Lives of
Scottish Poets
edited by
DAVID HILL RADCLIFFE

Center for Applied Technologies
in the Humanities


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Literary Chronicle
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Notes and Queries
Gibson and Laing
Halkett and Laing
Scottish Notes & Queries

Part I. (Volume I.)
Front-matter
James the First
Thomas the Rhymer
John Barbour
Andrew Wyntoun
Gavin Douglas
Allan Ramsay
William Meston
John Home
James Beattie
Robert Burns

Part II. (Volume I.)
Front-matter
James the Fifth
William Dunbar
Sir James Inglis
Henry the Minstrel
Sir David Lyndsay
Alexander Barclay
Alexander Montgomerie
William Alexander
William Drummond
James Thomson
John Oswald

Part III. (Volume II.)
Front-matter
James the Sixth
Sir Richard Maitland
Arthur Johnston
Hamilton of Bangour
Hamilton of Gilbertfield
Samuel Colvil
Alexander Ross
John Armstrong
John Ogilvie
James Macpherson
Charles Salmon

Part IV. (Volume II.)
Front-matter
Alexander Hume
John Bellenden
Mark Alexander Boyd
Ninian Paterson
William Wilkie
Robert Fergusson
William Julius Mickle
Alexander Geddes
James Grahame

Part V. (Volume III.)
Front-matter
Robert Henryson
Alexander Scott
Walter Kennedy
John Ogilby
Alexander Pennecuik
Alexander Cunningham
David Mallet
William Falconer
Francis Garden
Robert Blair
James Moor
James Graeme
Caleb Whitefoord
James Grainger
Hector Macneill
John Wilson

Part VI. (Volume III.)
Front-matter
Robert Kerr
Richard Lord Maitland
Thomas Hamilton
Charles Hamilton
Michael Bruce
Thomas Blacklock
John Logan
Andrew Macdonald
James Mercer

Appendix. (Volume III.)
James I
Allan Ramsay
John Home
Robert Burns
William Drummond
Robert Fergusson
Alexander Scott
John Wilson
Index
Corrections

Part  VI:
Supplement
104LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.
1

  Blair, John, [note] the chaplain of the renowned Sir William Wallace, [note] was a monk of the order of St. Benedict. From a history of Wallace, written jointly by him and one Thomas Gray, [note] in Latin verse, Henry the Minstrel professed to have chiefly derived the materials of his vernacular version; but it is not certain, that any part of that history is now extant. In 1707, Sir Robert Sibbald [note] published a fragment, which his friend, Sir James Balfour, had found in the Cottonian library, entitled “Relationes qædam Arnaldi Blair Monachi de Dunfermlen et Capellani P. Willielmi Wallas Militis;” and this he conjectures to have been part of the work referred to by Henry the Minstrel. Sir Robert accounts for the difference in the Christian name, given to the writer of these Memoirs, by supposing, that, after the death of Wallace, John Blair found it prudent to change his name to Arnald. John must have been a simple monk truly, to expect to escape detection by so slight a disguise; more especially, if what other writers relate be true, that he had the courage to shew
POETS — SUPPLEMENT.105
himself on the scaffold with Wallace, and to assist him in his dying moments.—But both accounts are equally improbable. Either the addition “et Capellani D. Willielmi Wallas Militis” is spurious, or we must conclude that Arnald, and not John, was, from the first, the real name of Wallace's chaplain. And if Arnald Blair was the name, his merit, as an historian of the achievements of the champion of Scottish freedom, vanishes at once; for, according to Dr. Irving,
[note] the “relations ascribed to Arnald Blair merely consist of indigested transcripts from the Scotichronicon.”

2

Dempster says, that John Blair was also the author of a work De Liberata Tyrannide Scotia; but as no such production is extant or mentioned by any second author, it may be safely ranked with the many other imaginary works with which that biographical romancer was pleased to enrich the literature of his native country.