In these Notes reference is made to the following Stirnet online genealogical Web pages (subscription required). It should be noted that these various Stirnet - and other published genealogies! - are not always complete, e.g. Dunbar’s grandmother, Jonet Mure of Rowallan, named in stirnet Dunbar03, is simply absent from stirnet Mure01; nor do they always tally, e.g. stirnet Hannay temporary file claims that a Margaret Hannay married Sir Alexander Stewart of Garlies, whereas Stirnet Stewart05 says he married Margaret Dunbar of Clugstone):


Dunbar 02
Dunbar 03
Hannay temporary
MacDowall 02



spacerSERENISSIMO ET POTENTISSIMO IACOBO The reference is to a line in Pindar’s Nemean Ode viii.21, ὄψον δὲ λόγοι φθονεροῖσιν, which has been translated (by Sir Richard Francis Burton) “In words find the envious their dainties.”

spacerAD IACOBUM MAGNAE BRITANNIAE 1 An echo of Statius, Silvae I.ii.2.

spacer4 A name given to the Muses, because Homer, their greatest and worthiest favorite, was supposed to be a native of Maeonia.

spacer15 In ancient art, various goddesses (usually Tyche or Fortune, and Cybele) were represented as wearing a so-called mural crown, i. e. a circlet intended to resemble a battlement, because they were the patronesses of cities.

spacer22 Given the immediately preceding bees, this phrase is likely to be an echo of Statius, Sylvae II.i.48f, Hyblaeis vox mixta favis? cui sibila serpens poneret/ et saevae vellent servire novercae. Dunbar’s reference, given Pallas in 18, is presumably to Athena’s serpent guarding the Acropolis, which had to be appeased with honey-cakes; the implication is that James, that wisest of kings, enjoys Athena’s blessing and is secure in his right to tread the Acropolis. Dunbar highlights the king’s special relationship with Pallas in II.27: as early as June 1579 James had been described as “Thow Salomon facund in sapience” by the poet Patrick Hume of Polwarth (The Promine, l. 127), echoed within a year by Alexander Montgomerie, “So sapient a ying and godly King, / A Salomon for richt and judgment” (The Navigatioun ll. 78f.).

spacer29 Although this is a work he disdains elsewhere (II.5), it would appear that Dunbar is following the enumeration of the kings of Scotland as set forth by George Buchanan in his 1582 Rerum Scoticarum Historia.

spacer46 The royal dynasty of Troy.

spacer47ff. In this passage Dunbar mentions the snake sent by Juno to kill the infant Hercules in his crib (which he miraculously strangled) and the second and third of his Labors, the Hydra and the Golden Stag of Artemis. He consciously echoes Aeneid VI.801ff., part of Anchises’ display to his son of Rome’s future imperial greatness under Julius Caesar (see note to 157); this imperial theme is commonplace in poetry about James and his dynasty, as for example the concluding lines to Adam King’s 1601 poem congratulating James on surviving the Gowrie Conspiracy (for which see the note on I.35).

spacer68ff. In this passage Dunbar enumerates the following deities: Minerva (for here Cecropia designates her, not the city of Athens), Apollo under his cult-title Lycaeus, Mercury (who was born on Mt. Cyllene in Arcadia, represented here by its district Tegea), and Astraea, the Roman goddess of justice.

spacer86 Dunbar means the cave in which Aeolus kept the winds pent up, described in Book I of the Aeneid. The winds return there when the storm subsides and their father dries them off.

spacer95 One understands why pride goes off to Spain, but why does greed head for Sicily? The answer is probably that during the seventeenth century Sicily was a kind of minor Eldorado for English merchants: see H. Koenigsberger, “English Merchants in Naples and Sicily in the Seventeenth Century,” English Historical Review 62 (1947) 304 - 326.

spacer101 Rome’s steadfast ally in the third century B. C., the brilliant and wealthy Attalus I of Pergamum.

spacer124 Idalium is a mountain on Cyprus, an island sacred to Venus. The goddess’ devotees wove garlands in her honor.

spacer131 Cf. Horace, Epistulae I.xvii.41, aut virtus nomen inane est.

spacer145 Dunbar seems to have been thinking of the so-called Orphic Argonautica, a late classical epic on the subject, supposedly composed by Orpheus but actually written by an anonymous Neoplatonist.

spacer146 In mythology the Argo was transformed into the constellation Argo Navis, visible in the southern hemisphere.

spacer156 The allusion to July can only be to Julius Caesar and James’s equally imperial, worldwide status, for James had been born in June; his birthday would be celebrated with great pomp in his birthplace, Edinburgh Castle, during his 1617 visit (see John Adamson, The Muses Welcome (1618), pp.116-21).

spacer159 Renaissance poets sometimes interlarded their hexameter works with incomplete lines, in imitation of those in the Aeneid.

spacer168ff. The reference is to the murder in 1566 of Mary Queen of Scots’ secretary and favorite, the lutenist David Rizzio, a Roman Catholic. In a dramatic scene, he was dragged out of her presence and repeatedly stabbed by a group of Protestant nobles, while she, pregnant with James, was physically restrained by Lord Ruthven, the father of the first Earl of Gowrie. James VI was keenly aware that his mother was meant to miscarry on the night of Rizzio’s murder, and he eventually (in 1584) executed the Earl ostensibly for his role in a failed coup that year. In his speech from the throne following the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, James spoke of an attempt on his life while he was yet in his mother’s womb, and of the Gowrie Conspiracy of 1600, which Dunbar mentions below at 174f. The fact that Dunbar says the murderers of 1566 were inspired by Satan directly links Lord Ruthven with his grandson John’s Gowrie Conspiracy of 1600; the official propaganda presented John as being a necromancer caught in the clutches of satanic delusion, as stated by James’s apologist, the lawyer-poet Adam King (as discussed in the Introduction to his abovementioned poem of congratulation).

spacer172 The reference is to James’s military defeat of the threats posed in the first half of the 1590s by the extraordinary and erratic behaviour of his cousin, Francis Stewart [1562-1612], fifth Earl of Bothwell and Lord High Admiral. After his disgrace and fall in the autumn of 1590 as a result of the North Berwick witchcraft enquiries and trials (which would inspire King James’ Daemonologie), Bothwell raised various armed forces to threaten Edinburgh; on one notable occasion in 1593 he briefly held James captive in his own palace. Bothwell’s antics kept the king terrified and angry until in August 1594 the Earl, once the darling of the Presbyterian party in the Kirk, chose to ally himself with the northern “Catholic Earls” (and hence Spain). In October the king marched north at the head of an army. The complete discomfiture of the Catholic earls left Bothwell with no support of any kind, and he finally went into exile in spring 1595, never to return. Dunbar’s instancing of Bothwell as a threat to the king’s life seems to be unique; several Gunpowder Plot poems speak of the Gowrie Conspiracy, and Michael Wallace also mentions both the dangerous sea-journey to Norway in October 1589 and the Raleigh-Cobham plot, but Bothwell’s antics are quite ignored. This suggests that Dunbar had some personal awareness of the Bothwell episodes and knew that a reference to them would not displease King James.

spacer174f. In 1600, in a very obscure fracas, James was said to have been the victim of a murderous plot at Gowrie House in Perth by John Ruthven, third Earl of Gowrie, and his brother Alexander, seeking to revenge their executed father. They were killed on the spot by the courtiers accompanying the king. Since Alexander Ruthven had managed to lock James in a turret room and was grappling with him, Dunbar inserts a reference to a wrestling-arena here, and in a couple of epigrams equates Ruthven with Antaeus, the Libyan giant defeated by Hercules in a wrestling-match. It is rather striking that, despite calling himself Megalo-britannus, the Scot Dunbar has no epigrams at all about the Gunpowder Plot, but does address I.35 to Adam King and allude to his 1601 book De execrabili et nefanda Fratrum Ruvenorum... coniuratione and addresses I.34, I.36, I.37, I.81, II.96 and II.97 to four of the courtiers present in the king’s entourage at the Gowrie House, in all cases bar I.81 making reference to the Gowrie Conspiracy.

spacer181 Themis was the Greek god of justice. For her turreted head-dress see the note on line 15 above.

spacer184 Vergil.

spacerI.1.5 The allusion appears to be to the worthless epic poet Choerilus of Issos, a member of Alexander’s train (who reappears in another epigram to James at the very end of the book, Decades VI.8), confused by Dunbar with the earlier epic poet Choerilus of Samos.

spacerI.3 James’ eldest son Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, died in 1612.

spacerI.5 James’ daughter Elizabeth married Frederick, Prince Palatine of the Rhine, in 1613. The punning in this epigram is based on the fact that Frederick was a hereditary Elector of the Holy Roman Empire.

spacerI.7.2 Momus was the Greek god of captious criticism. He reappears at the end of the Centuriae.

spacerI.8 Possibly this is a joking epigram addressed to the epigrammatist Charles Fitzgeoffrey (II.16, discussed in the Introduction), who included in his epigrams several humorous allusions to his one-eyed condition.

spacerI.9 Zoilus was a hypercritical grammarian and literary critic in antiquity. In literature such as the present he often serves as a typical representative of his breed.

spacerI.10 Meter: iambic trimeters.

spacerI.11 The king’s Accession Day, March 14, was routinely celebrated, as Elizabeth’s had been, with jousting. It would appear that on the occasion that inspired this pair of epigrams the tilting was disrupted by rain.

spacerI.13 The humor of this epigram is untranslatable. Here strictus means both “in verse” and “bound,” and solutus both “in prose” and “free”: the poet is less dangerous than the orator because, while both are madmen, the one is tied down by all sorts of metrical constraints and the other is free to work his harm. Dunbar criticises windy oratory in III.22 and makes the same point, without the puns, in VI.22; it clearly mattered to him. The sixty five Epigrammata appended to the Poemata Sacra (Edinburgh, 1633) of the Scottish poet and divine Andrew Ramsay [1574 - 1659] include a very earnest one on the same theme as Dunbar’s, Demosthenis solutae orationis & adstrictae numeris Domini Guilielmi Alexandri, Vicecomitis Sterlini, Regni Scotiae Secretarii,  dispar contentio. An English translation is found in T H McGrail, William Alexander (1940), p.208; for Alexander, see note to VI.24.

spacerI.14 An unusually close imitation of a Martial epigram (I.lxvii):

Nuper erat medicus, nunc est vispillo Diaulus:
spacerQuod vispillo facit, fecerat et medicus.

spacerI.15.2 The final thought, Nemo nocere potest, is susceptible of two possible interpretations: that nobody can harm Dunbar’s fortunes because of his philosophical detachment, or that they are in such bad shape that it would be impossible to make them worse. According to the theory that he published these epigrams, with all their flattery of James, his family and favorites, in order to rescue himself from penury, the latter would seem likelier.

spacerI.16 Dunbar has several epigrams about Mary, all extremely favourable; King James was devoted to the memory of his mother, to whom he largely owed his claim to the English throne. The reference to the phoenix here may be an oblique compliment to the king’s own substantial (and best) poem, The Phoenix, first published in 1584, and to the apostrophe ô Phoenix escossois used by Salluste Du Bartas (see VI.92) when introducing his translation of the king’s epic poem Lepanto.

spacerI.20.4 Although Dunbar wrote in an age of rampant anti-catholicism, and his work betrays no sympathy whatever for the papacy, there is no obvious allusion here to the traditional papal self-description as servus servorum.

spacerI.21 The Greeks used to call money χρήματα (“useful stuff.”)

spacerI.22 Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerI.23 The humor in this epigram lies in the fact that the Latin etymological meaning of “prelate” is “a preferred man.”

spacerI.24 And the humor of this one is that curvus means both “curved” and “crooked, devious.”

spacerI.25 Patrick Maule [1585 - 1661], subsequently created Earl of Panmure and Baron of Brechin and Navar, Gentleman of the Bedchamber to both James and Charles and a colonel of Scots royalist forces during the Civil War. Biography in O. D. N. B.

spacerI.27 Lancelot Andrewes [1555-1626] , Bishop of Ely from 1609 to 1619, thereafter of Winchester, was reckoned one of the great preachers of the age, and was one of its holier, not to say saintlier prelates, as Dunbar indicates. He was close to King James, as Dunbar also indicates, and regularly preached the annual sermons at court on the festival days of 5 August and 5 November, instituted by James VI and I to celebrate his and his two kingdoms’ preservation from the designs of Satan embodied in the Gowrie Conspiracy and the Gunpowder Plot. See P. E. MacCullough, Sermons at Court (Cambridge, 1998), 119-121. In 1609 he published Tortura Torti, a learned work which grew out of the Gunpowder Plot controversy and was written in answer to Cardinal Bellarmine’s Responsio Matthaei Torti, which attacked James I’s book on the oath of allegiance, and then a Responsio ad Apologiam. (See the next note).

spacerI.28 Cardinal Robert Bellarmine [1542 - 1621], Jesuit theologian, tireless anti-Protestant polemicist, and champion of the secular powers of the papacy. He was a particular bête noire of King James. In 1608, the monarch published an Apologie on behalf of crowned heads, in a forthright attack on Bellarmine’s view of papal powers; the Cardinal immediately wrote a Reponsio, James hit back with his Premonitio (distributed in specially bound copies to many European sovereigns), and Bellarmine brought out his own Apologia. Not a few other writers became involved in the disputation, including not only Lancelot Andrewes, but also Jacob Gretser (V.63), Francisco Suárez, the Franco-Scot William Barclay, father of the addressee of I.87, and Andrew Aidie, addressee of VI.10 (see note). See Victor Houliston, Catholic Resistance in Elizabethan England (Aldershot, 2007), pp.141 - 43.

spacerI.32 The allusion is to Persius, Satire i.47, neque enim mihi cornea fibra est. Meter: iambic trimeters.

spacerI.34 Ludovic Stewart [1574 - 1624], second Duke of Lennox and first Duke of Richmond. The epigram puns on three meanings of dux, “Duke,” “military leader,” and “guide.” Ludovic was the son of James’s first great favourite, his French cousin Esmé Stuart, Sieur d’Aubigny, first Duke of Lennox. On Esmé’s death in France in 1583, the king adopted his children. As one of James’ closest confidants and friends, Ludovic had been present at the Gowrie House in Perth on 5 August 1600 (see the note to AD IACOBUM 174ff.), but as events fell out, he took no part in the fighting. The juxtaposition of this and the three following epigrams is therefore suggestive. The Duke had been involved with the “gentlemen adventurers” who, with the encouragement of James VI, attempted an Irish-style “plantation” of Scots-speaking lowlanders on the Gaelic-speaking Isle of Lewis in and after 1599; he would later be involved in the early colonization of Maine. Along with his fellow Scots James Hay (I.89) and Robert Crichton of Sanquhar (VI.76) Ludovic performed in Haddington’s Masque, which Ben Jonson (I.55) wrote for the wedding of John Ramsay (I.36) to Elizabeth Radcliffe, daughter of the Earl of Suffolk, in 1608; Ludovic was also a founder member of “The Errant Knights of the Fortunate Isles,” in 1606. See Keith M. Brown, “The Scottish Aristocracy, Anglicization and the Court, 1603 - 1638,” The Historical Journal 36:3, September 1993, 543 - 76, at 546 and 548.

spacerI.35 The Scottish lawyer Adam King [?1560 - 1625] was the author of De execrabili et nefanda fratrum Ruvvenorum, in Serenissimi Scotorum Regis caput coniuratione, apud Perthum Augusto mense An. 1600 vera ac dilucida narratio, Cui praemissa est Prefationis loco velitatio cum Lectore in fide & assensu commodando paulo religiosiore. His accessere ad Regem Soteria, Carmine Heroico, printed at Edinburgh in 1601, in which James’ version of the 1600 Gowrie Plot events was ably and learnedly defended; the Soteria congratulates the king on surviving the Plot. Poetry by King is included in Sir John Scot (ed.), Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637) II.201 - 254.

spacerI.36 John Ramsay [d. 1626], Earl of Holdernesse and Viscount Haddington, was officially credited with saving James’ life from the Gowrie Plot in August 1600, while serving as the king’s page (see the note to AD IACOBUM 174ff.). Ramsay protected the king, stabbing Alexander Ruthven and then killing the Earl of Gowrie. Biography in O. D. N. B. For his wedding to Elizabeth Radcliffe, daughter of the Earl of Sussex, Ben Jonson wrote Haddingtons Masque, for which see the note on I.34 immediately above.

spacerI.37 The mythological imagery of this epigram is especially appropriate was appropriate because, at least according to the official account of the struggle. Alexander Ruthven’s assault on James involved plenty of wrestling.

spacerI.42 Robert Hay was the brother of James Hay, Baron Sawley and Master of the Wardrobe, for whom cf. I.89 and I.90. In 1616 Thomas Dempster (VI.67) addressed eight lines Ad Illustrem Virum D. Robertum Hayum Iacobi Fratrem Regi a Purpura as part of a volume dedicated to James Hay (see the note to I.89). Robert is recorded as a Groom of the Bedchamber in 1618; but as can be seen from Dunbar’s epigram, he held a Wardrobe position prior to that. See Roy E. Schreiber, The First Carlisle; Sir James Hay, First Earl of Carlisle as Courtier, Diplomat and Entrepreneur, 1580 - 1636 (American Philosophical Society, 1984) pp. 12 and 145, and James Knowles, “Jonson in Scotland: Jonson’s Mid-Jacobean Crisis,”in Takashi Kozuka and J.R. Mulryne, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson: New Directions in Biography (Aldershot, 2006) p. 266.

spacerI.43 A popular quack nostrum of the time was aurum potabile (“drinkable gold”), a cordial or medicine consisting of some volatile oil in which minute particles of gold were suspended. “Silver” was of course a synonym for money, as it still is in modern spoken Scots (sillar).

spacerI.44 Melvinus is Andrew Melville [1545 - 1622], the great Scottish scholar and Geneva-trained reforming theologian, educational reformer and Presbyterian leader. See also I.98 for the esteem in which Dunbar appears to have held this disciple of Calvin, friend of Theodore Beza (Decades I.8 and V.4) and unremitting advocate of the Scottish doctrine of the “two kingdoms’(whereby kings were subject to King Jesus, and had no right to rule the Kirk), a doctrine detested by James VI Biography in O. D. N. B. The subject of this and the next epigram is an epigram by Melville printed in Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum Huius Aevi Illustrium (Amsterdam, 1637) II.118:


Flumen apud superos nullum est, quid pontibus ergo
spacerEst opus, aut ipso denique pontifice?
Ast apud infernos, ubi tot sunt flumina, sedes
spacerIlla habeat pontes, pontificesque suos


Rivers in heaven there are none; no call for bridges up there,
And nothing for bridge-building Pontiffs to do.
Down in hell, though, with so many rivers around, the place
Cries out for bridges — and it can have the Pontiffs too.

spacerI.46.2 Astraea was the Roman goddess of justice.

spacerI.47 The Chambre Ardent was a court established at Paris in 1547 for the trying of heretics. A driving force behind it was the Abbot of St Victor, Pierre Lizet, against whom Theodore Beza (see Decades I.8 and V.4) published his satire Passavantius in 1553.

spacerI.49 Meter: iambic trimeters.

spacerI.51 The Swiss-born Classical scholar Isaac Casaubon [1559 - 1614], a Protestant, migrated to London and became a British subject in 1610. He was lionized by James and the bishops of the Church of England, and upon his death in 1614 was buried in Poets’ Corner in the Abbey.

spacerI.57.1f. Two rivers in the Iberian peninsula that were gold-bearing in antiquity.

spacerI.58.2 Penthesilea was an Amazon queen who fought on the Trojan side and was killed by Achilles.

spacerI.59.3 Dunbar is referring to the old English tradition, retailed by Geoffrey of Monmouth, that Britain’s eponymous founder was a Trojan refugee named Brutus. (London was known as “Troy Novaunt”). For centuries, the Brutus myth had been invoked by the English to deny the historical validity of an independent Scottish realm, since Brutus’s “Britain” preceded the division of the island into Scotland and England. Scotland’s founding myth, by contrast, involved the Greek prince Gathelus and his wife Scota, daughter of Pharaoh. Dunbar’s positive attitude to the Brutus tradition in this epigram (though he does not endorse it in III.44) is a sign of his “megalo-britannic” thinking; only a few decades earlier, it had been savaged in the Scots sonnet Ane anser to ane Inglis railar praysing his awin genalogy, possibly by the court-poet Alexander Montgomerie:

Ye Inglische hursone sumtyme wil avant
Your progeny frome Brutus to haif tane,
And sumtyme frome ane angell or ane sanct,
As Angelus and Anglus bayth war ane:
Angellis in erth yit hard I few or nane
Except the feyndis with Lucifer that fell.
Avant yow villane of that Lord allane:
Tak thy progeny frome Pluto prence of Hell;
Becauss ye vse in hoillis to hyd your sell
, [self]
Anglus is cum frome Angulus in deid.
Aboive all vderis Brutus bure the bell,
[took preeminence]
Quha slew his fader howping to succeid:
Than chuss yow ane of thais, I rek not ader
[I esteem not either of them]
Tak Beelzebub or Brutus to your fader.

spacerI.62 Given Dunbar’s strong Huguenot connections, this epigram’s focus on the “worlding” may bear some relation to the frequent appearances of le mondain, the worldling, in the great Huguenot collection Octonaires de la vanite et inconstance du monde (1583), fifty eight-line epigrams by the distinguished French pastor Antoine de la Roche-Chandieu, set to music by both Paschal de l’Estocart and Claude Lejeune. (Joshua Sylvester translated them, with no reference to their being translations, in or after 1613 as Spectacles, New-new-polished). Chandieu’s No. 47, with the rhyming parallelism of monde- onde, is particularly close to Dunbar:

Le beau du monde s’efface
Soudain comme un vent qui passé,
Soudain comme on voit la fleur
Sans sa premiere couleur,
Soudain comme une onde fuit
Devant l’autre qui la suit.
Qu’est-ce doncques que ce monde?
Un vent, une fleur, une onde.

spacerI.63 Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerI.66.1 Here, for metrical convenience, pervasere is incorrectly being used as if it = invasere.

