Gavin Dunbar (archbishop)
Gavin Dunbar was a 16th century archbishop of Glasgow
Archbishop of Glasgow
The Bishop of Glasgow, from 1492 Archbishop of Glasgow, was the ecclesiastical head of the Diocese of Glasgow and then, as Archbishop of Glasgow, the Archdiocese of Glasgow...

. He was the third son of John Dunbar of Mochrum and Janet Stewart.

Gavin Dunbar, his uncle, resigned as Dean of Moray
Dean of Moray
The Dean of Moray was the head of the cathedral chapter of the diocese of Moray, north-central Scotland, based at Elgin Cathedral. The diocese of Moray is first known to have had a dean from a document dating between 1207 and 1208, and its first dean known by name from a document dating between...

 on 5 November 1518 to take up the post of bishop of Aberdeen
Bishop of Aberdeen
The Bishop of Aberdeen was the ecclesiastical head of the Diocese of Aberdeen, one of Scotland's 13 medieval bishoprics, whose first recorded bishop is an early 12th century cleric named Nechtan...

 but managed to secure his former position for his nephew. By 1518 he was preceptor
A preceptor is a teacher responsible to uphold a certain law or tradition, a precept.-Christian military orders:A preceptor was historically in charge of a preceptory, the headquarters of certain orders of monastic Knights, such as the Knights Hospitaller and Knights Templar, within a given...

 to king James V
James V of Scotland
James V was King of Scots from 9 September 1513 until his death, which followed the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss...

 and that same year was recommended to Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

 by the Duke of Albany for provision to the Priory of Whithorn
Whithorn Priory
Whithorn Priory is located in Wigtownshire, Galloway. It was founded about the middle of the twelfth century, in the reign of David I, by Fergus, Lord of Galloway, with Gille Aldan, Bishop of Galloway, for Premonstratensian Canons, referred colloquially in Britain as the White Canons.The canons of...

. This appointment was sought by others and it wasn't until August 1520 that it was confirmed. Dunbar was to hold the positions of Prior of Whithorn and Dean of Moray in commendam.

On 8 July 1524 he was provided to the archbishopric of Glasgow by Pope Clement VII
Pope Clement VII
Clement VII , born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was a cardinal from 1513 to 1523 and was Pope from 1523 to 1534.-Early life:...

, granting at the same time exemption from the primatial and legatine jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of St Andrews
Archbishop of St Andrews
The Bishop of St. Andrews was the ecclesiastical head of the Diocese of St Andrews and then, as Archbishop of St Andrews , the Archdiocese of St Andrews.The name St Andrews is not the town or church's original name...

, Primate of All Scotland. Nevertheless, Dunbar's rule would see a good deal of conflict with his fellow archbishop, including in 1543 physical attacks by Dunbar on the person of Cardinal and Archbishop David Beaton
David Beaton
The Most Rev. Dr. David Cardinal Beaton was Archbishop of St Andrews and the last Scottish Cardinal prior to the Reformation.-Career:...

. Dunbar was made Chancellor of Scotland on 8 July 1528, a position he held until 1543.

Dunbar's archiepiscopate coincided with one of the first tides of Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 to enter Scotland. Dunbar played a proactive role persecuting the perceived heretics. In 1539 alone he ordered the burning of seven people, including a youth named Kennedy and a Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

A friar is a member of one of the mendicant orders.-Friars and monks:...

 named Jerome Russell. On 29 February 1528, Dunbar attended the trial and signed the sentence of Patrick Hamilton
Patrick Hamilton (martyr)
Patrick Hamilton was a Scottish churchman and an early Protestant Reformer in Scotland. He travelled to Europe, where he met several of the leading reforming thinkers, before returning to Scotland to preach...

, who was burned alive
Execution by burning
Death by burning is death brought about by combustion. As a form of capital punishment, burning has a long history as a method in crimes such as treason, heresy, and witchcraft....

 for six hours before dying (the faggots were wet), a death which made him one of the Scottish Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

's most famous martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...


Dunbar also is known for his "Monition of Cursing" against the Border Reivers
Border Reivers
Border Reivers were raiders along the Anglo–Scottish border from the late 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. Their ranks consisted of both Scottish and English families, and they raided the entire border country without regard to their victims' nationality...

 of the Anglo-Scottish Border region. George MacDonald Fraser
George MacDonald Fraser
George MacDonald Fraser, OBE was an English-born author of Scottish descent, who wrote both historical novels and non-fiction books, as well as several screenplays.-Early life and military career:...

, in his history of the Reivers, The Steel Bonnets, admiringly calls it a "remarkable burst of invective," and says that it places Dunbar "among the great cursers of all time." Priests in all of the parishes of the border lands were required to read out the curse (written in Scots) to their congregations; one small piece stated:
... I curse thair heid and all the haris of thair heid; I curse thair face, thair ene, thair mouth, thair neise thair toung, thair teith, thair crag, thair schulderis, thair breist, thair hert, thair stomok, thair bak, thair wame, thair armes, thair leggis, thair handis, thair feit, and everilk part of thair body, frae the top of thair heid to the soill of thair feit, befoir and behind, within and without...
The Monition not only curses the Reivers themselves, but their horses, their clothing, their crops, and all who aid them in any way. Gavin issued the curse in October 1525 during efforts for Anglo-Scottish peace at the instance of Cardinal Wolsey and Dr. Thomas Magnus
Thomas Magnus
Thomas Magnus, , English administrator and diplomat; Archdeacon of the East Riding of Yorkshire 1504, employed on diplomatic missions 1509-19 and 1524-7; present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold 1520; Privy councillor c.1520; awarded a doctorate by the University of Oxford 1520; canon of Windsor...


Gavin Dunbar died on 30 April 1547. He left a legacy of £800 for repairing Glasgow Cathedral
Glasgow Cathedral
The church commonly known as Glasgow Cathedral is the Church of Scotland High Kirk of Glasgow otherwise known as St. Mungo's Cathedral.The other cathedrals in Glasgow are:* The Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew...

. After the reformation, on 22 April 1581, James VI gifted the income from a number of church lands bought with the money to Glasgow town for the church's upkeep.


The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.