Kennedy, James

, bishop of St. Andrew’s, Scotland, and founder of the college of St. Salvator there, was the younger son of James Kennedy, of Dunmure, by the lady | Mary, countess of Angus, his wife, daughter of Robert III. king of Scotland. He was born in 1405, or 1406, and after some preparatory education at home, was sent abroad for his philosophical and theological studies. Entering into holy orders, he was preferred by James I. to the bishopric of Dunkeld in 1437. In order to be better qualified to reform the abuses which had crept into his diocese, he undertook a journey to pope Eugenius IV. then at Florence, but the schism which then prevailed in the church of Rome prevented his procuring the necessary powers. The pope, however, to show his esteem for him, gave him the abbey of Scoon in commendam. In 1440, while he was at Florence, the see of St. Andrew’s becoming vacant, was conferred upon him: and on his return, after being admitted in due form, he restored order and discipline throughout his diocese. In 1444 he was made lord chancellor, but not finding his power equal to his inclination to do good in this office, he resigned it within a few weeks. The nation being much distracted by party feuds during the minority of James II. and bishop Kennedy finding himself unable to compose these differences, determined to go again abroad, and try what he could do in healing that schism in the papacy which had so long disturbed the quiet of the church. With this view he undertook a journey to Rome, with a retinue of thirty persons; and it being necessary to pass through England, he obtained a safe conduct from Henry VI. dated May 28, 1446.

It does not appear that he was very successful as to the objects of this journey; but on his return home he achieved what was more easy and more to his honour. This was his founding a college, or university, at St. Andrew’s, called St. Salvator’s, which he liberally endowed for the maintenance of a provost, four regents, and eight bursars, or exhibitioners. He founded also the collegiate church within the precincts of the college, in which is his tomb, of exquisite workmanship: a few years ago, six magnificent silver maces were discovered within the tomb, exact models of it. One was presented to each of the three other Scotch universities, and three are preserved in the college. He founded also the abbey of the Observantines, which was finished by his successor, bishop Graham, in 1478, but is now a ruin. During the minority of James III. he was appointed one of the lords of the regency, but in fact was allowed the whole power, and, according to Buchanan and | Spotswood, conducted himself with great prudence. Hedied May 10, 1466, and was interred in his collegiate church. In his private character he was frugal, but magnificent in his expences for the promotion of religion and learning. He is, said to have written some political advices, “Monita Politica,” and a History of his own times, both probably lost. 1


Mackenzie’s Lives. Crawford’s Lives of Statesmen.