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Counsellor, Conspirator, Polemicist, Historian: John Lesley, Bishop of Ross 152796

Counsellor, Conspirator, Polemicist, Historian: John Lesley, Bishop of Ross 152796 Counsellor, Conspirator, Polemicist, Historian: John Lesley, Bishop of Ross 1527-96 MARGARET J. BECKETT, M.A., Ph.D. Many Scots of doubtful parentage have made their way in the world through their own exertions. For John Lesley, and for others before the Reformation, the path to advancement was through an Arts degree at Aberdeen, Glasgow or St Andrews followed by legal studies on the continent which could fit them for careers in the professions. But not many combined the roles of bishop, lawyer, counsellor, diplomat, polemicist, conspirator and historian. Fewer have attracted so much praise and vituperation as has John Lesley. Andrew Lang condemned him as "a time-serving flatterer" and Burghley as "seedman of all treason" but he has also been described by Bishop Keith as "this great man, worthy and learned prelate ... of infinite faithfulness, courage and capability"^ and by James Anderson as one of the two outstanding Scots writers of his period. His books were equally controversial. Although always a practical response to a particular situation, some of them came to have a much wider significance. Our knowledge of Lesley's life depends largely on two accounts which he wrote for different purposes and in different circumstances. The first was http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Scottish Church History Edinburgh University Press

Counsellor, Conspirator, Polemicist, Historian: John Lesley, Bishop of Ross 152796

Scottish Church History , Volume 39 (1): 22 – Jun 1, 2009

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2516-6298
eISSN
2516-6301
DOI
10.3366/sch.2009.39.1.2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Counsellor, Conspirator, Polemicist, Historian: John Lesley, Bishop of Ross 1527-96 MARGARET J. BECKETT, M.A., Ph.D. Many Scots of doubtful parentage have made their way in the world through their own exertions. For John Lesley, and for others before the Reformation, the path to advancement was through an Arts degree at Aberdeen, Glasgow or St Andrews followed by legal studies on the continent which could fit them for careers in the professions. But not many combined the roles of bishop, lawyer, counsellor, diplomat, polemicist, conspirator and historian. Fewer have attracted so much praise and vituperation as has John Lesley. Andrew Lang condemned him as "a time-serving flatterer" and Burghley as "seedman of all treason" but he has also been described by Bishop Keith as "this great man, worthy and learned prelate ... of infinite faithfulness, courage and capability"^ and by James Anderson as one of the two outstanding Scots writers of his period. His books were equally controversial. Although always a practical response to a particular situation, some of them came to have a much wider significance. Our knowledge of Lesley's life depends largely on two accounts which he wrote for different purposes and in different circumstances. The first was

Journal

Scottish Church HistoryEdinburgh University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2009

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