Gordon, Patrick (fl.1615-1650) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 22
Gordon, Patrick (fl.1615-1650)

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GORDON, PATRICK (fl. 1615–1650), poet, published in London in 1614, 4to, 'Neptunus Britannicus Corydonis,' a Latin poem, deploring the death of Prince Henry, and congratulating Prince Charles on succeeding his brother as Prince of Wales and the Princess Elizabeth on her marriage with the elector palatine. In 1615 two long narrative poems by 'Patrick Gordon, gent.,' were issued at Dort by George Waters. The first was 'The Famous Valiant Historie of the renouned and valiant Prince Robert, surnamed the Bruce, King of Scotland, &c., and of sundrie other knights both Scots and English, done into heroik verse.' A prose preface and prefatory verse by A. Gordon, Crage, Th. Mitchell, and others, showed much patriotic fervour. The poem, which is of no literary value, was reprinted at Edinburgh in 1718, 12mo, and at Glasgow in 1753. Gordon's second poem was 'The First Booke of the Famous Historye of Penardo and Laissa, otherways callid the Warres of Love and Ambitione … Doone into Heroik verse.' The first editions of these two poems are extremely rare. Only two copies of the 'Penardo' are known to be in existence. One has lately been acquired by the British Museum, where are also copies of the poem on Bruce and the 'Neptunus.'

It is possible that the author is identical with the Patrick Gordon of Ruthven who wrote, about 1650, 'A Shorte Abridgment of Britenes Distemper,' from 1639 to 1649, a prose account of the part played by Scotland in the civil wars. This work was first printed in 1844 for the Spalding Club, under the editorship of John Dunn. The writer was second son of Sir Thomas Gordon of Cluny, Aberdeenshire, by his first wife, Lady Elizabeth, daughter of William Douglas, ninth earl of Angus [q. v.] The father was a devoted adherent of the chief of his clan, George Gordon, sixth earl and first marquis of Huntly [q. v.] Patrick was admitted burgess of Aberdeen on 23 March 1609 at the special request of the first marquis. He married a kinswoman named Murray, daughter of the laird of Cobairdy, by whom he left issue. He was a staunch royalist, and probably wrote his 'Short Abridgment' as a vindication of the Marquis of Huntly, whom he thought Bishop Wishart had used unjustly in his 'Memoirs of Montrose,' issued in 1647. The work is valuable for its firsthand descriptions of both Montrose and Huntly.

[Patrick Gordon's Poetical Works as above; Irving's Lives of the Scottish Poets: Pinkerton's Scottish Poetry; Heber's Cat., ed. Collier, iii. 125; Dunn's Preface to the Short Abridgment of Patrick Gordon of Ruthven, where no mention is made of the earlier poems by 'Patrick Gordon, gent.']