Edited by William Byron Forbush This is a book that will never die — one of the great English classics. . . . Reprinted here in its most complete form, it brings to life the days when “a noble army, men and boys, the matron and the maid,” “climbed the steep ascent of heaven, ‘mid peril, toil, and pain.” “After the Bible itself, no book so profoundly influenced early Protestant sentiment as the Book of Martyrs. Even in our time, it is still a living force. It is more than a record of persecution. It is an arsenal of controversy, a storehouse of romance, as well as a source of edification.”
Fox’s Book of Martyrs is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
An Account of the Life, Sufferings, and Death of Mr. George Wishart, Who Was Strangled and Afterward Burned, in Scotland, for Professing the Truth of the Gospel part 8
The hangman, that was his tormentor, sat down on his knees, and said, “Sir, I pray you to forgive me, for I am not guilty of your death.” To whom he answered, “Come hither to me.” When that he came to him, he kissed his cheek and said: “Lo, here is a token that I forgive thee. My heart, do thine office.” And then he was put upon the gibbet and hanged and burned to powder. When that the people beheld the great tormenting, they might not withhold from piteous mourning and complaining of this innocent lamb’s slaughter.
It was not long after the martyrdom of this blessed man of God, Master George Wishart, who was put to death by David Beaton, the bloody archbishop and cardinal of Scotland, A.D. 1546, the first day of March, that the said David Beaton, by the just revenge of God’s mighty judgment, was slain within his own castle of St. Andrews, by the hands of one Leslie and other gentlemen, who, by the Lord stirred up, brake in suddenly upon him, and in his bed murdered him the said year, the last day of May, crying out, “Alas! alas! slay me not! I am a priest!” And so, like a butcher he lived, and like a butcher, he died, and lay seven months and more unburied, and at last like a carrion was buried in a dunghill.
The last who suffered martyrdom in Scotland, for the cause of Christ, was one Walter Mill, who was burnt at Edinburgh in the year 1558.
This person, in his younger years, had traveled in Germany, and on his return was installed a priest of the Church of Lunan in Angus, but, on an information of heresy, in the time of Cardinal Beaton, he was forced to abandon his charge and abscond. But he was soon apprehended and committed to prison.
Being interrogated by Sir Andrew Oliphant, about whether he would recant his opinions, he answered in the negative, saying that he would ‘sooner forfeit ten thousand lives than relinquish a particle of those heavenly principles he had received from the suffrages of his blessed Redeemer.’
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