- KNOX, John
- (c. 1514-1572)
A Scottish Protestant adversary of Mary Stuart* (Mary Queen of Scots) and England's Elizabeth,* John Knox wrote The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558) and History of the Reformation of Religion within the Realme of Scotland (1587). Born around 1514 in Haddington, East Lothian, he attended grammar school and St. Andrews University and took holy orders, but converted to Protestantism in the early 1540s. He spent nineteen months in French galleys for joining Cardinal David Beaton's besieged murderer in St. Andrews Castle in 1547. Traveling to England in 1549, he preached at Berwick and Newcastle, became Edward VI's chaplain (1551), and persuaded Archbishop Thomas Cranmer* to include the "black rubric" concerning Communion in the 1552 Book of Common Prayer. During Mary I's* reign he pastored English exiles in Frankfurt before feuding with Richard Cox (1555), preached secretly in Scotland, then took over Geneva's English congregation (1556). First Blast targeted Mary but antagonized Elizabeth, effectively barring him from England. In 1559 he incited Scottish Protestants against the regent Mary of Guise and promoted a godly (Calvinist) commonwealth in Scotland, helping prepare the First Book of Discipline and a confession of faith. But he feuded with the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots until her fall in 1567 and thereafter found his influence nullified because James VI's* regents had to mollify Elizabeth. He died on 24 November 1572.Knox regarded female rule as unscriptural and the Mass as idolatrous, identifying himself with Jeremiah and Mary I with Jezebel. Thinking that a Protestant nation violated its covenant by observing the Mass, he concluded in The Appellation to the Nobility and Estates (1558) that resistance to a ruler who sanctioned such blasphemy was lawful, distinguishing divinely established monarchy from its holder. He later applied this principle to Mary Queen of Scots.BibliographyR. L. Greaves, Theology and Revolution in the Scottish Reformation: Studies in the Thought ofJohn Knox, 1980.J. Knox, On Rebellion, ed. R. A. Mason, 1994.R. A. Mason, ed., John Knox and the British Reformations, 1999.William B. Robison
Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. Jo Eldridge Carney. 2001.