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The Scottish Nation

BUCHANAN, a surname belonging to a numerous clan in Stirlingshire, and the country on the north side of Loch Lomond. The reputed founder of the Buchanans was Anselan, son of O’Kyan, king of Ulster in Ireland, who is said to have been compelled to leave his native country, by the incursions of the Danes, and take refuge in Scotland. He landed, with some attendants, on the northern coast of Argyleshire, near the Lennox, about the year 1016, and having according to the family tradition, in all such cases made and provided, lent his assistance to King Malcolm the Second in repelling his old enemies the Danes, on two different occasions of their arrival in Scotland, he received from that king for his services, a grant of land in the north of Scotland. The improbable character of this genealogy is manifested by its farther stating that the aforesaid Anselan married the heiress of the lands of Buchanan, a lady named Dennistoun; for the Dennistouns deriving their name from lads given to a family of the name of Danziel, [see DENNISTOUN, surname of,] who came into Scotland with Alan the father of the founder of the abbey of Paisley, and the first dapifer, seneschal, or steward of Scotland, no heiress of that name could have been in Scotland until long after the period here referred to. It is more probable that a portion of what afterwards became the estate of Buchanan formed a part of some royal grant as being connected with the estates of the earls of Lennox, whom Skene and Napier have established to have been remotely connected with the royal family of the Canmore line, and to have been in the first instance administrators, on the part of the crown, of the lands which were afterwards bestowed upon them.

      The name of Buchanan is territorial, and is now that of a parish in Stirlingshire, which was anciently called Inchcaileoch, (‘old woman’s island,’) from an island of that name in Loch Lomond, on which in earlier ages there was a nunnery, and latterly the parish church for a century after the Reformation. In 1621 a detached part of the parish of Luss, which comprehends the lands of the family of Buchanan, was included in this parish, when the chapel of Buchanan was used for the only place of worship, and gave the name to the whole parish.

      Regarding the etymology of Buchanan (or, as it was formerly spelled, Bouchannane) the following curious passage occurs in Bleau’s Atlas, published in Holland in 1653; “Buchanan qui ont de belles Signeuries sur la riviere d’Aneric du coste du Midi, et sur le lac de Leimond du coste du l’occident, l’une desquelles appartient an chef de la famille, qui s’uppelle volgairment Buchanan, laquelle a donne le nom a toute l maison; le mot, qui signifie une possession, est compose, et vent dire un terrior bas et proche des eaux, car Much on Buch signifie un lieu bas, et Annan de l’eau; et en effect il est ainsi,” &c. [Tome vi. pp. 96, 97.] We have not a doubt that the name Buchanan has the same origin as the word Buchan, being its diminutive of Buchanan or Buquhanino, the little Buquhan or cattle-growing district.

      Anselan (in the family genealogies styled the third of that name) the seventh laird of Buchanan, and the sixth in descent from the above-named Irish prince, but not unlikely to be the first of the name, which in Norman French, is dignified in the same records with the magniloquent appellation of seneschal or chamberlain to Malcolm the first earl of Levenax (as Lennox was then called). He and two of his sons, Gilbert and Methlen, are witnesses to a charter granted by the same earl to Gilmore son of Maoldonich, of the lands of Luss, in the reign of King Alexander the Second, a nobleman of no great influence or power, descended from administrators of one of the abthaneships of Dull, or royal lands reverting to the crown by demise of younger branches, in which charter they are more correctly designed the earl’s clients or vassals. In 1225, this Anselan obtained from the same earl a charter of a small island in Lochlomond called Clareinch, witnesses Dougal, Gilchrist, and Amalyn, the earl’s three brothers, the name of which island afterwards became the rallying cry of the Buchanans. The same Anselan is also mentioned as a witness in a charter granted by the earl of Lennox of the lands of Dalmanoch in mortification to the old church of Kilpatrick, by the designation of Absalon de Buchanan, Absalon being the name as Ansalon. He had three sons, viz. Methlen, ancestor of the MacMillans; Colman, ancestor of the MacColmans; and his successor Gilbert.

      His eldest son, Gilbert, or Gillebrid, appears to have borne the surname of Buchanan. There is a charter of confirmation of that of Clairinch, and some other lands of Buchanan, granted in favour of this Gilbert by King Alexander the Second in the seventeenth year of his reign, and of our Lord 1231. The same Gilbert is also witness to a charter, by Malcolm earl of Lennox, to the abbot and monks of Paisley, dated at Renfrew in 1274. [Chartulary of Dumbartonshire.]

      Sir Maurice Buchanan, grandson of Gilbert, and son of a chief of the same name, received from Donald earl of Lennox, a charter of the lands of Sallochy, with confirmation of the upper part of the carrucate of Buchanan. As his name does not appear on the roll of parties who swore fealty to Edward the First, his descendants claim the merit of his having refused to do so. To the bond of fealty, however, a Malcolm de Buchanan attached his name. Sir Maurice also obtained a charter of confirmation of the lands of Buchanan from King David the Second in the beginning of his reign.

      Allan, the second son of the first Sir Maurice, married the heiress of Leny of that ilk, descended from Gillespic Moir de Lany, supposed to have lived about the beginning of the tenth century. According to a family manuscript pedigree, quoted in Buchanan of Auchmar’s account of the Leny branch, the early proprietors of the estate of Leny had no charters, but carefully preserved a large sword, and one of the teeth of St. Fillian, the possession of which was held to be a sufficient title to the lands. John, the third son, was always reputed the ancestor of the Buchanans of Auchneiven.

      Sir Maurice de Buchanan the second, above mentioned, married a daughter of Menteith of Rusky, and had a son, Walter de Buchanan, who had a charter of confirmation of some of his lands of Buchanan from Robert the Second, in which he is designed the king’s “consanguineus,” or cousin. His eldest son, John, married Janet, daughter and sole heiress of John Buchanan of Leny, fourth in descent from Allan already noticed. John, who died before his father, had three sons, viz. Sir Alexander, of whom next paragraph; Walter, who succeeded his father; and John, who inherited the lands of Leny, and carried on that family

      Sir Alexander Buchanan, the eldest son, accompanied the earl of Buchan to France, when he went to assist the French king Charles against Henry the Fifth of England, and distinguished himself at the battle of Beauge in Normandy, in March 1421. The victory was principally owing to the valour of the Scots auxiliaries. it is stated in Buchanan of Auchmar’s account of the martial achievements of the family of Buchanan that it was Sir Alexander Buchanan who, in this battle, slew the duke of Clarence, a feat commonly attributed to the earl of Buchan. He is said to have pierced the duke through the left eye and brain, on which the latter fell, when seizing his coronet, Buchanan bore it off on his spearpoint. He is also said to have sold the coronet, which was set round with jewels, to Stewart of Darnley for one thousand angels of gold, and that the latter pawned the same to Sir Robert Houston for five thousand angels. Sir Alexander Buchanan was killed at the battle of Verneuil, on the 17th of August of the same year.

      The armorial bearings of the Buchanans lend countenance to the assertion that Sir Alexander Buchanan assisted in slaying the duke of Clarence. The crest is a hand holding a ducal crown. The double tressure with fleurs de lis was granted to him by the king of France. The mottoes “Audaces Juvo” and “Clarior Hine Hones,” are correspondent to each other and to the devices.

      Sir Alexander died unmarried, and the second son, Sir Walter, succeeded to the estate of Buchanan.

      This Sir Walter de Buchanan married Isabel, daughter of Murdoch, duke of Albany, governor of Scotland, by Isabel, countess of Lennox in her own right. With a daughter, married to Gray of Foulis, ancestor of Lord Gray, he had three sons, viz. Patrick, his successor; Maurice, treasurer to the princes Margaret, the daughter of King James the First, and dauphiness of France, with whom he left Scotland; and Thomas, founder of the Buchanans of Carbeth.

      The eldest son, Patrick, acquired a part of Strathyre in 1455, and had a charter under the great seal of his estate of Buchanan dated in 1460. He and Andrew Buchanan of Leny made in 1455 mutual tailzies of their estates in favour of one another, and the heirs of their own bodies, passing some of their brethren of either side. He married Galbraith, heiress of Killearn, Bamore, and Auchenreoch. He had two sons and a daughter, Anabella, married to her cousin, James Stewart of Baldorrans, grandson of Murdoch, duke of Albany.

      Their younger son, Thomas Buchanan, was, in 1482, founder of the house of Drumakill, whence, in the third generation, came the celebrated George Buchanan. One of Sir Walter Scott’s colleagues of the clerk’s table of the court of session was Hector Macdonald Buchanan, Esq. of Drumakill, “a frankhearted and generous gentleman,” says Lockhart, “not the less acceptable to Scott for the Highland prejudices which he inherited with the high blood of Clanranald; at whose beautiful seat of Ross priory, on the shores of Lochlomond, he was almost annually a visitor; a circumstance which has left many traces in the Waverley novels.”

      Patrick’s elder son, Walter Buchanan of that ilk, married a daughter of Lord Graham, and by her had two sons, Patrick and John, and two daughters, one of them married to the laird of Lamond, and the other to the laird of Ardkinglass.

      John Buchanan, the younger son, succeeded by testament to Menzies of Arnprior, and was the facetious “King of Kippen,” and faithful ally of James the Fifth. The local proverb, “Out of the world, and into Kippen,” was meant to show the seclusion and singularity of this district of Stirlingshire, of which the feudal lord was formerly styled King. The name is supposed to be derived from the Gaelic word Ceap-beimn, ‘foot of the mountain,’ and the parish is partly in Perthshire. An insulated portion of the latter county, about two miles long and half-a-mile broad, embraces the village of Kippen. The minister’s manse stands on the eastern boundary, so that his dinner is cooked in Perthshire and eaten in Stirlingshire. The way in which the laird of Arnprior got the name of “King of Kippen”: is thus related by a tradition which Sir Walter Scott has introduced into his Tales of a Grandfather. [History of Scotland.] – “When James the Fifth travelled in disguise, he used a name which was known only to some of his principal nobility and attendants. He was called the Goodman (the tenant, that is) of Ballengeich. Ballengeich is a steep pass which leads down behind the castle of Stirling. Once upon a time when the court was feasting in Stirling, the king sent for some venison frm the neighbouring hills. The deer was killed and put on horses’ backs to be transported to Stirling. Unluckily they had to pass the castle gates of Arnprior, belonging to a chief of the Buchanans, who chanced to have a considerable num er of guests with him. It was late, and the company were rather short of victuals, though they had more than enough of liquor. The chief, seeing so much fat venison passing his very door, seized on it, and to the expostulations of the keepers, who told him it belonged to King James, he answered insolently, that if James was king in Scotland, he (Buchanan) was king in Kippen; being the name of the district in which Arnprior lay. On hearing what had happened the king got on horseback, and rode instantly from Stirling to Buchanan’s house, where he found a strong fierce-looking Highlander, with an axe on his shoulder, standing sentinel at the door. This grim warder refused the ding admittance, saying that the laird of Arnprior was at dinner, and would not be disturbed. ‘Yet fo up to the company, my good friend,’ said the king, ‘and tell him that the Goodman of Ballengeich is come to feast with the King of Kippen.’ The porter went grumbling into the house, and told his master that there was a fellow with a red beard at the gate, who called himself the Goodman of Ballengeich, who said he was come to dine with the King of Kippen. As soon as Buchanan heard these words, he knew that the king was come in person, and hastened down to kneel at James’s feet, and to ask forgiveness for his insolent behavior. But the king, who only meant to give him a fright, forgave him freely, and, going into the castle, feasted on his own venison, which Buchanan had intercepted. Buchanan of Arnprior was ever afterwards called the king of Kippen.” He was killed at the battle of Pinkie in 1547.

      The elder son, Patrick, who fell on Flodden field, during his father’s lifetime, had married a daughter of the earl of Argyle. she bore to him two sons and two daughters.

      The younger son, Walter, in 1519 conveyed to his son Walter, the lands of Spittal, and was thus the founder of that house. On the 14th December of that year, he had a charter from his father of the temple-lands of Easter Catter. In 1531, he had a remission from James the Fifth, for seizing and detaining in the castle of Glasgow, John duke of Albany, then governor of Scotland. In this deed he is styled “Salter Buchanan in Spittel,” the property of which was then in the hands of his brother George Buchanan of that ilk, who resigned his lands of Spittel of Easter-Catter to Edward, son of the said Walter Buchanan, as appears by the confirmation in favour of this Edward, by Gavin, archbishop of Glasgow, dated 18th September 1531.

