Galloway, James Melville, James Gibson,
David Hume, Andrew Hunter, Andrew Polwarth, Thomas Story, Andrew
Hay, John Davidson, one James Hamilton, and a certain Mr. Strachan.
In addition to these were the six younger men William Aird, John
Caldcleuch, John Cowper, Alexander Forsyth, Archibald Moncreiff, and
James Robertson.104 Melville was joined by his relative Patrick Forbes,
who became one of his constant companions during his exile in
England.105 During the several months that he spent in Berwick, Melville
served as a Greek tutor to the son of the English ambassador to Edinburgh
and puritan politician William Davison.106 Just as he had found employ-
ment as a tutor to the son of a member of parliament in Poitiers when
the University was closed due to the French wars of religion, so
Melvilleagain when forced from the University was employed as a tutor,
teaching his pupil Francis Davison to read ancient Greek from the gospel
ofMark.107
After a brief residence, Melville left Berwick around 10 June with
Patrick Forbes and traveled south to London, probably accompanied by
James Carmichael and Patrick Galloway. When they arrived on 20 June,
they met with Elizabeth Is principal secretary and puritan sympathizer

103
Letter of Andrew Melville to Jean Castoll, 23 February 1584, British Library, MS
Cotton Caligula C. IX, f. 167; Letter of Andrew Melville to Stephen Powle, March 1584,
Bodleian, Tanner MS 168, fol. 204v; Letter of Stephen Powle to Andrew Melville,
1 March 1584, Bodleian, Tanner MS 168, fol. 204v.
104
Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England, 15848, 6709; Melville,
JMAD, 157, 167. Andrew Melville wrote in a letter to the pastors in the Church in
Geneva and Tigurie the following: at this tyme, the maist lernit and fathfull Pastores in
bathe the kingdomes ar forced ather haillilie to keipe sylence and leave the ministerie, or
then by flight and exyll to saiff thair lyves, or els to essay the filthie weirines of stinking
pressones.
105
Melville, JMAD, 170; W. G. Sinclair Snow, The Times, Life, and Thought of Patrick
Forbes Bishop of Aberdeen 16181635 (London, 1952), 29.
106
Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England, 15848, 7071.
107
Melville, JMAD, 40; Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England,
15848,72.
214 chapter six

Sir Francis Walsingham and delivered to him ambassador Davisons offi-


cial dispatch issued from Edinburgh.108 In addition to meeting with
Walsingham, Melville and Carmichael also met with the diplomat
Robert Bowes and the author and courtier Sir Philip Sydney where they
apprised them of recent events in Scottish politics.109 After establishing
political relationships and support, Melville and his companions sought
to solidify their ecclesiastical ties.110
Archbishop Adamson had been covertly attempting to undermine
the presbyterian cause in Scotland by serving as an agent of Arran in
London to alienate Elizabeth from the Scottish nobles who had gone
into exile and by consulting with the bishop of London and the
archbishop of Canterbury how best to overthrow Presbyterianism. In a
letter dated 16 June 1584 archbishop Adamson wrote to the archbishop
of Canterbury, endeavoring to prejudice him against the exiles.111 In the
face of such opposition, Melville went with James Lawson and certean
uther of the breithring in July 1584 to Oxford and Cambridge where he
conferrit with the most godlie and lernit ther.112 While at Oxford,
Melville and Lawson met with the leading puritan in Oxford Edward
Gellibrand, as well as with Thomas Wilcox and John Field.113 There,
among other matters, they debated and discussed the issue of the pro-
ceeding of the minister in his dutie, without the assistance or tarrying
for the Magistrate.114
At Oxford Melville also formed a relationship with the young scholar
George Carleton, and maintained over the years a correspondence with
him.115 A graduate of St Edmund Hall, Carleton took his BA in 1580
and became a fellow at Merton College where he received his MA in
1585. Although Carleton later in his life in an effort to obtain a higher

108
Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England, 15848, 72; McCrie, Life of
Andrew Melville I, 228229.
109
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 229.
110
Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England, 15848, 72.
111
Letter of Patrick Adamson to the archbishop of Canterbury 16 June 1584, British
Library, Harley MS. 7004 folios 3 to 3verso; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 218220,
229; Melville, JMAD, 154164; Calderwood, History of the Kirk of Scotland IV,
158167.
112
Melville, JMAD, 219.
113
Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England, 15848, 72.
114
Richard Bancroft, Dangerous Positions and Proceedings, Published and Practised
within this Island of Britaine, Under Pretence of Reformation, and for the Presbyteriall
Discipline (London, 1640), 74; Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England,
15848, 72.
115
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 231.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 215

preferment wrote against Presbyterianism and in support of Episcopa


lianism,116 he was a vigorous critic of Catholicism and advocate of
Reformed theology as his subsequent writings and support of the can-
ons of the Synod of Dort abundantly confirm.117
While in Oxford and Cambridge Melville had the opportunity to
establish relationships with a number of highly learned humanists. His
writings suggest that during this visit he met several advocates of the
New Learning and enjoyed their companionship. We know from his
1604 Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria that he highly regarded a number of
academics at these seats of learning among whom were the Oxonian
John Rainolds,118 the distinguished Greek reader and president of Cor
pus Christi College, as well as the Cantabrigian William Whittaker,119
regius professor and master of St Johns College.120 Rainolds has been
called the most prominent theologian in Oxford,121 an architect of

116
George Carleton, Bp Carletons Testimonie Concerning the Presbyterian Discipline
in the Low-Countries, and Episcopall Government here in England (London, 1642).
117
Peter Lake, Anglicans and Puritans? Presbyterianism and English Conformist
Thought from Whitgift to Hooker (London, 1988), 247. On his opposition to Catholicism
see George Carleton, Consensus ecclesi Catholic contra Tridentinos (Frankfurt, 1613);
Iurisdiction regall, episcopall, Papall (London, 1610). On Carletons support of the
Reformed soteriology embodied in the canons of the Synod of Dort see George Carleton,
The Collegiat Suffrage of the Divines of Great Britaine, Concerning the Five Articles
Controverted in the Low Countries (London, 1629); Suffragium collegiale theologorum
magn Britanni de quinque controversis remonstrantium articulis, Synodo Dordrechtan
exhibitum anno M.DC.XIX. Judicio synodico prvium (London, 1626).
118
On Rainolds see C. M. Dent, Protestant Reformers in Elizabethan Oxford (Oxford,
1983).
119
On Whittaker see Charles K. Cannon, William Whitakers Disputatio de Sacra
Scriptura: A Sixteenth- Century Theory of Allegory, The Huntington Library Quarterly,
25 (Feb., 1962), 129138; Peter Lake, Moderate puritans and the Elizabethan church
(Cambridge, 1982), 93115, 169200. Whitakers opposition to Catholicism may be
seen in the following works: William Whitaker, Ad Nicolai Sanderi demonstrationes
quadraginta, in octavo libro visibilis monarchi positas, quibus romanum pontificem non
esse antichristum docere instituit (London, 1583); Disputatio de sacra scriptura, contra
huius temporis papistas, inprimis Robertum Bellarminum Iesuitam (Cambridge, 1588).
120
Andrew Melville, Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria in Parasynagma Perthense et iura-
mentum ecclesi Scotican et A.M. Antitamicamicategoria (1620), 43; James K.
McConica, Humanism and Aristotle in Tudor Oxford, English Historical Review, 94
(Apr., 1979), 303; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 232; A. F. Scott Pearson, Thomas
Cartwright and Elizabethan Puritanism 15351603 (Cambridge, 1925), 354. Melville
wrote: Non ita terni Whittakerus acer / Luminis vindex, patrique lumen, / Dixit aut
sensit: neque celsa summi / Penna Renoldi, / Certa sublimes aperire calles, / Sueta
clestes iterare cursus, / Lta misceri niveis beat / Civibus aul. / Nec Tami aut Cami
accola saniore / Mente, qui clum sapit in frequenti / Hermatheno, & celebri Lyco /
Culta juventus; / Cuius affulget Genio Jov lux: / Cui nitens Sol justiti renidet: / Quem
jubar Christi radiantis alto / Spectat Olympo.
121
W. W. Fortenbaugh, Review: John Rainoldss Oxford Lectures on Aristotles Rhetoric
ed. and trans. L. D. Green, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 109 (1989), 235.
216 chapter six

the Anglican polity,122 and, along with John Case, was Oxfords major
contemporary Aristotelian.123 Receiving his BA in 1569 and his MA in
1572 from Corpus Christi, he became a reader in Greek at that College
until 1578.124 His lectures on Aristotles Rhetoric became famous in his
own day and represent the earliest critical study of Aristotles Rhetoric
in England.125
As a classical scholar who possessed both an impressive command of
the Greek language and its literature, as well as a considerable knowl-
edge of Hebrew, Melville found in Rainolds many of the humanist values
he so deeply cherished and a common intellectual culture as scholars of
the Renaissance.126 Although the extent of Rainolds endorsement of
Ramus remains an open question, his enthusiasm for the French human-
ist and his critical, yet sympathetic, approach to the text of Aristotle pro-
vided yet another basis upon which the two humanists could build their
relationship.127 In addition to their shared humanist culture, values, and
methods, Melville found in Rainolds one sympathetic and supportive of
his efforts at religious reform in Scotland. As a staunch opponent of
Catholicism and sympathizer of the Elizabethan Puritans, Rainolds
subsequent opposition to archbishop Bancrofts 1588 sermon at Pauls

122
McConica, Humanism and Aristotle in Tudor Oxford, 303. For a sample of
Rainoldss views on ecclesiastical polity see John Rainolds, The Iudgement of Doctor
Reignolds Concerning Episcopacy, Whether it be Gods Ordinance. Expressed in a Letter to
Sir Francis Knowls, Concerning Doctor Bancrofts Sermon at Pauls-Crosse, the ninth of
February, 1588. In the Parliament Time. (London, 1641); Sex Theses de Sacra Scriptura, et
Ecclesia (London, 1580); The Summe of the Conference between Iohn Rainoldes and Iohn
Hart: Touching the Head and the Faith of the Church (London, 1584).
123
Robert B. Todd, Henry and Thomas Savile in Italy, Bibliothque dHumanisme et
Renaissance, 58 (1996), 443.
124
Fortenbaugh, Review: John Rainoldss Oxford Lectures on Aristotles Rhetoric, 235;
McConica, Humanism and Aristotle in Tudor Oxford, 303.
125
McConica, Humanism and Aristotle in Tudor Oxford, 303; Fortenbaugh,
Review: John Rainoldss Oxford Lectures on Aristotles Rhetoric, 235.
126
J. W. Binns, Women or Transvestites on the Elizabethan Stage?: An Oxford
Controversy, Sixteenth Century Journal, 5 (Oct., 1974), 97. Rainolds acquired such an
impressive command of Hebrew that he became a celebrated translator of the Old
Testament prophets for the Authorized Version.
127
McConica, Humanism and Aristotle in Tudor Oxford, 302307; Kathy Eden,
Review: John Rainoldss Oxford Lectures on Aristotles Rhetoric. ed. and tr. Lawrence D.
Green, Renaissance Quarterly, 41 (Spr., 1988), 170. For a sample of Rainolds approach
to the text and thought of Aristotle see John Rainolds, An Excellent Oration of the Late
famously Learned John Rainolds, D. D. and Lecturer of the Greek Tongue in Oxford. Very
Usefull for all such as Affect the Studies of Logic and Philosophie, and Admire Profane
Learning (London, 1638).
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 217

Cross indicates his own moderate Puritanism, as well as additional areas


of agreement between him and Melville.128
Another Oxford humanist with whom Melville became associated
and afterwards corresponded was the translator Thomas Savile.129 Savile
probably became acquainted with Melville through his association with
Rainolds. The younger brother of the distinguished scholar Sir Henry
Savile, Thomas received his BA from Merton College in 1580, became a
fellow there in 1581, and took his MA in 1584.130 Like Rainolds, he too
developed a special interest in the Greek language and the writings of
Aristotle. His interest in Aristotelian thought may be seen in his acquisi-
tion of numerous Greek Aristotelian commentaries, such as Alexander
of Aphrosidias, John Philoponus, and Eustratius. In addition to his pre-
occupation with the Greek language and its literature, Savile cultivated
an avid interest in mathematics and astronomy and produced transla-
tions of the ancient astronomer Geminus and detailed notes on the
mathematical treatises De rationum additione et subtractione and De
rationibus.131 During the years 1588 through 1591, Savile traveled exten-
sively throughout Europe, visiting such important centers of learning as
Breslau and Padua and broadening his humanist associations.132 Indeed,
his relationship with Melville appears to have been founded primarily
upon their mutual love of classical Greek literature.
Not surprisingly Melville, as a humanist visiting Oxford andCambridge,
found strong intellectual and religious kinship among the members of
these academic communities. Not only were there those who shared
many of his religious views, but there were many who had embraced the
New Learning and were wholly devoted to the methods and values of
humanism. Melville found that, despite their differences, as members of

Lake, Moderate puritans and the Elizabethan church, 76. Rainoldss opposition to
128

Catholicism may be seen in his Johannis Rainoldi, De Roman Ecclesi Idololatria, in


Cultu Sanctorum, Reliquiarum, Imaginum, Aqu, Salis, Olei, Aliarumq; rerum
Consecratarum, & Sacramenti Eucharisti, Operis Inchoati Libri Duo (Oxford, 1596).
His Puritanism may be seen in his opposition to stage plays. Cf. John Rainolds, The
Overthrow of Stage-Playes, By the Way of Controversie betwixt D. Gager and D. Rainoldes
(Oxford, 1629). Cf. also Richard Bancroft, A Sermon Preached at Paules Crosse the 9. of
Februarie, being the first Sunday in the Parleament, Anno. 1588. (London, 1588).
129
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 231.
130
M. Feingold, The Mathematicians Apprentice: Science, universities and society in
England 15601640 (Cambridge, 1984), 130.
131
Todd, Henry and Thomas Savile in Italy, 439, 442443.
132
Feingold, The Mathematicians Apprentice, 131132.
218 chapter six

an elite, intellectual culture they, nevertheless, shared a set of common


values as purveyors of the New Learning. Although it is impossible, in
light of the limited evidence available, to determine the precise extent to
which Melville unofficially participated in the intellectual life of these
universities, we do know that his companion Patrick Forbes is said to
have studied, probably during this visit, at the University of Oxford in an
unofficial capacity.133 Nevertheless, Melvilles visit, while motivated, in
part, to establish ecclesiastical support, also came about as a result of his
own humanistic desire to visit these seats of learning and to expand his
network of scholars committed to the promotion of the studia humani-
tatis of the Renaissance.
Upon Melvilles return to London, members of the Scottish commu-
nity presented a motion to the Council of England to permit the estab-
lishment of a Scottish Church even as there were already in the city
French, Dutch, and Italian congregations. Although this formal request
was denied,134 by the autumn of 1584 Scottish ministers such as Walter
Balcanquhal and John Davidson were preaching regularly in London.135
A number of English puritans had apparently opened their pulpits to
their Scottish counterparts, and not until Davidson so rayled against
the King of Scots in the pulpit, at the parish Church of the old Iury in
London did the bishop of London order the Scottish ministers in the
city to desist from preaching.136
In the face of such opposition, the Scottish Presbyterians found an
advocate in the lieutenant of the Tower, who knew several of the Scottish
ministers and desired them to come preach in his church. In addition to
the Scottish ministers preaching in the Tower church, the lieutenant
permitted them to form a Scottish congregation within his own church.
Since the Tower church was exempt from episcopal jurisdiction, he pos-
sessed the authority to permit the formation of a Scottish congregation.
In this connection Melville delivered a number of Latin lectures on the
Old Testament, beginning with the book of Genesis. His lectures were

133
Snow, The Times, Life, and Thought of Patrick Forbes Bishop of Aberdeen
16181635, 29.
134
Hume, History of the House and Race of Douglas and Angus II, 361.
135
Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England, 15848, 7275. Donaldson
suggests that some of the Scots may have resided in Honey Lane, Cheapside with a cer-
tain Anthony Martin. If Melville and his associates had met Thomas Wilcox on their
visit to Oxford, the latter may have provided them with contacts at the church of
Allhallows in Honey Lane where he had previously served as a lecturer.
136
Bancroft, Dangerous Positions and Proceedings, 26.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 219

well attended and warmly received by the well-educated Archibald


Douglas, Earl of Angus, who has been described as a particularly dili-
gent Auditor and a painful Repeater of Melvilles lectures for his own
Use and Contentment.137 Melville also served, along with his nephew
James, as a chaplain to the Scottish nobles there in London.138
When on 2 November 1585 the exiled Scottish nobles returned to
Scotland and effectively overthrew Arrans regime at Stirling, it was safe
for the Scottish exiles to return.139 Melville, along with Galloway and
Balcanquhal, had accompanied the earls of Angus and Mar and the mas-
ter of Glamis north to the Scottish border.140 By 6 November Melville
and his ministerial associates wrote to the Scottish exiles, informing
them of the change in political circumstances and requesting their
return.141 Despite an act of Parliament restoring those professors who
had been ejected from their positions, St Marys during Melvilles absence
had been decimated by the plague, driving students away and leaving
the College in a state of disorder. In early 1586 while James Melville was
busy attempting to restore the College to its former state, Melville resided
at Glasgow with his friend and rector of the University Patrick Sharp in
an effort to assist him in the reorganization of the University. After a
brief stay in Glasgow, by March 1586 Melville returned to his post at
StMarys and resumed his lecturing after a two year absence.142 Although
shortly after his return Melville would once again be removed
fromStAndrews, being warded north of the Tay for a number of months,
he would soon be allowed to return and resume his duties as principal of
StMarys.143

137
Hume, History of the House and Race of Douglas and Angus II, 288, 361362;
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 236; Melville, JMAD, 185. James Melville wrote of the
earl of Angus: This noble man was fellon weill myndit, godlie, devot, wyse, and grave;
and by and desyde thir comoun exerceises, was giffen to reiding, and privat prayer and
meditation, and ordinarlie efter dinner and super, haid an houres, and sum tyme mair
nor twa houres, conference with me about all maters; namlie, concerning our Kirk and
Comoun-weill, what war the abbusses thairof, and whow they might be amendit.
Archibald Douglas had studied at St Marys under John Douglas until his fifteenth year.
He was tutored by John Provain who taught him Latin, logic, and rhetoric, and, despite
the custom of the nobility to pursue a limited course of formal education, the earl exhib-
ited an unusual intellectual interest in Melvilles academic lectures.
138
Melville, JMAD, 221222.
139
Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England, 15848, 7677.
140
Melville, JMAD, 222223.
141
Donaldson, Scottish Presbyterian Exiles in England, 15848, 77.
142
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 266267.
143
Melville, JMAD, 249, 251; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 280.
220 chapter six

The Visit of Du Bartas

When Melville returned from England, he enjoyed a period of relative


peace at the University, cultivating his poetic skills and expanding his
network of scholars devoted to the New Learning. In June 1587 the cel-
ebrated French poet Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas visited Scotland as
part of an unofficial envoy on behalf of Henri of Navarre to explore the
possibility of a marriage between James and Henris sister Catherine.144
Although James ultimately decided against the union and in favor of
Anne of Denmark, he continued to esteem highly the French poet
and to translate his work.145 James had translated Du Bartas Uranie in
his own 1584 Essayes of a Prentise, in the Divine Art of Poesie146 and
referred to him as O divin du Bartas, disciple dUranie / Lhonneur de
nostre temps, pote du grand Dieu.147 In his 1591 His Maiesties Poeticall
Exercises at Vacant Houres James translated a portion of Du Bartas
Seconde Septmaine, and in his 1599 Basilikon Doron he both quoted
from the Huguenot poet and urged Prince Henry to be well versed in
his works.148
In an age which viewed Du Bartas as a model of the divine poet, a
Christian Homer, and, as the learned humanist Gabriel Harvey once
put it, the Treasurer of Humanity and the Jeweller of Divinity, James
was intent upon impressing the French Huguenot with his own coun-
trys intellectual and cultural refinement by taking him to hear two of
Scotlands leading intellectuals, Latin poets, and advocates of the New

144
Caroline Bingham, James VI of Scotland (London, 1979), 105; Melville, JMAD,
255; Lily B. Campbell, Divine Poetry and Drama in Sixteenth-Century England
(Cambridge, 1959), 8182.
145
Gordon Donaldson (ed.), The Memoirs of Sir James Melville of Halhill (London,
1969), 144; Campbell, Divine Poetry and Drama in Sixteenth-Century England, 82. James
is reported to have retired with portraits of each princess for fifteen days to seek divine
guidance in his choice. He emerged after much prayer convinced he should marry in
Denmark.
146
James VI, King of Scotland, The Essayes of a Prentise, in the Divine Art of Poesie
(Edinburgh, 1584); Roderick J. Lyall, James VI and the Sixteenth-Century Cultural
Crisis in Julian Goodare and Michael Lynch (eds.), The Reign of James VI (East Linton,
2000), 64; James Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England (Cambridge,
2000), 18.
147
Anne Lake Prescott, The Reception of Du Bartas in England, Studies in the
Renaissance, 15 (1968), 149.
148
Lyall, James VI and the Sixteenth-Century Cultural Crisis, 6465; Prescott, The
Reception of Du Bartas in England, 168; Campbell, Divine Poetry and Drama in
Sixteenth-Century England, 82. Cf. James VI of Scotland, His Maiesties Poeticall Exercises
at Vacant Houres (Edinburgh, 1591).
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 221

Learning. With the exception of Erasmus and the principal leaders of


the Reformation, Du Bartas was probably the most admired of contem-
porary European writers and James wanted to make a good first impres-
sion by showcasing two of his own learned humanists at their posts at St
Andrews.149
Following the death of Buchanan in 1582, Melville had emerged in
Scotland as a kind of unofficial Latin laureate to James VI and had
built a considerable European reputation as a humanist and scholar,
both during his time on the continent and afterwards in Scotland at
Glasgow and St Andrews.150 Likewise, archbishop Patrick Adamson had
also distinguished himself as a humanist and Latin poet, who had spent
time in France composing his Latin paraphrase of the book of Job and
cultivating a relationship with George Buchanan.151 Thus James deci-
sion to bring Du Bartas to St Andrews to hear both men lecture revealed
the Kings own estimate of Melville as an eminent scholar, poet, and
theologian of Scotland. As a distinguished young scholar and poet with
strong ties to the Reformed church in both France and Switzerland,
Melville was an obvious choice if the King wished to impress the
Huguenot bard.

