from Reformation History
John Knox, the most famous Scottish Reformer, was born near Edinburgh in 1505. He went to his local school and then to university in St Andrews, before becoming a deacon and a priest in the (Roman Catholic) Church.
From 1542, Scotland was governed by Regent Arran as Mary Queen of Scots [link to First Reformation – Monarchs – Mary QOS] was still a baby. Arran benefited reform in Scotland in a number of ways. Firstly, he passed a law that allowed people to read the Bible in their own language. He then appointed the Protestant Thomas Guillame to preach around Scotland, and it was through his preaching that John Knox was converted. The biggest influence on Knox’s life however was George Wishart.
After Wishart’s death in 1546, Knox taught the sons of a number of Protestants who had captured St Andrews Castle. Some of those in the castle called Knox to become their minister. At this he burst into tears and ran off to his room because of what a responsibility he knew it would be. A few days later however he accepted the call. In the summer of 1547 French warships attacked the castle. Knox was taken prisoner, kept aboard in one of the ships and forced to row it in chains with other galley slaves. After 19 months however he was set free, and went to England where Archbishop Cranmer was working to promote the Reformation, and he was appointed as a preacher [in Berwick]. He attacked the Roman Catholic mass as idolatry because it was ‘invented by the brain of man’ and not commanded by God. In 1551 he was invited to live in London and preach before king Edward VI.
In 1553, the Roman Catholic Mary I became Queen. Knox was now in danger so he left for Europe. He became minister in Frankfurt in Germany and then in Geneva in Switzerland where John Calvin was also a minister. In between he returned to Scotland to get married and preach, and was surprised at how far the teaching of the Reformers was spreading. [Read more…]