      The elder son, George Buchanan of that ilk, succeeded his grandfather and was sheriff of Dumbartonshire at the critical epoch of 1561. He must have succeeded to the estate when very young, as in the register of the privy seal of Scotland, quoted in the appendix to Pitcairn’s Collection of Criminal Trials, under date July 11, 1526, there is a respite to George Buchanan of that ilk, and twenty-two others, “extract furth of the respitt of Johne erle of Levinax, for his tressonabill asseging, taking and withhalding of our sourane lordis castle and fortalice of Dumbertene fra his seruandis keparis thairof.” He was at the battle of Pinkie, on the queen’s side, in 1547, in which, besides Buchanan of Arnprior, many others of the name of Buchanan were slain. He was also at the battle of Langside fighting for Queen Mary, in 1568. On January 26, 1593-4, Robert Buchanan of Spittel, Mungo Buchanan in Tullichewne, and eight other Buchanans, were ordained to be denounced rebels, for not relieving George Buchanan of that ilk, of a decreet-artibral, pronounced by Ludovick duke of Lennox, upon a submission entered into by the laird of Buchanan, taking burden on him for his friends, on the one part, and Allan or Awlay M’Caula of Ardincaple and his friends, on the other part, “be the quhilk decrete, the said George has been decernit to mak payment to the said Allane, and vtheris his friendis, of a certaine sowme of money, for sum violence done, and attemptit aganis thame be the said George friendis.” [Pitcairn’s Trials. vol. i. part ii. p. 306.] By Margaret, daughter of Edmonstone of Duntreath, George Buchanan had a son, John, who died before his father, leaving a son. By a second lady, Janet, daughter of Cunninghame of Craigans, he had William, founder of the now extinct house of Auchmar. A descendant of this house, William Buchanan of Auchmar, published at Glasgow, in 1723, a quarto volume entitled an ‘Historical and Genealogical essay upon the family and surname of Buchanan, with an Enquiry into the Genealogy and present state of ancient Scottish surnames, and more particularly of the Highland Clans.’ An octavo edition of the same appeared at Edingurgh in 1775. In drawing up this account of the Buchanans, Auchmar’s work has of course been consulted, but in the early portion especially of the genealogies, we should not be disposed to rely implicitly on its statements, either in respect of the name of Buchanan or any other of the “ancient Scottish surnames” which it contains.

      John Buchanan, above mentioned as dying before his father, George Buchanan of that ilk, was twice married, first to the Lord Livingston’s daughter, by whom he had one son, George, who succeeded his grandfather, and secondly to a niece of Chisholm, bishop of Dunblane, and had by her a daughter married to Mr. Thomas Buchanan of Ibert, lord privy seal.

      The son, Sir George Buchanan, married Mary Graham, daughter of the earl of Monteith, and had, with two daughers, a son, Sir John Buchanan of that ilk, who in 1618, mortified (or bequeathed) six thousand pounds Scots to the university of Edinburgh, for maintaining three bursars at the study of theology there; and an equal sum to the university of St Andrews, for maintaining upon the interest thereof, three bursas at the study of philosophy there, and constituted the magistrates of Edinburgh managers or patrons of both mortifications. This on the authority of Buchanan of Auchmar, although Bower in his History of the University of Edinburgh does not mention any such bequest. Sir John married Anabella Erskine, daughter of Adam, commendator of Cambuskenneth, a son of the Master of Mar. He had a son, George, his successor, and a daughter married to Campbell of Rahein.

      Sir George Buchanan the son married Elizabeth Preston, daughter of the laird of Craigmillar. He was colonel of the Stirlingshire regiment during the whole of the civil wars in the reign of King Charles the First, and was, with his regiment, at the battle of Dunbar in 1650. He was also at the fatal conflict of Inverkeithing in the following year, and with Major-general Sir John Brown of Fordel, colonel of the Mid Lothian regiment, at the head of their regiments, stopped the passage of Cromwell’s troops over the Forth, for some days. The Scots were, however, eventually defeated with great loss, and Sir George Buchanan, with Sir John Brown and other officers, taken prisoner, in which state he died in the end of 1652, leaving, with three daughters, one son, John, the last laird of Buchanan, who was twice married, but had no male issue. By his second wife, Jean Pringle, daughter of Mr. Andrew Pringle, a minister, he had a daughter Janet, married to Henry Buchanan of Leny. John, the last laird, died in December 1682. His estate was sold by his creditors, and purchased by the ancestor of the duke of Montrose.

      The barons or lairds of Buchanan built a castle in Stirlingshire, where the present Buchanan house stands, formerly called the Peel of Buchanan. Part of it exists, forming the charter-room. A more modern house was built by these chiefs, adjoining the east side. This mansion came into the possession of the first duke of Montrose, who made several additions to it, as did also subsequent dukes, and it is now the chief seat of that ducal family in Scotland.

      The principal line of the Buchanans becoming, as above shown, extinct in 1682, the representation of the family devolved on Buchanan of Auchmar. This line became, in its turn, extinct in 1816, and in the absence of other competitors, the late Dr. Francis Hamilton-Buchanan of Bardowie, Spittal, and Leny, as heir-male of Walter, first of the family of Spittal, established in 1826 his claims as chief of the clan. Of this gentleman, the author of an account of Nepaul, and other works on India, a separate notice is given. See BUCHANAN, HAMILTON FRANCIS.

      The last lineal male descendant of the Buchanans of Leny was Henry Buchanan about 1723, whose daughter and heiress, Catherine, married Thomas Buchanan of Spittal, an officer in the Dutch service, who took for his second wife, Elizabeth, youngest daughter of John Hamilton of Bardowie, the sole survivor of her family, and by her he had four sons and two daughters. their eldest son John, born in 1758, succeeded to the estate of Bardowie, and assumed the additional name of Hamilton, but dying without male issue, was succeeded by his brother, the above named Dr. Francis Hamilton-Buchanan.


      The first of the Buchanans of Ardoch was William Buchanan who, in 1693, acquired that estate in the parish of Kilmarnock, Dumbartonshire. He was descended from John Buchanan, eldest son of the second marriage of Thomas Buchanan of Carbeth, grandson of Thomas Buchanan, third son of Sir Walter Buchanan, thirteenth laird of Buchanan.


      The Buchanans of Ardinconnal and Auchintorlie, in the same county, are also a branch of the ancient house of Buchanan of that ilk and of Leny. Of this family was George Buchanan, a merchant in Glasgow, and his three brothers, Andrew of Drumpellier, in Lanarkshire; Niel, of Hillington, county of Renfrew, M.P. for the Glasgow district of Burghs, whose male line is now extinct; and Archibald of Auchintorlie. These four brothers were the original promoters, in 1725, of the Buchanan Society of Glasgow, one of the most flourishing benevolent institutions in the west of Scotland. Mary, their sister, married George Buchanan of Auchintoshen in Dumbartonshire. The Drumpellier branch of the Buchanan family is represented by the descendant of Andrew’s second son, Robert Carrick Buchanan, Esq. of Drumpellier.


      The name of Buchanan was at one time so numerous in heritors that it is said that the laird of Buchanan could, in a summer’s day, call fifty heritors of his own surname to his house upon any occasion, and all of them might with convenience return to their respective residences before night, the most distant of their homes not being above ten miles from Buchanan castle.

      In Pitcairn’s Criminal Trials, vol, ii. pp. 544-557, it given, under date of May 31, 1608, the trial of one Margaret Hertsyde, wife of John, afterwards Sir John Buchanan, a female servant of her majesty, Anne, queen of James the Sixth, for stealing the queen’s jewels. The uncommon nature of the crime, and the interest of the pleadings induced him to insert the entire arguments. He remarks that the real cause of the criminal prosecution of this servant of the queen is understood to have originated in Mrs. (afterwards Lady) Buchanan’s being too deeply versed in certain court intrigues, and it was deemed necessary to get rid of her, even in the face of the most strenuous remonstrances on the part of her majesty. She was in the following August found guilty, and banished to Orkney. On this case, Balfour has the following entry in his Annals, (vol. ii. p. 26,) “John Buchanan and his wyffe, Margaret Hartesyde, that had laynn longe in prisson heire, for the allegeit stealling some of the queins jewells (bot the courtiers talked, that it was for revelling some of the queins secretts to the king, wich a wysse chalmbermaide wold not have done), was, by ane sentence, condemned to perpetualle exyle, in the iylands of Orkney, and declared to be ane infamous persone.” The sentence was, however, recalled in the following November.

      Volume third of the same Collection contains the indictment of several persons of the name of Buchanan, and among them Patrick the son of George Buchanan of Auchmar, under date June 6, 1623, for the slaughter of one Duncan M’Farlane, in the preceding April. The accused gave in a supplication which revealed incidents of a most horrible nature. It appears from it that the M’Farlanes had seized one William Buchanan, while hunting, and after torturing him for ten hours had barbarously murdered him. His tongue and entrails they cut out, and having slain his dogs, they took out the tongue and entrails of one of them and transferred them to each other, and so left him and the dogs lying on the earth, where they were not discovered for eight days; the offence of Buchanan being that he had inquired after some goods said to have been stolen by the said Duncan M’Farlane; and the latter having afterwards stolen an ox from one of the party, he was pursued, and firing his gun at them was slain in self-defence. The M’Farlanes on their part also gave in a supplication giving a different complexion to the case, and the laird of Buchanan came forward and offered to submit the matter, as it arose out of the murder of one of his clan, to the earls of Mar, Menteith, Wigtoun, and Linlithgow, but no records remain as to the result of this extraordinary case.

BUCHANAN, GEORGE, a distinguished reformer and Latin poet, is perhaps the only man but one whom Scotland had ever produced who was acknowledged by the acclamations of Europe to be the princeps – “Poetarum sui seculi facile princeps” – the decidedly first in the art he cultivated, not only of his country but his age. This applies, however, only to poets writing in Latin or Greek. He was born at Killearn in Stirlingshire, on the western bank of the rivulet of Blane, in February 1506. – As Richardson writes,

                        “Triumphant even the yellow Blane,
                              Though by a fen defaced,
                        Boasts that Buchanan’s early strain]
                              Consoled her troubled breast.”

portrait of George Buchanan later in life

He belonged to a family which was rather ancient than rich. He was the third son of Thomas, second son of Thomas Buchanan of Drumakill, who, having received the farm of Moss, otherwise called Mid-Leowen, from his father, was called Thomas Buchanan of Moss. George’s father died of the stone in the flower of his age, and owing to the insolvency of his grandfather about the same time, his mother, Agnes, daughter of James Hariet of Trabrown, was left in extreme poverty, with five sins and three daughters. Her brother, James Hariet, is said to have sent him, (after he had, according to a doubtful tradition, received the rudiments of his education at a school supposed to have been then established at Killearn,) about 1520, to Paris, where he improved his knowledge of Latin, acquired the Greek language without the aid of a tutor, and began to cultivate his poetical talents. He seems to have possessed a knowledge of the Gaelic, (which Dr. Irving incorrectly conjectures to have been the current speech of his native district at that period, there being evidence that the Macfarlanes, who occupied the wild region of the Dumbarton Highlands in the vicinity, spoke English before his time, although they also use the Celtic to this day,) for it is related that when in France, having met with a woman who was said to be possessed with the devil, and who professed to speak all languages, he accosted her in Gaelic, and as neither she nor her familiar returned any answer, he entered a protest that the devil was ignorant of that tongue, – a trait of humour in entire accordance with the gravity of his after character. The death of his uncle, two years afterwards, having deprived him of his resources, he returned to Scotland in 1522. It is stated that at this time his poverty was so great that in order to get back to his native country, he joined the corps then in course of being raised in France as auxiliaries to the duke of Albany in Scotland. In 1523, after a twelve-month spent at home for the recovery of his health, being then only seventeen years of age, he served as a common soldier with the French auxiliaries, and proceeded with them when, under the command of the regent Albany in person, they marched across the borders, and about the end of October of that year laid siege to the castle of Werk, from which they were compelled to retreat. After one campaign he became tired of a military life, and the fatigue and hardships he had endured on this occasion so much affected his health, which in his youth seems not to have been robust, that he was confined to his bed for the remainder of the winter. The brief notice he gives of this in his short biography of himself, would seem to imply that he considered this service a useful part of education. His words are “studio rei militaris cognoscendae in castra est perfectus.”  “The exercise which I commend first,” says Milton, “is the exact use of their weapon, to guard and to strike safely with edge or point; this will keep them healthy, nimble, strong and well in breath, is also the likeliest means to make them grow large and tall, and to inspire them with a gallant and fearless courage, which, being tempered with seasonable lectures and precepts to them of true fortitude and patience, will turn into a native and heroic valour, and make them hate the cowardice of doing wrong.” Milton wrote these words about the year 1650, a time when recent events had given him good cause to appreciate the effect of such a character upon a nation’s welfare, and to comprehend the distinction between the logic of the schoolmen, and the logic of Oliver Cromwell, and of

                        .................................... brands,
                        Well wielded in some hardy hands,
                        And wounds by Galileans given.

      In the ensuing spring Buchanan and his brother, Patrick, entered students at the university of St. Andrews, and he took the degree of bachelor of arts, October 3, 1525, at which time he was a pauper or exhibitioner. In the following summer he accompanied John Mair, or Major, then professor of logic in St. Salvador’s college, St. Andrews, to Paris, and became a student in the Scottish college there. In March 1528 he took the degree of M.A., and in June 1530, after being the previous year defeated as a candidate, he was chosen procurator of the German Nation, which comprehended the students from Scotland. The principles of Luther having, about this time, made considerable progress on the Continent, Buchanan, whose mind was more imbued with the spirit of classical antiquity than with the trammels of the Catholic church, readily adopted them, and became a steady friend to the Reformation. He had in 1529 received the appointment of professor in the college of St. Barbe, where he taught grammar for three years, without deriving much remuneration from his labours. In an elegy, apparently composed about this period, he paints in forcible and gloomy colours the miseries to which the professors of humanity in Paris were then exposed.

