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Significant Scots
Thomas Jack

JACK, or JACHEUS, THOMAS, a classical scholar of eminence, and author of the "Onomasticon Poeticum." The period of the birth of this author is unknown: Dr MíCrie has with his usual industry made investigations into his history, but excepting the circumstances to be discovered from the dedication to his work, none but a few barren facts have been found, which must have ill repaid the labours of the search. He was master of the grammar school at Glasgow, but at what period he entered that seminary is unknown. He relinquished the situation in 1574, and became minister of the neighbouring parish of Eastwood, from which, in the manner of the time, he dates his book "ex sylva vulgo dicta orientali;" his work is entitled "Onomasticon Poeticum, sive propriorum quibus in suis monumentis usi sunt veteres Poetae, brevis descriptio Poetica;" it is neatly printed in quarto, by Waldegrave, 1592, and is now very rare. It may be described as a versified topographical dictionary of the localities of classical poetry, expressing in a brief sentence, seldom exceeding a couple of lines, some characteristic, which may remind the student of the subject of his readings. He mentions that he has found the system advantageous by experiment; and most of our readers will be reminded of the repeated attempts to teach the rules of grammar, and other matters necessary to be committed to memory, in a similar manner. The subject did not admit of much elegance, and the chief merit of the author will be acknowledged in the perseverance which has amassed so many references to subjects of classical research.

In the dedication, which is addressed to James, eldest son of Claud Hamilton, commendator of Paisley, a pupil of the author, Jack complacently mentions that he had been induced to publish by the recommendation of Andrew Melville and Buchanan, and that the latter eminent person had revised the work, and submitted to a counter revision of works of his own. Prefixed to the Onomasticon are encomiastic verses by Robert Pollock, Hercules Pollock, Patrick Sharpe, Andrew Melville, and Sir Thomas Craig. Dr MíCrie has discovered that Thomas Jack, as minister of Rutherglen, was one of those who, in 1582, opposed the election of Robert Montgomery as archbishop of Glasgow. He appears to have been a member of the General Assembly in 1590; he is mentioned in 1593, as a minister within the bounds of the presbytery of Paisley, and must have died in 1596, as appears from the Testament Testamentar of "Euphame Wylie, relict of umquhill Mr Thomas Jak, miní at Eastwod."

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