The Works of John Knox, Vol. 1 (of 6)
by John Knox
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BOOK FIRST, 1494—1558, 1

BOOK SECOND, 1558—1559, 295











No. X.—JOHN ROUGH, 537













No. II. HANDWRITTEN PREFACE facing page xxxi

No. VII. SIGNATURE OF M JO. KNOX. xxxiv augusti 18 a^o 1581


This publication of the Works of JOHN KNOX, it is supposed, will extend to Five Volumes. It was thought advisable to commence the series with his History of the Reformation in Scotland, as the work of greatest importance. The next volume will thus contain the Third and Fourth Books, which continue the History to the year 1564; at which period his historical labours may be considered to terminate. But the Fifth Book, forming a sequel to the History, and published under his name in 1644, will also be included. His Letters and Miscellaneous Writings will be arranged in the subsequent volumes, as nearly as possible in chronological order; each portion being introduced by a separate notice, respecting the manuscript or printed copies from which they have been taken.

It may perhaps be expected that a Life of the Author should have been prefixed to this volume. The Life of Knox, by DR. M'CRIE, is however a work so universally known, and of so much historical value, as to supersede any attempt that might be made for a detailed biography; and none of the earlier sketches of his life is sufficiently minute or accurate to answer the purpose intended. In order to obviate the necessity of the reader having recourse to other authorities, I have added some chronological notices of the leading events in his life; reserving to the conclusion of the work any remarks, in connexion with this publication, that may seem to be requisite.

I was very desirous of obtaining a Portrait of the Reformer, to accompany this volume. Hitherto all my inquiries have failed to discover any undoubted original painting, among several which have either been so described, or engraved as such.[1] In the meantime, a tolerably accurate fac-simile is given of the wood-cut portrait of Knox,[2] included by Theodore Beza, in his volume entitled "ICONES, id est, Verae Imagines Virorum Doctrina simul et Pietate illustrium," &c., published at Geneva, in the year 1580, 4to. It is the earliest of the engraved portraits, and, so far as we can judge, it ought to serve as a kind of test by which other portraits must be tried. A similar head engraved on copper, is to be found in Verheiden's "Praestantium aliquot Theologorum, &c., Effigies," published at the Hague, in 1602, folio; but this, I apprehend, is merely an improved copy from Beza, and not taken from an original painting. It does not retain the expressive character of the ruder engraving, although the late Sir David Wilkie, whose opinion in such matters was second to none, was inclined to prefer this of Verheiden to any at least of the later portraits of the Reformer.[3]

It may not here be superfluous to mention, that this publication was projected by the Editor many years ago, and that some arrangements had been entered into for having it printed in England. When the WODROW SOCIETY, therefore, expressed a willingness to undertake the work, I proposed as a necessary condition, that I should have the privilege of causing a limited impression to be thrown off, for sale, chiefly in England; and the Council, in the most liberal manner, at once acquiesced in this proposal. Instead however of availing myself to the full extent of their liberality, which some circumstances rendered less desirable, but in order to avoid throwing, either upon the Society or the Editor, the extra expenses which have been incurred in various matters connected with the publication, it was finally arranged that a much more limited impression than was first proposed, should be thrown off on paper to be furnished by the BANNATYNE CLUB, for the use of the Members of that Institution.







[SN: 1505.]

Knox was born this year, at the village of Gifford, near the town of Haddington, in East-Lothian. His father is said to have been descended from the Knoxes of Ranferly, in the county of Renfrew; and the name of his mother was Sinclair. Knox himself, in describing an interview with the Earl of Bothwell, in 1562, mentions that his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, had all served his Lordship's predecessors, and that some of them had died under their standards; which implies that they must have been settled for a considerable period in East-Lothian, where the Hepburns, Earls of Bothwell, had their chief residence.

[SN: 1522.]

After being educated at Haddington, Knox was sent to the University of Glasgow; where John Major was Principal Regent or Professor of Philosophy and Divinity. The name "Johānes Knox," occurs in the Registers of the University, among those of the students who were incorporated in the year 1522. There is no evidence to shew that he afterwards proceeded to St. Andrews, as is usually stated, either to complete his academical education, or publicly to teach philosophy, for which he had not qualified himself by taking his degree of Master of Arts. If he ever taught philosophy, it must have been in the way of private tuition.

[Sidenote 1530.]

About this time Knox took priest's orders; and he was probably connected, for upwards of ten years, with one of the religious establishments in the neighbourhood of Haddington. It is generally supposed, that between the years 1535 and 1540, in the course of his private studies, the perusal of the writings of Augustine and other ancient Fathers, led him to renounce scholastic theology, and that he was thus prepared, at a mature period of life, to profess his adherence to the Protestant faith.

[SN: 1541.]

March 8. The name of "Schir John Knox" occurs among the witnesses to a deed concerning Rannelton Law, in a Protocol-book belonging to the borough of Haddington; and there is no reason to doubt that this was the Reformer.

[SN: 1544.]

Knox entered the family of Hugh Douglas of Longniddry, as tutor of his sons Francis and George Douglas; and also of Alexander Cockburn, son of John Cockburn of Ormiston.

[SN: 1545.]

In this year he attached himself as an avowed adherent of George Wishart, from the time of his first visit to East-Lothian.

[SN: 1546.]

George Wishart suffered martyrdom at St. Andrews, on the 1st of March 1545-6; and on the 29th of May that year, Cardinal Beaton was murdered.

[SN: 1547.]

April 10. Knox, with his young pupils, entered the Castle of St. Andrews, as a place of safety from the persecution of the Popish clergy.

May. At the end of this month, or early in June, he received a public call to the ministry, which he obeyed with great reluctance; but having undertaken the office, he continued, along with John Rough, to preach both in the parish Church, and in the Castle until its surrender.

June. The French fleet appeared in St. Andrews Bay, to lay siege to the Castle, which surrendered on the 30th of July; but in defiance of the terms of capitulation, the chief persons in the place were sent as prisoners on board the French galleys.

During this winter, the vessel on board of which Knox was confined, remained in the river Loire.

[SN: 1548.]

The vessel returned to Scotland, about the time of the siege of Haddington in June; and when within sight of St. Andrews, Knox uttered his memorable prediction, that he would yet survive to preach in that place where God had opened his mouth for the ministry.

During this winter, he was kept prisoner at Rouen, where he wrote a Preface to Balnaves's Treatise of Justification, which was sent to Scotland, and until some years after his death, was supposed to be lost.

[SN: 1549.]

February. Knox obtained his liberty, after an imprisonment of nineteen months. He came to England, and soon afterwards was appointed by the English Council to be a preacher in the town of Berwick.

[SN: 1550.]

April 4. Knox was summoned to appear at Newcastle before Dr. Tonstall, Bishop of Durham, to give an account of his doctrine.

At the close of this year he was removed from Berwick to Newcastle, where he continued his ministerial labours.

[SN: 1551.]

December. Knox was appointed by the Privy Council of England one of six Chaplains to Edward the Sixth. This led to his occasional residence in London during 1552 and 1553.

[SN: 1552.]

October. He received an offer of the Bishopric of Rochester; but this preferment he declined.

[SN: 1553.]

In or about February, Knox was summoned before the Privy Council of England, upon complaints made by the Duke of Northumberland; but was acquitted.

April 14. He also declined accepting the vacant living of All-Hallows, in London, and, on account of his refusal, was again summoned before the Privy Council.

Edward the Sixth died on the 6th of July, and the persecution of the Protestants being revived during the reign of Queen Mary, most of the Reformed ministers and many of the laity made their escape, and sought refuge in foreign countries, in the course of that year.

[SN: 1554.]

January 28. Knox was at Dieppe, where he remained till the end of February. He then proceeded to Geneva, but was again at Dieppe in July, "to learn the estate of England."

April 10. The Queen Dowager, Mary of Guise, was installed Regent of Scotland.

On the 4th of September, he received a call from the English Congregation at Frankfort on the Maine, to become their minister. He accepted the invitation, and repaired to that city in November.

[SN: 1555.]

In consequence of the disputes which arose in the English Congregation at Frankfort, in regard to the use of the Book of Common Prayer, and the introduction of various ceremonies. Knox was constrained to relinquish his charge; and having preached a farewell discourse on the 26th of March, he left that city, and returned to Geneva. Here he must have resumed his ministerial labours; as, on the 1st of November that year, in the "Livre des Anglois, a Geneve," it is expressly said, that Christopher Goodman and Anthony Gilby were "appointed to preche the word of God and mynyster the Sacraments, in th' absence of John Knox." This refers to his having resolved to visit his native country.

Knox proceeded to Dieppe in August, and in the following month landed on the east coast of Scotland, not far from Berwick. Most of this winter he spent in Edinburgh, preaching and exhorting in private.

[SN: 1556.]

In the beginning of this year Knox went to Ayrshire, accompanied with several of the leading Protestants of that county, and preached openly in the town of Ayr, and in other parts of the country. He was summoned to appear before a Convention of the Popish Clergy, on the 15th of May, at Edinburgh. About the same time, he addressed his Letter to the Queen Regent.

