1530 ca1595
a Scottish ballad-writer, was in all probability a cadet of illegitimate birth of the noble house of Sempill or Semple. Very little is known of Sempill's life. He appears to have spent some time in Paris. He was probably a soldier, and must have held some office at the Scottish court, as his name appears in the Lord Treasurer's books in February 1567 – 1568, and his writings show him to have had an intimate knowledge of court affairs. He was a bitter opponent of Queen Mary and of the Catholic Church. Sempill was present at the siege of Leith (1559-1560), was in Paris in 1572, but fled the country after the massacre of St Bartholomew. He was probably present at the siege of Edinburgh Castle serving with the army of James Douglas, Earl of Morton.
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