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John Scudamore, 1st Viscount Scudamore (22 March 1601 – 19 May 1671), diplomat and politician, was the eldest son of Sir James Scudamore of Holme Lacy, Herefordshire.

After matriculating from Magdalen College, Oxford and being admitted to the Middle Temple, he travelled in France from November 1618, but returned the following year after the death of his father. His grandfather Sir John Scudamore obtained a baronetcy for him in 1620, giving him precedence locally three years. He was elected as knight of the shire for Herefordshire in 1621 (and at the two following elections), and was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1622. In 1628, he was given an Irish peerage, as Viscount Scudamore, though he had no connection with that country.

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. This he did in full Laudian style. He also did work on other churches, and endowed some with impropriate tithes.

From 1635 to 1639, he was ambassador to France, and caused controversy by adorning the embassy chapel in Laudian style. However, the staunchly Protestant Earl of Leicester was appointed as extraordinary ambassador over his head, with the result that they two could not agree on policy.

He was not particularly active on his return and his early participation in the English Civil War was limited, partly due to rivalry with Coningsby for control of his native county. This meant that Hereford was surrendered to a small Roundhead force in 1643. He was sent to London as a delinquent and remained there under house arrest until 1647. After the English Restoration, he resumed various local offices.

References

  • 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 text is available as the article Scudamore, John on Wikisource.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Unknown
Member of Parliament for Herefordshire
with Unknown

1621–1626
Succeeded by
Unknown
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Viscount Scudamore
1628–1671
Succeeded by
John Scudamore
Baronetage of England
New creation Baronet
(of Holme Lacy)
1620–1671
Succeeded by
John Scudamore
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