UK Kingdom Travel Journal—Day 10

St. Andrews Castle

After golf in the morning on the New Course at St. Andrews and lunch at The Jigger Inn, we set out for St. Andrews Castle and museum.

Some back story on the castle may help here.

During the early days of the Scottish Reformation, Cardinal David Beaton was the Archbishop of St. Andrews and the most powerful church official in Scotland.

Beaton had a mistress, with whom he produced eight children. Supposedly Beaton had twelve other children out of wedlock.

Beaton was not discrete about his hypocrisy; he lived in the castle with his mistress and children. In the midst of his hypocrisy, Beaton railed against the Protestants.

Beaton had Protestant Patrick Hamilton burned at the stake in 1528. Beaton had George Wishart burned at the stake in 1546. Beaton was the poster child for everything that was wrong with the Catholic Church. After Wishart’s martyrdom, the people had had enough, and a small group of men entered the castle and killed Beaton.

Location of Wisher’s martyrdom

Hypocrisy has never played well, regardless of the times or the audience. We are all made in the image of God, and even the most corrupt of men have a  God-given aversion to hypocrisy.

After Beaton was killed, Protestants occupied the castle, and John Knox joined them as the chaplain. Knox was not there long before the French navy sacked the castle on June 29, 1547, and took Knox into custody.Knox was a prisoner for the next 19 months serving as a slave in the galley of a French ship.

After he was taken into custody Knox prophesied he would return to preach the Gospel again at Holy Trinity Church in St. Andrews. The prophecy was fulfilled in June of 1559, when Knox did preach again, preaching a sermon many say marked the start of the Scottish Reformation.

Knox must certainly have wondered about the fate of the Scottish Reformation as he and other Protestants were being taken away from the St. Andrews Castle and imprisoned in the French ship. Sometimes, though, the Lord has to take us what appears to be farther away from our destiny for a time so we can ultimately fulfill it.

Outside the castle we saw the spot where Goerge Wishart was martyred. His initials are set out in bricks on the pavement to mark the spot. That spot is on the street, where on this day the driver of a Puegot had decided to park.

From the castle we walked to the St. Salvator Chapel. Outside its gates is the place where Patrick Hamilton was martyred, his initials also set into the pavement in bricks to mark the spot.

Tertullian said “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” This was certainly true of the sacrifice of Patrick Hamilton and George Wishart,as was borne out in the Scottish Reformation that followed. GS