Sketches: John Knox

John Knox was a Scottish Protestant who lived during the 16th century. French forces captured and attempted to convert him to Catholicism. But it didn’t quite work out the way they planned.

“In his History of the Reformation of Scotland Knox recounts how on one occasion a ‘glorious painted lady’—an image of Mary— was presented to him to be kissed. ‘Trouble me not’ said he to the bearer; ‘such an idol is accursed and therefore I will not touch it’. ‘Thou shalt handle it’ said several Frenchmen, at the same time thrusting it violently to his face and putting it between his hands. Knox then took the idol and, spying his opportunity, cast it into the river, at the same time crying, ‘Let her save herself; she is light enough; let her learn to swim’. After this, says Knox’s History no Scotsman was urged with that idolatry.”