|The Most Reverend
|Archbishop of Glasgow|
|See||Archdiocese of Glasgow|
|Died||12 November 1632
|Denomination||Church of Scotland|
|Parents||James Law of Spittal and Unknown|
James Law (ca. 1560 – 12 November 1632) was Archbishop of Glasgow. Entering the church after graduation from university, he rose to the position of Bishop of Orkney, reorganising the diocese, before rising to hold the position of Archbishop of Glasgow.
Law was born to James Law of Spittal, portioner of Lathrisk in the county of Fife, and Agnes Strang of the house of Balcaskie. He graduated at the university of St Andrews M.A. in 1581 and was ordained and admitted minister of Kirkliston in West Lothian in 1585. During his incumbency there he, and John Spottiswoode, then minister of Calder (based in Mid Calder, West Lothian), afterwards archbishop of St Andrews, were censured by the synod of Lothian for playing football on a Sunday.
Bishop of Orkney
In 1600 he was put on the standing commission of the church, in 1601 appointed one of the royal chaplains, in 1605 titular bishop of Orkney, and in 1608 moderator of the general assembly. He preached before the Glasgow assembly of 1610 in defence of episcopacy. He supported the cause of the people of Orkney against the oppression of Patrick Stewart, Earl of Orkney, and succeeded in getting the lands and jurisdiction of the bishopric separated from those of the earldom. He strengthened the rights and financial security of the bishopric of Orkney, and during his episcopate Scots Law replaced the earlier Norse Law for most purposes.
Archbishop of Glasgow
Through the influence of Archbishop Spottiswood, "his old companion at football and condiscipulus", he was promoted to the archbishopric of Glasgow in 1615, where he completed the leaden roof of the cathedral. In 1616 he was appointed by the general assembly as one of a commission to prepare a book of canon for the church.
He died in 1632 and was buried in the chancel of Glasgow Cathedral, where there is a massive monument to his memory erected by his widow. Law was a favourite of King James VI and a zealous promoter of his ecclesiastical policy. He was a man of some learning, leaving in manuscript commentary on a part of scripture, and was commemorated by Dr. Arthur Johnston in some Latin verses.
Marriage and family
He married on several occasions. His first marriage was to Marion, a daughter of James Dundas of Newliston, West Lothian. They had one child, a daughter called Margaret, who married Patrick Turner, minister of Dalkeith, in 1612. His second marriage was to Grissel Boswell, and by her he fathered six children, four sons and two daughters: James Law of Brunton, Thomas Law, who later became the minister of Inchinnan, George Law, John Law, Jean Law, and Isabella Law.
- James Law University of Glasgow
- Keith, Robert, An Historical Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops: Down to the Year 1688, (London, 1824)
- Sprott, G. W. (1892). "Law, James". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 32. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Pearce, A. S. Wayne (2004). "Law, James (d. 1632)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16147. Retrieved 13 March 2010. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
|Bishop of Orkney
|Archbishop of Glasgow