John Balfour (bishop)

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John Balfour
Bishop of Brechin
See Diocese of Brechin
In office 1465–1488
Predecessor Patrick Graham
Successor William Meldrum
Consecration 8 December 1488
Personal details
Born unknown
Died 1488
Previous post Vicar of Linlithgow
Rector of Conveth

John Balfour (died 1488) was a 15th-century Scottish prelate. He was vicar of Linlithgow and rector of Conveth, before being provided as bishop of Brechin on 29 November 1465.[1] He was consecrated on 8 December by Mark, bishop of Vicenza, with the assistance of Athanasius, bishop of Gerace and Patrick (Balfour's predecessor), bishop of St Andrews.[1]

He was allowed to retain the church of Conveth (now called Lawrencekirk) after becoming bishop, the papal documents stating that he had held this rectorship for more than nine years prior to 1465.[2] On 9 December his proctor offered 500 gold florins to the papacy.[2]

As bishop, Balfour sat frequently in parliament, his first recorded appearance being 14 October 1467.[3]

After twenty-three years in office there was preparation to secure the appointment of William Meldrum, vicar of Brechin, to the see.[4] On June 4 1488 a payment of 200 lb. of Flemish groats was made by Walter Monypenny, prior of Loch Leven, to a Florentine merchant for securing bulls in Meldrum's favour; Meldrum was to succeed to the bishopric on the expected vacancy following "the resignation or death of the reverend father in Christ, John Balfour, now bishop of Brechin".[4]

Meldrum was appointed on 4 July.[4] It is unclear if Balfour resigned or died in office. He was definitely dead by 28 July.[3]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Patrick Graham
Bishop of Brechin
Succeeded by
William Meldrum


  1. ^ a b Dowden, Bishops, p. 187; Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 41
  2. ^ a b Dowden, Bishops, p. 187
  3. ^ a b Dowden, Bishops, p. 188
  4. ^ a b c Dowden, Bishops, p. 188; Watt, Fasti Ecclessiae, p. 41


  • Dowden, John (1912), The Bishops of Scotland : Being Notes on the Lives of All the Bishops, under Each of the Sees, Prior to the Reformation, Glasgow: James Maclehose and Sons 
  • Watt, D. E. R., ed. (1969), Fasti Ecclesiae Scotinanae Medii Aevi ad annum 1638 (Revised ed.), St Andrews: Fasti Committee, Department of Mediaeval History, St Salvator's College