Roberts Liardon tells us that Knox was cordially received by Calvin when he returned to Geneva in April of 1555. For the second time, he tried to settle down into a life of scholarship and study. Deeply impressed with the way Calvin ran Geneva, Knox wanted to learn all he could from it. He wrote of it, “In other places, I confess Christ to be truly preached; but manners and religion so sincerely reformed, I have not yet seen in any other place.”
Back in Scotland, it was clear that Protestantism would be unofficially tolerated for the time being. The Protestants there were taking advantage of the occasion, spreading the Gospel wherever they could.
There was such high hope among them that they even believed that the Regent Mary might someday convert. Her young daughter, Mary, was now being educated in France and would return someday soon to Scotland as the queen. The Regent Mary had obtained the services of a Protestant to represent Scotland to France in hopes of opening trade. She was now growing older and, by her actions, it seemed that she had weakened in her stand for Catholicism. Compared to Bloody Mary next door in England, anyone looked good! Many Protestant refugees had fled England and taken refuge in Scotland, thinking it was safer. But they still desperately needed preachers and pastors.
Roberts Liardon tells us that in the meantime, Knox was busy organizing a radical English congregation in Geneva. He was grooming them and rallying them to eventually return to England for a Protestant takeover. All this time, he was still receiving letters from Mrs. Bowes, telling him of the increasing pressure on her family to attend Mass.
Their lack of conformity to Catholicism was placing her husband in danger, and, though he was unwilling to convert from Catholicism, Mr. Bowes reluctantly agreed that she and Marjory could leave England. Mrs. Bowes wrote that she and Marjory wanted to join Knox in Geneva so they could worship as they believed.