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Spottiswoode, John

John Spottiswoode (spŏt´Ĭswŏŏd), 1565–1639, Scottish prelate and church historian. Under James and Andrew Melville he studied for the ministry but later veered from strict Presbyterianism to the royal policy of Erastianism. James I named him archbishop of Glasgow in 1603, member of the privy council of Scotland in 1605, and archbishop of St. Andrews in 1615. As moderator of the general assembly (1618) of the church at Perth, Spottiswoode obtained its sanction of the king's plans for introducing episcopacy into Scotland, as embodied in the Articles of Perth. Charles I made him (1635) chancellor of Scotland, but Spottiswoode gradually lost his favor by trying to modify the monarch's plan of imposing the Anglican liturgy on the Scottish church. In 1638 he was deprived of his office, excommunicated, and deposed by the general assembly. He died in London. His History of the Church of Scotland (1655) has passed through several editions. Spottiswoode's name is also spelled Spottiswood and Spotswood.

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Spottiswood, John

Spottiswood, John (1565–1639). Archbishop. Spottiswood was born in 1565, and, though originally a strict presbyterian, his Erastianism led him to embrace James VI and I's policy of appointing bishops to oversee the Scottish church. He was appointed archbishop of Glasgow in 1603, and, after the General Assembly in 1610 effectively abolished presbytery by agreeing that ordination and discipline should be the prerogative of the bishops, he obtained episcopal consecration in England. In 1615 he was translated to St Andrews, which at that date included Edinburgh. Under Charles I, Spottiswood did his best to temper the king's zeal and the heavy-handedness of Archbishop Laud, and was present in St Giles in 1637 when riot ensued over attempts to impose a new liturgy. He left Scotland in 1638, and died in 1639.

Revd Dr John R. Guy

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