John Craig

Short Name: John Craig
Full Name: Craig, John, 1512?-1600
Birth Year: 1512
Death Year: 1600

Craig, John, was born in 1512, educated at the University of St. Andrews, and became a Dominican monk. Being suspected of heresy, he went, in 1537, to England, then to France, and finally settled among the Dominicans in Bologna. There, on reading Calvin's Institutes, he embraced and taught his views. Being accused of heresy, he was sent to Rome and imprisoned. He was sentenced to be burnt, August 19, 1559, but escaped at the death of Paul IV., on Aug. 18. From Rome he went by Bologna and Milan to Vienna, where he preached before the Emperor Maximilian II., who gave him letters of safe conduct to England. Having returned to Scotland, he became minister of the Canongate (then Holy rood House), Edinburgh, in 1561, and in 1563 joint minister with John Knox of St. Giles's. In 1571 he became minister of Montrose, in 1573 Superintendent of Mar and Buchan, and in 1579 minister of Holyrood and domestic chaplain to James VI. He died 12th December, 1600.

In the Scottish Psalter of 1564-65, there are 15 Psalm versions by him, viz.: Ps. 24, 56, 75, 102, 105, 108, 110, 117, 118, 132, 136, 140, 141, 143, 145. They are mostly in P.M. and thus only three were repeated in the Scottish Psalter, of 1650, considerably altered, as the second versions of Ps. 136,143, and 145. Craig's best known work is A shorte summe of the whole Catechisme, Edinburgh, 1581, reprinted at Edinburgh in 1883, with a careful biographical introduction by T. G. Law. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


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