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of the corruptions, especially in life and morals, which had erept into the Church, while they were not prepared to take the great leap of the Scotch Reformers.
The University must have declined from the palmy time of its early teachers, when we are first authentically informed of its constitution as reduced to practice. In 1549, Alexander Galloway, Prebendary of Kynkell,1 was Rector of the University for the fourth time, and has left a record of his Rectorial visitation, held in terms of the foundation, which shows us in part the working of the University, and the inner life of the College. There were no lay teachers in the University, and there were evidently very few educating in the College who were not on the foundation, and apparently none who were not preparing for the church, or the practice of the church courts. Bursars of Arts were not admissible unless "mere pauperes," and were all educated and maintained gratis. The teachers were negligent, perhaps from the smallness of their audience. If the Collegiate body was still efficient for the service of the Collegiate Church, its first intention, and for bringing up young churchmen to perform that service, it can have had little reach beyond. The College had sunk into a convent and conventual school; and the design of the University, and the great hopes of its founder and first teachers seemed about to be frustrated.
As yet, there was no alarm felt for the storm which was so near. Although "the spread of heresy" had already drawn the attention of the cathedral chapter, the new opinions are not even alluded to
1 The Rector of Kynkell was a distin. ings of the College and the Bridge of Dee.
guished friend both to the Cathedral and the It was by his care and expense that the
University of Aberdeen. He flourished un- transcripts of the more ancient Church re
der four Bishops—the last four preceding the cords were formed, which are now preserved
Reformation, and was very active in carry- in the University Library, and which have
ing Elpbinstone's and Dunbar's plans into been used for the 'Registram Episcopatus
effect. He took a great interest in the build- Aberdoneusis.'—(Ker'i Donaidet, p. 17.)
in the proceedings of the visitors of the University in 1549, and whatever were the opinions of John Bisset the Principal, it appears that he was not disturbed on account of them.
The masters of the University were first brought to question in the General Assembly of January, 1561, when Knox and the leading Reformers had a sort of disputation or wrangle with the Subprincipal and the Canonist of King's College, without much profit or honour to either party.1
1 Knox's account of the scene, we have in his history. He tells us that, "in that assemble was Maister Alexander Andersone, subprincipall of Abirdene, a man more subtill and craftye then ather learned or godlie, called, who refused to dispute in his fayth, abusing a place of Tertulliane to cloik his ignorance." He gives however, some passages of the colloquy, in which, he having grounded his opponent, the latter answered, "that he was better seane in philosophic then in theologie." "Then," says Knox, "was commanded Maister Johne Leslie, (the Canonist of King's College, afterwards the well known Bishop of Ross) to ansuare to the formore argument: and he with grait gravitie begane to answer—' Yf our Maister have nothing to say to it, I have nothing ; for I know nothing but the Canoun law, and the greatest reasone that ever I could fynd thair 'is Nolumm and Volu. mus.'" (Knox, edit. 1848, //. p. 138.J Wodrow adds—" this, afterward came to be a by-name, whereby Mr. Lesly was known." (Biogr. Col.,p. 25.)
There is, of course, an opposite version, but that is not so curious as the difference we find between Leslie's original narrative written among the witnesses of the affair, and his version adapted to the taste of Rome.
The narrative in the vernacular is very general:—" Thair was causit to compeir
furth of the Universitie of Aberdene Mr. John Leslye, Official of Aberdene, Licentiat in boith the lawis, Mr. Alexander Andersone, principall of the college, professor of theologie, and sindrie utheris; quha compeirit befoir the lordis in the tollbuith at Edinburghe and being inquirit of the articles of doctryne be John Knox, John Willox, and Mr. Guidman, ministers, thair was very sharpe and hard disputacions amangst thame, special lie concerninge the veritie of the body and bluid of Christ in the sacrament and sacrifice of the Messe. Bot nothing was concludit, for that every ane of them remainit constant in thair awin professione, and thairfore these clarkis of Aberdene war commandit to waird in Edinburgh a lang space thaireftir, and that thay shuld not preiche in ony wyis in tymes cumming." p. 293.
