The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume III. Renascence and Reformation.

VII. Reformation and Renascence in Scotland



Eyre-Todd, G. Scottish Poetry of the Sixteenth Century. Glasgow, 1892. This book is meant as a popular introduction of its subject.

Henderson, T. F. Scottish Vernacular Literature. A succinct history. 1898.

Irving, D. The Lives of the Scottish Poets, with Dissertations on the Literary History of Scotland. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1804.

—— Lives of the Scottish Writers. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1839.

—— The History of Scottish Poetry. Ed. Carlyle, T. L. Edinburgh, 1861.

The literary criticism in Irving’s books in antiquated, but they are valuable for the facts they contain.

Millar, J. H. A Literary History of Scotland. 1903.

Ross, J. M. Scottish History and Literature to the Period of the Reformation. Glasgow, 1884. This work was left unfinished by its author.

Walker, H. Three Centuries of Scottish Literature. 2 vols. Glasgow, 1893. Treats Buchanan and Knox at considerable length.


Alane (Alesius), Alexander. Alexandri Alesii Epistola contra decretum quoddam Episcopor in Scotia, quod prohibet legere No[char]i Testamenti libros lingua vernacula. (No place nor date on title-page, but at the end of the book the date M.D.XXXIII is given. In Cooper’s Athenae Cantabrigienses (1. 239,) 1542 and 1543 are given as the dates of other editions.)

—— Alexandri Alesii Scoti Responsio ad Cochlaei Calumnias. (No date nor place.)

—— Cohortatio ad concordiam pietatis ac doctrinae christianae defensionem. Leipzig, 1544.

—— Edinburghi Regiae Scotorum Urbis Descriptio. (Contributed to Sebastian Munster’s Cosmographia. Basel, 1550.)

Bibliographies of Alane are given by Ward, A. W., article on Alesius in D. of N. B., and by Hay Fleming in A. F. Mitchell’s The Scottish Reformation, Its Epochs, Episodes, Leaders and Distinctive Characteristics, 1900.

Later authorities on Alane; M’Crie, T., Life of John Knox, vol. 1, note 1; Lorimer, P., The Scottish Reformation: A Historical Sketch, London and Glasgow, 1860; Precursors of Knox, or Memoirs of Patrick Hamilton, Alexander Alane or Alesius, and Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, 1857.

Bannatyne, Richard. Memorials of Transactions in Scotland, M.D.LXIXM.D.LXXIII. Ed. Pitcairn, E. R. Bannatyne Club. Edinburgh, 1836.

Bellenden, John. Croniklis of Scotland with the cosmography and dyscription thairof. Compilit be the noble clerk maister Hector Boece, channoun of Aberdene. Translatit laitly in our vulgar and common language be maister John Bellenden, Archdene of Murray, and Imprentit in Edinburgh be me, Thomas Davidson, prentar to the Kyngis nobyll grace. 1535 (?). 2 vols. Bannatyne Club. Edinburgh, 1821.

Birrell, Robert. The Diary of R. B., containing divers passages of staite and other memorable accidents. From the 1532 [char]eir of our redemption till ye beginning of the [char]eir 1605. Contained in J. G. Dalyell’s Fragments of Scottish History. Edinburgh, 1809. Extracts, Edinburgh, 1820.

Boethius (Boece), Hector. Scotorum Historia. Paris, 1526, 1574 (?). Bellenden’s translation is noted above.

—— Episcoporum Murthlacensium et Aberdonensium Vitae. Paris, 1522. Reprinted for the Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh, 1825, and edited and translated by Moir, J., for the New Spalding Club, Aberdeen, 1894.

—— In Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotlande and Irlande. 2 vols. Fol. 1577. The greater part dealing with Scotland is taken from Boece’s History. It was from Boece, therefore, that Shakespeare got the local colour for Macbeth. Boece’s History was translated into French by Nicholas D’Arfeville, cosmographer to Henri II, and obtained wide currency on the Continent.

Buchanan, George. Rudimenta grammatices Thomae Linacri ex Anglico sermone in Latinum versa interprete Georgio Buchanano. Paris, 1533.