      In 1532, whilst at this college, he became tutor to Gilbert Kennedy, earl of Cassillis, “A youth of the most promising talents, and of an excellent disposition,” then residing near the college of St. Barbe, and to his lordship he inscribed his first work, being a translation of the famous Thomas Linacre’s Rudiments of Latin Grammar; which was published in 1533. He resided with the earl in France for about five years, and in May 1537 he returned with him to Scotland.

      “While he was residing at the earl’s seat in the country,” says his biographer, Dr. Irving, “he composed a little poem which rendered him extremely obnoxious to the ecclesiastics, an order of men whom it i generally hazardous to provoke. In this poem, which bears the title of ‘Somnium,’ and is a happy imitation of Dunbar, he expresses his own abhorrence of a monastic life, and stigmatizes the impudence and hypocrisy of the Franciscan friars. The holy fathers, when they became acquainted with this specimen of his sarcastic wit, speedily forgot their professions of meekness, and resolved to convince him of his heterodox presumption in disparaging the sacred institutions of the church. It has repeatedly been alleged that Buchanan had himself belonged to a religious order which he has so frequently exposed with the most admirable powers of ridicule; but this seems to have been a tale fabricated by the impotent malice of his theological enemies. That he had actually assumed the cowl, has never been affirmed by any early writer sufficiently acquainted with his history; it is not, however, improbable, that during the convenient season of his youthful misfortunes, the friars were anxious to allure so promising a novice; and this suggestion is even countenanced by a passage in one of his poetical productions.”

      Buchanan had determined to resume his former occupation in France; but King James the Fifth retained him in Scotland in the employment of tutor to his eldest natural son, (by Elizabeth Shaw, of the family of Sauchie,) James Stewart, afterwards the abbot of Kelso, who died in 1548, and not his half brother, the famous earl of Murray, as erroneously stated in several of his memoirs. We learn from the lord high treasurer’s accounts, quoted in the Appendix to the first volume of Pitcairn’s ‘Criminal Trials,[ that August 21, 1537, Buchanan was paid, by order of the king, twenty pounds; and the same sum in July 1538, when he also received a rich gown of Paris black, with a cassock, on occasion of Mary of Guise’s public entry into Edinburgh. At the request of the king, to whom the incensed priests had found means of representing him as a man of depraved morals and dubious faith, he wrote his ‘Palinodia’ and ‘Franciscanus,’ the latter a powerful and bitter satire against the Franciscan friars. “This production,” says

Dr. Irving, “as it now appears in its finished state, may without hazard be pronounced the most skillful and pungent satire which any nation or language can exhibit. He has not servilely adhered to the model of any ancient poet, but is himself original and unequalled. To a masterly command of classical phraseology, he unites uncommon felicity of versification; and his diction often rises with his increasing indignation to majesty and splendour. The combinations of his wit are variegated and original; and he evinces himself a most sagacious observer of human life. No class of men was ever more completely exposed to ridicule and infamy; nor is it astonishing that the Popish clergy afterwards regarded the author with implacable hatred. The impurities and the absurdities which he rendered so notorious, were not the spontaneous production of a prolific brain; their ignorance and irreligion presented an ample and inviting harvest. Of the validity of his poetical accusations, many historical documents still remain. Buchanan has himself related in plain prose, that about this period, some of the Scottish ecclesiastics were so deplorably ignorant, as to suppose Martin Luther to be the author of a dangerous book, called the New Testament.”

      The following account and (in part) only translation yet attempted of this admirable satire is from the pen of an able but anonymous critic, and will not be unacceptable to our readers.

      After asking his friend –

                  “Unde novus rigor in vultu? tristisque severi
                  Frons caperata minis, tardique modestia gressus?
                  Illaque frenatae constans custodia linguae? &c”

      He makes him thus reply –

                  “Oft musing on the ills of human life,
                  Its buoyant hopes, wild fears, and idle strife,
                  And joys of hue – how changeful! Tho’ serene,
                  That flit ere you can tell where they have been –
                  (Even as the bark, when ocean’s surges sweep,
                  Rais’d by the warring winds, along the deep,
                  Is headlong by the howling tempest driven,
                  While the staid pilot, to whose charge is given
                  Her guidance, skilfully the helm applies,
                  And in the tempest’s face she fairly forward flies,)
                  I have resolved, my earthly wanderings past,
                  In rest’s safe haven to secure at last
                  Whate’er of fleeting life, by Fate’s decree,
                  Ere end my pilgrimage, remains to me, –
                  To give to heaven the remnant of my days –
                  And wash away in penitence and praise,
                  Far from this wild world’s revelry uncouth,
                  The sins and follies of my heedless youth.
                  O, blest and hallowed day! With cincture bound,
                  My shaven head the grey hood veiling round,
                  St. Francis, under thine auspicious name,
                  I will prescribe unto this fleshly frame
                  A life aetherial, that shall upward rise,
                  My heavenward soul commencing with the skies.
                  This is my goal – to this my actions tend –
                  My resting-place – original and end.”

To this explanation of his friend’s object, the poet thus replies –

                  “If ‘tis thine aim to reach the goal of life
                  Thro’ virtue’s path, and, leaving childish strife,
                  To free thy darken’d mind from error’s force,
                  To trace the laws of virtue to their source,
                  And raise to heavenly things thy purged sight,
                  I view thy noble purpose with delight;
                  But if a shadowy good doth cross thy way,
                  And lure thee, phantom-like – but to betray –
                  Oh! While ‘tis time, restrain thy mad career,
                  And a true friend’s yet timely warning hear;
                  Nor let old error with bewildered eye,
                  Nor let the blind and senseless rabble’s cry,
                  More move thee than stern reason’s simple sway,
                  That points to Truth the undiscovered way: –
                  But deem not, that high heaven I dare defy,
                  Or raise again vain war against the sky,
                  For, from my earliest youth I have revered
                  The priests and holy fathers, who appeared,
                  By virtue’s and religion’s holy flame,
                  Worthy a bright eternity of fame.
                  But seldom underneath the dusky cowl,
                  That shades the shaven head and monkish scowl,
                  I picture a St. Paul; the priestly stole
                  Oft covers the remorseless tyrant’s soul,
                  The glutton’s and the adulterer’s grovelling lust,
                  Like soulless brute each wallowing in the dust,
                  And the smooth hypocrite’s still smiling brow,
                  That tells not of the villany below.”

      After some preliminary remarks, the poet goes on to enumerate the various classes of men who compose this respectable body –

                  “Principio hue omnes tanquam ad vivaria currunt,
                  Queis res nulla domi est, quibus est irata noverca,
                  Quos durus pater, aut plagosi dextra magistri,
                  Territat, aut legum timor, aut quos dedita somno
                  Excercit nullis Lethoea ignavia curis;
                  Deinde quibus gelidus arcum praecordia sanguis
                  Obstitit ingenio, quos sacre a fonte Camoence,
                  Quos Pallas Phoebusque fugat, quos sidere torvo
                  Aspicit infausto volucrer Tegeaticus ortu.

                              *           *           *     *

                  Adde his, quos febris, quos vexat dira phrenesis, &c.

                              *           *           *           *

                  Adjice praeterea quos praeceps alea nudat,
                  Quos Venus enervat, &c.” 

He rapidly sums up his sketch of the order, as of a set of men 

                  “Whom fear, wrath, frenzy, dulness, sloth, and crime,
                  Ambition, ruin, weariness of time,
                  Unhappy love, home changed or hostile found,
                  And dark hypocrisy together bound.”

In allusion to this precious collection, he then makes the following caustic remarks –

                  “Still deathful is the drug envenomed draught,
                  Tho’ golden be the bowl from which ‘tis quaff’d:
                  The ass, in Tyrian purple tho’ array’d,
                  Is as much ass, as asslike whom he bray’d;
                  Still fierce will be the lioness – the fox
                  Still crafty – and still mild the mighty ox –
                  The vulture still will whet the thirsty beak –
                  The twittering swallow still will chirp and squeak:
                  Thus tho’ the vesture shine like drifted snow,
                  The heart’s dark passions lurk unchang’d below.
                  Nor when the viper lays aside his skin
                  Less baleful does the venom work within,
                  The tiger frets against his cage’s side
                  As wild as when he roam’d in chainless pride:
                  Thus neither crossing mountains nor the main,
                  Nor flying human haunts and follies vain,
                  Nor the black robe nor white, nor cowl-clad head,
                  Nor munching ever black and mouldy bread,
                  Will lull the darkly-working soul to rest,
                  And calm the tumults of the troubled breast.
                  For always, in whatever spot you be,
                  Even to the confines of the frozen sea,
                  Or near the sun, beneath a scorching clime,
                  Still, still will follow the fierce lust of crime –
                  Deceit, and the dark working of the mind,
                  Where’er you roam will not be left behind.”

      The king appears to have been either unable or unwilling to protect the author of this poem against the powerful and vindictive body of men whom he had attacked. He was accordingly comprehended in the general arrest of persons suspected of Lutherism, “and to the eternal infamy of the nation,” says Dr. Irving, “his invaluable life might have been sacrificed to the rancour of an unholy priesthood. After he was committed to custody, Cardinal Beaton endeavoured to accelerate his doom by tendering to the king a sum of money as the price of his innocent blood.

      White his keepers were fast asleep, he escaped through the window of the apartment in which he was confined, and fled into England.” But his disasters were not over. On the borders he was molested by the moss-troopers, who at that time had possession of the whole frontier of the two kingdoms, and his life was again exposed to great danger from the contagion of a pestilential disease then raging in the north of England. On reaching London, he was entertained by Sir John Rainsford, an English knight, to whom he has gratefully inscribed a small poem. He proceeded in the course of the same year to Paris; and thence, on the invitation of Andrew Govea, a learned Portuguese, who was principal of the college of Guienne, lately founded in that city, to Bordeaux. There he became professor of Latin, and taught with applause for three years, in which time he wrote four tragedies; two of which, entitled ‘Baptistes,’ and ‘Jephthes,’ were original, and on scriptural subjects, but on the Greek model; and the other two were translations of the ‘Alcestis’ and the ‘Medea,’ were performed on the academical stage with applause surpassing his expectations. The great theme of the former is civil and religious liberty, and some of his allusions in it bear ready application to the persecuting conduct of Cardinal Beaton. “Buchanan’s tragedies,” says a contemporary critic, “are not considered among the most perfect of his compositions. We have no intention here to enter upon a criticism of them. It may be sufficient to mention, as a proof how little he preserved the keeping of his picture, that he frequently alludes to the classical mythology, and to things with which the Hebrews were unacquainted. To some of the characters in Jephthes he gives Greek names, and the chorus speaks of the wealth of Croesus, who was not burn till about six hundred years after Jephtha. At the same time it ought to be added, that the language of his translation of the Medea appeared to his learned contemporaries so thoroughly classical, that he was suspected by some of having published in his own name, a genuine relique of antiquity. This we conceive to be one of the highest testimonies that could be adduced of the classical purity of Buchanan’s Latin style – higher than any evidence founded merely on the authority of any modern scholar. In the tragedies of Buchanan, represented in the college of Guienne, the celebrated Michael de Montaigne was a frequent performer. And Buchanan appears at one time to have formed a project of composing a work on education, in which he intended to exhibit as a model, the early discipline of his pupil Montaigne, a very remarkable one (his father gave him an old German professor in place of a nurse, that he might learn Latin as his mother tongue – and he did it). We certainly have great doubts as to the excellence of George’s scheme of education, nor do we think the world has suffered much by the loss of it.

      In the Baptistes, Buchanan attacks priestcraft as keenly as in the Franciscanus, as the following terse and vigorous lines will amply testify:

      Nostrique caetus vitium id est vel maximum,
      Qui sanctitatis plebem imagine fallimus;
      Praecepta tuto liceat ut spernere Dei;
      Contra instituta nostra si quid audeas,
      Conamur auro evertere adversarios,
      Tollere veneno, subditisque testibus
      Opprimere: falsis regias rumoribus
      Implemus aures: quicquid animum offenderit,
      Rumore falso ulciscimur, et incendimus
      Animum furore turbidum, et calummis
      Armamus irae saevientis impetum.

One of Milton’s biographers has ascribed to Milton, but without foundation, an English version of the Baptistes. This was Mr. Peck (New Memoirs of the Life and Poetical Works of Mr. John Milton. Lond. 1740, 4to,) who first indeed declared that the translation of the Baptistes under this title ‘Tyrannical Government Anatomized; or, a discourse concerning evil councillors; being the Life and Death of John the Baptist,’ was an original work of Mr. Milton’s; announcing it in the following terms: ‘His Baptistes is the sixth of Mr. John Milton’s nine most celebrated English poems; and one of the hitherto unknown pieces of his, whereof I am now to give an account.’”

      Buchanan also wrote several poems on various subjects, particularly one with the object of securing the patronage of Oliveier, chancellor of the kingdom, to the college of Guienne, in which he succeeded. Besides these, he addressed a Sapphic ode to the youth of Bordeaux, with the view of recommending to them the study of the liberal arts. During his residence there, the Emperor Charles the Fifth passed through Bordeaux, on which occasion, in name of the college, he presented his majesty with an elegant Latin poem.

