Reformation Martyrs of Scotland

The St John's Toun Reformation Martyrs of 1543 were; Robert Lamb, William Anderson, James Hunter, James Raveleson, James Finalson, Helen Stirke.

An Act of Parliament made by Lord Hamilton, Earl of Arran, the Governor of Scotland, granted the priveledge to all the Scottish people to read the scriptures in their own language, albeit in private. As a result, many throughout Scotland came to a knowledge of the truth through faith in Jesus Christ.

Included among these whose eyes were opened, were a group from St John's Toun now called Perth. A sermon was being delivered by Friar Spence, declaring it necessary to pray to the saints for the soul to be saved. Robert Lamb, a local man who knew the scriptures, accused the friar of of being in error, pleaded with him, in God's name, to speak the truth. Many in the congregation cried out against him, so he had to flee for his life.

The Provost of the City was sympathetic to the cause of Christ, but was deposed from his office by enemies of the truth, who were seeking for Robert Lamb and other believers to be punished. In January 1543, the new governor, the cardinal, Bishop of Dunblane and Orkeny, along with other noblemen, came to Perth with a view to render punishmenton these Christians. Many were accused of the crime of heresy, but only Robert Lamb andfive others were apprehended.

They were charged with envoking the Act of Parliament which forbad the p[ublic exponding of the Scriptures. Robert Lamb was accused for interupting the friar in the pulpit, He not only confessed , but expressed that it was the duty of any man who knows the truth to correct error being preached. Furthermore, he stated that anyone present who had the knowledge of the truth would have to account for it before God.

The following day, all six accused were condemed to death for vio;ating the Act of Parliament, for reasoning and conferring upon Scriptures, for eating flesh on days forbidden, for interupting the holy friar in the pulpit, for dishonouring images, and for blasphrming the Virgin Mary.

They were carried by a great band of armed men (for they feared rebellion in the town) to the place of execution. Robert Lamb, at the gallows, made his exhortation to the people, desiring them to fear God, and leave the leaven of papistical abomination. Moreover, he prophesied of the ruin and plague which came upon the cardinal. Each one of the six comforted another, assuring themselves that they should sup together in the King of Heaven that hight, they commended themselves to God and died constantly in the Lord.

These were not to be the only reformation martyrs who contributed to the growing Protestant faith in Scotland during the 16th century.

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