1902 Encyclopedia > John Knox

John Knox
Scottish religious reformer
(c. 1513 - 1572)

JOHN KNOX (1505-1572), the great Reformer of Scot-land, was born at Haddington, the county town of East Lothian, in the year 1505. His father was William Knox, commonly said to have been descended from the Knoxes of Ranfurly in Renfrewshire, but there is no evi-dence to prove what rests solely upon the authority of David Buchanan. The name of his mother was Sinclair, and some of his letters, written in seasons of danger, were signed " John Sinclair." Whatever might be their lineage, Knox's relations were in such circumstances as secured for him a liberal education in the grammar school of his native town; and, when about sixteen years of age, he was sent to pursue his studies at the university of Glasgow, where Dr John Mair or Major was principal regent, or professor of philosophy and divinity. Owing to some undiscovered cause he left the university without qualifying himself to take the degree of master of arts. It has been usual to state that from Glasgow Knox proceeded to St Andrews and there taught philosophy and theology, but no evidence can be adduced to show that he was officially connected in any way whatever with the university of that city. Not having qualified himself by taking his degree, he would be excluded from acting as a regent or professor, so that if he taught it can only have been in the way of private tuition. In truth, for some years about this time the course of life pursued by Knox is involved in obscurity. The probability is that he took orders in the Church of Rome as a secular priest about 1530, and was connected for upwards of ten years with one of the religious establishments in the neigh-bourhood of Haddington. In the Protocol books of that town the name of John Knox occurs among the witnesses to deeds of the years 1540, 1541, and 1542, in one deed under the style of Schir, that being the designation of priests who had not attained the higher academical degree of Magister; and as late as March 27, 1543, he pens and signs a notarial instrument as an apostolic notary, describing himself as " sacri altaris minister, Sanctiandraeae dioceseos, auctoritate appostolica uotarius."
The martyrdom of Wishart in 1546 was the turning point in the spiritual life of Knox, determining him to renounce scholastic theology and to profess his adherence to the Protestant faith. As this subjected him to suspicion and trouble, he resolved to leave Scotland and visit the schools of Germany; but Douglas of Longniddrie and Cockburn of Ormiston, to whose sons Knox had for some time been acting as private tutor, prevailed on him to relinquish his design, and, along with his pupils, to enter the castle of St Andrews as a place of safety from the Romish clergy. It was there that Knox received a public call to the ministry, " whairat," to use his own graphic description of the scene in the great church, " the said Johnne abashed, byrst furth in moist abundand tearis, and withdrew him self to his chalmer."

In June of the same year (1547) the Catholics of Scot-land and France joined their forces to avenge the death of Cardinal Beaton by capturing the Protestant garrison of St Andrews, the French fleet appeared in the bay, and the castle surrendered. It was stipulated that the lives of the refugees should be spared, that they should be removed to France, and that such of them as declined entering into the French service should be conveyed to any other country except Scotland. Knox, sharing the fate of his companions, was conveyed on board one of the French ships to Rouen; but the terms of the capitulation were grossly violated, and the captives were treated as prisoners of war. Knox and some others were sent on board the galleys, and, after being loaded with chains, were compelled to labour at the oar. Here they were subjected to many indignities and much suffering; but, in spite of every hardship and every threat, not one of their number renounced his faith. During the ensuing winter the galley in which he was confined lay in the Loire; and in the summer of 1548 it sailed for Scotland, and cruised off the east coast. The hardships to which he was now subjected produced a very serious effect upon his health : he was " seized with a violent fever, and no hope was entertained of his recovery. He, however, regained his strength, and during his captivity had sufficient energy of mind to engage in literary work. In the winter of 1548 Henry Balnaves of Halhill, who remained a prisoner in the old palace of Rouen, had sent to Knox a treatise on the doctrine of justification by faith. With this work Knox was so much pleased that, having revised it carefully, divided the contents into chapters, and added a brief summary of the book, he sent it to Scotland for publication with an epistle addressed by "the bound Servant of Jesus Christ unto his best beloved Brethren of the Congregation of the Castle of St Andrewes, and to all Professours of Christs true Evangell" (Works of John Knox, vol. iii.). As the old copy of this epistle bears the title of " The Confession of Faith," this work may have been the " confession of his faith, contain-ing the substance of what he had taught at St Andrews," which " he found means to convey to his religious acquaintances in Scotland," and which, Dr M'Crie thinks, "appears to have been lost." If so, leaving out of view the notices of his first sermon and of his disputation with Friar Arbuckle in St Leonard's Yards, contained in his Historie, this epistle will rank as the earliest specimen of the Reformer's composition that has been preserved.

