Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Scott, James (1733-1814)

SCOTT, JAMES, D.D. (1733–1814), political writer, son of James Scott, incumbent of Trinity Church, Leeds, and vicar of Bardsey, Yorkshire, by Annabella, daughter of Henry, fifth son of Tobias Wickham, dean of York, was born at Leeds in 1733. He was educated at Bradford grammar school, St. Catharine Hall and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1757, proceeded M.A. in 1760, B.D. in 1768, and D.D. in 1775. He was thrice successful in the competition for the Seatonian prize, was elected fellow of Trinity College in 1758, and was a frequent and admired preacher at St. Mary's between 1760 and 1764. He was lecturer at St. John's, Leeds, between 1758 and 1769, and curate of Edmonton between 1760 and 1761. In 1765, under the inspiration of Lord Sandwich and the pseudonym of ‘Anti-Sejanus,’ he contributed to the ‘Public Advertiser’ a series of animated diatribes against Lord Bute, which were reprinted in 1767 in ‘A Collection of Interesting Letters.’ He was also the author of the pieces signed ‘Philanglia’ which appear in the same collection, and of others published with the signature of ‘Old Slyboots’ in 1769, and collected in ‘Fugitive Political Essays,’ London, 1770, 8vo. In 1771, through Lord Sandwich's interest, he was presented to the rectory of Simonburn, Northumberland, where he spent twenty years and 10,000l. in endeavouring to get in his tithes. Worsted at law, some of his parishioners at length made a determined attempt on his life, upon which he removed to London, where he died on 10 Dec. 1814. By his wife Anne, daughter of Henry Scott, who survived him, he left no issue.

Besides his political jeux d'esprit and his Seatonian poems, ‘Heaven,’ ‘Purity of Heart: a Moral Epistle,’ and ‘An Hymn to Repentance’ (Cambridge, 1760–3, 4to), Scott was author of: 1. ‘Odes on Several Subjects,’ London, 1761, 4to. 2. ‘The Redemption: a Monody,’ Cambridge, 1763–4. 3. ‘Every Man the Architect of his own Fortune, or the Art of Rising in the Church,’ a satire, London, 1763, 4to; and 4. ‘Sermons on Interesting Subjects’ (posthumously with his ‘Life’ by Samuel Clapham), London, 1816, 8vo.

[Thoresby's Ducat. Leod. ed. Whitaker, i. 68; James's Bradford, pp. 245, 435; Grad. Cant.; Gent. Mag. 1814 ii. 601, 1816 ii. 527; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ix. 125, 724; Illustr. Lit. vii. 450; Walpole's Mem. Geo. III, ed. Russell Barker, ii. 191.]

J. M. R.