Henryson, Edward (DNB00)

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HENRYSON, EDWARD (1510?–1590?), Scottish judge, was born about 1510. He studied Roman law at the university of Bourges, where he graduated. His professor was Equinar Baron, a well-known jurist, to whom he became much attached, and by whom he was introduced to Ulric Fugger of Kirchberg and Weissenhome in the Tyrol, an ardent collector of books and ancient manuscripts, who gave him a pension, and in whose house he found a home and a congenial occupation in collecting and translating classical texts. He there translated into Latin the commentary of Plutarch on the stoic philosophy, which was published at Leyden in 1555. It is a small duodecimo volume with an appendix containing emendations of doubtful readings in the original Greek text. He is also said to have translated the ‘Enchiridion’ of Epictetus and the ‘Commentaries’ of Arrian, neither of which was published. In 1552 he returned to Scotland, and appears to have practised for a short time as an advocate in Edinburgh. Having again returned to the continent, he was in 1554 elected professor of Roman law in the university of Bourges. About this time a treatise published by Baron on the law of jurisdiction was attacked by the jurist Govea. Henryson wrote a Latin reply in defence of Baron, dedicated to Fugger. In 1555 he published another work on Roman law, ‘Commentatio in Tit. x. Libri Secundi Institutionum de Testamentis Ordinandis,’ which was dedicated to Michael de l'Hôpital, chancellor of France. Both these works are included in Meerman's ‘Thesaurus.’ Henryson received high praise from writers on Roman law on the continent. Dempster calls him ‘Solis Papinanis in juris cognitione inferior,’ and adds that Henryson was remembered fifty years after in the university of Bourges as a man in the highest degree versed in classical literature.

Having resigned his professorship at Bourges he returned to Scotland, where in 1557 he was appointed counsel for the poor. In 1563 he was named to the office of commissary, and three years after he became an extraordinary lord of session. In 1566 he was named one of a commission to revise, correct, and print the laws and acts of parliament from 1424 to 1564. The work was completed in about six months. Henryson was the ostensible editor, and wrote the preface to it. He obtained an exclusive privilege to print and dispose of the work for a period of ten years from the date of publication. In 1573 he was one of the procurators for the church. In 1579 Lord Forbes petitioned parliament that Henryson might be appointed one of the commissioners for settling the disputes between the Forbes and the Gordons. He married Helen Swinton, eldest daughter of John Swinton of Swinton, and had two sons and a daughter. He died about 1590. His son Thomas is separately noticed.

[Dempster's Hist. Eccles. Gent. Scot.; Meerman's Thesaurus Juris Civilis et Canonici, vol. iii.; Henryson's Plutarchi Commentarium Stoicorum Contrariorum, Leyden, 1555; Brunton and Haig's Hist. of Coll. of Justice.

J. G. F.