The Latin translation gives more of circumstance and colour—" Inter alios itaque ex clero et academia Aberdonensi Edinburgum vocati sunt primarii aliquot viri, pietate ac eruditione insigniores, Johannes Leslaeus, jnr. u. Doctor, primariusque ejusdem dicecesis judex, Officialis dictus, qui paulo postea supreme Curiae Senator, Reginaeque a consiliis, Episcopus Rossensis renunciatus est, Patricks Myrtomus Thesaurarius, Jacobus Straquhinius Canonicus, Alexander Andersonus gravissimus S. Theologise pro
It is superfluous to say that nothing resulted from that conference, which might exasperate, but could not convince. For some years the Lords of the Congregation and the General Assemblies were occupied with more pressing matters; but, in 1569, they found leisure to 'purge' the University of Aberdeen. "Our Generall Assemblys took a particular inspection of the state of Universitys, especially after they had the countenance of the g^od Regent the Earle of Murray. Saint Andrews was pretty soon looked after, and some purgation made under Mr. John Douglas, Rector. That of Glasgow was extremely low every way, till Mr. Andrew Melvil was sent to it. In Aberdeen, a good many of the Popish masters made a shift to continow in their places. Several complaints were made by Mr. Adam Herriot, first minister at Aberdeen. After the Assembly, in the year 1569, commission was given to the Laird of Dun to visit that bounds, and particularly the University, with some others adjoyned to him. In July, the Regent, after he had settled the North and Highlands in peace, came to Aberdeen, and, with the council, joyned with the Superintendant and those in commission with him, and effectually purged that nursery of learning."1 They called before them Mr. Alexander Anderson, now principal, Mr. Alexander Galloway, subprincipal, Mr. Andrew Anderson, Mr. Thomas Owsten, Mr. Duncan Norie,
fessor; qui cum coram multis proceribns in Domo civica sisterentur, atque a Johanne Knoxio, Joan. Villoxio ac Oudmanno Anglo Calvini ministris rogarentur; post rationem fidei a singulis rcdditam, et constantissimam Catholicae rcligionis professionem factam, tandem de Eucharistiae sacrificiique altaris veritate et ritibus, Alexander Andersonus tarn doctc, constanter, et pie respondit, ut catholicos confirmarit, ac haereticos ita perculerit, ut post id tempus, dc gravioribus rcligionis mysteriis cum illo, aut quovis alio catholico, nunquam sectarii in pulrcrem
Toluerint descendere; ergo ea poena his Catholicis professoribus per Proceres irrogata fuit, ne ab urbe diseederent, nec a publicis interea ministrorum concionibus abesse ausi sint; quasi vero mox rbetorculorum lenociniis et verborum fucis a veritate catholica possent abduci, qui rationum pondere, et argumentorum quae intorserant arietibus non modo non commoveri poterant, sed omnibus communi sensu praditis plane superiores esse videbantur. (Edit. 1675, p. 530.)
1 VVodrow's Life of John Erskine of Dun, p. 22.
regents, and required them to subseribe articles approving the Confession of Faith, and adhering to the true kirk; and they, * most obstinately contemning his Grace's most godly admonitions, and refusing to subseribe the articles,' were deprived and removed.1 We have seen that the principal, Alexander Anderson, was highly esteemed by those of his own persuasion. He is said, on insufficient authority, to have dilapidated the University and College, wishing that they should perish rather than breed heresy.2 On the other hand, the tradition of the College records a cause of gratitude to him which will not be disputed. When the mob from the Mearns, who had torn the lead from the Cathedral roof, were gathered with the same intention against the College buildings, the Principal resisted, and was fortunate enough to resist successfully.? We learn nothing of him, after his deprivation, but his death in 1577, "excommunicatt contrayr the religione and at the kyngis horne."4
"Upon the purging of the College," says Wodrow, "Mr. James
1 The formal sentence of deprivation is dated ult. June, 1569.—Books of the Kirk, p. 142.
* Sacris Romanis perdite addictus erat; vir ceteroquin doctns et probus: cumque animo praecepisset gymnasium novorum sacrorum seminarium futurum si superesset, omni ope annixus est ut serum desineret. Supellectilem pretiosissimam abalienavit et intervertit, fundos et decimas damnosis infeodationibus et elocationibus prodegit; academiae, archiva tabularia censuales et diplomata seu chartas quas vocant quantum in ipso fuit, suppressit et celavit, omnem denique rem nostram, prope erat, delapidavit et decoxit. —And. Strachani Panepyricus inaugurcdis. Aberdoniis, Edwardus Mabanus, 1631, p. 26.
Of Anderson's wilful dilapidation there is no evidence. The present collection from
the University Archives, of itself, disproves part of what is laid to his charge, and as he lived for some time, without being called to account for embezzlement, though under church censure and 'at the King's horn,' we may indulge the hope that a man so respected was not a common plunderer.
'Alexander Andersonns ultimus Collegii Regii Principalis ante instauratam religionem, cum plebs Merniensis ecclesiam cathedralem Aberdonensem tecto plumbeo spoliatam diripuisset, et continuo ad templum Collegii Regii reliquasque aedes Musis sacratas diripiendas devolaret, forti manu vim vi repellere nititur; audacem fortuna juvante, integra et intacta hue usque manent augusta Musarum tecta.—Donauies, Auct. Joanne Ker, 1725, p. 17.
4 Cullen's Obituary, Spald. Mue. II., 44. Lowson was made subprincipal, and Mr. Alexander Arbuthnot, and many other shining lights in this church, taught in that University."1
We know not the fate of the teachers outed at the Reformation. They were mostly in church orders. Some may have found shelter among the great families who still adhered to the old faith: others probably sought employment among the bands of Scotch scholars, who were already numerous in all the continental Universities. Indeed, long before the definite era of the Reformation, the disturbed state of the country, and the tumult in men's minds, had rendered Scotland no country for philosophical education. There was more pressing work to do, before the attention of the Reformers could be cast so far forward, or devoted to the peaceful and unexciting business of training a new generation. If the civil power, and still more, if churchmen in power (of either party) interfered, it was generally to pull down rather than to build up—to persecute a popular adversary rather than to encourage an orthodox teacher.
Even this state of public affairs and of public feeling will not, of itself, account for the remarkable state of the Scotch scholar life of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The want of employment, the insecurity, the poverty at home, only in part explain the erowd of expatriated Scotchmen, who were, during those centuries, teaching science and letters in every school of Europe. There was something in it of the adventurous spirit of the country—something of the same knight-errantry which led their unlettered brothers to take service wherever a gallant captain gave hope of distinction and prize money. It was not enough for one of those peripatetic scholars to find a comfortable niche in a University, where he might teach and gain friends and some money for his old age. The whole fraternity was inconceivably