Graham, Patrick d. 1478, archbishop of St. Andrews, was younger son of Sir William Graham of Kincardine, sometimes called Lord Graham of Dundresmore, by Mary, countess of Angus, a daughter of Robert III. Her first husband was George Douglas, first earl of Angus [qv.]. After his death in 1403 she married Sir James Kennedy of Dunure and became the mother of Gilbert, first lord Kennedy, and James Kennedy, the predecessor of Graham in the see of St. Andrews. Surviving her second husband she married Sir W. Graham. Their elder son James was the first laird of Fintry, the ancestor of Claverhouse. After the death of Graham she married for the fourth time Sir William Edmonstone of Duntreath. The date of Patrick's birth has not been ascertained. He was educated at the university of St. Andrews, where he was dean of the Faculty of Arts in 1457. His royal descent and connections through his mother's marriages with the powerful family of Angus and with the good Bishop Kennedy, his uterine brother, pointed to the service of the church as the road to high preferment, and in 1463 he was consecrated Bishop of Brechin. Three years later he succeeded Kennedy, who died in July 1465, in the primacy of Scotland. Soon after his succession to St. Andrews, Graham went to Rome to avoid the enmity of the Boyds, then at the height of their power in the Scottish court, and to procure his confirmation by the pope, and he remained abroad till the fall of the Boyds in 1469. He was present as conservator in a provincial council held in Scotland in July 1470, by which an end was put to the dispute between John Lochy, the rector of the university of St. Andrews, and the college of St. Salvator, on which Pius II had conferred the power of granting degrees in theology and arts. The rector resisted, but Graham obtained its recognition. He returned to Rome on the accession of Sixtus IV, and at his instance a series of bulls were issued by that pope in the first year of his pontificate, which raised St. Andrews to the dignity of an archbishopric and made the Scottish bishops subject to its see. These bulls are dated 17 Aug. 1472. The first contains the erection of the metropolitan see, the grant of the pall and cross, and jurisdiction over the other sees of Scotland. The others are addressed to the suffragan bishops, the chapters of their sees, the clergy, the people, and the king respectively, requiring due obedience to the new metropolitan. The cause of granting this dignity to St. Andrews is stated in the bull to have been the inconvenience of appeal to Rome necessary from the absence of a Scottish metropolitan. But it also noticed that appeals were sometimes taken to an illegal tribunal, and the bull was undoubtedly designed to terminate the long-slumbering but never abandoned claim of York, which Neville, its archbishop, at this time renewed, to supremacy over the Scottish church, as well as the claim of Drontheim or Trondhjem over the dioceses of Orkney and the Isles. The pope granted the priory of Pittenweem and several parish churches as a provision for the archiepiscopal see. This was followed by another papal bull on 17 Feb. 1473 constituting Graham papal nuncio for the purpose of raising supplies for the crusade against the Turks. The publication of these bulls in the September following was, according to Lochy, grateful to the people of Scotland, but they roused the jealousy of the other Scottish bishops now for the first time subordinated to one of their own number, and the contest for precedence and power broke out in Scotland with peculiar virulence. The Bishop of Aberdeen, the collegiate church of St. Giles in Edinburgh, and the university of St. Andrews obtained bulls exempting them from the jurisdiction of St. Andrews. Neville, the archbishop of York, protested against a change which deprived his see not only of its general claim to supremacy, but of jurisdiction over the see of Galloway, which up to this time it had exercised, and the Archbishop of Drontheim fifty years later made a similar protest against the severance of the Orkneys from his diocese. These were ineffective protests. Neville was then in prison, and the Scottish overpowered the English influence in the Roman curia. Denmark had still less influence, and was at this time probably restrained from active opposition by the recent marriage of James III to its princess. Within Scotland itself a more powerful combination of adversaries attacked the prelate who had asserted the supremacy of his see. The clergy raised a tax of twelve thousand merks, the last granted by them, to gain the king, who, notwithstanding his near kinship with Graham, the wise counsel he owed to Bishop Kennedy, and the interest of the crown in supporting the dignity of the primate, espoused the side of the enemies of the archbishop. The weak side of James III exposed him to be governed in the church by the able, ambitious priest William Scheves [qv.], archdeacon of St. Andrews, as in his civil government by Cochrane, earl of Mar. Scheves's institution in the archdeaconry to which the king appointed him was refused by Graham on the ground that he was ignorant of theology and addicted to astrology. He retaliated by combining with Lochy, the rector of the university, in