After an imprisonment of eighteen or nineteen months Knox obtained his release from the French galleys in February or March 1549. As he probably owed his freedom to the intercession of Edward VI. or the English Govern-ment, he came to London on obtaining his liberty, and was favourably received by Archbishop Cranmer and the lords of council. Of the English section of his life, extending over five years, Knox himself disposes in few words : " The said Johne was first appointed preachar to Berwik, then to Newcastell; last he was called to London, and to the sowth partes of England, whar he remaned to the death of King Edward the Sext" (Historie, book i.). At Berwick, where he laboured for two years, he preached with his characteristic fervour and zeal, exposing the errors of Romanism with unsparing severity. The tendency of his zeal was not, however, calculated to recommend him to the bishop of the diocese, Dr Cuthbert Tunstall or Tonstall, who was strongly attached to the old faith. Having been accused of asserting that the sacrifice of the mass is idolatrous, the preacher was cited to appear before the bishop, and to give an account of his preaching. Accord-ingly, on the 4th of April 1550, Knox entered into a full defence of his opinions, and with the utmost boldness proceeded to argue that the mass is a superstitious and idolatrous substitute for the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The bishop did not venture to pronounce any ecclesiastical censure ; and the fame of the obnoxious preacher was extended by this feeble attempt to restrain the boldness of his attacks on the doctrines of Kome. The confession or vindication of his doctrine made by Knox on this occasion will be found in vol. iii. of his collected Works—" A Vindication of the Doctrine that the Sacrifice of the Mass is Idolatry," 1550.

Upon Knox's reforming work while a preacher at Berwick some interesting light has recently been thrown by the late Dr Lorimer's John Knox and the Church of England, 1875. When looking through the "Morrice" collection of manuscripts in Dr Williams's library, London, Dr Lorimer came upon four papers never before published. One of these is a letter from " Johne Knokks to the Congregatioun of Bervik," and another is " The practice of the Lord's Supper used in Berwick by John Knox, 1550." With this " practice," which is nothing more than a fragment, Dr Lorimer associates " A Summary, according to the Holy Scriptures, of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper" to be found in the third volume of the Works, and to which Dr Laing has assigned the date 1550. Founding upon these documents, Dr Lorimer maintains that the very beginning of Puritan practice in the Church of England in the administration of the Lord's Supper is to be found in the order followed by Knox at Berwick, inasmuch as he not only substituted common bread for " wafer-breads," thus anticipating by several years the substitution as authorized by Edward's second Prayer-Book, published in 1552, but gave the first example of the substitution of sitting instead of kneeling in the act of communion, which has ever since continued to be a char-acteristic Puritan practice. At the close of 1550, or early in 1551, Knox was transferred to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he remained, with occasional absences in London, till the spring of 1553, In the closing month of 1551 he was appointed one of six chaplains to Edward VI., and in virtue of this appointment he was consulted in the preparation of the formularies of the Church of England. A book of forty-five articles of religion, forming the basis of the thirty-nine articles of the Anglican Church, drawn up by Cranmer, was submitted to the royal chaplains for their opinion. An original copy of these articles is preserved in H.M. State Paper Office with the autographs of the chaplains, the sixth being "Jo. Knox." Shortly after this the duke of Northumberland originated a proposal to make Knox a bishop. The letters bearing upon the proposal, not known to Dr M'Crie, were discovered by the late Mr Tytler, and published by him in his England under the Reigns of Edward and Mary, vol. ii. The duke's wish was that the king would "appoint Mr Knocks to the office of Rochester Bishoprick." When, however, thé Scotch chaplain was informed of what was in contemplation, and was instructed to wait upon Northumberland, the latter did not find the man he thought to benefit eager to grasp at promotion, and the matter ultimately came to nothing by default of Knox himself. The last year of work in England was spent mainly in London and the southern counties. As royal chaplain Knox preached in turn before the court, and found favour with his royal hearer; but he was twice summoned before the privy council, first to answer complaints made by his would-be ducal patron, and then to vindicate his declinature of the vacant living of All Hallows in London.

