PANTHER, DAVID, (whose name
is diversely spelled Panter and Paniter,) a learned diplomatic character of
the sixteenth century, was descended from an ancient family near Montrose.
He successively held the ecclesiastical offices of vicar of Carstairs, prior
of St Mary’s Isle, commendator of Cambuskenneth, and bishop of Ross, and in
the latter part of the reign of James V., and for some years later, was
principal secretary of state. In this latter character, he wrote many
official letters to foreign courts, which have been highly praised for the
extraordinary elegance of their Latinity. In 1722, Ruddiman published two
well-known volumes, entitled "Epistolae Jacobi Quarti, Quinti, et Mariae
Reginae Scotorum, eorumque Tutorum et Regni Gubernatorum, ad Imperatores,
Reges, Pontifices, Civitates et Alios, ab Anno 1505 ad Annum 1545;" of which
the whole of the second is the composition of David Panther, while the first
contains letters written in a similar official character, by Patrick
Panther, his near relation.
Panther subsequently acted
for seven years as ambassador of Scotland at the French court. After a life
distinguished by high services, but, it appears, by no great purity of
morals, he died at Stirling, October 1, 1558.