George Wishart

1513 - 1546

Burning of George Wishart at St. Andrews Castle Exhibition
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Burning of George Wishart at St. Andrews Castle Exhibition

Lutheran Reformer and Martyr. Born in Pittarrow, near Laurencekirk (Aberdeenshire), Wishart was educated at the University of Aberdeen. He worked as a school-master at Montrose (1538), but following a charge of heresy he left to study with the followers of Jean Calvin (1509-64) in Switzerland and Germany. He returned to Scotland as part of a mission sent by the English King Henry VIII (1491 - 1547) to arrange the marriage of his son to the young Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87).

He was a role model for John Knox, but taken prisoner by Cardinal David Beaton and held in the Sea Tower of St. Andrews Castle. On the street outside this Tower he was burned at the stake for his faith. Wishart is commemorated by, for example, the Wishart Arch in Dundee, from which he used to preach.

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