Edward VI. having died in July 1553, and, the Marian persecutions having shortly afterwards broken out, Knox was persuaded to withdraw from England, and sailed for Dieppe, landing at that town in January 1554. The en-forced leisure of exile gave the refugee an opportunity of completing and publishing several treatises during two sojourns in the same year at Dieppe. " An Exposition upon the Sixth Psalm of David," addressed to Mrs Bowes, " A Godiy Letter of Warning or Admonition to the Faithful in London, Newcastle, and Berwick," " Two Comfortable Epistles to his afflicted Brethren in England," and "A Faithful Admonition to the Professors of God's Truth in England," all belong to the year 1554. After visiting the churches of France and Switzerland, Knox accepted an invitation to become one of the pastors of the English congregation at Frankfort-on-the-Main, and repaired thither in November of the same year. Soon after his settlement dissensions arose in the congregation in regard to the use of the surplice, the omission of the litany, the audible responses, and kneeling at the com-munion (see the letters and extracts from the " Brief Discourse of the Troubles at Frankfort " given by Dr Laing in vol. iv. of Knox's Works). A party in the congregation, clamorous for a strict adherence to the English Book of Prayer, lodged information with the magistrates that Knox, in his " Faithful Admonition," had used treasonable language in speaking of the emperor, the queen of England, and her husbaud Philip II. Not wishing to increase the troubles, the maligned preacher relinquished his charge on the 26th March 1555, and re-tired to Geneva. The closing months of that year and the opening ones of the year following form an important period in the public labours and the private life of the Reformer; for he then visited his native country, preached in Edinburgh, in West Lothian, and in Ayrshire, and dis-pensed the communion privately in several places. Before his visit came to a close he addressed a letter to the queen regent, in the hope that she might be persuaded to extend her protection to the Reformed preachers, or at least listen favourably to their doctrine. This letter, " augmented and explained by the author," and reprinted in 1558, "An Exposition upon Matthew iv., concerning the temptation of Christ in the wilderness," and " A letter of wholesome counsel, addressed to his Brethren in Scotland," belong to the year 1556. In visiting Scotland at that time, however, Knox was influenced by other considerations than those bearing simply on the public weal. For as far back as his Berwick ministry he had become acquainted with the family of Bichard Bowes, and formed an attachment for the fifth daughter, Marjory. Dr M'Crie represents the marriage as having taken place in 1553 before Knox left England ; and in support of his view it falls to be said that after that date Knox addresses Mrs Bowes as "Dearly Beloved Mother," and .that he speaks of Marjory as his " wife," his "dearest spouse." But, considering the strong opposition to the union on the part of Richard Bowes and other relatives, as also the very uncertain and precarious position of the reformer at the time, there is good reason to think, with Dr Laing, that ther ;he parties had only formally pledged themselves to one another " before witnesses," and that the actual marriage took place when Knox visited Scotland in 1555.

At the urgent solicitation of the English congregation at Geneva, consisting largely of those who had withdrawn from Frankfort, Knox left Scotland in the summer of 1556 ; and in the "Livre cles Anglois à Genève," on the 13th September of that year, the names of " John Knox, Marjory, his wife, Elizabeth, her mother, James (blank), his servant, and Patrick, his puple," are entered as members of the English congregation. In Geneva the Scotch Reformer laboured with voice and pen till 1559. The literary works of that period, in addition to ten Familiar Epistles, include Letters to his Brethren and the Lords professing the truth in Scotland, three in number, 1557 ; An Apology for the Protestants who are holden in prison at Paris, 1557 ; The Appellation from the Sentence pronounced by the bishops and clergy, 1558 ; A letter addressed to the Commonality of Scotland, 1558 ; An Epistle to the inhabit-ants in Newcastle and Berwick, 1558 ; and A brief exhorta-tion to England for the speedy embracing of the Gospel, 1559. Judged by the excitement it created, the most outstanding writing of this period is The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women; and it cannot be denied that this publication was un-seasonable, and might be expected to expose the author to the resentment of two queens during whose reign it was his lot to live. Indeed the sounder of the First Blast would seem to have realized that it was "blown out of season," for, whereas his purpose was " thrice to blow the trumpet in the same matter, if God so permit," and on the last occasion to reveal his name, the intention was never carried into effect. The resentment to which his blast against feminine government gave rise in queenly breasts did not soon subside ; one immediate effect was that, when Knox resolved to return to Scotland, and applied to the English Government for permission to pass through the sister kingdom, the application was refused. Impatient of delay he sailed from Dieppe direct for Leith, and, landing at that port in safety, reached Edinburgh on 2d May 1559.

