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  • BOOK 2

    1558-1559 From the First Petition of the Protestants to the Queen Regent in 1558 to the mission of William Maitland of Lethington to Queen Elizabeth in 1559. THE SECOND BOOK of the History of things done in Scotland, in the Reformation of Religion, beginning in the year of God Mccccc Fifty-Eight, PICTURE: John Knox by Hondius, From the portrait by Hondius in Praestantium aliquat Theologorum Effigies quibus addita Elogia, by Jacobus Verheiden (The Hague, 1602).

    This picture was taken from a portrait of Knox sent by Sir Peter Young (tutor to James VI.) to Theodore Beza. In his letter, dated 13th November 1579, Young gives the following vivid description (in Latin) of Knox’s appearance: — ‘In stature he was slightly under the middle height, of well-knit and graceful figure, with shoulders somewhat broad, longish fingers, head of moderate size, hair black, complexion somewhat dark, and general appearance not unpleasing. ‘In his stern and severe countenance there was a natural dignity and majesty not without a certain grace, and in anger there was an air of command on his brow. Under a somewhat narrow forehead his brows stood out in a slight ridge over his ruddy and slightly swelling cheeks, so that his eyes seemed to retreat into his head.

    The color of his eyes was bluish grey, their glance keen and animated. His face was rather long; his nose of more than ordinary length; the mouth large; the lips full, the upper a little thicker than the lower; his beard black mingled with grey, a span and a half long, and moderately thick.

    PREFACEPICTURE: Crown of St. Giles: Edinburgh LEST Satan by our long silence shall take occasion to slander us the Protestants of the Realm of Scotland, as if our fact (action) tended rather to Sedition and Rebellion, than to Reformation of manners and abuses in Religion; we have thought expedient, so truly and briefly as we can, to commit to writing the causes moving us—us, we say, a great part of the Nobility and Barons of the Realm—to take the sword of just defense against those that most unjustly seek our destruction, in this our Confession, we shall faithfully declare, what mover us to put our hands to the Reformation of Religion; ant how we have proceeded in the same; what we have asked and what presently we require, of the Sacrate (constituted) Authority; to the end that, our cause being known, as well our enemies as our brethren in all realms may understand how falsely we are accused of tumult and rebellion, am how unjustly we are persecuted by France and by their faction. As also that our brethren, natural Scotsmen, o what religion so ever they be, may have occasion to examine themselves, if they may with safe conscience oppone themselves to us, who seek nothing but Christ Jesus His glorious Evangel to be preached, His holy Sacraments to be truly ministrate, superstition, tyranny, and idolatry to be suppressed in this Realm; and finally, the liberty of this our native country to remain free from the bondage and tyranny of strangers.


    PICTURE: Mary of Guise WHILE the Queen Regent practiced with the Prelates, how Christ Jesus His Blessed Evangel might utterly be suppressed within Scotland, God so blessed the labors of His weak servants, that no small part of the Barons of this Realm began to abhor the tyranny of the Bishops. God did so open their eyes by the light of His Word, that they could clearly discern betwixt idolatry and the true honoring of God. Yea, men almost universally began to doubt whether they might God not offended—give their bodily presence to the Mass, or yet offer their children to the Papistical Baptism.

    To the which doubts, when the most godly and the most learned in Europe had answered, both by word and writ, affirming, ‘That neither we might do, without the extreme peril of our souls,’ we began to be more troubled.

    Then also began men of estimation, and that bare rule among us, to examine themselves concerning their duties, as well towards Reformation of Religion, as towards the just defense of their brethren most cruelly persecuted. So began diverse questions to be moved, to wit, ‘If with safe conscience such as were Judges, Lords, and Rulers of the people, might serve the upper powers in maintaining idolatry, in persecuting their brethren, and in suppressing Christ’s Truth?’ Or, ‘Whether they, to whom God in some cases had committed the Sword of Justice might suffer the blood of their brethren to be shed in their presence, without any declaration that such tyranny displeased them?’ By the plain Scriptures it was found, ‘That a lively faith required a plain confession, when Christ’s Truth is oppugned; that not only are they guilty that do evil, but also they that consent to evil.’ And plain it is, that they consent to evil, who, seeing iniquity openly committed, seem by their silence to justify and allow whatsoever is done.

    These things being resolved, and sufficiently proven by evident Scriptures of God, we began every man to look more diligently to his salvation’ for the idolatry and tyranny of the clergy, called the Churchmen, was, and is, so manifest, that whosoever doth deny it, declares himself ignorant of God, and enemy to Christ Jesus. We, therefore, with humble confession of our former offenses, with fasting and supplication unto God, began to seek some remedy in so present a danger. First, it was concluded: ‘That the Brethren in every town at certain times should assemble together, to Common Prayers, to Exercise and Reading of the Scriptures, till it should please God to give the Sermon of Exhortation to some, for comfort and instruction of the rest.’

    This our weak beginning God did so bless, that within few months the hearts of many were so strengthened, that we sought to have the face of a Church among us, and open crimes to be punished without respect of persons. For that purpose, by common election, were Elders appointed, to whom the whole brethren promised obedience. At that time we had no public Ministers of the Word: only did certain zealous men—among whom were John Erskine, the Laird of Dun, David Forrest, Master Robert Lockhart, Master Robert Hamilton, William Harlaw, 1 and others—exhort their brethren, according to the gifts and graces granted unto them. But shortly after did God stir up His servant, Paul Methven—his latter fall ought not to deface the work of God in him— 2 who in boldness of spirit began openly to preach Christ Jesus in Dundee, in diverse parts of Angus, and in Fife; and so did God work with him, that many began openly to renounce their old idolatry, and to submit themselves to Christ Jesus, and unto His Blessed Ordinances; insomuch that the town of Dundee began to erect the face of a public Church Reformed, in which the Word was openly preached, and Christ’s Sacraments truly ministered.

    In the meantime did God send to us our dear brother, John Willock, a man godly, learned, and grave, who, after his short abode at Dundee, repaired to Edinburgh, and there, notwithstanding his long and dangerous sickness, did so encourage the brethren by godly exhortations, that we began to deliberate upon some public Reformation; for the corruption in religion was such, that with safe conscience we could no longer sustain it.

