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AN HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL ACCOUNT
LIVES AND WRITINGS
MOST EMINENT PERSONS
IN EVERY NATION;
PARTICULARLY THE BRITISH AND IRISH;
FROM THE EARLIEST ACCOUNTS TO THE PRESENT TIME.
A NEW EDITION,
REVISED AND ENLARGED BY
ALEXANDER CHALMERS, F. S. A.
PRINTED FOR J. NICHOLS AND SON; F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON; T. PAYNE ,
OTRIDGE AND SON; G. AND W. NICOL ; WILKIE AND ROBINSON; J. WALKER ;
A NEW AND GENERAL
CRICHTON (JAMES), was a Scotch gentleman, who lived in the sixteenth century, and has furnished a sort of biographical romance. His endowments both of body and mind were esteemed so great, that he obtained the appellation of “The admirable Crichton," and by that title he has continued to be distinguished down to the present day. The accounts given of his abilities and attainments are indeed so wonderful, that they seem scarcely to be credi. ble; and many persons have been disposed to consider them as almost entirely fabulous, though they have been delivered with the utmost confidence and without any degree of hesitation, by various writers. The time of Crichton's birth is said, by the generality of authors, to have been in 1551 ; but according to lord Buchan, it appears from several circumstances, that he was born in the month of August, 1560. His father was Robert Crichton of Elliock in the county of Perth, and lord advocate of Scotland in queen Mary's reign, from 1561 to 1573 ; part of which time he held that office in conjunction with Spens of Condie. The inother of James Crichton was Elizabeth Stuart, the only daughter of sir James Stuart of Beath, who was a descendant of Robert duke of Albany, the third son of king Robert II. by Elizabeth Muir, or More, as she is commonly called. It is hence evident, that when the admirable Crichton boasted, as he did abroad, that he was sprung from Scottish kings, he said nothing but what was agreeable to truth. Nevertheless, Thomas Dempster, who sufficiently amplifies his praises in other VOL. XI.