1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lithgow, William

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LITHGOW, WILLIAM (1582–? 1650), Scottish traveller and writer, was born and educated in Lanark. He was caught in a love-adventure, mutilated of his ears by the brothers of the lady (hence the sobriquet “Cut-lugged Willie”), and forced to leave Scotland. For nineteen years he travelled, mostly on foot, through Europe, the Levant, Egypt and northern Africa, covering, according to his estimate, over 36,000 m. The story of his adventures may be drawn from The Totall Discourse of the Rare Adventures and painfull Peregrinations of long nineteene Yeares (London, 1614; fuller edition, 1632, &c.); A True and Experimentall Discourse upon the last siege of Breda (London, 1637); and a similar book giving an account of the siege of Newcastle and the battle of Marston Moor (Edinburgh, 1645). He is the author of a Present Surveigh of London (London, 1643). He left six poems, written between 1618 and 1640 (reprinted by Maidment, Edinburgh, 1863). Of these “Scotland’s Welcome to King Charles, 1633” has considerable antiquarian interest. His writing has no literary merit; but its excessively aureate style deserves notice.

The best account of Lithgow and his works is by F. Hindes Groome in the Dict. Nat. Biog. The piece entitled Scotland’s Paraenesis to King Charles II. (1660), ascribed to him in the catalogue of the Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh, cannot, from internal evidence, be his.