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from a painting, saiii to /v /<y A'tt/'cns, in the riant in Afiiseinti, An 




M.A., F.S.A.SCOT. 











THIS volume has been entitled Mediaeval Glasgow, taking 
the term mediaeval in its wider sense as synonymous with 
the ascendancy of the Mediaeval Church in Scotland. 
Round each of the leading prelates who sat in the Chair 
of St. Kentigern the history of the city during their time 
has been centred. Chapters on Pope Nicholas V. and the 
founding of Glasgow University, on Bishop Elphinstone's 
Glasgow Days, on St. Rollox and his Chapel, on the Castle 
and the Cross of Glasgow, have been included, as they con- 
tribute to the illustration of the period. 

The endeavour of the author has been to show the 
important part Glasgow has played in the national his- 

In connection with my researches I am indebted to many 
scholars for assistance, and specially to Professor Hume 
Brown, LL.D., Historiographer Royal for Scotland ; the late 
Bishop Dowden ; Mr. J. Maitland Thomson, LL.D. ; Mr. 
Robert Renwick, Depute Town-Clerk, Glasgow; and the 
late Rev. John Anderson of the Register House. 

I have also to thank among others Abbot, Rev. Sir D. O. 
Hunter Blair and the Rev. Dom. Columba Edmonds, O.S.B., 
Fort Augustus ; Canon Hastings Rashdall, D.D., and Mr. 
R. S. Rait, M.A., of Oxford ; the Rev. Principal Lindsay, 
D.D., the Rev. Professor Cooper, D.D., Professor Phillimore 
and Dr. William Gemmell, Glasgow ; Mr. J. Maitland 



Anderson, LL.D., of St. Andrews ; Mr. Thos. Ross, LL.D., 
Edinburgh, and Messrs. Constable and Coy. 

For the revision of proofs and valuable suggestions I am 
grateful to Mr. George Neilson, LL.D., and the Rev. Robert 
A. Lendrum, M.A., Glasgow. The Librarians of the Univer- 
sity and the public libraries of the city, particularly Mr. 
F. T. Barrett and Mr. Robert Adams of the Mitchell Library, 
have courteously afforded me access to their treasures and 
aided me in my work. 

To the Editor of the Glasgow Herald I am indebted for 
permission to reprint, in expanded form, a few articles that 
appeared in that paper. 

The seals of prelates have been included among the illus- 
trations from the conviction that while these ostensibly give 
a representation of St. Kentigern in his pontificals, in reality 
they contain a likeness of the prelate himself whose name 
they bear. 

GLASGOW, January, 1913. 








BISHOP - 34 

IV. BISHOP JOHN CAMERON (1426-1446) - 60 



DEER (1455-1473) - - 99 


His GLASGOW DAYS (1431-1478) ^ 116 


IX. ARCHBISHOP JAMES BEATON I. (1509-1522) - - 150 

X. ARCHBISHOP GAVIN DUNBAR (1524-1547) - 176 

XI. ARCHBISHOP JAMES BEATON II. (1551-1560) - - 204 







INDEX - . 265 




SEAL OF JAMES BEATON II. - - Title page 


HILL circa 1680 - - - 12 




By Thos. Hearne, circa 1775 


From Scottish National Portrait Gallery 


From Pinturicchio's frescoes at Siena 



KING JAMES II. - - 104 

From Scottish National Portrait Gallery 


By Albert Durer, 1521 





By Robert Paul 





KING JAMES III. - .... ^ 

From Scottish National Portrait Gallery 

KING JAMES IV. - - 136 

From Scottish National Portrait Gallery 


- 175 

KING JAMES V. - - - - 176 

From Scottish National Portrait Gallery 


From the picture at Hardwicke Hall 


By Bronckhurst, 1580 


From engraving by Joseph Swan 



THERE are two clerics of the name Jocelyn often confounded 
Jocelyn who was Bishop of Glasgow (1175-1199), and 
Jocelyn a monk of the Cistercian Abbey of Furness. Perhaps 
the confusion arose from the fact that both flourished about 
the same period, viz. the latter part of the twelfth century, 
and that both belonged to the Cistercian Order of Benedic- 
tine monks. 

The name Jocelyn seems to have been of French extraction, 
and is often found, spelt variously, in the records of those 

It so happened that Bishop Jocelyn, who had previously 
been abbot of the recently-erected Abbey of Melrose, was 
anxious to build a new Cathedral at Glasgow, the former 
edifice erected by Bishop John in 1136 having been de- 
stroyed by fire. He may have been all the more impelled 
to this step because the twelfth century in Scotland was 
an age of great religious activity, when church building 
might be said to be in the air. 1 

Although Jocelyn was consecrated to the See of Glasgow 
in 1175, it would seem that, having other important business 
in hand, it was not till between the years 1189 and 1192 that 
he was anxiously engaged in building the Cathedral. 2 And 

1 Forbes, Historians of Scotland, \. pp. 308-312. 
3 Reg. Epis. Glas. i. xxiv. 


further, it would appear that, although energetically carried 
on, the edifice was not sufficiently advanced for the 
celebration of worship till 1197, in which year it was 
consecrated. 1 

In order to procure the necessary means for such an 
expensive undertaking, Bishop Jocelyn set agoing a society 
for collecting funds 2 throughout the kingdom, which might 
be termed " a Cathedral Building Society." He also com- 
missioned Jocelyn, of Furness, to write a biography of 
St. Kentigern, the founder of the See in the sixth century, 
and sing his praises as one whose glorious memory deserved 
to be perpetuated. To perform this task satisfactorily, 
Jocelyn of Furness visited Glasgow to gather material for 
the projected volume. In the prelude or preface of this 
biography, he tells us that he wandered through the streets 
and lanes of the city " seeking the recorded Life of 
St. Kentigern." He found a volume used by the Church, 
but this he described as " stained throughout by an un- 
cultivated diction, discoloured and obscured by an inelegant 
style," as well as containing " something contrary to sound 
doctrine, and to the Catholic Faith " ; 3 a hint, indeed, that 
the ancient Celtic Church differed to some extent in doctrine 
from the Church of Rome. There is reason to believe that 
the volume thus referred to is the fragment of the Life of 
St. Kentigern, a transcript of which is preserved in the 
British Museum, and which appears to have been written 
by a foreign ecclesiastic, also a cleric of Glasgow, at the 
request of Herbert, Bishop of Glasgow, who died in 1164.* 

Jocelyn also tells us he " found another little volume, 
written in the Scotic dialect, filled from end to end with 
solecisms, and tainted with what was perverse or opposed 
to the faith, but containing at greater length the life and 

1 Chronicle of Mailros, p. 103. * R eg . Rpis. Glas. No. 76. 

3 Historians of Scotland, v. pp. 29, 30. Ibid. Intro, p. Ixiii. 


acts of the holy bishop." l By the " Scotic dialect " is here 
meant the Irish form of Celtic, and as the influence of the 
Irish Church was felt along the West of Scotland, the language 
was probably intelligible to all. 2 

In the biography of St. Kentigern which he himself wrote, 
Jocelyn incorporated the contents of these two volumes or 
as much of them as he considered necessary. And he makes 
what, from a controversial point of view, may be regarded 
as a pregnant remark, " that he seasons what had been 
composed in a barbarous way with Roman salt." 3 

In those days Glasgow had been recently erected into a 
Burgh of Barony 4 or Bishop's Burgh, with the privileges of 
a weekly market on Thursdays. Besides, in connection with 
the consecration of the Cathedral in 1197, an anniversary 
" dedication feast " had been instituted, with a great fair 
of eight days' duration in the month of July the origin of 
what is now well known as Glasgow Fair. 

But the Fair was vastly different then from what obtains 
in our day. Now it is the signal for an exodus of the popula- 
tion ; then the city was crowded with an influx of visitors 
bent on business, burghers and craftsmen from neighbouring 
towns, Solway fishers, shepherds from the Forest, Nithsdale 
yeomen, squires of Carrick and Clydesdale, knights, the lordly 
Abbots of Jedburgh and Crossraguel, Highland chiefs from 
the Lennox, and Border moss-troopers. 5 

As Jocelyn of Furness wandered through the streets of 
Glasgow, attired, doubtless, in the habit of the Cistercians 
a black cowl and scapular and his robes of white he 
would be " the observed of all observers." The only other 

1 Ibid. p. 30. 2 Ibid. p. 314, note C. 

3 Ibid. p. 30. 

4 Glasgow was erected into a Burgh of Barony, 1 175-78. G/as. Charters, 
ii. pp. 3-4. 

5 Dr. J. Robertson, Scottish Abbeys, etc. pp. 57-58. 


monks likely to be seen in the city in those days would be 
the black-robed Clugny monks, from the neighbouring 
Abbey of Paisley. The " streets " of the city through 
which Jocelyn wandered would be few in number. The 
High Street, stretching from the Cathedral in more or less 
broken outline to the Cross, if not to the river, with the 
Rottenrow and the Drygate branching off on either side, 
would be the main thoroughfares. The " lanes " referred 
to by Jocelyn would be the narrow alleys or vennels leading 
from the streets to what are termed " back-lands/' The 
houses, too, at this period would be mere mud hovels, 
thatched with turf or reeds, excepting, perhaps, the residence 
of the Bishop. Very few, if any, would be of stone. The 
outstanding building, overshadowing all, would be the 
Cathedral, then in course of erection, and although Bishop 
Jocelyn completed only the choir and the Lower Church, 
i.e. the eastern half, nevertheless the Chronicle of Melrose 
significantly informs us that Jocelyn enlarged the Church 
of St. Kentigern in a glorious manner. 1 

In those days, too, according to Jocelyn, the cemetery, 
long before consecrated by St. Ninian, was pointed out, 
and one of the tombs at least was " encircled by a delicious 
density of overshadowing trees." So far as can be made out, 
this cemetery would be situated where the Fergus aisle now 
stands, and close to the reputed tomb of St. Kentigern. 2 

There was also to be seen in this cemetery a very large 
stone cross, a monolith, said to have been erected by St. 
Kentigern with supernatural aid. A wonderful cross this 
must have been, for the Monk of Furness assures us that 
" many maniacs, and those vexed with unclean spirits, are 
used to be tied to it of a Sunday night, and in the morning 
are found restored/' " But," he somewhat naYvely remarks, 

1 Glasgow Charts, and Docts. i. pt. i. p. viii. 
i-Hists. of Scotland, v. p. 52. 


" ofttimes they are found dead, or at the point of 
death." * 

But the question may be asked here Why did Bishop 
Jocelyn select the Monk Jocelyn of Furness to write the 
biography of St. Kentigern ? The answer would seem to be 
that the monk had already acquired some reputation as 
the accomplished biographer of St. Helen, King David of 
Scotland, St. Patrick, and of St. Waltheof of Melrose. 

As we shall see immediately, the Life of St. Patrick was 
written about 1184, while the Life of St. Waltheof would 
not be written till 1206-7.2 That is to say, Jocelyn, ere he 
came to Glasgow, had already written the Life of St. Patrick, 
if not others of the above-mentioned biographies, excepting 
that of St. Waltheof. 

From Beck's Annales Furnessienses 3 we learn that in the 
year 1180 Jocelyn was sent to Ireland to help in founding 
the monastery of Iniscourcy, on a little island in Strangford 
Lough, 4 and that while he remained in Ireland he was 
requested by two of the Irish prelates and by John De 
Courcy, the conqueror and Prince of Ulster, whose name 
figures frequently in the Annals of the Four Masters, to write 
a Life of St. Patrick. But Jocelyn felt that to perform such 
a task satisfactorily, and gather up the traditions of the 
Saint current among the peasantry, he must learn the native 
tongue, Irish or Erse, a dialect akin to the Scottish Gaelic. 

As is well known, the ancient Celtic language was divided 
into two branches, the Gaelic spoken in Scotland, Ireland, 
and the Isle of Man, and the Cymric, or Welsh, or British, 
or Brythonic spoken in Wales and Brittany. In the days 
of the Monk of Furness, the Welsh dialect of Celtic was 

l lbid. p. 1 10 and pp. 233-4. 

2 Morton, Monastic Annals of Teviotdale, p. 202 ff. 

3 Beck's Annales Furnessienses, pp. 176-7. 

4 Joyce, Irish Names of Places > i. pp. 71-2, 5th edn. 


not confined to Wales, 1 it prevailed also in Scotland 
especially in Strathclyde, as several of the place-names 
found in the ancient documents indicate. Jocelyn, then, 
coming from Furness, where Welsh was spoken, and study- 
ing the Irish or Erse dialect of Celtic to qualify himself for 
writing the Life of St. Patrick, would thus become master 
of the two leading branches of the Celtic language, viz. 
the Gaelic and the Cymric or Welsh. Now, so far as we 
can gather, he published the Life of St. Patrick about 1184, 
and everything points to the conclusion that it was after 
this he came to Glasgow at the request of Bishop Jocelyn 
to search out material for the Life of St. Kentigern. This 
visit to Glasgow, then, may have been somewhere about 
the year 1190, at which period, as we may infer from history, 
the Welsh dialect was fast disappearing ; and, while the 
Gaelic might still be holding its own, the Saxon tongue was 
making headway, especially among those who had received 
some education. 2 

Thus we may conclude that Jocelyn of Furness may be 
regarded as an authority on both branches of the Celtic 
language, the Cymric and the Gaelic, and if so, we should 
give due weight to what he has to say as to the interpreta- 
tion of Celtic place-names. He seems to have been a 
fastidious writer, one who delighted in research, and the 
only outstanding literary man connected with Furness 

A specimen page of his Life of St. Patrick has been 
preserved among the Facsimiles of the National MSS. of 
Ireland. 3 While well versed in the knowledge of Scripture, 
Jocelyn's chief defect as a writer is undoubtedly his credulity 
in accepting legends of the supernatural a blemish only 

1 From several references in Jocelyn's biography we infer that Welsh 
and Gaelic were both spoken in Strathclyde. 

2 Johnston, Place Names of Scotland, pref. p. xxx. 3 P. liii, plate Ixxxvi. 


too common among the biographers of saints in Mediaeval 
times. This, however, need not detract from his authority 
as a Celtic scholar. 

We are now in a position to enquire into the etymology 
of the place-name " Glasgow," concerning which there has 
been so much speculation. Those who are interested in 
the more scientific attempts to solve the problem will find 
these discussed in Macgeorge's Armorial Insignia of Glasgow, 1 
and in the Transactions of the Glasgow Archaeological Society, 
in a paper contributed by Mr. W. G. Black. 2 Both of these 
writers come to the same conclusion that the place-name 
" Glasgow " is compounded of two Celtic words, viz. " glas," 
signifying " green," and " cu," an abbreviated form of 
" cum," meaning " dear." So that, in their estimation, 
the etymology of " Glasgow " is " the dear green place." 
With all deference, however, to the above-mentioned writers, 
it seems to me that we should attach some consideration to 
the interpretation Jocelyn himself offers. 

What, then, is the interpretation Jocelyn gives ? Taking 
the text of the British Museum MS., which Dr. Warner 
deems to belong to the early thirteenth century, as the earliest 
extant Life of the Saint, 3 we quote : " Cathedralem sedem 
suam in villa dicta Deschu, quod interpretatur Cara Familia 
quae nunc vocatur Glaschu, constituit," which may be 
translated : "St. Kentigern established his cathedral seat 
in a town called Glasgu, which is interpreted ' the dear 
family/ and is now called Glaschu." 4 Jocelyn states that 
in his day, circa 1190, the town was called Glaschu, 5 but 

1 P. 106. 3 Trans. Arch. Soc. ist series, ii. p. 219, yr. 1883. 

3 Hists. of Scotland, v. p. Ixiii. * Ibid. pp. 182 and 55. 

6 In the Inqm 'sitio of David, circa 1 120, the name of the city occurs three 
times, and the spelling is Glasgu, while in the Seal of the Chapter in 
Jocelyn's time the name is also spelt Glasgu. Book of Glas. Cathedral, 
p. 360. In the Dublin MS. Life of St. Kentigern, fourteenth century, the 
spelling is Glasgu. Ibid. p. Ixiv. 


he implies that in Kentigern's time, six centuries previous, 
it was named Deschu. And, not only so, .but in an earlier 
chapter of his biography, 1 Jocelyn gives us to understand 
that when Kentigern first came here the place was called 
Cathures, as it would appear, the original Celtic name. 2 

Thus we discover that three successive names for the 
city emerge : first, Cathures, then Deschu, and later on 
Glaschu or Glasgu. Confining our attention meantime to 
" Deschu/' a distinguished authority, Mr. Whitley Stokes, 5 
suggests that the initial " d " in " deschu " has arisen 
through the copyist bringing the letters " c " and "1" into 
too close juxtaposition, thus forming a " d," so that we 
should read not " deschu " but " cleschu," a pronunciation 
that lingers in the vernacular to the present day. 4 

Nor is this the only instance in which the letters " c " 
and "I" have been brought too closely together so as to 
form a " d." Mr. J. T. T. Brown 5 detects a similar error in 
writing Carcleuin for Cardeuin (Cardowan), and Dr. Skene 
draws attention to the same mistake in the transcript of 
a History written by Asser in the ninth century. 6 Now, it 
is generally admitted that the terminating syllables of the 
names Mungo and Glasgow are identical, viz. that " go " 
or " gow " is the Welsh for " cu " or " chu " or " cum," 
signifying " dear." Hence Mungo is interpreted " the very 
dear man," or, as it might be rendered, " the man greatly 

If, then, the " chu " in both " Cleschu " and " Glaschu " 
signifies " dear," what is the origin of the first syllable 

of Scotland, v. pp. 179 and 51. 
'Cathures, probably connected with the Irish Cathair, a circular fort. 

3 W. Stokes, quoted in Macgeorge's Old Glasgow, p. 27, 1888 edn. 

4 This is a likely conjecture since "deschu" occurs only once, and that 
in the earliest MS. 

* Inquisitio of David, ed. J. T. T. Brown, p. 12. 
6 Macgeorge's Old Glasgow, p. 27. 


" cles " ? If the name Cleschu signifies " the dear family," 
we must look for the meaning of " cles " in some word 
that has the significance of " family." And Jocelyn insists 
on this interpretation of " dear family," because he tells 
us that at Deschu (Cleschu), St. Kentigern united to 
himself a famous and God-beloved family who practised 
continence, and who lived after the fashion of the primitive 
church of the Apostles, without private property, in holy 
discipline, and divine service. 1 The monastery in those days 
was constituted on the model of a family. The Abbot was 
the father and the monks were his children. Hence the com- 
munity of monks at lona was known as the " family of Hy." 
Indeed the early Celtic church was monastic rather than 
episcopal, and its missionary work was carried on by little 
monastic communities or colleges of monks, whose heads 
were Abbots. 2 

With this clue we would accordingly look for the etymology 
of " cles " not in the Celtic " glas," but rather in the Latin 
" ecclesia," under its Welsh form " eglwys " or its Gaelic 
" eaglais," for we must bear in mind that the Celts, having 
no word of their own for a church or Christian family, 
adopted from the Romans the word " ecclesia," literally 
" an assembly," but which, later on, was applied more 
particularly to a Christian assembly or church or congrega- 
tion. Thus, in those early days, the terms " family " and 
" church " were virtually interchangeable. 

Accordingly, we come to the conclusion that the place- 
name " Cleschu " signifies " the dear church," and that in 
all likelihood Kentigern bestowed this term of endearment 
upon it on his return from Wales, whither he had exiled 
himself to escape the persecution of Morken, the pagan king 
of Strathclyde. Evidently Kentigern looked forward with 

1 Hists. of Scotland, v. pp. 182 and 55. 

2 Seebohm, Tribal System and the Church, pp. 204-5. 


expectation to once more occupying the scene of his former 
successful labours on the banks of the Molendinar, for he 
left Wales accompanied by quite a large number of disciples, 
while King Rederech, who had succeeded Morken, came 
towards the Borders accompanied also by a great multitude 
of his people to give a hearty welcome to the man of God. 
Nor is this all ; Jocelyn represents Kentigern several times 1 
as referring in somewhat affectionate terms to his own 
church of Glasgow, a church, too, that is described by William 
the Lion as the " mother of many nations." 2 

To resume if " ecclesia " in its Celtic form be the 
direction in which we must look for the interpretation of 
the " cles " in " Cleschu," this satisfies the contention of 
philologists that the first syllable of the place-name 
" Glasgow " should be a substantive, and the second an 
adjective. Besides, if " ecclesia " be the original, we can 
easily see how the two oldest forms " Cleschu " and 
" Glaschu " sprang from it, and, indeed, why there should 
be two forms at all, the one beginning with a " c " and the 
other with a " g." That " cles " is a likely abbreviation 
seems to me confirmed by the fact that the accent of 
" ecclesia " is on the second, not on the first syllable. 

While it must be confessed the more common form in 
which " ecclesia " appears in place-names, is that which is 
transmuted in full, such as we see in Eccles, Eaglesham, 
Heglish, yet we have other forms which are just as likely 
abbreviations of " ecclesia/' We may mention two Les- 
mahago and Legsmalee. As to Lesmahago, according to a 
charter of 1144 A.D., 3 the church there was dedicated to 
St. Machutus. Hence the original form of the name is 
said to have been "ecclesia Machuti," abbreviated into 

1 Hists. of Scotland, v. pp. 90, 95, 97. 

2 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 76, p. xxv, note. 

ib. de Calchou (Kelso), No. 8. 


Lesmahagu, later on Lismago, later still Lesmachute, while 
it is now Lesmahago. Then, as to Legsmalee l in the Parish 
of Aberdour, Fife, the name was originally Ecclesmaline, 
the Church of St. Maline. In the course of time, how- 
ever, this passed through several abbreviations, first into 
Egilsmalye, then into Egsmalye, and now it is Legsmalee. A 
somewhat similar process of abbreviation is found also in 
Eglismaly, or Egsmalee in Kinghorn Parish, Fife. 2 Here, 
then, in Lesmahago and Legsmalee we see the first syllable 
of " ecclesia " elided as we claim to have occurred also in 
" Cleschu," the original form of Glasgow. 

But not to press other instances meantime, such as 
Cleish 3 in Kinross, the oldest spelling of which is " Cles," 
there is another strong reason why we should give heed to 
Jocelyn's interpretation of the place-name " Cleschu," as 
" dear family " or " dear church " ; for, if we carefully 
read his biography of St. Kentigern, we discover that his 
knowledge of Celtic qualifies him to be somewhat of a 
philologist, albeit he was so credulous in the matter of the 

The etymology of Cleschu is not the only one he offers : 
he gives interpretations of several other place-names, and, 
so far as I am aware, they have never been questioned by 
competent critics. It is the Monk of Furness who tells us 
that " Mungo " or " Munghu " signifies " the dear man," 4 
that " Kentigern " means " the chief lord," 5 that " Gulath," 
a little eminence in Glasgow, signifies " Dewhill," 6 that 
" Throp-Morken " was so named because King Morken was 

1 Dr. Ross' Aberdour, p. 117. 

2 Mackinlay, P re- Reformation Church and Scottish Place-names, p. 70. 

3 Reg. Dunfermelyne, p. 83. 

*Hists. of Scotland, v. pp. 327 and 41. 6 Ibid. pp. 94 and 218. 

6 Ibid. pp. 58, 185, 344. Dewhill latterly changed into Dovehill through 


buried there, 1 and that " Crosfeld " is the English for 
" Crucis Novale," the field in which St. Kentigern erected 
a cross as the sign of the faith. 2 

To sum up, then, so far as we have light, the simplest 
and most feasible etymology of the much disputed place- 
name " Glasgow," originally " Cleschu," would seem to be 
" the dear church/' a name probably given by St. Kentigern 
himself on returning from his enforced exile in Wales to 
the beloved scene of his former labours on the banks of the 
Molendinar. Here he erected his cell or chapel, the nucleus 
of the City of Glasgow. And in this respect the origin of 
Glasgow resembles that of many other towns and cities 
houses built round a church causing the place to grow into 
a village, and then into a town or city, as we see also exempli- 
fied in Durham, Salzburg, Fulda, St. Gall, St. Neots, St. Ives, 
St. Boswells, St. Andrews, and Kilmarnock. 3 

Why was this particular site on the banks of the 
Molendinar chosen for the cell of St. Kentigern ? Well, 
hereabouts according to legend the car with the body of 
Fergus halted. Here also there existed in St. Kentigern's 
time a cemetery that had been consecrated by St. Ninian 
about two centuries previously, in which the body of Fergus 
was buried, where also his tomb was pointed out to Jocelyn 
at the end of the twelfth century. 4 

When St. Ninian consecrated the cemetery for the 
burial of Christian dead, probably towards the beginning 
of the fifth century, just at the period when the Roman 
legions were being withdrawn from Scotland, there was 
probably attached to it a cell or chapel from which as a 
centre, he evangelized the district. 

Here, then, the question arises, Why should St. Ninian 
choose this particular site for a cemetery and a cell ? Tradi- 

1 Hists. of Scotland, pp. 72 and 199. 

^Ibid. pp. 74, 200 and 349, note SS. * Ibid. p. 340. * Ibid. v. p. 52. 




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tion avers that the Necropolis Hill, termed in the twelfth 
century " The Crag," and for centuries afterwards " The 
Craigs," 1 was originally a seat of Druid worship. 2 If so, 
there would be a cromlech or circle of stones here, 3 round 
which, according to the venerable and wide-spread custom 
of " deisiol," our Celtic forefathers danced " sunwise ' and 
made invocations to the Deity, the visible symbol of which 
was the sun. 4 

If the tradition be credited, that the Necropolis Hill 
was originally a centre of Druidism, then at once we see a 
possible explanation for the site of St. Ninian's cell, viz. 
that it was erected on the opposite side of the ravine of the 
Molendinar as a Christian centre to counteract the influence 
of Druid paganism. The early Apostles of Christianity 
adopted this method of setting up churches near pagan 
centres ; witness the Apostle Paul originating churches 
at Ephesus, Corinth, and Rome. This example the early 
Celtic missionaries imitated ; St. Patrick made his head- 
quarters at Tara, the great Druid centre of Ireland, St. 
Columba at lona, and St. Modan at Dryburgh. Recent 
writers have a tendency to deny that the so-called Druidism 
of Scotland in the early centuries had any priesthood offering 
sacrifices or, indeed, any marked resemblance to the Druidism 
of the Gauls, as pictured by Julius Caesar. 5 Undoubtedly the 
Druids referred to in the lives of the early Celtic missionaries 

* Reg. Epis. Glas. i. p. 55 ; Wodrow's Analecta, i. p. 166 ; Extracts 
Burgh Records of Glasgow, yrs. 1663-1690, p. 278. Craig in Celtic means 
a rock, so Glasgow has its rock as well as Edinburgh and Stirling. 

2 Brown's Hist, of Glasgow ', i. p. 18 ; H. Macdonald's Rambles, etc., 
p. 417. 

3 " Cromlech " is derived from the lireton * Crom,' a circle, and * lech,' a 
place, and is not to be confounded with a Dolmen or table stone. Rouzic, 
Les monuments de Carnac, p. n. 

4 Joyce's Irish Names of Places, ii. p. 455 ; Smith's Gaelic Antiquities, 
p. 38, Edin. 1780. 

6 Dowden's Celtic Church in Scotland, p. 99. 


are presented rather in the character oi " magicians " or 
medicine-men. But it must be borne in mind that an in- 
terval of five or more centuries had elapsed since the days 
of Caesar, and that during this period Druidism must have 
degenerated, for Caesar expressly informs us that in his day 
young men on the Continent designed for the priesthood 
were often sent over to Druidical Colleges in Britain, where 
the purity of the ancient faith was preserved, that they 
might learn there more correctly the principles of their 
religion. 1 

It must be confessed we are yet much in the dark con- 
cerning Druidism, whether the megaliths known variously 
by the terms, cromlechs, dolmens, and menhirs are the 
remains of ancient Celtic races, or of prehistoric peoples, 
who lived centuries anterior. It has even been questioned 
whether these megaliths are the remains of pagan worship 
at all, and not rather sepulchral monuments pure and 
simple, as the dolmen appears to have been. But if we study 
these megaliths at Carnac in Brittany, where they are to 
be seen at their fullest splendour, where the alignments or 
oriented lines of menhirs 2 are evidently vast avenues leading 
to the cromlech, the conviction is impressed upon us that 
this must have been originally a temple of the Sun, and that 
while at first these standing stones may have been employed 
exclusively for places of worship, nevertheless in course of 
time they came to be used also as places of interment, just 
as the space surrounding the old parish churches has from 
time immemorial been occupied as a churchyard set apart 
for the burial of the dead. 3 

In any case, the site of Glasgow Cathedral is associated 
with the early preaching of the gospel in Scotland. In this 

l DeBello Gall. bk. vi. ch. 13. 

a Menhir, lit. long stone, i.e. in upright position. 

3 Excavations at Kermario in Carnac. Jas. Miln, 1881. 


respect Glasgow can claim a more venerable antiquity 
than either St. Andrews or Edinburgh. As Dr. Jos. Robert- 
son writes : " Here the cross was planted and here was 
ground blessed for Christian burial by a Christian bishop, 
while lona was yet an unknown island among the western 
waves, while the promontory of St. Andrews was the haunt 
of the wild boar and the sea-mew, and only the smoke 
of a few heathen wigwams ascended from the rock of 
Edinburgh/' l 

1 Scottish Abbeys, p. 62. 

A.D. II75-II99. 

A.D. 1233-1258. 



BISHOP KEITH informs us that William de Bondington 
belonged to an ancient family in the shire of Berwick. 1 
Bondington, it appears, was the name of a village long since 
vanished, immediately to the west of Berwick-upon-Tweed, 
although now absorbed in it, owing to the extension of the 
burgh boundaries. It is probable that the future bishop 
was born there and, as so many priests did, took his name 
from his birthplace. At any rate, the name was not un- 
common in the district. 2 

It is not stated where William received his schooling. 
But as Berwick was an important commercial centre for 
trading with the Continent, and, besides, a town of advanced 
ideas, the likelihood is that there would be schools there 
for the instruction of the young. Indeed we read of a 
master of the schools there, evidently an important person- 
age, as early as the year I233. 3 As the monasteries in those 
days were usually the centres of secondary education, and 
as there is no reference in this connection to Coldingham, 
the nearest abbey, we may presume that William received 
his higher school training at Kelso Abbey, one of the grandest 

1 Cata. Scot. Bish. Edin. 1824, p. 238. 

* Lib. de Calchou (Kelso), i. pp. 35 and 40 ; ii. p. 467, Barm. Club Edn.; 
Scott's Hist. Berivick-on-Tweed, pp. 332, 433-5. 

. Epis. Glas. i. No. 166 ; Lib. de Calchou, p. 5. 


foundations of its kind in Scotland. 1 The monks of Kelso 
enjoyed a good educational reputation, furnishing instruction 
not only within the monastery to a more advanced class 
than those who attended the burgh schools, but having 
schools also in the neighbouring town of Roxburgh as early 
as the reign of William the Lyon (1165-1214). 2 Here, it 
may be stated, that while the monasteries were the chief 
centres in Scotland for secondary education, recent investiga- 
tion has made it clear that in England, at least, the chantry 
priests of cathedrals and large parish churches were the 
teachers of the higher education. In confirmation so far of 
this conjecture that Bondington was educated at Kelso, there 
are several entries in the Book of Kelso of grants of land in 
the village of Bondington to the monks of Kelso, while the 
parish church of Bondington was originally gifted to these 
monks, thus showing ecclesiastical connection between the 
two places. 

After his early education, Bondington, like others of his 
countrymen, might have proceeded to Oxford, seeing that 
Scotland in those days had no university of her own ; but 
England and Scotland were then in a bellicose condition, 
besides, strained relations existed at Oxford about this 
period between town and gown. At any rate Bondington's 
name is not to be found in Antony Wood's History and 
Antiquities of the University. 

Failing Oxford, we might have expected Bondington to 
proceed to Paris, the headquarters of orthodox theology 
in the Middle Ages, but the lists of students of this period 
are not recorded in the pages of Benin 1 e. 3 Another probable 
conjecture is that Bondington studied at Bologna whose 
university then enjoyed special repute for the study of Law, 

1 Trans. Scot. Ecclesiol Soc. 1909, p. 358. 
' l Lib. de Calchou, pref. xliii, 
3 Auctar. Chartul. Univ. Paris. \\. 


both civil and canon, two departments of knowledge in 
which Bondington excelled, as his later career inclines us 
to believe. 1 Unfortunately, as at Paris, no lists of the 
early students of Bologna are known to be preserved. 

In those days, and even earlier, towards the end of the 
twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth century, Scotch 
students in their zeal travelled far and wide, veritable knights- 
errant of learning. Of these, perhaps the most illustrious was 
Michael Scot 2 of Balwearie, Fife, who studied at Oxford, 
Paris, Padua, and Toledo. Invited to the court of Frederick 
II. " the wonder of the world," he translated the writings 
of Aristotle from Arabic into Latin. He possessed, too, an 
omnivorous and versatile intellect, so far above his com- 
peers that he was regarded as a wizard, endowed with 
supernatural powers. Hence Dante, 3 imagining him to 
practise the wiles of the devil, consigns him to an awful fate 
in Inferno, the only Scotsman, by the way, who has found a 
place, although not an enviable one, in the immortal pages 
of the " Divine Comedy." 

A Scotsman, in quest of learning abroad, might be 
poor, but evidently he had a good reputation, for like his 
native thistle, whose motto is " Nemo me impune lacessit," 
he must not be trifled with or trampled upon. As an illustra- 
tion of this, an English monk, Sampson by name, afterwards 
Abbot of St. Edmondsbury, tells us that when journeying 
through Italy to Rome on a visit to the Pope,~about the year 
1160, he pretended to be Scotch. " Putting on the garb 
and the gesture of a Scotchman," he says, " I often brandished 
my staff in the way they use that weapon called a gaveloc 
probably a pike at those who mocked me, using threaten- 
ing language after the manner of the Scotch." " This," 

1 Rashdall, Mediaeval Univers. i. ch. ii.; ii. pt. ii. p. 581. 

2 Michael Scot^ by J. Wood Brown. 

3 Inferno, canto xx. 


he naively confesses, " I did to conceal myself and my 
errand and that I should get to Rome safer in the guise of 
a Scotchman." * 

On the completion of his university curriculum, Bond- 
ington's first ecclesiastical preferment seems to have been 
as Rector of Eddleston, near Peebles, one of the possessions 
of the bishopric of Glasgow enumerated in the Notitia of 
the Inquest of David I. Eddleston may at this time have 
been one of the prebends of Glasgow ; if so, Bondington 
would officially visit Glasgow on cathedral duty. 2 

Subsequently Bondington was promoted to be Archdeacon 
of Lothian, under the diocese of St. Andrews. So says 
Keith, 3 but Cosmo Innes thinks he was Archdeacon of 
Teviotdale. For the latter, however, there is no docu- 
mentary proof. 4 Besides, we are tolerably certain of the 
names and dates of the Archdeacons of Teviotdale, and 
Bondington's name is not among them. 5 It is best, then, 
to follow Keith and, it may be added, Crawford, and regard 
Bondington as Archdeacon of Lothian. The post of arch- 
deacon in mediaeval times was most important, for he not 
only controlled the management of church property and 
saw to the support of the clergy, but rendered such valuable 
assistance to the bishop in the oversight of the diocese 
that he was termed " oculus episcopi," the eye of the 
bishop. 6 

1 Chronicle of Jocelyn of Brakeland, edn. 1907, pp. 61-62. The term 
Scotchman in those days, while long applicable to natives of Ireland 
and Scotland, probably refers to the latter here. 

2 Reg. Epis. Glas. Nos. 167 and 320, pref. Ixiii. Eddleston was cer- 
tainly a prebend in 1401. 

3 Keith gives no authority, and no copy of the Episcopal Register of St. 
Andrews is known to exist. 

4 Reg. Epis. Glas. pref. xxx. 

5 Archdeaconry of ' Teviotdale ^ Geo. Watson. 

6 Dowden, Mediaeval Church in Scotland^ p. 218. 


Again, as showing Bondington's high reputation for 
knowledge of law, Alexander II., King of Scotland in 1231, 
bestowed the Chancellorship on William de Bondynton, 
formerly clerk of Thomas the Chancellor Thomas de 
Striveling who also at the same time held the office of 
Archdeacon 1 of Teviotdale. As Chancellor, Bondington's 
name is found as a witness to charters. 2 As the post of 
Chancellor was one that demanded a thorough knowledge 
of both civil and canon law, it may be inferred that Bond- 
ington was a man of extensive legal learning and practical 

Then, two years afterwards, so rapid was his preferment, 
he was consecrated Bishop of Glasgow by Andrew, Bishop 
of Moray, a leading churchman of his day, on nth 
September 1233, in the Cathedral of Glasgow, built by 
Jocelyn. 3 Two years later the bishop is found dedicating 
a cemetery, 4 attached to the recently erected Franciscan 
Monastery, on the banks of the Teviot close to the now 
vanished town of Roxburgh, thus showing his sympathy 
with the Franciscans when they first came to Scotland, as 
shortly afterwards he did with the Dominicans. 

It would appear that Bondington had been complaining to 
the papal court of what he considered encroachments upon 
his rights and liberties. Hence Pope Gregory IX., in May 
1235, grants the Bishop of Glasgow and his successors an 
indult that neither they nor their clerks should be summoned, 
against their will, out of Scotland by apostolic letters, 
unless such letters make mention of the indult. 5 A similar 
indult was also granted July 1238. 

When Bondington became Bishop of Glasgow, the 
Cathedral was not in a very prosperous condition financially. 

1 Fordun's Scotichron. lib. ix. cap. 48, Goodal's edn. 

2 Raine's North Durham, Coldingham Chart. Ixix, Ixx. 

3 Chronicles of Melrose, p. 144. 4 Lib. de Calchou, p. 321, No. 418. 
6 Theiner, Monum. No. 79. 6 Cal. Pap. Reg. \. p. 175. 


It had been erected by Bishop Jocelyn at considerable 
expense, for we read " ecclesiam gloriose magnificavit." l 
Consequently there was a debt of 1400 merks due to the 
merchants of Florence. This debt Bondington cleared off 
with characteristic energy in August 1240, as was acknow- 
ledged by Ubertellus, son of William, merchant of Florence, 
at London in presence of the papal legate Otto. 2 

About this very period, the Emperor Frederick II. 
and Pope Gregory IX. were engaged in bitter conflict. 
Both Frederick and Gregory were remarkable men. 
Frederick indeed was so highly gifted that he spoke several 
languages, was well versed in the knowledge of science, 
and fostered the arts of architecture, sculpture, and painting. 
Unfortunately, however, his great powers were wasted in 
struggling with Popes. He would never admit that the 
Church should dominate the State. Like the imperial eagle 
with the two heads emblazoned on his arms, the Emperor 
claimed to be head over both Church and State. 3 On the 
other hand, the Pope claimed that neither prince nor prelate 
nor any other ruler had any lawful power, but what was 
derived from him. Holding such extremely diverse opinions, 
we are not surprised that Pope and Emperor were continually 
at strife. Hence Frederick was several times excommuni- 
cated, and, Dante voicing the sentiments of those days, 
consigns him to one of the red-hot tombs of the city of Dis. 4 

In August 1240, Gregory IX. summoned a General Council 
to meet at Rome in the Easter of 1241, to consult about 
grave matters affecting the Church. The Emperor, however, 
objected to the Council on the ground that it ought to have 

i Historians of Scotland, v. p. 308. 
*Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 176. 

3 Bryce's Holy Rom. Emp. London, 1906, pp. 203-204 ; Matthew of 
Paris, Chronica Majora (Rolls Series), Index Fred. II. 

4 Inferno ', canto x. 120. 


been summoned by the cardinajs and not by the Pope, 
who was one of the contending parties. Besides, he suspected 
that the prelates of the Church had been summoned for the 
purpose of crushing him. Accordingly he ordered a pro- 
clamation to be made that all faithful subjects of the empire 
should detain both in person and property, all prelates and 
ministers of any religious order who should pass through 
their country to go to the court of Rome, whether they 
should travel by sea or by land. Further, to stimulate their 
loyalty, they had free leave given them to capture any such 
persons and to appropriate their goods. As a counterblast 
to this proclamation, the Pope wrote letters urging the 
bishops to obey the summons to the Council and to disregard 
the threats of the Emperor. In these circumstances, the 
prelates were in great straits whom to obey. 1 

Among the prelates of Scotland summoned to this Council 
were David de Bernham, Bishop of St. Andrews, and 
William, Bishop of Glasgow, who accordingly set out from 
Scotland on 2nd December 1240, for Rome, leaving many 
sorrowing at their departure. 2 Not very long after this, 
however, these two bishops returned along with the bishops 
of France and England, declaring that it was impossible for 
them, without danger of death, to reach the seat of the 
Apostles. 3 They sent proctors meantime to the Pope to 
explain the situation. It is probable that the two Scottish 
bishops and those who accompanied them would turn back 
at Nice, for it was to this port the Pope had commissioned 
a fleet to convey the prelates to Genoa, en route for Rome. 
At any rate, we know that many turned back at Nice in 

1 Capture of Gen. Coun. Eng. Hist. Review, 1891, pp. 1-17 ; Huillard 
Br6holles, Historia Diplomatica Fred. II. vol. v. 

2 Chron. de Mailros, p. 151. Probably Bondington sailed direct to 
France, as there is no mention of his obtaining a safe-conduct to pass 
through England. 

*Chron. de Mailros, p. 152 ; Fordun's Scotichr. lib. ix. cap. 56. 


March, 1241, upon the pretext that the fleet was insufficient 
for their safety. 1 

But while those above mentioned returned to their own 
countries, " many great and religious persons took this 
journey by sea," the fleet leaving on 25th April with great 
rejoicing and blowing of trumpets. It was well that these 
two illustrious Scottish bishops turned back, for those 
prelates who sailed from Nice were soon afterwards captured 
by the Emperor's fleet in a naval engagement that took 
place near the island of Giglio, and experienced no end of 
hardship and cruelty. Thus the Council did not meet in 
1241, and the aged Pope Gregory died on 2ist August, the 
same year, a disappointed man. 

As soon as Bondington reached home after his adventurous 
journey, he set about erecting at Glasgow a new cathedral 
on a scale far more imposing than the one then existing. 
Doubtless in his travels through France he must have 
witnessed the outburst of enthusiasm displayed there in 
building cathedrals. Such exquisite creations as those of 
Notre Dame Paris, Rheims, Chartres, Rouen, were then 
rising up, each of them in their loveliness, like the fabled 
Aphrodite out of the sea foam. Yet, when Bondington 
erected Glasgow Cathedral there is no trace of French 
influence in its style of architecture. As Dr. Thomas Ross 
remarks, " If the French method had been followed at 
Glasgow, the east end would almost to a certainty have 
been apsidal which was the prevailing manner in France, 
and which had only a footing for a short time in Britain 
after the Conquest. Besides, when Bondington began his 
cathedral in 1240, they were actually taking down at Durham 
the apsidal east end built more than a century previous, 
and replacing it by the splendid square east end, thus 
reverting to the ancient British tradition. Not only 
l Eng. Hist. Review^ 1891, pp. 9 and 10. 


is the plan of Glasgow English but the minor details 


This being so, we are led to infer that on returning from 
abroad, Bondington, instead of sailing direct to Scotland 
from France, travelled through England, where at the very 
period the Cathedrals of Salisbury, Ely, and York were in 
the course of construction. 

Perhaps, too, Bondington felt impelled to erect his 
cathedral out of a sense of gratitude to God for his deliver- 
ance from the fate that had befallen so many of his brother 
prelates. Besides, circumstances were eminently favourable 
to such an undertaking. Scotland under her king, Alex- 
ander II., had never been more prosperous. New ideas were 
breaking out in many directions. Indeed there was so much 
energy and enterprise manifested at this period that it has 
been reckoned a kind of golden age in Scottish history. 1 

According to Fordun, writing about 1380, William de 
Bondington, " a man bountiful and generous in all things, 
built his church at Glasgow with wonderful ingenuity in 
stone and enriched and adorned it with many gifts." 2 For 
this purpose he would secure, as was customary in those 
days, the services of one of the travelling guilds of masons 
and artificers, who built oriented and cruciform cathedrals 
and churches. The east end, known as the chancel or choir, 
where stood the high altar, was usually erected first of all, 
so that public worship might be celebrated as soon as possible. 
So it was at Glasgow ; the lower church with the chancel 
above was built first. Whether in part it was the work of 
Bishop Jocelyn we shall not discuss; but this lower 
church with its clustered columns and floriated capitals, 
and its exquisite vaulting, is unrivalled in Britain, and is 
considered one of the finest specimens of its style in Europe. 

1 Hume Brown's Hist, of Scotland, i. p. no. 

2 Scotich. lib. x. cap. xi. 


Hector Boece affirms that the Kirk of Glasgow was com- 
pleted by Bondington, as it was standing in his day, I5OO. 1 
But experts are of opinion that while Bondington finished 
the choir and the crypt, he only laid the lower courses of 
the nave on an earlier foundation. Some have ascribed to 
Bondington also the foundation and lower courses of the 
chapter-house, from the inscription over the dean's seat, 
which reads : 

" Wilms: fuda: istut: capitm: Dei." 

According to the late Archbishop Eyre this abbreviated 
form should be read " Willelmus fundavit istud capitulum 
Dei," i.e. William founded this chapter-house in honour of 
God. Who was this William ? Was it William de Bond- 
ington or William Lauder, both of whom were building 
bishops ? The armorial bearings on the stone beneath 
the inscription are those of Bishop William Lauder, 1408-25. 
Professor Hume Brown, also is of opinion that the type of 
script employed here was that in use in the fourteenth 
century, and may very well have persisted into the first 
half of the fifteenth century. The balance of probability 
inclines us to believe that this inscription belongs to the 
period of Bishop William Lauder, and not to that of Bishop 
William de Bondington. 2 

But whence came the money for the construction of 
the Cathedral ? There were several benefactors. Forve- 
leth, daughter of Kerald, and a widow, granted lands 
in the parish of Buthelulle, now Bonhill, on the banks of 
the river Leven. 3 Pope Gregory IX. also granted for a 
period the rents of the churches of Ancrum, Stobo, and 

1 Boethius, Hist. bk. xiii. ch. xvi. 

2 Trans. Glas. Arch. Soc. New Series, April 1891, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 154 ; 
Book of Glas. Cathedral^ p. 255. 

* Reg. Epis. Glas. Nos. 177-8. 


Eddleston. 1 Then Bondington himself, according to Fordun, 
contributed lavishly. Again, King Alexander II. confirmed 
in 1242 to Bishop William and his successors certain lands 
in and around Glasgow, such as Schedinistun, Possele, 
Ramnishoren, along with the rights of free forest. 2 

Moreover, Bondington persuaded the Provincial Council 
held at Perth in 1242, when such councils were beginning to 
operate beneficially on the life and discipline of the Church, 
to adopt as a resolution, " That the scheme for the building 
of the Glasgow Cathedral be on all Sundays and feast days 
faithfully and earnestly brought before the parishioners in 
every church after the gospel at mass ; and that an indul- 
gence be granted to those who contribute to this building 
scheme, which indulgence was directed to be exhibited in 
writing in every church and publicly and distinctly recited 
to the parishioners in the vulgar tongue. . . ." No one 
was to authorize a collection in parish churches for any other 
scheme within the period specified. 3 

Thus every precaution was taken that the collection for 
the building fund should be liberal. And observe the native 
shrewdness, while the rest of the service might be in Latin, 
the intimation concerning the collection was to be made " in 
the vulgar tongue," the plain unmistakable Doric of the 

To this annual national contribution we owe in great 
measure the completion of the magnificent choir and lower 

But not only did Bondington so far complete the building 
of the Cathedral, he sought during the last year of his 
episcopate to provide it with a Use, 4 that is, with a con- 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 166. * Ibid. No. 180. 

3 Stats. Scott. Church, 1225-1559, D. Patrick's translation, p. 25. 
4 The term "Use" has various significations. Sometimes it is applied 
to the liturgical books, or to the ceremonial rules, or to the constitution, 


stitution and customs formed according to the best models. 
Hence, through his dean and chapter, he entered into corre- 
spondence with the dean and chapter of Salisbury, whose 
new cathedral was just then being reared, and this led to 
the adoption by Glasgow of the Sarum Use Sarum being 
the older name for Salisbury. The Norman-French invasion, 
with its infusion of new ideas, had rendered it necessary 
to incorporate some of the Norman-French Church customs 
with what had been in vogue in the English Church ; and this 
blending of the two elements, the French and the English, 
came to be known as the Use of Sarum. 1 

It is stated that one of Bondington's predecessors in the 
See, Bishop Herbert, had about a century previously 
introduced the Use of Sarum into Glasgow. The probability, 
however, is that he only partially adopted the Use, a not 
uncommon practice in those days ; and that it was Bishop 
Bondington who recommended the full adoption of the 
Sarum Use, its customs as well as its constitution. 2 

Bondington, too, as he journeyed through France, must 
have marked the great religious awakening, manifesting 
itself in the revival brought about by the evangelistic zeal 
of the Blackfriars. 3 Paris especially was deeply moved. 
We are not surprised if he caught infection from their 
enthusiasm, and felt that something more was necessary 
for the advancement of Christ's Kingdom than splendid 
temples of stone and a stately ritual. It was a new 
thing for the Church in those days systematically to train 
young men in preaching, to practise them in the graces 

or even to the adoption of any combination of the three. The best known 
Uses are those of Sarum, York, Lincoln, Hereford, and St. Paul's, London. 
H. B. Swete, Service and Service Books, pp. 14, 15. 

1 The Use of Sarum as adopted by Glasgow is described in the Reg. 
Epis. Glas. pref. xxx, and Nos. 207-211. 

2 Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. ii. pp. 364-5-9. 

3 Rashdall, Mediaeval Universities^ i. p. 348. 


of oratory, and to furnish them with arguments to 
confute heresy. But Bondington, whose mind seemed 
ever open to ideas with any promise or potency in 
them, gave a cordial welcome to the Friars Preachers, the 
Dominicans or Blackfriars, when they came to Glasgow 
about the year 1246. He provided them with a site 
on which to erect their monastery on the east side of the 
High Street, on a spot which in days gone by, tradition tells 
us, was associated with memories of Druidism. 1 

Further, in his desire to encourage the new order, Bond- 
ington secured from Pope Innocent IV. a forty days' 
indulgence to all the faithful who should contribute to 
the completion of the church and other edifices, which the 
Friars Preachers of Glasgow had begun to build. 2 

In the year 1244 we find that Bondington as bishop of 
the diocese in which Crossraguel was situated, was called 
upon to arbitrate in a dispute between the Clugny monks of 
Paisley Abbey, and the trustees of Duncan, Earl of Carrick, 
who had bequeathed lands for building an abbey at Cross- 
raguel. This award, which is contained in the " Scriptum 
de Ragmol," affirmed that the monks of Paisley were to hand 
over all the properties that they had been holding for nearly 
fifty years, also that the new house of Crossraguel was to 
enjoy full independence, including free choice of its abbot. 3 

Then some time between 1248-58, we find Bondington 
along with the other bishops of Scotland issuing a mandate 
to King Alexander III., who had recently acceded to the 
Crown, when only eight years of age, claiming that " the 
churches and the prelates should enjoy the peaceful possession 

1 Renwick's Glas. Memorials, p. 189 ; Brown's Hist. ofGlas. p. 5. The 
site is now occupied by the G. and S.-W. Railway, to the north of what 
used to be known as Blackfriars Street. 

2 Bull of Pope Innocent IV. dated July 10, 1246, 

3 Blair's Charters of Crossraguel, i. 4. 


of all the rights and liberties which they have received in the 
time of King Alexander II., because prelates had been 
despoiled by laymen of the possessions bestowed on their 
churches and alms, as lately in the case of the Prior of St. 
Andrews." J 

In June 1250, there occurred at Dunfermline an event 
that somewhat stirred the national sentiment, if we may 
judge from the reputed prodigies associated with it. This 
was the translation of the bones of the recently canonized 
Margaret, wife of Canmore, from the stone coffin in which 
they had lain for a century and a half, to a beautiful shrine 
adorned with gold and precious stones, erected in the Lady 
aisle of the newly -built choir of the Abbey Church. 2 

Fordun tells us that this solemn ceremony took place 
in the presence of King Alexander III., the queen his 
mother, with many bishops and abbots, earls and canons, 
and other men in great numbers. 3 He does not, however, 
mention the names of the bishops, but when we turn to an 
inquisition of 1316,* it is stated that the translation took 
place in the presence of the king, of seven of his bishops, 
and seven of his earls, whose presence it would appear from 
the history of the period was essential to such a ceremony. 
Now St. Andrews and Glasgow being two of the most 
ancient and important Sees in the realm, we may be tolerably 
certain that Bondington would be there. Dempster, who 
is not always a reliable authority, credits Bondington with 
having written a treatise, " De translatione reliquiarum dom : 
Margaretae reginae." 5 

1 D. Patrick, Statutes of Scottish Churches, p. 211. 

2 This shrine at Dunfermline was the scene of many pilgrimages for 
more than three centuries, till its destruction at the Reformation. 

3 Scotich. lib. x. cap. iii. and Historians of Scotland, vi. pp. 290-1. 

4 Reg. de Dunferm. p. 235, and Acts of Scot. Parlt. pt. i. pp. 83 and 

6 Historia Eccles. p. 662, Bannatyne Club edition. 


But while Bondington threw his energies into the adminis- 
tration of the spiritual affairs of his diocese, he was also 
called upon as Chancellor to act the part of statesman. 
Brought up at Berwick-on-Tweed, his patriotic spirit would 
be stirred now and again in times of border raids or of 
English aggression. 1 Hence when Alexander II. of Scotland 
marched southwards with his army to meet the advance of 
Henry III. of England, and war was averted only by the 
interposition of the English barons, we find in the treaty 
or agreement which was entered into between the two 
monarchs at York, the name of Bishop Bondington among 
others, as being present, signing his name, and affixing his 
seal thereto, on September 25, I237. 2 

The strenuous life led by the bishop began at last to 
weaken his strength, for in May 1255, the Pope " commis- 
sions the prior of the Friars Preachers, Glasgow, on the 
petition of the Bishop of Glasgow, to grant a dispensation 
to him who is now unable from age and infirmity always 
to abstain from flesh meat, and to commute his voluntary 
vow to that effect into alms and other works of mercy." 3 

In his declining years the spirit of patriotism was 
roused within him when he learned that Henry III., taking 
advantage of the Scottish king's being a mere boy, was 
intriguing against the liberties and independence of Scotland. 
Henry, like his son Edward I., was most persistent in his 
insidious efforts to bring Scotland under the domination 
of England. In 1255, after his daughter Margaret had 
been married to the youthful Alexander, he sought to 
remodel the government of Scotland, and presented at 
Kelso Abbey a document for ratification to be signed by 
the Scottish representatives. But Bondington and the 

1 Berwick-on-Tweed had been burnt in 1175 and 1216. 

2 CaL Documts. Scotland, i. Nos. 1358, 1654 and 2013. 

3 CaL Pap. Reg. Letters, i. p. 318. 


others indignantly refused to affix their seals thereto. 
Whereupon he and the other bishops who resisted were 
removed from the Scottish king's council and deprived of 
their secular offices. 1 

Although deprived of the Chancellorship, the vener- 
able bishop, standing up for his spiritual rights, boldly 
consecrated Gamelin, Bishop of St. Andrews, at his own 
See, albeit Henry's counsellors sent messengers to prohibit 
the ceremony. 2 Thus we find that Bishop Bondington, as 
well as Bishop Wishart later on, acted as bulwarks against 
the aggression of the two kings of England, who made the 
most persistent and insidious attempts to undermine the 
independence of Scotland. 

All honour to these two bishops of Glasgow, whose 
names have been passed over by historians, but whose 
patriotism, nevertheless, burned so brightly at a most 
critical juncture in the nation's history ! And is it not 
interesting that the memories of these two bishops are 
intertwined and kept alive by the fact, that while the 
former built the choir and the lower church, the latter 
built the western towers and the nave, thus virtually com- 
pleting between them the stately and beautiful Cathedral 
that is the pride and ornament of Glasgow ? 

From several of his charters being dated at Alnecrum 
or Ancrum, near Jedburgh, where the bishops of Glas- 
gow had from the earliest times a manor-house, we 
learn that Bondington frequently resided there, especially 
during the latter portion of his life. 3 We can picture 
to our mind's eye the good bishop as he rode on 
horseback, accompanied by his retainers, travelling in 
those far-off days from Glasgow to his country-house 

l ActsofScot. Parlt. i. 419. *Chron. de Mailros^r. 1255, Aug. 15, p. 181. 

3 Reg. Epis. Glas. i. p. 5, Nos. 203-207 ; Lib. de Calchou and Lib. de 


near the Borders. Keeping by the Clyde valley as far as 
Carstairs, he would strike eastwards by Dolphinton or 
Biggar and follow the Tweed valley past Stobo and Peebles, 
thence by Melrose to Ancrum. 

We can imagine the dangers of the road from wolves 
and other beasts of prey issuing from the forests. 1 Yet, 
for the greater portion of the way, he would be hospitably 
entertained by his own tenants, who rented property 
belonging to the See of Glasgow. If we judge from what 
was customary in the sixteenth century, these various 
tenants would provide the bishop with fresh horses and 
provender for each stage of the journey. 2 Ancrum, even in 
Bondington's day, was an old-world spot, with its Druidical 
remains, its ancient Roman road near by, and its caves in 
the rocks by the side of the river Ale. Here, in this romantic 
and lovely region, " this Arcadian ground of Scotland," 
where he had not only a chapel, but also a manor-house, 
with gardens and orchards, tradition says the good bishop 
loved to cultivate his fruits and flowers as a solace amid 
the cares of office. 3 And here also, where fish and game 
were plentiful, he, like the neighbouring monks, would rear 
cattle and sheep for exportation of hides and wool to the 
Continent, and so add considerably to his revenue. 4 

Uncertainty hangs over the site of the ancient episcopal 
manor-house or castle as to whether it stood at Over or 
Nether Ancrum. On the whole, the evidence seems in 
favour of the latter, at a spot curiously named the Maltan 
or Mantle Walls, near the lower bridge over the Ale, where 
the surface shows traces of a terrace, and where in days 
gone by subterranean vaults were discovered. 5 

1 Cosmo limes' Scotland in the Middle Ages, pp. 123, 125, 331. 

2 Dioces. Reg. Glas. i. pp. 32 and 38, 1543 A.D. 

3 Jeffrey, Hist, and Antiquit. of Roxburghshire, pp. 351-2. 

4 Chalmers' Caledonia, ii. p. 148 and notes. 

6 Origines Paroch. i. p. 304 ; O.S.A. and N.S.A. Parish of Ancrum. 


The antique market-cross, too, that stands in the centre 
of the village green, looks as if it had weathered the storms 
of centuries, and come down to us, perhaps, from the days 
of Bondington. 

Here, at Ancrum, on loth November 1258, the bishop 
breathed his last. 1 His body, like that of Jocelyn, one of 
his predecessors, was buried in the chancel near the great 
altar of the magnificent Abbey of Melrose, then at the height 
of its splendour. 2 In this consecrated spot in Melrose 
Abbey, Bondington, one of Scotland's greatest bishops, 
was buried beside Alexander II., one of Scotland's greatest 
kings, whose faithful counsellor he had been. According 
to Sir Walter Scott, near by was buried also that weird 
personality, Michael Scot, the wizard, one of Scotland's 
greatest scholars, while seventy years after Bondington fair 
Melrose received the heart of Robert the Bruce, one of 
Scotland's most heroic kings. 

fFrom the facts of his life, gleaned out of ancient ecclesi- 
astical records, William de Bondington, Bishop of Glasgow, 
rises before us as a gentleman of dignified bearing, of open 
and unprejudiced mind, of generous heart and noble 
patriotic sentiments, above all, a man of God and of lofty 
principle, altogether a beautiful character amid the stained 
reputations of the thirteenth century. 

The magnificent choir of the Cathedral and its lower 
church of petrified poetry remain a splendid monument of 
his work to posterity. Bondington was undoubtedly one of 
the makers of Glasgow. From his time, it steadily rose in 
importance among the other cities of the land, and its 
bishops were men of light and leading in shaping the 
destinies of Scotland. 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. i. Nos. 1 1 5 and 207. 

2 Chron. de Mailros^ yr. 1258, p. 184. 



WHEN Bishop Robert Wishart, in 1272, began his rule 
over the diocese of Glasgow, Scotland was enjoying a period 
of great national prosperity under Alexander III., known 
among his countrymen, as " the Peaceable King." 

Commerce with the Continent was in so flourishing a con- 
dition that Berwick-on-Tweed, which then led the way in 
enterprise, was regarded as a second Alexandria. Religion 
also was in a healthy state ; the vigorous efforts of Bishop 
Bondington of Glasgow, and of his contemporary, Bishop 
Bernham of St. Andrews, had not spent their force, while 
the evangelistic zeal of the two new orders, the Black- 
friars and the Greyfriars, was reviving spiritual life. " The 
Church of Christ flourished/' says Fordun, " her priests 
were honoured with due worship, vice was withered, craft 
there was none, wrong came to an end, truth was strong and 
righteousness reigned." 1 

Doabtless there were exceptions to this glowing picture. 
Indeed, we obtain a glimpse of the darker side of things 
from an incident related, says the chronicler, by way of a 
joke. A certain knight of Roberton had an estate in 
Annandale, the tenants of which committed all sorts of 
scandalous offences which brought them to the court of 
the official, and filled the purse of the archdeacon with 
1 Historians of Scotland, iv. pt. ii. p. 304. 


fines. 1 And, as the knight was not getting in his rents, 
on account of the money being all given to the archdeacon 
in fines, he decreed that, if his tenants did not leave off their 
evil ways, he would expel them from his lands. When 
the people heard this, they left off their evil ways and 
devoted themselves to agriculture and, accordingly, the 
archdeacon got no money in fines. When the archdeacon 
one day met the knight, he accosted him and, with haughty 
superciliousness, asked who had made him guide of such 
matters. The knight replied that he did it for the good of 
his property and not as interfering with the archdeacon's 
jurisdiction. The knight added, however, " I see, if you 
can fill your purse with their fines, you have no care who 
takes their souls." At this, the exactor of fines and lover 
of transgressions held his peace. 2 

Robert Wishart was Bishop of Glasgow from 1272 till 
1316, and so ruled for forty-four years, the longest period 
of any bishop in the annals of the See. On glancing over 
the events that occurred during his long tenure of office, 
we may conveniently divide his reign into two periods, 
the first twenty years, when the bishop might be described 
as a man of peace, and the next twenty-four, when the 
bishop was most assuredly a man of war. 

With reference to his early days, we have scarcely any 
information except that he was descended from the principal 
family of Wishart of Pitarrow, near Laurencekirk, Kin- 
cardineshire. It appears that a certain John Wishart had 
lands in the Mearns in the reign of Alexander II., and 
William Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, and immediately 
afterwards of St. Andrews, was his second son. His third 

1 During Bishop Bondington's rule, if not earlier, the diocese is said to 
have been divided into two archdeaconries, Glasgow proper and Teviot- 
dale. Reg. Epis, Glas. p. xxix. 

2 Chron. Lancrcost, 1277 A.D. 


son was Adam, who got the lands of Ballindarg and Logie- 
Wishart (in Forfarshire) in I272. 1 Bishop Robert was the 
son of this Adam, and accordingly the nephew, not the 
cousin, as so often asserted of Bishop William Wishart, his 
predecessor, and thus belonged to the Logie- Wishart branch, 
also called of that ilk. 2 An interesting account of the 
Wisharts of Pitarrow will be found in the Memorials of 
Angus and the M earns? from which we learn that George 
Wishart, the martyr of 1546, and George Wishart, Bishop 
of Edinburgh (1662-1671) both belonged to the Logie- 
Wishart family. 

