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Melville, Andrew

Andrew Melville, 1545–1622, Scottish religious reformer and scholar. He studied abroad, came under the influence of Theodore Beza, and was a professor at Geneva. He was principal (1574–80) of the Univ. of Glasgow; in 1580 he became principal of St. Mary's College, St. Andrews, and in 1590 he was made rector of St. Andrews. He reorganized the Scottish universities and greatly broadened their educational scope. However, Melville's greater task was the molding of the Scottish church; upon him fell the mantle of John Knox. He was entrusted (1575) with drawing up The Second Book of Discipline and was largely responsible for the introduction of a presbyterian system into the somewhat tentative church organization developed by Knox. A foe of prelacy and of royal supremacy, Melville asserted the independence of the church, which brought him into conflict with the court party of James VI (later James I of England). He was called before the privy council on a charge of treason in 1584 and fled to England, but shortly returned to Scotland. He was several times moderator of the general assembly. Melville's struggle to protect the independence of the Scottish church continued. In 1606 he and other clergymen were summoned to confer with James I, but no settlement was reached. Melville offended the court by his harsh criticism of the king and particularly by a Latin epigram directed against Anglican practices. In 1607 he was committed to the Tower of London, where he remained for four years. On his release he was allowed to teach at Sedan, France, a leading Calvinist center. Melville wrote a number of Latin poems of some merit. The standard biography is that of Thomas McCrie (1819).

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Melville, Andrew

Melville, Andrew (1545–1622). Scottish presbyterian leader and academic. Born in Forfar (Tayside), educated at St Andrews and Paris, Melville was professor at Geneva in close contact with Beza. As principal of Glasgow University (1574) he introduced significant academic reforms there, at Aberdeen (1575), and at St Andrews (1579), where he became principal of St Mary's College (1580). Ecclesiastically more extreme than Knox, he attacked residual episcopacy and, as moderator of the General Assembly (1578) which enthusiastically adopted The Second Book of Discipline with its Bezan ethos, drove the church's organization into extreme non-Erastian presbyterianism. The Scottish Privy Council threatened him with imprisonment (1584) but, though royal supremacy over the church was re-established (1585) and bishops' jurisdiction restored, Parliament endorsed the presbyterian system (1592). When the tide turned again, James VI regained his ecclesiastical powers (1597) and Melville was deprived of his rectorship at St Andrews (1597). After deriding Anglican worship in London, he was summoned before the English Privy Council (1606), disputed with Bancroft, and was sent to the Tower without trial (1607–11). On release he went to Sedan University, France, where he died.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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Melville, Andrew

Melville, Andrew (1545–1622). Scottish Reformer and theologian, concerned especially with educational reform. Entrusted in 1575 with the responsibility of compiling the Second Book of Discipline, he vigorously opposed episcopacy and so incurred the displeasure of James VI of Scotland (I of England). Imprisoned in the Tower of London for four years, he was released in 1611 to become professor of biblical theology at the University of Sedan.

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