HOME        ABOUT         TOUR NEWS        CONTACT
First Reformation
Second Reformation
Covenanters in Scotland
Covenanters in Ireland
Sites & Tours
Sunday School Materials










Jenny Geddes

On the 23rd of July 1637, in St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Dean Hannay attempted to read from the prayer book for the first time. At this, a woman called Jenny Geddes picked up the stool she was sitting and threw it at his head, shouting “Villain, dost thou say mass at my lug? [in my hearing]”. Then a riot broke out, with more people shouting and throwing stools, before leaving the building.

The next day, the privy council (which governed Scotland) forbade speaking against the government or prayer book on pain of death. However due to the opposition they ordered that the prayer book not be used until king Charles I], in London, had been told about the situation. Many protests and petitions against the prayer book were made to the privy council, condemning it as containing errors and being forced on the church without being the approval of a General Assembly or Parliament.

Read more:
David Stevenson,
The Scottish Revolution, 1637-44 (2nd edn, Edinburgh, 2003), pp 42-64.
Book of Common Prayer (1637)
Geddes, Jenny
David Stevenson,
‘Geddes, Jenny (fl. 1637)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
George Gillespie -
Reasons for which the service book, urged upon Scotland ought to bee refused (Edinburgh, 1638).


Jenny Geddes Stool
Jenny Geddes Stool
Jenny Geddes Riot
Jenny Geddes riot
Jenny Geddes Plaque
Jenny Geddes Plaque

Back to Second Reformation page


Copyright © 2010 The Reformed Presbyterian Church. All Rights Reserved. PRIVACY