      He was still, however, exposed to danger from the malice of Cardinal Beaton, who wrote to the archbishop of Bordeaux to have him apprehended, but his letter fell into the hands of one who was friendly to the poet, and he was suffered to remain unmolested. In 1543, the plague having broken out at Bordeaux, he quitted that place, and became for some time domestic tutor to Montaigne, then ten years old, who records the fact in his Essays. In 1544 he went to Paris, where, as one of the regents or professors, he taught the second class in the college of the Cardinal de la Moine, and appears to have remained there for the next three years. In 1547 he accompanied his friend, Andrew Govea, to Portugal, and became one of the professors in the university of Coimbra, then recently established, and of which Govea was appointed principal. His brother, Patrick Buchanan, was also one of the professors; and Dempster says, but not truly, other two Scotsmen, John Rutherford and William Ramsay. It was the weakness of this writer to magnify the learning of our countrymen, although in that age of strife and persecution at home they might have been students there. The death of Govea, in the ensuing year, left him, and those of his colleagues who, like himself, were foreigners, at the mercy of the bigoted priests; and three of them were subjected to the discipline of a moderate confinement in the dungeons of the Inquisition, among whom was Buchanan himself, who was accused of being an enemy to the Romish faith, and of having eaten flesh, in Lent, and other equally heinous crimes. After being confined a year and a half, he was sent to a monastery, with the view of receiving edifying lessons from the monks, whom he represents as men by no means destitute of humanity, but totally unacquainted with religion. Here he continued several months, and employed his leisure in writing a considerable part of his inimitable Latin version of the Psalms; not as a penance as has been absurdly stated, but for occupation and his own pleasure. He obtained his liberty in 12551, and received a small pension from the king, but found his situation extremely disagreeable. In a poem entitled ‘Desiderium Lutetiae,’ he expresses his anxious desire to leave what he in another poem (‘Adventus in Galliam’) characterises as

      Jejuna miserae tesqua Lusitaniae,
      Glebasque tantum fertiles penuriae,

and to return to Paris, (which he represents under the allegorical name of Amaryllis), in the following beautiful lines: –

      O formosa Amarylli, tuo jam septima bruma
      Me procul aspectu, jam septima detinet oestas;
      Sed neque septima bruma nivalibus horrida nimbis,
      Septima nec rapidis candens fervoribus oestas
      Ixtincxet vigiles nostro sub pectore curas.
      Tu mihi mane novo carmen, dum roscida tondet
      Arva pecus, medio tu carmen, solis in oestu,
      Et cum jam longas praeceps nox porrigit umbras;
      Nec mihi quo tenebris condit nox omnia, vultus
      Est potis occultare tuos; to nocte sub atra
      Alloquor amplector, falsaque in imagine somni
      Qguadia sollicitam palpant evanida mentem,
      At cum somnus abit, &c.

      Buchanan returned to France by way of England in the beginning of 1553, when he was appointed a professor in the college of Boncourt. It seems to have been about this time that he wrote some of those satirical pieces against the monks which are found in his ‘Fratres Fraterrimi.’ having dedicated a poetical tribute, written on the capture of Vercelli in 1553, and also his tragedy of Jephthes, published in 1554, to the Marshal Comte de Brissac, then governor of the French dominions in Italy, that nobleman, in 1555, sent Buchanan to Piedmont, as preceptor to his son, Timolesse de Cossé. In this capacity he continued for five years, residing with his pupil alternately in Italy and France. He now devoted his leisure to examining the controversies on the subject of religion which then agitated Europe. He also composed part of his philosophical poem ‘De Sphera,’ and wrote his Ode on the surrender of Calais, his Epithalamium upon the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to the Dauphin, and published the first specimens of his version of the Psalms and his translation of the Alcestis.

      On the breaking out of the civil war in France, in 1560, Buchanan quitted the family of Brissac, and from the alarming aspect of affairs in that country, returned to Scotland. The precise period of his return has not been ascertained; but it must have been either that year or the following one, as in January 1562 he was at the Scottish court, where, though a professed adherent of the Reformed religion, he was well received. In the following April we find him officiating as classical tutor to the queen. Mary was then in her twentieth year, and a letter from Randolph, the English ambassador, states that Buchanan read with her every afternoon a portion of Livy. [“There is with the Queene one called Mr. George Bowhanan, a Scottishe man, verie weill lerned, that was schollemaster unto Mons. de Brisack’s sone, very godlye and honest.” – Randolph to Cecil, Edin. Jan. 30th, 1561.] With reference to this incident Dr. Irving contends that Buchanan’s manners must have been courteous and polished. We own we cannot assent to this opinion. The general manners of the age were not very refined. But we think there is evidence to show that George Buchanan’s manners were coarse even for his age. The answer, energetic but coarse, which he is reported to have made to the countess of Mar, when she demanded how he had presumed to lay his hand upon “the Lord’s anointed,” is quite characteristic of the man. Dr. Irving also defends Buchanan from a more serious imputation to which some of his writings have given rise; and instances poets, both ancient and modern, who protested with solemnity that, though their verses were loose, their conduct was correct. The excuse appears to us a lame one. And this instance only confirms our dislike to celibate schoolmasters.

      In 1563 he was appointed by parliament with others to inspect the revenues of, and regulate the instruction at, the universities; and, by the General Assembly of the church, which met 25th December that year and of which he was a member, one of the commissioners to revise ‘The Book of Discipline.’ In 1564 the queen conferred on him for life the temporalities of Crossraguell Abbey, then vacant by the death of Quentin Kennedy, which amounted annually to the sum of five hundred pounds Scots. In 1566 he was appointed by the earl of Murray, who, as commendator of the prior of St. Andrews, held the right of nominating to that office, principal of St. Leonard’s college, St. Andrews, in which capacity it appears to have been one of his duties to read occasional lectures in divinity. Although a layman, he was as one of its members, on account of his extraordinary abilities and learning, chosen moderator of the General Assembly of the church which met at Edinburgh on the 25th of June 1567.

      It is uncertain at what precise period his admirable version of the Psalms was first printed, but a second edition appeared in 1566. The work was inscribed, in an elegant dedication, to Queen Mary. To the earl of Murray he inscribed his ‘Franciscanus’ during the same year.

      The conduct of Mary had justly excited against her the indignation of a large portion of her subjects, and after the murder of Darnley and her marriage to Bothwell, Buchanan, who had formerly praised her immoderately, now attacked her in terms equally unmeasured, heaping upon her all the stores of invective which his copious vocabulary afforded. We are no admirers of that weak and flagitious woman; but Buchanan had been treated by her with courtesy and kindness – had even received very considerable benefits at her hands; and assuming that his former praises were sincerely bestowed, because he believed them merited, when the object of those praises had put on a character the reverse of that for which they were intended, though neither his defence nor e en his approbation of her new character would by any reasonable person have been required; yet the exposure, the reprobation, and the punishment of her faults, her follies, and her crimes, would have come more becomingly from another hand than his. He also joined the party of the earl of Murray, whom he accompanied to the conference at York and afterwards to that at Hampton Court. At the desire of the earl he was prevailed upon to write his famous ‘Detectio Mariae Reginae,’ which was produced to the Commissioners at Westminster, and afterwards circulated with great industry by the English court. It was not, however, published till 1571, a year after the regent Murray’s assassination by Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh. On that event taking place he wrote ‘Ane Admonitioun direct to the trew Lordis, Mantenaris of the Kingi Graces Authoritie,’ in which he earnestly adjured those whom he addressed to protect the young king and the children of the late regent from the perils which seemed to await them. About the same time he also wrote a satirical tract in the Scottish dialect, entitled the ;Chamaeleon,’ with the view of exposing the vacillating policy and conduct of Secretary Maitland.

      Shortly after the assassination of the regent, and in the same year (1570) Buchanan was appointed by the Estates of the realm one of the four preceptors to the young king, then in his fourth year, on which occasion he resigned the office of principal of St. Leonard’s college. Various anecdotes are told of his severity; and the impression he left on the mind of his pupil appears to have been anything but an agreeable one. Francis Obsorne [Advice to a Son, p. 19] relates that King James used to say of a person in high place about him, that he ever trembled at his approach, it reminded him so of his pedagogue. there is no saying how far the severity of the pedagogue, taken along with other circumstances connected with his birth, may have tended to produce that extreme timidity of character which marked the royal pedant through life. All the tutor’s pains, though they may have forced into him some “glancings and nibblings of knowledge,” did not, however, succeed in imparting any love for his principles of government. King James regarded his History of Scotland as an infamous invective; and admonished his heir-apparent to punish such of his future subjects as should be guilty of retaining it in their custody. It may be said that it would have been no easy matter to have made a hero, or even an average king, out of such materials as were to be found in the character of James, from whatever parentage inherited. Still we cannot help thinking that Buchanan must have committed some grievous faults in his education; for he evidently had it in his power to produce some impression – and the impression he made was entirely of the genus pedant. Homer tells us that the precept which Peleus impressed particularly upon his son Achilles and the sort of excellence which he sought after were such as might be supposed to have been pointed out to him by his tutors, his father Peleus, and the centaur Chrion. James, too, had some vague glimmering of an idea of excelling – but of excelling in what? In writing bad prose and worse verse – for we have carefully read some of his works, and we cannot agree with his panegyrists that they exhibit any degree of excellence, except perhaps that of producing a laugh by their transcendent absurdity. As to the “purity of style” which some have found in them, we can only say that to us the style or language appears to be on a level with the logic, which is of the most despicable description. In short, James’s idea of his vocation was –

      “To stick the doctor’s chair into the throne,
      Give law to words, or war with words alone,
      Senates and courts with Greek and Latin rule,
      And turn the council to a grammar school.”

And a very poor grammar school it would have been of which he was master. Not forgetting also

      “The right divine of kings to govern wrong.”

      About the same time that he was nominated preceptor to the king, Buchanan received the appointment of director of the Chancery, which he held but a short time. Soon after, the office of keeper of the privy seal was conferred on him. This office, which he held for several years, entitled him to a seat in parliament. He likewise received from Queen Elizabeth a pension of one hundred pounds a-year. The office of lord privy seal he resigned in favour of his nephew Thomas Buchanan of Ibert. In 1578, he was joined in several parliamentary commissions, legal and ecclesiastical, and particularly in a commission issued to visit and reform the universities and colleges of the kingdom. The scheme of reformation suggested, and afterwards approved of by parliament, was drawn up by him.

      In his dialogue ‘De Jure Regni apud Scotos,’ with a dedication to King James, dated at Stirling, January 10, 1579 (in which dedication he certainly administers a dose of something very like flattery to the young king, when he tells him that “he perceives that by a kind of natural instinct he abhors flattery, the nurse of tyranny”), Buchanan maintains that all power is derived from the people; that it is more safe to intrust our liberties to the definite protection of the laws, than to the precarious discretion of the king; that the king is bound by those conditions under which the supreme power was originally committed to his hand; that it is lawful to resist and even to punish tyrants. During the minority of King James, several coins were struck with a naked sword on one side, supporting a drown on its point, and surrounded with this legend, pro. me. si. mereor. in, me. furnished, it may be inferred , by Buchanan. The work is exhibited in the form of a dialogue between the author and Thomas the son of Sir Richard Maitland; and that his opinions were far in advance of his time appears from the fact of their being attacked, among others, by his learned countrymen Blackwood, Winzet, and Barclay, while the work itself was condemned, in 1584 by the Scottish parliament, in 1664 by the privy council of Scotland, and in 1683 by the university of Oxford, which in that year doomed Buchanan’s political works, with those of Milton, Languet, and other dangerous writers, to the flames. In the seventy-fourth year of his age he composed a brief sketch of his own life. The last twelve years of his existence he employed in writing in Latin his History of Scotland, ‘Rerum Scoticarum Historia.’ Of this work the history of the period in which he himself lived occupies the largest portion, and is by far the most interesting. More accurate information than what was known in Buchanan’s time now enables the reader to disregard the many fictions and traditions disfiguring the earlier portion of our annals, which he has introduced into his narrative, but in what relates to his own times his recital of facts may be considered in general correct. He survived the publication of this, the greatest and the last of his works, scarcely a month. Broken by age and infirmities, he had retired the preceding year from the court at Stirling to Edinburgh, resigning all his public appointments, and calmly awaiting death.

      Shortly before his death, some of his friends having gone to the printing office to look at his history, found the impression had proceeded as far as the passage relative to the interment of David Rizzio; and being alarmed at the boldness with which the historian had there expressed himself, they returned to Buchanan’s house, whom they found in bed, and stated to him their apprehensions that it would give offence to the king. “Tell me, man,” said Buchanan, “if I have told the truth.” “Yes, Sir,” replied his nephew, “I think so.” “Then,” rejoined the dying historian, “I will abide his feud, and all his kin’s. Pray to God for me, and let him direct all.” Buchanan expired a little after five in the morning of Friday the 20th September 1582, in the 77th year of his age. He was buried in the cemetery of the Greyfriars; and, says Dr. Irving, “his ungrateful country never afforded his grave the common tribute of a monumental stone.”

      It was unfortunate for Buchanan that his country’s language was so rude and unformed at the time he wrote, for no writer, we apprehend, can hope to live, who writes in any other but his own “land’s language.” But Buchanan, if for nothing else, cannot fail to be held in lasting remembrance as a man who bearded kings when it was something to beard them; and who, though but a poor scholar, when a scholar was little more than a despised menial, spoke defiance with his dying breath against the whole race of the Stuart kings.

