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Andrew Melville

Religious and academic reformer

Like Knox, Melville was an ardent believer in a presbyterian government for the Church of Scotland, and directly opposed James VI’s plans for episcopacy. In his most famous outburst, Melville told James that he was merely ‘God’s silly vassal’, and ‘not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, but a member’ of the kingdom of Christ in Scotland. For James, revenge was sweet: he summoned Melville to London in 1606 and threw him in the Tower for five years. On his release Melville went abroad to teach.