1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wyntoun, Andrew of

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WYNTOUN, ANDREW OF (?1350-?1420), author of a long metrical history of Scotland, called the Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, was a canon regular of St Andrews, and prior of St Serf's in Lochleven. He wrote the Chronicle at the request of his patron, Sir John of Wemyss, whose representative, Mr Erskine Wemyss of Wemyss Castle, Fifeshire, possesses the oldest extant MS. of the work. The subject is the history of Scotland from the mythical period (hence the epithet "original") down to the accession of James I. in 1406. The earlier books are of no historical value, but the later have in all outstanding matters stood the test of comparison with contemporary records. The philological interest is great, for few works of this date, and no other of like magnitude, are extant in the vernacular.

The text is preserved in eight MSS., of which three are in the British Museum, the Royal (17 D xx.), the Cottonian (Nero D. xi.) and the Lansdowne (197); two in the Advocates' library, Edinburgh (19, 2, 3 and 19, 2, 4), one at Wemyss Castle (u.s.); one in the university library at St Andrews, and one, formerly in the possession of the Boswells of Auchinleck, now the property of Mr John Ferguson, Duns, Berwickshire. The first edition of the Chronicle (based on the Royal MS.) was published by David Macpherson in 1795; the second by David Laing, in the series of "Scottish Historians" (Edin., 1872). Both are superseded by the elaborate edition by Mr Amours for the Scottish Text Society (1906).