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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume II. The End of the Middle Ages.

X. The Scottish Chaucerians

§ 4. Robert Henryson

Of Robert Henryson, in some respects the most original of the Scottish Chaucerians, we know very little. He is described, on the title-page of the earliest extant edition of his Fables (1570), as “scholemaister of Dunfermeling.” His birth has been dated about 1425. A “Master Robert Henryson” was incorporated in 1462 in the university of Glasgow, which had been founded in 1451. The entry states that the candidate was already a licentiate in arts and bachelor in degrees. It is probable, therefore, that his earlier university education was received abroad, perhaps at Paris or Louvain. His mastership at the Benedictine abbey grammar-school in Dunfermline and his notarial office (if he be the Robert Henryson who witnesses certain deeds in 1478) would-lead us to infer that he was in lower orders. His death, which may have taken place about 1500, is alluded to in Dunbar’s Lament for the Makaris. There are no dates to guide us in tracing the sequence of his poems, and the internal evidence is inconclusive. Yet we cannot be far out in naming 1450 as the earlier limit of the period during which they were composed.