A Bull From Pope Alexander VI Confirmed the Foundation of Aberdeen University

  • February 10, 1495

The establishment of the University of Aberdeen was confirmed by a papal bull issued by Pope Alexander VI.

Pope Alexander VI

Pope Alexander VI (born Rodrigo de Borja; 1 January 1431 – 18 August 1503) (epithet: Valentinus (“The Valencian”) was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 11 August 1492 until his death in 1503. Born into the prominent Borgia family in Xàtiva in the Kingdom of Valencia under the Crown of Aragon (now Spain), Rodrigo studied law at the University of Bologna.

He was ordained deacon and made a cardinal in 1456 after the election of his uncle as Pope Callixtus III, and a year later he became vice-chancellor of the Catholic Church. He proceeded to serve in the Curia under the next four popes, acquiring significant influence and wealth in the process. In 1492, Rodrigo was elected pope, taking the name Alexander VI.


Aberdeen - Kings College

King’s College in Old Aberdeen, Scotland, the full title of which is The University and King’s College of Aberdeen (Collegium Regium Aberdonense), is a formerly independent university founded in 1495 and now an integral part of the University of Aberdeen. Its historic buildings are the centrepiece of the University of Aberdeen’s Old Aberdeen campus, often known as the King’s or King’s College campus.

The university was officially founded in 1495 by William Elphinstone, the Bishop of Aberdeen. The papal bull issued by Pope Alexander VI in 1494 confirmed the foundation of the university, granting it the authority to confer degrees.

William Elphinstone played a significant role in the establishment of the university, envisioning it as a center for higher education and learning in Scotland. The University of Aberdeen was one of the first universities in Scotland, and it has since grown to become one of the country’s leading institutions of higher education.

The papal bull issued by Pope Alexander VI, along with the charter granted by King James IV of Scotland, provided the legal and ecclesiastical authority for the establishment of the university and outlined its powers and privileges. The University of Aberdeen has a long and distinguished history, and it continues to be a center of academic excellence and research to this day.