John Knox's House, Edinburgh, Scotland
The house was built beginning in 1490 with some restorations and repairs in later years. It passed through several hands via inheritance and forfeiture. James Mossman, husband of Mariota Arres who had inherited the home in 1556, was a goldsmith. He worked in Edinburgh Castle making coins for supporters of Mary Queen of Scots who were holding the castle during the siege when she was exiled in England. Mossman was subsequently charged with counterfeiting following the surrender of the Castle in 1573 and was hanged, quartered, and beheaded. The house was forfeited and given in the name of James VI of Scotland to James Carmichael.
In 1850 the building was restored. Alexander Handyside did carvings made for that restoration. Another restoration occurred in 1984. Many decorations and paintings have been added and the house and contents are now a museum. Today the Church of Scotland owns it as part of a new Socttish Storytelling Center.
John Knox a clergyman, theologian, writer and for a time a private tutor to young boys was born around 1513 in Scotland. He is known as the leader of the Protestant Reformation, a founder of the Presbyterian denomination in Scotland. It is not known when or how Knox became converted to the Protestant faith but he was a close friend of the reformer George Wishart, even acting as Wishart’s armed bodyguard at times. Because of his religious beliefs he was arrested by the French and spent 19 months as a galley slave. Later he spent 5 years exiled in England where he was licensed to work for the Church of England and preached Protestant doctrines. Following this period he spent several years in Continental Europe preaching and working for the reformation. He was married and widowed then married a second time when he was 50 and his bride was 17. He died 14 November 1572, survived by five children, two sons with his first wife, Margery Bowes Knox who died in 1560, and three daughters with his second wife, Margaret Stewart Knox, survived Knox.
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