In 1558 the Scottish Protestant leader John Knox was in exile from his native Scotland because of his religious beliefs. He viewed with increasing dismay the persecution of his fellow-religionists in Scotland and England. Both countries were at the time ruled by women – Mary Queen of Scots and Mary Tudor, respectively. In response, he composed this pamphlet, attacking not only the actions of these queens, but the very idea of a woman being a ruler. He declared unequivocally that
"To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature; contumely to God, a thing most contrarious to his revealed will and approved ordinance; and finally, it is the subversion of good order, of all equity and justice."
And defended this with authorities from Scripture and the early Church fathers.