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of Koine were annulled. It may be noticed that Randolph
wrote to Cecill on the following day, 3 stating that he had
conversed with several of the chief ministers (naming Knox,
Willock, and Goodman), to ascertain their sentiments, whether
a uniformity of religion might not be had in both kingdoms ;
but while the ministers, he says, were not wholly disinclined
to some proposal of the kind, he was constrained to add, " I see
little hope thereof." 4

Notwithstanding the peaceful issue of these troublous times,
there were trials and disappointments which Knox and his
friends had to endure, both of a public and private nature.
The messengers sent to the young Queen in France failed in
obtaining her authority to sanction the proceedings in August.
The ministers also were anxious that since the Doctrine of the
Church was received and approved, the proposed scheme of its
Discipline and Policy should likewise be ratified. In these
volumes, I imagine there is nothing of more importance than
the copy of The Book of Discipline, with its marginal notes,
when under consideration by the Lords of Privy Council. 5 But
here the natural desire to obtain a reasonable share of the
Church property, so essential for carrying into effect this
scheme of policy, came into collision with the selfish interests
and rapacity of the nobility and gentry, who had secured, or
expected to secure, the chief share of the revenues of the Papal

1 lb. pp. 93-120. I had purposed to Ter-Centenary of the Scottish Keforma-
have inserted the names of the persons tion, Edinburgh, 1860, 12mo.

who were present in Parliament when 3 Infra, p. 119.

the Confession was ratified, but I must 4 Bishop Lesley also refers to this

simply refer to the Acts of Parliament, scheme. — See vol. ii. p. 82, note 3.

vol. ii. pp. 525, 526. 5 Vol. ii. pp. 183-258.

2 See the interesting volume on the


Church, by grants of land, leases, and alienations. In this way
the funds were swallowed up, which ought to have provided a
competent allowance for the support of the ministry, and of the
poor, — furnished means for the reparation of churches, for the
erection of parish schools, and for the improvement of educa-
tion in the Universities. But all these wise and liberal designs
were treated as " devout imaginations." The ministers received
either no stipends, or such miserable allowance as left them
near akin to great destitution, — no provision was made for the
poor — the course of education continued unreformed or ne-
glected, and churches were allowed to fall into ruin — while
many of the Popish clergy were idly enjoying two -thirds of
their benefices ; and at length the arrival of Queen Mary, and
the singular influence she exerted, threatened to accomplish
one great object of her life, the restoration of Popery in Scot-
land, by securing the dominant power of France.

VII. — Knox as Minister of Edinburgh.

At the period of the Eeformation the great Church of St.
Giles became the parish church of Edinburgh, and Knox at
first was nominated to be sole minister, with John Cairnes as
Eeader. The Canongate, or Holyrood-house, remained a dis-
tinct charge, as well as the landward parish of St. Cuthbert's.
The Provost and Prebendaries of the Collegiate establishment
of St. Giles being allowed to retain possession of their dwelling-
houses and gardens near the church, the Provost and Town-
Council had to provide " a lodging," or accommodation, for their
minister ; and the house assigned to Knox, or in which he con-
tinued to reside, was situated at the Netherbow Port, or eastern
entrance -gate to the town, and was known as the house of
George Durie, Abbot of Dunfermline. 1 The annual rent, or

1 See vol. i. p. 183, note 2.

PREFACE. xliil

* house-mail," for this, was paid and entered in the Town's
accounts. 1

The house is still preserved as a memorial of the Keformer, 2
hut it has more than once been remodelled, and a few years
tfo-o was restored by public subscription. The Act of Council,
on 30th of October 1561, may be quoted as an instance of their
desire to render the house comfortable : —

" The samine day, the Provost, Baillies, and Counsaill, ordanis
the Dene of Gyld with all diligence to mak ane warme studye
of dailies to the minister, John Knox, within his hous, abone
the hall of the samin, with lyght and wyndokis thereunto, and
all uther necessaris," &c.

Towards the end of December 1560, Knox experienced a
severe domestic bereavement by the death of his wife, Marjory
Bowes, when probably not more than twenty- seven or eight
years of age. Their children were two sons born in Geneva, of
whom a brief account will afterwards be given.

