John Row - Encyclopedia

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JOHN ROW (c. 1525-1580), Scottish reformer, was born near Stirling and educated in that town and at St Andrews, where he began to practise as an advocate in the consistorial court. In 1550 he was sent to Rome in the interests of John Hamilton, archbishop of St Andrews, and attracted the notice of the highest authorities, who, when his failing health drove him back to Scotland in 1558, nominated him papal nuncio to inquire into the spread of heresy in that country. That inquiry ultimately led him to change his faith. Much influenced by Knox's preaching, he joined the reformers and in April 1560 was admitted minister of Kennoway in Fife, and in July of the same year minister of the Old or Middle Church at Perth. He was one of the commission of six who drew up the "Confession of Faith" and the "First Book of Discipline," and during the struggle with Queen Mary was often employed on important engagements. He was moderator of the Church Assembly at Edinburgh in July 1567 and at Perth in the follow ing December, and again in Edinburgh 1576 and Stirling 1578. Meanwhile he helped to compile the "Second Book of Discipline," and became more than ever opposed to the Episcopal system of church government. He was a considerable scholar and is said to have been the first to teach Hebrew in Scotland. He died at Perth on the 16th of October 1580.

His son John Row (1568-1646), minister of Carnock, wrote a Historie of the Kirk of Scotland 1558 to 1637, which was continued to 1639 by his son, the third John Row (c. 1598 - c. 1672),. rector of the Perth grammar school and then (appointed by Cromwell) principal of King's College, Aberdeen, who, with his father and grandfather was a famour Hebraist, but left the Church of Scotland to become an Independent minister. This Historie was published by the Wodrow Society and by the Maitland Club in 1842.

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