Gardyne, Alexander (DNB00)

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GARDYNE, ALEXANDER (1585?–1634?), Scotch poet, an advocate in Aberdeen, was probably born about 1585, as he was master of arts before 1609, when he produced his ‘Garden of Grave and Godlie Flowers.’ This is a series of sonnets, elegies, and epitaphs, replete with fantastic conceits of thought and style, and including tributes to royalty and various friends, as well as reflective studies on such themes as fickle fortune, the wickedness of the world, and ‘Scotland's Grief on His Majesties going into England.’ Between 1612 and 1625 Gardyne wrote ‘The Theatre of Scotish Kings,’ based on Johnston's ‘Reges Scoti,’ and treating seriatim of the monarchs from Fergus to James VI. His next work, ‘The Theatre of Scotish Worthies,’ has not been preserved. In 1619 appeared a metrical version of Boece's Latin biography of Bishop Elphinstone. Gardyne's other writings consist mainly of commendatory verses prefixed to forgotten authors like Patrick Gordon and Abbakuk Bisset. In 1633 Gardyne and others were sworn before the sheriff principal of Aberdeen ‘to continue as members and ordinar advocats and procurators of this seat.’ Another Alexander Gardyne (or Garden, as the names of both are sometimes given) was professor of philosophy at Aberdeen for some time after this, but he was probably the advocate's son. The death of Alexander Gardyne, the poet, is approximately assigned to 1634.

The ‘Garden’ was printed in small quarto in 1609, by Thomas Finlason, Edinburgh. The ‘Theatre’ was transcribed in 1625, and the copy, now in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, was printed in 1709 by James Watson, Edinburgh. The two works were edited in 1845 by W. Turnbull for the Abbotsford Club, and printed in a royal quarto volume, together with poems by John Lundie, an Aberdeen professor of Latin in Gardyne's time. The introduction includes a biographical disquisition by David Laing.

[Abbotsford Club volume as above; Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen, ii. 166; Irving's Hist. of Scotish Poetry.]

T. B.