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James Kennedy

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Bishop of St. Andrews, Scotland. Born about 1406; died 10 May, 1466. Of the ancient house of Kennedy of Denure, he was a son of Lady Mary, daughter of King Robert III, and was therefore a cousin of James II, then reigning in Scotland. After studying on the Continent, he was appointed Bishop of Dunkeld in 1438, and Abbot of Scone soon afterwards, and in 1440 he succeeded Henry Wardlaw as Bishop of St Andrews. Appointed chancellor in 1444, he showed himself a vigorous reformer of the civil and ecclesiastical abuses rampant in Scotland, and consequently incurred the enmity of many of the nobles. Kennedy soon resigned the chancellorship, finding it incompatible with his ecclesiastical duties, to which he devoted himself with the greatest assiduity. His zeal for learning was shown by his foundation and munificent endowment, in 1450, of St. Salvator's College, St. Andrews, with the sanction and approval of Nicholas V and Pius II. He introduced the Franciscan Observants into St. Andrews, in 1458; and he also built a vessel -- described by his comtemporaries as "a vast ship of great burden" -- for trading purposes, called the St. Salvator, which remained the property of the see till 1472, when it was wrecked. At the death of James II, in 1460, Kennedy was chosen a regent of the kingdom, and exercised the office until his death five years later. The remains of his splendid tomb are still to be seen in the ruined chapel of St. Salvator's. Kennedy was one of the most learned, wise, and pious prelates of the ancient Scottish Church.

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