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Lyle
Lyle
327

death of James III, and was forfeited on 28 June 1489. His forfeiture was, however, rescinded on 5 Feb. 1489-90; he became justiciary again, and had further charters of lands given him. On 26 Feb. 1490-1 he appointed ambassador to Spain about the young king's marriage. In 1492 he was one of the auditors of the exchequer (see his signature reproduced in Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer, 1493, p. 192). The last mention of his name seems to be the notice sent to him in 1497 of an intended English raid, and he is presumed to have died in that year. He is said to have married a daughter of John, master of Seton, but if so she must have died very early, as he married before 1458 (Excheq. Rolls of Scotland, vi. 456) Elizabeth Douglas, daughter of Archibald, fifth earl of Angus. He left Robert, third lord Lyle, George Nicholas, John, and three daughters.

[Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, ed. Wiyd, ii. 164; Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, vol. ii. passim; Reg. Magni Sigilli Regum Scot. 1424-1513; Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vols. vi-x.; Anderson's Scottish Nation.]

W. A. J. A.


LYLE, THOMAS (1792–1859), Scottish poet, born in Paisley 10 Sept. 1792, was educated at Glasgow University, where he took the diploma of surgeon in 1816. He practised at Airth, Stirlingshire, and in Glasgow, where he died 19 April 1859. He was the author of several lyrics, but is remembered solely for the beautiful song, 'Let us haste to Kelvin Grove, bonnie lassie, O,' first published anonymously in the 'Harp of Renfrewshire' (1820), Some controversy arose as to the authorship, owing to a subsequent editor of the 'Harp' having in the index ascribed the song to John Sim, but Lyle made good his title to it. He contributed to R. A. Smith's 'Irish Minstrel,' and edited 'Ancient Ballads and Songs,' London, 1837. The latter work contains several of his own songs, including a version of 'Kelvin Grove,' somewhat different from the original; but the most valuable portion consists of 'Miscellaneous Poems, by Sir William Mure, Knight of Howallan' [q.v.]

[Grant Wilson's Poets and Poetry of Scotland, ii. 129; Brown's Poems of Paisley. i. 260; Roger's Modern Scottish Minstrel, iv. 261; Macdonald's Rambles around Glasgow.]

J. C. H.


LYLY, JOHN (1554?–1606), dramatist and author of ‘Euphues,’ a native of the Weald of Kent, was born about 1554. In 1569 he became a student of Magdalen College, Oxford, but did not matriculate till 8 Oct. 1571, when he was described as ‘plebeii filius,’ and seventeen years old. According to Wood he was ‘always averse to the crabbed studies of logic and philosophy. … His genie being naturally bent to the pleasant paths of poetry, he did in a manner neglect academical studies,’ yet he graduated B.A. 27 April 1573, and secured the reputation of being ‘a noted wit.’ On 16 May 1574 he wrote to Lord Burghley begging him to obtain for him from the crown a presentation to a fellowship at his college (Lansdowne MS. xix. No. 16). The application apparently failed. According to a passage in ‘Euphues,’ he ‘was sent into the country’ by the university authorities, and spent there three unprofitable years. On 1 June 1575 he proceeded M.A. at Oxford, and an entry in the bursar's book at Magdalen shows that he owed 23s. 10d. ‘pro communis et batellis’ in 1584. Meanwhile he had studied at Cambridge, and he expressed equal affection in later years for each university (Euphues and his England). He was incorporated M.A. at Cambridge in 1579.

Lyly on completing his studies went to London, and for many years he made energetic efforts to secure a place at court. At the same time—as early as 1578—he attempted literary work, and found a patron in Edward Vere, earl of Oxford. The first part of his ‘Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit’—his ‘first counterfaite’—was ‘hatched in the hard winter,’ apparently of 1578–9, and on its publication in London in 1579 he at once leaped into fame, although not into fortune. A second part—‘Euphues and his England’—followed in 1580. His literary success apparently brought him to the notice of Lord Burghley, who gave him some employment. In July 1582 he wrote to Burghley complaining that he had been falsely charged with ‘dishonesty,’ and begging some opportunity of proving his innocence to the satisfaction of both his master and his master's wife (Lansdowne MS. xxxvi. No. 76). He made some literary friendships, and in 1582 a letter of his was prefixed to Thomas Watson's ‘Hekatompathia.’ ‘And seeing,’ he told Watson, ‘you have used me so friendly as to make me acquainted with your passions, I will shortly make you pryvie to mine, which I woulde be loth the printer shoulde see.’ No poems by Lyly corresponding to those described in this letter are known to be extant.

Before 1584 Lyly entered another literary field, and began a series of plays to be performed at court by the children's acting companies connected with the Chspel Royal and St. Paul's Cathedral, and his ambition to obtain a place at court seems to have been partly realised by his appointment as 'vice