Reformer ” second only to Knox”

Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, H Scott (1915) rev
1917, 1920
vol 5 p 399 Dun, 1575

Born 1509, son of Sir John
E., younger of Dun (descended from a branch of the Erskines of Erskine)
who fell at Flodden along with his father, and Margaret, daugh. of Sir
William, first Lord Ruthven, and widow of Alexander, Earl of Buchan. He
was educated at King’s College, Aberdeen, and on the Continent, to which
be went in his twelfth year, urged to go thither, it is said, from having
accidentally caused the death of a priest, Sir John Forster, in the bell
tower of Montrose. From France he brought to Scotland scholar, Petrus de
Masilliers, who opened a school for classical studies at Montrose (of
which town E. was hereditary Provost), and was the first to teach Greek in
Scotland a step which not inconsiderably hastened the Reformation. From
Masilliers both Andrew Melville and George Wishart had their introduction
to the Greek language. E. early espoused the Reformed Faith and became the
friend and disciple of John Knox, who spoke of him as being “miraculously
illuminated.” In 1555, after Knox’s first arrival from Geneva, he visited
E. at Dun, where he remained for a month,
preaching and making many converts to Protestantism. E. was the fourth to
sign the first bond of the Scottish Reformers, 3rd Dec. 1557, inviting
Knox to return from Geneva. On 14th Dec. he was app. one of the
commissioners to witness Queen Mary’s marriage with the Dauphin. Upon his
return he identified himself more publicly with the Reforming Party, and
on 10th May 1559, at Stirling, he attended as intermediary between the
Queen Dowager and the preachers who had refused to attend Mass. He signed
the Act of 23rd Oct. 1559, deposing her from the Regency. In July 1560,
though a layman, he was elected Superintendent of Angus and Mearns, was a
member of the first General Assembly 20th Dec. following, and was one of
those thought apt and able to minister. He was ord. to the ministry in

He attended forty four out
of fifty-six General Assemblies, and was Moderator of those of 25th
Dec.1564, 25th Dec. 1565, 25th June 1566, 25th Dec. 1566, and 6th Aug.
1572. He was one of the framers of the Second Book of Discipline, and was
pres. to this parish by-James VI. on 11th Aug., and coll. by the
Superintendent of Fife 20th Aug. 1575 dem. before 20th May 1583, and
also to resign his office of Superintendent, but continued after the
others had died or given up their work; died 12th March 1589, having been
second only to Knox in promoting and accomplishing the work of
Reformation. He marr. (1) (cont. 25th Dec. 1525, when in his fifteenth
year) Elizabeth Lindsay (died 29th July 1538),
daugh. of David, Earl of Crawford, and had issue John, younger of Dun,
died 7th Sept. 1563; Robert of Dun, died 27th Dec. 1590; Thomas, pres. to
the parsonage here (supra): (2) Jan. 1539, Barbara de Bearle, a native of
Picardy, who died 15th Nov. 1572, and had issue James John of Kirkbuddo;
Margaret (marr. Patrick Maule of Panmure, and was mother of Patrick, first
Earl of Panmure).