Thomas Scott (preacher)

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Thomas Scott (Crispijn de Passe (I), 1624) Thomas Scott, by Crispijn de Passe (I).jpg
Thomas Scott (Crispijn de Passe (I), 1624)

Thomas Scott (or Scot) (c. 1580 1626) was an English preacher, a radical Protestant known for anti-Spanish and anti-Catholic pamphlets.



He was born about 1580, and occurs as one of the chaplains to James I in 1616, being then B.D. He was incorporated in that degree at Cambridge in 1620 as a member of Peterhouse, as a graduate of the University of St Andrews. [1]

University of St Andrews university in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

The University of St Andrews is a public university in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. It is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland and, following Oxford and Cambridge universities, the third-oldest university in the United Kingdom and English-speaking world in general. St Andrews was founded in 1413 when the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII issued a papal bull to a small founding group of Augustinian clergy.

He was rector of St. Saviour's, Norwich, and when Count Gondomar arrived in England to settle preliminaries for the Spanish Match, he published in 1620 an anonymous tract against the proposed marriage. It was entitled Vox Populi, and purported to give an account of Gondomar's reception by the council of state upon his return to Madrid in 1618. The ambassador is there made to explain his schemes for bringing England into subjection to Spain, to describe with satisfaction the crowds which went to assist at mass in his chapel in London, and to recount how he had won over the leading courtiers by his bribes. The whole story was a fabrication, but at the time it was widely received as a piece of genuine history, and caused a furore. John Chamberlain on 3 February 1621 informed Sir Dudley Carleton that 'the author of "Vox Populi" is discovered to be one Scot, a minister, bewrayed by the printer, who thereby hath saved himself, and got his pardon, though the book were printed beyond sea'. Joseph Mead, writing on 10 February 1621, told Sir Martin Stuteville that 'Scot of Norwich, who is said to be the author of "Vox Populi," they say is now fled, having, as it seems, fore-notice of the pursuivant'. In Vox Regis (1624) Scott gave in biblical language an account of the motives which induced him to write Vox Populi, and the consequences of that publication to himself. Vox Populi was suppressed by royal authority, and Samuel Harsnett, bishop of Norwich, was commanded to institute proceedings against him.

Norwich City and non-metropolitan district in England

Norwich is a city in Norfolk, England. Granted historic city status, and situated on the River Wensum in East Anglia, it lies approximately 100 miles (160 km) north-east of London. It is the county town of Norfolk and is considered the capital of East Anglia, with a population of 141,300. From the Middle Ages until the Industrial Revolution, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important.

John Chamberlain (1553–1628) was the author of a series of letters written in England from 1597 to 1626, notable for their historical value and their literary qualities. In the view of historian Wallace Notestein, Chamberlain's letters "constitute the first considerable body of letters in English history and literature that the modern reader can easily follow". They are an essential source for scholars who study the period.

Samuel Harsnett schoolmaster, priest, archbishop

Samuel Harsnett, born Samuel Halsnoth, was an English writer on religion and Archbishop of York from 1629.

In 1622, Scott became preacher to the English garrison at Utrecht. There he continued writing pamphlets against the Roman Catholics, many of which were published in England after Scott's departure. He was assassinated by an English soldier named John Lambert on 18 June 1626, as he was coming out of church, accompanied by his brother William Scott and his nephew Thomas Scott. The assassin was tortured, but denied that Catholic priests or Jesuits had motivated him to act. Insane and subject to hallucinations, he was condemned to death and executed, his right hand being first cut off.


Vox Populi was one of two dozen pamphlets he wrote. It has been argued that through Scott the Scottish version of republicanism came to have an important impact in England. [2]

Classical republicanism, also known as civic republicanism or civic humanism, is a form of republicanism developed in the Renaissance inspired by the governmental forms and writings of classical antiquity, especially such classical writers as Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero. Classical republicanism is built around concepts such as civil society, civic virtue and mixed government.

He has tentatively been identified with the Thomas Scot or Scott (fl. 1605), poet, who described himself as a gentleman, and who wrote several poetical works. It appears from a letter addressed by Locke to Sir Dudley Carleton on 2 February 1621 that the minister of Norwich, then suspected of being the author of Vox Populi, had, in Somerset's time, been questioned about a 'book of birds'. The poetical writer published the following pieces:

Floruit, abbreviated fl., Latin for "he/she flourished", denotes a date or period during which a person was known to have been alive or active. In English, the word may also be used as a noun indicating the time when someone flourished.

Robert Crichton, 8th Lord Crichton of Sanquhar, was a Scottish peer executed for the murder of a fencing teacher. He was the son of Edward, Lord Sanquhar. Robert is often styled "6th Lord Sanquhar."

<i>Vox Dei</i> (Thomas Scott)

Vox Dei is a political-religious pamphlet by Thomas Scott published in Utrecht in 1623. The pamphlet contains an attack on the Spanish match, and ends by anticipating the triumph of the 1624 parliament.


  1. "Thomas Scott (SCT620T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. Markku Peltonen, Classical Humanism and Republicanism in English Political Thought, 1570–1640 (2004), Ch. 5, Thomas Scott: virtue, liberty and the 'mixed Government'
  3. P. Salzman Literature and Politics in the 1620s: 'Whisper'd Counsells' 1137305983 - 2014 "Vox Dei recapitulates the history of the preceding few years, stressing the significance of the rejection of the Spanish ... a partisan perspective of course) how England had reached the current situation, while also continuing Scott's dramatic ."

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