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John Hamilton (archbishop): Wikis

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John Hamilton (c. 1511 – April 6, 1571), Scottish prelate and politician, was an illegitimate son of James Hamilton, 1st Earl of Arran.[1]

At a very early age he became a monk and Abbot of Paisley, and after studying in Paris he returned to Scotland, where he soon rose to a position of power and influence under his half-brother, the regent James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran. He was made Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland in 1543 and bishop of Dunkeld two years later; in 1546 he followed David Beaton as archbishop of St Andrews, and about the same time he became treasurer of the kingdom.

He made vigorous efforts to stay the growth of Protestantism, but with one or two exceptions persecution was not the policy of Archbishop Hamilton, and in the interests of the Roman Catholic religion a catechism called Hamilton's Catechism (published with an introduction by TG Law in 1884) was drawn up and printed, possibly at his instigation.

Having incurred the displeasure of the Protestants, now the dominant party in Scotland, the archbishop was imprisoned in 1563. After his release he was an active partisan of Mary, Queen of Scots; he baptised the infant James, afterwards King James VI, and pronounced the divorce of the queen from Bothwell.

He was present at the Battle of Langside. It was from his house in Linlithgow that his nephew, James Hamilton, assassinated James Stuart, Earl of Murray, the Regent of Scotland in 1570. John Hamilton later took refuge in Dumbarton Castle, where he was eventually seized and charged with complicity in the murders of Murray and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. He was hanged on April 6, 1571. He had three children by his mistress, Grizzel Sempill.

References

Political offices
Preceded by
David Beaton
Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland
1542–1547
Succeeded by
2nd Lord Ruthven
Religious titles
Preceded by
Robert Shaw
Commendator-Abbot of Paisley
1525–1553]
Succeeded by
Claude Hamilton I
Preceded by
George Crichton
Bishop of Dunkeld
1544/1546–1547
Succeeded by
Robert Crichton
Preceded by
David Beaton
Archbishop of St. Andrews
1547/1549–1571
Succeeded by
Gavin Hamilton
Academic offices
Preceded by
David Cardinal Beaton
Archbishop of St Andrews
Chancellor of the University of St Andrews
1547–1571
Succeeded by
John Douglas
Archbishop of St Andrews
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