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 St. Andrews ... Historical People

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These people have all played a major role in the history of St. Andrews. Many are depicted in the annual Kate Kennedy Procession. Clicking on the icon will take you to our multimedia presentation on that person in the Millennium Kate Kennedy Procession.

Earl of Arran The Earl of Arran led the seige against protestant reformers holding the castle in 1546-1547.
St. Andrew, Apostle of Jesus St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland was St. Peter's brother. Formerly a fisherman, he became an apostle of Jesus.

Cardinal David Beaton


Archbishop of St. Andrews. Known for his persecution of protestant reformers. He was murdered shortly after George Wishart was burned at the stake. See also Scotland: Famous People
Rev. Dr. Andrew Bell
(1753 - 1832)
The founder of Madras College (1832), he was born in a house at 107 South Street. A native of, and student in, St. Andrews, and tutor in Virginia; he became superintendent of a military school/orphanage in Madras, India. There he developed the 'monitorial' system of having older pupils tutor younger ones. A system which gained wide acceptance. Dr. Bell was also founder of the Bell Baxter High School in Cupar.
Sir David Brewster
(1781 - 1868)
Is famous for his contributions to optics especially microscopes, and the invention of the Kaleidoscope (Greek: "beautiful form to see"). In 1838 he became principal of the university
Paul Craw Paul Craw was a refugee from Bohemia who taught the doctrines of John Hus, sometimes referred to as the "Morning Star" of the Reformation. The Bible translations of Tyndale and Wycliff were begining to circulate in Scotland. He was burned at the stake in Market Street in 1433.
Henry Forrest Martyred for confessing that he felt Patrick Hamilton's views were defensible. He was suffocated privately, so as not to increase the public outcry at Hamilton's death.
Patrick Hamilton

In 1528 Patrick Hamilton was burned at the stake, outside St.Salvators College. Legend has it that, as he died, the image opposite appeared on the wall of St. Salvators clock tower.

Set in the cobblestones at the place where he died are the initials "PH". Standing on these initials is reputed to result in exam failure and other such salutory repercussions for those who would carelessly trespass on his memory.

John Honey In January 1800, John Honey swam out to the wreck of the Janet of MacDuff, a sailing vessel which had run aground and was being broken apart by a storm. He resucued all five sailors.
The Computational Science building of the university is named after him, and a stained glass window in the chapel commemorates his heroism.
Bishop James Kennedy Uncle of Kate Kennedy, it was he who taught James II that an effective way of breaking the power of his nobles was like breaking a bundle of arrows ... most easily done one at a time.
Kate Kennedy
Bishop Kennedy and his niece Kate as depicted during an annual "Kate Kennedy" procession.
Kate Kennedy is a somewhat mythical figure in St. Andrews' past. She was the niece of Bishop James Kennedy.During the procession, the part of Kate is played by a first year male student (bejant)
Norman Leslie Norman Leslie was a leader of those protestants occupying the castle during the seige of 1546 - 1547
Dame Louisa Lumsden
Louisa Lumsden was one of the chief founders and first headmistress of St. Leonard's School (1877). She also became Warden of University Hall, and was created DBE in 1935.
Old Tom Morris
Old Tom Morris was born in St. Andrews and competed in every Open Championship up to 1896. He won the Open four times and still holds the record as the oldest winner in 1867, when he was 46 years old.
Young Tom Morris
The first recorded "hole in one" was made by Young Tom Morris during the Open Championship at Prestwick in 1868. He won the championship four years in a row; a feat which has not been equalled. His young bride of just a year died in childbirth and Young Tom Morris never recovered from the shock. He died just a few months later.
Walter Myln
Walter Myln was burned at the stake outside Deans Court. He is one of the martyrs commemorated by Martyrs Monument. At the place where he died, protestant mobs burned statuary torn from the cathedral when it was sacked in 1559
John Knox (1505?-1572) The Thundering Scot
St. Rule,also known as St. Regulus (Latin) Legend has it that St. Rule, a Greek monk, was given a vision to bring some of the relics of St. Andrew from Constantinople to "the ends of the earth" for safety. What relics there may have been have long since vanished, quite possibly as a result of the ravages of the Reformation.
Samuel Rutherford
(1600 - 1661)

Samuel Rutherford
In 1647 Rutherford was appointed principal of St. Mary's at St. Andrews, and later, rector of the university. He was preeminent in Scotland as a scholar and leader. He was well known on the Continent and in 1648 and 1651 declined appointments to Dutch universities. Rutherford is best known for his work "Lex Rex" in which he assails the concept of the "Divine Right" of kings and also for his pastoral letters. The Restoration of Charles II in 1660 put him in great peril. He was removed from office, but died on 29 March 1661 before the full fury of the storm of persecution broke.
Archbishop James Sharp (1618 - 1679)

Archbishop James Sharp in his coach, as depicted in an annual Kate Kennedy Procession. His coach is still said to continue it's journey at night and noiselessly through the streets of St. Andrews.
Archbishop Sharp was murdered by covenanters at Magus Muir. His tomb is visible inside Holy Trinity Church in South Street.Sharp had been heavily in the service of the king in establishing the Episcopalian church in Scotland. The covenanters were zealously pursuing the vision of the reformation of 100 years earlier where the church was not headed by the King, indeed they owned no other king but Jesus. This concept had been enshrined in several "covenants". It seems that those who way-laid Sharp were actually expecting another victim, but seized the opportunity and stabbed him some 16 times in full view of his daughter. Bishop Paterson, notorious for inventing Thumb Screws, preached at Sharp's funeral.
Bishop Henry Wardlaw Founder of the University of St. Andrews (1411)
George Wishart (1513 - 1546) Protestant Reformer and martyr. A plaque outside the castle commemorates the place of his execution (marked with the initials "GW" set in cobblestones. The Wishart Society has an excellent page on the circumstances of his martyrdom. (See also the Calvinist Corner)
James Wilson
(1742 - 1798)
A native of St. Andrews, emigrated to America in 1765. He was one of only six people who was both a signer of the US Declaration of Independence and a signer of the US constitution. He became the first Justice of the US Supreme Court.
Prince William
(1982 - )

First son of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Princess Diana.
Educated at Eton and studying the History of Art at St Andrews. Prince William is directly in line to the British throne.

Prince William matriculated at the University in Spetember 2001.

(NOTE: In order to help preserve the Prince's privacy, there will NOT be extensive coverage of his university education at this site.)

For information on other characters in St. Andrews' past ... select from the following list
Further Reading

See Also: Great Scots and Famous Golfers

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