spacerI.67.1 For Moses’ burial at Abarim cf. Deuteronomy 34:5 - 6.

spacerI.68.3 The Cimmerians were a mythical people who lived so far to the north that they existed in proverbially perpetual darkness.

spacerI.71 See the note on I.9.

spacerI.74 Walter Quin [d. 1641], author of Sertum poeticum in honorem Jacobi sexti serenissimi ac potentissimi Scotorum regis (1600), containing flattering poems addressed to James about his ancestral right to the English throne , some of them anagrammatic, followed by numerous others dealing with the Gowrie Conspiracy (i.e.“affairs of our time’) and of Corona virtutum principe dignarum ex variis philosophorum, historicorum, oratorum, et poetarum floribus contexta et concinnata, with accounts of the lives and virtues of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius (1613). Other, later publications along similar lines are extant. There are references to the Sertum in notes 13, 22, and 23 to the Introduction of Adam King’s 1601 Soteria.
spacer3 Grynia or Grynium was an ancient city in the south of Mysia, famous for its temple and oracle of Apollo. Hence the epithet Apollo Grynaeus.

spacerI.79 James Montague [1568 - 1618], Bishop of Bath and Wells from 1608 to 1616, then of Winchester. He edited (and translated into Latin) King James’s Works, first published in 1616. A graduate of Cambridge, he was far from anti-Puritan, and like Matthew Sutcliffe (see II.60), he was one of those who appear in the Second Charter (May 1609) of the Virginia Colony.
spacer5 Dunbar quotes Horace, Epistles I.i.83 as if it refers to Bath rather than the Roman resort town of Baiae on the Bay of Naples.

spacerI.81 John Erskine [1562 - 1634], eighteenth Earl of Mar. A Scottish noble of Puritan inclinations, and a close friend of King James from early childhood, he had been present at the Gowrie House in Perth on 5 August along with his cousin John Erskine (II.96 and others (see note to AD IACOBUM 174ff.). Mar succeeded the Earl of Somerset as Lord Treasurer in July 1616. Biography in O. D. N. B.

spacerI.83 Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerI.87 Addressed to John Barclay [1582 - 1621], a French-born Scottish writer, whose works include the popular romance Argenis, who returned to Britain to attach himself to James’ court. As Nicola Royan, the author of the O. D. N. B. biography wrote, “However, during Barclay’s residence in England, state records consistently refer to him as French, and make little or no reference to his Scottish parentage.” The negative tone of this epigram no doubt has its origin in the fact that “His final departure from James’s court was not without its scandal, for it was believed—wrongly—that he had written a book against James, such that could only have been composed by an was not until 1618 that the true author of the book in question was revealed as a lecturer at the University of Louvain.” Poetry by Barclay is included in Sir John Scot (ed.), Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637) I.137 - 141.
spacerThe final line contains a pun on Gallus (“Frenchman”) and gallus (“rooster.”)

spacerI.89 James Hay [1580 - 1636], created Baron Hay of Sawley in June 1615, Viscount Doncaster in July 1617, and subsequently first Earl of Carlisle in 1622, a courtier and diplomat, and Master of the Wardrobe. His remarkable career is set out in Roy E. Schreiber’s The First Carlisle: Sir James Hay, First Earl of Carlisle As Courtier, Diplomat and Entrepreneur, 1580-1636 (American Philosophical Society, 1984); there is a shorter biography in O. D. N. B. Hay was descended from a cadet line of the Hays of Erroll, earls and hereditary Lord High Constables of Scotland. Sir Thomas Hay of Erroll [d. 1406], a forebear of the first Earl of Erroll (title created 1451) married a daughter of Robert II. Hence, presumably, the quasi-royal status conferred on James Hay by Dunbar. Dunbar’s praise of Hay indicates that Baron Sawley was already a close confidant of King James.
spacerHay was an important man, and other Scottish poets thought it worth getting on his good side. Sir Robert Ayton (for whom see the note on III.45) dedicated to him a 1605 volume containing a 153-line poem entitled Basia sive Strena (sole surviving copy in the Edinburgh University Library), which has been edited in Charles B. Gullans, The English and Latin Poems of Sir Robert Ayton, Scottish Text Society, repr. 2006), 171, 223-30. In 1614 Hay was the dedicatee of the magnum opus of Andrew Aidie (VI.10 and note thereto) Clavis philosophiae moralis. In the same year as Dunbar published his Epigrammaton Centuriae, Thomas Dempster (VI.67) published his lengthily-titled Strena Kal. Ianuar. ad illustriss. virum. Dn. Iacobum Hayum dominum ac baronem de Saley, Regi a Sacratiori Purpura, et Protovestiarum, communem literatorum Mecaenatem, which turns out to contain an opening epigram with the acrostic STRENA IACOBO HAIO BARONI, followed by 101 lines of Divinatio ad augustiss. potentiss. Regem, concluding with the epigram to Robert Hay mentioned in the note to I.42. All three editions (1620, 1621 and 1623) of John Leech’s Epigrammatum Libri Quatuor would not only be dedicated to James Hay, but would contain no fewer than seven epigrams addressed to him.
spacerIn both this and the next epigram, when we are told that kings derive their names from Hay, the allusion is of course to his Christian name, James.
spacer4 Ajax and Ulysses had a dispute over the arms of Achilles after his death, and there is an implied pun between Aias, the Latin form of Ajax, and Haius, the addressee’s surname Latinized. When Ulysses won the arms, Ajax went mad and stabbed himself. The blood from his wound fell to the ground and produced a blood-red flower, the hyacinth, on the petal of which the first two letters of his name, AI, can be read.

spacerI.96 Meter: iambic trimeters.

spacerI.98 For Andrew Melville see the note on I.44.

spacerII.2 George Villiers [1592 - 1628], subsequently Earl, then Duke of Buckingham and James’ great favorite. Decades I.1 and I.2 are also addressed to him. He rose to the heights from nowhere, having been deliberately introduced to the King in August 1614 by opponents of the reigning favourite, Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset (see the note to IV.14). Villiers had become Master of the Horse on 3 January 1616, and the fact that Dunbar makes no reference to his titles Viscount Villiers and Baron Waddon, bestowed by a besotted monarch on 27 August 1616, presumably indicates that this epigram and the dedication of the Decades predate that elevation; the latter dedication mentions that Villiers is a Knight of the Garter, an honour bestowed in April 1616. Biography in O. D. N. B. Dunbar Latinizes his name in a phonetic spelling of its pronunciation, namely Villars, and punningly “discovers” three classical words in it,  γεωργία (“tillage, farm”), villa, and ars (“art”).

spacerII.4 Sir John Graham, a Gentleman of the Bedchamber who had done much to further Villiers’ advancement at Court before his premature death.

spacerII.5 This epigraph is written about the 1582 Rerum Scoticarum Historia by the great Scots Humanist George Buchanan [1506 - 1582]. As I have explained in my Introduction to that work, in his 1579 De Iure apud Scotos Dialogus he had asserted that the ultimate sovereignty of Scotland resides in the people (and that kingship is therefore a wholly secular institution), and that the king is created for their benefit, not vice versa. The king is subject to the law and, if he conducts himself illegally, he is a tyrant and his subjects have both the right and the responsibility to depose him. Buchanan wished to establish a historical basis for these claims by showing, first, that the kings of Scotland originally received the crown by election rather than inheritance, and, second, that Scottish kings who were not law-abiding were killed, deposed, or forced to abdicate. The problem is that, with the partial exception of Macbeth, Scottish history fails to illustrate either of these points or provide legal precedents for the principles for which he had argued, and Buchanan therefore resorted to the expedient of retaining a great deal of moonshine about mythical early kings, devised by Hector Boece (claiming to draw on a much earlier chronicler called Veremundus), in his Historia Gentis Scotorum (Paris, 1525). See Dauvit Broun, Scottish Independence and the Idea of Britain (Edinburgh University Press, 2007), chapter 9, “Veremundus and the creation of Scottish History’.

spacerII.8 Meter: dactylic hexameter + anapaestic trimeter.

spacerII.10 The month of May is named after the Roman Maia (also called Fauna, Ops, and the Bona Dea), the goddess of springtime. Her father Faunus (a grandson of Saturn), introduced tillage and grazing, and after his death he became the tutelary deity of agriculture. Maia’s brother was Latinus, King of Latium, and since Aeneas, the founder of Rome, married Lavinia, daughter of Latinus and niece of Maia, Dunbar is again making an (elegantly oblique) allusion to the imperial destiny of King James’s dynasty.

spacerII.12 See the note on I.5.

spacerII.16 Charles Fitzgeoffrey [1576 - 1637], a clergyman of Cornwall, the Oxford-educated author of the Affaniae (1601), an important collection of epigrams. This work, and Dunbar’s personal acquaintance with him, are discussed in the Introduction.

spacerII.22 Dunbar’s father would die in 1618; the line would be carried by his second son Archibald (see VI.17), named for his grandfather (see III.39). See Dunbar 03 genealogy. Given that Dunbar’s eldest brother was born in January 1582, Gavin Dunbar cannot have been in the first flush of youth when he married their mother Jonet Cunningham, which explains some odd generational juxtapositions, e.g the poet’s being of an age with Alexander Stewart, seventh of Garlies (see IV.69), , the great-grandson of John Dunbar’s great-aunt.

spacerII.24 Lucretia, who ocommitted suicide after having been raped by Tarquin the Proud, had long been held up as a model of chaste behavior, and Dunbar would have known her from various sources, including Livy and Bocaccio (De Mulieribus Claris) or indeed Chaucer’s version of the latter, The Legend of Good Women. Lucretia’s tragedy was still inspiring writers in Dunbar’s own time, as Shakespeare’s 1594 The Rape of Lucrece and Thomas Heywood’s like-titled tragedy of 1607 testify.

spacerII.26 The great Flemish Humanist Justus Lipsius [1547 - 1606] had offended Protestants by publishing works describing the miracles of Our Lady of Hal (1604) and of Our Lady of Montaigu (1605) — he also left behind a MS. work on the cult of Mary at Louvain, only published in modern times. Dunbar in fact addresses VI.80 to George Thomson, a Scottish pastor he greatly admired, and who was noted as a savage denouncer of Lipsius.
spacerThe humor of this epigram depends on a pun on two meanings of frigo, “be cold” and “be coldly received, be disregarded, be tedious.”

spacerII.28 William Herbert [1580- 1630], third Earl of Pembroke and husband of the famous countess Mary, the strictly Calvinist poet-sister of the poet Sir Philip Sidney, had been appointed Lord Chamberlain of the royal household in 1615. Some have imagined, on insubstantial grounds, that he was the “W. H.” of the Sonnets, and the First Folio was dedicated to him and his brother Philip. Life in O. D. N. B. Pembroke was “the greatest Mecaenas to learned men of any peer of his time, or since,” according to M. Brennan in Literary Patronage in the English Renaissance: the Pembroke Family (London, 1988), p.150. The O. D. N. B. entry comments that Pembroke was the dedicatee of Sir John Harrington’s Epigrams of 1615, and points out that in 1615, Pembroke’s loathing of Roberr Car, Earl of Somerset, led to a meeting at Pembroke’s London home, attended by Archbishop George Abbot (III.6), to plan the overthrow of Somerset by replacing him in the king’s affections with George Villiers (II.2); the latter’s meteoric rise in fact would lead Harrington to redicate his Epigrams to Villiers in 1618.

spacerII.31 This is one of Dunbar’s subversive epigrams. It was a sore point with Puritans (as it would later be with Methodists) that the Church of England set too great store on learning, as opposed to piety, in its clergymen.

spacerII.32 One of Cicero’s orations is entitled De domo sua.

spacerII.33.2 Cicero defined a true friend as an alter ego, a “second self,” in one of his epistles to Atticus (cxi.15.4)

spacerII.35f. This pair of epigrams is also susceptible of a subversive reading, as a criticism of James’ money-raising scheme of creating the rank of Baronet and pressuring men to purchase the honor (by the end of his reign about four hundred had been created and, as an unintended consequence, the House of Commons had largely been denuded of his supporters).

spacerII.37 Meter: iambic trimeters.

spacerII.40 Thomas Bilson [1647 - 1616], Bishop of Winchester from 1596 to his death . A stiff partisan of the Church of England, he wrote such polemical works as The True Difference betweene Christian Subjection and Unchristian Rebellion (1585) and The Perpetual Governement of Christes Church (1593). This epigram appears to have been written prior to his death in June 1616. Dunbar’s reference to the Muses may concern Bilson’s involvemen, as final co-editor with Miles Smith, in the production of the Authorised Version of the Bible (1611); it is unusual to find Dunbar praising an anti-puritan advocate of royal-episcopal church government.

spacerII.42 See the note on I.7.2.

spacerII.50.2 Possibly rediviva implies that now the Muses’ hopes are revived after the untimely death of Prince Henry.
spacer4 Charles was also called a second Charlemagne by James Maxwell (see V.27 ) in his Laudable Life and Deplorable Death...of Prince Henry (London, 1612), at sig. C 2v : “That sweet Charles may for ever flourish / That great Charles chair with honours high he fill.” Charilaus was a legendary early king of Sparta. Dunbar is playing with the etymology of his name, “dear to the people.”

spacerII.51 Thomas Egerton [1540 - 1617], Baron Ellesmere and (as of November 1616) Viscount Brackley. Keeper of the Privy Seal under Elizabeth and James, and appointed Lord Chancellor on James’ accession. Between 1597 and 1601 his secretary was John Donne, who married Egerton’s niece. In 1606 he ruled that Scottish subjects born after the succession of James I were naturalised English subjects; he helped secure the dismissal of Sir Edward Coke (see III.48) in November 1616. Biography in O. D. N. B.
spacer3 Cephissus was a river running across the plain of Attica.
spacer5 Themis was the Greek goddess of Justice.

spacerII.53 The addressee is just possibly the ten or eleven year old William Ker, son of Sir Robert Kerr of Ancrum (see VI.59 and VI.60) and future third Earl of Lothian. He was certainly a scholarly, highly intelligent adult, whose Civil War correspondence with his self-exiled father makes fascinating reading. See the discussion of father and son in David Allan, Philosophy and Politics in Later Stuart Scotland (East Linton, 2000). There were, however, many Kerrs (also spelled Carrs) around the court; one of James’s techniques for calming the perennially violent and lawless Borders was to involve leading members of the Borders clans, such as the Kers, in central government.
spacerII.53.3 The oracular priestess at Delphi, whose riddling responses required intellectual ability to decipher.

spacer59 It might be thought that as an impoverished younger son, Dunbar could be writing here from the heart, but III.16, addressed to his eldest brother David, dispels any such notion.

spacerII.60 Matthew Sutcliffe [1550 - 1629], Dean of Exeter. He published at least one legal work, The Practise, Proceedings, & Lawes of Armes (1593), but was chiefly notable for his religious polemics against Roman Catholicism in such works as De Turcarum et papistarum adversus Christi eccelesiam et fidem coniuratione (1599) and A Briefe Examination of a Certaine … Disleal Petition (1606), and specifically against Cardinal Bellarmine (see I.28), De pontifice Romano... adversus Robertum Bellarminum & universum Iebusitarum sodalitium (1599). (Dunbar makes the same pun on Iesuitarum in Decades I.5.) Anne Duffin, Faction and Faith: Politics and Religion of the Cornish Gentry (1996), p.59, observes that Sutcliffe’s uncompromising anti-Catholicism and his encouragement of Puritan schemes for colonising Virginia and New England did not please the king.
spacerThe preachers with whom Sutcliffe is compared are St. John Chrysostom, “golden mouthed” Archbishop of Constantinople in the fourth century; Beryllus, Bishop of Bostra in Arabia in the third century; St. Basil (born at Caesarea in Cappodocia); Paul’s companion Titus, whom he left behind to manage the church of Crete; St. Polycarp of Smyrna, who was martyred in the second century.
spacerMeter: iambic trimeters alternating with iambic dimeters.

spacerII.64 John Graham [1573 - 1626], fourth Earl of Montrose. Biography in O. D. N. B. There is a legend that the founder of Clan Graham was Gramus, who created a breach in the Wall of Antoninus (popularly called Graeme’s Dyke) in 410 A. D. The third earl [1544 - 1608] had been Lord High Treasurer and Chancellor of Scotland under James VI and the addressee’s son James, the fifth Earl, was the great Marquess [1612 - 1650], the first man to sign the National Covenant in Greyfriars Kirkyard in February 1638 (though he would quickly switch to fighting for King Charles against the Covenanters). The fourth Earl lived quietly on his estates, and we can only surmise that Dunbar had some personal reason for addressing him.
spacerII.64.6 Evidently an echo of Seneca, Epistulae Morales lxxxv.18, si beatum sola virtus facit.

spacerII.67 René-Louis de Cercler, Sieur de la Chapellière, pastor at La Rochelle 1602 - 1627, and a graduate of Leiden: George L. Catlin, The Huguenots of La Rochelle: A Translation of The Reformed Church of La Rochelle, an Historical Sketch, by Louis Delmas (New York, 1880) p. 292 (Smith p. 152 rather misleadingly identifies him as “Cercler de la Chapeliere” [sic]). See also K. C. Robbins, City on the Ocean Sea (Brill, 1997), p. 130. Like most (perhaps all) of the Protestant clergymen whom Dunbar addresses, he was notable for his preaching ability; Dunbar was a Scot, and in Scottish kirks, the sermon took precedence over anything else: King James’s English Chapel Royal “would halt the liturgy so the monarch could proceed directly to the sermon” (A. Cromartie, “King James and the Hampton Court Conference,” in R Houlbrooke, James VI and I: Ideas, Authority and Government, Ashgate: Aldershot, 2006, p.68). He was royal commissioner at the General Assembly which James VI convened at Aberdeen in August 1616 to push through the ‘articles of conformity’ with the English church which had been brought north by John Young, dean of Winchester, addressee of John Leech’s epigram III.76.

spacerII.69.1 Cordulus is an ironically diminutive-sounding name concocted out of cor, “heart,” and dolus, “deceit, malice.

spacerII.72 Dunbar alludes here to the parable of the sower as told in Matthew 13, rather than the version in Luke 8, and particularly 13:37 - 38, “He that soweth is the Son of Man. The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom.”

spacerII.75 The Scottish Aristotelian and Classicist Robert Balfour [c, 1550 - 1621], who spent all his adult life in France, served as Principal of the Protestant-leaning Collège of Guyennes at Bordeaux, for which Buchanan had written his neo-Latin tragedies in the early 1540’s. Biography in O. D. N. B. The reference to his problemata in line 1 is to his newly-published Commentari R. Balforei in Organum logicum Aristotelis, issued at Bordeaux in 1616.

spacerII.81 Dionysius I, the cruel tyrant of Sicily, is supposed to have drunk himself to death in 367 B. C. during a celebratory debauch when his tragedy, The Ransom of Hector, which won first prize at the dramatic competition of the Lenaea at Athens.

spacerII.82 William Cotton, Bishop of Exeter 1598 - 1621. He claimed to be active against Catholics in his diocese; he was also a curber of Puritanism, persuading most of his clergy to conform, but personally tolerant of Puritans for marital reasons (see Anne Duffin, Faction and Faith, Exeter, 1996, pp. 57 - 59).

spacerII.85 This epigram and also V.59 are addressed to Bathsua Reginald [subsequently Bathsua Makin, 1600 - 1675], who doubly astonished the world for being a woman and for publishing a volume of scholarly poetry at the young age of sixteen, Musa Virginea, printed in 1616.

spacerII.86.4 According to the Latin idiom, somebody who knows something intimately knows it in cute, “inside his skin.” We would say “down to his fingertips.”

spacerII.88 The untranslatable humor of this epigram depends on a pun between two meanings of pendo, “weigh, evaluate,” and “hang.”

spacerII.90 This is not merely (or mainly) a tribute to James the published writer. In his speech to the 1607 English Parliament, the king had said “This I must say for Scotland, and I may truly vaunt it; here I sit, and govern it with my Pen; I write, and it is done; and by a Clerk of the Council I govern Scotland now, which others could not do by the Sword.” Hence the title of Maurice Lee’s Government by Pen: Scotland under James VI and I (Urbana, 1980).

spacerII.92 Meter: iambic trimeters.

spacerII.93 The fact that the earth is tilted on its axis had been known since antiquity (the Greek philosopher Oenopides is supposed to have been the first to calculate the angle of its tilt).

spacerII.96 The courtier Sir Thomas Erskine [1566 - 1639], Viscount Fentoun and subsequently Earl of Kellie, was a cousin and supporter of John Erskine, Earl of Mar (the addressee of I.81). Biography in O. D. N. B. During the Gowrie Conspiracy events of 5 August 1600, when William Ruthven and his brother Alexander made an assault on James at Gowrie House in Perth, the unarmed Erskine tried unsuccessfully to seize the Earl of Gowrie in the street, a dangerous move; he was subsequently responsible for giving the order to kill the wounded Alexander Ruthven. (see the note to AD IACOBUM 174ff.) As in I.36, James’ struggle against the Gowries is compared to Hercules’ struggle against the uncouth wrestler Antaeus (appropriately, since a lot of wrestling was said to have been involved in the king’s encounter with Alexander Ruthven). But by an abrupt shift of mythological identities, in the final couplet James has suddenly become a new Theseus and Erskine is identified as the equivalent of Theseus’ dear friend Pirithous.

spacerII.97 Ares is the Greek God who was identified with the Roman Mars, thus linking the Latin adjective with the Greek verb.

spacerIII.2.2 The queen of the Amazons.

spacerIII.4.2 Pergraecari (“to behave like a Greek”) is a verb used to describe riotous, antic behavior.

