Spotswood (or Spottiswood), John

Spotswood (Or Spottiswood), John a Scottish prelate, was born in the parish of Mid-Calder, Edinburgh Co., in 1565, and was graduated from the Glasgow University in his sixteenth year. When eighteen years old he succeeded his father as minister of Calder; and in 1601 attended Lodowick, duke of Lenox, as chaplain in his embassy to the court of France. In 1603 James I selected him to be one of the clergy to attend him to England, and the same year he was appointed titular archbishop of Glasgow and privy-councilor for Scotland. In 1610, he presided in the assembly at Glasgow; and the same year, upon the king's command, repaired to London upon ecclesiastical affairs. While there he, with Lamb and Hamilton, was consecrated bishop, in the chapel of London House, Oct. 21. Upon their return they conveyed the episcopal powers to their former titular brethren, and the Episcopal Church was once more settled in Scotland. Spotswood was in 1615 translated to St. Andrew's, and became primate of all Scotland. He continued in high esteem with James I during his whole reign; nor was he less regarded by Charles I, whom he crowned, 1633, in the abbey church of Holyrood House. In 1635 he was made chancellor of Scotland, which post he had not held for four years when the popular confusions obliged him to retire into England. He consented at the king's request to resign the office of chancellor, and received £2500 for the sacrifice he made. He went first to Newcastle, where he remained until he gained sufficient strength to travel to London, where he no sooner arrived than he had a relapse and died, Nov. 29, 1639. He was interred in Westminster Abbey. "A more generous, learned, and munificent prelate has seldom been called to rule in the Church; and his advice was at all times given for moderate measures, and for the sacrifice of anything but principle for peace." Spotswood was the author of a History of the Church of Scotland, from A.D. 203 to the End of the Reign of James VI (Lond. 1655, fol.). He also wrote a tract in defense of the ecclesiastical establishment in Scotland, entitled Refutatio Libelli de Regimine Ecclesioe Scoticanoe. See Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.; Chalmers, Biog. Dict. s.v.; Hook, Eccles. Biog s.v.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générale, s.v.

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