—— Medea Euripidis poetae tragici Georgio Buchanano interprete. Paris, 1566.

—— Jephthes, sive Votum, tragedia. Auctore Greorgio Buchanano Scoto. Paris, 1544. Translated by A. Gordon Mitchell. Paisley, 1903.

—— Psalmorum Da&ucheck;idis paraphrasis poetica, nunc primum edita, authore Georgio Buchanano, Scoto, nostri saeculi facile principe. Paris. Robert Estienne. [No date.] The Estiennes published a second edition in 1566. About thirty editions appeared during the 16th century, and during the 17th and 18th it was frequently reprinted.

—— Georgii Buchanani Scoti Franciscanus. Varia ejusdem authoris poemata. 1566. (Probably printed at Paris.)

—— Georgii Buchanani Scoti, poëtarum nostri saeculi facilè principis, Elegiarum Liber 1, Sylvarum Liber 1, Endecasyllabon Liber 1. Paris, 1567.

—— Georgii Buchanani Scoti Franciscanus et Fratres. Elegiarum liber 1, Silvarum liber 1, Hendecasyllabon liber 1, Epigrammaton libri III, De Sphaera fragmentum. G[eneva], 1584.

—— De Maria Scotorum regina, totáque ejus contra Regem conjuratione fœdo cum Bothuelio adulterio, nefaria in maritum crudelitate et rabie, horrendo insuper et deterrimo ejusdem parricidio; plena et tragica planè historia. (No date or place, but probably printed by John Day, before November, 1571.)

Buchanan, George. Ane detectioun of the duinges of Marie Quene of Scottes, touchand the murder of hir husband, and hir conspiracie, adulterie and pretensed mariage with the Erle Bothwell: and ane Defence of the trew Lordis, mainteineris of the Kingis Graces actioun and authoritie. Translated out of the Latine quhilke was written by G. B. (Probably printed by John Day, November, 1571.)

—— The Chamaeleon: or the Crafty Statesman: describ’d in the Character of Mr. Maitland of Lethington, Secretary of Scotland. 1710. The original MS. of the Chamaeleon is in the Cotton Library, and bears the date 1570.

—— Ane admonitioun direct to the trew Lordis maintenaris of justice and obedience to the Kingis grace. Stirling, 1571.

—— De Jure Regni apud Scotos, dialogus, authore Georgio Buchanano Scoto. Edinburgh, 1579.

Collected editions of Buchanan’s Works: Opera Omnia, ad optimorum codicum fidem summo studio recognita et castigata … curante Thoma Rudimanno, Edinburgh, 1715; Opera omnia … cum indicibus memorabilium, et praefatione Petri Burmanni, Leyden, 1725, this is a revised edition of Ruddiman; Vernacular Writings of George Buchanan, ed. Brown, P. Hume, Scot. Text Soc., Edinburgh, 1892.

Works on Buchanan: Irving, D., Memoirs of the Life and Writings of George Buchanan, 2nd ed., Edinburgh, 1817; Brown, P. Hume, George Buchanan, Humanist and Reformer, Edinburgh, 1890; George Buchanan, Glasgow Quatercentenary Studies, Glasgow, 1907; Henriquez, J. C., George Buchanan in the Lisbon Inquisition: the records of his trial with a translation of some of the papers, and an introduction, Lisbon, 1906; George Buchanan, A Memorial, 1506–1906, Contributions by various writers, compiled and edited by Millar, D. A., St. Andrews, [1907]; George Buchanan, a biography by Macmillan, D. Edinburgh, 1906.

A complete bibliography of Buchanan will be found in A Catalogue of Printed Books, Manuscripts, and other Documents relating to George Buchanan, prepared by David Murray, Glasgow, 1906. See also the chapter entitled The Writings of George Buchanan in George Buchanan, A Memorial, St. Andrews, 1907.

Complaynt of Scotland. The Complaynt of Scotland, vyth ane Exortatione to the three Estaits, to be vigilante on the Diffens of their Public Veil. Paris (?), 1549 (?). With a preliminary dissertation and glossary [by J. Leyden]. Edinburgh, 1801. Re-edited by Murray, J. A. H. E. E. T. S. 1872.

