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Hay, Gilbert

HAY, GILBERT, or " SIR GILBERT THE HAVE " (fl. 1450), Scottish poet and translator, was perhaps a kinsman of the house of Errol. If he be the student named in the registers of the university of St Andrews in 1418-1419, his birth may be fixed about 1403. He was in France in 1432, perhaps some years earlier, for a " Gilbert de la Haye " is mentioned as present at Reims, in July 1430, at the coronation of Charles VII. He has left it on record, in the Prologue to his Buke of the Law of Armys, that he was " chaumerlayn umquhyle to the maist worthy King Charles of France." In 1456 he was back in Scotland, in the service of the chancellor, William, earl of Orkney and Caithness, " in his castell of Rosselyn," south of Edinburgh. The date of his death is unknown.

Hay is named by Dunbar (q.v.) in his Lament for the Makaris, and by Sir David Lyndsay (q.v.) in his Testament and Complaynt of the Papyngo. His only political work is The Buik of Alexander the Conquer 'our, of which a portion, in copy, remains atTaymouth Castle. He has left three translations, extant in one volume (in old binding) in the collection of Abbotsford: (a) The Buke of the Law of Armys or The Buke of Bataillis, a translation of Honore Bonet's Arbre des balailles; (b) The Buke of the Order of Knichthood from the Livre de I'ordre de chevalerie; and (c) The Buke of the Governaunce of Princes, from a French version of the pseudo-Aristotelian Secreta secretorunt. The second of these precedes Caxton's independent translation by at least ten years.

For the Buik of Alexander see Albert Herrmann's The Taymouth Castle MS. of Sir Gilbert Hay's Buik, etc. (Berlin, 1898). The complete Abbotsford MS. has been reprinted by the Scottish Text Society (ed. J. H. Stevenson). The first volume, containing The Buke of the Law of Armys, appeared in 1901. The Order of Knichthood was rinted by David Laing for the Abbotsford Club (1847). See also .T.S. edition (u.s.) " Introduction," and Gregory Smith's Specimens of Middle Scots, in which annotated extracts are given from the Abbotsford MS., the oldest known example of literary Scots prose.

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

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