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Archbishop Beaton's Seal, 1557-1560

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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Archbishop Beaton's Seal, 1557-1560

Seal of James Beaton, the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, 1552-60. St Kentigern is shown alongside the fish with the ring, above a shield containing the the arms of the families of Beaton and Balfour quarterly.

Beaton was the great-nephew of the previous archbishop of the same name. He was appointed archbishop at a time of religious and civil strife. Beaton sided with the queen-regent of Scotland, Mary of Guise, and the pro-French nobles against the Protestant, pro-English nobles. When the latter triumphed at the Reformation in 1560, he left for Paris, taking with him the records and treasures of Glasgow Cathedral which he deposited in the Scots College there. The archives were later lost in the French Revolution.

Beaton spent the rest of his life in Paris, as ambassador of Mary, Queen of Scots and then King James VI to France. He survived to witness the union of the English and Scottish crowns under King James in 1603, just a month before Beaton's death.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 941.435 REN

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

ambassadors, archbishops, archives, coats of arms, French Revolution, Glasgow Cathedral, heraldry, Reformation, regents, Roman Catholic Church, Scots College, seals

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