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The Scottish Nation

FORDUN, JOHN DE, author of the ‘Scotichronicon,’ styled the father of Scottish history, flourished in the latter half of the fourteenth century, and is supposed to have been born at Fordoun in Kincardineshire, whence his surname. Of his life there is nothing of certainty known, farther than that he was a secular priest of the diocese of St. Andrews and a chaplain of the cathedral of Aberdeen. The time of his death is uncertain. A copy of his ‘Scotichronicon’ was to be found in almost every monastery in Scotland and some in England, and generally took its name from the place to which it belonged. The first five books and twenty-three chapters of the sixth book, are the composition of Fordoun, whose object was to supply the want of those historical records which had been carried off by Edward the First. The remainder of the history, which extends to sixteen books, and is brought down to the year 1436, is the work of Walter Bower, abbot of Inchcolm in 1418, whose life has been already recorded in this publication. In 1722 an edition of the ‘Scotichronicon’ was published at Oxford by Hearne; and in 1759, another was printed at Edinburgh by Walter Goodall, assistant keeper of the Advocates’ Library. An excellent manuscript in vellum of the work is preserved in the library of the university of Edinburgh. There are also manuscript copies of it in Latin in the Bodleian Library, in the British Museum, and in the Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh.

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