Despite urging from his brother-in-law, James V did not follow the same path as Henry VIII in splitting with the Catholic Church. Indeed, if anything, James V drew himself closer to Rome. With England on the verge of breaking away, James was able to extract financial and religious concessions from the Pope which meant that James was, in his own way, as powerful a leader in terms of the Scottish Church as Henry was in terms of the English.James was certainly open to the same abuses - appointing various of his illegitimate offspring to positions of authority within the Church so that the Crown could extract the annual rentals and income from the benefices.One of the major achievements in the Reformation period was the appointment, in December 1538, of James\'s chief counsellor, David Beaton (later Archbishop of St Andrews), as a cardinal. Beaton was a cruel persecutor of Lutheran supporters and had personally witnessed several being burned at the stake.
Following James\'s death, Beaton exercised considerable political influence in Scotland but was, almost universally, hated.On March 1 1546, the noted Scottish reformer, George Wishart was burnt at the stake in front of the episcopal palace. Three months later, religious reformers within St Andrews stormed the palace and, in revenge for Wishart\'s death, killed the cardinal.