Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Knox, John (1505-72), the great Scotch reformer, was born at Haddington, and educated there and at Glasgow. He took orders as a secular priest about 1530, and it was not till sixteen years later that he became a Protestant. In 1547, when the French took St. Andrews, he was carried off to France as a prisoner, and had to work in the galleys for nearly two years. Early in 1549 he came to England, and remained there throughout the reign of Edward IV. He was at first minister of Berwick but was afterwards appointed one of the king's chaplains. He was also consulted with reference to the Forty-Five Articles of Religion. When Mary came to the throne he had to leave the country. and he remained on the Continent, chiefly at Geneva, till 1559. On his return to Scotland he joined the Lords of the Congregation, and took the chief part in the Scottish Reformation, drawing up the Confession of Faith in 1560. He did not alter his conduct when Mary Stewart became queen, and after holding several conferences with her, in which he held very plain language towards her, he was in 1562 tried for treason. He was acquitted, but again came into collision with the Court in consequence of some sermons he preached after the Darnley marriage in 1565. He was then inhibited from preaching, but, notwithstanding, preached the sermon when the young James was crowned. On the death of Murray in 1569 he left Edinburgh, where he had officiated for many years, and retired to St. Andrews. In 1572, however, he preached at Edinburgh again, notably on the occasion of the news of the massacre of St. Bartholomew. In the same year he died. He was a great political force in Scotland, but his Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, though directed against her rival, gave mortal offence to Queen Elizabeth, and probably increased her distaste for affording any substantial support to the Scotch Reformation. Knox's Historie of the Reformation of Religion within the Realm of Scotland is a very important historical work.