Scottish Ancestors’ Religious History: Druids, Celtic Spirituality, Recusants, John Knox & Cross-eyed Archibald

I have often wondered how my Scottish ancestors evolved religiously, from druidism and mysticism to Celtic spirituality, to Christianity, and conversion by St. Columba to embracing a more formal Roman Catholicism. St. Columba, Apostle to the Picts. Then in the 1500s, they were likely swept up in the Protestant Reformation, a reaction against corruption in... Continue Reading →


The Face of Britain

 A History of the Nation Through Its Portraits By Simon Schama Illustrated. 603 pp. Oxford University Press. $39.95. NYT: "This splendid book by the historian and art critic Simon Schama could ­hardly be better timed, since it might plausibly be argued that “the face of Britain” changed on or about June 23, 2016. With the... Continue Reading →

Brits Tend to Distrust and Be Suspicious, Study Suggests

Times: "Britons have a reputation for being reserved and unfriendly. Now suspicious can be added to the list. Nearly half of the British population distrust the people around them and tend to think that "you can't be too careful when dealing with people," according to a study by the National Centre of Social Research:

European Countries Not Part of EU

As a result of the Brexit vote, the United Kingdom will apparently join a small group of highly developed European countries that are not part of the European Union: Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland. These four countries are rich countries that do not want to join. They "have agreements with the EU that allow their citizens... Continue Reading →

United Kingdom to Break Up?

Examples of British, Irish and Scottish pride or nationalism in book form. The UK's vote to exit the European Union makes me wonder, might the break-up of the United Kingdom be next? I noticed disunity in the UK last summer when I spent a month there. Scotland voted 62% to stay in EU. It may... Continue Reading →

Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War

Oliver Cromwell (1599 – 1658) underwent a religious conversion in the 1630s and became a Puritan, coming to believe that he was one of God's "chosen people" and that Catholic beliefs and practices must be fully expunged from the church. Catholics, he feared, would choose papal decree and clerical authority over Biblical word. He represented Huntingdon,... Continue Reading →

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