It commemorates Abbot John Hamilton, one of the three natural
sons of James Hamilton, first Earl of Arran. Appointed in 1625,
through the favour of his father, he exercised great influence over
his brother James, second Earl of Arran, Governor of Scotland
during the minority of Queen Mary. He was appointed Bishop of
Dunkeld in 1543, and promoted to the Archbishopric of St.
Andrews in 1549. A firm adherent of Queen Mary, he was con-
demned by the regent Lennox, and was hanged at Stirling on the
1st April, 1570.
After the execution, the body of the archbishop was quartered, but his mangled remains are said to have been carried by his friends to Paisley, and there interred. In the abbey church is a tablet which looks as if it had once marked his grave. Upon it are the archbishop’s armorial bearings, the letters his initials J. H., and the motto he adopted, Misericordia et Pax.
Abbot John Hamilton