Concept

Robert Rollock

Summary
Robert Rollock (c. 1555 - 8 or 9 February 1599) was Scottish academic and minister in the Church of Scotland, and the first regent and first principal of the University of Edinburgh. Born into a noble family, he distinguished himself during his education at the University of St Andrews, which led to him being appointed regent of the newly created college in Edinburgh in 1583, and its first principal in 1586. After the college had grown and other regents had been appointed, Rollock no longer had to perform everyday teaching, and he became the university's first Professor of Theology. In parallel to his academic duties, he acted as a minister and served in various church functions until his death in 1599. Rollock was acknowledged by his contemporaries as a prolific academic and Biblical scholar, and effective principal. Rollock was born in 1555, the son of David Rollock, laird of Powis, near Stirling, and his wife Mariota Livingston. He was one of at least six children, Hercules Rollock being his older brother. He received his early education at the school of Stirling from Thomas Buchanan, a nephew of George Buchanan. Rollock then entered St Salvator's College at the University of St Andrews in 1574, obtaining his BA in 1576 and his MA likely in 1577. After graduating, he combined teaching at St Salvator's College with further studies in theology, Hebrew, and Biblical philology at St Mary's College (also in St Andrews) under the tutelage of James Melville. Over the next years, Rollock acquired a national reputation both as a teacher and due to the piety he reportedly instilled in his students. In 1580, he was first made examiner of arts, then director of the faculty of arts, and finally a regent of the University of St Andrews. In April 1582, King James VI had granted a royal charter to Edinburgh Town Council for the establishment of a college. First known as Tounis College (Town's College), instruction was to begin in October 1583, but the Town Council was still searching for a regent in September of the same year.
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