Peter Lorimer.

Patrick Hamilton, the first preacher and martyr of the Scottish Reformation : an historical biography, collected from original sources, including a view of Hamilton's influence upon the Reformation down to the time of George Wishart, with an appendix of original letters and other papers online

. (page 1 of 26)
Online LibraryPeter LorimerPatrick Hamilton, the first preacher and martyr of the Scottish Reformation : an historical biography, collected from original sources, including a view of Hamilton's influence upon the Reformation down to the time of George Wishart, with an appendix of original letters and other papers → online text (page 1 of 26)
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BR 350 .H3 L6 1857
Lorimer, Peter, 1812 18 /y_
Patrick Hamilton, the first
preacher and martyr of the



r



\



PRECURSORS OF KNOX:

ni;,
OF

PATRICK HAMILTON,

THE FIRST PKEACHEil AND MARTYR OF THE SCOTTISH KEFOHMATIGN

ALEXANDER ALANE, or ALESIUS,

ITS FIRST ACADEMIC THEOLOGIAN;

AND ^

SIR DAVID LINDSAY, of THE MOUNT,

ITS FIRST POET.

COLLECTED FROM ORIGINAL SOURCES.

I.

PATRICK HAMILTON.

r.Y

THE RET. PETER LORIMER,

r-ROFESSOR OF HEBREW AND EXEGETIC THEOLOGY, ENGLISH PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE,

LONDON.



EDINBUKGH :
THOMAS CONSTABLE AND CO.

LONDON: HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.; WILLIAMS AND NORGATE.

MDCCCLVII.



PATRICK HAMILTON,

THE

FIRST PREACHER AND MARTYR OF THE SCOTTISH REFORIilATION.
%ix ffxniaxud ^bgrapljg,

COLLECTED FEOM OKIGINAL SOURCES;

INCLUDING

A VIE\V OF HAMILTON'S INFLUENCE UPON THE EEFORMATION DOWN TO THE
TI3IE OF GEORGE WISHAET.

WITH

AN APPENDIX OF ORIGINAL LETTERS

A^'D OTHEil PAPERS.



THE EET. PETEE'^LORIMER,

PKOFESSOR UF HEBREW AND EXEGETIC THEOLOGY, ENGLISH PKESEYTERLiN COLLEGE,

LONDON.



EDINBURGH :
THOMAS CONSTABLE AND CO.

LONDON: HA:yiILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.; ^YILLL\MS AND NORGATE.
MDCCCLVII.



HIS HONOUEEL) COLLEAGUE,

THOMAS M'CRIE, D.D., LL.D.,

THE AUTHOR DEDICATES MOST HEAETILY THE FOLLOWIXG WORK,

AS A SLIGHT MEITORIAL OF THE IMPORTANT EVEKT OF HIS RECENT ACCESSION

TO THE COLLEGE OF

fjlB '^rrsliijtBrian i^^nrrlj in €nglantr,

FROM WHICH THE AUTHOR ANTICIPATES THE BEST RESULTS TO THE CAUSE

OF EVANGELICAL TRUTH AND UNION, AS WELL AS A GREAT

ENHANCE3IENT OF HIS OWN COMFORT AND

HAPPINESS IN THE DISCHARGE

OF ACADEMIC DUTY.



Sevit qiiidem Cxoxius verbi divini semen in Scotia quam latissime, sed solo jam autea
c£ede nonnullorum martyrum subacto ; inter quos primum locum tenet Patkicius Hamilto.

Beza. Icones.



PREFACE.



x^EAKLT three years ago, when the author of the following work
was collecting materials for a life of Alexander Alesius, the earliest
and one of the most distinguished of the Scottish exiles who were
driven out from their country for their attachment to the principles
of the Reformation, he came unexpectedly upon the traces of a work
in which Alesius had inserted some account of Patrick Hamilton.
Following up these traces, he found that Eabus, a German author
of the sixteenth century, had introduced a translation of that account
into his History of the Martyrs ; on perusing which, he discovered
that Alesius had noticed several important particulars of Hamilton's
character and life, and of his own connexion with him, which were
perfectly new to history, as well as extremely interesting and valu-
able. The author then became anxious to see the original work,
which was referred to as a Latin Commentary on the First Book of
the Psalms ; but no copy of it could be found in the library of the
British Museum, the Bodleian, Sion College, or any of the other
great libraries of this country to which he had access. It was not
till he had travelled in quest of it as far as the old library of "Wolfen-
biittel in the Grand Duchy of Brunswick, that he got his first sight
of a copy.



