St. Giles Cathedral and John Knox House
St. Giles Cathedral, also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh is located on the Royal Mile midway between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The cathedral is the principal place of worship of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh. A short walk down the street is the House of John Knox, a minister, theologian, and writer, who was the founder of the Presbyterian faith. Presbyterianism became the state religion of Scotland in 1560. John Knox died in 1572 and is buried in St. Giles.
A tour of the small John Knox House dating back to 1470 was very interesting. On display were several very old texts. One of the texts was John Knox’s History of the Reformation (London 1644). Book four of Knox’s History contains his account of his first meeting with Mary Queen of Scots.
In 1556, during John Knox’s exile, James Mossman, founder of the Goldsmith’s Guild, and his wife acquired the house. Mossman’s tools are on display in the house. Mossman was a supporter of Mary Queen of Scots. In 1573, he was arrested, dragged on a cart from Holyrood to the Mercat Cross and hanged.
The building was restored in the mid 19th century and opened as a museum in 1853. Later, it was run by the Church of Scotland.