Michael Scott (priest)

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Michael Scott
Guthrie Michael Scott

30 July 1907
Lowfield Heath, Sussex, England
Died14 September 1983
Parent(s)Percival Caleb Scott and Ethel
ReligionChristianity (Anglican)
ChurchChurch of England
Ordained21 December 1930
Scott (centre left) beside Bertrand Russell leading an anti-nuclear weapons march in London

Guthrie Michael Scott (30 July 1907 – 14 September 1983) was an Anglican priest and anti-apartheid activist, who joined in the defiance of the apartheid system in South Africa in the 1940s - a long struggle for social justice in that country.[1] He was also an early advocate of nuclear disarmament.

Scott was born in Sussex on 30 July 1907 and educated at King's College, Taunton, Chichester Theological College and St Paul's College, Grahamstown. He was ordained by George Bell in 1932 and began his career with curacies in Slaugham and Kensington.[2] He was Domestic Chaplain to the Bishop of Bombay from 1935 to 1937; and then served at St Paul’s Cathedral, Calcutta. In 1943 he moved to Johannesburg where he was Chaplain to the St Alban’s Mission. While there he became the first white man to be jailed for resisting that country’s racial laws.[3] In 1952, he co-founded the Africa Bureau, "an organisation to advise and support Africans who wished to oppose by constitutional means political decisions affecting their lives and futures imposed by alien governments."[4] He was a leading international promoter of Namibian independence along with Chief Hosea Kutako and Captain Hendrik Samuel Witbooi.[5][6] For his efforts in the Namibian War of Independence, he has a prominent street named after him in Windhoek.

With Bertrand Russell, he was co-founder of the Committee of 100 in 1960. He met with Martin Luther King Jr. during Ghana's celebration of independence.[7]

He wrote his biography A Time to Speak in 1958[8] and in his later life was a friend of the philosopher Bertrand Russell. He died on 14 September 1983.[9] There is a memorial window to him at St Pancras, Kingston near Lewes.[10]


Yates, Anne; Chester, Lewis (2006). The troublemaker. London: Aurum. ISBN 1-84513-080-4.


  1. ^ Sasman, Catherine (23 November 2009). "Namibia: Michael Scott - a Man of Conscience (1907 to 1983)". Retrieved 26 January 2018 – via AllAfrica.
  2. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory 1975-76 Lambeth, Church House, 1975 ISBN (invalid) 0108153674 alternate version: ISBN 0-19-200008-X OCLC 25885092 OCLC 59162245
  3. ^ "Dictionary of African Christian Biography". Archived from the original on 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  4. ^ http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/blcas/african-bureau.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Vigne, Randolph (7 July 2006). "Michael Scott, 'a troublemaker' who helped people of Namibia". The Namibian.
  6. ^ "New Statesman – The British Gandhi". Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Ghana Trip (1957)". mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  8. ^ British Library web site accessed 7 April 2012
  9. ^ The Rev Michael Scott. Pioneer Campaigner against Apartheid The Times (London, England), Friday, 16 September 1983; p. 14; Issue 61639.
  10. ^ "St Pancras, Kington Near Lewes: Michael... (C) Basher Eyre". www.geograph.org.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2018.