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Colville, John

COLVILLE, JOHN (c. 1540-1605), Scottish divine and author, was the son of Robert Colville of Cleish, in the county of Kinross. Educated at St Andrews University, he became a Presbyterian minister, but occupied himself chiefly with political intrigue, sending secret information to the English government concerning Scottish affairs. He joined the party of the earl of Gowrie, and took part in the Raid of Ruthven in 1582. In 1587 he for a short time occupied a seat on the judicial bench, and was commissioner for Stirling in the Scottish parliament. In December 1591 he was implicated in the earl of Bothwell's attack on Holyrood Palace, and was outlawed with the earl. He retired abroad, and is said to have joined the Roman Church. He died in Paris in 1605. Colville was the author of several works, including an Oratio Funebris on Queen Elizabeth, and some political and religious controversial essays. He is said to be the author also of The Historie and Life of King James the Sext (edited by T. Thompson for the Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh, 1825).

Colville's Original Letters, 1582-1603, published by the Bannatyne Club in 1858, contains a biographical memoir by the editor, David Laing.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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