James, John and Robert Wedderburn

James (c. 1495 – 1533), John (c. 1505 – 1556) and Robert Wedderburn (c. 1510 – c. 1555) were Scottish religious reformers and poets.

Biographies

The Wedderburn brothers were all born in Dundee, the sons of James Wedderburn, a prosperous merchant, and Janet Barrie. All three brothers studied at St Andrews University.

James

James Wedderburn, who had gone to St Andrews in 1514, was for a time in France preparing for a mercantile career. On his return to Dundee in 1514 he received instruction in the reformed faith from Friar Hewat, a Dominican monk. He composed a play called "The Beheading of Johne the Baptist", and another called "The Historie of Dyonisius the Tyrant", a morality satirizing church abuses, both of which were performed in 1540 in the play-field of Dundee. Neither of these nor a third ascribed to him by Calderwood, the historian, are extant. A charge of heresy was brought against him for counterfeiting the conjuring of a ghost, but he escaped to France, and established himself as a merchant at Rouen or Dieppe, where he lived quietly until his death in 1553, although attempts were made by the Scottish community in France to bring further charges against him.

John

John Wedderburn graduated M.A. at St Andrews in 1528. He took holy orders and appears to have held the chaplaincy of St Matthews, Dundee. In March 1539 he was accused of heresy, apparently for having, in conjunction with his brothers, written some anti-Church ballads. He escaped to Wittenberg, where with his compatriots he received the teaching of the German reformers. There he gained an acquaintance with Lutheran hymns, which he turned to account on his return to Scotland. The death of James V. and the known reform-minded leanings of the regent, the Earl of Arran, encouraged many exiles, Wedderburn among them, to revisit Scotland. It is probable that he was the author of the greater portion of the "Compendious Book of Psalms and Spiritual Songs" which contains a large number of hymns translated from the German. The enormous influence of the collection, with its added "Gude and Godlie Ballatis", on the Scottish reform movement, is attested by the penalties enacted against the authors and printers of these books. John Wedderburn was in Dundee as late as 1546, when he was obliged to flee to England. John Johnston in his "Coronis martyrum" says he died in exile in 1556.

Robert

Robert Wedderburn, who graduated M.A. in 1530 from St Leonard's College at the University of St Andrews, was ordained to the Priesthood, and succeeded his uncle John Barry as vicar of Dundee; but before he came into actual possession he also was suspected of heresy, and was compelled to flee to France and later Germany, returning to Scotland in 1546. He appears to have been actual vicar of Dundee in 1552. His sons were legitimized in January 1553.

Works

The earliest known edition of "The Gude and Godlie Ballatis" (of which a unique copy entitled "Ane Compendious Buik of Godlie and Spirituall Songs" is extant) dates back to 1567, though the contents were probably published in broad sheets during John Wedderburn's lifetime. It consists of a calendar and almanac, a catechism, hymns, many of them translations from the German, metrical versions of the Psalms, and a collection of ballads and satirical poems against the Catholic church and clergy. The separate shares of the brothers in this compilation cannot be settled, but Robert is said to have edited the whole and added the section of "The Gude and Godlie Ballatis". Many of these ballads are adapted from secular songs. Editions of the book appeared in 1578 (printed by John Ros), in 1600 (by Robert Smith), in 1621 (by Andro Hart); selections were published by Lord Hailes (1765) and by Sibbald (1802); a reprint of the 1621 volume was edited by Sir J. G. Dalyell in Scottish Poems of the Sixteenth Century (1801); and of the 1578 volume by David Laing in 1868. In 1897 Professor A. F. Mitchell reprinted the 1567 volume (expurgated) for the Scottish Text Society.

"The Complaynt of Scotland", a similar work to the "Compendious Buik", is described early on as Vedderburn's Complaynt and was often ascribed to Robert Wedderburn although the expressed religious views make this unlikely.

References

*1911
*"Dictionary of National Biography"


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • James, John et Robert Wedderburn — Pour les articles homonymes, voir James Wedderburn. James (1495 1533), John (1505 1556) et Robert Wedderburn (1510 1555) sont des réformistes et poètes écossais. Sommaire 1 Biographies …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wedderburn Brothers, James, John and Robert — (?1495 1557) (See also Cannan, May Wedderburn)    The three brothers were all born in Dundee, the sons of James Wedderburn, a prosperous merchant, and Janet Barrie. Educated at St. Andrews University, they all became zealous Scottish religious… …   British and Irish poets

  • Robert Wedderburn — James, John et Robert Wedderburn James (1495 1533), John (1505 1556) et Robert Wedderburn (1510 1555) sont des réformistes et poètes écossais. Sommaire 1 Biographies 1.1 James 1.2 John …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Wedderburn — James, John et Robert Wedderburn James (1495 1533), John (1505 1556) et Robert Wedderburn (1510 1555) sont des réformistes et poètes écossais. Sommaire 1 Biographies 1.1 James 1.2 John …   Wikipédia en Français

  • James Wedderburn (bishop) — James Wedderburn (1585–1639), bishop of Dunblane, was the second son of John Wedderburn, a mariner and shipowner from Dundee, and Margaret Lindsay. James Wedderburn (1495?–1553), a playwright and early Scottish proponent of Protestantism, was his …   Wikipedia

  • Wedderburn — There are a number of towns called Wedderburn:*Wedderburn, Victoria, Australia *Wedderburn, New South Wales, Australia *Wedderburn, Oregon, United States *Wedderburn, Otago, New ZealandOther places named Wedderburn: *Wedderburn Castle, in… …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Adam — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Robert Adam Robert Adam (3 de julio de 1728 3 de marzo de 1792) fue un arquitecto, diseñador de interiores y muebles neoclásico escocés …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Ruskin — This article is about the art critic, John Ruskin. For the painting of John Ruskin by Millais, see John Ruskin (painting). John Ruskin Coloured engraving of Ruskin Born 8 February 1819( …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Lauder of The Bass — Sir Robert Lauder of The Bass, (born before 1440 died just before February 1508) was a Scottish knight, armiger, and Governor of the Castle at Berwick upon Tweed. He was also a member of the old Scottish Parliament. [Young, James, editor,… …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Adam — Infobox Architect caption = Portrait attributed to George Willison, c.1770 75 name = Robert Adam nationality = Scottish birth date = 3 July 1728 birth place = Linktown of Abbotshall (now Kirkcaldy), Fife death date = 3 March 1792 (Aged 63) death… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.