The Reformation

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  Welcome to my web site which is mainly about the historic struggles between the  medieval Catholic Church of Rome and the resurging evangelism of Protestant creeds that resulted in the establishment of Presbyterianism in Scotland, and the Episcopal Church of England. A new index tab links to pages about the Reformation in Europe.

The Reformation was much more than the popular view of John Knox breathing fire and brimstone in Scotland, and Henry VIII solving his marital problems in England;  or indeed, the highly selective re-writes of history  and  dramatised reconstructions - the so called docu-dramas and soap opera derivations, that litter the television schedules.

Importantly, events that contributed to change took place over a much longer time span and involved sweeping changes in the economy and social order that had far reaching consequences. Among these were the discrimination and persecution of  non conforming Presbyterians (the Covenanters) and the migration of tens of thousands of Scots to Ulster - the Ulster Scots (aka the Scotch-Irish). In England there was the uncertainty of the succession to Henry VIII; the bloody rule of Mary Tudor; and the demands  of the Puritans returning from exile, before the settlement of an official  Protestant Church under Elizabeth I. This was followed by further bloody discrimination by the Stuart kings against all forms of dissenters from the `approved` religion (of their choice), that contributed to Cromwell`s intervention and civil wars within and between the three kingdoms. The Protestant religion in the realm of Great Britain was not  settled until "The Glorious Revolution" and the accession of William and Mary in 1690.  Even then discrimination continued throughout the realm.

The Reformation in Europe was not just Martin Luther nailing his Theses to the Church door in Wittenberg, but the result of a long delayed and organised opposition to the orthodoxy of Rome. The Renaissance contributed greatly to the struggle to restore beliefs that were consonant with the Gospel, with evangelising Waldensians and the Lollards preparing the ground for the harvest of Protestantism.

Generally I have sought out details from the less accessible sources - old publications, books, and manuscripts etc. The site focuses on the history and does not attempt , save by some illustrative quotations, to join in the theological debate, nor the alleged rights and wrongs of any particular creed. There is an extensive bibliography that may provide further reading for those desiring more theological explanation.

New pages are added from time to time, so bookmark and make a return  visit.


The Fastii Ecclesiae Scoticanae, the succession of Presbyterian ministers of the Church of Scotland, has long been a source for information about `the sons of the manse`. Children of the Fasti considers their contributions to society from 1560-ca 1929, and Family History research using the Fasti.  They formed  a well educated middle class and a highly mobile  workforce as Britain progressed through the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.  They undoubtedly helped build a robust Britain as the nation became the centre of the biggest Empire the world has ever seen.

Bones of Empire reviews their considerable contribution to Scotland, Britain and its former Empire. They were the backbone of the Honourable East India Company and the emerging India and contributed to the development of the Colonies around the world. They and their like were the true  founders of the British Empire - the `doers` , they helped dig the foundations and delivered the infrastructure that made the system work, despite the politicians. Their legacy - democracy and constitutional government for the Commonwealth of Nations, fifty two of whom were former colonies.

As the late Dave Allen, Irish comedian and raconteur, used to say  "May your God go with you"




Last updated 07/11/2015

The Scottish Reformation


The establishment of Presbyterianism in Scotland




The persecuted "faithful remnant"



Migration to Ireland, and the world



The establishment of a Protestant  Church in England


The European





Sources; further reading;




Travels in Scotland;

Children of Scotland;

National War memorial.

Early medicine

The Covenanters

The Ulster Scots aka Scotch-Irish


My Books

A Laymans Guide to the Scottish Reformation

Genealogy of the Orrs

`The Sojjers
are Comin`

A CD book with database of over 4,600 Covenanters.

available from

Dumfries & Galloway FHS

The Nail in the Door

ISBN 978-1-4092-9360-6

Ref. No. 7394110

Testimony of the Covenant

ISBN 978-14457-

Ref. No 8484804

Children of the Fasti

ISBN 978-1-291-38929-6

also a Kindle e book from Amazon.Co.

Bones of Empire

ISBN 978-1-291-43482-8

also a Kindle e book from Amazon.Co.

Printed copies Available from

book shops, etc

or the author.



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