Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Booklog

Diarmaid MacCulloch - Reformation: Europe's House Divided, p.600

In 1598 the Kirk of Edinburgh publicly disciplined and witnessed the repentance of Francis, Earl of Bothwell for the crimes of murder and treason. It followed the ceremony with a spirited sermon on the sins of the nobility from Robert Bruce, one of Edinburgh's chief ministers, in front of both Bothwell and the rest of the Scottish noblemen present. Bothwell did rather take the shine of the day's proceedings by raping the daughter of the late Earl of Gowrie after he had left St Giles Kirk, but the very fact that one of Europe's most wayward and dangerous noblemen, one of Scotland's most powerful magnates, had submitted himself to such a public shaming was a remarkable tribute to the range and ambitions of Reformed discipline.

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