Passing now to speak of the education of the future Bishop 
Robert, we have no information as to which monastic 
school he attended, but as the name of the Wisharts of 
Pitarrow and also of Logie occurs very frequently in the 
chartulary of Arbroath, in connection with gifts to the 
abbey, 4 the probability is, as Arbroath was not many miles 
distant, that his education would be obtained at this famous 
abbey, whose lord abbots in those days, bearing crosier and 
mitre, were among the leading churchmen in the kingdom. 5 
Nor are we informed as to the university he attended, 
but, as Scotland and England were not on the best of terms, 
Robert may have gone to the Continent to study at the 
famous Universities of Paris or Bologna. But Denifle's 
lists of the students attending Paris University do not begin 
till I330, 6 while the lists of the early students of Bologna 
have not been preserved. The first time Wishart's name 
comes into prominence is as Archdeacon of Lothian in the 
diocese of St. Andrews, from which post, on the recommenda- 

1 Sir W. Eraser's Earls of Southesk, ii. p. 479. 

* MS. History of Family of Pitarrow, Lyon Office, Edin. 

'Vol. ii. p. 174 Jervise edited by Gammack. 

4 Liber S. Thome Aberbrothoc, pref. xxvi. 

6 C. Innes, Sketches of Early Scott. Hist. pp. 155 and 159. 

6 Auct. Chart. Paris. Univer. 


tion of the king and his uncle, Bishop William, he was 
elected to the See of Glasgow in 1271, but not consecrated 
till 2Qth January 1273. In the interval between his election 
and his consecration he journeyed to Rome " to expedite his 
own affairs, as well as those of the Chancellor his uncle." 

At the date of his election, Fordun describes him as 
" a young man in age, but older in manners." l He 
was consecrated, not at Glasgow, but at Aberdeen, by the 
Bishops of Aberdeen, Moray, and Dunblane. 2 

From the first, Bishop Wishart appears to have set himself 
vigorously to carry out the work of his diocese. In 1273 
we find him holding court at Castletarris (Carstairs) to 
settle a dispute. Castletarris was a manor-house, built 
with stone and lime, belonging to the Bishops of Glasgow 
from a very early period, and this, between the years 1287- 
1290, Wishart sought to fortify as a castle, after the death 
of Alexander III., when Edward I. was threatening the 
independence of Scotland. 3 

In 1275 Scotland received a visit from Boiamund or 
Benemund de Vicci, Canon of Asti, Piedmont, but popularly 
known as Bagimont, who was sent as legate by the Pope 
to collect a tax for another crusade to recover the holy 
sepulchre at Jerusalem from the Turks. This Bagimont 
announced to the clergy assembled in a provincial council 
at Perth, that they must either pay a tenth of the true 
value of their benefices or suffer excommunication. 4 This 
demand of the Pope somewhat exasperated the Scottish 
clergy, and we may be certain that Bishop Wishart would 
take a prominent part in the opposition ; nevertheless they 

1 Scotichron. lib. x. cap. xxix. 

2 Scotichron. lib. x. cap. xxx. Fordun adds : R. Wishart was made 
bishop more by influence than merit. 

3 Liber de Calchou, pp. 267-334 ; also Catalogue of Documents, Scotland, 
ii. p. 433 ; Diocesan Register, Glasgow, i. pref. p. 33. 

* Calendar Papal Registers, i. p. 465. 


agreed to be taxed according to the ancient valuation of 
their benefices, which was considerably below their true 
valuation. Accordingly, an appeal was made to the Pope 
to this effect, but in vain ; so they reluctantly consented to 
pay the tax according to the new valuation roll. The list 
of church properties thus assessed in 1279, an( * known as 
Bagimont's Roll, is not to be confounded with the Ragman 
Roll of 1296, which contains the list of those who swore 
fealty to Edward I. as Overlord of Scotland. Two years 
after Bagimont's visit, viz. in the year 1277, occurs an 
important reference to the completion of the building of 
Glasgow Cathedral, which seems to have been generally 
misunderstood. In this year, Bishop Wishart procured 
from Maurice, Lord of Luss, Loch Lomond, for a certain 
sum of money, a grant of whatever timber might be necessary 
for the building of a campanile and a treasury for the 
Cathedral (ad fdbricas campanile et thesaurarie) . Not only 
so, it was covenanted that the contractors of the work, 
their carriers and artificers, should have free entry to 
Maurice's lands, and should have the right of felling and 
dressing timber wherever they chose . . . and should have 
pasturage for their horses and oxen. 1 

While this affords an interesting sidelight into the con- 
dition of the times, it nevertheless raises a question about 
which there has been considerable discussion. Here, in 
1277, a grant was made to Bishop Wishart by the Lord of 
Luss, of sufficient timber for the erection of a campanile 
and treasury. Yet, in 1291 fourteen years later we read 
of the bishop begging from Edward L, then acting as 
Overlord of Scotland, a supply of timber for building a 
" clocher " for the Cathedral. 2 Now, if the " clocher " here 

l Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 229. 

2 Documents and Records, Hists. of Scotland, i. p. 348, 14 ; also Dr. 
Joseph Robertson's Scottish Abbeys and Cathedrals, p. 60. ' No authority 
is given here for the date 1291. 


be identical with the " campanile " before mentioned, it 
would appear that the campanile was still unfinished, for 
we read that the bishop, instead of using the sixty oaks 
from Ettrick Forest, which the king granted for this purpose, 
actually turned them into engines of artillery catapults 
and mangonels with which to besiege the castle of Kirkin- 
tilloch, then held by the Comyn in the interests of England. 

As the great central tower of the Cathedral was not 
erected till the early part of the fifteenth century, by Bishop 
Lauder, if we may judge from his arms inscribed on the 
parapet thereof, the campanile and treasury referred to in 
1277 would be what were known as the two western towers 
the north-west and the south-west, which, unfortunately, 
were removed about the year 1848. This being so, the cam- 
panile, latterly called the steeple, would be the north-west 
tower, and the treasury the south-west tower. There is good 
reason, experts tell us, for believing that the campanile or 
north-west tower was erected to some height, at least, 
before the nave was completed. 1 With reference to the 
south-west tower, however, some, from the style of its 
architecture, conclude that it was a later building erected 
by Bishop Cameron in the middle of the fifteenth century. 

This may be, but we are inclined from the reference 
made to the campanile and treasury in 1297 to think 
that they were two separate erections, and that both began 
to be built about the same time. As confirming this con- 
tention, there is a reference in the year 1306, which seems to 
show that a building known as the treasury was then in 
existence, for when Robert the Bruce rode from Dumfries 

1 Book of Glasgow Cathedral, p. 277. From the style of the towers in 
drawings taken when they were standing, architects regard it as not 
unlikely that additions were made at later periods to the original build- 
ings. In September, 1911, while the nave was being re-roofed, the upper 
portion of this north-west tower was laid bare, as Mr. M'Gregor Chalmers 
pointed out. 


after his assassination of the Comyn, and reached Glasgow 
on loth February, Bishop Wishart prepared in his own 
wardrobe the robes in which Bruce was to be arrayed for 
the coronation ceremony. And he sent the same, together 
with a banner of the arms of the kingdom of Scotland, 
which had been long concealed in his treasury (en sa tresorie], 
to Bruce at the Abbey of Scone. 1 

But, further, since experts agree that the style of the 
nave is that of the latter portion of the thirteenth or early 
fourteenth century, the golden age of the Gothic in Scotland, 
the likelihood is that when Bishop Wishart was building 
the two towers he also about the same period completed 
the nave. 2 

To sum up, so far as documentary evidence can be found, 
to which architectural evidence is complementary, the two 
western towers were commenced by Bishop Wishart and 
were added to, or altered subsequently ; while the north- 
west tower, also termed the campanile, clocher, or steeple 
would seem to have been erected more than a century before 
the great central tower and spire. If this distinction 
between the north-west tower or steeple and the central 
tower be observed, it will help to clear one's mind from the 
confusion that has arisen among writers on the fabric of 
the Cathedral. 

In July, 1282, the Pope grants a commission to the 
Bishops of Glasgow, Dunblane, and Caithness, to consecrate 
Henry le Chen, a deacon, precentor of Aberdeen, whom the 
Pope has appointed to that See. But whether Wishart 
journeyed to Aberdeen on this occasion is uncertain, for it 
is expressly stated that if the three bishops cannot be present, 

1 Palgrave, Docts. and Records, Hist, of Scot. i. pp. 346-7 ; also clxxx. 

2 See R.E.G. ii. plate v. 2 for representation of a church. Does the 
reverse of this seal represent the chancel and nave as they existed in 
Wishart's time with the underbuilding laid by Bondington ? Does the 
obverse represent the two Western Towers ? 


the other two are to call in another Scotch bishop to their 
aid. 1 At any rate, Bishop Henry, like Wishart himself, 
became a staunch supporter of Robert the Bruce in his 
struggle for the Scottish Crown. 

Another interesting fact is that early in Wishart 's epis- 
copate, in 1285, there is found mention of a bridge over the 
river Clyde at Glasgow, 2 which, if we accept the authority 
of Blind Harry, was not a stone bridge but " a bryg that 
byggyt was of tre," in other words a timber bridge, 3 which 
Wallace and his three hundred crossed on their way up 
High Street to fight the English at the " Bell o' the Brae/' 

If we turn to the Register of Glasgow during the period 
of Wishart 's episcopate, we find quite a large number of 
documents, such as papal bulls, charters and other instru- 
ments, but these are of little general interest. Cosmo 
Innes draws attention especially to two, 4 which give us a 
glimpse of what the burghal laws prescribed before a burgess 
could sell his inheritance in those days. From these it 
appears that the property had first to be offered for sale to 
relatives, parents and friends, at the three head courts 
(placita), and at other courts often, according to law and the 
custom of the burgh. When the sale took place, seisin 
was given to the purchaser in the presence of civic authori- 
ties, described as " prepositi et ballivi," and twelve bur- 
gesses. Then took place the ancient and picturesque bit of 
ceremonial known as " in-toll " and " out-toll/' In accord- 
ance with this, the seller gave the bailie who presided at 
the transaction, a penny for the " ische " or out-toll, or 
outgoing, while the purchaser gave the bailie a penny for 
seisin or taking possession of the property, i.e. for in-toll. 5 

1 Cal. Pap. Reg. Letters, i. pp. 465-7. 

2 Reg. de Passelet (Paisley), p. 400. 

3 The Wallace, bk. vii. 533. 4 R.E.G. pref. 33, Nos. 222, 265. 
5 Charters and Docts. Glas. pt. i. pp. xv-xix. 


" Symbols of investiture generally bore some reference to 
the subject. Seisin was taken of a mill by clap and hopper, 
of a house by the key, of fishings by net and coble, of patron- 
age by a psalter and the keys of the Church/' 1 

This leads us to advert to the subject of seals, appended 
to charters and other documents, and not infrequently 
referred to in the long period of Wishart's rule. Nor need 
we be surprised at this, for during the thirteenth and four- 
teenth centuries the making of seals was reaching the height 
of its development as a fine art. 

Those who are desirous of acquainting themselves with 
the various seals used by Bishop Wishart will find an account 
of these with illustrative plates in the Book of Glasgow 
Cathedral. 2 One of these, strictly speaking, a counterseal 
and particularly rich in design, is generally believed to give 
a representation in three compartments of the legend 
concerning the fish with the ring in its mouth ; but this, 
Archbishop Eyre thinks, may be questioned. 

Not only had the bishop and chapter their seals, but it 
appears there was in existence at this period, in the years 
1280 and 1293, a common seal for the Burgh of Glasgow, 3 
the device of which apparently was taken from the private 
seal of the bishop, observe, not of the bishopric, for, previous 
to the Reformation, ecclesiastical heraldry, properly so- 
called, viz. the seals of bishoprics, abbeys, etc., did not exist 
in Scotland. 4 As Archbishop Eyre states, " in old times 
there were no arms belonging to the various Sees. In the 
bishop's seals the family shield was introduced." 

As we examine the various seals used in Wishart's time, 
we discover upon them one or more of the familiar emblems 

1 Scotch Legal Antiqs. p. 91. 

2 Pp. 362, 366 ; R.E.G. ii. p. xxxiii, plates i. 6, ii. i, iii. i, v. 2. 

3 M'George's Armorial Insignia^ pp. 98 and 100 ; R.E.G. ii. plate v. 3. 

4 Scot. Hist. Review, v. p. 313. 


that are emblazoned on the armorial insignia of Glasgow 
at the present day, viz. St. Kentigern with his crozier, 
the fish with the signet ring in its mouth, the bird on the 
branch of the tree, and the saint's hand-bell. We are thus 
carried back not only to the days of the warrior-bishop, 
and of the patriots Wallace and Bruce, but to the days of 
St. Kentigern and the legends that clustered round his 
name. Thus it may be said, the heraldic escutcheon of the 
City of Glasgow preserves to posterity the earliest relics, 
albeit legends, of the history of Old Glasgow. 

Let us now give consideration to the events that led to 
the great war for Scottish independence, in which the Bishop 
of Glasgow played so prominent a part. In the year 1286 
there occurred an event fraught with disastrous consequences 
to Scotland, the death of her good king, Alexander III., 
whose horse stumbled in the darkness of the night as he was 
nearing Kinghorn, where the queen at the time was residing, 
and both rider and horse were precipitated over a cliff and 

Not only was the death of such a noble king a national 
calamity, it was intensified by the fact that the king's own 
family had all died before him, thus leaving as his nearest 
heir his granddaughter, the Maid of Norway, otherwise 
referred to as Damsel of Scotland. She was a child of his 
daughter Margaret, who had married Eric, the young King 
of Norway. It was at this critical period then that Edward I. 
began to scheme for the throne of Scotland, and attempt 
to bring the country completely under his domination. 

The details of Scotland's long, fierce and indomitable 
struggle to maintain her independence cannot be entered 
into here, but only the events with which Bishop Wishart 
was more immediately concerned. 

Shortly after Alexander III.'s death an assembly 
met at Scone, April 1286, and appointed six regents or 


guardians to carry on the Government. Three were assigned 
to the north of the Forth, and three to the south among 
the latter being Bishop Wishart. 1 Then in 1289, when the 
interest of the period begins, the bishop is found at Melrose 
as one of the three guardians appointed to settle a treaty 
with the representatives of Eric, King of Norway, concerning 
the affairs of his daughter, the Scottish Queen, and, later 
on in the same year, he appears at Salisbury. 2 

Evidently in all these negotiations the bishop proved his 
ability as a patriotic statesman, for he stands out as a leading 
figure at Brigham, near Coldstream, in March and in July 
1290, when the marriage treaty between Edward I.'s son 
and Margaret, the infant Queen of Scotland, was drawn up 
a treaty which clearly shows the sensitive patriotism of the 
Scots. But " man proposes and God disposes," for the 
young queen sickened on her voyage to Britain and died at 
one of the Orkneys, September 1290 ; at which news 
" the Kingdom was troubled and its inhabitants sunk into 
despair." 3 

And now began in earnest the bitter internecine struggle 
between Bruce, Comyn, Balliol and others, as competitors 
for the Crown, when Scotland passed through the darkest 
period in her history, inasmuch as her independence was 
almost lost, and her name, like that of Poland, well nigh 
blotted out from among the nations. 

During these days of interregnum, Edward I. in pursuance 
of his policy summoned the Scottish barons and clergy, along 
with the claimants for the Crown, to meet him at Norham- 
on-Tweed, loth May, 1291, professedly to settle the affairs 
of Scotland, and to have himself recognized as her Lord 
Paramount. After an opening speech on the part of the 
king, which rather staggered the Scottish representatives, 

1 Scotichron. lib. xi. i, 3. 

* Rymer's Foedera, ii. 431, edit. 1705 ; Hailes' Annals^ A.D. 1286. 

3 Hailes' Annals^ A.D. 1290. 


Bishop Wishart rose, and having thanked the king in the 
name of the representatives for the interest he had taken in 
their country, proceeded, " But where it pleased the King to 
speak of a right of supremacy over the Kingdom of Scotland, 
it was sufficiently known that Scotland from the first 
foundation of the State had been a free and independent 
kingdom, and not subject to any other power whatsoever. 
Howbeit, the present occasion hath bred some distinction 
of minds, all true-hearted Scots will stand for the liberty of 
their country to the death, for they esteem their liberty 
more precious than their lives, and in that quarrel will 
neither separate nor divide." x 

Surely these were the outspoken sentiments of a brave 
man and ought to have impressed Edward with the spirit 
of the people he sought to subdue. But the king, although 
not at all pleased with the bishop's free speech, said nothing 
at the time. A few weeks afterwards, however, he summoned 
the various claimants for the Crown, now numbering eight, 
to meet him in an open field in Scottish territory opposite 
Norham Castle, when all of them acknowledged Edward as 
Lord Paramount. 2 But it was not till after a weary period 
of delays that Edward, in November 1292, at Berwick-on- 
Tweed, definitely pronounced that among the various com- 
petitors, John Balliol had the best claim. At the same 
time, the great seal of Scotland used by the regents was 
broken and its fragments deposited in the treasury of 
England, " in testimony to future ages of England's right 
of superiority over Scotland." 3 Then Balliol swore fealty 

1 Spottiswoode's Hist, of Ch. of Scot. ed. 1655, p. 48 ; a translation of 
Scotichron. lib. xi. cap. 10, Goodall's edition. Spottiswoode gives the 
year 1279 5 it should be 1291. 

2 Hailes' Annals^ A.D. 1291 quotes Rymer's Foedcra. 

8 Hailes' Annals, \. yr. 1292; Anderson, Diplomata Scotica, No. 38, 
shows that the Scottish Seal had the lion rampant on one side and on the 
reverse a St. Andrew's cross with St. Andrew. 


to Edward, an act that caused him to be universally detested 
by his countrymen, who later nicknamed him the " Toom 
Tabard," signifying that he was only the empty show of 
a king. However, he was nominally king for four years 
(1292-1296), during which he was loyally supported by 
Bishop Wishart, especially when he rose up against Edward's 
authority. This is clearly evident from the letter 
addressed by Edward to Pope Clement V., in which Edward 
complains bitterly of his conduct. 1 "Bishop Wishart, 
without hesitation or compunction, aided and abetted the 
new king in all his treasons. It was the bishop who 
instigated Balliol to ally himself with the King of France, 
to which alliance the bishop affixed his seal. Again, Balliol 
made war against Edward principally by the aid and assist- 
ance of the bishop, who was continually helping and inciting 
Balliol to commit arsons, robberies, murders, and as many 
ravages as he possibly could in the English territory ; all 
which matters are public and notorious as well in England 
as in Scotland." 2 

Balliol having submitted, Edward made a veritable 
triumphal progress throughout Scotland from May to 
August 1296, during which he received the oath of fealty 
practically from the whole community. 

Although he did not visit Glasgow on this occasion, it 
would appear that the Bishop of Glasgow of his own free 
will, travelled north to Elgin, and humbly prayed forgive- 
ness of Edward, renouncing every kind of allegiance against 
the King or Crown of England. Then he swore the follow- 
ing oath, which he afterwards ratified at Berwick-on-Tweed : 
" Ijshall be true and loyal and I will keep faith and loyalty 

1 Palgrave's Docts. and Records, Hist, of Scotland, introd. p. clxxiii, 
text p. 341. The introduction gives a translation of the text, which is in 
Norman- French. 

2 Ty tier's Hist, of Scotland, A.D. 1296, and Prof. Hume Brown's Hist. i. 
P. H3- 


to the King of England and to his heirs of life and of members 
and of earthly honour, against all persons who can live or 
die, and never will I bear arms for any one, nor will I give 
advice or aid against him, nor against his heirs in any case 
which can happen, and I will truly acknowledge and truly 
perform the services which belong to the tenements which 
I claim to hold of him. So may God help me and the 
Saints." l 

Not only did he take this carefully worded oath, but swore 
it in the most solemn circumstances upon the consecrated 
host, upon the gospels, upon the cross of St. Neot of Wales, 
and upon the black rood of Scotland. In those days, this 
black rood was regarded as Scotland's most sacred and 
venerated relic. It belonged originally to the saintly Queen 
Margaret, and was believed by her to be a bit of the true 
cross ; hence it was adorned with gems of priceless value. 

Notwithstanding this most solemn oath, the bishop, 
having learned that King Edward had quitted England 
for Flanders, immediately joined the rising under William 
Wallace. Indeed, Wishart was charged with being the prime 
instigator of the rebellion. 2 The tyrannical acts of the 
English officials, appointed by Edward to govern Scotland, 
so exasperated the people that it roused to intensest pitch 
their patriotism, so that, as the old chronicler says, " From 
his den, William Wallace lifted up his head." Accordingly, 
we find Bishop Wishart arrayed in armour, allying himself 
with the party of Wallace. Unhappily, the bishop, with 
Bruce and Douglas, surrendered ignominiously to the 
English at Irvine on July 9, I297. 3 Wallace, it is said, was 
very indignant and according to King Edward's secretary, 

1 Docts. Illustr. Hist, of Scotl. ii. pp. 67 and 68 : Jos. Stevenson. 
f 2 Docts. and Records Scotl. \. p. clxxv. 

3 Hailes' Annals, 1297, for terms of treaty. 1297 is the date of the well- 
known Liibeck MS. 


"he proceeded to the bishop's house "Glasgow Castle 
is generally supposed to be meant " and carried off all 
his furniture, arms, and horses," not to mention other 
particulars which can hardly be credited. 1 Here, perhaps, 
if anywhere, should be introduced Blind Harry's account of 
what has been termed the battle of the Bell o' the Brae. 
If the minstrel is to be believed, Wallace with three hundred 
horsemen rode from Ayr to Glasgow, entering the town by 
the " tre brygg " over Clyde. Then, dividing his forces 
into two, one section headed by himself advanced up " the 
playne street," supposed to be the High Street, while the 
other under his uncle, Auchinleck, proceeded by " the 
north-east raw," probably the Drygate. 2 The English 
garrison then occupying the castle made a sally against the 
Scots, led by Wallace, and a fierce encounter took place in 
the High Street, near where it joins Rottenrow, and where 
for many a day was a somewhat steep and rocky ascent 
known as the Bell o' the Brae. Here, while Wallace was 
dealing death among the English, the second division of 
the Scots, coming unexpectedly upon the scene by the 
Drygate, attacked the enemy in the rear and completed the 
victory, leaving the castle in the hands of Wallace. 

But while there is a certain amount of local colouring in 
the poet's narrative that suggests a substratum of fact, 
there are other statements proved to be unhistorical. 3 

Within a month after the capitulation at Irvine, and when 
he had apologized for his conduct to Cressingham, Edward's 
Treasurer of Scotland, 4 the bishop changed sides again, and 

1 R.E.G. i. xxxvi. note ; also Sir IV. Wallace^ Famous Scots Series, 
pp. 75-77-82. 

2 Tradition seems to point rather to what is now called Ladywell Street, 
and the ancient bridge over the Molendinar known as " Wallace's brig." 

3 Blind Harry's Wallace, bk. vii. 515 ff. ; Book of G las. Cath. pp. 335- 
339 ; Renwick's Glas. Memorials, pp. 29, 30. 

* Hist. Docts. Scot. 1286-1306, 5i. pp. 219, 220. 

* 2 

Q I 

3 5 


O v 


instigated both Wallace and Bruce to rise against the king. 
But on seeing the power of Wallace and Bruce decrease 
before Edward's superior forces, he changed sides once 
more, and repaired to Roxburgh Castle the same year, 1297, 
where he surrendered himself as a prisoner. This act of 
his, however, was suspected by the English as an attempt 
to get within the castle walls in order to betray the garrison 
to the Scots. Nevertheless the bishop seems to have been 
detained as prisoner by the English for the next three years. 

In August 1297, the Pope, writing from Orvieto, gives 
mandates to the Bishops of Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Ross 
to consecrate Andrew, Abbot of the Cistercian Monastery 
of Cupar-Angus, to the See of Caithness. The Pope 
also allows Andrew to choose the principal consecrator from 
among these three bishops. This permission was given 
because it was dangerous, on account of the hazards of the 
wars in these parts, for Andrew personally to resort to Rome 
for consecration. 1 

Next year, 1298, Edward, having invaded Scotland and 
gained a great victory at Falkirk over the Scots under 
Wallace, avenged the defeat to his arms at Stirling, and 
thereafter proceeded by way of Ayr and Annandale back 
to England. 2 

While Edward was marching with his army in the southern 
parts of Scotland, Pope Boniface VIII. , at the request of 
certain Scottish emissaries at Rome, issued, in July 1299 
a bull directed to Edward, stating that, among other things, 
it had come to his ears, that he (Edward) had imprisoned 
and harshly treated Robert, Bishop of Glasgow, and other 
ecclesiastics, whom he now urged the king to set free ; 
and also to recall his officers from Scotland, since that realm 

1 CaL Pap. Reg. Letters, i. p. 572 ; Dowden's Bishops of Scotland, 
p. 240. 

2 Jos. Bain, The Edwards in Scotland, p. 30. 


belongs to the Roman Church and is not a fief of the King of 
England. 1 

Accordingly, in October 1300, Bishop Wishart, having 
been liberated, voluntarily took for the fourth time the 
solemn oath of allegiance to Edward at Holmcultram. Yet, 
while the oath was still fresh, he issued letters-patent to 
William Lydel, his bailiff, to assemble all the forces of the 
See to assist Bruce and Wallace in Galloway against the 
English under the Prince of Wales. 2 

During August and September 1301, Edward visited 
Glasgow, and made offerings several times at the shrine of 
St. Kentigern, in the lower church and at the high altar in 
the choir, as well as in the private chapel he carried about 
with him in his campaigns. The amount was usually 
seven shillings, probably equal, remarks Bain, to five 
guineas of our day. He also worshipped at the Blackfriars' 
Church, High Street, and gave the friars a grant for their 
own diet, for three days of six shillings. This grant then 
was not given to pay expenses for lodging with them as is 
often represented, but to provide them with a few delicacies 
to add to their usual scanty meals. 3 

Besides, it is unlikely that Edward would reside at the 
Blackfriars' Convent during his stay in Glasgow. His usual 
custom was to sleep in his tent in the midst of his army, 
which at this time numbered 7000 foot and 500 horse, and 
was probably encamped in the Gallowmuir, where the 
barracks afterwards stood, the ancient champ-de-Mars of 
the city. 

Passing to August 1302, we find Pope Boniface VIII. 
now taking the side of Edward, writing to Wishart, severely 

1 Cal. Pap. Reg. Letters, i. 584. 

* Bain's The Edwards in Scotland, pp. 34-5. 

3 Jos. Bain, The Edwards in Scotland, pp. 34-35 ; R.E.G. ii. p. 621 ; Cal. 
Docs. Scotl. iv. pp. 448-449. 


reprimanding him as follows : " I have heard with astonish- 
ment that you, as a rock of offence and a stone of stumbling, 
have been the prime instigator and promoter of the fatal 
disputes which prevail between the Scottish nation and 
Edward, King of England, my dearly-beloved son in Christ, 
to the displeasing of the divine majesty, to the hazard of 
your own honour and salvation, and to the inexpressible 
detriment of the Kingdom of Scotland. If these things are 
so, you have rendered yourself odious to God and man. It 
befits you to repent, and, by your most earnest endeavours 
after peace, to strive to obtain forgiveness." l 

In 1303, Edward, now set free from his continental wars, 
brought his whole resources to attempt to subdue Scotland. 
Wishart, seeing resistance hopeless, came to Edward at 
Cambuskenneth and humbly prayed his grace and mercy 
for all his trespasses, and for the fifth time, in the most 
solemn manner, swore allegiance. 2 Whereupon the king 
restored him to the temporalities of his See, which he had 
forfeited by his treasons. Then in the following Easter the 
bishop went to St. Andrews, and there at the high altar 
of the cathedral solemnly took the oath of fealty for the 
sixth time. 

It surprises us that such solemn oaths were so lightly 
treated by a bishop, but in those days of oppression it seemed 
quite customary for clergy as well as laity to break their 
pledges. Indeed, Edward himself kept oaths only so long 
as served his purpose. Yet, as has been remarked, " he 
prided himself on his personal good faith and caused the 
motto to be inscribed upon his tombstone, Pactum serva, 
Keep troth." 

In the year 1304, 3 Bishop Wishart and his chapter granted 

1 Hailes' Annals, i. p. 271, and Theiner's Monumenta, No. 372. 

2 Cal. Docts. Scotl. iv. pp. 482-3. 
*R.E.G. p. xxxiv. 


to the Friars Preachers a " perennial spring called the Medu- 
wel in the place which is called Denside to be led to the 
cloister of the said fathers for their necessary uses." This 
Meadow- Well or Deanside Well was originally in a meadow 
at the foot of the Deanside Brae, bordering on the lands of 
Deneside, hence its name. The site of this ancient well is 
now in George Street, midway between Shuttle Lane on the 
one side and Deanside Lane on the other. But in those 
days the spot was rural, the whole lands on the west as far 
as Partick being garden grounds and cornfields. 1 

The water was led from this overflowing spring to the 
Monastery of the Blackfriars on the east side of the High 
Street. As the friars had been settled there about the year 
1246, their beautiful church with the other conventual 
buildings would be completed when the new water-supply 
was introduced. This well, afterwards enclosed with a 
circular wall of ashlar stones as a draw-well and thirty- 
five feet deep, continued for centuries to be held in great 
repute by the inhabitants of the city. 2 

After the capture of Wallace at Robroyston, near Glasgow, 
and his trial and death at London in August 1305, Edward, 
considering Scotland to be thoroughly subdued, consulted 
with Bishop Wishart and others, and by their advice 
ordered a general council of the Scottish nation to be held 
at Perth, in order to elect representatives to Parliament 
and formulate a system of government for Scotland. 3 

1 M'George's Old Glas. 3rd ed. pp. 123, 145, 272* 

2 Cleland's Annals, i. p. 394. When the tramways were being laid this 
circular draw-well was laid bare. Fifty years ago, says Mr. Andrew 
Brown, George Street, this draw-well, after it had been removed to a 
spot near the kerb-stone at 89 George Street, and changed into a 
pump-well, was much frequented by the inhabitants on account of the 
purity and coldness of its water. The domestic water-supply drawn from 
the Clyde was often infested with eels and required to be filtered before 

3 Hailes' Annals, i. p. 283. 


But within six months of the execution of Wallace this 
new system of government was completely overthrown, and 
Scotland breathed freely. What contributed to this result 
was the unpremeditated assassination of Comyn by his rival 
Bruce at the altar of the Franciscan Church at Dumfries 
on February 10, 1306. Thereafter Bruce acted with the 
utmost boldness and decision. This sacrilegious act, which 
put him outwith the pale of Christendom, and was, 
according to Barbour, 1 the cause of his subsequent mis- 
fortunes, nevertheless seemed to set his whole soul on fire 
with new energy, as if he said : 

" I must mix myself with action 
Lest I wither by despair." 

As has been remarked, the only alternatives at this point 
of his career lay between the throne and the gallows ; and 
realizing this, he became more determined than ever to 
win the Crown of Scotland and overcome every obstacle. 
Along with a band of patriots, later joined by good 
Sir James Douglas, he rode from Dumfries to Glasgow. 2 
And here in the cathedral, within eight days after the 
murder, Bishop Wishart gave plenary absolution to Bruce, 
and not only so, but furnished him with robes for his 
coronation which took place at Scone on 27th March, and at 
which both the Bishop of St. Andrews and Wishart were 
present. Besides, he went about the country preaching to 
the people in order to excite them to espouse the cause of 
Bruce, assuring them that carrying on war against the King 
of England was as meritorious as fighting against the 
Saracens in the Holy Land. 3 

1 Bk. ii. Bruce. z Ibid. bk. ii. 1. 175, Scot. Text Socy. 

8 Palgrave, Docts. etc. p. 348. Pope Nicholas IV., in a bull dated 
1291, had exhorted the Scottish bishops to preach a crusade, and for 
every sermon so preached a hundred days' indulgence would be 


So enraged was the Pope at the conduct of the bishop 
that he sent a mandate on nth May, 1306, to the Archbishop 
of York, and another to Antony, Bishop of Durham, to seize 
and cite him, suspended from spirituals and temporals, to set 
out for Rome within a month. 1 Wishart, instead of surrender- 
ing to the Pope, once more donned his coat of mail and assisted 
in defending the Castle of Cupar, Fife, which held out against 
the English. This castle, being captured by Sir Aymer de 
Valence in July 1306, the bishop in his armour underneath 
his canonicals was taken prisoner and sent to England in 
chains. 2 As soon as he was brought into the royal presence, 
King Edward declared " he was as glad as if it had been 
the Earl of Carrick (Bruce) himself/' We can imagine the 
shame and discomfiture of the bishop when brought face 
to face with the king whose solemn oath he had so 
often broken; but there is a lack of reverence and 
seriousness about him which detracts considerably from 
his otherwise heroic character. For example, after his 
capture at Cupar, when accused by Edward to the Pope 
with breaking fealty six times, he humbly petitioned the 
king and council for leave to remain quietly in England 
till the " riot of the Scots/ 1 as he termed it, was put down. 3 
From Cupar, Wishart, along with other Scottish prisoners 
heavily ironed, was sent under a strong escort to Newcastle, 
and thence by daily stages, by a chain of castles, so to speak, 
to Nottingham. 4 But Nottingham Castle was not considered 
safe enough for such an irrepressible patriot as the Bishop 
of Glasgow; he must be removed as far as possible from 
Scotland. Hence, in August 1306, Edward orders that 
Wishart be kept in chains at Porchester Castle away in 
the far south of England, near Portsmouth ; a castle still 

1 Cal Pap. Reg. ii. pp. 6, 7. 

2 Palgrave, Doc. p. 349 ; Hailes' Annals, ii. p. 13, A.D. 1306. 

3 Bain's The Edwards in Scotland, pp. 49-50. 

4 Rymer's Foed. ii. p. 1015, edit. 1705. 


standing hoary with the antiquity of centuries, having 
originally been a stronghold of the Romans, and later 
associated with memories of the Saxon and Norman Kings 
of England. 1 

From records of the period some interesting details may 
be gleaned regarding the bishop's imprisonment at Por- 
chester. For example, he was provided with a chaplain 
to celebrate mass every day, also with a valet and a groom, 
each of whom received as salary so much per day. It was 
stipulated, too, that these be all faithful servants of the 
king, and that there be a sufficient number of soldiers on 
guard, for, should the bishop escape, Viscount Southampton, 
to whose charge he was committed, would be held responsible. 
Nor was this enough. Edward, who, doubtless, would have 
put the bishop and other ecclesiastics to death, had not 
their sacred office, in his eyes, shielded them, wrote to the 
Pope and his cardinals to give credence to certain messengers 
concerning the misconduct of the Bishop of Glasgow, and 
stating also that he had given the See of Glasgow to 
Geoffrey de Moubray, praying also the Pope's confirmation 
of this appointment. 2 

Although Edward I. died in July 1307 at Burgh-on- 
Sands, near Carlisle, on the march with his army to subdue 
Scotland, Wishart was still continued in prison. Meantime, 
Pope Clement V. in April 1308 appealed to Edward II. 
for the bishop's release. But " instead of releasing the 
bishop he delivered him to the Bishop of Poitiers to 
be conveyed to the Pope, then at Avignon, November 
15, 1308." Then Edward sent, in December 1308, a letter 
to the Pope " concerning the horrible crimes of the Bishop 
of Glasgow." 3 This letter of the king's to the Pope 

^ Ibid. ii. 1016, and Hist, of Hampshire, Victoria Edition, iii. p. 151. 
2 Sept. 20, 1306 ; Rymer's Foed. ii. 1025-6, edit. 1705. 
*Ibid. iii. 121 ; also Cal. Docts. Scotl. iii. Nos. 58 and 61. 


was evidently drawn up with great care and eloquence. 
Among other charges made against the bishop it was stated 
that " he had stirred up the inhabitants of Scotland to re- 
bellion, broken his oaths of fealty and homage, and been the 
source of many conspiracies. . . . Forgetful of his calling, 
he has not been peaceful but warlike, not a Levite at the 
altar, but a knight on horseback, with a shield instead of a 
censer, a sword instead of a stole, a breastplate instead of 
an alb, a helmet instead of a mitre, and a lance instead of a 
pastoral staff." In short, the king makes out Wishart to be 
the root of all the trouble in Scotland, and hopes that the 
Pope will administer such punishment as will make him an 
example to all others. 

Now it so happened that while Bruce was making headway 
against the English oppressors all over the land, a council 
of the clergy held at Dundee in February 1310 unanimously 
acknowledged him as lawful King of Scotland, a recognition 
that proved extremely helpful to his claims. But while 
rejoicing at the happy turn things had taken in his own 
favour, he did not forget his old and staunch friend, the 
bishop, lying immured in the dungeon at Porchester. For 
we read that King Robert, 1 when granting the restoration of 
churches and lands that had been alienated from the See 
of Glasgow, spoke most sympathetically of the " imprison- 
ments and chains and persecutions and vexatious delays 
which the venerable father, Robert, Bishop of Glasgow, has 
borne and still so patiently bears for the rights of the Church 
and of the Kingdom of Scotland." Meantime, the king, 
" hearing that the Bishop of Glasgow is busy suing his deliver- 
ance at the Court of Rome and leave to return to his own 
country," orders letters to be sent to the Pope and the 
cardinals, January 1310-11, urgently opposing the said 
bishop's restoration, either to his office or his country, and 
No. 258 ; Glas. Chart, i. pt. ii. p. 21. 


recommending instead that Master Stephen de Segrave be 
appointed in his place as Bishop of Glasgow. 1 No further 
steps seem to have been taken in this direction, for we find 
the bishop still in prison at Porchester, December 4, I3I2. 2 
Soon thereafter, Wishart was again sent to the Pope, for 
King Edward refers to the bishop having been summoned 
before the Pope and sent back to England under charge of 
Arnold, Cardinal of St. Prisca, to be retained in custody. 
Thereupon, the king, on 2Oth November, 1313, wrote to the 
Prior of Ely to have Robert of Glasgow in his custody and 
to provide lodgings befitting his spiritual condition within 
the precincts of the priory, where he might be securely kept 
and treated with respect, and maintained at his own expense. 3 
Here he remained a prisoner within the Convent of Ely 
till after the battle of Bannockburn. Then on July i8th, 
1314, three weeks after that memorable event, King Edward 
orders Wishart to be brought to him at York, when he was 
exchanged for the Earl of Hertford, one of the English leaders 
captured by the Scots at the siege of Bothwell Castle. 4 
Wishart, now blind, 5 was conveyed to the Castle of Carlisle, 
2nd October, 1314, en route for Glasgow. 6 

And here we light upon an interesting incident. When 
the bishop was brought before Edward at York, there were 
also brought to the same place the wife, sister and daughter 
of King Robert the Bruce, who, all like himself, had been 
captives in England. 7 And these the king sends to the 
Castle of Carlisle along with the Bishop of Glasgow. 

1 Cal. Docts. Scot. iii. Nos. 194 and 207. 

2 Syllabus, Rymer's Foed. p. 170. 

3 Rymer > s Foed. edit. 1727 ; iii. pp. 450 and 459 ; Cal. Docts. Scot. iii. 
No. 342 ; Bentham's Hist, of Ely Cathedral, p. 155, edit. 1812. 
4 Cal. Docts. Scot. iii. No. 372. 
6 Harbour's Bruce, bk. xiii. 683, Skeat's edit. 

6 Syllabus, Rymer's Foed. p. 1 84. 

7 Rymer's Foed. iii. pp. 496-7, edit. 1727 ; Cal. Docts. Scot. iii. No. 393. 


How far on the road to Glasgow these royal ladies travelled 
with the bishop may be uncertain. At any rate, so long as 
they were in company, we can easily conjure up the nature 
of their conversation how the memories of the fateful 
struggle through which they had passed would be recalled 
yet, in all hearts there would well up a profound sense of 
gratitude to God that Scotland was freed from the oppressor 
and once more in possession of her ancient liberty and 
independence. We can picture to our imagination also, 
the venerable and patriotic bishop, after all his wanderings 
and vicissitudes, blind as he was, led on horseback and wel- 
comed with acclamation by the inhabitants of Glasgow as 
he entered the city and rode past the Cross and up the High 
Street to his palace at the townhead a scene so full of 
pathos, especially to the older citizens, that it would touch 
many a tender chord. 

On his return to Glasgow, there would be much business 
to transact, for the offices of the diocese, during the troubles 
of the past twenty years, must have fallen sadly into confu- 
sion. Among other matters, we read of Bishop Robert on 
April 25, 1316, appointing one Sir Patrick Floker, connected 
with the Church of Kilpatrick, master and guardian of the 
hospital at Polmadie, and granting him power of discipline 
over the brethren, sisters and pensioners. 1 

This hospital, which stood on the south side of Rutherglen 
Road and west side of Jenny's Burn, where several ancient 
thoroughfares intersected, has long since vanished. It is 
believed to have been used in pre-reformation times as a 
retreat for poor persons, and for the accommodation of 
travellers. 2 

Spottiswood 3 tells us that Bishop Wishart died on 
November 26, 1316. He was buried in the lower church 

^R.E.G. No. 263. 2 Glas. Memors. pp. 247-250. 

3 Hist. Church Scotl. i. p. 222. 


between the altars of St. Peter and St. Andrew, perhaps 
because building operations were going on in the upper 
church at this time. It is said that the recumbent effigy 
underneath the open arch, now sadly dilapidated, is that 
which once covered the tomb of the warrior-bishop. 1 

In reflecting upon the life of Bishop Wishart, one is struck 
with the boundless energy of the man, as well as with the 
irrepressibility of his patriotism. It might be said, too, 
seeing that he treated so lightly the breaking of the most 
solemn oaths, that his besetting sin was patriotism. Hitherto 
historians have sung the praises of Wallace and Bruce, as if 
these two alone were the outstanding heroes in the great 
War of Independence. But, is it not evident from the official 
documents of the period that another name must be added 
to make a trio, viz. that of Robert Wishart, Bishop of 
Glasgow, who is spoken of as the prime instigator of the 
.rebellion, the source of many conspiracies, and the root of 
all the trouble between Scotland and England ? 

Book ofGlas. Cathedral^ pp. 412-413. 



JOHN CAMERON, the Catholic Bishop of Glasgow, is to be 
distinguished from another John Cameron, the Protestant 
Principal of Glasgow University, who flourished two centuries 
later, and was known in his day as " The Great Cameron." 

John Cameron, the Roman Bishop, occupied the See of 
Glasgow from 1426 to 1446. He was contemporary with 
James I., that monarch who, as a youth on a voyage to 
France, was captured by the English and detained by them 
a prisoner for eighteen years before he was permitted to 
return to his native land in April 1424. Those were the 
days of the great schism in the Papacy, when no fewer than 
three Popes claimed, at the same time, to be the rightful 
occupants of St. Peter's Chair. This schism lasted for thirty- 
six years during which the various claimants anathematized 
one another. 

In those days, Scotland, in ecclesiastical matters, under the 
guidance of Bishop Wardlaw of St. Andrews, sided with the 
Spanish claimant to the Papacy, Benedict XIII., who, 
subsequently, owing to the decision of the Council of Con- 
stance, conceded his claims in favour of Martin V., so that 
the year 1449 may be said to have seen the end of the 
anti-popes. The exact date of Bishop Cameron's birth 
appears to be unknown. From all that can be gathered, 
it would be towards the close of the fourteenth century. 
He is said to have been a scion of the gallant house of Locheil, 


but contemporary documents point to his belonging to one 
of the burgess families of Edinburgh. 1 

Although Cameron belonged to Edinburgh, the education 
necessary for church preferment could not be procured 
there ; for in those days Edinburgh had no university, 
neither had Glasgow or Aberdeen, only St. Andrews. That 
Cameron studied at St. Andrews seems very probable, if 
we give weight to the following considerations. In a roll 
of the early graduates in Arts of St. Andrews is found the 
entry " Johannes de Camera, pauper." 2 This Johannes 
took the degree of B.A. in 1416, and that of M.A. in 1419, 
at which date the entry runs, " Johannes de Camera, 
magister, juravit paupertatem." Now, while the usual 
rendering of Camera is Chalmers or Chambers, it is also 
found translated Cameron, so that there need be no difficulty 
in accepting this rendering, inasmuch as other references 
seem to point to this John Cameron as the future Bishop 
of Glasgow. From the above entries we learn that this 
John Cameron was, while a student, in comparatively poor 
circumstances, seeing that he pled poverty and declared on 
oath his inability to pay his graduation fees, resembling in 
this respect a still more famous Scotsman, the illustrious 
George Buchanan, who was also, about a century later, a 
student of St. Andrews. 

Again, we find one John Cameron, whom we have every 
reason to believe the same person, while acting as secretary 
to the Earl of Wigtown in 1423, adding after his signature, 
Licentiates in decretis, a degree then granted at St. Andrews 
for proficiency in the study of canon law. 3 

1 Robertson's Stat. Eccl. Scot. p. Ixxxii, note. 

2 Roll of Graduates, transcribed by J. M. Anderson, LL.D. 

* St. Andrews had a faculty for expounding canon law in 1410, even 
before the university itself was fully and properly constituted. C 
Historl. Sketch. St. Andrews Univ. by J. M. Anderson, LL.D., 1878 


Another reason for thinking that the future Bishop 
Cameron was a student of St. Andrews is, that he owed his 
early advancement in life to Bishop Wardlaw, who appointed 
him Official of Lothian. Besides, as this good bishop had 
great influence not only with James I., but with his kinsmen 
of the house of Douglas, we may easily understand how 
Cameron would be recommended for promotion to offices at 
the disposal of the king or of the Douglas. 

Further, as Cameron graduated B.A. in 1416, this implies 
that he must have entered the university three years 
previously, i.e. in 1413. If so, we infer that he must 
have been present on that eventful day, I3th February, 
1413, when Scotland's first university received the papal 
sanction. The historian x tells us that when Ogilvie, the 
papal envoy, made his entry into St. Andrews, bearing the 
papal bulls, his arrival was welcomed by the ringing of 
bells and the tumultuous joy of all classes of the inhabitants. 
The next day being Sunday, a solemn convocation of the 
clergy was held, and the papal bulls being read, the digni- 
taries of the Church went in procession to the high altar of 
the cathedral, where the Te Deum was sung by the whole 
assembly, the bishops, priors, and other dignitaries being 
arrayed in their richest canonicals, whilst four hundred 
priests, besides lay brothers, prostrated themselves before 
the altar, and an immense multitude of spectators bent their 
knees in gratitude and adoration. The religious services 
concluded, the rest of the day was devoted to mirth and 
festivity. In the evening there were bonfires in the streets, 
peals of bells and musical instruments, processions of the 
clergy and joyful assemblies of the people. 

The above description of this brilliant function has been 
purposely detailed because the story of Cameron's life gives 
us the impression that his after career was deeply influenced 
1 Ty tier's Hist. Scot. yr. 1413, quotes from Bower. 


by it, as if visions of this scene, with its impressive and 
gorgeous ceremonial, flitted before his youthful imagination 
and played no unimportant part in shaping his future and 
winning for him, among the pre-reformation prelates of 
Glasgow, the title of " Magnificent/' 

Putting these several considerations together, and also 
the unusually rapid promotion to the highest offices in 
Church and State, which so quickly followed his university 
curriculum, we infer that Cameron was not only one of 
the earliest, but also one of the brilliant students of 
St. Andrews. As instructions had been given to the 
professors of the university to recommend for church 
preferment " only such youths as were of good learning 
and virtuous lives," we may be certain that in this way 
Cameron would early come under the notice of the bishop, 
who would watch his remarkable diligence in study with 
the liveliest interest. 

From 1419, when he graduated M.A., we lose sight of 
Cameron till 1422. Where he was in the interval, we cannot 
tell. In all likelihood he remained at St. Andrews to pursue 
his studies in civil and in canon law, and take his degree of 
licentiate in decrees, and then perhaps proceed to the 
Continent. 1 

At any rate, in 1422, Cameron was appointed by Bishop 
Wardlaw, himself a keen student of law, Official of Lothian, 2 
a post of considerable importance, and one demanding an 
expert knowledge both of civil and ecclesiastical law. This 
of itself shows the confidence which the sagacious bishop 
reposed in the character and accomplishments of one who 
had so recently passed through the university. 

1 Orleans and Bologna Universities had, at this period, a European 
reputation for the study of law. 

2 Crawford's Lives of Officers of State, p. 24 ; Cal. Pap. Re%. vii. 
p. 519. 


Next year, 1423, Cameron is found rector of Cambuslang, 
and also acting as secretary and confessor to Archibald 
Douglas, Earl of Wigtown, 1 son of the fourth Earl Douglas, 
created Duke of Touraine by the King of France, and 
husband of Margaret, sister of James I. From this time 
Cameron's promotion was conspicuous for its rapidity. In 
1423 we find him Provost of Lincluden, doubtless through 
the influence of the Douglas. 2 

Lincluden was a beautiful collegiate church recently 
erected by Archibald, third Earl Douglas the same who 
erected Bothwell collegiate church and was situated at the 
meeting of the waters, near Dumfries, where Cluden pours 
its crystal stream into Nith. The ruins of this church, 
built in the finest style of florid Gothic, standing still " in 
all the imploring beauty of decay," furnished inspiration 
to the muse of Robert Burns, who often frequented the 
spot, as well as to poet and artist since. 3 

Next year, 1424, Cameron was appointed secretary to 
King James I. a month or two after the return of that 
monarch from his long detention in England an appoint- 
ment in which may be seen the hand of Bishop Ward- 
law, who had been the king's tutor before his pupil had 
been captured by the English and his steady friend ever 
since, and who could confidently recommend Cameron from 
personal knowledge. 

Then in 1425 we find him Keeper of the Privy Seal ; in 
1426, Keeper of the Great Seal and at the same time holding 
the Rectory of Kirkinner, the richest parish church in 
Galloway ; while later, in 1426, he was elected Bishop of 
Glasgow, and shortly thereafter Chancellor of Scotland. 4 

* Reg. Great Sea^ ii. No. 13. 

3 Reg. Great Seal, ii. No. 23, and Excheq. Rolls, iv. 379. 

3 M'Dowall's Chron. of Lincluden Abbey, pp. 177 and 203. 

4 Cal. Pap. Reg. vii. pp. 425-465-478 ; Excheq. Rolls, iv. 400 ; Dr. Jos. 
Robertson's Statuta Eccl. Scot. i. p. Ixxxii, note ; also p. xcix, note. 


Scottish National Portrait Gallery. 


It appears, however, that the Chapter of Glasgow Cathedral 
in electing Cameron, one of their own canons, as bishop, 
had done so in ignorance of the fact that the provisions of 
the See had recently been specially reserved for the Pope. 
The papal confirmation having been obtained in due course, 
and the customary fees paid to the Apostolic See, John 
Cameron was consecrated Bishop of Glasgow early in the 
year 1427. And thus it came to pass that the poor boy 
who graduated B.A. at St. Andrews in 1416, rose step by 
step within the remarkably short space of ten years, to 
occupy a commanding position in Scotland as Bishop of 
Glasgow and Chancellor of the Realm, in all likelihood when 
he had just turned his thirtieth year. But now, after this 
unusual run of prosperity, Cameron's troubles seem to have 
commenced. During the late regency, Scotland had been 
suffering from the evils of misgovernment, chiefly from its 
laws being set at defiance by the nobility, so James I., 
burning with zeal to reform both Church and State, 
summoned several Parliaments, and in particular the 
Parliament which met at Perth in the summer of 1427, 
where, at the same time, a Provincial Council of the Church 
was sitting. This Parliament passed an ordinance curtail- 
ing the cost and abridging the forms of process in civil 
causes against churchmen in the spiritual courts, and 
ordained that it should forthwith be enacted by the Provin- 
cial Council. " The boldness of the Scottish Parliament in 
thus dealing with ecclesiastical affairs appears to have 
startled the Papal Court, and been the signal of a breach 
therewith," 1 which lasted for several years. 

Evidently Cameron, who as a bishop was a " King's man " 
rather than a " Pope's man," was regarded as the prime 
mover of these obnoxious Perth statutes, for Pope Martin 
V. writes, May 1430 : " The Pope lately on learning that 

1 Robertson's Stat. Eccl. Scot. i. p. Ixxxi-ii, and note. 



before his promotion to the See of Glasgow, John Cameron 
had more than once incurred disability and perpetrated 
such crimes as to have forfeited all right to said promotion, 
and that after he became bishop he was the author and cause 
of the putting forth in Parliament of certain statutes about 
collations of benefices and otherwise oppressive to the 
clergy, and against ecclesiastical liberty and the rights 
of the Roman Church, also guilty of simoniacal practices, 
ordered an investigation to be made into these charges by 
two cardinals, the result being that John was found guilty 
and cited to appear before the Court of Rome in person to 
hear his deprivation." But King James interposed between 
the Pope and the bishop, and sent his orators to set forth 
to the Pope that many of the charges were untrue and that 
if John had done aught amiss he was ready to make amends. 
Whereupon, " at the said king's petition, made on John's 
behalf, that he will help to obtain the abolition of the above 
statutes and behave laudably in future, the Pope condones 
and remits all crimes and other charges against him, absolves 
him from excommunication and other sentences, and annuls 
the above citation and rehabilitates him." 1 But, as the 
sequel shows, fresh difficulties soon cropped up between the 
Pope and the Bishop of Glasgow. The priest who had been 
appointed as Papal Nuncio to serve the above citation upon 
Bishop Cameron, was one William Croyser, Archdeacon of 
Teviotdale, who at this time was acting as one of the officials 
of the papal household. 2 And here it may not be amiss to 
enquire into the antecedents of Croyser, because from all we 
can gather, he seems to have been Cameron's thorn in the 

l Cal. Pap. Reg. vii. pp. 18, 518-9. If this be a specimen of the 
charges brought against Cameron, it shows there was little ground 
for complaint, 

- Robertson's Stat. Eccl. Scot. i. Ixxxiii. 


Croyser was evidently of a litigious disposition, often 
in trouble concerning his benefices. He was convicted, 
too, of having obtained illegally the archdeaconry of Teviot- 
dale. 1 Indeed, Cameron had scarcely taken in hand the 
duties of his diocese, when Croyser entered into a lawsuit 
against him, but lost his case on the question of the rights 
of their respective jurisdictions. 2 

It would appear that soon after losing this lawsuit, 
Croyser, in 1429, went to Rome and became an official in 
the papal household, where he would have exceptional 
opportunities of securing the ear of the Pope. If Croyser 
was already embittered against Cameron, one may naturally 
imagine he would have no good to say about him to the 
Pope. When the obnoxious Perth statutes were enacted, 
Croyser, who was in Glasgow diocese at the time, would be 
a leading spirit among the clergy who stirred up disaffection 
against the bishop, and complained of him to the Pope. And 
now from his vantage ground in the papal household, he 
could easily put the worst construction, were he so disposed, 
on Cameron's actions, and raise charges against him that 
were without reasonable foundation. This, it seems to me, 
is the explanation of the crimes said to have been committed 
by Cameron, and referred to in Pope Martin V.'s letter, but 
of which King James believed him to be innocent. If the 
above conjecture be correct, we do not wonder that Croyser, 
in April 1433, would gladly welcome his appointment as 
Papal Nuncio to serve the citation upon his rival Bishop 
Cameron. 3 But Croyser no sooner reached Scotland and 
served the citation than he fled back to the Court of Rome, 

1 Cal. Pap. Reg. vii. pp. 73-4, 92-3, 344, 464, 511, 519. 

2 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 332. Glasgow diocese had two archdeacons, one 
of Glasgow proper, and the other of Teviotdale. 

3 Safe-conduct to W. Croyser and W. Turnbull, Papal Chamberlains, to 
pass to Scotland and return to Rome. Cal. Docts. Scot. iv. No. 1062. 


pursued by letters under the King's Seal, summoning him 
to answer in the next Parliament for the crimes of rebellion, 
treason, and lese-majesty. Safe under the shelter of the 
Pope, he refused to answer the summons of his sovereign. 
Nevertheless, the trial proceeded in his absence, when, by 
an assize of nobles, gentry, and burgesses, he was adjudged 
guilty and stripped of his possessions and benefices. 1 Croyser 
appealed against this decision, and Eugenius IV., now Pope, 
championed his cause and issued a bull at Florence, 8th 
May, 1435, restoring to him his livings, and denouncing the 
severest censures of the Church on all who should recognize 
the sentence which had been passed against him. More- 
over, it would seem as if Bishop Cameron had been 
summoned as papal assistant and referendary before the Pope 
in connection with Croyser's case, for he is granted in May 
1435 a safe-conduct for himself and a retinue of thirty to 
go from the Roman court to Scotland. 2 Not long after 
this, in the winter of 1435, there appeared in Scotland that 
illustrious scholar of the Renaissance, Aeneas Sylvius, after- 
wards Pope Pius II., on a secret mission from Arras. 3 He 
tells us in one place in his works that the mission concerned 
" a certain prelate to be restored to the king's favour," 4 in 
another place that it was " to effect the liberation of a certain 
person despoiled." 5 If these ostensible reasons be correct, 
then by recalling what was happening between the Court of 
Rome and Scotland at this very time, it would seem as if the 
prelate referred to and the person despoiled would be no other 
than Croyser, Archdeacon of Teviotdale. Thus it is almost 

1 Stat. EccL Scot. i. pp. Ixxxiii-iv. 

2 Cat. Pap. Reg. Letters^ viii. p. 282, 1427-47. 

3 Boulting, Aeneas Sylvius^ p. 56. 

4 Commentarii Pii II. The term prelatus was of wide significance. Cf. 
Du Cange. 

6 De viris illustribus^ xxxii. " pro liberatione cujusdam spoliati quod 

From Pinturicchios Frescoes at Siena. 


certain that Aeneas would, on this occasion, visit Glasgow, 
seeing it was the headquarters of both of the contending 
parties, Cameron and Croyser. 

Aeneas informs us that he was successful in his mission, 
but whatever reconciliation was effected it must have been 
only temporary, for the bull of 1435 was issued anew twelve 
months later, in 1436, and an influential commission contain- 
ing among others, three cardinals, one of whom was Nicholas 
of Santa Croce to whom, by the way, Aeneas acted as 
secretary was ordered to see to its execution. Meantime, 
the Pope had written to King James denouncing certain of 
his bishops as Pilates rather than prelates, and entreating 
him in the Lord to revoke the obnoxious statutes, and to 
restore Croyser to his offices and possessions. 

To this admonition a threat of excommunication and 
interdict was now added. 1 It would seem as if the Pope, 
whose authority was openly questioned at the Council of 
Basel then in session, was determined to bring the Scottish 
king under his obedience. At the threat of an interdict, 
which in those days took all joy out of life and plunged a 
land into deepest gloom, James deemed it prudent to 
temporize. Accordingly he sent Bishop Cameron and the 
Abbot of Arbroath to the Pope, then at Bologna, with the 
request that a legate be commissioned to Scotland to reform 
the Church. After some delay Eugenius consented, and in 
the summer of 1436, Anthony, Bishop of Urbino, as legate, 
took his departure for the Scottish court. The Pope stipu- 
lated that the costs of the journey a thousand ducats or 
golden florins of the Camera be paid in advance by the 
bishop and the abbot, empowering them, at the same time, 
to recover the amount from the Scottish clergy. 2 

1 Robertson's Stat. Eccl. Scot. i. pp. Ixxxv-vi-vii. 

2 Theiner's Monum. p. 375, No. 746, and Cal. Pap. Reg. Papal Letters, 
viii. pp. 229, 261. 


The legate arrived in Scotland, but before the meeting 
with the king and the clergy arranged for had taken place, 
the king, James I., was murdered, February 1436-7, in the 
Blackfriars' Convent, Perth. Doubtless had the meeting 
been held with the legate, its object would have been 
a compromise on the two matters in dispute with Rome, 
viz. the proceedings of the papal court against Cameron, 
and the proceedings of the Scottish Parliament against 
Croyser. It was not, however, till 1438-9 that the breach 
between Scotland and Rome was healed. Then, strange to 
say, the Pope commissioned Croyser once more as nuncio 
to absolve Bishop Cameron from all the sentences of ex- 
communication, suspension, interdict, and other censures 
and punishments incurred by him. 1 Although the dispute 
between the Pope and the bishop lasted ten years, and the 
threat of excommunication was held over the bishop most 
of that time, it is unlikely that Cameron was actually under 
excommunication for more than a short period. Whether 
Bishop Cameron was absolved in public or in private in the 
cathedral, is not recorded, but doubtless it would be per- 
formed according to the ritual in vogue in Glasgow the 
Use of Sarum. 

At any rate, the church of Glasgow, which had figured so 
prominently during this ten years' conflict with the papal 
court, at a period, too, when the Council of Basel was threat- 
ening the supremacy of the Popes, and it seemed " as if the 
Catholic world were about to break into chaos," made its 
peace with the powers that be, and won its way back to 

While the dispute with the papal court was drag- 
ging, Bishop Cameron was vigorously carrying on the 
work of his diocese and fulfilling his duties as chancellor, 

^heiner's Monum. p. 375, No. 747 ; Cat. Pap. Reg. Papal Letters, viii. 
p. 294. 


which latter post he held till 1439. As it happened, the 
French were then at war with England, and the English, 
being anxious to cultivate an alliance with Scotland through 
marriage, were naturally apprehensive that the Scots 
might be led to attack England. Accordingly, from 1429 
to 1432, Bishop Cameron is found acting as one of the leading 
commissioners in seeking to continue the truce between 
Scotland and England. And, as the Borders were especially 
troublesome on such occasions, we read of safe-conducts 
being granted to the bishop and others to come to a place 
named Hawdenstank on the March of Scotland, with 1000 
men, horse or foot, armed or unarmed, to redress March 
offences and treat for peace. 1 The March offences were 
crimes connected with Border forays. Those who are 
curious to see the indenture or terms of truce drawn up on 
this occasion, will find its provisions quaintly stated in the 
Scottish dialect of the period. 2 

As already hinted, another matter causing no ordinary 
agitation within the Church at this period was the Council 
of Basel that met in the year 1431, the great aim of which 
was to reform the Church, curb the power of the Popes, 
and put down heresy. This was so entirely after King 
James' own heart that when repeatedly asked to send 
representatives to the Council, he at last wrote in August 
I 433> to the Abbot of Dundrennan, Thomas Livingstone, 
a Scotsman who took a leading part in the discussions at 
Basel, that nothing was more worthy of a Catholic prince, 
and that, although the length of the way and the perils 
of the journey across the lands of enemies, and of the voyage 
by sea, may be an excuse for not having as yet sent repre- 
sentatives, nevertheless he would see to it at once. Accord- 

1 Cal. Docts. Scot. iv. Nos. 1029, 1030, 1032, 1037, 1041. Hawdenstank 
midway between Kelso and Coldstream. 

2 Cal. Docts. Scot. iv. pp. 404-6. 


ingly, a commission to appear on behalf of the King of 
Scotland at the Council was given to eight persons to act 
as representatives, viz. the Bishops of Glasgow and Brechin, 
the Abbots of Melrose and Dundrennan, the Dean and the 
Precentor of Dunkeld, and two laymen. 1 It would seem there 
is no certain information as to whether Cameron actually 
gave attendance at the Council. It is known, however, that 
he procured a safe-conduct for a year for himself and thirty 
Scotsmen, his attendants, to go to the Court of Rome, on 
29th November, 1432, 2 and again in October 1433. 3 

Let us turn attention now to Bishop Cameron's work 
within his own diocese. Thinking to increase the efficiency 
and add to the dignity of public worship in the cathedral, 
he added between the years 1427-1430 seven new prebends 
to the existing twenty-five, thus making thirty-two alto- 
gether. The seven new prebends were Cambuslang,Tarbolton, 
Eaglesham, Luss, Kirkmahoe, Killearn, Strathblane and 
Polmadie Hospital united, these prebendaries being admitted 
to stalls in the choir and to a place and vote in the chapter. 4 

Further, he enjoined the thirty-two prebendaries to erect 
each a manse or place of residence in town, near the cathe- 
dral, and to provide each his own church in his absence 
with a suitable vicar, when cathedral duties required his 
presence in Glasgow. 5 Hence Rottenrow, Drygate and 
what is now Cathedral Square, in ancient times, were largely 
occupied with these manses and their gardens. 6 

While there were thirty-two canons altogether in the 
chapter of the cathedral, probably not more than twelve 
were usually in residence. Yet those canons in residence 
found their tables so scantily provided for that they some- 

1 Statutes of Scot. Church (1225-1559), D. Patrick's, pp. 218-219. 

2 Cal Docts. Scot. iv. p. 218. 3 Ry mer 's Syll. p. 656. 
4 Reg. Epis. Glas. Nos. 338, 340, 342. * Ibid. No. 348. 

6 M'Ure's Hist, of Glas. edn. 1830, pp. 43-48. 


times absented themselves from their sacred functions, and 
thus divine service was diminished. Hence the Pope, on 
the petition of Bishop Cameron, ordered, in April 1430, 
that the church of Liberton in the diocese, when it became 
vacant, be appropriated as a common church by the chapter, 
that from its revenues a more liberal distribution be pro- 
vided for the canons in residence. 1 

The earliest historian of Glasgow gives us a vivid pic- 
ture of Bishop Cameron, " The Magnificent." " This great 
prelate now being seated in his palace, and the thirty-two 
parsons having built their respective manses or manors on 
the four streets adjacent to the great church, he made a 
most solemn and magnificent procession and entry to the 
metropolitan church, twelve persons or fertors carrying his 
large silver crozier, and eleven large silver maces before him, 
accompanied with the thirty-two parsons members of the 
chapter, belonging to the great church, the bells of the two 
steeples ringing, the organs, with the vocal and instrumental 
music, sung by the masters of the sacred music in the 
cathedral, gorgeously arrayed with costly vestments, and 
especially when Te Deum and Mass were to be sung and 
celebrated." 2 

For the better preservation of the moveable property, 
Bishop Cameron caused to be drawn up, in 1432, an inventory 
of all the ornaments or ecclesiastical furniture, such as relics, 
jewels, vestments and service books, and other volumes 
belonging to the cathedral. 3 

This inventory consists of twelve sections, eight of which 
have been made the subject of a learned and interest- 
ing disquisition by the late Bishop Dowden of Edinburgh. 4 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 334 ; Cal. Pap. Reg. Papal Letters, viii. p. 161 ; 
Trans. Scot. Eccl. Soc. 1908, p. 188. 

