Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Battling Bishop, Glasgow

The effigy depicted in the picture below, located in Glasgow Cathedral, is thought to be the effigy of Bishop Wishart, a towering figure in medieval Scotland’s struggle for independence. Robert Wishart (1271-1316) was a supporter of Robert the Bruce. He played a key role in promoting Bruce’s claim to the throne and resisting the English. His pivotal moment was in spring of 1306 after Bruce murdered his rival, St John Cornyn, in Greyfriars Church, Dumfries. Far from excommunicating Bruce, the bishop urged him on. Wishart provided Bruce with coronation robes and a royal banner, which he had hidden in the cathedral.

Shortly afterwards, Wishart was captured at Cupar, clapped in irons and taken to England. His rank saved him from death, but he was not repatriated until after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. He died on 26 November 1316 and was laid to rest in his beloved cathedral, close to St Mungo’s tomb. 

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