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Patrick Adamson

1537-1592. Archbishop of St. Andrews. Born in Perth and graduate of St. Andrews, he was briefly minister of Ceres before going to the Continent for eight years. He studied theology in Geneva under Beza.* He was evidently in hiding for seven months after the massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day.* On returning to Scotland he became chaplain in the household of the Regent Morton, and minister of Paisley. The regent, his patron, made him archbishop of St. Andrews in 1576, though according to Robert Keith (Scottish Bishops, 1824, p.40) he was not consecrated. He served for a time also as James VI's ambassador to England. An accomplished scholar, he debated much with the Presbyterians, against whom he instituted strong legislation. He was accused of heresy and other offenses, but two attempts to excommunicate him failed. It is said that he recanted just before his death and condemned episcopacy as unlawful, but no evidence of this exists. It was Adamson who, before gaining high office, made the famous distinction between “my lord bishop,” “my lord's bishop,” and “the Lord's bishop.” His collected works, including Latin verse translations of Job and Revelation, were printed in 1614.