SCOTT, Reginald (c.1537-99), of Smeeth and Aldington, Kent.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1537, 1st s. of Richard Scott of Scot’s Hall by Mary, da. of George Whetenall of Hextall’s Place, East Peckham. educ. Hart Hall, Oxf. 1555. m. (1) 11 Oct. 1568, Jane, da. of Thomas Cobbe of Cobbe’s Place, Aldington, 1da.; (2) Alice ?Collyer, wid., s.p.

Offices Held

Subsidy collector, lathe of Shepway 1586-7.


Scott’s local standing was quite sufficient to secure his return for New Romney, though his connexions in the county were excellent, his father being a younger brother of Sir Reginald Scott of Scot’s Hall, the distinguished soldier. It was at Scot’s Hall that Scott spent much of his time, helping his cousin Sir Thomas with his business affairs. His name frequently appears as a witness to family documents, and he may even have been Sir Thomas’s steward. In 1588 he served as a captain of foot-soldiers and ‘trench-master’ in the local levies which Sir Thomas Scott encamped near Dover at the time of the Spanish Armada. Scott’s first marriage, to the daughter of a yeoman family long resident at Cobbe’s Place, brought him Aldington. In 1597 he claimed a manor in Romney Marsh in right of his second wife, his attempt to eject the occupant by force being frustrated by the Privy Council.

Scott made his will on 15 Sept. and died on 9 Oct. 1599, probably being buried at Brabourne. The will was proved on 22 Nov. Apart from small bequests to his only grandchild, to his cousin Sir John Scott, and one or two other minor legacies, his household goods, lands and leases went to his second wife, Alice, whom he had married late in life. The uncertainty of the will on one point led to a lawsuit between his widow, the executrix, and his daughter (and only child) by his first marriage. Scott was the author of the Discovery of Witchcraft, an attempt to enlist ‘Christian compassion’ towards those accused of witchcraft. James I ordered it to be burned, but the book, published in Holland in 1609, had a great vogue on the Continent. Pepys’ Diary for 12 Aug. 1667 has the entry ‘... to my booksellers, there and did buy Scott’s discourse of Witches’.

DNB; J. R. Scott of Scot’s Hall, pp. lxviii, 180, 187-9, 252; Discovery of Witchcraft, ed. Nicholson, passim; Arch. Cant. xi. 388; APC, ix. 342; PCC 86 Kidd; C142/272/71.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: M.R.P.