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The Scottish Reformation
A Historical Sketch by Peter Lorimer D.D. (1860)


This Illustrated Book is offered as a contribution to the celebration of the Tricentenary of the Scottish Reformation, which falls in the present year.

The Author congratulates himself on having been able to secure the co-operation of his gifted friend, Mr. Birket Foster, and it is hoped that the many charming products of his pencil which the volume contains, may not only prove highly acceptable to Scottish readers but .may also induce many of the artist's English countrymen, with whom he is a great favourite, to peruse with attention a-portion of Scottish history which in many of its parts, as well as in its general tendency and effects, had an important English as well as Scottish interest

The reader will not expect in an outline the fulness of detail which is proper to an extended history. But the author has aimed to make this outline as comprehensive as possible ; and the work, though confined to moderate limits, will be found to contain a good many new facts and features. Several blanks in our common histories have been filled up; literary history is interwoven with the narrative of events; and particular attention has been given to the numerous Protestant exiles who were early driven out of Scotland, and settled in England, Germany, and Denmark. Many of these exiles were men of learning and ability; they were living links of connexion between the Scottish Reformation and the other Protestant churches of Europe; and the important services by which they repaid the hospitality they received, bring out to view the influence which the Reformers of Scotland exerted upon the Reformation of other lands.

Among the new facts contained in the work the author may be allowed to direct particular attention to the rectification which he has been able to give of the common account of George Wishart's recantation at Bristol in 1539; from which it appears that, instead of ignominiously recanting, on that occasion, an essential doctrine of Protestant truth, it was no truth at all which the Reformer recanted, but a serious error into which he had fallen while still groping his way out of Popish darkness into the light of the Gospel.

Presbyterian College, London, May 26, 1860.


Chapter I.—The Hamilton Period, a. d. 1515—1543

Section 1. Commencement of the Reformation
Section 2. Patrick Hamilton. 1515—1528
Section 3. Sir David Lindsay of the Mount 1528—1531
Section 4. Alexander Alesius, Alexander Seyton, and Henry Forrest 1529—1531
Section 5. Struggle for the use of the Vernacular Scriptures 1532—1534
Section 6. Persecutions and Martyrdoms. 1534—1539
Section 7. Scottish Reformers in England. 1534—1540
Section 8. Sir David Lindsay, and the Satire of the Three Estates. 1539—1540
Section 9. Sir John Borthwick and the Scottish Nobility and Gentry. 1540—1541
Section 10. Death of James V., and the First Reforming Parliament. 1542—1543

Chapter II.—The Wishart Period, a. d. 1543—1554

Section 1. Life of George Wishart to 1543
Section 2. Apostasy of the Regent, and Commencement of Wishart's Ministry. 1543—1544
Section 3. Renewal of Persecution—Appeal to the Nation by Alexander Alesius. 1543—1544
Section 4. Wishart's Preaching in Dundee and Ayrshire. 1544—1545
Section 5. Wishart's Last Labours. 1545—1546
Section 6. Wishart's Apprehension, Trial, and Martyrdom. 1546
Section 7. Assassination of Beaton, and siege of the Castle of St Andrews. 1546—1547
Section 8. English Invasion. Renewal of Persecution. The Reformation-Poets. 1547—1554

Chapter III.—The Knox Period, a. d. 1555—1560

Section 1. Visit of Knox to Scotland. 1555—1556
Section 2. The First Protestant "Band." 1556—1558
Section 3. First Petition of the Protestants to the Regent and their Protestation before Parliament 1558
Section 4. Popular Tumults. The Reformation in Arms. 1559
Section 5. Civil War. Treaty with England. Siege of Leith. 1559—1560
Section 6. The Parliament of 1560
Section 7. The Organization of the Reformed Church of Scotland

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