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John Knox, 1505 - 1572. Reformer and historian 1580


  • Scottish Art
There has been much argument as to whether the man in this wood engraving is John Knox. However, it has repeatedly been used as a model for later statues and history paintings. Knox began his career as a Roman Catholic priest, but after encountering the Protestant preacher, George Wishart, he became an convert to the reformed religion. By the time Mary, Queen of Scots, returned to Scotland in 1561, he was a minister of St Giles in Edinburgh and he went on to have several famous confrontations with her. The celebration of Mass in Holyrood Chapel for Mary and her Catholic courtiers particularly angered him.

Glossary Open

History painting

Paintings in which the subject is taken from biblical, classical or other mythological histories.

History painting


  • Acc. No. PGE 27
  • Medium Wood engraving on paper
  • Size 15.24 x 11.43 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by W. F. Watson in 1886