—— Critiques by … D. Herd and others upon the new edition of “The Complaynt of Scotland,” with observations in answer … by the editor, Dr J. Leyden. Edinburgh, 1829.

For the dependence of the author of the Complaynt on Alain Chartier see article by Neilson, W. A., in Journal of Germanic Philology, vol. 1, p. 411; and for his plagiarism from St. Gelais see article by Craigie, W. A., in the Modern Quarterly of Language and Literature, vol. 1, p. 267.

Craig, John (1512?–1600). Short Summe of the Whole Catechisme. 1581. Ed. Law, T. G. Edinburgh, 1883.

Diurnal of Remarkable Occurrents that have passed within the Country of Scotland since the Death of King James the Fourth till the year M.D.LXXV. from a manuscript in the possession of Sir John Maxwell of Pollock, Baronet. Maitland Club. Edinburgh, 1833. Published by the Bannatyne Club the same year.

Davidson, John. Poetical Remains: with a Biographical Account of the Author and various Illustrative Papers. Ed. Maidment, J. Edinburgh, 1829.

—— Satirical Poems of the Time of the Reformation. Ed. Cranstoun, J. Scot. Text Soc. Edinburgh, 1891–3.

—— Rogers, C. Three Scottish Reformers … with their Poetical Remains and Mr Davidson’s “Helps for young scholars in Christ.” 1874.

Gude and Godlie Ballatis. The haill hundreth and Fyftie Psalmes of David, in Inglis meter, be Thomas Sternholde. Wyth utheris diveris Poyetis, quhilk completis the haill Psalmes. As efter followis of the best Interpretouris. Edinburgh, 1567. Other early editions appeared in 1576, 1600, and 1621. Ed. Laing, D. Edinburgh, 1868.

—— A Compendious Book of Godly and Spiritual Songs commonly known as “The Gude and Godlie Ballatis” reprinted from the edition of 1567. Ed. Mitchell, A. F. Scot. Text Soc. Edinburgh and London, 1897. This edition contains a bibliography of the Ballads. Regarding the indebtedness of the authors of the Ballads to German sources see Herford’s Studies on the Literary Relations of England and Germany in the Sixteenth Century, Cambridge, 1886, and Mitchell’s comments on the book, pp. cxiv ff. of his edition of the Ballads.

Hamilton, John, archbishop. The Catechism of John Hamilton, archbishop of St. Andrews. 1552. Edited, with Introduction and Glossary by Law, T. G., with a Preface by Gladstone, W. E. Oxford, 1884. (The work known as Hamilton’s Catechism was promulgated by a Provincial Council held under his presidency. The first edition was printed in black-letter at St. Andrews in 1552.)

Hamilton, Patrick. A Brieff Treatise of Patricke Hamelton, called Patrike’s Places, translated into English by John Frith; with the Epistle of the sayd Frith prefixed before the same, as followeth. (The Treatise appears in D. Laing’s edition of John Knox’s works, vol. 1, pp. 19–35). Cf. John Foxe, Actes and Monumentis of matters most speciall and memorable, happening in the Church, etc., vol. II, pp. 887–895, ed. 1610.

Historie and Life of King James the Sext; being the Account of the Affairs of Scotland from the year 1566 to the year 1596, with a continuation to the year 1617. Bannatyne Club. Edinburgh, 1825.

Kennedy, Quintin. An account of Kennedy, with the titles of his works (too voluminous to be reproduced here) will be found in D. Laing’s edition of Knox’s Works, vol. VI, pp. 149–220. Laing has there printed the Reasonying between Knox and Kennedy. See, also, Charters of the Abbey of Crossraguel printed for the Ayrshire and Galloway Archaeological Association, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1886. Kennedy was Abbot of Crossraguel.