      Take him all in all, Buchanan was certainly a remarkable man. Of his merits as a poet, an historian, and a political writer, he has left enduring memorials in his works. As a philologist he was consulted and his opinion respected by the first scholars of Europe in an age which was fertile in great scholars. But, with the exception of certain jests, many of them not of the most refined nature, little or nothing is known by most of the present generation of the man or of his writings. Even his own countrymen, if inquired of respecting him or them, can reply only by vague generalities.

      His death took place in his house in a close in the High street, Edinburgh, now removed, which stood on the site of the west side of Hunter square, called Kennedy’s close. Buchanan’s residence was in the first court on the left hand going down, the close having consisted of two courts connected by a narrow passage, the first house in the turnpike and above a tavern. Finding, when on his deathbed, that the money he had about him was not sufficient to defray the expenses of his funeral, he sent his servant to divide it among the poor, adding, – “that if the city did not choose to bury him, they might let him lie where he was.” An edition of his works was published by Ruddiman at Edinburgh, in 2 vols. folio, in 1714, and another by Peter Burman, Leyden, in two vols, 4to, in 1725. In the latter the editor, besides his own critical annotations, incorporated the notes, dissertations, &c of his predecessor.

      The subjoined woodcut is from a portrait of Buchanan in Pinkerton’s Scottish Gallery. It represents him in earlier life.

woodcut of George Buchanan in earlier life

      Buchanan’s works are:

      Rudimenta Grammatices Thomae Linacri, ex Anglico Sermone, in latinum versa. at. spud Ro. Stephanum, 1550, 8vo.

      Franciscanus, et alia Poemata. Bas. 1564, 8vo. 1594, 8vo. Lugd. Bat. 1628, 24mo. Amst. 24mo. Amst. 1687, 12mo.

      Poemata et Tragediae. 1609, 8vo.

      Ane Admonitione direct to the treu Lordis maintainaris of the King’s Grace’s authoritie. Printed at Stirling, 1571, by Lepruicke. Long. by J. Day, 1571, 8vo. 2d edit. 1571, 8vo.

      De Maria Scotorum Regina, totaque eius contra Regem coniuratione, foedo cum Bothuelo adulterie, nefaria in maritum crudelitate et rabie horrendo insuper et deterrimo elusdem Parricidio plane Historia. No place, date, or printer’s name. 8vo.

      Detectio Mariae Regine Scotorum, &c. 8vo. The same in the old Scotch dialect, under the title, Ane Detection of the duinges of marie Quene of Scottes, touchand the murder of hir husband, and her conspiracie, adulterie, and pretended marriage with the Erle Bothwell; and ane Defence of the treu Lordis mainteiners of the Kingis Graces, action, and authoritie. Translated out of the Latine, quhilke was written by B.B. No place, date, or printer’s name, 8vo. Both this and the above are supposed to have been printed by John Day, 1577, 1651, 8vo. in Eng. 1689.

      Baptistes, seu Tragedia de Calumnia. Francf. 1578, 8vo. 1618, fol.

      Tragediae Sacrae Jephthes et Baptistes. Paris, 1554, 4to. Genev. 1593, 8vo. Amst. 1650, 8vo.

      Euripidis Alcestes, ad fidem manuscriptorum ac veterum editionum emendavit et Annotationibus instruxit Jacobus Henricus Monk, A.M. Collegii S.S. Trinitatis Socius et Graecarum Literarum apud Cantabrigiensis Professor Regius, Accedit Georgii Buchanani Versio Metrica. 1816, 8vo.

      Baptistes; translated by John Milton, With Notes, by Francis Peck. In Peck’s Memoirs of Milton, p. 265.

      Dialogus de Jure Regni apud Scotos; or, a Dialogue concerning the due privilege of Government in the kingdom, &c. Edin. 1579, 4to. 1580, 4to. 1580 8vo. 1580 12mo. 1581, 4to. Francf. 1594, 8vo. 1689, 4to. The same in English, Edin, 1691, 12mo. Glas. 1750.

      Rerum Scoticarum Historia, apud Alex. Arbuthnetum. Edin. 1582, fol. Eadem, ad exemplar Al. Arbuthneti, Genev. ut creditur, 1583, fol. et Ultraj. 1668, 8vo. Francf. 1594, 8vo. The same in English. Lond. 1690, fol. In Latin, Traj. ad Rh. 1697, 8vo. The 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th books of his history translated into English, and published for an original, under the title of, An Impartial Account of the Affairs of Scotland, from the death of King James V. to the tragical exit of the Earl of Murray; by an eminent hand. Lond. 1705, 8vo. The same in English by Will. Bond. Lond. 1722, 2 vols. 8vo. In English with cuts, 1733, 3 vols, 8vo. Notes on his History of Scotland, by F.C. Edin. 1708, 8vo, with the Translation by Bond. 1722, 3 vols. 8vo. appendix to the History of Scotland, Edin. 1700, 13mo. 1721, 8vo. Rerum Scoticarum Historia, ad editionem Fribarnii expressa. Accesserunt Auctoris Vita ab ipso scripta, et dialogus de jure regni apud Scotos; item T. Ruddimani index. Edin. 1582, 1583, fol. Edin. 1727, 8vo.

      Paraphrasis Psalmorum Davidis Poetica, multoquam antehac castigatior; authore Georgio Buchanano, Scote poetarum nostri saeculi facile principe, ejusdem Buchanani Tragoedia, que inscribitur Jephthes. Antw. 1567, 8vo. Lond. 1582, 16 mo. Paraphrasis Psalmorum, Davidis Pietica. Antw. 1582, 12mo. Herbornae, 1604, 12mo. Idem Edin. 1621, 12mo. Cum ecphrasi Alexandri Julii et notis variis. Edin. 1737, 12mo. Amst. 1650, 12mo. apud Henr. Stephanum, Eadem cum Theodori Bezae Psalmorum Paraphasi è regione opposita. Morgiis. 1681, 8vo. Numerous editions.

      De Prosodia Libellus. Edin. 1600, 1689, 8vo.

      Poemata quae extant. Lugd. Bat. apud Elzev. 1624, 24mo. Cum Argumentis singulis Psalmis praefixis, opera Nath. Chytraei. Lond.. 1686, 12mo.

      Operum Poeticarum, apud Pet. Sanctandreanum. 1597, 8vo.

      Sphaera Poetice descripta cum Supplemento Pincieri. Herb. 1687, 8vo.

      Commentarius in Vitam ejus ab ipsomet Scriptus. Edin. 1702, 8vo.

      Fratres Fraterrimi; three books of Epigrams, and book of Miscellanies. In English verse, by Robert Monteith. Edin. 1708, 8vo.

      Epistolae ad viros sui seculi clarissimos, eorumque ad illum. Lond. 1711, 8vo.

      Opera omnia recognita et notis illustrata, curante Thoma Ruddimano. Edin. 1715, 2 vols, fol. Lugd. Bat. 1725, 2 vols, 4to.

      A Censure and Examination of Mr. Thomas Ruddiman’s Notes on Buchanan’s Works. Aberdeen, 1753, 8vo.

      Memoirs of Buchanan’s Life and Writings, by David Irving, A.M., were published at Edinburgh in 1807, 8vo.

BUCHANAN, DAVID, a learned writer of the seventeenth century. Very little is known with certainty respecting him. Sibbald says he was descended from the same family as George Buchanan, “David Buchananus, ex cadem familia oriundus,” but on this Dr. Irving remarks, “we cannot discover his authority for such a statement.” If, however, Buchanan of Auchmar is to be followed, he was the second son of William Buchanan of Arnprior and consequently grandson of the first Buchanan of Arnprior, “King of Kippen,” who was second cousin of the great Buchanan. Irving further says that “a student named David Buchanan was admitted of St. Leonard’s college at St. Andrews in the year 21610. His identity with the subject of this memoir may perhaps be inferred, but cannot easily be proved.” He appears to have resided for some years in France, where he published his ‘Historia Humanae Animae,’ in 1636. It is supposed that his ‘Histoire de la Conscience’ was also published at Paris in 1638; the place of publication, however, is not mentioned on the title-page. On his return he seems to have taken a strong interest in the events springing out of the civil wars. It was probably with a view to influence the public mind at this juncture that, in 1644, he brought out an edition of the History of the Reformation by John Knox, adapting it to the times. In this edition he omitted the celebrated author’s preface, and inserted one of his own. Many years afterwards Mr. Wodrow, son of the celebrated historian, meeting in the library of the university of Glasgow with a MS. copy of the original work, presented to that institution by Robert Fleming, the grandson of Knox, was surprised, on collating it with the work issued by David Buchanan, to find various interpolations and omissions, of which he gives an account in a letter to Bishop Nicolson, published in the appendix to his Scottish Historical Library, No. vi. Amongst other observations it is stated that in a note on the margin “fides sit penes authorem,” he appears to doubt a story which is inserted on his own authority. To this work a life of Knox was prefixed, in which he took as great liberties as with the history.

      In 1646, he published a work entitled ‘Truth its Manifest,’ having reference to the conduct of the Scottish nation during the civil war, which excited a great sensation. In Baillie’s Letters his name occurs in connection, it is probable, with this publication, and the following extract from them, with its title as given below, will perhaps best explain its nature as well as the circumstances which called it forth. Writing to his friend William Spang, then in Holland, under date April 24, 1646, Baillie says, speaking of the Scottish Commissioners, “many of our friends thought it necessare to have our papers printed: among others, Mr. Buchanan, a most sincere and zealous gentleman, who hes done both in write and print, here and over sea, many singular services to this parliament, to his nation, and the whole cause, gott a copie of our late papers by his private friendshipe and hazarded to print them with a preface of his owne and an introduction, both very harmless and consonant to the three following papers which we had given in to both Houses. In two dayes or three, 2 or 4000 of these papers were sold; they gave immediately to the people so great satisfaction with our proceedings as was marvellous: our small friends were thereby so inflamed that they carried first the House of Commons and then the House of Lords. albeit with the great grief and opposition of the better pairtie in both Houses, to vote these papers false and scandalous, and as such to be burnt by the hand of the hangman; the publisher, Mr. Buchanan, to be ane incendarie betwixt the two nations, and a declaration to be made for undeceaving of the people. In all this they knew none of us, they grounded the offence on the preface and introduction, not on our papers themselfe, so we held our peace. The burning of the papers, and the House of Commons declaration, very slie and cunning, hes not yet done much prejudice to us, only it has made the extraordinar malice and pride of some men shyne more clearly. Mr. Buchanan is gone to a place safe enough; if he come among yow, he is a man worthy of great honour for many good services.”

      In the preface to the “Truth its Manifest,’ he speaks of himself as being possessed of moderate means and as being content with little, “and so,” he adds, “not being urged by a near nipping necessity, or imaginary poverty, he dare be bold to speak home to the point, and tell downright the truth of things, according to his best information.”

      In the latter part of his life he appears to have been on terms of intimacy with Sir Robert Gordon of Straloch, and was his coadjutor in his contributions to Bleau’s Atlas. [See GORDON, SIR ROBERT of Straloch.] According to Bishop Nicolson, David Buchanan revised a great deal of the first projected draughts of the Theatrum Scotiae in that work, “but,” adds the bishop, “his life ended before the troubles [that is, before the Restoration]; and he only finish’d a very few of the county descriptions.” [Scottish Historical Library, p. 17.] in the Bannatyne Miscellany, (vol. ii. p. 3890,) may be found a Latin description of the city of Edinburgh ascribed to David Buchanan; and it is supposed, on good grounds, that he furnished to the Theatrum Scotiae the passages relative to Stirlingshire. According to the same authority (Bishop Nicolson), he had composed “several short discourses concerning the antiquities and chorography of Scotland,” which, in bundles of loose papers, Latin and English, were in safe custody when the bishop wrote, and are sometimes quoted by him. It is perhaps of these that Buchanan of Auchmar speaks, when he says that he wrote a large Etymologicon of all the shires, cities, rivers, and mountains in Scotland, which are printed, and from which Sir Robert Sibbald quotes some passages in his History of the shires of Stirling and fife, and Nicolson seems to refer to him, when he mentions a passage of David Buchanan’s writings as being “in notis MMS. p. D.R.S.

      The MS. of a work entitled ‘De Scriptoribus Scotis,’ preserved in the Advocates’ Library and in the university library at Edinburgh, is attributed to David Buchanan, and was for the first time printed for the Bannatyne Club, under the superintendence of Dr. Irving, in 1837, in one volume quarto. Sir Robert Sibbald states in reference to his ‘Historia Literaria,’ “The Greatest assistance I had is from some manuscripts of Mr. David Buchanan, who hath written upon our learned men in ane excellent style of Latin.” [Memoirs of the College of Physicians, p. 27.]

      Buchanan died in August 1652. The last testament of a David Buchanan, supposed to be his, is inserted in the appendix to the ‘De Scriptoribus Scotis,’ printed for the Bannatyne Club.