149
Prescott, The Reception of Du Bartas in England, 144, 162; Alfred Hioratio
Upham, The French Influence in English Literature: From the Accession of Elizabeth to the
Restoration (New York, 1908), 171; Melville, JMAD, 255. Harvey wrote of Du Bartas:
[F]or the highnesse of his subject and the majesty of his verse, nothing inferiour unto
Dante (whome some Italians preferre before Virgil, or Homer), a right inspired and
enravished Poet, full of chosen, grave, profound, venerable, and stately matter, even in
the next Degree to the sacred, and reverend stile of heavenly Divinity it selfe; in a man-
ner the onely Poet, whome Urany hath voutsafed to Laureate with her owne heavenly
hand: and worthy to bee alleadged of Divines, and Counsellours, as Homer is quoted of
Philosophers, and Oratours. Many of his solemne verses, are oracles: and one Bartas,
that is, one French Salomon, more weighty in stern and mighty counsell then the Seaven
Sages of Greece. Cf. I. D. McFarlane, A Literary History of France: Renaissance France
14701589 (London, 1974), 387388. Contemporary assessments of Du Bartas poetry
has not been as favorable as those judges of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Writing of the Premiere Sepmaine, McFarlane remarks, [S]ometimes the poem gives the
impression of a vast Parnassian and humanist junk-shop, and the clumsiness that betrays
itself in language and in presentation has put off readers of later generations.
150
James W. L. Adams, The Renaissance Poets (2) Latin in James Kinsley (ed.),
Scottish Poetry a Critical Survey (London, 1955), 82; James Macqueen, Scottish
Latin Poetry in R.D.S. Jack (ed.), The History of Scottish Literature Vol. I (Aberdeen,
19871988), 219. On the poets at the court of James VI see Helena Mennie Shire, Song,
Dance and Poetry of the Court of Scotland under King James VI (Cambridge, 1969),
79116. Macqueen notes that Melvilles contemporaries reserved the title of poet laure-
ate for Alexander Montgomerie.
151
I. D. McFarlane, Buchanan (London, 1981), 240.
222 chapter six

Du Bartas, as a French humanist with a keen interest in divine poetry,


may have been familiar with Melvilles own 1574 Carmen Mosis and
Adamsons paraphrase of the book of Job. Although writing in the ver-
nacular, he looked to ancient Greek and Roman authors, endeavoring in
his divine epic La Judit to imitate Homer in his Illiades, and Virgill in his
neidos.152 In 1574 Du Bartas published a collection of religious poetry
under the title La Muse Chrestiene, which included the divine epic La
Judit,153 the allegory Le Triomfe de la Foi,154 and the exhortation to
avoid secular poetrys frivolity and to cultivate the art of divine poetry in
LUranie.155 In 1578 the French poet published an account of creation,
entitled La Creation du Monde ou Premiere Sepmaine, and in 1584 he
published a sequel, entitled Seconde Sepmaine, which endeavored to
continue his historical account until the day of judgment. Although he
only completed eight sections of this proposed work due to his prema-
ture death in 1590, by the time he visited Scotland in 1587 Du Bartas
was viewed as a leading divine poet and continued to be thus regarded
in Europe until the 1660s.156
The 1587 visitation of St Andrews by the King and Du Bartas was
unannounced and without anie warning, and their arrival occurred
after Melville had delivered his daily lecture. When the King insisted
that Melville deliver a lecture in his presence and for the benefit of their
distinguished visitor, the haill Universitie convenit and Melville, to the
great displeasure of James, ex tempore intreated maist cleirlie and
mightelie of the right government of Chryst, and in effect refuted the
haill Actes of Parliament maid against the discipline thairof. The follow-
ing morning archbishop Adamson delivered a prepared lessone to
which Melville responded later that day. After hearing Melville lecture,

152
Campbell, Divine Poetry and Drama in Sixteenth-Century England, 76.
153
In 1584 Thomas Hudson provided an English translation of Du Bartas. Cf.
Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, The Historie of Iudith in Forme of a Poem. Penned in
French, by the Noble Poet, G. Salust. Lord of Bartas. Englished by Tho. Hudson. (Edinburgh,
1584).
154
In 1592 Joshua Silvester translated this work into English. Cf. Guillaume de
SallusteDu Bartas, The Triumph of Faith. The Sacrifice of Isaac. The Ship-wracke of Ionas.
With a Song of the Victorie Obtained by the French King, at Yvry. Written in French, by
W. Salustius lord of Bartas, and translated by Iosuah Siluester, merchant Aduenturer
(1592).
155
McFarlane, A Literary History of France: Renaissance France 14701589, 387;Camp
bell, Divine Poetry and Drama in Sixteenth-Century England, 7576. GuillaumedeSalluste
Du Bartas, LUranie ou Muse Celeste de G. de Saluste Seigneur du Bartas. Urania sive
Musa Clestis Roberti Ashelei de Gallica G. Salustij Bartasij Delibata (London, 1589).
156
Prescott, The Reception of Du Bartas in England, 144145.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 223

James Melville writes, Monsieur du Bartas tarried behind and conferrit


with my uncle and me a wholl houre. Later in the evening the King
enquired what he thought of the two lectures. Du Bartas characterized
Adamsons lecture as cunned, and prepared maters while Melvilles
exhibited a grait reddie store of all kind of lerning and displayed much
more courage than his humanist counterpart. The King was forced to
agree.157 The 1587 visitation reveals both James VIs high estimation of
Melville as a scholar and academic as well as insight into Melvilles ever
expanding circle of humanist associates and advocates of the New
Learning.

Melvilles Literary Circle

During Melvilles service as principal of St Marys he enjoyed the friend-


ship of a number of humanists and poets some of whom resided in St
Andrews while others were situated in nearby Edinburgh. In Edinburgh
in the late sixteenth century there existed an important nucleus of schol-
ars devoted to the New Learning among whom were Adam King, Sir
Thomas Craig, and Robert Rollock.158 Among these proponents of the
studia humanitatis Melville became acquainted with Hercules Rollock.
Rollock had matriculated at St Marys in 1564 and received his MA in
1568.159 Following his graduation, he became a regent at Kings College,
Old Aberdeen in 1569 when Alexander Arbuthnot and James Lawson
became principal and subprincipal respectively.160 After a brief period of
service in Aberdeen, Rollock traveled to the continent where he may
have studied and/or taught at the University of Poitiers. Like Melville
before and William Hegate after him, he spent some time in Poitiers
prosecuting his studies as a number of his poems indicate. Indeed, his
1576 poem entitled Panegyris de pace in Gallia was actually published
in Poitiers. He met Melville some time after his return to Scotland in
1580.161 As graduates of St Marys and fellow students at Poitiers who

Melville, JMAD, 255256.


157

Leicester Bradner, Musae Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin Poetry 15001925


158

(New York and London, 1940), 127, 153; Adams, The Renaissance Poets (2) Latin, 81,
85. Adams has maintained that Melville was connected with Adam King and Sir
Thomas Craig.
159
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St Andrews, 162, 271.
160
Peter John Anderson (ed.), Officers and Graduates of University and Kings College
Aberdeen (Aberdeen, 1893), 52.
161
Bradner, Musae Anglicanae, 125.
224 chapter six

cultivated the art of Latin poetry, Melville and Rollock shared a number
of common experiences, literary interests, and humanistic values.
In 1584 Rollock was appointed master of the grammar school in
Edinburgh and served in this capacity until he lost his post in 1595 due
to the violent behavior of his pupils.162
Although Rollocks poetry has been criticized for its lack of inspira-
tion and has been dismissed by some as possessing little literary value,
Melvilles poem written to him indicates that he was highly regarded by
the litterati of Edinburgh in the late sixteenth century.163 Despite Rollocks
own feelings of inferiority, which in part prevented him from forming
a deep friendship with Buchanan, the elder humanist regarded him
highly enough to recommend him to James VI.164 As early as 1584
Rollock had offered liminary verses in honor of the Kings The Essayes
of a Prentise, in the Divine Art of Poesie,165 and in 1589 he published a
long Epithalamium in honor of the James VIs marriage to Anne of
Denmark.166 Rollock wrote seven Sylvae in hexameters as well as elegiac
couplets, epigrams, and miscellaneous poems.167 His occasional poems,
which addressed subjects, such as the 1585 Edinburgh plague and the
negative influence of Catholicism in Scotland, have been praised for
their vivacity of description and their vigorous movement.168 While
Rollock was not Melvilles closest colleague and was even thought to
have lampooned some of his ministerial associates, he was, nevertheless,
a classical scholar and Latin poet with whom Melville was associated
for a number of years during his service as master of the Edinburgh
grammar school.169

162
Lynch, The Origins of Edinburghs Toun College, 10; Thomas Dempster, Historia
Ecclesiastica Gentis Scotorum: sive, De Scriptoribus Scotis Tom. II (Edinburgh, 1829),
565; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 410411. Dempster refers to Rollocks profession
of Catholicism as the grounds for his dismissal, but the lack of corroborating evidence
makes this claim questionable. McCrie notes that Rollock maintained that he was dis-
missed on account of the citizens ignorance. Cf. also Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum.
163
Adams, The Renaissance Poets (2) Latin, 85; Bradner, Musae Anglicanae, 126.
164
McFarlane, Buchanan, 471.
165
Hercules Rollock De huius libri auctore, Herculis Rolloci coniectura in James VI,
Essayes of a Prentise.
166
Macqueen, Scottish Latin Poetry, 220. Cf. Hercules Rollock, De Augustissimo
Iacobi 6. Scotorum Regis, & Ann Frederici 2, Danorum Regia filiae Conjugio: 1, Calend.
Septemb. 1589 in Dania Celebrato (Edinburgh, 1589).
167
Bradner, Musae Anglicanae, 126.
168
Macqueen, Scottish Latin Poetry, 220.
169
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 410411. Melville is reported to have responded
with several stinging epigrams, referring to Rollock as a mercenary poet, and a starved
schoolmaster turned lawyer. Rollock replied, offering a vindication of himself.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 225

Another humanist with whom Melville became acquainted and main-


tained a correspondence during these years was the eminent classical
scholar Isaac Casaubon.170 A native of Geneva, Casaubons early self-
education has been described as simply awesome.171 Like Bud and
Scaliger before him, he claimed to have been a self-taught man
and .172 Although his name is not to be found in the Livre
du recteur, he commenced his studies at the Genevan Academy in 1578
and remained connected with it for eighteen years, first as a student and
subsequently as a professor.173 While at the Academy, he so impressed
his professor of Greek, Franois Portus, that the latter recommended
him as his replacement before he died.174 At the young age of 23 on
5 June 1582, Casaubon was appointed professor of Greek at the Genevan
Academy and served in this capacity until 1596 when he departed for
Montpellier. Indeed, from 1587 until 1596 Casaubon was the Genevan
schola publicas leading figure. As an internationally renowned human-
ist and Greek scholar, he frequently received tempting offers from other
European universities in an effort to retain his services.175 He possessed
an unrivalled knowledge of unpublished Greek texts,176 and Joseph
Scaliger once remarked that he knew more Greek than he himself did.
As a Greek scholar whose real intellectual passion was said to have been
Christian Greek, he so immersed himself in Greek idioms that they
repeatedly surfaced in his own Latin compositions.177

170
Casaubon, Isaaci Casauboni Epistol, 129, 253254. Although Melvilles corre-
spondence has apparently not survived, Casaubon in a letter he wrote in 1605 expressed
his own joy in receiving it. He wrote: Cum percupide tuas expectassem satis diu, doctis-
sime Melvine, incredibili tandem affectus gaudio sum, quando illam Epistolam tuam
accepi, quam adolescenti cuidam tuo populari tradideras. On Casaubon see Hlne
Parenty, Isaac Casaubon hellniste: des studia humanitatis la philologie (Geneva,
2009).
171
Anthony Grafton, Protestant Versus Prophet: Isaac Casaubon on Hermes
Trismegistus, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 46 (1983), 78.
172
Mark Pattison, Isaac Casaubon 15591614 (Oxford, 1892), 6.
173
Karin Maag, Seminary or University? The Genevan Academy and Reformed Higher
Education, 15601620 (Aldershot, 1995), 42; Pattison, Isaac Casaubon 15591614, 6.
174
Pattison, Isaac Casaubon 15591614, 89.
175
Maag, Seminary or University? 42, 7172; Pattison, Isaac Casaubon 15591614,
20.
176
Grafton, Protestant Versus Prophet: Isaac Casaubon on Hermes Trismegistus,
78.
177
Pattison, Isaac Casaubon 15591614, 441, 455. Scaliger wrote of Casaubon: Cest
le plus grande homme que nous avons en grec; je lui cde. He also wrote: Et memoria
avorum et nostri sculi grce doctissimum. Pattison observed of Casaubon:What
stirs his soul is Christian Greek, e.g. S. Chrysostom, whose Epistola ad Stagirium excites
him to rapture.
226 chapter six

Although he served as a professor of Greek at the Genevan Academy,


in 1595 he was reported to have delivered lectures on the Hebrew lan-
guage from the Rabbinical writings.178 Very much like Melvilles own
Hebrew Bible, which he kept attached to his belt, Casaubons constant
companion was his copy of the Hebrew Psalter. Like Melville on his
journey from Poitiers to Geneva, when Casaubon traveled to England,
the only book he brought with him was his copy of the Hebrew Psalter.179
In addition to his Latin poetry, his reputation as a classical scholar, and
his service as a professor of divinity, Casaubon must have appreciated
Melvilles devotion to the study and promotion of Hebrew and its ancient
near-eastern cognates. His lively exchanges with Portus and his study
under Bertram must have been known to Casaubon as the latter learned
of Melville from his Genevan colleagues.
In September 1601 Casaubon wrote to Melville from Paris with the
hopes of establishing a friendship with his fellow humanist and entreat-
ing him to publish the fruits of his literary labors.180 He Addressed him
as doctissime Melvine and remarked that his piety and erudition were
widely recognized by those who cherish bonae litterae. Casaubon
remarked that he first learned of Melville through the conversations he
had with Beza, Henri Estienne, and Jacques Lect.181 Casaubon viewed
himself as linked with Melville by a sacred friendship united in their
mutual humanistic values and religious commitments. He expressed his
own admiration and affection for Melville in an effort to induce him to
publish a number of writings, especially on subjects connected with
sacred literature.182 Quite possibly Casaubon had in view the religious
poetry Melville had composed early in his career, such as his 1574
Carmen Mosis, which established him in the eyes of the literati of Europe

178
Maag, Seminary or University? 69.
179
Pattison, Isaac Casaubon 15591614, 441.
180
Casaubon, Isaaci Casauboni Epistol, 129. On Casaubons love of Hebrew see
Anthony Grafton and Joanna Weinberg, I have Always Loved the Holy Tongue: Isaac
Casaubon, the Jews, and a Forgotten Chapter in Renaissance Scholarship (Cambridge,
MA, 2011). He wrote: Simul accipe & meam, & omnium , quibus de singu-
lari tua eruditione compertum est, quissimam querelam. Non enim dubitamus, multa
in Sacris prsertim Literis tibi elaborate esse, qu magno Ecclesi Dei bono in studio-
sorum minibus versarentur. Quid igitur est, cur illa tu premas, & vigiliarum tuarum
fructus nobis invideas? At sunt nimis multi, inquies hodie manus prurient. Sic est
profecto, Vir eruditissime; qui scriptis suis innotescant, habemus hodie multos; at
Melvinum tamen habemus, opinor, nullum; aut certe oppido paucos. Tu prodi, sodes:&
quam personam Deus tibi imposuit, eam sic gere, ut ad nos quoque tuorum studiorum
fructus perveniat.
181
Ibid.
182
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 99100.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 227

as a young humanist and Latin poet of great promise. Equally likely, he


had occasion to peruse Melvilles 1590 and 1594 Natalia,
which significantly enhanced his European reputation and standing as a
Latin poet. Although Casaubon himself has been characterized as des-
titute of imagination and completely bereft of the inventive imagina-
tion of the poet, very likely he was familiar with Melvilles poetry and
admired his literary dexterity and eloquence, as well as his genuine
devotion to the values of the Renaissance.183
While Melvilles brief correspondence with Casaubon hardly consti-
tutes a formative relationship or one that dramatically contributed to his
literary development during these years, it does signify the beginning of
their association and the foundation of their subsequent private conver-
sations. When Melville was later imprisoned in the Tower of London,
Casaubon frequently visited him and enjoyed critical discussions on
both the sacred and profane authors of antiquity. Just as he had freely
engaged Buchanan and Scaliger, offering his own criticisms and sugges-
tions, so Melville proposed to Casaubon in one of their conversations a
critical emendation to the text of I Timothy 3.16.184 Given their mutual
devotion to the study of ancient Greek, Casaubon must have found his
critical discussions with Melville intellectually invigorating and a wel-
comed change to the tedium he experienced in his daily service to the
King.185 Although Casaubons attachment to Reformed Protestantism
later changed in favor of a growing sympathy for Catholicism, Melvilles
willingness to cultivate a relationship with him suggests that it was based
upon a shared intellectual culture and set of values which enabled them
to transcend their religious differences. Melvilles correspondence with
Casaubon during his residence at St Andrews and his subsequent per-
sonal acquaintance while in the Tower underscores his continued desire
to cultivate an ever-expanding circle of literary scholars devoted to the
studia humanitatis of the Renaissance.
In addition to Rollock and Casaubon, Melville formed a close rela-
tionship with the distinguished historian, poet, political theorist, and
religious controversialist David Hume of Godscroft.186 Educated at the

Pattison, Isaac Casaubon 15591614, 443.


183

Melville, JMAD, 120; Anthony T. Grafton, Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of
184

Classical Scholarship Vol. I Textual Criticism and Exegesis (Oxford, 1983), 126127;
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 258260.
185
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 259.
186
Arthur H. Williamson, David Hume of Godscrofts the History of the House of
Angus (review), Scottish Historical Review, 86.1 (2007), 143145.
228 chapter six

Dunbar grammar school, he first attracted attention by his skillful


composition of Latin verse.187 He matriculated at St Marys in 1569,
receiving his BA in 1571 and MA in 1572, and in 1578 he proceeded first
to France and then to Geneva where he continued his university stud-
ies.188 As a protg of Buchanan in his youth,189 Godscroft, also known
as Theagrius, came to be viewed in Scotland as Buchanans intellectual
heir, and his poetry even received the praise of Buchanan himself.
Promoting the civic values of the classical citizen, he followed Buchanan
in his Latinity as well as in his political theory.190 Patterned on the poetry
of Ovid, he wrote epigrams, allegorical eclogues, and love elegies, as well
as a thanksgiving for the discovery of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot and a
religious poem entitled Aselcanus written in hexameters.191 Melville was
so pleased with Godscrofts poetry and held it in such high esteem that a
number of letters he wrote in honor of it were prefaced to his book of
poetry entitled Lusus poetici, in tres partes distincti first published in
1605 and later reprinted in the Poemata omnia of 1639.192
In addition to his Latin poetry, Godscroft shared with Melville a vig-
orous commitment to the Reformed faith broadly conceived. Described
as an uncompromising Calvinist and regarded by some asthe presby-
terian partys most formidable intellect, Godscroft perceived the threat
to presbyterian polity as a threat to Scotland itself.193 Although Melville
himself was not directly involved in the 1582 Ruthven Raid, Godscroft
had been a participant in that coup dtat which ousted the government
of Esm Stewart and the Catholic lords who had been advising the young
James VI. Ten months later when the Ruthven leadership was itself dis-
placed from its position of political influence in 1583 with the escape of

187
Paul J. McGinnis and Arthur H. Williamson, Introduction in Paul J. McGinnis
and Arthur H. Williamson (eds. and trans.), The British Union A Critical Edition and
Translation of David Hume of Godscrofts De Unione Insulae Britannicae (Ashgate,
2002), 20.
188
Anderson, Early Records of the University of St Andrews, 166, 169, 277; McGinnis
and Williamson, Introduction in The British Union, 20.
189
Adams, The Renaissance Poets (2) Latin, 87.
190
Paul J. McGinnis and Arthur H. Williamson, Introduction in Paul J. McGinnis
and Arthur H. Williamson (eds.), George Buchanan: The Political Poetry (Edinburgh,
1995), 36.
191
Adams, The Renaissance Poets (2) Latin, 87.
192
McGinnis and Williamson, Introduction in George Buchanan: The Political
Poetry, 37; David Hume of Godscroft, Lusus poetici, in tres partes distincti (London,
1605).
193
Arthur H. Williamson, Scottish National Consciousness in the Age of James VI: The
Apocalypse, the Union and the Shaping of Scotlands Public Culture (Edinburgh, 1979),
8990.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 229

the King, Godscroft was forced to flee with his comrades to England
where Melville later joined his fellow Presbyterian exiles.194
Several years later Godscroft further endeared himself to Melville by
composing a cogent defense of Presbyterianism in letters he had written
to bishops Law and Cowper. Melville wrote of him, I love the sincere
zeal and undaunted spirit of that excellent man and most upright friend.
Would to God that the equestrian, not to say the ecclesiastical, ordercould
boast of many Godscrofts.195 His defense of Presbyterianism was timely,
offered when Melville was no longer resident at St Andrewswhere he
might offer his own defense. In Melvilles absence and with great erudi-
tion and eloquence, he offered such a compelling case that James Melville
remarked: I wish they [referring to his letters] were printed one
would scarcely desire to see any thing better on the subject.196
Influenced by Buchanan, Godscroft looked to the authors of classical
antiquity to find his models for poetry and history. In Buchanan both
Melville and Godscroft found a contemporary model of Latinity, as well
as many of the political sentiments that would inform their own respec-
tive theories. Their intellectual kinship, as seen in their cultivation of the
art of Latin poetry, was significantly augmented by the religious kinship
which they shared in their struggle against episcopacy in both Scotland
and England. Shaped by many of the same intellectual environments at
St Andrews, Geneva, and France and united by their similar Reformed
heritage, Melville and Godscroft shared many of the same cultural val-
ues, humanistic sentiments, and religious principles.
While we may reasonably assume that Godscroft was as familiar with
Melvilles poetry as his fellow humanist was with his own, it is unclear
how frequently and to what extent they interacted. Melvilles corre-
spondence with Godscroft suggests that they were on intimate terms
during their period of exile in England during the mid-1580s. We know
from Melvilles letter to Godscroft dated 23 April 1604 that he strongly
commended his The Bonds of the British Union (an alternate title to De
unione insulae Britannicae) and praised its author, stating that he had
surpassed the high hopes he had for him as a young man when the two
had temporarily resided together in England.197 United in their political

McGinnis and Williamson, Introduction in The British Union, 2122.


