Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, H Scott (1915) rev 1917, 1920
vol 5 p 212 Kilrenny, 1590

JAMES MELVILL [or MELVILLE], born 26th July 1556, son of Richard M. of
Baldovie, min. of Maryton, and Isobeil Scrymgeour, and nephew of Andrew
M.; educated privately, and at Univs. of St Andrews, B.A. (9th Feb. 1572),
and Glasgow; became regent in St Andrews Univ. and assistant to his uncle
Andrew M., Professor of Greek there; app. Professor of Hebrew and Oriental
Languages there in 1580; ord. to Anstruther 17th Nov. 1586; was clerk to
the ” Convention of the maist wacryff and cearfull of the breithrin” Jan.
1588; was elected Moderator of the General Assembly 17th June 1589; app.
by Privy Council one of four Commissioners for Preservation of the True
Religion in the Sheriffdom of Pife; removed here 6th Oct. 1590; pres. to
the vicarage by James VI. before 21st March 1592; coll. 12th April 1593.
In the public affairs of the church he took a deep interest, and had
powerful influence among his brethren, so that the King, to whom he had
proved himself serviceable, strongly wished him to support the measures of
Church polity which were in contemplation for subverting Presbyterianism
and establishing Episcopacy in its place. All the efforts of royalty
proved unavailing to that effect, and were only the means of rousing M. to
greater decision. He strenuously supported the brethren condemned and
banished for holding the Assembly at  Aberdeen in 1605, and signed the
Protest to Parliament with forty-one others, 1st July 1606, against the
introduction of Episcopal government. In the same year, he was one of
eight mins. called by the King to London, where he remained till 10th
May1606, when he was ordered to confine himself to Newcastle. Five months
after, his friend and parishioner. Sir William Anstruther, authorised by
the King, made him an offer of a bishopric, which he refused.The elders of
Kilrenny petitioned for his release Feb. 1608, and again July 1609,
without avail. He was removed in 1610 to Berwick- upon- Tweed. Further
solicitations were made for him by his parishioners, and again renewed in
1611 and1612. Under the anxiety and grief he felt for the state of the
Church, his health declined and he died at Berwick-upon-Tweed 20th Jan.
1614, where a tablet was erected to his memory 20th Jan. 1914. Calderwood
says, “He was one of the wisest directoures of Kirk affairs that our Kirk
had in his tyme, and was ever employed by the General Assemblies and other
publick meetings. He acted his part so gravelie, so wiselie, so calmlie,
that the adverserie could gett no vantage.” “Though gentle and not easily
provoked, he possessed great sensibility, could vindicate himself with
spirit, and testified an honest indignation at whatever was base and
unprincipled, especially in the conduct of men of his own profession.” He
marr. (1) 1st May 1583, Elizabeth (died about 1610), daugh. of John Durie,
min. of Edinburgh, and had issue  Ephraim, min. of Pittenweem; Andrew,
born 9th July 1586, died 1588; Andrew, born Aug. 1588, died before Jan.
1614; Margaret, born 28th Aug. 1593, died in infancy; John, min. of
Newton, born 27th March 1595; Isabella Anna, born 1597-8: (2) before July
1612, Deborah, daugh. of Richard Clerke, B.A., vicar of
Berwick-upon-Tweed; she survived him.

McCrie, Life of Andrew Melville, voli ,p 60. Life of Andrew Melville, vol
ii p 363, reference by Andrew in letter to James ` your father in law
Durie`. Also p 369 reference to children ; 374 to Eliza and new love
Melissa. Died before restoration to his church, after eight years in