John Duns Scotus has been mentioned previously in these pages. On this day, March 20, in 1993, Pope John Paul II recognized Scotus with beatification. Scotus requires a miracle be attributed to him to be considered for sainthood, but beatification is a significant designation in the Catholic Church. The man from whom the word dunce derived was in fact one of the greatest minds of his age (13th century).
As mentioned in another post, Walter Scott acquired the nickname Duns Scotus, and from John Gibson Lockhart's "Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott" comes the following anecdote:
'Among the most intimate of Scott's daily associates from this time [around 1792], and during all his subsequent attendance at the bar, were, besides various since-eminent persons that have been already named, the first legal antiquary of our time in Scotland, Mr. Thomas Thomson, and William Erskine, afterwards Lord Kinedder. Mr. Clerk remembers complaining one morning on finding the group convulsed with laughter, that Duns Scotus had been forestalling him in a good story, which he had communicated privately the day before—adding, moreover, that his friend had not only stolen, but disguised it. 'Why,' answered he, skilfully waiving the main charge, this is always the way with the Baronet. He is continually saying that I change his stories, whereas in fact I only put a cocked hat on their heads, and stick a cane into their hands—to make them fit for going into company.'