Dr. John Scot - Rector. Back to the Main Historical Society page

Dr. John Scot - a 'wholly unworthy' Rector.

The Barwicker No. 72
Dec. 2003

In 'The Barwicker' No.68, we can read that Rev. Colman was critical of one of his 16th.century predecessors. Here he attacks, witheven greater vehemence, another man who held the Barwick rectory a century later.


"John Scot DD (rector of Barwick 1629 - 1644) was probably from Queen's College, Cambridge; BA 1614, MA 1618. He became the prebend (canon) of Tockerington in York Cathedral, 30 January 1624, and was made Dean of York, 3 February 1624/5, through the interest of the Duke of Buckingham. John Williams, Bishop of London, the Lord Keeper, himself no great ornament of the Church, wrote to the Duke protesting in the strongest terms against Scot's appointment.

'I most humbly beg your Grace, for God' sake, and his Churches, to consider this motion, which I do make onto your Grace, concerning the Deanery of York now vacant, the Dean being struck dead suddenly. One John Scot has procured a letter from his Majesty to be his Coadjutor (Dean). My motion is not for any man in particular, but against Doctor Scot, that he may not be promoted to this place being sixth or seventh place of preferment Ecclesiastical within this kingdom, but your Grace would be pleased to remove Doctor White or Doctor Hall or whom your Grace shall please unto this great Deanery, and bestow the lesser Deanery (far above his merits) upon him. For these reasons:
  1. I know that he hath sold away all his Livings which he has had in this Church, and hath at this day never an one.
  2. I am creditably informed, he oweth 5000 at the least. A vast summe for a poor Scholar, and too much to be got up in a poor church. And most of this money in York.
  3. I know he is a great gamester, and of no fitting conversation for a Church-man; But of very mean parts, either of learning or of
  4. government.
  5. I am certified at this time that he is man often overseen in drink; but this I do not know.

The protest was without avail and this wholly unworthy man received the Deanery. Four years later he added Barwick to his preferment, being presented 31 March 1629, and instituted 9 April. He sank into utter disgrace and debt, and in 1637 a judgement was obtained against him in the King's Bench. In reply to the writ the Archbishop of York certified that Scot was holding the Deanery worth 400 a year and this Rectory worth 200, and that in pursuance of the judgement he had handed both the Deanery and the Rectory to Brian Willance and Robert Crosfield to discharge a debt of 2000 owing by Scot. He died in the King's Bench prison in great poverty in 1644."

FREDERICK S COLMAN


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