National Records of Scotland

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John Spottiswoode (1565-1639)

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John Spottiswoode (1565-1639)

Archbishop of St Andrews and historian

John Spottiswoode was born in Greenbank, Midlothian in 1565, the son of John Spottiswoode, a protestant reformer, and Beatrix Crichton. He succeeded his father as superintendent of Lothian and Tweeddale. In 1603 he was appointed Archbishop of Glasgow and in 1615 Archbishop of St Andrews. In addition he was made an extraordinary Lord of Session in 1610 and held a series of key posts including President of the Exchequer in 1625 and Chancellor from 1635. In 1633 he officiated at the Scottish coronation of Charles I at the Canongate Kirk. His involvement in the imposition of a Scottish prayer book and its aftermath forced him into exile. He died in London on 26 November 1639 and was interred at Westminster Abbey. John Spottiswoode’s ‘History of the church and state of Scotland from the year of our Lord 203 to the end of the reign of King James VI, 1625’ was eventually published in 1655.

Marriage in 1589

John Spottiswoode (Maister Johne Spotiswood) married Rachiel Lyndsay on 12 October 1589. This information is recorded in the left margin of the entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Leith South dated 6 September 1589. The entry itself reads 'The w[i]lk day comporit Maister Johne Spotiswood and gave up thair names to be proclaimed and married w[i]t[h]in ane moneth and in caice they be absent from the efter nouns sermone sal pay 10 s[hillings] Thomas Lyndsay cautioner'. A cautioner is someone who provides security for another (Dictionary of the Scots language).

Marriage entry for John Spottiswoode

Proclamation of banns and marriage entry for John Spottiswoode (35 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 692-2/9