194

Andrew Melville, Melvini Epistolae, Special Collections, University of Edinburgh,


195

325. McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 297.


196
James Melville, Melvini Epistolae, 194; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 297.
197
McGinnis and Williamson, The British Union, 136137.
230 chapter six

and religious views as well as in their commitment to the cultural values


of the Renaissance, Melville found in Godscroft an elegant Latinist, inci-
sive political theorist, persuasive advocate of Presbyterianism, and fel-
low promoter of the New Learning.
A much closer humanist associate of Melvilles than either Rollock,
Casaubon, or even Godscroft was the Latin poet and professor of theol-
ogy at St Andrews John Johnston. Johnston had been educated first at
the Aberdeen grammar school and subsequently at Kings College
where he was probably graduated in 1584. After studying at Rostock,
Helmstedt, and Heidelberg, Johnston returned to Scotland in 1592 after
several years living abroad and was shortly thereafter appointed profes-
sor of theology at St Marys in 1593.198 His appointment was due largely
to the strong impression he made upon Melville when the two met and
conversed at length.199 Deeply impressed by Johnstons scholarly reputa-
tion, intellectual abilities, and academic training, Melville was relentless
in his efforts to secure his services for St Marys.200 In addition to serving
as Melvilles colleague at the College, Johnston labored closely with him
for several years as a representative of the University in the courts of the
Kirk. Indeed, his presence along with Melvilles as Doctors in the Kirk
was viewed by James VI to be so threatening that measures were taken
at the 1597 General Assembly to prevent them from interfering with the
Kings ecclesiastical intentions.201
For thirteen years Johnston and Melville labored together at St Marys
sharing many views and values and undoubtedly influencing one
another.202 In addition to being vigorous advocates of presbyterian polity,

198
James Kerr Cameron (ed.), Letters of John Johnston and Robert Howie (Edinburgh
and London, 1963), xvixxiii, xxviixxxviii, xlxliii, xlix.
199
John Johnston, Richardo, Thomae, et Andre Melvinis FFF. (Fratribus) in William
Keith Leask (ed.), Musa Latina Aberdonensis Vol. III Poetae Minores (Aberdeen,
1910), 124.
200
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 331; Cameron, Letters of John Johnston and
Robert Howie, 235237.
201
Evidence, Oral and Documentary, Taken and Received by the Commissioners
Appointed by His Majesty George IV for Visiting the Universities of Scotland. VolumeIII.
University of St. Andrews (London, 1837), 197; Cameron, Letters of John Johnston and
Robert Howie, lilii. The following was decreed: For the bettir ordour to be observit in
tyme cuming, in the haill Collegis; That all Doctouris and Regentis, not being pastouris
in the Kirk, professing ather Theologie or Philosophie, and astricted to daylie teiching
and examinatioun of youth, sal be in all tyme cuming exemit fra all imployment upoun
Sessionis, Presbetereis, Generall or Synodall Assemblies, and fra teiching in kirkis or
congregationis, exept in exercises, and censuring of doctrine in exercises.
202
Adams, The Renaissance Poets (2) Latin, 87. In addition to influencing one
another, Adams, following Bradner, suggests that together Melville and Johnston may
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 231

both Melville and Johnston were even agreed in their views regarding
Piscators controversial doctrine of justification as their joint letter
to Philippe du Plessis-Mornay dated 14 October 1604 indicates.203
Ashumanists trained on the continent, they held in common many of
the values cherished by the advocates of the New Learning, particularly
the art of Latin poetry. Indeed, the two men were such good friends and
colleagues that Melvilles epic on the founding of the Scottish people,
entitled Gathelus, may have been inspired by Johnston, who himself had
published his own historical epigrams in 1602, entitled Inscriptiones his-
toricae regum Scotorum.204
Johnstons Inscriptiones was a series of epigrams on all of the Kings of
Scotland from the time of Fergus in 330 BC to the days of James VI and
was published along with Melvilles uncompleted Gathelus and Histori
vera laus. Their mutual interests and influence, as well as their shared
humanistic values, may be seen in the fact that, in addition to publishing
their separate works together, two of the epigrams on Mary Queen of
Scots in Johnstons Inscriptiones were composed by Melville himself.205
The 1602 Inscriptiones along with his 1603 Heroes ex omni historia Scotia
lectissimi 206 were poetic collections written in the tradition of the fourth-
century poet Ausonius who had composed a number of epigrams on
famous heroes and another on the twelve Caesars. These epigrams had
been imitated by the distinguished Renaissance scholar Julius Caesar
Scaliger and had become a model for subsequent Renaissance poets eager
to emulate the great Latin muse. In 1611 and 1612 Johnston shifted from
Scottish history to sacred history by publishing his Sidera veteris aevi,
sive heroes fide et factis illustres in veteri testamento and Icones regum
Iudae et Israelis respectively. Although the subject matter had shifted dra-
matically, the literary approach embodied in these poetical treatments
of history continued to follow the model of Ausonius. Similarly,

have been responsible for David Hume of Godscroft abandoning his earlier Ovidian
style of verse for a more overtly religious form of poetry. As a protg of Buchanan,
Hume of Godscroft modeled his early poetry after the pattern of Ovid and composed
epigrams, love elegies, allegorical eclogues, a thanksgiving for the discovery of the
Gunpowder Plot, and a long religious poem in hexameters, Aselcanus.
203
Cameron, Letters of John Johnston and Robert Howie, 195197.
204
Bradner, Musae Anglicanae, 153; John Johnston, Inscriptiones historicae regum
Scotorum, continuata annorum serie a Fergusio primo regni conditore ad nostra tempora
(Edinburgh, 1602).
205
Johnston, Inscriptiones, 5859; Cameron, Letters of John Johnston and Robert
Howie, lxi.
206
John Johnston, Heroes ex omni historia Scotia lectissimi (Edinburgh, 1603).
232 chapter six

Johnstons Encomia urbium, which praised the cities and towns ofScot
land, may have been inspired by Julius Caesar Scaligers own Urbes.207
Due to Johnstons own choice of subject matter, namely Scottish and
Hebrew Kings, his poetry has been criticized for its lack of imagination
and inspiration and his literary style has been tagged pedestrian.208
Despite his best efforts to develop a new classicism of language, his
patriotic Scots versification seen in his tributes to Scotlands heroes
and cities tended to stifle the expression of his own native originality.209
Yet in spite of his moderate poetical talents, his connections with a
number of other Latin poets and literati in Scotland underscore his liter-
ary significance. In addition to being a close friend and colleague of
Melvilles, Johnston enjoyed the continued friendship of his three fellow
Aberdonians, Robert Howie, David Wedderburn, and Andrew Aidie.210
While there can be no question that Johnston and Melville admired one
anothers poetic productions and even collaborated in publishing
Johnstons Inscriptiones, their humanist bond was augmented by their
common religious orientation. Despite Melvilles imprisonment and
subsequent banishment, their friendship remained strong and was only
ended with the death of Johnston in 1611. As a token of their friendship,
when Johnston died he left Melville a gilt black velvet cap, a gold coin,
and one of his most prized books from his personal library.211

Melvilles Poetry

In addition to his literary associations, Melvilles development as a


humanist during his time at St Andrews may be seen most vividly in his
neo-Latin poetry. Deriving immense pleasure from its recreational
and therapeutic functions, his most significant poems were composed
during the years 1587 and 1607.212 Although he delighted himself in the

207
Bradner, Musae Anglicanae, 155.
208
Adams, The Renaissance Poets (2) Latin, 86; Bradner, Musae Anglicanae, 155.
209
D. F. S. Thomson, The Latin Epigram in Scotland: The Sixteenth Century,
Phoenix, 11 (Sum., 1957), 70; Macqueen, Scottish Latin Poetry, 220.
210
Bradner, Musae Anglicanae, 156; Anderson, Officers and Graduates, 46, 329;
Thomson, The Latin Epigram in Scotland: The Sixteenth Century, 71.
211
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 284, 288. Melville, Melvini Epistolae, 196, 281,
293294. Upon receiving the news of Johnstons death from his nephew, Melville wrote
on 28 May 1612: Ob Jhonstoni nostri occasum tam illustrem in maerore gaudio. Pauci
quos aequus amavit Jupiter, aut ardens evexit ad aethera virtus, Diis geniti potuere . . . .
Fuit . . . vere pius et purioris ut doctrinae sic disciplinae tenax nec inhumano animo.
Academia praeceptorem, Ecclesia civem, nos amicum amisimus.
212
Bradner, Musae Anglicanae, 152.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 233

composition of Latin poetry throughout his life and even continued to


compose it until his death in 1622 at the age of seventy-seven, his most
productive years cover approximately the last decade of the sixteenth
and the first decade of the seventeenth centuries. Writing on a wide
variety of subjects from the coronation of Queen Anne of Denmark in
1590, the birth of Prince Henry in 1594, and the accession to the English
throne of James VI in 1603 to the Gunpowder plot in 1605, as well as
numerous satirical poems and his own national Scottish epic, Melvilles
reputation as a poet became widespread as his poetry received broad
circulation throughout the cultured circles of Protestant Europe.213
In addition to his satirical epigrams on bishops and episcopacy, in
which he delighted in lampooning his ecclesiastical adversaries, Melville
wrote odes, elegies, occasional poems, and began his epic on the origins
of the Scottish people.214 Along with its recreational and therapeutic
uses, Melvilles epigrams have been categorized as belonging to that body
of humanist neo-Latin epigrams of the sixteenth century which pos-
sessed a serious admonitory quality.215 Composing over 160 distinct
pieces of Latin poetry, upon the death of Buchanan in 1582 he is said to
have emerged as a kind of unofficial Latin laureate to James VI.216 Yet
despite his prolific production, his poetry has yet to be comprehensively
collected in a single volume and has been only selectively studied.217

213
James Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England (Cambridge,
2000), 57.
214
Bradner, Musae Anglicanae, 152.
215
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 58; McCrie, Life of
Andrew Melville I, 8789, 302.
216
Steven John Reid, Early Polemic by Andrew Melville: The Carmen Mosis (1574)
and the St Bartholomews Day Massacres, Renaissance and Reformation, 30.4 (Fall
2006/2007), 63; Adams, The Renaissance Poets: (2) Latin, 82.
217
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 59; McCrie, Life of
Andrew Melville I, 44, 51, 286, 315, 377, 462465; Vol. II, 9697, 122, 157, 172, 197, 203,
215, 217, 219, 222, 228, 232, 257, 262, 328329. While Doelman is correct in observing
that Melvilles poetic writings have been a neglected area of study, his assertion that
McCries relative neglect of his poetry in his Life indicates disdain for Melvilles poetic
activities is unwarranted and untenable given a careful reading of McCries text. Far
from expressing disdain for Melvilles poetry, McCrie heaped lavish praise upon the
Latin poet in his brief discussion of the Carmen Mosis and to a lesser extent in his treat-
ment of the . Indeed, his profound admiration of Melvilles poetic abilities
may be observed in his frequent and liberal inclusion throughout his lengthy biography
of epigrams and portions of his longer poems. He included such poems as Classicum,
Tyrannis, Principis Scoti-Britannorum Natalia as well as a number of untitled epigrams.
Although his Life certainly could have included more discussion and analysis of Melvilles
poetry, the limited examination that is included was probably determined more by pub-
lishing restraints than intellectual disdain for the art. Similarly, Reids unwarranted char-
acterization of McCrie as a dour minister who may have regarded Melvilles poetry
234 chapter six

Like other sixteenth-century European humanists, Melville looked to


the authors of Roman antiquity as a model for his own Latin composi-
tion. In contrast to Bezas early poetry as embodied in the Iuvenilia,
which drew upon a number of classical models ranging from Catullus,
Propertius, and Ovid to Homer and Vergil, Melvilles poetry avoided
Catullus altogether and drew upon such classical poets as Vergil and
Horace. In his 1594 Principis Scoti-Britannorum natalia there is evidence
of the distinct influence of Vergil in its tone and Horace in its literary
structure.218 Traces of Cicero have been identified in his poem Histori
vera laus while his Scottish national epic, entitled Gathelus (1602), which
has been described as representing the Scottish counterpart to the
Aeneid, also looked to the Roman poet Vergil for inspiration.219 While
his good friend Hume of Godscroft had endeavored to imitate Ovid in
his poetry and had been inspired by Livy in the composition of his own
history, Melville quite naturally looked to that poet in whom he took the
greatest delight and of whom James Melville observed was his cheiff
refreschment efter his grave studies, Vergil.220
In May 1590 on the occasion of the coronation of Queen Anne of
Denmark Melville was called upon to perform the service of a court poet
to James VI. Both Hercules Rollock and Adrian Damman were among
those who also celebrated the Kings marriage in 1589 and 1590 respec-
tively, but it was Melville, with less than two days notice, who was called
upon to deliver a poem in honor of the occasion.221 Despite the original
plans, which called for bishops to perform the ceremony, an unexpected
change was made, substituting the ministers Robert Bruce and Patrick
Galloway for the bishops, as well as the Latin poet Melville. Notwithstanding
his initial objection to the Ceremony of Unction, Melville yielded when

as too frivolous does not account for the extent of his poetical analysis, publication
limitations, and his explicit praise of his poetic abilities. Writing of Melvilles Latin
poetry, McCrie praised the vigour of his imagination and the elegance of his taste and
maintained that some of his poetic productions were comparable with the poetry of the
greatest masters of that species of writing.
218
Anne Lake Prescott, English Writers and Bezas Latin Epigrams: The Uses and
Abuses of Poetry, SR, 21 (1974), 8485; Kirk Summers, Theodore Bezas Classical
Library and Christian Humanism, Archiv fr Reformationsgeschichte, 82 (1991), 201
202; McGinnis and Williamson, Introduction, 32, 276. Cf. Kirk M. Summers (ed. and
trans.), A View from the Palatine: The Iuvenilia of Thodore de Bze (Temple, AZ, 2001);
Andrew Melville, Principis Scoti-Britannorum Natalia (Edinburgh, 1594).
219
McGinnis and Williamson, Introduction, 3233.
220
Adams, The Renaissance Poets: (2) Latin, 87; McGinnis and Williamson, George
Buchanan, 36; Melville, JMAD, 46.
221
Melville, JMAD, 279; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 302, 464465. Melville
composed encomiastic verses in honor of Adrian Dammans Latin compositions. For a
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 235

the King insisted on having the ceremony with or without the service of
the Presbyterian ministers.222 Whereas Galloway and Bruce had been
given the assignments of delivering the sermon and offering the prayer
respectively, Melville had been appointed to read a Latin poem he him-
self had composed suited specifically for this august occasion.223
Following the anointing of the queen by Robert Bruce and the subse-
quent crowning by Bruce, John Maitland of Thirlestane, and David
Lindsay, Melville delivered what was later entitled .224 His
courtly service on this occasion was depicted by Adrian Damman in
his 1590 Schediasmata as entertaining, yet instructive, while Justus
Lipsius admired its author, declaring revera Andreas, Melvinus est serio
doctus (Andrew Melville is, in fact, deeply learned). Similarly, Joseph
Scaliger offered his own praise of the piece when he confessed: nos talia
non possumus (not even we are able to do such). Given Scaligers
intellectual reputation and his own reluctance to flatter, such remarks
illustrate Melvilles growing European reputation as an erudite humanist
and skilled poet of the sixteenth-century Renaissance.225
As the was circulated throughout Europe, humanists
such as Lipsius and Scaliger welcomed it as embodying not merely ele-
gant Latin poetry but equally noble content on the proper and just gov-
ernment of a kingdom. While exploring the reasons why men covet the
government of a kingdom, he enumerated both the morally dubious and
the more honorable motivations.226 After praising the King for his brav-
ery in traveling across the dangerous North Sea to retrieve his bride from
Denmark, Melville eloquently expressed the union between the King

valuable assessment of the coronation see Maureen M. Meikle, Anna of Denmarks


Coronation and Entry into Edinburgh, 1590: Cultural, Religious and Diplomatic
Perspectives in Julian Goodare and Alasdair A. MacDonald (eds.) Sixteenth-Century
Scotland: Essays in Honour of Michael Lynch (Leiden and Boston, 2008).
222
John Spottiswoode, History of the Church Scotland Vol. II (Edinburgh, 1851),
407408.
223
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 465.
224
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 60; Andrew Melville,
Ad Scotiae Regem, Habitum in Coronatione Reginae 17 Maij 1590 (Edin
burgh, 1590). may be rendered Little Garland.
225
Adrian Damman, Schediasmata Hadrianus Dammanis A Bisterveld Gandavensis
(Edinburgh, 1590); Melville, JMAD, 279; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville I, 302303,
465; Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 60. Damman wrote:
Meluinus, grandique ad Regem carmine fatur / Ausonio, monitisque docet prudentibus
artem / Imperij.
226
Melville, , 45. Vis arcane tamen natur, et conscia fati / Leuat
alta laborem / Gloria, celsi animi pennis sublimibus apta. / Quid stadium humani
generis? quid viuida virtus / Ignau impatiens umbr atque ignobilis oti? / Quid pro-
aui? quid Sanguis? amor quid coniugis aure? / Et dulces nimium dilecta e coniuge nati: /
236 chapter six

and his subjects and the weighty responsibility the monarch possesses.
He argued that the King, as a virtuous leader, is to lead the people in
moral rectitude. If he leads well, the people will flourish under his reign,
but if he leads poorly, the people will, in turn, suffer.227 By portraying
James in the exalted and glorious language of viva Dei viventis imago
(the live image of the living God), Melville expressed his own rever-
ence for the monarchy and endeared himself to the King.228 Following
the delivery of the , the King asked Melville to submit it to
the printer for publication and expressed his personal gratitude.229
In 1594 Melville composed his Principis Scoti-Britannorum natalia in
honor of the birth of Prince Henry and published it at the press of Robert
Waldegrave in Edinburgh.230 Although earlier in the year Melville had
been suspected of involvement in the Earl of Bothwells schemes against
the King, he was apparently able to demonstrate his innocence by the
time of the Princes baptism on 30 August 1594. The publication of his
poem, celebrating the Princes birth, again underscores his public role as
a Latin poet of distinction and a prominent humanist in the service of
the King. Anticipating that both James and Henry would one day reign
over both England and Scotland, Melvilles Natalia and its subsequent
publication at the Kings insistence offended Queen Elizabeth. Despite
the political posturing which ensued with James feigning ignorance of
what had been written, his avid interest in poetry and political theory as
evidenced by his 1584 The Essayes of a Prentise, in the Divine Art of Poesie
and his subsequent 1599 Basilikon Doron suggest that he understood
precisely what Melville had written and approved of it.231

Et prdulce decus patri: populiq[ue] patrumq[ue] / Vel bello qurenda salus, per
mille pericla, / Mille neces,& morte ipsa quod durius usquam est? / Quo patri non
raptet amor clestis & aul / Aetheri, terna Regem qu luce coronat?
227
Ibid., 5. Melville wrote: o quam sumus una / Coniuncti qui regnamur cum Rege
catena? / Virtutis secat ille viam dux praevius? ultro / Nos comites. Fertur preceps per
devia? Iam nos / Prcipites. Vernat Zephyris felicibus?& nos / Floremus. Lapsum urget
hyems? nos flore caduci / Defluimus, ruimusq[ue].
228
Ibid.; Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 61.
229
Melville, JMAD, 279.
230
Andrew Melville, Principis Scoti-Britannorum Natalia (Edinburgh, 1594). On
Waldegrave see Katherine S. Van Eerde, Robert Waldegrave: the Printer as Agent and
Link between Sixteenth-Century England and Scotland, Renaissance Quarterly, 34.1
(1981), 4078. On Henrys baptism see Rick Bowers, James VI, Prince Henry, and A
True Reportaire of Baptism at Stirling 1594, Renaissance et Rforme, 29.4 (2005), 322.
231
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 61. Cf. Daniel Fischlin
and Mark Fortier (eds.), James I The True Law of Free Monarchies and Basilikon Doron
(Toronto, 1996), 85176; Jenny Wormald, James VI and I, Basilikon Doron and The
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 237

Similar to Buchanans Genethliacon Jacobi sexti regis Scotorum written


in honor of James birth, Melvilles Natalia exhibits its own distinctiveness
in its conception of the young Prince, the future Henry IX, as the one
who would unify the English and Scottish thrones and lead them victo-
riously into battle, vanquishing the Catholic and Iberian forces.232
Composed in the Horatian lyrical pattern of the juxtaposition of oppo-
sites, the poem begins with the pastoral imagery of the primrose
blooms, the pale greenery, dewy buds, and the air and sun serene.233
It then proceeds to the bellicose imagery of the subjugation of Iberian
pride by the Scoto-Britannic champions, the defeat of Spain portrayed
as the three headed monster of the underworld Geryon, and the picture
of the Roman Jupiter Fostering wars with iron, bronze, lead, and
gold. 234 Melville integrated classical figures with the prophetic language
of Scripture, portraying the Scoto-Britannic king as crushing the papa-
cys triple crown worn by the Roman Cerberus and leading his people
in a glorious victory as the fierce Iberian and the smooth Italian are
consumed by fire. He contrasted the thrice cursed Pope with the
thrice blessed king of the Scoto-Britannic commonwealth, who is
dear to heaven and dear to his fellow citizens, under God and main-
tained that he will be Yahwehs right hand armed by his living power
and will bring victory to his people.235