From this time to the close of his life the biography of the Reformer becomes inseparably connected with the history of Scotland. Within a few days of his arrival in Scotland, through the representations of the Romanist clergy to the queen-regent, Knox was proclaimed an outlaw and a rebel; but, undeterred by considerations of personal danger, he lost no time in joining the leaders of the Protestant party then assembled in Dundee. From Dundee he went with them to Perth, where his preaching was the antecedent though not the cause of a tumult which resulted in the altar, images, and other ornaments of the church being torn down, and the houses of the grey and black friars being laid in ruins. St Andrews is the next place of importance at which Knox joined the Protestants, at this time called the congregation, the lay leaders of the party, mostly noblemen, being known as the lords of the congregation. Here Knox announced his intention to preach in the cathedral church; and, undismayed by the threats of the archbishop, unmoved by the remonstrances of his friends, he carried his purpose into effect, preaching on four successive days, and with such signal effect that the provost, bailies, and inhabitants agreed to set up the Reformed worship in the town, stripped the church of images and pictures, and pulled down the monasteries. By the end of June Knox was again in Edinburgh, preach-ing in St Giles's and the abbey church; and on the 7th July he was elected minister of Edinburgh.

When the army of the queen-regent took possession of the capital, and the lords of the congregation agreed to leave it, they took their minister with them from a regard alike to the danger to which he would be exposed if left behind and the service it was in his power to render the Protestant cause. The result abundantly verified the wisdom of the step, for, set free from city labours, Knox travelled over a great part of Scotland, and visited the towns of Kelso, Jedburgh, Dumfries, Ayr, Stirling, Perth, Brechin, Montrose, Duadee, and St Andrews, with marked results in the diffusing of knowledge and the strengthening of the hands of fellow Protestants. By the end of April 1560 we find him once more in Edinburgh, having rendered important service to the Protestant leaders in their negotia-tions to procure aid from England, and, of necessity rather than from choice, acting the part of a politico-ecclesiastic. The most elaborate theological writing of the Scottish Reformer, although written before his final return to Scotland, was published in this year, 1560, at Geneva. It is An Answer to the Cavillations of an Adversary respect-ing the doctrine of Predestination.

The event of greatest political importance in this same year 1560 was the assembling of the Scottish parliament at Edinburgh, on 1st August. A petition having been presented by the Protestants of the country, craving the abolition of Popish doctrine, the restoration of purity of worship and discipline, and the appropriating of ecclesiastical revenues to the support of the ministry, the promotion of education, and the relief of the poor, the ministers and barons were required to lay before parliament a summary of Reformed doctrines. " Within foure dayis " this was done. The confession was read before the whole parliament, and after reasoning and voting was ratified by Act of Parliament, and the Protestant religion formally established. The Con-fessioun of faith professit and belevit be the Protestants tvithin the Realme of Scotland, &c, in the composing of which no small share must have fallen to the minister of Edinburgh, is inserted by him at length in book iii. of his Historic Between the dissolution of parliament and the first meeting of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland on the 20th December, Knox and three other ministers were engaged in drawing up the plan of ecclesiastical government known as the Book of Policy, or First Book of Discipline. This standard document, approved by the General Assembly and subscribed by a majority of the members of privy council, is also incorporated in Knox's Historic.

The youthful, widowed, and fair Queen Mary, having arrived in Scotland in August 1561, lost no time in send' ing for Knox to the palace of Holyrood, in order that she might hold with him the first of those four or five dialogues which historians have rendered with dramatic effect not always consistent with historical accuracy. The charge brought against the Reformer of treating his sovereign with rudeness and disrespect in the course of those interviews has been thoroughly disproved by his biographer giving the details of what passed as furnished by one of the parties in his Hisiorie, and is quite discredited by such a judge as Thomas Carlyle.

