In the 35 years leading up to the Scottish Reformation, four Protestants were martyred for their beliefs:
Patrick Hamilton, who promoted the doctrines of Martin Luther; Henry Forrest, who owned a copy of the New Testament in English, George Wishart, who defied the Catholic Church; and Walter Milne (or Myln), who advocated married clergy.
In 1842, the Martyrs Monument, standing on the east side of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, was erected to commemorate these martyrs.
Quite appropriately, John Howie’s Scots Worthies begins with an account of Hamilton’s life. A monogram of Hamilton’s initials is embedded in the road where he died, and today superstitious University students try not to step on it for fear of failing out of their degree.
This copy once belonged to local book collector William Downie Stewart.
[John Howie], Biographia Scoticana: or, a Brief Historical Account of the Lives, Characters, and Memorable Transactions of the Most Eminent Scots Worthies. 3rd Glasgow ed. Glasgow: Printed by William Paton, for R. Johnston & W. Paton, 1797.