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David Beaton

Beaton or Bethune, David (both: bēˈtən) [key], 1494–1546, Scottish churchman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was made cardinal in 1538 and succeeded his uncle, James Beaton, as archbishop of St. Andrews and primate of Scotland in 1539. Beaton arranged the marriage of James V and Mary of Guise and tried to assume the regency for Mary Queen of Scots (1542), but James Hamilton, 2d earl of Arran, seized power. The following year Arran renounced Protestantism and sided with Beaton, who crowned Mary. Beaton became chancellor of Scotland and ably opposed the designs of Henry VIII of England. Beaton's relentless persecution of Scottish reformers led to the execution of George Wishart in 1546, and in reprisal the cardinal himself was murdered in his castle two months later.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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