Having received a solicitation for his return to Geneva, to become one of their pastors, Knox left Scotland in July that year. Before this time he married Marjory Bowes. Her father was Richard, the youngest son of Sir Ralph Bowes of Streatlam; her mother was Elizabeth, a daughter and co-heiress of Sir Roger Aske of Aske.

On the 13th September, Knox, along with his wife and his mother-in-law, were formally admitted members of the English Congregation. At the annual election of Ministers, on the 16th of December, Knox and Goodman were re-elected.

[SN: 1557.]

Having received a pressing invitation from Scotland, which he considered to be his duty to accept, Knox took leave of the Congregation at Geneva, and came to Dieppe; but finding letters of an opposite tenor, dissuading him from coming till a more favourable opportunity, after a time he returned again to Geneva.

In May, his son Nathaniel was born at Geneva, and was baptized on the 23d, William Whittingham, afterwards Dean of Durham, being god-father.

On the 16th of December, Knox and Goodman still continued to be ministers of the English Congregation at Geneva.

[SN: 1558.]

April. Mary Queen of Scots was married, at Paris, to Francis, Dauphin of France.

In this year Knox republished, with additions, his Letter to the Queen Regent; and also his Appellation from the cruel sentence of the Bishops and Clergy of Scotland; and his First Blast of the Trumpet against the Regiment of Women.

In November, his son Eleazar was born at Geneva, and was baptized on the 29th, Myles Coverdale, formerly Bishop of Exeter, being witness or god-father.

November 17. Upon the death of Mary Queen of England, Elizabeth ascended the throne.

On the 16th December, Knox and Goodman were again re-elected ministers of the English Congregation.

[SN: 1559.]

January 7. Knox took his final departure from Geneva, in consequence of an invitation to return to Scotland; and was on that occasion honoured with the freedom of the city.

In March, he arrived at Dieppe, and finding that the English Government refused to grant him a safeconduct, on the 22d April he embarked for Leith, and reached Edinburgh on the 2d May. During that month, the Queen Regent published a Declaration against the Protestants, and the Lords of the Congregation sent a deputation to remonstrate; but their remonstrance being despised, they took arms in self-defence.

June 11. Knox preached in St. Andrews; and at Perth on the 25th, when the populace defaced several of the Churches or Monasteries in that city.

July 7. He was elected Minister of Edinburgh. Owing to the troubles, within a brief space he was obliged to relinquish his charge; but he continued his labours elsewhere for a time, chiefly at St. Andrews.

July 10. On the death of Henry II. of France, his son Francis, who had espoused Mary Queen of Scots, and had obtained the Matrimonial Crown of Scotland in November 1558, at the age of sixteen, ascended the throne of France.

August 1. The Protestants assembled at Stirling, and having resolved to solicit aid from England, on the 3d of that month Knox proceeded to Berwick to hold a conference with Sir James Crofts. In this month, he sent Calvin a favourable report of his labours since his arrival in Scotland: Calvin's answer to this communication is dated in November.

September 20. Knox's Wife and children, accompanied by Christopher Goodman, arrived in Edinburgh.

October 18. The Protestants entered Edinburgh, while the Queen Regent retired to Leith, with the French troops which had come to her aid.

[SN: 1560.]

February 27. A treaty concluded between England and the Lords of the Congregation. The English fleet blockaded the port of Leith, and furnished reinforcements, their troops at the same time having entered Scotland.

April. At the end of this month, Knox had returned to Edinburgh. His work on Predestination was published this year at Geneva.

June 10. The Queen Regent died in the Castle of Edinburgh. Articles of Peace were concluded in July.

August 1. The Scotish Parliament assembled; and, on the 17th, the Confession of Faith was ratified, and the Protestant religion formally established.

December 5. Francis II. of France, the husband of Mary Queen of Scots, died.

December 20. The first meeting of the General Assembly was held at Edinburgh.

At the end of this year, Knox's Wife died, leaving him the two sons above mentioned.

[SN: 1561.]

An invitation having been sent by the Protestant Nobility to their young Queen, to revisit Scotland, she arrived from France, and assumed the Government, on the 19th of August.

[SN: 1562.]

May. Knox engaged in a dispute at Maybole, with Quintin Kennedy, Abbot of Crossragwell; of which dispute he published an account in the following year.

December. He was summoned to appear before the Privy Council, on account of a circular letter which he had addressed to the chief Protestants, in virtue of a commission granted to him by the General Assembly.

[SN: 1563.]

The town of Edinburgh formed only one parish. Knox, when elected Minister, had the assistance of John Cairns as Reader. John Craig, minister of the Canongate or Holyrood, had been solicited to become his colleague, in April 1562; but his appointment did not take place till June 1563.

[SN: 1564.]

March. Knox married to his second wife, Margaret Stewart, daughter of Andrew Lord Ochiltree.

June 30. He was appointed by the General Assembly to visit the churches in Aberdeen and the North of Scotland. The following Assembly, 26th of December, gave him a similar appointment for Fife and Perthshire.

[SN: 1565.]

Knox was summoned before the Privy Council, on account of a sermon which, on the 19th of August, he had preached in St. Giles's Church.

[SN: 1566.]

In this year he appears to have written the most considerable portion of his History of the Reformation; having commenced the work in 1559 or 1560.

In consequence of the unsettled state of public affairs, after the murder of David Riccio, 9th of March, Knox left Edinburgh, and retired for a time to Kyle.

June 19. James the Sixth was born in the Castle of Edinburgh.

December. Knox obtained permission from the General Assembly to proceed to England, having received from the English Government a safeconduct, to visit his two sons, who were residing with some of their mother's relations.

[SN: 1567.]

February 10. Henry Lord Darnley was murdered.

April 24. Bothwell carried off Queen Mary to the Castle of Dunbar; and their marriage was celebrated on the 15th of May.

June 15. Bothwell fled from Carberry-hill to Dunbar; and the Queen was brought to Edinburgh, and afterwards confined in Lochleven Castle. About the same time, Knox returned from England.

July 29. At the King's Coronation at Stirling, Knox preached an inaugural sermon on these words, "I was crowned young."

August 22. James Earl of Murray was appointed Regent of Scotland.

December 15. Knox preached at the opening of Parliament; and on the 20th, the Confession of Faith, which had been framed and approved by Parliament in 1560, with various Acts in favour of the Reformed religion, was solemnly ratified.

[SN: 1568.]

May 2. Queen Mary escaped from Lochleven; but her adherents, who had assembled at Langside, being defeated, she fled into England, and was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth for the rest of her life; having been beheaded at Fotheringay on the 8th of February 1586-7.

[SN: 1569.]

January 23. The Earl of Murray was assassinated at Linlithgow; and on occasion of his funeral, Knox preached a sermon on these words, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." (Rev. xiv. 13.)

[SN: 1570.]

July 12. Matthew Earl of Lennox was elected Regent of Scotland; but was assassinated on the 4th of September. On the following day, John Earl of Mar was chosen Regent.

October. Knox had a stroke of apoplexy, but was enabled occasionally to resume his ministerial labours.

[SN: 1571.]

May 5. The troubles which then agitated the country induced Knox to quit the metropolis, and to retire to St. Andrews.

September. The news arrived of the massacre of the Protestants on St. Bartholomew's Eve, 24th of August, at Paris, and in other parts of France.

[SN: 1572.]

July. On the cessation of hostilities, at the end of this month, a deputation from the citizens of Edinburgh was sent to St. Andrews, with a letter to Knox, expressive of their earnest desire "that once again his voice might be heard among them." He returned in August, having this year published, at St. Andrews, his Answer to Tyrie the Jesuit.

The Earl of Mar died on the 29th of October; and James Earl of Morton, on the 24th of November, was elected Regent of Scotland.

On the same day, the 24th of November, having attained the age of sixty-seven, Knox closed "his most laborious and most honourable career." He was buried in the church-yard of St. Giles; but, as in the case of Calvin, at Geneva, no monument was erected to mark the place where he was interred.

* * * * *

Knox left a widow, and two sons by his first marriage, and three daughters by the second. In the concluding volume will be given a genealogical tree, or notices of his descendants.





In the long series of events recorded in the Annals of Scotland, there is unquestionably none of greater importance than those which exhibit the progress and establishment of the Reformed Religion in the year 1560. This subject has accordingly called forth in succession a variety of writers of different sentiments and persuasions. Although in the contemporary historians, Lesley, Buchanan, and their successors, we have more or less copious illustrations of that period, yet a little examination will show that we possess only one work which bears an exclusive reference to this great event, and which has any claims to be regarded as the production of an original historian. Fortunately the writer of the work alluded to was of all persons the best qualified to undertake such a task, not only from his access to the various sources of information, and his singular power and skill in narrating events and delineating characters, but also from the circumstance that he himself had a personal and no unimportant share in most of the transactions of those times, which have left the character of his own mind so indelibly impressed on his country and its institutions. It is scarcely necessary to subjoin the name of JOHN KNOX.