spacerIII.6 George Abbot [1562 - 1633], Archbishop of Canterbury 1611 - 1633. Of modest stock, he was a pupil of the arch-calvinist Roger Goad (see IV.59) at Guildford Free School. He rose to be Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University in 1600, where he first clashed with William Laud, who would succeed him as Archbishop of Canterbury.  Close to King James from 1603 onwards, Abbot sat on the Oxford Committee that translated the Gospels, Acts and Revelations for the Authorised Version of 1611. He stood his ground against the king on several occasions. See S. M. Holland, “The Wanted Archbishop,” Church History 56 (1987). See also her “Archbishop Abbot and the Problem of ‘Puritanism” in The Historical Journal 37:1 (Mar., 1994), pp. 23 - 43, where she characterises him thus: “A leading light among the circle of evangelical preaching prelates…Abbot placed great emphasis on the promulgation of the Gospel, zealous proselytizing and proper instruction for the clergy before ordination, while striving to improve the lot of the poorest clerics. The stress Abbot laid on preaching inclined him to a certain amount of fellow-feeling with those moderate and nonfactious nonconformists, whose dedicated teaching of their flock was so important in safeguarding the purity of orthodox Calvinism and acting as a bulwark against popery” (p.24). As late as 1629 he continued to defend such men: “Abbot’s sympathy for two moderate  nonconformists unjustly victimized at this time was shown when he  restored preaching licenses to the Kent lecturers, Alexander Udney [an acquaintance of Dunbar’s: IV.42] and  Herbert Palmer, who had been suspended by the dean and archdeacon of  Canterbury on the grounds that they were ‘obstinately inconformable’ to King Charles’ 1629 Directions”(ib. 31).  An interesting instance of his personal care with regard to combatting Catholic recusancy is a letter of 17 September 1614 to John Murray (see III.71), printed in Letters and State Papers during the Reign of King James the Sixth (Abbotsford Club, Edinburgh, 1836) pp. 231f.

spacerIII.9.1 Patterned, of course, after Martial, I.xxxii.1, Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare.

spacerIII.13 Sir Walter Ashton of Tixall, Bart. [1584-1639] (more usually Aston), is chiefly remembered as Drayton’s patron. He was also a friend and patron of Fletcher and Beaumont. His interest in literature was real; the sole MS of John Donne’s poem to the Countess of Huntingdon, That unripe side of earth, names him as its author (see A. J. Smith, John Donne, the Complete Poems, London, 1996, p.565.), and he is supposed to be the author of an elegy on the death of Prince Henry in 1612 (see Dennis Kay, “Poems by Sir Walter Aston,” Review of English Studies XXXVII, 1986, 198 - 10). Aston had been knighted in 1603 and created first Baronet of Tixall in 1611; he would go on to be James’s ambassador to Spain between 1620 and 1625,. He would help negotiate Charles I’s marriage, and was created Lord Aston of Forfar in 1627. His son, the second Baronet, was a staunch royalist in the Civil War.

spacerIII.16 Smith (p. 151 n.) suggests this brother may be the David Dunbar who stood second on the 1593 Edinburgh laureation list. However, the Stirnet Dunbar03 genealogy states flatly that he was born on 1 December, 1582, was married on 9 February, 1615 to Janet Charteris of Amisfield, and died childless “before 1641.” Amisfield Castle stands five miles north of Dumfries; Janet was a daughter of Sir John, tenth Baron of Amisfield. The Stirnet Charteris02 genealogy states that the marriage to David Dunbar of Baldoon was in 1605; it was certainly childless, for the first Baronet of Baldoon was David, the eldest son of the poet’s brother Archibald, the addressee of VI.17. Nobis in the last line might collectively designate Dunbar and the rest of his brothers.

spacerIII.18 The part of the sidewalk furthest from the street was considered nicest, since one would be less apt to be spattered by such things as mud thrown up by passing horses (which is why the gentleman is always supposed to walk on the outside of the lady). But if chamberpots are being emptied out of windows, the desirability of that position suddenly diminishes.

spacerIII.20 The Anglo-Welsh poet John Davies of Hereford [c. 1565 - 1618], not to be confused with Sir John Davies [1569 - 1626], was appointed a teacher of penmanship to Prince Henry (Complete Works, ed. A. B. Grosart, I.xiii). Dunbar’s epigram celebrates Davies’ The Scourge of Folly (c. 1610) which comprises an opening section of 292 epigrams of varying lengths, many of them satirical, followed by 418 short epigrams making “a plesant (Though discordant) Descant vpon most English Prouerbes’, and a final section of 121 varied epigrams “To Worthy Persons” (including himself).
spacer The final couplet refers to Samuel Daniel’s rivalry with Ben Jonson for the unofficial title of Poet Laureate: Jonson is called Sylvester because he had recently published a volume of poetry entitled The Forest. (Misunderstanding this reference, Smith p. 150 seems to have thought the couplet mentions Joshua Sylvester, the minor contemporary poet and prolific translator (including of Du Bartas, see the note to VI.92).

spacerIII.22 Cf. the similar contrast between the poet and the orator drawn at VI.22.

spacerIII.28 Mary was originally buried at Peterborough Cathedral, but in 1612 James brought her remains to the Abbey for reburial in a sumptuous tomb.

spacerIII.30 The humor of this epigram hinges on the two meanings of lumen, “light” and “eye.”

spacerIII.31 It was common for those who wished to curry favor with King James to say bad things about the great Scottish poet-Humanist George Buchanan [1506 - 1582], who came forth as a spokesman for the Lords who deposed Mary Queen of Scots, notably in his 1571 De Maria Scotorum Regina and the relevant portion of his history of Scotland, Rerum Scoticarum Historia (1582), and who also denounced the contemporary theory of the divine right of kings in his De Iure Regni apud Scotos Dialogus (published 1579) Buchanan had not only denounced his royal pupil’s mother as a tyrant and a whore, but had beaten the boy mercilessly, and as late as 1622 James would still be having dreadful nightmares about him (CSP Venetian, 1621-23, ed. A. B. Hinds, pp. 444f.).

spacerIII.39 For Dunbar’s family see the Introduction. His paternal grandfather Archibald, first of Baldoon, was a younger son of the Dunbars of Mochrum. Married to Jonet Mure of Rowallan (V.54) in Ayrshire, he was killed at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547 (Smith p. 151). The poet was related to a number of his Scottish addressees through Archibald’s siblings (and his Dunbar of Mochrum and of Westfield forebears), for whom see the Stirnet Dunbar03 genealogy.

spacerIII.42 At the college of Edinburgh, “Instead of Professors, each with a definite subject, there were Regents, each responsible to see a particular “year” through. The Regent responsible for Dunbar’s year was John Adamson, who had been appointed in 1597/8 and who in 1623 became the fifth Principal” (Smith p. 150). Adamson, minister of Liberton, was himself a poet, not only in Latin and Greek, but also in Scots-English, appearing alongside Drummond of Hawthornden in various volumes. Adamson edited The Muses Welcome (Edinburgh, 1618), which gathered together all the Latin, Greek and vernacular tributes paid to James VI and I during his three month tour of his ancestral kingdom in the summer of 1617. Unlike his fellow epigrammatist John Leech, Dunbar is entirely absent from Adamson’s volume, presumably being resident in France in 1617 (see Introduction). As a minister of the kirk, Adamson would have been known to Dunbar not only as a teacher but as a preacher; rather a good one, to judge from his one printed sermon, The Travellers Joy (London, 1623).

spacerIII.43 Dunbar’s enthusiasm for the abiding influence of Cambridge’s products is doubtless due to the university’s being a Puritan seminary. See the similar image of flaming light in Decades III.10 and note thereto.

spacerIII.44.1 See the note on I.59.3.

spacerIII.45 Sir Robert Ayton [1570 - 1636], secretary to Queen Anne as of 1612, was a celebrated poet in his own right; his Latin poems appear in Sir John Scot’s Delitiae poetarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637) I.40 - 75, and his English ones were published posthumously by his nephew Sir John Ayton. His biography in the O. D. N. B. mentions no martial exploits such as might warrant Dunbar’s praises in this epigram; evidently Dunbar is playfully pretending they automatically attend upon receipt of a knighthood.

spacerIII.46 The great first century Roman orator and author of the Institutes of Oratory.

spacerIII.47.2 The mother of St. Dominic had a vision that her unborn child was a dog who would set the world on fire with a torch it carried in its mouth, so the dog became the symbol for the Dominican religious order, whose role as inquisitors lent itself to their punning nickname the “hounds of the Lord” (Domini canes).

spacerIII.48 Sir Edward Coke [1553 - 1634]. Having served as Attorney General and Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, this great legalist was elevated to Chief Justice of the King’s Bench in 1613. Dunbar’s idea of the position of his office in the title to this epigram is incorrect: prior to the judicial reforms of 2004, the Lord Chief Justice was only the second-highest judge of the courts of England and Wales, after the Lord Chancellor. The presence of this epigram in the same volume as IV.87 is intriguing; Coke’s refusal to support King James’s demands that Peacham be found guilty of treason undoubtedly contributed to his removal from the King’s Bench in November 1616. Coke was strongly pro-Puritan. He was involved in the colonisation of Virginia, and his works travelled to America with the Mayflower.
spacer1 Themis was the Greek goddess of justice.

spacerIII.49 Coke’s greatest contribution to English law was to interpret Magna Carta to apply not only to the protection of nobles but also to all subjects of the crown equally, which effectively established the law as a guarantor of rights among all subjects against even Parliament and the King.

spacerIII.50 The veteran soldier Sir Fernando Gorges [1568 - 1647], a long-time commander of the defensive works at Plymouth, who eventually bankrupted himself backing a series of unsuccessful North American colonization schemes. He had been knighted in 1591 at Rouen, after helping Henri IV (see VI.19, VI.62, VI.63) to capture the city, and may have encouraged Dunbar’s admiration of the French king. On the showing of his epigrams, Gorges was the closest thing Dunbar had to a patron (VI.49 is addressed to Gorges’s first wife, Anne Bell), but epigrams such as VI.48 and (evidently) I.15 suggest that his support was not sufficient to stave off poverty. For details of Gorges and his family, see Notes and Queries for July 1903, p.21. In 1618, the newly-laureated D.r Dunbar would dedicate his Daphnaeum Doctorale to Gorges; see the Introduction.

spacerIII.53 Meter: dactylic hexameter + iambic trimeter.

spacerIII.54 The cackling geese on the Capitoline Hill warned the Romans of a Gallic invasion in about 390 B. C. The eagle of the Holy Roman Empire often damaged Rome, most spectacularly in the terrible Sack of Rome by the soldiers of Charles V which began on 6 May 1527; Pope Clement VII survived by fleeing into the Castel Sant’Angelo, but his Swiss Guards were slaughtered. After Charles V’s death, the eagle also became the symbol of the Spanish Habsburgs, whose policies were often at odds with those of the papacy.

spacerIII.55 Meter: iambic trimeters.

spacerIII.56 James Stuart [1581 - 1659], fourth Lord Ochiltree, had assumed this title in 1615, upon the resignation of his cousin Andrew, who sold it to him when the latter became first Lord Mountstuart. James’s father was the second son of the long-lived 2nd Lord Ochiltree, namely the ill-fated one-time favourite of James VI, Captain James Stewart [c. 1545 - 1595], Earl of Arran and Chancellor of Scotland. This highly educated but apparently quite unprincipled man, described by historians as “an adventurer,” had been a close associate of James VI’s first favourite, his French cousin Esmé Stuart, Sieur d’Aubigny and first Duke of Lennox. Captain James was the chief accuser of the former regent, the pro-English James Douglas, Earl of Morton, and was instrumental in bringing about Morton’s execution for treason in 1581. Esmé Stuart’s pro-French, anti-English and anti-Presbyterian régime, installed in late 1579, was brought down by the first Earl of Gowrie and other protestant nobles in autumn 1581, not long after Captain James had been made Earl of Arran and married the daughter of the Stewart Earl of Atholl, one of the leading peers of the realm (whom he had made pregnant before the marriage, although she was the wife of the king’s supposedly impotent uncle Robert Stewart, bishop of Caithness). When the king took the reins of government back into his own hands in June 1583, the Earl of Arran returned as favourite, and on being appointed Chancellor in 1584, attempted to install a similar regime to Lennox’s. Having survived a planned coup by the Earl of Gowrie, Arran executed him, but fell in November 1585 when a group of banished pro-Presbyterian nobles returned in arms from England, and captured both Stirling Castle and the King. Arran never regained political prominence, and in December 1595, he was murdered in a lonely Border glen by Sir James Douglas of Torthorwald, a nephew of the Regent Morton. The former Chancellor’s head was paraded on a spear, and his body left to be eaten by wild animals. Thus, as Dunbar’s poem indicates, the new Lord Ochiltree was truly witnessing a considerable revival of the fortunes of his branch of the Ochiltree Stewart family. Information about his career, including a military defeat in Canada in 1629, can be found here. Via his cousin Andrew, Lord Mountstuart, he was related to Sir George Crawford of Leifnorris (see note to V.71).

spacerIII.60 Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerIII.61 St Andrews (founded 1412) had been turned into a fullblown Calvinist-Presbyterian seminary under the influence of Andrew Melville (I.44, I.98), but Dunbar was proud of his Edinburgh M.A., as witness his tribute to the university (IV.78) and its first and second principals, Robert Rollock (VI.44) and Henrie Charteris (VI.82), his regent John Adamson (III.42) and his lecturer John Ray (IV.47 and IV.48), and to his fellow Edinburgh graduate Matthew Crawfurd (V.71).

spacerIII.64 The Kerrs of Gaitschaw (Gateshaw) were descended from Thomas Ker, a younger son of Andrew Ker [d. 1444] of Cessford and Auldtounburn, whose son Andrew [d. before 1484] was the forebear both of Sir Robert Kerr of Ancram (see VI.59), via his third son Thomas Ker [d. before 1484] of Smailholm and Ferniehirst, and of the Kerrs of Yair (see V.86), who were descended from his fifth son, William. See the Stirnet Ker01 and Ker02 genealogies. The hamlet of Gateshaw is near the ruins of Cessford Castle, between Kelso and Morebattle, in Teviotdale. The mythical captain of Ithaca is the much-travelled Odysseus, and the untraceable addressee of this epigram had also travelled widely.

spacerIII.65 For some reason that is exceedingly hard for a modern to understand, during the Elizabethan period an incredible amount of ink and futile effort were expended on concocting bogus histories of Oxford and Cambridge, as sectaries of both sides strove to establish the historical precedence of their seat of learning: Oxford writers included the playwright and antiquarian Leonard Hutten, and among those defending Cambridge were Dr. John Caius and the poet Giles Fletcher the Elder. For Dunbar’s attitude to universities’ claims of antique precedence, see III.65 and IV.86.

spacerIII.71 Possibly to be identified as John Murray, who would in 1622 become Viscount Annan, Lord Moray of Lochmaben [d. 1640], the youngest son of Sir John Murray of Cockpool in Dumfriesshire. See Bruce McAndrew, Scotland’s Historic Heraldry (Melton, Suffolk 2006), p.529. This man would be of interest to Dunbar due to the fact that in 1606 and 1609, he had been given grants of lands and revenues involving the southwest, namely Dundrennan Abbey in Kirkbcudbrightshire and Lochmaben Castle in Dumfriesshire; these grants were all confirmed by an act of the Scottish Parliament on 23 October 1612 (available on the internet) in recognition of “the long and good service done to his majesty by his highness’s trusty and familiar servant John Murray, groom of his majesty’s bedchamber, in his diligent attendance upon his highness’s sacred person continually since the said John Murray’s infancy.” John Murray’s older brother James (of Cockpool) was also a gentleman of the bedchamber and royal favourite. There was a plethora of Murrays at James’s Scottish and, after 1603, British court; see III.75.

spacerIII.73 The so-called “gold angel” was a coin minted during James’ second coinage (1604).

spacerIII.74 W. Caird Taylor, “Scottish Students at Heidelberg,” Scottish Historical Review V (1908),  p.71: “Alexander Ramsaeus, Scotus, Baronis de Bamff filius tertiogenitus, 8 November 1606... Physician to James I and Charles I.” The reference is not to Banff in Banffshire, but to the Ramsay family estate at Alyth in Perthshire. In E. L. Furdell, The Royal Doctors, 1485 - 1714 (Rochester, 2001), he is described as “another royal physician-in-ordinary in Scotland from 1631 to 1650...a Basel M.D. and Fellow of the London College of Physicians, he was active in the attempt to create a similar college in Edinburgh” (p.123).
spacer3 The reference is of course to the golden bough which Aeneas had to carry on his journey to Underworld in Book VI of the Aeneid.

spacerIII.75 Evidently the vernacular poet John Murray (who died on 11 April 1615). Although highly regarded by his contemporaries (Ayton wrote an epitaph for him: Gullans, Poems of Ayton, p.243), little verse definitely attributable to him now survives. For a body of interesting work possibly from his pen, see H. M. Shire, Song, Dance and Poety at the Court of Scotland under James VI (Cambridge, 1969), p.181 - 202 (who, like Gullans p.40, quotes the present epigram in the course of her discussion).

spacerIII.77 Tobie Mathew [1546 - 1628] was the anti-Catholic and far from anti-Puritan Archbishop of York from 1606 - 1628. His ability as a ceaselessly active preacher made him a kind of “superstar” of the age. See the note to Decades III.2.
spacerMeter: one dactylic hexameter + one iambic dimeter.
spacer2 Tobias is the son of Tobit in the eponymous apocryphal book of the Old Testament; he is a model of charity and loving behaviour, not least in his wish to be excessively generous in rewarding his helper (12:2-3), whom he does not realise to be the Archangel Gabriel.

spacerIII.78 The Catholic humanist Kaspar Schoppe [1576 - 1649], whom Dunbar attacks again in Decades I.3, printed two treatises against King James, the Ecclesiasticus in 1611 and the even more scurrilous Collyrium Regium (“The Royal Suppository”) in the following year. This latter book was publicly burnt at London in 1612 (and also in Paris because of some outrageous remarks that slandered the memory of Henri IV), and he was also hanged in effigy. There is a biographical sketch of Schoppe in J. Fr. Michard, Biographie Universelle (Graz, 1960) xxxviii.509 - 11. He is brought on the stage and lampooned at length in the Second Prologue to George Ruggle’s 1615 Cambridge comedy Ignoramus. The point of this epigram may have to do with the fact that a scurrilous mock-panegyric of James falsely attributed to Isaac Casaubon, entitled Casauboni Corona Regia, printed somewhere on the Continent the previous year, which Dunbar imagined (probably wrongly) to be Schoppe’s handiwork. Schoppe’s name has been pencilled in on the title page of the Bodleian Library copy of that opus.
spacer2 The book’s Ἀσκίας cannot be right: a.) with its alpha privative it means “unshadowed,” the exact opposite of that Dunbar wants to say; b.) the word does not fit the meter, since the second syllable should be short.

spacerIII.80 Smith’s silence indicates he knew nothing about Dunbar’s mother Jonet, but the Stirnet Dunbar02 genealogy calls her Janet Cunningham, and she was presumably a member of one of numerous Ayrshire Cunningham families, whose chiefs were the notably Protestant Earls of Glencairn: the fourth Earl played a significant part in the Scottish Reformation, and had written a satirical poem on pilgrimage as early as the 1540s (Knox, Works, I.72-75).

spacerIII.82 Lycophron was an Alexandrian poet, the author of a lengthy poem entitled Alexandra or Cassandra which earned him the sobriquet “the Obscure” and can all too understandably produce the effect on a reader described by Dunbar.

spacerIII.83 John Mackie may have been related to the Mackies of Larg, across the waters of Wigtown Bay from Baldoon; Sir Patrick Mackie’s daughter married Patrick Hannay of Kirkdale (killed in a skirmish at the Cruives of Cree in 1610), whose son Patrick inherited Kirkdale and was married to Agnes Dunbar, daughter of Gavin Dunbar of Baldoon, according to this genealogical site (see the note to VI.12).

spacerIII.87 Two great scholars, Julius Caesar Scaliger [1484 - 1558] and his son Joseph Justus Scaliger [1540 - 1609], who died childless. They belonged to the House of La Scaldfyja, who ruled Verona for a hundred and fifty years.

spacerIII.89 Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerIII.92 The humor of the last line lies in the fact that the common noun morio = “fool, jester.”

spacerIII.94 P. 89 concludes with III.94 and p. 90 begins with III.96. Book III therefore contains only 99 epigrams (this is counterbalanced by the fact that Book IV contains 101).

spacerIII.97 This epigram is “retrograde” in the sense that it says the exact opposite of what it means.

spacerIII.98 See the note on I.9.

spacerIII.99 For the purposes of this epigram, it would appear that caesim = “in a straight line,” and punctim = “diagonally.”

spacerILLUSTRISSIMO, GRATISSIMO Throughout this volume, Charles is designated a Prince loosely and by courtesy only: prior to his creation as Prince of Wales in November 1616 — evidently later in the year than the appearance of this present volume, judging by Dunbar’s silence on the subject — his title as heir apparent was Duke of Cornwall.


spacer5ff. The poets mentioned in this paragraph are Orpheus, Vergil, and Ovid (whom Augustus banished to the Black Sea).

spacer16 With his music he will tame fiercer beasts than did Orpheus.

spacer19f. See the note on AD IACOBUM MAGNAE BRITANNIAE 86.

spacer55 Apelles was a famous Greek painter, just as Praxitiles was a famous sculptor.

spacer60 He means Propertius.

spacer77ff. These comments, at least, are not empty flattery; Charles’s faith was an unshakeable, central part of his life, and his Anglican beliefs were extremely firm, pace all the accusations of Romanism that would be levelled against him and Archbishop Laud by Puritans.

spacer81 The Roman goddess of justice.

spacerIV.2 This epigram congratulates Charles on two of the Scottish members of his household, Sir James Fullerton, First Gentleman of the Bedchamber (cf. IV.33 for more puns on Fullerton’s name), and his tutor Thomas Murray, for whom cf. epigrams IV.32 and IV.44 respectively. Arthur Johnston has an epigram lamenting both Murray and Fullerton:

Nil aulae metuens vel Regis Parca querelas,
Moravium terris abstulit ante diem.
Hoc Fullertonus sublato sidere, Lethis
Intempestivis est jugulatus aquis.
Saeviat ad lubitum Lachesis: post funera tanta,
Aula nihil, nil Rex unde queratur habet.

