Bishop Henry Wardlaw

Founder of the first Scottish University, St Andrews

Though the church in Scotland by the middle of the 14th century on was decaying quickly, there were some brighter spots, with several great clerics shining out through the darkness of the 15th century. Bishop Turnbull for example, who founded Glasgow University in 1451, Bishop Elphinstone, who founded King's College, Aberdeen, in 1496, and was the first patron of printing in Scotland, and Bishop Wardlaw, who founded St Andrews University in 1410, basing it on the concept of the college in Paris.

Although 1410 is often given as the date, Wardlaw's charter was in 1412, and was confirmed in 1413 by the Avignon Pope, Benedict XIII. Wardlaw was the first Chancellor, with Laurence of Lindores first Rector and Dean of Arts.

Henry Wardlaw was a nephew of Cardinal Wardlaw of Glasgow, and became Bishop of St Andrews in 1403. One of the first Lollards, John Resby, an English priest, was burnt as a martyr during Wardlaw's term of office. Lollards were preachers to the people against corruption in Church and State. But basically, Wardlaw seems to have been one of the good clerics.