Trew Law of Free Monarchies: The Scottish Context and the English Translation in Linda
Levy Peck (ed.), The Mental World of the Jacobean Court (Cambridge, 1991), 3654.
232
McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 3132, 154155;
Melville, Principis Scoti-Britannorum Natalia, 2. Melville wrote: Fas jungit et jus Scoto-
Britannicum: / Lex jungit et res Scoto-Britannica: / Scoto-Britanno Rege princeps / In
populum vocat unus unum / Scoto-Britannum. Gloria nunc quibus, / Quantisque surget
Scoto-Britannica / Rebus? Nec vi terminanda / Limitibus, spatiisve cli fastu donec
Iberico / Late subacto sub pedibus premas, / Clarus triumpho delibuti / Gerionis, trip-
licem tiaram, / Qua nunc revinctus tempora Cerberus / Romanus atra conduplicat face
/ De rupe Tarpeia fragores / Tartareos tonitru tremendo: / Quo terram inertem quo
mare barbarum, / Orcumque, et oras territat igneas, / Septem potitus verna sceptris / Et
solio gemini Draconis.
233
Melville, Principis Scoti-Britannorum Natalia, 1. Melville wrote: Vernantis anni in
limine primula / Veris tenelli cum rosa luteum / Pingit virorem, et rore florem / Cligeno
saturat comantem, / Florentis vi in lumine primula / Pulcherrimarum nunc rosa virgi-
num, / Flos virginum, flos fminarum / Rore poli irriguus sereni, / Vernante Regis flor-
iduli satu, / Florentis Ann prviridi sinu, / Enixa florem in lucis auras / Purpureum
roseo renidens / Regina Regi mista potentibus / Cli faventis motibus. O diem /Ltum!
O seren lucis auram! / O niveum, nitidumque solem! /Qui primus aura lampadis aure
/ Affulsit ori germinis aurei: / Quem primulum primo tenellis / Luminibus tener hausit
infans. / Infans paterna debitus indole / Scepteris avitis: debitus inclytis / Ortu Britannis
Rex supremo / Jure, Caedoniisque priscis.
234
Ibid; McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 278281.
235
Ibid. Melville writes: O superba / Hesperi gemin corona! / Diu crevit arbos
maxima quam brevis / Evertit hora. Carpit Aneam / Arugo lamnam. Fit minutis /
238 chapter six

Combining classical and scriptural references throughout the Natalia,


Melville employed numerous figures and images from antiquity to
advance his own vision of the inevitable future cosmic conflict between
the Scoto-Britannic kingdom and the Catholic and Iberian powers.236
References from Geryon, Cerberus, and the Tarpeian rock to the sword
of Aeneas, Jupiter, and Orcus are blended together and even connected
with scriptural language, images, persons, and events. By referring to
Spain as Geryon, the three-headed monster of the underworld, and the
Pope as the Roman Cerberus, Melville openly identified these Catholic
powers as the Gog and Magog of St Johns Apocalypse, the twin born
dragon.237 References to the king of the Roman gods Jove and the god of
the underworld Orcus are juxtaposed to the biblical deity Yahweh, as
well as references to the fall of the angels from heaven, the flood during
the days of Noah, and the drowning of King Pharaoh in the sea. Melville
portrayed Prince Henry as a messianic figure who, as Gods right hand,
will bury the insolent spirit of empire in its tomb.238
Continuing his preoccupation with history in general and Scottish
history in particular, Melville composed his Histori vera laus some-
time before 1602. Published as liminary verses to John Johnstons
Inscriptiones historic regum Scotorum, he extolled the merits and value
of history and endeavored to establish its place in the arts as well as its
position in the life of the body politic.239 As the touchstone of every age,

Prda avibus leo fortis ingens. / Fastus triumphos jactet Ibericus, / Fraus vim venenis
misceat Itala, / Et ferro, et re, et plumbo, et auro /Bella fovens jaculetur omnem /
Romanus orcum Juppiter: ocyus / Ferox Iberus, mollior Italus, / Grexque eviratus,
purpurato / Cum Iove torruerint caduci / Armante Jova numine vivido / Dextram
coruscam: et fulmine luridum / Trudente ad orcum ter sacratum / Pontificem, atque
Italum, atque Iberum.
236
On this eschatological vision see Arthur H. Williamson, Scotland, Antichrist and
the Invention of Great Britain in John Dwyer, Roger A. Mason, and Alexander Murdoch
(eds.), New Perspectives on the Politics and Culture of Early Modern Scotland (Edinburgh,
1982), 3458.
237
McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 278, 329.
238
Melville, Principis Scoti-Britannorum Natalia, 3; McGinnis and Williamson,
George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 280281. Melville wrote: Sic fastuosos indigenas
poli / Caliginosis compedibus dedit: / Sic conscelestum absorpsit orbem / Diluvie:
Phariumque Regem / Mersit profundo: Scilicet impotens / Rivalis alti conditor theris:/
Orbisque rector, fraudis atr / Impatiens, tumidique fastus / Ultor. Beatus Rex ter,
et amplius, / Carusque clo et civibus, in Deo, / Qui spiritus mole insolentes / Imperii,
posuisse gaudet.
239
Andrew Melville, Histori vera laus in John Johnston, Inscriptiones historic
Regum Scotorum, continuata annorum serie a Fergusio primo conditore ad nostra tem-
pora (Amsterdam, 1602).
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 239

light of truth, eye of the mind, / Mind of the spirit, rule of life, and life of
the soul, Melville celebrated history as the Golden messenger of great
and admirable accomplishments and as the mother of arts and of all
good things.240 As the advisor of kings, and the god-like source of laws,
he conceived of history as that which should inform and direct both the
prince and his subjects.241 As a discriminating and discerning source,
history, according to Melville, enables one to distinguish public things
from private, as well as the sacred from [the] profane. History is useful
as a guide during times of peace and war, and happiness is promised
both to those who write it as well as read and study it.242 Although
Melvilles Histori is only twelve lines long, it embodies many of the
principles that undergirded his conception of the conflict which lay
ahead between the Scoto-Britannic and Iberian empires.
Along with the Histori vera laus, Melville published as a preface to
Johnstons 1602 Inscriptiones a fragment of his national Scottish epic,
Gathelus.243 Composed sometime during the years 15941602, it is
unclear whether the poem remained unfinished or whether it was com-
pleted and subsequently lost. We do know that, in addition to these pub-
lished verses, he composed a brief 29 line poetic introduction to the
Gathelus.244 Described as a northerly Aeneid in Vergilian verse, Melville
followed the narrative of Hector Boeces 1527 Scotorum histori in retell-
ing the story of Scotlands Graeco-Egyptian origins.245 Unlike Buchanan

240
Ibid.; McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 282283.
Melville wrote: Index vi omnis, lux veri, mentis ocellus, / Mens animi, vit regula, vita
anim; Nuncia magnarum et mirandarum aurea rerum, / Qu sine laude latent, qu
sine labe patent; Artium et omnigenum genitrix altrixque bonarum
241
Ibid. Melville wrote: Et Regum monitrix, et Legum Diva creatrix, / Divaque
frnatrix, et procerum et populi .
242
Ibid.; McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 282283.
Melville wrote: Publica privatis secernens, sacra prophanis, / Et pacem et bellum tem-
perat Historia. / FELIX qui potis est hanc recte scribere: felix / Quisquis et hanc recta
cum ratione legit.
243
Andrew Melville, Gathelus, Sive de Gentis origine fragmentum in John Johnston,
Inscriptiones historic Regum Scotorum, continuata annorum serie a Fergusio primo con-
ditore ad nostra tempora (Amsterdam, 1602).
244
McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 284287.
245
James Macqueen, Scottish Latin Poetry in R.D.S. Jack (ed.), The History of
Scottish Literature Vol.I (Aberdeen, 19871988), 220; McGinnis and Williamson, George
Buchanan the Political Poetry, 286. On Boeces history see N. R. Royan, The Relationship
between the Scotorum Historia of Hector Boece and John Bellendens Chronicles of
Scotland in Sally Mapstone and Juliette Wood (eds.), The Rose and the Thistle: Essays on
the Culture of Late Medieval and Renaissance Scotland (East Linton, 1998), 136157;
Roger A. Mason, Scotching the Brut: Politics, History and National Myth in Sixteenth-
Century Britain in Roger A. Mason (ed.), Scotland and England 12861815 (Edinburgh,
1987), 6084.
240 chapter six

who dismissed the Gathelus-Scota story as myth, Melville was willing to


employ it for his own literary purposes. While it is highly unlikely that
he accepted the Gathelus-Scota myth as literal, historical fact, he was
willing to utilize it for poetic purposes to illustrate the struggle between
the Hibernian and Iberian peoples. If it may be said that Gathelus two
sons, Hiber and Hemecus, are the Western equivalent of Ishmael and
Isaac, then Melvilles national epic was intended to express, in some
sense, his view of Scotlands origins, as well as her prophetic destiny.246
Melvilles early humanist formation prepared and predisposed him to
the idea of composing a national Scottish epic. During his time in Paris
in the mid-1560s he had moved in humanist circles where historiography
was practiced, discussed, and viewed as a literary art. His relationship
and study under Buchanan during these years constitute the single most
important humanist influence in the area of historiography as the elder
humanist was busy at work writing his controversial Rerum Scoticarum
historia.247 Quite likely, during this period Melville himself read and dis-
cussed the drafts of the Historia with Buchanan. We know that his
humanistic interest in Buchanans history continued well beyond the
1560s as his 1581 visitation to see his dear friend and consult the Historia,
as well as his extensive annotations made in his own personal copy
attest.248 Unwilling to wait passively for its eventual publication, Melville
played an active role in seeing it through the press. Just as Buchanan had
looked to Boeces Histori in support of certain political theses and was
heavily indebted to him, so Melville looked to Boeces history in an effort
to justify his conception of a Scoto-Britannic empire that would emerge
and defeat the Iberian and Catholic powers of Europe.249
While Boeces Histori was an indispensable historical source from
which Melville drew in the composition of his own national epic, the
Gathelus reveals, at certain points, the distinct influence of Buchanan
himself. Following Buchanan, Melville portrayed the people as those
who bestowed upon Gathelus the titles of majesty and royal author-
ity, as well as the other symbols of kingship, namely the decorative
sword, sceptre, and crown.250 In keeping with the elder humanist, he also

246
McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 286.
247
I. D. McFarlane, Buchanan (London, 1981), 416418, 425.
248
Roger A. Mason, George Buchanan, James VI and the Presbyterians in Roger
A. Mason (ed.), Scots and Britons: Scottish Political Thought and the Union of 1603
(Cambridge, 1994), 125.
249
McFarlane, Buchanan, 427428.
250
McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 34, 292293;
Melville, Gathelus. Melville writes: Hic primum Augustos titulos et Regia jura, /
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 241

depicted Gathelus as a king who bestowed rights upon the assembled


fathers and joined with the people in handling the shared reins of gov-
ernance.251 Like Buchanan, who was concerned to combat the idea that
Scotland was a barbarous land full of ignorance and bereft of wisdom,
Melville stressed Gathelus acquisition of true wisdom from the Athenian
patriarchs, the Egyptian sages, and Moses himself, as well as his bestowal
of it to all of his descendants, especially his son Hemecus.252
Yet, while there are unmistakable traces of Buchanans influence and
despite his selective use of both Boeces and Buchanans respective histo-
ries, Melvilles parallel between the children of Abraham and the children
of Gathelus was altogether original.253 Likewise, hisfuture-oriented,
prophetic reading of Scottish experience also represents a significant
departure from either Boece or Buchanan. Unlike Boece and Buchanan,
Melville contributed to late sixteenth century Scottish historiography
by composing a narrative epic in apocalyptic terms, which unveiledScot
lands unique destiny and mission.254 Melvilles originality may also be
seen in the contrasting portraits of Gathelus sons Hiber and Hemecus.255
In an effort to work out Scotlands British mission, he unfavorably por-
trayed Hiber as the Exalted, Warlike king intent upon extending his
fame and kingdom by whatever means deemed necessary. As a monarch
who lusts for wealth and whose hunger exceeds even the god of the
underworld Orcus, he is led to take what he wants by waging unbridled
war and by slaughtering great numbers of people. To put it succinctly,
Hiber is depicted as [m]ore savage than all others.256 By way of contrast,

Marmorea exceptus cathedra in fatalibus arvis, / Cteraque a populo delati insignia


Regni, / Et gemmis stellatum ensem, sceptrumque, coronamque, / .
251
Melville, Gathelus; McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political
Poetry, 34, 292293. Melville writes: Dicere jus populo, et patribus dare jura vocatis /
Pergit: Et quatas rerum molitur habenas.
252
Ibid.; McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 296297.
Melville wrote: Ore Gatheli omnes, quotquot dictata magistri / Omnia, quque domi
patriis audivit Athenis, / Quque arcana hausit sacris Memphitica byblis: / Quque pio
didicit Mosis dum pendet ab ore, / Quo duce bellaci meruit decora alta triumpho, /
Assueti Grajisque notis Phariisve figures / Excipere, aut menti mandare excepta tenaci, /
Cantabria secum in regnum perduxit Emecus.
253
Ibid., 287.
254
McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 282, 287.
255
Ibid., 34, 290291. Melville wrote: Cecropida Scot thalamo dignate superbo: /
En geminos fontes tellus creat alma, nec unus / Amborum est Genius. Gravid tibi coni-
ugis alvus / Mox pariet geminos, verum haud una indole fratres. / Clarus uterque geret
regali fronte coronam: / Vi major, virtute minor; fraude ille, fide hic. / Ille triumphales
maculabit sanguine lauros, / Atque cruentatis insurget in thera terris. / Hic Phbi
lauru et foliis pacalis oliv, / Atque umbrata geret civili tempora quercu.
256
Melville, Gathelus; McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political
Poetry, 294297. Melville wrote: Et nunc dirus Iber auri sitibundus, et Orco / Iejunus
242 chapter six

Hemecus the Good, the peaceful prince, defends the descendants of


Gathelus, as well as the laws and his own virtue. As a modest king, he is
eager to nurture the generous feelings of his heart and to seek the glory
and honor of another rather than himself.257
The poem itself recounts how Gathelus of Athens left Greece, joined
the service of the Egyptian Pharaoh, defeated the Ethiopians, took Scota
as his wife, and traveled to a new land where he established his kingdom.
Driven from Egypt by the Exodus plagues and concerned for his familys
safety, he journeyed to that portion of northwest Iberia known as
Galacia. Gathaleus sons subsequently settled in Ireland with the elder,
Hiber, inheriting the Spanish throne while the younger, Hemecus,
became the King of Ireland.258 Blending mythical classical references
with historical figures and events from sacred history, Melville carefully
juxtaposed references to Hercules, Neptune, Orcus, Cadmus, the altars
of Busiris, the springs of Helicon, and the laurel of Phoebus with refer-
ences to Ammunhotep, Isaacs progeny, the Egyptian plagues, and
Moses.259 In describing the establishment of Gathelus new Iberian home,
he referred to his household gods and spoke of his coronation as being
ordained by fate.260 In contrast to these pagan categories, Melville
depicts the Edenic state of the land of Hemecus, describing it in explic-
itly Old Testament terminology as possessing rivers which overflow in
milk and honey.261 As he had done in the Natalia, his frequent and

magis, effrni rapit omnia bello: / Cdibus et vastat populos, et regna ruinis / Evertit,
scelere ante alios immanior omnes.
257
Ibid; McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 294295.
Melville wrote: Hic vero quanquam natu minor, haud minor oris / Laude verecundi, et
liquidas sub pectore flammas / Acer alit, sancteque studet bene parta tueri, / Nec sibi,
sed fratri, carisque parentibus ambit / Nomen, et illustrem ventura in secula famam.
258
Ibid; McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 286297.
259
Ibid.
260
Ibid; McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 292293.
In referring to Gathelus household gods, Melville took the opportunity to link this
ancient superstition with its contemporary Catholic manifestation. Melville wrote: Huc
memorant tandem subducta classe Gathelum / Sedibus optatis extremo in limite mundi/
Occidui hic posuisse lares, urbemque Brigantum, / Atque Brigantinas arces immania
templa, / Nunc ubi Barbarico ritu sacrisque profanis / Ossa asinina orbis stolide Romanus
adorat / Nobilitato urbis cognomine Compostell.
261
Ibid.; McGinnis and Williamson, George Buchanan the Political Poetry, 296297.
Melville wrote: Mitis Imecum autem sequitur clementia cli / Ubere dives agri: Et
cunctarum opulentia rerum, / Atque greges atque armenta, atque hc pascua passim /
Pinhuia, serpentum sine morsu et dente luporum / Terra, venenata re et peste immunis
ab omni est: Nec gignit nec fert illatum aliunde venenum: Flumina sed lactis, sed flu-
mina mellis inundant.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 243

liberal use of classical references and pagan practices and categories


were marshaled along with citations from sacred history and the lan-
guage of the Pentateuch in advancing his own conception of Scotlands
origins, as well as her future role in the impending conflict with the
Catholic and Iberian powers of Europe.
Shortly after the publication of Gathelus (1602), in late 1603 or early
1604 Melville wrote one of his most famous poems, entitled Anti-Tami-
Cami-Categoria.262 Written in defense of the Millenary petitioners and
in opposition to the 1603 Answer written by the vice-chancellor, doc-
tors, proctors and various other members of the University of Oxford
with an accompanying letter from the vice-chancellor of the University
of Cambridge, Melville endeavored to persuade the king by means of
bitter satire and an appeal to the kings Protestant sensibilities.263 The
Millenary petition had been privately submitted to James during the
early part of 1603, shortly after his arrival in London. Despite the limited
scope of the reforms proposed by the Puritans, such as the abandon-
ment of the sign of the cross in baptism, confirmation, and the surplice,
the petition precipitated a vigorous response by members of the Oxford
and Cambridge communities.264 In light of the link established in the
Answer between the English Puritans and the Scottish Presbyterians,
Melville composed a piece which is more remembered for its delightful
title than for its witty satire or splenetic mockery.265
Although written shortly after James accession to the throne in 1603,
the poem was not published until 1620 when it was appended to David
Calderwoods Parasynagma Perthense et iuramentum ecclesi Scotica
nae, an account of the Perth Assembly of 1618. Despite the claim of
Grosart and others that Melvilles Categoria was published in 1604,
Calderwoods publication appears to be the earliest. The poems lack of

262
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 64. The full title of
Melvilles poem is Pro Supplici Evangelicorum Ministrorum in Anglia ad Serenissimum
Regem Contra Larvatam geminate Academiae Gorgonem Apologia, sive Anti-tami-cami-
Categoria. As Doelman has observed, in light of the absence in the poem of any refer-
ence to the Hampton Court Conference, which occurred in January 1604, it is very likely
that Melville composed it in late 1603 or early 1604.
263
The full title was The Answer of the Vice-Chancellor, the Doctors with the Proctors
and other Heads of Houses in the University of Oxford.
264
Stuart Barton Babbage, Puritanism and Richard Bancroft (London, 1962), 44; Mark
McCloskey and Paul R. Murphy, The Latin Poetry of George Herbert: A Bilingual Edition
(Athens, OH, 1965), 177.
265
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 64; Adams, The
Renaissance Poets (2) Latin, 82.
244 chapter six

immediate publication did not prevent its informal circulation, and it, in
turn, provoked various replies.266 Dismissed by archbishop Spottiswoode
as the work of a seditious fiery man, Melvilles Categoria propelled its
author to become a symbol of Presbyterian intransigence well beyond
the time of the 1604 Hampton Court Conference. His symbolic signifi-
cance during the controversy surrounding the Perth Assembly is attested
by the fact that so many authors who sought James favor chose to attack
him. From George Herberts Musae responsoriae to Thomas Atkinsons
Melvinus delirans, Melvilles Categoria continued to draw attention as
its author was viewed as a symbol of Scottish independence and opposi-
tion to Anglicanism and to the efforts by James to centralize power and
consolidate his control over the Kirk.267 Melvilles reputation as a distin-
guished humanist and scholar served to attract aspiring young scholars
looking to make a name for themselves and curry royal favor.268 The
kings own dislike of Melville certainly made the humanist a welcomed
target of satire, ridicule, and epigram wars.269
Composed of over two hundred lines, Melvilles Categoria has been
described as a long and vigorous Sapphic ode divided into three basic
sections.270 Unlike the first section (ll. 164), which dealt with religious
ceremonies prescribed by the Anglican Prayer Book, the second
(ll. 65128) and third sections (ll. 129204), which respectively addressed
religious reforms advocated by several leading Protestant theologians

266
F. E. Hutchinson ed. The Works of George Herbert (Oxford, 1978), 587; McCrie,
Life of Andrew Melville II, 104.
267
James Doelman, The Contexts of George Herberts Musae Responsoriae, George
Herbert Journal, 2 (1992), 44, 46, 48; Thomas Atkinson, Melvinus Delirans Sive Satyra
Edentula Contra Ejusdem Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoriam, British Library, MS Harley
3496. Cf. George Eglishem, Adversus Andreae Melvini cavillum in aram regiam
Epigrammata Prophylactica; Adamson, De Sacro Pastoris Munere.
268
Izak Walton, The Life of Mr. George Herbert (London, 1670), 35. Walton wrote:
This Mr. Melvin was a man of learning, and was the Master of a great wit, a wit full of
knots and clenches: a wit sharp and satyrical; exceeded, I think, by none of that Nation,
but their Buchanan. Cf. McCloskey and Murphy, The Latin Poetry of George Herbert, 28,
5457. Even George Herbert, who wanted to consign Melvilles poem to the flames, was
compelled to recognize his opponents stature as a distinguished scholar and skilled poet
when he called him poeta belle. Herbert wrote: Quin te laudibus orno: quippe dico, /
Caesar sobrius ad rei Latinae / Vnus dicitur aduenire cladem: / Et tu solus ad Angliae
procellas / (Cm plerumque tu sodalitate / Nil sit crassius, impolitisue) / Accedis bene
doctus, et poeta.
269
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 72.
270
W. Hilton Kelliher, The Latin Poetry of George Herbert in John R. Roberts (ed.),
Essential Articles for the Study of George Herberts Poetry (Hamden, CT 1979), 527. Cf.
Leon J. Richardson, On Certain Sound Properties of the Sapphic Strophe as Employed
by Horace, Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association,
33 (1902), 38.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 245

and the wisdom and grandeur of God, were the least objectionable to
the Anglicans.271 Some responses to the Categoria, such as Herberts
Musae responsoriae, attempted to ridicule the title as well as its meter,
facetiously suggesting the corresponding titles of Anti-furi-Puri-
Categoria and Anti-pelvi-Melvi-Categoria and subtly intimating the
feminine appeal of the Sapphic meter. The portion of poetic verse
found most objectionable addressed matters of sacred ritual.272
Comparing the words of a priest at infant baptism to the noise of a
screech-owl, the sound of sacred music to the clash of Phrygian
cymbals, and a fixed liturgy to the incantation of a magic wheel,
Melville touched an Anglican nerve and provoked a flurry of poetic
responses.273
Of course, Melvilles Categoria had itself been prompted by Oxfords
Answer, which had expressed the boast that there are at this day more
learned men in this kingdom than are to be found among all the minis-
ters of religion in all Europe besides.274 In an attempt to debunk Anglican
hubris and appeal to the brilliance and glory of the Protestant Reformed
tradition in its conflict with Catholicism, Melville connected references
to Bucer, Calvin, Beza, and Martyr with references to the Cantabrigian
William Whitaker and the Oxonian John Rainolds. While such implicit
comparisons are admittedly difficult to justify, given the intellectual cal-
iber and stature of these continental divines, Melvilles inclusion of
Whitaker and Rainolds may be better understood as part of a much
broader appeal to James to look to Strasbourg and Geneva rather than to
Rome in leading the state and Church.275