See Arthuri Ionstoni Scoti Epigrammata (Aberdeen, 1623) p. 26.

spacerIV.3 Frederick Henry, son of Prince Frederick and James’ daughter Elizabeth. He was named for his mother’s beloved brother, the late Prince of Wales. He too would die young (by drowning) in 1629.

spacerIV.11 Dunbar has noticed that (at least if you treat u and v as freely interchangeable, as in V.43), anagrams for Calvin are provided by both the eighth-century theologian Alcuin, and the Greek satirical writer Lucian of Samosata. The amusing ineptitude or inappropriateness of the metamorphosis is presumably because the overtly anti-Christian Philopatris was long attributed to Lucian, who was seen as a cynical atheist (although the sternly Calvinist Bishop Andrew Boyd of Argyll loved to quote the Greek satirist in his sermons and even made a MS translation of his tenth Dialogue of the Dead; see J. Reid-Baxter, “Mr Andro Boyd (1565 - 1636): a Neo-Stoic Bishop of Argyll and his writings,” in J. Goodare and A. A. MacDonald, eds., Sixteenth Century Scotland: Essays in honour of Michael Lynch (Leiden, 2008), pp. 395 - 425.

spacerIV.12 The humor of this epigram appears to depend on a pun with frons as explained by The Oxford Latin Dictionary def. 4, “a person’s brow considered as masking his true freelings or character.” As Lucian plays on the eyebrows and forehead of the hypocritical — and hairy — philosopher in the Dialogue mentioned in the preceding note (at marginal nos. 168 and 372 in the Loeb edition), Dunbar may well be specifically recalling this Dialogue, whether in the original or in the much-reprinted translation by Martinus Bolerus Brettonus.

spacerIV.13.6 For this proverbial expression cf. Erasmus, Adagiorum Chiliades II.ix.63.

spacerIV.14 The poisoning of the poet and essayist Sir Thomas Overbury [1581 - 1613], while confined in the Tower, by Frances Howard, consort of Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, probably with the connivance of her husband, was the great scandal of James’ reign. The most recent account is Anne Somerset, Unnatural Murder (London, 1997).
spacerRegarding line 2, Heraclitus was “the crying philosopher” and Democritus “the laughing philosopher”: Dunbar only means that in the course of human life, laughter eventually turns to tears.

spacerIV.16 The addressee of this poem is identified by Smith p. 152 as a La Rochelle physician named Massiot. The Dictionnaire historique et genealogique des familles du Poitou (1905) informs us he was named Pierre, married Francoise Fouchier in 1598 (p.527), and was l’un des médecins ordinaires de la ville, who died in 1626 (p.630). Evidently during his sojourn there Dunbar had suffered serious illness and felt he owed his life to this individual.
spacer1 Two great physicians of the past: the eighth century Persian Yuhanna ibn Masawaih, whose name was Latinized as Mesue, and the mythological Machaon, son of Asclepius.

spacerIV.18 John King, Bishop of London 1611 - 1621. Called by King James, with his fondness for puns, “the King of preachers’; Fuller (Church History of Britain, 1845 edition, II.203) says that Sir Edward Coke (III.48) claimed that King “was the best speaker in the Star Chamber in his time.” Fuller also observes that, once Bishop of London, King did not “forget his office in the pulpit; showing, by his example, that a bishop might govern and preach too... he omitted no Sunday whereon he did not visit some pulpit.” Nicholas Tyacke, Anti-Calvinists: the Rise of English Arminianism (Oxford, 1987), p.109, identifies him as one of the “Calvinist triumvirate” with George Abbot of Canterbury (see III.6) and James Montague of Winchester (see I.79), who were “counterweights to Neile,” i.e. the Arminian Dean of Westminster and Bishop of Rochester, who had secured a royal chaplaincy for William Laud as early as 1611.
spacer5 A standard Homeric epithet for kings, applied especially to Agamemnon in the Iliad.

spacerIV.21 In 1613 James licensed Lord Harington to issue copper farthings to counter a shortage of low-denomination coins.

spacerIV.22 Meter: iambic trimeters alternating with iambic dimeters.

spacerIV.24 A college had been founded at La Rochelle in 1565. “Among the Professors…was one who was probably the poet’s kinsman and the cause of his going there” (Smith, p. 151). However, there is no trace of any individual called Dunbar in Francisque Michel, Les Ecossais en France (1862), nor in the recent book by Kevin C Robbins, City on the Ocean: La Rochelle 1530 - 1650 (Leiden, 1997). But there was such a man, and he was indeed a relative of the poet. The Appendix to the 4th Report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission, p. 517, includes an inventory of the Charter Chest of the Earls of Selkirk at St Mary’s Isle, Kirkcudbright. One of the documents inventoried is “an application' from John Dunbar of Enterkine to the Lords of Secret Council for letters under the Great Seal of Scotland to testify the birth of John Dunbar,” his second lawful son, the father “being at the time of his application Regent of the College of Rochelle. 23 May 1609.” An earlier reference from 19 August 1600 to “Mr Johne Dunbar,” son of William Dunbar of Enterkine, is found on p. 762 of James Paterson, History of the County of Ayr. See here. In addition, the Catalogue of the MSS remaining in Dr. March’s Library, Dublin,” lists the following item: Z 3. 3. 2. “Curriculum Totius Philosophiae Aristotelicae. Auctore Johanne Dumbaro Scoto, Philosophiae professore. Rupellae, 1618. Exceptum ab Elia Boherello, Rupellensi, Eliae filio, Petri nepote. 410+190+96+30+8 pages. (Bouhereau MS.).” No printed copy is known. The BNF in Paris holds a printed copy of Circulum quadrandi et cubum duplicandi modus verus a nemine hactenus mortalium cognitus nunc foeliciter in lucem prodit ope D Pauli Yvonis D. de la Leu …  repertus et a D. Joanne Dumbaro … cunfirmatus et approbatus, Rupellae : ex typographia H. Haultini, per C. Hertmanum, 1619.

spacerIV.25 In Latin, gravis means not only “grave” but “heavy” (or weighty).

spacerIV.31 For Samuel de Loumeau, a pastor of the Reformed Church of La Rochelle from 1594 to 1629, who had previously trained as a doctor, and was held in high regard by the pape des Huguenots, Philippe Duplessis-Mornay (see Decades IV.9 and note).see Smith p. 151 and also George L. Catlin, The Huguenots of La Rochelle: A Translation of The Reformed Church of La Rochelle, an Historical Sketch, by Louis Delmas (New York, 1880) p. 191 (dominus was a courtesy title conferred on anybody who had earned the B. A.). See also Haag, La France protestante (1857), VII.84, under Lhoumeau, and K. C. Robbins, City on the Ocean Sea (Leiden, 1997), who says that Loumeau’s “ample and intimate correspondence with protestant churchmen in England, Holland and Saumur shows his strong attachment to the Reformed communities of the Atlantic world” (p.131).

spacerIV.32 Son of John Fullerton, laird of Dreghorn (a very active supporter of the Reformation) and Janet Mure, daughter of Mungo Mure (killed at Pinkie Cleugh in 1547) of Rowallan. See stirnet Mure01 genealogy. Since this Janet was a niece of Dunbar’s grandmother (see V.54), the poet was a fairly close relative of James, who graduated at Glasgow in 1581 (J. Durkan and J. Kirk, The University of Glasgow, p.304). Dreghorn lies between Kilmarnock and Irvine in N. Ayrshire. James’s career started as a teacher in a private school in Dublin in 1588, where he taught the future Puritan Archbishop Ussher (see J. A. Carr, The Life and Times of James Ussher, 1895, repr. 2006, p. 22). Fullerton helped found Trinity College in 1592. Alan Ford, James Ussher (Oxford, 2007) says he was “a rather superior species of schoolteacher” and served as an unofficial agent for King James; “educated at Glasgow University, he had been a special friend of the principal...Andrew Melville” (p.25). Fullerton enjoyed astonishing success at the courts of James VI and I and of Charles I, from 1603 onwards. to the extent that when he died in 1630, he was buried in Westminster Abbey. Given Fullerton’s merely lairdly origins, Dunbar’s praise of his genus, if not of his other qualities, is clearly self-serving; on 9 April 1616 he had married the widow of Edward, first Lord Bruce of Kinloss, Magdalene Clerk (her sons would be second and third Lords Bruce, and the latter would be the first Earl of Kincardine — see The Scots Peerage III.476)

spacerIV.33 The epitaph on Fullerton’s tomb in Westminster Abbey features punning on his surname similar to Dunbar’s here and in IV.2 (H. W. Howe, Here Lies, Being a Collection of Ancient and Modern Humorous and Queer Inscriptions from Tombstones New York, 1901, p. 17):

Here lies the remnant of Sir James Fullerton, Knt., first Gentleman of the Bedchamber to King Charles the First (Prince and King) a gracious Rewarder of all virtue; a severe Reprover of all vice; a profest Renouncer of all Vanitie. He was a firm pillar to the Common Wealth, a faithful Patron to the Catholique Church, a faire Patterne to the British Court. He lived to the Welfare of his Country, to the Honour of his Prince, to the glory of his God. He died Fuller of Faith than of Fears, Fuller of Resolution than of Pains, Fuller of Honour than of Days.

spacerIV.36.3 A bad poet mentioned in Vergil’s third Eclogue.

spacerIV.37 Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerIV.39 Smith (pp. 152f.) noted that at the time he published this volume Dunbar appears to have been unmarried but, according to Smith p. 153 he had an attachment to a certain E. Wall or Walle (Decades V.5). Smith also observed that four of his epigrams are addressed to men with the same surname, (Decades III.5, VI.3 — to which should be added IV.5 — and the present one). He sugested that a Cragie may indicated that this addressee belonged to a different family. Pace Smith p. 152,the present individual was not a relative of Dunbar’s wife Elizabeth Wallis, but one of the Wallaces of Cragie, with whom the Dunbars of Mochrum (and the Stewarts of Garlies, see IV.69) were genealogically linked. Whoever he was, Thomas Wallace of Craigie was clearly studying and travelling in France. For what it may be worth, the Stirnet Wallace04 genealogy site records a records a Thomas Wallace as a son of Sir John Wallace of Craigie, who died after 1596

spacerIV.42 Alexander Udney of Auchterellon, son of the Laird of Udney (now Udny), admitted burgess of Aberdeen in 1608 (James Gordon, History of Scottish Affairs) and appointed rector of Hawkinge, Kent in 1612. VI.53 is addressed to his good friend, William Ogston, a regent in Marischal College, the younger of Aberdeen’s two universities. On the title page of his A Golden Bell and a Pomgranate (London, 1625), Udney describes himself as a royal chaplain in ordinary. He was a moderate Puritan, committed to a preaching ministry. Susan Holland, in “Archbishop Abbot and the problem of ‘puritanism,’” The Historical Journal 37:1 (March 1994) pp. 23 - 43, says that Udney was “preferred by Abbot early in his career” (p.31), and that after the troubles at Ashford in 1629 — when Udney was suspended by the Arminian dean and archdeacon of Canterbury — “Abbot advised that the lecturer Udney, as a ‘learned conformable man’ be reinstated” (p.32). That Udney the Scotsman and Udney the English parson were one and the same man is confirmed by the J. Robertson (ed.), Illustrations of the Topography and Antiquities of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff (Spalding Club, Aberdeen, 1843 - 57) III.82. Dunbar appears to have known one or two Aberdonians (see VI.10, VI.53), perhaps via his fellow-epigrammatist Arthur Johnston, whom he appears to have met at Sedan (see Introduction). )
spacerUdney’s friend was Sir Oliver Boteler [d. 1632] originally of Sharnbrooke, Bedfordshire, who was knighted in 1604 and later made his home at Barham House in Teston, Kent, about twenty miles distant from Udney’s Hawkinge. See W. H. Ireland, New and Complete History of the Country of Kent (London, 1829) III.475f.

spacerIV.43 See the note on I.7.2.

spacerIV.44 Thomas Murray [1564 - 1623], tutor to Prince Charles, son of Patrick Murray of Woodend (the second son of Anthony Murray of Dollerie, a cadet line of the Murrays of Tullibardine), was attached to the Scottish court and came south with the king in 1603. Biography in O. D. N. B. See also “Scotland will be the ending of all Empires: Mr Thomas Murray (1564 -1623) and King James VI,” in S. Boardman and J. Goodare (edd.) Kings, Lords and Men in Scotland and Britain, 1300 -1625: Essays in Honour of Jenny Wormald (Edinburgh, 2014), pp. 320 -40.

His Naupactiados (London, 1604) is a translation of King James’s Scots-language epic Lepanto (1588). Murray was appointed tutor and then secretary to Prince Charles (IV.2), and for the last year of his life was Provost of Eton. His MS. paraphrase of Lamentations (in the NLS) is prefaced by a substantial dedicatory poem addressed to King James, voicing Murray’s vehement desire that James should heed the laments of mainland Europe’s suffering Protestants, and lead a Protestant crusade to destroy the latter-day Babylon of Papal Rome. Poetry by Murray is included in Sir John Scot (ed.), Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637) II.180 - 200. Murray was close to Giordano Bruno’s Scottish disciple Alexander Dickson, to whom he addressed two short poems on friendship. His last child was the celebrated writer Lady Anne Halkett [1622/3-1699], whose 21 folio and quarto manuscript volumes, written between 1644 and the late 1690s, are housed in the National Library of Scotland.

spacerIV.43a There is one epigram numbered 43 at the foot of p. 113 and another with the same number at the top of p. 114. Book IV therefore contains 101 epigrams.

spacerIV.47 Although this and the next epigram are playful, they address a serious problem that often arose for learned writers: how should English surnames be Latinized. The easiest way was simply to add the termination -us, but more adventurous solutions were sometimes adopted.
spacerJohn Ray [d. 1636] was rector of the High School of Edinburgh from 1606, and edited the 1615 Poemata Omnia of Buchanan; hence, perhaps, Dunbar’s describing him as a “critic,” though Ray did in fact publish some examples of original poetry, such as epitaphs for his colleague Robert Rollock (VI.44). In that year Sir William Alexander of Menstrie and Sir John Scott of Scotstarvet had charged Ray to make a collection of the works of Scottish Latin poets; this plan was carried out years later by Sir John Scot in the shape of the Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum, sponsored by Sir John Scott. Ray supervised Edinburgh editions of Johann Sturm’s selected Letters of Cicero (1618), Sulpizio’s De moribus et civilitate puerorum Carmen, Cato’s Disticha de Moribus (1620) and other works, and introduced Studiorum Puerilium Clavis of Andrew Duncan (V.7) into the Edinburgh school curriculum. Ray’s earlier success as the university’s Professor of Humanity from 1597 to 1606 — when Dunbar was a student — was celebrated in a funeral sonnet by a grateful William Drummond of Hawthornden:

No Wonder now if Mistes beclowde our Day,
Sith now our earth la[c]kes her celestiall RAY;
And Phoebus murnes his preest, and all his quire,
In sables wrapt, weep out their sacred fire;
Far[e]well of latin Muses greatest praise,
Whether thou red grave proses or did raise
Delight and wonder by a numbrous straine;
Fare well Quintilian once more dead againe;
With ancient Plautus, Martiall combined,
Maro and Tullie, here in one enshrined.
Bright RAY of learning which so cleare didst streame,
Fare well Soule which so many soules did frame.
Many Olympiades about shall come,
Ere earth like thee another can entombe.

(see L. E. Kastner, ed. The Poetical Works of William Drummond, Scottish Text Society, 1913, II.249 and notes thereto). Dunbar may likewise have benefited from Ray’s clearly inspired teaching, and the fact he calls Ray criticus might even indicate that he submitted some of his poetry to his former lecturer for comments.

spacerIV.54f. On Thursday, 9 November 1609, Sir James Stuart, the eldest son of Walter, first Lord Blantyre, fought a duel with Sir George Wharton, whose maternal grandfather was the Earl of Cumberland, over a gambling argument, in which they killed each other. This was commemorated in a border ballad: cf. Francis James Child, English and Scottish Ballads (Boston, 1860) III.259 - 264. John Davies of Hereford (III.20) dedicated the 38 lines of epigram 125 of The Scourge of Folly to this sad event.
spacerThe point of the second epigram is now that the history of wars between Scotland and England have come to an end, the paradoxical fact that these two men could have killed each other in the peaceful act of gambling is a sign of great progress in the relation of these two peoples.

spacerIV.56 Sir Patrick Young [1584 - 1652] Royal Librarian and one of the leading scholars of the period. Biography in O. D. N. B. He was the fifth son of Sir Peter Young, who had shared with George Buchanan the task of educating the young James VI I and building up the royal library inherited by Patrick Young, whose father’s gentleness and indulgence was much appreciated by his royal pupil. See P. Gordon and D. Lawton, Royal Education (Abingdon, 1999), pp. 51 - 3.

spacerIV.59 Thomas Goad [1576 - 1638], son of the sternly Calvinist Roger Goad, Provost of King’s College, Cambridge, of which he himself was a Fellow. He became domestic chaplain to George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury (III.6),who had attended Guildford Free School when Roger Goad was its headmaster. A pro-Puritan orthodox Calvinist, he was appointed to stand in for Joseph Hall, Bishop of Exeter, at the Synod of Dort in November 1618. Richard Montague, the royal chaplain and Arminian, detested him as one of the “two Grandees of the [Calvinist] faction” (the other was another chaplain of Abbot’s, Daniel Featley), whom he attacked in the very title of his book Appello Caesarem A JUST APPEALE from Two Unjust Informers (1625). Goad was a highly literary man: the Scottish epigrammatist John Leech, clearly aware of the value of being in Goad’s good books, would call him (inter alia) pater elegantiarum, and Fuller (Worthies of England) says that he was “a great and general scholar, exact critic, historian, poet (delighting in making of verses till the day of his death), school-man, divine” (p.240). Goad was amongst the very first to publish poetry on the subject of the Gunpowder Plot, Cithara octochorda pectine pulsata Horationo cantionem concinens novam, triumphum Britannicum (London, 1605). According to Smith, p. 152, “it was [Goad] who gave Dunbar his imprimatur, if that is the meaning of Nostram iussisti prodire in lumina Musam.” Goad was indeed responsible for authorising publications and was therefore often sought out by Calvinist writers (see Cyndia S. Clegg, Press Censorship in Jacobean England, Cambridge, 2001, especially pp. 47 and 64), although Dunbar’s choice of verb may suggest that Goad took a more active role in encouraging him to publish. But what direct connection Dunbar may have had with Goad is as yet entirely unknown

spacerIV.60 See the note on I.9.

spacerIV.62 Jacques Merlin, a pastor of La Rochelle: Smith p.151, Catlin, index s. v. Son and grandson of Genevan pastors, and a graduate in divinity of Oxford (1588), Merlin was pastor from 1589 to 1620. His Diaire ou recrueil des choses plus memorables qui se sont passees en ceste ville is a priceless sourcebook for historians. Merlin is repeatedly quoted in K.C. Robbins, City on the Ocean (Leiden, 1997), where details of his life can found on pp. 125f. and 130

spacerIV.64 Meter: scazons (iambic trimeters with a concluding trochee).

spacerIV.66 The Welsh epigrammatist John Owen [1564? - 1622?], whose Epigrammata enjoyed great popularity and longevity on the Continent. As discussed in the Introduction, Owen’s epigrams provided the model imitated by Dunbar. The present epigram jokes about the rather fanciful Latinizations of his name that were currently being used. The three names of a Roman were his praenomen, nomen and cognomen (such as Marcus Tullus Cicero), and the humor of the final line is generated by the national stereotype that Welshmen were prone to exaggeration.

spacerIV.69 Alexander Stewart [d. 1649], seventh Laird of Garlies, subsequently created first Earl of Galloway (1623): John Debrett, The Peerage of England, Scotland and Ireland (London, 1790) II.97. Stewart was a neighbour and kinsman of Patrick Hannay (see note to VI.12), and a kinsman of John Dunbar, via Margaret Dunbar of Clugstone [d. bef.13 April, 1552], sole heiress of Dunbar of Clugstone, and niece of the poet’s grandfather Archibald; she was wife to Alexander Stewart, fifth of Garlies, grandfather of the addressee, and their fourth child, Anthony Stewart, married Barbara Gordon, sister of the John Gordon addressed in VI.72, see the note thereto. Their eldest son Alexander died in 1597, leaving the addressee as a minor; one of his curators was Walter Stewart, first Lord Blantyre (see VI.21), and his widow Elizabeth Douglas, daughter of David, Earl of Angus, subsequently married John Wallace elder of Craigie (see IV.39). The addressee would be created Lord Garlies on 19 July 1617 for good service and “‘because of his uninterrupted descent from the ancient and most noble family of Lennox,” of which King James himself was the head. He deputed Ludovic, Duke of Lennox (see I.34), to confer the new dignity personally. See The Scots Peerage IV.155, 159 and 160, and theStirnet Dunbar 03 and Stewart 05 genealogies. The poet would have been a neighbour of Stewart of Garlies during his youth in nearby Baldoon Castle and — it is fair to assume from the familiarity with which he comments on Stewart’s lack of physical stature — also a close friend.

spacerIV.70 James Carmichael [1579 - 1672], son of Walter Carmichael of Park and Hyndford in south Lanarkshire (i. e., yet again within the southwestern area where so many of Dunbar’s Scottish addressees originate); The Scottish Peerage claims his grandmother was a Crichton of Sanquhar (V.83, V.84, VI.76 and notes thereto); the Stirnet Carmichael01 Genealogy notes this but discounts it, saying his grandmother was a Campbell of Loudon in Ayrshire (also in the south-west). According to William Anderson, The Scottish Nation (1863), Carmichael was introduced to the court of King James by George Hume, Earl of Dunbar (cf. IV.84). In 1627 Charles I made him Baronet of Nova Scotia, and in 1641 Lord Carmichael. He performed signal services for Charles during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms .

spacerIV.72 The Greek word for an ass or donkey is ὄνος.

spacerIV.73 The reader may be surprised to see Dunbar writing epigrams about the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, since that had occurred in Catholic nations in 1582, and therefore might seem to be scarcely newsworthy. But interest in this subject was revived, at least for a Scots writer, by the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in Scotland in 1600 (England did not follow suit until 1752, so for over 150 years Great Britain limped along as best it could using two calendars in different parts of the realm).