The doubts which were long entertained respecting Knox's share in the "History of the Reformation," have been satisfactorily explained. Such passages as were adduced to prove that he could not have been the author, consist of palpable errors and interpolations. Without adverting to these suspicions, we may therefore attend to the time when the work was actually written.

* * * * *

The necessity of leaving upon record a correct account of their proceedings suggested itself to the Reformers at an early period of their career, and led to this History being commenced. Knox arrived in Scotland in May 1559; and by his presence and counsels, he served to animate and direct their measures, which were attended with so much success. In a letter dated from Edinburgh 23d October that year, while alluding to the events which had taken place during their contentions with the Queen Regent and her French auxiliaries, he uses these words, "Our most just requeastes, which ye shall, God willing, schortlie hereafter onderstand, together with our whole proceeding from the beginning of this matter, which we ar to sett furth in maner of Historie." That he had commenced the work, further appears from a letter, dated Edinburgh, 23d September 1560, and addressed to Secretary Cecil by the English Ambassador, Randolph, in which he says, "I have tawlked at large with MR. KNOX concerning his HYSTORIE. As mykle as ys written thereof shall be sent to your Honour, at the comynge of the Lords Embassadours, by Mr. John Woode. He hath wrytten only one Booke. If yow lyke that, he shall continue the same, or adde onie more. He sayethe, that he must have farther helpe then is to be had in thys countrie, for more assured knowledge of thyngs passed than he hath hymself, or can come bye here: yt is a work not to be neglected, and greatly wyshed that yt sholde be well handled."

Whether this portion of the work was actually communicated to Cecil at that time, is uncertain; as no such manuscript has been discovered among his papers, either in the British Museum or the State Paper Office. It could only have consisted of part of the Second Book; and this portion remains very much in its original state, as may be inferred from these two passages.—In July 1559, while exposing "the craftyness of the Queen Regent," in desiring a private conference with the Earl of Argyle and Lord James Stewart, with the hope that she might be able to withdraw them from their confederates, we read, "And one of hir cheaf Counsale in those dayis, (and we fear but over inward with hir yit,) said," &c. See page 368 of this volume. This must necessarily have been written during the Queen Regent's life, or previously to June 1560. During the following month, after noticing the Earl of Arran's escape from France, and the imprisonment of his younger brother, Lord David Hamilton, it is stated, "For the same tyme, the said Frensche King, seing he could not have the Erle him self, gart put his youngar brother ... in strait prisoun, quhair he yitt remaneis, to witt, in the moneth of October, the yeir of God 1559." See page 383. In like manner, in a letter of intelligence, dated at Hamilton, 12th October 1559, and addressed to Cecil, Randolph says, "Since Nesbot went from hence, the Duke never harde out of Fraunce, nor newes of his son the Lord David."—(Sadler's State Papers, vol. i. p. 500.) We might have supposed that his restraint was not of long duration, as he is named among the hostages left in England, at the treaty of Berwick, 27th February 1559-60; a circumstance of which Knox could not have been ignorant, as he gives a copy of the confirmation of the treaty by the Duke of Chastelherault and the Lords of the Congregation; but it appears from one of the articles in the treaty of peace in July, that Lord David Hamilton, who was still a prisoner at Bois de St. Vincent, in France, then obtained liberty to return to Scotland; and he arrived at Edinburgh in October 1560. We are therefore warranted to infer that this portion of the Second Book of his History, must have been written towards the end of the year 1559.

Knox himself in his general Preface, says, the intention was to have limited the period of the History from the year 1558, until the arrival of Queen Mary from France to assume the government in this country, in August 1561; thus extending the period originally prescribed beyond the actual attainment of the great object at which the Reformers aimed, in the overthrow of Popish superstition, and the establishment by civil authority of the Protestant faith, which was actually secured by the proceedings of the Parliament that met at Edinburgh on the 1st of August 1560. But he further informs us, that he was persuaded not only to add the First Book as an Introduction, but to continue the Narrative to a later period. This plan of extending the work he carried into effect in the year 1566, when the First and Fourth Books were chiefly written, and when there is reason to believe that he revised and enlarged the intermediate portion, at least by dividing it into two parts, as Books Second and Third. The Fourth Book extends to the year 1564; and he seems to intimate that he himself had no intention to continue the History to a later period; for alluding to the death of David Riccio, in March 1565-6, he says, "of whom we delay now farther to speik, becaus that his end will requyre the descriptioun of the whole, and referris it unto suche as God sall rayse up to do the same;" and a marginal note on this passage, written probably by Richard Bannatyne in 1571, says "This ves never done be this Authour."

Dr. M'Crie states, that "the First and Fourth Books were composed during the years 1566, 1567, and 1568," and that "some additions were made to the Fourth Book so late as 1571." The only evidence to support this supposition, is founded upon the circumstance of some marginal notes having been added in those years, and introduced by subsequent transcribers, as belonging to the text. Whether the Fifth Book, published by David Buchanan in 1644, was actually written by the Reformer, will be considered in the preliminary notice to that Book. Meanwhile it may be remarked, that the Author himself whilst occasionally engaged in collecting materials for a continuation of his History, felt the necessity of delaying the publication; and in a letter addressed to Mr. John Wood, 14th February 1567-8, he expresses the resolution he had formed of withholding the work from the public during his own life.


The Manuscript of the HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION which has been followed in this edition, fully confirms the preceding statements regarding the period of its composition. It also serves to shew that no suppressions or alterations had been made by his friends, after his death, in these Four Books. Such an intention is alluded to, in a letter, dated from Stirling, 6th August 1572, and addressed to Randolph, by George Buchanan:—"As to MAISTER KNOX, his HISTORIE is in hys freindes handes, and thai ar in consultation to mitigat sum part the acerbite of certain wordis, and sum taunts wherein he has followit too muche sum of your Inglis writaris, as M. Hal. et suppilatorem ejus Graftone, &c." The Manuscript contains Four Books, transcribed by several hands, and at different intervals. Notwithstanding this diversity of hand-writing, there is every reason to believe that the most considerable part of the volume was written in the year 1566, although it is not improbable that in the Second and Third Books a portion of the original MS. of 1559 may have been retained. The marginal notes, which specify particular dates, chiefly refer to the years 1566, or 1567, and they leave no doubt in regard to the actual period when the bulk of the MS. was written, as those bearing the date 1567 are clearly posterior to the transcription of the pages where they occur. Some of these notes, as well as a number of minute corrections, are evidently in Knox's own hand; but the latter part of Book Fourth could not have been transcribed until the close of the year 1571. This is proved by the circumstance that the words, "BOT WNTO THIS DAY, THE 17. OF DECEMBER 1571," form an integral part of the text, near the foot of fol. 359, in "The Ressonyng betuix the Maister of Maxwell and John Knox." The whole of this section indeed is written somewhat hastily, like a scroll-copy, probably by Richard Bannatyne, his Secretary, from dictation; but whether it was merely rewritten in 1571, or first added in that year to complete Book Fourth, must be left to conjecture.


The accompanying leaf exhibits an accurate fac-simile of part of the first page of the MS; and it is worthy of notice, that in the Wodrow Miscellany, vol. i. p. 287, a fac-simile of a paper entitled "The Kirkis Testimonial, &c.," dated 26th December 1565, is evidently by the same hand.[4] It has the signatures of three of the Superintendents, Erskine of Dun, John Spottiswood, and John Wynram, as well as that of John Knox. As this was a public document, and was no doubt written by the Clerk of the General Assembly, we may infer that Knox's amanuensis, in 1566, was either John Gray, who was Scribe or Clerk to the Assembly from 1560 till his death in 1574, or one of the other Scribes whom Knox mentions, in his interview with Queen Mary, in 1563, as having implicit confidence in their fidelity. But this is no very important point to determine, since the Manuscript itself bears such unequivocal proofs of having passed through the Author's hands. Two short extracts, (corresponding with pages 109 and 115 of this volume,) are also selected on account of the marginal notes, both of which I think are in Knox's own hand. Further specimens of such notes or corrections will be given in the next volume. At fol. 249, four leaves are left blank to allow the form of "The Election of the Superintendant" to be inserted; but this can be supplied from either the Glasgow MS. or the early printed copies. A more important omission would have been the First Book of Discipline, but this the MS. fortunately contains, in a more genuine state than is elsewhere preserved; and it will form no unimportant addition to the next volume of the History.

The volume consists of 388 folios, chiefly written, as already stated, in the year 1566. No trace of its earlier possessors can be discovered; but the name of "Mr. Matthew Reid, Minister of North-Berwick" (from 1692 to 1729,) written on the first page, identifies it with a notice, which is given by the Editor of the 1732 edition: "There is also a complete MS. copy of the first four Books of this History belonging now to Mr. Gavin Hamilton, Bookseller in Edinburgh, which formerly belonged to the late Reverend Mr. Matthew Reid, Minister of the Gospel at North-Berwick; it is written in a very old hand, the old spelling is kept, and I am informed that it exactly agrees with the Glasgow MS., with which it was collated, during the time this edition was a printing." (page liii.)

