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 Reformation"  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, Scotland.

   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 reading

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 booksellers.

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. The 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 interpretation.

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 Index.




Available from  and Amazon, and other booksellers.

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.



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