of Robert Bruce's reign the names of both the late and present chancellor are found attached to one of the deeds of the chartulary of Scone; and this seems to be the last document in which Nicholas's name occurs before his death. He is said to have died in 1319 or 1320; but he must have been already dead for some time by 25 June of the latter year, for Rymer has preserved a letter of this date, written by Edward II to the pope, begging John XXII to appoint Richard de Pontefract, a Dominican, to the see of Dunblane, and alluding to many previous letters on the same subject. In this suit, however, the king of England was unsuccessful, for Nicholas's successor appears to have been a certain Maurice.
[Keith's Catalogue of Scotch Bishops; Crawfurd's lives of the Officers of the Crown; Fordun's Scotichron. ed. Hearne, iii. 603; Rymer, iii 839; Liber Eccl. Scon. 96; Anderson's Independency, App. xiv, and authorities cited above.]
BALNAVES, HENRY (d. 1579), Scottish reformer, is usually described as of 'Halhill' after a small estate belonging to him in Fifeshire. He was born in Kirkcaldy during the reign of James V of Scotland (1513-1542); but the exact date is unknown. He proceeded in very early youth to the university of St. Andrews, and afterwards, it is said, to Cologne. While abroad he accepted the principles of the Reformation, and became acquainted with the German and Swiss reformers. On his return to Scotland he studied law, and was for some time a procurator at St. Andrews. On 31 July 1538 James V appointed him a lord of session. On 10 Aug. 1639 he obtained by royal charter the estate of Halhill, near Collessie, Fife. The charter ran in favour of himself and 'Christane Scheves, his wife.' Appointed secretary of state by the Earl of Arran the regent, he promoted the act of parliament introduced by Lord Maxwell, which permitted the reading of holy scripture in the 'vulgar toung.' In 1542 he was depute-keeper of the privy seal. In 1543 he was elected by parliament one of the Scottish ambassadors sent to Henry VIII to discuss the proposal marriage of the infant Queen Mary (of Scots) and Edward, Prince of Wales. The treaties of peace and of marriage were arranged on 1 July 1543 (Sadler's State Papers, i. 90). But all was overturned by the reacceptance of popery by Arran and his reconciliation with Cardinal Beaton. Balnaves was removed from all his offices, partly because of his protestantism, and partly from having favoured the English alliance. In November of 1543, with the Earl of Rothes and Lord Gray, he was apprehended at Dundee by the regent and cardinal, and confined in Blackness Castle, on the Forth, until the following May. He was released on the arrival of Henry VIII's fleet in the Firth of Forth. In 1546, though he had in no way mixed himself up with the plot that ended in the assassination of Cardinal Beaton, he proceeded to St. Andrews, joining Norman Leslie and the others. For this he was declared a traitor, and his life and lands forfeited. Whilst St. Andrews was besieged, he was sent as the agent of its defenders to England for aid, and in February 1547, a month after the death of Henry VIII, he obtained from the guardians of Edward VI large sums of money and provisions (Froude, iv. 273). He himself had a pension bestowed on him of 125l. from Lady day of that year. He undertook that Leslie and his compatriots should do their utmost to deliver the young queen Mary and the castle of St. Andrews to England. But the fortress of St. Andrews had to be surrendered to the regent. The garrison, including Leslie and Balnaves, was sentenced to transportation to the galleys at Rouen.
During his confinement at Rouen Balnaves prepared what John Knox has called 'a comfortable treatise of justification.' It was revised and prefaced by the great reformer, and published with this title-page: 'The Confession of Faith; conteining how the troubled man should seeke refuge at his God, thereto led by faith, &c. Compiled bv M. Henry Balnaues, of Halhill, and one of the Lords of Session and Counsell of Scotland, being a prisoner within the old pallace of Roane, in the yeare of our Lord 1548. Direct to his faithful brethren, being in like trouble or more, and to all true professours and fauorers of the syncere worde of God. Edin. 1584' (8vo). The manuscript, though 'ready for the press,' was not discovered until after Knox's death; hence the delay in publication.
In 1556 the 'forfeiture' which Balnaves had incurred was removed. He thereupon returned to Scotland, and in 1559, 'the year,' says Pitscottie, 'of the uprore about religion,' he took a prominent part in behalf of the reformers. In August the protestant party secretly delegated him to solicit the aid of Sir Ralph Sadler, Elizabeth's envoy at Berwick-on-Tweed. He obtained from him the promise of 2,000l. sterling. On 11 Feb. 1563 he was reinstated as a lord of session, and in December of the same year he was nominated one of the commissioners for revising the 'Book of Discipline.'
On the trial of Bothwell for Darnley's murder in 1567, he was appointed one of the four assessors to the Earl of Argyle, the