This MS., came into the possession of the Rev. John Jamieson, D.D., probably long before the publication of his Etymological Dictionary in 1808, where he mentions his having two MSS. of Knox's History, (this, and the one marked No. VIII.) in his list of authorities; but neither of them was known, and consequently had never been examined by Dr. M'Crie. At the sale of Dr. Jamieson's library in 1839, both MSS. were purchased by the Editor.

In the firm persuasion that this MS. must have been written not only during the Reformer's life, but under his immediate inspection, and that all the existing copies were derived from it, more or less directly, I should have held it a most unprofitable labour to have collated the other MSS., for no other purpose than to notice the endless variations, omissions, and mistakes of later transcribers. The reader may think I have paid too much regard in this respect to the various readings or errors in Vautrollier's suppressed edition, and in the Glasgow Manuscript; but these copies being the only ones referable to the sixteenth century, are deserving of greater attention than those of a more recent age, while the variations pointed out frequently serve to account for the mistakes in the later transcripts.

But before explaining the manner in which this edition has been printed, it may be proper to enumerate the other Manuscripts which are known to be preserved; and I may take this opportunity of expressing to the several Proprietors my grateful acknowledgments for the free use of the copies specified.


This edition, described at page xxxix, is here introduced as representing an intermediate MS., from which some of the existing copies were apparently derived. Thomas Vautrollier the printer, a native of France, came to England in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign. He retired to Scotland in the year 1584, and printed several works at Edinburgh in that and the following year. In 1586, he returned to London, carrying with him a manuscript copy of Knox's History, which he put to press; but all the copies were seized before the work was completed. The manuscript copy which he had obtained is not known to be preserved; but there is no reason to doubt that it was taken directly from the MS. of 1566. This appears from the marginal notes and a variety of minute coincidences, perceptible on collating the printed portion. We may likewise conclude, that from it several of the later transcripts were taken of the introductory portion, and the Fourth Book, to complete the text of the unfinished printed volume.


In folio, containing 242 leaves, written before the end of the sixteenth century. This MS. was long considered to be the earliest and most authentic copy of the History, and consequently no small degree of importance was attached to it.

Many years ago, (before I was aware of the existence of the MS. of 1566,) I obtained, through the Rev. Dr. M'Turk, late Professor of Ecclesiastical History, the use of this Manuscript for the purpose of collation; but I found that the text was so faithfully given in the Edinburgh edition 1732, folio, with the single exception of omitting such marginal notes as the MS. contains, that an entire collation of the text might only have exhibited slight occasional changes in orthography. At that time the MS. formed two volumes, in the old parchment covers, with uncut leaves; it has since been half-bound in one volume, and the edges unmercifully cropped.

At the beginning of the volume there is inserted a separate leaf, being the title of a distinct work, having the signature of "M. Jo. Knox," in 1581, probably the nephew of the Reformer, who became Minister of Melrose. It has no connexion with the volume in which it is preserved; but it led to some vague conjectures that the writer of the History itself may have been "the younger Mr. Knox, seeing the former died in the year 1572, and the other was alive nine years after;" or else, "that the latter Mr. Knox had perfected the work, pursuant to the order of the General Assembly in the year 1573 or 1574, so far as it was to be found in this MS."[5] Respecting the time of transcription, one minute circumstance is worthy of notice: Knox in one place introduces the words, "as may be, &c., in this year 1566," the copier has made it, "in this year 1586," an error not likely to have been committed previously to that year. But the hand-writing is clearly of a date about 1590, although the Fourth Book may have been a few years earlier. The absence of all those peculiar blunders which occur in Vautrollier's edition, evinces that the Glasgow MS. was derived from some other source; while the marginal notes in that edition are a sufficient proof that the MS. in question was not the one employed by the English printer. It is in fact a tolerably accurate copy of the MS. of 1566, with the exception of the marginal notes, and the entire omission of the First Book of Discipline. Nearly all the marginal notes in the First and Third Books are omitted; and others having been incorporated with the text, led to the supposition that Knox himself had revised the History at a later period of life.

This manuscript was presented to the University of Glasgow by the Rev. Robert Fleming, Minister of a Scotish Congregation in London, and son of the author of "The Fulfilling of the Scriptures." Wodrow communicated to Bishop Nicolson, a collation of the MS. with Buchanan's folio edition of 1644, pointing out many of his interpolations. This letter was inserted by Nicolson in the Appendix to his Scotish Historical Library.[6]


In 4to, pp. 403. This MS. was acquired by the Faculty of Advocates, in 1792, with the mass of Wodrow's MSS.—It is very neatly written by Charles Lumisden, whose name (but partially erased) with the date 1643, occurs on the fly-leaf. Wodrow was correct in imagining that the greater portion of the volume was transcribed from Vautrollier's edition, some of the more glaring typographical errors being corrected; but in fact this copy was made from a previous transcript by Lumisden, to be mentioned as No. X. MS. W. It contains however the Fourth Book of the History; and Wodrow has collated the whole very carefully with the Glasgow MS., and has marked the chief corrections and variations in the margin.


In folio. This volume also belonged to the Wodrow collection. It is written in a very careless, slovenly manner, after the year 1639, by one Thomas Wood; and is scarcely entitled to be reckoned in the number of the MSS., as it omits large portions. Thus, on the title of Book Fourth, it is called "A Collection from the Fourth Book," &c.


In folio, 143 leaves, written in an ordinary hand, apparently about the year 1635. It contains the Four Books, and includes both the First and Second Books of Discipline; but it omits all the marginal notes, and displays very little accuracy on the part of the transcriber. It is in fact a transcript from the identical copy of Vautrollier's edition, described as No. XIII., from its adopting the various marginal corrections and emendations on the printed portions of that copy.


In folio, 266 leaves, written in a neat hand, and dated 1641. It contains the Four Books; but, like the three preceding MSS., it may without doubt be regarded as a transcript from Vautrollier's edition, with the addition of Book Fourth of the History. It also contains both the First and Second Books of Discipline, copied from Calderwood's printed edition of 1621, with such minute fidelity, as even to add the list of typographical "Errata" at the end, with the references to the page and line of that edition.


In folio, 180 leaves, written probably between 1620 and 1630. It wants several leaves at the beginning, and breaks off with the Third Book, adding the Acts of Parliament against the Mass, &c., passed in 1560. It formerly belonged to the Rev. Dr. Jamieson, and was purchased at his sale in 1839. The press-marks on the fly leaf may probably identify the collection to which it formerly belonged, "2 H. 16.—Hist. 51," and "a. 66." Notwithstanding a MS. note by Dr. Jamieson, it is a transcript of no value, corresponding in most points with Vautrollier's edition.


In folio, pp. 387. This is a MS. of still less importance, but it serves to show the rarity of Vautrollier's printed edition, previously to the appearance of Buchanan's editions in 1644. On the first leaf, the celebrated covenanting Earl of Glencairne has written,—

"This is the copie of Johne Knox his Chronicle, coppiede in the yeere of God 1643.—GLENCAIRNE."

It is in fact a literal transcript from a defective copy of the old suppressed edition; as the blanks in the MS. at pages 156, 157, and pages 166, 167, which break off, or commence at the middle of a sentence, would be completely supplied by pages 225, 226, and pages 239, 240, of Vautrollier's text. At page 347, only the heads of the Confession of Faith are inserted, "but (it is added) yee shall find them fullie set downe in the first Parliament of King James the Sext, holden at Edinburgh the 15 of December 1567, by James Earle of Murray, Regent to this Realme."

This MS. ends with page 546 of the printed copy; and after the words "would not suffer this corrupt generation to approve," instead of commencing with the Book of Discipline, from page 547, there is added, "And because the whole Booke of Discipline, both First and Secund, is sensyne printed by the selfe in one Booke, I cease to insert it heere, and referres the reader to the said booke. Finis."


In 4to, pp. 452, not perfect. It is in the hand-writing of Charles Lumisden, who succeeded his father as Minister of Duddingstone, and who, during the reign of Charles the First, was much employed in transcribing. It is unquestionably copied from Vautrollier's printed edition, but many of the palpable mistakes have been corrected, and the orthography improved. In general the marginal notes are retained, while some others, apparently derived from David Buchanan's printed text, are added in a different hand. Like Vautrollier's edition, at page 560, this MS. breaks off with the first portion of the Book of Discipline, at the end of Book Third of the History.

Such are the MANUSCRIPT copies of Knox's History which are known to be preserved. There are however still existing detached portions of the History, made with the view of completing the defective parts of Vautrollier's edition; and these may also be briefly indicated.

XI. MS. C.—In the Library of the Church of Scotland. This MS., in folio, was purchased by the General Assembly in 1737, from the executors of the Rev. Matthew Crawfurd. The volume is in the old parchment cover, and has the autograph of "Alex. Colvill" on the first page. But it contains only the preliminary leaves of the text, and the concluding portion of the First Book of Discipline, (the previous portion being oddly copied at the end of it;) and Book Fourth of the History, all in the hand of a Dutch amanuensis, about 1640, for the purpose of supplying the imperfections of the suppressed edition.