271
Melville, Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria; Kelliher, The Latin Poetry of George
Herbert, 527.
272
McCloskey and Murphy, The Latin Poetry of George Herbert, 1013. He wrote:
Cur, vbi tot ludat numeris antique poesis, / Sola tibi Sappho, feminque vna placet? /
Cur tibi tam facil non arrisre poetae / Heroum grandi carmina fulta pede? / Cur non
lugentes Elegi? Non acer Iambus? / Commotos animos rectis ista decent. / Scilicet hoc
vobis proprium, qui puris itis, /Et populi spurcas creditis esse vias: / Vos ducibus missis,
missis doctoribus, omnes / Femineum bland fallitis arte genus: / Nunc etiam teneras
qu versus gratior aures / Mulceat, imbelles complacure modi.
273
Melville, Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria, 42. Melville wrote: Turbida illimi cruces in
lavacro / Signa consignem? Magico rotatu / Verba devolvam? Sacra vox sacrat immur-
muret und / Strigis in morem? Rationis usu adfabor infantem vacuum? canoras /
Ingeram nugas minus audienti / Dicta puello?
274
Hutchinson, The Works of George Herbert, 590.
275
Melville, Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria, 45. Doelman, King James I and the Religious
Culture of England, 64. Melville wrote: solumque / Et salum coeli aemula praecinentis /
More modoque / Concinunt Bezae numeris modisque / Et polo plaudunt: referuntque
leges / Lege quas sanxit pius ardor & Rex / Scotobritannus.
246 chapter six

Although the publication of Melvilles Categoria in 1620 enabled it to


receive a much broader readership, its initial circulation did little to
advance the Presbyterian cause in Scotland or the Puritan cause in
England. If judged in terms of whether it achieved the objective of per-
suading James to the Puritan agenda, then the poem must be viewed as
a failure. Indeed, it seems to have been counterproductive, doing little to
endear Melville to the King or engender sympathy for the Puritans.
If viewed from the perspective of poetic wit, literary creativity, and reli-
gious polemics, the poem must be judged a success. However one
assesses its relative success, we may at least observe its aesthetically
entertaining style and its highly instructive insights into the concerns,
fears, and attitudes of Scottish Presbyterians towards the Anglican
Church and ultimately the Catholic powers of Europe. If the Categoria
accomplished anything, it reinforced in James mind that, while Melville
occupied a prominent and strategic place of service at St Andrews and
functioned as a humanistic ornament of Scotland, he nevertheless
remained a chief ecclesiastical opponent of the King and a genuine threat
to any efforts to consolidate power by bringing the Kirk of Scotland into
greater conformity to her southern neighbor. Perhaps it is best to view
the Categoria as a defiant poem composed not to persuade opponents
but to reinforce the advocates of Presbyterianism of the essential cor-
rectness of their position. Like so many other of Melvilles satirical
poems, the Categoria was intended for his like-minded colleagues and
was designed to entertain, derogate, comfort, and console.

Conclusion

As both principal of St Marys and rector of the University, Melville


experienced mixed results in his efforts to incorporate the New Learning
at St Andrews. Despite the tardiness of reform at both St Salvators and
St Leonards, Melville, working with a truncated staff, was able to accom-
plish modest reforms at St Marys. Continuing the same approach he
had implemented at Glasgow where he had enjoyed remarkable success,
Melville assumed a significant portion of the divinity curriculum, lec-
turing upon the loci communes of theology and the primary books of the
Old and New Testaments, as well as providing instruction in Hebrew,
Aramaic, and Syriac. He introduced advanced instruction in such
ancient near-eastern languages at St Andrews and was able to incorpo-
rate some of the latest developments in European humanism in the area
of biblical studies.
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 247

As his presence and growing reputation became associated with St


Marys, Melville began to attract students from abroad. Part of his suc-
cess in building the reputation of the College and attracting students
may be attributed to his own personal charisma and interaction. His
custom of cultivating table talk with his fellow masters and scholars,
which had been remarkably successful at Glasgow in persuading his
opponents and inculcating the New Learning, was a powerful pedagogi-
cal tool which he most likely employed in his efforts to convince his
opponents at St Leonards.
Staunchly opposing the various forms of medieval Aristotelianism
prevalent at St Andrews and vigorously advocating the study of the phi-
losophers writings in the original language, paying careful attention to
historical and philological issues, Melville succeeded in instilling these
humanistic values and methods in many of his students and colleagues.
While the evidence appears to be lacking to support the opinion that the
University experienced a humanist revolution during these years,
Melville was successful in accomplishing more modest objectives. His
sympathetic, yet critical, appropriation of the writings of Ramus, while
constituting only a portion of his reform agenda, was not the most
important aspect, nor was it his primary objective in his discussions and
debates with the regents and scholars of St Leonards. Rather, by chal-
lenging his opponents to go ad fontes, studying Aristotle in the original
Greek rather than relying upon Latin translations and scholastic com-
mentaries, Melville served as an important purveyor of the New Learning
in Scotland. His prominent role in opposing the errors of late medieval
scholasticism at Glasgow and St Andrews strongly suggests that he occu-
pied a leading role in the 1583 commission and may even have drafted
the commissions own declaratory propositions regarding Aristotles
errors.
During his exile in England and his visits to Oxford and Cambridge,
Melville continued to expand his ever growing network of scholars com-
mitted to the ideals and values of the European Renaissance by forging
relationships with the Anglican John Rainolds and Thomas Savile.
Despite their differences, they were quite naturally drawn together by
their common elite intellectual culture, sharing a set of humanist values
and promoting the New Learning of the Renaissance. This humanist
culture enabled Melville to find common ground with those with whom
he had theological differences and forge relationships based upon a
shared commitment to the study of Hebrew, Greek, and classical litera-
ture. While his visit to these seats of learning was motivated in part by
the desire to establish ecclesiastical support, his humanist impulses led
248 chapter six

him to seek out and establish relationships with those with whom he
shared a common intellectual culture.
Similarly, the 1587 visit of Du Bartas as well as Melvilles literary circle
provides further insight into his place in the Scottish Renaissance.
Du Bartas visit was a clear indication of James VIs high regard for
Melvilles abilities as a scholar and poet. Viewed as a humanistic orna-
ment of the country, Melvilles European reputation, dramatic reforming
success at Glasgow, and prominent position as principal at St Marys
made him an obvious choice as one who might thoroughly impress the
French poet. The decade he spent on the continent in France and
Switzerland at some of the leading centers of the French Renaissance
and Protestant Reformation provided yet another point of contact
between the two and was, undoubtedly, a factor in the Kings decision to
bring Du Bartas to St Andrews.
Likewise, Melvilles correspondence and subsequent relationship with
Isaac Casaubon provides yet another important indicator of his place
within the broader humanistic culture of sixteenth-century Europe.
Linked with Melville in a sacred friendship, united by their common
humanistic culture and values, Casaubon expressed his own admiration
and offered a special plea to Melville to publish a number of his writings
on sacred literature. Casaubons correspondence in 1601 further reveals
that after more than 25 years since his departure from Geneva, Melvilles
scholarly reputation continued to be promoted by Beza, Henri Estienne,
and Jacques Lect.
In addition to foreign figures, during these years Melville established
close ties with the Scottish humanists David Hume of Godscroft and
John Johnston. United with Godscroft and Johnston in their commit-
ments to the Presbyterian cause in Scotland, Melville experienced a high
degree of intellectual affinity with these Latin poets. His relationship
with Godscroft appears to have been forged during their exile in England
during the years 15841585 and to have continued by means of corre-
spondence during the early seventeenth century. Johnston, on the other
hand, had been Melvilles close associate and companion at St Andrews
for thirteen years and appears by means of his historical epigrams
to have influenced Melville in the composition of his own Gathelus.
In addition to publishing their separate works together, Melville con-
tributed two epigrams on Mary Queen of Scots in Johnstons Inscriptiones,
again emphasizing their mutual fascination with Scottish history.
Moreover, Melvilles poetry during this period appears to provide
some justification for the claim that he served as a kind of unofficial
scotland: st andrews (15801607) 249

Latin laureate to James VI. Unlike some of Melvilles later poetry,


several of his poetic compositions during these years, such as the 1590
, 1594 Natalia, 1602 Gathelus, and 1604 Anti-Tami-Cami-
Categoria, possess a distinctive political agenda and were either greatly
pleasing or an irritant to James VI. His poetry during this period only
enhanced his European reputation as many of his poems were circulated
in England and on the continent. Indeed, if the response to his Anti-
Tami-Cami-Categoria may be taken as an indicator of his prominence
and caliber as a Latin poet, then he must be regarded as a significant
poet of the period. His poetry, while bearing the marks of his dear friend
and father-figure Buchanan, nevertheless, exhibits its own creativity and
originality, particularly in the Gathelus, in his characterization of the
mythical figures Hiber and Hemecus and in his eschatological vision of
Scotlands mission and destiny.
Chapter seven

ENGLAND AND FRANCE: LONDON AND SEDAN


(16071622)

Prelude to Conflict

By the time Melvilles controversial Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria had been


circulated, the direction in which James intended to lead the Church
following the union of 1603 had already been determined. The Kings
intentions were made clear at the Hampton Court Conference held in
January 1604 when James assembled both Anglican and Puritan repre-
sentatives to discuss those matters addressed in the 1603 Millenary
Petition.1 Despite the royal invitation to supply submissions which
would be given serious consideration, the Puritan proposals, which
addressed both matters of doctrine and government, were dismissed,
leaving them and their northern sympathizers discouraged and pessi-
mistic regarding the prospect of further reform.2 James made it clear by
his actions subsequent to the Hampton Court Conference that he had
no intention of conforming the English Church to the Scottish model.
In fact, the attempt to move the Scottish kirk in the direction of
Anglicanism proved most vexing for him during the last decade of his
life. Through the reassertion of Episcopal authority by the Glasgow
Assembly in 1610 and subsequent liturgical modifications culminating
in the 1618 Five Articles of Perth, James attempted to move the Scottish
kirk in the direction of the Church of England.3 Although he obtained

1
On the Hampton Court Conference see F. Shriver, Hampton Court Re-visited:
James I and the Puritans, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 33 (1982), 4871; Mark
H. Curtis, The Hampton Court Conference and its Aftermath, History, 46 (1961),
116. Alan Cromartie, King James and the Hampton Court Conference in Ralph
Houlbrooke (ed.), James VI and I: Ideas, Authority and Government (Aldershot, 2006).
Cf. also William Barlow, The Summe and Substance of the Conference in his Maiesties
Privie-Chamber, at Hampton Court. Ianuary 14. 1603 (London, 1605). On the Millenary
Petition see John Phillips Kenyon, The Stuart Constitution, 16031688: Documents and
Commentary (Cambridge, 1986), 117119.
2
Stuart Barton Babbage, Puritanism and Richard Bancroft (London, 1962), 66; James
Melville, The Autobiography and Diary of Mr. James Melville ed. Robert Pitcairn
(Edinburgh, 1842), 555; John Spottiswoode, History of the Church of Scotland Vol. III ed.
M. Russell (Edinburgh, 1851), 143.
3
For an excellent historiographical discussion and analysis of whether James was
actually attempting to move the Scottish Kirk toward Anglicanism see Jenny Wormald,
252 chapter seven

parliamentary ratification of the Five Articles in 1621, the bitter and


formidable resistance he encountered from those fearful of the reinstitu-
tion of Catholicism in Scotland forced James to abandon his plans for
liturgical reform according to the pattern of the Anglican Church.4
Of course, tension between the King and the General Assembly of the
Kirk of Scotland had existed long before the union of 1603 and may be
seen particularly during the 1590s when James objected to the conven-
ing of a General Assembly without royal approval. As moderator of the
1594 Assembly, Melville had opportunity to speak candidly to the King
regarding the Kirks prerogative to meet with or without the crowns
approbation. To make matters worse, the Kings reluctance to deal deci-
sively with the Catholic Earls in Scotland had created distrust within the
Assembly and had exacerbated an already tenuous relationship.5 With a
history of opposition and conflict between the crown and Kirk, as well
as the practice of repeatedly proroguing the General Assembly, as had
occurred in 1604 and 1605, tensions mounted over the issue of the rights
of ecclesiastical courts, and the 1605 Aberdeen Assembly merely pre-
cipitated the inevitable confrontation.6
To complicate matters, Melvilles own relationship with the King had
progressively deteriorated since the first half of the 1590s when his serv-
ices as a court poet in behalf of the crown had been so enthusiastically
received. Following his fateful confrontation with the King in 1596 at

The Headaches of Monarchy: Kingship and the Kirk in the Early Seventeenth Century
in Julian Goodare and Alasdair A. MacDonald (eds.), Sixteenth-Century Scotland: Essays
in Honour of Michael Lynch (Leiden and Boston, 2008), 365393. Cf. also A.R.MacDonald,
James VI and I, the Church of Scotland, and British ecclesiastical convergence,
Historical Journal, 48 (2005), 885903.
4
David Stevenson, The Scottish Revolution 16371644: The Triumph f the Covenanters
(Newton Abbot, 1973), 2324; E. G. Selwyn, The First Book of the Irenicum of John Forbes
of Corse (Cambridge, 1923), 1213. On the Five Articles of Perth see Ian B. Cowan, The
Five Articles of Perth in Duncan Shaw (ed.), Reformation and Revolution (Edinburgh,
1967), 160177. L. A. M. Stewart, Brothers in treuth: propaganda, public opinion and
the Perth Articles debate in Scotland in R. Houlbrooke (ed.), James VI and I: Ideas,
Authority and Government (Aldershot, 2006); The political repercussions of the five
articles of Perth: a reassessment of James VI and Is religious policies in Scotland,
Sixteenth Century Journal, 38 (2007), 101336; J. D. Ford, Conformity in conscience:
the structure of the Perth Articles debate in Scotland, 16181638, Journal of Ecclesiastical
History, 46 (1995), 25677; The lawful bonds of Scottish society: the Five Articles of
Perth, the Negative Confession and the National Covenant, Historical Journal, 37
(1994), 4564.
5
Alan R. MacDonald, The Jacobean Kirk, 15671625 Sovereignty, Polity and Liturgy
(Aldershot, 1998), 5657; Melville, JMAD, 316317.
6
Thomas McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville Vol. II, (2nd edn., Edinburgh and London,
1824), 112, 114; Melville, JMAD, 570576.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 253

Falkland, Melville witnessed the gradual curtailment of his ecclesiastical


and civil liberties with the 1597 restriction preventing doctors and
regents from attending the courts of the Kirk and his 1602 confinement
within the precincts of St Marys College.7 To be sure, his 1604 Anti-
Tami-Cami-Categoria did nothing to endear him to the King and prob-
ably had the effect of further alienating him as the poem served as a
vivid reminder of Melvilles resolute and vociferous opposition to
episcopacy.
In addition to these deliberate attempts to restrict his movement and
minimize his influence within the kingdom of Scotland, James went
even further, attempting to disabuse Melville of what the Earl of Morton
had earlier referred to as his owersie dreames of Genevan discipline
and polity.8 Provoked by the 1605 Aberdeen Assembly, James
summoned Melville along with seven ministers to London in May 1606
with the express purpose of obtaining their opinion on the Aberdeen
Assembly. In addition, he used the opportunity to instruct them on
the value and legitimacy of the Anglican liturgy and polity, as well as the
royal prerogative in ecclesiastical matters.9 Unwilling to condemn the
Aberdeen Assembly as unlawfully convened and openly declaring their
innocence,10 Melville and his colleagues were subjected to four ser-
mons delivered by the distinguished Anglican clergymen the bishop of
Lincoln, William Barlow, the President of St Johns College, John
Buckeridge, the bishop of Chichester, Lancelot Andrewes, and the Dean
of Christs Church, John King.11
Barlows sermon was delivered first and set the tone for the subse-
quent three discourses by endeavoring to establish the antiquity and the

7
Evidence, Oral and Documentary, Taken and Received by the Commissioners
Appointed by His Majesty George IV for Visiting the Universities of Scotland. Volume
III. University of St. Andrews (London, 1837), 197; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II,
9394.
8
Melville, JMAD, 54.
9
Spottiswoode, History III, 176182; David Calderwood, The History of the Kirk of
Scotland Vol. VI ed. Thomas Thomson (Edinburgh, 1845), 559597.
10
Melville, JMAD, 659, 661; Andrew Melville, Viri Clarissimi A. Melvini Musae et P.
Adamsoni Vita et Palindoia (1620), 20. Melville wrote Pro Conventu Ministrorum
Abredoni. Anno 1605. Melville wrote: Cui pro lege libido hominis, pro rege tyrannus /
Fingitur: & prav hc fictio fista placet. / Hic aul est manceps, verna aul, & mancip-
ium alui, / Legibus exilio, regibus exitio. / Sacra patrum si lege coit, si more coron: /
Rege inconsulto non coit ergo suo. / Legibus humanis, divinis: moribus avi / Et prisci
atque novi tum foris atque domi: / Exemplis patrum patriis, patrum peregrines, / Hi
coiere patres de meliore nota. / Invide quid carpis? Quid damnas Zoile? Christum / Non
hos allatras, Zoile, quos laceras.
11
Ibid., 659; Spottiswoode, History III, 177.
254 chapter seven

actual superiority of bishops.12 In an attempt to ingratiate himself to the


King, Buckeridge, in the second sermon, overtly likened the presbyteri-
ans to many Popes who exalt themselves above the Emperor and
lucidly argued for royal supremacy in the church.13 Lancelot Andrewes,
in the third sermon, argued that the right and power to call ecclesiastical
councils or assemblies resides squarely with a Christian Emperor or
monarch.14 Described by James Melville as a most violent invective
against presbyterianism, which included the colorful and impassioned
plea to the King Doune! Doune with thame all!15, the fourth and final
sermon argued for the jure divino character of episcopacy and main-
tained that presbyterianism, while perhaps legitimate abroad, was inher-
ently incompatible with monarchy and, consequently, illegitimate in
Scotland and England.16
It is difficult to surmise exactly what James hoped to accomplish by
means of this exhibition of Anglican principles. Certainly his overt,
persuasive efforts should not be accepted at face value given his past
experience with the recalcitrance of the Scottish Presbyterians and
Melvilles own deeply held theological convictions, which had led him
on more than one occasion to challenge royal authority and even to
employ his poetic skills in openly ridiculing his opponents. James
actions may be construed as an attempt to force the hand of his fellow
countrymen so that he might deal decisively with them and, thus, effec-
tively eliminate the opposition. James Melville was certainly convinced
that the King had other less noble intentions than what had been

12
William Barlow, The First of the Foure Sermons Preached before the kings Maiestie,
at Hampton Court in September Last. This Concerning the Antiquity and Superioritie of
Bishoppes. Sept. 21, 1606 (London, 1607).
13
John Buckeridge, A Sermon Preached at Hampton Court before the Kings Maiestie,
on Tuesday the 23. of September, Anno 1606 (London, 1606), B4. Buckeridge wrote:
Dum se Donatus super Imperatorem extollit, dum se Episcopus Romanus, or, Dum
Presbyterium, he might haue said, either while Donatus the Bishop of Rome, or the
Presbytery, one Pope, or many Popes doeth extoll himselfe aboue the Emperor: non
verendo eum qui post Deum, not reuerencing nor fearing him, who next after God is
reuerenced and feared of all men.
14
Lancelot Andrewes, A Sermon Preached Before the Kings Maiestie, at Hampton
Court, Concerning the Right and Power of Calling Assemblies, on Sunday the 28. of
September, Anno 1606 (London, 1606).
15
Melville, JMAD, 667.
16
John King, The Fourth Sermon Preached at Hampton Court on Tuesday the Last of
Sept. 1606 (Oxford, 1606); P. E. McCullough, King, John (d. 1621), Oxford Dictionary
of National Biography, Vol. 31 (Oxford, 2004), 635. McCullough is mistaken in identify-
ing the sermons prime target as James Melville. It is far more likely that Andrew was
the target given his position as principal at St Marys.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 255

therwise expressed.17 Whatever the Kings designs, the gauntlet had


o
been thrown down and Melville found himself unable to resist the
challenge.
Denied any opportunity to respond publicly to James pulpit-show,
Melville resorted once again to one of his favorite pastimes, the satirical
epigram.18 In response to William Barlows sermon on episcopal superi-
ority in which he celebrated at length the praises of archbishop Richard
Bancroft, Melville composed a lively epigram lambasting the archbishop,
which was later described as too coarse to be reprinted.19 Likening
Barlows portrayal of Bancroft to Praxiteles portrayal of Venus, Melville
identified the Athenian sculptors failure with Barlows. Just as Praxiteles
had failed in his attempt to portray a goddess (Divam) and instead
depicted a prostitute (lupam), so Barlow failed in depicting Bancroft
as a pastor (Pastorem) but instead portrayed him as a devouring wolf
(lupum). Delighting himself in splenetic mockery, Melville employed
a clever, yet bitter, pun on the words lupam and lupum suggesting
that instead of being a protector and defender of the flock, Bancroft was
an exploiter.20
While his epigrams directed at archbishop Bancroft were enough to
incite the ire of any devout Anglican, his stinging epigram on the altar of
the Church of England incurred the most vociferous reply. Following
the series of sermons at Hampton Court in late September 1606, Melville
was ordered to be present at the English Chapel Royal at Windsor for the
celebration of the festival of St Michael.21 Suspecting a trap, James cau-
tioned his uncle to beware of any design intended to ensnare or provoke
him. The ceremonial service was afterwards described by a certain
German observer of the company of Count de Vaudemontis when he
declared, I never saw such worship! Certainly there is nothing concern-
ing the mass wanting here except the adoration of the transubstantiated