M'Ure's Hist, of Glas. edn. 1830, p. 48. *Reg. Epis. Glas. pp. 329-339.. 
* Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. 1898-9, pp. 280-329. 


In passing, it may be stated that among the relics venerated 
by the faithful in Glasgow in the fifteenth century was a 
bit of the true Cross inlaid within a silver cross, a silver 
gilt phial said to contain hairs of the Virgin Mary, another 
phial with some of her milk, also a silver coffer with part of 
the hair shirt of St. Kentigern, and two linen bags with the 
bones of St. Kentigern and of his mother, St. Thanew. 

Those who are curious as to the jewelled mitres and 
croziers, the richly coloured vestments and altar cloths, the 
products of the loom and the embroidering needle, the plate, 
the psalters, service and professional books, are referred 
for full information to Bishop Dowden's paper. 

Then, with regard to the last four sections of this in- 
ventory, these contain a catalogue of the books of the 
cathedral library as it existed in 1432 . This list was examined 
by Cosmo Innes, who gives the results of his investigations 
in his scholarly preface to the Register of Glasgow. 1 

From this it appears that the volumes therein described 
were not all housed in one building. The service books, 
for example, such as missals, breviaries, psalters, anthem, 
processional and pontifical books, were kept in the choir of 
the cathedral for the use of the officiating clergy, and not 
infrequently these volumes were chained to the desks, two 
holes being bored through the lower corners of the oaken 
boards next the binding. 

Other volumes were kept in presses, not within the library, 
perhaps, but in the chapter-house, where they would be re- 
quired for reference on questions of procedure or of canon law. 

The majority of the volumes were accommodated in the 
library house, 2 all within the small compass of three shelves. 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. pref. footnote, pp. xlv-xlvi. 

2 This is believed to have been in one of the upper storeys of the south- 
west tower or consistory house. Cf. Records Burgh of Glas. i. p. 370 ; 
Dr. Gordon's Glasgow Cathedral, p. 286. 


The following might serve as a brief classification : 
two copies of the Bible, complete, one of them illumi- 
nated in gold; a copy of the Gospels, the Acts of the 
Apostles and the Epistles of St. Paul, also Commentaries on 
the Five Books of Moses and the Psalter, Bede's Homilies 
on the Gospels, and a Concordance of the Bible, illuminated 
in gold. 

In scholastic theology and kindred subjects were trea- 
tises by Jerome, Augustine, Isidore of Seville, Bonaventura, 
Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus, also the famous pastoral 
book of Pope Gregory the Great, Bede's Ecclesiastical 
History, sermons by St. Bernard, and a small volume con- 
taining the lives of St. Kentigern and St. Serf. 

Among volumes on civil and canon law were the Pandects 
of Justinian, the works of Durandus, and several books on 
the Decretals. The above-mentioned heavy tomes were 
relieved by only two volumes of the ancient classics, the 
Metamorphoses of Ovid and the works of Sallust the 
historian. This brief list may be completed by remarking 
that only two volumes in the library had any special connec- 
tion with Glasgow. One of these was a book of theology 
with the arms of the Cardinal of Scotland painted on the 
first letter undoubtedly those of Walter Wardlaw, Bishop 
of Glasgow (1367-1387), Glasgow's only cardinal. 1 The 
other was a processional book then in the hands of 
the binder, one of the clergy of Glasgow Richard 
Air. 2 

In this catalogue, we have a glimpse of the compara- 
tively limited range of reading among the Scottish clergy 
of five centuries ago, before the mighty impulse of the 
Renaissance movement had made itself felt in Scotland, and 
before the invention of printing scattered books broadcast 
to the ends of the earth. 

1 Keg. Epis. Glas. p. 336. 2 Ibid. p. 335. 


With regard to his " Kirkwerk," as it was termed, 
while the great central tower of the cathedral was 
built by his predecessor, Bishop Lauder, Cameron is 
credited with having erected the elegant octagonal spire 
that rises from the central tower. He also had a share in 
bringing about the completion of the chapter-house, as 
his coat of arms here and there about the sacristy 

Again, the consistory house, or south-west tower, " unfor- 
tunately removed about the year 1848, has been ascribed 
to him, erroneously as we believe, for, as already stated, 
this south-west tower was, in all probability, erected by 
Bishop Wishart a century and a half previous, although 
Cameron in his day may have enlarged and strengthened 
it, when it became the law court house of his diocese. 1 

The bishops of Glasgow, being lords of the regality, 
administered justice throughout that territory generally by 
means of a bailie appointed by themselves. In addition 
to this local jurisdiction, law, both civil and ecclesiastical, 
was dispensed within the bounds of the diocese by judges 
nominated by the archdeacon, and styled officials. The 
court of the official was known as the Consistorial or Com- 
missariot court, and, before the Court of Session was estab- 
lished, nearly all the law business of the diocese was 
transacted therein. 2 

Such was the reputation of Glasgow Consistorial court in 
the fifteenth century for even-handed justice, that upon 
court days, thrice a week, there was quite a concourse of 
litigants and suitors, not only from the city itself, but from 
the districts of Campsie and Hamilton, making this one of 
the busiest quarters of Old Glasgow. 3 

1 Dr. Gordon's Glasgow Cathedral, p. 284. 

8 Cosmo Innes, Legal Antiquities, pp. 181, 238-9. 

3 M'Ure's Hist, of G las. edn. 1830, p. 74. 


The fame of the court was largely due to Bishop 
Cameron who seems to have reorganized it ; nevertheless its 
fame was splendidly maintained in 1471-1478 when William 
Elphinstone, afterwards Bishop of Aberdeen, was Official of 

Bishop Cameron, too, enlarged the episcopal palace to 
provide extra accommodation, by erecting another building 
in the form of a great tower, alongside the more ancient. 1 
Some writers have confounded this tower, built by Cameron 
as an integral portion of the palace itself, with the tower at 
the south-west angle of the wall surrounding the palace, 
built afterwards by Archbishop James Beaton about the 
year of fatal Flodden, 1513. The two towers were quite 
distinct ; the Cameron tower was within the palace grounds, 
the Beaton tower without. 

Further, Bishop Cameron as lord of the barony granted 
the citizens the privilege of erecting a mill, known as the 
Townsmill, on the banks of the Molendinar at the south 
side of Garngad Hill, near where the present Townmill 
Road meets Alexandra Parade. In those days it was 
reckoned a valuable concession to the citizens to have a 
mill all to themselves, the only condition stipulated by the 
bishop being that the citizens supply two pounds of wax 
candles yearly for lighting up the shrine at St. Mungo's 
tomb in the lower church of the cathedral. 2 

" Nor was this all," says M'Ure, " for illustrating the 
city more magnificently, he procured a fair from his majesty 
to be held yearly near the high church, the first week of 
January, commonly called St. Mungo's Fair." 3 This fair 

1 Ibid. p. 19. On this tower Bishop Cameron's arms were visible in 

8 Glasgow Charters^ pt. ii. p. 25 ; also notarial instrument dated 4th 
Feb. 1446-7. 

3 M'Ure's Hist. edn. 1830, p. 48. 


was in existence, as stated by M'Ure in 1736, but we have no 
documentary evidence to show how it originated. 

" But, further," says M'Ure, " the great resort of his 
vassals and tenants being noblemen and barons of the 
greatest figure in the kingdom, waiting and attending upon 
this spiritual prince, in procuring from him charters of 
confirmation and resignation, tacks of lands and tithes, 
together with the ecclesiastic persons that depend upon 
him, made his court to be very splendid, next to majesty 
itself." 1 Such is the statement of M'Ure. Mr. Renwick, 
however, is of opinion that the bishops would not grant 
charters to the occupiers of the lands in the Barony till long 
after Cameron's time. Probably he entered the names of 
the occupiers in a Rental Book as his successors did. The 
earliest extant Rental Book begins in 1509. 

Here falls to be recorded the gruesome incident related 
by George Buchanan and repeated by others as having 
taken place at the bishop's death-bed. Cameron, at 
the time, it is said, was residing at Lochwood, on the 
shore of the Bishop's Loch, where the bishops of Glasgow had 
a country house or rural manor. 2 It was Christmas evening 
of the year 1446 and he had retired to rest, when there came 
a thundering voice out of heaven summoning him to the 
judgment of God, where he should give account and reckon- 
ing of all his cruelty and oppression. Suddenly awaking in 
great perturbation, he roused his servants and ordered them 
to sit by him with lighted candles, and, having taken a 
book in his hand, began to read, when a repetition of the 
same voice struck all present with profound horror. A 
short while after, it sounded again, louder and more terrible, 
when the bishop gave a deep groan, and, on his attendants 
going up to his couch, he was found with his tongue hanging 

1 M'Ure's Hist, edn 1830, p. 48. 

2 " Manerium de lacu," Reg. Epis. Glas. pp. 232, 252, 293, 294. 


out of his mouth a remarkable example, adds Buchanan, 
of the Divine vengeance. 1 

This story of Buchanan's, as he himself admits, founded 
on mere rumour, is in direct contradiction to the whole 
tenor of Cameron's life. We have faith in the maxim, " He 
who has lived well, cannot die ill." This story may be 
regarded as a libel on Cameron's character, and a slander 
emanating from enemies who hated his reforming zeal. 
We prefer to accept the testimony of one who lived much 
nearer the date of the bishop's death, viz. John Asloan, who 
relates " Ane thousand four hundred and forty-six thar 
decessit in the castall of Glasgow not at Lochwood observe 
Master Jhone Cameron, Bischop of Glasgow, upon Yule 
evyne, that was bischop nineteen year." 2 

As we recall the story of the life of the poor boy who 
became Bishop of Glasgow and Chancellor of Scotland, we 
seem to see in his career a typical instance of the hardy 
Scot. He was evidently a man of boundless energy and a 
vigorous administrator of the affairs of his diocese. Like 
his royal master, too, he was a resolute and fearless 
reformer of the evils that afflicted both Church and State 
in his day. Indeed, it was his reforming zeal in Church 
matters, not unlike that of Chrysostom at Constantinople, 
that brought so many troubles down upon his head from the 
day he became Bishop of Glasgow till the day of his death. 
Perhaps owing to his extremely rapid promotion in life 
he became somewhat overbearing, and his methods of re- 
form rather hasty and drastic. At any rate, the record of his 
achievements is a noble one. He not only virtually com- 
pleted the fabric of the cathedral, 3 increased the splendour 

1 Buchanan's Hist. xi. p. 207, Freebairn's edn. 

2 Auchinleck Chron. yr. 1446. 

3 Blackadder reconstructed the aisle that bears his name about the 
year 1500, but this seems no part of the original design. 



of its worship and the efficiency of its administration, but 
enlarged the palace and conferred boons which contributed 
largely to the prosperity of the city, so that he is well entitled 
to be ranked as one of the Makers of Glasgow, and one of the 
ablest prelates that ever sat in the chair of St. Kentigern. 

A.D. 1426-1446. 

A.D. I272-I3I6. 



THOMAS PARENTUCELLI who afterwards became Pope 
Nicholas V., was born in 1397, not at Pisa, but, as recent 
investigation has shown, at Sarzana, on the coast of Liguria. 1 
While he was only a little boy, his father, a surgeon, died, 
and his mother, who married a second time, had a hard 
struggle to bring up her family. Perceiving that Thomas 
was gifted, she scraped together what money she could to 
procure him a good education. He was sent to school first 
at Lucca, the cathedral city of the diocese, and then at the 
age of twelve to Bologna, where he spent the next six years 
of his life at its renowned high schools. 2 How he was 
supported during these early years we are not informed. 
When he was eighteen he left Bologna and came to Florence, 
and was employed successively as private tutor by two of 
its most wealthy and cultured families. While resident 
there he developed his powers, absorbed new ideas, formed 
his literary taste, and acquired an enthusiasm for learning 
and art. After two years he returned with the money he 
had saved to Bologna to prosecute his studies at its univer- 
sity, and graduated doctor in theology at the age of twenty- 
two. These were years of strenuous struggle, but, consumed 
by zeal for learning and enjoying the fascination of difficulty, 

1 Dr. Pastor's Hist, of the Popes, translated by Antrobus, ii. p. 14. 
1 J. A. Symonds' Renaissance in Italy, London, 1877, pp. 222-3. 


he conquered as many a poor student has conquered, and 
climbed the ladder of fame. 

Evidently his abilities and scholarship became well known 
in Bologna, for the bishop of the city, Cardinal Niccolo 
Albergati, appointed him as major-domo to superintend 
his household and ecclesiastical establishment. This posi- 
tion he held for twenty years, the relationship between 
master and servant being so cordial and intimate, that 
Parentucelli ever regarded the cardinal as his second 

When the papal court, owing to internal dissensions at 
Rome, took up its residence at Florence and remained 
here for two years (1433-5), the cardinal, along with his 
major-domo and household, also removed thither. 

These were the days in Florence when the Renaissance 
movement was almost at its height, a revivification of the 
poetry, eloquence, art and science of ancient Greece and 
Rome. During the Dark Ages men's minds were under the 
bondage of scholasticism, and their souls under the domina- 
tion of the Church. But great intellectual forces had been 
let loose, and a vast tidal wave swept all before it. Of this 
movement, Florence was then the centre and inspiration. 
" Nowhere else, except in Athens," it has been said, " has the 
whole population of a city been permeated with ideas so 
highly intellectual by nature, so keen in perception." Here 
were gathered together " illuminati " in all departments 
of knowledge, so that Florence was described as the Athens 
of modern Europe and the eye of Italy. 

It is difficult in our day to attain any adequate concep- 
tion of the splendour and stateliness of this city's life, when 
ardour for the new learning was at its highest. Men's minds 
experienced a subtle intoxication as the ideas of the great 
masterpieces of antiquity dawned upon them and expanded 
the horizon of their vision. 


" Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive 
But to be young was very heaven." 

If there was one individual in Florence to whom the 
Renaissance owed its inspiration and encouragement, it 
was Cosimo de Medici, the head of the wealthy banking 
firm of the Medici and the virtual ruler of the city. 

As a young man Cosimo had caught the enthusiasm of 
the new learning. Every moment he could spare from 
business was given to books. " The man who has no 
pleasure in study," he said, " has not tasted one of the chief 
delights in life." 

Possessed of immense wealth, he sent scholars to famous 
seats of learning, especially to monastic libraries to search 
for manuscripts of classic authors. He gave permission to 
certain experts to purchase at any price rare and valuable 
manuscripts, while correspondents in his banking business 
all over Europe were commissioned to be on the outlook for 
these treasures. In Florence itself he had numbers of learned 
men at work copying manuscripts and translating Greek 
into Latin, so that the best thoughts of the best minds 
should become the property of all. 

Nor did he confine his interest to books and manuscripts. 
Relics of antiquity and articles of vertu were highly valued, 
intaglios, coins, sculpture, vases and inscriptions. 

Into this vortex, intellectual and aesthetic, Parentucelli 
was plunged when he accompanied Cardinal Albergati to 
Florence in 1433 to serve at the court of Pope Eugenius IV. 
As might be expected, kindred spirits like Cosimo and 
Parentucelli drew to each other, and the most intimate 
friendship sprang up between them. In their absorbing 
eagerness for knowledge, the savants of Florence used to 
congregate morning and evening at the side of the Palazzo 
where they entered into discussions on various subjects. 
In this connection we have a picturesque glimpse of 


Parentucelli. "As soon as he had attended the cardinal to the 
Palazzo, he joined this literary circle, mounted on a mule, 
with two servants on foot. Generally he was attired in 
blue and his servants in long dresses of a darker colour. 
Here he was always to be found conversing and disputing, 
since he was a most impassioned debater." x 

Gifted with ardent curiosity, an all-embracing receptivity 
of intellect and a retentive memory, he knew by heart entire 
works of poets, scholars and philosophers. Aeneas Sylvius, 
who became acquainted with him about this time, paid him 
the fine compliment " What is unknown to Parentucelli lies 
outside the sphere of human knowledge." 

Historians are careful to inform us that he was not a 
genius. But if Parentucelli had not genius he undoubtedly 
possessed the infinite capacity of taking pains. An indefatig- 
able student, he not only perused but annotated all the books 
he purchased, so that he became " the greatest bookman of 
his age." 

He seldom appears to have lost an opportunity of accumu- 
lating books. He used to say in the days of his poverty 
that if ever he acquired wealth he would expend it on books 
and buildings, and the dream was amply realized when he 
rose to the Pontificate. Cosimo de Medici employed him to 
arrange and catalogue the numerous manuscripts and books 
he had purchased and presented to the library of San 

Cardinal Albergati who was himself not only a scholar, 
but a diplomatist, was employed by the Pope on embassies 
to the various courts of Europe among others to those of 
Germany, France and England. As he was always accom- 
panied by Parentucelli, the latter in this way obtained an 
insight into politics and statecraft, while his own reputation 

1 A. Symonds' Renaissance in Italy, p. 224 ; Dr. Pastor's Hist. ii. p. 16, 


for learning made scholars everywhere desire to cultivate 
his acquaintance. Thus he was unconsciously preparing 
himself for wearing the tiara. Leaving Florence with the 
cardinal in 1435, he crossed the St. Bernard Pass and made 
his way to Basel, where there was in session, the famous 
general council which endeavoured to reform the Church and 
limit the power of the Pope. From Basel he proceeded down 
the Rhine and arrived at Arras in Northern France. Here 
he attended the most magnificent congress the mediaeval 
world had witnessed, at which the noblest knights and 
warriors and statesmen were met to arrange terms of peace 
between France and England, and where dazzling tourna- 
ments, mystery plays, and sumptuous feasts concluded the 
labours of each day. 1 

Three years after Parentucelli had entered the service 
of Albergati he was ordained to the priesthood. Later, 
Pope Eugenius rewarded his services by appointing him 
Apostolic sub-dean. In 1443 his patron died, and Parentu- 
celli entered the service of another cardinal, who also soon 
died. But in the same year the Pope appointed him his 
vice-chamberlain, and the following year bishop of Bologna, 
at the suggestion of Cosimo de Medici. A few months later 
he was chosen cardinal, and wore the red hat as one of the 
princes of the Church. 2 

In 1447, when the Pope, Eugenius IV., died, Cardinal 
Parentucilli delivered the funeral oration. So eloquent, it 
is said, was the effort that some of the cardinals at once 
thought of him as the successor of Eugenius. The Conclave 
met and the result of the final vote was that Parentucelli 
was chosen Pope. One of the cardinals, on leaving the 
Conclave, was asked, " If the cardinals had elected a Pope ? " 

1 W. Boulting's Life of Eneas Sylvius, pp. 55-6. From Arras, Aeneas 
Sylvius was despatched on his secret mission to Scotland in 1435. 

'Pastor's Hist. ii. pp. 17-18. 


His reply was, " No ; God has chosen a Pope, not the 
cardinals." So sudden an elevation from comparative obscu- 
rity and poverty to the highest position in Christendom had 
rarely happened. " Who in Florence would have thought," 
Parentucelli said to a bookseller of his early acquaintance, 
" that a poor bell-ringer of a priest would be made Pope, to 
the confusion of the proud ? " At his coronation he took 
the title of Nicholas V., out of gratitude and reverence to the 
memory of Nicholas Albergati, the cardinal whom he had 
faithfully served for twenty years. Pope Nicholas V. had 
no outward graces to commend him in his upward striving. 
Eugenius, his predecessor, was tall, imposing and aristo- 
cratic, whereas Nicholas was little of stature, with weak legs 
too small for his body ; a face of ashen hue, through poring 
over books far into the night ; his lips protruding ; his voice 
loud and harsh. But he had brilliant black eyes that lit 
up his countenance and flashed with intelligence. Such 
was the personal appearance of Nicholas V., the first great 
Pope of the Christian Renaissance and the herald of a new 
era in the history of the Papacy. 1 

As giving a glimpse into his character, shortly after his 
accession to the Fisherman's Throne, we find him proclaim- 
ing himself a man of peace and not of war. He prayed 
heaven that he might never use any other weapon in his 
defence than the one God had given him, the Cross of Christ, 
while as an evidence of his shrewd practical wisdom in the 
art of ruling men he remarked, " The Roman pontiffs too 
greatly extended their authority and left the other bishops 
no jurisdiction. It is a just judgment that the Council of 
Basel has, in turn, shortened too much the hands of the 
Holy See. We intend to strengthen the bishops and hope 
to maintain our own power by not usurping that of others." 
In short, Nicholas was a man of high character and tried 
1 Pastor's Hist. ii. pp. 19-21. 


capacity, " who made himself friends everywhere by his 
learning and made no enemies by his politics." 

The fourth year of his pontificate was a great year in the 
annals of the Papacy. It was the year 1450, and Nicholas 
deemed it fitting for the proclamation of a Universal Jubilee. 
There was peace all over Europe. The schism in the Papacy 
was at an end. The last of the anti-popes had resigned, 
and the Pope of Rome enjoyed undisputed sway. Be- 
sides, the ever-threatening reforming Council of Basel 
had just completed its prolonged sessions of eighteen 

Out of gratitude to God, the peace-loving pontiff pro- 
claimed for 1450 a golden year of Jubilee, 1 and enjoined the 
faithful to make a pilgrimage to Rome and bring their 
offerings. The crowds that came in response from all 
nations of Christendom, among them kings, dukes, knights, 
and churchmen of every rank, were so vast that at times there 
were said to be millions in the Eternal City, while the papal 
treasury was replenished with the wealth of Europe, furnish- 
ing Nicholas with resources which enabled him to carry out 
his vast building schemes. 

This Jubilee Year, 1450, was a memorable year for Glas- 
gow. Out of consideration for the distance of Scotland 
Pope Nicholas decreed that for the faithful round about, 
a pilgrimage to Glasgow Cathedral, the cathedral of the 
diocese, would be considered as meritorious as a pilgrimage 
to Rome, while a plenary indulgence was granted to all who 
should make true confession of their sins, and present their 
offerings at the high altar. Moreover, the Pope appointed 
William Turnbull, bishop of Glasgow, and Andrew of 
Durisdere, sub-dean of the Church of Glasgow, as collectors 

1 This Jubilee, strictly speaking, began on Xmas Eve, 1449, and after 
being celebrated at Rome during the whole of the year 1450, it extended 
to the rest of the Church. 


and guardians of the Jubilee offerings, one-third of which 
was to be remitted to the papal treasury intact. 1 

But of greater importance to Glasgow than the celebration 
of the Jubilee was the foundation in the same year of 
Glasgow University. For this the city owes a debt of grati- 
tude to Pope Nicholas, as well as to its bishop, William 
Turnbull, and to King James II. In those days before a 
university could be created, authority had to be obtained 
from the Pope. There is a Franciscan tradition, which 
however is not supported by the Brockie MSS. at Blair's 
College, that Friar James Muirhead, the first guardian of 
the Glasgow Friary, was the bearer of the bull for the 
foundation of the University. 2 Evidence points rather to 
Andrew of Durisdere as fulfilling this mission, since he was 
not only procurator of James II. for making requests at 
the Court of Rome, 3 but was sent as papal nuncio to Scotland 
in March, 1451.* 

Visitors to Rome in 1450 would see the city a moving 
mass of pilgrims. An eyewitness likens the thronging multi- 
tudes " to a flight of starlings or a swarm of ants/' Among 
the distinguished visitors from Scotland to Rome in the 
Jubilee year were William, eighth Earl Douglas, Sir James 
Hamilton (afterwards a benefactor of the University), and 
other knights and gentlemen, along with eighty attendants, 
a retinue so imposing that it ensured Douglas a princely 
reception. 5 Strangers walking through the principal streets 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. Nos. 359, 360. Of the other two-thirds, one was to be 
used for the repair of the fabric of the cathedral, the other for repair of 
pious places in the kingdom. 

2 Msgr. Wilson, Elgin, who has made afresh transcript of Brockie's Monas- 
ticon Scoticanum, confirms this. Fr. Brockie, O.S.B., Ratisbon, died 1755. 

3 Reg. Great Seal, ii. No. 330 ; R.E.G. Nos. 359, 360. 

4 Regesta Vatic. 414, 66. 

6 Douglas, who left for Rome in Nov. 1450, was assassinated by James 1 1. 
at Stirling Castle in 1452, after his return. Lord Hamilton was in Rome 


of the city would observe the demolition of ancient buildings, 
for Nicholas during his reign somewhat recklessly purloined 
and transported for his own purposes blocks of marble and 
travertine from the Circus Maximus, the Forum, and the 
Coliseum, as well as from the venerable Basilica of Con- 
stantine. 1 Their admiration would also be aroused by the 
magnificent structures in course of erection. Notable altera- 
tions were made by Nicholas on the Vatican, where he laid 
the foundations of the library. When he found time amid 
his multifarious duties, we can imagine the Pope taking his 
intimate friends through the library, a collection of 5000 
volumes upon which he had disbursed 40,000 scudi, pointing 
out to them the volumes that were his special favourites, 
magnificently bound in crimson velvet and fastened with 
silver clasps. " It was his greatest joy," says Voigt, " to 
walk about his library arranging the books, glancing through 
their pages, and admiring the handsome bindings." 2 

We can imagine him, too, taking his friends to see Fra 
Angelico, engaged in painting frescoes to decorate the walls 
of his oratory with scenes from the life of St. Stephen and 
of St. Laurence, and saying a word of generous appreciation 
to the artist who was now in the fulness of his powers, and 
for whose genius he had profound admiration. 3 It was the 
golden age of Humanism, and the Vatican was transformed 
into a vast literary laboratory. The most brilliant scholars 
of the time were invited or drawn to Rome in order to trans- 
late the famous Greek authors into Latin. To Nicholas 
himself the delight of drinking in the wisdom of Greece 
from the source itself was inexpressible ; and when he 

petitioning the Pope for liberty to erect the Parish Church of Hamilton 
into a Collegiate Church. The Pope empowered the Bishop of Glasgow 
to grant the petition if satisfied. Cal. Doc. Scot. iv. p. 249, 4th Jan. 
1450-1 ; Hamilton MS. p. 47, Lond. 1887. 

1 Pastor's Hist, of Popes, ii. p. 180. 

a Dr. Pastor's Hist. ii. pp. 210-14. * Ibid. pp. 185-7. 


visited the translators and handsomely rewarded them for 
their work, the graciousness of his manner displayed itself 
as he pressed the acceptance of payment which modest 
worth declined, by representing it as a token of regard, 
rather than the recompense of merit, and playfully re- 
marking, " Don't refuse ; you may not find another 
Nicholas." * 

The aim of Pope Nicholas was to make the Eternal City, 
not only the centre of the Church, but the centre of wisdom 
and beauty in literature and art, and, by means of noble 
monuments and imposing edifices, a city of visible splendour, 
which would attract the eyes of the world. Had he been 
spared to realize the magnificent ideas that teemed in his 
mind, " The new Rome/' says Aeneas Sylvius, " would have 
had nothing to fear from comparison with the old." 

When the privilege of University was granted to Glasgow, 
the heart of Pope Nicholas V., as well as the heart of Rome, 
was throbbing with the vigorous intellectual and aesthetic 
life of this remarkable period, so that Glasgow University, in 
the truest sense is a daughter of the Renaissance. 

Pope Nicholas having been a student of the ancient 
University of Bologna, decreed that Glasgow University 
should be formed on the same model, viz. that the doctors, 
masters and students of the new institution should enjoy 
all the privileges, liberties, and immunities granted to its 
studium generate ; also that William Turnbull, Bishop of 
Glasgow and his successors should rule as chancellors with 
the same authority over doctors, masters, and scholars as 
the rectors at Bologna. 

While Bologna, a student University, was originally the 

model for Glasgow, recent investigations have shown that 

Bishop Turnbull, who was a student of St. Andrews, licensed 

in 1420, copied many of the St. Andrews regulations when 

1 Dr. Pastor's Hist. ii. p. 200. 


he was drawing up those of Glasgow, 1 and both St. Andrews 
and Glasgow seem to be indebted to some extent to the 
University of Cologne, the great Dominican school of Ger- 
many. Cologne was much frequented by Scottish students 
in the Middle Ages. From this it is clear there was a con- 
siderable departure from the original Bologna pattern. 2 
Nicholas, no doubt, had heard the praises of Glasgow from 
Bishop Turnbull, who had been an official in the papal 
household, as well as from Sub-dean Andrew of Durisdere, 
who had been procurator for the Scottish king at the papal 
court. Hence the language of the bull, dated 7th January, 
1451, erecting the University, reflects the pleasant things 
that had been said : 3 

" Forasmuch then as it was lately shown to us on behalf 
our dearest Son in Christ, James, the illustrious King of 
the Scots, that the said king was desirous that a University 
should be set up in the city of Glasgow, as being a place of 
renown where the air is mild and victuals are plentiful, we, 
after the supplications of the said King, erect a University 
in the said city and decree and also ordain that henceforth 
such University may flourish in all time to come for ever." 4 

The papal bull was read at the Market Cross of Glasgow 
on Trinity Sunday, 20th June, 145 1. 5 As this happened at 
a time of Jubilee rejoicings, and, as the Pope had granted a 
great indulgence to all faithful Christians who should visit 
Glasgow Cathedral and make their offerings an indulgence 
to last four months we may be certain that, as at St. 
Andrews on a similar occasion, there would be unusual 

1 Statutes of Faculty of Arts in St. Andrews^ p. i, edited by R. K. 
Hannay, 1910. 

* Rashdall, Univers. of 'Europe ', ii. p. 306. 

* Similar sentiments are not infrequently expressed in granting bulls for 
the founding of Universities. 

4 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 361. 
6 Auchinleck Chron. p. 45. 


public rejoicing, festivities, morality plays, and ringing of 
church bells, while at night bonfires would be blazing in 
the streets. 

The scene enacted at the Cross that June Sunday morning 
would be after this fashion. 1 In the centre of a multitude 
of onlookers stand the provost and magistrates attended by 
the quaintly attired burgh officers, who, with a flourish of 
trumpets, call for silence. Then one of the dignitaries of 
the Cathedral, in his gown and scarlet hood, makes the pro- 
clamation. The papal bull having been duly proclaimed, 
a procession is formed to march up the High Street from the 
Cross to the Cathedral. The High Street would look its 
best on this gala day the picturesque mediaeval houses with 
their upper story projecting over the lower, and their crow- 
stepped gables and fore stairs fronting the street. Stairs 
and balconies would be busked with a profusion of green 
boughs and flowers, while brilliantly coloured carpets, tapes- 
try and banners would be hung out from the windows and 
from every coign of vantage. 

We can see the procession making its way up the narrow 
crowded street, the town officers preceding the magistrates, 
the cathedral clergy in their splendid vestments, the Black 
Friars in their black hoods and black robes over their white 
tunics, and the Grey Friars the barefooted Observantines 
in their brown tunics and rope girdles. 2 Then the sturdy 
yeomen of the upper ward mounted, their wives sitting 
behind on pillions, then the neighbouring nobility and gentry 
on their prancing chargers, richly caparisoned, the Maxwells, 
the Hamiltons, the Douglasses, and the Corbets these rural 
lords each attended by his retinue of armed retainers, 

1 Cosmo Innes, Sketches Early Scott. Hist. pp. 67-69. 

8 The Grey Friars came to Glasgow in 1449 and lodged in a private 
house. It was not till 1476 that they were established in a regular Friary. 
Macgeorge, Old Glasgow \ 3rd edit. Appendix, p. 307. 


wearing helmets and carrying swords or pikes and daggers 
" making gay the street with the clang and splash of 
their chargers." 

In the crowd we recognize the various classes of society 
by their varied dress, the merchant in his long robe and 
bonnet of peace, the artizan in holiday attire of green, light 
blue or red, and the women folk in their kerchiefs and 
kirtles, while the maidens had their hair bound with snoods 
or fillets. 

As the procession approaches the Cathedral, Bishop 
Turnbull, clad in pontificals and attended by clergy and 
crossbearers, stands waiting at the castle gate. Allowing 
the procession to pass by and bowing in acknowledgment of 
its salutations, the bishop and his clergy join in and bring 
up the rear. The Cathedral is entered amid the chanting of 
the choir and the pealing of the organ reverberates through 
the lofty aisles. High mass having been celebrated at the 
altar, amid clouds of incense, and the Apostolical benedic- 
tion having been bestowed, the bishop and his guests re-form 
in procession and repair to the castle near by, where high 
banquetting is held. 

The University thus auspiciously inaugurated began its 
career under Bishop William Turnbull as chancellor, David 
Cadzow, precentor of the Cathedral, as rector, Canon William 
Elphinstone as dean of the faculty of arts, along with Duncan 
Bunch, William Arthurle and Alexander Geddes as regents or 
professors. 1 So far as we know the University had its 
cradle in the Rottenrow, where the Lock Hospital now stands. 
Here the students resided in college fashion, but probably 
attended lectures in the houses of the professors. At any- 
rate from a very early period the schools of the faculty of 
arts were " in vico," that is "in the street " the High 

1 Mun. Glas. Univ.; Coutts Hist. p. 14. 


Street. 1 At the same time it is recorded that lectures were 
delivered and meetings for business were held in the chapter- 
house of the Friars' Preachers (Black Friars) in the High 
Street, as well as in the chapter-house of the Cathedral. 2 

After nine years in the Rottenrow, struggling for existence 
in a time of civil war, poverty and pestilence, the University 
was enabled in 1460, through the bequest of lands from Lord 
James Hamilton, to remove to roomier quarters in the High 
Street, close to the Blackfriars Convent one of the con- 
ditions of this gift being that twice in every day, at the close 
of their noontide and evening meals, the regents and students 
shall rise and pray for the souls of the donor, his countess, his 
ancestors and successors. 

On its new site on the east side of the High Street the 
University continued for over four centuries until its re- 
moval in 1870 to Gilmorehill. 

In passing, let us take a glance at the site of the Auld 
Pedagogy and its surroundings. The Rottenrow in the 
middle of the fifteenth century was a king's highway, and not 
only, along with the Drygate, the main thoroughfare between 
east and west since the period of the Romans, but a favourite 
residential quarter, where were situated the mansions of the 
wealthy and several of the prebendal manses with their 
stair-case towers and wooden balconies. 3 As these mansions 
and manses had gardens attached we can fancy, on the long 
summer days, the air vocal with the music of birds. So 
pure and salubrious was the atmosphere hereabouts, even 
towards the close of the eighteenth century, that a newspaper 
of the year, 1780, advertises " Summer quarters to be let 
at the west end of the Rottenrow in the common gardens." 

1 Rashdall's Univers. of Europe, ii. p. 304. The Auld Pedagogy ruins 
were removed in 1860. Traces of the ancient masonry, it is said, exist in 
the underbuilding of the Lock Hospital. 

* Mun. Glas. Univ.; Coutts Hist. pp. 10-12. 

* Lugton's Old Ludgings of Glasgow, p. 10. 


On the south-side of the Rottenrow, close to the Auld 
Pedagogy, there stood in the fifteenth century what was 
termed " a great croce " evidently one of the stone crosses 
that existed in Glasgow in Pre-Reformation times. 1 In all 
probability the cross was standing near where the University 
had its headquarters, although the earliest reference to it 
does not occur until 1497. It was removed in 1575 during 
the unsettlement of the Reformation period. 2 

As we scan the original lists of students at Glasgow 
University we learn that it was attended by ecclesiastics of 
various ranks, canons, rectors, vicars, priests, abbots, priors 
and monks, who, apparently in the dearth of young students 
enrolled themselves in order to encourage the new venture, 
as well as to merit the honour of being attached to a learned 
corporation. 3 Besides, in these days, and for years after- 
wards, the students of Glasgow enjoyed special privileges, 
and were exempted from all taxes and public burdens. 
Evidently there was no crying need for a University at Glas- 
gow; that of St. Andrews, founded forty years previously, 
being sufficient to meet the demands of the country. Indeed, 
for more than a century after its foundation, the students 
were so few and the endowments so scanty that it was 
permanently on the verge of extinction. 4 

But there had always been ecclesiastical rivalry between 
Glasgow and St. Andrews, and now that St. Andrews had a 
University it was felt that Glasgow also must have a Uni- 
versity of its own ; just as later, when St. Andrews was 
raised to Archiepiscopal rank, Glasgow could not rest till she 
enjoyed a similar honour. 

Some of the customs in vogue in those early days of 
the Auld and the New Pedagogies may not be without in- 
terest. The professors read their lectures in Latin, and as 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. ii. p. 495. * Regality Club> iii. p. 38. 

3 Mun. Glas. Univ. ii. p. 13. * Hume Brown's Hist, of Scot. i. p. 245. 


Latin was the recognized medium of communication among 
scholars, should any student during college hours be found 
talking his native Doric, even to his servant, he was liable to 
punishment. Students were required to rise to their studies 
as early as five o'clock in the morning, and to retire to bed in 
winter by nine in the evening and ten in summer. At bed- 
time the bell for silence rang and the professors went round 
with birch in hand to make certain that college regulations 
were strictly carried out. 

As students were in residence in college it was customary 
for every bursar to present a silver spoon upon his being 
admitted to the common table. 1 Another custom in vogue 
at Glasgow and other University seats in those days was 
known as " shirking." An enactment enjoins " that any 
student who should meet any one of the professors in the 
streets without seeking to avoid his glance, or even play any 
game in his presence, should be subjected to severe corporal 
punishment. If it so happened that such a meeting took 
place in a narrow thoroughfare, where escape was impos- 
sible, the student was permitted to hold both his hands in 
front of his face and pretend not to see his superior." 2 

A list of the text books, ordinary and extraordinary, 
prescribed to the students of Glasgow University in the 
faculty of arts, will be found in the University Munimenta 
of the year 1500, the authors specified being Porphyry, 
Aristotle, and Petrus Hispanus. 3 It was mainly, however, 
the philosophical system of Aristotle that was expounded to 
the students not the pure teaching of " the mighty 
Stagyrite," but diluted versions with all the subtleties, 
puerilities and absurdities current in the Middle Ages. 
Glasgow University in those days was rather behind the times, 

1 M'Crie's Life of Andrew Melville, p. 416, edn. 1856. 

2 Rashdall's Univers. of Europe, ii. pp. 306-7 ; Coutts Hist. Glas. Univ. 

p. 22. 

3 Mun. Glas. Univ. ii. p. 25 ; Coutts Hist. p. 24. 


as if the new age of the Renaissance had never dawned, and 
mediaeval scholasticism still held undisputed sway. 

To give a list of the distinguished alumni of Pre-Reforma- 
tion times would be without our scope. Among them were 
Bishop William Elphiristone, Andrew Stewart, brother of 
James II., Cardinal David Beaton, John Adamson, provincial 
of the Scottish Dominicans, John Knox, 1 John Spottiswood, 
superintendent of Lothian, father of the still more famous 
Archbishop Spottiswood of Glasgow. 2 

It only remains to be said that among the institutions of 
the land which suffered most from the overthrow of the 
ancient faith was the University of Glasgow. The few en- 
dowments it then possessed were confiscated, its buildings 
became ruinous, and its studies and discipline almost extinct. 

However, under the principalship of Andrew Melville, 
1574-1580, the Nova Erectio, or College, arose, like the 
phoenix from its ashes, and its fame as a school of learning 
quickly spread both at home and abroad. As we learn from 
a contemporary, " there was no place in Europe comparable 
to Glasgow for guid letters during these years, for a plentiful 
and guid chepe mercat of all kynd of langages, artes and 
sciences." 3 

When we think of the University, cradled in the Rotten- 
row, and of its early struggle to maintain its existence, 
surely this was " the day of small things/' The only faculty 
in its early career which had any vitality was that of Arts, 
the annual matriculation in which was about twenty students. 
In view of this we discover the vast changes that have 
taken place in the development of the University during 
the past four and a half centuries. 

x The name of John Knox occurs in the lists of the matriculations of 
1522 ; but it was not the Reformer if the latter was not born till 1515. 
8 M'Crie's Life of Andrew Melville^ ed. 1856, pp. 415-16. 
8 James Melville's Diary y Bann. Club, p. 38. 


Instead of one faculty there are now five, viz. Arts, Science, 
Medicine, Law, Theology, with a total teaching staff, includ- 
ing professors, lecturers, assistants, of over 150, while the 
total number of students who matriculated during the 
session 1910-11 was 2735. 

An examination of the list of students and the countries 
from which they hail shows that the ancient distribution 
into the four Nations of Clydesdale, Teviotdale, Albany, 
and Rothesay shrinks into insignificance ; for the nations 
are no longer confined to Scotland, but scattered over the 
world. Of the total number of students during 1910-11, 
140 are from England, 24 from Ireland, and 8 from Wales. 
Outside of the British Isles, 48 students come from 
13 different countries of Europe. Of 119 from Asia, 78 are 
from India and 35 from Japan and China. Of 34 from 
Africa, 20 are from South Africa, and 10 from Egypt. Of 
31 from North America, 14 hail from the United States, 6 
from Canada, and 10 from the West Indies, while n are 
from South and Central America. 

" In recent years there has been a diminution in the number 
of students from England and Wales owing to the establish- 
ment of new universities there. On the other hand, the 
schools of Engineering, Naval Architecture, Mining, have 
brought increasing numbers from other countries, and the 
class lists of these departments present a truly polyglot 
series of names/' * 

If, as appears from the early records of the struggles of 
Glasgow University, there was no substantial reason for 
its foundation at the time, the marvellous development that 
has taken place has amply justified the action of Pope 
Nicholas V., Bishop Wm. Turnbull, and King James II. 
It has become one of the great universities of the world. 

1 For the above statistics of the university I am indebted to Mr. J. M. 
Ramsay, M.A., former Lecturer in History. 


OF DURRISDEER (1455-1473). 

To the late Bishop Dowden of Edinburgh is due the credit 
of first pointing out that in all the earlier documents, he 
who is usually styled Bishop Muirhead is referred to as 
Andrew of Durrisdere, or Bishop Andrew, never as Bishop 
Muirhead. 1 It is not till the middle of the sixteenth century, 
when his death was recorded in the Martyr ology of Glasgow, 
that we first read of Andrew Muirhead, the entry being 
"Obitus Andree Mureheid episcopi Glasguensis 20th Novem : 
1473. " 2 On searching the records of the period we invari- 
ably find Andrew of Durrisdere. 3 Nevertheless, having 
been named Bishop Muirhead by such well-known writers as 
Spottiswood, M'Ure, Keith, Cosmo Innes, and others since, 
it is very unlikely that posterity will change this designation. 
But while there is no trace of the name Muirhead in 
contemporary documents, the bishop undoubtedly had some 
connection with the Muirheads. M'Ure says the prelate was 
of the same stock of Muirheads with the house of Lauchope in 
the shire of Lanark. 4 As giving confirmation to this state- 
ment, we find one. Thomas de Muirhede, Clerk of the diocese 

1 Scot. Hist. Rev. v. 320-1. 

8 R.E.G. ii. p. 616. This list of obits was written after 1553. 

8 Theiner's Mon. No. 772 ; R.E.G. Nos. 359, 360, 373, etc. ; Leslie's 
Hist. Bann. Club, p. 37 ; Mun. Glas. Univ. ii. p. 57 ; Pinkerton's Hist. 
appendix i. p. 502 ; Durrisdere is variously spelt. 

4 M'Ure's Hist, of Glas. edn. 1830, p. 22. 


of Glasgow, nepos of Andrew, Bishop of Glasgow, October 
I46O, 1 while it has been observed that the heraldic arms of 
Bishop Andrew three acorns on a bend dexter are similar 
to those of one Martin Muirhead in 1542 A. D. 2 The Robertons, 
the descendants through marriage of the Muirheads of 
Lauchope, near Holytown, and who occupy Lauchope House 
at the present day, claim, in accordance with family tradi- 
tions, the bishop as belonging to the old Muirhead stock. 

Nisbet, too, assumes the connection and without giving 
his authorities states several interesting particulars, that 
while Andrew became Bishop of Glasgow, his elder brother 
William succeeded to the paternal estate; and that his 
younger brother Vedastus became Rector of Cadzow, Dean of 
Glasgow, and in 1496, Rector of Glasgow University. 
Andrew had a sister, too, named Janet, of great beauty, 
known as the " Fair Maid " or " The Bonnie Lass of Lech- 
brunnach," whose life was not without romance. 3 

How the bishop came to be designated Andrew of Durris- 
dere is a problem still awaiting solution. One might imagine 
from his appointment as Sub-dean of Glasgow that the parish 
of Durrisdere would be the prebend attached to that office, 
and that the designation Durrisdere might thus have arisen ; 
but with one exception there is no trace of any connection 
of Andrew with Durrisdere, 4 and it was not the parish 
of Durrisdere but those of Cadder and Monkland that 
were associated with the sub-deanery. 5 Durrisdere, it 

1 Theiner's Mon. p. 454. 

8 Macdonald's Scottish Armorial Seals, p. 259. 

8 Nisbet's Heraldry, ii. p. 257, etc. The story of her uncanonical mar- 
riage has been discredited. 

4 Bishop Andrew of Glasgow, in 1459, deprives Bartholomew de Glen- 
donying, Rector of Durrisdere, of his charge because of non-residence. 
Chalmers Caledonia, new edn. v. p. 203. Mr. Cleland Harvey is of opinion 
that Durrisdere was Andrew's birthplace, and that he was connected with 
the Murehedes of Windyhills not of Lauchope. 

* Book of Glasgow Cathedral, p. 380. 


appears, was attached to the office of sub-precentor in 

The earliest documentary evidence shows that Andrew of 
Durrisdere studied first at St. Andrews, where he graduated 
B.A., and afterwards at Paris. The entry concerning the 
latter informs us, 1 that Dominus Andreas de Durisder of the 
diocese of Glasgow, of Scottish birth, who claimed to have 
graduated B.A. of St. Andrews and satisfied his examiners at 
Paris on this point, studied also at Paris, joining the " nation" 
of Germany there. It is also stated that he was the first after 
many years who gave his name to that nation. He studied 
under Master Robert Esschinck, and in 1437 paid to the 
university as his bursa or tax twelve shillings, and in 1438 
eleven shillings, and further, " pro jucundo adventu," i.e. for 
his joyful advent or incorporation at Paris University, he 
gave two francs, also eight shillings " pro cappis rectorum," 
for caps or capes usually presented to the examiners by the 
successful candidates. 2 It is also stated that he was of 
noble birth, that in 1448 he became Vicar of Kilpatrick in 
the diocese of Glasgow. 

Another source of information is that embodied in the 
letter of Pope Calixtus III. to Andrew Stewart, brother of 
King James II., and dated 5th May, 1455. 3 Here we read 
that when Andree de Durisder was provided as Bishop of 
the Church of Glasgow, he was Dean of Aberdeen, there the 
greatest dignity after that of bishop, vested with the cure 
of souls, an appointment made by election (curatam ac 
electivam) ; also that he held canonries and prebends of 
Glasgow itself, of Kirkandris, Lincluden, the perpetual 

1 Denifle, Auctar. Chart. Univ. Paris, ii. pp. 501-503. 

2 R. S. Rait's Life in the Mediaeval University^ chap. vi. contains 
an account of the initiation ceremony through which the bajaun (becjaune\ 
the fledgeling or freshman, required to pass on entering the university. 

8 Theiner's Man. No. 772. Kirkandris, now absorbed in Borgue. Kil- 
patult has been indentified with Kilpatrick. 


vicarage of Kilpatult, and the sub-deanery of the churches 
of Glasgow. Further, we learn, in a papal letter dated 3ist 
January, 1455, that when Andrew was elect of Glasgow and 
holding the benefices above mentioned, he was only in minor 
orders, not in major orders. That is to say, he was not even 
a sub-deacon, much less a priest. 1 

It is difficult to account for his holding so many benefices 
when, in reality, he had not been ordained to the priesthood. 
Perhaps these benefices were held by him, a minor cleric, on 
the understanding that he would eventually be promoted to 
the priesthood. Meantime drawing their revenues he would 
employ a priest to discharge priestly functions. This hold- 
ing of pluralities was one of the serious abuses of the time. 

While he held the perpetual vicarage of Kilpatrick we 
learn from other sources that on 26th March, 1450, Andrew 
was Dean of Aberdeen, when he would hold office under 
Bishop Ingleram, who ruled that diocese, 1441-59. But on 
searching for the Dean's name where we might expect to 
find it, unfortunately the entry reads " decano absente." 2 

While Dean of Aberdeen, and clerk and counsellor of James 
II., he was made Procurator at the Court of Rome, an appoint- 
ment implying that he was regarded as an accomplished 
pleader. 3 As he held this distinguished post for several 
years, at any rate till 1453, he would be a frequent visitor 
to the papal court and so become personally acquainted with 
the great humanist, Pope Nicholas V. 4 

In November 22, 1450, Andrew is mentioned in the Bull 
of Indulgences sought and lifted by Bishop Turnbull, where 
he is described as Andrea de Durisder, Sub-dean of the 
Church of Glasgow. 5 Putting this and the former reference 

1 Theiner's Mon. No. 775. 

1 Reg. Epis. Aberd. ii. p. 70 ; Regesta Vatic. 409, 224. 

*Re%. Great Seal, ii. No. 330. Reg. Epis. Glas. Nos. 359-360. 

* Ibid. Nos. 359 and 373. 


together it would seem that some time between 26th March 
and 22nd November, 1450, he became Sub-dean of Glasgow. 
He was still sub-dean in 1452, and indeed till 1455. 

In the Bull of November 24, 1450, Andrew of Durisdere, 
Sub-dean of Glasgow, is appointed along with Bishop Turn- 
bull to collect and guard the money offered at the high altar 
of Glasgow Cathedral in the Jubilee year, and to remit a third 
part of the collection intact to the papal treasury. 1 On 6th 
April, 1451, we find him obtaining at Rome a passport as 
Papal Nuncio to the kingdom of Scotland. 2 

Although Andrew is not mentioned by name in the Bull 
of yth January, 1451 for the creation of Glasgow Univer- 
sity, yet on igth November, 1451, he is appointed one of the 
deputies to advise in its affairs also he is named, along with 
others, as one of the incorporati or matriculated students 
and described as " sub-decanus magr. And. de Drusdere, 
non solvit." 3 

In the request for the renewal for another year of a safe- 
conduct from the Chancellor of England, 4 on the list of 
persons for whom it is asked are the following : William, 
Bishop of Glasgow, Mastir Andrew of Durysdere, Dene of 
Abyrdene, Mastir John Arws, Archdene of Glasgow, along 
with about 100 attendants. As this safe-conduct for a some- 
what large party was sought concerning secret matters 
known to the Chancellor, and an appeal made for a sure 
convoy, it is probable that it was in connection with the 
conveyance of the Jubilee offerings from Glasgow to Rome. 
Then again, 3ist August, 1453, another safe-conduct was 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 360. 

2 Dowden's Bishops of Scotland, p. 325. 

8 Mun. Glas. Univ. ii. pp. 57-8. The title "subdecanus" in the second 
last line of p. 57 ought to be transferred to the last line as its first word. 
The Rev. Prof. W. Stewart says the whole paragraph in the parchment 
was written " in scriptione continua." 

4 Cal. Docts. Scot. iv. p. 407, circa 5th June, 1452. 


asked for three years for William, Bishop of Glasgow, Mastir 
Andrew of Durisdere, Dean of Aberdeen, and Arws, Arch- 
deacon of Glasgow, and others, passing through England 
with fifty attendants on pilgrimage to the thresholds of the 
Apostles. 1 

As already stated, Andrew was provided to Glasgow, in May 
1455, but not consecrated till early in 1456.2 Not only was 
England then beginning to be convulsed by the Wars of the 
Roses, but these were troublous days for Scotland, when 
coronets were striving for mastery over the crown. The two 
great families of Douglas and Hamilton were in active 
rebellion against the king. In order to crush this formidable 
opposition, James II. came to Glasgow to make it the base of 
his operations against the rebels. We read that " The King r 
having cast down the castle of Abercorn, syne past incon- 
tinent till Glasgow and gathered the Westland men and the 
Areschery." 3 The Westland men were the men of the 
western counties, and the Areschery the Irish or Gaelic 
speaking men of the Highlands and Islands. With this 
army, computed to be 40,000 strong, James swooped down 
upon his enemies, and so thoroughly destroyed their power 
and depopulated their estates, that it was long before they 
again raised their heads in revolt. 

What a busy place Glasgow must have been when Bishop 
Andrew began to rule his See in 1455, with 40,000 soldiers 
encamped within its borders and parading its streets, par- 
ticularly about the castle and the cross. We are fortunate 
in having preserved some account of the costumes of the 
Highlanders, the " Wild Scots," as they were termed. The 
better part of these wore a quilted tunic and saffron-dyed 
shirt, while they always carried a bow and arrows, a broad 

1 Cal. Docts. Scot. iv. p. 257 ; also Rotuti Scotiae, ii. 355 and 370. 

2 Dowden's Bishops of Scotland, p. 326. 
* Auchinleck Chron. p. 53. 

Scottish National Portrait Gallery. 


sword, a small halbert, and under the belt a large dagger. 
In time of war they covered their bodies with a shirt of mail 
made of iron rings. The poorer sort of the wild Scots 
clothed themselves in a linen garment manifoldly sewed and 
smeared with wax or pitch, and also with deerskins. 1 In 
these days, it seems, the tartan kilt and philibeg were un- 
known, but as the tunic was short and the legs bare, the 
Highlanders were familiarly known as " Redshanks." 

It would appear that the university, which had its original 
quarters in the Rottenrow in Bishop TurnbulTs day, was 
removed in 1460, during Bishop Andrew's rule, to a new site 
granted by James, first Lord Hamilton, in the High Street, 
where it continued for the next four centuries. 2 Two years 
after its removal, we read of provision being made by the 
Faculty of Arts for the celebration of an annual banquet and 
procession on the day of the translation of St. Nicholas, 
Qth May. According to the statute, all masters, licentiates, 
bachelors, and students were to assemble at eight in the 
morning, under penalty of two shillings, and then hear mass 
in the chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr, situated in the 
Trongate near St. Enoch's Church, and used apparently 
as a university chapel. 3 Thereafter they were to ride on 
horseback in solemn and stately procession, bearing flowers 
and branches of trees, through the public street from the 
upper part of the city to the market cross, and then return 
by the same way to the college and there take counsel for 
the welfare of the faculty and the removal of all discords 
and quarrels, that all rejoicing in heart might honour the 
Prince of Peace. The banquet finished, the masters and 
students were directed to repair to a more fitting place of 

1 Major, De Gestis Scotorum, i. viii. quoted by G. Gregory Smith, The 
Days of James IV. p. 64. 

2 Mun. i. p. 9. 

3 Renwick's Glasgow Memorials, pp. 232-4 ; St. Nicholas was the patron 
saint of boys. 


amusement and there enact some interlude or other spectacle 
to rejoice the people. 1 

It was in Bishop Andrew's time also that Mr. David 
Cadyow, Canon of Glasgow, on his appointment as Rector 
of the University in 1460 gave twenty nobles (a gold coin of 
superior quality, perhaps worth about 2, or, as others, 
6s. 8d.), as a contribution towards the making of the silver 
mace, which, however, was subsequently enlarged and 
improved as a work of art. It is now 4 ft. Q| in. in length 
and weighs 8 Ibs. i oz., and bears the following inscription : 
" Haec virga empta fuit publicis Academiae Glasguensis 
sumptibus, A.D. 1465 : in Galliam ablata, A.D. 1560 : et 
restituta, 1590." 2 It is this silver mace or official rod that 
is still carried by the bedellus in front of the rector on cere- 
monial occasions. 

One of the bishop's early undertakings was the improve- 
ment of the musical services of the cathedral. At this 
period new music patronized by royalty was fashionable 
in Scotland. Glasgow Cathedral having sanctioned the Use 
of Sarum since the middle of the thirteenth century, had, on 
the whole, a very satisfactory service of praise under the 
leadership of the precentor or chanter, a dignitary next but 
one in rank to the bishop. But, as it sometimes happened 
that canons were not gifted as singers, or were not in 
residence, the necessity arose for singing priests as substitutes, 
who should give close residence. These were termed the 
canons' " vicars of the choir," or " canons' stallaries/' or 
" vicars choral." 3 It occurred to Bishop Muirhead to have 
these singing ecclesiastics properly trained, in order to keep 
up the tone and quality of the musical services. These 

1 Mun. ii. p. 39. 

* Mun. Glas. Univ. ii. pp. 68 and 71 ; Cosmo Innes, Sketches Early 
Scot. Hist. pp. 248-9. 

3 Bishop Dowden's paper, Trans. Scot. Eccles. Soc. yr. 1908, p. 189 ; also 
Mediaeval Scotland^ p. 66, etc. 


vicars choral accordingly, on i6th May, 1467, he formed into 
a college or corporation with a procurator of their own. 1 
Hence he became known as the founder of the College of the 
Vicars of the Choir of Glasgow. These vicars choral had no 
voice, however, in the election of the bishop, or any share 
in the management of the cathedral property. When these 
vicars choral took their part in leading the praise, they came 
out from their stalls in the choir and grouped themselves 
round the lectern. 2 Among other duties expected of them 
was that they should know by heart the Psalter, and sing 
mass every day for the souls of all the deceased bishops. 
These vicars choral, originally twelve in number but after- 
wards increased to eighteen, resided by themselves in a 
house where they sat at a common table. This house, or 
place of the vicars choral, appears to have been situated 
close to the manse of the precentor on the north side of 
the cathedral. The little lane that passes between the 
cathedral grounds and the Infirmary is known to this day as 
the Vicars' Alley, evidently because it led to the place of 
the vicars choral. 3 An ancient stone with a Latin in- 
scription was discovered several years ago, which, in all 
probability, was once built into the wall and over the door 
of their dwelling-place. Translated, the inscription reads : 
" These buildings Bishop Andrew erected for the priests 
serving in the flourishing Choir of Glasgow." 4 

But while the vicars choral resided here, they seem to have 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. ii. p. 616 ; also ii. No. 39, for endowments granted to 
this college. 

2 In the choirs of cathedrals were usually two rows of stalls, the upper 
being appropriated by the canons or stall vicars, the lower by the vicars 
choral, while on the floor underneath sat the boy choristers. 

8 Book of Glas. Cathedral, "The Hall of the Vicars Choral," by Arch- 
bishop Eyre. 

4 This stone is now in Kelvingrove Museum. Scot. Hist. Rev. Oct. 1904, 
p. 1 10. 


practised their music and transacted their business in the 
low stone-roofed building which projects near the north 
transept of the cathedral. Such was the opinion of the 
late Archbishop Eyre, who, with good reason, identified the 
projection as the " Hall of the Vicars Choral." 

On examination it is seen that this building once consisted 
of two storeys, an upper and a lower. The upper apartment, 
reached by a stair, would probably be used as a robing-room, 
while the lower apartment, 36 ft. by 18 ft., would be the Sang 
School, from which there appears to have been an entrance 
direct into the cathedral. Apparently Bishop Muirhead 
made some alterations or repairs on the north aisle of the 
nave, 1 for his arms are still visible on the vaulting of the 
second bay from the crossing a gold shield with red bend, 
upon which are three acorns with leaves. These, Mr. Cleland 
Harvey identifies as the Arms of Mnrehede of Windyhills. 

It is interesting to gaze upon this hall of the Vicars Choral, 
for it is Glasgow's first School of Music or Sang School, where 
sacred music had been taught for about two centuries 
before the days of Bishop Muirhead. The Sang School in 
cathedral cities in Scotland was an ancient institution, even 
more so than the Grammar or Burgh School. Indeed, it may 
be regarded as the parent of the Burgh School. 2 It was 
through the influence of the Sang School, too, that the love of 
music spread throughout the community. Hence it has been 
suggested that the plaintive and pathetic quality of our most 
characteristic Scottish songs is due to the fact that, 
for so many centuries music was taught by clergy accus- 
tomed to sing the solemn and stately tones of the 
Gregorian Chant. We question this. Is it not rather the 
case that the finest and most touching songs in any language 

*J. F. S. Gordon, Glas. Cathedral, p. 199, and Book of Glas. 
Cathedral, pp. 292-302. 

* Cosmo Innes, Scotland in the Middle Ages, pp. 135-6. 



a -S 


songs that strike the deepest chords spring from suffer- 
ing, and have all a vein of melancholy running through 
them, as if giving expression to " the still sad music of 
humanity " ? 

Doubtless the institution of the College of the Vicars Choral 
by Bishop Muirhead gave the study of sacred music a 
powerful impetus in those days of the early Stewart kings, 
when the air was full of music. 1 And we cannot tell how 
much this music-loving City of Glasgow of the present day 
owes to the inspiration and encouragement of its music- 
loving bishop of four and a half centuries ago. 

A passing reference to mediaeval music may not be 
irrelevant. While the Gregorian Chant prevailed along with 
the antiphonal singing of the Psalms, the mediaeval period 
was also the Golden Age of hymnology, when such creations 
came into being as the Te Deum, with its ' majestic omnipo- 
tence'; the Dies Irae, with its solemn and stately rhythm; the 
Veni Creator Spiritus, with its grave, sweet melody ; and not 
only these, but other priceless treasures of sacred song, the 
echoes of which are found lingering still in such familiar 
tunes as Soldau and Luther's Hymn, Eine feste Burg. 2 
While most of the mediaeval music was plain song, or 
song in unison, it was also to a large extent unmeasured, 
that is, the time was left to be regulated by the words and 
what they suggested, for it was not till the fourteenth 
century that musical notation was adopted. In the early 
mediaeval period, too, the organ in use in cathedrals was 
primitive in construction, without pedals to bring out the 
lower bass notes, and without stops to modulate and give 
variety to the tones, while the keys of the key-board were so 
broad that they required to be played with the fists instead 
of with the fingers. 

