Beaton, Beatoun, or Bethune, Cardinal David

Beaton, Beatoun, Or Bethune, Cardinal David archbishop of St. Andrew's, notorious as a persecutor, was born in 1494, and educated at the University of Glasgow. He studied the canon law at Paris. In 1523 he was made abbot of Arbroath, and in 1525 lord privy seal. His life was now devoted to politics, which he endeavored to make subservient to the uses of the Papal Church. In 1537 he was promoted to the see of St. Andrew's, and in 1538 was made cardinal by Pope Paul III. In 1543 he obtained the great seal of Scotland, and was also made legate a latere by the pope, thus combining civil and ecclesiastical dominion in his own person. In the beginning of 1545 46 he held a visitation of his diocese, and had great numbers brought before him, under the act which had passed the Parliament in 1542-43, forbidding the lieges to argue or dispute concerning the sense of the Holy Scriptures. Convictions were quickly obtained; and of those convicted, five men were hanged and one woman drowned; some were imprisoned, and others were banished. He next proceeded to Edinburgh, and there called a council for the affairs of the Church; and hearing that George Wishart, an eminent reformer, was at the house of Cockburn of Ormiston, Beaten caused Wishart to be apprehended, carried over to St. Andrew's, and shut up in the tower there. The cardinal called a convention of the clergy at St. Andrew's, at which Wishart was condemned for heresy, and adjudged to be burnt — a sentence which was passed and put in force by the cardinal and his clergy, in defiance of the regent, and without the aid of the civil power. The cardinal afterward proceeded to the abbey of Arbroath, to the marriage of his eldest daughter by Mrs. Marion Ogilvy of the house of Airly, with whom he had long lived in concubinage, and there gave her in marriage to the eldest son of the Earl of Crawford, and with her 4000 merks of dowry. He then returned to St. Andrew's, where, on Saturday, May 29, 1546, he was put to death in his own chamber by a party of Reformers, headed by Norman Leslie, heir of the noble house of Rothes, who, we find, had on the 24th of April, 1545, given the cardinal a bond of "manrent" (or admission of feudal homage and fealty), and who had a personal quarrel with the cardinal. The death of Cardinal Beaton was fatal to the ecclesiastical oligarchy which under him trampled alike on law and liberty. Three works of the cardinal's are named: De Legationibus Suis, De Primatu Petri, and Epistole ad Diversos. See Engl. Cyclopadia; Burnet, Hist. of Engl. Reformation, 1, 491-540; Hetherington, Church of Scotland, 1, 42 52.

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