John Erskine

(1509—1590) landowner and religious activist

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(1509–91), Scottish reformer. Following the death of his near relatives at Flodden in 1513, Erskine was brought up by his uncle Sir Thomas Erskine, secretary to James V. He was educated possibly at Aberdeen, and then on the Continent; on his return, he brought with him a French teacher of Greek, whom he established at the family home in Montrose, and whose presence hastened the advance of Reformation ideas in Scotland. He was on the Continent again from 1537 to 1540, and between 1542 and 1544. A convinced reformist, he welcomed Knox to his home on the latter's visit to Scotland in 1555, and negotiated between the rebellious Protestant leaders and the regent, Mary of Lorraine, in the disturbances of 1558–9, but also signed the suspension of her regency in October 1559. He retained influence within the reforming party on the return to Scotland of Mary Queen of Scots, and served as moderator of the general assembly in 1564, and subsequent assemblies of 1565 and 1566. Following Mary's flight in 1567, he assisted in the coronation of the infant James VI, and remaind a leading reformist voice in Scotland until his death.

From The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700).

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