Scory, John (DNB00)

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SCORY, JOHN (d. 1585), bishop of Chichester and Hereford, was a Norfolk man, who became a friar in the Dominicans' house at Cambridge about 1530, signing the surrender on its suppression in 1538. He proceeded B.D. in 1539. In 1541 he was one of the six preachers whom Cranmer appointed at Canterbury (cf. Strype, Cranmer, p. 134). He was also one of Cranmer's chaplains. He was accused for a sermon preached on Ascension day 1541, but nothing seems to have resulted (ib. pp. 151, 152). King Edward notes that when Joan Bocher [q. v.] was executed (2 May 1550) for heresy, Scory preached, and the poor woman reviled him, saying that he lied like a rogue and ought to read the Bible (Strype, Memorials, II. i. 335). He was about this time made examining chaplain to Ridley, bishop of London. In Lent 1551 he called attention to the want of ecclesiastical discipline, and to the covetousness of the rich, particularly in the matter of enclosures (ib. p. 496). He was appointed to the bishopric of Rochester on 26 April 1551, and, in thanking the king for his preferment, insisted again on these two evils (ib. II. ii. 481). He was a commissioner appointed to revise the ecclesiastical laws (February 1551–2). On 23 May 1552 he was translated to Chichester.

On Mary's accession Scory was deprived, but submitted himself to Bonner, renounced his wife, did penance for being married, and, having recanted and been absolved, was allowed to officiate in the London diocese (Strype, Memorials, III. i. 241, Cranmer, pp. 519, 1053). He is also supposed to have circulated Cranmer's ‘Declaration concerning the Mass.’ He soon, however, left England and went to Emden in Friesland, where he became superintendent of the English congregation, and where, at a safe distance, he wrote, in 1555, his ‘Comfortable Epistle unto all the Faithful that be in Prison,’ &c. He was also at Wesel, but fixed his residence in 1556 at Geneva, where he was also chaplain to the exiles.

At Elizabeth's accession he returned to England. He had a bad record, but he formed a link with the past too valuable to be lost. So he was marked out for preferment. He preached before the queen in Lent 1559, took part in the disputation with the catholics on 31 March 1559, and on 15 July 1559 became bishop of Hereford, being one of the first bishops nominated by Elizabeth. When Henry III of France died, Scory preached at the solemn service held at St. Paul's on 8 Sept. 1559 (Strype, Grindal, p. 38). He also assisted at Parker's consecration, and preached the sermon on 17 Dec. 1559 (Strype, Parker, p. 113). At Hereford he was much harassed. He wrote to Parker (ib. p. 190) describing the condition of his diocese, which contained many chapels either unserved or served with a reader only; some of the parish churches were in danger, owing to an interpretation of the statute for the suppression of colleges (Strype, Annals, II. i. 503). He also was troubled by the proceedings of the council for the marches of Wales, and had difficulties with the cathedral clergy; but he obtained new statutes for the cathedral in 1582. He was accused of being a money-lender. In dogma he was sound enough, and signed the articles of 1562, and the canons of 1571. He died at Whitbourne on 26 June 1585. His wife Elizabeth survived till 8 March 1592. A son, Sylvanus (Strype, Annals, III. ii. 453), was prebendary of Hereford 1565–9, fought in the Low Countries, was M.P. for Newton, Hampshire, in 1597, and, dying in 1617, was buried in St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, and left one son, Sylvanus, who died a prisoner in Wood Street counter in 1641, and another son, Edmund, knighted on 4 July 1618.

Scory died rich, and left 600l. to charitable uses. He published, besides a few sermons and the letter referred to: 1. ‘Certein Works of the blessed Cipriane the Martyr,’ London, 1556. 2. ‘Two Books of the noble doctor and B. S. Augustine,’ translated into English, 8vo, between 1550 and 1560. A curious survey of the lands belonging to the see of Hereford was made in 1557–8 by Swithun Butterfield under Scory's direction, and has been preserved.

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 511; Dixon's Hist. Church of Engl. iv. 42; Notes and Queries, 5th ser. i. 466, 7th ser. viii. 1; Narratives of the Reformation (Camd. Soc.), pp. 218, 227, 228; Strype's Works, passim; Parker Soc. Publications; Greyfriars' Chron. (Camden Soc.), p. 83.]

W. A. J. A.