spacerIV.76 Mark Alexander Boyd [1563 - 1601], nephew to James Boyd, Archbishop of Glasgow, brother of Lord Boyd “of Kilmarnock.” He published Epistolae quindecim (Bordeaux, 1590) and Epistolae heroides et hymni (La Rochelle, 1592). According to Nicola Royan, author of the O. D. N. B. biography, “Boyd’s poetry includes two sets of Epistolae heroides inspired by Ovid’s poems, some of which are responses from the men addressed in Ovid’s poems, and others of which extend the idea to other heroines, both mythical, such as Penelope, and historical, such as Julia Augusta.” If we assume that this epitaph was written reasonably soon after his death, it would appear to be one of the earliest in this collection. Poetry by Boyd is included in Sir John Scot (ed.), Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637) I.137 - 207. See the discussion by Ian Cunningham, A Palace in the Wild (edd. A. J. R. Houwen et al., Louvain, 2000), 161 - 74. Dunbar was a distant relative; he draws attention to his own Boyd (of Bonshaw) ancestry in V.54; see the note thereto.

spacerIV.77 Cornutus could have married an attractive woman, like the famous Greek courtesan Thais. Instead, he chose to marry a Diana-like virago, compelled to suffer at her hands the way Actaon suffered at Diana’s.

spacerIV.78 Dunbar addresses his alma mater. Smith (p. 150) wrote “The name “Joannes Dumbar” stands second on the laureation list of May 28, 1604, the seventeenth list in the history of the College of Edinburgh. At this time…the College had hardly developed into a University.” The institution was founded in 1582, chartered by James VI and funded by a 1558 bequest by Robert Reid, Bishop of Orkney, and was operated by the Town Council under the name Tounis College until it was renamed King James College during the king’s visit to his native land in 1617. The Muses Welcome (1618) edited by John Adamson (III.42) prints a sonnet (based on the king’s address to Adamson and other members of the college staff, full of puns on their names) which ends To their deserved praise haue I thus playd vpon their names: / And wil’s their Colledge hence be cal’d the Colledge of King IAMES (p.231).
spacer4 Scottish universities do not award the B. A., the M. A. is the lowest degree a student can earn.

spacerIV.80 Sir Robert Dallington [1561 - 1636]. Roy Strong, in Henry, Prince of Wales (London, 2000), p.1 6, describes this courtier-scholar as having begun his career attending Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, as a protege of the “strongly Puritan Butts family of Norfolk.” In 1592 he issued The Strife of Love, usually described as a “part translation” of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili attributed to Francesco Colonna. As a protege of the Puritan Earl of Rutland, he travelled in Tuscany and France. These travels resulted in a View of France (1604), A Survey of the Great Dukes State of Tuscany (1605) and a volume of Aphorismes Civile, and Militare from the Italian historian Guicciardini. In 1609 this last was presented in MS to Prince Henry, to whose service Dallington had been introduced by Rutland in 1605; the published text of 1613 was dedicated to Prince Charles. Strong observes that “Dallington was one of the few members of Henry’s household to get a place in that of his successor, who was a decade later, in 1624, to see that Dallington got the lucrative post of Master of the Charterhouse” (p. 17).

spacerIV.82 The mystas meant is presumably the well known Protestant theologian Wolfgang Musculus (1497-1563), who ended his days in Bern, and whose Loci Communes Sacrae Theologiae (1560) was published in England as Common Places of the Christian Religion in 1578. Dunbar is much less likely to be referring to his son Adam, let alone the German Lutheran minister Andreas Musculus, who was convinced that he had the key to the prophecies of the End of the World.

spacerIV.83 Meter: iambic trimeters.

spacerIV.84 A rather outspoken epigram that betrays Dunbar’s Presbyterian sympathies. George Hume or Home, first Earl of Dunbar [1556 - 1611], who presided over state affairs in Scotland as Chancellor was widely unpopular for attempting to enforce, in and after 1608, an episcopal union of the Churches of Scotland and England. In 1606 he had presided over the trial of six leading Scottish ministers from the anti-episcopal wing of the Kirk, who had been amongst those who held a General Assembly of the Kirk assembled at Aberdeen in July 1605. King James claimed their gathering was in defiance of his prohibition of a meeting of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The way Hume manipulated the trial to procure the desired guilty verdict means that Dunbar’s words iustitiae vindex were written with heavy irony. Hume’s sudden death was quite unexpected, and Dunbar’s reference to his daughters is a barbed comment on the fact that this newly-minted Earl left no sons to succeed to his grand title. Hume was succeeded as Chancellor of the realm by the well-liked and eirenic Alexander Seton, first Earl of Dunfermline (V.41), who had attempted to help the “Aberdeen Assembly” ministers, and enjoyed the affections of “the godly” despite his known Roman Catholic faith.

spacerIV.86 St Andrews University was founded in 1412, Glasgow in 1451. Given that Dunbar was a graduate of Edinburgh, founded only in 1582, he clearly does not want to take sides and, indeed, he appears to regard the dispute as rather ridiculous, since good results are forthcoming in both places. Cf. his attitude to the dispute between Oxford and Cambridge over precedence, III.65 and III.66. Interestingly, education in these two Scottish academies benefited greatly from the attentions of Andrew Melville (I.44, I.98), who reformed their curricula. He had much less influence on Edinburgh, though the first principal, Robert Rollock (see VI.44) had been a colleague of Melville’s at St Andrews from 1580 to 1583.

spacerIV.87 Edmund Peacham [1554 - 1616], a Puritan clergyman in a rural charge in the diocese of Bath and Wells, who in his preaching attacked James’ government to the point that his (pro-puritan) bishop, James Montague (I.79) had his house searched. Treasonous sermon notes being found, which included references to the death of the king and a popular uprising, Peacham was arrested, tortured in the Tower and condemned for high treason. The sentence was not carried out and the elderly minister died in prison, in Taunton, of natural causes in 1616, but Dunbar does not seem to have been aware of his death at the time he wrote this epigram. Biography in O. D. N. B. Dunbar’s attack on this man does not contradict his Presbyterian pro-Puritan stance; the Presbyterians were intensely loyal to the Stewart dynasty, and for all their criticisms of royal policy and even behaviour, never harboured any thought of regicide. For full details of Peacham’s arrest, torture and trial, see Basil Montagu, Life of Bacon (1834), Part II, ch.2, clxvii – clxxvii. Dunbar’s criticism of Peacham, however, does not say he was guilty of treason; in this he is in agreement with Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke (see III.48).
spacerIn the epigram Peacham is compared with Ham, whom Dunbar, in keeping with tradition, assumes to have ridiculed his father Noah when he reported to his brothers that he had seen him drunken and naked (Genesis 9:22).

spacerIV.90.2 Like I.62, this epigram is distinctly reminiscent of one of the Octonaires de la vanite et inconstance du monde of Antoine de la Roche-Chandieu (no. 43 in Sylvester’s translation):

Ou est la mort? au monde; et le Monde? En la mort.
Il est la mort luy-mesme, et n’y a rien au Monde
Qui face tant mourir le Monde, que le Monde.
Qui engendre, nourrit et faict vivre sa mort.
Mais si l’amour de Dieu ostoit le Monde au Monde,
Faisant mourir du Monde et l’amour et la Mort:
Lors heureux nous verrions triompher de la mort
Le Monde non mondain, et la mort morte au Monde.

Dumbar could have secured a better rhetorical blance by writing Mortem tolle orbi, nil quoque et orbis erit (“Remove death from the world, and the world too will be nothing”); if the reading in the book is what Dunbar wrote, it could well be due to line 5 of the octonaire.

spacerIV.92 No suitable Margaret, Marion, Marjory or Mary (etc.) Mure has been identified, and “M” may be a misprint, for the person who best fits this epigram is Elizabeth Mure, who married Sir John Dunbar of Mochrum c. 1534, a marriage blessed only with daughters. The elder, Grizel, married Alexander Dunbar of Conzie and Mochrum, son of Alexander of Conzie and Kilbuyack (see note to VI.28) and her sister Euphemia married Uchtred MacDowall, thirteenth Laird of Garthland (see note to Decades VI.2). See See Stirnet MacDowall02 genealogy. Dunbar’s grandfather Archibald of Baldoon (III.39) was descended from the Dunbars of Mochrum.

spacerIV.96 The subject of this poem, John Taylor [1578 - 1653] was so-called because he spent much of his life as a Thames waterman. He printed a volume of poetry, All the Workes of John Taylor the Water Poet (London, 1630; facsimile reprint Scholar Press, Menston, Yorkshire, 1973).

spacerIV.98 Like IV.12, this is strongly reminiscent of Lucian’s Tenth Dialogue of the Dead, where the hypocritical philosopher has a very bushy goat’s beard (κινάβρα — in Bolerus’s translation it gives off a goatish stink, hircinus foetor), and who is said to have spent his evenings going the round of the brothels.

spacerV.2.1 Agesilaus was a Spartan king. Dunbar appears to be thinking of a remark by Plutarch in his Life of Agesilaus x.5 (tr. Dryden): “This was an honor which was never done to any but Agesilaus, who being now undoubtedly the greatest and most illustrious man of his time, still, as Theopompus has said, gave himself more occasion of glory in his own virtue and merit than was given him in this authority and power.”

spacerV.3 The most distinctive feature of the ancient Salic Law of France was that it prescribed so-called agnatic succession (succesion through the male line only), excuding females from inheriting property, including the throne. As noted in the first couplet, the fact that Edward III’s claims to the French were thus excluded was the cause of the Hundred Years’ War. Even with reference to William Camden’s Britannia, it seems impossible to determine what English body of water Dunbar means by lacus Salicus. At the end he is probably saying that English law did not prevent Elizabeth from becoming queen.

spacerV.5.4 Antaeus was a Libyan giant Hercules defeated in a wrestling match, mentioned by Dunbar in II.96. Antiope was a queen of the Amazons (different versions of the myth give varying accounts of how he actually defeated her).

spacerV.7 This epigram depends on a series of puns on the addressee’s name with dum (“while, as long as”) and canus (“hoary, venerable.”) Andrew Duncan, of Dundee, first graduated from St Andrews in 1575, but after serving as regent for some time, he then studied theology under Andrew Melville and was converted to his teacher’s Presbyterian views. He took over the school at Dundee in 1591, and published a Rudimenta Pietatis and a Latin grammar in 1595; the former was often reprinted, the latter was not a success, unlike Duncan’s 1597 Studiorum Puerilium Clavis (which enjoins schoolboys to model their Latin verse on Buchanan’s psalms). In that same year, Duncan became minister at Crail, very much in the Melville sphere of influence, and he supported the “illegal” Aberdeen General Assembly of July 1605. (See the note to IV.84). The result was that as one of the irreducible Presbyterians sentenced in 1606, he was banished to France. He obtained a post as professor of theology at La Rochelle in 1607 but was allowed to return to Scotland in 1610. However, he would again fall foul of the king after 1618, over the king’s Five Articles of Perth which interfered with traditional Scottish forms of worship; Duncan was again banished from Scotland in 1621, and died in 1626. Dunbar’s admiration for him is a further indication of the poet’s Presbyterian sympathies.

spacerV.8 The humor of this epigram depends on pun between gallus (“chick”) and Gallus (“Frenchman.”) It seems difficult to tie this epigram to any specific situation, unless the specific Frenchmen Dunbar was thinking of were the Huguenots, for prior to the 1598 Treaty of Vervins Spain had sent forces into France in support of the Catholic League’s fight againt French Protestantism., and in March 1597 the Spanish had occupied Amiens, from which Henri IV drove them on 25 September.

spacerV.9.1 This line is perhaps meant to recall Horace, Odes I.i.1, Maecenas atavis edite regibus.
spacer4 Her mother was Sophia of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, and the name Sophia is derived from the Greek word for “wisdom.”

spacerV.10 Charles Howard [1536 - 1624], Baron Howard of Effingham and Earl of Nottingham. As Lord High Admiral he presided over English naval operations during the Spanish war, including the defeat of the Armada, and later enjoyed the confidence of King James. In fact it was at Effingham’s house that James was proclaimed Elizabeth’s successor. Under James, he served on the commission of union between England and Scotland and as a commissioner at the Gunpowder Plot trial in 1605.
spacer5 I. e., Homer. In the next line, Peirithous was Theseus’ loyal friend in mythology.

spacerV.11 The question of Rabelais’ religious orientation is perpetually debated. The best discussion is perhaps that of Abel Lefranc in the Introduction to the 1922 Paris critical edition of Pantagruel (ch. III) that he was an opposed to Christianity.

spacerV.13 See the note on IV.73.

spacerV.19 For de farre canino see Juvenal v.11 (the entire epigram is based on the situation in that satire). The idea is that this bread is made out of spoiled wheat fit only to be thrown to dogs.

spacerV.22 Sir Henry Spelman [1564 - 1641], historian and antiquary. Graduated from the puritan Trinity College, Cambridge in 1583. The epigram would suggest that Dunbar knew Spelman personally and had read some of his MS writings: at the time this epigram was written, he had not published much of the fruits of his efforts save for the description of Norfolk printed in John Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain (1611),, and the important and influentical De non temerandis ecclesiis A tracte of the rights and respect due vnto churches. Written to a gentleman, who hauing an appropriat parsonage, emploied the Church to prophane vses: and left the parishioners vncertainly prouided of diuine seruice, in a parish neere there adioyning, first published London 1613 and in its enlarged version of 1616, both at London and Edinburgh, since Spelman’s arguments about sacrilege fell on ready ears in Scotland, where the Kirk had been struggling ever since 1560 to acquire control of at least some of the wealth of its Catholic predecessor. In 1614, Spelman, Sir Robert Cotton and others had attempted to revive the Society of Antiquaries, but King James was very suspicious of their motives, and the plan came to nothing.
spacer2 Apollo.

spacerV.23 The name Plutius is a reference to Plutus, the god of wealth, cf. the rich widow Plouta of VI.65. Apuleius was the author of The Golden Ass.

spacerV.24.4 Ear-cropping was a punishment commonly inflicted on thieves. (see V.50)

spacerV.26 Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerV.27 The Scottish scholar and religious writer James Maxwell [ca. 1581 - ca. 1635]. He was a slightly older contemporary of Dunbar’s at Edinburgh, graduating in 1601, having been dissuaded by Robert Rollock (see VI.44) from going to study astronomy with Tycho Brahe in Denmark. His grandfather, William of Little Airds, was the third son of Herbert Maxwell of Kirkconnel, a castle near New Abbey, south of Dumfries; after serving Mary of Guise, William had gone on to serve in the French king’s Garde Ecossaise. The estate of Little Airds was inherited by James’s father William (see William Anderson, The Scottish Nation, Edinburgh, 1863), p. 131). James provides quite a lot of information about himself in his numerous vernacular publications in prose and verse, whose immense (if polemical) scholarship is mostly devoted to elucidating “sacred prophecy” of every kind, and showing how it all foretells an imminent Stewart world-empire following the overthrow of the Antichrist by the second Constantine-Charlemagne (King James’s baptismal name was “Charles James”, and if he failed, there was always Prince Charles; see the note to II.50.3). Archbishop Laud would call him “Mountebank Maxwell’. Biography in O. D. N. B. by Arthur Williamson, whose Scottish National Consciousness in the Age of James VI (Edinburgh, 1979), especially pp. 103 - 106 and the notes thereto, contains a lot of information about Maxwell, and a number of telling quotations from his works; a useful summary appears in David Worthington, Scots in the Habsburg Service 1618-1648 (Leiden, 2004), p.97, n.61.
spacerIt is difficult not to read this epigram as Dunbar laughing, albeit gently, at so much intellectual effort going into such a project as Maxwell’s, since the reference to the new Phoenix, after all, strongly implies that at the moment, all Maxwell has are ashes. Although Dunbar’s own fondness for puns and far-fetched etymologies is strongly reminiscent of the scholar and researcher of prophecy, Dunbar has a sense of humour singularly lacking in Maxwell’s work. It must nonetheless have been severely tested in 1617; see the note to Decades V.6.

spacerV.29 The German reforming theologian Johannes Oecolampadius [1482 - 1531]. His real name was Hussgen or Heussgen, which he changed to Hausschein and then into its Greek equivalent, derived from οἶκος (“house”) and λάμπας (“lamp”).

spacerV.30 James Hamilton [1589 - 1625], Marquess of Hamilton, Lord of Aberbrothwick and Earl of Arran, and subsequently Earl of Cambridge. A courtier who followed James to England, he was an investor in the Somers Isles Company, an offshoot of the Virginia company. Biography in O. D. N. B. He would be of particular interest to Dunbar because the Hamiltons were, like the Dunbars, southwestern Scots. The joke on the royalty of the name “James” is the same as that with reference to James Hay in I.89 and I.90.

spacerV.32 James Hamilton [1575 - 1618], Earl of Abercorn, son of Claude, first Lord Paisley. He was created Earl of Abercorn in 1606 in reward for his services to the king in respect of the Union; granted much land in Ireland, he became one of James’ administrators of Irish affairs. Biography in O. D. N. B. He was married to Marion Boyd, daughter of Thomas, fifth Lord Boyd, a distant relative of Dunbar’s; see the note to V.54.

spacerV.33 This was presumably the Andrew Boyd created a Baronet by King James in 1620 (John Nichols, The Progresses, Processions, and Magnificent Festivities of King James the First London, 1828, IV.611); not to be confused with his poetical contemporary namesake, the Bishop of Argyll. Dunbar was proud of his own Boyd ancestry, and his comment on the greatness of the Boyd clan would lead one to think that Andrew must have been part of the main line, the Lords Boyd of Kilmarnock. But genealogical records fail to show that he was either of Kilmarnock, i. e. a relative of Mark Alexander Boyd (the addressee of IV.76), or one of the cadet line of the Boyds of Bonshaw, from which Dunbar descended (see the note to V.54).

spacerV.35 Meter: iambic trimeters. This epigram represents the kind of humor one finds in, say, Martial V.43.

spacerV.36 Meter: iambic trimeters.
spacer4 Philoxenus of Leucas, a notorious parasite and glutton. See Geert Roskam, “Philoxenus once Again,” Classical Quarterly 56 (2006) 652 - 656.

spacerV.38 Written in honor of Queen Anne’s brother, the Protestant King Christian IV of Denmark [1577 - 1648]

spacerV.41 Alexander Seton [1555 - 1622], first Earl of Dunfermline. A distinguished legalist, he was Lord Chancellor of Scotland beginning in 1604. Biography in O. D. N. B. A younger son of an ancient Scottish noble family which had been intensely loyal to Mary Queen of Scots, he was educated at Rome by the Jesuits, but on returning to Scotland he lived as an outwardly-conforming “kirk papist” (like his fellow-lawyer and friend Adam King). His own status as a tolerated “outsider” made him consistently tolerant himself, by contemporary standards: he tried to put a stop to witch hunting (see Julian Goodare, ed. The Scottish Witch-hunt in Context (Manchester, 2002), pp. 71f.), and he was reluctant to take a hard line on Presbyterian dissidents from royal policy. This latter stance was much appreciated by Presbyterians, who spoke and wrote well of him, and greatly bewailed his death. Seton had risked his own career by his tolerant attitude to the six “Aberdeen Assembly” ministers persecuted by the king and the Earl of Dunbar in 1605 - 1606 (see the note to IV.84 and the note to V.7), Seton’s freedom of (circumspect) action was much enhanced by the earl’s unexpected death in 1611. One of Seton’s closest friends was Robert Ker of Ancram (VI.59); see the discussion in David Allan, Philosophy and Politics in Later Stuart Scotland  (East Linton, 2000), pp. 109 - 116. Both men were occasional versifiers, though David Allan (p.115) has missed a published poem of Seton’s, namely the first of the ten liminary verses to the Latin version of Sir John Skene’s Regiam Maiestatem (Edinburgh, 1609).
Of Dunbar’s epigrams that depend on puns, this is undoubtedly the weakest, since it simultaneously requires a soft C to justify the Latinization of his surname as Coetonus, but a hard C to allow the pun with κοιτή (“seat”). The epigram is presumably celebrating the thoughtful creativity Seton put into beautifying his homes, namely Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire,  and his “suburban villa,’  Pinkie House at Musselburgh outside Edinburgh, which he remodelled in 1613 (see Michael Bath, Renaissance Decorative Painting in Scotland, Edinburgh, 2003, pp. 79 - 83).

spacerV.43 This epigram, like VI.11, depends on the identicality in Latin of the letters u and v.

spacerV.45.1 Odes IV.vii.16.

spacerV.47.1 At least in Arabic, Moses’ name is موسىٰ, Mūsa; possible etymologies of Aaron’s are Hebrew הר, har, “from the mountain” and Arabic هارون, haroun, “high mountain.”
spacer5 Mt. Pindus in Thessaly was a favorite haunt of the Muses.

spacerV.48.1 Gavin is named for his father, which probably makes him older than John. See the discussion of Dunbar’s family in the Introduction. Given the loving tone of all his other epigrams to members of his family, one assumes that this epigram is an affectionate comment on Gavin’s lack of intellectual distinction, though it is not of course necessarily flattering to bishops.

spacerV.49 See the note on I.9. Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerV.54 Dunbar’s paternal grandmother was Janet Mure of Rowallan, whose parents were John Mure of Rowallan, killed at Flodden, and Margaret Boyd, the mistress of James IV. As the daughter of Archibald Boyd of Bonshaw, Margaret Boyd was a grand-daughter of Robert, first Lord Boyd [d. 1482]. See Stirnet mureO1 genealogy. His Boyd descent clearly meant quite a lot to Dunbar, as well it might. They were a major noble family, not least in the southwest, and the Mures of Rowallan remained closely linked to them. If Dunbar is correct about Janet’s first husband, he was a Maxwell of Newark (a castle on the Clyde in what is now Port Glasgow). This is certainly claimed by the poet Sir William Mure of Rowallan on pp.75f. of The Historie and Descent of the House of Rowallane (Glasgow, 1825), who says her second husband was John Lockhart [d.1528] of Bar (in Galston, Ayrshire). Jonet’s younger sister Alison married this man’s son — also called John — who was a fierce Protestant, and who invited John Knox to preach in Barr Castle in 1556 (Knox, History of the Reformation I.250).

