Thomas Vaus

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Thomas Vaus [de Vaus, Vause] was a 15th-century Scottish royal official and cleric. He was a graduate of the University of Paris, being admitted there as a Bachelor ad eundem in 1445, graduating as a Licentiate in 1447.[1] At some stage he completed an M.A., and bore the title of "Master". His brother Martin Vaus, later Dean of Ross, was at Paris with him.[1] He became Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland and secretary of King James II of Scotland.[2]

On 8 May 1456, he was provided to succeed James Inglis as Dean of Glasgow Cathedral.[3] In the following year, Vaus was provided to bishopric of Galloway, vacant on the expected translation of Thomas Spens to the bishopric of Aberdeen on 21 November 1457. Unfortunately for Vaus, Spens' translation to Aberdeen was not effective, and while Spens was indeed successfully translated to Aberdeen in the following year, it was Ninian Spot, not Vaus, who on 15 December 1458 got the new provision to Galloway. The reasons for this change are not clear, but Thomas never became a consecrated Bishop of Galloway nor did he ever attain another bishopric.

In 1468, he exchanged the deanery of Glasgow with James Lindsay to become Precentor of Elgin Cathedral ("Precentor of Moray").[4] He was Dean of Fortrose Cathedral ("Dean of Ross") following the death of the previous dean David Ogilvie; this occurred perhaps as early as 18 May 1457, that is if Vaus is the same as the "Thomas Ross" provided in that year; he was certainly provided to the deanery by 21 October 1458,.[5] This provision involved him in litigation with one David Balfour, who was said to have been in possession of the deanery on 25 June 1463.[5] Thomas in turn was said to have been in possession of the deanery on 27 September 1466; but sometime between the last date and 14 May 1468 Thomas resigned it to the Bishop of Aberdeen, who in turn collated Thomas' brother Martin to the deanery.[5]

Thomas Vaus resigned, sometime between 4 August 1478 and 8 June 1480, the precentorship of Moray to his relative Alexander Vaus, not to be confused with Alexander Vaus the bishop. Little is heard of Thomas after this.[6]


  1. ^ a b Dowden, Bishops, p. 369.
  2. ^ The authority for both positions are given in Dowden, Bishops, p. 369, as Exchequer Rolls, vi. 146 and R. M. S. ii.
  3. ^ Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 155.
  4. ^ Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, pp. 155, 224.
  5. ^ a b c Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 273.
  6. ^ Watt, Fasti Ecclesiae, p. 224.


  • Donaldson, Gordon, "The Bishops and Priors of Whithorn", in Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History & Antiquarians Society: Transactions and Journal of Proceedings, Third Series, vol. 27 (1950), pp. 127–54
  • Keith, Robert, An Historical Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops: Down to the Year 1688, (London, 1824)
  • Watt, D. E. R., Fasti Ecclesiae Scotinanae Medii Aevi ad annum 1638, 2nd Draft, (St Andrews, 1969)
Religious titles
Preceded by
James Inglis
Dean of Glasgow
Succeeded by
James Lindsay
Preceded by
Thomas Spens
Bishop of Galloway
unsuccessful provision

Succeeded by
Ninian Spot
Preceded by
David Ogilvie
Thomas Ross?
Dean of Ross
1457 × 1458-1466 × 1468
opposed by:
David Balfour, 1458-1463
Alexander de Lumsden, 1466
Succeeded by
Martin Vaus
Preceded by
James Lindsay
Precentor of Moray
1468-1478 × 1480
opposed by:
James Inglis, 1468-1471 × 1474
Succeeded by
Alexander Vaus
(not bishop Alexander Vaus)