Gilbert Hay (poet)
If he is the student named in the registers of the University of St Andrews in 1418-1419, his birth may be fixed about 1403. He was in France in 1432, perhaps some years earlier, for a "Gilbert de la Haye" is mentioned as present at Reims, in July 1430, at the coronation of Charles VII. He has left it on record, in the Prologue to his Buke of the Law of Arrays, that he was "chaumerlayn umquhyle to the maist worthy King Charles of France." In 1456 he was back in Scotland, in the service of the chancellor, William, Earl of Orkney and Caithness, "in his castell of Rosselyn," south of Edinburgh. The date of his death is unknown.
Hay is named by Dunbar in his Lament for the Makaris, and by Sir David Lyndsay in his Testament and Complaynt of the Papyngo. His only political work is The Buik of King Alexander the Conquerour, of which a portion, in copy, remains at Taymouth Castle. He has left three translations, extant in one volume (in old binding) in the collection of Abbotsford:
- The Buke of the Law of Armss or the Buke of Bataillis, a translation of Honoré Bonet's Arbre des batailles
- The Buke of the Order of Iinichthood from the Livre de l'ordre de chevalerie
- The Buke of tile Governaunce of Princes, from a French version of the pseudo-Aristotelian Secreta secretorum
The second of these precedes Caxton's independent translation by at least ten years.
For the Bulk of Alexander see Albert Herrmann's The Taymouth Castle Manuscript of Sir Gilbert hays Buik, etc. (Berlin, 1898). The complete Abbotsford Manuscript has been reprinted by the Scottish Text Society (d. JH Stevenson). The first volume, containing The Buke of the Law of Arms, appeared in 1901. The Order of Knighthood was printed by David Laing for the Abbotsford Club (1847). See also SFS edition Introduction and Gregory Smith's Specimens of Middle Scots, In which annotated extracts are given from the Abbotsford Manuscript, the oldest known example of literary Scots prose.
- Albert Herrmann: The Taymouth castle manuscript of Sir Gilbert Hays "Buik of King Alexander the Conquerour". 1898 digital
- Albert Herrmann: The Forraye of Gadderis. The Vowis : extracts from Sir Gilbert Hay's "Buik of King Alexander the Conquerour". 1900 digital
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.