      The separate works attributed to David Buchanan are:

      Historiae Humanae Animae auctore Davide Buchanano Scoto, Paris, 1636, 8vo, a work of about 700 pages. A subsequent edition has the words, “Impensis Authoris. Venumdantur apud Melcum Mondiere,” 1638, 8vo.

      L’Histoire de la Conscience, par David Buchanan. Fuy le mal, Fay le Bien. 1638, 12mo.

      Truth its Manifest; or a short and true Relation of ivers main Passages of things (in some whereof the Scots are particularly concerned) from the very first beginning of these unhappy Troubles to this day. Published by authority. London, 1645, 8vo. This work, frm the way in which he spoke of his countrymen, roused the ire of the English, and a little work appeared in answer, styled ‘Manifest Truths; or an Inversion of Truths Manifest; containing a Narration of the Proceedings of the Scottish Army, and a Vindication of the parliament and Kingdome of England from the false and injurious Aspersions cast on them by the author of the said Manifest: Published by Authoritie,’ Lond. 1646, 4to.

      Vitam Joannis Knoxii Anglice conscripsit, et, una cum ejusdem Historia Reformatae apud Scotos Religionis, Londoni et Edinburgi quoque edidit anno reparatae salutis 1644.

      De Scriptoribus Scotis, Libri Duo. Edinb. Printed for the first time for the Bannatyne Club, 1837.

      Buchanan of Auchmar mentions a large Natural History which he had begun, but which was not completed at his death, and therefore never printed; and Watt, in his Bibliotheca Britannica inserts among his works one entitled A Short View of the present condition of Scotland, London, 1645, 4to. Watt’s list, however, is not otherwise correct.

BUCHANAN, DUGALD, an eminent Gaelic poet, was born in the year 1716, in the parish of Balquidder, Perthshire. His father was a small farmer who also rented a mill, and who appears to have given him a better education than was commonly taught in country schools. Having been sent, at the early age of twelve, to teach in a family, he was tainted by the bad morals of his associates, and fell into vice, of which he afterwards deeply repented. He was afterwards apprenticed to a house-carpenter in Kippen, whence he removed to Dumbarton. Having afterwards become a sincere Christian, he was appointed schoolmaster and catechist at Kinloch-Rannoch, on the establishment of the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, where he composed those hymns which will make his name known while the language in which they are written endures. His mental powers were of a high order, and during many years he laboured, with extraordinary zeal and devotedness, in enlightening and instructing the inhabitants of that remoter district. At that period the extensive tract of country which surrounds Loch-Rannoch was under the charge of but one minister, who, in consequence of the wide circuits he was obliged to make, could only perform divine service at the end of the loch, where Buchanan was stationed, once in three weeks. On those Sabbath days, however, that the clergyman was absent, Buchanan used to assemble the people together, and after prayer and an exhortation, he read to them a portion of the Scriptures. He is said to have rendered essential service to the Rev. James Stewart of Killinl, in translating the New Testament into the Gaelic language; and that he accompanied him into Edinburgh for the purpose of aiding in correcting the press. While there, he availed himself of the opportunity to attend the university, where he heard lectures on anatomy, and the various departments of natural philosophy. Some gentlemen, struck by his talents, endeavoured, unknown to him, to procure him a licence to preach the gospel; but without success. He published his hymns about the year 1767. Of these upwards of fifteen editions have been printed. He died June 2, 1768, of fever, in the fifty-second year of his age. “During his illness he was frequently delirious, and in that state would sing of the ‘Lamb in the midst of the throne.’ In his lucid intervals he expressed his full hope in the resurrection of the just, and his desire to depart and be with Christ. The people of Rannoch wished his remains to be buried among them, but his relations carried the body away to their own country, and he was buried in the burying-ground of the Buchanans at Little Lenny, near Callander. In his person he was considerably above the middle size, and rather of a dark complexion, but upon a close inspection his countenance beamed affection and benevolence Among his intimate acquaintance he was affable, free, jocular and social, and possessed much interesting information and innocent anecdotes, in consequence of which his company was much sought after by all the families in the country. In his dress he was plain and simple, wearing a blue bonnet and a black dress, over which he generally wore a blue great-coat. After his death his widow removed to Ardoch, where she remained till the time of her death. He left two sons and two daughters; one of the latter was alive in 1836.”

      “‘The Day of Judgment,’” says the editor of the Beauties of Gaelic Poetry, “displays great force of imagination, and fixes the mind on the sublime and awful scenes of a world brought to an end, amidst the wreck of elements, and the assemblage of the whole human race to judgment.

      “‘The Scull’ is full of good poetry, with appropriate reflections on the vanity of mortal enjoyments. It shows the fierce tyrant and the lowly slave – the haughty chief and the humble tenant – the mighty warrior and the blooming virgin – the mercenary judge and the grasping miser – all reduced to one level, the grave; to feed the lowly worm and the crawling beetle.

      “‘The Dream’ contains useful lessons on the vanity of human pursuits, and the unsatisfactory rewards of ambition. The following lines ought to be remembered by every one who envies greatness: –

      “ ‘Cha ‘n ‘eil neach o thrioblaid saor,’
      A’ measg a’chinne-daonn’ air fad
      ‘S co lionmhor osna aig an righ,
      Is aig a neach is isle staid.’

      “‘The Winter’ begins with a vivid description of the effects of that season, and the preparation of men and animals to provide food and shelter. The poet then draws a comparison between the winter and the decline of human life, warning the old man to prepare for his future state, as the husbandman prepares food and fuel for winter – to imitate the prudent foresight of the ant and the bee, and not the idle and improvident fly, dancing joyously in the sunbeams till he perishes by the winter’s frost. This excellent poem is deservedly admired as one of the finest specimens of didactic poetry in the Gaelic language.” – Mackenzie’s Beauties of Gaelic Poetry, 1841.

BUCHANAN, CLAUDIUS, D.D., a divine distinguished by his devotion to the diffusion of learning and Christianity in India, was the son of Alexander Buchanan, a man of respectable learning and of excellent character, who was engaged in various parts of Scotland as a teacher, and was shortly before his death appointed rector of the grammar school of Falkirk. He was born at Cambuslang, in Lanarkshire, March 12, 1766. His mother was the daughter of Mr. Claudius Somers, who had been one of the elders of the church at Cambuslang about the period of the extraordinary occurrences which took place in that parish in 1742, in consequence of the preaching of the celebrated Mr. Whitefield, and retained ever afterwards a deep and lasting sense of real religion. In 1773 young Buchanan entered the grammar school at Inverary in Argyleshire, of which his father was then master, where he remained till 1779, having made considerable proficiency in the Latin and Greek languages. He spent the vacation of that year with a schoolfellow, John Campbell, at his father’s estate of Airds near the island of Mull, and in the following year (1780), at the early age of fourteen, he became, according to the practice still observed among the gentry of these parts, where parish schools are distant and otherwise ill-suited, tutor in the elementary parts of education to the two sons of Campbell of Dunstaffnage. Being by his parents intended for the ministry of the Church of Scotland, in 1782 he left the family of Mr. Campbell and went to the university of Glasgow, where he remained for two sessions. In 1784, from what cause does not appear, but probably the want of pecuniary resources, he left Glasgow, and resumed private teaching in the family of Mr. Campbell of Knockmelly in Islay, and afterwards at Carradell in Kintyre. In 1786 he attended with credit one session in the logic class, and returned to Carradell; but his studies were put a stop to, by a romantic idea which he sometime before had formed of making a pedestrian tour of Europe in imitation of Oliver Goldsmith. His chief view in this project was to see the world, but with an idea of turning his journey to literary account; it might have remained a project, however, when an imprudent attachment to a young lady his superior in birth and fortune, a visitor to the family in Carradell where he was tutor, hastened the execution of the long-formed design. Their affection was mutual, but the disparity of their rank and station seemed to form an insuperable barrier to their union. Pretending, in order to obtain the consent of his parents, that he had been invited by an English gentleman to accompany his son upon a tour to the continent, he proceeded to Edinburgh as if to meet the party who had engaged him, and in August 1787, putting on coarse clothes becoming his apparent calling, that of an itinerant musician, he left that city with the intention of travelling to London on foot, and thence to the continent, carrying his violin, on which he could then play tolerably well, under his arm. He called at gentlemen’s houses and farm-houses, playing reels, and he sometimes received five shillings, sometimes half-a-crown, and sometimes nothing but his dinner and lodging. On reaching Newcastle, tired with his journey and with living on charity, he resolved to proceed by sea, and accordingly embarking at North Shields, he arrived in London on the 2d of September. Reflection, whetted by the sufferings and danger of a very stormy voyage, now induced him to relinquish the idea of going to the continent, yet he continued the delusion as respects his parents by addressing all his letters to his friends at home from places abroad.

      After suffering much distress, being obliged to sell and pawn his clothes and books, and often wanting a dinner, he one day observed an advertisement in a newspaper for a clerk to an attorney, and offered himself, when he was accepted. He subsequently obtained a better situation with another gentleman in the law, and was next employed by a solicitor at a salary not exceeding forth pounds per annum. At this period he led a thoughtless and somewhat dissipated life, but about three years after he had gone to London, he began to have serious impressions, and soon became decidedly religious. Having written an anonymous letter, describing his state of mind, to the Rev. John Newton, minister of St. Mary’s Woolnoth, London, the friend of the poet Cowper, that eminent clergyman intimated from the pulpit his wish that the writer should call upon him. an early interview accordingly took place between them, and the result was that Mr. Newton introduced him to a benevolent gentleman of fortune, Henry Thornton, Esq., who, in 1791, generously sent him at his expense to Queen’s college, Cambridge, where he distinguished himself in mathematics, and received a testimonial from his college, but declined to take public honours. He afterwards repaid Mr. Thornton four hundred pounds for the four years during which he had maintained him at college. He also placed at Mr. Thornton’s disposal a sum of money sufficient to support a young man of religious character and good ability in poor circumstances, at the same university.

      In September 1795, Mr. Buchanan was ordained deacon in the Church of England, by Dr. Beilby Porteous, then bishop of London, and admitted curate to his friend Mr. Newton. On 30th March 1796, by the influence of Mr. Charles Grant (father of the late Lord Glenelg), he was appointed one of the chaplains to the Honourable East India Company, and having received priest’s orders from the bishop of London, after visiting his friends in Scotland, he sailed from Portsmouth for Bengal, August 11th of that year.

      Soon after his arrival, 10th March 1797, at Calcutta, he was appointed chaplain at Barrackpore, a military station about sixteen miles above that city, where, however, there was no place for public worship, nor was divine service ever required by the staff to which he was attached, a circumstance which caused him much concern at that period. On the 3d April 1799 Mr. Buchanan married Mary, third daughter of the Rev. Richard Whish, then rector of the Northwold in Norfolk, who with her uncle and aunt and her eldest sister had shortly before gone out to India. Mr. Buchanan and his friends had been much disappointed that after his arrival in India no opportunity was for some time given to him to promote the great object of his thoughts, the advancement of Christianity, but he bore his seclusion with patience, although forbidden by the rules of the Company to preach to the Hindoos. He soon, however, had a way opened up to him of usefulness beyond his highest expectations. Towards the close of 1799 he was appointed by the earl of Mornington (afterwards Marquis Wellesley), third chaplain to the Presidency at Calcutta, and he immediately removed to that city and entered on his new duties. In the succeeding February he preached a sermon at the new church of Calcutta before his lordship and the principal officers of the government, on the day appointed for a general thanksgiving for the signal succession then recently obtained. For this sermon Mr. Buchanan received the thanks of the governor-general in council, with a direction that it should be printed and circulated.

      In 1800, on the institution of the college of Fort William at Calcutta, founded by Lord Wellesley, and a sketch of the constitution of which was, by his lordship’s desire, drawn up by Mr. Buchanan, who took an active part in the formation and subsequent conduct of that establishment, he was appointed professor of the Greek, Latin, and English classics, and vice-provost of the college. Already tolerably versed in the oriental languages, he conceived he should best promote the honour of God, and the happiness of mankind, by enabling every Hindoo to read the Scriptures in his own tongue; and in order to carry out these views had to overcome considerable opposition. He eventually succeeded in issuing the first versions of the gospels in Persian and Hindostance, which were printed in India, as well as other translations fo the Scriptures. Although issued from the college of Fort William, only a very small part of the expense of these translations was borne by the public, the rest being at the private cost of various members of that institution, among whom Mr. Buchanan and the excellent provost held the first rank.  He took a deep interest in the moral and intellectual improvement of the natives of India, and with the view of interesting the learned corporations of Britain in this measure, in October 1803 he despatched letters to the heads of all the different universities in Britain, and to the headmasters of Eton, Westminster, Winchester, and the Charter-house schools, with the following proposals, viz.: ‘For the most approved essay in English prose on the best means of extending the blessings of civilization and true religion among the sixty millions, inhabitants of Hindostan, subject to British authority,’ in each university one hundred pounds. For the best English poem on ‘the revival of letters in the East,’ sixty pounds. For the best Latin ode or poem on ‘Collegium Bengalense,’ twenty-five pounds; and the same sum for the best Greek ode on [unreadable]. The sum of fifty pounds each for the best Latin and Greek poems was offered to the successful candidate at each of the public schools. No less a sum than sixteen hundred and fifty pounds was thus appropriated by Mr. Buchanan to this benevolent and patriotic purpose. These proposals were accepted in the summer of 1804, by the several bodies to which they were offered, with the exception of the university of Oxford, by which they were declined on the ground of certain objections in point of form. Of the prize compositions the greater number were afterwards published, as well as a few of those which had been unsuccessful. One of these prize productions was a poem on ‘the restoration of learning in the East,’ by Mr. Charles Grant, then fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, afterwards Lord Glenelg. In 1805 Mr. Buchanan transmitted to England a work called ‘An Account of the College of Fort William,’ as also his interesting ‘Memoir of the Expediency of an Ecclesiastical Establishment for British India,’ a scheme which has since been carried into effect by the appointment of bishops in India; both of which were published. The same year his name appears in the list of members of the Asiatic Society.