    Yet because we would attempt nothing without the knowledge of the Sacrate Authority, with one consent, after the deliberation of many days, it was concluded, that by our Public and Common Supplication, we should attempt the favor, support, and assistance of the Queen, the Regent, to a godly Reformation. For that purpose, after we had drawn our Oration and Petition, as followeth, we appointed from among us a man whose age and years deserved reverence, whose honesty and worship might have craved audience of any Magistrate on earth, and whose faithful service to the Authority at all times had been such, that on him could fall no suspicion of unlawful disobedience. This Orator was that ancient and honorable father, Sir James Sandilands of Calder, Knight, to whom we gave commission and power in all our names then present, before the Queen Regent thus to speak:— ‘THE FIRST PETITION OF THE PROTESTANTS OF SCOTLAND TO THE QUEEN REGENT, 1558. ‘Most Noble Princess, ‘Albeit we have of long time contained ourselves in that modesty, that neither exile of body, tinsel (loss) of goods, nor perishing of this mortal life, were able to convene us to ask at Your Grace reformation and redress of those wrongs, and of that sore grief, patiently borne by us in body and mind of so long time, yet now, of very conscience and by the fear of our God, are we compelled to crave at Your Grace’s feet, remedy against the most unjust tyranny used against Your Grace’s most obedient subjects, by those that be called the Estate Ecclesiastical. ‘Your Grace cannot be ignorant what controversy hath been, and yet is, concerning the True Religion and right worshipping of God, and how the Clergy usurp to themselves such empire above the consciences of men, that whatsoever they command must be obeyed, and whatsoever they forbid must be avoided, without farther respect to God’s pleasure, commandment, or will, revealed to us in His Most Holy Word. Otherwise, there abideth nothing for us but faggot, fire and sword, by which many of our brethren, most cruelly and most unjustly, have been stricken of late years within this Realm. This now we find to wound our consciences; for we acknowledge it to have been our bounden duty before God, either to have defended our brethren from those cruel murderers, seeing we are a part of that power which God had established in this realm, or else to have given open testimony of our faith with them, which now we offer to do, lest by our continual silence we shall seem to justify their cruel tyranny. This doth not only displease us, but Your Grace’s wisdom most prudently doth foresee that, for the quieting of this intestine dissension, a public Reformation, as well in Religion as in Temporal Government, is most necessary; and to the performance thereof, most gravely and most godly, as we are informed, ye have exhorted as well the Clergy as the Nobility, to employ their study, diligence, and care. ‘We therefore in conscience dare no longer dissemble in so weighty a matter, which concerneth the Glory of God and our salvation.

    Neither now dare we withdraw our presence, nor conceal our petitions, lest the adversaries hereafter shall object to us, that place was granted to Reformation, and yet no man suited for the same; and so shall our silence be prejudicial unto us in time to come.

    Therefore, we, knowing no other Order placed in this Realm, but Your Grace, in your grave Council, set to amend, as well disorder Ecclesiastical as defaults in the Temporal regiment, most humbly prostrate ourselves before your feet, asking justice, and your gracious help against them that falsely traduce and accuse us that we are heretics and schismatics, under that color seeking our destruction. We only seek the amendment of their corrupt lives, and Christ’s Religion to be restored to the original purity. ‘Farther, we crave of Your Grace, with open and patent ears, to hear these our subsequent requests; and to the joy and satisfaction of our troubled consciences, mercifully to grant the same, unless by God’s plain Word any be able to prove that justly they ought to be denied. First, Humbly we ask, that as we have by the Laws of this Realm, after long debate, obtained to read the Holy Books of the Old and New Testaments in our common tongue, as spiritual food to our souls, so from henceforth it may be lawful that we may convene, publicly or privately, to our Common Prayers, in our vulgar tongue; to the end that we may increase in knowledge, and be induced, in fervent and oft prayers, to commend to God the Holy Church Universal, the Queen our Sovereign, her Honorable and Gracious Husband [the Dauphin of France], the stability of their succession, Your Grace Regent, the Nobility and whole Estate of this Realm. Secondly, If there shall happen in our said conventions any hard place of Scripture to be read, of which no profit ariseth to the conveners, that it shall be lawful to any qualified person in knowledge, being present, to interpret and open up the hard places, to God’s glory and to the profit of the auditory; and if any think that this liberty should be occasion of confusion, debate, or heresy, we are content that it be provided that the said interpretation shall underlie the judgment of the most godly and most learned within the realm at this time. Thirdly, That the Holy Sacrament of Baptism may be used in the vulgar tongue; that the godfathers 4 and witnesses may not only understand the points of the league and contract made betwixt God and the infant, but also that the Church then assembled may more gravely be instructed in their duties, which at all times they owe to God according to that promise made unto Him when they were received into His household by the layacre (washing) of spiritual regeneration. Fourthly, We desire that the Holy Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or of His Most Blessed Body and Blood, may likewise be administered unto us in the vulgar tongue; and in both kinds, according to the plain institution of Our Savior Christ Jesus. And last, We most humbly require, that the wicked, slanderous, and detestable life of Prelates, and of the State Ecclesiastical, may be so reformed, that the people have not occasion, as of many days they have had, to contemn their ministry, and the preaching whereof they should be messengers. If they suspect that we, rather envying their honors, or coveting their riches and possessions, than zealously desiring their amendment and salvation, do travail for this Reformation, we are content that not only the precepts of the New Testament, but also the writings of the ancient Fathers, and the godly approved Laws of Justinian the Emperor, should decide the controversy betwixt us and them. If it shall be found, that either malevolently or ignorantly, we ask more than these three forenamed require of able and true ministers of Christ’s Church, we refuse not such correction as Your Grace, with right judgment, shall think meet. But if all the forenamed shall condemn that which we condemn and approve that which we require, then we most earnestly beseech Your Grace that, notwithstanding the long consuetude which they have had to live as they list, they be compelled either to desist from ecclesiastical administration, or to discharge their duties as becometh true ministers; so that the grave and godly face of the Primitive Church having been reduced (brought back), ignorance may be expelled, and true doctrine and good manners may once again appear in the Church of this Realm. ‘These things we, as most obedient subjects, require of Your Grace, in the name of the Eternal God, and of His Son, Christ Jesus; in presence of Whose Throne Judicial, ye and all other that here on earth bear authority, shall give account of your temporal regiment. The Spirit of the Lord Jesus move Your Grace’s heart to justice and equity. Amen.’

    These our Petitions being proponed, the Estate Ecclesiastical began to storm, and to devise all manner of lies to deface the equity of our cause.

    They bragged that they would have public disputation, which also we most earnestly required, —two things being provided, the former, That the plain and written Scriptures of God should decide all controversy; secondly, That our brethren, of whom some were then exiled, and by them unjustly damned, might have free access to the said disputation, and safe conduct to return to their dwelling-places, notwithstanding any process which before had been laid against them in matters concerning religion. But these being by them utterly denied—for no judge would they admit but themselves, their Councils, and Canon law—they and their faction began to draw certain Articles of Reconciliation, promising unto us, if we would admit the Mass to stand in its former reverence and estimation, and grant Purgatory after this life, and confess Prayer to Saints and for the Dead, and suffer them to enjoy their accustomed rents, possession, and honor, then they would grant unto us to pray and baptize in the vulgar tongue, so that it were done secretly, and not in the open assembly!

    The grossness of these Articles was such, that with one voice we refused them; and constantly craved justice of the Queen Regent, and a reasonable answer of our former Petitions.

    The Queen Regent—a woman crafty, dissimulate, and false—thinking to make her profit of both parties, gave to us permission to use ourselves godly according to our desires, provided we should not make public assemblies in Edinburgh or Leith; and did promise her assistance to our Preachers, until some uniform order might be established by a Parliament.

    To the Clergy, she quietly gave signification of her mind, promising that how soon any opportunity should serve, she should so put order in their matters that, after, they should not be troubled. Some say they gave her a large purse— 40,000 pounds, says the Chronicle, gathered by Sir William Bruce, the Laird of Earlshall. We, not suspecting her doubleness or falsehood, departed, fully contented with her answer; and for her pleasure, did use ourselves so quietly that we put silence to John Douglas, who publicly would have preached in the town of Leith. In all things we sought the contentment of her mind, so far forth as God should not be offended against us for obeying her in things unlawful.