VllI PKEFACE.

The amount ol new light thrown by the statements of Alesius
upon the biography of Hamilton was so very considerable, and these
statements had so much value as coming from one who was the
Martyr's own disciple and convert, and the eye-witness of his trial
and martyrdom, that the author resolved to attempt to construct, by
their help and with the aid of such additional facts as further re-
search might bring to light, ^a complete Life of the First Preacher
and Martyr of the Scottish Eeformation.

Such a biography has remained till this day a desideratum.
Scarcely anything, in fact, has been added to our knowledge of the
first and most interesting of all our Scottish Protestant Martyrs, since
the account of him inserted by Pox in his-^cts and Monuments.'
Even Knox, the only original historian of the Scottish Eeformation,
was able to add very little to that account; while Spottiswood
and Calderwood could only repeat the statements of the Martyr-
ologist and the Eeformer. It is indeed singular that such facts in
the life of such a man, as the universities where he studied, and
the influences under which his character and convictions were
formed, and the length of time during which he had opportunity to
disseminate his doctrines, and even his birth-place, his marriage,
and several of the circumstances of his last days and martyrdom,
should have remained so long unknown. But it is more singular
still that a learned work, which supplied original and authentic in-
formation upon the most of these points, and written, too, by a man
who was himself an honour both to his teacher and his country,
should have remained for three hundred years unnoticed and un-
known by Scottish authors, and should only at this time of day be
accidentally brought to light.

In executing his design, the author found it necessary, in order to
exhibit the various influences under which Hamilton's character and
convictions were formed, to bring into view many facts belonging to
tlie religious history of the times in which he lived, and to the
annals of the numerous universities in which he studied. He con-



TRErACE. IX

ceived that much of the interest of such a life lies in tracing the
manifold discipline of institutions and events by which the work-
man is shaped and trained for his work, as well as in the exhibition
of his work itself; and requiring to draw somewhat largely for that
purpose both upon academic and general history, he has thought the
designation of ' An Historical Biography' the most appropriate to
describe the mixed contents of the volume. He has been able, how-
ever, in some instances to derive that history from fresh sources ;
and he refers, in e\-idence of this, to the original documents con-
tained in the Appendix, which have never been printed before, and
which will be found to possess considerable value in relation parti-
cularly to Scottish ecclesiastical affairs.

The season of active personal service pennitted to Patrick
Hamilton, as a preacher and reformer, was extremely brief, but his
influence was propagated by his disciples and converts through
many subsequent years. It is easy, in truth, to recognise his image
and superscription in the doctrinal type which continued to mark
the Scottish Eeformation from its commencement in his preaching
down to the date of George Wishart's return to Scotland in 1544 —
an interval of no less than seventeen years. That period the author
has ventured to designate the Hamilton-period of the Eeformation ;
and he has endeavoured to trace his influence throughout its whole
length, and to indicate several distinct lines of radiation in which
the light was diffused from the luminous centre of his brief but
highly impressive ministry. His influence thus propagated was felt
either directly or indirectly by a great number of individuals, whose
names have been preserved to us by historians. In regard to some
of these the author has not been able to add anything to the stock of
our previous knowledge, but in a good many other cases — including
the names of Sir James Hamilton of Kincavel, John McDowell,
Eobert Eichardson, John M 'Alpine, and, more than any other,
Alexander Alesius — he has been more fortunate. It formed no part
of his plan, however, to carry his notices of such of these early



X PREFACE.

Scottish. Protestant T^orthies as were driven into exile much beyond
the respective dates of their expatriation. He reserves the full
narrative of the incidents which befel them in England, Germany,
and the Is"etherlands, for the life of Alexander Alesius, who was
personally acquainted with most of them, and whose biography
touched the later lives of some of his fellow- exiles at several points.
He was, in truth, the main figure of the persecuted group, both in
England and in Germany.

