James Wedderburn

Born 1495. Died 1553
James Wedderburn
James Wedderburn

James Wedderburn Biography (Wikipedia)

James Wedderburn (ca. 1495 – 1553) was a Scottish poet, the eldest son of James Wedderburn, merchant of Dundee (described in documents as "at the West Kirk Style" to distinguish him from others of the name), and of Janet Barry, sister of John Barry, vicar of Dundee. He was born in Dundee about 1495, and matriculated at St Andrews University in 1514.

He was enrolled as a burgess of Dundee in 1517, and was intended to take up his father's occupation as a merchant. While at St. Leonard's College, St. Andrews, he had come under the influence of Gavin Logie, one of the leading reformers, and he afterwards took an active part against Romanism. After leaving the university he was sent to Dieppe and Rouen, where it is probable that a branch of the Wedderburn family was settled in commerce.

Returning to Dundee, he wrote two plays—a tragedy on the beheading of John the Baptist, and a comedy called Dionysius the Tyrant—in which he satirised the abuses in the Roman church. These plays were performed in the open air at the Playfield, near the west port of Dundee, in 1539–40; but they have not been preserved, though from references made to them by Calderwood and others they seem to have given much offence to ruling ecclesiastics.

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