    Shortly after these things, that cruel tyrant and unmerciful hypocrite, falsely called Archbishop of St. Andrews, apprehended that Blessed Martyr of Christ Jesus,WALTER MYLN, a man of decrepit age, whom most cruelly and most unjustly he put to death by fire in St. Andrews, the twenty-eighth day of April, the year of God j m v c fifty-eight years. [1558]. Which thing did so highly offend the hearts of all godly, that immediately after his death began a new fervency among the whole people; yea, even in the town of St. Andrews, began the people plainly to damn such unjust cruelty. In testimony that they would his death should abide in recent memory, there was east together a great heap of stones in the place where he was burnt. The Bishop and Priests, thereat offended, caused once or twice to remove the same, with denunciation of cursing, if any man should there lay any stone. In vain was that wind blown; for still was the heap made, till the Priests and Papists did steal away by night the stones to big (build) their walls, and to other their private uses. We, suspecting not that the Queen Regent was consenting to the forenamed murder, most humbly did complain of such unjust cruelty, requiring that justice in such cases should be ministered with greater indifference. She, as a woman born to dissemble and deceive, began with us to lament the cruelty of the Archbishop, excusing herself as innocent in that cause. She said that the sentence was given without her knowledge, because the man had been a Priest, and therefore, the Bishop’s Official did proceed upon him ex officio, as they term it, without any Commission of the Civil Authority.

    We, yet nothing suspecting her falsehood, required some order to be taken against such enormities, which she promised as oft before. But, because shortly after there was a Parliament to be holden for certain affairs, pertaining rather to the Queen’s profit particular than to the commodity of the Commonwealth, we thought good to expose our matter unto the whole Parliament, and by them to seek some redress. We therefore, with one consent, did offer to the Queen and Parliament a Letter in this tenor:— ‘Unto Your Grace, and unto You, Right Honorable Lords of this present Parliament, humbly mean and show your Grace’s faithful and obedient subjects:— ‘That we are daily molested, slandered, and injured by wicked and ignorant persons, place-holders of the ministers of the Church, who most untruly cease not to infame us as Heretics, and under that name most cruelly have persecuted diverse of our brethren; and, farther, intend to execute their malice against us, unless by some godly order their fury and rage be bridled and stayed. Yet in us they are able to prove no crime worthy of punishment, unless that to read the Holy Scriptures in our assemblies, to invoke the Name of God in public prayers, with all sobriety to interpret and open the places of Scripture that be read to the farther edification of the brethren assembled, and truly, according to Christ Jesus His holy institution, to minister the Sacraments, be crimes worthy of punishment. Other crimes in us they are not able to convict. ‘These things require we to be considered by you, who occupy the place of the Eternal God, who is God of Order and Truth, even in such sort as ye will answer in the presence of His Throne Judicial.

    We require further, that favorably ye will have respect to the tenderness of our consciences, and to the trouble which appeareth to follow in this Commonwealth, if the tyranny of the Prelates, and of their adherents, be not bridled by God and just laws. God move your hearts deeply to consider your own duties and our present troubles.’

    These our Petitions did we first present to the Queen Regent, because we were determined to enterprise nothing without her knowledge, most humbly requiring her favorable assistance in our just action. She spared not amiable looks, and good words in abundance; but always she kept our Bill close in her pocket. When we required secretly of Her Grace that our Petition should be proponed to the whole Assembly she answered: ‘She thought not that expedient. Then would the whole Ecclesiastical Estate be contrary to her proceedings’ —which at that time were great, for the Matrimonial Crown of Scotland was asked in favor of Francis, Dauphin of France, and in that Parliament granted— ‘but,’ said she, ‘how soon order can be taken with these things, which now may be hindered by the Kirkmen, ye shall know my good mind; and, in the meantime, whatsoever I can grant unto you, shall gladly be granted.’

    We, yet nothing suspecting her falsehood, were content to give place for a time to her pleasure and pretended reasons. Yet thought we expedient somewhat to protest before the dissolution of the Parliament; for our Petitions were manifestly known to the whole Assembly, as also how, for the Queen’s pleasure, we had ceased to pursue to the uttermost. Our Protestation was formed in manner following:— First, We Protest, that seeing we cannot obtain a just Reformation, according to God’s Word, that it be lawful to us to use ourselves in matters of Religion and Conscience, as we must answer unto God, unto such time as our adversaries be able to prove themselves the true ministers of Christ’s Church, and to purge themselves of such crimes as we have already laid to their charge, offering ourselves to prove the same whenever the Sacrate Authority pleases to give us audience. Secondly, We Protest, that neither we, nor yet any other that godly list to join with us in the True Faith, which is grounded upon the invincible Word of God, shall incur any danger in life and lands, or other political pains, for not observing such Acts as heretofore have passed in favor of our adversaries, neither yet for violating of such Rites as man without God’s commandment or word hath commanded. Thirdly, We Protest if any tumult or uproar shall arise amongst the members of this realm for the diversity of religion, and if it shall chance that abuses be violently reformed, that the crime thereof be not imputed to us, who most humbly do now seek all things to be reformed by an order; but rather whatsoever inconvenient shall happen to follow for lack of order taken, that may be imputed to those that do refuse the same. Last, We Protest that these our requests, proceeding from conscience, do tend to none other end, but to the Reformation of abuses in Religion only. We most humbly beseech the Sacrate Authority to take us, faithful and obedient subjects, into protection against our adversaries; and to show unto us such indifference in our most just Petitions, as it becometh God’s Lieutenants to do to those that in His name do call for defense against cruel oppressors and bloodthirsty tyrants.’

    These our Protestations publicly read, we desired them to have been inserted in the Common Register; but that, by labors of our enemies, was denied unto us. Not the less, the Queen Regent said: ‘Me will remember what is protested; and me shall put good order to all things that now be in controversy.’ Thus, after she by craft had obtained her purpose, we departed in good hope of her favor, praising God in our hearts, that she was so well inclined towards godliness. The good opinion that we had of her sincerity, caused us not only to spend our goods and hazard our bodies at her pleasure, but also, by our public letters written to that excellent servant of God, John Calvin, we did praise and commend her for excellent knowledge in God’s Word, and good-will towards the advancement of His glory, requiring of him that by his grave counsel and godly exhortation, he would animate Her Grace constantly to follow that which godly she had begun. We did farther sharply rebuke, both by word and writing, all such as appeared to suspect in her any venom of hypocrisy.

    How far we were deceived in our opinion, and abused by her craft, did suddenly appear. As soon as all things pertaining to the commodity of France were granted by us, and peace was contracted betwixt King Philip Second of Spain, and France, and England, and us [at Cateau-Cambresis, on 2nd April 1559], she began to disclose the latent venom of her double heart. Incontinent (forthwith), she caused our Preachers to be summoned, of whom she said: ‘In despite of you and of your Ministers both, they shall be banished out of Scotland, albeit they preached as truly as ever did Saint Paul!’ Which proud and blasphemous answer did greatly astonish us.

    Yet ceased we not most humbly to seek her favor, and, by great diligence, at last obtained that the summonses were at that time delayed. To her were sent Alexander, Earl of Glencairn, and Sir Hugh Campbell of Loudoun, knight, Sheriff of Ayr, to reason with her, and to crave some performance of her manifold promises. To whom she answered: ‘It becometh not subjects to burden their Princes with promises, farther than it pleaseth them to keep the same.’ Both these noble men faithfully and boldly discharged their duty, and plainly forewarned her of the inconveniences that were to follow; whereat she, somewhat astonished, said, ‘She would advise.’ 6 CHAPTER - THE QUEN REGENT’S FALSEHOOD; HER ATTEMPT TO SUPPRESS PROTESTANTISM IN PERTH; JOHN KNOX’S ARRIVAL FROM FRANCE ON 2ND MAY 1559.

