Cardinal David Beaton

1494 - 1546

Clergyman and politician. Born in Balfour (Fife) and educated at St. Andrews and Glasgow Universities, the nephew of Archbishop James Beaton (c.1473 - 1539). He negotiated both marriages of King James V (1512 - 1542) with the French court. As Abbot of Arbroath, Beaton sat in the Scottish Parliament from 1525. Beaton was appointed a Cardinal by Pope Paul III in 1538, and then as Archbishop of St. Andrews in 1539 and leader of the Roman Catholic church in Scotland, succeeding his uncle. In 1542, he attempted to become Regent for the young Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87) but lost out to James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran (c. 1516-75) and was imprisoned, first at Dalkeith Palace and then Blackness Castle.

Opposed by John Knox (c.1513-72), Beaton was murdered by Protestant reformers in the same year as he executed George Wishart (1513-46). The Reformation soon followed, making Beaton effectively the last Archbishop of St. Andrews and the last Scottish Cardinal until the 1950s.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better