NO5116 : The Fore Tower of St. Andrews Castle

taken 7 years ago, near to St Andrews, Fife, Great Britain

The Fore Tower of St. Andrews Castle
The Fore Tower of St. Andrews Castle
The two large windows above the original walled-up entrance face the spot where the Protestant reformer George Wishart was burnt at the stake in 1546. Although the story of the public display of Cardinal Beaton's corpse is traditionally associated with the large central window from which he watched the burning, John Knox's account suggests that it was actually done from the wall-head of the since vanished eastern blockhouse.

"Whill they war thus occupyed with the Cardinal, the fray ryissis in the toun; the proveist assembles the commonalitie, and cumis to the fouseis syde, crying Quhat have ye done with my Lord Cardinal? Let us sie my Lord Cardinall. Thay that war within answerit gentillye, 'The best it war to yow to returne to your awin houses; for that man you call the Cardinall hes receaved his reward, and in his awin persone wil trouble the warld na mair. Bot then mor inragitlie they cryit We sall nevir departe till that we sie him. And so was he brocht to the Eist Blokhouse Heid and schawin deid over the wall to the faythles multitude, which would not beleve befoir that it saw. And so they departit, without requiem aeternam & requiescat in pace sung for his saull. Now because the wedder was hotte, for it was in Maii, as ye have hard and his funerallis culd not suddantlie be prepaired, it was thocht best (to keip him frome stinking) to give him grit salt yneuche, a cope of leid, and a nuck in the bottome of the Sey-tour, a plaice quhair mony of God's children had bein imprisonit befoir to await quhat exequies his brethren and bischopis wald prepair for him."

Modern English: While they were busy with the cardinal, a stir rose in the town, the provost assembled the ordinary people and came to the ditch-side crying "What have you done with my lord cardinal?" They that were within answered gently "The best thing for you would be to return to your own houses, for that man you call the cardinal has received his reward and in his own person will trouble the world no more." But then more enragedly they cried "We shall never depart until we see him." And so he was brought to the east blockhouse head and shown dead over the wall to the faithless multitude, which would never believe until they saw. And so they departed without requiem mass being sung for his soul. Now because the weather was hot, for it was May, as you have heard, and his funeral could not suddenly be prepared, it was thought best (to keep him from stinking) to give him enough salt, a winding sheet of lead and a corner in the bottom of the sea tower, a place* where many of God's children had been imprisoned before to await what funeral ceremonies his brethren and bishops would prepare for him.

(from John Knox, Historie of the Reformatioun of Scotland)

*the so-called 'bottle-dungeon'
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NO5116, 484 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 1 February, 2012   (more nearby)
Monday, 6 February, 2012
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NO 5124 1690 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:20.5159N 2:47.4224W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NO 5123 1688
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Castle  Reformation 

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