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ohn Knox was a Scottish Protestant reformer and led the Protestant Reformation movement in Scotland. While preaching at the castle at St Andrews he was captured along with may Protestant leaders by the French on the orders of Mary of Guise, the Scottish regent. Knox spent some time on a French galley ship as a prisoner but was released and took refuge in England. When Mary, the Catholic Queen, took to the throne in England, John Knox left the country and headed for Europe. In Geneva he met John Calvin, another Protestant reformer, and became one of his students. Knox returned to Scotland in 1555 and spread the Protestant religion. Soon after Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, returned from France Knox was summonsed to attend a meeting. The Queen recognised the threat that Knox posed to her rule.
After a lengthy siege failed to take the well defended castle at St. Andrews, Mary of Guise asked the French for help. The castle at St. Andrews was captured and the Protestant leaders and John Knox were taken into custody.
A group of Scottish Lords signed a covenant promising to support the advancement 'the most blessed Word of God' and to push forward the Reformation in Scotland. This was a move against what they saw as the threat from France with that came from the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to the French Dauphin. They called themselves the Lords of the Congregation.
Selection of references used:
1. Antonia Fraser, Mary Queen of Scots
2. John Prebble, The Lion in the North, ISBN:0-14-00.3652-0