of Members for Scotland to sit and vote in the Parliament of Great Britain,’ London, 1710, 8vo; Edinburgh, 1722, 12mo. 7. ‘Form of Process before Lords of Council and Session, to which is prefixed the present state of the College of Justice,’ Edinburgh, 1711, 8vo, 1718. 8. ‘Treatise concerning the Origin and Progress of Fees,’ Edinburgh, 8vo, 1731, 1734, 1761. Posthumous was his ‘Practical Observations upon divers titles of the Law of Scotland: commonly called Hope's Minor Practicks [see Hope, Sir Thomas], with notes and observations … to which is subjoined An Account of all the Religious Houses that were in Scotland at the time of the Reformation,’ Edinburgh, 1734, 8vo. The ‘Account of the Religious Houses in Scotland’ was republished in Keith's ‘Catalogue of Bishops,’ 1st edit. 1755 (without acknowledgment), and in the 2nd edit. 1824 (with acknowledgment).
He left in manuscript two volumes to which he frequently refers in his printed works, and which he designed for publication: (1) a ‘Scots Law-Lexicon,’ and (2) ‘Spotswood's Practical Titles.’
[List of Grad. Edinb. Univ.; Rec. Faculty of Advocates; Hist. of the Society of Writers to the Signet; Acts of Scots Parl. ix. 481–5, xi. 143; Register of Testaments; Burke's Landed Gentry; Spottiswood's Works; Greyfriars Records.]
SPOTTISWOOD, Sir ROBERT, Lord Newabbey (1596–1646), lawyer, born 1596, was second son of John Spottiswood (1565–1637) [q. v.], archbishop of St. Andrews, and Rachel, daughter of David Lindsay [q. v.], bishop of Ross. Educated at Glasgow grammar school, he matriculated at Glasgow University in 1609, graduating M.A. 15 March 1613. Thence he proceeded to Exeter College, Oxford, where he studied under John Prideaux [q. v.], afterwards bishop of Worcester (Boase, Reg. Coll. Exon. pp. c, cxvi). He pursued his studies on the continent, chiefly in France, where ‘he applied himself to the study of the laws civil and canon, and of theology, especially the oriental languages, the holy scriptures, the fathers, and church history.’ His father had projected his ‘History of the Church’ before Spottiswood set out on his travels, and he was commissioned to make researches for documents, many of which had been carried to France at the Reformation. In this search Sir Robert was very successful, recovering many important papers utilised by the archbishop, and discovering at Rome the ‘Black Book of Paisley,’ a manuscript of great value. After spending nine years abroad Spottiswood returned home, and was received with favour by James VI, who appointed him privy councillor on 25 June 1622 (Reg. P. C. Scotl., ed. Masson, xii. 790). Sir Robert was promoted to the bench on 12 July 1622, taking the title of Lord Newabbey from the lands which his father had purchased and presented to him. Four years afterwards (14 Feb. 1626) he was appointed an ordinary lord of session, in succession to Sir Thomas Hamilton, earl of Melrose (afterwards earl of Haddington). In 1633 he was nominated as one of the commissioners for the valuation of teinds, and at the same time was appointed one of the members of the commission to survey the laws. He continued in favour under Charles I, and on the death of Sir James Skene of Curriehill, in October 1633, Spottiswood was, on Charles's recommendation, elected president of the court of session. His speech on that occasion, in which he described the relations then existing between the bench and the bar, is printed in the memoir by his grandson, John Spottiswood (1666–1728) [q. v.], in his edition of Sir Robert's ‘Practicks,’ and in the first volume of the ‘Spottiswoode Miscellany.’ Sir Robert was one of the crown assessors for the trial of Lord Balmerino in 1634, and it was afterwards alleged—without much foundation—that he gave a partial and unfair aspect to the case [see Elphinstone, John, second Lord Balmerino]. His attitude was so distinctly against the covenanters that in 1638, when episcopacy was abolished by the general assembly, he was forced to flee to England, where he remained until Charles I made his second visit to Scotland. The dominant presbyterian party accused him of fomenting the discord between the king and the people; and when he appeared before the Scottish parliament on 17 Aug. 1641, he was forthwith committed to the castle of Edinburgh. He was specially exempted from the act of oblivion proposed to parliament; but on 10 Nov. he obtained his liberty on condition that he should appear for trial when called upon. The intention of bringing him and the other ‘incendiaries’ to trial was at length abandoned, in deference to the king's wish, and Spottiswood returned with Charles I to England. When the Earl of Lanark, secretary of state [see Hamilton, William, second Duke of Hamilton], was apprehended in December 1643, the king gave the seals of office to Spottiswood at Oxford, and directed him to act as secretary. In this capacity Spottiswood sealed several commissions, one being a warrant appointing Montrose to be his majesty's lieutenant in Scotland. Sir Robert set out from Oxford with this warrant, travelled through Wales to the Isle of Man,