Study at Paris


In 1517 or 1518 Hamilton travelled to France to study at the University of Paris. In 1520, he was awarded the degree of Master of Arts. It is at the University of Paris that Hamilton might have first encountered the theology of Martin Luther. We know that Luther’s theology was being discussed in Paris as a 1521 decree of the Sorbonne ordered that his works should be burnt. It is possible that Hamilton also studied in Louvain, although there is no surviving record of his registration at this university.

Alexander Alane, a contemporary of Hamilton, described the young scholar as “a man of excellent learning and very acute mind, and all for recalling philosophy to its sources—to Aristotle and Plato—and for utterly banishing sophistry from the schools”.

Faculty meeting at the university of Paris: BNF, Français 1537, fol. 27v

Faculty meeting at the university of Paris: BNF, Français 1537, fol. 27v

Further Reading

Iain Torrance, ‘Hamilton, Patrick (1504?–1528)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.