      On the 4th of June 1805, Mr. Buchanan addressed proposals of second prizes, of five hundred pounds each, to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, for compositions in English prose on the following subjects, viz.: The probable design of Divine Providence in subjecting so large a portion of India to the British dominion; the duty, the means, and the consequences of translating the Scriptures into the Oriental tongues, and of promoting Christian knowledge in Asia; and, A brief historic view of the progress of the gospel in different nations since its first promulgation. He afterwards addressed a letter of considerable length to the archbishop of Canterbury, upon the promotion of Christian knowledge in India, chiefly with reference to an ecclesiastical establishment, and the translation of the Scriptures into the oriental languages. He was soon after appointed provost of the college of Fort William, under a new regulation which admitted only of one superintending officer; this appointment, however, he declined in favour of his colleague, the Rev. David Brown, the former provost. The same year (1805) the university of Glasgow conferred upon him the degree of D.D. The university of Cambridge some years after conferred on him the same honour. So great was his anxiety on the subject of oriental translations of the holy Scriptures, that about this time he transmitted proposals to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge that two sermons should be preached before each of these learned bodies on that subject, by such persons as they should appoint; accompanied with a request that each of the four preachers would accept the sum of thirty guineas, on condition of the delivery to his agents of a printed copy of the sermon for the college of Fort William. These offers were in each university accepted. He sent a similar proposal, with an offer of fifty pounds for the sermon, to the Directors of the British and Foreign Bible Society, which was at first accepted, but afterwards respectfully declined as being considered irregular.

      In May 1806 Mr. Buchanan set out on a journey to the coast of Malabar, and after visiting the temple of Juggernaut, he passed a week with the native Christians at Tanjore, and afterwards visited the Rajah of Travancore. From the sea-coast he proceeded into the interior of the country, to visit the ancient Syrian Christians who inhabit the hills at the bottom of the great mountains of Malayala. An account of his journey was afterwards printed in his Christian Researches. In the course of this journey he was successful in obtaining Syriac, Hebrew, and Ethiopic manuscripts of great rarity and value, which he afterwards presented to the university of Cambridge. Previous to his return to Calcutta he made arrangements for the translation of the Scriptures into the native language of Malabar.

      Thus far he had succeeded in his design, and laid the foundation of that extensive distribution of the holy Scriptures in their own languages among the native tribes of the East which, in no long time after, was to be vigorously prosecuted, under the auspices even of the governments in India, who, owing to a change of policy, were at that time, from motives of shortsighted political expediency, opposed altogether to the enlightenment and christianization of the Hindoo. On his return to Calcutta he found that the college of Fort William, which, during seven years of its existence, had been productive of benefit so important to the service of the East India Company, to oriental learning, and to religion, had been all but entirely abolished, and his office of vice-provost, as well as that of provost, suppressed, and his labours and influence greatly diminished. A sketch of his proceedings on the coast of Malabar, which, under the title of ‘Literary Intelligence,’ he had drawn up, he was obliged to print as a pamphlet, for the governments of Calcutta and Madras refused to authorize its appearance in the newspapers of these presidencies, although it seems to have been admitted into the Bombay Gazette. Even the advertisement of a volume of sermons which, after his return to Calcutta, he had preached on the prophecies, having reference to the spread of the gospel among the Hindoos, and which his congregation wished to have in print, was not only, by authority, refused insertion in the government Gazette, the press being at that period entirely under the control of the governor, but he was required, in a letter from the chief secretary, to transmit his manuscripts for the inspection of the government. It appears from his letters that this hostility arose in part from the steady adherence of Dr. Buchanan to the principles of the administration of the marquis of Wellesley, and in part from dislike on the part of the executive to his evangelical objects and plans. This prohibition led to a well-timed and excellent memorial from him, on the subject of the hostility to religion and its progress in India manifested by the government, which will be afterwards noticed.

      While in the neighbourhood of Juggernaut, as Gibbon first derived the idea of his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire from visiting the Capitol at Rome, Dr. Buchanan conceived the design of the foundation of some great literary Institution, which might, by means of books, extend the knowledge of revealed religion and aid in the translation of the Scriptures, but have no connection with missions, and he afterwards prepared and even printed, though by his friends in England it was deemed, in the then unfavourable disposition of the Court of Directors, not expedient to publish, an elaborate plan of such an establishment under the title of ‘The Christian Institution in the East; or the College for translating the Holy Scriptures into the Oriental Tongues.’ The design was but partially carried into effect, and though its failure is to be regretted, it reflects great honour both on the heart and head of its originator, whose single purpose, during all his labours in the East, was the evangelization of the inhabitants of India.

      In December 1807 he left Calcutta, on a second visit to the coast of Malabar, on his way to Europe. About the middle of the following August he arrived in England, without any thoughts of again returning to India. In September he hastened to Scotland to visit his aged mother, and during his stay he preached in the Episcopal chapel at Glasgow. He soon after went to Bristol, where, on the 26th February 1809, he preached a sermon for the benefit of the Church Missionary Society, afterwards published, entitled ‘The Star in the East.’ This was the first of that series of able and well-directed efforts by which, in pursuance of the resolution he had formed in India, he endeavoured to cherish and extend the interest he had already excited for the promotion of Christianity in the East. In April 1809 he spent some days at Oxford, collating oriental manuscript versions of the Bible. He afterwards visited the duke of Marlborough’s library at Blenheim, which is also rich in oriental manuscripts. He next proceeded to the university of Cambridge, where he deposited the valuable biblical manuscripts, twenty-five in number, which had been collected by himself in India. It was at this time that this university conferred on him the degree of Doctor in divinity.

      Dr. Buchanan’s first wife had died at sea, on her return from England, whither she had gone on account of her health, on the 18th June 1805, leaving him two daughters; and in February 1810, he married, a second time, a daughter of Henry Thompson, Esq. of Kirby Hall, near Boroughbridge, in Yorkshire. This lady died in childbirth in March 1813. She was the mother of two sons, who both died soon after their birth. After preaching for some time in Welbeck chapel, London, Dr. Buchanan retired to Kirby Hall, the seat of his father-in-law, where for a short period he took up his residence. The latter part of the year 1810 was occupied in preparing for the press his ‘University Sermons,’ and his great work, the ‘Christian Researches in Asia.’ The sale of the latter work was extraordinary, four editions being taken off in the course of a few months. The labour, however, which he had undergone in preparing this remarkable volume for the press, led to serious consequences as respects his health. In the spring of 1811, he had been visited with a slight paralytic stroke and temporary loss of speech, and on account of his state of health, he proceeded on a tour to Scotland, and subsequently visited Ireland and Wales. At this time he formed the plan of a journey to Palestine, but a second stroke in the following December, which left him in a state of great nervous debility, put an end to the project.

      In April 1813 the affairs of India came before parliament. As already stated, previous to quitting Bengal in 1807, Dr. Buchanan had addressed a memorial to Lord Minto, then governor-general, on the subject of the hostility which had been shown, since the period of the marquis of Wellesley’s administration, to the progress of the gospel in India. To this memorial Lord Minto did not deign a reply, but transmitted it to the Court of Directors in England, accompanied by a commentary of his own of which Dr. Buchanan remained perfectly ignorant till the subject was brought before parliament, when, with many other documents relative to Christianity in India, it was laid on the table of the House of Commons. He had himself, however, sent a copy of it at the time, to the Court of Directors, with a letter in which he expressed a hope that some general principles on the comparative importance of religion in political relations in India, might be established at home, and transmitted to our eastern governments for their guidance. This letter was not published with the memorial to the governor of Bengal, nor does it seem to have been noticed by the court. Neither of these addresses, however, though unacknowledged at the time, was unproductive of good. In Bengal a more favourable disposition on the part of the government towards the promotion of Christianity appeared shortly after, and the reply of the Directors to the representations of the governor-general in council, though not friendly to Dr. Buchanan, was strongly marked by those enlightened and liberal views, which he had been so anxious to see established for the guidance of our Indian governments. In the course of the debates which took place in the House of Commons on the affairs of India, Dr. Buchanan’s name and writings were frequently mentioned, and Sir Henry Montgomery and Mr. Lushington took it upon them to deny many of his statements as to the cruel and immoral superstitions of the Hindoos. They were, however, ably and eloquently replied to by Mr. Wilberforce, and Dr. Buchanan himself addressed private letters to these gentlemen in answer to their remarks. The account given by him of the atrocities of the idol-worship at Juggernaut was also impugned and attempted to be invalidated by Mr. C. Buller, M.P. for West Looe, who addressed a letter to the Court of Directors on the subject. Dr. Buchanan immediately published a letter to the Hon. East India Company in reply to Mr. Buller’s statements, and also his ‘Apology for promoting Christianity in India.’ He had previously published a work entitled ‘Colonial Ecclesiastical establishment;’ being a brief view of the state of the colonies of Great Britain, and of her Asiatic empire, in respect to religious instruction, prefaced by some considerations on the national duty of affording it. He subsequently went to reside first at Cheshunt, afterwards at Wormley, and latterly at Broxbourne, in Hertfordshire, where at the time of his death, he was engaged in superintending the printing of an edition of the New Testament for the use of the Syriac Christians residing on the coast of Malabar. He died at Broxbourne, February 9, 1815, at the early age of 48, and was buried at Little Ouseburn in Yorkshire, near the remains of his second wife and two infant sons. A monumental inscription, written by the Rev. W. Richardson of York, records in plain but expressive language the leading particulars of his life and character. His Memoirs, by the Rev. J. Pearson, with extracts from his correspondence, were published in 1817 in 2 vols.; and were republished in 1834, in a condensed form by Dr. Bickersteth for the Christian Library, from which the annexed portrait is taken.

portrait of Dr. Claudius Buchanan

      Dr. Buchanan’s works are:

      Memoir of the Expediency of an Ecclesiastical Establishment for British India both as the means of perpetuating the Christian Religion among our own countrymen, and as a foundation for the ultimate civilization of the natives. Lond. 1805, 4to.

      The Star in the East. A Sermon. 1809. 8th edit. 1813, 8vo.

      Three Sermons on the Jubilee. 1810, 8vo.

      The Light of the World; a Sermon. 1810, 8vo. 3d edit. 1813.

      Christian Researches in Asia; with Notices of the Translation of the Scriptures into the Oriental languages. 1811, 8vo. 5th edit. 1813, 8vo.

      The Three Eras of Light; being two Discourses preached before the University of Cambridge, and a Sermon preached before the Society for Missions to Africa and the East. 1811, 8vo. 2d edit. 1813.

      The Healing Waters of Bethesda; a Sermon, preached at Buxton. 1811.

      Sermons on Interesting Subjects. Lond. 1812, 8vo.

      A Brief View of the State of the Colonies of Great Britain, and of her Asiatic Empire, in respect to religious instruction. Lond. 1813, 8vo.

      An Address to Messrs. Norton, Greenwood, Schnarre, and Rhenius, about to sail as Missionaries to Tranquebar. 1814, 8vo.

      A Letter to the Hon. East India Company, in reply to the Statements of Charles Buller, Esq. M.P., concerning the idol Juggernaut. 1813, 8vo.

      An Apology for promoting Christianity in India, containing two letters addressed to the Hon. East India Company concerning the idol Juggernaut; and a Memorial presented to the Bengal government in 1807, in defence of the Christian missionaries in India. Published by order of the House of Commons. To which are now added Remarks on the Letter addressed by the Bengal government to the Court of Directors in reply to the Memorial. With an Appendix, containing various official papers, chiefly extracted from the parliamentary records relating to the promulgation of Christianity in India. 1813, 8vo.

      The First Four Years of the College of Fort William. 1814, 4to.

      Memoirs: by J. Pearson. 1817, 2 vols. 8vo.

BUCHANAN, DAVID, an enterprising publisher and printer, of whose ancestry, any more than of others of the same name in this work, no more is known than that, as bearing the name of a barony, he was, and must have been, descended from the ancient family of Buchanan of that ilk, at some stage, more or less remote, of its various ramifications. He was born in Montrose in 1745, and studied at the university of Aberdeen, where he obtained the degree of M.A. He commenced the art of a printer in his native town, at a time when that art had made comparatively little progress in the north of Scotland, and, indeed, was practically unknown in most of the provincial towns, combining with it the business of publishing. In the course of his trading he republished several standard works in a style equal, if not superior, to anything previously attempted in Scotland; among these were the dictionaries of Johnson, Boyer, and Ainsworth; the first of which was then accounted a great undertaking. He also printed the first of the small or pocket editions of Johnson’s dictionary, which was abridged and prepared by himself; to which may be added a great variety of the English classics in a miniature form. Being acquainted with the classics, he revised the press himself, correcting previous errors and supplying omissions to the dictionaries. Thus the Montrose press of that day acquired a high reputation, and its productions were extensively circulated. Mr. Buchanan died in 1812. – Family information.