    IN the meantime did the town of Perth, called St. Johnestoun, embrace The Truth. This did provoke the Queen Regent to a new fury; in which she willed the Lord Ruthyen, Provost of that town, to suppress all such religion there. To which he answered: ‘I can make their bodies to come to Your Grace, and to prostrate themselves before you, till you are fully satiate of heart of their blood, but to cause them to do against their conscience, I can not promise.’ She in fury did answer: ‘You are too impertenant to give me such answer. Both you and they shall repent it.’

    She solicited Master James Haliburton, Provost of Dundee, to apprehend Paul Methven. But Haliburton, fearing God gave secret advertisement to the said Paul to avoid the town for a time. She sent forth such as she thought most able to persuade at Pasch, to cause Montrose, Dundee, St.

    Johnestoun, and other such places as had received the Evangel, to communicate with the idol of the Mass. But they could profit nothing; the hearts of many were bent to follow the Truth revealed, and did abhor superstition and idolatry. Whereat she, more highly commoved, did summon again all the preachers to compear at Stirling, the tenth day of May, the year of God 1559. Which understood by us, we, with all humble obedience, sought the means how she might be appeased, and our Preachers not molested. When we could nothing prevail, it was concluded by the whole brethren, that the Gentlemen of every country should accompany their Preachers to the day and place appointed.

    For that purpose the town of Dundee, and the Gentlemen of Angus and Mearns, passed forward with their Preachers to St. Johnestoun, without armor, as peaceable men, minded only to give confession with their Preachers. Lest such a multitude should give fear to the Queen Regent, the Laird of Dun, a zealous, prudent, and godly man, passed before to the Queen, then being in Stirling, to declare to her, that the cause of their Convocation was only to give confession with their Preachers, and to assist them in their just defense. She, understanding the fervency of the people, began to use craft with him, soliciting him to stay the multitude, and the Preachers also, with promise that she would take some better order. He, a man most gentle of nature, and most addict to please her in all things not repugnant to God, wrote to those that were assembled at St.

    Johnestoun, not to come forward; showing what promises and hope he had of the Queen’s Grace’s favors. At the reading of his letters, some did smell the craft and deceit, and persuaded to pass forward, until a Discharge of the former Summons should be had, alleging that otherwise the Process of Homing (Outlawry) or Rebellion should be executed against the Preachers; and so should not only they, but also all such as did accompany them, be involved in a like crime. Others did reason, that the Queen’s promises were not to be suspected, neither yet the Laird of Dun his request to be contemned; and so did the whole multitude with their Preachers stay.

    In this meantime that the Preachers were summoned, to wit, the second of May 1559, arrived John Knox from France, who, lodging two nights only in Edinburgh, hearing the day appointed to his brethren, repaired to Dundee, where he earnestly required them, ‘That he might be permitted to assist his brethren, and to give confession of his faith with them.’ 1 This granted unto him, he departed unto St. Johnestoun with them; where he began to exhort, according to the Grace of God granted unto him. The Queen, perceiving that the Preachers did not compeer, began to utter her malice; and, notwithstanding requests made in the contrary, gave commandment to put them to the horn (declare them rebels), inhibiting all men under pain of high rebellion to assist, comfort, receive, or maintain them in any sort. Which extremity perceived by the Laird of Dun, he prudently withdrew himself. Otherwise, by all appearance, he had not escaped imprisonment; for the Master of Maxwell, a man zealous and stout in God’s cause—as then appeared—under the cloak of another small crime, was that same day committed to ward, because he did boldly affirm, ‘That to the uttermost of his power he would assist the Preachers and the Congregation, notwithstanding any sentence which unjustly was, or should be, pronounced against them.’ The Laird of Dun, coming to St. Johnestoun, expounded the ease even as it was, and did conceal nothing of the Queen’s craft and falsehood. Which understood, the multitude was so inflamed, that neither could the exhortation of the Preachers, nor the commandment of the Magistrate, stay them from destroying the places of idolatry. The manner whereof was this:— The Preachers at Perth had declared how odious was idolatry in God’s presence; what commandment He had given for the destruction of the monuments thereof; what idolatry and what abomination was in the Mass.

    It chanced that the next day, the eleventh of May, after the sermon, which was vehement against idolatry, a priest in contempt would go to the Mass; and to declare his impertinent presumption, he would open up a glorious tabernacle which stood upon the High Altar. There stood, beside, certain godly men, and amongst others a young boy, who cried with a loud voice, ‘This is intolerable! When God by His Word hath plainly damned idolatry, shall we stand and see it used in despite?’ The priest hereat offended, gave the child a great blow. He in anger took up a stone, and casting at the priest, did hit the tabernacle and break down an image.

    Immediately the whole multitude that were about east stones, and put hands to the said tabernacle, and to all other monuments of idolatry; which they dispatched before the tenth man in the town was advertised; for the most part were gone to dinner. Which noised abroad, the whole multitude convened, not of the Gentlemen, neither of them that were earnest professors, but of THE RASCAL MULTITUDE, who finding nothing to do in that Church, did run without deliberation to the Grey and Black Friars; and notwithstanding that they had within them very stark guards kept for their defense, yet were their gates incontinent burst up.

    The first invasion was upon the idolatry. Thereafter the common people began to seek some spoil; and in very deed the Grey Friars was a place so well provided, that unless honest men had seen the same, we would have feared to report what provision they had. Their sheets, blankets, beds, and covertures were such, as no Earl in Scotland hath better: their napery was fine. They were but eight persons in the Convent, and yet they had eight puncheons of salt beef —consider the time of the year, the eleventh day of May! —wine, beer, and ale, besides store of victuals effeiring (belonging) thereto. The like abundance was not in the Black Friars, and yet there was more than became men professing poverty.

    The spoil was permitted to the poor: for so had the Preachers before threatened all men, ‘that for covetousness’ sake none should put their hand to such a Reformation,’ that no honest mail was enriched thereby the value of a groat. Their consciences so moved them, that they suffered those hypocrites to take away what they could of that which was in their places. Adam Forman, the Prior of Charter-house, was permitted to take away with him even so much gold and silver as he was well able to carry.

    So were men’s consciences before beaten with the Word, that they had no respect to their own particular profit, but only to abolish idolatry, and the places and monuments thereof. In this they were so busy, and so laborious, that within two days, these three great places, monuments of idolatry, to wit, the Grey Friars and Black Friars, and Charterhouse, a building of a wondrous cost and greatness, were so destroyed, that the walls only did remain of all these great edifications.

    These things reported to the Queen Regent, she was so enraged that she did vow utterly to destroy St. Johnestoun, man, woman, and child, and to consume the same by fire, and thereafter to salt it, in sign of a perpetual desolation.