1 Treasurer's Accts. i. preface, p. 197. 

2 For this information I am indebted to the Rev. Geo. Bell, Mus. D. 


To refer to the bishop's efforts in other directions, we 
mention first the founding of St. Nicholas Hospital according 
to one account in 1456, and to another in 1471. This 
hospital stood in the open space now the mouth of Macleod 
Street, and comprised three buildings, a small chapel in the 
Gothic style with a belfry, and two other buildings on either 
side. The building to the north of the chapel is the old 
house standing to this day and known as the Provand's 
Lordship, which is believed to have been occupied by the 
chaplain or master of the hospital as his dwelling-place, 
while the building to the south of the chapel was the hospital 
proper, fitted up for the residence of twelve old men. 1 

So far as is known there is no foundation charter extant, 
but certainly St. Nicholas Hospital was founded by Bishop 
Muirhead, as his coat of arms visible yet on the corbel of 
the building next Macleod Street and the various recorded 
grants of tenements and lands for its endowment testify. It 
may also be stated that the ruins of the chapel of the hospital, 
with Bishop Muirhead's arms over the door, remained till 
the close of the eighteenth century, when the old buildings 
were swept away. While we have no record of the internal 
affairs of this hospital during the days of Bishop Muirhead, 
nevertheless, an interesting glimpse has been preserved of 
what obtained a century later, shortly after the Reformation, 
in the year 1584.2 

From this we learn that the number of the inmates was 
twelve, dressed, according to the will of the founder, 
in white cloth gowns. A new white cloth gown was to be 
given them every three years, while upon every New Year's 
Day they were to receive " a pair of new doubill solit-schone 
with saxpence to every one for their kaill silver, togidder 

Chalmers Caledonia, iii. p. 658 ; Trans. Glas. Arch. Soc. i. pp. 131 
and 171 ; Ren wick's Glas. Memorials, p. 255. 

* Glas. Bur%h Records, i. pp. 115-6 ; Charts, and Docts. Glas. ii. 562. 


with sufficient coillis to their fyer yearlie, with candell at 
evin to their prayeris." A not unimpressive sight it must 
have been to see these venerable figures with their white 
beards, and clothed in their long white gowns, enjoying such 
comfort in their declining years, sitting chatting with one 
another or with friends under the shade of the trees that 
flourished in front of the hospital. 1 

And although no trace remains of this old hospital, which 
may be truly designated " the auld house " of Glasgow, 
nevertheless it continues to shed its beneficent influences to 
the present day, for when the administration of its revenues 
by the successive bishops of Glasgow came to an end and 
other changes followed, the town council took over the 
management into its own hands and appointed the Lord 
Provost, during his term of office, its master or preceptor, 
who sees to the distribution of its bounties which allow an 
annual pension of about 3 to be given to twenty-two aged 
poor. 2 Thus the memory of the good bishop is perpetuated 
to the present day in the relief of the distress of some aged 

The Provand's Lordship is a house of chequered memories. 
During the past four and a half centuries it must have 
witnessed many vicissitudes. So dear is the memory of this 
venerable building to the inhabitants of Glasgow because of 
its close association with many of the most thrilling scenes 
in their history, that several years ago the Provand's Lordship 
Literary Club was formed to purchase and preserve it, that 
it might be handed down as the sole survivor, amid the wrecks 
of time, of the city's ancient domestic architecture. 

Picturesque scenes must often have been witnessed in the 
days of Bishop Muirhead, especially in this part of the city. 

l Pres. ofGlas. Minutes, 25th Nov. 1595. For fuller details of Provand's 
Lordship, consult Dr. Wm. Gemmell's The Oldest House in Glasgow. 
2 City Chamberlain's Accounts, St. Nicholas Hospital. 


Close beside St. Nicholas Hospital, to the south, ran in a 
hollow a little burn that pursued its course along what is 
now Macleod Street and across the Square, under the Prison 
Aid Society Buildings, till it joined the Molendinar. This 
tiny streamlet was named the Girthburn, because it 
marked the girth or precincts of sanctuary. Within this 
those pursued by avengers of blood, or debtors seeking to 
escape arrest from creditors, were, for the time being, safe 
under the protection of the Church till the case became 
the subject of proper judicial investigation. 1 A man, it 
may be, had committed theft or contracted debt, or been 
guilty of accidental manslaughter. In such circumstances, 
he might be observed in hot haste, all breathless, making 
for the girth, for well the fugitive knew that as soon as he 
crossed the Girthburn he could claim the rights and im- 
munities of sanctuary. 

Or, there might be seen passing now and then a poor 
leper walking alone, not on the pathway, for this was 
prohibited, but on the calzie or causeway-side, and crying 
Unclean ! Unclean ! A miserable spectacle he was, his face 
and mouth covered with a cloth, and in his hand a pair of 
clappers with which to warn off passers-by, lest they might 
approach too near and catch contagion. While lepers had 
a hospital for themselves St. Ninians Hospital near the 
bridge end on the south side of the river, as the name Hospital 
Street reminds us, they seem to have been permitted to go 
abroad at times to take the alms thrown into the alms-dish 
they carried with them. Owing to better food, change of 
diet, and increased regard for cleanliness, this scourge of 
leprosy is now almost unknown in the land, although, as we 
learn from the old burgh records, it was unfortunately too 
common. 2 

1 Liber de Calchou, i. xx-xxiii, references to sanctuary privileges. 

2 Glas. Memorials, p. 254. ; Scott. Antiquary, Oct. 1898, p. 54. 


Again, during a visitation of pestilence in the city, pro- 
cessions might be seen morning and evening twice a week, 
when the clergy and their attendants with banners marched 
through the streets chanting mournful dirges and calling 
upon God that He might be pleased to stay the plague. 1 

Bishop Muirhead figures as a statesman. King James 
II., like his father, was wont to select from among the clergy 
his chief ministers for the work of home and foreign adminis- 
tration. Of this work, Muirhead experienced his full share. 
In March 1450, when he was Dean of Aberdeen, as well as 
clerk and counsellor of James II., he was appointed pro- 
curator of the king for making requests at the Court of Rome 
to Pope Nicholas V. 2 On the unfortunate death of James 
II. in 1460, at the siege of Roxburgh Castle, he was appointed, 
along with Bishop Kennedy of St. Andrews, one of the seven 
in the Council of Regency that acted with such wisdom and 
decision during the minority of James III. 3 

He seems also to have taken a prominent part in the 
affairs of Parliament in the years 1464, 1467-8-9, and 1471,* 
as well as in matters of truces and treaties with England, 
during the period of the Wars of the Roses. 5 

Evidently in those days there was no love lost between 
the two countries, for in 1467 an edict was promulgated by 
the Scottish Parliament that " na Inglisman in Scotland 
sulde have ony benefice, ony benefit, or in ony thing, ony 
kind of authoritie." 

But in some respects the crowning act of Bishop Andrew's 
wisdom and tact was exhibited in 1468 when he was sent 
apparently as one of the leading ambassadors by the 

1 Acts Parl. Scot. ii. p. 46, year 1456. 

2 Reg. Great Seal> ii. No. 330. 

3 Bishop Leslie's Historic S.T. Soc. ii. p. 83 ; Tytler's Hist. yr. 1460. 

4 Acts Scot. Parl. ii. p. 90, and Rymer, xi. 509. 

6 Cat. Docts. Scot. iv. Nos. 1301, 1337, 1341, 1363, 1368. 


Scottish Parliament, to Denmark to arrange a marriage be- 
tween the Princess Margaret, daughter of Christian I., and 
the youthful King of Scotland, James III. 1 

As the crowns of Norway and Sweden were then united 
with Denmark, and Christian I. held court at Copenhagen, 
the ambassadors sailed thither. Here their residence was 
protracted for several months, as the king was in Sweden 
fighting his enemies. The negotiations, however, were 
eminently successful. As the historian observes, " the 
mater was wyslie and well componet." Then the ambassa- 
dors, delayed for some time by storm, taking with them the 
youthful Margaret, a princess of great beauty and accom- 
plishments and attended by a brilliant train of Danish 
nobles, at last set sail for Scotland. 2 Soon after her arrival 
at Leith, in July 1469, the marriage was celebrated at 
Holyrood Abbey amid scenes of much rejoicing and splen- 
dour. Another matter of importance, arranged at the 
same time, was that the Orkney and Shetland Islands, which 
for so many centuries had been in possession of Norway, 
using the Norse language, laws and customs, should, in the 
event of Christian I. failing to pay the stipulated dowry, be 
ceded to the Scottish Crown, " quairthrouch al occasione of 
weiris quhilk oft betuene thir peples began, was sloked and 
hard off na mair." This cession took place in 1472. 

From having been employed so frequently and successfully 
in delicate negotiations, it may be inferred that Bishop 
Muirhead was not only a most judicious adviser, but also 
that he possessed a most conciliatory disposition. Vasari 
tells of Raphael that the power was accorded to him by 
heaven of bringing all who approached his presence into 

1 Leslie's Historie S.T. Soc. p. 88 ; Torfaeus, Orcades, p. 187, Rev. A. 
Pope's trans, p. 276 ; and Arild Huitfeld's Danmarchis Rigis Kronike y 
fol. p. 912. 

* Some think the ballad, " Sir Patrick Spens," refers to this event. 


harmony; in a somewhat similar way this might be said 
of Bishop Muirhead as a peacemaker. Thus, after a life of 
great usefulness, he died on 2Oth November, 1473, and was 
buried in the choir of the cathedral. 1 

1 So says Nisbet, without stating his authority. 

A.D. 1455-1473. 


His GLASGOW DAYS (1431-1478). 

WILLIAM ELPHINSTONE belonged to a branch of the House of 
Elphinstone which some time in the fifteenth century, if we 
may judge from the frequency of the name in the university 
records, had settled in Glasgow, and become rentallers of the 
lands of Gorbals, playing no unimportant part in the manage- 
ment of civic affairs. 1 

Hector Boece, his biographer, contemporary and friend, 
informs us that William Elphinstone was born in the famous 
city of Glasgow rendered illustrious by its university. 2 
There is reason to believe that he was brought up in the 
neighbourhood of the cathedral. A discussion has arisen 
over his parentage, and attempts have been made to explain 
away his illegitimacy, but the statement in a papal letter 
and other entries prove that while his father was a priest, 
his mother was an unmarried woman. 3 There has also been 
much confusion in regard to the date of his birth, but as 
Hector Boece who is more accurate in his dates than is 
generally supposed states that he died in 1514, there can 
be no reasonable doubt that William Elphinstone was born 
in Glasgow in 1431. His biographer narrates several 

1 M'Ure, Hist. Glas. ed. 1830, p. 93 ; Ren wick, Glas. Memorials^ p. 153 ; 
Mun. Glas. Univ. pp. 56-58 and 77. 

2 Moir, Trans, of Boece ^ pp. 58 and 102. 

3 Theiner, Mon. No. 895 ; Eraser's Elphinstone^ ii. p. 234. 


incidents of his boyhood which afford pleasing sidelights on 
the city life of the fifteenth century. 

The first of these occurred when he was scarcely four years 
of age. Having strayed from his home which cannot have 
been far off, he was found after a long search prostrate before 
the image of the Virgin in the inner shrine sanctiori sacello 
of the cathedral. By the inner shrine may be meant the 
shrine of St. Mungo in the lower church where doubtless 
stood some such image, or it may have been the Lady Chapel, 
also in the lower church underneath the high altar. As the 
latter shrine was in high favour in ancient times, 1 it is prob- 
able that the little boy had followed the crowd thither. But 
wherever the image of the Virgin stood, the child was so 
absorbed in his devotions that he had to be dragged away 
and " could with difficulty be carried home, protesting with 
tears and childish cries/' This recalls the story of the little 
boy of Abingdon who secretly took the Virgin Mary for his 
bride and put a gold ring on her finger. On another occasion, 
in his sleep, William dreamt that he was on his knees before 
the Virgin and entreating her not to suffer him to fall into 
any grievous sin, or be guilty of any base act, when it seemed 
to him that the Virgin herself replied, "Apply thyself wholly 
to virtue, and when thou attainest the mitre with which I 
shall present thee, consult the cause of Christ by repairing 
my churches." 2 

What amount of embellishment there may be in these 
narratives of his biographer, who is rather prone to credulity 
and panegyric, we shall not stop to enquire. When he 
reached his seventh year we read that he was delivered to the 
most eminent masters to be trained in morals and learning : 
he also made such progress in grammar that "his genius 
surpassed his years and gave great promise of his future 
eminence." In all likelihood this is a reference to his 
1 R.E.G. Nos. 237, 334, 384. * Moir's Trans/. Boece^ pp. 58-9. 


education in the grammar school that existed generally in 
Scottish burghs in those days and the headmaster of which 
was always a priest. 1 Indeed, from an entry in the statutes 
of the Church of Glasgow, confirmed in the fourteenth 
century, we infer that Glasgow had a grammar school very 
early. The entry is as follows : " The function of Chancellor 
is to see to the ruling of the Schools, the correcting and 
repairing of the books," etc. 2 

In this connection, while William was yet a schoolboy, 
we are favoured with a peep into the interior of the Bishops' 
palace in Glasgow in 1438. Boece informs us that the boy's 
disposition had such charms for the Bishop of Glasgow that 
he had no pleasure in sitting down to supper until he had 
sent for William and heard him recite some verses or exer- 
cises which had been dictated by his masters, another hint 
that the boy resided in the neighbourhood of the cathedral. 

As this incident took place in 1438 the Bishop of Glasgow 
was none other than John Cameron, whose reputation 
has suffered so unjustly, as we believe, at the hands of 
certain historians. It is in keeping with all we know of him 
that he should take a deep interest in the talented and pious 
young Elphinstone. Not only was he himself a scholar, one 
of the most brilliant students of St. Andrews, but he was a 
good man fired with zeal for the reformation of the Church. 
These interviews of an evening would cheer and brighten the 
lot of a bishop who at this very time was under ecclesiastical 
censure, if not actually under suspension. 3 

It was Bishop Cameron, too, who enlarged the cathedral 
establishment, and elaborated the splendour of its ritual, 
and young Elphinstone, who was of a pious disposition and 
a great favourite of the bishop, would be a regular worshipper. 
Glance for a moment at the interior of the cathedral as it 

1 Renwick's Glasgow Memorials, pp. 326-7. 

2 M'Crie's Andrew Melville, ed. 1819, i. p. 457. Ch. iv. p. 70, supra. 


existed four and a half centuries ago, especially on a day of 
festival. 1 Instead of the bare unadorned walls and pillars 
and dim religious light of our own day, we see the nave hung 
with crimson tapestry, and the twenty altars between the 
pillars and the walls decked with richest ornaments. In the 
distance, in the chancel, we descry the high altar, its frontal 
resplendent in silk of scarlet or blue or ruby velvet, while 
upon its table stand the candelabra and the cross and costly 
shrines containing relics. Surrounding the high altar also 
are curtains of white, ruby, or green, while overhead is the 
carved and gilded canopy from which hangs the sacred pyx 
surrounded by ever-burning lights. As William Elphin- 
stone knew it, the vast interior was a scene of illuminated 

As Elphinstone is believed to have himself written several 
of the lives of the Scottish saints embodied in his Aberdeen 
Breviary of 1512, it is but natural to suppose that a youth 
of his " love for quietness and thoughtful silence " would 
often visit the spots associated with the memory of St. 
Mungo. Indeed, about this very period there existed a 
growing feeling of veneration for Glasgow's patron saint. 2 
We can fancy young Elphinstone finding his way now and 
again down the Drygate and along the ancient footpath by 
the side of the Molendinar till he reached the foot of the 
Dewhill, or Dovehill as it is now named, to pay his devotions 
at St. Mungo's cave and St. Mungo's well. 3 It is difficult 

1 Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. yrs. 1898-99, and Inventory of 1432, Reg. Epis. 
Glas. No. 339. 

2 The Blackadder crypt, Little St. Mungo's at Glasgow, and the chapel 
to St. Thanew at Culross were all erected while Elphinstone was living. 

3 St. Mungo's cave No trace of this seems to have been left. The 
City Engineer (Mr. M'Donald) reports that in February 1910, during the 
construction of a sewer below the bed of the Molendinar, north of Graeme 
Street, he came upon portions of whinstone or trap rock cropping up to 
the surface. The name of this hill in Cymric is Gwleth, i.e. Dewhill. 
Under the misapprehension that dew was synonymous with the Scottish 


to realize the vast change that has come over the scene. As 
we think of the extensive network of railway lines, the shriek- 
ing of whistles and the sordid surroundings of the Dewhill 
now, we can hardly picture even to our minds the sweet 
amenities of those far-off days. In Elphinstone's time the 
Dewhill was a verdant knowe, at the foot of which, towards 
the Gallowgate, flourished a clump of trees called St. Mungo's 
trees, while there was also a well known as " St Mungo's 
Spouttis " and a road leading to it termed St. Mungo's 
lane. 1 

Here, by the banks of the Molendinar, immemorial tradi- 
tion has pointed out the site of St. Mungo's abode, if 
not his diseart or retreat. 2 Hence Little St. Mungo's 
Chapel, as Elphinstone tells us, was erected here in the year 
1500 to commemorate the spot. 3 According to tradition a 
cave in the shelving rock by the burn side was St. Mungo's 
bed-chamber, with a stone for his pillow. There, too, he 
administered the sacrament of baptism to his converts. 
From this spot also, clad in a goat-skin cloak with a hood, 
above which, says Jocelyn, he always wore a white alb with 
a stole. Carrying in one hand a piece of bent wood as a 
crozier, and in his other hand the manual book, he went 
forth to preach the Gospel to our Celtic forefathers. Indeed, 
the Dewhill miraculously elevated according to a legend 
not infrequent among mediaeval biographers would seem 
to have been St. Mungo's favourite pulpit. When the 
famous Dr. Chalmers preached in St. John's Parish 
Church early last century to crowded congregations, 

" doo," meaning a " pigeon," the name has been Anglicized into " Dove- 
hill." Histors. of Scot. v. p. 344. 

1 Orig. Paroch. i. p. 6 ; Glas. Protocols, No. 431 ; Ren wick's Glas. 
Memorials, p. 33. 

2 Historians of Scot. v. pp. 57 and 115. 

3 Reg. Epis. Glas. i. p. xciii. and ii. p. 501 ; Dr. J. Robertson's Scottish 
Abbeys, p. 21. 

From the original pointing in Kings College, Aberdeen. 


electrifying them by his seraphic ardour and moral grandeur 
he stood on the summit of the same Dewhill where, twelve 
centuries previous, St. Mungo, according to tradition, pro- 
claimed the same story of the Cross. Another scene dear 
to memory would recur to the imagination of the youthful 
Elphinstone as he sauntered about the Dewhill. It was 
here, by the banks of the Molendinar, where St. Kentigern 
abode at that time, not, as is usually supposed, higher up 
nearer the cathedral, that the saint was visited by St. 
Columba, who had travelled for this purpose all the way from 
lona in the Western seas. 

Jocelyn's picturesque account l of the meeting of the two 
saints in the early dawn of the history of Glasgow may be 
tinged with superstition, but would be devoutly believed by 
young Elphinstone. Each saint divided his followers into 
three bands, putting the youngest first in the procession, 
the leaders keeping in the rear. As the two companies 
approached each other they chanted psalms in antiphonal 
fashion. St. Columba, it is said, recognized St. Kentigern 
by something like a golden crown set with sparkling gems, 
descending from heaven upon his head, and again returning 
to the skies. Having met and embraced each other, the 
two saints enjoyed sveet fellowship together for several 
days, after which they parted, not, however, without exchang- 
ing pastoral staves in testimony of their mutual love in 

When he was nearly twenty years of age, Elphinstone gave 
himself to the study of logic and physics. Since he was 
born in 1431 this brings us to 1451, the year of the founda- 
tion of Glasgow University. On searching the earliest 
records of the University we find among the names of 
students incorporated, Willelmus Elphinstoune. 2 He was 
1 Historians of Scot. v.pp. 106-109 \R.E. G.\. p. xciii.officeof St. Kentigern. 

1 Mun. Glas. Univ. ii. pp. 55-6. 


thus one of the first students to join the new University. 
He would pursue his studies in the Auld Pedagogy in the 
Rottenrow. Here he made such progress as to surpass all 
his compeers. 

Being now perfect in philosophy, says his biographer, in 
his twenty-fifth year he graduated M.A. and was ordained 
to the priesthood. 1 After graduation in 1456 he withdrew 
for a time from study and was appointed to manage the 
paternal estate. Evidently the step was taken at the sugges- 
tion of his parents, who were solicitous about his health. But 
even in this capacity he displayed incredible prudence and 
wonderful adaptability, " showing that he possessed an apti- 
tude for the management both of public and private affairs/' 
Tormented by his ideal and his zeal for learning, he could 
not remain permanently at business, so he returned to college 
to study canon law. Thereafter for a time he practised 
successfully in the Courts of Justice, and pled so zealously 
on behalf of equity and justice that he was regarded as 
" a patron of righteousness and the advocate of the poor 
and miserable/' 

Retiring, however, from the busy haunts of men he 
accepted an appointment to the rural parish of Kirkmichael, 2 
whether in Ayrshire or in Nithsdale is uncertain, and here 
for the space of four years he devoted himself assiduously, 
not only to the performance of his pastoral duties, but to 
serious study, as if he took for his maxim " So study as if 
you were to live for ever, so live as if you were to die to- 
morrow/' " No hour, no moment passed in which he was not 
writing or dictating or making extracts/' This glimpse into 
the country parson's study suggests a favourite pursuit of 
the scholars of the Renaissance, who devoted much of their 

1 Moil's Boece, p. 60. 

There are five parishes named Kirkmichael in Scotlandthe two 
already mentioned and other three. 


time to making extracts from manuscripts of the ancient 
classical authors. " But born as he was to a higher destiny," 
says his biographer, Elphinstone was not to be permitted 
to spend his days in the comparative obscurity of a rural 
parish. A wealthy uncle, Lawrence Elphinstone, 1 summoned 
him to Glasgow and " sternly reproved him for neglecting 
to exercise in some way talents so brilliant and so well 
calculated to advance the honour and interest of his house." 
He recommended the young man to travel abroad and 
imbibe foreign manners and learning, promising, at the same 
time, that he would supply liberally any necessary expenses. 
Acting on this suggestion he sailed for France in 1462, 
although the seas in those days were swarming with pirates, 
and sought that home of the Muses, the University of Paris. 
At Paris University, then the headquarters of orthodoxy, 
Elphinstone " listened to the greatest orators and attended 
the lectures on canon law." So successfully did he apply 
himself to his studies that he gained, according to Boece, 
" the admiration of all Paris," and his professors pre- 
sented him to the post of first reader in canon law. For six 
years he attracted students in ever-increasing numbers. 
Thereafter he took his degree in the Sacred Decretals, 
graduating as Doctor of Decrees. 2 

Leaving Paris in 1468 he spent several years at Orleans, 
the great Law University of France throughout the Middle 
Ages and the true source of the influence exerted by Roman 
law on the law of Scotland. 3 With its learned professors 
he discussed the most abstruse problems of the law, and more 

1 Probably Lawrence of Selms, Midlothian. Eraser's House of Elphin- 

2 Dr. Moir's Boece, p. 63. 

3 Rashdall, Universities of Europe, ii. pt. i. p. 140 ; Miscell. Scot. Hist. 
Soc. ii. pp. 55 and 101 informs us that he studied and taught at Orleans 
about this date, 1481-1484. This is clearly a mistake. The correct dates 
would be 1468-1471. 


than once the Parliament of Paris sought his advice. During 
his stay in France his happy disposition won him many 
friends, of whom the chief was John de Gana or Gagne, first 
President of the Parliament of Paris and afterwards High 
Chancellor of France. 1 

After nine years' residence abroad (1462-1471) he was 
recalled by his parents to Scotland, and on arriving in his 
native city his first visit was to the Bishop of Glasgow, whom 
he knew to be in an eminent degree the patron of literature 
and literary men. The bishop who now resided in the 
palace was Andrew of Durrisdere. Having heard of his 
profound erudition and commanding eloquence, and having 
witnessed for himself a splendid exhibition of his forensic 
skill in the solution of intricate questions of canon law 
propounded to him in a public assembly shortly after his 
arrival, Bishop Andrew appointed him to the highest legal 
position in his right, viz. Official or Episcopal Judge in the 
Diocese of Glasgow. 

In this capacity he discharged his duties with wonderful 
address, " conserving justice and never sparing extortioners 
or perverters of the law," ever acting on the maxim, " He 
hurts the good, who spares the bad." 2 

In 1478 Glasgow University conferred upon him, " honori- 
fice," the degree of Licentiate in Canon Law, and in 1474 he 
was chosen Lord Rector. 3 Six years before, the University 
authorities had decreed that when the Lord Rector during 
his term of office went to church, or hacf occasion to walk 
through the town on holidays, he should wear his robes of 
office, or at least a furred hood, or one lined with silk or 

1 Innes, Sketches, etc. p. 262. 

2 Moir's Boece, pp. 64-5. Mr. Renwick informs me that a single 
leaf of the Court book of the Official of Glasgow, dated 2ist Sept. 1475, 
is preserved in the Town Clerk's Office, Conveyancing Department, 

3 Mun. Glas. Univ. ii. p. 81. 


taffety, and that on Sundays and minor feast days he should 
be accompanied by a number of attendants, a white wooden 
rod being carried before him ; also that on the greater feast 
days he should wear a richer than his ordinary rectorial 
dress, have a suitable retinue and the silver rod carried in 
front of him, his rank in procession to be next after that of 
the bishop. 1 The picture of the Lord Rector in his gorgeous 
robes with the silver mace carried before him is the parting 
glimpse we get of Elphinstone in his native city. In 1478 
he was promoted to be Official of Lothian, in the diocese of 
St. Andrews, and his residence was transferred to Edin- 
burgh, the seat of the Royal Court. 2 Thereafter he rose 
rapidly to the highest legal positions in the land, Lord of the 
Privy Seal and Lord Chancellor of Scotland. In 1484 he 
became Bishop of Aberdeen. He held the See of Aberdeen 
for the long period of thirty years and there rose to the zenith 
of his fame. He died greatly lamented in 1514, the year 
after Flodden. As his biographer informs us " the bishop's 
death was the cause of universal grief. Both men and 
matrons, as well as the clergy, long mourned for him as for 
a father, saying sadly that with him had perished the glory 
of Aberdeen." 3 

Bishop Elphinstone rendered many important services 
to his church and country, not to speak of his embassies to 
Louis XL, " the universal spider/' and to Maximilian I., 
" the Lord of the World." He restored and beautified the 
fabric of Aberdeen Cathedral. He created King's College 
and Aberdeen University, and was mainly responsible 
for the introduction of printing into Scotland. One of the 
earliest productions of the Scottish printing press was his 

1 Mun. Glas. Univ. ii. p. 75. 

2 Perhaps the bishop's coat-of-arms on the south wall of Ecclesmachan 
Parish Church was placed here at this period. 

3 Moir's Boece, p. in. 


well-known Aberdeen Breviary/' a veritable mine of informa- 
tion about the ancient church, rich in legends of a remote 
antiquity, and embodying the written memoirs of those 
saintly men, the planters of Christianity in Scotland, whose 
names are dear to Protestant and Catholic alike." Bishop 
Elphinstone has left behind him a memory fragrant with good- 
ness and greatness. His praises have been sung by writers of 
various schools of thought, George Buchanan being the only 
historian of repute who somewhat detracts from his fame. 
In the words of Dr. Joseph Robertson, " the pious Elphin- 
stone was one of those prelates who, in their munificent 
acts and their laborious and saintly lives, showed to the 
Scottish Church, in her corruption and decay, the glorious 
image of her youth." 

A.D. 1484-1508. 



ROBERT, who claimed to be of noble birth by both parents, 1 
belonged to the family of Blacader or Blackadder of that 
ilk, near Edrom, Berwickshire, his father being a minor 
baron who sat in the Scots Parliament of 1464, and one of 
his brothers not his father, as is often stated being Sir 
Patrick, who married Elizabeth Edmonstone, heiress of 
Tulliallan, near Alloa. 2 Having his home near Edrom, he 
probably received his schooling at Coldingham Priory, 
about ten miles distant. Edrom Church belonged to the 
monks of Coldingham, and early in the sixteenth century 
Coldingham had two priors, cousins of each other, of the 
name of Blackadder. 3 Thereafter he proceeded to St. 
Andrews University, if we assume that he is the Robertus 
Blakater 4 mentioned in the list of determinants, or students 
preparing to take the B.A. degree in 1461. A subsequent 
reference suggests that he would enrol as a student of St. 
Salvator's at St. Andrews a college then recently founded 
where young men of rank and wealth were encouraged to 
study. After taking his degree at St. Andrews, if we judge 
from the dates, he studied at Paris University, for we find 
one Robertus Blacatir, of the diocese of St. Andrews, 

1 Theiner's Man. No. 868. 

* Reg. Great Sea/, 2yth May, 1503, and Re%. Epis. Glas. No. 495. 

3 Raines' North Durham, App. No. cxi. 

4 Dr. Maitland Anderson's MS. List. 


described as Bacularius receptus in 1464, recorded among the 
Licentiates of the year 1465, when he is styled Dominus 
Robertus Blakadir. 1 

For some time after his name is lost to view ; he may have 
travelled about the Continent and studied at other Univer- 
sities. Perhaps, like other scholars of his time he might be 
attracted to Florence. The probability is that Blackadder 
spent most of the period in question at the Court of Rome 
during the pontificate of Paul II., for when he next appears 
upon the scene in 1471 he is acting as Nuntius or messenger 
of King James III. at the Court of Rome and referred to in 
complimentary terms. 2 In March 1477-8 he is mentioned 
not only as Orator of the King at Rome and Papal Notary, 
but as holding, among other churches, the rectory of 
Lesuarde (Lasswade) in the diocese of St. Andrews, and as 
receiving Papal sanction to make this parish church the 
prebend of a canon of the Collegiate Church of St. Salvator's. 3 
He proposed to erect near the church a hospital for 
pilgrims and sick and poor, to be known as the Hospital of 
St. Mary of Consolation, and the Pope, knowing his merits, 
granted his request as to the manner in which the hospital 
and the officiating chaplain should be supported. While 
acting as Orator at the Court of Rome, Blackadder is 
believed to have used his influence in procuring the elevation 
of William Scheves to the archbishopric of St. Andrews. 4 It 
is not till 5th June 1480 that his name is associated with 
Glasgow, when, as prebendary of Cardross, he is one of the 
signatories to a charter concerning the augmentation of the 
stipends of the Vicars Choral. 5 

1 Denifle, Auctor. Chart. Paris Univ. ii. pp. 952 and 957. 

2 Theiner, Mon. No. 850. 

:1 Theiner, Mon. Nos. 850 and 867. 

* Theiner, Mon. No. 865 ; Archbishops of St. Andrews^ Herkless and 
Hannay, i. p. 91. 
5 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 426. 


Evidently his eminent abilities as a scholar and as a man 
of affairs, led to his promotion first to the archdeaconry, and 
then, on I4th July, 1480, to the bishopric of Aberdeen. 1 
Hector Boece informs us that this new appointment was 
made while he was by order of James HI. on an embassy at 
Rome, and that he was there consecrated Bishop of Aber- 
deen. After some delay he travelled, partly by land and 
partly by sea, to his new diocese, where the local nobility 
and citizens came out to welcome him, and where also his 
appointment was confirmed. 

While Bishop of Aberdeen he was made a member of the 
King's Privy Council. During his absence on one occasion 
from his see, the Highlanders wasted the church lands, but 
he vigorously attacked the marauders and compelled them 
to make restitution. At this period he incurred the 
animosity of the burgesses by withdrawing the gift of 
second tithes granted by his predecessor for repairing the 
church. The friction thus caused, continued after he was 
translated to Glasgow, so that in Blackadder's experience, 
the city of bon-accord was a city of discord. 2 

While energetically employed in making improvements in 
the observance of divine worship in his diocese he was in 
March 1482-3 promoted to the See of Glasgow and conse- 
crated at Rome, April 1483. This, however, was not 
accomplished without opposition from the supporters of a 
rival candidate, George Carmichael, treasurer of Glasgow 
Cathedral, who had been elected bishop by the chapter. 
But Pope Sixtus IV. declared null and void the election 
of Carmichael as being contrary to the papal claim of the 
reservation of the See ; not only so, but the Pope denounced, 
under the highest ecclesiastical censures, all who did not 

1 Act. Dom. Con. 49-59 ; Eubel. Hierarchic Cathed. ii. 87. 
8 Moir's translation of Boece, pp. 55-6-7 ; Reg. Epis. Aber. Preface, 
p. 42 for authorities. 


reject George and accept Robert. 1 It would appear that 
Blackadder in prosecuting his translation from Aberdeen to 
Glasgow at the Court of Rome had involved himself heavily 
in debt ; nor is this surprising, seeing that a bishop on his 
promotion had heavy expenses by reason of payments to the 
Pope, the cardinals, and officials of the Roman Court, not 
to mention the travelling expenses of himself and retinue. 2 
To relieve himself of this burden of debt, he obtained power 
through a papal bull, dated 3ist March, 1487, to compel, 
by ecclesiastical censures, the clergy and monastic orders 
without exception to supply him with a " benevolence," or 
subsidy. There was also granted him by the Pope half of 
the first-fruits of all the benefices in his diocese. 3 This latter 
exaction, aggravated by an earlier dispute about certain 
church duties 4 he sought to impose, and by an attempt to 
appropriate the prebend of Barlanark, engendered such bitter- 
ness of feeling between the bishop and his chapter, that the 
Pope sent to Glasgow Antony, Bishop of Tivoli, to mediate 
in his name. Mediation, however, failed, for Antony served 
a citation on Bishop Robert to appear by himself or proctor, 
within 120 days after his citation, at the Apostolic court of 
Causes. 5 It would seem that the bishop went to Rome in per- 
son, for, while the citation was served on I7th April, 1487, we 
find an entry stating that he was abroad on 30th May, 1487, 
and that the Chancellor, Archdeacon and Official were acting 
as his Vicars-General. 6 At Rome the bishop failed to 
establish his case and had to yield up all his claims, and allow 
things to remain as they had been in the days of Bishop 
Andrew and his predecessors. 7 

1 Theiner, Mon. No. 873. 8 Dowden's Med. Chur. in Scot. p. 121. 

3 Theiner, Mon. No. 882. * Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 440. 

6 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 448 ; Regality Club, i. p. 12. 
Hist. MSS. Corn.-, Sir J. S. Maxwell's MSS. p. 66. 

7 Reg Epis. Glas. No. 450. 


About the period when Blackadder was appointed Bishop 
of Glasgow, Scotland was torn by civil strife. " The feudal 
nobility of Europe had been in a state of extraordinary 
commotion and tumult, in which hereditary sovereigns had 
been deposed and imprisoned. Scotland, on account of her 
frequent communications with the Continent, would natur- 
ally feel the powerful influence of such a state of things." l 
In 1482 a masterful section of the Scottish nobility, headed 
by Archibald, Earl of Angus, known as " Bell the Cat," 
dissatisfied with the conduct of James III. in neglecting the 
affairs of State for other pursuits, barbarously hanged over 
Lauder Bridge the favourites in whose company he spent so 
much of his time. Ever after this summary act of violence, 
the nobility who had taken part in the revolt felt their lives 
insecure. As ill-feeling and suspicion continued, a pitched 
battle was at last fought at Sauchieburn on nth June, 1488, 
between the king, who that day wielded the sword of 
Robert the Bruce, 2 and the nobility, who had adopted the 
king's eldest son as their leader, and proclaimed him as 
James IV. The royalist party was defeated, and the king 
murdered soon after fleeing from the field. 

Among those who sided with the victorious faction under 
the young prince was Blackadder, Bishop of Glasgow. Why 
he thus cast in his lot is uncertain. It might have been 
expected that, like Bishop Elphinstone of Aberdeen, he 
would have remained loyal to his sovereign, seeing that he 
had been his Orator at the Court of Rome, and had been 
thanked personally by him for his services, while he had also 
been chosen one of the King's Privy Councillors. The 
likelihood is that Blackadder was displeased with King James 
III. for interfering with the rights and temporalities of the 
Church, more especially in seeking to suppress Coldingham 
Priory by transferring its rich revenues to the upkeep of the 
1 Tytler's Hist, of Scot. yr. 1488. Treas. Accts. i. pref. p. 73- 


magnificent Chapel Royal which he had just erected at 
Stirling. 1 Although James III. had obtained from the 
Scottish Parliament in 1485 an Act of Annexation of the 
Revenues of Coldingham, as well as a papal bull in 1487 
sanctioning the suppression of the priory, nevertheless Lord 
Hume, who considered the priory his by prescriptive or 
patrimonial right, along with his kinsmen and powerful 
allies, energetically opposed the enforcement of these 
measures, and compelled the Commissioners despatched to 
Coldingham by the See of St. Andrews to retrace their steps 
at the peril of their lives. 2 

When Blackadder joined the party of the victorious 
insurgent nobles, the young King James IV. greatly appreci- 
ated his support, for the Archbishop of St. Andrews had 
sided with the late king, and as the Bishop of Glasgow was 
second prelate in the realm, Blackadder rose rapidly in the 
royal favour. He was appointed one of the ambassadors to 
the English court, and one of a committee to proceed to 
Edinburgh Castle in order to inspect the treasury and jewel- 
house of the late king and take an inventory thereof. 3 

As is well known, the young king at this time suffered 
qualms of conscience for the part he had taken in bringing 
about his father's death. On this account he made pilgrim- 
ages to various shrines and wore an iron chain or belt close 
to his skin. This penance, however, was not so irksome as 
might be supposed, for there was worsted padding wrapped 
round the iron to keep it from chafing the skin. 4 In the 
early years of his reign, James was a frequent visitor at 
Glasgow, and doubtless resided at the bishop's palace to 

* Treas. Accts. I. Ixvi. Index, "Chapel Royal"; Dr. Roger's Chapel 

2 Prof. Hume Brown, Hist, of Scot. i. 285 ; Brockie, Coldingham Priory, 
p. 27. 

3 Treas. Accts. i. p. 79, and pref. pp. 70 and 74. 

4 Treas. Accts. iii. pref. pp. 42, 74, and i. p. 171. 

Scottish National Gallery. 


enjoy the hospitality of his good friend, the bishop, 1 and, 
after supper, play with him at cards, then a fashionable 
pastime. While these visits were in connection with warlike 
expeditions, may it not be evidence of the sincerity of his 
penitence that James caused himself to be enrolled as an 
honorary canon of the cathedral ? We have no authority 
from original documents to assume that he was more than an 
honorary canon, although he styled himself a canon. 2 An 
entry of the year 1491 shows that when the king took part 
in officiating at the altar, as Charlemagne did at his basilica 
of Aix-la-Chapelle, he wore canonical vestments like other 
priests, for payment of forty-eight pounds Scots was made by 
the treasurer for twelve ells of velvet to line " a half-lang 
gowne of frensche blak that the Dene of Glascow gave the 

Perhaps the greatest token of the royal regard was the 
king's desire to raise Blackadder to the rank of archbishop. 
In the Scottish Parliament of January 1488-9 it was enacted 
that, " for the honour and public good of the realm, the See 
of Glasgow be erected into an archbishopric/' 4 

But the Papal Court delayed granting the request. King 
James IV., annoyed at the delay, wrote from Aberdeen to 
Pope Innocent VIII., December 1490, in the following strain : 
" Have written many letters to you and to the sacred College 
of Cardinals for the raising of the famous Church of Glasgow 
which surpasses the other cathedral churches of my realm 
by its structures, its learned men, its foundation, its orna- 
ments, and other very noble prerogatives to metropolitan, 
primatial and born legatine rank, like the Church of York in 
England. ... To my amazement you have not hearkened 

1 Ibid. ii. pref. xix. 

*R.E.G. No. 463 ; Dowden, Med. Chur. in Scot. p. 85. 

8 Treas. Accts. i. p. 188. The pound Scots equals 6s. English. 

4 Acts Parl. ii. p. 213. 


to so obedient a son, wherefore I again beseech your Holiness 
to expedite the said creation/' 

Again, on January 30, 1491, James, writing to the Pope from 
Holyrood Palace, and still fretting under the delay caused 
chiefly by the jealousy of St. Andrews, urgently presses the 
matter, saying : "If you decline to grant wishes so honor- 
able and well grounded, I shall consider myself despised and 
scorned. I therefore implore you that Robert, the present 
prelate of said Church may be advanced . . . should any 
letters of a contrary tenor reach you, I wish to know you 
do not credit them and will not have the dispatch of this 
business delayed/' Once more, February 28, 1491, the king 
vehemently urges his petition, adding : " Beseech you to 
grant this creation knowing that should my prayers be 
contemned and despised by you like former ones, I shall 
infer that the disobedience of others avails them more than 
my devotedness." This letter in Latin, like the others, is 
signed "Your most devoted Son, James, King of the 
Scots/' * 

While the king's petition was held in abeyance by the 
papal authorities, two safe-conducts for Scottish ambassa- 
dors were granted by Henry VII., one on 26th February, 
1490-1, to travel through England to the court of Spain, the 
other on I4th June, 1491, to travel through England to 
France and Spain for a year. 2 Whether the former was 
taken advantage of is not clear, but apparently the latter 
was, for the Scots Parliament voted 5000 to pay the 
expenses of the embassy which sailed from North Berwick on 
board the " Katharine." 3 

According to Leslie, " There was a parliament held in the 
month of May 1491, when it was ordained that the Bishop 

1 Cal. State Papers (Venetian), i. Nos. 596, 604, 607. 
8 Cal. Doct. Scot. iv. Nos. 1569 and 1574. 
8 Acts Scot. Parl. ii. 224. 


of Glasgow, Earl Bothwell, one Lord, and the Dean of 
Glasgow should go as ambassadors to France and Spain and 
other countries for the king's marriage where it should please 
the king best." x From the detail in Rymer, 2 it must have 
been an imposing procession consisting of Robert, Bishop 
of Glasgow, William (Elphinstone), Bishop of Aberdeen, 
Earls Bothwell, Morton and others, among whom was the 
poet, William Dunbar, along with a retinue of 100 horsemen 
conveying the baggage. 3 

Thus Blackadder and Elphinstone were compagnons de 
voyage Blackadder lordly and commanding, Elphinstone 
gentle and gracious, yet both accomplished statesmen and 
courtly in manners. It is one of " the revenges of history " 
that Blackadder, who persecuted the Lollards for preaching 
the gospel, sailed from the Bass Rock within the dungeons 
of which a lineal descendant of his own house, John Black- 
adder, the Covenanting Minister, was imprisoned for preach- 
ing the same gospel. 

At last the Pope yielded to the king's entreaties, and on 
January 9, 1491-2, erected the church of Glasgow to archi- 
episcopal dignity and jurisdiction, with carrying of the 
cross, and the other metropolitan insignia. . . . Also the 
Pope separated the dioceses of Dunkeld, Dunblane, Whit- 
horn (Galloway), and Lismore (Argyle) from the jurisdiction 
of St. Andrews, and assigned them to the new arch- 
bishopric of Glasgow issuing a Bull at the same date, 
exhorting the suffragan bishops to render due obedience and 
subjection to their metropolitan. 4 

Later, it seems, Dunblane and Dunkeld were restored to 
St. Andrews, leaving Galloway and Argyle as the only 

1 Hist. Scot. ii. p. 62, Bann. Club. 

2 Foedera, torn. xii. p. 446. 

3 Poems of W. Dunbar^ S.T.Soc. i. p. xxvii. 

4 Cal. State Papers (Venetian), i. No. 615, and Reg. Epis. Glas. Nos. 


suffragans of Glasgow. 1 But although elevated to the 
dignity of an archbishop there is no record to show that 
Blackadder proceeded to Rome either personally or by 
postulary to receive the pallium. Hence it has been con- 
jectured that the Pope Innocent VIII. owing to the 
opposition of Archbishop Schevez of St. Andrews, once 
Blackadder's friend but now his enemy, refused to confer 
upon him primatial and legatine rank. 2 Indeed, the erection 
of Glasgow to metropolitan rank was not accomplished with- 
out much opposition. Even the canons of Glasgow Cathedral 
were unwilling that their bishop should have increased rank 
and power, because they feared from past experience that 
their privileges and rights might be encroached upon. But 
both king and bishop gave ample assurance that the said 
rights would remain intact. 3 

The most determined opposition, however, came from 
St. Andrews. A jealous rivalry had long existed between 
St. Andrews and Glasgow. It broke out notably when St. 
Andrews in 1411 received from the Pope the privilege of 
university. Glasgow was not content till she received a 
similar privilege in 1451. It broke out afresh in 1472 when 
St. Andrews was elevated into an archbishopric, a step that 
provoked the opposition of the bishops of the other Scottish 
Sees, besides being distasteful to the king. Again, Glasgow 
could not rest satisfied till she was raised to similar rank. 
Yet even after this, the contention between the rival prelates 
was so bitter and the expenses incurred by law pleas at the 
court of Rome so heavy, that the king and estates of parlia- 
ment, 26th June, 1493, threatened to order the cessation of 
payments of their temporalities if this strife and scandal to 
religion did not come to an end. While this admonition had 

1 Scot. Hist. Rev. v. p. 328. 

* The Archbishops of St. Andrews, Herkless and Hannay, i. p. 142. 

8 Reg. Epis. Glas. Nos. 450, 460-6. 

Scottish National Portrait Gallery. 


the desired effect, the feeling of jealousy between the 
two Sees never really died down, but continued till the 
Reformation. 1 

While King James IV. was doing his utmost to promote 
Blackadder, it would appear that the bishop was no less 
solicitous about promoting the moral and spiritual well- 
being of his youthful sovereign. A letter has recently come 
to light, addressed by Blackadder to the Bishop of Beauvais, 
wherein, after describing the excellences of the young king, 
he expresses regret at his glaring sensuality and his being 
led astray by immoral companions. To counteract these 
evil influences he has placed among the royal attendants a 
young man, a secular priest, from whom he expected much, 
one Gulielmus Dunbar, a scholar, and also an excellent poet. 
So far as can be ascertained this would be about January 
1490.2 William Dunbar seems to have served in the capacity 
of private secretary to the bishop when on embassies to 
France in 1491, to Spain in 1495, and to England in I50I, 3 
so that he was probably a frequent guest at the bishop's 
palace in Glasgow. 

An event that has brought the name of Archbishop Black- 
adder into notoriety is his prosecution of the Lollards of Kyle 
in 1494. Knox has given us a somewhat piquant, if not 
prejudiced narrative of the trial which took place at Glasgow 
before King James IV. and his council, probably in the 
Consistory House or south-west tower of the cathedral. 4 

Thirty of these Lollards were summoned by Archbishop 

1 Acts Scot. Parl. ii. 232. 

2 William Dunbar, Famous Scots Series, p. 47, where this letter is 
said to be in the D'Aumale Collection. Mr. D. Baird Smith, LL.B., has 
ascertained from the Curator of the Musde Conde, at Chantilly, that the 
letter is not in the D'Aumale Collection there. 

8 Poems of W. Dunbar, S.T.S. i. Introd. passim. 

4 Knox's Hist. Laing's edit. i. pp. 6-12 ; Dr. Hay Fleming's Reformation 
in Scotland, p. 25. 


Blackadder to answer the charge of heresy. Among them 
were several landed proprietors, Campbell of Cessnock, Reid 
of Barskimming, Campbell of Newmilns, Shaw of Pol- 
kemmet, and the two sisters, Lady Polkellie and Lady Stair. 
Among the thirty-four articles which they were accused of 
maintaining were these : " That the Pope is not the 
successor of Peter, but where he said, ' Go behind me, 
Satan ' that the Mass profiteth not the souls that are in 
purgatory that every faithful man or woman is a 
priest that the Pope forgives not sins, but only God 
that we should not pray to the glorious Virgin Mary but 
to God only that the Pope is the head of the Kirk of 
Antichrist, etc." During the course of the trial Knox 
represents a spirited colloquy as taking place between the 
archbishop and Reid of Barskimming, the spokesman of 
the Lollards. " Reid," asks the archbishop, " believe ye 
that God is in heaven ? " To which he replied, " Not as I 
do the Sacraments seven." Whereat the bishop, thinking 
to have triumphed, said to the king, " Sir, lo, he denies that 
God is in heaven " ; whereat the king wondering said, "Adam 
Reid, what say ye ? " The other answered, " Please your 
grace to hear the end betwixt the churl and me." Therewith 
he turned to the bishop and said, " I neither think nor believe 
as thou thinkest that God is in heaven : but I am most 
assured that he is not only in the heaven, but also on the 
earth ... for if thou firmly believed that God were in the 
heaven thou shouldst not make thyself checkmate to the 
king, and altogether forget the charge that Jesus Christ 
the Son of God gave to his Apostles, which was to preach his 
evangel, and not to play the proud prelates, as all the rabble 
of you do this day." "And now, Sir," said Reid to the 
king, " judge ye whether the bishop or I believe best that 
God is in heaven." The king, wishing to end the con- 
troversy, said to Adam Reid. " Wilt thou burn thy bill ? " 


He replied, " Sir, the bishop and ye will." l " With these 
and the like scoffs," remarks Knox, " the bishop and his 
band were so dashed out of countenance that the greatest 
part of the accusation was turned to laughter." 

Another event happened in 1494 which is not without 
interest at the present day, inasmuch as it is the first recorded 
attempt at Glasgow to separate public education from the 
control of the Church. The Chancellor of the cathedral, 
Martin Wan, complained that a priest, John Dunn, had set 
himself to instruct scholars in grammar and youths in the 
elements of learning, without his licence. Such licence, the 
Chancellor contended, was the immemorial right of his office. 
The case was tried before the chapter of the cathedral and 
decided against Dunn. Nevertheless, not long afterwards, 
when the question again came up, the provost and other 
burgesses contended for the right of the magistrates and the 
community to appoint teachers of public schools. 2 But if 
any decision was given, no record of it has been preserved. 

In the following year, 1495, Archbishop Blackadder was 
sent as ambassador from King James IV. to the court of 
Spain, ruled at that time by Ferdinand and Isabella. As 
America had been discovered by Columbus in 1492, Spain 
was ringing with the fame of Columbus. 

Blackadder, " the doctor of Glasgow," arrived at Tarazona, 
two leagues distant from the royal residence, on 24th August, 
1495. His object was to arrange a marriage between his 
majesty the King of the Scots and a daughter of the Spanish 
sovereigns. During this visit Columbus was in America, and 
in his absence, his popularity, through the intrigues and 
jealousy of certain of the nobles, was somewhat on the wane. 

1 The public ceremony of recanting in those times was to bear a faggot 
of dry sticks and burn it, to signify that they were destroying that 
which should have been the instrument of their death. Calderwood's 
Hist. i. p. 109. 

2 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 470, and Glas. Memorials, p. 327. 


Nevertheless, the archbishop would learn all about the new 
world, the discovery of which had kindled such ardent imagi- 
nations and extravagant dreams of its fabulous resources, 
and had opened up such boundless fields for enterprize, which 
things might form the theme of many an entertaining con- 
versation at the palace table when Blackadder returned to 
Glasgow. He was disappointed in his mission to Spain, but 
Ferdinand and Isabella urgently begged their ambassador 
at Rome to induce the Pope to make the Archbishop of 
Glasgow a cardinal, adding that the King of Scotland desired 
it much, as the archbishop had rendered signal service. 1 But 
although such powerful influences were at work, the court 
of Rome declined to accede. As the poet Dunbar, himself 
bitterly disappointed at not receiving ecclesiastical prefer- 
ment, probably accompanied Blackadder to Spain, is it 
uncharitable to conjecture that in his poem " Of the Warld's 
Instabilitie/' written shortly after the archbishop's death, a 
covert reference is made to this ? 

" I knaw nocht how the kirk is gydit 
Bot benefices ar nocht leill devydit, 
Sum men hes sewin and I nocht ane, 
Quhilk to considder is ane pane. 
And sum unworthy to browk ane stall 
Wald clym to be ane cardinall 
Ane bischoprick may nocht him gane 
Quhilk to considder is ane pane." 2 

After a month's residence in Spain the archbishop leaves for 
Scotland on 25th September, accompanied by Archdeacon 
Don Martin de Torre, court chaplain, and Garcia de Herera. 3 
He is next found at Stirling, two days before Christmas, 
I 495- 4 On April 14, 1496, he goes on an embassy to Spain, 5 

1 Cal. State Papers (Spanish), i. Nos. 103, 104, 105. 

8 S.T.S. ii. p. 226. 3 CaL state Pa p ers (Spanish), i. No. 107. 

4 Excheq. Rolls, No. 308. 

5 CaL State Papers (Spanish), i. No. 130, and Treats. Accts, p. cxxiii. 


apparently for the third time. But this time also he 
seems to have missed Columbus, who was in America 
from September 25, 1493, to June n, 1496 ; while 
Blackadder is recorded as confirming a charter at Glasgow, 
May 20, I496. 1 

During his visit to the Spanish Court Blackadder pro- 
bably met and conversed with one of Spain's greatest 
sons, Cardinal Ximenes, the munificent founder of Alcala Uni- 
versity and the originator of the Polyglot Bible. Ximenes 
had been chosen confessor to Queen Isabella in 1492. On 
Good Friday, 1495, the queen put into his hands a papal 
Bull appointing him Archbishop of Toledo, a See with 
enormous revenues. Such promotion being averse to his 
feelings, he immediately fled from court, but a papal brief 
compelled him to accept office, and he was consecrated at 
Tarazona on nth October, 1495. 2 

About two years after his return from Spain, Blackadder 
was sent by King James as ambassador to Ludovic Sforza, 
the crafty and ambitious Duke of Milan. This was the duke 
who engaged Leonardo da Vinci as court painter, and gave 
full scope to his talents. It was during the years 1496-8 
that Da Vinci was painting " The Last Supper/' As King 
James wrote a letter to the duke, dated nth October, 1498, 
thanking him for the many honours which, for his sake, were 
afforded to Robert, Archbishop of Glasgow, his councillor 
and ambassador, 3 it is not unlikely that the duke, an enthusi- 
astic lover of the fine arts, would conduct the archbishop 
to visit the illustrious yet fitful genius, touching and 
retouching his famous fresco in the convent of S. Maria 
delle Grazie. 4 

1 R.E.G. No. 474. 

2 Hefele's Cardinal Ximenes^ trans, by J. C. Datton, passim. 

3 CaL State Papers (Venetian), i. No. 774. 

4 Pater's Renaissance Leon, da Vinci. 


In October, 1500, David Cunningham, Archdeacon of 
Argyle, Provost of the Collegiate Church of Hamilton, and 
Official of Glasgow, who already in 1495 had endowed a 
chaplaincy for the altar of all saints in the nave of the 
cathedral, erected and endowed a chapel at his own expense 
outside the walls of the city at the Gallowgate Port. This 
chapel beyond the Molendinar stood near the trees called 
St. Kentigern's trees, and was afterwards known as Little 
St. Kentigern's. The charter giving an account of this 
foundation with the names of persons and places in Glasgow 
four centuries ago is replete with interest. 1 It would seem 
that this chapel was erected on or near the traditional site 
of St. Mungo's Cave at the foot of the Dewhill, and also 
that it was consecrated to the memory of St. Mungo at the 
suggestion of Archbishop Blackadder, who was a devoted 
admirer of the saint. 2 

During the years 1500-1 Scotland was ravaged by a terrible 
plague. The Bishop of Dunkeld, when the plague was 
raging in his diocese, caused a bone of St. Columba to be 
dipped in holy water and the water to be sent to the sick 
folk to drink, as a precaution or remedy. Whereupon, it is 
said, one remonstrated, " Why does the bishop send us 
water to drink, I would rather he had sent us some of his 
best ale." 3 In Glasgow, owing to the ravages of the plague, 
no lectures were given at the university during the greater 
portion of the year 1501. 4 The cathedral clergy seem also 
to have been affected, for at a visitation of the chapter on 
I7th February, 1501, several irregularities were reported. 
" The dean does not make continuous residence. The pre- 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 481. 

*Reg. Epis. Glas. i. p. xciii. and Orig. Par. i. p. 6. 

8 Myln's Lives of Bishops of Dunkeld^ p. 40 (Bann. Club edit.) ; Dioc. 
Reg. \. p. 269. 

* Mun. Glas. Univ. \\. p. 278. 


bendary of Stobo often goes out of the choir in time of 
divine service and comes in again. He of Durisdeyr is un- 
punctual. He of Ancrum is frequently absent from the 
Chapter House on Sabbath." A general complaint is that 
prebendaries do not give residence. 1 

Towards the end of the plague-stricken year, on 24th 
November, 1501, Blackadder and others were appointed 
ambassadors to London in connection with negotiations for 
a marriage between Margaret, daughter of Henry VII., and 
James IV. The Scottish ambassadors were lavishly enter- 
tained during their visit, for there were noble and costly 
banquets, splendid tournaments and disguisings " to the 
great consolation of the beholders." 

During Christmas week the Lord Mayor gave a dinner to 
the bishop ambassador (Blackadder) to which were invited 
the chancellor and other lords of the realm. The negotiations 
proceeded smoothly and the marriage contract was signed 
at Richmond, 24th January, 1501-2. On the following 
day the betrothal by " hand-fasting " was publicly de- 
clared at St. Paul's Cross. 2 At the same time an Indenture 
of Peace and Friendship was drawn up between Scotland 
and England, and signed by Blackadder as Robertus 
Glasguensis. 3 

On loth December, 1502, James IV., at the request of the 
envoys of Henry VII., in presence of Archbishop Blackadder, 
swore on the sacraments in the cathedral of Glasgow near 
the right hand of the high altar to observe the treaties of 
peace and marriage thus concluded. 4 

It was on his visit to London that Dunbar, the Rhymer 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. ii. pp. 611-2 ; Dowden's Mediaeval Church in Scot. 
p. 79, on Non-residence. 

2 The Days of James IV., G. Gregory Smith, p. 76. 

3 Rymer's Foed. xii. p. 793. 

4 Chart, and Docts. Glas. 1175-1649, pt. i. dxxxiii. 


of Scotland, who acted as secretary to the archbishop, wrote 

his poem in praise of the great city : 

" London, thou art of townes A per se, 
Sovereign of cities, seemliest in sight, , * 
Of high renown, riches and royalty : 

London, thou art the flower of cities all." 1 
The next occasion on which Blackadder figures con- 
spicuously was on 8th August, 1503, when amid scenes 
of solemnity and splendour, accompanied by the prelates all 
in pontificals, he performed the marriage ceremony at Holy- 
rood Abbey, 2 a union immortalized by Dunbar in " The 
Thistle and the Rose," an epithalamion rich in inventive 
fancy and genuine poetic feeling. The royal marriage having 
been duly celebrated, and many years of anxious quest for a 
queen brought to a happy issue, Blackadder seems to have 
thrown his energies into the ecclesiastical and spiritual affairs 
of his diocese. Veneration for St. Kentigern was dis- 
played by the building of the Fergus Aisle, otherwise known 
as the Blackadder Crypt. 3 

As yet no documentary evidence attests the date, but the 
style of architecture, the decorated Gothic, points unmistak- 
ably to the age of Blackadder ; and the carvings on the 
bosses show the arms of Blackadder and James IV., while 
upon the pillar in the centre of the south wall there is a 
royal crown with the initial M for Margaret the Queen. 4 

Another carving deserves attention. Immediately over 
the north pier there is a human figure laid prone upon a car. 

1 Dunbar's Poems, S.T.S. ii. p. 276. 

2 The Days of James IV., G. Gregory Smith, p. 95. 

3 The contract between Thos. Tayt of Ayr and Archbishop Blackadder, 
on the former delivering to the latter " 12 fuderis of lead," may refer to 
the lead required for covering the roof of the Fergus Aisle. Dioc. Reg. \. 
PP- 375-6- 

4 P. MacGregor Chalmers. 


The accompanying inscription is : " This is the ile of car 
Fergus." Probably Archbishop Blackadder built his aisle 
over the traditional spot, where, according to the legend, the 
car containing the body of Fergus rested. If the tradition 
was correct, as it may well be, the Fergus Aisle is the spot of 
most hallowed memory in all Glasgow, for here, or near by, 
would be the ancient Celtic cemetery of St. Ninian, where 
150 years later St. Kentigern would erect his little cell or 
chapel, the germ of the cathedral and the nucleus around 
which gathered in the course of centuries the city of Glasgow. 

Further evidence of the archbishop's veneration for St. 
Kentigern is afforded by his erection in 1503 of a chapel and 
chaplainry x at Culross near the monastery. This chapel 
stood at the east end of the town close to the shore, and 
commemorated the spot where, according to the legend, St. 
Thanew, after being cast adrift and left to the mercy of the 
wind and waves, was washed ashore in her coracle, and gave 
birth to St. Kentigern. 2 

The seal of Archbishop Blackadder, which bears the date 
1500, has engraved upon it some interesting details in the 
life of St. Kentigern, as recorded by Jocelyn. The saint is 
represented holding his manual between his hands, above 
which and within an outer garment his hair shirt is visible. 
While there is no mitre on his head, he wears a close hood 
like a fisherman's. 3 

In 1507 Blackadder founded in honour of St. Kentigern 
a perpetual chaplainry at the altar in the lower church, 
erected by his brother, Sir Patrick of Tulliallan, near the 
tomb of St. Kentigern. 4 

Not only is the Fergus Aisle attributed to Blackadder, but 
the beautiful rood-screen with its richly moulded door. On 
either side of the doorway are altars, or platforms for altars 

1 R.E.G. ii. p. 505. 2 Histors. of Scot. v. ch. iv. 

3 R.E.G. ii. xxxii. plate iii. No. 5. * R.E.G.No. 486. 



with his archiepiscopal arms carved upon them. While this 
is not conclusive as to the date of the erection of the rood- 
screen, references in the Treasurer's accounts to masons and 
joiners working at Glasgow in the years 1503-7, and to an 
appointment anent covering the stalls of the choir in 1506, 
may afford some clue as to when the work was com- 
pleted. 1 

As Jedburgh Abbey belonged to the See of Glasgow, it is 
not surprising to find the arms of the archbishop carved upon 
its central tower. In all probability this points to restora- 
tions effected after some devastation wrought by the 
English. 2 

A list of the archbishop's benefactions for various religious 
purposes, along with the charter he granted in 1504 to Lord 
Sempill for the foundation of the Collegiate Church of Loch- 
winnoch, will be found recorded in the register of the bishopric 
of Glasgow. 3 

After a strenuous career both as churchman and statesman, 
the archbishop turned his thoughts in his later years 
towards making a pilgrimage to the sepulchre of our Lord 
at Jerusalem. The records show that he must have left 
Glasgow early in the year 1508,* and the first glimpse we get 
of him on his pilgrimage occurs after his arrival at Venice. 
" On the morning of i6th May the ambassadors from France, 
Milan, and Spain came into the college (the Cabinet of the 
Republic), and a Bishop of Scotland, accompanied by 
several of the officials and guides of the Cattaveri." 5 

1 R.E. G. ii. p. 612. 

2 Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. 1904-5, p. 47 ; J. Watson, Jedburgh Abbey, p. 41. 

3 R.E.G. ii. pp. 505-519; Glas. Memor. pp. 49, 167; Arch, and Hist. 
Colls. County of Renfrew (1885), i. p. 73. 

4 Dioc. Rec. Glas. i. Nos. 322-382. 

5 Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. vol. ii. p. 222, and Casola's Pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem, A.D. 1494, pp. 39-40. The Cattaveri were the magistrates 
entrusted with the supervision of the pilgrim traffic. 


Blackadder, in the eyes of the Signiory, is evidently a person 
of importance, for, it is stated, that he has a revenue of 
2000 ducats and that he is dressed in a purple camlet. On 
entering the college, he sat near the Doge, and after present- 
ing his letters of credence from King James and the King of 
France, he made a Latin oration in praise of the Republic 
and of the Doge, and of the good-will between his king and 
the Signiory. 

At this period Venice had passed the zenith of her splen- 
dour as the emporium of traffic between the East and West. 
The new sea route to India round the Cape was diverting the 
overland trade. Besides, she was being threatened by the 
powers that six months later formed against her the League 
of Cambrai. As James IV. espoused the cause of the Doge, 
Blackadder, who is described as " the king's relation/' would 
be doubly welcome. His ostensible purpose, however, in 
coming to Venice, was that he and the persons accompany- 
ing him might make arrangements to sail to Palestine, either 
by the Jaffa galley or by some other ship. 

On ist June Ascension Day amid universal rejoicing, 
the Doge sailed as usual on board the magnificently deco- 
rated state barge, the " Bucentoro," to espouse and bless 
the Adriatic by throwing a gold ring into the waters and 
exclaiming : " We wed thee, O Sea, in token of true and 
lasting domination/ ' Generally a vast concourse of strangers 
and, among them, dignitaries of rank from other lands flocked 
to Venice to witness this annual pageant. On this occasion 
the Doge was surrounded by " the ambassadors of France, 
Spain, and Ferrara, and also a bishop of Scotland going on 
a pilgrimage to Jerusalem." l 

The next notice of Blackadder is the last of all. He 
sailed from Venice for Jaffa, the port of Jerusalem, but on 
the return of the vessel on November 14, it was found that 
1 Cal State Papers (Venetian), i. Nos. 903-904. 