spacerV.57 John Philips [c, 1555 - 1633], Bishop of Sodor and Man from 1604 to his death. Unlike his predecessors, he was apparently not an absentee bishop. A Welsh graduate of Oxford, long resident in Yorkshire, he is known today for his Manx language Book of Common Prayer, but this was not published until 1894. Biography in O. D. N. B. Very detailed online information about him available here.
spacer Dunbar repeats the common mistake of applying the Latin place-name Mona to Man, although it properly belongs to Angelsey.

spacerV.58 Jean de Mirande, juge de l’amirauté stationed at La Rochelle (Smith pp. 151f.)

spacerV.59 See the note on II.85.

spacerV.62 The German astrologer David Origanus [1558 - 1628] probably came to Dunbar’s attention thanks to his Annorum priorum 30 incipientium ab anno Christi 1595, & desinentium inannum 1624, ephemerides Brandenburgicae coelestium motuum et temporum; summa diligentia in luminaribus calculo duplici Tychonico & Prutenico, in reliquis planetis Prutenico seu Copernicaeo elaboratae (Frankfurt, 1609).
spacer4 In mythology, after Erigone hanged herself she was transformed into the constellation Virgo.

spacerV.63 A lampoon on two Catholic writers, Jacob Gretser [1562 - 1625], a contemporary Jesuit theologian and controversialist who assisted Bellarmine (see I.28) in his printed dispute with King James, and Cardinal Caesar Baronius [1538 - 1607], a famous Church historian. It is impossible to reproduce the pun in the second line (suita is supposed to make the reader think of Ie-suita). Dunbar is quite likely to have known the much-reprinted anti-Catholic verse diatribe The Winter Night by the Perthshire and Stirling minister James Anderson, (first published 1581; a 1614 edition is available in E. E. B. O.); ll. 329-336 of the long attack on Jesuits in this work read:

For to aduance their fained fame,
Of Jesus they vsurpe their name,
And yet they traitors think no shame [these]
His trueth for to betray.
More meete of Judas Judaites,
Or of sus suites bee calde suites,
[a reference to II Peter 2:22]
Ad volutabrum of Romes ruites,
[from ruere]
They had their name perfay.

spacerV.64 Fulke Greville [1554 - 1628], Baron Brooke of Beauchamps Court, is best remembered as Sir Philip Sidney’s great friend and biographer, but he was also a poet and author of important closet dramas. Strongly Calvinist in his beliefs, he fought briefly under Henri de Navarre (see VI.19, VI.62, VI.63) in Normandy, and was a patron of writers. He served both Elizabeth and James in various capacities, being created Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1614 and sitting as a member of James’ Privy Council. His adopted son Robert, however, fought (and died) for the Parliamentary side in the Civil War. Biography in O. D. N. B. The epigram turns on the pun highlighted by the title’s ad...Gravelum, taking the first syllable as representing gratia and the second velum, i.e. grace and veil.
spacer6 Astraea was the Roman goddess of justice.

spacerV.66 Meter: dactylic hexameter + iambic dimeter.

spacerV.67.6 At least on one level, Dunbar is referring to the “common gender” of grammarians.

spacerV.70 Tibernum or Tiberinum was a Roman town: Dunbar’s pun on tabernam is simply expressing the hope that the annoying drunkard will go very far away.

spacerV.71 Matthew Crawford shared Dunbar’s chamber when they were students at Edinburgh. “Matthaeus Crawfuird” stood last in the college laureation list for 1606. “Dunbar’s friend was perhaps the brother of Sir George Craufurd of Leifnorris, who acquired from Sir George a charter of the barony of Drongan 20 Dec. 1622” (Smith p. 150). This is highly likely, as Leifnorris (Lifnorris, Lochnorris) Castle stood on the site of the present Dumfries House, just outside Dumfries, the largest town of southwest Scotland; rather farther from Baldoon Castle is Drongan, in East Ayrshire, close to Ochiltree. In June 1615, Sir George Craufurd of Leifnorris had married a Stewart of the Ochiltree line, i.e. a close relative of the addressee of III.56. The genealogies seem to be unable to decide whether this was Mary, sister of Andrew, third Lord Ochiltree and first Lord Montstuart, or his daughter Margaret; for the former, see John Lodge and Mervyn Archdale, The Peerage of Ireland (1789), p.2 42; for the latter, see The Scots Peerage VI.517, and the Stirnet Stewart14 genealogy.

spacerV.74 In Fortunate Isles or the Isles of the Blessed heroes and other favored mortals in Greek and Celtic mythology were received by the gods into a blissful paradise. These islands were thought to lie in the Western Ocean. Interestingly, Dunbar’s conceit of identifying the united Great Britain with the Fortunate Isles anticipates that of Ben Jonson’s 1625 masque The Fortunate Isles and their Union.
spacer3 Punning with ὄλβιος (“fortunate, blessed.”) Cf. the title of Michael Drayton’s Poly-Olbion, the first part whereof was published in 1612 - 13.

spacerV.75 Sir Robert Carey [1560 - 1639], sometime Warden of the Middle Marches, who had brought the news of Queen Elizabeth’s demise posthaste from London to Holyroodhouse in March 1603. He was made governor to Prince Charles in 1605, and in 1623 would accompany the prince on his visit to the court of Philip IV of Spain. On his accession, Charles I would create him Earl of Monmouth. It is rather surprising that Dunbar describes him only as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Prince Charles, when in fact he was Master of Charles’ Household and Master of the Robes. Biography in O. D. N. B.

spacerV.78 Conceivably the addressee was John Nichols of Monmouthshire, who matriculated from Jesus College, Oxford, in 1583, was one of John Case’s special scholars, took his B. A. in 1587 and his M. A. in 1590, and was appointed vicar of Eglwys-wrym, Pembrokeshire. Cf. Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxonienses, Oxford, 1891, III.1067 (although Foster presents no evidence for an interest medicine).

spacerV.82.6 Nessus the centaur, whom Hercules defeated and killed when the centaur attempted to kidnap Hercules’s beloved Deianira. Nessus bequeathed his blood-soaked tunic to Deianira, misinforming her that it would have power to rekindle waning love; when Deianira thought she had lost Hercules to Iole, she sent him Nessus’s tunic in order to win him back, and the poisoned blood caused Hercules to die in agony. See Ovid, Metamorphoses IX and Heroides ix.

spacerV.83 The addressee is probably James Crichton of St Leonards, Sheriff of Dumfries, who died before 1669 (see the Stirnet Crichton03 genealogy), second son of William Crichton of Darnhauch. The latter became ninth Lord Sanquhar on 29 June 1612 after the execution of his cousin Robert, the subject of VI.76 (see the note thereto). However, and despite the fact that the verbs are in the present tense, the tone of this and the following epigram are such as to lead one to think they could be addressed to the famous polymath “The Admirable Crichton’ [1560 - 82], who has a memorial in St Bride’s Church in Sanquhar. This man was the eldest son of the Lord Advocate, Sir Robert Crichton of Elliock (near Sanquhar) and Cluny, whose next of kin in 1566 was given as Edward, seventh Lord Sanquhar, and in 1580, Edward’s brother William, “tutor of Sanquhar,” the grandfather of the 9th Lord. The “Admirable” James would be so lavishly celebrated by the eccentric Sir Thomas Urquhart in 1652 that his real stature as a paragon has sometimes been questioned as a result. Dunbar’s two epigrams rely on a pun involving “Crichton” and κρείττων (“better”), and would be interesting confirmation that the man was held in high regard long before Urquhart wrote. Some poetry by this prodigy is included in Sir John Scot (ed.), Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637), vol. I. See the article in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, II (2), 103-118 (available here). On 31 July 1617, James VI and I would visit Sanquhar on his way back to England in 1617, and be lavishly entertained by William, ninth Lord Sanquhar, receiving neo-Latin poetic tributes from Patrick Kinloch, Patrick Johnston, Robert Wilkie and Samuel Kello.

spacerV.86 For the origins of the Kers of Yair (more recently of Sunderlandhall), see the note on III.64. The university graduate Master Robert Ker of Yair appears as a member of the assize (jury) of a criminal trial in 1622 (Robert Pitcairn, Criminal Trials in Scotland, Edinburgh, 1833, III.ii.548). His father Thomas could well pay for his education, since had served as Warden of the Middle Marches in the 1580’s. The epigram is based on a pun with his name, that would be more obvious in its alternative orthographic form Carr. (The Scottish letter yogh, ȝ, was often printed as Z: thus the Ker of Yair family tomb at Jedburgh Abbey, at the heart of the “Ker country” in the Borders, bears the inscription Here lies the family of Zair).

spacerV.89 Jérome Colomiès, a pastor of La Rochelle (Smith p. 151). His family came from Bearn, i.e. the native soil of Henri de Navarre. He was tres-savant et grand predicateur...en 1614 il fut depute au Synode nationale de Tonneins (Haag, La France Protestante, 1853). His son Jean was a doctor at La Rochelle, and just before the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, his Hebraist grandson Paul [1638-1692] moved to England where he became an Anglican cleric and librarian to Archbishop Sancroft.

spacerV.88 For the Catholic ecclesiastical historian Cardinal Caesar Baronius, see the note on V.63.

spacerV.91 At London St. Paul’s churchyard was the traditional site for booksellers’ stalls.

spacerV.97 During the reign of Elizabeth the universities were exceedingly generous in handing out degrees to members of the artistocracy (consider, for example, the degrees conferred by Oxford in connection with the royal visit in 1592: see the description of the occasion by Charles Plummer, Elizabethan Oxford (Oxford, 1887) pp. 277 - 99). Had the practice abated?
spacer Meter: iambic trimeters.

spacerV.100.5 Bias of Priene, an early Greek philosopher.

spacerVI.4 Leo XI had been elevated to the papacy in 1605.

spacerVI.5 Meter: iambic trimeters catalectic.

spacerVI.6 Petun seems to have been an early word applied to tobacco, which the French had acquired from their early Brazilian trade: cf. Historical Magazine V old series (1861) p. 263. They therefore applied this word to an Iroquoian-speaking tribe (more properly the Tionontani) which lived immediately to the west of the Huron territory of southern Ontario, because that tribe was particularly devoted to the cultivation of the tobacco plant (which they themselves called o-ye-aug-wa). Presumably Dunbar picked up this exotic word during his stay at La Rochelle. His fellow-Scot and Francophile John Leech’s epigram on tobacco is entitled Ad herbam Nicotianam, aut Medicaeam; vulgo Paetum aut Tobaccum (Epigrammaton Libri Quattuor, 1623, p.56).
spacer3 The logic of this pun is explained at VI.9 directly below.

spacerVI.10 Andrew Aidie of Aberdeen, studied at Heidelberg, and served as Professor of Philosophy at Danzig from 1609, in succession to Bartholemew Keckerman. See the (unreliable) biographical notice by W. Caird Taylor, “Scottish Students in Heidelberg,” Scottish Historical Review V (1908) p. 71. In 1615 he was appointed Principal of Marischal College, one of his native city’s two universities, where he publicly clashed with the Arminian Mr William Forbes in 1618, over the issue of prayers for the dead; being found severely wanting in his administration of the College shortly thereafter by the recently-consecrated Bishop Patrick Forbes, he was forced to resign at the end of 1619, to be replaced by none other than his Arminian opponent. Aidie was the author of De Noctuambulonum Ingenio et Natura (1612) and the 1615 Clavis Philosophiae Moralis, (1614), a tome of 942 pages on Aristotle, significantly prefaced by a seven page letter dedicating it Illustri et generoso domino Dn. Jacobo de Hayes Aurato a balneis Equiti Augustissimi magn. Brit. &c, Regis synthesiarchae Eidemque a cubiculis Sanctioribus Domino & Mecaenati suo unir eternum honorando (the addressee of I.89; see the note ad loc.). Aidie was also a published poet. T. A. Birrell says in The Renaissance in Scotland (Leiden, 1994) p. 412, that his  Pastoria in decem distributa Eclogas (Danzig, 1610, dedicated Magnificis & Amplissimis inclyte  Reipub: Abredonensis Consulibus et senatoribus dominis et mecoenatibus suis observantissimis) “is of considerable poetic merit,” adding that Aidie “petitioned James VI for preferment in respect of his services at Danzig ‘against the Jesuits of Braunsburg, auctors of that most infamous pasquil Bartolus Pacenius Ἑξάστασις epistolae” (Mainz, 1610) by Robert Abercrombie S. J. on the oath of allegiance.” This last activity would clearly have commended him to Dunbar — see note to I.28. Aidie also claimed to have combatted “the Arrians” who had dedicated to King James, without permission, the Socinian Catechesis Ecclesiarum quae in Regno Poloniae etc. (Cracow, 1609). For details of Aidie, see Original Letters relating to the Ecclesiastical Affairs of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1854) II.539 and 634. His closeness to Dunbar is clear from the two epigrams he addressed to him on the occasion of the latter’s graduating M. D. (see the Introduction); He was also known to the Scottish epigrammatist and Aberdeen graduate John Leech: see Ad Andream Aidium Abredonensem (Poemata pars prior, 1620, p. 62), where Leech, like Dunbar, plays on the Greek word Αἵδου. Aidie’s closeness to Dunbar is clear from the cheerful poems he addressed to him on the occasion of the latter’s graduating M. D. (see the Introduction), which form part of the collection of congratulations offered to Dunbar by his friends:

Sistite qui Stygias miseri properatis ad undas,
spacerTuque, Charon, cymbam merge, vel ure tuam:
Dunbaro nuper medico qui insignis honore est
spacerCinxit honorandas laurea digna comas.
Iam posthac celeri vos morte carebitis, et tu
spacerPortitor horrendae merce carebis aquae.

[“Stop, all you unhappy souls hastening to the Styx, and you, Charon, sink your boat, or burn it. The honourable Dunbar is now made a doctor, and well-earned laurels crown his noble head. So you lot won’t be popping off just yet, and boatman, you’ll be short of freight for your deadly river.”]

Quod modo Dunbarus medica sit doctor in arte
spacerDisplicet hoc Parcis, sed tibi, Phaebe, placet.
Displicet, et merito, quoniam fera stamina rumpet
spacerNestorea et posthac vivere secla dabit.
Cur tibi, Phaeb,e placet? Graeco quia magnus in ore est?
spacerAn quia Galenus, Cous an alter erit?

[“That Dunbar should be doctor of the medic’s art may not please the Fates, but it pleases you, Apollo. The Fates are right, because he’ll break their baleful threads and make folk live for centuries like Nestor. And why are you pleased, Apollo? Because he's a good at Greek? Or because he's another Galen or Hippocrates?”]

spacerVI.12 The soldier-poet Patrick Hannay [d. 1630], a scion of Hannay of Sorbie, a castle close to Dunbar’s ancestral Baldoon. There has been much discussion as to whether the poet was of the direct line of Sorbie, a castle to the south of Baldoon, inland from Garlies, or the cadet line of Kirkdale (directly facing Baldoon and Garlies across Wigtown Bay). If of Sorbie, he was a near neighbour of his Galwegian kinsman Sir Alexander Stewart of Garlies (see IV.69), another nearby castle. If of Kirkdale, he was a rather more distant kinsman and neighbour of the Stewarts of Garlies. See Stirnet temporary Hannay genealogy, and, for a plethora of ultimately inconclusive evidence as to the poet Hannay’s descent, David Laing’s ‘Memoir’ (and Appendix thereto), introducing The Poetical Works of Patrick Hannay (Edinburgh, 1875). Laing includes the statement that in 1606, a Patrick Hannay of Kirkdale married Agnes Dunbar, daughter of Gavin Dunbar of Baldoon (i.e. the poet’s father). But according to this genealogical site Agnes married the Patrick whose mother was Anne Mackie of the family of Larg (see the note to III.83), though Laing’s ‘Memoir’ claims this marriage took place only on 22 May 1611. Whatever the case, John Dunbar was related to this family, and the poet Hannay was happy to include this amusing epigram amongst the liminary verses to his 1622 volume of poems. By a word-play, Dunbar pretends that that the addressee’s Roman ancestors were two extremely famous writers called Annaeus: the poet Lucan and the philosopher Seneca. David Reid, author of the O. D. N. B. life, wrote that the present epigram “[shows] that Hannay had made a name for himself as a poet by [1616].” Whether this is really the case, it is certainly clear that Dunbar knew Hannay was a writer.

spacerVI.13 See the note on I.9.

spacerVI.17 According to the Stirnet Dunbar02 genealogy, Archibald “in Orchardton” (south of Dalbeattie, in Dumfriesshire) was born on 25 July 1583. The poet’s eldest brother David (III.16) having no heirs, the Baldoon line continued through Archibald’s son David [born c. 1610], first Baronet of Baldoon.

spacerVI.19 Henri IV [b. 1553], the first Bourbon king of France, was assassinated in 1610 by the Catholic fanatic François Ravaillac. He was known as Henri le Grand because of the scale of his success in restoring the fortunes of France, ravaged by decades of religious civil war. He was known as Henri de Navarre because through his Protestant mother, Jeanne d’Albret, he inherited the tiny Pyrenean kingdom of Navarre in 1572; brought up a Calvinist, he became king of France on the extinction of the House of Valois, when Henri III was murdered in 1589. But only by renouncing his Protestantism in 1593 was Henri IV able finally to be crowned king in 1594. In 1598, nonetheless, he established tolerance for his former coreligionists by the Edict of Nantes, and he was well regarded in Scotland and England. It is clear that Dunbar knew many French Protestants, who benefited from Henri IV’s policies, and Dunbar pays the murdered king warm tribute in VI.62 and VI.63.

spacerVI.21 Walter Stewart [d. 1641], subsequently third Baron Blantyre and a doctor of medicine. The founder of his family, Walter Fitzalan [d. 1177], adopted the surname of Stewart after being appointed High Steward of Scotland by David I. The addressee’s branch of the House of Stewart descended (through a string of provosts of Glasgow) from Sir Thomas Stuart of Minto, who lived in the reign of James III; Minto was the younger son of Alexander Stewart, second Laird of Garlies, whose descendant Dunbar addresses in IV.69 (see the note thereto).

spacerVI.22 Dunbar makes the same point, at greater length, in I.13; he seems rather suspicious of the success enjoyed by orators compared to that of poets like himself.

spacerVI.23.3 The Disticha Catonis, a highly popular collection of two-line epigrams containing moral aphorisms, was supposedly the work of a certain Dionysius Cato. John Ray (see the note to IV.47) was responsible for the 1620 Andro Hart reprint of the Edinburgh edition ad usum scholarum issued by John Ross in 1580, which the young Dunbar probably used at whatever school he attended.

spacerVI.24 Sir William Alexander of Menstrie [1577 - 1640], subsequently Earl of Stirling and Lord Lieutenant of Nova Scotia. (See the note to III.56 for another Scot involved in Canadian settlement.) After 1614, Alexander became heavily involved in politics: before that, he had produced much poetry of various kinds, and written a series of four neo-Senecan closet dramas, published together in 1607 as Monarchike Tragedies. These are generally damned by modern critics, but warmly defended by David Allan in Philosophy and Politics in Later Stuart Scotland (Tuckwell Press: East Linton, 2000), pp. 100-109. The earl was a close friend of the presbyterian poet-pastor Alexander Hume of Menstrie [d. 1609] and, from 1613, of William Drummond of Hawthornden. His later poetic activity consisted of revising and completing King James’s metrical paraphrase of the Psalms in 1626, at the behest of the newly-enthroned Charles I. The task was swiftly completed, but the metaphrase was not issued until 1631 — with a royal recommendation that it replace the Psalms in use in churches in both realms. The storm of protest it aroused in Scotland (for being far too “poetic’) meant it was withdrawn, heavily revised, and reissued in 1636 as part of the official prayerbook, though the only effect was to add to the anger in Scotland that would explode in the St Giles riot of 23 July 1637 against Charles’s new Scottish Prayer Book, leading directly to the National Covenant signed in February 1638. Alexander had issued his large, retrospective verse collection Recreations with the Muses in 1637. John Dunbar’s epigram was translated and printed by Alexander’s biographer T. H. McGrail, in Sir William Alexander (Edinburgh - London, 1940) p. 213, where McGrail also points out that both John Murray (III.75) and Walter Quin (I.73) had contributed commendatory sonnets to Darius (1603). Biography in O. D. N. B.
spacer2 Aeschinem could be a printer’s mistake or a sign of Dunbar’s own imperfect grasp of Greek literary history. The misogynist is of course Euripides (this is a canard inherited from Aristophanes in such plays as The Frogs and Thesmophoriazusae).

spacerVI.26 John Moyle [1592 - 1661], a scion of a prominent family of Cornish gentry. Biography in O. D. N. B. Possibly Dunbar made his acquaintance at the same time he met Charles Fitzgeoffrey and Sir Richard Carew, as described in the Introduction. The far-fetched punning in this epigram between his surname and Maro (i. e., Vergil) might make the best sense according to the assumption that Moyle fancied himself a poet, but if he wrote any verse, it has evidently disappeard without trace. Or is Dunbar perhaps simply chiding the Oxford-educated Moyle for pretentiousness because he signed himself Maro when writing in Latin?

