Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Reformation documents go on show

Manuscript
Image caption Manuscripts on Scottish Reformation go on show at National Library

A collection of historic manuscripts which document the establishment of the Protestant church in Scotland have gone on display in Edinburgh.

They are on show at the National Library of Scotland to mark the 450th anniversary of the Reformation.

Among the items are John Knox's Scottish Confession of Faith and his First Blast of the Trumpet.

The exhibition will continue until 31 October.

The Scottish Reformation is widely dated to 1560 when Knox's confession abolishing the Pope's authority in Scotland was ratified by the Scottish Parliament.

First Blast of the Trumpet, published in 1558, was originally published anonymously by Knox. It is directed against the "monstrous regiment" of Catholic women rulers in Europe - Mary Tudor, Mary of Guise, Catherine de Medici and the youthful Mary Stuart, and claims that women should not bear rule over men.

Hellfire sermons

Also on display is the Bassandyne Bible of 1576 - the first complete vernacular Bible printed in Scotland as well as a Papal Bull by Pope Leo X in 1517 threatening Martin Luther with excommunication.

Anette Hagan, senior curator of rare book collections at the National Library of Scotland, said the Reformation had "established Calvinism as one of the dominant influences of Scottish life, leading to centuries of hellfire sermons - but also to a society with a strong sense of social responsibility and the highest rate of literacy in Europe."

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