an eminent scholar and divine, son of David Rollock of Powis, was born
not far from Stirling in 1555. At the grammar school of Stirling, he
commenced his education under Thomas Buchanan, the nephew of the
historian. From this seminary he was removed to St. Salvador’s college,
St. Andrews, and went through the regular course of four years’ study,
and so eminently distinguished himself, that he had no sooner taken the
degree of M.A. than he was chosen regent or professor of philosophy in
that college. During the four years that he discharged the duties of
this office his reputation was greater than that of any of his
contemporaries. In 1582, while still under twenty-eight years of age, he
was chosen by the magistrates of Edinburgh the first teacher of the
university lately founded by James VI. In that city; and for some time
was the sole professor in that institution. In the winter of 1583 he
entered upon his new duties, and his high character soon attracted
numerous students to the infant university. In February 1585 he was
created principal, and after the first laureation had taken place, was
also appointed professor of theology, for which, and preaching every
Sunday morning in the High church, he was allowed 400 merks yearly.
In the settlement of the
ecclesiastical affairs of the period, Principal Rollock was thought to
be too complying, and is styled by Calderwood “a man simple in church
matters.” In 1597 he was chosen moderator of the Assembly held at
Dundee, which passed several acts favourable to Episcopacy. He wrote
several commentaries in Latin on different portions of the Scripture,
which were published between 1602 and 1610. Though tinged with the
scholastic theology of the times, they discover great natural acuteness,
with very extensive learning. He died January 8, 1599, in the 43d year
of his age. His works are:
Comm. In Epistolam ad Epheseos. Edin. 1590, 4to. And, Genevae, 1593,
Comm. In Librum Danielis. Edin. 1591, 4to. Sanctandreanae, 1594, 4to.
Comm. In Epist. Ad Romanos. Edin. 1594, 12mo. Genevae, 1596, 8vo.
Questiones et Responsiones aliquot, de Foedere Dei et de Sacramentis.
Edin. 1596, 8vo.
Tractatus de Vocatione efficacy, que inter locos theologie communissimos
recensetur, deque locis specialioribus, qui sub vocatione
comprehenduntur, &c. Edin. 1597, 8vo.
Certain Sermons on several places of St. Paul’s Epistles. Edin. 1599,
Comm. In selectos aliquot Psalmos. Genevae, 1598, 1599, 8vo. An
Exposition of some select Psalms of David; containing great store of
most excellent and comfortable doctrine, &c. Translated out of Latin
into English by C. L. Edin. 1600, 8vo.
Comm. In utramque Epistolam ad Thessalonicenses, et Analysis in Epist.
Ad Philemonem, cum Notis Joan. Piscatoris. Edin. 1598, 12mo. Herborn.
Analysis in Epist. Ad Galatas, Lond. 1602, 8vo.
Prolegomena in Primum librum Quaestionum Theodori Bezae,
Tractatus Brevis, de Providentis Dei, et tractatus de Excommunicatione.
Genev. 1602, 8vo. Lond. 1604.
Comm. In Epistolam ad Colossenses. Edin. 1600. Genevae, 1602, 8vo.
Comm. In Epistolam ad Hebraeos. Edin. 1605, 12mo.
Comm. In Epistolas ad Corinthios. Herborn. Nass. 1600, 12mo.
A Treatise of God’s Effectual Calling; translated by H. Holland. Lond.
Lectures upon the History of the Passion, &c. Edinburgh, 1616, 8vo.
Episcopal Government instituted by Christ, and confirmed by Scripture
and Reason. Lond. 1641, 4to.
His elder brother, Hercules Rollock, was for a short time one of the
professors of King’s college, Old Aberdeen. His Latin poems, published
in his lifetime, are preserved in the ‘Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum,’
edited by Dr. Arthur Johnston, at the expense of Scott of Scotstarvet,
in 1637. He also wrote several epitaphs on the principal, his brother,
which will be found in the same collection.