James Wedderburn

c.1495 - 1553

Minor poet, dramatist and religious reformer. Born into a notable family in Dundee, the elder brother of John (c.1500-56) and Robert Wedderburn (c.1510-56), with whom James is closely associated. He studied at the University of St. Andrews, was appointed a Burgess of Dundee in 1517 and for a time was a merchant in France. On his return to Dundee, he was inducted into the Reformed faith.

He assisted his brothers with the Compendious Book of Psalms and Spiritual Songs, composed a play on the beheading of John the Baptist, and another satirising church abuses. These plays were performed in Dundee in 1540. This resulted in a charge of heresy and Wedderburn fled to Dieppe (France), where he re-established himself as a merchant. He died in France.

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