    We—thinking that such words might escape her in choler, without purpose determinate, because she was a woman set afire by the complaints of those hypocrites who flocked unto her, as ravens to a carrion—returned to our own houses; leaving in St. Johnestoun John Knox to instruct, because they were young and rude in Christ. But she, set afire, partly by her own malice, partly by commandment of her friends in France, and not a little by bribes, which she and Monsieur d’Oysel received from the Bishops and Priests here at home, did continue in her rage. And, first, she sent for all the Nobility, to whom she complained, ‘That we meant nothing but a rebellion.’ She did grievously aggreage (magnify) the destruction of the Charterhouse, because it was a King’s foundation, and there was the tomb of King James the First; and by such other persuasions, she made the most part of them grant to pursue us.

    Then incontinent sent she for her Frenchmen; for that was, and ever hath been, her joy to see Scotsmen dip one with another’s blood. No man was at that time more frack against us than was the Duke, led by the cruel beast, the Bishop of St. Andrews, and by those that yet abuse him, the Abbot of Kilwinning, and Matthew Hamilton of Milburn, two chief enemies to Christ Jesus—yea, and enemies to the Duke, and to his whole house, but in so far as thereby they may procure their own particular profit. These and such other pesThent Papists ceased not to east faggots on the fire, continually crying, ‘Forward upon these heretics! We shall once rid this realm of them.’

    The certainty hereof coming to our knowledge, some of us repaired to the town [Perth] again, about the 22nd day of May, and there did abide, for the comfort of our brethren: where, after invocation of the name of God, we began to put the town and ourselves in such strength, as we thought might best stand for our just defense. And, because we were not utterly despaired of the Queen’s favor, we caused form a letter to Her Grace as follows: — TO THE QUEEN’S GRACE, REGENT, ALL HUMBLE OBEDIENCE AND DUTY PREMISED. ‘As heretofore, with jeopardy of our lives, and yet with willing hearts, we have served the Authority of Scotland, and Your Grace, now Regent in this realm, in service to our bodies dangerous and painful; so now, with most dolorous minds, we are constrained, by unjust tyranny purposed against us, to declare unto Your Grace, that except this emery be stayed by your wisdom, we will be compelled to take the sword of just defense against all that shall pursue us for the matter of religion, and for our conscience’ sake, which ought not, nor may not be subject to mortal creatures, farther than by God’s Word man be able to prove that he hath power to command us. ‘We signify moreover unto Your Grace, that if by rigor we be compelled to seek the extreme defense, that we will not only notify our innocence and petitions to the King of France, to our Mistress, and to her husband, but also to the Princes and Council of every Christian realm, declaring unto them, that this cruel, unjust, and most tyrannical murder, intended against towns and multitudes, was, and is, the only cause of our revolt from our accustomed obedience, which, in God’s presence, we faithfully promise to our Sovereign Mistress, to her husband, and unto your Grace Regent, provided that our consciences may live in that peace and liberty which Christ Jesus hath purchased unto us by His blood, and that we may have His word truly preached, and Holy Sacraments rightly ministrate unto us; without which we firmly purpose never to be subject to mortal man. Better, we think, to expose our bodies to a thousand deaths, than to hazard our souls to perpetual condemnation, by denying Christ Jesus, and His manifest verity, which thing not only do they that commit open idolatry, but also all such as seeing their brethren unjustly pursued for the cause of religion, and having sufficient means to comfort and assist them, do, nevertheless, withdraw from them their dutiful support. We would not Your Grace should be deceived by the false persuasions of these cruel beasts, the kirkmen, who affirm, that Your Grace needeth not greatly to regard the loss of us that profess Christ Jesus in this realm. If—as God forbid—ye give ear to their pestilent counsel, and so use against us this extremity pretended, it is to be feared, that neither ye, nor yet your posterity, shall at any time after this find that obedience and faithful service within this realm, which at all times ye have found in us. We declare our judgment freely, as true and faithful subjects. God move Your Grace’s heart favorably to interpret our faithful meaning. Farther advertising Your Grace, that the selfsame thing, together with all things we have done, or yet intend to do, we will notify by our letters to the King of France; asking of you, in the name of the Eternal God, and as Your Grace tenders the peace and quietness of this realm, that ye invade us not with violence, till we receive answer from our Mistress, her Husband, and from their advised Council there. ‘Thus we commit Your Grace to the protection of the Omnipotent.

    From St. Johnestoun, the 22nd of May 1559. ‘Sic subscribitur, ‘Your Grace’s obedient subjects in all things not repugning to God, ‘THE FAITHFUL CONGREGATION OF JESUS CHRIST IN SCOTLAND.’

    In the same tenor we wrote to Monsieur d’Oysel in French, requiring of him, that by his wisdom he would mitigate the Queen’s rage, and the rage of the Priests; otherwise that flame, which then began to burn, would so kindle, that when some men would, it could not be slockened. Adding farther, that he declared himself no faithful servant to his master, the King of France, if for the pleasure of the priests, he would persecute us and so compel us to take the sword of just defense. In like manner we wrote to Captain Serra la Burse, and to all the other captains, and French soldiers in general, admonishing them, that their vocation was not to fight against us natural Scotsmen; neither yet that they had any such commandment of their master. We besought them, therefore, not to provoke us to enmity against them, considering that they had found us favorable in their most extreme necessities. We declared farther unto them, that if they entered in hostility and bloody war against us, that the same should remain longer than their and our lives, to wit, even in all postcritics to come, so long as natural Scotsmen should have power to revenge such cruelty and most horrible ingratitude.

    These letters were caused to be spread abroad in great abundance, to the end that some might come to the knowledge of men. The Queen Regent’s letter was laid upon her cushion in the Chapel Royal of Stirling, where she accustomed to sit at Mass. She looked upon it, and put it in the pocket of her gown. Monsieur d’Oysel and the captains received theirs delivered even by their own soldiers —for some amongst them were favorers of the Truth 4 —who, after the reading of them, began to rive (tear) their own beards; for that was the modest behavior of Monsieur d’Oysel, when the truth was told unto him, so that it repugned to his fantasy! These our letters were suppressed to the uttermost of their power, and yet they came to the knowledge of many. But the rage of the Queen and Priests could not be stayed, but forward they move against us, who then were but a very few and mean number of Gentlemen in St. Johnestoun. We, perceiving the extremity to approach, did write to all brethren, to repair towards us for our relief, to the which we found all men so ready bent, that the work of God was evidently to be espied; and because we would omit no diligence to declare our innocence to all men, we formed a letter to those of the Nobility who then persecuted us.

    The brethren in Cuninghame and Kyle convened at the Kirk of Craigie, in Ayrshire, where, after some contrarious reasons, Alexander, Earl of Glencairn, in zeal, burst forth in these words—‘Let every man serve his conscience. I will, by God’s grace, see my brethren in St. Johnestoun— yea, albeit never a man should accompany me—I will go, if it were but with a pike upon my shoulder. I had rather die with that company than live after them.’ These words so encouraged the rest, that all decreed to go forward. That they did so stoutly, that when the Lyon Herald, in his coat armor, commanded all men by public sound of trumpet in Glasgow, to return to their houses, under the pain of treason, never man obeyed that charge, but all went forward.

    Our requests and advertisements notwithstanding, Monsieur d’Oysel and his Frenchmen, with the priests and their bands, marched forward against us to St. Johnestoun, and approached within ten miles to the town. Then repaired the Brethren from all quarters for our relief 3 . The Gentlemen of Fife, Angus, and Mearns, with the town of Dundee, were they that first hazarded to resist the enemy; and for that purpose was chosen a piece of ground, a mile or more distant from the town.

    In this meantime the Lord Ruthyen, Provost of the town of St.