In the following year Knox found a more congenial sphere for the exercise of his logical and dialectic skill in a disputation with Quintine Kennedy, abbot of Crossrag' well, in the neighbourhood of Maybole, Ayrshire. The abbot had set forth a number of articles respecting the mass, purgatory, praying to saints, the use of images, and other points which he declared his intention to open up more fully in his chapel at Kirkoswald. But when Knox, who happened to be in the vicinity, appeared on the Sabbath specified, the abbot deemed it prudent to absent himself, and Knox preached in his stead. This led to correspondence which resulted in arrangements for a disputation taking place. The disputants met at Maybole on the 28th September 1562 and the two following days at 8 A.M., in the house of the provost. Forty persons on each side were admitted as witnesses of the dispute, " with so many mo as the house may goodly hold, be the sight of my lord of Cassilis (nephew of Kennedy). As usually is the case in such contentions, both sides claimed to be vic-torious ; but, to counteract the one-sided reports circulated by the abbot and his friends, Knox published, in 1563, an account of the dispute taken from the records of the notaries present, to which he added a prologue and short marginal notes.

Queen Mary, having failed to influence the Reformer by her " many salt tears " or her flattery, endeavoured to get him into her power by movingthe privy council to pronounce him guilty of treason on the ground that he had written a circular letter to leading Protestants in reference to the trial of two persons indicted for a riot in the Chapel Royal. Knox's trial took place at a special meeting of council in December 1562, at which the queen was present and acted an unseemly part as prosecutrix. To the unconcealed chagrin and intense displeasure of his sovereign, Knox was by a majority of the noblemen present absolved from all blame and commended for his judicious defence.

Before he was required to appear a second time at a privy council meeting, Knox, who had been a widower for three years, was married to his second wife Margaret Stewart, daughter of " the good " Lord Ochiltree ; and in Dchiltree House, an ancient baronial residence, the room is still pointed out where, in March 1564, the marriage was celebrated. The occasion of his second appearance before the privy council was the preaching of a sermon in St Giles's about a month after the marriage of Queen Mary and Lord Darnley in July 1565. On the day the sermon was preached the young king made an imposing appearance, sitting on a throne prepared for his reception. Enraged by what he regarded as passages having a reference to himself in the discourse of the preacher, Darnley returned to the palace with the determination not to taste food till the offender had been punished. Knox was accordingly called before the council, "from my bed," as he tells us. Informed that he had offended the king, and that he must desist from preaching so long as their majesties remained in Edinburgh, Knox made reply that he had spoken nothing but according to his text (Isa. xxvi. 13-21), and, if the church should command him either to speak or abstain, he would obey, so far as the word of God would permit him. In regard to the sermon ho deemed it necessary for his own exoneration to write out in full what he had spoken, and publish it with a preface dated at " Edingbrough, the 19th of September 1565." This sermon is the only specimen of Knox's pulpit discourses handed down to us. Dr M'Crie is of opinion that the prohibition was of a very temporary nature ; but it does not appear that Knox resumed his usual minis-trations in Edinburgh, unless at occasional intervals, till after Mary had been deprived of her authority in 1567. During this period of absence from his charge, however, the inhibited preacher was far from idle. In 1566 he drew up the most considerable portion of his Historie of the Reformatioun, having made a commencement in 1559 or 1560, and he wrote at the request of the Assembly various public letters. He also visited churches in the south of Scotland, and made a journey to England, in order to see his two sons, who had been there for education since the death of their mother Marjory Bowes.

On the 29th July 1567 the infant James VI. was crowned in the parish church of Stirling, and on that occasion Knox reappeared in public and preached the coronation sermon. He also preached at the opening of parliament in December of the same year, when the Confession of Faith formed and approved by parliament in 1560, with various Acts in favour of the Reformed religion, was solemnly ratified. When James Stuart, earl of Murray and regent of Scotland, was assassinated and died at Linlithgow, 23d January 1569, the event caused anguish and anxiety to the Reformer, who poured out the sorrows of his heart in the sermon and the prayers of the day on which the tidings reached the capital, and who thereafter preached the funeral sermon in the presence of three thousand persons gathered to witness the interment in the south aisle of the collegiate church of St Giles. The strain to which body and mind alike had been subjected for many years back, and the shock caused by the removal of the nobleman in whom he placed the greatest confidence, affected the Reformer's health, and in the month of October 1570 he had a stroke of apoplexy. Although he so far rallied as to have the use of speech restored to him and to resume preaching, he never entirely recovered from the debility which the stroke pro-duced.