On the 20th of that month, the first meeting of " The Univer-
sall Kirk of Scotland" (since known as " The General Assembly")
was held at Edinburgh. The members consisted of " Ministers
and Commissioners of Particular Kirks," who assembled " to
consult upon those things whilk ar to sett fordward God's glorie
and the weill of His Kirk." There were forty-two persons pre-
sent, of whom only six are described as ministers. One im-
portant business was preparing a list of persons who " were
thought best qualified for preaching of the Word and ministring
of the Sacraments, and reading of the Common Prayers pub-
lickly in all kirks and congregations." In the month of July
preceding, the Nobility, and the chief part of the Congregation,
had met in the great Church of St. Giles to settle the placing
of ministers in the principal towns. At the same time five
Superintendents were nominated for election.

1 Dr. M'Crie has given in the Ap- " show the attention which they paid

pendix to his Life of Knox, note K, to the support and accommodation of

other extracts from the Records of their minister."
the Town-Council of Edinburgh, to 2 See wood-cut, infra.


We may easily imagine how difficult a matter it was at this
time to provide suitable persons for so many vacant parish
churches. Prior to the Preformation, most of the parish livings,
with the patronage, had been engrossed by the religious houses,.
and became dependencies as mensal churches on the Abbeys - r
and as the priests were legally Eectors, in order to monopolize
the vicarage dues they appointed vicar-pensioners to perform
the duties with the lowest amount of stipend. In this way,,
no small number of parishes had been left either wholly un-
provided, or the rural clergy were for the most part very
inefficient. In the early part of that century, one of our poets,,
himself a priest, when soliciting from James the Fourth some
preferment, alludes to the unequal distribution of benefices,,
when six or seven were engrossed by one person, while he him-
self could not obtain one, —

" Great Abbais grayth (wealth) I nill to gather,
Bot ane kirk I scant coverit with heather ;
For I of lytill wald be fain,
Quhilk to considder is a pain." 1

In choosing Superintendents, it was part of their duty to visit
and preach in destitute localities, but not to remain more than
a limited time in any one place. While they possessed no-
episcopal or diocesan authority over their brethren, they had a
general commission to try and judge of the peculiar fitness of
persons whom they should admit either as ministers or readers
in vacant churches; but they themselves were subject to be
tried, censured, or superseded by the General Assembly if re-
miss in their duties. The powers they exercised were after-
wards transferred to ministers and elders sitting in their respec-
tive presbyteries ; for it is well known that, during Knox's life,
the platform of Presbyterian Church government had not been
fully matured until The Second Book of Discipline was pre-
pared and adopted in the year 1581. 2

1 Dunbar's Poems, note ii. p. 207.

3 See further, the Preliminary Notice, infra, p. 383, &c.


The arrival of the widowed Queen of France in Scotland
produced before long a blighting influence on the prospects of
the Reformers ; but it is somewhat characteristic of the times,
and in part confirms Brantome's satirical account of her recep-
tion, to find in the Edinburgh Treasurer's Accounts, that in
1561-2 when £78 was paid " for three tuns of wyne, at £26 the
tun, as a propyne (or gift) to the Quenis grace, upon Uphaily
Epiphany) even;" 24s. was also paid for " ane dozen of torches
that zeid affoir (went before) the Provost, Baillies, and Town
quhen they zeid to the Abbey to singe the Psalmes to the
Quenis Grace."

In the Treasurer and Dean of Guild's Accounts, a specimen
of the charges, at the time of the Communion in Edinburgh,
may be given : —

1560-61. — Sounday 23d to Saturday 1st March.
Item to the Corumunioun, viii gallons of vyne and ane halfe,

for xiid. the pynt, summa, iii lib - viii d -

Item for caryinge of the wyne to the Kirk, . . . iiii d -

Sounday ii of Merche, the Communione ministrat be Johne Knox
in the Hie Kirk of Edinburgh.

Item, to Johne Cuninghame and his two seruandis for making
of vi long formes and schort, for servinge the tabellis,
ii dayis labour, ...... xvi 8 -

Item, for xxviii elnis of braid blechit Bartan clayth of bar-

tanze to cover the tabillis, vi 3- the elne, summa, viii ,ib viii 3 -
1561. — Sounday viii of Junii, the secund Communioun
ministret in Edinburgh be Johne Knox. For iii lib - breid,
vi d - the pecc, ....... xxx 9 -

Item, for viii gallons vyne for xviii d - the pynt, summa, iiii lib - xvi 8 -

After Knox had remained a widower for upwards of three
years, he contracted a second marriage with a young lady of
noble birth, Margaret Stewart, daughter of Andrew Lord Stewart
of Ochiltree, a zealous Beformer. It appears to have been more
fortunate than, under the circumstance of great disparity of
age, might have been anticipated.


