Spottiswoode, John (spŏtˈĭswŏd) [key], 1565–1639, Scottish prelate and church historian. Under James and Andrew Melville he studied for the ministry but later veered from strict Presbyterianism to the royal policy of Erastianism. James I named him archbishop of Glasgow in 1603, member of the privy council of Scotland in 1605, and archbishop of St. Andrews in 1615. As moderator of the general assembly (1618) of the church at Perth, Spottiswoode obtained its sanction of the king's plans for introducing episcopacy into Scotland, as embodied in the Articles of Perth. Charles I made him (1635) chancellor of Scotland, but Spottiswoode gradually lost his favor by trying to modify the monarch's plan of imposing the Anglican liturgy on the Scottish church. In 1638 he was deprived of his office, excommunicated, and deposed by the general assembly. He died in London. His History of the Church of Scotland (1655) has passed through several editions. Spottiswoode's name is also spelled Spottiswood and Spotswood.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.