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Bishop Elphinstone

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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Bishop Elphinstone

A portrait of William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, from the original painting in King's College in Aberdeen. The family coat of arms is also illustrated.

William Elphinstone was born in Glasgow in 1431. He was one of the first students at the new University of Glasgow in the 1450s. In 1456 he graduated MA and was ordained to the priesthood. He studied in Paris and became an authority in canon law, spending several years as a professor in the subject in Paris and Orleans.

In 1471 Elphinstone returned to Glasgow, where Bishop Andrew Muirhead appointed him Episcopal Judge in the Diocese of Glasgow. He was chosen Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow in 1474.

Elphinstone's connection with Glasgow ceased when he was appointed Official of Lothian in 1478. In 1484 he became Bishop of Aberdeen, a post he held for thirty years. In 1494 he procured a papal bull founding King's College, Aberdeen, Scotland's third university.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 941.435 REN

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

bishops, canon law, coats of arms, heraldry, judges, King's College, Aberdeen, portraits, priests, printing press, professors, rectors, University of Glasgow

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