Robert de Spotteswode was the first person recorded with this surname when, in 1296, he signed the Ragman Roll, pledging his allegiance to Edward I of England. On his seal is a wild boar passant with his name written as S’ Rob’ de Spottiswood.
The proceedings which, on 15th December, 1309, were adopted in Scotland against the Knights Templars were verified by William de Spottiswod, a notary public.
An instrument of sasine was recorded as having been witnessed by Gavin Spottiswood in 1525.
A History of the Church and State of Scotland, published in 1655, was written by John Spottiswood (1565-1639), archbishop of St. Andrews.
Alexander Spotswood, a scion of that Ilk, was considered on of the most popular, and ablest of the representitives of the Crown authority to the early American colonies (1710 – 1722). Alexander was also one of the principal encouragers of the growing of tobacco, and in turn help lay the foundations of Virginia’s wealth, as well as that of Glasgow’s “Tobacco Lords”.
The name also appears in the records as Spotswode, Spotswood, and Spottyswod.