17
Melville, JMAD, 681. He wrote: The purpose of all this wes to snare Mr Andro
Melvill, quhom they knew to be frie of speech, that they mycht haif sume appearance of
just occasioun to mak him fast, and sua to be quyt of his hinder in the prosecution of the
Episcopall purpose.
18
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 153.
19
Roland Greene Usher, Reconstruction of the English Church Vol. II (New York and
London, 1910), 162163.
20
John Row, The History of the Kirk of Scotland, from the Year 1558 to August
1637 (Edinburgh, 1842), 236. Melville wrote: Praxiteles Co Veneris dum pingeret
ora, / Cratin ad vultus pinxerat ora su: / Divinum Barlo pastorem ut pingeret, Angli /
Prsulis ad vultus pinxerat ora sui. / Praxiteles Venerem pinxit Divamne lupamve? /
Pastorem Barlo pinxerat anne lupum?
21
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 65; Melville,
JMAD, 664.
256 chapter seven

bread!22 While this assessment reflects only the opinion of a single indi-
vidual, Melvilles poetic response may be viewed as confirmation of the
Catholic appearance of the service. His poem In aram Anglicanam
ejusque apparatum was apparently covertly obtained and delivered by
one of the royal chaplains into the hands of the King, who ostensibly
took great offense and subsequently summoned Melville to give an
account of it before the Privy Council.23 As McCrie has suggested, James
may merely have feigned outrage and offense at the humanists derisive
epigram while, in fact, he secretly considered it harmless and of little
significance.24
Remarkably, given the content of the epigram on the altar, these Latin
verses figured prominently in the subsequent conflict between the epis-
copalians and presbyterians.25 Along with Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria,
In aram Anglicanam possessed a symbolic significance and occupied a
notable place in the unfolding struggle for control of the Kirk. This may
be seen both in how the Scottish Presbyterians subsequently employed
such Latin verse in advancing their own agenda and in how the Anglicans,
wishing to obtain the Kings favor, chose to attack one of the Kings most
prominent ecclesiastical adversaries and one of the most distinguished
humanists in Scotland.26 Viri clarissimi A. Melvini musae, et P. Adamsoni
vita et palindoia [sic], published in 1620, was a collection of Melvilles
poetry designed to combat Thomas Wilsons preface to a collection of
Patrick Adamsons Latin verse. By the time Viri clarissimi musae had
been published, Melville was seventy-five years of age, living in exile on
the continent and laboring at the University of Sedan. His verses had
been circulated privately prior to publication and continued to provoke
a number of poetic responses well beyond the days of the Millenary
Petition and the Hampton Court Conference. Indeed, according to

22
Melville, JMAD, 664. Melville records the Germans words as follows: Ego nunq-
uam vidi talem cultum! Nihil hic profecto deest de solemna missa, preter adorationem
transubstantiali panis! Cf also Row, History, 237.
23
Melville, JMAD, 682683; Calderwood, History VI, 599.
24
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 158.
25
James Doelman, Circulation of the late Elizabethan and Early Stuart Epigram,
Renaissance et Rforme, 29.1 (2005), 63.
26
Thomas Dempster, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Scotorum: sive, de scriptoribus Scotis
Vol. II (Edinburgh, 1829), 497; Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of
England, 67. Dempster wrote: In eum tunc eruditi quique, cum ut arrogantis hominis
audaciam castigarent, tum ut regi suo placerent, stylum strinxerunt.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 257

Antoine Le Fevre de la Boderie, Melvilles Latin verse was widely dis-


cussed in London.27
Among those who replied both immediately as the Latin verses were
circulated in private and subsequently after they had been published
were John Gordon, John Barclay, Joseph Hall, George Eglishem, Thomas
Atkinson, and George Herbert.28 In 1619 Thomas Wilson attacked
Melville in a preface he wrote to a collection of poetry by Patrick
Adamson entitled De sacro pastoris munere.29 Thus, the sheer number of
respondents to Melvilles satirical poetry underscores his symbolic sig-
nificance as an icon of Presbyterian intransigence and poetic dexterity.
As a lightening rod for criticism, Melville occupied an unenviable and
undeniable place within the religious and intellectual life of Scotland
and England in the early modern period.
The epigram itself was a biting satire on Anglican worship and a sub-
tle indictment of the King. Referring to two closed books (clausi libri
duo), two blind lights (Lumina caeca duo), and two dry wash
basins (pollubra sicca duo), Melville stressed the spiritual ignorance
and darkness of the Church of England and, by implication, the poverty
of its worship.30 Indeed, the worship of God is held back, Melville main-
tained, on account of Anglican ignorance, suggested in the words her
blind light (Lumine caeca suo), and moral corruption, suggested in
the words her buried filth (sorde sepulta sua).31 The epigram reaches
its bitter crescendo with the identification of the Anglican liturgy with
the corrupt Roman ritual (Romano ritu).32 The poem vividly dis-
closes Melvilles personal revulsion to what he had been subjected to,
and its composition may be understood, in part, as a way in which he
dealt with his frustration. Undoubtedly, there was for Melville an ele-
ment of personal disappointment in James endorsement of the Anglican

27
Antoine Le Fvre de la Boderie, Ambassades de monsieur de la Boderie en Angleterre
sous le rgne dHenri IV. & la minorit de Louis XIII. depuis le annes 1606 jusquen 1611
Vol. I, (1750), 458, Vol. II, 208209; Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of
England, 6667. Cf. letter dated 8 May 1607 de la Boderie Monsieur de Puisieux.
28
James Doelman, The Contexts of George Herberts Musae Responsoriae, George
Herbert Journal, 2 (1992), 48. George Eglishem responded to Melvilles epigram on the
royal altar in his 1618 Adversus Andreae Melvini cavillum in aram regiam Epigrammata
Prophylactica.
29
Patrick Adamson, De sacro pastoris munere ed. Thomas Wilson (London, 1619).
30
Melville, Viri Clarissimi Musae, 24.
31
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 66.
32
Melville, Viri Clarissimi Musae, 24.
258 chapter seven

liturgy, and this epigram was one way in which he attempted to deal
with his own personal disappointment and irritation.
Summoned by the Privy Council to account for his offending Latin
verse, Melville confessed first that he had written such verses and that he
had intended to present them to the King. After expressing his reasons
for composing the epigram, he took the opportunity to reply to arch-
bishop Bancroft for his publication on the topic of the succession.33 It is
difficult to imagine from Melvilles position what positive outcome could
have resulted from such a virulent assault upon the archbishop of
Canterbury. Perhaps he recognized that he could not receive a fair hear-
ing from the English Privy Council and so took advantage of the occa-
sion to critique thoroughly the abuses and corruptions of the Anglican
Church.34 Whatever the reason for this particular tactic, the Privy
Council determined that confinement was the appropriate measure to
be taken. At first, Melville was warded with John Overall the Dean of
St Pauls until 9 March 1607 at which time he was supposed to be trans-
ferred into the custody of Thomas Bilson, bishop of Winchester until the
King determined what was to be done with him. Unguarded, Melville
delayed reporting to bishop Bilsons residence and instead sought out his
Scottish colleagues, spending the months of March and April in their
company until the order was renewed.35
While the King was deliberating what to do with Melville and the
Scottish ministers, Melville continued to resort to epigrammatic satire
as a form of recreational pleasure and therapeutic release.36 Having been
unlawfully detained and subjected to unwarranted interrogation,
Melville found in the composition of his satirical poetry a catharsis for

33
Melville, JMAD, 679; Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England,66.
Cf. also Richard Bancroft, A Svrvay of the Pretended Holy Discipline. Contayning the
Beginninges, Successe, Parts, Proceedings, Authority, and Doctrine of it: With Some of
the Manifold, and Materiall Repugnances, Varieties and Vncertaineties, in that Behalfe
(London, 1593); Daungerous Positions and Proceedings, Published and Practised within
this Iland of Brytaine, Under Pretence of Reformation, and for the Presbiteriall Discipline
(London, 1593).
34
Ibid. James Melville wrote: [Melville] tuik occasioune plainely in his face, befoir
the Counsell, to tell him all his mynd, quhilk burst out as inclossit fyre in water! He
burdeinit him with all thais corruptiounes and vanities, and superstitiounes, with profa-
natioune of the Sabbath day, silenceing, imprissouning, and beiring doun of the true and
faithfull Preicheres of the Word of God, of setting and holding upe of Antichrystiane
Hierarchie and Popische Ceremonies.
35
Ibid., 681, 700; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 166.
36
Andrew Melville, Melvini epistolae, Special Collections, University of Edinburgh,
110111.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 259

what he considered morally objectionable and theologically problem-


atic. His penchant for satirical verse may be observed in an epigram he
wrote, ridiculing the English St George while extolling the Scottish St
Andrew.37 Learning of the vain and superstitious practices of the Court
associated with the celebration of St Georges Day of 23 April, Melville
irrtat and much incensit within him composed another six line satire,
deriding Englands patron saint. Contrasting St Andrew, Christs
divinely-inspired apostle (Andreas, Christi divinus Apostolus), with
St George, the Armenian archheretic (Armenijs, Georgius,
Hresiarcha), Melville extolled Scotlands apostolic (Apostolicis) faith
while derogating Englands apostate (Apostaticis) faith.38 Again
employing a pun on the words Apostolicis and Apostaticis, Melville
sought to celebrate the superiority of Scotlands patron saint and its reli-
gious practice. While dining with his Scottish colleagues just three days
later on 26 April 1607, he recited for his friends a meditation on Psalm 2
and his satiric verses on St George, which he delivered with vehement
invectioun againes the corruptiounes and superstitiounes of England.
Quoting from book two of Ovids Tristia, James endeavored to dissuade
his uncle from returning to his favorite pastime which had landed him
in such controversy. Undaunted by the consequences of his merciless
satirizing of the Anglican Church, Melville replied by quoting the next
two lines of the Roman poet and identifying with the constraining
impulse to return to the Muses.39
Although Spottiswoode maintained that the justification for Melvilles
imprisonment was impertinence before the English Privy Council, the
formal charge leveled against him was the epigram he had written on the

37
Melville, JMAD, 706. Melville wrote: Andreas, Christi divinus Apostolus, est qui /
Nunc Scotos ritus signat Apostolicos: / Armenijs, (ut fama,) Georgius, Hresiarcha, /
Nunc Anglos ritus signat Apostolicos. Signa, Andre, ergo sunt nullo Georgi? Undique
Apostolicis, millibus Apostaticis!
38
Ibid.
39
Ibid., 707. James Melville writes: Thairfoir, his cousine Mr James sayes to him,
Remember Ovidis verses: Si saperem doctus odissem jure sorores / Numina cultori
perniciosa suo! His answer was in the verses following: Sed nunc tanta meo comes est
insania morbo / Saxa demens refero rursus addicta pedem. The text of Ovid, which
James Melville records, differs at several points from modern critical editions. Cf. Ovid,
Ovid: Tristia. Ex Ponto trans. Arthur Leslie Wheeler (Cambridge, MA and London,
1965), 5556. Si saperem, doctas odissem iure sorores, / numina cultori perniciosa
suo. / At nunctanta meo comes est insania morbo / saxa malum refero rursus ad ista
pedem.
260 chapter seven

royal altar.40 Only six lines in length, the epigram was easily circulated
and quickly became a central focus in the struggles between the
churches of England and Scotland.41 After delivering a vituperative
harangue, which offended both the King and Robert Cecil, the first Earl
of Salisbury on 26 April 1607 at Whitehall, Melville was judged to have
committed a scandalum magnatum and was consigned to the Tower
where he was to remain indefinitely.42 The seriousness of this alleged
offense may be questioned by the fact that despite being labeled a scan-
dalum magnatum, there is no indication that this treasoness offense
was to be treated as a capital crime.43

James VI and the Tower of London

Based upon frivolous charges, Melvilles imprisonment damaged James


reputation on the continent and reflected poorly upon him as a Protestant
King and his ability to govern the religiously diverse countries of Scotland
and England. Melvilles fame throughout Protestant Europe, his
renowned learning, and his salutary influence in the resuscitation of
Scotlands medieval universities only accentuated what appeared to
many in the Protestant world as scandalous.44 For approximately four
years he remained a prisoner in the Tower, experiencing the diminish-
ment of his personal and civil liberties, the prevention of his involve-
ment in the work of the University, and the restriction of his participation
in the life of the Kirk. Shortly after he was confined to the Tower, he was
divested of his office as principal of St Marys, and despite the petition
authored by his students requesting his reinstatement, the Aberdonian
Robert Howie was appointed principal of the College and installed on

40
Spottiswoode, History III, 183; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 174.
41
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 67.
42
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 178.
43
Row, History, 236237.
44
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 68. Cf. De la Boderie,
Ambassades, II, 207209; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 181; Robert Wodrow,
Collections Upon the Lives of the Reformers and Most Eminent Ministers of the Church of
Scotland Vol. II, pt. I (Glasgow, 1845), 54. On 29 June 1607 Monsieur Montmartine
wrote to Robert Boyd of Trochrig, expressing his astonishment and grief over the news
of Melvilles imprisonment. He wrote: I cannot almost belive. But this miserable age is
capable of any thing happy are such as share not in the infection! For a broader con-
sideration of James reputation after his death see Ralph Houlbrooke, Jamess Reputation,
16252005 in Ralph Houlbrooke (ed.) James VI and I: Ideas, Authority and Government
(Aldershot, 2006).
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 261

27 July 1607.45 Though he would continue his participation in the eccle-


siastical politics of his native country during his years of exile in France,
his imprisonment in the Tower signaled the end to his residence and
labors in Scotland and the most important years of his service in the
cause of humanism.
Notwithstanding the unusually strict conditions of his confinement,
namely the denial of all visitation and the privilege of retaining a servant
in his quarters, as well as the use of all writing materials, Melville contin-
ued to consult the Muses, writing Latin poetry on the walls of his cell
with the tongue of his shoe buckle.46 When his quarters were inspected,
his examiners found the walls covered in Latin verse in fair and beauti-
ful characters.47 Once these stringent restrictions were lifted and he was
permitted writing utensils, he composed both Latin paraphrases of the
Psalms as well as a defense of himself, entitled Prosopopeia apologetica.48
He often included unrevised specimens of his poetry in his frequent
correspondence with his nephew. He sent James his initial versions of
Psalms 1, 2, and 16 along with his letters, desiring an evaluation of
them.49 His nephew replied by inquiring why he was attempting to
duplicate what Buchanan had already so exquisitely executed in his 1566
Psalm paraphrases. After quoting from Vergils Ciris50 and clarifying that
he was not seeking praise or glory in his Latin verse, he confessed that he

45
James Kerr Cameron, ed. Letters of John Johnston and Robert Howie (Edinburgh
and London, 1963), lxxlxxi; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 178.
46
In addition to the initial deprivations Melville experienced, the extreme weather
that inmates of the Tower were subjected to during the winter months of 1607 and 1608
led James to entertain grave concerns about his uncles health. That winter was peculiarly
harsh, leaving the Thames frozen over for several months and exposing Melvilleandthose
in the Tower to dangerous weather conditions. Despite his age, the frigid winters, and
sweltering summers spent in the Tower, Melvilles health remained robust. Cf. Melville,
Melvini Epistolae, 4447, 329; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 197198, 207.
47
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 196197.
48
Andrew Melville, Paraphrases des Psaumes IIIXVIXXXVICXXIX. MSS, Special
Collections, University of Edinburgh; P. Mellon, LAcadmie de Sedan centre dinfluence
Franaise a propos dun manuscrit du xvii sicle (Paris, 1913), 202207; Andrew Melville,
Prosopopeia apologetica (c. 1608), Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library,
DC6.45, 2223; Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 67;
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 216, 462. McCrie maintained that Melvilles Psalm
paraphrases were first printed in 1609 while he was still in the Tower.
49
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 8790.
50
On Vergils Ciris see R.O.A.M. Lyne, Ciris A Poem Attributed to Vergil (Cambridge,
2004). For our purposes it is not necessary to argue either for or against Vergilian author-
ship of the Ciris. Rather, it is important only to observe that Melville more than likely
believed it to be an authentic text.
262 chapter seven

continued to compose such poetry because he felt constrained by inspi-


ration, passion, and by his own native inclinations. Perhaps, above all, he
cultivated this literary art out of pure pleasure and, with regard to the
Psalms, the prospect of providing new insight into the sacred text of
scripture.51 His nephew described him as being inflamed with the
sacred love of the Muses and reposing in the embraces of Minerva.52
In addition to Melvilles constraining artistic impulses which com-
pelled him to continue composing Latin verse even when deprived of all
writing materials, his defiant Neo-Stoicism may also account, in part,
for his poetic activity. Defeated in the eyes of many and silenced by his
imprisonment, Melville exhibited an almost uncontrollable urge to con-
tinue writing Latin poetry. Perhaps resolved that his release would never
be secured and that he would live out the remainder of his days in the
Tower, Melville turned inward toward contemplation and upward in
spiritual devotion. His Psalm paraphrases, written during his confine-
ment, represent the clearest expression of this inward and upward
movement. His Neo-Stoicism, while providing a way in which he dealt
with his circumstances, did not preclude his constraining impulse to
express himself and register his dissent. Prior to his imprisonment in the
aftermath of the 1604 Hampton Court Conference and the events sur-
rounding the famous meeting at Whitehall in 1606, Melville had defi-
antly expressed himself in splenetic mockery. While such poetry was
intended to strengthen the resolve of his own constituency and provide
some degree of consolation, it also served as a catharsis, a way to deal
with his own frustrations and bitter disappointments.
Exhibiting his clever wit and playful spirit, Melville in 1610 composed
his most celebrated poem of this period on the subject of the clandes-
tine marriage of Sir William Seymour to Lady Arabella Stuart.53 Writing
of the cause of their respective imprisonments and exploiting a pun on
the word for altar, Melville maintained that they both had been incar-
cerated for the sake of an ara. Seymours beautiful Ara (Ara-/bella)
had been the cause (causa) of his imprisonment while Melvilles verses
on the sacred altar (Ara sacra) had been the cause of his. Due to its
pithiness and the different versions which have survived, it was in all

51
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 93.
52
Ibid., 126133; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 230.
53
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 67. Melville wrote:
Communis tecum mihi causa est carceris, Ara-/ bella tibi causa est; Araque sacra
mihi.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 263

likelihood first circulated orally. In addition to being sent to Seymour,


the epigram was broadly distributed throughout the English court and
remains an example of the seria mixta jocis in which Melville fre-
quently delighted.54
When Melvilles strict restrictions were lifted, he enjoyed the visita-
tion of a number of distinguished scholars and was consulted by several
prominent Protestant theologians on the continent regarding the con-
troversies of the day.55 In addition to his correspondence with both the
professor of divinity at Franeker and later a prominent Counter-
Remonstrant Sibrandus Lubbertus and Jacobus Arminius, Melville con-
ferred with the Scottish theologian John Cameron.56 Having earned his
MA at the University of Glasgow in 1599, he proceeded to the continent
where he served first as a regent, teaching Latin and Greek at the Collge
de Bergerac in Bordeaux and subsequently philosophy at the University
of Sedan at the invitation of the duc de Bouillon. Monsieur L. Capell
wrote of Cameron that he spoke Greek extempore, with the same eas-
ines and elegancy that other persons speak Latine.57 He also spent time
studying in Paris, Geneva, and Heidelberg before returning to Bordeaux
where he became a minister in 1608. As a good friend of Casaubon,
Cameron was indebted to him for providing assistance in securing his
appointment as a regent at the Collge de Bergerac.58
It is unclear whether Melville had met Cameron prior to their confer-
ence in the Tower. While at Glasgow, Cameron certainly would have
heard the stories of Melvilles years as principal during the 1570s, and he
may have even heard accounts of his fellow countryman during his two

Ibid; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 223.


