Scott, Thomas (1580?-1626) (DNB00)
|←Scott, Thomas (1480?-1539)||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 51
Scott, Thomas (1580?-1626)
|Scott, Thomas (d.1660)→|
SCOTT, THOMAS (1580?-1626), political writer, born about 1580, occurs as one of the chaplains to James I in 1616, being then B.D. He was incorporated in that degree at Cambridge in 1620 as a member of Peterhouse, but the university records do not state where he originally graduated. He was rector of St. Saviour's, Norwich, and when Count Gondomar arrived in England to settle preliminaries for the marriage of Prince Charles with the infanta of Spain, he had the temerity to publish in 1620 a tract against the projected match. It was entitled 'Vox Populi,' and purported to give an account of Gondomar's reception by the council of state upon his return to Madrid in 1618. The ambassador is there made to explain his schemes for bringing England into subjection to Spain, to describe with evident satisfaction the crowds which went to assist at mass in his chapel in London, and to recount how he had won over the leading courtiers by his bribes. The whole story was an impudent fabrication, but at the time it was widely received as a piece of genuine history (Gardiner, Hist. of England, iii. 392, 393; cf. D'Ewes, Autobiogr. i. 158). John Chamberlain on 3 Feb. 1620-1 informed Sir Dudley Carleton that 'the author of "Vox Populi" is discovered to be one Scot, a minister, bewrayed by the printer, who thereby hath saved himself, and got his pardon, though the book were printed beyond sea' (Birch, Court and Times of James I, ii. 226). Again, the Rev. Joseph Mead, writing on 10 Feb. 1620-1, tells Sir Martin Stuteville that 'Scot of Norwich, who is said to be the author of "Vox Populi," they say is now fled, having, as it seems, fore-notice of the pursuivant' (ib. ii. 226). In 'Vox Regis' (1624) Scott gave in somewhat obscure biblical language an account of the motives which induced him to write 'Vox Populi,' and the consequences of that publication to himself. 'Vox Populi' was suppressed by royal authority. Dr. Samuel Harsnett, bishop of Norwich, was commanded to institute proceedings against him (State Papers, Dom. James I, vol. cxxiv. nn. 20, 75). Scott's absence from England was brief. He preached an assize sermon at Bury St. Edmund's on 20 March 1622, being then 'minister of the word' at St. Clement's, Ipswich, and chaplain to William, earl of Pembroke. But it is probable that Scott quitted England for the Netherlands towards the close of 1623, when he became preacher to the English garrison at Utrecht. There he continued writing pamphlets against the Roman catholics, many of which were published in England after Scott's departure. He was assassinated by an English soldier named John Lambert on 18 June 1626, as he was corning out of church, accompanied by his brother William Scott and his nephew Thomas Scott. The assassin was put to the torture, but persisted in asserting that he was 'never hyred or induced by the perswasions of any priest, Jesuit, or other person to attempt that bloudy act.' Although the man was evidently mad, and subject to strange hallucinations, he was condemned to death and executed, his right hand being first cut off (Birch, i. 123; cf. A briefe and trve Relation of the Mvrther of Mr. Thomas Scott, London, 1628, 4to).
There is a portrait of Scott, 'aetatis sure 45, anno 1624-,' drawn and engraved by Crispin de Pass. His portrait has also been engraved by Marshall.
