1558 - The Monstrous Regiment of Women

The earliest publication from the pen of John Knox, spiritual leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland. This blast of the Protestant trumpet was in fact aimed not at women as a whole but at the Catholic Mary Tudor (Queen of England 1553-1559), and was published while Knox was a refugee abroad.

John Knox (c. 1513-1572) formulated many of the doctrines that formed the basis of Scottish presbyterianism. He was associated with Thomas Cranmer and the Reformation in England, and when Mary Tudor acceded to the throne in mid-1553 he fled to the Continent, thus escaping the Catholic backlash. While abroad he came under the influence of Calvin and developed further his presbyterian ideas.

The First Blast, written in Dieppe, was published abroad (like many controversial books), in Geneva. It argued that it was wrong for a woman to rule over a country and was directed principally against Queen Mary, but of course it did not endear Knox to Mary's successor, Elizabeth - one reason why on his return from the Continent Knox came to Scotland, not England.

John Knox. The first blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regiment of women. [Geneva: J. Crespin], 1558. Ry.III.g.10

The Monstrous Regiment of Women


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