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Adamson 112 Adamson

to the eldest son of Sir James Macgill, of Rankeillor, clerk-general. In the following June, while he was residing with his pupil at Paris, Adamson (called variously, at this date, Conston, Constant, Constean, or Constantine) published a poem of thanksgiving on the occasion of the birth of the son of Mary Queen of Scots. The infant was described in the title as ‘serenissimus princeps’ of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, an act of indiscretion which gave such offence that the author was imprisoned for six months. On his release, which he owed to the intercession of his royal mistress, he moved into the province of Poitou, and afterwards to Padua; thence he proceeded to Geneva, where he made the acquaintance of Theodore Beza and studied Calvinistic theology. On the homeward journey he revisited Paris with his pupil, but, finding it distracted by civil war (1567–8), thought it prudent to retire to Bourges, where he lay concealed for seven months at an inn. Here Adamson beguiled the time by translating the Book of Job into Latin hexameters, and composing a Latin tragedy on the subject of Herod. He also made a Latin translation of the Scottish Confession of Faith. The exact date of his return is unknown; but in March 1571 the assembly, ‘seeing there were so few labourers in the Lord's vineyarde,’ urged him strongly to return to the ministry, a request to which he agreed by letter at the meeting of the assembly in the following August. Some of his biographers state that he was in Paris at the time of the massacre of St. Bartholomew in 1572, but MacCrie (Notes to the Life of Andrew Melville) showed that this is a mistake arising from a misunderstanding of Adamson's words in the dedication of his Catechism, ‘Scripsi quidem in Gallia in ipso furore’—words which merely contain a reference to the civil war of 1567–8. On rejoining the ministry Adamson was presented to the living of Paisley. In 1572 he published at St. Andrews his Catechism, under the title of ‘Catechismus Latino sermone redditus et in libros quattuor digestus,’ which he had composed for the use of the young king; and this was followed by his Latin translation of the Scottish Confession of Faith, ‘Confessio Fidei et Doctrinæ per Ecclesiam Reformatam Scotiæ recepta.’ On 8 Feb. in this year he preached a sermon on the occasion of the elevation of John Douglas, rector of St. Andrews University, to the archbishopric of that diocese. ‘In his sermon,’ says Calderwood, ‘he made three sorts of bishops, “My lord bishop,” “my lord's bishop,” and “the Lord's bishop.” “My lord bishop,” said he, “was in time of papistrie; my lord's bishop is now, when my lord getteth the benefice, and the bishop serveth for a portion out of the benefice to make my lord's title sure; the Lord's bishop is the true minister of the Gospell.”’ Three years afterwards (1575) he was one of the deputies named by the general assembly to discuss questions relating to the jurisdiction of the kirk with commissioners appointed by the regent Moreton; and with two others he was chosen in 1576 to report the proceedings to the regent. About this time he appears to have finally adopted the name Adamson in preference to Constant. His adversaries did not fail to twit him on his change of name:—

    Twyse his surnaime hes mensuorne;
    To be called Cōsteine he thot schame,
    He tuke up Cōstantine to name.
      . . . . .
    Now Doctor Adamsone at last.

On the death of Douglas, in October 1576, Adamson, who had been serving as chaplain to the regent, was raised to the archbishopric of St. Andrews. Before his installation he had declared that he would resist any attempt on the part of the assembly to deprive him of his privileges; and his life now became one constant struggle with the presbyterian party. In April 1577 he was ordered by the assembly to appear before certain commissioners to answer the charge of having entered upon the archbishopric without being duly consecrated. On this occasion he appears to have made submission to the assembly; but in July 1579 other charges were brought against him—that he had voted in parliament without the assembly's permission, that he had opposed from his place in parliament the interests of the church, and that he had collated to benefices; for which offences he was again ordered to appear before commissioners. To escape from his opponents he retired to the castle of St. Andrews, where he was prostrated by a great illness (‘a great fedity’ he calls it), from which his medical attendants could give him no relief. In his extremity he sought the assistance of a wisewoman, Alison Pearson, who treated him so successfully that he completely recovered. His enemies ascribed his cure to witchcraft, seized the unfortunate woman, and confined her in the castle of St. Andrews, whence, with the connivance of the archbishop, she contrived to escape. A few years afterwards (1588) she was again apprehended, and after a trial before the court of justiciary was committed to the flames; one of the charges brought against her being that she had concocted for the archbishop a beverage of ewe's milk, claret,