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HENRY, BISHOP OF ROSS 1565

[From Memorials of Knox; Balfour's Annals; Tytler]

Henry, third son of Sir Oliver St.Clair of Roslin, was born in 1508; studied at St.Andrew's, and was incorporated in St.Leonards College in 1521; in 1537 was appointed Lord of Session, and admitted 13th November same, as Rector of Glasgow; in 1541 became coordindator of the Abbey of Kilwinning, exchanged in 1550 for the Deanery of Glasgow. While Dean of Glasgow he went as ambassador to England in 1550, and thence to Flanders and concluded a peace with the Emperor. On his return from France in 1555 many legal reforms were introduced at his instance. He was a boundary Commissioner in May 1557; became Lord President of the Court of Session 2nd December 1553, and in 1560 was nominated to the see of Ross, special means being taken to expedite his appointment. A prelate present at the Convention of 22nd December 1561, the Bishop of Ross was selected as one of twelve Privy Councilors, his high qualifications outweighing the then unpopularity of his cloth. Queen Mary asking his counsel, 20th May 1563, as to the acts in limitation of Romanism, he affirmed "that she must see her laws kept or else she would get no obedience", and when she held her ninth parliament in June 1563, in which the "Act of Oblivion" was ratified, the privilege of those worthy to enjoy it was entrusted chiefly to his decision. He disconcerted the Queen in December 1563, by speaking in favour of Knox, then arraigned before Queen and Council. Queen Mary applied to Elizabeth of England, 20th February 1563-4, for a safe conduct "unto our truest Counsellor Henry, Bishop of Ross". He died at Paris 2nd January 1564-5, after undergoing a painful surgical operation. His name written upon various books and Manuscripts preserved in the Advocates' Library, and in other collections, evince his great love of literature.

JOHN, BISHOP OF BRECHIN

[From Memorials of Knox]

This prelate, fifth son of Sir Oliver St.Clair of Roslin, was admitted Lord of Council and Session under the title of Rector of Snaw, 27th April 1540, and in 1549 sat in the Provincial Council at Edinburgh as Dean of Restalrig. On 18th September 1564, Queen Mary applied for a safe conduct for his return from the parts of France. He solemnised the marriage of Henry, King, and Marie, Queen of Scots, at 6 a.m., Sunday, 29th July 1565, in the Chapel of Holyroodhouse. In 1565 the Dean was promoted to the see of Brechin, and on 13th November same, succeeded his brother as President or the Court of Session. He died of fever in April 1566, at the house of James Mossman, Forrester's Wynd, Edinburgh, having then in his possession the materials collected by his brother Henry for writing a history of Scotland.

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