The author has many obligations to acknowledge, some of which
will be found referred to in different places throughout the work.
But the assistance which he has received from Professor St. Hilaire,
of the Sorbonne, who searched for him the registers of the University
of Paris; from the E-ev. William Graham, of Bonn, who made a
similar search in those of the University of Cologne; and from
W. H. Henderson, Esq., of Linlithgow, who furnished him with
valuable extracts from the records of that ancient burgh — such
assistance, involving much expenditure of time and trouble, calls for
the expression of his warmest acknowledgments. IS'or can he deny
himself the gratification of mentioning how much he* owes to the
kindness and liberality of David Laing, Esq., the learned editor of
Knox. But for the sight of several tracts of Alesius, of extreme
rarity, which were promptly' lent to the author by Mr. Laing, the
present volume, and the series of which it is designed to be the com-
mencement, would probably never have been undertaken.

Nor can the author leave without public acknowledgment the
very liberal and handsome way in which access was allowed him to
several of the great libraries of Germany, and to the original registers
of more than one of its universities. To Professor Tholuck, of
Halle, and Professor Hencke, of Marburg, he owes and now renders
his cordial thanks for the personal assistance which they lent him in
his researches in these university seats ; and he can never forget the
hearty sympathy and the liberal facilities accorded to him by Dr.
Schoneraann, the venerable librarian of Wolfenbiittel. He has



PREFACE. XI

great pleasure in adding that he has had experience of a no l6ss
liberal administration of the public libraries and collections nearer
home. Free access has been allowed him to the stores both of the
English and Scottish universities; to the Advocates' and Signet
libraries, and the Eegister Office, Edinburgh ; to the Cottonian Manu-
scripts and other collections in the British Museum ; to the libraries
of Lambeth and Sion College; and to those great repositories of
public records and papers, including the State Paper Office, which
are placed under the enlightened guardianship of Her Majesty's
Government.



St. John's Wood, London,
December 20, 1856.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

PATRICK HAMILTON'S EAELY LIFE. ^^'^^^

Parentage— Time and Place of Birth— Boyhood— Character of his
Father, Sir Patrick Hamilton of Kincavel— Distinguished Rela-
tives — Earl of Arran — Duke of Albany — Gavyn Douglas — Henry
Lord Sinclair of Newburgh— Battle of Flodden— Struggle for
Vacant Sees and Abbacies — Appointment to Abbacy of Feme , . o

CHAPTER II.

PATRICK HAMILTON AT PARIS AND LOUVAINE.

Patrick Hamilton not Educated at St. Andrews, but at Paris— Scots'
College in the University of Paris — College of Montacute — State
of the University, 1517-21— Influence of Erasmus and Budffius
— Letter of Ludovicus Vives to Erasmus — Hamilton an Erasmian
— Luther's Writings in Paris in 1519 — Agitation — Sentence of
the Sorbonne— Melancthon's Defence of Luther, and Attack
upon John Major — Hamilton's Residence at Louvaine, and
Probable Intercourse with Erasmus . . . . • • '2*^

CHAPTER III.

PATRICK HAMILTON IN ST. ANDREWS*

Death of Sir Patrick Hamilton — Incorporation at St. Andrews —
i'osition of the City, and State of the University— George Lock-



XIV CONTEXTS.



Page



hart— John ]\Iajor— The Provost and Masters of St. Salvator's-
The Principal and Kegents of St. Leonard's — Eevival of Native
and Classical Literature in Scotland — Hamilton's Intimacy in
the Priory — His Attainments in Choral Music — Studies in
Theology — An Irish Dean at St. Andrews — Hamilton's Views of
Monachism — His Ordination as a Priest . . . . ... 49



CHAPTER IV.

PATRICK ilAMILTON A PROFESSED LUTHERAN.

Act of the Scottish Parliament against Lutheran Books — Lutherans
in Aberdeen — Urgent Need of a Reformation in the Scottish
Church — Example at St. Andrews — Eorman — Beaton — Douglas
— Patrick Hepburn — General Corruption of the Ecclesiastical
Body — Tyndale's New Testament Imported — Hamilton Declares
for the Reformation — Summoned by Beaton — Flight to Germany 07



CHAPTER V.

PATRICK HAMILTON AT WITTEMBERG AND MARBURG.