" out of the thirty-six pilgrims on board, twenty-seven had 
died, including the rich bishop of Scotland." l 

Leslie, referring to this event, says : "About this time the 
Bishop of Glasgow quha was passit to Jerusalem or he was 
come to the end of his journey, deceisit the 2Qth day of 
July." * It is likely that, when so many deaths took place 
on board, his body, along with the others, would be buried 
at sea. There is pathos in the thought that one who all his 
life had moved in the highest circles and been surrounded 
with earthly pomp and splendour, should at last be interred, 
not in a splendid tomb beside the high altar of his own 
cathedral, nor even in the aisle that he had erected as a 
chantry at Edrom Church, 8 but in the all-devouring and all- 
forgetful waves, 4 and that he died almost within sight of the 
Holy Land, the dream of his latter days unrealized. 

Archbishop Blackadder was a dignified and lordly ecclesi- 
astic. Perhaps no prelate that ever sat in the chair of St. 
Kentigern, with the exception of Cardinal Walter Wardlaw, 
had such an intimate acquaintance with the papal court. 
Certainly none was ever brought into contact with so many 
of the great rulers and thinkers of his day. 

Bishop Elphinstone, his contemporary, has been spoken of 
as if he were the only outstanding ecclesiastic of the reign 
of James IV. It may be conceded that in the elements of 
character that constitute true greatness, Elphinstone was 
superior, nevertheless Blackadder occupied as high if not a 
higher place in the councils of his sovereign. Bishop Leslie 
speaks of him as one " quha in his lyfe was sa vertuous that 

1 CaL State Papers (Venetian), i. No. 909. 

* Hist, of Scot. Bann. Club edit. p. 78 ; also S.T.S. ii. p. 129. 

3 The aisle bears the inscription : " Founded by Robert Blacader, Arch- 
bishop of Glasgow, anno 1499." 

4 The voyage of the archbishop on a Jaffa galley and his experiences at 
Venice and en route are doubtless vividly portrayed in those of another 
pilgrim in 1494. Casola's Pilgrimage to Jerusalem^ M. Newett, 1907. 


he was mervellous to mony to sie sa divine a nature " ; l 
while John Knox regards him as a proud prelate who 
" departed this life going in his superstitious devotion to 
Jerusalem." 2 A modern estimate is unnecessarily severe, 
" Blackadder is an excellent example of the Scottish ecclesi- 
astics, who, in the century before the Reformation, ascended 
to famous places, and as they rose, marked their steps by 
intrigue and jobbery rather than by honourable duties for 
the welfare of the State or spiritual services for the Church." 8 
It is a blot on his escutcheon that he tried to extirpate for 
heresy the Lollards of Kyle, but these were not the days of 
religious toleration. 

Through his building operations and benefactions Black- 
adder may be regarded as one of the makers of Glasgow. 
By his conspicuous ability as an ambassador to foreign courts 
when Scotland was feeling her way into the front rank among 
the political forces of the age, he increased the reputation of 
Glasgow and gave its name lustre in the estimation of the 
great nations of the Continent. 

l ffist. of Scot. S.T.S. ii. p. 129. 

2 Laing's/0^ Knox^ i. p. 12. 

3 The Archbishops of St. Andrews, by Herkless, etc., i. pp. 92-3. 



THE family to which the archbishop belonged was the 
Beatons or Bethunes of Balfour in the Parish of Markinch, 
Fife. James was the sixth son of John Beaton, who married 
Marjory, daughter of Sir David Boswell of Balmuto, King- 
horn. Cardinal David Beaton of St. Andrews and Arch- 
bishop James Beaton II. of Glasgow were his nephews and 
cousins of each other. 1 Born perhaps in 1474, James Beaton 
entered St. Andrews University in 1488, but did not graduate 
M.A. till 1494. To judge from the practical business apti- 
tude so conspicuously displayed in after years, he probably 
proceeded to some continental university to study law ; but 
of this no record has been found. 2 

His first preferment on September 17, 1497 was to the 
Chantry of Caithness. In 1502 he was made provost of the 
beautiful Collegiate Church of Bothwell, and in 1503 he held 
Kirkinner, one of the richest livings in Galloway. The 
records of the period show that he had much to do with 
financial transactions, both in Church and State, so that he 
was virtually serving an apprenticeship for the influential 
positions he was afterwards to occupy first, as treasurer, 
and then as chancellor of the kingdom. In 1504, although 
not a monk, he was promoted by James IV. to the rich and 
important Abbey of Dunfermline which he held " in com- 

1 Macfarlane's Geneal. Colls, i. p. 6. 

2 Archbishops of St. Andrews, \\\. passim. 


mendam." While abbot he was chosen one of the Daily 
Council and travelled to Rome on the king's business, when 
a sum of 300 was allowed him. 1 

In 1505, on the death of his brother Sir David, he was 
appointed while comparatively a young man Lord High 
Treasurer of Scotland. On state occasions he would carry 
the white staff of his office, and, having charge of the king's 
purse, he would require to be in attendance at court. As 
James IV. was one of the most energetic and restless of 
monarchs, ever on the move throughout his dominions, 
administering justice, making pilgrimages, patronizing tour- 
naments, and constantly disbursing money, his treasurer 
would lead a gay and busy life. From his rapid preferment 
he seems to have been high in the royal favour, and it 
was probably out of compliment to him that the king, in 
1506, during the period that Beaton held this office, named 
one of his new ships " The Treasurer." 2 

While Beaton was treasurer he was appointed to other 
secular offices, such as Chamberlain of Fife and Keeper of 
the Palace of Falkland. Being sagacious and possessed of 
tact and moderation, he was most useful to the king in the 
transaction of ecclesiastical business, chiefly concerning the 
disposition of benefices. At times his conscience troubled 
him in the performance of such duties. Hence, in August 
1506, we find James IV. writing to Pope Julius and asking 
liberty to choose a confessor for Beaton who would absolve 
him " in foro conscientiae dumtaxat." 3 The Pope also 
writes to him to remove his scruples of conscience in execut- 
ing the king's office, in taking cognizance of causes of blood, 
and other crimes. But such absorption in financial matters, 
along with the gaiety and frivolity of court life, was by no 

1 Authorities quoted by Herkless and Hannay, vol. iii. pp. 8, 9, 10. 

2 Treas. Accts. iii. Ixvii. 

3 Letters, Richard III., and Henry VII. \\. 224. 


means helpful to his spiritual life. Hence we are not 
surprised that John Knox writes : " Mr. James Beaton was 
moir cairful for the world than he was to preach Christ, or 
yitt to advance any religion but for f assion only ; and as he 
soght the world, it fled him nott." l 

In 1507 Pope Julius II. the Warrior Pope not only pro- 
claimed James IV. Protector of the Christian religion but 
presented him with a purple hat variegated with golden 
flowers, a sword with a golden hilt, and a golden scabbard 
studded with precious stones. These were handed for presen- 
tation to the king by Antonius de Initiatis and James Beaton, 
Abbot of Dunfermline, acting as papal legates, the ceremony 
taking place in the Abbey Kirk of Holyrood in presence of 
the whole nobility. 2 The following year, 1508, Beaton was 
appointed not to the Priory of Whithorn as so often asserted, 
but to the See of Whithorn or Galloway, with which was 
associated the deanery of the chapel royal at Stirling ; but, 
although referred to as Bishop-elect of Galloway, he seems 
never to have entered upon the duties of the office. 8 Higher 
promotion awaited him later in the same year. News 
having reached Glasgow that Archbishop Blackadder had 
died and was buried at sea on 28th July, a meeting of the 
chapter of Glasgow was summoned at the request of the 
king to elect a successor. Before leaving Glasgow, Black- 
adder on i6th June, 1508, had appointed Dean Robert 
Forman one of his vicars-general ; 4 but on the morning of 
the gth November, I5o8, 5 when the chapter assembled in 
the chapter-house at the ringing of the cathedral bell, Dean 
Forman was not present. In his absence Chancellor Martin 

1 Laing's edit. Knox's Works, i. p. 13. 

2 Leslie's Hist. Scot. ii. p. 123, S.T.Soc. The hat has disappeared, but 
the sword is still preserved among the Regalia at Edinburgh Castle. 

8 Dowden's Bishops of Scot. p. 371 ; Letters, Richard III. and Henry 
VII. p. 257. 
4 Dice. Reg. \. pref. p. 16. 5 Ibid. ii. No. 288. 


Rede presided. Mr. Adam Colquhoun, Prebendary of Govan, 
presented royal letters signed by the king's own hand, 
requesting the canons to postulate the reverend Father James 
Betoun, Bishop of Candida Casa, Archbishop of Glasgow. 
When votes were called for, thirteen canons cordially agreed 
to postulate the said James Betoun, Archbishop of Glasgow, 
but one of the canons, Mr. John Gibson, Prebendary of 
Renfrew, on being asked for his vote replied that, in an 
election of this kind more time should be taken for considera- 
tion on the part of the chapter ; adding, however, that he 
knew well that if the said Archbishop Robert, asserted to be 
dead, had been present and wished to resign, he would have 
chosen Mr. James Betoun his successor. Gibson then joined 
in the vote for Betoun and made it unanimous. As there 
was still some uncertainty about the death of Archbishop 
Blackadder, the chapter expressly inserted as a saving clause 
that their act was not to prejudice the rights of the latter 
should he be still alive. 1 The subsequent steps in the pro- 
motion are elsewhere given in detail, from which it appears 
Beaton was ordained and consecrated at Stirling, I5th April, 
1509, and thereafter passed to Glasgow where, on I7th 
April at 9 a.m. or thereabout, in the chapter-house, in 
presence of David, Bishop of Argyle, the Abbot and the 
Prior of Kilwinning and others, he took the archiepiscopal 
oath by touching his breast and swearing by the word of an 
archbishop and on the Holy Gospels. 2 Letters having been 
read from Pope Julius II., entreating the chapter to receive 
him as their archbishop, thereafter the university and 
clergy, through the Rector of the University, and the citizens 
and people, through two of the bailies, formally received the 
archbishop as the father and shepherd of their souls. 8 On 

1 Dioc. Reg. ii. Nos. 288-9. Upwards of four months had elapsed. 

2 Ibid. No. 353 ; Dowden's Bishops of Scot. p. 339. 

3 Dioc. Reg. ii. pp. 278-9. 


his promotion to the archbishopric Beaton resigned the 
office of Lord High Treasurer, 1 an appointment he had held 
for more than three years. 

Passing over an amusing contest for precedence at St. 
Andrews in 1508, in which Beaton figured, we find the arch- 
bishop in trouble at home. The chapter of Glasgow refused 
to grant him the subsidy he demanded to meet expenses 
incurred in connection with his promotion, and an appeal to 
the Pope did not mend matters. He had some difference, 
too, with the king over the chapel royal and the Abbacy of 
Dunfermline, but at last Beaton gracefully resiled from his 
claims. 2 

When Glasgow was elevated to metropolitan rank, the 
Archbishop of St. Andrews, probably at the suggestion of the 
chapter of Glasgow, who feared the same trouble with 
Beaton as had happened with Blackadder, was appointed 
conservator of the privileges of its dean and chapter. But 
this again led to jealousy on the part of Glasgow lest St. 
Andrews should assume superiority and interfere with its 
independence. Hence unseemly disputes arose from time to 
time on the question of exemption. 3 

For instance, on April 3, 1510, we find Martin Rede, 
chancellor, in name of the chapter, protesting that should 
Archbishop Beaton out of fear of the king pay canonical 
obedience to the Archbishop of St. Andrews as Primate by 
making a procession to meet him as he was approaching the 
city of Glasgow, any obedience or courtesy paid by the 
archbishop should not prejudice them or their successors. 
Another instrument of June 21, 1510, reaffirms this protest on 
the occasion of a royal visit to Glasgow in June 15 io, 4 viz. 

1 The Archbishops of St. Andrews, iii. pp. 41, 43. 

2 Ibid. iii. pp. 24-41. 

3 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 487, and pref. p. 51. 

4 Dioc. Reg. i. Nos. 419 and 468. 


the visit of James IV. and his accomplished son, Alexander, 
Archbishop of St. Andrews, who fell at Flodden, and whose 
praises were sung by Erasmus. Concerning Beaton's early 
days in Glasgow, the Diocesan registers 1 have little to record, 
but they contain several interesting glimpses into the con- 
dition of society in Glasgow and its neighbourhood. 

We discover that the archbishop's office was no sinecure. 
He had multifarious duties in connection with the Con- 
sistorial Court over which he presided. On ist April, 1509, 
not long after his accession to office, he declares " that he is 
ready and prepared to render justice and what common 
right dictates to those who desire to prosecute any ecclesi- 
astical persons of his diocese." 2 

Among cases of legitimation of marriage is one between 
Lord Flemyng of Biggar, a somewhat turbulent character, 
and Margaret Stewart, the youthful daughter of Matthew, 
Earl of Lennox, whom he had abducted and subsequently 
divorced. These parties having appealed to the Pope to 
be remarried, his penitentiary commissioned Archbishop 
Beaton to grant the required dispensation to legalize their 
marriage. 3 Another instrument of i6th June, 1510, shows 
how in Glasgow the State was still subservient to the Church. 
Matthew Stewart, Earl of Lennox, Provost of Glasgow, in 
name of the magistrates and citizens, compeared before the 
archbishop and his chapter and publicly confessed that they 
had imposed a fine upon one Alane of Leithame, who had 
appealed from the ecclesiastical to the civil court and thus 
committed an offence against the liberty and jurisdiction of 
Holy Mother Church. A satisfactory renunciation having 
been made and a promise never to put into execution any 

1 These registers consist of two parts, viz. The Protocol Reg. 1499- 
1513, and the Rental Book of temporalities of the archbishops, 1509-1570. 

2 Dioc. Reg. i. 360. 

3 Ibid. i. pref. p. 19, and No. 394. 


statutes against the Church in time to come, the sentence of 
excommunication was rescinded. 1 

Another sidelight into the condition of the times is 
furnished by the somewhat amusing case of one Andrew 
Birkmyre who had used highly opprobrious language 
towards Martin Rede, chancellor and official of the diocese. 
In an instrument of I3th May, 1510, it is stated that Mr. 
Andrew Birkmyre judicially confessed in the presence of 
James, Archbishop of Glasgow, and the chapter sitting in 
judgment, that he said before Mr. Martin Rede, the chancellor 
and official of Glasgow, sitting there in judgment that he 
(the official) was partial against him and that it was not in 
the power of the official to fasten and bind his feet ; and the 
said Mr. Martin protested for remedy of law for the said 
words. Among the witnesses was Mr. Thomas Murhede 
who, being sworn, declared that he heard Mr. And. Birk- 
myre say to the official in the Consistory of Glasgow, when 
the latter ordered him as an excommunicated person to 
leave the Consistory : "It sail pas 3our power to fessyn 
my feyt : 36 ar parcial : 36 dou nocht to fessyn a scheip hede " 
while another witness who concurred in the above, added 
that Birkmyre also said to the official : "I sett nocht by 
3ou a fert, etc." 2 

Another instrument of the same date informs us that Mr. 
Andrew Birkmyre complained against Mr. Thomas Murhede 
and Mr. Adam Colquhoun canons of the cathedral that 
he had been maliciously annoyed by them on a certain 
occasion, and further that the said Mr. Adam had violently 
snatched an instrument concerning his chaplaincy out of his 
hands, and still retained it. Birkmyre's charges fell through, 
and the archbishop enjoined him to stand by the commands 
of the Church and of his grace and to perform the penances 

1 Dioc. Reg. i. pref. p. 20, and Nos. 503-4, 508. 

2 Ibid. i. No. 440. 


imposed upon him, unless he obtained a dispensation therefor, 
and to recall the injurious and contemptuous words spoken in 
judgment against the official, and to abstain from similar 
words under a penalty of 20, and to compear in the Con- 
sistory and beg pardon on his knees from the official and 
archbishop in their own names and that of the Church. To 
this judgment Birkmyre reluctantly submitted " only " as 
he said, " to please the archbishop and not otherwise/' x 

Another incident revealing friction within the chapter 
is referred to in an instrument of I7th June, 1508, where 
Mr. John Gibson, Prebendary of Renfrew, protests against 
Mr. Adam Colquhoun, Prebendary of Govan, for having 
appropriated to himself a certain part of the prebendal 
manse of Renfrew . . . and unjustly occupied that part of 
the manse as if belonging to himself. . . . The said John 
also protested that he was opposed to such unjust appro- 
priation and occupancy . . . and did not and would not 
consent thereto, and protested for remedy of law. The 
sequel is not recorded. 2 

This Mr. John Gibson, from the frequency with which his 
name occurs in the records, seems to have been a man of 
strong individuality and to have taken rather a lively interest 
in affairs. Indeed, he is described as a " contumacious 
person." 8 

In an instrument of 6th August, 1510, Gibson appears as 
the central figure in a somewhat dramatic incident enacted 
in the neighbourhood of the Provand's Lordship in Castle 
Street. He was setting out on a pilgrimage to Rome, but 
before starting he made a public declaration of his rights : 
" Mr. John Gibson, Prebendary of Renfrew, taking his 

1 Dice. Reg. i. Nos/44i-2-3, also No. 514. 

2 Ibid. i. No. 323. The manses of Renfrew and Govan adjoined one 
another, immediately to the north of the Provand's Lordship in Castle 

3 Ibid. i. Nos. 337, 345, 45<>> 45 1. 


wallet, cloak and staff, and taking leave of the bye-standers, 
advancing a little distance for certain reasonable causes 
moving him thereto, took his journey to his Holiness Pope 
Julius II. and the Holy Apostolic See, committing himself, 
his said prebend, and all his property to the protection and 
defence of his Holiness and the Holy See." 1 

Yet another item of interest is an undated holograph 
letter in Scots of Archbishop Beaton, addressed to Mr. 
Steven Douglas, Commissionary of Teviotdale, concerning 
the trial of a priest, George Kirkhope, charged with the 
murder of one Thomas Pyle. This case came first before the 
court at a meeting in the chapter-house of the cathedral on 
6th April, 1513. " Maister Stewin I commende me to $ow 
for samekil as schir George Kirkhope is sowmond to the 
morn efter the sen3e for the crym ye knaw, his partye as I 
am informyt is nocht, nor 3it belefis to be providit of ane 
sufficient probation in his contrar again the saide day. 
Herfor 36 mon contynov the saide sowmondis quhil the 
xix day of October nixt followand quhilk day his saide 
partye purpoissis to preif thair jntent clerlie. And Gode 
keip 3ow. At Melros, this Fryday ; and tak sik souertie as 
ye hade of befor." 2 

In the days of Archbishop Beaton, not long before Flodden, 
there was an ominous premonition that war between Scotland 
and England was at hand. Royal messengers were being 
despatched hither and thither over the land to order wappin- 
shaws at which the citizens might practise archery and the 
use of other weapons. 8 Scotland was ambitious to rival 
England as a naval power, and the building of ships of war 
went on apace ; indeed, the largest warship afloat, " The 
Great St. Michael," was a Scottish ship and the king's special 

1 Dioc. Reg. i. No. 481. 

2 Ibid. ii. No. 579. The sense may be the synod or the session. 
Other references are Nos. 627-8 and 662, but the result is not stated. 

3 Treas. Accts. iv. 349-350, 402. 


pride. They were built chiefly on the Firth of Forth, but 
Dumbarton was also busy, and there is mention of a galley 
being constructed at Glasgow in 1512 by a shipbuilder named 
David Lindsay. 1 Little did Lindsay dream that in building 
this galley he was pioneer of an industry that would make 
Glasgow the greatest shipbuilding city in the world. 

According to most historians, it was about the year 1510 
that Archbishop Beaton fortified his episcopal residence, but 
the more probable date is immediately after the Battle of 
Flodden, when the citizens of Edinburgh, in fear of invasion 
from England, hastily constructed a wall round their city. 
Glasgow would, no doubt, follow the lead of the capital. 
Although it never had walls surrounding it like Edinburgh, it 
had fortified gates or ports defending its principal entrances. 
At this later date, too, owing to the splendid revenue he 
enjoyed from his many offices, Beaton would be a wealthy 
man and better able to meet the expenses incurred in such 
a large undertaking. Crawford tells us that Beaton enclosed 
his episcopal palace with a noble and magnificent stone 
wall said to have been 15 ft. high of aisler work, toward 
the east, south and west, with a bastion on the one corner 
and a tower on the other, fronting to the High Street, 2 
" whereupon are fixed in different places his coat of arms." 
While he also augmented the altarages in the choir of the 
cathedral over which he affixed his arms, he laid out much 
money on the building and repairing of bridges 8 that were 

1 Treas. Accts. iv. 290-2, and iii. Ixvii. 

2 This tower of considerable strength stood nearly opposite the Provand's 
Lordship, about 50 feet east. Scotichron. Gordon's edit. vol. vi. p. 502. 

3 Besides the bridge over the Clyde, mentioned first in 1285, there were 
several small bridges within the city erected over the Molendinar, Cam- 
lachie, and Glasgow burns, not to speak of others outside the city proper, 
over the Kelvin and other streams. Perhaps the Bishopsbriggs (so spelt 
in 1 568) may refer to bridges erected there by Beaton. 

The regality of Glasgow included the city proper, along with the 
parishes of Govan, Cadder and part of Old Monkland. 


gone to decay at different places in the regality and city of 
Glasgow, " whereupon are his arms engraven, and which 
remain as perpetual monuments of his charity/' " Per- 
petual monuments," remarks Crawford in 1726, yet not one 
of these bridges is known to exist at the present day. 1 This 
penchant for bridge-building continued to be gratified by 
Beaton after his promotion to St. Andrews for he is credited 
with the erection of fourteen bridges in Fife. 2 The reason of 
this enthusiasm for bridge-building we cannot tell, unless he 
felt it part of the duties of his sacred office to be a pontifex, 
as did the pagan priests of Rome, or it may be that an indul- 
gence had been granted to stimulate local activity in this 
direction. 3 In July 1513 the inhabitants of Glasgow must 
have witnessed with no little curiosity the entrance into the 
town of a noisy cavalcade two big guns, one drawn by 
36 horses, the other by 8, which had taken six days in transit 
from Edinburgh, a curious commentary on the state of the 
roads. Along with the guns came gunners, engineers, 
carpenters, carters, as well as large quantities of gunpowder, 
gunstanes and other implements requisite for siege opera- 
tions. 4 This siege train, it is supposed, was to have been 
transhipped to Ireland to assist O'Donnel, one of the chiefs 
of Ulster, in a rising against the English. For some reason, 
the guns never reached Ireland but were taken back to 
Edinburgh. When James finally declared war with England, 
against the advice of his queen, Bishop Elphinstone and his 
best friends, and, as was believed at the time, against warn- 
ings from the unseen world, Flodden was the price he paid 
for his pride, rashness and " dallying with the evil woman 
at Ford Castle." 

1 Officers of State ) pp. 61-2. 

2 Macfarlane's Geneal. Colls. S.H.Soc. Pubs. i. p. 6. 

3 Archbishops of St. Andrews^ ii. p. 266. 

4 Treas. Accts. iv. 527, and Ixxx, also i. xci. 


Upon that fatal field were found the bodies of the king, 
twelve earls, fourteen lords, an archbishop, two abbots, with 
knights and gentlemen of the best families in the land ; and 
among these the Dean of Glasgow and Matthew Stewart, 
second Earl of Lennox, the provost of the town, and John 
Elphinstone, who probably had erected in 1508, the ' battel- 
lit/ or fortified house in the High Street ; also one Archibald 
Wilson, perhaps the bailie of that name. 1 

In the meagre list that has been preserved to us we find 
the names of others in the immediate neighbourhood of the 
city Alan, Robert and John, three gallant sons of Lord 
Cathcart, whose castle, overhanging the river Cart, and even 
then hoary with antiquity, would be turned into a house of 
mourning, also John Pollok of that ilk and Ross of Hawk- 
head Castle. 2 

From the Rottenrow comes the voice of one Michael 
Fleming. In a memorandum annexed to his mother's will, 
dated i8th August, 1513, Michael declares that should he 
die in battle with the English, a certain sum of money shall 
be given as an obitus out of his lands in the Rottenrow for 
a requiem mass to be sung at the cathedral by the vicars of 
the choir on the anniversary of his death. But Michael 
returned from the war, the sole survivor of the Glasgow con- 
tingent whose name has been recorded. It was doubtless in 
gratitude for his escape that he and his mother founded an 
obit in the church of the Blackfriars in the High Street. 3 
We can imagine Michael Fleming on his return to the city, 
summoned to the bishop's palace to tell Beaton the last news 
of the king. We see him visiting the widowed Countess of 
Lennox, granddaughter of James II., who resided in her 

1 Dice. Reg. i. pp. 16 and 18 ; Scottish Antiquary, vol. xiii. pp. 101 and 

2 Scots Peerage, ii. p. 510. 

3 Dioc. Reg. i. pp. 21 and 557 ; Lib. Coll. N. Dom. p. 21 1. 



mansion of Stablegreen. 1 We see the citizens crowding 
around him to learn particulars of friends who had been 
slain and listening to him with breathless interest as if he 
were risen from the dead. There is material here for a 
" Glasgow after Flodden." 

Flodden was fought on September 9, 1513, and ten days 
thereafter a meeting of the regency council was held at 
Stirling, for James IV. before marching to England had 
named Queen Margaret as regent, and associated with her 
Beaton, Archbishop of Glasgow, and several noblemen. As 
Alexander, Archbishop of St. Andrews, had been killed at 
Flodden, the Archbishop of Glasgow crowned the infant son 
of James IV. at Stirling Castle on 2ist September. 2 

A few days afterwards Beaton, who had shown such 
aptitude for financial transactions, was promoted to the post 
of chancellor of the realm. Then unsettling tendencies 
began to show themselves. The Scottish nobles, fearing 
that the queen-regent would act with her brother Henry 
VIII. in the interests of England, met in general council at 
Perth on 26th November, 1513. Here the ancient alliance 
with France was renewed and ratified, and John, Duke of 
Albany, " a Gallicised Scot " and heir presumptive to the 
Scottish throne, was cordially invited to come to Scotland 
with men and arms to defend the country against English in- 
vasion. 3 His coming being delayed, Queen Margaret ruled as 
regent, till, by her own action, she lost her influence. Within 
a year after the death of her husband, thinking to strengthen 
her position and vindicate her authority, she married the 
youthful and handsome Earl of Angus. Having taken this 
step without consulting the council of regency, she naturally 

1 The Countess is found residing at Stablegreen three months after her 
husband's death. Dioc. Reg. i. p. 19. 

- Dioc. Reg. ii. p. 337. 

3 Acts Scot. Parl. ii. p. 281. 


provoked the jealousy of the other nobles against the house 
of Douglas, and Scotland was once more plunged into the 
bitterness of deadly strife between the rival families of 
Douglas and Hamilton. 

As Archbishop Beaton strongly disapproved of the queen's 
marriage, he withdrew from her councils and sided for a 
time with the house of Hamilton. Thus he incurred the 
mortal enmity, not only of the queen, but of Angus, whom 
the people styled " cheeping Archie," and of his brother Sir 
George Douglas of Pittendreich. 1 

For some time the queen's faction was in the ascendant. 
Beaton was seized at Perth, between the 2nd and 26th 
August, 1514, and the Great Seal taken from him. Shortly 
afterwards he regained his liberty and had the seal 
restored. 2 

In the turmoil that existed between the Hamilton faction 
and that now led by Archbishop Beaton in favour of calling 
John, Duke of Albany, from France to the regency, John 
Mure of Caldwell, acting on behalf of the Hamiltons, invested 
Glasgow Castle on 20th February, 1515-16. From the 
charge brought against Mure two years later, it appears that 
it was chiefly the interior furnishings and stores of the castle 
that were despoiled on this occasion, although some damage 
was done by the artillery to the exterior fabric. 3 It would 
seem also that Mure shortly afterwards evacuated the castle 
and left the archbishop in possession. Three months later, 
on March 20, Albany, with a well-manned fleet of eight ships, 
landed at Dumbarton. Thence he was convoyed by the 

1 Macfarlane's Geneal. Colls, i. p. 6 ; Leslie's Hist. S.T.Soc. ii. p. 151. 

2 Dowden's Bishops of Scotland, p. 341, for the struggle between Beaton 
and Gavin Douglas for the possession of the Great Seal. 

3 Caldwell Papers, \. p. 54 ; Hamilton of Wishaw's Description of 
Lanark^ etc., p. 194. Buchanan, Leslie and Drummond take no notice 
of Mure's investment of Glasgow Castle in 1516, while some recent writers 
confound it with the siege of 1517. 


nobility of the west to Glasgow, where no doubt he met 
Archbishop Beaton, who proved his staunchest supporter 
throughout the regency. 

Halting for a few days at Glasgow, presumably at the castle, 
Albany soothed the troubled minds of the nobility, or, as 
it was quaintly expressed, " Thair the fyrie flame burneng 
throuch the hail countrie he sloknet." l 

Then, along with his friends from the west, a great 
retinue, he passed to Edinburgh, where on 26th May he 
was received with great enthusiasm and proclaimed not 
only regent, but guardian of the young princes. Very 
unwillingly Queen Margaret delivered the princes into his 
hands at Stirling Castle, and then with Angus fled across 
the Borders. 

Another contest disturbed the peace of Scotland at this 
time, viz. that for the vacant primacy of St. Andrews. The 
leading competitors were Andrew Forman, the Pope's 
nominee, Gavin Douglas, nominated by the queen, and John 
Hepburn, by the canons. James Beaton, too, entered the 
lists but subsequently withdrew in favour of Forman who 
was successful. He was astute enough, however, to obtain 
from Forman at the time important exemptions for his See 
from the jurisdiction of St. Andrews exemptions which 
Forman afterwards regretted. 2 

Gavin Douglas, although disappointed as to the primacy, 
obtained the See of Dunkeld. But prior to his consecration 
his political enemies charged him before the council with 
scheming for ecclesiastical preferment and enlisting the help 
of England. Douglas was declared guilty and consigned to 
prison. 3 Through the influence of the Pope he was liberated 

1 Leslie's History, S.T.S. ii. p. 156 ; Henry VIII. Letters and Papers, ii. 
No. 494. 

2 Archbishops of St. Andrews, iii. pp. 53-5. 
*Ibid. p. 57. 


after a year's confinement and duly consecrated one 
account says by the Archbishop of St. Andrews, another and 
more likely, by the Archbishop of Glasgow. 1 According to 
the latter account, Beaton, remembering that it was chiefly 
to the influence of a Douglas, a kinsman of Gavin, he owed 
his early ecclesiastical preferment at Bothwell, invited him 
to Glasgow where he performed in the cathedral the cere- 
mony of consecrating Gavin, Bishop of Dunkeld. Well 
aware also that Gavin's funds were low from his many mis- 
fortunes, he not only paid the expenses of his consecration, 
but hospitably entertained the bishop and his retinue. 
Besides, he gave him presents of jewels, doubtless those 
usually worn by a bishop as befitting the dignity of his 
office. 2 It is pleasing to recall this generous hospitality 
shown in Glasgow Castle by Archbishop Beaton towards his 
rival Gavin Douglas, himself the son of " Bell-the-Cat," and 
one of that remarkable group of Scottish poets who shed 
such brilliant lustre on the court of James IV. 

The Duke of Albany's success, and his determination to 
punish oppression and wickedness in the government of the 
country, was so conspicuous that it incensed the Hamilton 
party, composed of the Earls of Arran, Lennox and Glen- 
cairn, who sought to oust him from the regency. In this 
connection, Pitscottie remarks, 3 "All the westland and some 
of the northland lords, along with the Earls of Angus and 
Lord Hume, who were dissatisfied with Albany as regent, 
met in council at Glasgow. Learning that three French 
ships had landed at the west sea, with men, money and 
artillery for Albany, they sent immediately 1000 men to 
prevent their landing, but were too late. However, they 
seized several carts with powder and bullets and brought 

1 Archbishops of St. Andrews, ii. pp. 166-7. 

2 Myln's Vit. Epis. Dunkeld, p. 73. 
*Chron. of Scot. i. p. 292, S.T.S. 


them to Glasgow, and for spite cast them into a great draw- 
well at Glasgow." 1 

Buchanan tells us that in the beginning of the spring 
(1517) John Stuart, Earl of Lennox, with a great many of 
his friends and vassals seized upon the Castle of Glasgow. 2 
Having captured it, " they staid there with Hamilton him- 
self expecting the regent's coming." 

Shortly afterwards Albany, hastily gathering a strong 
force at Edinburgh " to ding down his audacitie," marched 
west and occupied the Castle of Glasgow, so that Beaton 
once more came into possession. 3 

One gunner, a Frenchman, was punished as a deserter. 
The rebel lords were pardoned, says Pitscottie, 4 by the inter- 
cession of Archbishop Forman who " spuritt haistalie to 
Glasgow." Leslie affirms, on the other hand, that Beaton 
acted as mediator between the regent and the Hamilton 

Archbishop Beaton subsequently (4th March, 1517) raised 
an action for damages against Mure of Caldwell, and was 
awarded 200 marks. The record of the case is interesting 
from the information it gives concerning the interior furnish- 
ings and provisions requisite for domestic use in the grandest 
mansion house of Glasgow in the early sixteenth century. 5 

About this time also, Albany, to please certain discontented 

1 The draw-well referred to is difficult to identify. Mr. Thos. Lugton 
is of opinion that the Townhead or Castle Well, and which was nearly 
opposite the Provand Lordship, may be meant here. Old Ludgings of 
Glasgow, p. 66. Cleland, writing in 1816, enumerates thirty draw-wells 
as then in use in the city, the two of greatest depth being the Castle Well, 
42 ft. deep, and the Deanside, 35 ft. Annals, i. pp. 392-396. 

2 At this time too, if not from 1 509, Glasgow Castle had been used as a 
depot for the king's artillery. Treas. Accts. v. pp. 17, 18, 30, 47, 71 ; 
Leslie, Hist, of Scot. ii. p. 162. 

3 Hist, of Scot. bk. xiv. ; Leslie gives a somewhat different account. 
Hist. Scot. ii. p. 162. 

4 Chron. Scot. i. pp. 293-4 Pitscottie. 

5 Caldwell Papers, \. 54, and chap, on Glasgow Castle infra. 


nobles and churchmen, made a distribution of certain bene- 
fices at his disposal. Among others, James Beaton received 
the temporality of Arbroath (March 1517-18) as he had pre- 
viously obtained that of Kilwinning. 1 While praising Regent 
Albany for his great liberality in this respect, Leslie, writing in 
1578, cannot help moralizing that it had been better for the 
Church had he enquired concerning each of the several pre- 
sentees " quhat maner of lyfe he lyvet . . . gif his sheip he 
culd leid about the myre : quhilk gif he had done . . . per- 
chance this f yrie flame of heresie quhilk now occupies the gret 
parte of Christianitie had nocht consumet our nation sa 
sair." 2 

The two years during which Albany was regent were beset 
with bitter civil strife fomented chiefly by Lord Dacre, the 
English ambassador, who had spies everywhere, and boasted 
that he had four hundred Scots in his pay. Beaton all the 
while kept faithful to Albany and, knowing that the pros- 
perity of his country demanded it, he sought a conference 
with Dacre to establish peace or a truce with England. 

Apparently he suspected that the influence of Forman, 
Archbishop of St. Andrews, who had ingratiated himself 
with Henry VIII., was not always for the highest interests 
of Scotland, for we find him in a letter to a friend declaring 
Forman to be " a mischievous person." 3 This was in March 
1519. On 28th May following, after Forman had besought 
the influence of Henry VIII. with Pope Leo X. to annul the 
exemption he (Forman) had granted a few years previously 
to the See of Glasgow, we find James V., then a mere child, 
or some one in his name, begging the English king not to 
write to the Pope against the Archbishop of Glasgow, who 
is his preceptor, and daily remains about his person, although 

1 Scot. Hist. Rev. v. p. 449. 

^Hist. Scot. S.T.Soc. ii. p. 163. 

3 Letters and Papers Henry VIII. vol. iii. pt. I, No. HI. 


the Archbishop of St. Andrews has written to Henry against 
his exemption. 1 

In 1517 Albany, before sailing for France to renew the 
ancient alliance between the two countries, named the two 
archbishops, along with four of the nobility, as vicegerents 
to carry on the government. During his absence the oppos- 
ing factions of Douglas and Hamilton stirred up strife. 
Archbishop Forman sided with Angus and the Douglasses, 
while Archbishop Beaton, strange to say, now sided with 
Arran and the Hamiltons. 2 The Douglas headquarters were 
at Edinburgh, the Hamiltons at Glasgow. Albany, when he 
set out for France, expected to return in six months, but it 
turned out to be four and a half years. During Albany's 
absence there occurred in April 1520 the episode known in 
Scottish history as " Clenze Calsay," or " Cleanse the Cause- 
way." Buchanan and Leslie give perhaps the most accurate 
accounts. To follow the former, an assembly was summoned 
to be held in Edinburgh to compose differences between the 
rival factions. The nobility of the west who favoured the 
Hamiltons came to Edinburgh and held frequent meetings in 
the house of Beaton the chancellor, where they designed to 
seize the person of Angus, alleging that his power was too 
formidable for the public weal. Angus, hearing of their 
designs, sent his uncle, Gavin, Bishop of Dunkeld, to pacify 
them and come to terms " without the force of arms." 
Gavin did not succeed in his mission, but returned to Angus, 
acquainted him with the arrogance of his enemy, and then 
caused his whole family to follow Angus. Thereafter, 
being a priest and infirm by reason of age, he retired to 
his own lodging. Beaton, who ought to have been a pro- 

1 Letters and Papers Henry VIII. vol. iii. pt. i, No. 269. 

2 The Chancellor (Beaton) takes part with the lieutenant (Arran) 
because he has put away his wife and married Janet Beaton, his brother's 
daughter. Letters, etc. Henry VIII. vol. iii. pt. I, No. 1091, dated loth 
December, 1520. 


moter of peace, flew armed up and down, like a firebrand of 
sedition. 1 Pitscottie 2 gives some interesting details of the 
interview between Beaton and Douglas, which recent criti- 
cism is inclined to discredit. This interview, he says, took 
place in the Blackfriars Church. When Douglas appealed to 
Beaton to use his influence for peace between the rival parties, 
he pressed him, saying, " me lord 36 have the wit." Beaton 
" ansuerit him agane with ane aith, schapin on his breist," 
and saying, " me lord, be my conscience I knaw not the 
matter/' When Douglas heard " how Beaton chappit on 
his breist, and persaiffit the plaittis of his jake (underneath 
his rochet) clattering," he replied, " I persave, me lord, 
jour conscience be not good for I heir thame (the plates 
of his armour) clatter." 9 Whereupon Beaton ashamed, 
excused the matter " sa far as he could saiflie with his 

In the skirmish that took place, the Douglas party were the 
victors. Between 70 and 80 of the Hamiltons were slain, 
others escaped from the city. Beaton fled for sanctuary 
to the Blackfriars Church and was taken out behind the high 
altar, " his rokit revin off him and (he) had been slaine had 
(it) nocht bene (that) Mr. Gavin Douglas requistit effectuslie 
ffor him, saying it was a sin to put hand in ane consecrat 
bischope quhairfor they saifnt him at that tyme." 4 Beaton, 
who by no means figures heroically in this incident, left Edin- 
burgh in disguise by the Nor Loch and made for Linlithgow. 5 

The next reference to Beaton is on 6th December, 1520, 

1 Buchanan, Hist, of Scot. bk. xiv. yr. 1520 ; Leslie, S.T.S. ii. p. 177. 

2 Chronicles, S.T.S. i. pp. 281-3. 

3 The double entendre here is that " clatter " in Scotch signifies not 
only " to make a noise," but " to tell tales." 

4 Chambers' Traditions of Edinburgh, v. p. 264, furnishes the local 
colouring of the episode. Drummond's Hist, of Scot, says, "The Chan- 
cellor and his retinue took Sanctuary." 

* Calderwood, Hist. i. p. 62. 


when the chancellor is spoken of as being " sore aff rayed 
with pestilence which had hindered his meeting with the 
lords of the regency." l 

The Douglas party were now in the ascendant to the 
delight of Henry VIII., who pled earnestly with the King of 
France to keep the Duke of Albany with him. But when 
Albany heard of the great discords among the nobility of 
Scotland, and that there was no end of pillaging and killing, 
he set sail from France, after much delay, with " a fleet of 
fifty ships, on board of which were 3000 foot and 100 cuiras- 
siers." He reached the Isle of Arran on the 24th Septem- 
ber, 1521, which happened to be the same day on which the 
English burnt Jedburgh. Albany chose the west coast for 
landing because all along the eastern seaboard the English 
fleet were on the outlook for him ; besides, Beaton, his chief 
supporter, resided in the west. 2 

Leslie tells us in the Latin version of his history that Albany 
landed on igth November, 1521, at Garlochus (Gareloch), a 
bay (Sinus) on the west coast where he rested for a time. 
But the original Scottish version is Gawrathe 3 which inclines 
us to surmise that Gourock, or, as it was also termed " The 
Goraik," may be meant, a haven in those days of rising 
importance highly commended by Sir Andrew Wood, one of 
James IV.'s naval commanders. 4 "Albany sent his warlike 
provisions up the River Clyde to Glasgow and there mustered 
his army," so that the streets of Glasgow would be astir with 
French soldiers, among them a hundred cuirassiers cavalry 
armed with breastplates. 

At Glasgow Cross Albany published a proclamation that 
the nobility should attend him at Edinburgh to defend the 

1 Letters, etc. Henry VIIL iii. pt. I, No. 1087. 

2 Buchanan, Hist. Scot. bk. xiv. yr. 1521. 

3 S.T.Soc. ii. p. 178 ; Latin version, 1578 A.D. p. 378. 

4 Act. Dom. Cons. yrs. 1478-95. 


ancient alliance with France and dismiss the overtures for 
alliance with England. 1 

Albany rode to Edinburgh, which he entered on 30th 
December, 1521, " convoyet with the quene, Archbishop of 
Glasgow and utheris specialist' The tide had turned. The 
Douglas faction was driven out of office, and Angus and his 
brother Sir William were exiled to France, while Gavin, 
Bishop of Dunkeld, fled privily to the court of England. 

Forman, Archbishop of St. Andrews, having died on I2th 
March, 1520-1, 2 Albany, writing from Stirling Castle on ist 
December, 1521, to the Cardinal of Ancona and to the college 
of cardinals, recommended Beaton for the vacant See. 8 But 
a few hours after Albany affixed his signature to the letters, 
the Pope, Leo X., was dead. Some little time elapsed before 
his successor, Adrian VI., was appointed, 4 and it was not till 
October 1522 that Beaton was provided to St. Andrews. On 
loth December, 1522, he received the pallium, but the actual 
translation was delayed till June, I523. 5 

But before this consummation was effected we find Gavin 
Douglas, who had recently arrived in London and was once 
again a candidate for the primacy, writing frequent letters 
to Wolsey and making serious charges against both Beaton 
and Albany. He accused Beaton of virtually setting aside 
the claims of the young prince James to the Scottish throne 
and looking instead to the eldest son of Arran, for when he 
baptized this child he was heard to remark, "Quho wayt then 
I may leyf till I see and put the croune on this childis hede." fi 

On 6th January, 1522, Gavin writes to Wolsey his views 

1 Buchanan, Hist. bk. xiv. The Clyde then would not be navigable for 
Albany's ships further than Dumbarton. 

2 Rev. John Anderson, Notes to Laing Charters. 

3 Letters and Papers, Henry VIIL iii. Nos. 1820-1821. 

4 The aristocratic Leo X. of the Medici family was succeeded by 
Adrian VI., son of a poor bargeman. 

6 Dowden's Bishops of Scotland, p. 340. 

6 Letters, etc. Henry VIIL iii. pt. 2, No. 1898, 24th December, 1521. 


concerning the visit of a Scotch priest, Sir John Duncanson, 
who " presented writings to the king and the cardinal for a 
safe-conduct yesterday." This Duncanson " came from 
Scotland with great diligence in seven days." " He is right 
familiar with Albany," continues Gavin, " and has long been 
a special servant of the Archbishop of Glasgow." " He has 
brought writings and directions from Albany and Glasgow to 
be sped into France, Flanders and Rome." If Wolsey had 
seen these papers he would have learnt much ; " and gif 
your prudence thinks speedful at salve conducts be sped 
here at the instance and subscription of the said Duke I 
report me to your great wisdom, or }it that the said Bishop 
of Glasgow's matters and promotion for St. Andrews should 
prosper, considering he is the most speciall man, that man- 
teinys and all wayshis manteinyt ye said Duke." 

Evidently Gavin dreads that Duncanson has been sent to 
London to oppose his candidature for St. Andrews, which 
was supported by Henry VIII., so he beseeches Wolsey to 
refuse to give Duncanson passage till he knows his instruc- 
tions, " but so that no one may know this is done by the 
writer's desire, with whom Sir John fancies himself familiar." 
There is " none more double in our realm than he." x 

While Gavin is assiduously cultivating the friendship of 
Wolsey in order to advance his interests with the Pope, the 
Duke of Albany and the Estates write to the Pope on February 
6, 1521-2, informing him that Gavin has fled to their enemy 
the King of England, and praying him accordingly not to 
promote Gavin. 2 On the very same date Chancellor Beaton 
and the Three Estates request the Pope that he will not dis- 
pose of any prelacies at the request of factious persons out 
of Scotland. 3 

1 Letters, etc. Henry VIII. iii. pt. 2, No. 1939. 

2 Epis. Reg. Scot. i. 325 ; Archbishops of St. Andrews, iii. p. 82. 

3 Letters, etc. Henry VIII. vol. iii. pt. 2, No. 2025. 


To the charges that Gavin had made against Albany, 
Beaton on February n, 1522, wrote a spirited reply. The 
English king is asked not to allow the Bishop of Dunkeld to 
be received in England, nor to believe reports against Albany, 
" quha has bene miryst with sa grete honor and had sa 
tender familiarite with popes and gretest princes." l 

Later, on I5th February, we have a letter from Beaton. 
Since the English king demands that Albany be dismissed 
from the regency, the Clarencieux herald (Henry's messenger 
to the Scottish Estates) has been told that as the Scots 
unanimously invited the Duke of Albany to Scotland, they 
will not dismiss him but will live and die with him " though 
the king's highness, the French king, and the emperor 
should be against him." a 

On 2 ist February, Beaton, as chancellor, affixed the great 
seal to a decree which denounced Gavin's candidature, 
declaring him a traitor and sequestrating the fruits of his 
See of Dunkeld. 8 

It is strange how often James Beaton and Gavin Douglas, 
the poet-bishop, crossed each other's paths. As young men 
they were students at St. Andrews and graduated together in 
1494. Later, Beaton owed his early preferment at Bothwell 
to a relative of Gavin's. Later still, they were competitors 
for the chancellorship, and upon two occasions rivals for 
the Primacy of Scotland. Beaton hospitably entertained 
Douglas at Glasgow Castle, when he consecrated him Bishop 
of Dunkeld ; while Douglas, if Pitscottie's narrative be 
accepted, generously stepped in and saved Beaton's life at 
Edinburgh in a moment of extreme peril. But while Beaton 
attained his ambition and became Primate of all Scotland, 
Douglas, whose latter days were clouded by misfortune, died 

1 Letters, etc. Henry VIII. vol. iii. pt. 2, No. 2039. 
* Ibid. No. 2054. 
Ibid. No. 2063. 


of the plague in London in September 1522, an exile from his 
native land. 

Archbishop Beaton may justly be regarded as one of the 
makers of Glasgow, who added to its prestige and fortified 
the bishop's palace as a castle, encircling it with a battle- 
men ted wall, which gave it an imposing appearance. 
He made the castle an arsenal for the king's artillery. 
He erected several bridges throughout the regality, and 
repaired and strengthened the ancient bridge over the Clyde. 

It cannot be claimed that Beaton was a spiritually minded 
man. He was chancellor as well as archbishop, and the 
statesman was more conspicuous than the pastor. He was 
fond of amassing wealth and clung tenaciously to what he 
considered his rights, but he gave to the service of his 
country eminent ability and great force of character, and 
he did not neglect the duties of his See. 

After the disastrous defeat of Flodden he guided the 
destinies of Scotland during the long minority of James V., 
a service for which he has received from historians but scant 
acknowledgment . 

As his career is traced both at Glasgow and St. Andrews, 
he deserves the highest credit for guarding jealously the 
interests of his country at a critical period in her history, 
when the Scottish nobility rent the nation with incessant 
strife, and the King of England was threatening her indepen- 

Indeed, the English ambassador regarded " Beaton as the 
greatest man in both lands and experience within the realm 
of Scotland, and noted to be very subtle and dissimulating." * 
It was Beaton who checkmated and thwarted the astute 
Cardinal Wolsey in his designs against Scotland. This was 
why Wolsey resorted to such scheming in order to have 
Beaton removed out of his way. 

1 State Papers, Henry VIII. vol. iv. p. 286. 


Thus in the early sixteenth century, as two centuries 
previously, Glasgow was the headquarters of Scottish 
patriotism. 1 

1 For severe strictures on the character and conduct of Beaton when 
Archbishop of St. Andrews, see letter in 1534 addressed by James V. to 
the Pope. Herkless and Hannay, Archbishops of St. Andrews > vol. iii. 
p. 228. 

A.D. 1524-1547. 



GAVIN DUNBAR was a " south country Dunbar " a son of 
Sir John Dunbar of Mochrum, Wigtownshire, by his second 
wife, Dame Janet Stewart of Garlies. 1 He was a nephew 
of Gavin Dunbar, Bishop of Aberdeen " a prelate whose 
power in the State and zeal for his church would have secured 
him the highest panegyric of the church historians had he 
followed less closely Bishop Elphinstone." 2 

The date of Gavin's birth has not been ascertained, but 
would be somewhere towards the close of the fifteenth 
century. If reared at Mochrum he doubtless received his 
schooling at the neighbouring Priory of Whithorn famous 
in ancient times as a seminary of learning. 

Crawford, who waxes eloquent over his pregnant parts and 
elevated genius, says that, " while very young he became a 
student of the University of Glasgow." 3 But his name is 
not mentioned in the existing lists of students of Glasgow 
University; while in the early records of St. Andrews 
University there are three alumni of the name of Gavin 
Dunbar. Perhaps the one referred to in the following entry 
is the future archbishop : " Magister Gavinus Dunbar pre- 
bendarius de Crechtmont Aberdonensis diocesis nacionis 

1 Macfarlane's GeneaL Colls, ii. p. 527. 

* Reg. Epis. Aberdon. pref. p. 52. Gavin, Bishop of Aberdeen, is often 
confounded with his nephew of Glasgow. 
8 Lives of Officers of State, p. 75, edit. 1726. 

Scottish National Portrait Gallery. 


Britanie," incorporated 1515. Should this refer to the 
archbishop, as seems likely, it implies that Gavin had 
graduated in Arts somewhere else, and that he was incorpo- 
rated at St. Andrews for some special purpose, possibly to hear 
lectures on theology and canon law. 1 It also shows that 
when he proceeded to St. Andrews to extend his studies, 
Gavin held the prebend of Crechmont or Crimond, in con- 
nexion with St. Machar's Cathedral, which preferment, 
no doubt, he owed to the good offices of his uncle Gavin. 2 
If the prebendary of Crechmond was the future archbishop, 
he would probably be a graduate of King's College, Aber- 
deen, 3 and this conjecture is strengthened by the statement 
of Crawford " that after his academical learning he applied 
himself to the study of theology and canon law, which he 
pursued with uncommon application, and taking holy orders 
from his uncle, Bishop Dunbar of Aberdeen, was made Dean 
of Murray in 1514." 4 

His stay at St. Andrews must have been short, for in 
February 1516-7 he was acting as tutor to the young prince, 
James V. Leslie tells us that Dunbar " was maid the Kingis 
maister in his tendir ^eiris to instruct him in maneris and 
lettiris," and that " the King luvet him sa weil that he com- 
municat with him the leist secreit of his hart." 5 Buchanan 
describes Dunbar as " vir bonus et doctus." 6 

He taught his royal pupil in a chamber in Edinburgh 
Castle, well secured with locks and bolts, evidently to protect 

1 This is the opinion of Dr. Maitland Anderson. 

2 John Cardno was collated to the vicarage of Crechtmond in 1505, 
erected by Mr. Gavin Dunbar (perhaps uncle of Gavin), vacant by the 
death of Sir John Sanchak. Reg. Epis. Aberd. i. p. 351. 

3 Unfortunately the volume, Kings College Officers, etc., contains no list 
of the early graduates. 

4 Lives of 'Officers, p. 75. Crawford's date, 1514, is probably incorrect. 
Gavin Dunbar, senior, was not made Bishop of Aberdeen till 1518. 
* Hist. Scot. S.T.S. ii. p. 182. 
6 Hist, of Scot. bk. xiv. 



the royal person from sudden seizure by the Douglas 
party. 1 

Sometimes the young prince and his tutor were taken to 
Craigmillar Castle for change of air, or, it might be, when 
pestilence prevailed in the city. Here De la Bastie, the French 
knight with the golden locks, who acted as his guardian, gave 
him riding lessons, as one may infer from references to the 
" king's mule." 2 

The prince, it seems, was also fond of playing at cachpuyll 
or tennis with his tutor and friends, and still fonder of 
" casting eggs to bikker the castell," that is, of using eggs as 
missiles to aim at a mark on the castle wall. 3 

While Gavin was the king's preceptor and Dean of Moray 
" in commendam," he was recommended by Regent Albany, 
in a letter written from Edinburgh Castle on I2th December, 
1518, to Pope Leo X. for the Praemonstratine Priory of 
Whithorn, whose monks followed the rule of Augustine and 
wore robes entirely white. In a second letter to the Pope, 
it is added that Whithorn, where St. Ninian is buried, is a 
place of great importance, visited by pilgrims from England, 
Ireland and the Isles. The Cardinal of Crotona, the Pope's 
datary, was desirous of securing the priory for himself, but 
Albany insisted that it ought not to be given to a foreigner. 4 
After some delay, a compromise was effected, and Dunbar, on 
certain conditions, was appointed prior "in commendam." 
In a letter to the Cardinal of Crotona, dated 28th May, 15 19,* 
Dunbar states " that the priory of Whithorn was given him 
' in commendam ' by the three estates of Scotland and con- 
ferred by the Governor." Evidently he continued to act as 

1 Treas. Accts. v. p. in, p. xlix. * Ibid. v. p. xxii. 

3 Ibid. v. p. 275 ; Excheq. Rolls, xiv. p. 129. Dunbar was paid a salary 
at the rate of ^100 per annum. 

4 Letters, Henry VIII. vol. ii. pt. 2, Nos. 4645-6-7. The datary is an 
official who registers the dates of appointments to benefices. 

6 Ibid. vol. iii. pt. i. No. 270. 


the king's preceptor until his promotion to Glasgow. 1 But 
though Dunbar was " ane soung clerk weill learned," the 
prince did not make rapid progress with his studies. "At the 
age of twelve James could not read an English letter without 
assistance, and in manhood he could speak very little 
French/' 2 

These five years (1518-24), during the regency of Albany, 
when Dunbar was Prior of Whithorn, were troublous times 
for Scotland. Not to speak of the continued feud between 
the Hamiltons and the Douglasses, and the bitter rivalry 
among the three leading churchmen for the primacy, Henry 
VIII. was threatening war against Scotland, while Albany in 
return sought to invade England. Indeed, Henry VIII. 
decreed that all Scots residing in England should have a 
white cross sewn upon their uppermost garment to distin- 
guish them from Englishmen, and then be expelled the 
realm. 3 After Albany sailed for France in May 1523, Queen 
Margaret, with the consent of Arran and some of the leading 
men of the nation, brought her son, then twelve years old, 
from Stirling to Edinburgh and had him " erected " or 
proclaimed de facto King of the Scots on 26th July, 1524.* 

Archbishop Beaton, having been translated from Glasgow 
to St. Andrews on I5th October, 1522, " To the Archbis- 
hopric of Glasgwe succeidet ane worthie man Gawin Dunbar ; 
quha because of his gret cunning, sinceire lyfe, and grave 
counsel, he was commendet." 5 Although the vacancy in the 
See of Glasgow occurred on I5th October, 1522, it was not 
till 8th July, 1524, eighteen days before the " erection " of 
the young king, that Dunbar was provided to Glasgow by 
Pope Clement VII. This long delay, if we may judge from 

1 Reg. Privy Seat, i. No. 3224. 

8 P. Hume Brown, Hist, of Scot. i. p. 374. 

3 Leslie's Hist. S.T.S. ii. p. 183. 

4 P. Hume Brown, Hist. Scot. i. p. 369. 

5 Leslie, Hist. Scot. S.T.S. ii. p. 182. 


the sequel, arose from the conflicting claims of the rival 
archbishoprics. The pall was granted on 2Qth July, 1524, 
and at Edinburgh next day, we find Dunbar, " postulate 
of Glasgow," taking the oath of fealty to the young king. 1 
On the day of his provision to Glasgow, Pope Clement VII. 
sent a bull granting to Gavin and his suffragans such 
exemption from the primatial and legatine jurisdiction of 
St. Andrews, as had been granted to his predecessors, Robert 
Blackadder and James Beaton. 2 Then on 5th February, 
1524-5, he was consecrated at Edinburgh as Archbishop of 
Glasgow. 3 

But this bull of Pope Clement giving perpetual exemption 
to the Archbishopric of Glasgow was highly displeasing to 
James Beaton, Archbishop of St. Andrews, who, ever tena- 
cious of his rights, employed all his influence with the young 
king, still a minor, to have the exemption cancelled by the 
Pope. On learning later that the letters of the young king 
had been extorted from him contrary to his own wish, the 
Pope went back to the original arrangement. 4 

Meantime, on January 13, 1525, James V. wrote thanking 
the Pope for the promotion of Gavin Dunbar, his tutor, to 
the See of Glasgow, with exemption from the primacy and 
legatine authority of St. Andrews. Queen Margaret, too, 
on igth February, 1525, wrote to Wolsey that she and the 
king had written to the Pope for the promotion of " Glasgow, 
hyz master that lerd him/' while (on February 20, 1525), 
Dunbar himself wrote Wolsey to beg Wolsey's interposition 
on behalf of his perpetual exemption from the primacy of St. 
Andrews. 5 It was not, however, till 1531 that Gavin regained 

1 Letters, etc. Henry V11I. vol. iv. pt. i. No. 540 ; Calderwood, Hist. i. 
p. 67. 

* R.E.G. ii. Nos. 494-6-7-9. 

3 Dice. Reg. ii. p. 337. 

4 Scot. Hist. Rev. v. p. 453. 

* Letters, etc. Henry VIII. vol. iv. pt. i. Nos. 1012, 1103, 1104. 


all the immunities enjoyed by his predecessors, Blackadder 
and Beaton. 1 

Thus, at last, to the discomfiture of Beaton, who contended 
that the exemption should cease with the present archbishop, 
Dunbar was confirmed in his claim to perpetui 1 exemption. 
Nevertheless the bitter rivalry between the two archbishops 
continued until the Reformation came and swept away the 
old order of things. 

About the time when Archbishop Dunbar began his rule, 
Glasgow received the gift of a new hospital. The earliest of 
the pre-Reformation hospitals was the hospital for sick 
poor and wayfarers, and was erected in the thirteenth 
century at Polmadie. About the same time probably arose 
the Leper Hospital at Gorbals. Then in the fifteenth century 
St. Nicholas' Hospital for old men was founded by Bishop 
Andrew of Durrisdere. 2 To these three was added a fourth 
about the year 1524 by Rolland Blacadyr, Prebendary of 
Cadder and Subdean of the Cathedral, a post with consider- 
able revenues. This Rolland was a nephew of Archbishop 
Blackadder. 3 The site of the hospital was near Stable Green, 
in close proximity to the present Barony U.F. Church. In 
ancient times this spot, where the roads from the north and 
north-west converged, was one of the chief entrances into 
the city. According to the will of the founder, this hospital 
was built and endowed on behalf of the poor and needy 
coming into the town, a kind of night asylum for the casual 
poor. Perhaps the most interesting items of this will are 
those which give some insight into the religious beliefs and 
customs of the time. The chaplain is enjoined to pay to the 
vicars of the choir every year 44 shillings for an obit on 
behalf of the founder and his parents. At the time of the 
founder's obsequies the major sacrist is to spread a table 

1 Herkless, etc., Archbishops of St. Andrews, iii. p. 214. 

2 Renwick, Glas. Memorials, chap. xvii. 3 Dioc. Reg. \. p. 307. 


above his sepulchre with becoming drapery and two wax 
lights, and do the same for his parents at their sepulchre in 
the- lower church, receiving for his trouble four shillings. 
The minor sacrist for ringing the bells at the obit is to receive 
fourteen pence, while the ringer of the bell of St. Kentigern 
through the town on the occasion of the obit receives four- 
pence. The said chaplain, with the advice of the procurators 
fiscal of the vicars, is to choose sixty honest householders in 
the city of Glasgow to take part in the church at the celebra- 
tion of the founder's obit, and pray for his soul, and that of 
his parents, and of all the dead. On the morrow after these 
obsequies eight pennies are to be given to each of the sixty. 1 

This Blackadder Hospital continued to exist after the 
Reformation. 2 Blackadder also left 300 towards the build- 
ing of a nunnery to St. Katharine of Siena, near the church 
of St. Thanew, and 100 for building a hospital near the 
Collegiate Church of St. Mary. Owing probably to the 
advent of the Reformation, neither monastery nor hospital 
came into existence. 3 

In the same year, 1525, a new church as well as a new 
hospital was founded in Glasgow, viz. the Collegiate Church 
of St. Mary and St. Anne, better known by its later name 
the Tron Church. The founder was James Houston, Vicar 
of Eastwood and successor of Rolland Blacader in the office 
of subdean, also for several years Rector of the University. 
At a meeting held in the chapter-house on 2Qth April, 1525, 
Mr. James Houston's pious and laudable offer was cordially 
approved, and authority granted to erect the church whose 
foundations had recently been laid, also to celebrate divine 
worship therein, provided the said James Houston furnish 
sufficient endowment for the same. 4 

1 R.E.G. No. 495. a Glas. Memorials, p. 265. 

3 Glas. Memorials, p. 242, and Lib. Coll. N. Dom. p. Ixxii. 

4 Charts. City of Glas. n. p. 494. 


On 3rd August, 1525, Archbishop Dunbar, the Earl of 
Angus and others were appointed a commission to treat with 
England in the interests of peace and also to deal with the 
marauders on the Scottish Borders. 1 In consequence of 
this Dunbar, at the recommendation of Cardinal Wolsey, 
issued his " terrible cursing " against Border thieves and 
reivers. During the minority of James V., when there were 
"wars and rumours of wars "between Scotland and England, 
murder, burnings and depredations had been committed by 
the Borderers, especially the Armstrongs, to an unprecedented 
extent. The issue of this curse by the Church was expected 
to remedy the evil. It was expressed in Scots that the 
illiterate may the more easily understand it and be smitten 
with the greater terror. In the light of our times this 
cursing is decidedly unchristian, but its language was in full 
accord with the spirit of those days. Sir David Lindsay, John 
Knox and others tell us that " warying " or excommunica- 
tion, or, as it was sometimes termed " God's horn/' had 
come to be the main occupation of the Scottish clergy before 
the Reformation. 2 

As a specimen of this curse to be fulminated by the priest 
or other religious at the market cross, and all other public 
places in the Borders of Scotland, take the following. After 
an invocation of the Blessed Trinity, Archangels, etc., the 
priest, addressing the Border thieves and robbers, exclaimed : 
" I curse yair heid and all ye haris of yair heid. I curse yair 
face, yair ene, yair mouth, etc. I curse everilk part of thair 
body, fra the top of thair heid to the soill of thair feet. . . . 
I wary yair cornys, yair catales thair woll, swine, horse, 
sheep, etc. All the malesouns and waresouns that ever gat 
warldlie creatur sen the begynning of the warlde to this 
hour mot licht upon yaim. The malediction of God yat 

1 Acts Par/. Scot. ii. p. 297. 

2 Dr. D. Patrick, Stat. of Scot. Church, intro. Ixxi-ii. 


lichtit upon Lucifer and all his fallowis, that straik yaim fra 
the hie Hevin to the deip Heil mot licht upon yaim, etc., 
quhill (until) yai forbere and mak amends. The thunnour 
and fire-flauchtis yat 3et down as rane upon the cieties of 
Zodome and Gomora and brunt thaim for yair vile synns mot 
rane upon thaim. I dissever and partis yaim fra the Kirk 
of God and deliveris yaim quyk to the Devill of Heil as the 
Appostill St. Paul deliver! Corinthion. And as thir candillis 
gangs fra yair sicht sa mot yair saulis gang fra the visage of 
God and yair gude fame fra the warld quhill yai forbere yair 
oppin synns forsaidis and ryse fra this terribill cursing and 
mak satisfactioun and pennance." 1 

For the most part the curse followed the formulas then 
in vogue, but a touch of local colour appears in the prayer 
that " the river Tweed and other waters where they ride 
may drown the reivers as the Red Sea did the Egyptians." 

