John Scotus

Examples of StyliWilliam of Malmesbury records that In the late 9th century a monk – John Scotus – came to Malmesbury. He was a teacher but apparently held controversial religious views.

He was stabbed to death by his pupils with their styli; but whether it was the knives used to cut the quills or the containers for the quills is not clear. Neither is the reason for his murder. Was it the controversial theology or did he set too much homework? It may comfort teachers today to know that it has never been an easy profession.

John Scotus is recorded as being buried in one of the churches on the present Abbey grounds, probably St. Laurence.