Education in post-Reformation Scotland : Andrew Melville and the University of St Andrews, 1560-1606
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Andrew Melville (1545-1622) was the leader of the Presbyterian wing of the Scottish Kirk between 1574 and 1607, and he and his colleagues were a perpetual irritant to James VI and I in his attempts to establish a royal and Episcopal dominance over the Kirk. Yet much of Melville’s reputation has been based on the seventeenth-century Presbyterian historical narratives written by the likes of James Melville (Andrew’s nephew) and David Calderwood. These partisan accounts formed the basis of modern historiography in Thomas M’Crie’s monumentally influential Life of Andrew Melville. Modern historians broadly agree that Melville’s portrayal as a powerful and decisive church leader in these narratives is greatly exaggerated, and that he was at best an influential voice in the Kirk who was quickly marginalised by the adult James VI. However, only James Kirk has commented at any length on Melville’s other role in Jacobean Scotland—that of developing and reforming the Scottish universities. Melville revitalised the near-defunct Glasgow University between 1574 and 1580, and from 1580 to 1607 was principal of St Mary’s College, St Andrews, Scotland’s only divinity college. He was also rector of the University of St Andrews between 1590 and 1597. This thesis provides a detailed account of Melville’s personal role in the reform and expansion of the Scottish universities. This includes an analysis of his direct work at Glasgow, but focuses primarily on St Andrews, using the untapped archival sources held there and at the Scottish National Library and Archives to create a detailed picture of the development of the University after the Reformation. This thesis also evaluates the intellectual content of Melville’s reform programme, both as it developed during his time in Paris, Poitiers and Geneva, and as we see it in action in St Andrews.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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