spacerVI.28 The Falconers of Ballandro (in the parish of Benholme in Kincardineshire) were relatives of the Falconers of Halkerton, into which latter, ca. 1545, a Mariot Dunbar of Kilboyak (also spelled Kilbuyack), a cadet branch of the Dunbars of Westfield (like the poet’s Dunbar of Mochrum forebears) had married around 1545. Her daughter Marion married Alexander Wishart (the third son of James Wishart of Pitarrow, Justice-Clerk) around 1556, and in 1603, we find Robert Falconer of Ballandro appointed one of the oversmen in Wishart’s testament of July 1603 (see David Wishart, A Genealogical History of the Wisharts of Pittarrow and Logie Wishart (Perth, 1914), under Alexander (41)) The poet was more recently related to the Dunbars of Kilboyak through Grizel Dunbar of Mochrum, who as heiress had taken the Mochrum lands to an Alexander of Kilboyak in 1564). Robert of Ballandro’s own Falconer links to the Dunbars of Kilboyak were clearly strong: on 24 July 1611, this same Robert of Ballandro was a cautioner for a group of Dunbars of Kilboyak (i.e. stood surety for their good behaviour) who had murdered Alexander Dunbar of Westfield, Sherriff of Moray, a month earlier. See the note to IV.92. In December 1613, we find Robert of Ballandro as a member of the “assize” (jury) in a murder trial in Edinburgh. (See Robert Pitcairn, Ancient Criminal Trials in Scotland (Edinburgh, 1833), III.i.200 and 264.) No other trace of this man can currently be found, , but one assumes the poet knew of him because of the Kilboyak connection.
spacer1 Bellona and Enyo were the Roman and Greek goddesses of war respectively. It sounds as though Robert Falconer had been a professional soldier, presumably in mainland Europe, like so many Scots.

spacerVI.30 It sounds as if John Douglas was Dunbar’s schoolmaster before he entred the Tounis College at Edinburgh, but the identity of this man, and also that of the school Dunbar attended, are unknown. Given that the addressee of VI.43 had been schoolmaster at Wigtown, in south-western Scotland, this may be the area to look for Dunbar’s early schooling. Records are unfortunately very incomplete. But for another possible identity, see the note to VI.44.

spacerVI.32 Meter: iambic trimeters alternating with iambic dimeters.

spacerVI.34 Meter: dactylic hexameter + iambic dimeter.

spacerVI.38 Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerVI.39 Dunbar’s great-uncle Gavin Dunbar [d. 1547], Archbishop of Glasgow. The archbishop’s hospitality and learning had been celebrated by George Buchanan in his 18-line Coena Gavini Archiepiscopi (Epigrammatum Liber I). He had served as tutor to James V and was appointed Chancellor of Scotland in 1528. If Dunbar’s statement that the prelate lived ten lustra — i. e., fifty years — is to be taken literally, he was born a good deal later than is commonly thought (the O. D. N. B. biography has him born ca. 1490).

spacerVI.40 Dunbar’s great-grand-uncle Gavin Dunbar [d. 1532], son of Sir James Dunbar of Westfield, Sheriff of Moray, and hence a grandson of James Dunbar, fourth Earl of Moray. He was an early Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen and completed the building projects begun by its founder, Bishop William Elphinstone. He gathered together and got confirmation of all the monetary grants to King’s College, Aberdeen, and hence is honored as the “second founder” of the university.Biography in O. D. N. B.

spacerVI.41 Gavin Dunbar was also responsible (in 1529) for the construction of a bridge over the river Dee (which is still used to carry the A-90 into the city and displays Dunbar’s coat of arms). But again, the project was originally envisioned by Elphinstone and financed by his bequest. The pun on pontifex = bridge builder also appears in Dunbar’s I.44 and I.45 as it does in the epigram by Andro Melville cited in the commentary note thereto.

spacerVI.42 Dunbar seems to be saying that, when it comes to impressive feats of bridge-building, the undoubtedly very grand, many-arched bridge at Aberdeen surpasses the one constructed by the Emperor Caligula at Baiae (Suetonius, Caligula xix.1 - 3).

spacerVI.43 James Adamson, master of the Grammar School of Wigtown and minister of the church at Penningham: cf. Fasti Ecclesiasticae Scoticanae (ed. the Rev. W. . Crockett et al., Edinburgh, 1915), p. 373. Baldoon Castle, Dunbar’s family home, stood less than two miles south of Wigtown. The castle of Sorbie, belonging to the Hannays (see VI.12) originally formed part of the charge of Penninghame; the revenues of the parsonage of Penninghame were bestowed by the last pre-Reformation Bishop of Galloway, Alexander Gordon (see VI.72) on his son-in-law Anthony Stewart of Garlies, another nearby castle; Anthony’s mother was the poet’s relative Margaret Dunbar of Clugstone (see the note to VI.21). It is not known whether James Adamson was a kinsman of Perth-born John Adamson, Dunbar’s Regent at the Tounis College of Edinburgh, the addressee of III.42.

spacerVI.44 Robert Rollock or Rollok [1555 - 1599], first Principal of the Tounis College, also minister of Edinburgh’s East Kirk, and latterly of Greyfriars Kirk. Regarded as far and away Scotland’s finest reformed theologian, greatly admired by Theodore Beza, he was a prolific writer in Latin. Much of his work, including transcriptions of sermons, was published (and republished) posthumously. His students, fellow clergy and his congregation venerated him, and his early death produced an outpouring of grief and of tributes in verse: those in Latin and Greek were appended to the Vitae et mortis Roberti Rolloci Scoti Narratio published by his colleague George Robertson; they include epitaphs by his admirers and colleagues, the latter including his successor as principal, Henry Charteris (VI.82), and a future successor, John Adamson (III.42) as well as John Ray (IV.47). Charteris himself wrote a MS Vita (the latter part of it a careful revision of Robertson’s text), to which he attached (almost) all the Latin poems printed in 1599, and several more by authors including Andrew Melville (I.44, I.98), Mr George Thompson (VI.80) and a Mr. John Douglas who may be the man addressed in VI.30. James Melville, minister of Kilrennie, and nephew of Andrew Melville, published three Scots-language sonnets paying homage to Rollock in the memorial volume containing Certaine Sermons upon severall places in the Epistles of Paul (Edinburgh, 1599), which had been noted down by his listeners. When John Lee edited De Vita et Morte Roberti Rollok...narationes; auctoribus  Georgio Robertson et Henrico Charteris for the Bannatyne Club (Edinburgh, 1826), he included both the Vitae and all the elegiac verses in Latin, Greek and the vernacular, including, on p.81, this epigram of Dunbar’s.

spacerVI.46 Since Britain was not at war, or facing any likelihood of fighting, this epigram is more likely a lampoon against the wearing of fashionable boots or stockings.

spacerVI.47 Meter: iambic trimeters alternating with iambic dimeters.

spacerVI.49 Anne was the first of the four wives of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, whom she married in Westminster in 1589 (see III.50). Mother of his six children, she was the daughter of Edward Bell of Writtle, E’’ssex, and hence a niece of Sir Thomas Bell, mayor of Gloucester. She died in August 1620. The reference in the next epigram to her healing hand is presumably to some specific incident involving Dunbar’s health.

spacerVI.51 Sir Richard Carew of East Anthony, Cornwall [1555 - 1620], author of The Survey of Cornwall (1602) and Epistle concerning the Excellencies of the English Tongue (1605), and responsible for a partial translation of Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata. Carew was a near neighbor of the Cornish epigrammatist Carles Fitzgeoffrey, and Dunbar may have met him at the same time he did Fitzgeoffrey, as discussed in the Introduction.
spacerPapianus was a Roman legal scholar.
spacer6 For the Scaligers (which of the two Dunbar had in mind seems unclear), see the note on III.87.

spacerVI.53 William Ogston graduated M.A. in 1608 at Marischal College, one of Aberdeen’s two universities. How he (and other Aberdonians) crossed Dunbar’s path is unknown; see the note to IV.42. In 1619 Ogston was appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy there, in which capacity he pronounced a long Oratio Funebris in Obitum Maximi Virorum, Georgii Marischalli Comitis, Academiae... Fundatoris (Aberdeen, 1623). The Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, VII, indicate that Ogston was unusual amongst Dunbar’s Scottish addressees, in that he was, at least in later years, of a highly episcopal and conformist persuasion, typical of Aberdeen and northeast Scotland (which would oppose the National Covenant of 1638), despite all the devoutly protestant fifth Earl Marischal’s attempts to break the region’s innate religious conservatism with his new university. Ogston would be appointed minister of Hailes in 1635, and be deposed by the new Presbyterian regime in 1639. For Udney, another Marischal College graduate, whose ecclesiastical problems would, by contrast, be with the Laudians, cf IV.42. Pylades was Orestes’ inseparable friend in mythology.

spacerVI.54 One name that could generate this anagram is Julius Ston, though no trace can be found of any such person in Dunbar’s day.

spacerVI.56 George Sibbald of Rankeillour (in Fife). Arthur Johnston’s’s Epigram clix (printed in the 1895 Aberdeen edition of his Musa Latina Aberdonensis, 1895, II.246) praises him as an Aristotelian and mentions his education in France and at Padua. According to the editors of this volume (p. 290) Sibbald obtained his M. D. at Padua on 9 June, 1614, and they cite another Johnston epigram congratulating him on this, taken from Lauder’s Musae Sacrae I p. lxiv. On p. xlix of his introduction, Lauder had reproduced Sibbald’s own twelve-line epigram purporting to be the University of Padua's applause of Johnston's M. D. laureation at Padua on the Ides of June 1610. Thomas McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville II.277f,, provides information about Sibbald, including a reference to this epigram and also to the fact that when the aged reformer arrived in Paris in 1611, after his release from the Tower, he was warmly greeted by his admiring former student, George Sibbald, and by Pierre Du Moulin (Decades II.9). For Machaon see the note on IV.16.1.

spacerVI.57 Theseus went to the underworld to return a favor to his constant friend Pirithous who helped him kidnap Helen. Pirithous wanted to marry Persephone but he would but would have to overcome Hades in order to accomplish this. Theseus and Pirithous fought their way to Hades’s palace. Pirithous told Hades he wanted to marry Persephone but Hades was not about to let her go. He asked the two to sit down. They sat down on chairs of oblivion where they were trapped for years. Theseus was later released by Hercules, but Pirithous had to remain. The idea of the last line is that nowadays many men deserve consignment to Hell.

spacerVI.59 Sir Robert Kerr or Carr [d. 1654], Laird of Ancram, subsequently first Earl of Ancram, a poet and neo-Stoic not to be confused with his cousin the royal favorite Robert Carr, first Earl of Somerset. Ancram was an early member of Prince Charles’ household and a devoted adherent for life. Biography in O. D. N. B. He was descended from the same fifteenth century forebear as Ker of Gaitschaw (see note to III.64) and Kerr of Yair (V.86). In 1637, he would be the dedicatee of the new Leyden edition of Florens Wilson’s De animi tranquillitate dialogus, in bringing about the publication whereof the French-educated Scottish doctor and poet David Echlin had been instrumental.

spacerVI.60 Kerr was noted for his kindness; the distinguished Calvinist poetess Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross, praises him in letters to her younger son James for his patronage of the young man at court, ca. 1619 to ca. 1630.

spacerVI.61.2 The pun is on “drake” meaning “dragon” (as in “fire-drake’), referring to the dragon (or snake) Ladon, which Hera set to guard to the Golden Apples over which the Hesperides, and which sang protective songs in a far western corner of the world. This is another mildly subversive epigram, hinting that all the Spanish gold which Drake’s piracy had brought into England — and which Queen Elizabeth supposedly carefully garnered — had been squandered (i.e. not given to worthy poets like John Dunbar) because Drake, despite his name, was not able to be an English Ladon protecting the American (i.e., western) gold stolen from the Spaniards.

spacerVI.64 The sons of Jean de Mirande of La Rochelle, the addressee of V.58 (Smith p. 152).

spacerVI.65 The widow’s name, of course, means ‘wealthy’, from Ploutos / Plutus, the god of riches, cf. Plutius in V.23.

spacerVI.66 Poetry by Peter Goldman, a physician of Dundee, is anthologized in the first volume of Arthur Johnson’s Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637). Some biographical information about Goldman is available in A. H. Millar, ed., The Compt Buik of David Wedderburn, merchant of Dundee, 1587-1630 (Scottish History Society, Edinburgh 1898), pp. 106-107.
spacerThe first line of this epigram is a close imitation of one quoted by Jacob Masen S. J., Speculum imaginum veritatis occultae (Cologne, 1681) p. 689:

Aurea cum primo florerent saecula mundo,
spacerSeminis ignarus fruge scatebat ager,
Aurea iam tandem redierunt saecula, quando
spacerMagna parit nullis cognita Virgo viris.

spacerVI.67 Thomas Dempster [1579 - 1625], a Scottish scholar-antiquarian from Aberdeenshire, who had already distinguished himself with a 1613 edition of Rosinus’ Antiquitatum Romanorum corpus absolutissimum, but is chiefly remembered for his posthumous De Etruria regali (Florence, 1723 - 24), a pioneering work of Etruscology. and his notorious Historia ecclesiastica gentis Scotorum (1627), a revisionist assessment of which can be found in Ulrike Morét, ’An Early Scottish National Biography,’ in Houwen, MacDonald and Mapstone, eds., A Palace in the Wild (Louvain, 2000), 249-49. It is strange that his O. D. N. B. biography presents no evidence for poetic activity. In fact, a selection of his extant poetry can be found in vol. I of the Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum.

spacerVI.69.3 Apelles was a distinguished Greek painter of the fourth century B. C.

spacerVI.70 John Cameron [1580 - 1625] a Glasgow-educated scholar of great renown in France, where his followers were known as Cameronistes (or Amyraldistes, after his disciple Amyraut). He joined the Huguenot community at Bordeaux. Francisque Michel, Les Ecossais en France II.171-83, provides a great deal of information about Cameron. Before ordination at Bordeaux in 1608, he had travelled, and studied at Heidelberg. He taught Latin and Greek at the colleges of Bergerac, Sedan (1604 - 08) and Saumur (1618-22), and then returned briefly to Scotland to become a most unsuccessful principal of Glasgow University; he was back at Saumur within the year, but moved to Montauban where he died. Biography in O. D. N. B.
spacer1 The story goes that an old woman mistook the philosopher Theophrastus for a stranger because of his use of an uncommon word (Cicero, Brutus clxxii, Quintialian VIII.i.2).

spacerVI.72 The Scotsman John Gordon [1544 - 1611], son of the last Catholic bishop of Galloway, Alexander Gordon. The bishop joined the Reformed cause, but chose to remain loyal to Queen Mary after she was deposed. His son John inherited this family loyalty, serving in the captive Queen’s household until January 1572. Thereafter, recommended by the Queen, he lived in France as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles IX, Henri III and Henri IV (see the note to IV.19). King James, who loved those who had been loyal to his mother, recalled him in 1603 and appointed him Dean of Salisbury. See useful summary of his (and his father’s) life at Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae III.344. He was a frequent preacher at court, a favourite with the king (who declared him “well travailled in the ancients’), and published a number of books, including the forthrightly-titled Papa-cacus: siue, Elegia hortatiua ad omnes ordines Britanniae magnae & Hyberniae. Et decastichon in Iesuitas laiolanos Monachos (1610), and two (partly in verse!) against Bellarmine Antitortobellarminus, siue Refutatio calumniarum, mendaciorum, et imposturarum laico-Cardinalis Bellarmini contra iura omnium regum (1610), and Anti-bellarmino-tortor, siue tortus retortus & Iuliano-papismus Et theses confirmatae doctrina (1612). Biography in O. D. N. B. John Gordon’s sister Barbara married Anthony Stewart, fourth son of Margaret Dunbar [d. bef. 1552] of Clugstone and Alexander Stewart of Garlies; in consequence Anthony drew the revenues of the parsonage of Penninghame (see VI.43). On doubtful authority, he is supposed to have made a public show of his knowledge of Hebrew in a 1574 public disputation with chief rabbi Benetrius at Avignon. Dunbar’s interest in him presumably reflects his own Galloway origins, and perhaps also the fact that Gordon apparently rescued Scots and English protestants during the St Bartholemew massacres in Paris, something which Dunbar might have heard from his clearly numerous Huguenot contacts.
spacerHermes was the god of eloquence, and also of ambassadors (and therefore also of translators).

spacerVI.74 Thomas Farnaby [1575 - 1647], one of the most gifted schoolmasters of the age, had led an incredibly colorful life. At one point he took off for Spain and became a Jesuit postulant, and at another he sailed on a voyage with Drake and Hawkins. Biography in O. D. N. B.

spacerVI.75 The letter Υ was the “Pythagorean letter” and it was forked. But furca is also a Latin word for a gallows.

spacerVI.76.1f. This epigram concerns Robert Crichton, eighth Lord Sanquhar, a less than admirable relative of the clearly admirable James of V.83. whoever the latter was. Robert was indeed hanged on 27 June 1612, for arranging for John Turner, a fencing master who had “dung out his eye” some years previously, to be shot on 23 June by Robert Carlyle and James Irwin (see the note to V.83). Life in O. D. N. B. The single eye of wisdom is presumably the all-seeing eye of God; but the poets depict the Cyclops as singularly stupid, and Dunbar may be being facetious at the expense of the easily-apprehended Robert Crichton, or indeed of the man’s stubborn Catholic recusancy. 1612 was a bad year for English attitudes to the Scots, and the executions of Carlyle, Irwin and Crichton gave rise to a pasquil:

Now doe your selves noe more so deck
In such greate pompe and state
For scotts must hanged bee by th’ neck
Just att Whitefriers gate
Therefore beeware, and take good heede
Though you doe thus undoe us
Least that you live in greater neede
Then when you first came to us
God long preserve us, our Royall king
And grante him long to live
And save us all from pistoling
Which Scotts beegin to give

In Scotland, Crichton’s fate elicited an epigram from William Drummond of Hawthornden (Poetical Works, ed. L. E. Kastner, Scottish Text Society, 1913, II.245):

Sancher whom this earth scarce could containe,
Having seene Italie, France and Spaine,
To finish his travelles, a spectacle rare,
Was bound towards Heaven, but dyed in the aire.

See this site.

spacerVI.77 The story goes that Lycambes promised the poet Archilochus his daughter’s hand in marriage. When he reneged, Archilochus wrote a series of iambic satires against him so scathing that Lycambes and his daughters hanged themselves in shame.

spacerVI.78 It sounds very much as though Alexander was younger than John, thus confirming the latter as being fourth brother after David (III.16), Archibald (VI.17), and Gavin (V.48).
spacer4 Bards such as recounted the feats of his brother’s namesake, Alexander the Great.

spacerVI.80 Thomson, whose poetry appears in the Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum II, is described as a “Scottish merchant adventurer, Protestant propagandist and Calvinist pastor” by Kevin C. Robbins in his 1997 book City on the Ocean Sea: La Rochelle 1530-1650 (p.131); he informs us that Thomson worked with rochelais printers in 1603 to produce a French version of John Napier’s Plaine Discoverie of the whole Revelation (Edinburgh, 1594, wrongly dated 1593 by E. S. T. C.), reprinted in 1604. William M Gunn, the editor of Selected Works of Robert Rollock, (Wodrow Society: Edinburgh, 1841 and 1844), vol. I, observed in a footnote on p.viii that Thomson, author of an elegy for the first principal of the Tounis Colledge (see the note to VI.44), was afterwards minister of the Reformed church of Chataigneray in Poitou and the fierce antagonist of Lipsius (see II.26). Francisque Michel, Les Ecossais en France... II.183-84, provides more information, including the fact that Joseph Scaliger and other found Thomson’s language unduly acrimonious in his Vindex Veritatis adversus Justum Lipsium (London, 1606). Thomson calls himself Andreapolitano Scoto-Britannus on the title page. Since Thomson was a St Andrews man, Dunbar probably encountered him in France rather than Scotland.
spacer4 Hybla was a town in ancient Sicily, famous for its honey.

spacerVI.81 See Le triomphe de l’Agneau (1547, reparinted in Geneva in 1602 as part of Annonces de l’Esprit, et de l’Ame fidele) of Marguerete de Navarre:

Loups ravissans, en vitupere et honte
Retirez vous; vous n'estes pas du compte,
N’approchez point du celeste troupeau;
Dieu ne prend pas la personne a la peau.
Retirez vous, l’Agneau vous commande,
Raison ne veult que soyez de sa bande

A note on these lines says L’image du loup, opposee a celle de l’agneau, est recurrente dan l’un et l’autre Testament. Voir entre autres exemples Is.11:6 et 65.25; Ez. 22:27; Si 13:17; Mt.10:16; Lc 10:3; Jn 10:12. L’expresssion “loups ravissants” semble cependant directement empruntée a Mat.7:15 “Attendite a falsis prohetis, qui veniunt ad vos in vestimentis ovium, intrinsecus autem sunt lupi rapaces.” Or, as Theodore Beza would put it in his version after Marguerites death, Cavete vobis vero a pseudoprophetis, qui veniunt ad vos cum indumentis ovium, sed intrinsecus sunt lupi rapaces, and the Geneva Bible has it, both in 1560 and 1599, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheepes clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

spacerVI.82 Henry Charteris [c.1565-1626], second Principal of the Tounis College of Edinburgh, succeeded Robert Rollock (for whom see VI.44) in 1599 (Smith p. 150). As Dunbar indicates, he was a brilliant scholar, and had been nominated as successor by the dying Rollock himself, of whom Charteris wrote a MS life published only in the nineteenth century. For details (and the text and translation) of this MS biography, see W M Gunn ed., Select Works of Robert Rollock, vol. I. Apparently far from self-advertising, Charteris was the elder son of the printer and publisher Henrie Charteris, and as a student at Edinburgh, Dunbar would have been fully familiar with his qualities.
spacer3 For Apella the proverbial Jew, see Horace, Satire I.v.100.

spacerVI.85 This addressee currently poses something of a problem. There is an obscure Scottish Latin poet who published Xenia Regia (1607) and Xenia ad Jacobum (1610), both at London. Only the latter is in E. E. B. O., but its contents make it clear that this man, like Dunbar, was seeking patronage; the last poem is Ad Dominum Thomam Lakeum amicum integerrimum. T. A. Birrell says his “friend at court was Sir Thomas Lake, Latin secretary to James VI,” a letter to whom, from Drummond in August 1605, is in Calendar of State Papers Domestic Addenda 1580-1625, p.464 (see “Some Rare Scottish Books in the Old Royal Library,” in A. A. MacDonald et al., eds., The Renaissance in Scotland, Leiden, 1994, p. 409). It would appear that that the poet is identical with the man familiar as James’ jester Davy Drummond, who appears onstage as a hobby-horse in the First Prologue to George Ruggle’s 1615 Cambridge comedy Ignoramus. Ruggle characterizes him as Musarum caballus (“the Muses’ horse”), and his claims to be a poet are mocked, not least with a reference to the twin peaks of Mt. Parnassus, all of which would make clearer sense in the light of Dunbar’s epigram, if it is applicable to this same individual. He was naturalized in 1610 (House of Lords Journal), deposited a recognizance of £100 for the appearance of Sir George Carewe at the Middlesex Sessions to answer a charge of wounding a man in a fight, in 1611 (Middlesex Sessions Rolls), and a David Drummond was knighted in 1617 (Willam Arthur Shaw, The Knights of England, London, 1906, repr. 1971, II.163). There are two extant Scots poems addressed to Drummond, the first by Alexander Montgomerie (poem 62 in D. J. Parkinson’s 2000 Scottish Text Society edition of the Poems, vol. I):

As curious Dido Aenee did demand
To vnderstand vha wrakt his Toun and hou
Him self ot throu and come to Lybia land,
To vhom fra hand his body he did bou
With bendit brou an tuinkling teirs I trou
(He said, If thou O Quene wald knau the cace
Of Troy, alace, it garis my body grou (i.e. grue)
To tell it nou, so far to our disgrace.
Hou in short space that somtym peirless place
Before my face in furious flammis did burne,
Compeld to murne and than to tak the chace
I ran this race, bot nevir to returne.)
Sa thou lyk Dido, Maister Dauid Drummond
Hes me to ansueir by thy sonet summond.

