Duncan, Mark

, an ancestor of the preceding Dr. Daniel Duncan, and also a physician, was of Scotch origin, but born in London. He appears to have gone early in life to Franct and during a residence at Saumur, acquired the patronage of the celebrated Du Plessis Mornay, then governor of that city, who procured him the professorship of philosophy in the university. This situation he filled with great reputation, and published several learned works, among the rest, a Latin system of Logic, much commended by Burgersdicius, in the preface to his “Jnstitutiones Logicæ,” which he frankly confesses to have formed entirely upon that model. By the interest of the governor, his generous protector, to whom his Logic is dedicated, he became afterwards regent [principal] of the university of Saumur. Among his works is a book against the possession of the Ursuline nuns of Loudun. This piece made so much noise, that Li ubardemont, commissary for the examination of the demoniacal possession of these young women, would have made it a serious affair for him, but for the interposition of the marshal de Breze, to whom he was physician. At Saumur he married a gentlewoman of a good family, and gained so much reputation in his art, that James I. king of Britain sent for him, with an offer of making him his physician in ordinary and for this purpose he sent him the patent of it (as a security of what he was promised) before he crossed the sea but, as his wife was extremely desirous not to leave her native country, her relations, and acquaintance, he refused to accept of an employment that was so honourable and advantageous to his family, and spent the rest of his life at iSanmur, where he died in 1640, to the universal regret of every one, whether high or low, papist or protestant. He was admirably well skilled in philosophy, divinity, and mathematics, besides physic, which he practised with great honour; and was a man of the greatest probity, and of a most exemplary life.

He had a son, Mark Duncan, who is mentioned by biographers under the name of Cerisantes. Bayle gives a long desultory account of him. His life appears to have been strangely checquered, through a spirit impatient of | rest, with a variety of literary, civil, and military pursuits. Moreri has inserted in his dictionary, from the fictitious memoirs said to be written by the duke of Guise, some calumnies against Cerisantes, which are refuted in a satisfactory manner by Bayle. Several detached pieces of Cerisantes’s poetry are to be seen in printed miscellaneous collections. Among these is a remarkable one, inscribed, “Carmen gratulatorinm in nuptias Caroli It. Aug. cum Henrietta Maria rilia Henrici IV. R. Fr.” The visionary blessings that were to arise from this union to all the world, particularly to his native country, and that of his progenitor, (by their becoming the joint arbiters of that perpetual peace in Europe, which it was the project of Henry to establish, and which he has beautifully painted in the most lively colouring), only shew that a good poet may be a bad prophet. He is said to have died in 1648. 1


Gen. Dict.—Biog. Brit.