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The 450th Anniversary of the Reformation in Scotland

Arise, O Lord, and let thy enemies be confounded: Let them flee from thy presence that hate thy godly name: Give thy servants strength to speak thy word in boldness; and let all nations cleave to thy true knowledge
Conclusion of Article 25

2010 marked the 450th Anniversary of the Reformation in Scotland with the passing of a law on the 24th August 1560 by the Scottish Parliament establishing the Scottish Reformation and the Church of Scotland, presbyterian in government and independent of papal authority.  Just a week earlier, on 17th August 1560  Parliament had ratified the 25 Articles of the Scots Confession drawn up by John Knox and five of his fellow reformers, John Winram, John Spottiswoode, John Willock, John Dougland and John Row. Prior to this Scotland had been under the Regency of Mary of Guise, ruling on behalf of her daughter, Mary Queen of Scots.  This period, which had seen the presence of French troops in Scotland was the lowest point of the "Auld Alliance", and in electing for a Calvinist Church in Scotland it rejected possible union with Roman Catholic France and saw alignment with the already protestant neighbour, England. The Treaty of Edinburgh saw the withdrawal of French and English Troops from Scotland. Following this the Scottish Parliament (otherwise known as the Reformation Parliament convened in Edinburgh on 10 July 1560, attended by 14 earls, 6 bishops, 19 lords, 21 abbots, 22 burgh commissioners, and over 100 lairds and began the steps that lead to the Reformation in Scotland.

The new Church was tolerant of the Roman Catholic clergy who did not convert.  They were allowed to retain two thirds of their revenue for life.  Monks and friars were allowed to stay in their accommodation for the rest of their lives. 

Scotland's education system benefited, with a more secure foundation for the parish school network, with more than half the eight hundred schools recorded being located alongside parish churches.

Churches were reminded of their responsibility for the real poor. Widows, orphans, the old and disabled were to be taken care of.

There was a loss to the fabric of the churches as statues and church pipe organs were removed. The ban on organs was not lifted until 1864.

Some suggest that it was at around this  time that The Order of St John and the Temple ceased in Scotland, as the last Preceptor, Sir James Sandilands converted to protestantism*.

Further References

The Reformation of 1560 - The Age of Reformation, 1542-1603 - Higher Scottish History

Society and Culture - The impact of the Reformation on Scotland to 1603 - Higher Scottish History

* Knights Templar: Their Rise and Fall, G.A. Campbell ISBN 0-7661-5658-3 page 335