Scott, Cuthbert (DNB00)
SCOTT or SCOT, CUTHBERT (d. 1564), bishop of Chester, probably a member of a family long settled near Wigan (Notes and Queries, 8th ser. viii. 218), graduated B.A. at Cambridge in 1534–5 as a member of Christ's College. He was elected fellow there in 1537. He graduated M.A. in 1538, B.D. in 1544, and D.D. in 1547.
About 1544 Scot preached a remarkable sermon at St. Paul's Cross, condemning the license of the times. In 1545 he complained to Gardiner, the chancellor of the university, of the performance at Christ's College of an interlude, called ‘Pammachius,’ which reflected on Lent fastings and the ceremonies of the church. He held a prebend in the Sepulchre Chapel in York Minster, and received an annual pension when that chapel was dissolved in 1547. He was rector of Etton in Yorkshire in 1547, and of Beeford in the same county in 1549. He appears to have assented to the religious changes of Edward VI's reign.
Soon after Queen Mary's accession Scot was chosen master of Christ's College, 8 Dec. 1553, and thenceforth took a prominent part in furthering the religious reaction. He was one of the Cambridge divines sent to Oxford to dispute with Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer on the doctrine of the mass, and was incorporated D.D. there, 14 April 1554. In the same month Bonner made him a prebendary of St. Paul's, and towards the close of the year he became vice-chancellor of Cambridge. He held that office again in 1555–6. In the latter year he was nominated by Paul IV to the see of Chester.
Resigning the mastership of Christ's, Scot threw himself energetically into the work of his diocese, where his zeal provoked the admiration of his friends and the animosity of his enemies. In January 1556–7 Cardinal Pole placed him at the head of a commission to visit the university of Cambridge with the view of more completely re-establishing the Roman catholic faith. Scot incurred great obloquy by exhuming and burning the bodies of Martin Bucer and Paul Fagius, and reconsecrating the churches in which they had been buried.
Scot was a stout opponent of the early ecclesiastical changes of Elizabeth, and spoke strongly against the royal supremacy and the new prayer-book. ‘He was one of those appointed by the government to dispute on the controverted points between the Romanists and reformers at Westminster, 31 March 1559. He and his fellows, refusing to proceed with the disputation, were pronounced contumacious. On 4 April he was bound in 1,000l. to appear before the lords of the council as often as they sat, and not without license to depart from London, Westminster, and the suburbs, also to pay such fine as might be assessed upon him’ (Strype). Unable or unwilling to pay this fine, fixed at two hundred marks, he was committed to the Fleet, and on 21 June the commissioners for administering the oath of supremacy deprived him of his bishopric. After four years' confinement in the Fleet, Scot was released on his bond that he would remain within twenty miles' distance from Finchingfield in Essex, and make his personal appearance before the ecclesiastical commissioners when summoned. Considering this a penal obligation and not a parole d'honneur, he found means to escape to Belgium, and took up his residence at Louvain. After assisting his exiled fellow-countrymen in their controversial labours with the English reformers, he died at Louvain ‘on the feast of St. Denys’ (9 Oct. ?) 1564 (Molanus, Hist. Lovaniensis), and was buried in the church of the Friars Minor.
Scot was characterised as ‘rigid’ and ‘froward,’ but he possessed much learning and eloquence, and held uncompromisingly by his beliefs. He published the sermon which he preached at Paul's Cross in 1544, and some of his speeches are preserved in Foxe and Strype.[Lansdowne MS. 980, ff. 241–2; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 233; Bridgett and Knox's Catholic Hierarchy; Machyn's Diary (Camden Soc.); Lamb's Cambr. Doc.; Le Neve's Fasti; Foxe's Actes and Mon.; Strype's Works, index; Notes and Queries, 8th ser. xii. 343.]