Born in 1505
Died on 24th of November 1572
Quotes from John Knox
'A man with God is always in th'... More
John Knox was the leader of the Scottish Reformation and founder of Scottish Presbyterianism.
Knox was born in Haddington, Scotland, in 1505. Ordained a Catholic priest in 1532, by 1546 he was a vocal supporter of Protestantism which had been introduced into Scotland by George Wishart. Wishart was executed for heresy in 1546 and the following year the Cardinal responsible for his arrest was murdered. Knox vigorously defended the perpetrators and became their preacher whilst they held out in the castle of St Andrew. The French army, Catholic to a man, laid siege to the castle and when it fell Knox became a galley slave. He was released in 1549 after 19 months of captivity.
Knox was welcomed by the new Protestant regency in England where he was reinstated as a preacher. In 1551 he was made the king’s chaplain, working to replace Catholic ceremony with Protestant austerity. His position became untenable with the accession of the Catholic Mary Tudor in 1553 and the following year Knox left England, finally settling in Geneva. Here he became a convinced Calvinist, returning briefly to England in 1555 to preach his new gospel which promised eternal damnation for all those not sharing his beliefs. Not surprisingly he was pressured to leave the following year.
Back in Geneva Knox continued to condemn the Catholic Church in his polemical letters and writings, which in 1558 included the celebrated First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women aimed at Mary Queen of Scots and Mary I of England. He managed to return to Scotland in 1559 and although pursued by the authorities gained popular support for his democratic form of church structure with elected ministers. In 1560 his Calvinism was adopted at the expense of Catholic and French influence, a difficult situation for Mary Queen of Scots, a Catholic who arrived from France in 1561. Catholic worship was now outlawed and in 1568 the unfortunate queen was driven from Scotland. Knox himself died in Edinburgh on November 24, 1572, leaving a legacy of rigorous Presbyterianism in Scotland which persists to this day.
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