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Patrick Graham

First Archbishop of St. Andrews and Metropolitan of Scotland, date of birth uncertain

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Graham , PATRICK, first Archbishop of St. Andrews and Metropolitan of Scotland, date of birth uncertain; d. 1478. He was a son of Mary, younger daughter of Robert III, by her third husband, Sir William Graham of Kincardine, ancestor of the dukes of Montrose. He was educated at the University of St. Andrews, where, in 1457, he held the position of dean of the Faculty of Arts. In 1463 he became Bishop of Brechin. In 1466 he succeeded his half-brother, the illustrious Bishop Kennedy, in the See of St. Andrews. He proceeded to Rome to receive the confirmation of Paul II, and remained abroad until 1469 to escape the avowed enmity of certain powerful nobles. While in Rome he obtained the erection of St. Andrews into an archbishopric and metropolitan church, to which the other twelve sees were subjected as suffragans. This was announced to the king, bishops, and diocesan chapters of Scotland by a Bull of Sixtus IV, dated August 27, 1472. The announcement aroused a storm of opposition. The See of York ineffectually appealed against the loss of Galloway, its suffragan for more than five centuries, and the consequent deprivation of all future claim to jurisdiction in Scotland; that of Trondhjem as ineffectually resented the transference of the Dioceses of Argyle and the Isles; the king and the whole episcopate of Scotland set themselves to resist the innovation, rendered still more odious by the nomination of the new archbishop as Apostolic nuncio to raise subsidies for a crusade. James III, bribed by the bishops with an offering of 12,000 marks (according to some writers), joined them in appealing to Rome against his cousin the archbishop. Sixtus IV, in view of the extraordinary charges brought against Graham, sent a nuncio, John Huseman, to Scotland to investigate. The accusation included heresy, schism, simony, disobedience to the Holy See, with reviling and blasphemy against its authority; the claiming by the archbishop of the papacy, as imposed upon him by God for the reform of the Church; the appointment of legates, prothonotaries, and suchlike officials; the revoking of papal indulgences, because granted for lucre; the saying of Mass, even thrice a day, when under the ban of excommunication, suspension, and interdict. The nuncio, after examining numerous witnesses, sent a report to Rome, and, after its due consideration by a commission of cardinals, Graham was declared guilty of the alleged charges. He was deprived of all dignities, degraded from orders, and subjected to imprisonment for life. He died in the Castle of Lochleven in 1478, and was buried in the old priory there. Many historians regard him as a zealous and good bishop, a victim to the persecution of his enemies, though this scarcely explains his condemnation. Whether he lost his reason under the stress of trouble, or whether he had become imbued with Lollardism (as Dickson suggests, though the charge concerning Mass seems to contradict this), it is impossible to say, in the absence of all official records except the Bull of deposition, dated January 9, 1478.


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