In 1526 the archbishop was named one of the King's 
Council and was selected by the king himself to be of his 
secret council for the spiritual state. On I5th November 
following, he was chosen one of the Lords of the Articles for 
the Clergy. 2 

On 2gth February, 1527-8, Archbishop Dunbar, along with 
the Dean and Subdean of Glasgow, was present at St. 
Andrews at the trial of Patrick Hamilton, " who had souked 
verie deidlye poyson out of Luther and otheris archhere- 
tikis." 3 A few months after this noble martyr was burnt, 
a letter was addressed by the doctors of Louvain University 
to Beaton, Archbishop of St. Andrews, and the doctors of 
Scotland commending them for their zeal in putting to death 
the wicked heretic Patrick Hamilton ; and while compli- 

1 The Scottish text and accompanying documents in Latin are printed 
in the State Papers, Henry VIII. vol. iv. pt. iv. pp. 417-419, edit. 1836. 

2 Brunton and Haig's Senators, etc. p. 2. 

3 Leslie, Hist. Scot. S.T.S. ii. p. 215. 


menting Scotland, its king and primate, it mentions, among 
others deserving praise, " the Reverend Bishop of Glasgow 
of whose erudition we have here given us partly to under- 
stand." As we shall discover later, the burning of heretics 
was against the will of Dunbar ; nevertheless, and as Belles- 
heim reminds us, such rigorous measures were the logical 
carrying out of the principle recognized in those times by 
Protestants and Catholics alike, viz. " the right and duty of 
the secular arm to draw the sword in defence of the Church/' r 
John Knox informs us that the chief accuser of Hamilton at 
his trial was one Alexander Campbell, said to be Prior of the 
Blackfriars of St. Andrews. Hamilton, when in the fire, 
charged him with being at heart a believer in the Reforma- 
tion teaching, and solemnly summoned him to the tribunal 
seat of Jesus Christ on a certain day for judgment. Before 
that day arrived, Campbell, it is said, suffering remorse of 
conscience, came to Glasgow, " where he died in a phrenesye 
as one dispared," or, as Buchanan says, "in a fit of 
madness." 2 

This year, 1528, in which Hamilton was burnt, is memor- 
able as the year in which the young King James V. escaped 
from the domination of the Douglasses and appointed Arch- 
bishop Dunbar Chancellor, giving him the Great Seal in place 
of the Earl of Angus. Buchanan remarks that Dunbar was 
" a good and a learned man, but some thought him a little 
defective in politics." 

In the year 1530 an oath of obedience was taken by 
Henry, Bishop of Whithorn and Dean of the Chapel Royal 
of Stirling, to his metropolitan, Archbishop Dunbar. It 
appears that the archbishop had administered ecclesiastical 
censure to his suffragan Henry Wemyss, for we read that 
Henry being absolved and restored against certain sentences 

1 Bellesheim's Hist. Blair's transl. ii. p. 136. 

2 Knox, Refor. i. 18, 19 ; Caldenvood's Hist. i. 80. 


of the archbishop and his protest anent preserving the 
rights of his chapel being admitted on bended knees and 
with his joined hands actually placed between the hands of 
the most reverend father the archbishop, made and offered 
his due obedience. 1 

In 1532 a new honour awaited the archbishop. He was 
already* one of the King's Council and a Lord of Articles as 
well as Lord Chancellor, but when, in 1532, the College of 
Justice, better known as the Court of Session, was instituted, 
he was appointed its first principal, with Abbot Myln as 
president ; the Chancellor of the Realm, when he is present, 
to be above the president. 2 By the institution of the Court 
of Session, modelled after the Parliament of Paris, " our 
king," says Leslie, " has obtained eternal glory " ; but 
others give the credit of its origin to Archbishop Dunbar. 
On the question of its support, a serious difference arose 
between the king and the clergy, and in this dispute Arch- 
bishop Dunbar took a leading part. Ultimately it was 
agreed that the money should be found by the imposition 
of an annual tax upon the clergy. 3 

At this period it is evident that the principles of the 
Reformation, for which Hamilton suffered, were making 
headway in Scotland, for in March 1533, Walter Stewart, 
brother to Andrew Stewart, Lord of Ochiltre, was accused 
before Archbishop Dunbar at Glasgow. The charge brought 
against him was that of " casting doun an image in the Kirk 
of Aire " (Ayr). Recanting at his trial, he was acquitted, 
but on returning homewards he fell from his horse into the 
water of Calder and was drowned. Efforts to rescue him 
were made by the friends who accompanied him, but in vain. 

1 R.E.G. No. 498 ; C. Innes, Sketches, etc. p. 497. 

2 Brunton and Haig's Senators Coll. Justice, introduction and p. 2. 

3 Acts Scot. Parl. ii. p. 336. In the great stained glass window of the 
Parliament House, Edinburgh, Archbishop Dunbar is one of the pro- 
minent figures. 


While holding on to a great stone in the stream before he 
sank, he cried to his friends and exhorted them not to redeem 
life by recanting the truth, for experience there proved it 
would not be sure. He protested he was " there to dee in 
the truthe which he professed ; and that being sorie for his 
recantation, he was assured of the mercie of God in Christ/' 1 
" Heresie was sprouting out round about/' says Leslie ; or, 
as Calderwood puts it, " the knowledge of God did wonder- 
fullie encrease within this realme partlie by reading and 
partlie by conference, which in these dangerous days was 
used to the comfort of manie." 

On the 27th August, 1534, Archbishop Dunbar was present 
with the king, " all clothed with reid," at Holyrood, at the 
trial of James Hamilton, brother of the martyr, and Sheriff 
of Linlithgow ; but Hamilton, having fled, was condemned 
as an heretic and his goods confiscated. 2 

Next year, 1535, Peter Swave or Suavenius, ambassador of 
Christiern III. of Denmark, visited Scotland. His diary 
(February- July) contains the account of a conversation he had 
with Archbishop Dunbar, and also of the strange things he 
saw and heard of during his sojourn in Scotland. Although 
he did not visit Glasgow, he remarks in passing, that " the 
wild Scots live like Scythians they know nothing (of the 
use) of bread." 3 

In November 1535, the rivalry between the prelates of 
St. Andrews and Glasgow again became acute. Archbishop 
Beaton visited Dumfries, when he had his archiepiscopal 
cross carried in procession and blessed the people. Seeing 
that Dumfries lay within the diocese of Glasgow, Dunbar, 
through the Rector of Annan, his official, uttered a strong 
protest there and then in the church of the Franciscans, 

1 Calderwood, Hist. i. p. 104. 
1 Letters, etc. Henry VI I L vol. vii. No. 1 184. 

3 Ibid. vol. viii. pp. 467-473, also P. Hume Brown's Early Travellers, 
P- 55- 


telling the Archbishop of St. Andrews, in presence of the 
notaries public and other witnesses that he had acted 
contrary to the Apostolic indult granted to the Metropolitan 
Church of Glasgow. To which Beaton at once replied, " I 
am Primate of Scotland. ... I intend to raise and carry 
my cross even were your master present in person." x 

In the year 1536, when King James proceeded in person 
accompanied by several of his nobility to France on his 
matrimonial adventures, Chancellor Archbishop Dunbar was 
appointed one of the lords of regency to govern the country in 
the king's absence. 2 About the same time, the king gave him 
" in commendam " the well-endowed Abbey of Inchaffray 
in the fertile valley of Strathearn. 3 James was married to 
Madeleine, one of the daughters of the French king, at Notre 
Dame, Paris, amid great pomp on ist January, 1537 ; but to 
the great grief of all the new queen died a few months after 
her landing at Leith. Thereafter David Beaton, subsequently 
created cardinal, was despatched as an envoy to France to 
seek another princess. He returned with a young widow, 
Mary of Guise, who landed at Fifeness and was solemnly 
married to James in the Abbey Church of St. Andrews on 
nth June, 1538. " After having had seventeen young 
ladies of the best families in Europe to choose from," 4 James 
made Mary of Guise Queen of Scotland, and the union was 
fraught with destiny, for she became the mother of the 
beautiful but ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots. 

While these events were occurring in high places, the 
Reformation doctrines continued to spread throughout the 
land, and persecution was renewed. 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 500 ; also No. 502 for a similar episode in 
November 1539. 

2 State Papers, Henry VIII. vol. v. p. 61. 

3 Keith's CataL edn. 1824, p. 257; Brady says in 1538; Charts of 
Inchaffray, S. H. Soc. p. 256. 

4 Trans. Glas. Arch. Soc. 1906, p. 90. 


In March 1539 nve persons, all churchmen but one, were 
burnt for heresy on the Castlehill of Edinburgh Cardinal 
Beaton, Archbishop Dunbar and Bishop Crichton acting as 
judges. Later, in the same year, two were burnt at Glasgow. 
One was Jerome Russell, a Greyfriar, a young man of meek 
nature, quick spirit and good letters. The other was a 
young man scarcely eighteen years of age " of excellent 
injyne in Scotish poesye." To assist Dunbar, " who was 
thought cold in the business/' the cardinal sent three 
assessors Lawder, Oliphant, and Maltman, " sergeant is of 
Sathan." And so, continues John Knox, " the two poore 
sanctis of God war presentit befoir those bloody bo wcheouris." 
"At first, Kennedy became faint and would gladly have 
recanted, but reinforced by the Holy Spirit he recovered 
himself and confessed his adherence to Christ Jesus as his 
only Saviour," boldly exclaiming : " Now, I defy death : do 
what you please : I praise my God, I am readdy." Russell 
never winced throughout. When the prisoners had made 
their defence, the judges were at variance as to the verdict. 
The archbishop said, " I think it better to spayr these men, 
nor to putt thame to death." Whereat the assessors asked, 
" What will ye do, my lord ? Will ye condemn all that my 
lord cardinall and the other bishops and we have done ? If 
ye do so, ye shew yourself enemy to the Kirk and us and as 
so we will repute you be ye assured." Hearing these words, 
Dunbar yielded under pressure and adjudged the innocents 
to die. These two martyrs are said to have been burnt at 
the east end of the cathedral, Russell comforting his young 
friend Kennedy in the midst of the fire. 1 Knox says of 
Kennedy the martyr that he was of excellent skill in Scottish 
poetry. It is thought that his poetry was of the nature of 

1 Knox, Hist. i. pp. 63-66. The death sentence was usually carried out 
by the secular courts; also p. 533. Dunbar presides, May 1539-40, at 
trial of Sir J. Borthvvick. 


hymns or spiritual songs, such as were then in vogue. While 
George Buchanan and Sir David Lindsay fearlessly exposed 
the vices of the clergy and the friars, the one in elegant 
Latin, the other in homely Scottish verse, the chief writers 
of the spiritual songs were the brothers James and John 
Wedderburn of Dundee, the latter of whom had travelled 
in Germany and translated many of Luther's " dytements " 
(writings), as well as many of the Psalms of David into 
Scottish metre. About the years 1542-6, these brothers 
gathered into a collection the hymns and psalms that were 
ringing to popular melodies throughout the land, and pub- 
lished them in a volume known as the Wedderburn or Dundee 
Psalms, or still more widely as The Quid and Godlie 
Ballatis. 1 As a specimen of these ballads that were sung, 
doubtless in Glasgow as well as in other places in Scotland, 
we quote the following : 2 

" Quho is at my windo, quho, quho ? 
Go from my windo, go, go. 
Quha callis thair, sa lyke ane stranger ? 
Go from my windo, go. 
Lord I am heir ane wratcheit mortall, 
That for thy mercy dois cry and call, 
Unto the' my Lord Celestiall, 
Se' quho is at my windo, quho. 
How dar thow for mercy cry ? 
Sa lang in sin as thow dois ly. 
Mercy to haif thow art not worthy, 
Go from my windo, go." 

Then after the sinner has experienced several apparent 
repulses, the Lord, persuaded that his repentance is genuine, 
gives him a hearty welcome to his door, and so the hymn 

concludes : 

" Quho is at my windo, quho ? 

Go from my windo, go ; 

Cry na muir thair, lyke ane stranger, 

Bot in at my dure thou go." 
1 A Compendious Book of Godly and Spiritual Songs, S.T.S. *Ibid. p. 132. 


Not only did these " airy messengers " spread the know- 
ledge of the Gospel ; morality plays, comedies, tragedies and 
satires lashed the vices of the clergy. Among the most 
notable was Sir David Lindsay's Satire of the Three Estates, 
which was enacted before the king at Linlithgow Palace on 
the Feast of Epiphany, 1540. The coarseness and ribaldry 
of much of the dialogue can hardly be credited, but evidently 
the play had touched the conscience of the king and roused 
his indignation against the clergy, for as soon as the play was 
over he " called upon the Bishop of Glasgow, being Chan- 
cellor, and diverse other bishops exhorting them to reform 
their fashions and manners of living, saying that unless they 
did so, he would send six of the proudest of them unto his 
uncle of England." x 

Two years later, on I3th December, 1542, King James V. 
died at Falkland Palace of a broken heart. A few days 
previously, at Linlithgow Palace, the queen had given birth, 
to a daughter Mary, Queen of Scots. 

At this time gold was discovered at Crawford, Clydesdale, 
and Germans came to work it, 2 but something more 
precious had been discovered in the Holy Scriptures which 
were being studied with remarkable zeal the death of 
so many martyrs causing the people to enquire into 
the nature of the beliefs for which they suffered. In 
order to gratify the popular desire to read the Scriptures 
in the vernacular, Lord Maxwell brought the matter 
before the Scottish Parliament, and an Act was passed 
on I5th March, 1542-3, proclaiming that " halie write 
may be usit in our vulgar tongue and that na cryme 
should follow thairupon throw the using thairof." 3 This 
displeased the clergy so much that, in the absence of Cardinal 

1 State Papers, Henry VIII. vol. v. p. 1 70. 

2 Leslie's Hist. ii. p. 248, S.T.S. 

3 Acts Scot. Parl. ii. p. 415 ; Caldenvood's Hist. i. p. 156. 


Beaton, who was then detained in prison by his enemies, 
the Archbishop of Glasgow for himself and in the name of all 
the prelates of the realm, entered his protest against the Act 
and asked instruments till it should be discussed in the 
Provincial Council. 1 Two days later, Dunbar, along with 
Cardinal Beaton and others, was appointed to the Council of 
Regency under James Hamilton, second Earl of Arran. 2 

We enter once more upon a period of heart-burning strife 
among the Scottish nobility during the minority. On the 
one side was Regent Arran who had adopted the Protestant 
faith and was in favour of alliance with England. On the 
other was Cardinal Beaton and Queen Mary of Guise stand- 
ing up for the old faith and the ancient alliance with France. 
Later, Arran recanted and joined forces with the cardinal's 
party. Then Matthew, Earl of Lennox, who had been 
invited by Beaton himself to leave France for Scotland, 
formed a new party against the cardinal. It is difficult to 
expiscate facts from the historians of the period, since the 
accounts of the two sides the Protestant and the Catholic 
are so variant ; but we gather that after the infant Mary was 
crowned Queen of Scots at Stirling, gth September, 1543, the 
strife of factions became more pronounced. At the corona- 
tion, Regent Arran, Cardinal Beaton and Archbishop Dun- 
bar were present, but the Earls of Lennox, Glencairn and 
Angus refused to attend. 3 In October 1543 five, others say 
seven ships, arrived in the Clyde at Dumbarton, bringing 
from the King of France a large sum of money, some say 
60,000 gold crowns along with munitions of war to 
strengthen the French party and assist the Scots against the 
threatened English invasion. Accompanying this treasure 
were two ambassadors from France and " a bishop of 
notable piety," not Contarini of Venice, as Leslie says, but 

1 Reg. Epis. Glas. No. 506. 2 Acts Scot. Part. ii. p. 442. 

3 Keith's Church and State, i. p. 80. 


Marco Grimani, patriarch of Aquileia, near Venice, who acted 
as papal nuncio to Scotland. 1 

This patriarch, on reaching Glasgow, was honourably 
entertained by Cardinal Beaton and the bishops of the 
provinces. His chief commission was to dissuade the Scots 
against any alliance, by marriage or otherwise, with England, 
and to promise substantial assistance from the Pope should 
war break out between the two countries. He was so 
pleased with the reception he met with everywhere in Scot- 
land, that wherever he went afterwards he still spoke of the 
magnificent civilities of the Scottish nation, and represented 
them in a particular manner to the King of France, the State 
of Venice, the College of Cardinals and to the Pope. 2 Dunbar, 
still Chancellor, was present at a meeting of the Lords of 
Council held at Edinburgh, 3rd December, I543, 3 but when 
Parliament met on I3th December, 1543, at the desire of the 
Regent and the Estates, the Great Seal was taken from Arch- 
bishop Dunbar and placed in the hands of Cardinal Beaton, 
who thereupon became Chancellor of the Realm and virtual 
head of both Church and State. 4 

The cardinal's party being now in the ascendant, Lennox, 
although he had faithfully promised at Edinburgh to stand 
by the regent, nevertheless, seeing that mischief was brew- 
ing against him, travelled secretly in the night time to 
Glasgow, where he fortified the Bishop's Castle with a garrison 
and sufficiency of provisions, and then proceeded to Dum- 
barton. 5 As soon as the regent was assured of what Lennox 
had done, he summoned an army to meet him within ten 

1 Leslie's Hist. ii. p. 270 ; Hamilton Papers^ ii. pp. 92 and 103. 

2 Keith's Church and State> \. pp. 96-7. 

3 Unpublished MSS. reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, p. 2, by Joseph 

4 Keith's Church and State, i. p. 85, note 3. 

5 Buchanan, Hist. Scot. bk. xv. 


days at Stirling, and thereafter marched to Glasgow. 1 On 
ist April, 1544, the regent, the cardinal, the Earls of Argyle, 
Both well and many other lords " convenit be oppin procla- 
mation at Glasgow," besieged the castle and battered it with 
brass guns in vain. A truce being granted for a day, and 
the guards tampered with, the castle was surrendered ; and 
although quarter and indemnity were promised, the whole 
garrison, except one or two, were cruelly put to death. 2 
While the siege of the castle was going on, there occurred 
within the cathedral another altercation between the arch- 
bishop and the cardinal. Beaton was with the regent in 
Glasgow, and when he went to worship in the cathedral he 
made his usual claim for precedence over Archbishop Dun- 
bar. Whereupon Dunbar, on Palm Sunday, 5th April 
surely the cannonading would cease that day went up to 
Cardinal Beaton in the choir in front of the high altar in 
presence of Lords Setoun, Livingstone, Borthwick and others, 
and protested that the carrying of Cardinal Beaton's cross 
in the Metropolitan Church of Glasgow or elsewhere in his 
diocese should not be granted to the prejudice of the exemp- 
tion granted by the Pope. To this the cardinal courteously 
replied, that he did not carry his cross or give benediction 
within the church to the prejudice of the exemption, but 
solely by reason of the good-will and courtesy of the Arch- 
bishop of Glasgow an illustration of the proverb that a soft 
answer turneth away wrath. 3 

While the regent with his army was still in the west, he 

1 Buchanan, Hist. Scot. bk. xv. ; Ditirnal of Occurrents, p. 3 1 . 

2 Pitscottie's Chron. ii. pp. 23-4, says : " 28 persons were hanged one 
who escaped was Alexander Hare on being set free from his bonds, 
Hare heard a gentleman remark' Gif thow be ane hair thow sould be 
speidie thairfor schaw thy strenth at this tyme for thow hes this mekill 
advantage, thy handis ar lous.' Needless to say, he took the hint." 

For further details, cf. Treats. Accts. viii. pp. li-liv, 

3 Re%. Epis. Glas. No. 504 ; Scot. Hist. Rev. v. p. 453. 


sent to entreat peace with the English who, in the previous 
December, had proclaimed war against Scotland, but because 
of the war with France had not yet begun active hostilities. 
The English, however, " wald on nawayiss tak nor give." l 

After the garrison capitulated, Arran retraced his steps 
towards Edinburgh, but when he perceived the great 
strength of the English fleet that landed at Leith on Sunday, 
4th May, " the Regent, the Cardinal and the army retreated, 
and thereafter approached not within twenty miles of the 
danger/' 2 

Taking advantage of Arran's departure, Lennox, forsaken 
by the French king, resolved to appeal for assistance to 
Henry VIII. of England. But before going thither he was 
desirous of ravaging the Hamilton possessions in Clydesdale. 
This design he communicated to the Earl of Glencairn. 
Meantime he proceeded to Dumbarton to recruit his forces, 
while Glencairn assembled at Glasgow an army composed of 
his friends and retainers and the citizens favourable to his 
cause, among the latter being the provost, John Stewart of 
Minto, and some of the kirkmen. 

Learning that the English fleet had departed about the 
middle of May, and that the regent was again approaching 
Glasgow with an army, Glencairn withdrew his forces from 
the town to the fields, where he awaited the enemy. The 
fields referred to are described also as " the mure of Glas- 
gow " " about a mile to the east "and as this was near 
the spot where the butts for archery practice stood, the san- 
guinary conflict that took place here on the 24th May, 1544, 
became known as "The Battle of the Butts." 3 Leslie tersely 
says : " Baith sydes yokis baldlie, is fercelie fochtne, followis 

1 Diurnal of Occurrents, pp. 31-2. 
- Knox, Hist. Refor. i. p. 120. 

3 The Butts were barely half a mile east of the cross ; later it was the 
site of the old barracks. 


great slauchter." Buchanan states that 300 were slain on 
both sides, and adds that the greatest mischief fell on the 
citizens of Glasgow, for the victorious regent's soldiers 
plundered the houses, took away the valves and shutters and 
iron bars from the gates and windows, and set fire to the 
houses. The devastation indeed had been complete, but 
fortunately Lord Boyd's intercession prevailed with the 
regent. The regent, who had summoned to Glasgow the 
cardinal and the whole nobility of the south, then besieged 
with his great guns the castle and the kirk steeple, which had 
been fortified, and these were soon taken. Eighteen of the 
gentlemen whom " Lennox luvet weil " were hanged at the 
cross and the rest of the garrison pardoned. 1 

Lords Angus and Maxwell, who had come to Glasgow to 
effect, if possible, a reconciliation between Lennox and the 
regent at a conference in the Blackfriars' Convent, were 
themselves taken prisoners, " while their dependers were 
attending them at the foregate, they were sent out by a 
postern gate, by advice of the governor's chief counsellors, 
to Hamilton." 2 

On 3rd June, 1544, shortly after the Battle of the Butts, 
a large number of the nobility, discontented with the govern- 
ment of Arran, met in convention at Stirling and conferred 
the regency on the Queen Mother. Dunbar, it is said, was 
one of the Secret Council of this regency, which, however, did 
not last long. 3 

If the year 1544 was eventful in the annals of Glasgow, 
1545 was none the less remarkable. On the 7th June a 
meeting of that august body, the Privy Council, was held at 
Glasgow, probably within the castle, by this time repaired 

1 Hist. Scot. ii. pp. 272-3 ; Diurnal^ pp. 32-3 ; Pitscottie's Chron. ii. 
p. 26, S.T.S. 

2 Calderwood's Hist. i. p. 167. 

* Diurnal of Occurrents, p. 33. 


from the damage inflicted during the last siege. Among 
those present were the Queen-Dowager, Regent Arran, 
Cardinal Beaton and Archbishop Dunbar. Inter alia it was 
ordained that the provost and bailies of Glasgow should fix 
the prices of the provisions such as bread, flesh and ale sold 
to the French soldiers recently arrived in the town under 
command of Captain Lorges de Montgomery, and that no 
extra charges be made. 1 

About this date occurred the well-known struggle for pre- 
cedence in the cathedral between the cross-bearers and 
servants of Archbishop Dunbar and those of Cardinal 
Beaton. The various historians are not agreed as to the 
precise date of the episode. The Diurnal gives the 4th June, 
1545, while John Knox refers it to the end of the harvest, 
1545. Leslie, on the other hand, goes back to October 1543, 
as if it were synchronous with the visit of the patriarch 
Grimani. 2 But whether a similar struggle took place in 1543 
or not, there can be no doubt about the scandal in June 
1545, for Cardinal Beaton, writing to the Pope on 5th July, 
1545, narrates that when he went to Glasgow, accompanied 
by the regent and the queen-dowager, the archbishop insisted 
on having his cross borne before him and blessing the people, 
in defiance of the well-known law that neither archbishop 
nor patriarch is entitled to use his cross in presence of a 
legate of the Holy See. 3 Dunbar, however, would not listen 
to this argument. He maintained that he was archbishop 
in his own diocese and in his own cathedral seat and church, 
and therefore ought to give place to no man. " Unquestion- 
ably/' says a Roman Catholic writer, " the cardinal had right 

1 Privy Coun. Reg. i. p. 3 ; Keith, Church and State, i. p. 118. The 
date is variously stated. 

2 Hist. ii. p. 275. 

3 Theiner, Man. p. 617 ; Scot. Hist. Rev. v. p. 454 for Regent Arran's 
letter to the Pope and its date. Arran and the cardinal probably wrote 
to the Pope about the same time. 


on his side in this disedifying wrangle." l From arguments, 
the rival cross-bearers and retainers came to blows at the 
choir door of the cathedral, near the rood screen. Knox, 
in a vein of caustic humour, for which he begs to be excused, 
says : " Yf we enterlase merynes with earnest materis," 
describes vividly how " rockettis war rent, typpetis war 
torne,crounis war knapped and many of thame lacked beardis, 
and that was the more pitie : and therefore could not buk- 
kill other by the byrse, as bold men wold haif donne." 
Dunbar, " in his foly as proud as a packoke, wold lett the 
Cardinal know that he was a Bishop when the other was butt 
Betoun, befoir he gat Abirbrothok." In the scuffle that took 
place, the crosses of both metropolitans were broken. 2 

Not long after this, Cardinal Beaton, alarmed because 
" innumerable nefarious heresies swarm on all hands through- 
out the kingdom," summoned a Provincial Council to meet 
at St. Andrews ; and specially addressed a letter to Gavin, 
Archbishop of Glasgow, threatening excommunication if he 
refused to attend. Dr. Patrick thinks the cardinal assumed 
that, after what had happened at Glasgow, Dunbar would 
not meekly accept from him this authoritative summons, 
and that this explains why the summons is couched in 
language of the most comprehensive, cumulative and reitera- 
tive kind, suggesting the style of " The house that Jack 
built," the whole culminating in the dreadful interdict to be 
inflicted on any village or house that might give shelter or 
food to the said Archbishop of Glasgow. 3 Of the meeting of 
the council, there is no record. 

Sometime in the summer of 1545, George Wishart, the 

1 Bellesheim, ii. p. 171, Blair's translation. 

2 Knox, Hist. i. p. 145. Struggles for precedence frequently occur in 
church history, for example, between the prelates of Canterbury and 
York, Armagh and Dublin, while a similar case happened at Rome in the 
Jubilee of 1675. 

3 Statutes of Scot. Church, p. 253, note and p. Ixxiii. 


reformer, who had been preaching up and down Scotland, 
visited Ayr and was gladly received. Whereupon Dunbar, 
at the instigation of the cardinal, also proceeded to Ayr and 
occupied the parish church. Wishart's friends, among them 
the Earl of Glencairn, proposed to oust the archbishop from 
the church that Wishart might preach there instead. " But 
this Maister George utterlye repugned, saying : ' Lett us go 
to the Merkate Croce ' and so they did and here a 
notable sermon was preached that confounded their 
enemies." "The bischope " (Dunbar), continues Knox, 
" preached to his jackmen and to some old bosses of the 
toune." The sum of his sermon was " Thei say that we 
suld preach : why nott ? Better late thrive, then never 
thrive : had us still for your Bischop, and we shall provid 
better for the next tyme." This was the beginning and end 
of the bishop's sermon, who hastily departed, but never 
returned to fulfil his promise. 1 

On 28th February, 1546, occurred the trial of George 
Wishart at St. Andrews. To this, Cardinal Beaton summoned 
all the bishops and clergy that had any pre-eminence that 
they should bear the burden with him and subscribe what 
he did. The first to whom the cardinal wrote was the 
Archbishop of Glasgow, craving that he would assist him with 
his presence and counsel. Knox adds that Dunbar was not 
slow to respond, that he sat next the cardinal and voted and 
subscribed first, and that afterwards he lay over the east 
blockhouse with the cardinal till the martyr of God was 
consumed with fire. Thus Beaton and Dunbar, formerly 
enemies, " entered into a Pilate and Herod friendship " over 
the condemnation of the reformer. 2 The statement of 
Knox that Dunbar exulted in the death of the martyr has 
been contradicted, for it is said that Dunbar advised the 

1 Knox, Hist. i. p. 127. 

2 Ibid. p. 148. The blockhouse was the eastern tower of the castle. 


cardinal to request the regent to appoint some member of 
the nobility commissioner for this cruel purpose that the 
odium of the murder might not rest entirely with the 
clergy. 1 

Wishart was burnt on ist March, 1546, and within three 
months Cardinal Beaton was assassinated. Those who had 
conspired in this tragic act were summoned to appear before 
Parliament at Edinburgh on 3Oth July on a charge of treason. 
They had shut themselves up within the castle of St. Andrews, 
but were not averse to appear, provided that a remission 
were granted them under the Great Seal. To this the regent 
and the Estates gave ear ; but Archbishop Dunbar, who, as 
representing the " spiritualitie," took a prominent part in 
the proceedings, protested that no remission be granted 
unless they should first obtain the absolution of the Pope for 
the murder they had committed. The protest was effective, 
and when Parliament met on the I4th August the remission 
was ordered to be destroyed. When the absolution granted 
from Rome proved unsatisfactory, negotiations were broken 
off, and the murderers were proclaimed traitors ; but Dun- 
bar, once more acting for the clergy, declared that although 
they had found the crimes contained in the summons to be 
treason, nevertheless they intended not to judge upon blood 
and lives that may follow thereupon. 2 

Finally, on 2ist July, 1547, the conspirators capitulated 
to the regent on condition that their lives be spared and their 
persons sent to France or any other country more desirable, 
Scotland only excepted. 3 

During the period St. Andrews Castle held out, Scot- 
land was sadly distracted by conflicting factions. So 
great was the feeling of unrest and unsettlement that 

1 Senators Coll. of Justice, p. 4. 

2 Acts Scot. Par!, ii. pp. 466-470. 

3 Keith's Church and State, i. p. 125. 



Archbishop Dunbar, in 1546, removed his treasures and 
personal effects from Glasgow Castle and Cathedral, and 
put them into the hands of his intimate friend, Abbot 
Kennedy of Crossraguel, concluding that they would be 
safer in this quiet retreat, among the wilds of Carrick, 
especially as the abbey was under the protection of the power- 
ful Earl of Cassilis. The inventory discloses a large amount of 
wealth entrusted to the abbot's keeping, richly embroidered 
vestments, gold and silver goblets, rare jewels, a valuable 
library and nearly 4000 in money. 1 

One of the last public transactions in which the archbishop 
was engaged was his granting, with the consent of the dean 
and chapter, a tack of the Tron customs of the city to one 
Henry Crawford, parish clerk of Cadder. This instrument is 
dated at Glasgow, i6th April, 1547. A fortnight later, on 
3oth April, the archbishop died. 2 Dunbar was interred in 
the chancel of the Cathedral Church hi the tomb he had 
caused to be built for himself ; but of this tomb there is now 
not the least vestige remaining, 3 although according to his 
will a stately sepulchre of brass was to be erected over it. 

In 1856, when repairs were being executed within the choir, 
the workmen discovered a sarcophagus containing an entire 
skeleton in a state of perfect preservation, which was believed 
to be that of Dunbar. The bones were reinterred within 
the cathedral at the foot of the steps leading from the western 
door. 4 Besides the erection of a sepulchre of brass, the 
archbishop enjoined in his will the endowment and regular 
celebration every year of obsequies for the repose of his soul. 
He also left sums of money for the repair of a belfry, the 
casting of bells and the purchase of pontifical ornaments, 

1 Blair's Crossraguel Chart, i. pp. xxxi and xxxix, and pp. 108-116. 

2 Charts, and Doc ts. Glas. ii. p. 511. 

3 Crawford's Lives of Officers of State, p. 77. 

4 Dr. Gordon's Glasghu Fades, i. p. 78. 


which he desired to bequeath to the cathedral. 1 The massive 
battlemented gatehouse, which stood at the south-east corner 
of the castle wall, and which bore the arms of the archbishop 
as well as those of King James V. and of Subdean Houston, 
seems to have been erected at the joint expense of Dunbar 
and Houston, but whether after the sieges of 1544 or previous 
to the death of James V. in 1542 is uncertain. 2 

Archbishop Dunbar lived in troublous times. During a 
large part of his life the sovereign was a minor and the nobles 
formed contending factions, each struggling for the mastery. 
One faction deemed that Scotland should enter into alliance 
with England and Protestantism ; the other was for main- 
taining the ancient alliance with France and Catholicism. 
Dunbar was intimately concerned in the political movements 
of the time and, like some of his predecessors, must have often 
left his spiritual duties to humbler men. At the same time, 
he does not seem to have neglected them altogether. We 
have an interesting glimpse of his visitation of his diocese 
which he carried out on horseback. 

The rentallers of the manor of Columby, Carstairs, were 
bound to show hospitality to the archbishop and his 
retinue whenever he should choose to repair thither ; and 
while his lordship was to remain there at his own expense, 
it was stipulated that the tenants should provide " fyre, 
weschelle (plate), and tyn (jugs) wyth sax furnist beddes, 
stable for viii horss with hay feirand thar to and fewale upon 
thair expens." 3 

Dunbar seems to have been particularly obnoxious to 
John Knox, who uses opprobrious epithets concerning him, 
calling him " Good Guckston Glakstour " and " a glorious 

1 Lib. Coll. Nost. Dom. Glas. p. xiii ; Book of Glasgow Cathedral, pp. 

2 Book of Glasgow Cathedral, p. 331. 

3 Dice. Reg. \. p. 195. 


fool." He also ridicules his preaching at Ayr in 1546, and 
blames him for willingly consenting to the condemnation of 
Wishart and taking pleasure in seeing him burnt to death. 
But Knox seems to have known Dunbar only when the latter 
had become old and frail. 1 George Buchanan who knew 
him in the zenith of his powers celebrates his qualities in the 
highest terms. From various sources we learn that he was 
a cultured and accomplished scholar. From his wide know- 
ledge of law he was appointed Chancellor of the Realm, and 
from the interest he took in the administration of justice he 
is credited with being the founder of the College of Justice. 
He did not hesitate to maintain his rights if these were called 
in question, but he seems to have been a man of amiable 
character and of gentle disposition. 2 Instead of sympathiz- 
ing with the burning of heretics, we have reason to believe 
that he was opposed to such extreme measures. George 
Buchanan, who, during the years 1535-9 acted as tutor 
to James Stewart, natural son of James V., enjoyed the 
prelate's hospitality at Glasgow Castle, and who must often 
have met him at court, speaks of him with great respect and 
sings his praises in choice epigrammatic Latin verse. His 
greatest admirer, says Cosmo Innes, could not wish him a 
more elegant panegyric : 

Praesulis accubui postquam conviva Gavini, 

Dis non invideo nectar et ambrosiam. 

Splendida coena, epulae lautae ambitione remota, 

Tetrica Cecropio seria tincta sale ; 

Coetus erat Musis numero par, nee sibi dispar 

Doctrina, ingenio, simplicitate, fide, etc. 8 

1 The latest entries in the Rental Book show the failing handwriting of 
the archbishop. Dioc. Reg. i. 140, note. 

2 Dioc. Reg. i. p. 129 and p. 133. Cf. his paternal care for his bedridden 
rentaller and his prayer when recording the death of his chamberlain. 

3 G. Buchanan's Poems, Epigram, Lib. i. No. 43 ; P. Hume Brown's 
George Buchanan, pp. 98-9, translation. 



ON the death of Archbishop Dunbar in April 1547, some 
time elapsed before a successor was appointed, indeed it was 
not till 5th March, 1550, that Alexander Gordon, described 
as of noble birth, was elected by the chapter, and, although 
he received the pallium at Rome as Archbishop of Glasgow, 
yet, as James Beaton's influence at Rome was greater, 
he was never consecrated, but resigned in the following 
year, 1551. Latterly, Knox tells us, he joined the reform- 
ing party. 1 James Beaton, the second of that name to 
occupy the See, 2 was provided by Pope Julius III. on 4th 
September, 1551. He was a Beaton of Balfarg, springing 
from the Beatons of Balfour, Markinch, Fife, and was the 
son of an elder brother of Cardinal David Beaton and there- 
fore a great-nephew of Archbishop Beaton I. of Glasgow and 
St. Andrews. 

So far as can be discovered, he was born in I523. 3 It might 
have been expected that he would spend his student days at 
St. Andrews, not far distant from Markinch, but Dr. Maitland 
Anderson says there is no mention of his name in the early 
records of that university. 

1 Dowden, Bishops of Scotland, p. 349 ; Keith's Church and State, i. 
pp. 236 and 250. Alexander Gordon, and Bothwell Bishop of Orkney, 
were the only two prelates of the Catholic Church who became Pro- 
testant at the Reformation. 

2 The name is variously spelt Betoun and Bethune. 
Z R.E.G.\\. p. 568. 


Bronckkitrst) 1580. .SV. Andrnvs University. 



M'Kenzie, without stating his authority, informs us that, 
when very young, James was sent by his uncle, the cardinal, 
to France where he studied Belles Lettres and Philosophy 
at the Universities of Paris and Poictiers. 1 At the age of 
twenty he was employed by the French king on a mission to 
the Queen-Dowager of Scotland. 2 

The next mention of his name is when Pope Pius III., 
through the influence of his uncle, appointed him on 22nd 
March, 1545-6, postulate Abbot of Arbroath, an office held in 
commendam. Arbroath was one of the grandest conventual 
houses in Scotland. 3 The subprior and convent agreeing to 
receive the venerabilis vir, magister J. Beaton as abbot he 
was admitted yconomus monasterii administrator of the 
monastery on 28th July, I546. 4 While postulate of Arbroath 
two entries of November 1549 inform us that Mr. James 
Betoun was charged with treasonable intercommuning with 
Dudlie, sometime English captain of the fort of Broughty. 5 

To understand this reference, it will be well to take a 
passing glance at the condition of Scotland. When Arch- 
bishop Dunbar died in April 1547, Scotland was in the throes 
of preparation against a threatened invasion of the English. 
Nobles who had been at feud with one another agreed to 
lay aside their animosities and combine against the common 
enemy. Henry VIII. had died in January of the same year, 
but Protector Somerset was resolved to carry out the late 
king's policy of the invasion of Scotland. 

To resist this, on 5th July the Earl of Argyle landed near 

1 Uves of Scots Writers, iii. p. 460, Edin. 1722. 

* Diet. Nat. Biogr. Beaton, James. 

8 R.E. G. No. 505. "Postulate" implies some canonical impediment 
which, unless dispensed prevented the person chosen from lawfully taking 

4 Ibid. Nos. 507-8. 

6 Treas. Accts. ix. pp. 356-7 ; for similar charge preferred against others, 
pp. 293-4- 


Glasgow with 4000 men of the Isles and " campand " await- 
ing other 2000. These West Highlanders or Irishmen were 
most unwelcome visitors to Glasgow, for we read " Great 
is the moan poor men make for thir Irismen ; thay waistis 
and destroyis all menis gudis of quharever thay cum." x 

Somerset crossed the Border with an army of 18,000, and, 
giving battle to the Scots at Pinkie, loth September, 1547, 
inflicted upon them a disastrous defeat. 

At this time, too, the Earls of Lennox, Glencairn, Sir 
George Douglas and others conspired and sided with England 
against their countrymen. 2 Indeed, Douglas, in October 
1547, drew up a " device " by which he thought the invasion 
of Scotland might be accomplished within a month or six 
weeks, part of his scheme being to seize and occupy Glasgow 
Castle. 3 But Somerset, suspicious of Douglas, 4 condemned 
his device as folly. 

Following up the victory at Pinkie, several of the more 
important strongholds of the east of Scotland were captured 
by the English among them Broughty Castle near Dundee. 5 
In order further to strengthen their position here, the English 
fortified a neighbouring eminence, " erecting a certain timber 
graith there." The regent, hearing of this, sent a force and 
besieged the place, but in vain. As the English were now 
endeavouring to occupy Scotland and render its invasion 
complete, appeal was made to France when, in response, a 
French fleet arrived in June 1548 bringing contingents of 
French, German and Italian soldiers 6000 in all. The 
Scots thus assisted drove the English gradually southwards 
over the Border. 

The last but one of the strongholds they relinquished was 

1 Cal. Scot. Papers, i. p. 9. 2 Ibid. p. 5. 

3 Ibid. p. 28. 4 Ibid. pp. 31-2. 

5 Numerous references to Broughty Castle or Crag in Cal. Scot. Papers, 
i. ; also Keith's Hist. Church and State, i. p. 230, note 


Broughty Craig, the garrison of which, seeing resistance to 
be hopeless, surrendered and " war blyth in hart that thai 
escapit with their ryffis." This took place on 6th February, 
1549.* It was in this connection that " James Betoun, 
Postulate of Arbroath, was ordered to find surety to underly 
the lawis for tressonable intercommunyng with Schir Jhone 
(Andrew) Dudlie, Inglisman, sumtyme Capitaine of the Fort 
of Brochty," and persons were sent " to Aberbrothok to 
requyre the place thairof to be gevin oure to my Lord 
Governouris Grace, becaus Mr. James Betoun wes at the 
home," 2 i.e. outlawed. But the accusation on the part of 
Beaton's enemies, Regent Arran and George Douglas, his 
rival for the abbacy, would seem to have fallen through, for, 
outlawed though he was, Beaton contrived to hold the 
abbacy till his promotion to Glasgow. At this time also 
he is referred to as clerk of the diocese of St. Andrews. 3 

Meantime controversy had arisen between opposing 
parties as to who should be appointed to the See of Glasgow. 
On 26th March, 1548, in reply to letters of the Queen of 
the Scots, Cardinal Alexander Farnese writes that the Pope 
cannot grant her prayer, for if the See were granted to others 
than he has designed, there would be no end of strife to the 
great disturbance of her realm whose tranquillity and safety 
is the chief care of the Holy See. 4 

About a year later, the dean and fourteen of the canons of 
Glasgow postulated the Pope to appoint James Beaton, then 
holding the Abbacy of Arbroath, Archbishop of Glasgow in 
succession to Gavin Dunbar deceased. 5 At the time this 
petition was disregarded. In November Beaton was 

1 Diurnal, pp. 45 and 49 ; Knox's Hist. i. pp. 214-215 ; Leslie's Hist. 
ii. pp. 303 and 317. 

* Treas. Accts. ix. pref. xl. and pp. 356-7 ; Knox's Hist. i. p. 181, note, 
and p. 252, note. 

*K.E.G. ii. pp. 566, 568. *Ca!. Scot. Papers, i. p. 103. 

*R.E.G. No. 509. 


charged with treasonable intercommuning with the English 
at Broughty Castle, and in the following March Alexander 
Gordon, brother of the Earl of Huntly, was elected by 
the chapter Archbishop of Glasgow. But he resigned the 
following year, 1551. Meantime James Beaton had visited 
Rome, no doubt in furtherance of his own claims. In an 
entry dated nth July, 1550, we read " James Beaton, Arch- 
bishop of Glasgow, was detained in England because of his 
crossing to it from Rome without letters of safe-conduct. 
On condition that he found sureties for 20,000 crowns he 
would be permitted to go about the city (London) at his 
pleasure. It was not till the French king appealed to the 
King of England for the release of Beaton, on the ground 
that he had merely omitted a formality, that he was set 
free." 1 To prevent similar misunderstandings in the future, 
safe-conducts were procured. On 2Oth March, 1550-1, a safe- 
conduct was requested for Beaton and his retinue to go and 
return from Scotland through England. 2 Again, on I7th 
October, 1551, the Queen of the Scots requests from Edward 
VI., for a year, a safe-conduct and commission for post- 
horses to Beaton with eight persons in company, returning 
from France to Scotland through his realm. 3 

On 4th September, 1551, the reply of Rome to the Glasgow 
petition of 1549 was issued in the form of a papal bull, pro- 
viding James Beaton to Glasgow and absolving him per 
cautelam, from ecclesiastical censures. 4 

Another bull of the same date grants a dispensation from 
the canonical law regarding age, inasmuch as Beaton was 
only in his twenty-seventh year, while the canonical age for a 
bishop was thirty and not under. 5 The Pope on the same 

1 CaL Scot. Papers, i. pp. 50-55. 

2 Cal. State Papers (Foreign), p. 79, years 1547-53. 

3 Cal Scot. Papers, i. p. 188. 4 R. E.G. p. 565. 
*Ibid. No. 512. 


day sent a letter to his beloved daughter, Mary, Queen of 
Scots, then in France and only nine years of age, to inform 
her of Beaton's appointment. He also sent a mandate to 
the suffragan bishops of Glasgow exhorting them to show 
him the reverence that was his due. Similar mandates 
were forwarded to the chapter, the clergy, the people and 
vassals of the diocese. 1 

James Beaton was not only under age when he was 
appointed to the archbishopric of Glasgow, he was a layman 
and had never been ordained to the priesthood. Such was 
the laxity of the times in matters ecclesiastical. To remove 
all obstacles and satisfy his scruples, Beaton proceeded to 
Rome in 1552, where he was promoted through the several 
orders of the priesthood within five days and consecrated 
archbishop a month afterwards on Sunday, 28th August, 
1552, by John James Barba, Bishop of Abruzzo, assisted by 
two other bishops, while John Dominic, Cardinal Archbishop 
of Ostia, for the Pope, gave the letter of authority incor- 
porated in the certificate of consecration. 2 On returning to 
Glasgow, and following the ceremonies customary upon such 
occasions, the archbishop was received first by the chapter 
under letters apostolic, addressed by the Pope thereto, then 
by the university, the clergy, and lastly by the bailies in 
the name of the citizens. Subsequently he took the oath of 
office in the chapter-house, by touching his breast and 
swearing on the word of an archbishop and on the Holy 
Gospels. 3 

While in Rome for consecration, Beaton was successful 
in persuading the Pope to issue a bull (dated 26th October, 
1552) making the exemption of Glasgow from the juris- 

1 R.E.G. pp. 567-574. 

2 Ibid. Nos. 520-1. Beaton's Oath of Consecration is recorded in 
No. 521. 

8 Dr. J. F. Gordon's Glasgow Cathedral, p. 211. 


diction of St. Andrews perpetual. 1 While rivals in the 
Church were fighting for the See of Glasgow, the country as 
a whole was suffering from the contentions between the 
English and French factions. After the Battle of Pinkie, 
Mary, Queen of Scots, scarcely five years old, had been sent 
for safety to the lonely seclusion of the priory of Inchmahome 
in the Lake of Menteith. 2 Then she resided at Stirling, then 
at Dumbarton from which she sailed to France, 27th July, 
1548, "to be brought up in the fear of God " so says the 
Diurnal, but John Knox has an opposite opinion : "And so 
was she sold to go to France, to the end that in hir youth she 
should drynk of that lycour, that should remane with hir 
all hir lyfetyme, for a plague to this realme, and for hir 
finall destructioun." 3 

On 8th August, 1550, her mother, the queen-dowager, 
sailed from Leith for France, not so much, says Calderwood, 
to visit her daughter as she pretended, as to procure the 
government of the realm to herself. Accordingly, to induce 
Arran to resign the regency, she persuaded the King of France 
to grant him as a bribe the Dukedom of Chatelherault. 
Returning home about the end of November 1551, she used 
all her influence to make Scotland a dependency and the 
catspaw of France. In those days the Church was bestirring 
herself to check the glaring abuses, so rife among the clergy, 
and the neglect of worship and sacraments on the part of 
the people. A provincial council had been held in 1549, 
and many excellent canons enacted for reform. 4 In 1551, 
says Calderwood, quoting John Foxe, there was a dangerous 
schism in the Kirk of Scotland over the question as to 
whether the Paternoster should be used in prayer to the 

1 Quoted Dowden's Med. Ch. in Scot. p. 17. 
8 D. Hay Fleming, Mary, Queen of Scots, p. 12. 
3 Hist, of Scot. i. p. 218, Laing's edition. 
* Bellesheim's Hist. Blair's trans, ii. p. 200, etc. 


saints or to God alone. Not only the clergy, but the whole 
people was divided among themselves, so that when they met 
each other, their usual interrogation was : " To whome say you 
your Pater Noster?" 1 a query, doubtless, not uncommon 
on the streets of Glasgow, a city all along keenly interested 
in religious questions. Feeling ran so high that a provincial 
council was held at the Blackfriars Church, Edinburgh, 
January 1552, to discuss this and other matters, when also 
the more important canons of the previous council, along 
with other new statutes, were sought to be enforced. 

When Beaton returned to Glasgow from Rome in the 
autumn of 1552 2 he must have found considerable arrears 
of diocesan business to transact, since the vacancy had 
continued for practically five years. In the Rental Book of 
the Barony of Glasgow this gap of five years actually occurs, 
after which numerous entries of rentallers or " kindly 
tenants " are duly recorded. 3 

Also Beaton had state business on hand, for, being one of 
the Lords of the Privy Council, we find him attending a 
number of its meetings. On I5th May, 1553, along with the 
queen, the governor and others, he was present at a meeting 
of the council held at Stirling, when the exorbitant prices 
charged for corn, beef, mutton, etc., during the late dearth, 
and by reason of the multitude of strangers that had been 
in the realm, were under consideration. An enactment was 
passed that reasonable prices be fixed and enforced, and that 
searchers be appointed to visit the markets of the burghs 
and see the commands of the council carried out. 4 

On 3oth October, 1553, occurs the well-known scene in the 

1 Hist. i. pp. 273-6 ; The Actes and Monuments, vol. v. pp. 641-4, 
Cattley's edit. 1836 ; D. H. Fleming, The Reformation, p. 142, note. 

2 R.E.G. No. 522. 

* Dioc. Reg. i. p. 29, p. 140 (note) ; Charts, and Docts. Glas. ii. p. 512. 
4 Re%. Privy Coun. i. p. 139, etc. 


inner flower garden of the palace at Glasgow, when the 
provost Andrew Hamilton of Cochnay and the rest of the 
council had an interview with the archbishop, and presented to 
him, in accordance with the annual custom, a list of names of 
worthy and excellent citizens, with the request that he would 
select therefrom the two he wished to nominate as magis- 
trates or bailies for the coming year. On this occasion the 
two chosen were Master Hall and John Mure. Where- 
upon the provost and councillors replied : " We shall do your 
lordship's will." So saying they retired to the Tolbooth. 
"After they went away the archbishop said to the canons 
standing beside him, for the removal of all further contention 
respecting the nomination and election of magistrates that 
shall happen to arise in time to come, it will be wise to have 
what has just taken place confirmed by an instrument ; 
which accordingly was done, the canons being witnesses." 1 
Evidently the archbishop feared that the ancient church and 
her privileges were being threatened, for a decree of the lords 
of secret council, dated loth December, 1554, shows that he 
had sued the magistrates and community of Glasgow for 
payment of certain duties, but was unsuccessful in his suit. 2 

Mary of Lorraine, having assumed the regency sometime 
in 1554, immediately set herself to promote Frenchmen to 
the chief positions of honour in the government of the 
realm, a proceeding which gradually provoked the resent- 
ment of the Scots, and inter alia prompted them to break 
off completely the ancient alliance with France. 

While this spirit of discontent was spreading, John Knox 
returned to Scotland from the Continent in the autumn of 
1555. He visited Angus and Lothian, where he preached the 
doctrines of the Reformation and won many adherents. 
Summoned by the ecclesiastical authorities to meet them at 

1 R.E.G. No. 523 ; Glas. Charts, i. pt. 2, p. 120. 

2 Glas. Charts, and Docts. i. pt. i, p. 76. 


Blackfriars Church, Edinburgh, on I5th May, 1556, to answer 
charges for breaking the laws against heresy, he appeared with 
such a powerful following of the leading Protestant gentlemen 
that his enemies deemed it prudent to abandon procedure 
against him. That same month Knox's friends persuaded 
him to write a letter to the queen-dowager in which " he 
placed before her what he considered to be her duty in the 
present circumstances of religion.'* Having read this letter, 
the queen delivered it within a day or two, says Knox, to 
that proud prelate, James Beaton, Bishop of Glasgow, and 
said in mockage : " Please you, my lord, to read a pasquil." 1 
The archbishop's reply is not recorded, but the silence is 

In the same year, 1556, a letter was addressed by Cardinal 
Sermoneta to Pope Pius IV. denouncing flagrant abuses in 
the Scottish Church, and naming certain prelates considered 
most capable of executing the necessary reforms. These 
were Archbishop Beaton, Bishop Reid of Orkney, along with 
Bishops Hepburn of Moray, Chisholm of Dunblane and 
Durie of Galloway. 2 To those who are acquainted with the 
history of the period it is marvellous that men of such 
questionable reputation, as the three last mentioned, should 
have been appointed for this purpose the first two, however, 
were of irreproachable character. And here it ought to be 
stated that however much may be said against the morality 
of many of the pre-reformation clergy of Scotland, the Bishops 
of Glasgow stand out conspicuously with a clean record. 3 

At this juncture, in July 1556, Knox was recalled to 
Geneva, and he did not return to Scotland till May 1559. 
Meantime the new doctrines were spreading fast and every 

1 Knox's Hist. i. 252. 

2 Pollen's Papal Negotiations, etc. pp. 528-9 ; D. H Fleming's Refor- 
mation, p. 65. 

3 Lists of Legitimations, pp. 546-569. 


day the numbers of their adherents increased. On 3rd 
December, 1557, the Protestant lords, viz. the Earls of Argyle, 
Glencairn and Morton, with Lord Lorn and Erskine of Dun, 
formed themselves into a band or bond to maintain what 
was called " The Congregation." This has been described 
as the " First Covenant " and as the " first manifesto of 
Protestantism in Scotland," the signatories binding them- 
selves never to rest till they had set up as the national 
religion, the faith which they themselves had adopted. 1 
The bond was a most important step in hastening the 
Reformation ; and while it was signed at Edinburgh, yet the 
chief signatories were the Westland lords. Indeed, it 
becomes clear as we study the sequence of events, that while 
Edinburgh was the headquarters of the Conservative or 
Catholic party, Glasgow, on the other hand, took its place as 
the headquarters of the Reformation movement. 

On I4th December, 1557, at a meeting of the Scottish 
Estates, nine commissioners were appointed to make arrange- 
ments for the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, with the 
Dauphin of France, as well as to protect the interests of the 
queen and safeguard the liberties of Scotland ; and Leslie 
mentions first the names of Archbishop Beaton, and Reid, 
Bishop of Orkney, as if they were the chief commissioners. 2 

On the 6th February, 1558, the Duke of Chatelherault, 
then also bailie of the regality of Glasgow, entered into a bond 
for nineteen years with the Archbishop and Chapter of 
Glasgow, " to mantayne, supplye and fortifie . . . the Kirk 
of Glasgow, also to defend the archbishop and specially to 
assist him in expelling of heresies within the diocy of Glasgow 
and punising of heretykis within the samyne ... to the 
honour of God and our patron St. Mungo." Notwithstand- 

1 P. Hume Brown's Hist~.Scot. ii. p. 48 ; Knox's Hist. i. p. 274 ; Belles- 
helm's Hist. ii. p. 231 (note). 

8 Hist. Scot. ii. p. 378, S.T.Soc. 


ing the assurances thus solemnly given, " Inconstant Arran," 
as his contemporaries described him, eventually joined the 
lords of the congregation. 1 

Two days after this bond was signed, viz. on 8th February, 
1558, Beaton and most of the other commissioners sailed 
for Leith and experienced very tempestuous weather in 
crossing to France, one of the fleet being wrecked off St. 
Abb's Head and another off Boulogne, the latter carrying 
" meikle riches necessar to the solemnitie of that marriage 
. . . with monie noble men." On the 24th April, Mary, 
Queen of Scots, was married to Francis, the Dauphin, at 
N6tre Dame, Paris, amid scenes of solemnity and splendour, 
and banquettings in the palace of the Louvre, such as had 
not been witnessed in France for many years. 2 

But the perfidiousness of the French court in connection 
with the marriage negotiations has become patent in our 
own day, through the publication of Labanoff's Lettres de 
Marie Stuart, i. 5o. 3 From these letters it is clear that 
fifteen days before signing the public treaty, Mary, Queen of 
Scots, had been induced to sign secretly three papers which 
virtually handed over Scotland to the King of France in 
event of her dying childless. The third of the papers was 
the most damning of all, for it distinctly specified that what- 
ever treaties had been, or should be made, this secret compact 
should be regarded as the only valid arrangement between 
the two countries. This third paper, too, was signed by the 
Dauphin as well as by Mary. Probably, as Dr. Hay Fleming 
remarks, the young queen signed these deeds without fully 
realizing their import. 4 But even in the marriage contract 

1 R.E.G. No. 526. This bond is recorded not in Latin but in the 

a Leslie's Hist. ii. 378-81, S.T.S. ; Pitscottie's Chron. S.T.S. ii. p. 124, 
vividly describes the storm. 

3 D. Hay Fleming's Mary, Queen of Scots, p. 211. 

4 Ibid. pp. 22-24. 


it was stipulated that the Dauphin should hold the title King 
of Scotland, and that the commissioners, in the name of the 
Scottish Estates, swear allegiance to him while the marriage 
subsisted. This oath was actually sworn in French by Arch- 
bishop Beaton, Bishop Reid, and five of the commissioners. 1 

Before leaving Paris, after twenty days-banquetting, the 
suspicions of the commissioners were aroused when they 
were requested, at a meeting of the Royal Council of France, 
by the chancellor, to have the Scottish crown and sceptre 
sent immediately to France that the Dauphin might be 
crowned therewith as King of Scotland. To this the com- 
missioners replied with spirit that they had no such com- 
mission and declined to travel further than their instructions. 

On the journey homewards, four of the nine commissioners 
mysteriously died, as it appears, those who had resisted the 
French chancellor, viz. the Earls Cassilis and Rothes, Lord 
Fleming and Bishop Reid. It was an ominous ending to the 
marriage bells, and there were grave suspicions, according to 
Pitscottie and others, that poison had been administered at a 
parting banquet. 2 Beaton and the remaining commissioners 
landed at Montrose and, at the meeting of Parliament in 
Edinburgh on 2Qth November, reported with satisfaction on 
the marriage negotiations at Paris. Then the French am- 
bassador preferred the request that the Scottish crown be 
sent to the Dauphin. 3 Through the persuasion of the queen- 
regent, this was reluctantly granted, but the crown was 
never sent. The Archbishop of Glasgow, the Prior of St. 
Andrews and the Earls of Argyle and Morton, who were 
appointed to convey it to France, refused the commission. 4 

1 Keith's Church and State, i. pp. 363-64. 

2 Calderwood, Hist. i. pp. 330-1; Leslie, Hist. ii. pp. 3 8 4'5> gives, 
details of sickness and death ; Pitscottie, Chron. ii. pp. 126-7. 

3 Calderwood, Hist. i. 416. 

4 Cal. State Papers (Foreign), 1558-9, No. 826 (5). 


The year 1558 was memorable for its ominous portents. 
Leslie, voicing the superstition of the times, informs us that 
a fiery comet appeared as if specially threatening the land, 
rivers were dried up in midwinter and overflowed their 
banks in summer. Whales were stranded in the Firth of 
Forth, and large hailstones destroyed the corn, while in the 
Lothians and the Merse a monstrous dragon was seen spout- 
ing fire. 1 

The discontent of the nobility and people with the conduct 
of many of the clergy, as witnesses from within the Church 
itself testify, 2 led the congregation to present two petitions 
to the queen-regent. The first urged her to bring about 
an immediate reform of the State ecclesiastical, and the 
second, named the Protestation, claimed absolute freedom 
of worship. To these there was no response. 

We come to the years 1559-60, during which occurred 
momentous events pregnant with destiny for Scotland. The 
part which Glasgow took in shaping these events is not 
sufficiently acknowledged, and we shall emphasize the details 
which bring Glasgow into prominence. 

On ist January, 1559, a manifesto called " The Beggars' 
Summonds " was found placarded on the gates of the 
friaries all over Scotland, and doubtless also on the gates of 
the Blackfriars and the Greyfriars at Glasgow among the 
rest. This summons brought severe indictments against the 
Church and breathed the spirit of revolution. 3 Unable to 
resist such appeals any longer, the primate summoned a 
provincial council to meet on ist March at Edinburgh. 
The clergy were dilatory in coming forward, for three weeks 
later, on i8th March, Archbishop Beaton issued a mandate 

1 Hist. Scot. ii. pp. 387-9, S.T.Soc. 

2 Boece, Major, and Sir D. Lindsay. P. Hume Brown, Hist. Scot. iL 
P- 53- 

3 Knox, Hist. i. p. 320, note. 


in peremptory terms to the clergy, abbots, priors, etc., in 
his diocese to be in attendance. 1 At this council many 
" articles of reformation " were enacted that would have 
proved eminently effective in purging the Church of abuses ; 
but it was felt that the hour for reformation had passed, and 
that revolution was in the air. 

This was virtually the last provincial council of the Pre- 
Reformation Church. The Roman hierarchy did not meet 
again in Scotland till the provincial council at Fort Augustus 
in i886. 2 

Among the statutes of the council of 1559 one is specially 
notable in view of future developments. " The Queen 
Regent caused proclaim at the Market Crosses at Edinburgh 
and other places . . . that no manner of person should take 
upon hands to preach or minister the sacrament except they 
were thereto admitted by the' ordinary, or bishop, under no 
less pain than death." 3 

On 7th April, 1559, Quintin Kennedy, Abbot of Crossraguel, 
esteemed by the Church in his day one of her ablest defenders, 
wrote to Archbishop Beaton a full account of his correspond- 
ence with ex-Friar Willock, whom he had challenged to meet 
in a public religious discussion. The public discussion never 
took place. 4 

On 2nd May, John Knox arrived in Edinburgh from the 
Continent. At this moment the regent was at Glasgow, 
residing probably at the Bishop's Palace. The momentous 
news was conveyed to her post-haste, whereupon she " caused 
him to be blown loud to the horn the third day after." 5 So 
from the platform of the Market Cross of Glasgow, after 
three blasts from the horn, John Knox was denounced by 
the messenger-at-arms, as a rebel and an outlaw. 