Hamilton's Companions in Travel — He repaii-s to Wittemberg and
Marburg — Progress of the Reformation in Germany — Diet of
Spires in 1526 — What he saw in Wittemberg — Opening of the
First Evangelical University of Marburg — Erhard Sclmepf —
Hermann von dem Busche — Francis Lambert — William Tyn-
dale and John Frith — Hamilton's Theses — Germany, France,
and England all contribute to prepare him for his Mission — His
Return to Scotland



CHAPTER VI.

PATRICK HABIILTON'S PREACHING.

Special Adaptation of Hamilton to his Work as a Scottish Reformer —
Hamilton's First Congregation at Kincavel — Ancient Parish
Church of Biuny — State of Religion in Linlithgow — Hamilton's
Doctrine — Antitliesis of the Law and the Gospel — Antitliesis of
Faith and Incredulity — Distinction of Faith, Hope, and Charity
— Salvation by Works and by Grace — Faith the Root of the Good
Tree — Hamilton a Radical Reformer — Failm-e of other attempts
to revive the Piety of the Church . . . . . . . . 103



CONTENTS.
CHAPTER VII.

PATRICK HAMILTON'S MAPvELVGE, AND TEACHING AT ST. ANDREW;



«



His Marriage — His Posthumous Daughter — Vindication of his
Memory from an apparent Stain — Alai'm of Archbishop Beaton,
and his dissembling Pohcy — Hamilton Invited to a Conference
at St. Andrews — Teaches and Disputes in the University —
Specimens of his Disputations — Private Conversations — Friar
Alexander Campbell — Canon Alexander Alane — Importance of
these Public and Private Labours . . . . . . i2-:<



CHAPTER VIII.

PATRICK HAMILTON'S TRIAL AND MARTYRDOM.

Summoned to appear before Beaton — Advised by his Friends to flee
from St. Andrews, but declines to do so — Sir James Hamilton
collects an Armed Force to rescue the Reformer — Intrigues of the
Clergy with the King and Angus — Hamilton appears before the
Primate — His Articles — Judgment of the Theologians — Attempt
at Rescue by the Laird of Airdrie — Apprehension — Trial in the
Cathedi-al of St. Andrews — Friar Campbell, his Accuser, silenced
— Sentence — Reason for Haste in its Execution — ^Martyrdom —
Sensation produced by the Event at Louvaiue, Marburg, and
Malmoe — Character of Patrick Hamilton — Affection cherished
for his Memorv . . .. .. .. .. .. lof



CHAPTER IX.

PATRICK HAMILTON'S INFLUENCE UPON THE SCOTTISH CLERGY.

The Hamilton Pei-iod of the Scottish Reformation — The Scottish
Augustinians — The Rule of St. Augustin — The Priory of St.
Andrews — Alexander Alane— His Sermon to the Clergy, Impri-
sonment, and Flight — Gavyn Logie — John Wynram and other
Canons — Abbey of Cambuskenneth — Abbey of luch-Colme —
Dean Thomas Forret — The Scottish Dominicans — John Adam-
son and Conventual Reform — Convent of St. Andrews and Prior
Campbell — Alexander Seyton — James Hewat — John M'Alpine —
John M'Dowel — John Kiellor — John Beveridge— John Rough —
Thomas GuiUiame — John Willock — The Benedictines — The
Franciscans — The Cordeliers — The Carthusians — The Cister-
cians — The Secular Clergy . . . . . . . . ' 0-



XTl CONTENTS.

CHAPTER X.

PATRICK HAMILTON'S INFLUENCE UPON THE NOBILITY, GENTRY, AND
BURGESSES OF SCOTLAND.

Page
The Reformation in Scotland an Aristocratic before it became a Demo-
cratic Movement — The Young Nobles at St. Andrews — Sir James
Scrymgeour of Dudhope — Henry Balnaves — John Andrew Dun-
can and the old Lollards — Sir David Lindsay of the Mount —
Reformers among the Nobility and Gentry in Angus and Mearns,
Perthshu'e, Fife, Ayrshire, the Lothians, and the South of Scot-
land — Reformers among the Lay La\\n,ers — Among the Bur-
gesses — Act of the Scottish Parliament, 1543 — Close of the
Hamilton Period . . .. .. .. .. .. 107



Notes and Illustrations — A to Y . . . . . . . . 223

Appendix of Original Letters and other Papers — I. to VII. 545



PATRICK HAMILTON



CHAPTER I.