54

Melville, Melvini epistolae, 9899. Melville was in communication with the bishop
55

of Norwich and Latin satirist Joseph Hall whose Virgidemiarum was first published in
1597. On Hall see Kenneth Fincham and Peter Lake, Popularity, Prelacy and Puritanism
in the 1630s: Joseph Hall Explains Himself, English Historical Review, 111 (Sep., 1996),
856881.
56
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 200202, 258; Frederick Shriver, Orthodoxy
and Diplomacy: James I and the Vorstius Affair, EHR, 85 (Jul., 1970), 451452; Melville,
Melvini epistolae, 112113. On Cameron see G. Bonet-Maury, John Cameron:
A Scottish Protestant Theologian in France, Scottish Historical Review, 7 (19091910),
325345; Brian G. Armstrong, Calvinism and the Amyraut heresy: Protestant
Scholasticism and Humanism in Seventeenth-Century France (Madison, Milwaukee, and
London, 1969), 612, 3170.
57
Wodrow, Collections Upon the Lives of the Reformers, II:II, 86.
58
H. M. B. Reid, The Divinity Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654
(Glasgow, 1917), 170178.
264 chapter seven

years study in Geneva.59 It is also possible, given their common nation-


ality and connection with the University of Glasgow, that Casaubon,
who had corresponded with Melville and who was on close terms with
Cameron, had encouraged the young scholar to cultivate a relationship
with him.60 However they first came to know each other, we do know
from Melvilles correspondence that they hotly engaged in a theologi-
cal dispute over the discipline of the Church but were forced prema-
turely by the Tower bell to terminate it.61
In addition to Cameron, Melville made the personal acquaintance of
Isaac Casaubon during his confinement. In 1601 Casaubon had initiated
correspondence with him, expressing his sincere admiration of his piety
and erudition and imploring him to publish more of his work for the
greater benefit of the Church.62 By the time of his visitation his attach-
ment to Reformed Protestantism had changed as he had developed a
sympathy for Catholicism during his service at the French court to the
Catholic convert Henri IV.63 Following Henris assassination in 1610,
Casaubon, concerned for his personal safety, left Paris and traveled to
England at the invitation of archbishop Richard Bancroft.64 During
Casaubons residence in London he frequently visited Melville in the
Tower and enjoyed critical discussions of both the authors of antiquity
and the sacred scriptures. Despite their apparent theological differences,
Melville found in Casaubon a humanist and classical scholar who shared
his commitment to the values and methods embodied in the studia
humanitatis of the Renaissance. Their shared humanistic culture ena-
bled Melville to set aside whatever theological differences he may have
had with Casaubon so that they might together enjoy critical discus-
sions on both the sacred and profane authors of antiquity.
Among those with whom Melville corresponded during his confine-
ment in the Tower was the professor of divinity at the Academy of
Saumur, Robert Boyd of Trochrig. Educated under Robert Rollock and
Charles Ferme at the newly founded University of Edinburgh where he

59
Isaac Casaubon, Isaaci Casauboni epistol (Rotterdam, 1709), 129. Casaubon con-
fessed that he first heard of Melville while he was in Geneva from Beza, Henri Estienne,
and Jacques Lect.
60
Ibid., 129, 253254.
61
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 112113.
62
Casaubon, Isaaci Casauboni epistol, 129.
63
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 258.
64
L. J. Nazelle, Isaac Casaubon: sa vie et son temps (15591614) (Genve, 1970),
147168.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 265

received his MA in 1594, Boyd proceeded to the continent where he


lived in Tours, Bordeaux, and Poitiers before settling in Montaubon
where he served as professor of philosophy in its Protestant university.
After a brief period in Verteuil where he was ordained to the ministry,
he accepted a position at Saumur which enabled him to serve as both a
pastor and a professor of philosophy in its Protestant academy. In 1608
he was appointed professor of divinity and served in that capacity until
he was recalled by King James to Scotland to become principal of the
University of Glasgow.65 In 1627 he published a portion of his Latin
poetry under the title Hetacombe Christiana.66
On 23 October 1610 Melville wrote to Boyd on the subject of the ordi-
nation of the Scottish bishops according to the Anglican form.67 John
Spottiswoode of Glasgow, Andrew Lamb of Brechin, and Gavin Hamilton
of Galloway all were consecrated by the bishop of London in 1610.68
Despite the acts of these three Grampian wolves (De tribus lupis
Grampianis), in his letter Melville twice addressed Boyd with the affec-
tionate designation my sweetest Boyd (suavissime Bodi) and encour-
aged him to persevere in fortitude and wisdom in his labors.69 While this
correspondence is admittedly limited in revealing much about their
relationship, it does further disclose the extent of Melvilles extensive
network of Protestant humanists.
Notwithstanding Melvilles remarks regarding his idle life in prison,
he kept himself occupied with the composition of Latin poetry, exten-
sive correspondence as represented in the Melvini epistolae, frequent
visitations from learned scholars, and other literary projects.70 In addi-
tion to his Psalm paraphrases and Prosopopeia apologetica, he probably
composed during his time in the Tower a metrical paraphrase of the
epistle to the Hebrews.71 One of his earliest theological compositions
consisted of his refutation of the 1608 sermon delivered by George
Downham on the occasion of the consecration of James Montagu,

65
Wodrow, Collections Upon the Lives of the Reformers, II:I, 78, 1213, 3031, 5258,
117122.
66
Robert Boyd, Roberti Bodii a Trochoregia hecatombe Christiana, hymnus ekatous-
trophos, ad Christum servatorem (1627).
67
Wodrow, Collections Upon the Lives of the Reformers, II:I, 9091.
68
Calderwood, History VII, 150151. In response to this act, Melville wrote De tribus
lupis Grampianis,indelebile charactere ad Tamesin notatis.
69
Wodrow, Collections Upon the Lives of the Reformers II:I, 9091.
70
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 173175.
71
Andrew Melville, Paraphrasis epistol ad Hebros Andre Melvini, British
Library, MS Harley 6947.9; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 463.
266 chapter seven

bishop of Bath and Wells. Later published that year under the title Two
Sermons, Downhams work defended the jure divino character of episco-
pacy and provoked a bevy of replies of which Melvilles was but one. The
fact that the tract had been liberally distributed in Scotland may account
for Melvilles initial urgency in formulating a response.72 When he was
not otherwise engaged, he spent time tutoring two of his relatives, a
nephew of his deceased brother and the third son of his nephew
James.Both boys had been named after Melville and both received from
him a thorough grounding in the ancient languages, philosophy, and
classical literature.73 Thus, when he was not writing Latin poetry, com-
posing Latin and Greek letters, drafting versions of his other literary
projects, or consulting with fellow scholars, Melville was actively
involved in serving as a classical tutor just as he had done in Poitiers,
Montrose, and Berwick.
After spending almost two years in prison, toward the end of
1608 Melville submitted to the King a collection of Latin verse he had
composed, hoping to obtain royal favor and secure his release. In con-
junction with his poetic overture and at the urging of archbishop
Spottiswoode, he also wrote a conciliatory letter to the English Privy
Council, apologizing and seeking its forgiveness for the offense caused
by his verses on the royal altar. Despite these pacific gestures, his
releasewas denied. Prior to these conciliatory efforts, an unsuccessful
attempt had been made by the Protestants of La Rochelle in late 1607 to
secure his freedom and obtain his services as professor of Divinity in
their College. Uncertain how to proceed, the King denied the request
and kept Melville under confinement.74 Archbishop Spottiswoodes sug-
gestion that Melville return to Scotland and assume a post at the
University of Glasgow was probably unappealing to both Melville and
the King though for different reasons.75 The scrutiny and oversight which
would have been imposed upon him was as much a deterrent to him as

72
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 18; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 206; Kenneth
Gibson, Downham, George (d. 1634), ODNB, Vol. 16 (Oxford, 2004), 801.
73
Melville, JMAD, xxxvii; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 213214.
74
De la Boderie, Ambassades, II, 430, 433; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 198
199. On La Rochelle during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries see Judith
Pugh Meyer, La Rochelle and the Failure of the French Reformation, Sixteenth Century
Journal, 15 (Sum., 1984), 169183.
75
Calderwood, History VII, 46.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 267

his potential subversiveness was to the King.76 Not surprisingly,


Spottiswoodes recommendation was rejected.
Finally, in February 1611, after considerable political negotiations
and diplomatic efforts, Melville received a letter from the French
Protestant and Marchal de France, Henri de la Tour d Auvergne, duc
de Bouillon, informing him that he had secured his release and was
offering him a position at the University of Sedan.77 While we cannot say
definitively that Melvilles release may be attributed to the intercession of
the French Reformed minister in London, Aaron Cappel, we do know
that he supported the ducs petition and that he had personal reasons for
doing so, namely a brother studying at the University of Sedan. An even
more likely reason for Melvilles release at this time may be found in the
duc himself. As a Huguenot grandee, the duc de Bouillon represented
power and influence, as well as political opportunity. Always looking to
strengthen his political position and religious alliances, James may have
viewed this request as an ideal opportunity to solidify further his
Protestant ties in France.78
When the Queen Regent, Marie de Medici received the news that the
duc de Bouillon had applied for Melvilles release without first consult-
ing with the French court, she opposed the effort. After the duc offered
his apologies for disregarding the royal protocol, the spurious grounds
upon which the release was opposed were dropped and the humanist
was freed.79 Of course, James decision to release Melville was made
upon the condition that he neither preach nor publish but restrict him-
self to reading and teaching in the University.80 This Melville was able to
adhere to for only a short period of time. In 1618 he composed a collec-
tion of aphorisms, which were anonymously published in Amsterdam
in 1622 under the title De adiaphoris. Scoti TOU TUXONTOS aphorismi.
It is also possible that he may have written or contributed to a work pub-
lished in 1622 in London, entitled Scoti TOU TUXONTOS paraclesis

Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 68.


76

Calderwood, History VII, 153; Melville, Melvini epistolae, 78, 173. On Henri de la
77

Tour d Auvergne, duc de Bouillon see Mack P. Holt, The French Wars of Religion 1562
1629 (Cambridge, 1995), 174. Sir James Sempill was apparently involved in helping
to mitigate Melvilles imprisonment.
78
Charles G. D. Littleton, Cappel, Aaron (15601620), ODNB, Vol. 10 (Oxford,
2004), 2; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 262263.
79
De la Boderie, Ambassades, V, 517, 530533, 541.
80
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 264.
268 chapter seven

contra Danielis Tileni Silesii paraenesin. Thus, even from distant Sedan,
Melville continued to write Latin verse and maintain a correspondence
regarding the ecclesiastical politics of Scotland.81
Henris success in persuading James to release the aging scholar coin-
cided with a number of developments in both Britain and the continent,
which made the request and negotiations of the duc favorable. During
the year 1610, when Henri first applied for Melvilles release, one of
Melvilles most implacable opponents archbishop Bancroft died.82 When
George Home, Earl of Dunbar, died in January 1611 shortly after
Bancroft, the opposition, which had effectively prevented Melvilles
release, was now removed.83 Moreover, with the official reassertion of
Episcopal authority in the Church of Scotland by the 1610 Glasgow
Assembly, James may have considered the struggle over episcopacy won
and Melville no longer a serious threat. James may have also desired that
this staunch Calvinist and humanist employ his remaining energy and
efforts in combating the theology of Conrad Vorstius.84 While it is
impossible to identify any single factor as solely responsible for Melvilles
release, it is much more likely that all of these combined created an
atmosphere favorable to his liberation.

The Melvini Epistolae

During Melvilles imprisonment and banishment he carried on an exten-


sive correspondence with his life-long companion, fellow humanist, and
beloved nephew, James. Without question this relationship was the most
intimate and enduring of his life and was, arguably, the one which most
profoundly shaped him as a Renaissance humanist. While the early
influences of Buchanan, Ramus, Scaliger, and Beza should not be under-
estimated in shaping the humanistic trajectory of Melvilles life, there
was no other scholar who knew him as well or who had developed such
intimate bonds of friendship as his beloved nephew. Among those who

81
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 72.
82
Calderwood, History VII, 151.
83
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 262; Doelman, King James I and the Religious
Culture of England, 68.
84
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 68. On the history of
episcopacy in Scotland see D. G. Mullan, Episcopacy in Scotland: the History of an Idea,
15601638 (Edinburgh, 1986). On Vorstius see Shriver, Orthodoxy and Diplomacy:
James I and the Vorstius Affair, 449474.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 269

comprised the vast network of Melvilles humanist associations and


those with whom he forged intimate ties, such as Arbuthnot, Smeaton,
Johnston, and Hume of Godscroft, the scholar with whom he corre-
sponded the most and revealed his triumphs as well as his insecurities
and anxieties was James Melville.85
Acquainted in childhood, their relationship spanned five decades
from 1574 until his nephews death in 1614 and may be best character-
ized as that of a father and son. James addressed him in his letters as my
loving father86 while Andrew referred to him as my dearly beloved
son.87 Although separated by approximately eleven years and despite
their remarkable resemblance, oftentimes confused as brothers, the deep
and abiding love Melville expressed for his nephew and the reverence
and affection James consistently exhibited toward his uncle was virtually
indistinguishable from paternal love and filial admiration.88 Addressing
his uncle with the words, O matchless Melvin, honour of our lands,
James succinctly expressed his profound esteem for his imprisoned
uncle and his heartfelt grief over his mistreatment and confinement.89

85
For a broader consideration of friendship in the early modern period see Alexandra
Shepard, Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2003); Elizabeth A.
Foyster, Manhood in Early Modern England Honour, Sex, and Marriage (London and
New York, 1999); Tim Hitchcock and Michle Cohen (eds.) English Masculinities 1660
1800 (London and New York, 1999).
86
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 133; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 460. When
Melville was banished to France, James wrote the following poetic verse as a tribute
to his esteemed and beloved uncle: No marvell Scotland thow be like to tyn, / For thou
hes lost thy honey and thy wine, / Thy strength, thy courage, and thy libertie, / Went all
away, when as he went from thee. / In learning, upright zeal, religion trew, / He maister
was, but now bid all a Dieu, / Be mute, you Scottish muses: no more verse! / But sobbing
say, Le mond est lenvers.
87
Melville, JMAD, xxxiiixxxiv. Melville wrote the following in honor of James:
Chare nepos, de fratre nepos, mihi fratre, nepote / Charior, et quicquid fratre nepote
queat / Charius esse usquam; quin me mihi charior ipso, / Et quicquid mihi charius esse
queat. / Consiliis auctor mihi tu, dux rebus agendis, / Cum privata, aut res publica
agenda fuit. / Amborum meus una animo, corde una voluntas, / Corque unum in duplici
corpore, et una anima. / Una ambo vexati odiis immanibus, ambo / Dignati et Christi
pro grege dura pati. / Dura pati, sed iniqua pati, sub crimine ficto, / Ni Christum, et
Christi crimen amare gregem. / Qui locus, aut qu me hora tibi nunc dividat, idem / Hic
locus, me hc eadem dividat hora mihi. / Tune tui desiderium mihi triste relinquas? /
Qui prior huc veni, non prior hinc abeam? / An sequar usque comes? Sic, sic juvat ire
sub astra, / Tecum ego ut exul eram, tecum ero et in patria. / Christus ubi caput, ter-
nam nos poscit in aulam, / Arctius ut jungat nos sua membra sibi. / Induviis donec
redivivi corporis artus / Vestiat, illustrans lumine purpureo. / ternum ut patrem,
natumque et flamen ovantes, / Carmine perpetuo concelebremus, Io.
88
Ibid., 15.
89
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 459. James Melville wrote: O matchless Melvin,
honour of our lands! / How are we grieved and gladit with thy bands! / We grieve to
270 chapter seven

In writing to James on the occasion of his departure for France in 1611,


Melville expressed his profound affection for his nephew, addressing
him as my dear son, my dear James and declaring, I retain you in my
heart, nor shall anything in this life be dearer to me, after God, than
you.90 The intimate bonds of their friendship, which they built over the
course of their lives, was broken only by death and has been uniquely
captured in the Melvini epistolae.
The Melvini epistolae largely consists of Andrews and James corre-
spondence, beginning with the formers imprisonment to the year 1613
when Melville resided in France at the University of Sedan and his
nephew, recently remarried, resided in Berwick-on-Tweed in northern
England.91 Written partly in James own hand, the collection of letters
belonged to him and were before his death on 19 January 1614 entrusted
into the care of a certain Sir Patrick Hume of Ayton.92 The collection of
letters is of immense historical value, providing insight into Melvilles
activities and relationships during his imprisonment and banishment
while also opening a window into his humanity and intellectual culture.
The style of the letters is familiar, yet urbane. Composed in Latin instead
of Middle Scots, Melville and his nephew frequently referred to and
quoted from the most elegant literary figures of ancient Greece and
Rome. Indeed, Melville frequently included in his correspondence
his own Latin poetry, which he had composed for his own literary
recreation.93
The subject matter of the Melvini epistolae reflects the humanists
station in life as well as his intellectual, literary, and religious interests.

see sic men comitt as thee, / We joy to hear how constantly thou stands / Pleading the
cause of God cast in thy hands / Against this bastard brood of Bischoprie, / Whais ydle
rites, pompe, pryd and graceless glore, / Justlie thou haits; hait still, hait more and more.
/ Happie, thryse happie, Melvine, thoch in warde, / Men loves thy cause, God has it in
regarde, / No prisone can thy libertie restraine / To speak the right, but flatterie or but
faired, / Pure, plain, not mingled, maimed or impaired. No brangled titles can thy hon-
our staine, / Thy tell-treuth fervent freedom wha would blame, / Wrays but his awin fals,
faint, or servile shame.
90
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 189; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 274275.
91
The full title of the manuscript is: D. Andre Melvini epistol Londino e turri
carceris ad Jacobum Melvinum Nouocastri exulantem script, cum ejusdem Jacobi
nonnullis ad eundem. Annis supra millesim sexcentessimo octavo, nono, decimo,
undecimo. Item Ecclesi Scotican Oratio Apologetica ad Regem An. 1610, mense
Aprilis; Robert Pitcairn, Prefatory Notice in JMAD, xv. Cf. also MCrie, Life of Andrew
Melville II, 463. Correspondence with Alexander Hume, John Forbes, and Patrick
Symson are also included in this collection.
92
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 463.
93
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 107.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 271

The letters exhibit a conversational tone and remarkable variety, discuss-


ing everything from ecclesiastical and political affairs, personal updates,
and inquiries to advice on love and marriage, suggestions on comforting
the grieving, and religious controversies.94 They reveal his views on the
problems facing Scotland and the Kirk, as well as his observations on life
and his view of the world. Indeed, a careful examination of the Melvini
epistolae discloses a side of the humanist not portrayed in many of the
presbyterian histories of the early seventeenth century. They are, for that
reason, indispensable to any critical reassessment of Melvilles role in the
growth of humanism in Scotland.
Perhaps the most obvious feature of the Melvini epistolae is the candid
portrayal of Melvilles humanity. In contrast to McCries mythical and
heroic portrait, depicting him as a stranger to fear95 who possessed
invincible fortitude96 and courage, which never once failed him nor
did his spirits suffer the least depression,97 the correspondence during
these years reveals a far different image. The Melvini epistolae disclose to
the reader the portrait of a man who was subject to all of the frailties,
fears, and insecurities of humanity a man susceptible to discourage-
ment and dejection. On 13 November 1610 Melville wrote to his nephew,
informing him of the duc de Bouillons application for his release.98
Despite his resolute declarations regarding his call to duty and moral
obligations, he expressed despondency and even a tone of despair in
light of the triumph of what he called pseudo-episcopatum in
Britannia.99 In a letter dated 14 November 1610 Melville again expressed
hesitation, uncertainty, and doubt with respect to his future, candidly
confessing to James, Until my fate is fixed, I cannot be free from anxi-
ety.100 Uncertain of the vicissitudes of banishment and the unexpected
challenges which would confront a man in the twilight of his life, he
expressed his apprehension and insecurity regarding his future. Far from
McCries idealized depiction, the Melvini epistolae disclose the image of

94
J. W. Binns, The Letters of Erasmus in T.A. Dorey (ed.), Erasmus (London, 1970),
6061. By employing a conversational tone, Melville was writing in the humanistic
tradition of Erasmus who wrote: Talem oportere esse dictionem Epistolae, quales
sunt amicorum inter ipsos confabulationes. And Epistolam colloquium est inter
absentes.
95
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 243.
96
Ibid., 324.
97
Ibid., 203.
98
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 173174.
99
Ibid., 173.
100
Ibid., 175; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 266.
272 chapter seven

a man who fully experienced and conveyed to his most intimate friend
the fears and anxieties which occupied his thoughts.
A careful reading of the Melvini epistolae also reveals a man who
indulged his volatile temperament with fits of anger born out of per-
sonal offense. In contrast to McCries depiction of Melville as expressing
only wholesome and friendly anger and maintaining that on no occa-
sion was it ever excited by a sense of personal injuries, which he meekly
bore and forgave, the letters reveal a different picture.101 In a passage in
which he openly admitted that he had been injured by both the com-
monwealth and the church, Melville confessed upon seeing two of his
former students who had become advocates of episcopacy that [t]he
sight of them made my mouth water; and I poured forth my indignation
on them in my usual manner.102 Given his admission that he had been
personally injured by both the state and church and his evident feelings
of betrayal toward his former pupils who now supported episcopacy,
itis difficult to sustain the opinion that Melville always expressed right-
eous indignation and never succumbed to his baser nature. On the
contrary, Melvilles words and actions reveal a certain vindictiveness
toward those whom he felt had personally disappointed and perhaps
even betrayed him in abandoning his agenda for reform.103
If the Melvini epistolae reveal the frailties and insecurities of a man
who was infamous for his brashness and notorious for his explosive
anger and volatile disposition, then the letters also disclose a remarkable
capacity for affection, tenderness, and loving concern. After receiving
encouraging letters from Hume of Godscroft and William Welwood,
Melville exhibited the genuine bonds of affection when he wrote to his
nephew: I keep all my friends in my eye: I carry them in my bosom:
Icommend them to the God of mercy in my daily prayers. Unwilling to
involve his friends in trouble by writing to them on controversial sub-
jects, Melville exhibited an authentic concern for their well-being and
prosperity.104 After receiving the news of Scaligers death in January

101
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 325326. MCrie wrote: But his anger, even
when it rose to its greatest height, was altogether different from the ebullitions of a sple-
netic or rancorous mind.
102
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 54; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 257.
103
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 325326. Writing of Melvilles anger, he adds:
And there was always about it an honesty, an elevation, a freedom from personal hate,
malice, and revenge, which made it respected even by those who censured its violence,
or who smarted under its severity.
104
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 325; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 298.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 273

1609, he confessed to James: What a loss, in respect of piety and erudi-


tion, has the church sustained by the death of my friend the great
Scaliger How can I but be touched and deeply affected for the loss of
such a person, and of others whom I loved in this world, and who have
gone before me! For Melville the death of Scaliger was much more than
merely the loss of one Europes greatest humanists and scholars of the
northern European Renaissance. Scaligers death was an enormous loss
to the Church and yet Melvilles words indicate the profound sense of
personal loss he experienced with the reception of this news.105
His sympathy and compassion were not limited only to distinguished
scholars, such as Scaliger and Johnston, but were expressed with great
tenderness and sensitivity to less conspicuous individuals. After receiv-
ing the news of the death of a certain Myrrha, Melville wrote, I cannot
refrain from bewailing the death of my friend Myrrha How dearly
Iloved her you know Often has the decease of that choice woman
drawn tears from my eyes since I received the afflicting tidings.106 Much
like the loving attachment Melville had formed with his young pupil in
Poitiers, the son of an honourable councellar of Parliament who was
tragically killed during the seige of the city in 1569, so Melville had
grown deeply attached to Myrrha confessing that he had dearly loved
her and mourning her death with tears. Just as [t]hat bern gaed never
out of his hart; bot in teatching of me [James Melville], he often remem-
berit him with tender compassion of mynd, so Melville often remem-
bered Myrrha with a similar, if not more profound, feeling of compassion
and deep personal loss.107
Not surprisingly Melvilles most profound words of affection were
reserved for his dearest and most intimate companion, his beloved
nephew, James.108 Upon his death in 1614, Melville mourned his loss in
an epitaph written in his honor. He referred to him as My dear nephew,
the nephew of my brother, to me a brother, my precious nephew (Chare
nepos, de fratre nepos, mihi fratre, nepote / Charior).109 These simple

Ibid., 7677; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 221222.


