Although Margaret was of royal blood, she was very unlike her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. She proved to be a loving and faithful wife, working with Knox in his ministry and giving him three daughters from their marriage.
Roberts Liardon tells us that in 1565, Mary, Queen of Scots, weary from her fight with the Protestants, also married. She chose the empty-headed, vicious Henry Stuart Lord Darnley, an English Catholic. Her downfall came quickly after that.
The Protestant ebb was at an all-time low, and Knox called for a fast. During the fast, Mary’s immoral lifestyle began to come to a head. Although she was now pregnant, she hated her husband and instead found consolation in her Italian secretary, David Rizzio. Darnley was jealous and, with a pack of Protestant nobles, rushed in upon Rizzio (while he was with Mary) and murdered him. The small group of murderers imprisoned Mary inside her room. Two days later, she wooed her husband over to her side, and he helped Mary escape by horseback to Dunbar.
Roberts Liardon tells us that Knox continued to pray as never before. He knew that Mary would return with a vengeance against the Protestants as he prayed, “Lord, put an end to my misery.”
What he feared soon became a reality. Mary returned in greater power than she had ever had, the people siding with her in anger at the Protestant murder. Knox took solitude in Kyle, being slowed by his decreasing health. Here, he resumed writing his History of the Reformation within the Realm of Scotland, the first and only book written by a Reformer at the time of the events. He began writing the book in the summer of 1559, and worked on it until his death. It wasn’t published until 1644.
By 1566, things had quieted down, and it was safe for Knox to return to Edinburgh, but he didn’t. His health was so depleted that another minister had to be assigned to his pastorate to help him. In 1567, Knox was granted the privilege of returning to England to visit his sons, who were being educated there. Knox’s visit was timely; Scotland erupted from Mary’s immorality while he was away.