John Barbour (poet)  

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John Barbour (c.1320 – 13 March 1395) was a Scottish poet and the first major named literary figure to write in Scots. His principal surviving work is the historical verse romance, The Brus (The Bruce), and his reputation from this poem is such that other long works in Scots which survive from the period are sometimes thought to be by him. He is known to have written a number of other works, but other titles definitely ascribed to his authorship, such as The Stewartis Oryginalle (Genealogy of the Stewarts) and The Brut (Brutus), are now lost.

Barbour was latterly Archdeacon of the Kirk of St Machar in Aberdeen. He also studied in Oxford and Paris. Although he was a man of the church, his surviving writing is strongly secular in both tone and themes. His principal patron was Robert II and evidence of his promotion and movements before Robert Stewart came to power as king tend to suggest that Barbour acted politically on the future king's behalf.

He died in 1395, probably in Aberdeen.



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