Biography

George Buchanan (1506-82) : Scholar. Born in Stirlingshire. His father died when he was a child, and the mother Agnes brought up 8 children in much reduced circumstances. A very apt boy, he was sent to study at the University of Paris when he was 14. He stayed there until 1522, and in the spring 1525, his name appeared as a pauper student at the university of St Andrews. He went to Paris in 1526 to complete his education and taught there between 1528 and 1537. Then he was tutor to one of the sons of King James V, but due to a satire against Cardinal Beaton, his stay in Scotland wasn’t very long. Condemned as a heretic, he fled to England and then on to Bordeaux, and later Portugal to teach. The inquisition imprisoned him for his heretical beliefs and it was during this period that he translated the Psalms into Latin.

Set free in 1553, he lived in France and Italy and on returning in 1561 was appointed tutor to Mary Queen of Scots, whom he disliked after the murder of Darnley. He was appointed moderator of the Church of Scotland, and between 1570-1578 he was keeper of the Privy Seal and tutor to young James VI. He pamphleteered against the queen in Ane Detectioun of the Duings of Mary Quene, and held a prominent role in religious affairs until his death in Sept 1582.

He is buried in Greyfriars Churchyard and best remembered for both Latin and vernacular works, such as Ane Admonitioun Direct to the Trewe Lordis, or his history of Scotland, Rerum scoticarum historia.