He was born probably at Eliock in Dumfriesshire in 1560, and when ten years old was sent to St Salvator's College, St Andrews, where he took his B.A.
In 1563, the year in which his mother died, he matriculated at St Salvator's College, St Andrews.
In 1838 he was appointed principal of the united colleges of St Salvator and St Leonard, St Andrews.
St John's church is a Gothic edifice with a lofty tower; St Salvator's was built about 1720.
Other churches are the Gothic church of the Holy Ghost; the churches of St Severin, of St Paul and of St Gertrude; the double church of St Salvator; the Romanesque church of the Holy Cross; the pilgrimage church of Our Lady of Succour (Mariahilf); the church of the hospital of St John; and the Romanesque Votiv Kirche.