William Bellenden was born in Lasswade in Lothian and died in Paris. The son of John Bellenden of Lasswade, with properties at Pendreich in Stirlingshire and St Leonards in Edinburgh, Bellenden was enrolled as ‘noble’ at Paris University in 1568. He obviously proceeded to legal studies as when we next hear of him, he is described as an advocate in Paris. This was in the summer of 1584 when he visited the king and was believed to have distributed money from Mary Queen of Scots' French dowry among the courtiers to win their support. Thereafter he reported to the exiled Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, James Beaton, in Paris, before proceeding to Rome. In 1583 he is mentioned as Parisian tutor to the son of the Earl of Lennox, and was next rumoured to be in Scotland in 1595. In early 1603 he is mentioned as counsellor and master of requests in ordinary to the household of James VI, when executor to Beaton's will.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.