Thursday, October 24, 2013

(SCOFIELD) The Irascible Sir Cuthbert

Cuthbert Scofield was a pugnacious fellow. Perhaps it is fitting that he was the first Scofield to be granted a crest.

Crest granted to Cuthbert in 1582
The records of his life are primarily from the courts. Even his knighthood, granted by Queen Elizabeth in 1588, resulted from his assistance during a war. (He somehow helped defeat the Spanish Armada, probably by donating money.) 

As one author said, "Cuthbert Scolfeld was evidently a man either fond of litigation or uncommonly unfortunate, for he appears in the Duchy Court more frequently than any other inhabitant of the parish." (B)

Cuthbert went to court several times claiming various lands. His legal squabbles with relatives and neighbors, however, are the most interesting.

In 1561, Cuthbert sued his wife, Anne, for divorce. Herself the product of an affair, she apparently thought nothing of conducting a dalliance while her husband was at the market. Upon arriving home, Cuthbert was informed by others of the goings-on at Schofield Hall. Anne's lover fled from a window; she followed. Cuthbert pursued them, "brandishing his sword and giving chase through several fields." The pair escaped and made their way to Ireland; Cuthbert sued for divorce. (E)
Scofield Hall, 1829. Inhabited from the 16th-20th century. Now in ruins.

In 1565, Cuthbert quarreled with a neighbor about the ownership of a piece of land that included the local chapel. Apparently, Cuthbert attempted to enforce his opinion. According to another neighbor, Cuthbert, "a very evill disposed person... hath in verie riotous and forceable manor entered into the...chapell... and with strong locks and bars hath shut up the same," and when the locals tried to attend services they found "several disordered persons with drawn swords in their hands, who did make assault and affray upon divers persons." (A, C) 

Ah, Cuthbert, fractious and feisty till the end.

***I did NOT research the genealogy for this post. I researched Sir Cuthbert and have cited sources below. However, I am depending on someone else's genealogic accuracy; I have NOT verified this line of descent. That being said, here is the genealogy, according to contributors on 

Guy Wixon Scofield, 1913-1984
John Wixon Scofield, 1888-1962
Charles Andrew Scofield, 1840-1910
Eleazer Scofield, 1811-1881
Rufus Scofield, 1773-1854
Noah Scofield, 1750-1790
Jonathan Scofield, 1719-1788
Nathaniel Scofield, 1688-?
John Scofield, 1647-1699
Daniel Scofield, 1620-1669
Alexander Scofield, 1588-1620
Sir Cuthbert Scofield, 1555-1605

A) Rebe Taylor, Rochdale Retrospect, chapter 3,
B) Henry Fishwick, History of Rochdale, chapter 17, this is also the source of the picture of Schofield Hall, from a pen and ink sketch by George Shaw, architect, and the information about the Scofield crest
C) ibid, chapter 10
D) ibid, chapter 15
E) "Schofield Hall" at

1 comment:

  1. 10 great grandfather on my father's side......! Illegitimate son Alex Scofield and Mary Norton produced (among others) Daniel and Richard Scofield, who made there way to America (CT) in 1600's.....subsequent descendants of Daniel settled in VT for several generations - Daniel can be directly traced to my father, Mark Spencer Scofield, who fathered me in Los Angeles, CA in 1962.......