XII. MS. M.—In a copy of Vautrollier's edition, which belonged to the Rev. Dr. M'Crie, and is now in the possession of his son, the Rev. Thomas M'Crie, the same portions are supplied in an early hand, containing eight leaves at the beginning, and ninety-nine at the end, along with a rude ornamented title, and a portrait of Knox, copied by some unpractised hand from one of the old engravings. It contains the concluding portion of the First Book of Discipline, but several of the paragraphs in Book Fourth of the History are abridged or omitted.

XIII. MS. L. (3.)—A copy of the same volume, with these portions similarly supplied, and including both the First and Second Books of Discipline, appeared at the sale of George Paton's Library, in 1809. It is now in the Editor's possession. A number of the errors in printing have been carefully corrected on the margin, in an old hand; and the MS. portions are written in the same hand with No. VI. MS. E. of the entire work, which is literally transcribed from this identical copy.

XIV. and XV. MSS. L. (4 and 5.)—I have also a separate transcript of Book Fourth, in folio, 44 leaves, written about the year 1640; and another portion, in small 8vo, written in a still older hand, for the purpose of being bound with the suppressed edition.


Vautrollier's unfinished and suppressed edition, in 1586 or 1587, has already been noticed at page xxxii. The fate of this edition is thus recorded by Calderwood, in his larger MS. History:—"February 1586. Vauttrollier the printer took with him a copy of Mr. Knox's History to England, and printed twelve hundred of them; the Stationers, at the Archbishop's command, seized them the 18 of February [1586-7]; it was thought that he would get leave to proceed again, because the Council perceived that it would bring the Queen of Scots in detestation." The execution of the unfortunate Queen, which followed so soon after, or the death of the Printer himself, in 1588, may have prevented its completion. But copies had speedily come into circulation in its unfinished state. Thus Dr. (afterwards Archbishop) Bancroft, who frequently quotes this suppressed edition, says,—"If euer you meete with the Historie of the Church of Scotland, penned by Maister Knox, and printed by Vautrouillier: reade the pages quoted here in the margent."—(A Survay of the pretended Holy Discipline, &c. Imprinted at London, by Iohn Wolfe, 1593, 4to, p. 48.)

It is most inaccurately printed.[7] This may have been partly owing to the state of the MS. which he had procured in Scotland, as well as to haste in printing, and ignorance of the names of persons and places which occur in the work.

The following is a fac-simile reprint of the first page, which corresponds with pages 10-11 of the present volume:—


BY THESE ARTICLES which God of his mercifull prouidence causeth the enemies of his truth to keepe in their registers maye appeare how mercifully God hath looked vppon this realme, retayning within it some sparke of his light, euen in the time of greatest darknes. Neither ought any mā to wonder albeit that some things be obscurely and some thinges doubtfully spoken. But rather ought al faithfull to magnifie Gods mercy who without publike doctrine gaue so great light. And further we ought to consider that seeing that the enemies of Iesus Christe gathered the foresaide articles there vppon to accuse the persones aforesaide, that they woulde depraue the meaninge of Gods seruauntes so farre as they coulde, as we doubt not but they haue done, in the heads of excommunication, swearing and of matrimony: In the which it is no doubt but the seruaunts of God did damne the abuse onelye, and not the right ordinance of God: for who knowes not that excommunication in these dayes was altogeather abused? That swearing aboundeth without punishment or remorse of conscience: And that diuorcementes was made, for such causes as worldly men had inuented: but to our history. Albeit that the accusation of the Bishop and of his complices was very grieuous, yet God so assisted his seruauntes partly by inclining the kinges heart to gentlenes (for diuerse of them were his great familiars) and partly by giuing bold and godly aunswers to their accusators, that the enemies in the ende were frustrate of their purpose. For while the Bishop in mockage saide to Adam reade of blaspheming, read beleeue ye that God is in heauen? he answered Not as I do the sacramentes seuen: whereat the bishop thinking to haue triumphed said: Sir loe

Vautrollier's edition is a small 8vo, commencing with signature B, page 17, and breaking off with signature Mm, page 560, or near the beginning of the 5th chapter of the Book of Discipline, which Knox has introduced at the conclusion of Book Third of his History. Copies of this volume in fine condition are of rare occurrence.

The edition of the History published at London by David Buchanan in 1644, and reprinted at Edinburgh in the same year, in all probability under his own inspection, will be more particularly noticed in the following volume. It might perhaps have been well had this publication been actually prohibited, as Milton[8] seems to indicate was not unlikely to have taken place. So much use at least had been made of the unwarrantable liberties taken by the Editor, in altering and adding passages, as for a length of time to throw discredit on the whole work.

At length there appeared the very accurate edition, published at Edinburgh 1732, with a Life of the author, by the Rev. Matthew Crawfurd. Besides this and the two editions published in a more popular form by William M'Gavin, at Glasgow, there are numerous modernized and spurious republications, all of them taken from Buchanan's interpolated editions, and published at Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dundee, between the years 1731 and 1832. Even at an early period, both Calderwood, who had made such copious extracts from the work, and Spottiswood, who expressed his doubts respecting its authorship, appear to have employed Vautrollier's inaccurate edition. The necessity of publishing the work with greater care and in its most genuine form, will therefore by readily admitted. The acquisition of the Manuscript of 1566, has enabled the Editor to accomplish this, to a certain extent, by presenting the text of the History in the precise form "wherein he hath continued and perfectly ended at the year of God 1564," according to the declaration made to the first General Assembly which met after his death. Having such a MS. to follow, I have adhered to it with much more scrupulous accuracy, in regard to the othography,[9] than otherwise might have been deemed advisable. At first sight, indeed, the language may appear somewhat uncouth, and it may require a Glossary to be subjoined; but it was of essential importance that the work should be published in its original form, with the Author's own marginal notes and relections, as the genuine production of the great SCOTISH REFORMER.

* * * * *

The labour bestowed by the Author in collecting information, with the desire of giving a true and faithful History of these transactions, rendered it also desirable that more than ordinary care should be bestowed in illustrating his narrative. For this purpose, I have taken considerable pains to identify the persons and places mentioned in the course of this History. Knox himself, on more than one occasion, states, that while he was careful in relating facts, he was no observer of times and seasons, in other words, that he made no pretensions to minute accuracy in dates. It became the more necessary to devote particular attention, either to confirm or correct his dates, by reference to contemporary documents; and no source that was accessible has been overlooked, although I am fully sensible that I may have failed in making suitable use of the information thus obtained. I have at least endeavoured to avoid cumbering the page with notes, unless where they seemed necessary to illustrate the text; and I consider no apology to be required for the Articles inserted in the Appendix.




It is not unknowen, Christeane Reader, that the same clud[11] of ignorance, that long hath darkened many realmes under this accurssed kingdome of that Romane Antichrist, hath also owercovered this poore Realme; that idolatrie[12] hath bein manteined, the bloode of innocentis hath bene sched, and Christ Jesus his eternall treuth hath bene abhorred, detested, and blasphemed. But that same God that caused light to schyne out of darknes, in the multitud of his mercyes, hath of long tyme opened the eis[13] of some evin within this Realme, to see the vanitie of that which then was universally embrased for trew religioun; and hes gevin unto them strenth to oppone thame selfis unto the same: and now, into these our last and moist corrupt dayis, hath maid his treuth so to triumphe amonges us, that, in despyte of Sathan, hipochrisye is disclosed, and the trew wyrschipping of God is manifested to all the inhabitantis of this realme whose eis[14] Sathan blyndis not, eyther by thair fylthy lustes, or ellis by ambitioun, and insatiable covetousnes, which maek them repung to the power of God working by his worde.

