SCORY, Sylvanus (d.1617), of Cordwainer Street, London.

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

s. of John Scory, bp. of Hereford, by his w. Elizabeth. m. Alice, da. of Francis Walshe of Shelsley, Worcs., 2da. suc. fa. 1585.

Offices Held

Servant of the Earl of Leicester by 1584.

Prebendary of Hinton 1565-9; esquire of the body at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral; gent. of privy chamber to James I.


Scory’s father, one of the less heroic figures of the Reformation, submitted to Bishop Bonner and renounced his wife at the outset of Mary’s reign, then fled abroad. On Elizabeth’s accession he returned to England and was given the see of Hereford. Scory himself held the prebend of Hinton for four years during his father’s tenure of the bishopric, and leased several ecclesiastical properties, including the manor of Whitbourne and Colwall Park, Herefordshire. How Scory came to be a servant of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, has not been ascertained, but he was sufficiently close to Leicester to be suspected by the Privy Council of being behind the libellous Leycester’s Commonwealth, published in 1584, and he admitted introducing Leicester to the Spanish ambassador during a dinner held at the house of Thomas Smythe I, customer of London. Suspected of treason and in disgrace with his father, he persuaded the French ambassador, Mauvissi‘re, to write to Walsingham on 21 June 1585 asking him and Leicester to intervene with the Queen on his behalf, as he wished ‘to justify himself and be a faithful subject to her Majesty and a good servant to the Earl’ and so prevent his father from disinheriting him. Mauvissi‘re’s story was that Scory spoke only of ‘matters of state’ and had visited him to thank him for hospitality received.1

When his father died a short time later, Scory’s brother-in-law Giles Allen complained of his ‘ungodly, unnatural, blasphemous and unlawful conduct’ to the dying bishop, in that he prevented anyone from ‘performing the necessary offices to the dead corpse’, though he had time enough to write to Leicester asking for a suit to be tried in which he alleged that corrupt practices, presumably connected with the distribution of his father’s estate, had deprived him of several thousand pounds. While the case was still pending, he followed Leicester to the Netherlands and t