William Elphinstone

[William Elphinstone] Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, born Glasgow, Scotland, 1431; died Edinburgh, Scotland, 1514. Educated at the universities of Glasgow and Paris, he was ordained in 1465; in 1474 he became rector of Glasgow University. He was a member of Parliament and conducted a number of political missions to the English and French kings and to the Emperor Maximilian; in 1482 he was consecrated Bishop of Ross, and of Aberdeen c.1488. In the same year he was appointed Lord High Chancellor and later Keeper of the Privy Seal. He opposed the unfriendly policy toward England which terminated in the defeat of Flodden. Although a great statesman, Elphinstone was also a zealous bishop, reforming the services of the cathedral, rebuilding the choir, and building the great steeple at the east end. He is famous as the real founder of Aberdeen University; he gave salaries to the professors of theology, canon law, civil law, medicine, languages, and philosophy, and pensions to several poor students. Printing in Scotland was practically introduced by him in 1507; one the first uses he made of it was to have the Aberdeen Breviary printed. He was buried beneath the first step of the high altar in the college chapel.

New Catholic Dictionary

NCD Index SQPN Contact Author