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Knox
Knox
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friends to leave Perth under pain of treason. Meanwhile the Earl of Glencairn reached Perth, with the news that the congregations of Kyle and Cunningham were advancing to the reformers' relief. But after negotiations, Mary's envoys (Argyll and Lord James Stewart) on 28 May 1559 persuaded the reformers to evacuate Perth on condition of an amnesty, and that no French garrison should be left in the town. Argyll and Lord James promised that if the condition was not kept they would join the congregations. Next day Knox preached, thanking God there had been no bloodshed, but exhorting all to be ready, for the promise would not be kept. On the 30th, Argyll and Lord James before leaving entered into a bond with Glencairn to support the congregations if anything was attempted against them, and shortly after they left Perth they rejoined the reformers at St. Andrews, and issued a summons to the men of Angus to meet them on 4 June for reformation in Fife. Dun, Wishart of Pittarrow, and the provost of Dundee kept the appointment, and brought Knox with them. On Friday, 2 June, he preached at Crail, on Saturday at Anstruther, and announced his intention of preaching on Sunday at St. Andrews. Archbishop Hamilton sent a message that if Knox preached in his town he would be saluted with culverins. The queen with her French troops lay at Falkland. The reformers hesitated how to act, but on Sunday Knox mounted the pulpit, and the archbishop fled to Falkland. Taking as his text the ejection of the buyers and sellers from the Temple, he applied it to the corruption of the papacy, and as a result the town, headed by the magistrates, proved their zeal by removing all ‘the monuments of idolatry with expedition.’ Knox continued his preaching for three days, and the doctors were as dumb, he says, as the idols burnt in their presence.

The French troops of the queen regent, under the Duke of Chatelherault and D'Osell, were meantime advancing towards St. Andrews. The lords, the gentlemen of Fife and Angus, and the burghers of Dundee and St. Andrews collected at Cupar Muir to resist their approach. A force came to the reformers' aid from the other side of the Forth. It ‘rained men’ is Knox's forcible expression. But neither side wished to risk an engagement, and a truce or assurance to last for eight days was made. Both sides at once complained of infringements of the agreement. Perth was retaken by the reformers before Sunday, 25 June, and the abbey of Scone demolished. Knox represents himself as sent to try to save it, but before he came the ‘idols and dormitory were pulled down,’ and all he could do was to preserve the bishops' girnal. Stirling was next taken. On 28 June 1559 ‘The Congregation,’ as the main body of reformers was called, came to Edinburgh, accompanied by Knox and Goodman. Knox preached the same day at St. Giles, and on the morrow in the church of the abbey. On 7 July the inhabitants met in the Tolbooth, and chose him for their minister. He seems shortly afterwards to have revisited St. Andrews, but was again in Edinburgh by the 20th. The queen regent, at Dunbar, declined to make terms, and marched on Edinburgh. Leith opened its gates to her, and Lord Erskine, who commanded the castle of Edinburgh, was friendly, or at least neutral. Placed between two fires, the congregation was forced to a truce on 24 July, in accordance with which Knox and the congregation left Edinburgh on the 26th, and marched by Linlithgow to Stirling, where they subscribed a bond, binding themselves not to negotiate with the regent except by common consent. The regent temporised with the lords of the congregation, and issued proclamations to the people in expectation of the arrival of French troops from Francis and Mary, now, by the death of Henry II, king and queen of France.

Immediately after Cupar Muir, Knox had pointed out to Kirkcaldy of Grange the necessity of seeking English aid. Kirkcaldy had consequently entered into communication through Sir Henry Percy with Cecil, who received the overtures in a cautious but friendly manner. Knox, who had already written to Cecil from Dieppe, without receiving a reply, again addressed Cecil on 20 July, enclosing his letter to Queen Elizabeth. He addressed the latter as ‘The virtuous and Godlie Queen Elizabeth,’ and made a double-edged apology for the ‘Blast,’ which he said neither touched her person nor was prejudicial to liberty, if the time when it was written was considered. To Cecil he said that the time was come for the union of the protestant party in England and Scotland, and that he had a communication he wished to make if some one were appointed—the sooner the better—to meet him. Percy in reply, by Cecil's orders, invited him to Alnwick, and Cecil requested a personal interview at Stamford. This arrangement was never carried out. Cecil, writing to Knox from Oxford on 28 July, the day he expected to have met him at Stamford, declared he was ready to meet him if duly accredited, but forbore till then to ‘descend to the bottom of things.’

About the beginning of August, Knox and