Elder, John (fl.1555) (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

ELDER, JOHN (fl. 1555), Scotch writer, a native of Caithness, passed twelve years of his life at the universities of St. Andrews, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, and appears to have entered the ministry. He came to England soon after the death of James V of Scotland in 1542, when he presented to Henry VIII a 'plot' or map of the realm of Scotland, being a description of all the chief towns, castles, and abbeys in each county and shire, with the situation of the principal isles. In an accompanying letter to Henry, Elder is very severe on David Beaton, denouncing him as the pestiferous cardinal, and his bishops as blind and ignorant; in the subscription he styles himself clerk and a 'redshank,' meaning by the latter designation, it is supposed, 'a roughfooted Scot or highlander.' This letter, which is now preserved in the British Museum, Royal MS. 18, A. xxxviii., was printed in vol. i. of the Bannatyne Club 'Miscellany.' In the Record Office is another letter by Elder addressed to Mr. Secretary Paget, and dated from Newcastle, 6 Oct. 1545. It gives an account of the operations of the army under the command of the Earl of Hertford in the invasion of Scotland between 8 and 23 Sept. 1545, minutely detailing their daily proceedings, with a list of the towns burnt each day (Cal. State Papers, Scottish Ser., i. 57). At Mary's accession Elder turned Roman catholic, as appears from his letter addressed to Robert Stuart, bishop of Caithness, 'from the Citie of London... the first... of January, 1555,' which was published as 'The Copie of a Letter sent in to Scotlande of the ariuall and landynge and... marryage of... Philippe, Prynce of Spaine to the Princess Marye Quene of England, solemnisated in the Citie of Winchester... whereunto is added a brefe overture or openyng of the legacion of Cardinall Poole from the Sea Apostolyke of Rome, with the substaunce of his oracyon to the kyng and Quenes Maiestie for the reconcilement of the realme of Englande to the unitie of the Catholyke Churche. With the very copie also of the Supplycaciō exhibited to their highnesses by the three Estates assembled in the parliamente wherein they... haue submitted thēselyes to the Popes Holy 'holynesse,' 8vo, London [1555]. He therewith sent verses and adages written with the hand of Henry Stuart, lord Darnley, the bishop's nephew, within twelve months past, Elder then being with Darnley, who was not full nine years of age, at Temple Newsome, Yorkshire. He also refers to Darnley's noble parents as his singular good patrons. The letter is reprinted in 'The Chronicle of Queen Jane,' Sec. (Camd. Soc.) Elder was not M. A. of either Oxford or Cambridge. The Elder incorporated at Oxford as being M.A. of Cambridge, 30 July 1561 (Wood, Fasti Oxon., ed. Bliss, i. 159), was probably Arthur Elder, who had supplicated for the degree as long ago as 25 June 1556 (Reg. of Univ. of Oxf., Oxf. Hist. Soc, i. 233).

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr., i. 208-9, 653; Casley's Cat. of MSS., p. 274.]

G. G.