A schedule of sources and further reading is here.

My Books

The challenge of
understanding the politics of the era, the hidden agendas of many of the
major players, and the theological arguments deployed by government and
between the Presbyterians themselves I find simply fascinating. From my
early studies there came several articles for a web
site. These have since been substantially augmented and 
included in my books about the Scottish Reformation.

 ” A Layman`s Guide to the Scottish
 looks at the events of the era from ca
1525 – 1690, and the impact on the Scottish Reformation. This is a
reference book with added explanations of over 400 events with substantial
references, appendices and Index.



 A book about the Orr Family and my researches over the past forty years

This is
the product of over forty years interest in the origins of the Orr family.
Research of an old family story – a relationship to William Orr, an Irish
Patriot executed in 1798, led to research of the origin of the Orr
families in Ulster, and the early Scottish settlers on the Montgomery
estates, Co Down, in 1606. These people mainly came from the west of
Scotland – Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, where there have been Orrs since about
AD1300. Subsequent research suggests that the family originated from the
ancient Parish of Urr in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbrightshire,

Mainly of the Presbyterian denomination the Orrs in Scotland and settlers
in Ulster were subject of religious discrimination and were among the tens
of thousands of Ulster Scots (the Scotch-Irish) who migrated to the far
corners of the British Empire in the seventeenth, eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries. Nearly 100,000 Orr descendants are today spread
across the Unites States of America, with thousands more in Australia,
Canada, Malta, New Zealand; South Africa, South America, and the West
Indies. As well as researching the origins and distribution of the family
name, a detailed examination was made of the `Orrs at War` where many
hundreds lie in foreign fields, having died in the service of their
country. That the Orrs were achievers, is illustrated in factual stories
of inventors, patriots, and founders of former frontier towns and cities
that bear the Orr name. Included are a selection of some old Orr families
with indexed ancestor and descendant reports, and a selection of 
Orrs with a `claim to fame`. The 16 appendices include details of Orrs
buried in Greyfriars Kirk (Edinburgh) in the seventeenth century; Orr
marriages about the time of the Montgomery settlement; Pallots English
marriages, and the 1881 Census, of England, Scotland and Wales.

“ORR-SOME”  Research into the Family of Orr, may be available from
Heritage Books Inc, 65 E Main St, Westminster, 21157, Maryland, or from
any branch of Willow Bend Books and Amazon. $37.00 US.
ISBN 0-7884-4266-X .

I hold a few copies of
`Layman`s Guide` and `Orr-Some` if UK customers wish to contact me at  or .





 “The Sojjers are comin`” is the final part of the Covenanter story. In this work I have
sought to look at the period after the Restoration of Charles II
(1660-1685) and the thankfully short reign of his brother James II.
This work focuses on the gradual ramping up and persecution of the common
people, the labourers in the fields, the shepherds, countrymen and
townsmen alike, including their wives and children. No one was totally free from the
predatory troopers intent on mayhem, murder and the filling of
their own pockets by way of fines, bribes or plain theft. These were the
true “Killing Times” when possession of a bible could and did, result in
death by shooting on the spot. Talking to a fugitive husband was death,
eventually even listening to a Covenanter minister was death. Some 17,000 Covenanters became fugitives
wandering the moors – some for many years, hunted and harried by the “Sojjers

The work looks at the
issues that gave rise to the oppression, to which are added tales of
individuals and their suffering as a result of attending conventicles; of
their relationships with the curates; the activities of informers and
spies; and of the experiences of the common people with the sojjers.
The stories have a factual and historical base and are widely referenced. 
A Time Line and Dramatis Personae provides information about who was who
and when they were involved in events. A Glossary is provided with
appendices of  text from old documents. Lavishly illustrated it also has a
full Name Index, and a substantial bibliography  as a source for further

The book has been donated to the Dumfries and
Galloway Family History Society from whom a CD (pdf file) may be obtained
at a reasonable price. The CD includes a database (spreadsheet) of over
4600 Covenanters.

Dumfries & Galloway FHS
Research Centre
9 Glasgow Street
Scotland DG7 9AF

Tel (+44) 01387 248093

e mail:

Web Site :



Now available from  and Amazon, and other

ISBN 978-1-4092-9360-6. Price £20 + pp.

This is available as a download (pdf file) 
price £5.00

Book product reference no. 7394110

The Reformation was
more than a religious dispute and spanned a longer period – from the 14th
into the 18th century, before Protestantism was widely
established. This work examines the wider issues and the contributions by
others before and after Martin Luther. T
Renaissance contributed greatly to the struggle for
restoration of beliefs that were consonant with the Gospel and which
chimed with the aspirations of the people for
liberty of
conscience, thought, free speech and religious toleration. The Waldensians,
the Brethren of the Common Lot, the Humanist movement, Wyckcliffe, Huss,
Jerome, Ziska, Farel, William of Orange, Gustavus Vasa, and many others,
sowed the seed for the harvest of Protestantism.

The singular lesson to be learnt – that
toleration can work, is too important to be left to the vagaries of chance

The work is illustrated and
has a substantial bibliography for further reading; appendices include
extracts from rare and difficult to find documents. There is a Full Name




Available from  and Amazon, and other

ISBN 9078-1-4457-2260-3 Price £17.50 + p&p

This is available as a download (pdf file)
price £5.00

Book product reference no. 8484804

John Knox is known as a Reformer, rather than
of a man who feared God and Richard Cameron as  the opponent of tyranny,
more so than a man of prayer. James Guthrie and James Renwick were very
public martyrs in their Declarations and on the gallows. In common, they
were witnessing for Jesus Christ as Head of their Church. Their testimony
was passive by way of confession and martyrdom, and sufferings and verbal
contendings, and witnessing against the prevailing corruptions of the
time. This illustrated book has appendices of relevant documents, and
examples of devotions and witnessing sermons. Quotations are fully
referenced, along with a bibliography and a full Name Index. It seeks to
explain the “why” in the story of the Covenanters of Scotland.