Clan Wishart People
Robert Wishart was Bishop of Glasgow during the Wars of Scottish Independence and a leading supporter of Robert Bruce. He was related to William Wishart a Bishop of St. Andrews and Chancellor of Scotland. Wishart was appointed Bishop of Glasgow in 1273.
On the untimely death of Alexander III in 1286 Wishart was one of six guardians of Scotland while Margaret, the Maid of Norway was in her infancy however with her death in 1290 a struggle for the throne of Scotland ensued. Wishart held negotiations with King Edward of England, defending Scotland’s sovereignty against Edwards claims of lordship. Despite his efforts Edward was still accepted as overlord.
Wishart sided with the Bruce claims to the throne and was elemental in setting up the ‘Auld Alliance’ between Scotland and France however like many other Scottish nobles he was forced to sign the Ragman Roll in 1296 pledging loyalty to Edward of England. Even so he never gave up his work to restore Scotland’s independence. He was also an advocate for the independence of the Scottish church from outside control and this led him to spearhead the uprising against English occupation in 1297. Wishart convinced William Wallace to take arms against the English before he himself could be arrested and imprisoned. once again he was forced to swear an oath to Edward but broke it again s soon as he was released.
Wishart continued to be a thorn in Edward’s side, leading him to complain to Pope Boniface, who in turn asked him to ease off on Edward and denounced Wishart for his stance. After Bruce Murdered Comyn in Dumfries Wishart’s continued support ensured that the political situation was kept under control and under his careful management Bruce was crowned in 1306. This immediately led to war with England and Wishart was involved again; taking the timber that had been given by England to repair Glasgow Cathedral to use in the building of siege devices.
Bruce’s early campaign did not go well and after loosing at Methven Wishart was captured and taken to England in chains. He remained in prison for another 8 years, finally being released as part of a prisoner exchange after Bannockburn and returned to Scotland where he lived his remaining life in peace.
Wishart may be one of the great unsung heroes of Scottish independence, not a sword wielding type like Wallace or Bruce but was still in no small way instrumental in building the nation of Scotland.
George Wishart (c. 1513 – 1 March 1546)
George Wishart was a Scottish religious reformer and Protestant martyr. He was educated at Kings College in Aberdeen and later at the University of Leuven. Wishart became a schoolmaster in Montrose but his teachings of the New Testament led to his investigation by the Bishop of Brechin in 1538. Wishart fled to England but was once again had charges brought against him.
Around 1542 he entered Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he studied and taught. but returned to Scotland the following year, taking up his old post. It was believed that he was implicated in a plat against Cardinal Beaton
In 1544 he began preaching, taking on a young disciple; John Knox. His outspoken views against the Papacy led to frequent trouble as he moved from place to place, finally at Ormiston in East Lothian, in 1545, he was seized by the Earl of Bothwell on the orders of Cardinal Beaton. In a ‘show trial’ he was condemned to death and burned at the stake at St Andrews on 1 March 1546.
Partly in revenge for Wishart’s death Cardinal Beaton was later assassinated. and Wisharts teachings on Calvinism were carried on by John Knox.