Gavin Douglas ~ Poet

Gavin Douglas – Scottish poet and prelate born around 1474 at Tantallon Castle, East Lothian. This 3rd son of Archibald, 5th Earl of Angus was educated at Perth Grammar School. After a time at St. Andrews University, Douglas studied for the priesthood in abroad (most likely Paris). Between 1501 and 1514 he was dean (or provost) of the Collegiate Church of St. Giles in Edinburgh. After the Battle of Flodden (1513) the death of King James IV led to a rise in Gavin Douglas’s star. His nephew the 6th Earl of Angus married Margaret Tudor, the widow of James IV and eldest daughter of Henry VII. Family connections thus allowed Douglas to secure the bishopric of Dunkeld (January 1515). However, the consecration was delayed for a year whilst Douglas served a prison sentence for receiving papal bulls. With the fall of his nephew in 1521, Douglas fled to England intending to seek assistance from Henry VII. he died of plague before any intrigue became realised (1522). Amongst his written works are:

The Palice of Honour (1501)

A Translation of the Aeneid (1513)

King Hart (alleged)

The translation of Virgil’s Aeneid is thought to be the first ever English translation of Latin poetry.