And the second (some of its riddles remain unsolved) by William Fowler, secretary to Queen Anne (Works, ed. H. W. Meikle, Scottish Text Society, 1914, p. 325):

He was tuo D’D but not of both my race
Nor uood (i.e. wod) nor mad but taistyne turnd alyke
Oint, not anoint, a courteour through his place
Mest spreit in cariage, no girning in his face,
From falshood cleir, but in his menage found
With iii in wealth and more a thousand pund.

spacerDrummond appears to have been a good deal more than a jester. Although in a letter to Sir Thomas Lake of 12 August 1605 (CSPDom) he complained that “I think my literature and long travels [i. e. travails?] in the King’s service deserve a reward, but am almost going back to Scotland in despair,” subsequently he discovered that keeping the King amused payed off: in 1614 he received a royal disbursment of £100 (Brit. Lib. Add. ms. 58833, fol. 23 v) he was made an honorary Burgess of Edinburgh, and in John Taylor’s 1618 Pennyles Pilgramage sig. D4r and also GD45/17/65 (papers of the Maule family Earls of Dalhousie) he is identified as a gentleman pensioner. In a 1626 legal document (Parl Archives, Main Papers HL/PO/JO/10/1/30 he was able to write Esquire after his name.

spacerVI.86 The point of the joke is that the Cynics derive their name from “κύων, dog,” apparently because of their “coarse, filthy mode of life” (Liddell and Scott).

spacerVI.87 This plays on (and quotes heavily from) Martial X.i.:

Si nimius videor seraque coronide longus
spacerEsse liber, legito pauca: libellus ero.
Terque quaterque mihi finitur carmine parvo
spacer Pagina: fac tibi me quam cupis ipse brevem.

spacerVI.87.2 A lengthy epic mentioned at Martial IV.xxix.8.

spacerVI.90 The topographical description of the British Isles Britannia (final edition 1607) by William Camden [1551 - 1623], Clarencieux King of Arms, was one of the most popular books of the late Tudor and early Stuart periods.

spacerVI.92 Meter: iambic trimeters. The Gascon poet mentioned at the beginning of the epigram was probably Guillaume de Salluste du Bartas [1544 - 1590], a great favorite of King James, who produced a translation of his Uranie at an early age.

spacerVI.93 More accurately, a popa was an assistant to a Roman priest, who actually did the dirty work of killing the sacrificial animals.

spacerVI.94 For Casaubon see the note on I.51. The conclusion of this epigram turns on a pun between two meanings of pensum, “day’s work”and “pension.”

spacerVI.95 Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerVI.97 In passages such as Job 25:6.

spacerVI.99 This epigram takes advantage of the contemporary notion that heavy objects fall downwards and light one, so to speak, fall upwards (thus a flame “hangs” from the tip of a match).

spacerVI.100 See the note on I.7.2.


spacerI.1.1Villiers was in truth born of minor Leicestershire gentry. Cf. Dunbar’s praise of James Fullarton’s genus in Centuriae IV.32.

spacerI.3 For Kaspar Schoppe, see the note on Centuriae III.78.

spacerI.4 This and the following epigram are written in iambic trimeters. With regard to their verbal play on the word “Jesuit,” cf. Centuriae V.63 and note.

spacerI.5.2 The Jebusites were the people who occupied Jerusalem prior to the Israelites, who were obliged to fight them in order to gain the city. Matthew Sutcliffe (II.60) had used the same pun in the title of De pontifice Romano... adversus Robertum Bellarminum & universum Iebusitarum sodalitium (1599).
spacer7 Abi in malam crucem [“go hang, go get yourself crucified”] is a standard imprecation in Roman comedy, and there is of course an implicit contrast between the cross (or gallows) of an ordinary criminal and the cross of Jesus.

spacerI.6 Thomas Coryat of Odcombe, Somersetshire [c. 1577 - 1617] was a famous traveler, a graduate of Oxford and a member of Prince Henry’s household, who published several books describing his journeys, including Coryat’s Crudities hastily gobbled up in Five Months Travels in France, Italy, &c. and Coryats Crambe, or his Coleworte twice Sodden (both 1611), and Greetings from the Court of the Great Mogul (1616).

spacerI.7 As discussed in the Introduction, Dunbar spent some time with the Huguenot colony at La Rochelle, and wrote a number of epigrams to personalities he met during his stay. Baldwin may have been an untraceable English or Scottish expatriate living there. But there is an Estienne Baudouin, son of a famille noble de La Rochelle in 1598, recorded in Baron Schickler’s Les Eglises du refuge en Angleterre (1898), p.366.
spacer3 The Greek goddess of justice.

spacerI.8 Dunbar objects to what was written about the great Protestant Humanist-theologian Theodore Beza [1519 - 1605] by the Catholic Heinrich Pantaleon [1522 - 1585] in his Chronographia ecclesiae Christianae, qua patrum et doctorum ordo cum variarum haeresum origine, et multiplici innovatione rituum in ecclesia, per imperatores concilia, aut pontifices Romanos ad nostra tempora usque ostenditur (Basel, 1550). Dunbar’s veneration for Beza seems to have been boundless; see Decades V.4 and note thereto.

spacerI.9 Meter: dactylic hexameter + iambic dimeter.

spacerII.5 Meter: hendecasyllables.

spacerII.1 The references are to the deutero-canonical story of the idol Bel, which is destroyed by the prophet Daniel (Daniel 14:1-22), the overthrow of the tower of Babel by God (Genesis 11:1-9), and the protestant vision — voiced by James Maxwell (see the note to V.67) amongst many others — of James as the great Christian Emperor of the Last Days who would overthrow the Roman Church, i.e. the Whore of Babylon from Revelations 17.:3-6. The epigram is an instance of Dunbar using the technique of vers rapportés.

spacerII.2 Dunba seems to have realized that James was a pacifist who never had any intention of starting a world war to destroy Rome, and here encourages the king to use other means.

spacerII.6 The Swiss reformer Pierre Viret [d. 1571]. Cf. the biographical sketch by Thomas Fuller, Abel Redivivus: Or, the Dead Yet Speaking. The Lives of the Modern Divines, ( London, 1867) I.352f. He persuaded the young Beza (see Decades I.8 and V.4) to take up teaching at Lausanne. Beza was professor of Greek there from 1549 to 1558.

spacerII.7 The Italian reforming theologian Peter Martyr [Pietro Martire Vermigli, 1499 – 1562]. Together with the Capuchin Director General, Bernardino Ochino and the Humanist Paolo Lacisio of Verona, he got in trouble with the Pope for his reforming and Gospel-oriented leanings, and was obliged to make his escape to Zurich in 1542, where he was befriended by Bullinger (see Decades III.6), and thence to Strasbourg. He and Ochino were invited to England by Cranmer in 1547. As Professor of Theology at Oxford, Martyr’s radical views on the Eucharist greatly influenced English Protestantism. His life was a “martyrdom” because of his many moves: forced to flee England in 1553 because of Mary Tudor, he found himself rejected by his former Strasbourg comrades because he had abandoned Lutheranism, and he eventually died in Zurich, though he kept up his English contacts.

spacerII.9 Pierre Du Moulin [1568 - 1658] was a renowned Protestant divine: he studied at Sedan, then took refuge in England, studying at Cambridge from 1588 to 1592, and became professor of philosophy and Greek and Latin literature at Leiden 1592 - 99, where his students included Grotius and Vossius; parish preacher at Charenton-le-Pont (just southeast of Paris) 1599 - 1620, and finally, professor of theology back at Sedan from 1621 to his death at a great age; there he was contemporaneous with various of Dunbar’s addressees including Andrew Melville. His many and much-reprinted writings (see B. G. Armstrong, Bibliographia Molinaei, Geneva, 1997, which runs to 564 pages) include the polemical De Monarchia temporali pontificis Romani, (Leyden, 1614), attacking Cardinal Bellarmine (see the note to CenturiaeI .28) and supporting King James’s defence of the Oath of Allegiance. As a result, from late March to late June 1615 Du Moulin was a royal guest in England, receiving a doctorate from Cambridge, preaching before the king and being made a prebendary of Canterbury. Two of his sons settled in England, one becoming a royal chaplain, the other a nonconformist (see W. B. Patterson, King James VI and I and the Reunion of Christendom, Cambridge, 2000, p.190; and B. Cottret, The Huguenots in England, Cambridge, 1991, pp. 91 - 96).
spacerDunbar’s two epigrams play on the fact that in French Du Moulin means “of the Mill.”

spacerIII.1 The reference to the gathering of the Pope’s blasphemy is to the long drawn-out Council of Trent which ushered in the Counter Reformation. Convoked by the papacy to reform the Roman Church and combat heresy, it sat in the southern Austrian/northern Italian city of Trent from 1545 to 1564 and its decrees standardised Roman belief and practice (including the Tridentine Mass), insisting on liturgical use of Latin and the rejection of the vernacular (see Decades III.3).

spacerIII.2 For Tobie Mathew, the Archbishop of York, see the note on Centuriae III.77. Dunbar includes him here because as an orthodox Calvinist, he had had a controversy with the Jesuit St. Edmund Campion in 1581 (Matthew’s arguments were published at Oxford as late as 1638, Piissimi et eminentissimi viri Tobiae Matthew, archiepiscopi olim Eboracencis concio apologetica adversus Campianam), and as Dean and then Bishop of Durham from 1583, and as Archbishop of York from 1606, he was very active against the many Catholic recusants in the north.

spacerIII.4 Defence of Papal primacy over secular rulers was not the least of the Jesuits’ immense contribution to the Counter Reformation (see the note to Centuries I.28 and the note to ib. V.63).

spacerIII.5 It might be suggested that the title’s L. should be expanded to LEVIRO (levir is a late Latin word for “brother-in-law”), and that the address of this epigram is a brother of Dunbar’s wife, the subject of Decades V.5. The M. is presumably to be expanded to MERCATOREM [“merchant”].

spacerIII.6 The Swiss reformer Heinrich Bullinger [1504 - 1575], successor to Zwingli and a friend to many refugees, including Peter Martyr (Decades II.7) and numerous English Protestant refugees fleeing Mary Tudor’s persecutions; his influence on the English Reformation after the return of the refugees was correspondingly considerable. Largely his work was the Second Helvetic Confession of 1566, later assented to by the Scottish and French Calvinists, inter alia.

spacerIII.7 Meter: dactylic hexameter + iambic dimeter.

spacerIII.8 The point of this epigram is that the priest and the physician place very different meanings on the word salvus. The fact that the pun is in Latin and the priest is Italian is a reference to the Tridentine insistence on the use of Latin; see note to Decades III.1 above.

spacerIII.9 Meter: iambic trimeters (appropriately, because this is the meter of drama).

spacerIII.10 William Whitaker [1548 - 95], Master of St. John’s College and Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. One of the leading English proponents of Calvinist orthodoxy, and particularly, in the 1590’s, of the doctrine of Predestination. Author of the Lambeth Articles, his skill as a controversialist was much respected by his Roman Catholic opponents including Cardinal St. Robert Bellarmine, who kept a portrait of Whitaker in his room.

spacerIV.3 Meter: iambic trimeters.
spacer4 Saint Gelasius I, a Pope at the end of the fifth century, went farther than his predecessors in asserting the primacy of the papacy, and in his encyclical letter Duo sunt advanced what would become the standard Church theory of two powers: that the Church and secular governments were to exercise equal authority in their respective spheres, and to work in harmony.

spacerIV.4 The Swiss Humanist and Reformer Joachim Vadian [1484 - 1551]. Dunbar puns with his name and the Latin verb vado [“walk, go”]. Vadian was a friend of Zwingli of Zurich, and in 1535 he published Aphorismorum de consideratione eucharistiae libri VI, arguing for the reformed interpretation of the eucharist as symbolic (i.e. against Lutheran consubstantation and Catholic transsubstantation), the position introduced to England by Peter Martyr (Decades II.7).7

spacerIV.5 Dunbar’s father-in-law, minister of St Andrew’s Church, Plymouth, 1603 - 33. The abbreviation S. S. in the title almost certainly stands for SACRAE SCRIPTURAE (as in the letter-inscriptions here, here, and here).

spacerIV.6 6 The concise and Calvinistic so-called Heidelberg Catechism (1563)  was written by Caspar Olevianus [1536 - 1587] and Zacharias Ursinus [1534 - 1583], and submitted to Bullinger (see Decades III.6) for approval. It was much-liked in the Reformed churches of the Swiss tradition.  But Dunbar is surely referring to the 700 pages of Ursinus’  Catecheticas Explicationes edited from sets of lecture notes  by Ursinus’s favourite student, David Pareus and published at Heidelberg in 1591. In 1612,  an expanded version of Ursinus’ Works appeared, edited by his son, with the help of Pareus and Reuterus. It may have been this publication that prompted Dunbar to his epigram on the vast amount of erudition that went into explicating the forty-odd pages of the original Catechism: hence the concluding pun on ursinus (“bearish”.)

spacerIV.7 Davie may not have been an actual person but rather a comic stereotype of a Welshman, since in humor of the time Welshmen were frequently represented as being absurdly boastful.

spacerIV.8 Philips de Marnix, Sieur de Saint-Aldegonde [1538 - 1598] is best known for his satirical poem against the Catholic Church, the 1569 De roomsche byen-korf {“The Roman Beehive”}, and also wrote another anti-Catholic work entitled Tableau des Différends de la Religion (the 1857 Brussels edition can be read here). In this epigram Dunbar plays on two meanings of tabula and French tablea), “table” and “painting,” and so compares him to the great Greek painter Apelles (responsible for a famous painting of Venus, born on the isle of Paphus).

spacerIV.9 Because the similarity of both their names and their faith, Marnix is coupled with the grimly serious Huguenot apologist Philippe de Mornay [1549 - 1623], known as le pape des Huguenots, author of such works as the 1571 Dissertation sur l’Église visible, probable author of the enormously influential Vindiciae contra tyrannos (1579) supporting the rights of the people to overthrow tyrannical kings, builder and patron of the great protestant university of Saumur, and architect of the Edict of Nantes.

spacerIV.10 Cf. Centuriae III.96, which also makes fun of the gilt slippers worn by the wealthy at this time.

spacerV.1 This epigram appears to refer to the set of amoebic distichs written by Dunbar and Arthur Johnston about the eyes of Isabella Abernathy, given as an Appendix here.

spacerV.2 James, second Marquess Hamilton [1589 - 1625]. His O. D. N. B. entry mentions no visit to Rome, but one presumes that as a young man he had taken The Tour.

spacerV.4 Théodore de Bèze, generally known as Theodore Beza, was Calvin’s long-lived successor as “pope” of Geneva and spiritual head of Europe’s Calvinists. His influence on Elizabethan puritanism, and on the Scottish Kirk, was very strong: Andrew Melville (Centuriae I.44) had studied under him, and c. 1576 the Scottish Chancellor, Lord Glamis, famously consulted him about the appropriateness or otherwise of episcopal church government. Beza´s reply condemning bishops, De triplici episcopatu, was later translated and published by the English puritan leader John Field. See Patrick Collinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (1966), p.110. Beza had been moderator of the Huguenot General Synod that met in La Rochelle in 1571 and decided not to recognise the civil government as head of the church. The status of supreme reformed theologian which Dunbar grants Beza here is yet farther confirmation of Dunbar’s “two kingdoms” Presbyterianism (cf. the sarcastic comment in Centuriae IV.84 on how Hume pleased the bishops but displeased the Scottish people).

spacerV.4.5 The Waldensians originated in the late twelfth century as the Poor Men of Lyons, a band organized by Peter Waldo, a wealthy merchant who gave away his property and went about preaching apostolic poverty as the way to perfection. In 1557, Beza had done much work on defending the Waldensians of Piedmont from persecution by the French government, and published a declaration of their doctrine of the Eucharist.

spacerV.5 Cf. the discussion of Dunbar’s wife in the Introduction.

spacerV.6 James Porteous graduated from St Andrews in 1598; Dunbar may have got to know him while studying at Edinburgh. In 1609, Porteous made assistant minister of Soutra, in the hills to the southeast of Edinburgh, and in August 1616 became minister of Lasswade, much closer to Edinburgh. He stoutly held to Presbyterian doctrines of church government, being one of the 52 ministers who in 1617 would petition the king against the Articles of Perth (and were denounced in print for their pains by James Maxwell (see Centuriae V.27), who must have deeply disappointed Dunbar (and delighted the king) by publishing, at Cambridge, A nevv eight-fold probation of the Church of Englands divine constitution prooved by many pregnant arguments, to be much more complete then any Geneuian in the world against the contrary assertion of the fifty three petitioner-preachers of Scotland in their petition presented in the later Parliament to the Kings most excellent Maiesty. Porteous refused to obey the Articles when they became law, and was summoned by the Court of High Commission in 1620: see Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae I.329 and Calderwood, History of the Kirk VII.256, 411, and 416). Porteous was one of those who signed the so-called “Newbattle Abbey” copy of the National Covenant during the great Glasgow General Assembly of 1638 which abolished the episcopate (R. A. Houston, Scottish Literacy and Scottish Identity, Cambridge, 2002, p. 286).

spacerV.8 William Damasus Lindanus [1525 - 1588], Bishop of Ruremonde and Ghent, was a prominent Catholic apologist. In 1562 - 3 he published two polemic dialogues at Cologne, Dubitantius and Ruwardius. Amongst his other many publications were the Stromatum libri III pro defensione Concilii Tridentini (Cologne, 1575); see the note to Decades III.1.

spacerV.10 The theologian Matthias Flacius Illyricus (Matija Vlačić Ilirik, 1520 - 1575], a German reformer of Croatian birth. Dunbar playfully pretends his name means “Un-lyred,” although of course it means "belong to the land which once was the Roman province Illyrium.” A Lutheran, his views on the utterly fallen and reprobate nature of fallen human beings (whom he saw as the kin of Satan) were adopted by Calvinism as the doctrine of “total depravity,” which denies any value whatever to human acts of piety. His major contribution to Western thought was his direction of the team of scholars who produced the 13 volume history of the Church called the Magdeburg Centuries (1559 - 1574). Charles Zika comments that “this was the first history to clearly organise past time according to centuries and was probably critical for the adoption of centennial celebrations as ways of commemorating the past” (Exorcising Our Demons, Leiden, 2003, p. 208).

spacerVI.2 John MacDowell, fourteenth Laird of Garthland, died in 1611 (P. H. McKerlie, History of the Lands and their Owners in Galloway, Paisley, 1906, I.335). See also the Stirnet MacDowall02 genealogy for this man’s mother, Eupheme Dunbar, who was a relative (probably a niece) of the poet’s grandfather Archibald of Baldoon. Garthland Castle stood to the south of Stranraer in the Rhinns of Galloway, Wigtownshire. The addressee was the uncle of Alexander Stewart of Garlies (Centuriae IV.69), and thus doubly related to the poet. His sister Katharine MacDowall was the wife of James Stewart of Ochiltree (Centuriae III.56).
spacer1 MacDowell died at La Rochelle: cf. Francisque Michel, Les Ecossais en France, les Français en Écosse (London, 1862) II.248 (where he slightly mangles his name as “John McDowell of Garland.”) MacDowell, gentilhomme prudent, humain et craignant Dieu, was a friend of the theologian and poet Robert Boyd of Trochrigg, son of Archbishop James Boyd and a cousin of the poet Mark Alexander (Centuriae IV.76).

spacerVI.3 See the note on III.5.

spacerVI.4 Sir Christopher Harris of Radford, Devon [d. 1625], the owner of the so-called Armada Service, a set of twenty-six parcel gilt dishes said to be made of American silver appropriated from Spanish treasure fleets. Dunbar could have enjoyed his hospitality while visiting his patron, Sir Ferdinando Gorges of Plymouth (for whom cf. Centuriae III.50).

spacerVI.5 James Maxwell [1581 - c. 1635]: see the note to Centuriae V.27. He had published Queene Elizabeths looking-glasse of grace and glory Wherein may be seen the fortune of the faithfull...enterlaced with many memorable alligories & morallties: both pleasant and profitable to be read at London in 1612, a volume prefaced by a tribute to the “everliving memorie” of Mary Queen of Scots as descendant of Charlemagne, great grand-daughter of Henry VII, daughter of James V, wife of François II and of the quarter-Tudor Lord Darnley, mother of “our most gracious prince James the Concorder and supreme Lord of Samothea,” and grandmother of “three graces of great Britaine”; Maxwell’s final description of the dead queen is what Dunbar is referring to, namely “a matchless Marie once on earth full of Grace, and now in heaven full of Glorie: and even the peace-making mother of Albions greatest grace and united glorie.”

spacerVI.8.2 For Choerilus of Issos, a poet in Alexander’s retinue, see Centuriae I.i.5 with the note ad loc.