Law, James (1560?-1632) (DNB00)

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LAW, JAMES (1560?–1632), archbishop of Glasgow, son of James Law of Spittal, portioner of Lathrisk in the county of Fife, and Agnes Strang of the house of Balcaskie, graduated at the university of St. Andrews in 1581, and was ordained and admitted minister of Kirkliston in Linlithgowshire in 1585. During his incumbency there, he and Spottiswood, then minister of Calder, afterwards archbishop, were censured by the synod of Lothian for playing at football on Sunday. In 1600 he was put on the standing commission of the church, in 1601 appointed one of the royal chaplains, in 1605 titular bishop of Orkney, and in 1608 moderator of the general assembly. He preached before the Glasgow assembly of 1610 in defence of episcopacy, and was consecrated bishop of St. Andrews in 1611 by the archbishop of Glasgow and the bishops of Galloway and Brechin. He supported the cause of the people of Orkney against the oppression of Earl Patrick Stewart, and succeeded in getting the lands and jurisdiction of the bishopric separated from those of the earldom. Through the influence of Archbishop Spottiswood, 'his old companion at football and condiscipulus,' he was promoted to the archbishopric of Glasgow in 1615, where he completed the leaden roof of the cathedral. In 1616 he was appointed by the general assembly one of a commission to prepare a book of canon for the church. He died in 1632, and was buried in the chancel of Glasgow Cathedral, where there is a massive monument to his memory erected by his widow.

Law was a favourite of King James, and a zealous promoter of his ecclesiastical policy. He was a man of some learning, left in manuscript a commentary on a part of scripture, and was commemorated by Dr. Arthur Johnston [q.v.] in some Latin verses. He married: (1) a daughter of Dundas of Newliston, Linlithgowshire; (2) Grissel Boswell; (3) Marion, daughter of Boyle of Kelburn, Ayrshire; and had three sons: James, to whom he left the estate of Brunton in Fife, Thomas, minister of Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, George, and a daughter Isabella. Andrew Law, minister of Neilston, Renfrewshire, and ancestor of the financier, is supposed to have been a brother of the archbishop.

[Hew Scott's Fasti; Anderson's Scottish Nation; Law's Memorials; Livingstone's Characteristics; Keith's Cat.; Row and Calderwood's Hist.; Barry's Hist. of the Orkney Islands; Wood's Hist. of Cramond.]

G. W. S.