HIS EARLY LIFE.



PARENTAGE — TIME AND PLACE OF BIRTH — BOYHOOD — CHARACTER OF HIS FATHER, SIR PATRICK
HAMILTON OF KINCAVEL— DISTIXGUISHED RELATIVES — EARL OF ARRAN — DUKE OF ALBANY —
GAVYN DOUGLAS — HENRY LORD SINCLAIR OF NEWBURGH — BATTLE OF FLODDEN — STRUGGLE
FOR VACANT SEES AND ABBACIES— APPOINTMENT TO ABBACY OF FEKNE.



Xobilibus licet usque ata\-is et sanguine regum,

Splendeat et clai'is dotibus ante alios,

Nou tamen aetherium tangunt mortalia pectus.

John Johnston.

From noble sires he sprang and blood of kings,
And splendid shone in gifis beyond his peers,
Yet mortal gloi-ies his heaven-climbing soul
Touch not.



PATRICK HAMILTON.



CHAPTER I.



HIS EAELT LIFE.



Pateick Hamilton, the first preacher and martyr of the Scottish
Keformation, was a younger son of Sir Patrick Hamilton of Kincayel
and Stanehoiise, and of Catherine Stewart, daughter of Alexander,
Duke of Albany, second son of King James II. Sir Patrick was an
illegitimate son of James, the first Lord Hamilton, by a daughter of
Witherspoon of Brighouse. He is mentioned along with two other
natural sons, John and David, in a charter granted to Lord Hamilton
in the year 1474 — the same year that the latter was rewarded for
his eminent services to James 11. by receiving from James III. the
hand of his sister, the Princess Mary, Countess of Arran. In 1479
Lord Hamilton died, leaving the honours and great estates of his
house, now so closely connected with the royal family, to his only
legitimate son, James, the second Lord Hamilton, and first Earl of
Arran.

The birth of Sir Patrick and his brothers John and David, though
thus far less illustrious than that of their half-brother, James, and
though marred with the stain of illegitimacy, was of sufficient dis-
tinction to secure for each of them substantial possessions and high
consideration in the kingdom. John Hamilton was styled of Brume-
hill, and became ancestor of the first Lords of Belhaven. David
Hamilton was educated for the church, and became Bishop of Argyle,
and Commendator of the abbeys of Glenluce and Dryburgh. Sir



4 PARENTAGE AND DESCENT.

Patrick had a charter in 1498 of the lands of Stanehouse, in the
county of Lanark, and another in the same year of ' the king's lands
of Kincavel,' in the county of Linlithgow. The latter grant he
owed to the favour of his sovereign, James lY., who conferred upon
him at the same time the honourable oiRces of Sheriff of Linlithgow-
shire and Captain of the castle of Blackness.^' On the 20th January,
1512-13, he obtained a letter of legitimation under the Great Seal;
and in a charter of the same year, settling the succession of the
Hamilton estates, he was nominated by the Earl of Arran next in
succession (failing lawful issue of the Earl) after Sir James Hamilton
of Eynnart, the Earl's natural son.f

It may seem surprising that Sir Patrick should have been able to
gain the hand of Catherine Stewart, who was born a princess of the
royal blood ; but the match appears less unequal when it is known
that the marriage of her parents had been dissolved some time after
her birth. Her father, Alexander, Duke of Albany, obtained a
divorce from her mother, Catherine Sinclair, daughter of William,
third Earl of Orkney, in the Consistory Court of St. Giles'. Edin-
burgh, on the 9th of March, 1477, on the ground of propinquity of
blood ; and the strict legal effect of that divorce, both civilly and
ecclesiastically, was to render the offspring of the "marriage illegiti-
mate. But the propinquity alleged in the sentence was only in the
fourth degree, ' and illegitimation caused hj the dissolution of such
marriages, in conlbrmity with the complicated rules of the canon
law, was not considered to entail disgrace on the children, nor did
it always interrupt the succession either in regard to titles or pro-
perty. ';]: In the present case, however, the titles were too illus-
trious and the property too great to be allowed to devolve upon the
offspring of a marriage which, however valid when tried by the law
of God, had been set aside for sinister ends by the corrupt tribunals
of men. The Duke Alexander afterwards contracted a second mar-
riage in France with a daughter of the Earl of Boulogne ; and John,

* For notices of the Barony of Kincavel, and other possessions of Sir Patrick
Hamilton, see Note A.

r Douglas's Peerage of Scotland (Wood's edition), v. i. p. 697. Anderson's
MeiTioirs of the House of Hamilton, pp. 31C, 317.

