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Reformation in Scotland
As the books of Martin Luther and Tyndale's translation of the New Testament entered Scotland, they were received with great interest. Students at St. Andrews University began to take their faith seriously. Patrick Hamilton, a student at St. Andrews, wrote a book that was condemned as heretical. He fled to Germany, met with Luther and soon returned to Scotland. Hamilton began preaching the Protestant Faith with great boldness.
The Betrayal of Patrick Hamilton
By an act of Parliament, 17 July 1525, the importation of Luther's books into Scotland was prohibited. In 1528, the Archbishop of St. Andrews summoned Hamilton for "a debate." However, he had no intention of debating Hamilton; it was a trap. Before any of his friends could come to Hamilton’s defence, a church court hurriedly found him guilty of "heresy".
While most heresy trials took weeks, Hamilton's was rushed through in less than 12 hours. It took 6 long, excruciatingly painful hours for Hamilton to die by burning at the stake. Patrick Hamilton was Scotland's first Protestant martyr. He was just 24 years old. His death inspired widespread interest in the Reformation, and an intensified opposition to Catholicism. Hamilton's last words were: "How long, O Lord shall darkness cover this realm? How long will you suffer this tyranny of men? Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!"