Resolved to take no prominent part in public affairs, and confining himself to preaching in the forenoon of the Lord's day, Knox might have spent what little of life on earth remained for him in the house assigned him by the provost and town council of Edinburgh, had he not become personally obnoxious to Kirkcaldy of Grange. This and the troubles which agitated the country induced Knox, " sore against his will, being compellit be the Brethren of the Kirk and Town," to quit the metropolis and retire to St Andrews. During his stay there of fifteen months the many infirmities of age did not prevent him engaging in his two favourite employments of preaching and writing. How he preached James Melville, then a student, after-wards minister of Anstruther, has described in an often-quoted passage of his "Diary." The latest publication of Knox in his life time was " imprentit at Sanctandrois be Robert Lekpreuik, Anno Do. 1572." It is a tract in the form of an answer to a letter written by James Tyrie, a Scottish Jesuit.

By the end of July the adherents of the queen's party abandoned Edinburgh, and so enabled the banished citizens to return to their homes. One of their first acts was to send for Knox, who, travelling slowly because of weakness, reached the capital (for the last time) on the 23d August 1572. Only two more public appearances were to be made by him. The first of these was when in September tidings came to Edinburgh of the St Bartholomew massacre. Being assisted to reach the pulpit, and summoning up the remainder of his strength, he thundered out the vengeance of heaven against "that cruel murderer and false traitor, the king of France," and desired the French ambassador to tell his master that sentence was pronounced against him in Scotland, that the Divine vengeance would never depart from him nor from his house if repentance did not ensue, but that his name would remain an execration to posterity, and none proceeding from his loins should enjoy his kingdom in peace. The other occasion on which the debilitated Reformer appeared in public was the induction of Lawson, sub-principal of King's College, Aberdeen, as his successor, which took place on the 9 th November. After taking a leading and solemn part in the services, he crept down the street leaning upon his staff and the arm of his attendant, and entered his house never to leave it alive.

Interesting details of his last illness and death-bed exercises are furnished in two contemporary narratives— Kichard Bannatyne's "Account of Knox's Last Illness and Death " given in his Journal of the Transactions in Scotland 1570-1573, and the "Eximii viri Joannis Knoxii Scoti-canse Ecclesias instauratoris vera extremoe vitas & obitus Historia" of Thomas Smeton, principal of the university of Glasgow, at the end of his Responsio ad Hamiltonii Dialogum, 1579. Both narratives are inserted by Dr Laing in his edition of the Works, vol. vi. part ii. Attended by his wife and friends, Knox died on Monday the 24th of November 1572, in the sixty-seventh year of his age. The funeral took place on the Wednesday following, when the body was brought from the house in the Netherbow Port by the newly-appointed regent, the earl of Morton, and other noblemen, and interred in the burying-ground connected with the church of St Giles. "When the body was laid in the grave," says Calderwood, " the earl of Morton uttered these words :—' Here lieth a man, who in his life never feared the face of man; who hath been often threatened with dagge and dagger, but yet hath ended his days in peace and honour.'" If any stone ever marked the precise spot where Knox was buried—said by tradition to be in the Parliament Square, a few feet to the west of the pedestal of Charles II.'s statue—it must have been destroyed in 1633, when the burying-ground was wholly obliterated by buildings. As in the case of his illustrious contemporary and friend Calvin, no tombstone marks the place where he was interred.

Knox's family consisted of five children—two sons and three daughters. His two sons were born to him by his first wife Marjory Bowes. Nathanael and Eleazer Knox were both born in Geneva, entered as students of the university of Cambridge, and became fellows of St John's College. Both died at an early age, and by their deaths the family of the Reformer became extinct in the male line. The three daughters of Knox were Martha, Margaret, and Elizabeth. Martha was married to Alexander Fairlie of Braid, in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, a tradition that she became the first wile of James Fleming, father of Robert Fleming, author of The Fulfilling of the Scriptures, having been disproved by Dr Laing (Works, vol. vi., part 2, lxix.) ; Margaret Knox .married Zachary Pont, for several years minister of St Cuthbert's, Edinburgh ; and Elizabeth married John "Welch, or "Welsh, orWelsch, minister successively of Selkirk, Kirkcudbright, and Ayr, and, when transported, of the French Protestant Church. Dr Laing considers it improbable that any lineal descendants of these daughters still exist.

