Spottiswood, James (DNB00)
SPOTTISWOOD, JAMES (1567–1645), bishop of Clogher, born at Calder in Scotland on 7 Sept. 1567, was the second son of John Spottiswood (1510–1585) [q. v.], by his wife Beatrix, daughter of Patrick Crichton, of Lugton and Gilmerton, and the younger brother of John Spottiswood (1565–1637) [q. v.], archbishop of St. Andrews. He was educated at home under a tutor named William Strange, and then passed some time at Edinburgh grammar school and at Linlithgow. In 1579, when ‘scarce twelve years of age,’ he entered Glasgow University, graduating M.A. in 1583. He spent the next two years in attendance on his father at Calder, and in 1588 he entered the king's service. In October 1589 he accompanied James VI as gentleman-usher on his voyage to meet his bride [see Anne of Denmark, (1574–1619)], and on 27 Dec. 1591 he raised the alarm which saved James from seizure by the Earl of Bothwell [see Hepburn, Francis Stewart, fifth Earl of Bothwell]. In 1598 he was sent abroad as secretary to the ambassadors to the king of Denmark and the German princes, and on James's accession to the English throne Spottiswood was left behind in attendance on Queen Anne. Early in the following autumn he was sent with letters to Archbishop Whitgift, who, finding him well disposed to the Anglican church, persuaded him to take orders in it. On 24 Nov. letters of naturalisation on his behalf passed the great seal, and in December he was presented by the king to the rectory of Wells, Norfolk (Blomefield, Norfolk, ix. 285). For sixteen years Spottiswood clung to his parish, refusing to attend at court, but in 1616 he accompanied Patrick Young [q. v.] on his visitation to reform the university of St. Andrews. There he graduated D.D., publishing his thesis ‘Concio J. Spottiswodii … quam habuit ad Clerum Andreanopoli … pro gradu Doctoratus,’ Edinburgh, 1616, 4to.
In 1621 Spottiswood was induced to accept the bishopric of Clogher; he landed at Dublin in April, but his patent was not dated until 22 Oct. following, and he was at once involved in a dispute with Ussher about the exercise of the jurisdiction of his see (Ussher, Epistolæ, ed. Parr, Nos. 41, 42). On the death of Patrick Hamilton [q. v.], archbishop of St. Andrews, in 1629, Charles I is said to have offered the see to Spottiswood, who refused it, and it was then given to his brother John; but this statement is perhaps a confusion with Spottiswood's refusal of the offer Charles made him of the archbishopric of Cashel on the death of Malcolm Hamilton in the same year (Laud to Ussher in Works, iv. 261, 267). When the Irish rebellion broke out in 1641 Spottiswood fled to England; he died at Westminster in March 1644–5, and was buried in St. Benedict's Chapel, Westminster, on the 31st (Chester, West. Abbey Reg. p. 139). Spottiswood, who was married before taking orders, left a son, Sir Henry Spottiswood, and a daughter Mary, who married Abraham Crichton and was ancestress of the earls of Erne (Lodge, Peerage of Ireland, vi. 65; Burke, Peerage, s.v. ‘Erne’).
The bishop is believed to have been the author of an anonymous manuscript in the Auchinleck library, entitled ‘A Briefe Memoriall of the Life and Death of James Spottiswoode, bishop of Clogher.’ It contains some interesting information about his early years, but consists mainly of a long account of his private and public anxieties during the tenure of his bishopric; the last few pages are in another hand, and even they do not extend to the date of his death. The manuscript was edited and published by Sir Alexander Boswell in 1811 (Edinburgh, 4to). Besides the ‘Concio’ mentioned above, Spottiswood also published ‘The Execution of Neshech and the Confyning of his brother Tarbith: or a short Discourse shewing the difference betwixt damned Usurie and that which is lawfull. Whereunto there is subjoyned an Epistle of … J. Calvin touching that same Argument … translated out of Latine,’ Edinburgh, 1616, 4to. Another work, entitled ‘The Purgatory of St. Patrick,’ which has not been identified, is attributed to him by Ware, but erroneously according to Sir A. Boswell.[A Briefe Memoriall, &c., 1811; Hew Scott's Fasti Eccl. Scot. i. 174; Cotton's Fasti Eccl. Hib. iii. 78, 86 n.; Reg. Privy Council, Scotland, ed. Masson; Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1615–1625; Rymer's Fœdera; Ware's Bishops of Ireland, ed. Harris, p. 188; authorities cited.]