charging Graham with obtaining the power of a nuncio without the consent of the king. Lochy is said by Spotiswood to have gone the length of excommunicating the archbishop, a step which he not unnaturally treated with contempt. But his implacable enemies, obtaining the king's assistance, carried the case to Rome. To add to his difficulties, he was obliged to conciliate the king and his courtiers by grants from the revenues of his diocese, which left him unable to meet the demands of the Roman bankers who had lent him the necessary money to procure the bulls. Several brief notices in the treasurer's accounts show that proceedings against him began as early as August 1473 before his return to Scotland, when a reward was paid to a chaplain at St. Andrews for information against him, and ships belonging to him were arrested in the king's name. On 6 Sept. on his way home from Rome the Carrick pursuivant was sent with letters of summons to him at Bruges, and in November a council was called to consider his case. Its records have not been preserved, but the result was his suspension from office by the appointment of Scheves as his coadjutor, the sequestration of the revenues of the see, and the reference of the accusations against him to the pope. The pope sent John Huseman, dean of Suza in the diocese of Cologne, his nuncio and commissioner to Scotland, who reported the conclusions of his inquiry to the papal consistory. So far as these appear in official documents they are to be found in the bull of 5 Dec. 1476, by which Huseman was appointed, and another of 9 Jan. 1478, in which the charges against Graham are declared proved, and sentence of deposition from his see pronounced against him as guilty of heresy and simony. The crimes for which he was condemned were maladministration of his diocese by oppression both of his ecclesiastical and lay subjects, especially the members of the university; erasure and falsification of the papal briefs, and disobedience to their orders; the celebration after excommunication or interdict of mass three times a day; blasphemy and defamation of the holy see; the declaration, both in the presence of Huseman, the pope's delegate, and at other times, that he was himself a pope elected by God and crowned by an angel for the reformation of the church; the creation of prothonotaries and legates, and the revocation of indulgences granted by the pope on the ground that they had been purchased. The generality of some of these charges and the nature of others led to two opposite theories as to the conduct of Graham, which first appear in historians comparatively near his own time and have been repeated since. One was that he was mad; but apart from the occurrence of the word dementias in the former of these bulls, which in the redundant style of the Roman chancery, when associated with inquietationes atque molestias, can hardly refer to actual insanity, there is no support for this view in contemporary documents, though it is hinted at by Buchanan and Lesley. The other, for which Buchanan's narrative, followed by Spotiswood, is probably the original authority, is that Graham was really a precursor of the reformers. Mr. Dickson, in his preface to the treasurer's accounts, goes so far as to say that it is not improbable that he had become a convert to the reforming principles of the Lollards, and that it may not have been thought expedient to betray too broadly the direction in which so great a dignitary of the church had apostatised. But this is an inference for which the facts we know afford insufficient foundation. The celebration of three masses a day, almost the only specific charge against Graham, scarcely savours of Lollardism, though Buchanan gives it something of that colour by his remark that the bishops of that age seldom celebrated so many in three months. The declaration that he was himself a pope and appointed to reform the church may, however, point to a tendency in Graham to correct the abuses which, by the confession of the most catholic historian of Scotland, Lesley, were then corrupting the ecclesiastical state of Scotland, especially in the appointments to benefices of unworthy persons for money or favour, and this seems to have been the opinion of Spotiswood. The general verdict of historians is certainly favourable to Graham, who is represented as a good bishop, and his deposition as an act of oppression under the guise of a judicial process. The remainder of his life was spent in prison, first in Inchcolm, then for fear of his release by the English fleet in Dunfermline, and finally in the castle of Lochleven, where he died in 1478. He was buried in the chapel on the island of St. Serf. The bull deposing him says that Huseman sent a full notarial report of the inquiry into the charges against him to Rome. The publication of the Vatican records may further elucidate his singular fate. His character has hitherto been judged by the acts of his adversaries rather than by his own.
Theiner, Vet. Mon. Hib. et Scotić and histories of Lesley, Buchanan, and Spotiswood
Keith's Cat. of the Scottish Bishops
Dickson's Pref. to Accounts of High Treasurer of Scotland
Lyon's Hist. of St. Andrews, i. 250.
Contributor: Ć. M. [Aeneas James George Mackay]