Kirkcaldy, Sir William, of Grange. Poems attributed to Kirkcaldy will be found in Sir J. G. Dalyell’s Scottish Poems of the 16th century, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1801; and in Satirical Poems of the Time of the Reformation, ed. Cranstoun, J. (Scot. Text Soc.), 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1891–3. See, also, J. Grant’s Memoirs and Adventures of Sir William Kirkcaldy of Grange, Edinburgh, 1849; and L. Barbé’s Kirkcaldy of Grange, Edinburgh, 1897.

Knox, John. The Copie of a letter sent to the ladye Mary dowagire, Regent of Scotland by John Knox in the yeare 1556. There is also a notable sermon, made by the sayde John Knox, wherein is evydentlye proved that the masse is and alwayes hath ben abhominable before God and Idolatrye. Scrutamini Scripturas. [No date.]

—— A Confessioun and declarati of praiers added therunto by Jhon Knox, minister of Christes most sacred Evangely, upon the death of that most verteous and moste famous King Edward the VI kynge of Englande and Imprinted in Rome, before the Castel of S. A[char]ngel at the signe of Sainct Peter. In the moneth of July in the yeare of our Lorde 1554.

—— The Expositioun uppon the syxt Psalme of David, wherein is declared hys cross, complayntes and praiers. [No date.] Another edition of this work was printed under a different title by Thomas Dawson. 1580.

—— A Comfortable Epistell sente to the afflicted church of Chryst, exhortyng th to beare his crosse wyth patice etc. Wrytten by the man of God. J. K. [No date.]

—— A faythfull admonitioun made by Joh&nmacr; Knox, unto the professors of God’s truth in England etc. The colophon is: Imprynted at Kalykow the 20 daye of Julij 1554.

—— A brieff discours off the troubles begonne at Franckford in Germany Anno Domini 1554 Abowte the Booke of common praier and ceremonies etc. M.D.LXXV.

—— The first blast of the trumpet against the monstruous regiment of women. Veritas temporis filia. M.D.LVIII.

—— An answer to a great nomber of blasphemous cavillations written by an Anabaptist, and adversarie to Gods eternal Predestination and confuted by John Knox, minister of Gods worde in Scotland. Printed by John Crespin. M.D.L.X.

—— The Historie of the reformatioun of religioun within the realm of Scotland. 1586. [Imperfect.] Ed. David Buchanan. 1644 Ed. Matthew Crawford. Edinburgh, 1732.

The only complete edition of Knox’s works is that of Laing, D., 6 vols., Edinburgh, 1846–64. A bibliography is attached to each separate work.

Works on John Knox: M’Crie, T., The Life of John Knox containing illustrations of the History of the Reformation in Scotland, etc., Edinburgh, 1811; Brown, P. Hume, John Knox, A Biography, 2 vols., 1895; Lang, A., John Knox and the Reformation, 1905. See also Stevenson, R. L., in Men and Books, 1882.

Kyllour, Friar. The only mention of Kyllour is to be found in Knox’s Historie of the Reformatioun (ed. Laing, 1, 62). Knox ascribes to him a Historye of Christis Passioun in forme of a play. Calderwood (Historie of the Kirk of Scotland, 1, 124, ed. 1842–9) only follows Knox.

Leslie, John, bishop. De Origine, Moribus, et Rebus Gestis Scotorum. Libri decem. Authore Joanne Leslaeo Scoto, Episcopo Rossensi. Rome, 1578.

—— The History of Scotland from the death of King James I in the year M.CCCC.XXXVI to the year M.D.LXI by John Lesley, Bishop of Ross. Bannatyne Club. Edinburgh, 1830.

—— The Historie of Scotland wrytten first in Latin by the most reverend and worthy Jhone Leslie bishop of Rosse and translated by Father James Dalrymple. Ed. Cody, E. G. 2 vols. Scot. Text Soc. Edinburgh and London. 1888–95.

Lindsay, Robert, of Pitscottie. The History of Scotland from 21 February, 1436, to March, 1565. In which are contained Accounts of many remarkable passages altogether differing from our other Historians etc., by Robert Lindesay of Pitscottie. Done from the most authentick and most correct Manuscripts. Edinburgh, 1728. In this first edition the text is modernised.

