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BEATON


374


BEATON


Diurnal of Occurrents in Scotland to the year 1575; Keith, Catalogue of the Bishops of Scotland (1755). 23, 24: Lvndsaye, Tragedy of David Cardinall and archbi^hopne of Sainct An- drewes (London, 1546); Epistolrr Reg. Scot., 1, 339-341; Hay, Ad Cardinalem D. Beloun Gratulatorius Panegyricus.

D. O. Hunter-Blair.

Beaton (or Bethune), James, a Scottish Arch- bishop; b. c. 1473; d. at St. Andrews, 1539, was the sixtli and youngest son of John Beaton of Balfour, in Fife. He graduated as Master of Arts at St. Andrews University in 1493, four years later was Precentor of Dornoch Cathedral (Diocese of Caithness), and in 1503 Provost of the Collegiate Church of Bothwell. Next year he became Prior of Wliithorn and Abbot of Dunfermline, and in 1505 was made Treasurer of the Kingdom. In 1508 he was elected to the See of Galloway, in succession to George Vaus, but before his consecration he was chosen to succeed Robert Blackader (who had died, whilst on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, in July, 1.508) as Archbishop of Glasgow, and was consecrated at Stirling, 15 April, 1509. With the archbishopric he held the commend- atory Abbeys of Arbroath and Kilwinning, and in 1515 he became Chancellor of Scotland. King James V, w-hose father had f, alien at Flodden in 1513, was at this time a child of three, and Beaton, as one of the Council of Regency, without whose consent the queen-mother coiJd not act, was one of the most important personages in the realm during the mi- nority of the young king. The country was at this time distracted by the feuds between two of the regents, Angus and Arran, and Beaton, who was connected with the latter (for Arran had married as his third wife a daughter of Sir James Beaton of Creich), naturally espoused his kinsman's side. A well-known story tells how Bishop Gavin Douglas of Dunkeld came to Glasgow to urge the archbishop to allay the strife within the council, and how Beaton, striking his breast as he declared upon his conscience that he was powerless in the matter, caused the coat of mail which he wore under his ecclesiastical habit to rattle. "Alas, my Lord", .said his brother bishop at this strange sound, "I fear your conscience clat- ters!" In 1522 Beaton was translated to St. An- drews, vacant by the death of Archbishop Foreman. As primate he threw all his powerful influence into the scale against the intrigues of Henry VIII to ob- tain predominance in Scotland; and it was greatly owing to his statesmanship that the old league with France was maintained, and tliat the young king chose for his bride Magdalen of France instead of Mary of England. Albany's jealousy had deprived Beaton of the chancellorship some years previously, and he was never reappointed, though lie enjoyed the fuU favour of the king. A few months after the second marriage of James (to Mary of Guise) the primate got his nephew, David Cardin.al Beaton, appointed his coadjutor with right of succession and he died in the autumn of 1539 in his castle at St. Andrews.

The stormy period in which Beaton's public life was cast, with France and England both intriguing for the alliance of Scotland, and the independence of the kingdom trembling in the balance, has made him, perhaps inevitably, appear to posterity more prominent as a statesman (in which quality there is no room for doubt as to his ability or liis patriotism) than as a churchman and a prelate. There is, how- ever, evidence that during both his thirteen years' tenure of the See of Glasgow and the seventeen years during which he held the primacy, he concerned himself closely with both the material and spiritual interests of the two dioceses, and in particular with the advancement of learning. In Glasgow he added and endowed altars in his cathedral, made additions also to the episcopal palace, which he encircled with a wall, and he erected stone bridges in various parts of the diocese. He was, moreover, as sedulous as his


predecessors had been in safeguarding the ancient privileges of the archiepiscopal see. On his tran.s- lation to St. Andrews he proved liimself a constant benefactor to the university of that city, and he founded there a new college (St. Mary's) for the study of di\'inity, civil and canon law, medicine, and other subjects. The new college was confirmed by Pope Paiil III in February, 1538, and was extended and completed by Beaton's successor, Archbishop Hamil- ton, sixteen years later. It still exists as the divinity college of the university. Finally, Beaton showed himself ever zealous for the preservation of the unity of the Faith in Scotland. Under the direct orders of the pope (Clement VII) and unhesitatingly sup- ported by the king, he caused many of those engaged in propagating the new doctrines to be arrested, prosecuted, and in some cases put to death. Modern humanity condemns the cruel manner of their execu- tion; but such severities were the result of the spirit of the age, for which Archbishop Beaton cannot be held responsible. There is no reason to doubt that his motive in sanctioning the capital punishment of notorious heretics was simply to avert the miseries which religious schism could not but entail on a hitherto united people.

Regist. Episcop. Glasg., II, 547 sqq.; Theiner, Monumenta, 553. 594. 597; Acts Pari. Scotl., II; Keith. Hist. Cat. of Scott. Bishops (1755); Walcott. Ancient Church of Scotland, 190. 191; Teulet, Papiers d^ctat, III.

D. O. Htjnter-Blair.

Beaton (or Bethune), James, Archbishop of Glasgow, b. 1517; d. 24 April, 1603; the son of James Beaton of Balfarg (a younger son of John Beaton of Balfour) and nephew to Cardinal David Beaton. He was elected to the archbishopric in 1551, on the resignation of the archbishop-elect Andrew Gordon, and not being yet in priest's orders was ordained in Rome, and consecrated there on the 2Stli of August, 1552. For eight troublous years he ad- ministered the affairs of his diocese and stood faith- fully by the queen-regent, Mary of Guise, in her dealings with the disaffected Scottish nobles, who were plotting the destruction of the ancient ChiU'ch in order to enrich themselves with the spoils. In March, 1539, we find him assisting at the provincial council at Edinburgli summoned by the primate. Archbishop Hamilton — the last assembly of the kind which was to meet in Scotland for three hun- dred and twenty-six years. The events of 1560, the treaty of alliance with England against France, the commencement of tlie work of destruction of cathedrals and monasteries, and, finally, the death of the queen-regent, no doubt actuated Beaton in his resolve to quit the distracted kingdom. He re- paired to Paris, taking with him a great mass of the muniments and registers of his diocese, and much church plate and other treasures, which he deposited in the Scots College.

Queen Mary immediately appointed him her am- bassador at the French Court, and he remained, both up to her forced abdication in 1.567, and during the rest of her life, her most faithful friend and ad- viser. He did not hesitate, after the murder of Darnley, to inform her frankly of the dark suspicions attaching to her, and the necessity of the assassins being punished. On the 15th of February, 1574, Beaton's name appears at the head of the list of the Catholic prelates and clergy declared outlaws and rebels by the Scottish Pri\^ Council; but he never- theless continued to enjoy in his exUe the favour of the young king (,Iames VI) who, about 1586, appointed him, as the late sovereign had done, ambassador at Paris. Beaton held several bene- fices in France, including the income of the Abbey De la Sie, in Poitou, and the treasurership of St. Hilary of Poitiers. His intimate association with the House of Guise had naturally led hira to join