In regard to the subsequent events of Knox's life, there is
no occasion to enlarge. He had still a principal share in all
ecclesiastical matters, nor was his influence in public affairs
lessened, while his ministerial labours were unceasing. Without
entering upon matters of public history, his intercourse and
conferences with his sovereign cannot be overlooked. Mary
Queen of Scots was sent to France in the sixth year of her age.
Her education, and the corrupt state of the Court in which she
remained, had a most pernicious effect on her after conduct
Her marriage with the Dauphin of France was an unhappy
alliance. When Francis and Mary ascended the throne, the
whole power was centred in the House of Guise ; and Scotland,
under their influence, was likely to become a province of France,
in like manner as England had been of Spain during the reign,
of Philip and Mary : fortunately in both kingdoms the cause
of civil and religious liberty prevailed. But the death of her
youthful husband was one of those sudden and unexpected
revolutions which at this period were so frequent, and pro-
duced a change in the whole course of public events. By the
advice of her uncles, she refused to sanction the proceedings of
the Scottish Parliament in August ; but, when invited to return
to her own kingdom in the following year, she engaged to make
no alteration in the form of religion as then established. But
her personal influence was soon felt to be most prejudicial, and
the question of toleration of the service of mass in her private
chapel at Holyrood brought Knox, and the more conscientious
Protestants, in immediate collision with the Queen and her
courtiers. He was one of the few persons who escaped her fas-
cinations. From the first, he was strongly impressed with the
same duplicity of character which her mother, Mary of Guise,
had exhibited. But, however plain-spoken Knox might be in
their conferences, there never was any of that rude insolence
on his part which it is so customary to allege. The marriage
of the young and accomplished widowed Queen became a

PREFACE. xlvii

source of protracted negotiation and jealous interference on the
part of her sister of England : it was indeed a matter of great
national importance, connected not only with the succession to
the English throne in the event of Queen Elizabeth's death, but in
some measure with the immediate peace of Europe. But here
her own wilfulness gave an unlucky preference, and was produc-
tive of events which darkened the remaining period of her career.
It is not here required to trace the rapid march of public
events at this time ; nor to enter upon the fruitful field of
controversy to which some of these events gave rise. Such,
for instance, were the schemes for the Queen's marriage, and her
self-willed preference for Darnley ; the murder of David Eiccio
in her presence, and the implacable spirit of revenge which this
engendered, and which unquestionably contributed to the tragi-
cal termination of Darnley's career ; the Queen's infatuation for
the Earl of Bothwell, the murderer of her husband, and the
marriage that took place in such indecent haste within three
weeks of that atrocious deed, with a man who combined the
most open profligacy and sensuality with a restless, aspiring
ambition ; the battle of Carberry Hill, and Bothwell's flight to
Denmark ; the Queen's imprisonment in Lochlevin Castle, and
her forced abdication in favour of her infant son, James the
Sixth; — all these form a series of stirring events crowded within
the brief space of two years. During part of this time Knox was
absent from Edinburgh, having been silenced from preaching,
on account of some expressions in a sermon which gave offence
to Darnley ; but he was fully occupied in visiting churches,
and in writing the continuation of his great work, the History of
the Reformation. With the permission of the General Assem-
bly, he took this opportunity to visit the north of England
where his two sons were with their mother's relatives for edu-
cation. He returned in time to preach the sermon at the
coronation of the youthful King at Stirling in July ; and also at
the opening of the Parliament at Edinburgh in December 1567,

xlviii PREFACE.

which inaugurated the Eegency of the Earl of Murray ; then it
was that the Confession of Faith and the Acts in favour of the
Eeformed religion obtained the formal ratification of Parliament.
But this change in the government was unfortunately of short
continuance, and the assassination of the Earl of Murray was
deeply felt and lamented by Knox, and " all good men." Happy
would it have been for Scotland, had his Eegency continued at
least during the King's minority.

When the Queen of Scots made her escape from Lochlevin
Castle, and her adherents were dispersed at Langside, in
an evil hour for herself, she fled from her own subjects, and
threw herself into the power of her jealous rival the English
Queen. From that time she deprived herself of importance in
the eyes of the English Eoman Catholics, and of foreign poten-
tates, for accomplishing their designs against the freedom and
religion of England. Yet some of her adherents, along with
Kirkaldy of Grange, and Maitland of Lethington, having pos-
session of the Castle of Edinburgh, gave rise to fresh troubles
and civil warfare, until, after the siege of the Castle by the
English, they came to a miserable end, in May 1573.

