Duns boasts a number (well two at least) of famous sons-Most notable perhaps was the late "Jim Clarke the Grand Prix racing driver (actually a Chirnside man but his 'museum is in Duns) and of course the great Duns Scotus. Wikapedia has this entry:
"Though of dubious nativity (one school would have it at Duns, in the Borders; another, elsewhere: off in Ireland) in 1291 Duns Scotus was recorded duly an ordained man of God, in Northampton, England; he was a student, and subsequently a teacher, beginning in 1293 and running through 1297, at the University of Paris, later at Oxford, and likely again at Cambridge. He was expelled from the University of Paris for siding with then Pope Boniface VIII in that pontiff's feud with Philip the Fair of France. At length, Duns Scotus settled in Cologne, Germany, in 1307.
Duns Scotus is considered one of the most important Franciscan theologians and was the founder of Scotism, a special form of Scholasticism. He came out of the Old Franciscan School, to which Haymo of Faversham (d. 1244), Alexander of Hales (d. 1245), John of Rupella (d. 1245), William of Melitona (d. 1260), St. Bonaventure (d. 1274), Cardinal Matthew of Aquasparta (d. 1289), John Peckham, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1292), Richard of Middletown (d. about 1300), etc., belonged. He was known as "Doctor Subtilis"* because of his subtle merging of differing views. Later philosophers in the sixteenth century were not so complimentary about his work, and accused him of sophistry. This led to his name, "dunce" (which developed from the name "Dunse" given to his followers in the 1500s) to become synonymous for "somebody who is incapable of scholarship", as is expressed for example in the, (now defunct) use of the "dunce cap" to punish pupils who behave badly in class.
So as with Jim Clarke D.Scotus may not be a genuine Dinger. Certainly apart from his possible birth in the Borders his subsequent connections with Scotland are a bit tenous. But as you can see he is the original Dunce-an early version of an ASBO. He used to wear a high cowl-a medieval hoodie and it was this shape which inspired the Dunce's cap as in the image above.
I get the impression that not all Dingers are too proud of this guy. He has a rather forbidding statue in the park. And an alternative town motto of Duns Dunces A' lacks a certain something.
The only image of the 'Blessed John Duns Scotus' to give him his correct style, wearing his hoodie, is also above.
* Not to be confused with an early 20th Century Motion Picture pioneer known as Dr Subtitilis-blog-ed
Labels: BBC. Broadcasting House. Duns, Dunce, Duns Scotus, Dunse