Regnum Britanniarum


  1. The constitution is a reserved matter.

  2. Thus, the Scottish electorate were not voting on the constitution.

  3. Even the SNP agreed that the 2014 referendum should be a ‘once in a generation’ vote.

  4. The then Prime Minister had already announced his intention to hold a UK-wide in/out EU referendum before the 2014 vote was held.

  5. The current Prime Minister has the right and absolutely ought to refuse any request for a referendum.

  6. According to polls support for secession is less than 50% and falling.

  7. According to polls most Green Party voters do not support secession.

  8. Nicola Sturgeon explicitly stated in the campaign that people who favour other SNP policies [who should have their heads examined] should vote for the party even if they oppose independence which completely undermines her (anyway false) claim that these elections could provide a mandate for a second referendum.

  9. It appears that a majority of voters in Scotland voted for parties who oppose independence.

Kingdom of Ireland

1. I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same
the Three in One and One in Three.

2. I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

3. I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet Well done in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, apostles’ word,
The patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

4. I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
the glorious sun’s life giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea
around the old eternal rocks.

5. I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need.
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

6. Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

7. Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

8. Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

9. I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three.
By whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.


One of the assumptions which pervades the question of Scottish independence is the idea that Britain is a coalition of nations while England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are individual nations. But is this really true? Ethnically the population of the British Isles homogenous. A single base population lies under the various waves of invasion and migration and remains the large majority of the genetic heritage across the British Isles about 75% in East Anglia and 95% in Galway. The original name for the islands is Britain (Πρεττανική) the largest island being called megale Brettania and the second largest mikra Brettania. The original language of the Britons is lost (it may have been Basque). While the population remained stable they adopted the language of successive waves of invaders down to the present universal English speech which is no more or less ‘foreign’ than the Celtic languages which are also the tongues of transient invading elites. The legendarium of Britain is also stable. Beowulf is a literary survival with no purchase on folk culture. Princess Scotia is a self conscious invention of the Wars of Independence. From the High King Mac Ercae to Lot of Orkney to Arthur’s Seat to Winchester to Tintagel the mythology of Britain is Arthurian. These are the tales passed down by real people across the generations. The dynasty is likewise pan-insular. The Scottish Kings (and later the English and then the British Kings) are descended from Fergus Mór and crowned upon the Lia Fáil from Tara. The Scottish Kings are also, since St Margaret, the heirs of the House of Wessex. The Union of 1603 thus returned the English Kings to their ancient throne. The name of Scotland in English means Ireland, the name of Scotland in Gaelic (Alba) means Great Britain. The Lion on the Scottish arms symbolises Huntingdon and the earliest Kings of Alba fought under the Red Dragon of the Britons. The liturgy praises St Mungo as the ‘glory of Cambria’. The obsession with the Wars of Independence is absurd. Scotland won these wars and in 1603 took over England not the other way around. On the other hand it seems the injustice of Edward I’s ambitions created the artificial sense of otherness between north and south among the one British people (rather as the Reformation did east-west for Ireland) which to this day feeds the illusion of four nations where in fact, on the deepest level, there is but one.

ArthurArthur’s title to the throne is hereditary. He does not acquire it through political virtue. It is, furthermore, unknown to him. The advantage of heredity – that the pursuit of power corrupts even more than its possession – is therefore magnified in his case. He thinks he is the younger son of Sir Ector. He is identified by means of a wonder sought from God by national prayer led by the Metropolitan of Londinium. When the sign first appears on Christmas Day, in the presence of the entire political nation, Arthur is not present. He is present on the Feast of Circumcision as page to Sir Kay.  He is being trained in the skills necessary for the exercise of the temporal power in his day, as befits what he believes to be his gentle but not exalted rank, but in a mode of service. Sir Kay has already been a knight for three months. The sight of the wonder is supposed to be guarded in a pavilion by ten knights but they have gone to the tournament. The tournament is the symbol of all those skills necessary for the governance of the temporal city which are nonetheless mere skills and not virtues. Sir Kay, the bully, is bursting to display his prowess at the joust and as is later revealed, should the opportunity present itself, to be king. Arthur doesn’t even know what the sword is, he draws it to help his brother while going the extra mile to serve him. He draws it alone in front of St Paul’s the outpost of the City of God in the world while the world is at the tourney. In Sir Ector’s oath the codes of honour and virtue combine to force Kay to admit that Arthur is King.


