John Hamilton

1512-1571. Archbishop of St. Andrews; the last Roman Catholic to hold that office. Born in Edinburgh, he became abbot of Paisley when only fourteen and held the post until his death. Few details of his early career are known for certain. He matriculated at St. Andrews University (1528), later spent some time studying in France, and through influential family connections was appointed in 1543 as privy seal, to which was later added the lord treasurership. After protracted controversy he was in 1546 consecrated as bishop of Dunkeld, but was soon translated to the primacy. In 1552 there was published Archbishop Hamilton's Catechism, a highly regarded product of St. Andrews University, the precise authorship of which cannot be determined. Even after the Reformation in 1560 he maintained his opposition, continued to be known as archbishop of St. Andrews though latterly a political figure only, retained his seat in Parliament, and baptized the future James VI after the Roman form. A supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots, in her trials, he was finally indicted as a traitor and hanged at Stirling.