Blair, John (fl.1300) (DNB00)
|←Blair, James Hunter||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 05
Blair, John (fl.1300)
|Blair, John (d.1782)→|
BLAIR, JOHN (fl. 1300), chaplain of Sir William Wallace, was a native of Fife, and is said to have been educated at Dundee in the same school with Wallace. After continuing his studies at the university of Paris he entered holy orders, and under the name of Arnoldus became a monk of the order of St. Benedict at Dunfermline. When Wallace became governor of the kingdom, Blair was appointed his chaplain. According to Henry the Minstrel, Blair, along with Thomas Gray, parson of Liberian, ‘oft one, oft both,’ accompanied Wallace in almost all ‘his travels,’ and one or the other kept a record of his achievements. From these notes Blair ‘compiled in dyte the Latin book of Wallace life,’ from which Henry the Minstrel professed to derive the principal materials for his poem on the ‘Acts and Deeds of Sir William WaHace.’ The work of Blair is supposed to have been written in 1327. A professed fragment of it from a manuscript in the Cottonian Library was published with notes by Sir Robert Sibhald in 1705 under the title ‘Relationes quaedam Arnoldi Blair. Monachi de Dumfermelem et Capellani D. Gulielmi Wallas militis,’ 1327, and was also reprinted along with the poem of Henry the Minstrel in 1758. These so-called ‘Relationes’ are, however, nothing more than a plagiarism from the ‘Scotichronicon.' He is said to have been also the author of a work entitled ‘De liberata tyrannide Scotia,' which is now lost.
[The Acts and Deeds of Sir William Wallace, by Henry the Minstrel, especially Book V., chap. i, lines 525-50; Dempster's Hist. Eccl. Scot. Gent. (1627), p. 86; Mackenzie's Writers of the Scots Nation, i. 247-S, 264; Ross's Scottish History and Literature (l884), p. 60.]