BUCHANAN, DAVID, eldest son of the preceding, a miscellaneous writer of some ability, was born at Montrose in 1779. His earliest essay as a political writer was in Cobbett’s Political Register, being a reply to certain theories advanced by that politician on a question in political economy. He was a contributor to the Edinburgh Review, shortly after the commencement of that periodical, but the first literary effort of his which attracted general attention was a pamphlet published in 1806 of 1807, showing the inefficiency of the volunteer system of Pitt. The opinions so ably advocated in this pamphlet were supported by Mr. Wyndham in the House of Commons, and received considerable notice from other public men of the day. At the time Mr. Buchanan wrote this pamphlet, he resided at Montrose with his father, but encouraged by the promises and support of a number of gentlemen belonging to the liberal party, including Francis Jeffrey and Francis Horner, he repaired to Edinburgh about the end of the year 1808, and started a newspaper called the Weekly Register. This paper, although conducted with much ability, did not continue longer than a year. The services of Mr. Buchanan were then transferred to the Caledonian Mercury, of which paper he was editor from 1810 to 1827. A vacancy having, in the latter year, occurred in the management of the Edinburgh Courant, the editorship of that paper was offered to the subject of this notice, who at once accepted of it. He was succeeded in the Caledonian Mercury by Dr. James Browne, author of the ‘History of the Highlands and of the Highland Clans.’ After him a Mr. Cochrane, at one time connected with the Foreign Quarterly Review, took the place of chief editor, and at a subsequent period a son of Mr. Buchanan, and grandson of the Montrose printer, became and is at present (1852) the editor of that paper.

      About the year 1814 Mr. Buchanan brought out an edition of ‘Smith’s Wealth of Nations,’ with a Life and extensive notes, and a volume of additional matter. He also edited an edition of the Edinburgh Gazetteer in six volumes, and supplied a considerable portion of the articles of that work. A few years before his death he wrote a small volume on the principles of commercial taxation, containing valuable matter. To the seventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, he contributed, amongst others, the articles on Arabia, Asia, Statistics of France, Hindostan, Siberia, United States, and Van Diemen’s Land, as well as the article on general Statistics; – he also, with Dr. Browne and Mr. H. Smith, compiled the information contained in the Edinburgh Geographical Atlas, a work published in folio, in 1835. Mr. Buchanan died at Glasgow, whither he had gone on a visit to his son-in-law, Mr. Duff, engineer in that city, on the 13th August 1848. For the last five or six years of his life, he had suffered much from disease of the heart, and was at last cut off by it so suddenly that, only a few hours before his death, he had written a paper on taxation for the immediately succeeding publication of the Edinburgh Courant. He was connected with the newspaper press of Scotland for the long period of forty years. His style of writing was at all times clear and concise. He was a man of unobtrusive habits, mild and gentle in his demeanour, and held in high respect by all who had an opportunity of forming an estimate of his character. – Family information, and Obituary at the time.

BUCHANAN, (HAMILTON) FRANCIS, of Leny, surgeon, and author of several works relative to India, third son of Thomas Buchanan of Spittal (mentioned in the preliminary notice of the surname of Buchanan, ante], and Elizabeth Hamilton, heiress of Bardowie, in the county of Lanark, was born at Branziet, in the parish of Callander, Stirlingshire, February 15, 1762. He received the elementary parts of his education at Glasgow, but studied for the medical profession at the university of Edinburgh, where he received his degree in 1783. Soon after he was appointed assistant surgeon on board a man-of-war, but after serving for some time, he was obliged to retire from that situation on account of bad health, which kept him for some years at home. He appears to have gone out to the East Indies some time before 1791, as we find the following reference to him in Dr. Robertson’s account of Callander sent to the editor in that year, “The most learned person who is known to have belonged to this parish is Dr. Francis Buchanan, at present in the East Indies. In classical and medical knowledge he has few equals, and he is well acquainted with the whole system of nature.” In 1794 he was appointed surgeon in the East India Company’s service on the Bengal establishment, and was sent with Captain Symes on his mission to the court of Ava at Amerapoora in 1795, when the latter had the satisfaction of concluding an advantageous treaty of amity and commerce with the Burmese emperor, of which he afterwards published an account, under the title of ‘Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava.’ In the course of his medical studies Dr. Buchanan had paid particular attention to botany and the kindred branches of natural science, and during his voyages to and from, and his stay in, the Birman empire, he was enabled to make some valuable collections of the plants of Pegu, Ava, and the Andaman islands, which, with several drawings, he transmitted to the Court of Directors at London, and by them they were presented to Sir Joseph Banks, then president of the Royal Society of London. He was subsequently stationed for two years at Luckipore, near to where the Brahmaputra, the largest river in India, joins the Ganges, the united rivers forming the easternmost deltoid branch of the latter ten miles wide, and falling into the sea in the Bay of Bengal. At that place he principally occupied himself in describing the fishes found in the neighbourhood.

      In 1798, the board of trade at Calcutta, on the recommendation of Dr. Roxburgh, superintendent of the botanical garden recently established in that city, employed Dr. Buchanan to visit the district and neighbourhood of Chittagong, or Chatigong, on the west border of the Birman Empire; and here, too, he collected numerous specimens of plants, which were, as the previous ones, transmitted to Sir Joseph Banks, and extended his knowledge of the natural history of Assam. In the following year he was employed in describing the fishes of the Ganges, of which he published an account in 1822, with plates. His attainments in the departments of natural history and statistics became so highly appreciated that, in 1800, he was chosen by the Marquis Wellesley, then governor-general of India, to examine into, and report upon, the entire agricultural and manufacturing systems and products of Mysore, then recently acquired by the British arms, as well as those of the adjacent province of Malabar, with suggestions for their improvement, as also upon the general condition of the inhabitants and the climate and physical aspect of the country. At that period the rapid progress of the English conquests made it impossible for the local government to find officers versant in the local languages of their acquisitions, and Dr. Buchanan, whose labours had been confined in the northern region of the territories of the Company, was necessarily unacquainted with the dialects of the south. It was his practice to travel a certain distance every day, and each morning before setting out from the place where he had rested during the night, he assembled those who resided in the neighbourhood, and questioned them on the several points contained in his instructions. The answers were such as suited the hearers to give and the interpreter to communicate; and the patient and confiding Doctor noted all down faithfully in his daybook for the use of the government. Thus, while everything that he saw was described perspicuously and correctly enough, it was not unfrequently very different with what he heard. The result of his inquiries was, after his first return to England, published in 1807, under the patronage of the Court of Directors, with the title of ‘Travels in the Mysore,’ in three large quarto volumes, illustrated with maps and drawings. The work, from the manner in which the author collected his information, is more in the nature of a journal than a regular and digested account of Mysore; yet, as a writer in the Edinburgh Review for October 1808 justly remarks, “After all the deductions that can be made from Dr. Buchanan’s authority, his book remains an interesting and valuable publication relating to a country then scarcely known in Europe. He has rendered an essential service to the Indian historian by collecting a variety of inscriptions extant in the temples of the peninsula.” The reviewer sums up his opinion of this work by saying that “those who will take the trouble to peruse Dr. Buchanan’s book will certainly obtain a far more accurate notion of the actual condition and appearance of India, and of its existing arts, usages, and manners, than could be derived from all the other books relating to it in existence; but they will frequently be misled as to its religion, literature, and antiquities, and must submit to more labour than readers are usually disposed for, in collecting and piecing together the scattered and disjointed fragments of information of which the volumes are composed.”

      In 1802 Dr. Buchanan was appointed to accompany Captain Knox on his embassy from the governor-general to Nepaul, thus again changing the scene of his labours from the south to the northern part of Hindostan. In the course of this journey, and residence in Nepaul, he made large additions to his collections of rare plants. A description of Nepaul, which he wrote at this time, he transmitted to the Court of Directors, and it remained unpublished till 1819, after he had retired from the Company’s service, and was independent of their smile or their frown, when with fuller materials he brought it out under the name of an ‘Account of the Kingdom of Nepaul.’ notwithstanding the researches of later travellers, Dr. Buchanan’s work still remains the standard authority of the country of which it treats. Indeed it and the similar work of Colonel Kirkpatrick on the same state (published in 1811) have furnished the principal materials for most of the recent works on that country. In Blackwood’s Magazine for July 1852, there is a review of various publications, all having reference to that kingdom, and all published many years subsequent to Dr. Buchanan’s work, and they are one and all stated to be “very largely indebted to the Doctor and the Colonel, although their authors rarely remember to acknowledge their obligations.” Such a testimony is honourable to the observation and acuteness of Dr. Buchanan, who was among the first to visit and to describe that remote region of Hindostan.

      On his return from Nepaul, he was appointed surgeon to the governor-general, the Marquis Wellesley, of the great merit of whose administration he had, like his namesake Dr. Claudius Buchanan, formed a very high estimate. The liberal and enlightened policy of that eminent statesman did more for the regeneration and civilization of India than did that of any of the governments which, for many years, had either preceded or succeeded him. His wise and energetic measures, joined to his selection and patronage of men distinguished for their attainments and ability, in the precise departments for which they were best fitted, enabled him to establish upon a broad basis the foundations of our vast and mighty empire in India. When not occupied in official duties, Dr. Buchanan devoted much of his leisure to the superintendence of the menagerie founded at Calcutta by the marquis, and to the description of the animals which it contained. in 1805, on the recall, at his own request, of his noble patron, he accompanied him to England, and in the following year he was again sent out to India by the Court of Directors, for the purpose of making a statistical survey of the territory under the presidency of Fort William, which comprehends Bengal Proper, and several of the adjoining districts. Several papers taken from this survey were communicated by him to the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society. After being engaged in this laborious occupation for upwards of seven years, he returned to Calcutta; and in 1814, on the death of Dr. Roxburgh, he became superintendent of the botanical garden in that city, having been appointed successor to that eminent botanist by the Court of Directors as early as 1807.

      Dr. Buchanan had repeatedly received the public thanks of the Court of Directors, and of the governor-general in council, for his useful collections and his valuable information on matters relative to the different countries of India which had been the scene of his exertions and his investigations. The objects of his ambition had now been fully attained in India; his services had been not only honourable acknowledged but liberally rewarded by the East India Company; he had acquired an ample fortune; and he naturally felt anxious to retire from the enervating influence of an eastern climate and the responsibility and labours of public service, to spend the remainder of his life, and enjoy his well-earned wealth and reputation, in his native land. He accordingly left Calcutta in 1815, and on his arrival in London, he presented to the Court of Directors his collections relative to India, consisting of drawings, of plants, minerals and drugs, coins and manuscripts, as also some papers on the geography of Ava, several genealogical tables, and his notes on natural history. Before leaving Calcutta, probably on account of his being officially employed to prepare them, he had been deprived by the marquis of Hastings, the then governor-general, of all the botanical drawings which had been made under his inspection during his last stay in India, and which he intended to have given, with his other collections, to the library of the India House in Leadenhall street, London. This circumstance, Dr. Buchanan referred to in a paper which he contributed to the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

      Soon after his arrival in England, Dr. Buchanan proceeded to Scotland, and spent the latter years of his life at Leny in Perthshire, an estate to which his father had succeeded as heir of entail, and which, on the death of his eldest brother, Colonel Hamilton *who had taken his mother’s name on inheriting Bardowie), without children, came into his possession with the other family estates, when he also assumed the name of Hamilton as a prefix to his paternal one. He married a Miss Brock, and had a son, John Hamilton Buchanan, who succeeded him, and a daughter, who died young. In 1821, when the marquis Wellesley was appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland, Dr. Buchanan was asked to accompany him in an official capacity, but he declined the offer on account of his health and love of retirement. In 1826 he was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Perthshire. The same year he established his claim to be considered the chief of the clan Buchanan (see ante]. He devoted much of his time to the improvement of his residence at Leny, and introduced into his garden and grounds many curious plants, shrubs, &c. He was a member of several learned and scientific societies, and a fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh. He died June 15, 1829, in the 67th year of his age.

      His works are:

      A Journey from Madras through the countries of the Mysore, Canara, and Malabar, performed under the orders of Marquis Wellesley, for the express purpose of investigating the state of Agriculture, Arts, and commerce; the Religion, Manners, and Customs; the History natural and civil, and Antiquities, in the dominions of the Rajah of Mysore, and the countries acquired by the Hon. East India Company in the late and former wars, from Tippoo Sultaun. Illustrated by a map and numerous engravings. Lond. 1807, 3 vols, 4to.

      Account of Nepaul and of the Territories annexed to it by the House of Goorkha. 4to, London, 1819.

      A Genealogy of the Hindoo Gods. 1819. This work was drawn up by Dr. Buchanan before leaving India, with the assistance of an intelligent Brahmin.

      An Account of the Fishes of the Ganges, with plates. 1822.

      He also contributed largely to various scientific journals of the day, particularly those devoted to natural history.

More on this name from the Dictionary of National Biography

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