New Year of Great Aberdonians begins with Bishop Elphinstone

New Year of Great Aberdonians begins with Bishop Elphinstone

Bishop William Elphinstone – founder of the University of Aberdeen – is the subject for the first Great Aberdonians lecture of 2013.

The series, organised by the University of Aberdeen’s Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, in collaboration with Aberdeen City Council, celebrates the lives of Granite City greats.

Bishop Elphinstone (1431-1514), was one of Aberdeen’s most famous residents, appointed as Bishop of Aberdeen in 1483, he founded King’s College, which was to become the University of Aberdeen, in 1495.

Bishop Elphinstone was also a great statesman and diplomat, negotiating the marriage between King James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor of England.

The free lecture, on January 9, will be presented by Professor Jane Geddes, from the University of Aberdeen’s Department of History of Art.

She said: “Bishop Elphinstone was a man of many achievements - a tidy administrator, patron of architecture and instigator of the first printing press in Scotland.

“This lecture highlights his achievements, with an added dimension: he is compared with his Norwegian contemporary Archbishop Eric Valkendorf (1510-22) of Nidaros (Trondheim).

“Although they probably never met, these two prelates experienced the same tumultuous times on the cusp of the Reformation, living remarkably similar lives.”

Dr Michael Brown, a lecturer in history at the University and organiser of the Great Aberdonians series, said: “Great Aberdonians not only offers an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the fascinating lives of individuals who come from the city, it also sheds light on the creative culture of Aberdeen and its part in the development of modern science, art, philosophy and politics.

“Bishop Elphinstone played a key role in shaping Aberdeen and this promises to be a fascinating insight into his life from a unique perspective.”

Great Aberdonians is free of charge and booking is not required. The lecture will be held in the Town and County Hall, Town House, Union Street, Aberdeen and begins at 7.30pm. Entry is free and booking is not required.

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