Cheyne, James (DNB00)


CHEYNE, JAMES (d. 1602), philosopher and mathematician, was son of the laird of Arnage or Amagies in Aberdeenshire, who belonged to an ancient Scottish family. After having learned grammar and philosophy in the university of Aberdeen he studied divinity under John Henderson, a famous theologian, with whom at the period of the Reformation he withdrew to France. He had previously been ordained priest. For some time he taught philosophy in the college of St. Barbe in Paris, whence he proceeded to the Scotch college at Douay, where he was professor of philosophy and mathematics. Subsequently he was made rector of the Scotch college. He was also grand penitentiary and canon of the cath al church of Tournai, and according to one account he was a canon of St. Quentin (Hemorræus, De dec. et canon. S. Quintini, 68, cited by Tanner). He died on 27 Oct. 1602, and was buried in the cathedral of Tournai under a marble monument, with a Latin inscription. Thomas Dempster, who was his scholar at Douay for three years, describes him as a person of singular learning, great probity, candour, and sweetness of disposition. His works are: 1. ‘De priore Astronomiæ parte, seu De Sphæra, libri duo,’ Douay, 575, 8vo. Dedicated to Louis de Berlaymont, archbishop and duke of Cambrai. 2. ‘De Sphæræ seu Globi Cœlestis Fabrica brevis præceptio,' Douay, 1575, 8vo. 3. ‘Orationes rhetoricæ, Douay, 1576, 8vo. 4. ‘De Geographia libri duo, Douay, 1576, 8vo. 5. ‘Anaysis et scholia in Aristotelis xiv libros de prima et divina philosophia,’ Douay, 1578, 8vo; Hanover, 1607. 6. ‘Succincta in Physiologiam Aristotelicam Analysis,’ Paris, 1580, 8vo. Dedicated to Mary Queen of Scots. 7. ‘Scholæ duæ de perfecto philosopho, et de prædictionibus astrologorum,’ Douay, 1587, 8vo. 8. ‘Analysis in logicam, physicam, et ethicam Aristote1is,’ printed at Paris according to Dempster. 9. ‘Analysis in Aristotelis metaphysicam.’ 10. ‘De audibus philosophiæ.'

[Dempster’s Hist. Ecclesiastica Gentis Scotorum (1829), i. 193; Mackenzie’s Writers of the Scots Nation, iii. 447; Conæus, De duplici statu Religionis apud Scotos, 167; Tanner’s Bibl. Brit. 176.]

T. C.