1 Dr. Patrick, Stats. Scot. Church, p. 153. 

2 Bellesheim, Hist. ii. pp. 251-2. 3 Wodrow, Miscell. i. p. 56. 
* Ibid. p. 261-77. * Ibid. p. 57. 


Knox having spent two nights in Edinburgh, proceeded to 
Dundee and thence to Perth, at this time the headquarters 
of the congregation. Being a commanding personality, his 
presence put new life and vigour into its proceedings. " He 
could, by his voice, put more life into his hearers than 
five hundred trumpets blustering in their ears." Shortly 
after Knox's arrival, the regent summoned the Protestant 
preachers to appear at Stirling on loth May. Instead of the 
preachers appearing, Erskine of Dun was sent by the Protes- 
tant party to lay their demands before her. Aware that the 
Protestants were assembled in great force at Perth, the 
regent temporized, and Erskine was instructed to inform his 
friends that the summons of the preachers was postponed, 
and that there was no occasion for their appearance at 

Such is the Protestant version of the story. Catholic 
writers give it quite a different complexion. The latter main- 
tain that when the preachers were summoned, they did not 
appear, and were declared rebels according to law. 

Whatever the truth be, the Protestant party held that 
the regent's conduct in declaring the preachers outlaws was 
a distinct breach of faith. This so roused their indignation 
that John Knox the next day, viz. nth May, with his burn- 
ing eloquence, preached a sermon in the parish church of 
Perth denouncing the doctrines and practices of the Church 
of Rome. At the close of this sermon, when feelings were 
excited to the highest pitch, began the uproar that led to 
the destruction in Perth by " the rascal multitude " of the 
monasteries of the Blackfriars, Greyfriars and Carthusians, 
the last of these being one of the most magnificent edifices 
in the land. 1 

The next mention of Archbishop Beaton occurs when the 
regent, highly incensed by the news from Perth, commanded 
1 P. Hume Brown's Hist. Scot. ii. pp. 56-7 ; Bellesheim, Hist. ii. p. 264. 


certain nobles with all haste to meet at Stirling on 24th May, 
and along with her troops convey her to Perth " to stay the 
audacity of the rebels/' " To thair companie on this jornay," 
says Leslie, " joined thir persounis, the Archbishops of St. 
Andrews and Glasgow," etc. Thus Beaton, along with the 
regent and her army on May 2Qth or 3oth, entered Perth, from 
which the Protestant leaders had felt it expedient to retire. 1 

Meantime ovei the country the congregation received fresh 
accessions, so that by the 2Qth June Edinburgh and the 
principal towns were in their possession. When the Earl of 
Glencairn and his friends, assembled in the church of Craigie, 
near Ayr, heard through letters from the congregation what 
had taken place at Perth, Glencairn exclaimed: " Lett everie 
man serve his conscience ; I will by God's grace see my 
brethren in Sanct Johnstoun. Yea, albeit never man sould 
accompanie me, I will goe, if it were but with a pick upon 
my shoulder : for I had rather dee with that companie than 
live after them." " The rest 2 were so encuraged with these 
words, that all resolved to goe forward which they did so 
stoutlie that when Lyon Herald in his coat armour com- 
manded " evidently in the regent's name " all men under 
the paine of treasoun to returne to their houses, by public 
sound of trumpet in Glasgow, never man obeyed." 

Proceeding to Glasgow shortly after, Glencairn and his 
friends destroyed the altars and images in the churches of 
the city, for we read that " on the third day after the arrival 
of the congregation at Edinburgh, viz. the 2Qth June, Lord 
Glencairn, with the gentlemen of the west country, came to 
Edinburgh, after that they had purged the churches in 
Glasgow of idolatry." 3 

1 Hist. Scot. ii. p. 402, S.T.Soc. a Calderwood, Hist. i. p. 452. 

3 Wodrow, Miscell. i. p. 62 ; an entry in Privy Council Reg. i. p. 202, 
shows that on I5th February, 1561-2, the friaries in Glasgow were then 
standing " undemolissit " ; D. Hay Fleming's Reformation, p. 417 ; also 
Lib. Coll. Nost. Dom. p. Ixvi. 


As the congregation seemed now to be triumphant, the 
regent, with her French and Scottish soldiers, left Edinburgh 
and took refuge in the Castle of Dunbar. 1 But reaction soon 
set in. The wanton destruction of so many religious edifices, 
and other acts of violence done in the name of religion, 
alarmed the minds of law-abiding citizens, for, as Keith 
observes, " 'Tis an easy matter to raise the devil, but few 
know how to lay him again." Other influences also were 
at work that militated against the congregation. The 
regent, learning by means of her spies " that the congrega- 
tion was skaillit," acted on the advice of the Archbishops of 
St. Andrews and Glasgow, and leaving Dunbar with her 
troops, passed on 24th July to Leith. 2 

The leaders of the congregation, then at Edinburgh, seeing 
that the regent's forces were twice their own in number, 
proposed a conference, which met at the Quarrel Holes at 
the east end of the Calton Hill, and drew up a treaty. Among 
the terms agreed to were, that the congregation depart from 
Edinburgh within twenty-four hours ; that freedom of 
worship be conceded to the Protestants, and that they in 
turn abstain from acts of violence against the Catholics. 

Next day the lords of the congregation left Edinburgh 
and proceeded to Stirling, where they drew up a bond of 
mutual defence for religion, and at the same time agreed to 
appeal for help to England, now under the Protestant queen, 
Elizabeth. After the signing of this bond on ist August, 
the Earl of Argyle and Lord James Moray journeyed west- 
wards, and appointed the Earl of Glencairn and the Lords 
Boyd and Ochiltre and others to meet them at Glasgow, in 
order to concert measures for defeating the queen's projects 
in the western counties. 3 

It was in this connection the regent wrote to the Duke of 

1 Calderwood, Hist. i. p. 474. 2 Knox, Hist. i. p. 373. 

3 Keith, Church and State, i. p. 224 ; Calderwood, Hist. i. p. 497. 


Chatelherault that " she is informed the Lords of the West- 
land Congregation intend to make a convention of their 
friends upon Govan Muir, near Glasgow, on 2ist August, for 
some high purpose against herself." 1 So she requests him 
and all other lords and barons in whom she has confidence, 
to convene with their followers to whatsoever place she 
should advertise by her proclamation. 2 

About the middle of August, in response to an appeal from 
the regent, 1000 French soldiers arrived at Leith and were 
immediately employed in fortifying that town. Thereupon 
the lords of the congregation, realizing that the time for 
vigorous action had come, met at Stirling on loth September. 
Here they were joined by Arran, eldest son of the Duke of 
Chatelherault. Having, while in France, accepted the re- 
formed faith, and expressed himself rather freely at court, 
he felt his life endangered and fled to his native country. 
The congregation, learning that the regent was fortifying 
Leith " al stronglie and stoutlie " at the instigation of the 
Bishops of St. Andrews and Glasgow, and " utheris sage and 
verie grave men quha war ther present," 3 objected to this as 
a distinct breach of the treaty lately entered into. Accord- 
ingly, they wrote calling upon the regent to dismiss the 
Frenchmen out of the country, informing her at the same 
time that the congregation would next meet at Linlithgow 
on nth October. 4 Leaving Stirling, the lords of the congre- 
gation proceeded to Hamilton Palace. There, through the 
influence of his son Arran, and of the Earl of Argyle and others, 
the duke himself was persuaded to cast in his lot with them, 
or, as Leslie puts it, " to mak defectioune." 

1 CaL State Papers (Foreign), 1558-9, Nos. 1181 and 1132. Keith and 
Calderwood say 28th August not 2ist. 

2 Keith, Church and State , i. p. 226. 

3 Leslie, Hist. ii. p. 424, S.T.Soc. 

4 Knox, Hist. \. pp. 377-9. 


On their way to Hamilton the congregation visited 
Glasgow Castle, the archbishop being then with the regent. 
Ransacking it for money, of which they were in great need, 
they were disappointed, for in a letter, dated I2th October, 
we read : " There was no money found in the Bishop of 
Glasgow's coffers/' * 

The regent, receiving on 2Qth September another letter, 
one of many from the congregation, calling upon her to 
desist from fortifying Leith and to dismiss the French- 
men, was moved with great displeasure and cried out : 
" Treason, Traitors." In a reply to the lords defending her 
conduct, she placed herself, says Keith, in the situation of a 
harmless bullfinch, surrounded by a crowd of ferocious 
hawks. Her language is not without a touch of pathos, 
" and like as a small bird still pursued, will provide some nest, 
so her majesty could do no less in case of pursuit, but to 
choose the town of Leith, a place convenient for that purpose 
. . . and also because in former times it had been fortified." z 
When the lords met in Linlithgow on nth October, she sent 
a messenger enjoining them to desist from their enterprise, 
but this was of no avail. 

Next day, I2th October, the lords set out for Edinburgh, 
and arrived there two hours after the regent had departed 
from Holyrood for Leith, accompanied by the Archbishops 
of St. Andrews, Glasgow and others. 3 At Edinburgh on 
23rd October, the lords drew up an Act of Deprivation, 
deposing Mary from the regency. But they had mis- 
calculated their power, for in besieging Leith they found 
themselves unable to capture it. Again and again, too, 
they were harassed by unexpected sallies of the French 
garrison of Leith, from which they suffered severely. To 

1 Cal. State Papers (Foreign), 1559-60, No. 76 (3). 
1 Keith, Church and State^ i. pp. 228-9. 
3 Wodrow, MiscelL i. p. 68. 


make things worse their own soldiers were disaffected at not 
receiving their pay, and numerous desertions took place. 1 

Accordingly, on 6th November, the congregation found it 
necessary to retire in haste from Edinburgh and make for 
Stirling, where they held further consultation. Maitland of 
Lethington, who had recently come over from the regent's 
party, was sent by the congregation to Queen Elizabeth to 
ask her help against the regent and the French. It was also 
agreed to meet again at Stirling on i6th December following. 2 

On the gth November, when departing from Stirling, the 
lords divided themselves into two parties ; the Westland 
Lords to take up their residence at Glasgow in order to give 
advice as occasion required, while the remaining leaders 
made St. Andrews their centre. 3 

The Duke of Chatelherault, at his coming to Glasgow in 
November, says Keith, " caused all the images and altars 
in the churches there to be pulled down, and seized on the 
castle which belonged to the archbishop." 4 Or, as Leslie 
puts it, " The Captane of Castelheralde, the Erles of Argile 
and Arane and others cumis to Glasgwe and profane the 
sacred things hitherto unviolated, and put great fear into the 
archbishop's servants, canons and religious men ; they also 
occupy the castle and begin to fortify it." 5 

When this news reached the regent, she immediately sent 
French troops along with Archbishop Beaton for the recovery 
of the castle. These were assisted by Lords Seton, Sempill 
and Ross. The duke's people having left the town upon 
notice of their approach, the castle was soon regained ; and 
the French, along with the archbishop, immediately returned 

1 Keith, Church and State, p. 242. 

* Ibid. pp. 244-5. 

3 Wodrow, Miscell. i. p. 73. 

4 Church and State, i. pp. 245-6. 

* Hist. Scot. ii. p. 428, S.T.Soc. 


to Edinburgh. 1 But soon thereafter the duke repaired to 
Glasgow where, on 29th November, he issued two public 
proclamations in the names of Francis and Mary, King and 
Queen of Scots " forged proclamations," Bellesheim calls 
them abolishing the ecclesiastical courts, and ordering all 
the Catholic clergy to join themselves to the congregation, 
or have their benefices taken from them. 2 Manifestly, 
Glasgow was at this time, as it had been for some months 
previously, the headquarters of the Protestant party. 

On loth November we learn that the Archbishops of St. 
Andrews and Glasgow are with the regent, and, on loth 
December, in answer to questions asked by the English 
Privy Council, Maitland of Lethington replied that " The 
Archbishops of St. Andrews and Glasgow have declared 
themselves openly with the French." 3 

On the I5th December the lords of the congregation met 
at Stirling to consider the reply brought by Maitland of 
Lethington from Queen Elizabeth. When it was announced 
that she would cordially support them, there was great 
rejoicing. But the regent, having obtained reinforcements 
from France, sent against them an expeditionary force of 
2500 men ; so on Christmas Day, the day before the French- 
men reached Stirling, the lords precipitately fled from the 
town. It seemed as if the regent's cause were once more 
triumphant. Her success, however, was short-lived, for at 
this juncture, about the middle, or, as some say, the end of 
January 1560, an English fleet, whereof thirteen were war- 
ships, appeared in the Firth of Forth ; and shortly afterwards 

1 This appears to have been the last occasion on which the archbishop 
was within the walls of his own palace for he never returned to Glasgow. 
If so, he then took with him the records and valuables which he after- 
wards carried to Paris. 

2 For severe strictures on these proclamations, Keith, Church and 
State, i. pp. 248-50 ; Bellesheim, Hist. ii. 284-5. 

3 Cal. State Papers (Foreign), yrs. 1559-60, No. 240 (13) and No. 392 (4). 



a powerful French fleet, designed to overthrow all opposi- 
tion to the regent in Scotland, met with such a succession of 
disastrous storms that it never arrived, but was driven back 
again to France. 

Meantime, about the end of January, the Duke of Norfolk 
arrived at Berwick with an English army, and sent to the 
lords of the congregation at Glasgow a request that some of 
their number, instructed with full powers, might meet with 
him at some time and place convenient. The Lord James 
was appointed on 4th February as one of the commissioners, 
and later, at Cupar-Fife, others were added to their number. 
Accordingly the commissioners on both sides met, and a 
treaty was signed on February 27 between England and 
Scotland. This treaty was virtually an alliance offensive 
and defensive against France, and was an event of the 
greatest significance in the history of Scotland, for Scotland 
gave up her ancient alliance with France and entered into a 
lasting friendship with her " auld enemy " of England. 1 

When it got abroad that the English army would not be 
in readiness to come to Scotland till the 25th March, the 
regent, seeking to take advantage of the delay, engaged in a 
high enterprise. 2 Determined to attack the lords of the 
congregation at Glasgow, she sent thither a force of 2000 
well-equipped foot-soldiers and 300 horsemen. The duke, 
who then held the castle, being apprised of their coming, 
which was quite unexpected, departed with a small company 
on the previous night. A letter, dated 2ist March, written 
by the duke to the Duke of Norfolk, gives a glimpse of 
Glasgow and its castle on the eve of the Reformation. 
" Before leaving Glasgow we left some soldiers in the 
Bishop's Palace and Stepill 3 to drive time for 48 hours 

1 Keith, Church and State^ i. p. 257, etc. 2 Wodrow, Miscell. i. p. 80. 
1 The steeple, probably the north-west tower, was fortified, as earlier 
and later references show. 


till we assembled our friends. But they surrendered to the 
French, a company of whom entered to spoil the ' graith,' 
and in a tower of the palace, where a barrel of powder was 
hid, ' it fyrit through one of the luntis (matches) and burnt 
a great many (French) men whereof 13 are dead, one a 
principal captain/ The French horse, seeing 30 of our men 
left in the town, charged them ; they stood at the brig, slew 
8 French ; part were defeated and part escaped. The 
French soon after, knowing we determined to give them 
battle, left the town for their ' strenth ' without sound 
of trumpet or ' tamberoun/ " 1 

Another narrative of this attack on Glasgow Castle gives 
additional particulars. " Notwithstanding after that the 
Frenchmen had taken by force the Bishop's Castle, and had 
cruelly hanged a part of the soldiers that were therein, and 
had chased the rest that made resistance in the town, the 
second day after their coming to Glasgow, there came a 
writing to them from the queen, containing in effect that she 
was surely informed that the English army was already 
come from Berwick and within Scotland : wherefore she 
willed them with all possible expedition to return again ; 
which they did immediately. The damage which they did 
was not so great as men supposed : for they had no time 
sufficient/' 2 

Alarmed at this threatened invasion by a united Scottish 
and English army, and already stricken with the disease of 
dropsy that was so soon to prove fatal, the regent left Leith 
on loth April, and, for the safety of her own person, proceeded 
first to Holy rood Palace and then to Edinburgh Castle, 
accompanied by the Archbishop of St. Andrews, the Bishop 
of Dunkeld and several high officers of State. But " all the 
Frenchmen, both legates and captains and soldiers, with the 

1 Col. Scot. Papers, i. p. 336, dated 2 1st March. 
8 Wodrow, Miscell. i. p. 81. 


Archbishop of Glasgow, Lord Seton and some other com- 
panies of Scots, went to Leith." * 

The Scots and English, having joined forces on 4th April, 
began to besiege Leith, but it had been strongly fortified by 
the French engineers, and after several unsuccessful assaults 
they were repulsed. During the siege of Leith, and while the 
shot rattled continuously, there occurred, what Leslie calls, a 
" merviellous maitter," viz. that when the leading people, 
and, doubtless, the Archbishop of .Glasgow among them, 
were attending high mass in the high kirk on Easter Sunday, 
" a gret cannoun bullat cam in at the kirk winnock," where 
the altar stood. But not one was hurt, " a wounderful 
thing in sick a multitude . . . quhilk was al referit to the 
misterie and utterlie appliet to the actioune of the haly 
sacrifice of the mes." In this connection Andrew Leith, a 
Dominican monk, " quha than dependet " on the Archbishop 
of Glasgow, and who acted as celebrant priest on this occasion, 
was highly commended, for he stood " in sick a turmoyl and 
truble " without fear at the altar and thought of nothing but 
the performance of his office. 2 

While the siege of Leith still continued, the regent, Mary of 
Lorraine, died at Edinburgh Castle on loth June, 1560, 
The Archbishop of St. Andrews, the Bishop of Dunkeld, 
several officers of state and leading members of the nobility 
on both sides, were present at her death-bed, yet, strange to 
say, Archbishop Beaton, her faithful friend and counsellor, 
does not appear to have been there. Duty seems to have 
demanded his presence with the French garrison at 
Leith. 3 

The regent's death appears to have hastened negotiations 
in the interests of peace. For on 6th July, 1560, after many 

1 Leslie, Hist. ii. pp. 432 and 435, S.T.S. 

8 Ibid. p. 436. 

* Ibid. pp. 435, 439) 44 1 J cf. Keith, Church and State, i. p. 278. 


difficulties had been overcome, the three realms of England, 
France and Scotland, through their representatives, con- 
cluded a treaty at Edinburgh which, so far as Scotland was 
concerned, may be regarded as the central point of her 
history. 1 

By igth August, to the no small astonishment of the 
Roman hierarchy, the reformed faith became the established 
religion of the Scottish realm, 2 and the mediaeval church, 
which might be said to have dominated Scotland for a 
thousand years, was dethroned. 

Archbishop Beaton, Lord Seaton and others embarked on 
1 8th July at Leith in the " Mynyon," one of the French 
transport vessels. 3 They arrived in Paris on 3rd August, 
i56o. 4 Thus, after eight years' residence in Glasgow, Beaton 
left never to set foot in Scotland again the last of an 
illustrious line of prelates who sat in the chair of St. Kenti- 
gern, and the last archbishop to survive of the ancient 
Church in Scotland. 

When the archbishop departed for Paris, he rendered a 
service which has earned for him the gratitude of all who are 
interested in the history of their native land, especially in 
the ancient documents that furnish the material of accurate 
history, for he carried with him the original writs of 
the See from the reign of David I. till his own time, 
" about 400 original charters granted by kings and nobles, 
and some 16 volumes of transcripts of charters, rentals, 
and registers of deeds concerning the temporalities of the 
See of Glasgow." 5 Cosmo Innes tells the story of the 

1 P. Hume Brown, Hist, of Scot. ii. p, 70 ; Keith, Church and State, 
ch. xii. 

2 Cal. State Papers, i. pp. 466-7 ; Bellesheim, Hist. ii. pp. 304-6. 

3 Cal. Scot. Papers, \. p. 455. 

4 Cal. State Papers (Foreign), yrs. 1560-1, No. 411. 
Miscellaneous Papers, Maitland Club, p. x. 


vicissitudes of these archives and their narrow escape from 
destruction. 1 

Beaton also carried with him the other " valuable things 
that belonged to the See, crucifixes of gold and silver, 
chalices, platters, candlesticks of gold and silver, and a great 
many vestments richly wrought. All these, along with the 
image of Our Saviour in beaten gold and the twelve Apostles 
in silver, he deposited in the hands of the Carthusians at 
Paris, to be restored when Glasgow should become Catholic." 2 

With the passing of the Mediaeval Church in Scotland, 
Beaton retired to Paris, where he spent the remaining forty- 
three years of his life. At the close of 1560 he is referred to 
as " one of the principal doers about the Scottish Queen for 
the affairs in Scotland." 3 In the following year Mary 
appointed him her ambassador at the court of France, and 
after her death James VI. confirmed this appointment. 

Beaton continued to enjoy the temporalities of his See 
from 1560 to 1570.* In 1574 his name is found at the head 
of a list of Catholic prelates and clergy declared outlaws, 5 but 
in 1598 he was formally restored to the temporalities of the 
Regality of Glasgow, 6 " notwithstanding, he has never 
acknowledged the religion professed within this realm," a 
remarkable testimony of respect to his character. 

1 R.E. G. preface. They are still preserved in the keeping of Canon 
Kyle, Presholme, Enzie, Banffshire. Recently two volumes belonging to 
Beaton's library, having his heraldic arms stamped thereon in gold, were 
secured for Kelvingrove Museum. One dated 1552, and bearing the 
autograph of Andrew Melville, is a bulky folio by Prof. John Diedro, 
dealing with the religious controversies of the times. The other is a copy 
of the Bible, with notes in favour of Calvinistic doctrine, published at 
Paris in 1545 by Robert Stephens. Cf. article in Glas. Herald, July 5, 

2 Memoir of Beaton, by Archbishop Eyre, p. 21 ; M'Kenzie, Scots 
Writers, iii. p. 465. 

3 Cal. State Papers (Foreign), yr. 1560, p. 472. 

4 Dioc. Reg. i. p. 29, p. 140, note. 6 Reg. Privy Council, I5th February. 
6 Acts Parl. iv. p. 169, etc. ; Dioc. Reg. i. p. 31. 


While in Paris he naturally associated himself with the 
House of Guise. 1 Whether he was personally implicated in 
the massacre of St. Bartholomew is uncertain ; but when 
Andrew Melville, in 1574, passing through Paris on his way 
to Glasgow, became involved in a religious disputation with 
Father Tyrie of the Jesuit College, Archbishop Beaton let 
fall some threatening expressions, which induced Melville to 
leave the place as speedily as possible. 2 

The archbishop remained " the trusted friend and coun- 
sellor of Mary, Queen of Scots," from her landing in Scotland 
till her death in 1587 ; and in her will he was nominated the 
" chief manager and disposer of her worldly concerns." 
After the murder of Darnley he wrote beseeching her to 
clear her character of the calumny that she was " the motive 
principal of the whole." 

So handsomely did he endow the Scots College at Paris 
that he was called its second founder. He encouraged 
exiled Scottish priests to return to their country and win it 
back to the ancient faith "a result for which," he says, "we 
have laboured with tears and prayers for many years." The 
revenue of the archbishop was increased by the incomes of 
the Abbey de la Sie, Poitou, the priory of St. Peters, and the 
treasurership of St. Hilary, Poictiers. 3 His death took place 
at Paris on 25th April, 1603, in his eightieth year, 4 and he 
was buried in the Church of St. John Lateran. Over 
his tomb an inscription in Latin verse eulogized him in the 
exaggerated language of the times. 5 Archbishop Eyre, in 
concluding his Memoir, remarks : "He died an old man, 
full of days and of honour." 

1 Cat. State Papers (Foreign), yr. 1560, p. 303. 

2 M'Crie, Andrew Melville, edit. 1819, p. 56. 

3 Memoir of Beaton, by Archbishop Eyre, pp. 27, 30, 33, 40. 

4 Dowden, Bishops of Scotland, p. 350. 

6 MacFarlane, Geneal. Colls, i. p. 17. His will is contained in the 
Dioc. Reg. i. p. 229. 


WHO was St. Rollox ? He was a real and not merely a 
legendary saint, and his name in its original form was St. 
Roche. His biography was first written in 1478, about a 
century and a half after his death. By this time tradition 
and legend had so magnified his fame that it became diffi- 
cult to separate fact from fiction, truth from poetry. 1 

It would appear that Roche was born of wealthy parents 
at Montpellier, in the south of France, about the year 1295. 

He had a birthmark upon his breast which, at times, 
became so lustrous, that his parents fondly imagined it 
resembled a red cross. Arguing therefrom his future sanc- 
tity, they brought him up in innocence and piety, and gave 
him the best education the times afforded. Upon the death 
of his parents in his twentieth year, he resolved to devote 
himself to the service of God, and sought to dispose of the 
property he had inherited for the benefit of the poor. But 
this the law of his country would not permit. Leaving his 
affairs in the hands of an uncle, he set out on a journey to 
Rome, attired in the garb of a pilgrim. 

He had not as yet discovered his particular vocation, but 
just as John Howard, four centuries later, was led to his life- 
work through being captured by a French privateer and 
cast into a miserable French prison, so when Roche, in his 

1 Stadler's Heiligen- Lexicon, vol. v. Rochus ; also Bollandist Lives of 


travels, came to a plague-stricken city in Italy, his sympathy 
was so aroused that he volunteered his services to the gover- 
nor of the hospital on behalf of the suffering. His offer 
having been accepted, and success having attended his 
labours, he was led to consecrate his life to the praiseworthy, 
albeit hazardous, occupation of caring for the plague-stricken . 
As he laboured in several plague-stricken cities, infection 
seemed to fly before him. Learning that the fatal distemper 
had reached Rome, he hastened thither, and there spent 
three years in the service of the sick. 

Desirous of returning to France, he revisited on the way 
the cities in which he had previously laboured. Wherever he 
went he seemed as one who led a charmed life, and was proof 
against contagion. But on reaching Piacenza, where the 
plague was specially virulent, he devoted himself with so 
much ardour and self-forgetfulness to his labours that he 
caught the infection. Instead, however, of being grieved, he 
lifted up his heart to God, and thankfully accepted his 
condition as a token of divine favour. But alas, he, who had 
spent the best years of his life in caring for the plague- 
stricken, was in his own hour of distress deserted and 
uncared for, and, though scarcely able to move, was com- 
pelled to quit the town and seek shelter in a poor hut in a 
neighbouring forest. But God raised up a kind friend named 
Gothard, who lovingly tended him and generously supplied 
his wants. After his recovery, Roche set out once more for 
home, and arrived at Montpellier, but, being attired as a 
poor pilgrim, and having suffered so many hardships, his 
nearest relatives failed to recognize him. Arrested as a 
spy, he died in prison, but not before he had obtained as he 
believed from God the favour that all plague-stricken persons 
who invoked his aid should be healed. He died on the i6th 
August, 1327, aged only 32 years, and was buried at Mont- 
pellier. Miracles were believed to have accompanied his 


death a divine proof of his sanctity according to mediaeval 
biographers ; his body was translated to Venice in 1485, one 
hundred and fifty-eight years after his death. At Venice it 
was received with great rejoicing, and a large church was 
erected to his memory and for the preservation of his relics. 
This church of Santo Rocco contains several pictures of 
scenes from the life of St. Roche, painted in exquisite colours 
by Tintoretto. 

His fame so spread after his death that the Church of Rome 
canonized him, and set apart the day of his death, the 
sixteenth of August, as his day in the Saints' Calendar. 
Ever after this he was regarded as the patron saint of the 
plague-stricken. So indissolubly is his memory associated 
with the plague, that in France the plague came to be known 
as the Mai St. Roche, or St. Roche's sickness. In pictures 
and statues the saint is usually represented as dressed in 
pilgrim garb, and pointing with his finger to an ulcer or 
plague-spot on one of his limbs. Hence Sir David Lindsay, 
speaking of such representations in his day in Scotland, 

says : 1 

" Saint Roche weill seisit men may see 
Ane byill new broken on his thye." 

In Quimper Cathedral in Brittany, there is an image of 
St. Roche, dressed in a brown-coloured habit, and wearing a 
broad-brimmed, low-crowned hat. Underneath the image, 
and suspended on a cord, are votive offerings, models in wax 
of arms, legs, or other members of the body, believed to have 
been healed of disease through the intercessions of the Saint. 

Not only in France and Italy was St. Roche venerated, 
wherever the plague went, churches and chapels were 
erected in his honour in Belgium, the Tyrol, Germany, 
Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. Indeed, two of the most 
richly endowed churches in Europe, one at Paris, the other 

1 Laing's edit. iii. p. 27, line 2297. 


at Lisbon, are dedicated to St. Roche. Scotland also felt 
the spell of the Saint, and chapels dedicated to St. Roche were 
erected not only in Glasgow, but in Edinburgh, Stirling, 
Dundee and Paisley. 

In 1502 a French friar brought a bone of St. Roche as a 
sacred relic to King James IV., for which he received fifteen 
French crowns about 10 los. Scots money. 1 It was 
believed that when St. Roche's body was transferred to 
Venice, pieces of it were stolen as relics, and bones of St. 
Roche are exhibited, even at the present day, at Antwerp, 
Aries and elsewhere. No doubt the purchase of this relic 
of St. Roche by the king stimulated the veneration of the 
Saint and the erection of chapels to his honour ; but the real 
reason, both of the chapels and of the royal purchase, was 
the terrible visitations of plague from which the country 
suffered. In Edinburgh a chapel was erected to St. Roque 
on the Boroughmuir and was resorted to by victims of the 
plague. These encamped in huts surrounding the chapel 
that they might reside as near the Saint's Shrine as possible, 
to invoke his intercessions. 2 As Sir David Lindsay, writing 
about 1500, tells us : 3 

" Superstitious pilgrimages 
To monie divers images, 
Sum to St. Roch with diligence 
To saif them from the pestilence." 

With regard to St. Roche's Chapel at Dundee, we have 
some interesting particulars recorded by John Knox. 4 When 
George Wishart went to Dundee in 1544, during the visita- 
tion of plague, he stood on the parapet over the archway of 
the Cowgate Port, and addressed an audience that was partly 
inside and partly outside the gate. Those who were in 
health sat or stood within, while the sick or suspected were 

1 Treas. Accts. ii. p. 154. z N.S.A. Edin. p. 657. 

3 Laing's edit. vol. iii. p. 29, 1. 2359. * Ibid. i. pp. 129-30. 


without. His text on this occasion was Psalm cvii. v. 20 : 
" He sent his word and healed them." After preaching a 
most comforting sermon, it is said " the plague-stricken and 
all who heard him cared not whether they were spared to live 
any longer in this world." 

The Chapel of St. Roche in Dundee was long known as 
the Chapel of Semirookie, a double diminutive for St. Roche. 
The spot is now termed St. Roche's Lane. At the approach 
of the plague the people of Dundee used to gather at the 
altar of this chapel to pray for protection, while lodges were 
erected for those afflicted. 1 When the walls and gates of 
the city were removed about 1780, out of respect to the 
memory of George Wishart, and the services he rendered to 
the town, the Cowgate Port was allowed to stand. 

At Stirling the chapel dedicated to St. Roche, or Marrokis, 
was situated immediately to the south-side of the old bridge. 
This chapel was perhaps the first in Scotland, for already on 
the igth April, 1497, James IV. made his devotions there 
and left an offering of 155. 6d. Scots ; 2 while as late as July 
1645 there is an entry in the Stirling Town Council Records 
anent the erection of lodges at Chirmerland, some hundred 
yards from the same bridge, for housing those infected with 
the plague, while those who succumbed were to be buried at 
the Chapel Well. 3 

We return to the Chapel of St. Roche at Glasgow. There 
are various spellings of the Saint's name, Roche, Roque, 
Marrokis, Semirookie, Rowk ; but in Glasgow the form that 
ultimately prevailed was Rollack or Rollox, the latter 
probably arising from the pronunciation of Ro-ok in two 
syllables, as it is said Pollok arose from Po-ok. 4 

1 Maxwell's Old Dundee, p. 20. 

2 Treas. Accts. ii. pp. 68 and 249. 

3 J. Ronald, Landmarks of Old Stirling, p. 166. 

4 N.S.A. Renfrew-Paisley, p. 209. Roche is spelt Rock. 


The Chapel of St. Rollox at Glasgow was situated on the 
Boroughmuir to the north of the city, a considerable distance 
outside the Stable Green Port on the way to Cadder. 1 With 
the help of the City Records, the exact spot has been identi- 
fied. 2 The chapel stood in Castle Street, near the point 
where it crosses the canal, and in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of the offices of the United Alkali Company. Formerly 
there was a little loch to the south of the chapel, called St. 
Rollokis Loch, known afterwards as Plummer's Hole. 3 This 
loch has long been drained, but it was close to where Parlia- 
mentary Road diverges from Castle Street. It was about the 
year 1506 that the chapel was erected, with a cemetery 
attached. 4 Like those in Edinburgh, Dundee and elsewhere, 
it stood outside the city gates, a precaution against con- 
tagion from the plague-stricken who resorted thither. 

In 1508, a short time after its erection, Thomas Muirhead, 
one of the canons of the cathedral, provided the chapel with 
an endowment, so that mass might be offered for the soul of 
the founder. 5 

The provost and council were to be patrons, and these 
appointed Sir Alexander Robertson 6 as chaplain. Subse- 
quently the Town Council requested the Collegiate Church of 
St. Mary and St. Anne to appoint one of its prebendaries to 
St. Roche's Chapel, " to say mass thrice a week, and perform 
the other offices for the soul of the Founder." 7 

1 The Diocesan Registers contain several references to the chapel. Cf. 
Index St. Roch. 

2 The credit of this discovery is due to Mr. R. Renwick. Glasgow 
Memorials, p. 134. 

3 Extr. Glas. Records (1663-1690), p. 54. 

4 On 2oth June, 1506, an instrument speaks of the Church of St. Roche 
founded, and about to be built in the territory of Glasgow. Dioc. Keg. 
i. p. 349. 

6 Charts, and Docs. Glas. ii. p. 479. 
" Sir " then used for " Reverend." 
i Lib. Coll. Nost. Dom. Maitland Club, p. 18 introduction. 


Four hundred years ago, when the dreaded plague was in 
the city, we might have seen the inhabitants in their alarm 
and excitement converging from many quarters towards the 
Stable Green Port, and hastening along the road that led 
to St. Rollox Chapel. Around the chapel the wretched 
victims were encamped in wooden huts or lodges, too often 
neglected by their own kith and kin, and all of them without 
the comforts that the fever-stricken poor enjoy in our city 
hospitals to-day. And twice every week, so long as the 
plague lasted, the clergy with their banners marched 
through the principal streets of the city, chanting dirges, and 
offering prayers that God in His mercy might be pleased to 
stay the awful pestilence. 

Plagues or pests were then all too frequent, and wrought 
frightful havoc. Nor need we be astonished when we recall 
the conditions that prevailed. The streets were narrow, 
dirty, and ill-paved, and the houses insanitary and badly 
drained. Butchers slaughtered their cattle in the open 
street, and every householder had his pig-sty and rubbish 
heap, with its offensive odours, at his own door. When the 
plague actually broke out, the regulations were stringent 
enough. The plague-stricken had to be removed at once ; 
no communication was permitted with suspected persons or 
places ; and servants might not take a washing from suspects. 
A curious entry tells " that no pipers, fiddlers, minstrels or 
other vagabonds shall remain in this town from this time 
forth during the time of the pest." l 

The little suburban chapel of St. Rollox, erected about 
1506, was resorted to by victims of the plague till the Refor- 
mation in 1560. Though the chapel fell into ruins and 
gradually disappeared, M'Ure, 2 writing in 1736, says there 
was no vestige remaining of the building, but the yard that 
was round it was still conspicuous, and persons of distinction 

1 Glas. Records, i. p. 29. * Hist. Glas. edit. 1830, p. 62. 


in the city, who died of the pestilence about 1645-6, were 
buried there. In this connection it has been surmised that 
the stone built against the wall on the east side of the N.B.R. 
line, a little to the north of Queen Street tunnel, and 
bearing the date 1647 and the inscription, " His Brother 
William," was a tombstone that somehow got transferred 
from its original site in St. Roche's churchyard. 1 

In the year 1665 a tack for nineteen years was granted by 
the provost and council of " that Kirkyaird called St. 
Rolloks Kirkyaird and haill grase thereof. . . . The Kirk- 
yaird was not to be digged or tilled, but was to lie in grass, 
and the town council were to be entitled to use it as burial 
ground. Rent 30 shillings Scots yearly." 2 

But in the eighteenth century, when the town's commons 
were sold to individual proprietors, the churchyard of St. 
Rollox had lost its sanctity, and the prohibition against 
digging or tilling was conveniently forgotten. Messrs. 
Tennant & Company acquired an extensive area about the 
site of the old chapel, and there erected the famous chemical 
works of St. Rollox. 

Strange, that on the very spot on which stood the ancient 
chapel of the Saint, whose intercessions were invoked on 
behalf of the plague-stricken, there should be erected, three 
centuries later, works, the chief business of which was to 
manufacture chemical products such as ward off pestilence 
and destroy its power. 3 In this way the labours of St. Rollox 
are being carried on after another fashion, and the chimney, 
no less than the chapel, is a monument to the Saint ! 

1 Such is the opinion of Mr. T. Lugton. The late Dr. J. O. Mitchell 
thought the stone was a memorial of the Killing Times ; but the date 
suggests the former conjecture. 

2 Charts, and Docts. Glas. ii. p. 342. 

3 Mr. A. Fleming, St. Rollox Chemical Works, informs me that chloride 
of lime proved very beneficial in the St. Rollox district during the cholera 
epidemic last century. 



IN endeavouring to picture the Townhead of Glasgow in the 
distant past, let us sweep from our vision the Cathedral, the 
Royal Infirmary and all the houses in the neighbourhood, 
and imagine instead this corner in a state of nature ; trees 
here and there on the grassy slopes, and two streamlets, one 
to the north, the other to the south of the Infirmary, making 
their way through little fern-clad dells to the ravine of the 
Molendinar. 1 Here, upon a gentle eminence now levelled, 
a site at once beautiful and imposing, stood the original 
Celtic fort or circular earthwork called Cathures, and here 
St. Kentigern preached the gospel to our pagan ancestors. 

Five centuries passed, and on the same spot David L, then 
Earl of Cumbria or Strathclyde, erected, in all likelihood, a 
stockade or palisaded enclosure, the typical stronghold of 
those early days. 2 

It was David, too, who appointed John Achaius, his former 
tutor, first Bishop of Glasgow ; and who, about the year 
1124, caused to be drawn up an inquest or list of the posses- 
sions belonging to the Church of Glasgow from the days of 
St. Kentigern onwards. 3 

If Glasgow Castle was erected within the Celtic fort by 

^or description of site in 1792, cf. Buchanan's Glasgow Royal 
Infirmary -, p. 4. 

a Blind Harry's Wallace^ vi. 803, viii. 1035, xi. 680, for description of 
early castles. 

*R.E.G. Nos. i, 3, 5. 


David I., it would remain one of the royal castles ; and we 
have mention of a castle in the year 1258. Immediately 
after the death of Bishop Bondington, " at a meeting of the 
chapter, the canons agreed that if any of them be elected 
bishop, he should remove his palace which stood without 
Glasgow Castle, and give its site with other ground adjoining 
as houses for the canons." 1 Ten years later the canons 
came to the same resolution, showing that nothing as yet had 
been done. 2 

Thus there was a palace as well as a castle in 1268, and in 
this palace the earlier bishops no doubt resided. About this 
time the term " palace " disappears from the records and 
" castle " is used instead, 3 so that it may reasonably be 
inferred that the Bishops of Glasgow acquired the castle as 
their palace. The proximity of the new cathedral, recently 
erected by Bondington, would necessitate a more imposing 
residence for its bishop. 

From 1272 the Bishop of Glasgow was Robert Wishart, 
who, in the earlier years of his rule, threw his energies 
into building. He erected the two western towers of the 
cathedral, perhaps completed the nave left unfinished by 
Bondington, fortified the rural manors of Ancrum and 
Castel Tarris or Carstairs, 4 and in all probability strengthened 
his principal residence, the castle of Glasgow, by building a 
square stone keep. 

These were the days of Sir William Wallace, and the 
excavations made in 1853 for removing the mound in front 

1 "Pallacium suum quod est extra castrum Glasguense." " Pallacium " 
perhaps here signifies a large house rather than a palisaded enclosure. 
Cf. Du Cange. 

1 R.E.G. Nos. 208, 213. 

3 Ibid. No. 237. 

4 Catal. Docts. Scot. ii. p. 433 ; Lib. de Calchou, pp. 267-334. Possibly 
Carstairs is the "certain castle of stone and lime" built between 1287- 
1290. Cf. Dioc. Re%. pref. p. 33. 



of the Royal Infirmary enable us to reconstruct the castle 
at that time. Traces were found of an ancient and some- 
what circular trench or ditch with which the castle had been 
surrounded. There were also " the remains of a draw-bridge, 
consisting of twelve beams of oak pegged together, of the 
length of 15 feet." The drawbridge faced towards Cathedral 
Street. 1 

The first recorded extension of the castle occurred con- 
siderably more than a century after Wallace, during the rule 
of Bishop John Cameron, who " built the great tower at his 
episcopal palace, where his arms are still to be seen." 2 This 
great tower was not, as is often supposed, the great tower 
at the south-west corner of the wall, which was a later 
addition, but was built alongside the original keep. It was 
quadrangular in form, was five storeys in height, and had 
embattled walls and crow-stepped gables. 

While the extensions made by Bishop Cameron provided 
additional accommodation for the inmates of the castle, 
Archbishop James Beaton, the first of that name, "enclosed 
his episcopal palace with a noble stone wall of ashler work 
towards the east, south and west, with a bastion on the one 
angle, and a stately tower, with an embattled wall on the 
other, fronting to the High Street, where are fixed in differ- 
ent places his coat of arms." 3 This embattled wall was said 
to be fifteen feet high, and somewhat pentagonal in outline. 
On the west it stretched from opposite the Provand's Lord- 

1 Trans. Glas. Arch. Soc. year 1886, New Series, i. pt. ii. p. 248. 
During the excavations made in September 1912 for the new Royal 
Infirmary, an old well was discovered immediately under the flight of 
steps leading to the main entrance of the former building. It was filled 
with water to within six or seven feet of the top, and the sides of the well 
were lined with oak, now much decayed. This seems to have been the 
ancient Castle Well. 

1 M'Ure, Hist. Glas. edit. 1830, pp. 19 and 25 [written in 1736]. 

3 Chap. ix. supra. Beaton's arms sculptured are preserved in St. 
Joseph's R.C. Chapel, Glasgow. 


ship, along the centre of Castle Street, to a point in line with 
the front of the Infirmary ; while in area it occupied a some- 
what larger space than what used to be known as Infirmary 
Square, the upper half of the present Cathedral Square. 1 la 
all probability Archbishop Beaton erected this enclosing wall 
immediately after Flodden. 

The next prelate to make structural improvement on the 
old castle was Archbishop Dunbar, who ruled the See in 
the middle of the sixteenth century. 2 He is credited with 
erecting the massive gate-house at the south-east corner of 
the wall near the entrance to the cathedral. This gate- 
house was of square form, with embattled front, and was 
flanked by two embattled towers. Over the entrance was 
a finely sculptured stone 3 with three sets of armorial bear- 
ings, one above the other. On the uppermost portion were 
the royal arms of Scotland and the monogram of King James 
V. Immediately beneath were the arms assumed by the 
Dunbars of Mochrum, to which family the archbishop 
belonged. In the lower part were the arms of James 
Houston of that ilk, dean of the chapter, rector of the 
university, and a man of wealth, who not only assisted in 
the erection of the gate-house, but built and endowed the 
Collegiate Church of the Virgin, afterwards the Tron 
Kirk. 4 

The building of Glasgow Castle had continued for centuries, 
and was little more than completed when the Reformation 
brought the rule of its lords to an end. As we think of it at 
its best, there rises before our imagination a strong compact 
castle on a commanding site, with a lofty square keep and 

1 Scotichronicon, Gordon's edit. vi. p. 502 for additional particulars. 

2 M'Ure, p. 27. 

3 This stone is now built into the mansion of the Dunbars at Moch- 

4 Trans. Glas. Arch. Soc. New Series, i. pt. ii. p. 238. 


a great embattled tower, the main gateway to the south- 
east being protected by massive battlemented towers, while 
a strong wall, strengthened by towers and bastions at the 
angles, surrounded the castle grounds. Inside the grounds 
were a flower garden and orchard, while outside there 
belonged to the castle a large extent of cultivated ground 
stretching as far north as Garngad Hill. 

The inquisition of David, drawn up about 1120, shows that 
the possessions of the See were of considerable extent and 
grouped geographically. Combined with subsequent acquisi- 
tions, the lands in and around Glasgow alone embraced a 
total area of 45,000 imperial acres. 1 Much of this land 
remained in its primitive condition, as we are reminded by 
the early place-names in the vicinity of the city Woodlands, 
Woodside and Blythswood. 

The Bishop's Forest, which first appears by that name in 
a charter of 1450, was not, as is generally believed, around 
Glasgow, but in Kirkcudbright, and probably belonged to 
the bishopric from the twelfth century, when the contro- 
versy with Bruce of Annandale as to lands and churches was 
settled. 2 

Besides the lands in Glasgow and neighbourhood there 
were others chiefly situated in Lanarkshire and the counties 
of Peebles and Roxburgh. Portions of the church lands 
were assigned to canons of the cathedral for their support, 
and, along with their other endowments, were held as pre- 

Within their wide territory the bishops had several manor- 
houses. One was Partick Castle, which for several centuries 
stood near the meeting of the Kelvin and the Clyde. Six 
miles east of Glasgow stood the house or fortalice of Loch- 
wood on the shore of the Bishop's Loch, a loch affording rich 

1 Ren wick, Glasgow Memorials, p. 101. 
*R.E.G. No. 72 ; Reg. Great Seal, No. 1025. 


supplies of fish and fowl for the castle table. 1 At Castel 
Tarns, or Carstairs, there was a manor-house, fortified by 
Bishop Wishart. Perhaps the favourite rural residence was 
Ancrum, near Jedburgh. 

Like other territorial lords, the bishops had mills on their 
estates. These brought in considerable revenue, as the 
tenants were bound to grind their grain at the mills and pay 
thirlage dues. There were mills on the Kelvin, and three we 
know of on the Molendinar, viz. the Pro van Mill, which 
belonged to the Prebendary of Provand ; the mill on the 
south side of Garngad Hill, latterly known as the Town Mill, 
granted by Bishop Cameron to the burgesses of Glasgow; and 
the Subdean Mill, near the foot of the Drygate, which formed 
part of the prebend of the subdean. 2 

Glasgow Castle thus enjoyed a princely revenue, and its 
episcopal lord could keep up a splendid court and dispense 
lavish hospitality to sovereigns, ecclesiastical dignitaries and 
other notabilities who came as visitors to the city. 

Among these, one of the earliest would be Bagimont, 3 
Canon of Asti, near Turin, an Italian who, in 1275, received 
a mandate from the Pope to collect the tax of a tenth of their 
livings from the clergy, for a crusade to rescue the Holy 
Sepulchre from the Turks. 

1 The late Captain Colt, Gartsherrie House, when a student at Glasgow, 
remembered seeing in the Old College Library a picture showing a 
Bishop of Glasgow sailing in a gondola through the lochs to Lochwood. 
Mr. Archibald Jackson, Craigendmuir, remembers the connection between 
Hogganfield Loch and Bishop's Loch, via the south of Frankfield 
House and Cardowan House. Indeed, the lochs in the district are 
connected with each other by artificial waterways, or narrow canals, 
locally known as "goats" or "gotes." If the picture, which has dis- 
appeared, be a representation of fact, the Bishops of Glasgow in 
ancient times had pleasant ways of travelling between the city and their 
manor by the lake. 

2 Renwick, Glasgow Memorials, ch. x. ; also Trans. Glas. Arch. Soc. 
N.S. iv. p. 23, Partick Mills, by Jas. White, F.S.A.Scot. 

3 Bagimont, variously styled Benemund or Baiamund. 


After Bagimont, another notable visitor was Edward I. of 
England, who frequently came to Glasgow, and who, although 
he usually slept in a tent wherever his army was encamped, 
would nevertheless call at the castle, for we learn that in the 
year 1301 he worshipped both at the cathedral and in the 
church of the Blackfriars. 1 It is a picturesque vision, the 
tall and powerful English king, surrounded by his escort of 
knights, dismounting at the castle gate, his shield sparkling 
with its insignia of three golden leopards. 

In 1306 Robert the Bruce was welcomed by Bishop Wishart 
at the castle gate, when, along with his cavalcade, he arrived 
from the assassination of his rival, the Comyn, at Dumfries. 
Despite the deed of blood, the banqueting hall of the castle 
may have rung that winter night with the sounds of festivity 
led by the minstrel's harp. 

Although no direct allusion has been found to King James 
I. visiting Glasgow, it is well known that Bishop Cameron 
was not only a great favourite with the king, but a vigorous 
supporter of the reforms he carried out in Church and State. 
Besides, as king, James travelled through every part of his 
kingdom in the course of administering justice ; the likeli- 
hood is that he would visit the castle of Glasgow. 

Another illustrious personage who may also have visited 
Glasgow Castle, although it is not expressly recorded, was 
Aeneas Sylvius, afterwards Pope Pius II. 2 This keen-witted 
observer of men, with his insinuating manners and lack of 
tender scruples, " the Gil Bias of the Middle Ages," has left 
an account of his travels in Scotland. He informs us that 
the towns have no walls, and the houses for the most part 
are constructed without lime ; the roofs are of turf, while the 
doors of the poorer dwellings are made of hides of oxen. 

1 Bain's Edwards in Scotland, p. 35. 

2 P. Hume Brown, Early Travellers in Scotland, p. 24 ; also cf. ch. iv. 
supra, p. 68. 


His visit took place in winter, and he observes that the people 
used for fuel a sulphureous stone dug from the earth, 
evidently coal, which was then unknown in Italy. The 
poor, who were almost in a state of nakedness and begged 
at the church doors, departed with joy on their faces on 
receiving such stones as alms. 1 

In 1455 James II. made Glasgow a rallying centre for his 
army, and being one of the canons of the cathedral and a 
friend of its bishop, he would naturally be a guest at the 

King James IV. frequently visited Glasgow, and no doubt 
played cards of an evening in the castle with Archbishop 
Blackadder, who was a favourite of the king. As recent 
investigation has shown, the poet William Dunbar was 
introduced by Blackadder to James IV. 2 

Then in 1515, and again in 1521, Regent Albany was 
entertained within the castle walls, and in 1516 the poet- 
bishop, Gavin Douglas. In the year 1543 the papal legate, 
Marco Grimani, Patriarch of Aquileia, near Venice, who had 
brought help from France to the Scots, was received in Glas- 
gow Castle with great ceremony by Archbishop Dunbar, 
Cardinal Beaton of St. Andrews, and other Scottish bishops. 
We can imagine the lavish hospitality dispensed in the castle 
that day in honour of the patriarch, for the Scots liked to 
give foreigners an exalted opinion of the resources of their 
country, and seem to have been at special pains to impress 
the Patriarch of Aquileia. When he went to Edinburgh from 

1 Among the wonders Aeneas Sylvius heard of during his visit to 
Scotland was a certain tree that was said to grow on the banks of rivers, 
and that produced fruit in the form of geese. As the fruit ripened it fell 
from the tree of its own accord. That which fell on the ground rotted, 
but that which fell into the water immediately assumed life and swam 
about and flew into the air with feathers and wings. Being anxious to see 
this famous tree for himself, Aeneas invariably found that it grew further 
north than where he happened to be. 

2 Cf. ch. viii. supra, p. 137. 


Glasgow, 1 the Earl of Moray, having invited him to a banquet 
in his own house, ordered a cupboard containing glasses of 
most expensive crystal to be set on the table. He had 
instructed his servant, as if by accident, to pull the cloth on 
which the cupboard stood, so that the beautiful crystal 
glasses fell on the floor and were broken to pieces. While the 
patriarch was expressing his regret at what had happened, 
the earl immediately ordered the cupboard to be filled with 
still more precious crystal. So astonished was the patriarch 
at this display of magnificence, that he declared he had never 
seen finer crystal, not even in Venice in which he was born. 
When he returned, he gave glowing accounts of Scotland and 
her people to the King of France and other princes, as well as 
to the Cardinal and Senate of Venice. 

In the year 1545 the Privy Council met within Glasgow 
Castle. Among those present were Mary of Guise, Cardinal 
Beaton and Regent Arran. 2 We may be certain also that 
Mary, Queen of Scots, 3 during her several visits to Glasgow 
from 1563-7, would reside at the castle, for it was still 
held for Archbishop Beaton her trusted adviser. In any 
case, she visited Darnley when he was lying sick here in 

From a picture of the ruins 5 of the castle, before its 
demolition in 1792, we gain some conception of the internal 
arrangements. The ruins seem to be those of the original 
keep a massive square stone building on the lowest floor 
of which was a vaulted kitchen. Above this was a lofty and 
spacious apartment, evidently the banqueting hall. On the 

1 Leslie, Hist. S.T.S. ii. p. 276 ; Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. 1907-8, p. 244 ; 
Letters and Papers (Foreign and Domestic), Henry VIII. vol. xviiu 

p. 2. 

2 Reg. Priv. Coun. i. p. 3 ; cf. chap. x. supra. 

3 D. Hay Fleming's Mary, Queen of Scots, passim. 

4 W. Gemmell, The Oldest House in Glasgow, p. 68. 

6 Buchanan's Glasgow Royal Infirmary, edit. 1832, p. 9. 


floor above was an open-roofed apartment that may have 
been partitioned off into several chambers. A description 
of the furnishings and domestic comforts enjoyed by the 
inmates of the castle has been preserved in the records of a 
lawsuit brought by Archbishop Beaton I. against Mure of 
Caldwell, who attacked the castle in I5I6. 1 The banqueting 
hall was lit by a brass chandelier, and the walls were lined 
with arras tapestry. In the bedchambers were feather beds 
with hangings of verdour, i.e. tapestry upon which rural 
scenery was depicted. In the wardrobes were robes of costly 
silk, red, yellow or brown, lined with various kinds of fur ; 
while in the cabinets were rings and jewels and precious 
stones. The wine-cellars were well stocked, and in the larder 
were stores of salted meat and pork and fish, chiefly salmon 
and cod. 

Even more interesting are the two pictures that have 
come down to us of the home life of the bishops ; William 
Elphinstone, the future Bishop of Aberdeen, a little boy of 
seven, frequently spending an evening with Bishop Cameron, 2 
and the delightful description of a banquet at the castle 
written by George Buchanan. " Having sat as a guest with 
Gavin," says Buchanan, 3 " I envy not the gods their nectar 
and ambrosia a feast where was no vain display, but a 
table chastely and generously furnished, seasoned with talk 
now serious, now bright with Attic wit. ... As Apollo led 
the choir of the Muses, so our host shone above all by his 
eloquent speech. The talk was of the glory of Him who 
wields the thunder, how He took on Him the burden of our 
condition, how the Divine Nature clothed with man's frail 
flesh, received no stain of sin, how God descended in the form 
of a servant, yet His mortal covering stripped Him not of 

1 Hamilton of Wishaw's Desc. of Lanark, p. 194. 

2 Chap. vii. p. 118, supra. 

3 P. Hume Brown's George Buchanan, and chap, x., p. 203, supra. 


His own Divine Nature/' " And then/' continues the 
poet, " after listening to such heavenly discourse, each guest 
is in doubt whether the School has found its way to the Palace, 
or the Palace to the School." 

This ancient stronghold, like other mediaeval castles, was 
not exempt from attack at various periods in its history. 
Reference has already been made to its capture by Wallace 
towards the close of the thirteenth century. In the year 
1516 Mure of Caldwell, acting in the interest of the Hamilton 
party, besieged the castle and despoiled it of its belongings. 
In 1517, when the castle was used as a royal military depot, 
it was besieged by the Earl of Lennox, and relieved by 
Regent Albany. 1 In 1544 it suffered its most serious attack, 
for it was besieged by Regent Arran both before and after 
the Battle of the Butts. 2 Never before or since did the 
Townhead reverberate with such booming of cannon. 
Indignant at the Earl of Lennox for having placed a garrison 
in the castle, Arran bombarded it with shot, ten to twelve 
pounds in weight, then considered tremendous projectiles. 

The capture of the castle by the Regent Mary's French 
troops on the eve of the Reformation March 1560 with 
its stirring incidents, need not again be described. 3 The 
later history of the castle takes us beyond the limits of 
the mediaeval period. On igth April, 1568, the Earl of 
Argyle with 3000 men laid siege to it for eight days, and in 
1570 it was attacked by the queen's party ; but, on both 
occasions, the attempt was in vain. 4 In March 1573, when 
in the, keeping of Sir John Stewart, it is referred to as " one 
of the principal keys of the country." 5 

After the Reformation it never regained its former splen- 
dour. Used for more than a century as the palace of the 

1 Chap. ix. supra, 2 Chap. x. supra, 

3 Chap. xi. supra. 4 Pitscottie's Chron. ii. p. 205 and p. 229. 

6 Reg. Privy Coun. ii. p. 348. 


Protestant bishops, and thereafter occupied as a prison, 
it gradually tottered on its way to ruin, and became a 
quarry for building houses in the neighbourhood. 

When the present Royal Infirmary was erected in 1792, 
the ruins were finally cleared away. The space now stands 
vacant, which was for some six centuries the centre of the 
social, intellectual and spiritual life of Old Glasgow. There 
for long was a court of almost regal magnificence. There 
kings and queens, and cardinals and other dignitaries 
of Church and State, found hospitable lodging. There 
illustrious poets and men of letters met for social intercourse, 
and statesmen deliberated for the highest welfare of their 
country Sic transit gloria mundi. 

Dr. Johnson has remarked that " whatever withdraws us 
from the power of our senses, whatever makes the past, the 
distant, or the future predominate over the present, advances 
us in the dignity of thinking beings." It is well sometimes 
to linger among the shadowy grandeurs of the past. 

And although not one stone of the old castle has been left 
standing upon another, it is a source of gratification to know 
that an obelisk is about to be erected by a public-spirited 
citizen, 1 to mark the spot round which cluster so many 
memories of those who in their generation helped to lay the 
foundation of the prosperity of Glasgow. 

1 Francis Henderson, Esq., of Dunlop House, formerly Lord Dean of 
Guild, Glasgow. 


THE first cross at Glasgow is said to have been erected by 
St. Kentigern in the sixth century. Jocelyn informs us that 
St. Kentigern was in the habit of erecting crosses wherever 
he settled for any length of time. The cross at Glasgow, he 
tells us, was of stone and of extraordinary size. It was also 
reputed to work miracles. " Many maniacs and those vexed 
with unclean spirits were wont to be tied to it on the night 
of the Lord's Day, and on the morrow they were found 
restored." x It stood in the cemetery consecrated in the 
fourth century by St. Ninian, near where St. Kentigern 
afterwards erected his cell or chapel. This spot was com- 
memorated in the year 1500 by Archbishop Blackadder, who 
erected over it the beautiful Fergus Aisle or Blackadder 
Crypt close by the south transept of the cathedral. Of the 
fate of this first cross, nothing is known. Jocelyn says that 
it was standing in his day. If so, it may not have been 
removed till the new cathedral was erected in the thirteenth 
century by Bishop Bondington. 

This cross of St. Kentigern was not a market cross but 
an ecclesiastical cross, though it sometimes happened that 
crosses originally ecclesiastical came to be used as market 
crosses. In Glasgow there were several ecclesiastical crosses. 
Two are mentioned in the year 1539 as landmarks, and are 
described as " the twa crocis," or " Brether Crosses," near 

^Historians of Scotland^ v. ch. xli. 


Stable Green. 1 There is also mention of a " Gyrth Cross," 
which stood at the gushet of Castle Street and Glebe Street. 2 
This gyrth cross marked on the north side, as did the gyrth 
burn on the south side, the precincts of sanctuary around the 

Another stone cross stood in 1497 on the south side of 
the Rottenrow, close by a building belonging to the chap- 
lainry of the Holy Cross, and near where the Lock Hospital 
now stands. This cross was the property of the town, but 
in 1575, after the Reformation, James Rankine, who held the 
adjacent property, removed it without the consent of the 
authorities, and was fined by the court. 3 

References to this cross in the old records, and traditions 
concerning it, probably led local historians to identify it with 
the original Market Cross, which they speak of as standing 
where Rottenrow, High Street and Drygate intersect, a spot 
known in ancient times as the Wyndheid or Quadrivium. 
This view is neither confirmed by documentary evidence nor 
in itself probable. 4 

The upper portion of the city, in the neighbourhood of the 
cathedral, was the place of residence of the ecclesiastics, 
nobility and gentry, while the lower portion, nearer the river, 
was from time immemorial the centre of its business and 
commerce. Here, where the markets were held, we should 
expect the Market Cross. Beyond reasonable doubt the 
original cross stood where the Trongate, Gallowgate, High 
Street and Saltmarket meet, on the spot which is still 
known and has been known for generations as Glasgow 
Cross. Here Sir William Brereton saw it in i635. 5 

1 Charts, and Docts. Glas. ii. p. 501. 
*Glas. Prof. No. 1139. 

3 Regality Club Series, iii. pp. 36 and 38. 

4 Brown, Hist, of Glasgow, ii. p. 66. 

6 Brereton's Travels, 1634-5, pp. 114-5. A square stone now marks the 
supposed site. 


The original cross was probably erected in the twelfth 
century, for, although we have no definite record, there is a 
law of King William the Lion, which directs that "All 
merchandize sal be presentit at the mercat and mercat croce 
of burghis." x As King William authorized the bishop to 
have a burgh at Glasgow, with market privileges, sometime 
between 1175 and 1178, it is probable that a Market Cross of 
the simplest type would then be erected. 2 

Thus the Market Cross appeared upon the scene as St. 
Kentigern's Cross disappeared. Here, then, for the next 
five centuries stood the ancient Market Cross of Glasgow, the 
centre of its civic life, its markets, its public proclamations 
and rejoicings, the chief resort and the favourite lounging 
place of its inhabitants. 

As we stand at Glasgow Cross and look back across the 
centuries, a picturesque pageant rises before us. Sir William 
Wallace and his gallant band pass on their way up the High 
Street to rout the English at the Battle of the Bell o' the Brae. 

A few years later, in isoi, 3 the veterans of Edward I. 
march past. In 1306 4 Robert the Bruce, attended by the 
good Lord James Douglas and a cavalcade of knights, 
arrives soiled and travel-stained from Dumfries, and rides 
past to visit his friend Bishop Wishart at Glasgow Castle, 
where he receives the robes and the banner of Scotland for 
his coronation ceremony at Scone. 

A century and a half later, in 145 5, 5 crowds of soldiers 
surround the cross, for " James of the Fiery Face " has 
assembled his army of Westland men and Highlanders to 
crush the overgrown power of the Hamiltons and Douglases. 

1 Ancient Laws and Customs of Burg. Scot. i. p. 61. 

2 Charts, and Docts. pt. i. pref. p. dxxiv. 

3 Bain, The Edwards in Scotland, p. 35. 

4 Barbour's Bruce, \. 805 ; Palgrave, intro. Docts. and Recs. i. p. 180. 
* Auchinleck Chron. 1455, p. 53. 


In 1544, when civil war is raging between Regent Arran 
and the Earls of Lennox and Glencairn, the victorious 
troops of Arran, after the Battle of the Butts, pass by to 
despoil the city and eighteen gentlemen, whom " Lennox 
luvet weil," are " hangit at the Croce." l 

On I3th May, 1568, the forces of Moray, the good regent, 
returning victorious from the Battle of Langside, are greeted 
with shouts of acclamation by the crowd round the cross as 
they march up the High Street to the cathedral " to give 
solemn thanks to Almighty God " for their victory. 2 

In 1639, great excitement prevails over the threatened 
invasion of Scotland by Charles I. to avenge the deposition 
of his bishops. Many a parting scene is enacted at the cross, 
when the Glasgow contingent under Captain Porterfield sets 
out to join the Blue Banner of the Covenanters, who are 
encamped at Duns Law. 3 

In 1645, when plague was raging in Glasgow, the cross 
must have witnessed the great Marquis of Montrose and his 
Highlanders entering the city after their victory at Kilsyth. 
In 1650 came another unwelcome visitor in the person of 
Oliver Cromwell, fresh from his triumph at Dunbar, at whose 
advent " most of the ministers and magistrates fled panic- 
stricken from the city " 4 excepting Zachary Boyd, " faithful 
among the faithless." 

