Scotland Since The Reformation
Peter Anson Discusses Church Difficulties
The Catholic Church in Modern Scotland. By Peter F. Anson. (Burns, Oates and Washbourne, 7s. 6d.) Reviewed by M. V. HAY Mr. Anson has collected material from widely scattered sources, both printed and manuscript, to provide a continuous history of the Catholic Church in Scotland from the Reformation down to the present day. His book is divided into three parts. The first section, and the shortest, contains an account of the gradual and almost complete destruction of the Catholic Faith in Scotland during the seventeenth century.
His chapter on Catholicism in the Highlands and the Isles during that period, will be of interest to every student of Scottish history. The second section summarises the long laborious process of reconstruction which began with the appointment of Bishop Thomas Nicholson as first Vicarapostolic in 1695. Due prominence is given to the work of the three great Scottish bishops of the eighteenth century, Thomas Nicholson, James Gordon, and George Hay. The third section describes, with much hitherto unpublished detail, the growth of Catholicism in modern Scotland, the Scotland of our own time. Mr. Anson touches briefly, rather too briefly, on three problems of special historical interest which have not yet been fully cleared up, the quarrel between seculars and Jesuits in the seventeenth century, Jansenism in Scotland during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the Irish question in Glasgow in the nineteenth century. He writes without bias, and has discovered how to be informative without being dull.
Among numerous inaccuracies in the text, probably due to hurried proof reading, there is one curious slip on page 26 where "a truly great man" appears in the place of vir valde bonus, a truly good man.
The book is adorned with twelve illustrations in the author's well known manner. The sketch facing page 174, of the church at Castlebay, Barra, is one of the best he has ever done.
The English Dominicans. By Bede Jarrett, O.P. Revised. (Burns, Oates and Washbourne, 5s.). This abridged edition of the late Bede Jarrett's history of his own Order has been admirably made by his assistant, Fr. Walter Gumbley.