Of Knox no original painting is known to exist. Several like-nesses have been frequently reproduced. 1. A woodcut portrait of the Reformer occurs in Beza's Icones, published at Geneva in 1580, which has often been reproduced. 2. A French translation of the Icones, by Simon Gaulart, appeared in 1581 with a totally dif-ferent portrait substituted in place of that of Knox, which is now believed to represent William Tyndale, the translator of the Bible. 3. In 1602 Verheiden, a Dutch theologian, published at the Hague his Prsestantium aliquot Theologorum Effigies, and in that work a head engraved on copper by Hondius is given as that of Knox. There is every reason to suppose that this is merely an improved copy from Beza, and not taken from an original painting.

4. The Torphichen portrait of Knox is at Calder House. It has on the back of the canvas the inscription, in a handwriting less than a century old—" Bev. Mr John Knox. The first sacrament of the Supper given in Scotland after the Reformation was dispensed by him in this hall." It is a harsh disagreeable likeness, painted at least a century after Knox's death, with Beza's woodcut for model.

5. In 1836 the Society far the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge published an engraving of a portrait of Knox which now goes by the name of the Somerville portrait. This painting belonged to the Somerville family, and hung on the walls of their London residence till the peerage became extinct. The tradition in the family is that it was brought into their possession by James, the thirteenth baron, in the latter half of the 18th century; and the supposition of those who regard this as a veritable likeness of the reformer is that Baron Somerville had fallen in with an excellent portrait seemingly by some distinguished artist of Knox's time (presumably Francis Porbus, who painted a likeness of George Buchanan), and had a copy of it painted for his mansion of Drum, near Edinburgh. Engravings of Beza's and Verheiden's portraits will be found in Knox's Works, vols. i. and vi.; of the Torphichen portrait in the Life of Knox, 1st edition ; and of all the five like-nesses in The Portraits of John Knox, by Thomas Carlylo, whose verdict is in favour of the Somerville portrait as " the only probable likeness anywhere known to exist."

Literature.—The Works of John Knox, collected and edited by David Laing, 6 vols., Edinburgh, 184G-64 ; M'Ciie, The Life of John Knox, 1st ed., 1811,7th ed., 1855 ; Lorimer, John Knox and the Church of England, London, 1875 ; T. Carlyle, An Essay on the Portraits of John Knox, published in collected works along with Tht Early Kings of Norway, London, 1875. The life and labours, character and tnfiuence, of Knox arc dealt with more generally in the following works :—Hill Burton's History of Scotland; .1. A. Froude's History of England; Carlyle's Heroes and Hero Worship; Moncreiff, The Influence of Knox and the Scottish Reformation on England, London, 1860; Froude, The Influence of the Reformation on the Scottish Character, Edinburgh, 1865. (C. 0. M'C.)


Founding upon the designation '' Giffordiensis " applied to him by Beza in his Icones of 1580, and the statement of Spottiswood in Iris History (1627) that Knox "was born in Gilford in the Lothians," later writers, beginning with David Buchanan, have given Gifford, a village a few miles to the south of Haddington, as the birthplace of Knox. On the other hand two contemporary Romanist writers— Archibald Hamilton (1577) and James Laing (1581)—assign to Had-dington itself the honour in question : '' Presbyter Joannes Knoxeus natus in Hadintona oppido in Laudonia"; "Joannes Knox natus prope Hadintonam, qua? est urbs in Laudonia." In 1785 the Rev. Dr Barclay of Haddington directed attention to Giffordgate, one of the suburbs of Haddington, as the locality which popular tradition has uniformly maintained to have been the spot where the Reformer was born, and which, with the grounds adjoining, is called "Knox's Walls" in a charter of 1607. Recent investigations prove that no village of the name of Gifford was in existence until the latter half of the 17th century, whereas in the Geneva Register of 1558, when Knox was admitted a burgess of Geneva, his name is thus entered: "Jehan, tilz de Guillaume Cnoxe, natif de Hedington en Escosse." David Laing, who in 1846 followed M'Crie in preferring Gifford, in 1864 gives his verdict in favour of the Giffordgate, stating that a visit to the locality led him to the conclusion that the question now admits of no dispute.

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