John Knox was born in Lothian, Scotland, in 1513. After being educated at the University of St. Andrews he became a Roman Catholic priest in Haddington. He came under the influence of George Wishart, a supporter of the Protestant Reformation.
David Beaton, the Archbishop of St. Andrews, had George Wishart burnt at the stake as a heretic in 1546. His followers, including John Knox, were blamed for Beaton's assassination three months later. Know was arrested and imprisoned by the French and was not released until Edward VI intervened in February, 1549.
Knox moved to England and in 1551 John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, arranged for him to be appointed as one of the king's chaplains. When Mary Tudor came to power Knox was forced to flee to Frankfurt. In 1555 he moved to Geneva where he worked closely with John Calvin.
In 1559 Knox published First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. The book, an attack on two female Catholic rulers, Mary I and Mary of Guise, created great controversy. It also upset Elizabeth I who saw it as a criticism of women rulers.
In 1560 Knox returned home and became minister of St. Giles in Edinburgh. Over the next few years Knox helped to establish Presbyterianism in Scotland. Knox was a leading opponent of Mary, Queen of Scots and after withdrawing to Ayrshire wrote the History of the Reformation in Scotland.
John Knox died in 1572.