And becaus we ar not ignorant what diverse bruittis war dispersed of us, the professoures of Jesus Christ within this realme, in the begynnyng of our interprise, ordour was lackin, that all our proceidingis should be committed to register; as that thei war, by such as then paynfullie travailled[15] boith by toung and pen; and so was collected a just volume, (as after will appeir,) conteanyng thingis done frome the fyftie-awght[16] year of God, till the arrivall of the Quenis Majestie furth of France,[17] with the which the Collectour and Writtar for that tyme was content, and never mynded further to have travailled in that kynd of writting.[18] But, after invocatioun of the name of God, and after consultatioun with some faythfull,[19] what was thought by thame expedient to advance Goddis glorie, and to edifie this present generatioun, and the posteritie to come, it was concluded, that faythfull rehersall should be maid of such personages as God had maid instrumentis of his glorie, by opponyng of thame selfis to manifest abuses, superstitioun, and idolatrie; and, albeit thare be no great nomber, yet ar thei mo then the Collectour wold have looked for at the begynnyng, and thairfoir is the volume some what enlarged abuif his expectatioun: And yit, in the begynnyng, mon we crave of all the gentill Readaris, not to look of us such ane History as shall expresse all thingis that have occurred within this Realme, during the tyme of this terrible conflict that hes bene betuix the sanctes of God and these bloody wolves who clame to thame selves the titill of clargie, and to have authoritie ower the saules of men; for, with the Pollicey,[20] mynd we to meddill no further then it hath Religioun mixed with it. And thairfoir albeit that many thingis which wer don be omitted, yit, yf we invent no leys, we think our selves blamless in that behalf. Of one other [thing] we mon foirwarne the discreat Readaris, which is, that thei be not offended that the sempill treuth be spokin without partialitie; for seing that of men we neyther hunt for reward, nor yitt for vane[21] glorie, we litill pass by the approbatioun of such as seldome judge weill of God and of his workis. Lett not thairfoir the Readar wonder, albeit that our style vary and speik diverslie of men, according as thei have declared thame selves sometymes ennemyes and sometymes freindis, sometymes fervent, sometymes cold, sometymes constant, and sometymes changeable in the cause of God and of his holy religioun: for, in this our simplicitie, we suppoise that the Godlie shall espy our purpose, which is, that God may be praised for his mercy schawin, this present age may be admonished to be thankfull for Goddis benefittis offerred, and the posteritie to cum may be instructed how wonderouslie hath the light of Christ Jesus prevailled against darkness in this last and most corrupted age.


In the Scrollis of Glasgw is found mentioun of one whais name is not expressed,[23] that, in the year of God 1422, was burnt for heresye;[24] bot what war his opinionis, or by what ordour he was condempned, it appearis not evidentlie. But our Cronikilles mack mentioun, that in the dayis of King James the First, about the year of God 1431, was deprehended in the Universitie of Sanctandrose, one named Paull Craw,[25] a Bohame,[26] who was accused of heresye befoir such as then war called Doctouris of Theologie. His accusatioun consisted principallye, that he followed Johnne Husse and Wyckleif, in the opinioun of the sacrament, who denyed that the substance of braid and wyn war changed be vertew of any wourdis; or that confessioun should be maid to preastis; or yitt prayeris to sanctes departed. Whill that God geve unto him grace to resist thame, and not to consent to thair impietie, he was committed to the secular judge, (for our bischoppis follow Pilat, who boith did condempne, and also wesche[27] his handis,) who condempned him to the fyre; in the quhilk he was consumed in the said citie of Sanctandrose, about the time afoir writtin. And to declair thame selvis to be the generatioun of Sathan, who, from the begynnyng, hath bein ennemy to the treuth, and he that desyrith the same to be hyd frome the knowledge of men, thei putt a ball of brass in his mouth, to the end that he should nott geve confessioun of his fayth to the people, neyther yit that thei should understand the defence which he had against thair injust accusatioun and condemnatioun.

Bot that thair fatheris practise did nott greatlie advance thair kingdome of darknes, nether yit was it able utterlie to extingueise the trewth: For albeit, that in the dayis of Kingis James the Secund and Thrid, we fynd small questioun of religioun moved within this Realme, yit in the tyme of King James the Fourt, in the saxt year of his reigne, and in the twenty-twa yeir of his age, which was in the year of God 1494, war summoned befoir the King and his Great Counsell, by Robert Blackedar called Archebischope of Glasgw,[28] the nomber of thretty personis, remanyng some in Kyle-Stewart, some in Kingis-Kyile, and some in Cunyghame;[29] amonges whome,[30] George Campbell of Sesnok, Adame Reid of Barskymming, Johne Campbell of New Mylnes, Andro Shaw of Polkemmate, Helen Chalmour Lady Pokillie,[31] [Marion][32] Chalmours Lady Stairs: These war called the LOLARDIS OF KYLE. Thei war accused of the Articles following, as we have receaved thame furth of the Register[33] Glasgw.

* * * * *

I. First, That Images ar not to be had, nor yitt to be wirschepped.

II. That the Reliques of Sanctes are not to be wirschepped.

III. That Lawis and Ordinances of men vary frome tyme to tyme, and that by the Pape.

IV. That it is not lauchfull to feght, or to defend the fayth. (We translait according to the barbarousnes of thair Latine and dictament.[34])

V. That Christ gave power to Petir onlie, and not to his successouris, to bynd and lowse within the Kyrk.

VI. That Christ ordeyned no Preastis to consecrat.

VII. That after the consecratioun in the Messe, thare remanes braid;[35] and that thair is nott the naturall body of Christ.

VIII. That teythes aught not to be given to Ecclesiasticall men, (as thei war then called.)

IX. That Christ at his cuming has tackin away power from Kingis to judge.[36] (This article we dowbt not to be the vennemouse accusatioun of the ennemyes, whose practise has ever bene to mack the doctrin of Jesus Christ suspect to Kingis and rewllaris, as that God thairby wold depose thame of thair royall seattis, whare by the contrair, nothing confermes the power of magistrates more then dois Goddis wourd.—But to the Articles.)

X. That everie faythfull man or woman is a preast.

XI. That the unctioun of Kingis ceassed at the cuming of Christ.

XII. That the Pape is not the successour of Petir, but whare he said, "Go behynd me, Sathan."

XIII. That the Pape deceavis the people by his Bulles and his Indulgenses.

XIV. That the Messe profiteth not the soules that ar in purgatorye.

XV. That the Pape and the bischoppis deceave the people by thare pardonis.

XVI. That Indulgenses aught not to be granted to feght against the Saracenes.

XVII. That the Pape exaltis him self against God, and abuf God.

XVIII. That the Pape can nott remitt the panes of purgatorye.

XIX. That the blessingis of the Bischoppis (of dum doggis thei should have bein stilled) ar of non valew.

XX. That the excommunicatioun of the Kirk is not to be feared.

XXI. That in to no case is it lauchfull to swear.

XXII. That Preastis mycht have wieffis, according to the constitutioun of the law.

XXIII. That trew Christianes receave the body of Jesus Christ everie day.

XXIV. That after matrimonye be contracted, the Kyrk may mack no divorcement.

XXV. That excommunicatioun byndis nott.

XXVI. That the Pape forgevis not synnes, bot only God.

XXVII. That fayth should not be gevin to miracules.

XXVIII. That we should not pray to the glorious Virgyn Marie, butt to God only.

XXIX. That we ar na mair bound to pray in the Kirk then in other plaices.

XXX. That we ar nott bound to beleve all that the Doctouris of the Kyrk have writtin.

XXXI. That such as wirschep the Sacrament of the Kyrk (We suppoise thei ment the Sacrament of the altar) committis idolatrie.

XXXII. That the Pape is the head of the Kyrk of Antichrist.

XXXIII. That the Pape and his ministeris ar murtheraris.

XXXIV. That thei which ar called principallis in the Church, ar thevis and robbaris.

* * * * *

By these Articles,[37] which God of his mercyfull providence caused the ennemies of his trewth to keip in thare Registeris, may appeir how mercyfullie God hath looked upoun this Realme, reteanyng within it some sponk of his light, evin in the tyme of grettast darkness. Nether yit awght any man to wonder, albeit that some thingis be obscurly, and some thingis scabruslie spokin;[38] but rather awght all faythfull to magnifye Goddis mercy, who without publict doctrin gave so great light. And farther, we awght to considder, that seing that the ennemies of Jesus Christ gathered the foirsaid Articles, thairupoun to accuse the personis foirsaid, that thei wold deprave the meanyng of Goddis servandis so far as thei could; as we dowbt not bot thei have done, in the headis of Excommunicatioun, Swearing, and of Matrimonye. In the which it is no dowbt but the servandis of God did dampne the abuse only, and not the rycht ordinance of God; for who knowes not, that Excommunicatioun in these dayis was altogether abused! That Swearing abounded without punishment, or remorse of conscience! And that Divorsementis war maid for such causes as worldly men had invented!—But to our History.

* * * * *

Albeit that the accusatioun of the Bischop and his complices was verray grevouse, yitt God so assisted his servandis, partly be inclineing the Kingis hart to gentilness, (for diverse of thame war his great familiaris,) and partly by geving bold and godly answeris to thair accusatouris, that the ennemies in the end war frustrat of thair purpoise. For whill the Bischop, in mocking, said to Adam Reid of Barskemyng,[39] "REID, Beleve ye that God is in heavin?" He answered, "Not as I do the Sacramentis sevin." Whairat the Bischop thinking to have triumphed, said, "SIR, Lo, he denyes that God is in heavin." Whairat the King wondering, said, "Adam Reid, what say ye?" The other answered, "Please your Grace to heir the end betuix the churle and me." And thairwith he turned to the Bischope, and said, "I nether think nor beleve, as thou thinkis, that God is in heavin; but I am most assured, that he is not only in the heavin, bot also in the earth. Bott thou and thy factioun declayre by your workis, that eyther ye think thair is no God at all, or ellis that he is so shett up[40] in the heavin, that he regardis not what is done into the earth; for yf thou fermelie beleved that God war in the heavin, thou should not mack thy self chek-meat to the King, and altogether forgett the charge that Jesus Christ the Sone of God gave to his apostles, which was, to preach his Evangell, and not to play the proud prelatts, as all the rabill of yow do this day. And now, Sir, (said he to the King,) judge ye whither the Bischop or I beleve best that God is in heavin." Whill the Bischope and his band could not weill revenge thame selfis, and whill many tantis war gevin thame in thair teith, the King, willing to putt ane end to farther reassonyng, said to the said Adam Reid, "Will thou burne thy bill?" He answered, "Sir, the Bischope and ye will." With those and the lyik scoffis the Bischop and his band war so dashed out of countenance, that the greattest part of the accusatioun was turned to lawchter.

