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May 11th 1559

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The Reformation gains momentum

It was in 1560 that the Scottish Parliament accepted John Knox’s Confession of Faith and Scotland became officially a Protestant country, but this was merely the culmination of a process that had been going on for years. Protestant preachers, though illegal, had built up large congregations in many parts of the country. In Perth this was particularly the case, so that when John Knox came to the town to preach what was described as “a zealous and animated sermon against the follies of the Church of Rome,”  there is no doubt that a large number of persons were there to hear him. The sermon proceeded peacefully but as the congregation was in the process of leaving a priest started to celebrate Mass. A young boy protested, the priest struck him and the boy retaliated by throwing a stone which broke an image.

Within seconds the church was in uproar and very soon not “a monument of idolatry”  was left in the building. The mob, or as it was called by Knox “the rascal multitude, never averse to a little looting and general destruction, proceeded to turn their attention to the other religious houses. The Whitefriars, Blackfriars, Franciscan and Carthusian monasteries were all broken into and their treasures destroyed or removed.“ Within two days, says Knox, “the walls only did remain of these great edifications.” 

The Reformation was on its way.

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