The earliest direct reference to Glasgow Cross occurs 
in a charter of the year 1418 conveying property described 
as "in the street whicti extends from the cathedral to 
the market cross." Another charter of 1433 describes a 
certain property as " lyand in the gat (street) at strikes frae 
the market cors till the Hie Kyrk of Glasgow." 5 

1 Leslie, Hist, of Scot. S.T.S. ii. pp. 272-3. 

2 M'Ure, Hist. edit. 1830, p. 218. . z Memorabilia, p. 75. 

4 Rt. Baillie's Letters, iii. pp. 119-20. 

6 Lib. Coll. N. Dom. p. 239 and pp. 166-7. 


These and many other references show that early in the 
fifteenth century the Market Cross was a well-known land- 
mark in Glasgow, and confirm the supposition that it had 
existed for generations previously. Do we know anything of 
its style of architecture ? An entry in the Town Records of 
the year 1659 throws light on the question. The council 
gave orders for the taking down of the guard-houe that was 
built " about and upon the cross," and for the removal of 
the cross itself, as it had become defaced ; further, that 
" that part of the street where the cross did stand of before, 
be calsayed in ane most comely and decent maner." l In 
keeping with this is an earlier entry of the year 1582 notify- 
ing that a tradesman was paid " 305. for ane dure (door) to 
the cross." Thus in the sixteenth century, at any rate, the 
cross had a substructure, here called a guard-house, with a 
door on the street level, which led by an inside stair to the 
platform, from the middle of which rose the shaft of the 
cross. If this description be correct, Glasgow Market Cross 
would resemble those of the other chief towns of Scotland, 
viz. Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth and St. Andrews. 2 

In pre-reformation times there was usually in the 
centre of Scottish towns, besides the Market Cross, the Tron 
and the Tolbooth. The Tolbooth was a useful building that 
served not only as a prison, but as a meeting place for the 
Town Council and the Courts of Justice. The Tron was the 
public weigh-house, with a great beam and weights and 
measures, to which home and foreign merchandise was 
brought to be weighed or measured. 3 

As the cross was erected in the centre of the town, its 
vicinity became a desirable site for markets. Hence wooden 
booths, crames or stalls were set up about it. " Merchants 

1 Memorabilia, pp. 148-9, 

2 Small's Market Crosses of Scotland, introduction. 

3 P. H. Brown's Scotland in time of Queen Mary, pp. 104-5. 


at times did not scruple even to hang upon it woollen cloths 
and similar wares as on a convenient framework." 

In the earlier centuries the market day in Glasgow was 
Thursday. In 1397 we read that it was Sunday. After- 
wards it was changed to Monday, and in 1644 to 
Wednesday " for all time coming." 1 

Being the civic centre of the town, the cross was the scene 
of public proclamations and rejoicings. On Trinity Sunday, 
1451, there was proclaimed at the cross the papal bull giving 
Glasgow the privilege of a university. 2 As Pope Nicholas 
V. granted on this occasion a great indulgence to last four 
months, there would be unusual rejoicing and festivity, with 
the ringing of church bells and the kindling of bonfires. 3 

At the cross in 1521, Regent Albany, when he arrived in 
Glasgow with his 3000 French soldiers and 100 cuirassiers on 
horseback, caused proclamation to be made that the nobility 
should attend him at Edinburgh to maintain the ancient 
alliance with France. 4 

On 4th May, 1559, the cross was the scene of a memorable 
proclamation, for Mary of Guise caused John Knox, who had 
just returned from the Continent " to be blown loud to the 
horn." 5 

After the Reformation the revulsion of public feeling 
would affect the sacrosanct character that adhered even to a 
Market Cross. An Act of Assembly of 1581 forbade pilgrim- 
ages to chapels, wells, crosses and " other monuments of 
idolatry," and in Glasgow young men played pranks on the 
old city cross. In 1590 David Duncan was charged before 
the bailies and council with climbing upon the cross and 
breaking it, while a companion of his, William Blair, a piper, 

1 Charts, and Docts. Glas. pt. ii. pp. 24, 401, 416. 
^Auchinleck Chron. p. 45. 

3 C. Innes, Sketches, etc. pp. 67, 68. 

4 Buchanan's Hist. Scot. bk. xiv. 
6 Wodrow, Miscellany, i. p. 57. 



was charged with climbing to the head of the cross and play- 
ing thereon upon a pipe. 1 

In August 1600 the cross was again the scene of great 
public rejoicing when James VI. visited Glasgow after his 
escape from the Gowrie conspiracy. 2 By order of the Privy 
Council and the magistrates, great preparations were made 
to give the king a fitting welcome. All middens, timber and 
stones were to be removed from the streets, so that the town 
should look its best. 

When the king and his retinue reached Glasgow on 3ist 
August, he stopped in front of the cross to receive the con- 
gratulations of the magistrates, Town Council and deacons. 

Amongst the crowd round the cross that day would be 
the freemen or burgesses, either clad in armour with jacks, 
helmets, hagbuts and spears, or else arrayed in their civic 
best, for the citizens were strictly forbidden to appear in 
their ordinary blue bonnets, which were out of keeping with 
the dignity of a royal visit. 

On the platform of the cross stood John Buchan, the 
Master of the Sang School, and his sangsters. 3 The latter, 
perhaps, in white surplices, to flatter the king's susceptibili- 
ties, with their clear, penetrating voices, sang a psalm of 
thanksgiving for the king's deliverance. 

Then the Rev. Patrick Galloway, who accompanied the 
king, preached in one of the churches a sermon from the 
3oth Psalm, denouncing the Gowrie conspirators. At night, 
bonfires blazed at the cross and in other open spaces of the 
town. 4 

1 Memorabilia, p. 46. 

2 Charts, and Docts. Glas. pt. i. clxxxviii. 

3 John Buchan, reader and precentor in the New Kirk, was somewhat 
given to innovations. The provost, too, had Episcopal leanings. Cf. 
Regs. Pres. Glas. Maitland Club Miscell. i. pt. i. p. 79. 

4 Charts, and Docts. pt. i. clxxxvii. ; Calderwood, Hist. Kirk of Scot. 
vol. vi. p. 82. 


When James VI. of Scotland became James I. of England, 
so great were the numbers of Scots who went to England to 
push their fortune, that the king found it necessary to have 
proclamation made at all the market crosses of Scotland 
forbidding any man to leave the country without a special 
licence from the Privy Council. 1 

In 1605 Glasgow Cross was again the centre of much 
excitement. Seeing that Glasgow had originated as a 
Bishop's Burgh, the bishops had exercised the right of appoint- 
ing the magistrates, though latterly these had to be chosen 
from a leet of names presented by the Town Council. 2 But 
in 1605 the council stood up for municipal freedom, and 
demanded full liberty to elect its own magistrates without 
consulting the bishop. The change roused vested interests. 
The opposition was headed by Sir Matthew Stewart of 
Minto, who held the office of deputy bailie of the regality, 
and whose family for generations had practically held a 
monopoly of municipal affairs, and things assumed a threaten- 
ing aspect. Minto and his faction, to the number of three or 
four score, " came to the Market Cross, armed with targets, 
swords and other weapons, climbed in over the cross (i.e. 
clambered on to the platform), and proclaimed their exemp- 
tion " from the claims of the council. The magistrates and 
council were sitting at the time in the Tolbooth, and, had they 
intervened, there might have been serious bloodshed ; but 
assuming a conciliatory attitude, they " bided their time," 
and, as the sequel shows, had a temporary triumph. 8 

Although Charles I. began to reign in 1625, little worthy 
of note took place till 1638. The Church had approached 
Charles for liberty to call an Assembly, only to be put off 
again and again. At last the king yielded, and appointed 

1 Reg. Privy Coun. vi. p. 602. 

2 Charts, and Docts. pt. i. pp. ccxxviii-ix. 

3 Ibid. pp. ccxxvii-ix, and pt. ii. pp. 269-70. 


the Assembly to sit at Glasgow and nowhere else, " seeing 
that Glasgow in the past had shown itself the most loyal 
disposed city in the kingdom to the Crown/' The pro- 
clamation of the meeting of Assembly was made at 
the cross with many expressions of joy on the part of the 
magistrates, ministers and university authorities. 1 Yet, 
within eight days after the Assembly met, the Lord High 
Commissioner, the Marquis of Hamilton, caused another 
and very different proclamation to be made at the same 
Market Cross, prohibiting all further meetings of the Assembly 
and requiring the members to depart furth of the city within 
twenty-four hours. The Assembly, nevertheless, continued 
its business until the edifice of Episcopacy, set up by James 
VI. and Charles I., was swept away. 

Eleven years later, in 1649, Charles I. was executed, and 
England was under the dictatorship of Cromwell. Scotland 
stood by the ancient monarchy, and proclaimed Charles II. 
King of Great Britain, France and Ireland. When the news 
of the execution of Charles I. reached Glasgow, a meeting of 
the Town Council was summoned, which ordained that 
Charles II. as king be proclaimed " this day at eleven hours " 
with the greatest solemnity, and that the " whole council 
goe to the Crose be twaes in ane comelie maner and to stand 
thairon uncoverit." Then a certain Bailie Anderson read 
the proclamation to the messenger, who cried it out. The 
people present stood uncovered during the reading, and 
when it was finished the bells of the town rang out a merry 
peal. 2 Little did people imagine that these bells rang in 
not peace and goodwill, but strife and persecution, one of the 
darkest periods in Scotland's chequered history. 

The neighbourhood of the cross witnessed the stern 
methods of public punishment used by our fathers, and too 

1 M'Ure, Hist. 1830, pp. 84-5. 

2 Charts, and Docts. pt. i. pref. p. dxviii. 


plentifully employed by magistrates and ministers after the 
Reformation. A pair of jougs or iron collars was affixed by 
a chain, not to the cross, but to the wall of the Tolbooth. 
With these round his neck the culprit had to stand so many 
hours at a time, raised three or four steps above the pave- 
ment, and exposed to the gaze of passers-by. The jougs 
were reserved for blasphemers, cursers and vicious livers, 
whether men or women. Generally the culprit had a paper 
set on his forehead stating the crime for which he suffered. 

An entry of the year 1612 describes the punishment 
assigned to a citizen who had defied the magistrates and 
threatened to fire the Tolbooth. He was to be confined " in 
ane unfreeman's ward, and on the morrow, being market 
day, to walk bareheedit to the Croce, and, after being put 
in the jougs for the space of four hours, he is thereafter on 
his knees humbly to ask God's mercy and the bailie's pardon 
for his high and proud contempt." x Near the jougs were 
the branks, an iron instrument inserted into the mouth of 
scolding, swearing, drunken women to keep their evil tongues 
silent. Another entry 2 decrees that " notorious fechtaris 
and nicht walkers, gif they be women, are to be put in the 
branks upon a Monday and a Friday from ten to twelve 
o'clock, and thereafter to ask God's mercy and the person's 
offended by them." 

In 1679, soon after their victory at Drumclog, the Cove- 
nanters marched to Glasgow to attack Claverhouse, but the 
latter successfully defended himself and his troops by erect- 
ing barricades across the streets leading to the cross. 3 

In 1688 a huge bonfire of tar barrels and coal was kindled 
at the cross to celebrate the accession of William of Orange, 
and the restoration of civil and religious liberty. 4 

1 Memorabilia^ pp. 53-4. * Ibid. pp. 50-1. 

3 M'Ure, Hist. edit. 1830, p. 330. 

*Extr. Glas. Burgh. Recs. (1663-90), p. 514. 


At the cross, in 1706-7, if we may believe Defoe, for 
the records are silent, the citizens of Glasgow, led by the 
minister of the Tron Kirk, burnt the Articles of Union, and 
resolved to march to Edinburgh, with the object of dissolv- 
ing a Parliament, which, in their opinion, was about to sell 
their country. 1 

The last reference in the City Records is in 1659 when, as 
already mentioned, the council ordered the cross to be 
removed, and the part of the street where it stood to be 
calsayed. But in a volume of extracts from the Glasgow 
Courant newspaper of the year 1745-7 there is the follow- 
ing paragraph : 2 

" Yesterday, in taking down the tall stone in the middle 
of the cross the pulleys unluckily gave way, by which accident 
it fell among the ruins and was broken to pieces. It was a 
very fine stone, and valued both on account of its antiquity 
and for its being one entire piece of about 20 feet high and 
18 inches in diameter. It was an octagon figure and finely 
spangled with gilded thistles." Either the council's order 
of 1659 h a( ^ ney er been carried out, or, as is less probable, 
the cross had afterwards been re-erected. Defoe saw the 
cross standing before I726. 3 

Brown, in his History of Glasgow, published in 1797, 
remarks : " The ancient stone of the Cross of Glasgow we 
left behind us in St. Andrew's Square, in rest beside the 
Church. The stone is upwards of 12 feet in length." But, 
when excavations were made in 1869 at the spot where, 
according to tradition, the cross was buried, it could not be 
found. 4 Another writer vouches that in 1829 he saw a 
stone, said to be the old cross of Glasgow, lying broken up 

1 Extr. Glas. Burgh. Recs. (1691-1717), pp. 399-402; Defoe quoted in 
M'Ure, p. 318. 

2 I am indebted to Mr. W. Young, R.S.W., for this information. 
3 D. Defoe, Tour through Great Britain, iv. p. 141. 

4 Vol. ii. p. 8 1. Cf. article, Glasgow Herald, Dec. 11, 1869. 


at the back of St. John's Parish Church, and that one of the 
pieces was doing duty as stepping-stone to an ash-pit. 1 

But whatever became of the broken fragments that once 
formed the ancient cross of the city and the heart of Old 
Glasgow, the name and place remain to call up venerable 
memories ; and as a link between the past and the present, 
a handsome new cross, resembling the old, is to be erected 
near the original site. 2 

1 Glasghu Fades, p. 306. 

2 The new cross is to be the gift of William George Black, Esq., LL.D., 
and Mrs. Black, both of whom belong- to families long and honourably 
connected with the public life of the city. 


THE history recorded in the preceding chapters makes 
evident the progressive spirit of Glasgow. 

In regard to independence from the jurisdiction of the 
Church in England, Glasgow in the twelfth century was the 
first of the Scottish Sees to resist the claims for supremacy 
of the Archbishop of York. 1 In the fifteenth century it was 
Bishop Cameron of Glasgow who encouraged James I. to 
apply his drastic remedies in the State ecclesiastical. 

In the sixteenth century the Westland Lords, whose head- 
quarters were at Glasgow, took the lead in the formation of 
" the Congregation/' the outcome of which was the Reforma- 
tion and the establishment of Protestantism in Scotland. 

In the kindred cause of civil liberty Bondington in the 
thirteenth, Wishart in the fourteenth, and Beaton in the 
1 Dr. Jos. Robertson's Stat. Eccl Scot. i. pp. xxiv-xxxv. 


sixteenth centuries jealously guarded and heroically main- 
tained the rights and liberties of Scotland ; while the 
Glasgow Assembly of 1638 carried on the tradition of zeal 
for independence and acted as a bridge for the political 
connection of the new spirit with the old. 

" The dear Church " has been the mainspring of Glasgow's 
progress in the past, the inspiring force behind her forward 
movements, so that the post-Reformation motto inscribed 
upon the armorial insignia of the city is in harmony with 
the teaching of her history " Let Glasgow flourish by the 
preaching of the Word." 


ABB'S Head, St., 215. 
Abercorn, Castle of, 104. 
Aberdeen, Bishop of, 37, 40, 49, 116, 
125, 129. 

Breviary of, 119, 126. 

Cathedral (St. Machars), 125, 177. 

Dean of, 101-4, II 3 J 7 6 - 

University (see also King's Col- 
lege), 125, 177. 
Abingdon, 117. 
Abruzzo, Bishop of, 209. 
Achaius, Bishop John, 240. 
Adamson, John, 97. 
Adriatic, 147. 

Adrian VI., Pope, 171, 172. 
Air, Richard, 75. 
Aire, see Ayr. 
Aix-la-Chapelle, 133. 
Alane of Leithame, 155. 
Albany, John, Duke of, 162-73, 

178-9, 247, 250, 257. 
Albergati, Cardinal Niccolo, 82-6. 
Alcala, University of, 141. 
Ale, River, at Ancrum, 32, 33. 
Alexander II., 20, 24, 26, 29, 30, 33, 


Alexander III., 28, 29, 34, 37, 43. 

Alexander, son of James IV., Arch- 
bishop of St. Andrews, 155, 162. 

Alnecrum, see Ancrum. 

America, 139, 141. 

Ancona, Cardinal of, 171. 

Ancrum, 25, 31-3, 143, 241, 245. 

Anderson, Bailie, 260. 

Anderson, Dr. Maitland, 204. 

Andrew, of Durrisdere [Muirhead], 
Bishop of Glasgow, 87, 88, 91, 
99-115, 124, 130, 181. 
His descent, 99, 100, 100 n. 
Arms of, 100, 108, no. 
Subdean of Glasgow, 100, 102, 

His education, 101. 

Vicar of Kilpatrick, 101. 

Dean of Aberdeen, 101-4. 

Other offices, 101, 102. 

Procurator at Rome, 102. 

Bearer of Bull of 1451 and Papal 
Nuncio, 103. 

Connection with university, 103. 

Safe-conducts granted to, 103-4. 

Bishop of Glasgow, 102, 104. 

Improves cathedral music, 106-9. 

His work on cathedral, 108. 

Founds St. Nicholas Hospital, 

His work as statesman, 113-4. 

His death, 115. 
Andrew, Bishop of Moray, 20. 
Andrew's Church, St. (Glasgow), 


Andrew's Square, St. (Glasgow), 262. 
Angelico, Fra, 89. 
Angus, Earl of, 162-5, I ^8, 171, 183, 

185, 192, 196. 
Annan, Rector of, 187. 
Annandale, 49. 
Anthony, Bishop of Urbino (Legate 

to Scotland), 69, 70. 
Antiphonal singing, 109, 121. 
Aquileia, Patriarch of, 193, 247. 
Arbroath (Abirbrothock), Abbey of, 
36, 198, 205, 207. 

Abbot of, 69, 205. 
Areschry, or Irish, 104-5. 
Argyle [Lismore], Archdeacon of. 

David, Bishop of, 153. 

Bishopric of, 135. 
Argyle, Earl of, 194, 205, 214, 216, 

221, 222, 224, 250. 
Aristotle, 96. 
Aries, 235. 
Armstrongs, 183. 



Arnold, Cardinal of S. Prisca, 57. 
Arran, 2nd Earl of [Regent], [Duke 
of Chatelherault], 165, 179, 

192-7, 206-7, 210, 214-5, 222, 

224-6, 248, 250, 255. 

Arran, 3rd Earl of, 222, 224. 

Arras, 68, 85. 

Arthurle, 93. 

Arws, John, Archdeacon of Glasgow, 


Assembly, Act of, 257. 
Assembly, Glasgow, 259, 260. 
Asri, 245. 

Auchinleck Chronicle, 79. 
Auchinleck, uncle of Sir Wm. 

Wallace, 48. 
Avignon, 55. 

Ayr, 48, 49, 186, 199, 203. 
Ayrshire, 122. 

BAGIMONT (Boiamund, Benemund), 

37, 245-6. 

Bajauns (freshmen), 101 . 
Balfour, Beatons of, 150, 204. 
Ballatis, The Guid and Godly, 190. 
Ballindarg, Lands of, 36. 
Balliol, John de, 44-6. 
Balmuto (Kinghorn), 150. 
Bannockburn, 57. 
Banquets, 105, 143, 247, 249. 
Barba, Bishop of Abruzzo, 209. 
Barbour (poet), 53. 
Barlanark, Prebend of, 130. 
Barony, Burgh of, 3, 211. 
Bartholomew, St., Massacre of, 231. 
Basel, 85. 

Council of, 69, 70-1, 85-7. 
Bass Rock, 135. 
Bastie, De la, 178. 
Beaton, House of, 150, 204. 
Beaton, Sir David, 151. 
Beaton, Cardinal David, 97, 150, 
188-9, 191-5, 197-200, 204, 

Beaton, Archbishop James, I., 77, 
I 5-75 179-81, 184, 187-8, 204, 
242-3, 248-9. 

His family and education, 150. 

Early preferments, 150-1. 

Lord High Treasurer, 151, 154. 

Other offices, 151-2. 

Archbishop of Glasgow, 153. 

Contest for precedence, 154. 

Enlarges Bishop's Palace, 159. 

Member of Regency Council and 
Chancellor, 162. 

Appointed Archbishop of St. 

Andrews, 171. 
Connection with Gavin Douglas, 

165, 173- 

His character, 174. 
Beaton, Archbishop James, II., 150, 


Youth and education of, 204-5. 
Postulate of Arbroath, 205. 
Outlawed, 207. 
Negotiations for Archbishopric of 

Glasgow, 207-8. 

Appointed Archbishop of Glas- 
gow, 208-9. 

Reception of, at Glasgow, 209. 
Beaton and Council, 211-2. 
Commissioner to France, 214-6. 
Struggle with Reformers, 217-29. 
Leaves Scotland, 229. 
Retires to Paris with charters and 

valuables of See, 229-30. 
Endows Scots College, 231. 
Death of, 231. 
Beaton, John, 150. 
Beauvais, Bishop of, 137. 
Bede, The Venerable, works of, 75. 
Bell of the Brae, Battle of, 41, 48, 


Bell the Cat, 165. 

Bellesheim (historian), 185, 225. 

Benedict XIII., Pope, 60. 

Benedictines, i. 

Benefices, Disposition of, 151. 

Bernham, David de, Bishop of St. 
Andrews, 22, 34. 

Berwick-on-Tweed, 16, 30 n, 34, 
45-6, 226-7. 

Bishopbriggs, 159 n. 

Bishop's Forest, 244. 

Bishop's Loch, 78, 244, 245 n. 

Bishops' Mills, 245. 

Bishop's Palace, see Castle of Glas- 

Black, Dr. W. George, 7, 263 n. 

Blackadder (Blacadir, etc.), John, 


Blackadder, Sir Patrick, 127, 145. 
Blackadder, Archbishop Robert, 

127-49, 152, 180-1, 247, 252. 
Family and education of, 127. 
Early preferments of, 128-9. 
Appointed Bishop of Glasgow, 


Disputes of, 129-30, 136-7. 
Friendship with James IV., 131-3, 




Blackadder, Archbishop Robert 
Made Archbishop, 133-5. 
Ambassador to foreign courts, 

134-5. 139-41. 143. 

Blackadder and Lollards, 137-9. 

Builds Fergus Aisle (Blackadder's 
Crypt), 144-5. 

Builds Rood-screen, 145-6. 

Sets out for Jerusalem, 146. 

Arrives at Venice, 146-7. 

Dies at sea, 149. 
Blackadder, Rolland, 181, 182. 
Blackadder's Hospital, 181-2. 
Blackfriars, see Dominicans. 

Convent of, at Glasgow, 28, 28 n, 

50. 52, 94. 196, 217. 
Blackfriars Church, Edinburgh, 169, 

211, 213. 
Blair, Wm., 257. 
Blythswood, 244. 

Boece, Hector, 25, 116-8, 123, 129. 
Bologna, City of, 69, 81-2, 85. 

University of, 17, 18, 36, 63 n, 


Bondington, Bishop William de, 
16-33, 34, 241, 252. 

Birthplace and education of, 16-7. 

Early preferments of, 19, 20. 

His activities, 21-3. 

Builds choir of cathedral, 24-6. 

Adopts Use of Sarum, 26-7. 

Bondington and Henry III., 30. 

Residence and death of, at An- 

crum, 31-3. 

Bonfires, 92, 258, 261-2. 
Bonhill, Lands of, 25. 
Boniface VIII., Pope, 49, 50. 
Borthwick, Lord, 194. 
Boroughmuir of Edinburgh, 235. 

Of Glasgow, 237. 
Boswell, Sir David, 150. 

Marjory, 150. 
Bothwell, Castle of, 57. 

Church of, 150, 165. 

Earl. 135. 

Earl of, 194. 
Boulogne, 215. 
Boyd, Rev. Zachary, 255. 
Boyd, Lord, 196, 221. 
Branks, 261. 
Brechin, Bishop of, 72. 
Brereton, Sir Wm., 253. 
Brether Crosses, 252. 
Brigham, 44. 

Brockie MSS. (Blair's College), 88. 
Broughty Craig, Fort, Castle, 205-8. 

Brown, Prof. P. Hume, 25. 

Bruce of Annandale, 244. 

Bruce, King Robert, see Robert the 


" Bucentoro," 147. 
Buchan, John, 258, 258 n. 
Buchanan, George, 61, 78-9, 126, 

177, 185, 190, 196, 203, 249. 
Bulls, Papal, 88, 92, 130, 135. 
Bunch, Duncan, 93. 
Burgh-on-Sands, 55. 
Butts, Battle of the, 195-6, 250, 255. 

CADDER, 100, 181, 201, 237. 
Cadzow, David, 93, 106. 
Cadzow, Rector of, zoo. 
Caithness, Bishop of, 40, 49. 

Chantry of, 150. 
Calder, Water of, 186. 
Calderwood [historian], quoted, 187, 


Calixtus III., Pope, 101. 
Cambrai, League of, 147. 
Cambuskenneth, 51. 
Cambuslang, 64, 72. 
Cameron, Principal John, 60. 
Cameron, John, Bishop of Glasgow, 
39, 60-80, 1 1 8, 242, 245, 249. 

Family and education, 60-3. 

Early preferments, 62-4. 

Keeper of Great and Privy Seals, 

Bishop of Glasgow, 64-5. 

Chancellor of Scotland, 64-5, 70. 

Rupture with Pope, 65-70. 

Quarrel with Croyser, 66-70. 

Appointed to Council of Basel, 72. 

Reorganizes cathedral worship, 
etc., 72-4. 

Inventory of cathedral property, 


His Kirkwerk, 76. 

Reorganizes Consistorial Court, 

Enlarges Bishop's Palace, 77. 

Grants mill, etc., to Glasgow, 

Death, 78-9. 

Character and work, 79-80. 
Campbell of Cessnock, 138. 
Campbell of Newmilns, 138. 
Campbell, Prior, 185. 
Campsie, 76. 
Cardno, John, 177^. 
Cardowan [Carcleuin], 8, 245 n. 
Cardross, Prebend of, 128. 



Cards, Game of, 133. 

Carlisle, Castle of, 57. 

Carmichael, George, Treasurer of 
Cathedral, 129-30. 

Carnac [Brittany], 14. 

Carrick, Earl of, see Robert the 

Carstairs [Castel Tarris], 32, 37, 
202, 241, 245. 

Carthusians, 219, 230. 

Cassilis, Earl, 201, 216. 

Castle of Glasgow [Bishop's Palace], 
48, 58, 77, 79, 104, "8, 132, 
137, 193, 194, 196, 201-3, 206, 
212, 218, 223-7, 225 n, 240-51, 


Site of, 240. 
Early erections and probable 

origin, 241. 

Building of Bishop's Palace, 241-3. 
Revenues and- possessions of, 


Visitors to, 245-8. 

Interior of, 248-9. 

Sieges, 250. 

Demolition, 251. 
Castle Street, 237, 243, 253. 
Castle Tarris, see Carstairs. 
Cathcart, Lord, 161. 

Alan, Robert, and John, sons of, 

Cathedral, passim. 

Archdeaconry of, 35 n, 67 n. 

Builders of, see under Jocelyn, 
Bondington, Wishart, Cameron, 

Campanile and Treasury of, 38-9. 

Canons of, 72-3, 106, 136. 

Chancel of, 202. 

Chapter House of, 25, 76, 94, 142, 
143, 152, 209. 

Consistorial Court, 76, 137. 

Consistory House, 156. 

Dean and Subdean of, 135, 142, 
181, 182, 184, 201, 207. 

Interior of, 118-9, 201. 

Inventory of property, 73-5. 

Library of, 74-5, 118-9. 

Music of, 106-7. 

Official of, 142. 

Prebends of, 72,94. 

Records of, 229-30. 

Vicars Choral, 106-9, 128. 

Vicars Choral, Houses of, 107-8. 
Cathedral Square, 243. 
Cathedral Street, 242. 

Cathures, see also Glasgow, 8 n, 240. 
Celtic Church, 2. 
Celtic Fort, 240. 
Celtic Language, 5-6. 
Censures, Ecclesiastical, 70, 129-30. 
Chalmers, Dr. Thomas, 120. 
Chamberlain of Fife, 151. 
Chancellor of Scotland, 20, 70, 130, 


Chant Gregorian, 108-9. 
Chapel Royal, see Stirling. 
Chapter House, see Cathedral. 
Charlemagne, 133. 
Charles I., 255, 259-60. 
Charles II., 260. 
Chatelherault, Duke of, see also 

Arran, 2nd Earl of, 210, 214, 

Chen, Henry le, Bishop of Aberdeen, 


Chirmerland, 236. 
Chisholm, Bishop of Dunblane, 


Christian I. of Denmark, 114. 
Christiern III. of Denmark, 187. 
Cistercians, i, 3. 
Classics, Revival of, 83, 123. 
Claverhouse, 261. 
" Cleanse- the-Causeway," 168. 
Cleish [Cles], n. 
Clement V., Pope, 46, 54-6. 
Clement VII., Pope, 179-80. 
Clerical abuses, 213, 217-8. 
Clugny, Monks of, 4, 28. 
Clyde, River, 32, 41, 48, 192, 244. 
Clydesdale, 191, 195. 
Coal, Early use of, 247. 
Coldingham Priory, 16, 127, 131-2. 
College, see University. 
Collegiate Church of Virgin, see St. 

Mary and St. Anne, Church of. 
Cologne, University of, 91. 
Colquhoun, Adam, Prebendary of 

Govan, 153, 156-7. 
Colt, Captain, 245 n. 
Columba, St., 121, 142. 
Columbus, 139, 141. 
Columby, Rentallers of, 202. 
Comyn, The, 39-40, 44, 53, 246. 
Congregation, The, 214-5, 219-26. 
Consistorial Court, see Cathedral. 
Consistory House, see Cathedral. 
Constance, Council of, 60. 
Contarini, Bishop of Venice, 192. 
Copenhagen, 114. 
Councils, General, 21. 



Councils, Provincial, Perth, 26, 37. 

St. Andrews, 198. 

Edinburgh, 212, 217-8. 

Fort Augustus, 218. 
Covenant, First, 214. 
Covenanters, 255, 261. 
Cowgate Port [Dundee], 235-6. 
Craigie [Ayrshire], 220. 
Craigmillar Castle, 178. 
Crawford [Clydesdale], 191. 
Crawford, Henry, 201. 
Crawford, " Officers of State," 19, 

176-7, 177 . 
Crecht-mond [Crimond], 166, 177, 

177 n. 
Cressingham, Treasurer of Scotland, 


Crichton, Bishop, 189. 
Cromlech, 13 n, 14. 
Cromwell, Oliver, 255, 260. 
Cross of Glasgow, 4, 58, 91-2, 104-5, 

196, 218, 252, 263. 
Crosses, Early Ecclesiastical, 252-3. 

Original Market Cross, 253-4. 

Scenes at, 254-5. 

Site of, 255. 

Architecture of, 256. 

Centre of civic life, 256-7. 

Reception of James VI. at, 258. 

Proclamations at, 257, 260. 

Punishments at, 260-1. 

Last mention of, 262-3. 
Crossraguel [Ragmol], 3, 28, 201, 


Crotona, Cardinal of, 178. 
Croyser, William, Papal Nuncio, 


Cuirassiers. 170, 259. 
Culross, 145. 

Cumbria, Earl of, David I., 240. 
Cunningham, David, Archdeacon of 

Argyle, 142. 

Cupar- Angus, Andrew, Abbot of, 49. 
Cupar-Fife, 54, 226. 
Curse, 183. 

DACRE, Lord, 167. 

Damsel of Scotland, see Maid of Nor- 

Dante, 18, 21. 

Darnley, Lord, 231, 248. 

Datary, Papal, 178, i78. 

Dauphin of France, 214-6, 225. 

David I. of Scotland, 7 n, 19, 229, 

240-1, 244. 
Inquisition of, 7 n, 19. 

Dean of Glasgow, 135, 142, 161, 
184, 201, 207. 

Deanside Well (Meduwell or Mea- 
dow Well), 52, 52 n. 

Defoe, Daniel, 262. 

Deisiol, 13. 

Denifte, 17, 36, 101 n. 

Denmark, 114, 187. 

Deprivation, Act of, 223. 

Deschu, see Glasgow, Derivation of. 

Destruction of religious buildings, 
219-21, 224. 

Dewhill (Dovehill, Gulath), xx, xi , 
119-21, 142. 

Diseart, 120. 

Diurnal of Occurrents. 197, 210. 

Doge of Venice, 147. 

Dolmen, 14. 

Dominic, John, Cardinal of Ostia, 

Dominicans [Black Friars, Friars 
Preachers], 20, 27-8, 30, 34, 
91-2, 97, 161, 219, 246. 

Douglas, House of, 62, 64, 92, 104, 

163, 168, 178-9, 185, 254. 
Archibald, Earl of [see also Wig- 
town, Earl of], 64. 
Gavin, Bishop of Dunkeld, 164-9, 

171-4, 247. 
Sir George, of Pittendreich, 163, 


Lord James, 254. 
Stephen, 158. 

Dovehill, see Dewhill. 

Dowden, Bishop of Edinburgh, 73-4, 

Draw-wells, 166, 166 n. 

Druids and Druidism, 13-4, 28. 

Drumclog, Battle of, 261. 

Drygate, 48, 72, 94. "9, 245, 253. 

Dudlie, Sir John, 205, 207. 

Dumbarton, 159, 163, 192-3, I95 

Dumfries, 39, 53, 64, 187, 246, 254. 

Dunbar, Gavin, Bishop of Aberdeen, 
176, 176 n, 177, 177 n. 

Dunbar, Gavin, Archbishop of Glas- 
gow, 176-203, 204-5, 207, 243, 
247, 249. 

Family and education, 176-7. 
Early preferments, 177-9. 
Tutor of James V., 177-8, 178 n. 
Archbishop of Glasgow, 179-80. 
Commissioner to England, 183-4. 
Dunbar and Reformers, 184-7, 



Dunbar, Gavin, Archbishop of Glas- 

Chancellor of Scotland, 185, 203. 

Principalof College of Justice, 186. 

Council of Regency, 192-3. 

Rivalry with Cardinal Beaton, 
187-8, 194, 197-8. 

Death and burial, 201. 

Will of, 201-2 

Character of, 202-3. 
Dunbar, Sir John, 176. 
Dunbar, William [poet], 135, 137, 

140, 143, 247. 
Dunblane, Bishop of, 37, 40, 135. 


Duncan, David, 257. 
Duncan, Earl of Carrick, 28. 
Duncan, Sir John, 172. 
Dundee, 56, 190, 206, 219, 235-7, 


Dundrennan, Abbot of, 71-2. 
Dunfermline, 29, 150, 154. 

Abbot of, 152. 

Abbey of, 150, 153. 
Dunkeld, Bishop of, 72, 135, 142, 
164-9, 171-4, 227-8. 

Dean and Precentor of, 72. 
Dunn, John, 139. 
Duns Law, 255. 
Durham, Cathedral of, 23. 

Anthony, Bishop of, 54. 
Durie, Bishop of Galloway, 213. 
Durrisdere, Andrew of, see Andrew, 

Bishop of Glasgow. 
Durrisdere, Parish of, 100, 143. 

EAGLESHAM, 10, 72. 

Eastwood, Vicar of, 182. 

Eccles, 10. 

Ecclesmaline, see Legsmalee. 

Eddleston, 19, 26. 

Edinburgh, 15, 61, 125, 179. 180, 

193. 195, 200, 214, 218-21, 223, 

225, 229, 235, 256-7. 
Castle of, 132, 177-8, 227-8, 237, 


Castlehill of, 189. 
Edmondstone, Elizabeth, 127. 
Edrom, Church and Chantry of, 

127, 148. 

Education, Public, 139. 
Edward I. of England, 30, 37-8, 

43-55. 246, 254. 
Edward II. of England, 55, 57. 
Edward VI. of England, 208. 
Elizabeth, Queen, 221, 224-5. 

Elgin, 46. 

Elphinstone, John, 161. 
Elphinstone, Lawrence, 123. 
Elphinstone, Canon Win., 93. 
Elphinstone, William, Bishop of 
Aberdeen, 77, 97, 116-26, 131, 
148, 160. 

His parentage, 116. 

His youth and education, 116-8,. 

Enters Church, 122. 

Studies law, 122. 

Travels, 123. 

At Paris University, 123. 

Official of Glasgow, 124. 

Rector of University, 124. 

Official of Lothian, 125. 

His later career, 125-6, 135. 
Ely, Prior of, 57. 
Ely Cathedral, 24. 
Erasmus, 155. 

Eric, King of Norway, 43-4. 
Erskine of Dun, 214, 219. 
Esschinck, Robert, 101. 
Estates, Satire of the Three, 191. 
Estates of Scotland, 172, 193, 200, 

214, 216. 

Ettrick Forest, 39. 
Eugenius IV., Pope, 68-70, 83, 85-6. 
Excommunication, 69, 156. 
Exemption, 154, 164, 180. 
Eyre, Archbishop, quoted, 25, 42, 

108, 231. 

Eyre-Todd, George, Book of Glas- 
gow Cathedral, 42. 

FALKIRK, Battle of, 49. 

Falkland, Palace of, 151, 191. 

Farnese, Cardinal Alexander, 207. 

Ferdinand, King of Spain, 139, 140. 

Fergus, 12, 145. 

Fergus Aisle, 4, 144, 145, 252. 

Ferrara, 147. 

Fife, Chamberlain of, 151. 

Fifeness, 188. 

Fleming, Dr. Hay, 215. 

Fleming, Michael, 161. 

Flemyng, Lord, of Biggar, 155, 216. 

Flodden, Battle of, 77, 125, 155, 

158-62, 174, 243. 
Floker, Sir Patrick, 58. 
Florence, 68, 81, 82, 83, 85-6, 128. 
Florence, Merchants of, 21. 
Ford Castle, 160. 
Fordun, John, 24, 34, 37, 37 n. 
For man, Andrew, 164, 166-8, 171. 



Forth, Firth of, 225. 
Forveleth, daughter of Kerald, 25. 
Four Masters, Annals of, 5. 
France, 85, 134, 137, 146, 179, 192, 

200, 205, 247-8. 
Dauphin of, 214-5, 225. 
King of, 147, 192-3, 195, 205, 208, 

210, 215. 
Francis, husband of Mary, Queen 

of Scots, see Dauphin of France. 
Franciscans (Greyfriars), 20, 34, 92. 
Monastery of, near Roxburgh, 20. 
Frankfield Loch, 245 n. 
Frederick II., 18, 21. 
French Expedition to Scotland, 197, 


Friars Preachers, see Dominicans. 
Furness Abbey, i, 5, 6. 
Furnessienses Annales, Beck, 5. 

GAELIC, 6 w, 104. 

Galloway, Bishop of, see Whithorn, 

Bishop of. 

Galloway, Rev. Patrick, 258. 
Gallowgate, 120, 253. 
Gallowgate Port, 142. 
Gallowmuir, 50. 

Gamelin, Archbishop of St. An- 
drews, 31. 

Gana (Gagne), John de, 124. 
Garngad Hill, 244-5. 
Geddes, Alex., 93. 
Gemmell, Dr. W., in 
Geneva, 213. 
Genoa, 22. 
George Street, 52 n. 
Gibson, John, Prebendary of Ren- 
frew, 153, 157. 
Giglio, Battle near, 23. 
Girth, Girthburn, 112, 253. 
Girth Cross, 253. 

Glasgow (Cleschu, Deschu, Glaschu, 
etc.), Armies at, 50, 104. 

Bishop's Burgh, 254, 259. 

Burgh of Barony, 3, 211. 

Bridge, 41, 48, 159 , 227. 

Castle of, see Castle. 

Cathedral, see Cathedral. 

Council, see Town Council. 

Cross of, see Cross. 

Glasgow Courant, 262. 

Ecclesiastical officials, see Cathe- 

Fair, origin of, 3. 

Grammar School, 118. 

Martyrology of Glasgow, 99. 

Mure of Glasgow, 195. 
Place-name, derivation of, 7-12. 
University, see University. 
Glebe Street, 253. 
Glencairn, Earl of, 165, 192, 195, 

199, 206, 214, 220-1, 255. 
Goats or Gotes, 245 n. 
Gold in Scotland, 191. 
Gorbals, Hospital at, 181. 

Lands of, 116, 181. 
Gordon, Alex., Archbishop elect of 

Glasgow, 204, 208. 
Gothard, 233. 
Gourock (Gawrathe), 170. 
Go van Muir, 222. 
Gowrie Conspiracy, 258. 
Gregory IX., Pope, 20-3, 25. 
Gregorian Chant, 108, 109. 
Greyfriars, see also Franciscans, 217, 

Grimani, Marco, of Aquileia, 193, 

197, 247. 

Gulath, see Dewhill. 
Guise, Mary of, see Mary of Guise, 


HAMILTON, 76, 196, 223. 

Provost of Church of, 142. 

Andrew, of Cochnay, Provost, 212. 

House of, 104, 163, 168, 179, 195, 
250, 254. 

Sir James (Lord), 88, 94, 105. 

James, see Arran, Earl of. 

James, Sheriff, 187. 

Marquis of, 260. 

Palace of, 222. 

Patrick, 184-6. 
Handfasting, 143. 
Harry, Blind, 41, 48. 
Harvey, Mr. Cleland, 100 vi, 108. 
Hawdenstank, 71. 
Heglish, 10. 
Henderson, Francis, Esq., of Dunlop 

House, 251. 

Henry III. of England, 30. 
Henry VII. of England, 134, 143. 
Henry VIII. of England, 162, 167-8, 

170, 172, 179, 195, 205. ic^ 

Hepburn, Bishop of Moray, 213. 
Hepburn, John, 164. 
Herbert, Bishop of Glasgow, 2, 27. 
Herera, Garcia de, 140. 
Heresy, 137, 149. 
Hertford, Earl of, 57. 
High Street of Glasgow, 4, 48, 52, 
58, 92-4, 105, 159, 242, 253-5. 



Highlanders, 104, 125, 254. 
Hogganfield Loch, 245. 
Holmcultram, 50. 
Holy Cross, Chaplainry of, 253. 
Holyrood Abbey, 114, 144, 152. 

Palace of, 134, 187, 223, 227. 
Holytown, 100. 

Houston, James, Subdean of Glas- 
gow, 182, 202, 243. 
Humanism, 89. 
Hume, Lord, 132, 165. 
Hymnology, Mediaeval, 109. 

INCHAFFRAY, Abbey of, 188. 
Inchmahome, 210. 
Indenture of Peace, 143. 
Independence, War of, 47-59. 
Indulgences, 160. 

Bull of, 102. 

Ingleram, Bishop of Aberdeen, 102. 
Iniscourcy, Foundation of Monas- 
tery of, by Jocelyn, 5. 
Initiatis, Antonius de, 152. 
Innes, Cosmo, 41, 74, 99, 203, 229. 
Innocent IV., Pope, 28. 
Innocent VIII., Pope, 133, 136. 
lona or Hy, 9, 121. 
Irish Language, or Erse, 5, 6. 
Irishmen, 101, 105, 206. 
Irvine, 47-8. 
Isabella, Queen of Spain, 139-41. 

JAFFA, 147. 

James I. of Scotland, 60, 62, 64-71, 

James II. of Scotland, 88, 91, 97-8, 

101-2, 104, 113, 161, 246, 254. 
James III. of Scotland, 113-4, 128-9, 

James IV. of Scotland, 131-4, 136-41, 

143-4, 147-8, 150-2, 155, 162, 

165, 235-6, 246. 
James V. of Scotland, 162, 167, 171, 

J 74. 177-80, 183, 185, 187-8, 

191, 202, 243. 

James VI. of Scotland, I. of Eng- 
land, 230, 258-60. 
Jedburgh, 170, 245. 
Abbey of, 3, 146. 
Jenny's Burn, 58. 
Jerusalem, 37, 146-9. 
Jervise, Memorials of Angus and 

the Mearns, 36. 
Jocelyn, Bishop of Glasgow, i, 2, 

5-6, 20-1, 24, 33. 
Monk of Furness, i, 5-7, n, 252. 

His Biography of St. Kentigern, 

2, 3, 6n, n, 120-1, 145. 
John, Bishop of Glasgow, i . 
John's Parish Church, St., 120. 


Jougs, 261. 
Jubilee, Papal, Year of, 87, 91, 


Julius II., Pope, 151-3, 158. 
Julius III., Pope, 204. 
Justice, College of, see Session, 

Court of. 

" KATHARINE " Ship, 134. 
Katharine of Siena, St., Nunnery of, 

Keith, Bishop, quoted, 19, 19 n, 

99, 221, 223, 224. 
Kelso, Abbey of, 16, 17, 30. 

Book of, 17. 
Kelvin, 244-5. 
Kennedy the Martyr, 189. 
Kennedy, Abbot Quintin, 201, 218. 
Kennedy, Bishop of St. Andrews, 


Kentigern, St., or Mungo, 7-12, 43, 
75, 80, 117, 119-21, 142, 144-5, 
148, 182, 229, 240. 
Biographies of, 2, 3, 7, n. 
Cell of, Cave of, 12, 119. 
Cross of, 4, 252, 254. 
Little St. Kentigern, 142. 
St. Mungo's Well, 119. 
Relics of, 74. 
Tomb of, 4, 50, 145. 
Killearn, 72. 

Kilpatrick, Church of, 58, 101, 102. 
Kilpatult, 1 02. 
Kilsyth, 255. 
Kilwinning, Abbot and Prior of, 

153, 167. 
King's College, Aberdeen, 125, 177, 

177 n. 

Kinghorn, 43. 
Kirkandris, 101. 
Kirkcudbright, 244. 
Kirkhope, George, 158. 
Kirkinner (Galloway), 64, 150. 
Kirkintilloch, Castle of, 39. 
Kirkmahoe, 72. 
Kirkmichael, 122. 

Knox, John, 97, 137-9, 149, 152, 
183, 185, 189, 197-9, 202-4, 210, 
212-3, 218, 235, 257. 
Kyle, Canon, Enzie, 230 n. 
Kyle, Lollards of, 137-9, 149. 



LADYWELL Street, 48 n. 

Lanarkshire, 99, 244. 

Langside, Battle of, 255. 

Lasswade (Lesuarde), 128. 

Lauchope, Family of, 99. 

Lauchope House, 100. 

Lauder, Wm., Bishop of Glasgow, 

25, 39, ?6. 
Lauder Bridge, 131. 
Law pleas, 136. 

Lechbrunnach, Bonnie Lass of, 100. 
Legitimation, Cases of, 155, 213 w. 
Legsmalee (Ecclesmaline, Egils- 

malye, Egsmalye), 10, n. 
Leith, Andrew, 228. 
Leith, 114, 188, 195, 210, 215, 221-3, 

Lennox, Countess of, 161. 

Earl of, 155, 161, 165-6, 192-3, 

195-6, 206, 250, 255. 
Leo X., Pope, 167, 171, 178. 
Leonardo da Vinci, 141. 
Lepers, 112, 181. 
Leslie, Bishop Wm., historian, 

quoted, 134, 148, 177, 186-7, 

192, 195, 197, 214, 217, 220, 

222, 228. 

Lesmahago (Lesmahagu, Lismago, 
Lismachute), 10, u. 

Lethington, see Maitland. 

Liberton, Revenues of, 73. 

Library of Cathedral, 74-5. 

Library of Vatican, 89. 

Lincluden, Church of, 64, 101. 

Lindsay, David, Pioneer ship- 
builder, 159. 

Lindsay, Sir David, 183, 190-1, 


His Satire of the Three Estates, 191. 
Linlithgow, 169, 191, 222-3. 

Sheriff of, 187. 
Little St. Mungo's (St. Kentigern's) 

Chapel, 120, 142. 
Livingstone, Lord, 194. 
Livingstone, Thomas Abbot, 71-2. 
Lochwood, 78-9, 245 . 
Lock Hospital, 93, 253. 
Logic- Wishart, Lands of, 36. 
Lollards, 135, 137-8, 149. 
London, 21, 52, 143-4, 208. 
Lorn, Lord, 214. 
Lorraine, Mary of, see Mary of 

Lothian, 212, 217. 

Archdeacon of, 19, 36. 
Official of, 62-3, 125. 

Louis XL, 125. 

Lou vain, University of, 184. 

Louvre, Palace of, 215. 

Lucca, 81. 

Lugton, Mr. Thomas, 166 n, 239 n. 

Luss, 72. 

Luss, Maurice, Lord of, 38. 

Luther, Martin, 184, 190. 

Lydel, William, Bailiff, 50. 

MACGEORGE, Armorial Insignia of 

Glasgow, 7. 
M'Ure, History of Glasgow, 77-8, 

99, 238. 

Mace, see University. 
Machar's Cathedral, St., see Aber- 

Machutus, St., 10. 
Macleod Street, no, 112. 
Madeleine, Queen, of James V., 

Magistrates, see also Town Council, 

155, 212. 

Maid of Norway, 43-4. 
Maitland of Lethington, 224-5. 
Maltan [Mantle] Walls, 32. 
Margaret, Queen, of Canmore, 29, 

29 n, 47. 

Queen, of Alexander III.. 29. 
Daughter of Alexander III., 43. 
Wife of the Earl of Wigtown, 64. 
Of Denmark, 114. 
Tudor, Queen of James IV., 143-4, 

162, 164, 179-80. 
Market Day, 257. 
Markinch, Parish of, 150, 204. 
Marrokis [St. Roche], 236. 
Martin V., Pope, 60, 65-7. 
Mary and St. Anne, St., Collegiate 

Church of [Tron Kirk], 182, 

237, 243, 262. 
Mary of Consolation, St., Hospital 

of, 128. 
Maria delle Grazie, Sta., Convent of, 

Mary of Guise [Mary of Lorraine, 

Queen-Dowager, Regent Mary], 

188, 192, 196-7, 205, 210, 212-3, 

216-26, 228, 248, 250, 257. 
Mary, Queen of Scots, 188, 191-2, 

207-10, 214-5, 225, 230-1, 248. 
Maurice, Lord of Luss, 38. 
Maximilian I., 125. 
Maxwell, Lord, 191, 196. 
Mearns, 35. 
Medici, Cosimo de, 83-5. 



Melrose, Abbot of, 172. 

Abbey of, 133. 

Chronicle of, 4. 

Melville, Andrew, 97, 230*?, 231. 
Menhir, 14 n. 
Milan, 146. 

Duke of, 141. 
Mills, 77, 245. 
Minstrel, 246. 
Mochrum, 176, 243. 
Monkland, Parish of, 100. 
Molendinar, 10, 12-3, 48 n, 77, 112, 

119-21, 142, 240, 245. 
Montgomery, Captain Lorges de, 


Montpellier, 232-3. 
Montrose, 216. 

Marquis of, 255. 
Moray, Bishop of, 37, 213. 

Dean of, 177-8. 

Lord James, 221, 226, 248, 255. 
Morken, King of Strathclyde, 9-11. 
Morton, Earl of, 135, 214, 216. 
Moubray, Geoffrey de, 55. 
Muirhead [Murehede], Andrew, see 

Andrew, Bishop of Glasgow. 
Muirhead, Friar James, 88. 

Janet, 100. 

Martin, 100. 

Thomas, 156. 

Thomas de, 99. 

Vedastus, 100. 

William, 100. 
Murehede of Windyhills, 100, 108. 


Neot of Wales, St., Cross of, 47. 

Newcastle, 54. 

Nice, 22. 

Nicholas, St., 105. 

Hospital of, 1 1 0-2, 181. 

Inmates, Description of, no-i. 
Nicholas, Cardinal of S. Croce, 69. 
Nicholas V., Pope [see also Parentu- 
celli], 53 n, 81-98, 102, 113, 

Ninian, St., 4, 12, 145, 178, 252. 

Hospital of, 112. 
Nisbet's Heraldry, 100. 
Nithsdale, 3, 122. 
Norfolk, Duke of, 226. 
Norham-on-Tweed, 44-5. 
North Berwick, 124. 
Norway, 114. 

Notre Dame, Paris, 188, 215. 
Nottingham, Castle of, 54. 

Ochiltre, Lord of, 186, 221. 
O'Donnel, Ulster Chief, 160. 
Ogilvie, Papal envoy to St. Andrews, 


Organs, Mediaeval, 109. 
Origines Parochiales, 120 n. 
Orkney, Bishop of, 204 n, 213-4. 
Orkney Islands ceded to Scotland, 


Orleans, University of, 63 n, 123. 
Orvieto, 49. 

Ostia, Archbishop of, 209. 
Otto, Papal Legate, 21. 
Oxford, History and Antiquities of 

the University of, Anthony 

Wood, 17. 
University of, 17, 18. 

PADUA, 18. 
Paisley, 235. 

Abbey of, 4, 28. 
Palestine, 147. 
Parentucelli, Thomas, see also 

Nicholas V., 81-6. 

Paris, 188, 215-6, 225 n, 229-30, 234. 
Parliament of, 125, 186. 
University of, 17-8, 36, 101, 123, 

127, 205, 230-1. 
Parliament of Scotland, see also 

Estates of Scotland, 113-4, I2 7> 

132-4, 191, 193, 200, 216, 262. 
Partick Castle, 244. 
" Pater Noster," 210-1. 
Patrick, St., 5, 6, 13. 
Paul II., Pope, 128. 
Paul's Cross, St., 123. 
Pedagogy Auld, see University. 
Peebles, 32, 244. 
Perth, 26, 37, 52, 65, 70, 162, 219, 

220, 256. 
Statutes of, 65-7. 
Piacenza, 233. 
Pinkie, Battle of, 206, 210. 
Pisa, 81. 

Pitarrow, Wisharts of, 35-6. 
Pius II., Pope, see also Sylvius 

Aeneas, 68, 246. 
Pius IV., Pope, 213. 
Plague or Pestilence, 94, 113, 142-3, 


Plummer's Hole, 237. 
Poictiers [Poitiers], Bishop of, 55. 
St. Hilary Church of, 231. 
University of, 205. 
Poitou, Abbey de la Sie, 231. 



Polkellie, Lady, 138. 
PoUok, 236. 

John of, 161. 

Polmadie, Hospital of, 58, 72, 181. 
Porchester, Castle of, 54-7. 
Porterfield, Captain, 255. 
Possele, 26. 

Praemonstratine Monks, 178. 
Prebendal Manses, 72, 94. 
Privy Council, 196, 211, 248, 258-9. 
Processions [Glasgow], 92-3, 105, 

113, 125, 154. 
Provand's Lordship, no-i, 157, 

159 , 242. 
Provand, Prebendary of, 245. 


Quarrel Holes, Conference at, 221. 

Quimper Cathedral (Brittany), 234. 

RAGMOL, see Crossraguel. 

Ramnishoren fRamshorn], 26. 

Rankin, James, 253. 

Reader, 123. 

Rede, Martin, Chancellor, 152-5. 

Rederech, King of Strathclyde, 10. 

Redshanks, 105. 

Reformation and Reformers, no, 
137, 149, 181-3, 185-6, 212-4, 
226, 229, 250, 253, 257, 261. 

Regality of Glasgow, 159 n. 

Regent of Scotland, see under 
Arran, 2nd Earl of ; Mary of 
Guise ; Albany, Duke of. 

Reid, Adam, of Barskimming, 138. 

Reid, Bishop, of Orkney, 213-4, 216. 

Renaissance, 75, 82-3, 86, 90, 97, 


Renfrew, Prebendal Manse of, 157. 
Renwick, Mr. Robert, 78, 237 n. 
Rhymer of Scotland, 143-4. 
Robert the Bruce, King, 33, 39-41, 
44, 47, 49, 50, 53, 56, 59, 131, 

Wife, Sisters and Daughter of, 

Robertson, Sir Alexander, 237. 

Dr. Joseph, quoted, 15, 38 , 126. 
Robroyston, 52. 
Rollox, St. [Roche, Rowk, Roque, 

Rollack], 232-9. 
His birth, 232. 
His travels, 232-3. 
Devotes his life to plague-stricken, 

His death and burial, 233-4. 

Canonization of, 234. 
Chapels dedicated to, 234-6. 
Chapel at Glasgow, 237-9. 
Tombstone from St. Roche's 

Churchyard, 239. 
Rollox Kirkyaird, St., 239. 

Loch, 237. 

Rome, mentioned, 18, 21-2, 37, 49, 54, 
56, 68, 70, 87-90, 102-3, 128-31, 
136, 140, 151, 200, 204, 208-9, 
211, 219, 233. 
Rood-screen of Cathedral, 145-6. 

Struggle at, 197. 
Roses, Wars of, 104, 113. 
Ross, Bishop of, 49. 
Dr. Thomas, 23. 
Of Hawkhead, 161. 
Rothes, Earl of, 216. 
Rottenrow, 48, 72, 93-5, 97, 105, 

122, 161, 253. 
Roxburgh, 244. 
Royal Infirmary [Glasgow], 107, 

240, 242, 251. 
Russel, Jerome, Martyr, 189. 

ST. ANDREWS, 12, 15, 29, 36, 51, 61, 

62, 127-8, 132-3, 154, 184, 188, 

198-9, 207, 210, 256. 

Bishop or Archbishop of, 22, 35, 

53, 113, 135-6, 154, 180, 187-8, 

210, 220-2, 225, 227-8. 

Castle of, 200. 
Prior of, 185, 216. 
University of, 61, 61 n, 62-3, 65, 
90-1, 95, 101, 118, 127, 136, 
150, 176-7, 204. 
Salisbury (Sarum) Cathedral, 24, 27, 


Use of Sarum, 26-7, 70, 106. 
Salvator's College, St., 127-8. 
Sampson, Abbot of Edmundsbury, 


Sanchack, Sir John, 177 n. 
Sanctuary, Privilege of, 112, 253. 
Sang School of Glasgow, 108, 258. 
Sarzana (Liguria), 81. 
Sauchieburn, Battle of, 131. 
Schedinistun (Shettleston), 26. 
Scheves, Wm., Archbishop of St. 

Andrews, 128, 136. 
Scone, Abbey of, 40, 53, 254. 

Assembly at, 43. 

Scot, Michael, of Balwearie, 18, 33. 
Scots College (Paris), 231. 
Scotland, Great Seal of, 45, 45 n t 
163, 185, 193, 200. 



Scriptures in vernacular, 191. 
Seals, Episcopal, 40 n, 42, 145. 
Segrave, Stephen de, 57. 
Semirookie, 236. 
Sempill, Lord, 146, 224. 
Sermoneta, Cardinal, 213. 
Session, Court of (College of Justice), 

76, 1 86, 203. 
Seton (Seaton, etc.), Lord, 194, 224, 


Sforza, Ludovic, Duke of Milan, 141. 
Shaw of Polkemmet, 138. 
Shetland Islands, 114. 
Sixtus IV., Pope, 129. 
Smith, D. Baird, LL.B., 137 n. 
Somerset, Protector, 205-6. 
Southampton, Viscount, 55. 
Spottiswood, Archbishop of Glas- 
gow, 45 n, 58, 97, 99. 

John, 97. 

Spain. 134, 137, 139-41, I4 6 '7- 
Stable Green, 162, 181, 237-8, 253. 
Stair, Lady, 138. 
Stewart, Andrew, 97. 
Stewart, Andrew, Lord Ochiltre, 

James, 203. 

John, of Minto, 195. 

Sir John, 250. 

Margaret, 155. 

Matthew, Earl of Lennox, 155, 

Sir Matthew, 259. 

Walter, 186. 

Stirling, 49, 140, 153, 162, 171, 179, 
192, 194, 196, 210-1, 219-22, 
22 4-5, 235-6. 

Chapel Royal at, 132, 152, 154, 

Stobo, 25, 32. 

Prebendary of, 143. 
Strathblane, 72. 
Strathclyd^, 7, 9, 240. 
Strathearn, 188. 
Studium Generale, 90. 
Suavenius, Peter, 187. 
Subdean Mill, 245. 
Suffragan Bishops, 135-6. 
" Summondis, The Beggars," 217. 
Sweden, 114. 

Sylvius Aeneas (see also Pius II., 
Pope), 68-9, 84, 85 n, 90, 246. 

TARAZONA, 139, 141. 
Tarbolton, 72. 
Tennant, Messrs., 239. 

Teviotdale, Archdeacon of, 19, 66-8. 

Archdeaconry of, 35 n, 67 n. 
Thanew, St. (St. Enoch), 74, 145, 


" The Thistle and the Rose," 144. 
Thomas the Martyr, St., Chapel of, 


Thropmorken, n. 
Tithes, 37, 129. 
Tolbooth, 212, 256, 259, 261. 
Toledo, Archbishop of, 141. 

University of, 78. 
Tolls, Burghal, 41. 
Torre, Archdeacon Don Martin, 140. 
Town Council, 212, 237, 239, 256, 


Townhead, 240, 250. 
Town Mill, 77, 245. 
Tron Church (see St. Mary), 182, 243, 


Tron, 256. 
Turin, 245. 

UBERTELLUS, Merchant of Florence, 


Union, Articles of, 262. 
University of Glasgow, 88-98, 103, 
105, 121, 124, 142, 153, 176, 
257, 260. 
Growth of, 98. 
Mace of, 106. 

Munimenta of Glasgow, 96. 
Removed to Gilmorehill, 94. 
Student life in, 95-6. 
Use, 26 n, 27 n. 

Use of Sarum (see Salisbury), 27 n, 

VALENCE, Sir Aylmer de, 54. 
Vatican, Library of, 89. 
Venice, 146-7, 148 n, 193, 234-5, 

Bishop of, 192. 

Doge of, 147. 
Vicars' Alley, 107. 
Vicars' Choral, 106-9, 128. 

Hall of, 107, 108. 

Vicars' College, and stone with in- 
scription, 107. 
Vinci, Leonardo da, 141. 

WALES, 6, 9, 10, 12. 
Wallace's Brig, 48 n. 
Wallace, Sir William, 41, 47-53, 59, 

241, 250, 254. 
Waltheof, Life of, by Jocelyn, 5. 



Wan, Martin, Chancellor of Cathe- 
dral, 139. 

Wappinshaws, 158. 

Ward law, Bishop of St. Andrews, 
60, 62-4. 

Wardlaw, Walter, Cardinal, 75, 148. 

Wedderburn, James and John, 190. 

Welsh Language, 5-6, 6 n. 

Wemyss, Henry, Bishop of Whit- 
horn, 185-6. 

Whi thorn [Galloway], Bishop of, 

135, 152, 153, 185, 213. 
Prior of, 179. 
Priory of, 176, 178. 

Wigtown, Earl of (Duke of Tour- 
aine), Archibald Douglas, 61, 64. 

William the Lion, 10, 17, 254. 

William of Orange, 261. 

Willock, ex-Friar, 218. 

Wilson, Archibald, 161. 

Windyhills, Murehede of, 100, 108. 

Wishart, Adam, father of Bishop 
Robert, 35. 

Wishart, George, 36, 198-200, 203, 

Wishart, George, Bishop of Edin- 
burgh, 36. 

Wishart, John, father of William 
and Adam, 35. 

Wishart, Robert, Bishop of Glas- 
gow, 31, 34-59, 241, 245-6, 

His long episcopate, 35. 

His descent, 35. 

Education, 36. 

Archdeacon of Lothian, 36. 

Bishop of Glasgow, 37. 

His work on Cathedral, 37-40, 

39 n, 76. 

His seals, 40 , 42-3. 
Part played by him in struggle 

against England, 43-57. 
Taken prisoner by English, 48-9, 

50, 54- 
Swears allegiance to Edward I., 

46, 47. 50. 51. 

Sent to Porchester Castle, 54. 

Journeys to Rome, 57. 

Sent to Ely, 57. 

Freed and sent to Scotland, 57. 

Death and burial of, 58-9. 

Effigy of, 59. 
Wolsey, Cardinal, 171, 172, 174. 

180, 183. 

Wood, Sir Andrew, 170. 
Woodlands, 244. 
Woodside, 244. 
Wyndheid, 253. 

XIMENES, Cardinal, 141. 

YORK, 30, 57. 

Archbishop of, 54. 
Cathedral, 24, 133. 



o J, 



DA Primrose, James 

890 Mediaeval Glasgow