This is four books in one volume. The History of the Reformation of Religion within the Realm of Scotland, written by John Knox between 1559 and 1571, forms the first two volumes of Dr. David Laing’s complete edition of Knox’s Works. That edition ofMoreThis is four books in one volume. The History of the Reformation of Religion within the Realm of Scotland, written by John Knox between 1559 and 1571, forms the first two volumes of Dr. David Laing’s complete edition of Knox’s Works.
That edition of the History—the result of a collation of imperfect manuscripts, and of the text of sixteenth and seventeenth century printed editions—can never be superseded. It is a monument of Dr. Laing’s learning, skill, and industry- and the notes with which the text is accompanied are models of temperate, accurate, and exhaustive statement.Dr.
Laing’s edition of the History, the only one now obtainable, is not fitted for popular use. Its length (two volumes, containing 1055 pages), its incorporation in a six-volume edition of Knox’s writings, and its price, confine it to a limited circle of readers- and, in addition, its spelling is so archaic and irregular as to restrict its use to scholars.
In Blackwood’s Magazine for March 1898, it was stated that, even in the libraries of two Scottish Universities, the pages of Dr. Laing’s edition of Knox’s Works were found uncut. In full knowledge of the merits of that edition Thomas Carlyle wrote: ‘Knox’s books, especially his History of the Reformation, if well read (which, unfortunately, is not possible for everyone, and has grave preliminary difficulties for even a Scottish reader, still more for an English one) testify in parts of them to the finest qualities that belong to a human intellect- still more evidently to those of the moral, emotional, or sympathetic sort, or that concern the religious side of a man’s soul.
IT IS REALLY A LOSS TO ENGLISH, AND EVEN TO UNIVERSAL, LITERATURE THAT KNOX’S HASTY AND STRANGELY INTERESTING, IMPRESSIVE, AND PECULIAR BOOK, The History of the Reformation in Scotland, HAS NOT BEEN RENDERED FAR MORE EXTENSIVELY LEGIBLE TO SERIOUS MANKIND AT LARGE THAN IS HITHERTO THE CASE.’—(Essay on the Portraits of John Knox.)CONTENTSPREFACE HISTORICAL SUMMARYBOOK 1From the Martyrdom of Master Patrick Hamilton in 1528, to the Meeting of the Scots Parliament in 1558BOOK 2From the First Petition of the Protestants to the Queen Regent in 1558, to the Mission of William Maitland of Lethington to Queen Elizabeth in 1559BOOK 3From the Defeat of the Protestants on 6th November 1559 to the Return of Lord James Stewart from France in May 1561BOOK 4From the Return to Scotland of Mary, Queen of Scots, on 19th August 1561, to the rise of David Rizzio in 1564,