—— The Historie and Cronicles of Scotland from the Slaughter of King James the First to the one thousunde fiyve hundreith thrie scoir fyftein [char]eir. Written and collected by Robert Lindesay of Pitscottie. Ed. Mackay, Æ. J. G. Scot. Text Soc. Edinburgh and London, 1899. This edition follows “two of the oldest Manuscripts.”

Maitland, Sir John, of Thirlstane. Poems attributed to Maitland will be found in the following collections: Sir Richard Maitland of Lethingtoun’s Manuscript Collection of Poems, 1555–86, in the Pepysian Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge, Fol. MS., p. 357; Ancient Scottish Poems never before in print, but now published from the MS. Collections of Sir Richard Maitland, ed. John Pinkerton, 2 vols., 1786; The Poems of Sir Richard Maitland, Knight, with an Appendix of Selections from the Poems of Sir John Maitland, Lord Thirlestane and of Thomas Maitland, edited from the Drummond MS. in the Library of the University of Edinburgh, Maitland Club, Glasgow, 1830; The Sempill Ballatis, edited and published by Thomas George Stevenson, Edinburgh, 1872; Satirical Poems of the Time of the Reformation, ed. Cranstoun, J., Scot. Text Soc., 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1891–3.

Major, John. Historia Majoris Britanniae. Paris, 1521. Rptd. by Freebairn. Edinburgh, 1740. Eng. trans. by Constable, A., with a bibliography by Law, T. G. Scot. Hist. Soc. Edinburgh, 1891.

Melville, Sir James, of Halhill. Memoirs … containing an account of … affairs of state … relating to the kingdoms of England and Scotland under the reigns of Queen Elizabeth, Mary, Queen of Scots, and King James. 1683. Ed. from original MS. by Thomson, T. Bannatyne Club. Edinburgh, 1827.

Melville, James, minister of Kilrenny. Diary. 1556–1601. Bannatyne Club. Edinburgh, 1829.

Moysie, David. Memoirs of the affairs of Scotland; containing an … account of the most remarkable transactions in that kingdom, 1577–1603 …, together with a discourse of the conspiracy of the Earl of Gowrie. Edinburgh, 1755. Bannatyne Club. Edinburgh, 1830.

Sadler, Sir Ralph (1507–87). State Papers. Ed. Scott, Sir Walter. 2 vols. 1809.

Sempill, Robert. The Evergreen: A Collection of Scots Poems wrote by the Ingenious before 1600. By Allan Ramsay. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1724. Reprinted 1876. Ramsay gives three poems by Sempill from the Bannatyne MS.

—— The Sempill Ballates. Ed. Stevenson, T. G. Edinburgh, 1872. This collection contains all Sempill’s pieces which appear in the Bannatyne MS., but many are erroneously assigned to him.

—— Satirical Poems of the Time of the Restoration. Ed. Cranstoun, J. Twelve poems in this collection are assigned to Sempill.

Winzet, Ninian. Certane tractatis for Reformatioun of Doctryne and Maneris, set furth at the desyre, d in ye name of ye afflictit Catholikis, of inferiour ordour of Clergie, and layit men in Scotland, be Niniane Winzet, ane Catholike Preist borne in Renfrew. Edinburgh, 21 May, 1562.

—— Certane Tractates together with the book of fourscore three questions and a translation of Vincentius Lerinensis by Ninian Winzet. Ed. Hewison, J. K. 2 vols. Scot. Text Soc. Edinburgh, 1888. (This edition contains a full bibliography of Winzet in vol. 1, pp. lxxix ff.)

[The chapter on the Anglican settlement and the Scottish reformation, in vol. II of The Cambridge Modern History, by Maitland, F. W., and the bibliography attached to that chapter should be consulted. Useful bibliographies will also be found in P. Hume Brown’s History of Scotland, vols. 1 and II, Cambridge, 1902, 1905. The antiquary will find the works of Cosmo Innes of considerable interest and also P. Hume Brown’s Scotland before 1700 (1893) and Early Travellers in Scotland (1891). A. R. W.]