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ANDREW MELVILLE (1545-1622)

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Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 102 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ANDREW MELVILLE (1545-1622), Scottish scholar, theologian and religious reformer, was the youngest son of Richard Melville (brother to Melville of Dysart), proprietor of Baldovy near Montrose, at which place Andrew was born on the 1st of August 1545. His father fell at the battle of Pinkie (1547), fighting in the van of the Scottish army, and, his wife having died soon after, the orphan was cared for by his eldest brother Richard (1522-1595). At an early age Melville began to show a taste for learning, and his brother did everything in his power to give him the best education. The rudiments of Latin he obtained at the grammar school of Montrose, after leaving which he learned Greek for two years under Pierre de Marsilliers, a Frenchman whom John Erskine of Dun had induced to settle at Montrose; and such was Melville's proficiency that on going to the university of St Andrews he excited the astonishment of the professors by using the Greek text of Aristotle, which no one else there understood. On completing his course, Melville left St Andrews with the reputation of " the best poet, philosopher, and Grecian of any young master in the land." He then, in 1564, being nineteen years of age, set out for France to perfect his education at the university of Paris. He there applied himself to Oriental languages, but also attended the last course of lectures delivered by Turnebus in the Greek chair, as well as those of Peter Ramus, whose philosophical method and plan of teaching he afterwards introduced into the universities of Scot= land. From Paris he proceeded to Poitiers (1566) to study civil law, and though only twenty-one he was apparently at once made; a regent in the college of St Marceon. After a residence of three years, however, political troubles compelled him to leave France, and he went to Geneva, where he was welcomed by Theodore Beza, at whose instigation he was appointed to the chair of humanity in the academy of Geneva. In addition to his teaching, however, he also applied himself to studies in Oriental literature,, and in particular acquired from Cornelius Bertram, one of its brother professors, a knowledge of Syriac. While he resided at" Geneva the massacre of St Bartholomew in 1572 drove an immense number of Protestant refugees to that city, including several of the most distinguished French men of letters of the time. Among these were several men learned in civil law. and political science, and their society increased Melville's knowledge of the world and enlarged his ideas of civil and ecclesiastical liberty. In 1574 Melville returned to Scotland, and almost immediately received the appointment of principal of Glasgow University, which had fallen into an almost ruinous state, the college having been shut and the students dispersed. Melville, however, set himself to establish a good educational system. He travels in Persia, Egypt and India. Melville, though comparaenlarged the curriculum at the college, and established chairs tively little known during his lifetime, was one of the most in languages, science, philosophy and divinity, which were powerful influences in contemporary art, especially in his broad confirmed by charter in 1577. His fame spread through the decorative treatment with water-colour. Though his vivid kingdom, and students flocked from all parts of Scotland and impressions of colour and movement are apparently recorded even beyond, till the class-rooms could not contain those who with feverish haste, they are the result of careful deliberation came for admission. He assisted in the reconstruction of and selection. He was at his best in his water-colours of Eastern Aberdeen University in 1575, and in order that he might do for life and colour and his Venetian scenes, but he also painted several St Andrews what he had done for Glasgow, he was appointed Striking portraits in oils and a powerful colossal composition of principal of St Mary's College, St Andrews, in 1580. His duties " The Return from the Crucifixion " which remained unfinished there comprehended the teaching, not only of theology, but of at his death in 1904. At the Victoria and Albert Museum is one the Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac and Rabbinical languages. The of his water-colours, " The Little Bull-Fight—Bravo, Toro! " and ability of his lectures was universally acknowledged, and he another, " An Oriental Goatherd," is in the Weimar Museum. created a taste for the study of Greek literature. The reforms, But the majority of his pictures have been absorbed by private however, which his new modes of teaching involved, and even collectors. some of his new doctrines, such as the non-infallibility of Aristotle, A comprehensive memorial exhibition of Melville's works was brought him into collision with other teachers in the university. held at the Royal Institute Galleries in London in 1906. He was moderator of the General Assembly in 1582, and took MELVILLE, HENRY DUNDAS, 1ST VISCOUNT (1742–1811), part in the organization of the Church and the Presbyterian British statesman, fourth son of Robert Dundas (1685–1753), method. Troubles arose from the attempts of the court to force lord president of the Scottish court of session, was born at a