I The Works of John Knox, collected and edited by David Laing, v. i.
Appendix iii. p. 501.



TIIIE AIS'D PLACE OF BIETH. O

Duke of Albany, the issue of that union, was solemnly declared, by
a parliament which met in Edinburgh under his own auspices as
Eegent of Scotland, in 1516, to be the only legitimate son and suc-
cessor of his father, and as such to be heir-presumptive to the Scot-
tish crown. ^

It is singular that none of the Scottish historians of the sixteenth
century record either the time or the place of the reformer's birth.
It is Francis Lambert of Avignon who tells us that he was about
twenty- three years of age in the summer of 1527 ; from which we
gather that he must have been born in the year 1504 ;j and it is to
another French authority, an ancient parchment of the University of
Paris, that we owe the memory, only now recovered, of the inter-
esting fact, that he professed himself a native of the ancient city of
Glasgow. ' Patricius Hamelto Glassguensis ^N'obilis,' is the desig-
nation by which he appears in a volume of ' Acta Eectoria ' of the
sixteenth century, one of the few records of the university which
escaped the fury of the first great Eevolution.^

Nothing is known of his early life, and we are left entirely to
conjecture in regard to the manner in which the education of his
boyhood was conducted. There were grammar schools established,
even at that early period, both in Glasgow iand Linlithgow; the
former under the superintendence of the clergy of the cathedral, and
the latter under the management of the magistrates and council of
the burgh ; and at either of these establishments he would have an
opportunity of acquiring the rudiments of Latin learning and other
knowledge, whether he may be supposed to have resided during his
boyhood in Glasgow or at KincaveL§ But probably his high rank
would forbid his being sent along with the children of humble
burghers to these seminaries. It was usual for the sons of noble-

* Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, v. ii. p. 283.

t Exegeseos Francisci Lamberti Avenionensis in Sanctam Di\i Joannis
Apocalypsim libri vii. 1528.

+ It is possible, however, that Glassguensis may only denote that he was
born within the diocese of Glasgow. If so, he was probably born at Stane-
house, near Hamilton, where Sir Patrick had a barony. For an account of the
circumstances connected with the discovery of this interesting fact, see NoteB.

§ A notice of the Grammar School of Linlithgow occurs in the Burgh re-
cords as early as 5th November, 1529. See Appendix V.



b BOYHOOD EDTJCATIOl^.

men in those times to be educated under the eye of the more learned
clergy in the monasteries or in the cloisters of cathedrals ; and Patrick
Hamilton had several relatives who were in high office in the church.
It has been already stated that his paternal uncle, David Hamil-
ton, was a Bishop and Commendator of two Abbeys. He had
another uncle by the mother's side, Alexander Stewart, who was
Commendator of the abbeys of Whithorn and Inchaffray; and he
Was also related by his mother, though distantly, to Gavyn Douglas,
Bishop of Dunkeld, one of the best scholars, as well as the most dis-
tinguished poet of his age. With such connections he could be at
no loss for as good an elementary education as the country could then
afford ; and we are left at liberty to imagine the young scholar imbib-
ing his first lessons of sacred and secular learning either under the
eye of the poet-bishop among the silent mountains of Dunkeld, or in
the solitary cloisters of Inchaffray, in Stratherne, or in the remote
valley of Glenluce — the valley of light.

But, though ignorant of the names of his schools and schoolmasters,
we are well enough informed of many characteristics of the family
circle in which he moved, and of the times in which his early life was



Online LibraryPeter LorimerPatrick Hamilton, the first preacher and martyr of the Scottish Reformation : an historical biography, collected from original sources, including a view of Hamilton's influence upon the Reformation down to the time of George Wishart, with an appendix of original letters and other papers → online text (page 1 of 26)