MELVILLE, ANDREW (1545-1622), Scottish scholar, theologian and religious reformer, was born at Baldovy near Mont rose, on Aug. 1, 1545. His father fell at the battle of Pinkie (1547). The, boy was educated at the grammar school of Mont rose, after leaving which he learned Greek from Pierre de Mar silliers, a Frenchman settled at Montrose; and when Melville went to the university of St. Andrews he excited astonishment by using the Greek text of Aristotle, which no one else there understood. Melville left St. Andrews in 1564 for the university of Paris. He there studied Oriental languages. He attended the last course of lectures delivered by Turnebus in the Greek chair, as well as those of Peter Ramus, whose philosophical method and plan of teaching he afterwards introduced into the universities of Scotland. From Paris he proceeded to Poitiers (1566) to study civil law, and was apparently at once made a regent in the college of St. Marceon. Political troubles compelled him to leave France, and he went to Geneva, where he was welcomed by Theodore Beza, and appointed to the chair of humanity in the academy of Geneva. From Cornelius Bertram, one of his brother professors, he acquired a knowledge of Syriac.
In 1574 Melville returned to Scotland, and almost immediately was appointed principal of Glasgow university, which had fallen into an almost ruinous state, the college having been shut and the students dispersed. Melville, enlarged the curriculum at the college, and established chairs in languages, science, philosophy and divinity, which were confirmed by charter in 1577. Students flocked from all parts of Scotland and even beyond, till the class rooms were overflowing. Melville assisted in the reconstruction of Aberdeen university in 1575, and was appointed principal of St. Mary's College, St. Andrews, in 1580. The reforms, how ever, which his new modes of teaching involved, and even some of his new doctrines, such as the non-infallibility of Aristotle, brought him into collision with other teachers in the university. He was
moderator of the General Assembly in 1582, and took part in the organization of the Church and the Presbyterian method. Troubles arose from the attempts of the court to force a system of Episco pacy upon the Church of Scotland (see SCOTLAND, CHURCH or), and Melville prosecuted one of the "tulchan" bishops (Robert Montgomery, d. 1609).
Melville was summoned before the Privy Council in February 1584, and had to flee into England. He returned to Scotland in November 1585, and in March 1586 resumed his lectures in St. Andrews, where he continued for twenty years; he became rector of the university in 159o. During the whole time he protected the liberties of the Scottish Church against all encroachments of the government. In 1599 he was deprived of the rectorship, but was made dean of the faculty of theology. In 1606 Melville and seven other clergymen of the Church of Scotland were summoned to London in order "that his majesty might treat with them of such things as would tend to settle the peace of the Church." They told the king that the only way to settle affairs was to call a free) Assembly. Melville delivered his opinion to that effect in two long speeches with his accustomed freedom, and, a sarcastic Latin epigram on some of the ritual practised in the chapel of Hampton Court having come to the king's ears, he was committed to the Tower, and detained there for four years. He was then invited to fill a professor's chair in the university of Sedan, and there he spent the last eleven years of his life. He died at Sedan in 1622 at the age of seventy-seven.