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JOHN ROW (c. 1525—1580)

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Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 783 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN ROW (c. 1525—1580), Scottish reformer, was born He died on the 6th of December 1718, and was buried in West-near Stirling and educated in that town and at St Andrews, minster Abbey. He was twice married, and his widow re-where he began to practise as an advocate in the consistorial ceived a pension from George I. in 1719 in recognition of her court. In 1550 he was sent to Rome in the interests of John husband's translation of Lucan. This verse translation, or Hamilton, archbishop of St Andrews, and attracted the notice rather paraphrase of the Pharsalia, was called by Samuel of the highest authorities, who, when his failing health drove Johnson " one of the greatest productions in English poetry," him back to Scotland in 1558, nominated him papal nuncio to and was widely read, running through eight editions between inquire into the spread of heresy in that country. That in- 1718 and 1807. quiry ultimately led him to change his faith. Much influenced Rowe was the first modern editor of Shakespeare. It is by Knox's preaching, he joined the reformers and in April unfortunate that he based his text (6 vols., 1709) on the corrupt 156o was admitted minister of Kennoway in Fife, and in July Fourth Folio, a course in which he was followed by later editors. of the same year minister of the Old or Middle Church at Perth. We owe to him the preservation of a number of Shakespearian He was one of the commission of six who drew up the "Con- traditions, collected for him at Stratford by Thomas Betterton. fession of Faith " and the " First Book of Discipline," and These materials he used with considerable judgment in the during the struggle with Queen Mary was often employed on memoir prefixed to the Works. Moreover, his practical know-important engagements. He was moderator of the Church ledge of the stage suggested technical improvements. He Assembly at Edinburgh in July 1567 and at Perth in the follow- divided the play into acts and scenes on a reasonable method,
End of Article: JOHN ROW (c. 1525—1580)
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