Knox left Edinburgh for his own security, in May 1571, and
resided at St. Andrews. The description of him in his latter
days, given by James Melville in his Diary, at the time he was
a student at St. Andrews, in 1571, is much too interesting to
be omitted : —

" But of all the benefits I had that year was the coming of
that most notable prophet and apostle of our nation Mr. John
Knox, to St. Andrews ; who, be the faction of the Queen occu-
pying the Castle and town of Edinburgh, was compelled to
remove therefrom with a number of the best, and choose to
come to St. Andrews. I heard him teach there the prophecy
of Daniel that summer, and the winter following. I had my
pen and my little book, and took away such things as I could
comprehend. In the opening up of his text he was moderate


the space of an half hour; but when he entered to application,
he made me so to grew (shudder) and tremble, that I could not
hold a pen to write. I heard him oftymes utter these threatn-
Logs in the height of their pride, which the eyes of many saw
clearly brought to pass, within few years, upon the Captain of
that Castle, the Hamiltons, and the Queen herself. He lodged
down in the Abbey, beside our College; and our Primarius,
Mr. James Wilkie, our Regents, Mr. Nicol Dalgleise, Mr. Wil-
lyeam Colace, and Mr. Johne Davidson, went in ordinarlie to
his grace after dinner and supper. Our Regent tarried all the
vacans (vacation) to hear him, howbeit he had urgent affairs
of his brother -sons to handle, to whom he was tutor. Mr. Knox
would some times come in and repose him in our College yard,
and call us scholars unto him and bless us, and exhort us to
know God and His work in our country, and stand by the good
cause, to use our time well, and learn the good instructions and
follow the good example of our maisters. Our whole College,
masters and scholars, were sound and zealous for the good
cause. The other two Colleges not so, &c.

" The Town of Edinburgh recovered again, and the good and
honest men thereof returned to their houses. Mr. Knox with
his family past home to Edinburgh. Being in St. Andrews he
was very weak. I saw him every day of his doctrine go hulie
and fear, with a furring of martriks about his neck, a staff in
the one hand, and good godly Richart Ballanden, 1 his servant,
holding up the other oxter, from the Abbey to the parish church ;
and be the said Richart and another servant lifted up to the
pulpit, where he behoved to lean at his first entry ; but or he
had done with his sermon, he was so active and vigorous that
he was like to ding that pulpit in blads, and fly out of it." 2

In compliance with the request of a deputation sent by his
congregation, that his voice might once again be heard amongst
them, Knox returned to Edinburgh in August 1572. by short

1 Or Bannatyne See p. lix. Club, 1829), pp. 21, 2G ; Autobiography

2 James Melville's Diary (Bannatyne iWodrow Society, 1842), pp.2, 26, 33.
VOL. VI. d


stages ; and, on account of the weakness of his voice, that part
of the great Church of St. Giles, known as the Tolbooth, was
fitted up as a small church for his use. 1 But his chief object
was the appointment of his successor. The choice made, of Mr.
James Lawson, Sub-Principal of King's College, Aberdeen, was
most harmonious, and Knox feeling his increasing weakness,
addressed to him the short letter given at p. 632, with the
emphatic postscript, " Haist, leist ye come too laite !" Indeed
his last public appearance was on the 9th of November, at
Lawson's induction, and after praising God "that had given
them one in the place of himself that was now unable to
teach/' 2 he returned to his house for the last time — his feeble


sickly frame no longer able for further service : But his ap-
pointed task was done, his warfare accomplished ; and, attended
by his affectionate wife and sorrowing friends, he died in full
assurance of faith, on Monday, the 24th of November 1572, in
the sixty- seventh year of his age.