    Johnestoun, and a man whom many judged stout and godly in that action—as in very deed he was even to his last breath—left the town, and first departed to his own place, and after to the Queen. His defection and revolt was a great discouragement to the hearts of many; and yet did God so comfort His own, that within the space of twelve hours after, the hearts of all men were erected again. For those that were then assembled did not so much hope victory by their own strength, as by the power of Him whose verity they professed, and began one to comfort another till the whole multitude was erected in a reasonable hope.

    On the 24th of May 1559 came the Earl of Argyle, Lord James Stewart, Prior of St. Andrews, and the Lord Semple [to Perth], directed from the Queen Regent to inquire the cause of the convocation of lieges there. To whom it was answered, that it was only to resist the cruel tyranny devised against the poor town, and the inhabitants of the same. All men were so well minded to quiet concord that with one voice they cried, ‘CURSED BE THEY THAT SEEK EFFUSION OF BLOOD, WAR OR DISSENSION!LET US POSSESS CHRIST JESUS, AND THE BENEFIT OF HIS EVANGEL, AND NONE WITHIN SCOTLAND SHALL BE MORE OBEDIENT SUBJECTS THAN WE.’ The day after, which was the five and twentieth of May [1559], before the said Lords departed from Perth in the morning, John Knox desired to speak with them; which granted unto him, he was conveyed to their lodging by Sir Andrew Murray, the Laird of Balvaird, and thus he began:— ‘The present troubles, Honorable Lords, ought to move the hearts, not only of the true servants of God, but also of all such as bear any favor to their country and natural countrymen, to descend within themselves and deeply to consider what shall be the end of this tyranny. ‘ 1st . I most humbly require you, My Lords, in my name, to say to the Queen’s Grace Regent, that we, whom she in her blind rage doth persecute, are God’s servants, faithful and obedient subjects to the Authority of this Realm; and that the religion which she pretendeth to maintain by fire and sword, is not the True Religion of Christ Jesus, but is express contrary to the same, a superstition devised by the brain of man. This I offer myself to prove against all that within Scotland will maintain the contrary, liberty of tongue being granted unto me, and God’s written Word being admitted for judge. ‘ 2nd . I farther require Your Honors, in my name, to say unto Her Grace, that this her enterprise shall not prosperously succeed in the end. Albeit for a time she trouble the Saints of God, she fighteth not against man only, but against the Eternal God and His invincible verity; and therefore, the end shall be her confusion, unless betimes she repent and desist. ‘These things I require of you, in the name of the Eternal God, as from my mouth, to say unto Her Grace; adding, that I have been, and am, a more assured friend to Her Grace than they that inflame her against us, who seek nothing but God’s glory to be advanced, vice to be suppressed, and verity to be maintained in this poor Realm.’

    They all three did promise to report his words, so far as they could, which afterwards we understood they did. Yea, the Lord Semple himself, a man sold under sin, enemy to God and to all godliness, did make such report, that the Queen was somewhat offended, that any man should use such liberty in her presence. She still proceeded in her malice; for immediately thereafter she sent Robert Forman, her Lyon Herald, with letters, straightforwardly charging all men to avoid the town, under the pain of treason: which letters, after he had declared to the chief men of the Congregation, he publicly proclaimed the same, upon Sunday, the 27th of May. The Queen took order that four ensigns of the soldiers should remain in the town to maintain idolatry, and to resist the Congregation.

    Honest and indifferent men asked why she did so manifestly violate her promise? She answered: ‘ That she was bounden to no heretics to keep promise; and moreover, that she promised only to leave the town void of French soldiers, which she did, because these that therein were left were Scotsmen.’ But when it was reasoned in her contrary, that all those that took wages of France were counted French soldiers, she answered: ‘Princes must not so straitly be bounden to keep their promises. Myself would make little conscience to take from all that sort their lives and inheritance, if I might do it with as honest an excuse.’ Then she left the town in extreme bondage, after her ungodly Frenchmen had most cruelly entreated the most part of these that remained in the same.

    The Earl of Argyle, and Lord James aforesaid, perceiving in the Queen nothing but mere tyranny and falsehood, mindful of their former promises made to their brethren, did secretly convey themselves and their companies off the town; and with them departed the Lord Ruthven—of whom before mention is made—the Earl of Menteith, and Sir William Murray, the Laird of Tullybardine, who, in God’s presence, did confederate and bind themselves together, faithfully promising one to assist and defend another against all persons that would pursue them for religion’s sake; and also that they, with their whole force and power, would defend the Brethren persecuted for the same cause. The Queen, highly offended at the sudden departure of the persons aforesaid, sent charge to them to return, under the highest pain of her displeasure. But they answered: ‘That with safe conscience they could not be partakers of so manifest tyranny as by her was committed, and of so great iniquity as they perceived devised, by her and her ungodly Council the Prelates.’

    This answer was given to her the first day of June, and immediately the Earl of Argyle and Lord James repaired towards St. Andrews, and in their journey gave advertisement, by writing, to the Laird of Dun, to the Laird of Pittarrow, to the Provost of Dundee, and others, professors in Angus, to visit them in St. Andrews the fourth of June, for Reformation to be made there.


    PICTURE: John Knox preaching at St. Andrews JOHN KNOX minded to preach in St. Andrews on Sunday [4th June 1559].

    The Archbishop, hearing of Reformation to be made in his Cathedral Church, thought time to stir, or else never; and therefore assembled his colleagues and confederate fellows, besides his other friends, and came to the town upon the Saturday at night, accompanied with a hundred spears, of mind to have stopped John Knox. The two Lords, the Earl of Argyle and Lord James Stewart, and the Gentlemen aforesaid were only accompanied with their quiet households, and therefore was the sudden coming of the Archbishop the more fearful. Also the Queen and her Frenchmen had departed from St. Johnestoun, and were lying in Falkland, within twelve miles of St. Andrews; and the town at that time had not given profession of Christ, and therefore could not the Lords be assured of their friendship. Consultation being had, many were of mind that the preaching should be delayed for that day, and especially that John Knox should not preach. The Archbishop affirmed that he would not suffer it, considering that by his commandment the picture of the said John was before burnt. 1 He willed, therefore, an honest gentleman, Robert Colville of Cleish, to say to the Lords, ‘That in case John Knox presented himself to the preaching-place in his town and principal Church, he should gar (cause) him be saluted with a dozen of culverins, WHEREOF THE MOST PART SHOULD LIGHT UPON HIS NOSE!’ This was the Bishop’s good mind towards John Knox!

