Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/79

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SIR DAVID LINDSAY. 449


Scotland, although in what part of the country seems not to be known, the earliest information obtained as to his locality being of the year 1612, when he subscribed at Kdinburgh a deed of settlement, mortifying certain lands in the neighbourhood of Aberdeen, for the support of six bursars in Marischal college. The magistrates of Aberdeen were appointed trustees for the application of the fund, and according to a not unusual practice, the curse of God was denounced against any one who should abuse or misapply it. 3 By a settlement dated the 9th December, 1613, he confirmed the previous donation, and left for the es- tablishment of a professorship of mathematics in Marischal college the sum of 6000 merks, which was afterwards profitably laid out on land by the trustees. To the same institution he left his books and instruments. This may be con- sidered the last performance of his active life, for he died eight days after its date, on the 17th of December, 1613. He was buried in the church of St Nicholas in Aberdeen, where a tablet of brass, on which his portrait has been boldly and expressively engraved by an artist at Antwerp, was erected to his memory. He is likewise commemorated by a small obelisk erected in the lands of Pitmedden, near Aberdeen the same which he mortified for the support of bursars. Dying unmarried, the children of a brother and sister inherited his property, and one of the former succeeded Dr William Johnston (brother to Arthur the poet) in the mathematical chair which Dr Liddel had founded.

Besides the literary efforts already mentioned, a posthumous work by Liddal was published at Hamburg in 1628, entitled " Tractatus de dente aureo;" be- ing an answer to a Tractate by Jacobus Horstius, who had maintained the verity of a fable, which bore that a boy of Silesia who had lost a tooth, received from nature, in return, one of pure gold. The circumstance was considered an omen to encourage the Germans in their wars with the Turks, and predicative of the downfall of the Mahometan faith. The subject can be interesting only to those who study the extent of human credulity.

LINDSAY, (Sin) DAVID, a celebrated Scottish poet of the sixteenth century, was born about the year 1490. He is distinguished by the title " of the Mount," from the name of his family seat near Cupar in Fife, and which is presumed, though not certainly known, to have been also the place of his birth. The early part of his education he received at Cupar, the after part of it at St Andrews, to which he removed in 1505. Here he remained till 1509. From this period till 1512, there is a hiatus in his history, and it is not known how the intermediate space was employed. In that year, however, he is found to be in attendance upon the young prince, afterwards James V., who was born on the 10th of April, 1512. The particular nature of his appointment, on first set- tling at court, cannot be ascertained ; but it does not appear to have been of a very dignified description. His attendance on the infant monarch seems also to have been divided with the royal parent James IV., on whom he is found wait- ing as a special servant, on the remarkable occasion of the feigned spectre's ap- pearance before that prince in the chapel of Linlithgow in 1513. Lindsay stood close beside the king during the whole of that extraordinary scene, and ac- cording to his namesake, the historian, declared that he, along with the other servants in attendance, made several ineffectual attempts to take hold of the ghostly intruder.

The death of James IV., which took place soon after, does not appear to have affected Lindsay's situation at court He still continued his attendance on the young prince, and this in rather a singular capacity, considering the respecta.

  • In a minute of the council Records of Aberdeen, of date 6th December, 1638, it is or-

dained that Dr Liddel's bursars shall wear a black bonnet and a black gown, both in the col- lege and in the street, conform to the will of the mortifier, under the pain of deprivation.

III. 3 I