Subjoined is a list of his writings, winch made a deep impression on the public mind at the time of their appearance: 1. 'Christs Politician and Salomons Puritan,' London, 1616, 4to, 2. 'Vox Populi, or Newes from Spayne, translated according to the Spanish coppie: which may serve to forwarn both England, and the Vnited Provinces, how farre to trust to Spanish Pretences. Impr. in the Year 1620,' sine loco, 4to. Reprinted in 1659 and 1679 under the title of 'A choice Narrative of Count Gondomar's Transactions during his Embassy in England: By Sir Robert Cotton, Knight and Baronet.' It is also printed in the 'Somers Collection of Tracts.' A minutely written contemporary copy, possibly in the author's autograph, was among Dawson Turner's manuscripts, sold in 1859. 3. 'A Speech made in the Lower House of Parliament, Anno 1621. By Sir Edward Cicill, Colonell,' 1621, 4to; again in 1624 (a forgery by Scott, cf. Gardiner, Hist. iv. 28). 4. 'A Relation of some speciall points concerning the State of Holland. Or the Provident Counsellors Companion. By many reasons shewing, why for the good and security of the Netherlands vnited Prouinces Warre is much better then peace' (anon.), The Hague, 1621, 4to. 5. 'The Interpreter, wherin three principall termes of State much mistaken by the vulgar [viz. Puritan, Protestant, Papist] are clearely unfolded,' inverse, Sine loco 1622, 8vo. The authorship has been ascribed to Scott (Addit. MS. 24942, p. 374). 6. 'The Belgicke Pismire; stinging the slothfull Sleeper, and awaking the Diligent, to fast, watch, pray, and worke out their own temporall and eternall Salvation, with Fear and Trembling,' London (two editions), 1622, 4to. A popular tract in favour of the Low Countries, written to prejudice the English against the match which Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, was then negotiating.—'The Second Edition, to which is added, The Projector. Teaching a direct, sure, and ready way to restore the decayes of Church and State, delivered in a Sermon before the Judges in Norwich, 1620,' London, 1623, 8vo. 7. 'Newes from Pernassus. The Politicall Touchstone, Taken from Mount Pernassus: Whereon the Governments of the greatest Monarchies of the World are touched. Printed at Helicon, 1622' (anon.), 4to. 8. 'The High-waies of God and the King. Wherein all Men ought to walke in Holinesse here, to Happinesse hereafter,' London, 1623, 4to. 9. 'A Tongue Combat lately happening betweene two English Souldiers in the Tilt-Boat of Gravesend,' London, 1623, 4to. In this tract are many phrases current among the common people at the time. 10. 'Exod. 8, 19. Digitus Dei,' being a sermon on Luke xiii. 1-5 [London, 1623], 4to. 11. 'An experimentall Discoverie of Spanish Practices: or the Councell of a well-wishing Soulder for the Good of his Prince and State,' two parts, 1623-4, 4to. 12. 'Vox Dei,' an assize sermon preached at St. Edmunds Bury on 20 March 1622, London , 4to. With a frontispiece containing thirteen portraits, viz. King James, Prince Charles, the king and queen of Bohemia and their children, the Duke of Buckingham, and the Earl of Holderness. 13. 'A Briefe Information of the Affaires of the Palatinate,' [anon.] 1624, 4to. 14. 'Boanerges, or the Humble Supplication of the Ministers of Scotland to the High Court of Parliament in England,' Edinburgh, 1624, 4to. 15. 'Vox Regis' , 4to. 'With a frontispiece of King James sitting in parliament, Prince Charles and the king and queen of Bohemia kneeling before him, the bishops on his right and peers on his left. 14. 'Votiuae Angliae: or the Desires and Wishes of England. Contayned in a Patheticall Discourse, presented to the King, on New-yeares Day last. Wherein are unfolded and represented manie strong Reasons ... to perswade his Majestie to drawe his Royall Sword, for the restoring of the Pallatynat and Electorat, to his Sonne in Lawe, Prince Fredericke .... Written by S, R. N. I.,' Utrecht (two editions), 1624, 4to. 17. 'Certaine Reasons and Arguments of Policie, why the King of England should hereafter give over all further Treatie, and enter into warre with the Spaniard' (anon,), sine loco. 1624, 4to. 18. 'The second Part of Vox Populi: Gondomar appearing in the Likeness of a Matchiavell in a Spanish Parliament . . .' Printed at Goricoem by Ashuerus Janss, 1624,' 4to. With an engraved title, including a whole-length portrait of Gondomar and two vignettes, 'The Spanish Parliament' and 'The Council of English Jesuits.' The work is reprinted in Morgan's 'Phoenix Britannicus' (p. 341). 19. 'Vox Coeli, or Newes from Heaven, of a Consultation there held by King Henry 8, King Edward 6, Prince Henry, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Anne. Whereunto is annexed two Letters, written by Queen Mary from Heaven; the one to Count Gondomar, the Ambassador of Spain, the other to all the Roman Catholics of England. Printed in Elisium, 1624,' 4to. Reprinted in vol. ii. of the 'Somers Collection of Tracts. 20. 'Symmachia: or, a Trve-Loves Knot. Tyed, betwixt Great Britaine and the Vnited Prouinces, by the wisedome of King Iames, and the States Generall; the Kings of France, Denmarke, and Sweden, the Duke of Sauoy, with the States of Venice being Witnesses and Assistants. For the Weale and Peace of Christendom' (anon.) [Utrecht ? 1624?], 4to. 21. 'Aphorismes of State, or certaine secret Articles for the Re-edefying of the Romish Church, agreed upon and approved in Councell by the Colledge of Cardinalls in Rome, shewed and delivered unto Pope Gregory the 15th, a little before his Death. Whereunto is annexed a Censure upon the chieffe Points of that which the Cardinalls had concluded,' Utrecht, 1624, 4to. Reprinted in vol. v. of the 'Harleian Miscellany.' 22. 'The Belgick-Sovldier: dedicated to the Parliament. Or, Warre was a Blessing' (anon.), Dort, 1624, 4to. 23. 'The Spaniard's perpetuall Designes to an universall Monarchie,' 1624, 4to. 24. 'Englands Joy for suppressing the Papists, and banishing the Priests and Jesuites,' 1624, 4to. 25. 'Roberte Earle of Essex his Ghost, sent from Elizian: To the Nobility, Gentry, and Communaltie of England. Printed in Paradise 1624' (anon,), 2 parts, 4to; this tract, written against the marriage of Prince Charles with the Infanta of Spain, is reprinted in No. 5 of Morgan's 'Phoenix Britannicus,' in vol. v. of the 'Harleian Miscellany' and in vol. ii. of the 'Somers Collection of Tracts.' 26. 'Sir Walter Rawleighs Ghost, or Englands Forewarner. Discouering a secret Consultation, newly holden in the Court of Spaine. Together, with his tormenting of Count de Gondomar; and his strange affrightment, Confession, and publique recantation: laying open many treache- ries intended for the subversion of England' (anon.), Utrecht, 1626, 4to. This tract, relating to Gondomar's transactions in England, is reprinted in vol. v, of the 'Harleian Miscellany.'