105

Ibid., 293, 303; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 288. McCrie suggests that
106

Myrrha referred to in this letter was the sister of the minister of Leith John Murray.
107
Melville, JMAD, 40.
108
Pitcairn, Prefatory Notice in JMAD, xxxiiixxxiv.
109
Ibid. Melville wrote: Chare nepos, de fratre nepos, mihi fratre, nepote / Charior,
et quicquid fratre nepote queat / Charius esse usquam; quin me mihi charior ipso, / Et
quicquid mihi charius esse queat. / Consiliis auctor mihi tu, dux rebus agendis, / Cum
privata, aut res publica agenda fuit. / Amborum meus una animo, corde una voluntas, /
274 chapter seven

yet moving words succinctly convey something of the depth of Melvilles


affection and love which he bore for his nephew. James had during his
life willingly reciprocated, expressing his own profound love for his
uncle, father-figure, former colleague, fellow humanist, and intimate
companion. Upon receiving the news of his uncles banishment and his
intention to move to Sedan, James confessed, My soul fails and melts
within me, and the tears rush into my eyes at the thought, of which
Icannot get rid, that I shall see your face no more.110 The same tender
compassion and love which Melville had expressed repeatedly to his
nephew over the course of their long relationship, he himself received in
these poignant words by his nephew.
In addition to disclosing the complexity of Melvilles humanity by
revealing his human frailties as well as his capacity for tender love, com-
passion, and deep affection, the Melvini epistolae also reveal his playful
spirit and wry sense of humor. After reflecting upon the profound loss to
the Church, the society of letters, and himself as a result of the death of
Scaliger, Melville shifted the tone of his letter from one of somber reflec-
tion to playful jocularity. Confessing his loquacity as an old man, he
needled James romantic pursuits by reminding him that he, too, was
once rumored to have been in love and that the present seemed a par-
ticularly fitting time to indulge in youthful romance and to imitate his
nephew as closely as possible. He added, You know what I mean.
Dictum sapient.111 Melvilles ability to shift quickly in his letters from
grave and weighty matters to trivial and humerous ones reflects the inti-
macy and familiarity he enjoyed with James as well as their mutual
delight in dry humor and playfulness.
Melvilles correspondence during these years also provides a unique
perspective from which to view the Protestant, humanistic culture in
which he lived and to which he made rich contributions. Written largely

Corque unum in duplici corpore, et una anima. / Una ambo vexati odiis immani-
bus, ambo / Dignati et Christi pro grege dura pati. / Dura pati, sed iniqua pati, sub
crimine ficto, / Ni Christum, et Christi crimen amare gregem. / Qui locus, aut qu me
hora tibi nunc dividat, idem / Hic locus, me hc eadem dividat hora mihi. / Tune tui
desiderium mihi triste relinquas? / Qui prior huc veni, non prior hinc abeam? / An
sequar usque comes? Sic, sic juvat ire sub astra, / Tecum ego ut exul eram, tecum ero et
un patria. / Christus ubi caput, ternam nos poscit in aulam, / Arctius ut jungat nos sua
membra sibi. / Induviis donec redivivi corporis artus / Vestiat, illustrans lumine pur-
pureo. / ternum ut patrem, natumque et flamen ovantes, / Carmine perpetuo concele-
bremus, Io.
110
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 184; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 268.
111
Ibid., 78; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 222.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 275

in Latin with generous digressions in Greek and interlarded with Hebrew,


the letters exhibit a philological prowess and belong to the broader
European humanistic tradition embodied by Erasmus and Bud. Like
Bud, Melville conceived of philology as the essence of humanism and
the linguistic character of his correspondence underscores that belief.112
His Latin prose and poetry, combined with frequent and liberal recourse
to Greek and Hebrew, reinforce his humanistic belief in the intrinsic
value of such studies and in the cultivation of the imitatio veterum of the
Renaissance.113 He often juxtaposed classical quotations, references, or
allusions with sacred texts and theological assertions. In responding to
James melancholy letter dated 25 November 1611 in which he informed
his uncle of the death of John Johnston and the ruinous state of the
Kirk,114 Melville wrote from Sedan in May 1612, citing the apostolic
injunctions from I Thessalonians 5.16 and Romans 12.12 and reminding
his nephew of the truth of Gods providence and deferred retribution.
Instead of appealing again to sacred scripture in an effort to justify his
remarks regarding deferred retribution, Melville quoted from Pindar,
invoking the truth of the couplet and maintaining that nothing pro-
nounced from the tripod of Apollo was ever more true than the words
of the Greek poet.115
Blending classical quotations and references with moral imperatives
from scripture, Melville tacitly acknowledged the value of the pagan
authors of antiquity, even while expressing the distinctively Christian
character of his humanism. Likewise, in advising his nephew regarding
two marriage prospects, he adroitly juxtaposed the classical adages
(Owls to Athens) and Sus Minervam (A pig teach-
ing Minerva) along with references to Solon, Seneca, Varro, Vergil, and
Scipio Africanus as well as the reassurances of divine sovereignty and
providential direction in his decision making.116 Without any hint of
incompatibility or incongruity, Melville frequently employed such clas-
sical tropes in communicating his own Christian theology.

112
David O. McNeil, Guillaume Bud and Humanism in the Reign of Francis I (Genve,
1975), 61, 78. On Erasmus letters see J. W. Binns, The Letters of Erasmus in T.A. Dorey
(ed.), Erasmus (London, 1970), 5579.
113
Rebecca W. Bushnell, George Buchanan, James VI and neo-classicism in Roger
A. Mason (ed.), Scots and Britons: Scottish Political Thought and the Union of 1603
(Cambridge, 1994), 93, 94. Sixteenth-century Scotland was a multi-lingual culture
consisting of Middle Scots, Gaelic, English, and Latin.
114
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 281.
115
Ibid., 290; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 285.
116
Ibid., 83.
276 chapter seven

The Melvini epistolae also discloses the portrait of an aged scholar


who never experienced the abatement of his love of the studia humani-
tatis or the cultivation of bonae litterae. In an effort to avoid a listless
and inert old age, he gave himself in the twilight of his academic career
to, as he put it, those studies to which I devoted myself in the younger
part of my life.117 He never abandoned his love of Latin poetry, nor did
he ever forsake the Muses. The Latin poetry of the Renaissance coupled
with his favorite classical poets were his constant companions during his
years of exile in Sedan. Indeed, he confessed to his nephew, I try daily
to learn something new, referring to his humane studies, and quoted
from Palingenius, declaring, the very mention of whose name gives me
new life.118 The letters during these years underscore the extent to which
his humanism had become a constitutive feature of his intellectual
makeup. The classical culture of sixteenth-century Europe, which had
profoundly shaped the trajectory of his intellectual life, remained a
dominant influence even during his later years so that we may say that
he was a humanist from first to last. From his earliest days at Montrose
under Marsilier to his finals days at Sedan, Melville was an intellectual
whose elite, humanistic culture informed his value system, as well as his
view of life. Integrated with his Protestant culture, it became as much a
part of his daily life as his spiritual exercises.
As good humanists, Melville and his nephew relished wit and delighted
themselves in clever repartee, timely aphorisms, and classical wisdom.
Repeatedly throughout their correspondence they included poetic verse
from Latin authors, especially Vergil, as well as specimens of their own
creation.119 In explaining his present leisure to his uncle, James quoted
from Vergils Bucolica ecloga I and the words of the shepherd O
Meliboeus, God has made this leisure for us (O Melibe, Deus nobis
hc otia fecit).120 Similarly, Melville on 26 September 1609 wrote to his
nephew reflecting upon divine providence and faithfulness and quoted
in support of his sentiments lines from books IV and VII of Vergils
Aeneid.121 Without question the prince of Latin poets, Vergil, occupies

117
Ibid., 295; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 287.
118
Ibid; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 287.
119
Ibid., 115.
120
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 127. Cf. Vergil, P. Vergili Maronis opera Vergil with
Introduction and Notes (Oxford, 1892), 1.
121
Ibid., 4546, 9193. Cf. Vergil, P. Vergili Maronis Opera Vergil with Introduction
and Notes, 154, 216. In James response to this letter he included lines from Buchanans
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 277

a prominent place in the Melvini epistolae as a common classical author-


ity to which both of the Melvilles made frequent recourse.122
While the Melvini epistolae reveals the portrait of a genuine and thor-
oughgoing humanist, the collection also reveals an individual who pos-
sessed a sincere concern for the liberties of the Kirk and a resolute
opposition to what he termed pseudo-episcopacy.123 In January 1610
Melville wrote to his nephew, providing his own assessment of the meth-
ods and tactics of the advocates of episcopacy. Under the guise of the
mask of antiquity, and the pretext of royal authority, Melville main-
tained that they torture the passages of scripture beyond recognition.
By employing injunctions, proclamations, edicts, and pretended judi-
cial processes, he declared, they break through every barrier, and per-
vert all laws, human and divine.124 Despite his rather bleak evaluation of
the advocates of episcopacy, Melville remained sanguine that the truth
would prevail when he wrote, [I] look for victory over the prostrate
audacity of our adversaries through the divine blessing.125 When he was
subsequently informed of the 1610 Glasgow Assembly and the reassertion
of episcopal authority in Scotland, he responded with grief, distress, and
anger.126 Although he had in another letter to his nephew applied tohim-
self and his colleagues the words of the historian Sulpicius Severus, he
continued to hold out hope that the truth would triumph in the end.127

The University of Sedan

Having received 60 pounds from the King at the time of his liberation,
in April 1611 Melville was finally released from the Tower and set sail for

Psalm Paraphrases. Cf. George Buchanan, Georgii Buchanani paraphrasis Psalmorum


Davidis poetica (Glasgow and Edinburgh, 1797), 27, 69. Compare also James Melvilles
1609 letter to Patrick Symson.
122
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 215.
123
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 134.
124
Ibid., 134135; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 235.
125
Ibid., 135; McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 235236.
126
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 253254; William Scot, An Apologetical
Narration of the State and Government of the Kirk of Scotland since the Reformation
(Edinburgh, 1846), 248.
127
Melville, Melvini epistolae, 27, 135; Nathaniel Lardner, Works of Nathaniel Lardner
(London, 1838), 520. Melville quotes Sulpicius Severus: qua tempestate omnis fere
sacro Martyrum eruore orbis infectus est: quippe Certatim gloriosa in certamina rue-
batur; multoque avidius tum martyria gloriosis mortibus qurebantur, quam nunc epis-
copatus pravis ambitionibus appetuntur. Nullis unquam magis bellis mundus exhaustus
est: neque majore unquam triumpho vicimus quam quum decem annorum stragibus
vinci non potuimus.
278 chapter seven

Sedan where he intended to assume his new post as professor of divinity


at the University.128 After a brief stay in Rouen, he proceeded to Paris
where he enjoyed the company of his fellow Scot and friend, George
Sibbald. Using the words of Horace, Sibbald had written a letter to
Robert Boyd of Trochrig dated 14 May 1611, expressing his earnest
desire to see Melville.129 During his brief stay in Paris, Melville had the
opportunity to visit with one of the leading theologians in France,130
Pierre Du Moulin, who was later to join the faculty at Sedan in the early
1620s.131 Upon leaving Paris, Melville traveled to Sedan where he com-
menced his labors at the newly founded University.
Founded in 1578 by Guillaume Robert de la Marck, duc de Bouillon,
the University of Sedan received generous support from his successor
Henry de La Tour dAuvergne, duc de Bouillon, and supported profes-
sorships in law, philosophy, and humanity as well as in theology, Hebrew,
and Greek.132 Despite such firm support from the duc de Bouillon
andthe National Synod, by 1611 the Universitys enrollment had dimin-
ished considerably compared with its sister university at Saumur.
According to one estimate, in 1606 the University at Saumur numbered

128
Doelman, King James I and the Religious Culture of England, 68; Melville, Melvini
epistolae, 188190.
129
Robert Wodrow, Collections Upon the Lives of the Reformers and Most Eminent
Ministers of the Church of Scotland Vol. II Pt. I (Glasgow, 1834), 97; Christopher Smart,
The Works of Horace translated into Verse with a prose interpretation Vol. II (London,
1767), 93. Sibbald wrote to Boyd referring to Melville as my good master and compar-
ing himself with mater Horatiana quoted from L. 4. Ode 5 Ad Augustum in Q. Horatii
Flacci Carminum: Ut mater juvenem, quem Notus invido / Flatu Carpathii trans maris
quora / Cunctantem spatio longius annuo / Dulci distinet a domo, / Votis omnibusque
et precibus vocat, / Curvo nec faciem littore demovet: / Sic desideriis quro fidelibus,
&c. Sibbalds text differs from Smarts by substituting the word quro for icta.
130
W. Brown Patterson, James I and the Huguenot Synod of Tonneins of 1614
Harvard Theological Review, 65 (1972), 242.
131
Wodrow, Collections Upon the Lives of the Reformers, II:I, 102; H. M. B. Reid, The
Divinity Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654 (Glasgow, 1917), 133. On
Pierre Du Moulin see Lucien Rimbault, Pierre du Moulin, 15681658: un pasteur clas-
sique lage classique tude de thologie pastorale sur des documents indits. (Paris, 1966);
Brian G. Armstrong, The changing face of French protestantism: the influence of Pierre
du Moulin, in Robert V. Schnucker (ed.), Calviniana: ideas and influence of Jean Calvin,
Vol.10 (1988), 131149; Pierre du Moulin and James I: the Anglo-French programme,
in M. Magdelaine and others (eds.), De lhumanisme aux lumires: Bayle et le protestant-
isme en lhonneur dElisabeth Labrousse, (Paris, 1996), 1729.
132
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 279280. On Henry de La Tour dAuvergne see
Jacques, Marsollier, Histoire de Henry de La Tour dAuvergne, duc de Bouillon; ou lon
trouve ce qui sest pass de plus remarquable sous le regnes de Franois II, Charles IX,
Henry III, Henry IV, la minorit & les premieres annes du regne de Louis XIII / par
M. Mar (Paris, 1719).
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 279

approximately 400 students. By 1612 the enrollment at the University of


Sedan amounted to less than a third of the student body at Saumur. On
20 November 1612 a certain student at Sedan, Monsieur De Laun, wrote
to Boyd of Trochrig who was at the time teaching at Saumur: The
number of students here [Sedan] is very small, and will not be near the
third part of those with you.133 Similarly, Du Moulin had expressed
his concern to Boyd in a letter dated 29 May 1611 that Melville might
be disappointed by the small number of students enrolled at the
University.134
Despite Du Moulins suggestion that Melvilles and Tilenus sympathy
for the views of Johannes Piscator was a hindrance to increasing student
enrollment at Sedan,135 it is very probable in light of the Universitys
condition that Melville was brought in to help reverse its fortunes as he
had done at Glasgow over thirty years earlier. While the circumstances
surrounding the University of Sedan in 1611 were, in a number of
important respects, quite different from that of Glasgow in 1574, it was,
nevertheless, a struggling institution in need of resuscitation. Perhaps
the duc hoped that by bringing such a prominent humanist, scholar, and
religious reformer to his University it might emerge as a leading center
of Reformed Protestantism.
Certainly the ducs invitation and Melvilles decision to go to Sedan
was in keeping with a well-established pattern of Scottish scholars who
had traveled to the continent to serve in the Protestant academies in
France.136 Like John Cameron, Walter Donaldson, and Arthur Johnston,
to name a few, Melville had been sought by the duc de Bouillon to teach
in the University of Sedan. Unlike his younger counterparts, he brought
to Sedan extensive experience and a distinguished European reputa-
tion as an elegant Latinist, distinguished philologian, and erudite
divine.Teaching in Paris, Poitiers, Geneva, Glasgow, and St Andrews

133
Wodrow, Collections Upon the Lives of the Reformers, II:I, 105.
134
Ibid., 102.
135
Ibid. On Melvilles position regarding the views of Piscator see James Kerr
Cameron, (ed.), Letters of John Johnston, c. 15651611, and Robert Howie, c.1565-c. 1645
(Edinburgh and London, 1963), lx. Du Moulin wrote: I have seen here and have enter-
teaned Monsr. Melvil. He hath much knowledge. I have been told that he is of the opin-
ion of Piscator, but I have not sounded him in that point least I should rufle him, for he
is represented here as a little warm (un peu cholre). He is at present in Sedan. I wish he
may not be uneasy there, because of the small numbers of the scholars at present there.
It is said that the sentiments of Piscator, which he and Monsr. Tilenus hold, hinder many
students to go to Sedan, and you know the Regulation of the last Nationall Synod.
136
Ibid., II:I, 27; II:II, 86.
280 chapter seven

and becoming the dominant figure in Scottish theological educa-


tion,137Melvilles decision to go to Sedan brought credibility, as well as
the promise of attracting students from all over Europe as he had in
Scotland.138
When Melville arrived in Sedan, he was immediately placed in the
company of the Aberdonian Walter Donaldson, who had first served as
professor of natural and moral philosophy and, subsequently, as princi-
pal of the University. While it has been suggested that Donaldson prob-
ably graduated from Kings College, Old Aberdeen, we do know that he
matriculated at the University of Heidelberg on 11 September 1599
where he studied law. During his time in Heidelberg, he probably made
the acquaintance of his fellow Scot Arthur Johnston. In 1603 both men
received invitations from the duc de Bouillon to come to Sedan to teach
at the University.139 In addition to Donaldsons labors at the University,
he subsequently served as pastor of the Protestant church in Sedan.140
The neo-Latin poet and graduate of Kings College John Leech141 once
described Donaldson as a poet laureate. In addition to the composition
of Latin verse, Melville found in Donaldson a love of the Greek language
and its literature, a field in which the latter lectured at Sedan.142
In addition to Donaldson, Melville was joined by another Scot John
Smith, who served as professor of philosophy, and by Jacques Cappel,
who taught Hebrew at the University.143 While there is some evidence
for McCries claim that Cappel lived on terms of great intimacy with
Melville, even calling the Scot a most learned man and most dear col-
league (vir doctissimus et collega charissimus),144 we do know that
the aged humanist honored the Frenchman by composing two poems

137
John Durkan and James Kirk, The University of Glasgow 14511577 (Glasgow,
1977), 288.
138
Reid, The Divinity Principals in the University of Glasgow 15451654, 5859.
During his time in St Andrews, Melville attracted students from France, Belgium,
Germany, Poland, Prussia, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, and Switzerland. On the
French academies see Frances Amelia Yates, The French Academies of the Sixteenth
Century (London, 1947).
139
Nicola Royan, Johnston, Arthur (c. 15791641), ODNB, Vol. 30 (Oxford,
2004),347.
140
John Durkan, Donaldson, Walter (bap. 1574), ODNB, Vol. 16 (Oxford, 2004),517;
G. Toepke (ed.), Die Matrikel der Universitt Heidelberg Vol. I (Heidelberg, 1884), 198.
141
On Leech see Leicester Bradner, Musae Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin
Poetry 15001925 (New York and London, 1940), 163171.
142
Durkan, Donaldson, Walter (bap. 1574), 517.
143
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 280; Mellon, LAcadmie de Sedan,192.
144
Ibid., 280281.
england and france: london and sedan (16071622) 281

for his 1613 Historia sacra et exotica ab Adamo. In these poems Melville
celebrated Cappels worth as an author and even praised King James
aslami des Muses.145 Donaldson, Smith, and Cappel were joined by
theprofessor of divinity Daniel Tilenus, who shared with Melville the
lecturing responsibilities, each lecturing three times per week. While
Tilenus lectured on the loci communes of theology, Melville delivered
lectures on the sacred literature of the canon.146
With a penchant for controversy, Tilenus, during Melvilles time in
Sedan, entered into a disputation with Pierre Du Moulin over the dual
natures of Christ.147 In addition to this controversy, Tilenus also changed
his position with regard to Arminian theology. Opposing Arminianism
earlier in his career, he later adopted it.148 In a letter dated 20 November
1611 Monsieur De Laun observed that, while Melville and Tilenus
essentially agreed on the doctrine of justification, they did not agree
on the issue concerning the absolute decree of reprobation or on the
interpretation of Romans 7.149 According to Wodrow, in addition to
espousing Arminian theology and hierarchical prelacy, he opposed
Presbyterianism. When it was discovered that Tilenus had abandoned
his Calvinism and was teaching Arminian theology instead, Melville
joined with his colleagues at Sedan in opposing him.150 After Tilenus left

145
Mellon, LAcadmie de Sedan,192, 198199. Melville wrote: Clara serenati lux orta
a lampade Phbi; / Clarior a Phbi luce, Jacobe, tui. / Temporibus dum picta suis tibi
surgit ab vo / Histori antiqu fabrica structa recens: / Gesta verecundis opulentas
singula dictis; / Qu veri e sacris fontibus hausta refers, / Linguarum et rerum gnarus:
qu gnava vetustas / Prodidit innumeris pne voluminibus / Qu tibi ruspanti cunctis
potiora favissis / Gaza hc tecta diu mente manuque tua est. / Flava triumphato tibi
tempore adorea parta / Gemmea de veri luce corona venit. In the second poem he
wrote: Quo nunc , , / , veterum lecta
virum? / Quem toto nihil orbe latet: qui cognitus orbi / Vera animata loquens
Bibliotheca sibi. / Hc causa hic cur Rex hoc dingus munere tanto, et / Res tanti hc
Regis digna patrocinio? / Quin spe reque ingens, divinaque indole Princeps / Carolus
hoc ultro munere ltus ovat. On Melvilles poetry during this period see: Arthur
Johnston (ed.), Deliti Ptarum Scotorum, Vol. II (Amsterdam, 1637), 7681; McCrie,
Life of Andrew Melville, II, 310; William Duguid Geddes (ed.), Musa Latina Aberdonensis
Arthur Johnston Vol. II The Epigrammata and Remaining Secular Poems (Aberdeen,
1895), 129; Andrew Melville, Viri clarissimi A. Melvini musae et p. Adamsoni vita et pal-
indoia (1620), 35; J. W. Binns, IntellectualCulture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England:
The Latin Writers of the Age (Leeds, 1990), 68.
146
Wodrow, Collections Upon the Lives of the Reformers II:I, 105.
147
Patterson, James I and the Huguenot Synod of Tonneins of 1614, 250.
148
McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II, 281, 304.
149
Wodrow, Collections Upon the Lives of the Reformers II:I, 105.
150
Ibid.,106. Cf. also Daniel Tilenus, De disciplina ecclesiastica brevis et modesta dis-
seratio ad ecclesiam Scoticam (Aberdeen, 1622); Parnesis ad Scotos, Genevensis disci-
plin zelotas (London, 1620).
282 chapter seven

the University, Melville may have contributed to a work entitled Scoti


TOU TUXONTOS paraclesis contra Danielis Tileni Silesii paraenesin,
which was designed to refute his former colleagues defense of the Five
Articles of Perth.151
Shortly after Melville arrived in Sedan, he was confronted with the
fallout of Tilenus teaching at the University.152 A number of students
who disagreed with Tilenus eventually decided to leave Sedan altogether
and to transfer to Saum