John Scudamore, 1st Viscount Scudamore
John Scudamore, 1st Viscount Scudamore (22 March 1601 – 19 May 1671) was an English diplomat and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1621 and 1629. In 1628 he was created Viscount Scudamore in the Irish peerage.
Scudamore was the eldest son of Sir James Scudamore, of Holme Lacy, Herefordshire, and his wife Mary Anne Throckmorton, daughter of Sir Thomas Throckmorton. He matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford, on 8 November 1616 and was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1617. From November 1618, he travelled in France, and returned the following year after the death of his father. His grandfather Sir John Scudamore obtained a baronetcy for him on 1 June 1620, giving him precedence locally three years.
In 1621, Scudamore was elected Member of Parliament for Herefordshire. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1622. By 1622, he had a warm friendship with William Laud (later Archbishop of Canterbury), and followed his religious views. One aspect of this was his restoration of the church of Abbey Dore, the church of the former Cistercian abbey, whose estates had come to his family at the dissolution. He did this in full Laudian style. He also did work on other churches, and endowed some with impropriate tithes. Scudamore succeeded his grandfather in the family estate in 1623. He was one of the Council of the Marches on 25 August 1623. In 1624, he was re-elected MP for Herefordshire. He was created Baron Dromore and Viscount Scudamore in the peerage of Ireland on 1 July 1628. Also in 1628, he was elected MP for Hereford and sat until 1629, when King Charles decided to rule without parliament for eleven years.
From 1635 to 1639, Scudamore was ambassador to France, and caused controversy by adorning the embassy chapel in Laudian style. However, the Earl of Leicester who was staunchly Protestant was appointed as extraordinary ambassador over his head, with the result that they two could not agree on policy.
Scudamore was not particularly active on his return to England and his early participation in the English Civil War was limited. He was one of the "Nine Worthies" – nine justices who formed the royalist leadership in Herefordshire in the summer of 1642. The other "worthies" were Sir William Croft, Wallop Brabazon, Thomas Wigmore of Shobden, Thomas Price of Wisterdon, William Smallman, Henry Lingen, William Rudhall and Fitzwilliam Coningsby. Partly as a result of his rivalry with Coningsby for control of Herefordshire, Hereford was surrendered to a small Parliamentarian force in 1643. Scudamore was sent to London as a delinquent and remained there under house arrest until 1647. After the English Restoration, he resumed various local offices.
Scudamore married Elizabeth Porter, daughter Sir Anthony Porter, of Lanthony, Gloucestershire, and his wife Ann Danvers, daughter of John Danvers, of Dauntsey, Wiltshire. Scudamore died at the age of 70. He was succeeded in his titles by his son, John Scudamore.
- Ian Atherton, 'Scudamore, John, first Viscount Scudamore (1601–1671)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 24 March 2008. The first edition of this text is available as an article on Wikisource: "Scudamore, John". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
|Parliament of England|
Sir James Scudamore
Sir Herbert Croft
|Member of Parliament for Herefordshire
With: Fitzwilliam Coningsby
Sir Robert Harley
Sir James Clerke
|Member of Parliament for Hereford
With: John Hoskins
Parliament suspended until 1640
|Peerage of Ireland|
|New creation||Viscount Scudamore
|Baronetage of England|
(of Holme Lacy)