There is in the Britwell Library a collection of twenty-four of the above tracts, including the speech to Sir Edward Cecil, to which has been prefixed the following general title: 'The Workes of the most famous and reuerend Diuine, Mr. Thomas Scot, Batcheler in Diuinitie, sometimes Preacher in Norwich. Printed at Vtrick, 1624,' 4to. No other copy of this title-page is known.
It is uncertain whether the political writer is identical with Thomas Scot or Scott (fl. 1605), poet, who described himself as a gentleman, and who wrote several poetical works. It appears from a letter addressed by Locke to Sir Dudley Carleton on 2 Feb. 1620-1 that the minister of Norwich, then suspected of being the author of 'Vox Populi,' had, in Somerset's time, been questioned about a 'book of birds' (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1619-23). The poetical writer published the following pieces: 1, 'Four Paradoxes of Arte, of Lawe, of Warre, of Service [a poem]. By T. S.,' London, 1602, 8vo. 2. 'Philomythie or Philomythologie, wherein outlandish Birds, Beasts, and Fishes are taught to speak true English,' London, 1610, 8vo; 2nd edit, 'much inlarged,' London, 1616, 8vo. Some copies of the second edition are dated 1622; others 1640. On sig. Ii of the second edition is the following title : 'Certaine Pieces of this Age paraboliz'd, viz. Duellum Britannicum, Regalis Justitia Iacobi. Aquignispicium. Antidotum Cecillianum.' This portion is sometimes found separately. A transcript of it, entitled 'The Deade March,' was in 1859 in the library of Dawson Turner, and the compiler of the catalogue of his manuscripts states that the author of the poems was supposed to be a native of Lynn Regis. To 'Philomythie' there is a curious frontispiece engraved by Elstracke in which are figures of birds and "beasts; and at the top there are two half-lengths, one being of Aesop, while the other is believed by collectors to be a portrait of Scott, Of this book Collier says 'the author seems to have been so fearful lest his satire should be considered personal and individual, that ambiguity often renders him incomprehensible.' The most remarkable poem is entitled 'Regalis Justitia Jacobi,' in which Scott celebrates the impartial justice of King James in refusing to pardon Lord Sanquhar or Sanquier, for the deliberate murder of Turner, the celebrated fencer, in 1612. 3. 'The Second Part of Philomythie or Philomythologie. Containing certaine Tales of True Libertie, False Friendship. Power Vnited. Faction and Ambition,' London, 1616 and 1625, 8vo.[Addit. MSS. 5880 f. 94, 24488 f. 138; Ashmolean MMS. 1163, art. 2; Baker MS. 32, p. 525; Bandinel's Cat. of Books, lots 1078-80, 1144, and Cat. of Tracts, lots 750, 752; Bibl. Anglo-Poetica, pp.341, 342; Brydges's Censura Lit. (1807), iii. 381, iv. 32; Cat, of MSS. in Cambridge Univ. Library, iii. 153; Collier's Bibl. Account of the Rarest Books, ii. 326; Collier's Bridgwater Catalogue, p. 278; European Mag, xv. 8 (January 1789); Granger's Biogr. Hist. of England, 5th edit. ii. 69; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn) iv. 2222; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. v. 179, 3rd ser. x. 433, 5th ser.iii. 289, 320; Diary of John Rous (Camden Soc.), p. 6; Cal. of State Papers (Dom. 1619-23), pp. 208, 218, 219, 224, 462,468; Cat. of D. Turner's MSS. pp. 183, 184; Wood's Fasti Oxon. (Bliss) i. 412.]