James Spottiswood

James Spottiswood (or Spottiswoode), Bishop of Clogher, was born at Calder in Scotland on 7th September 1567, a son of John and his wife Beatrix (Crichton) and was John Spottiswood's younger brother. He was admitted to the University of Glasgow in 1579, and in 1581 entered royal service. He travelled with James VI of Scotland on his voyage to meet his wife Anne of Denmark, and in 1598 acted as secretary to ambassadors to Denmark and Germany.

After James VI became also James I of England, Spottiswood was ordained in the Church of England in 1603 and became rector of Wells in Norfolk. He remained there until 1616 when he was involved in a visitation of the University of St Andrews, from where he graduated Doctor of Divinity. In 1621 Spottiswood accepted the bishopric of Clogher in Ireland, but fled to England when the Irish rebellion broke out in 1641.

He died at Westminster in March 1645 and was buried in St Benedict's chapel in Westminster Abbey on 31 March. No record survives of his grave or of any inscription which may once have been on it.

Spottiswood had married before his ordination and left a son, Sir Henry Spottiswood, and a daughter Mary. The latter married Abraham Crichton and was ancestress of the Earls of Erne.

Further Reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004


7th September 1567


31st March 1645




Chapel of St Benedict

James Spottiswood
Chapel of St Benedict

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