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Dempster

paris, bologna and professor

DEMPSTER, Thomas, Scottish scholar: b. Cliftbog, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 23 Aug. 1579; d. near Bologna, Italy, 6 Sept, 1625. His autobiography, which contains a curious mixture of truth and fiction, states that he became heir to the title of Baron of Muresk, but that the property accruing thereto had been fraudulently handled by his father and he was unable to re gain it. Dempster's adherence to the Roman Catholic faith was one cause of his estrange ment from his father. He studied at Cam bridge, Paris, Louvain, Rome and Donay and became successively professor at Tournay, the College of Navarre at Paris, at Poitu. Nimes and again at various colleges of Paris. Quar rels forced him to leave Paris, and after a brief service as historian to James I of England he became professor of civil law at Pisa and later of humanities at Bologna a period full of quarrels and scandalous duels. Urban VIII made him a knight and gave him a pension. He remained at Bologna until his death. Bayle

says that though his business was only to teach a school he was as ready to draw his sword as his pen and as quarrelsome as if he had been a duelist by profession. Scarcely a day passed, he adds, in which he did not fight either with his sword or at fisticuffs, so that he was the terror of all the schoolmasters. Demp ster's works are very numerous and exhibit proofs of great erudition. Among them his (flistoria Ecclesiastica Gentis Scotorum' is the best, though, instead of being as its title would indicate an eccelsiastical history of Scotland, it is merely a list of Scottish authors and Scot tish saints. It is full of astounding inaccura cies and deliberate untruths. It was edited by :the Ballantyne Club in 1829. His really most :valuable work is (De Etruria Regali,) an edition of which was published at Florence in 1725. His Latin poems were also highly esteemed by his contemporaries.