John Scot of Scotstarvit (1586-1670), Lord Scotstarvit, was a judge and writer, and an important patron of Scottish literary and scholarly works. He studied at St Andrews University, bought the lands of Tarvit in Fife and called himself Scot of Scotstarvit. He was interested in scholarly pursuits, writing Latin verse and endowing a chair of Latin at St Leonards College, St Andrews. He was brother in law of the poet William Drummond. He was also involved in politics, serving on the privy council of Scotland from 1622 and seemed to relish the constant political infighting, helping to bring down the earl of Mentieth. He also became a lord of the court of session. From 1632 however he took a back seat in politics, concentrating on two publishing projects with the Amsterdam publisher, William Blaeu. One was to produce a volume of contemporary Latin verse by Scotsmen, which featured some of his own compositions, and the second was to publish and expand on the maps of Scotland drawn by Timothy Pont in at the end of the sixteenth century, both as parts of a series of volumes planned by Blaeu. Scot joined with the rebels against Charles I in 1637 and signed the national covenant the following year. For his actions he was removed from his post in the chancery and spent the rest of his days trying to get it back. His own writings were a response to his removal from office and his feeling of abandonment.
George Buchanan (1506-1582) was a playwright, poet, historian and administrator, keeper of the Privy Seal. After an early career teaching classical studies in France and Portugal while composing and translating plays and satirical poems, he returned to Scotland around 1560 and immediately became involved in politics. He gained the favour of Mary queen of Scots, and James earl of Moray. He was appointed principal of St Leonards College, St Andrews in 1566, and was keeper of the Privy Seal until 1578. However he later joined the party opposed to Mary, tutored King James, published his major works at the end of his life, on political theory, De jure regni, and history, Rerum Scoticarum historia.