system of Episcopacy upon the Church of Scotland (see SCOT- Edinburgh in 1742, and was educated at the high school and LAND, CHURCH OF), and Melville prosecuted one of the " tulchan " university there. Becoming a member of the faculty of advobishops (Robert Montgomery, d. 1609). In consequence of this cates in 1763, he soon acquired a leading position at the bar; he was summoned before the Privy Council in February 1584, and he had the advantage of the success of his half-brother and had to flee into England in order to escape an absurd charge Robert (1713–1787), who had become lord president of the court of treason which threatened imprisonment and not improbably of session in 176o. He became solicitor-general to Scotland in his life. After an absence of twenty months he returned to 1766; but after his appointment as lord-advocate in 1775, he Scotland in November 1585, and in March 1586 resumed his gradually relinquished his legal practice to devote his attention lectures in St Andrews, where he continued for twenty years; more exclusively to public business. In 1774 he was returned to he became rector of the university in 159o. During the whole parliament for Midlothian, and joined the party of Lord North; time he protected the liberties of the Scottish Church against and notwithstanding his provincial dialect and ungraceful manner, all encroachments of the government. That in the main he and he soon distinguished himself by his clear and argumentative his coadjutors were fighting for the constitutionally guaranteed speeches. After holding subordinate offices under the marquess rights of the Church is admitted by all candid inquirers (see in of Lansdowne and Pitt, he entered the cabinet in 1791 as home particular The History of England from 1603 to 161-6, by S. R. secretary. From 1794 to 1801 he was secretary at war under Gardiner, vol. i. chap. ix.). The chief charge against Melville Pitt, who conceived for him a special friendship. In 1802 he is that his fervour often led him to forget the reverence due to an was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Melville and Baron " anointed monarch." Of this, however, it is not easy to judge. Dunira. Under Pitt in 1804 he again entered office as first lord Manners at that time were rougher than at present. When the of the admiralty, when he introduced numerous improvements king acted in an arbitrary and illegal manner he needed the in the details of the department. Suspicion had arisen, however, reminder that though he was king over men he was only " God's as to the financial management of the admiralty, of which silly vassal." Melville's rudeness (if it is to be called so) was the Dundas had been treasurer between 1782 and 'Soo; in 1802 a outburst of just indignation from a man zealous for the purity commission of inquiry was appointed, which reported in 1805. of religion and regardless of consequences to himself. In 1599 The result was the impeachment of Lord Melville in x8o6, on he was deprived of the rectorship, but was made dean of the the initiative of Samuel Whitbread, for the misappropriation of faculty of theology. The close of Melville's career in Scotland public money; and though it ended in an acquittal, and nothing was at length brought about by James in characteristic fashion. more than formal negligence lay against him, he never again held In 16o6 Melville and seven other clergymen of the Church of office. An earldom was offered in 1809 but declined; and he died Scotland were summoned to London in order " that his majesty on the 28th of May 1811. might treat with them of such things as would tend to settle the His son ROBERT, 2nd Viscount Melville (1771–1851), filled peace of the Church." The contention of the whole of these various political offices and was first lord of the admiralty from faithful men was that the only way to accomplish that purpose 1812 to 1827 and from 1828 to 183o; his name is perpetuated was a free Assembly. Melville delivered his opinion to that by that of Melville Sound, because of his interest in Arctic effect in two long speeches with his accustomed freedom, and, exploration. His eldest son, HENRY DUNDAS, 3rd Viscount having shortly afterwards written a sarcastic Latin epigram on (1801-1876), a general in the army, played a distinguished part some of the ritual practised in the chapel of Hampton Court, and in the second Sikh War. some eavesdropper having conveyed the lines to the king, he See Hon. J. W. Fortescue, History of the British Army, vol. iv. was committed to the tower, and detained there for four years. (1907). On regaining his liberty, and being refused permission to return MELVILLE, HERMAN (1819–1891) American author, was to his own country, he was invited to fill a professor's chair in the born in New York City on the 1st of August 1819. He shipped university of Sedan, and there he spent the last eleven years of his as a cabin-boy at the age of eighteen, thus being enabled to..ipake life. He died at Sedan in 1622, at the age of seventy-seven. his first visit to England, and at twenty-two sailed for a 13ng See McCries, Andrew Melville (ed. 1819) ; Andrew Lang, History whaling cruise in the Pacific. After a year and a half he deserted of Scotland (1902). (D. MN.) his ship at the Marquesas Islands, on account of the cruelty of the captain; was captured by cannibals on the island of Nukahiva,
End of Article: ANDREW MELVILLE (1545-1622)
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