1 Infra, p. 631, note 2. 2 lb. p. 634.


The two wmtemporary narratives of Knox's last illness and
death, inserted in this volume, present an affecting and beau-
tiful picture, of the consistency of his character, his piety,
resignation, and the vigour of his intellect even to the last.
One or two incidents may be specially pointed out : His rising
from his deathbed on Friday morning the 14th, thinking it was
the Lord's Day, saying he intended to go to church and preach
on the Resurrection of Christ, which had been the subject of
his meditation during the night. On the following Sunday,
he refused to partake of any food, supposing it to have been
the day that was enjoined by the Assembly as a public Fast.
Then, again, the anxiety he expressed for the spiritual welfare
of his old friend and fellow- sufferer in 1548, but then styled
" one of the traitors in the Castle," the Laird of Grange : " The
man's soul is dear to me, and I would not have it perish, if I
could save it." "Would that his kindly feelings had been re-
ceived in the same spirit. In like manner, when giving his
approbation of the sermon preached by David Fergusson of
Dunfermline, before the Regent and Nobility at Leith, in
January 1572, he writes : " John Knox, with my dead hand
but glaid heart, praising God that of His mercy He levis
such light to His Kirk in this deso-
latioun." 1

Knox's funeral took place on
Wednesday, the 26th of November,
being conveyed from his house by
the Earl of Morton, who on the same
day had been appointed Regent, and
a large concourse of people. He was
interred in the burying- ground con-
nected with the Church of St. Giles. We have no correct
views or plans of the Church at an early date, but the annexed

1 Reprinted in the Bannatyne Club volume of Fergusson's Tracts. Edinburgh,
1861, 8vo.



cut, though slight, copied from a bird's-eye view of the city
in 1573, may furnish some idea of the open space that was
used as the burying-ground.

" Upon Wednesday the 26th of November (says Calderwood),
Maister Knox was buried in the churchyard of St. Giles, being
convoyed be the Erie of Mortoun, and uther Lords who were
in the towne for the tyme. When he was layed in the grave
the Erie of Mortoun uttered thir words : — ' Here lyeth a man,


ended his dayes in peace and honour ;' For he had God's pro-
vidence watching over him in a speciale maner when his verie
life was sought." 1

This public cemetery, which
extended from the south of
the Church, on the slope of
the hill till it reached the
Cowgate, was wholly obli-
terated in 1633, when the
Parliament House and other
buildings were erected on
the site, as partially repre-
sented in this cut, from Gor-
don's Map of 1647.

If any stone ever marked
the precise spot where Knox
was buried, it was then destroyed. Tradition points out the
place, in the Parliament Close, a few feet to the west of the
pedestal of Charles the Second's Statue. I have elsewhere
remarked, 2 a more appropriate ornament for such a locality
would be a monumental statue of the creat Scottish Eeformer.

1 MS., Calderwood, 1636, last page: an instance of which is added : seeM'Crie's
Knox vol. ii. p. 188.

2 Charters of St. Giles, etc. p. 50.


VIII. — Knox's Last Will and Testament.
Knox's last Will, written on the 13th of May 1572, is, of its
kind, a remarkable document. It was Confirmed by t lie Com-
missaries of Edinburgh, 13th January 1572-3. As it is already
printed in the Appendix to Dr. M'Crie's " Life of Knox," and in
ritcairn's edition of Richard Bannatyne's Memorials, it was
thought unnecessary to give in detail that portion of it which
contains the inventory of " debts owing to the deid." His allu-
sions to the state of public affairs, his disclaiming anything like
a prophetical spirit (as he " never exceeded the bounds of God's
Scriptures"), and his earnest exhortations to constancy in the
truth, are very characteristic and worthy of notice.

The Testament Testamextare and Inventare of the gudis,
geir, sowmes of money, and dettes perteining to umquhile
Johxne Knox, Minister of the Evangell of Christ Jesus,
the tyme of his cleceis ; quha deceissit upoune the xxiiij
lay of November, the yeir of God J m v c lxxij yeiris, ffaith-
Aillie maid and gevin up be him self upoune the xiij day
of Maij, the yeir of God foirsaid ; and presentlie, be Mar-
garet Stewart, his relict; quhome, with Martha, Mar-
garet, and Elizabeth Knoxis, his dochteris, he upoune
the xiij clay of Maij, in his Lattir Will unclerwrittin,
nominate his Executoris Testamentaris : As the samin, of
the dait foirsaid, beiris.

In the first, the said umquhile Johnne grantit him to haif
had, the tyme foirsaid, tua sylver drinking cowpis, markit with
J. K. M. one the ane syde, and on the uthir syde with E. B. X.,
contening xxv unces, or thairby; tua saltfattis of sylver, of
xxxj unce vecht and ane half ; auchtene sylver spunes, con-
tening xx unce wecht and a quarter, price of the unce xxvj s.
viij d., summa, ffoureskoir pundis ; off the quhilk sylver work
abone written, the airschip is to be deducit and takin of. Item,

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