Edinburgh University | Information Services | Gallery Homepage | Search
Gallery of Benefactors - Edinburgh University Library

Picture of the Bohemian Protest

William Guild

Theologian and Principal of King's College, Aberdeen

Guild was born in Aberdeen. After an education at the recently-opened Marischal College, he was licensed to preach in 1605 and ordained minister of the parish of King Edward, Aberdeenshire in 1608; while holding this charge, he received the degree of D.D. Visiting Edinburgh in 1617, he was one of the 'mutinous assemblie' which protested for the liberties of the Kirk and incurred the displeasure of the king.

Translated to the second charge of Aberdeen in 1631, he supported episcopacy, and for the next few years he vacillated between that and support for the Kirk, eventually subscribing the Covenant in 1636. Early in 1640 he fled to the Netherlands for a time, but returned to be appointed Principal of King's College in August in place of Dr William Leslie who had been expelled by the Covenanters. It was probably during this visit abroad that Guild acquired the last surviving copy of the protest of the Bohemian nobles against the burning of the Reformer Jan Hus in 1415, the so-called 'Bohemian Protest', which he bequeathed to the College of Edinburgh and which became one of the attractions which brought a series of visitors to the College Library as part of the standard tour of the City of Edinburgh during the following hundred years.

He wrote a number of theological works, of which the best known is probably "Moses unvailed" (1619)
and presented the College of Edinburgh with a copy of his book "The old Roman Catholick, as at first he
was taught by Paul, in opposition to the new Roman Catholick ..." (Aberdeen, 1649). Cromwell's military commissioners thought him luke-warm in his beliefs, and expelled him from the Principalship in 1651. He
died in Aberdeen in 1657, having endowed a number of local charities for which he was long remembered
with affection.

Friends of EUL | Recent Donations | Islamic & Middle Eastern
1500-1699 | 1700-1799 | 1800-1899 | 1900-1949 | 1950-1999 | 2000-

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all material © The University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh University Logo