After that dyet, we fynd almoist no questioun for materis of religioun, the space ney of thretty yearis. For not long after, to witt in the year of God 1508,[41] the said Bischop Blackcater departed this lief, going in his superstitious devotioun to Hierusalem; unto whome succeided Mr. James Beatoun, sone to the Lard of Balfour, in Fyfe, who was moir cairfull for the world then he was to preach Christ, or yitt to advance any religioun, but for the fassioun only; and as he soght the warld, it fled him nott,[42] it was weill knowin that at onis he was Archbischop of Sanctandrosse, Abbot of Dumfermeling, Abirbroth, Kylwynnyng, and Chancellare of Scotland: for after the unhappy feild of Flowdoun,[43] the which perrished King James the Fourt, with the grettast parte of the nobilitie of the realme, the said Beatoun, with the rest of the Prelattis, had the haill regiment of the realme; and by reassone thairof, held and travailled to hold the treuth of God in thraldome and bondage, till that it pleased God of his great mercy, in the year of God 1527, to raise up his servand, MAISTER PATRIK HAMMYLTOUN, at whome our Hystorie doith begyn. Of whose progenye, lyif, and eruditioun, becaus men of fame and renune have in diverse workis writtin, we omitt all curiouse repetitioun, sending such as wald knaw farther of him then we write to Franciss Lambert,[44] Johne Firth, and to that notable wark,[45] laitlie sette furth be Johne Fox, Englisman, of the Lyvis and Deathis of Martyrs within this yle, in this our aige.

* * * * *

This servand of God, the said Maister Patrik, being in his youth providit to reassonable honouris and leving, (he was intitulat Abbot of Fern,[46]) as one haiting the world and the vanitie thairof, left Scotland, and passed to the schoollis in Germany; for then the fame of the Universitie of Whittinberge was greatlie divulgat in all countreis, whare, by Goddis providence, he became familiare with these lyghtis and notable servandis of Christ Jesus of that tyme, Martyne Luther, Philipp Melanthon, and the said Franciss Lambert,[47] and did so grow and advance in godly knowledge, joyned with fervencie and integretie of lyiff, that he was in admiratioun with many. The zeall of Goddis glorie did so eat him up, that he could of no long continuance remane thair, bot returned to his countrie, whair the brycht beames of the trew light which by Goddis grace was planted in his harte, began most aboundantlie to burst furth, also weall in publict as in secreat: For he was, besydis his godlie knowledge, weill learned in philosophie: he abhorred sophistrye, and wold that the text of Aristotelis should have bene better understand and more used in the schoolles then than it was; for sophistrie had corrupted all asweil in divinitie as in humanitie. In schort proces of tyme, the fame of his reasonis and doctrin trubled the Clargye, and came to the earis of Bischope James Beatoun, of whome befoir we have maid mentioun, who being ane conjured ennemye to Christ Jesus, and one that long had had the whole regiment of this realme, bare impatientlie that any truble should be maid to that kingdome of darknes, whairof within this realme he was the head. And, thairfoir, he so travailled[48] with the said Maister Patrik, that he gat him to Sanctandrosse, whair, eftir the conference of diverse dayis, he had his freedome and libertie. The said Bischop and his blooddy bucheouris, called Doctouris, seamed to approve his doctryne, and to grant that many thingis craved reformatioun in the Ecclesiastical regiment. And amanges the rest, thair was ane that secreatlie consented with him almest in all thingis, named Frear Alexander Campbell, a man of good wytt and learnyng, butt yitt corrupt by the warld, as aftir we will hear. When the bischoppis and the clergye had fully understand the mynd and judgement of the said Maistir Patrik, and fearing that by him thair kingdome should be endomaged, thei travailled with the King, who then was young, and altogitther addict to thair commandiment, that he should pass in pilgramaige to Sanct Dothess in Rosse,[49] to the end that no intercessioun should be maid for the life[50] of the innocent servant of God, who suspecting no such crueltie as in thair hartes was concluded, remaned still, (a lambe amonges the wolfis,) till that upoun a nycht hie was intercepted in his chalmer, and by the bischoppes band was caryed to the Castell, whare that nycht he was keapt; and upoun the morne, produccid in judgement, he was condampned to dye by fyre for the testimonye of Goddis trewth. The Articles for the which he suffered war bot of Pilgramage, Purgatorye, Prayer to Sanctes, and for the Dead, and such trifilles; albeit that materis of grettar importance had bein in questioun, as his Treatise,[51] which in the end we have added, may witness. Now that the condempnatioun of the said Mr. Patrik should have greattar authoritie, thei caused the same to be subscrived by all those of any estimatioun that with tham war present, and to mack thair nomber great, thei tuck the subscriptionis of childrin, yf thei war of the nobilitie; for the Erle of Cassilles, which last decessed in France,[52] then being bot twelf or threttein yearis of age, was compelled to subscrive his death, as him self did confesse. Immediatlie after dennar, the fyre was prepaired befoir the Ald Colledge,[53] and he led to the place of executioun. And yitt men suppoised that all was done but to geve unto him ane terrour, and to have caused him to have recanted, and have become recreant to those bloody beastis. But God, for his awin glorie, for the comforte of his servand, and for manifestatioun of thare beastly tyranny, had otherwiese decreed; for he so strenthened his faythfull witnes, that nether the luif of lyif, nor yitt the fear of that cruell death, could move him a joit to swarve from the trewth ones professed. At the plaice of executioun he gave to his servand, who had bene chalmer-child to him of a long tyme, his gown, his coit, bonet, and such lych garments, saying, "These will nott proffeit in the fyre; thei will proffeit thee: Aftir this, of me thow cane receave no commoditie, except the example of my death, which, I pray thee, bear in mynd; for albeit it be bitter to the flesche, and feirfull befoir men, yet is it the entress unto eternall lyif, quhilk non shall possesse that denyis Christ Jesus befoir this wicked generatioun."

The innocent servand of God being bound to the staik in the myddest of some coallis, some tymmer, and other mater appointed for the fyre, a trane of powder was maid and sett a fyre, quhilk gave to the blessed martyre of God a glaise, skrimpled[54] his left hand, and that syd of his face, but nether kendilled the wood, nor yett the coallis.[55] And so remaned the appointed to death in torment, till that men rane to the Castell agane for moir poulder, and for wood more able to tack fyre; which at last being kendilled, with lowd voce he cryed, "LORD JESUS, receave my spreit! How long shall darknes owerquhelme this realme? And how long will thow suffer this tyranny of men?"—The fyre was slow, and thairfoir was his torment the more. Bott moist of all was he greved by certane wicked men, amongis whome Campbell the Blak Freir (of whome we spak befoir[56]) was principall, who continuallie cryed, "Convert, heretick: call upoun our Lady: say Salve Regina," etc. To whome he answered, "Departe, and truble me not, ye messingeris of Sathan." Bott whill that the foirsaid Freir still roared one thing in great vehemency, he said unto him, "Wicked man, thou knawis the contrair, and the contrair to me thou hast confessed: I appeall thee befoir the tribunall seatt of Jesus Christ!" After which and other wordis, which weall could nott be understand nor marked, bayth for the tumult, and vehemencye of the fyre, the witness of Jesus Christ gat victorie, after long sufferance, the last of Februar, in the zeir of God J^m. V^e. twenty and sevin zearis.[57] The said Freir departed this lyif within few dayis after, in what estait we referr to the manifestatioun of the generall day. But it was plainlie knawin that he dyed, in Glaskow, in a phrenesye, and as one dispared.[58]

Now that all men may understand what was the singular eruditioun and godly knowledge of the said Mr. Patrik, we have inserted this his litill pithie werk, conteanyng his Assertionis and Determinationis concernyng the Law, the Office of the same, concernyng Fayth, and the fruittis[59] thairof; first, be the foirsaid Maister Patrik collected in Latine, and after translated in Inglisch.



Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in these last dayes and perillous tymes, hath styrred up in all countreys, witnesses unto his Sonne, to testifye the truth unto the unfaythfull, to save at the least some from the snares of Antichrist, which leade to perdition, as ye may here perceave by that excellent and well learned young man PATRIKE HAMELTON, borne in Scotland of a noble progeny; who to testifie the truth, sought all meanes, and tooke upon him Priesthode, (even as Paule circumcised Timothy, to wynne the weake Jewes,) that he might be admitted to preache the pure word of God. Notwithstandyng, as soone as the Chamberleyne [Chancellor[61]] and other Byshops of Scotland had perceaved that the light began to shyne, which disclosed their falsehode that they conveyed in darkenes, they layde handes on hym, and because he wold not deny his Saviour Christ at their instance, they burnt him to ashes. Nevertheles, God of his bounteous mercy (to publishe to the whole world what a man these monsters have murthered) hath reserved a little Treatise, made by this Patrike,[62] which, if ye lyst, ye may call PATRIK'S PLACES: For it treateth exactly of certaine Common Places, which knowen, ye have the pith of all Divinitie. This Treatise have I turned into the English toung, to the profite of my natioun; to whom I besech God to geve lyght, that they may espye the deceitfull pathes of perdition, and returne to the right way which leadeth to lyfe everlastyng.[63] Amen.]


The Law is a doctrine that biddeth good, and forbiddeth evill, as the Commandimentis heir contenit do specifie:


1. Thow shalt worschepp but one God. 2. Thow shalt maik thee nane image to worschipp it. 3. Thow shalt not sweare be his name in vane. 4. Hold the Sabbath day holy. 5. Honour thie father and mother. 6. Thow shalt not kill. 7. Thow shalt not committ adulterie. 8. Thow shalt nott steall. 9. Thow shalt bear no fals witness. 10. Thow shalt not desyre owght that belongeth unto thie nychtboure.

[All these Commandments are briefly comprised in these two here under ensuing]:—"Love the Lord thy God with all thyne harte, wyth all thy saule, and with all thy mynd." (Deut. 6.)—"This is the first and great commandiment. The secund is lyik unto this, Love thy nychtbour as thy selve. On these two commandimentis hang all the Law and the Propheittis." (Matth. 12.)


I. He that loveth God, loveth his nychtbour.[65]—"If anie man say, I love God, and yit hattith his nychtbour, he is a lyer: He that lovith not his brother whome he hath sene, how can he love God whome he hath nott sein." (1 Joan. 4.)

II. He that lovith his nychtbour as him self, keapeth the whole commandimentis of God.—"Quhatsoever ye wald that men should do unto yow, evin so do unto thame: for this is the law and the propheittis." (Matth. 7.)—He that loveth his nychtbour fulfilleth the law. "Thow shalt not committ adulterie: Thow shalt not kyll: Thow shalt not steall: Thow shalt not bear fals witnesse against thy nychtbour: Thow shalt not desyre; and so furth: And yf thair be any uther commandiment, all ar comprehendit under this saying, Love thy nychtbour as thy self." (Rom. 13; Gallat. 5.)

"He that loveth his nychtbour, kepith all the commandimentis of God." "He that loveth God, loveth his nychtboure." (Roma. 13; 1 Joan. 4.)—Ergo, he that loveth God, kepith all his commandimentis.

III. He that hath the faith, loveth God.—"My father loveth yow, becaus ye luif me, and beleve that I came of God." (Joan. 19.)—He that hath the faith, keapith all the commandimentis of God. He that hath the faith, loveth God; and he that loveth God, keapith all the commandimentis of God.—Ergo, he that hath faith, keapith all the commandimentis of God.

IV. He that keapeth one commandiment, keapeth thame all.—"For without fayth it is impossible to keap any of the commandimentis of God."—And he that hath the fayth, keapeth all the commandimentis of God.—Ergo, he that keapith one commandiment of God, keapith thame all.

V. He that keapith nott all the commandimentis of God, he keapith nane of thame.—He that keapith one of the commandimentis, he keapith all.—Ergo, he that keapith not all the commandimentis, he keapith nane of thame.

VI. It is not in our power, without grace, to keap anie of Goddis commandimentis.—Without grace it is impossible to keap ane of Goddis commandimentis; and grace is not in our power.—Ergo, it is not in our power to keap any of the commandimentis of God.

Evin so may ye reassone concerning the Holy Ghost, and fayth.

VII. The law was gevin to schaw us our synne.—"Be the law cumith the knowledge of the synne. I knew not what synne meant, bot throw the law. I knew not what lust had ment, except the law had said, Thow shalt not lust. Without the law, synne was dead:" that is, It moved me nott, nether wist I that it was synne, which notwithstanding was synne, and forbidden be the law.

VIII. The law biddith us do that which is impossible for us.—For it biddith us keape all the commandimentis of God: yitt it is not in oure power to keape any of thame.—Ergo, it biddeth us doo that which is impossible for us.

Thow wilt say, "Whairfoir doith God command us that which is impossible for us." I ansuere, "To mack thee know that thow arte bot evill, and that thair is no remeady to save thee in thine awin hand, and that thow mayest seak reamedy at some uther; for the law doith nothing butt command thee."


The Gospell, is as moche to say, in oure tong, as Good Tydingis: lyk as everie one of these sentences be—

Christ is the Saviour of the world.

Christ is our Saviour.

Christ deid for us.

Christ deid for our synnes.

Christ offerred him selve for us.

Christ bare our synnes upoun his back.

Christ bought us with his blood.

Christ woushe us with his blood.

Christ came in the warld to save synnaris.

Christ came in the warld to tak away our synnes.

Christ was the price that was gevin for us and for our synnes.

Christ was maid dettour for our synnes.

Christ hath payed our debt, for he deid for us.

Christ hath maid satisfactioun for us and for our synne.

Christ is our rychteousness.

Christ is oure wisdome.

Christ is our sanctifcatioun.

Christ is our redemptioun.

Christ is our satisfactioun.

Christ is our goodness.

Christ hath pacifeid the Father of Heavin.

Christ is ouris, and all his.

Christ hath delivered us frome the law, frome the devill, and hell.

The Father of Heavin hath forgevin us for Christis saik. Or anie such other, as declair unto us the mercyes of God.


The Law schawith us, Our synne. Our condemnatioun, Is the word of ire. Is the word of dispair. Is the word of displeasure.

The Gospell schawith us, A reamedy for it. Oure redemptioun, Is the word of grace. Is the word of conforte. Is the word of peace.


The Law sayith, Paye thy debt, Thow art a synnar desparat. And thow shalt die.

The Gospell sayith, Christ hath payed it. Thy synnes ar forgevin thee. Be of good conforte, thow shalt be saved.

The Law sayith, Mack a mendis for thy synne. The Father of Heaven is wraith wyth thee. Quhair is thy rychteousnes, goodnes, and satisfactioun? Thou art bound and obligat unto me, [to] the devill, and [to] hell.

The Gospell sayith, Christ hath maid it for thee. Christ hath pacefeid him with his blood. Christ is thy rychteousnes, thy goodnes, and satisfactioun Christ hath delivered thee from thame all.


Faith is to beleve God; "lyck as Abraham beleved God, and it was compted unto him for rychteousnes." (Gen. 15.)—"He that beleved God, beleved his word." (Joan. 5.)—To beleve in him, is to beleve his word, and accompt it trew that he speikith. He that belevith not Goddis word, beleveth not him self. He that belevith nott Goddis word, he compteth him fals, and ane lyar, and beleveth not that he may and will fulfill his word; and so he denyeth both the myght of God and him self.

IX. Faith is the gift of God.—"Everie good thing is the gift of God." (Jacob. 1.)—Fayth is good.—Ergo, faith is the gift of God.

X. [Faith is not in our power.]—The gift of God is not in oure power.—"Faith is the gift of God."—Ergo, fayth is not in oure power.

XI. [He that lacketh faith cannot please God.]—"Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Hebr. 11.)—All that cummith nott of fayth, is synne; for without faith can no man please God.—Besydis, that he that lacketh faith, he trusteth nott God. He that trusteth not God, trusteth nott in his wourd. He that trusteth not in his wourd, hauldeth him self fals, and a liear. He that haldeth him self false and a lyer, he belevith not that he may doo that he promeseth, and so denyeth he that he is God. And how can a man, being of this fassioun, please him? No maner of way. Yea, suppoise he did all the werkis of man and angell.

XII. All that is done in fayth, pleaseth God.—"Richt is the wourde of God, and all his werkis in faith." "Lord, thine eis look to faith." That is asmuch to saye as, Lord, thow delitest in fayth. God loveth him that belevith in him. How cane thei then displease him?

XIII. He that hath the faith, is just and good.—And a good trie bringeth furth good fruite.—Ergo, all that is in faith done pleaseth God.

XIV. [He that hath faith, and believeth God, cannot displease him.]—Moreovir, he that hath the faith belevith God.—He that belevith God, belevith his worde. He that belevith his word, woteth weall that he is trew and faithfull, and may nott lie: But knowith weall that he may and will boith fulfill his word. How can he then displease him? For thow canst not do ane greattar honor unto God, then to count him trew. Thow wilt then say, that thift, murther, adulterie, and all vices, please God? Nane, verrelie; for thei can not be done in faith: "for a good tree beareth good frute." He that hath the faith, woteth weall that he pleaseth God; for all that is done in fayth pleaseth God. (Hebr. 11.)

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