John Spottiswoode

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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