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Crichton

james and admirable

CRICHTON, kri'tOn, James, surnamed THE ADMIRABLE, Scottish nobleman: b. Perth shire, Scotland, 19 Aug. 1560; d. Mantua, Italy, 3 July 1583. His father was a lord of session and through his mother he was of royal de scent. He was one of the young men selected to be fellow-students of the young king, James VI, at Saint Andrew's University. He then went to France, where•he continued his studies, and also, as he adhered to the Roman Catholic Church, took part in the war carried on by Henry III against the Huguenots. The beauty of his person, the strength and agility he dis played, joined to his multifarious accomplish ments and surprising capacity for eloquent talk, made him the admiration of all. About 1580 he went to Italy, visiting Venice, where he was introduced to the Doge and Senate, created astonishment at Venice and Padua by his bril liant off-hand discourses on philosophy, theology and other high themes and his challenge to dis putation in any of several languages and on either side of the controversy. He next went to

Mantua and was appointed tutor to the son of a duke. Attacked in the streets one night by a party of men armed and masked, he overcame them by his superior skill, and recognized his pupil, to whom he at once loyally presented his sword. The young prince immediately ran him through with it. The authority for this account is the Venetian publisher Aldus Manutius, with whom Crichton had associated. W. H. Ains worth wrote a romance founded on the story of Crichton in 1837. Consult Tytler, P. F., Life of James Crichton> (London 1819; 2d ed., 1823) • Crichton, Douglas, The Admirable Crichton: the Real Character' (ib. 1909); Whibley, 'Essays in Biography> (ib. 1913).