    After long deliberation, the said John was called, that his own judgment might be had. Many persuasions were made that he should delay for that time, and great terrors given in case he should enterprise such a thing, as it were in contempt of the Archbishop. He answered: ‘God is witness that I never preached Christ Jesus in contempt of any man, neither mind I at any time to present myself to that place, having either respect to my own private commodity, or yet to the worldly hurt of any creature. But to delay to preach on the morrow, unless the body be violently withheld, I cannot of conscience. In this Town and Church began God first to call me to the dignity of a preacher, from which I was reft by the tyranny of France, and by procurement of the Bishops, as ye all know. How long I continued prisoner, what torment I sustained in the galleys, and what were the sobs of my heart, is now no time to recite. This only I cannot conceal, whichmore than one have heard me say, when the body was far absent from Scotland, that my assured hope was, in open audience, to preach in St. Andrews before I departed this life. Therefore, My Lords, seeing that God, above the expectation of many, hath brought the body to the same place where first I was called to the office of a preacher, and from which most unjustly I was removed, I beseech Your Honors not to stop me to present myself unto my brethren. As for the fear of danger that may come to me, let no man be solicitous. My life is in the custody of Him whose glory I seek. Therefore I cannot so fear their boast or tyranny, that I will cease from doing my duty, when of His mercy He offereth me the occasion. I DESIRE THE HAND OR WEAPON OF NO MAN TO DEFEND ME.ONLY DO I CRAVE AUDIENCE.WHICH, IF IT BE DENIED HERE UNTO ME AT THIS TIME, I MUST SEEK FURTHER WHERE I MAY HAVE IT. At these his words, the Lords were fully content that he should occupy the place. This he did upon Sunday, the 11th of June 1559, and did entreat of the ejection of the buyers and the sellers furth of the Temple of Jerusalem. He so applied the corruption that was there to the corruption that is in the Papistry, and Christ’s fact, to the duty of those to whom God giveth power and zeal thereto, that as well the Magistrates, the Provost and Bailies, as the commonalty for the most part within the town, did agree to remove all monuments of idolatry, which also they did with expedition. The Archbishop 4 advertised hereof, departed that same day to the Queen, who lay, with her Frenchmen, in Falkland. The hot fury of the Archbishop did so kindle her choler—and yet the love was very cold betwixt them— that without farther delay, conclusion was taken to invade St. Andrews, and the two young Lords, the Earl of Argyle and Lord James Stewart, who were there very slenderly accompanied. Posts were sent from the Queen with all diligence to Cupar, six miles from St. Andrews, to prepare lodgings and victuals for the Queen and her Frenchmen. Which thing understood, counsel was given to the Lords to march forward, and to prevent them before they came to Cupar. This they did, giving advertisement to all brethren with possible expedition to repair towards them. When at night the Lords came to Cupar, they were not a hundred horse, and some few footmen, whom the Lord James brought from the coast. Yet before the next day at twelve hours, which was Tuesday, the 18th of June, their number passed three thousand men, who by God’s Providence came unto the Lords. From Lothian there were the Lairds of Ormiston, Calder, Halton, Restalrig, and Colstoun, who, albeit they understood at their departing from their own houses no such trouble, yet were they by their good counsel very comfortable (comforting) that day.

    The Lord Ruthyen came from St. Johnestoun, with some horsemen. The Earl of Rothes, Sheriff of Fife, came with an honest company. The towns of Dundee and St. Andrews declared themselves both stout and faithful.

    Cupar, because it stood in greatest danger, assisted with their whole force.

    Finally, God did so multiply our number, that it appeared as if men had rained from the clouds! The Lord Lyndsay and Patrick Hepburn, Laird of Wauchton, earnestly requested us to concord, and that we would not be the occasion that innocent blood should be shed. We answered: ‘Neither have we quarrel against any man, neither yet seek we any man’s blood. Only we are convened for defense of our own lives unjustly sought by others.’ We added further: ‘If ye can find the means that we and our brethren may be free from the tyranny devised against us, ye shall reasonably desire nothing which shall be denied on our part.’..

    The town of Dundee, bearing no good favor to Patrick Hepburn, the Commendator of the Monastery of Scone and Bishop of Moray 6 —for by his counsel alone was Walter Myln our brother put to death—they marched forward to Scone. To stay them was sent unto them John Knox; but before his coming, they were entered to the pulling down of the idols and dorture (dormitory). Albeit the said John did what in him lay to stay the fury of the multitude, yet was he not able to put order universally.

    Therefore they sent for the Lords, the Earl of Argyle and the Lord James, who, coming with all diligence, labored to save the Palace and the Kirk.

    But because the multitude had found, buried in the Kirk, a great number of idols, hid of purpose to have preserved them to a better day, as the Papists speak, the towns of Dundee and St. Johnestoun could not be satisfied till the whole ornaments, as they termed them, of the Church were destroyed. Yet did the Lords so travail, that they saved the Bishop’s Palace, with the Church and Place, for that night; for the two Lords did not depart till they brought away with them the whole number of those that most sought the Bishop’s displeasure.

    The Bishop’s girnell (granary) was kept the first night by the labors of John Knox, who, by exhortation, removed such as violently would have made irruption. That same night departed from St. Johnestoun the Earl of Argyle and the Lord James.

    The morrow following, some of the pool, in hope of spoil, passed up to the Abbey of Scone. Thereat the Bishop’s servants, offended, began to threaten and speak proudly: and, as it was constantly affirmed, one of the Bishop’s sons stogged (stuck) through with a rapier one of Dundee, because he was looking in at the granary door. This bruit noised abroad, the town of Dundee was more enraged than before. The multitude, easily inflamed, gave the alarm, and so was that Abbey and Palace appointed to sackage. In doing this they took no long deliberation, but committed the whole to the amercement of fire; whereat no small number of us were offended, so that patiently we could not speak to any that were of Dundee or St. Johnestoun.

    Assuredly, if the labors of any man could have saved that place, it had not been at that time destroyed; for men of greatest estimation labored with all diligence for the safety of it. The Queen Regent, perceiving that her craft could not prevail, was content that the Duke’s Grace and the Earl of Huntly, with others by her appointed, should convene at Preston, to commune with the said Earl of Argyle, and Prior of St. Andrews, Lord James Stewart, and such others as the Lords of the Congregation would appoint, to the number of one hundred, of which number eight only should meet for conference. The principals for their party were the Duke, the Earl Huntly, the Lords Erskine and Somerville, Master Gavin Hamilton, and Sir John Bellenden of Auchinoul, the Justice-Clerk. From us were directed the Earls of Argyle and Glencairn, the Lords Ruthven, Lord James, Boyd, and Ochiltree, the Lairds Dun and Pittarrow, who, convening at Preston, spoke the whole day without any certain conclusion. This was the practice of the Queen, by drift of time to weary our company—who, for the most part, had been upon the fields from the tenth day of May —that, we being dispersed, she might come to her own purpose.

    The Queen Regent, in all these conventions, seemed as if she would give liberty to religion, provided, ‘That wheresoever I am, your Preachers shall cease, and the Mass shall be maintained.’ We, perceiving her malicious craft, answered: ‘That as we will compel your Grace to no religion, so can we not of conscience, for the pleasure of any earthly creature, put silence to God’s true messengers. Neither can we suffer that the right administration of Christ’s true Sacraments should give place to manifest idolatry; for in so doing, we shall declare ourselves enemies to God, to Christ Jesus His Son, to His eternal verity, and to the liberty and establishment of His Church within this Realm. Your request being granted, there can be no Kirk within the same established but at your pleasure; and, by your remaining there, ye might overthrow the same.’

    This our last answer we sent unto her with the Lord Ruthyen and the Laird of Pittarrow; requiring of Her Grace in plain words, to signify unto us what hope we might have of her favor toward the outsetting of religion.

    We also required that she would remove her Frenchmen, who were a fear to us and a burthen most grievous to our country; and that she would promise to us, on the word of a Prince, that she would procure no more to be sent in. 8 Then should we not only, to the uttermost of our powers, furnish ships and victuals for their transporting, but also, upon our honors, should we take her body into our protection; and should promise, in the presence of God and the whole Realm, to serve our Sovereign, her Daughter, and Her Grace Regent, as faithfully and as obediently as ever we did Kings within Scotland.

