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John Knox


c.1513 - 1572

John Knox at St. Andrews Castle Exhibition
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

John Knox at St. Andrews Castle Exhibition

Churchman. Born in Haddington, East Lothian, Knox was known as the father of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, whereby the Roman Catholic Church was replaced by a disestablished, democratic, Presbyterian Church of Scotland, founded on Calvinist principles. Although initially ordained as a Catholic priest, Knox met George Wishart and became a Protestant. After Wishart was executed, Knox was part of the group who retaliated by murdering Cardinal Beaton, and this earned him two years as a galley slave.

Although bitterly opposed by the catholic Mary Queen of Scots (1542 - 1587), Knox was ordained as minister of St Giles Kirk in Edinburgh (1559), and was renowned for his aggressive style of preaching. He was the outstanding leader of the reformation in Scotland and a model for elsewhere. He led a group of six who, in 1560, drew up the Confession of Faith and the First Book of Discipline.

Knox is said to be buried under Parliament Square, which was once the burial ground of St. Giles Kirk.


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