    To no point would she answer directly; but in all things she was so general and so ambiguous, that her craft appeared to all men.

    For the comfort of the Brethren, and continuance of the Kirk in Edinburgh, was left there our dear brother John Willock, who, for his faithful labors and bold courage in that battle, deserveth immortal praise. For when it was found dangerous that John Knox, who before [on 7th July 1559] was elected minister to that church, should continue there, the Brethren requested the said John Willock to abide with them, lest that, for lack of ministers, idolatry should be erected up again. To the which he so gladly consented, that it might evidently appear, that he preferred the comfort of his Brethren, and the continuance of the church there, to his own life. One part of the Frenchmen was appointed to lie in garrison at Leith—that was the first benefit they got for their confederacy with them—the other part was appointed to lie in the Canongate; the Queen and her train abiding in the Abbey. Our brother John Willock, the day after our departure, preached in St. Giles Kirk, and fervently exhorted the Brethren to stand constant in the Truth which they had professed. At this and some other sermons were the Duke and diverse, others of the Queen’s faction. This liberty and preaching, with resort of all people thereto, did highly offend the Queen and the other Papists. First, they began to give terrors to the Duke; affirming, that he would be repute as one of the Congregation, if he gave his presence to the sermons. Thereafter they began to require that Mass should be set up again in St. Giles Kirk, and the people should be set at liberty to choose what religion they would; for that —say they— was contained in the Appointment, that the town of Edinburgh should choose what religion they list. For obtaining hereof were sent to the Tolbooth the Duke, the Earl of Huntly, and the Lord Seton, to solicit all men to condescend to the Queen’s mind. Therein the two last did labor that they could; the Duke not so, but as a beholder, of whom the Brethren had good hope.

    After many persuasions and threats made by the said Earl and Lord, the Brethren, stoutly and valiantly in the Lord Jesus, gainsaid their most unjust petitions, reasoning: ‘That as of conscience they might not suffer idolatry to be erected where Christ Jesus was truly preached, so could not the Queen nor they require any such thing, unless she and they would plainly violate their faith and the chief article of the Appointment; for it is plainly appointed, That no member of the Congregation shall be molested in any thing that, at the day of the Appointment, he peaceably possessed.

    But so it was that we, the Brethren and Protestants of the town of Edinburgh, with our ministers, the day of the Appointment, did peaceably possess St. Giles Kirk, appointed for us for preaching of Christ’s true Evangel, and right administration of His Holy Sacraments. Therefore, without manifest violation of the Appointment, ye cannot remove us therefrom, until a Parliament have decided this controversy.’

    This answer given, the whole Brethren departed and left the aforesaid Earl, and Lord Seton, then Provost of Edinburgh, still in the Tolbooth. They, perceiving that they could not prevail in that matter, began to entreat that they would be quiet, and that they would so far condescend to the Queen’s pleasure, as that they would choose them another kirk within the town, or at the least be contented that Mass should be said either before or after their sermons. To the which, answer was given: ‘That to give place to the Devil, who was the chief inventor of the Mass, for the pleasure of any creature, they could not. They were in possession of that kirk, which they could not abandon; neither could they suffer idolatry to be erected in the same, unless by violence they should be constrained so to do; and then they were determined to seek the next remedy.’ Which answer received, the Earl of Huntly did lovingly entreat them to quietness; faithfully promising that in no sort they should be molested, so that they would be quiet and make no farther uproar. To the which they were most willing; for they sought only to serve God, as He had commanded, and to keep their possession, according to the Appointment; which by God’s grace they did till the month of November, notwithstanding the great boasting of the enemy. For they did not only convene to the preaching, daily supplications, and administration of Baptism, but also the Lord’s Table was ministered, even in the eyes of the very enemy, to the great comfort of many afflicted consciences. And as God did potently work with His true Minister, and with His troubled Kirk, so did not the Devil cease to inflame the malice of the Queen, and of the Papists with her. Shortly after her coming to the Abbey of Holyroodhouse, she caused Mass to be said first in her own Chapel, and after in the Abbey, where the altars before were cast down. She discharged the Common Prayers, and forbade to give any portion (salary) to such as were the principal young men who read them. Her malice extended in like manner to Cambuskenneth, for there she discharged the portions of as many of the Canons as had forsaken Papistry. She gave command and inhibition, that the Abbot of Lindores should not be answered of any part of his living in the North, because he had submitted himself to the Congregation, and had put some reformation to his place.

    By the consent and procurement of the Queen Regent were the preachingstools broken in the Kirk of Leith, and idolatry was erected in the same, where it was before suppressed. Her French Captains, their soldiers in great companies, in time of preaching and prayers, resorted to St. Giles Kirk in Edinburgh, and made their common deambulator (walk) therein, with such loud talking as no perfect audience could be had. The minister was there though oftentimes compelled to cry out on them, praying God to rid us of such locusts. They nevertheless continued still in their wicked purpose, devised and ordained by the Queen, to have drawn our brethren of Edinburgh and them into cummer (trouble); so that she might have had a colorable occasion to have broken the League with them. Yet, by God’s grace, our brethren behaved themselves so that she could find no fault with them; albeit in all the things before named, she is worthily reckoned to have contravened the said Appointment.

    We pass over the oppressing of our brethren in particular, which had been sufficient to have proven the Appointment to have been plain violated; for the Lord Seton, without any occasion offered him, broke a chase upon Alexander Whitelaw, as he came from Preston, accompanied with William Knox [brother of John Knox, afterwards minister of Cockpen], towards Edinburgh, and ceased not to pursue him till he came to the town of Ormiston. This he did, supposing Alexander Whitelaw had been John Knox. 9 In all this time, and while more Frenchmen arrived, they are not able to prove that we broke the Appointment in any jot, except that an horned eap was taken off a proud priest’s head, and cut in four quarters, because he said he would wear it in despite of the Congregation.

    The greatest part of the Nobility, and many of the people, were so enchanted by the treasonable solicitors of the Queen Regent, that they could not hear nor credit the truth plainly spoken. The French then, after the arrival of their new bands of men of war, to the number of a thousand men, began to brag. They began to divide the lands and lordships according to their own fantasies. One was styled Monsieur de Argyle; another Monsieur le Prieur; the third, Monsieur de Ruthyen. Yea, they were so assured, in their own opinion, to possess whatsoever they list, that some asked for the rentals and revenues of diverse men’s lands, to the end that they might choose the best!

    At Stirling, on Wednesday, which was the 8th of November 1559, John Knox preached and entreated the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th versicles of the Fourscore Psalm, in presence of my Lord Duke and of the whole Council.

    In the Sermon he did vehemently exhort all men to amendment of life, to prayers, and to the works of charity; and the minds of men began wondrously to be erected. 10 Immediately after dinner, the Lords passed to the Council, unto which John Knox was called to make invocation of the name of God, for other preachers were none with us at that time. In the end it was concluded that William Maitland of Lethington should pass to London to expone our estate and condition to the Queen of England and her Council, and that the Noblemen should depart to their quiet, to the sixteenth day of December, which time was appointed to the next Convention in Stirling, as in this our Third Book following shall be more amply declared.

    Look upon us, O Lord, in the multitude of Thy mercies; for we are brought even to the deep of the dungeon.


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