Then stood the realm in great jeopardy long while, for every lord that was mighty of men made him strong, and many weened to have been king. Then Merlin went to the Bishop of London, and counselled him for to send for all the lords of the realm, and all the gentlemen of arms, that they should to London come by Christmas, upon pain of cursing; and for this cause, that Jesus, that was born on that night, that he would of his great mercy show some miracle, as he was come to be king of mankind, for to show some miracle who should be rightwise king of this realm. So the Archbishop, by the advice of Merlin, sent for all the lords and gentlemen of arms that they should come by Christmas even unto London. And many of them made them clean of their life, that their prayer might be the more acceptable unto God. So in the greatest church of St Paul’s all the estates were long or day in the church for to pray. And when matins and the first mass was done, there was seen in the churchyard, against the high altar, a great stone four square, like unto a marble stone; and in midst thereof was like an anvil of steel a foot on high, and therein stuck a fair sword naked by the point, and letters there were written in gold about the sword that said thus:—Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born of all Britain. Then the people marvelled, and told it to the Archbishop.

I command, said the Archbishop, that ye keep you within your church and pray unto God still, that no man touch the sword till the high mass be all done. So when all masses were done all the lords went to behold the stone and the sword. And when they saw the scripture some assayed, such as would have been king. But none might stir the sword nor move it. He is not here, said the Archbishop, that shall achieve the sword, but doubt not God will make him known. But this is my counsel, said the Archbishop, that we let purvey ten knights, men of good fame, and they to keep this sword. So it was ordained, and then there was made a cry, that every man should assay that would, for to win the sword. And upon New Year’s Day the lords let make a jousts and a tournament, that all knights that would joust or tourney there might play, and all this was ordained for to keep the lords together and the commons, for the Archbishop trusted that God would make him known that should win the sword.

So upon New Year’s Day, when the service was done, the lords rode unto the field, some to joust and some to tourney, and so it happened that Sir Ector, that had great livelihood about London, rode unto the jousts, and with him rode Sir Kay his son, and young Arthur that was his nourished brother; and Sir Kay was made knight at All Hallowmass afore. So as they rode to the jousts-ward, Sir Kay lost his sword, for he had left it at his father’s lodging, and so he prayed young Arthur for to ride for his sword. I will well, said Arthur, and rode fast after the sword, and when he came home, the lady and all were out to see the jousting. Then was Arthur wroth, and said to himself, I will ride to the churchyard, and take the sword with me that sticketh in the stone, for my brother Sir Kay shall not be without a sword this day. So when he came to the churchyard, Sir Arthur alighted and tied his horse to the stile, and so he went to the tent, and found no knights there, for they were at the jousting. And so he handled the sword by the handles, and lightly and fiercely pulled it out of the stone, and took his horse and rode his way until he came to his brother Sir Kay, and delivered him the sword. And as soon as Sir Kay saw the sword, he wist well it was the sword of the stone, and so he rode to his father Sir Ector, and said: Sir, lo here is the sword of the stone, wherefore I must be king of this land. When Sir Ector beheld the sword, he returned again and came to the church, and there they alighted all three, and went into the church. And anon he made Sir Kay swear upon a book how he came to that sword. Sir, said Sir Kay, by my brother Arthur, for he brought it to me. How gat ye this sword? said Sir Ector to Arthur. Sir, I will tell you. When I came home for my brother’s sword, I found nobody at home to deliver me his sword; and so I thought my brother Sir Kay should not be swordless, and so I came hither eagerly and pulled it out of the stone without any pain. Found ye any knights about this sword? said Sir Ector. Nay, said Arthur. Now, said Sir Ector to Arthur, I understand ye must be king of this land. Wherefore I, said Arthur, and for what cause? Sir, said Ector, for God will have it so; for there should never man have drawn out this sword, but he that shall be rightwise king of this land. Now let me see whether ye can put the sword there as it was, and pull it out again. That is no mastery, said Arthur, and so he put it in the stone; wherewithal Sir Ector assayed to pull out the sword and failed.

Now assay, said Sir Ector unto Sir Kay. And anon he pulled at the sword with all his might; but it would not be. Now shall ye assay, said Sir Ector to Arthur. I will well, said Arthur, and pulled it out easily. And therewithal Sir Ector knelt down to the earth, and Sir Kay. Alas, said Arthur, my own dear father and brother, why kneel ye to me? Nay, nay, my lord Arthur, it is not so; I was never your father nor of your blood, but I wot well ye are of an higher blood than I weened ye were. And then Sir Ector told him all, how he was betaken him for to nourish him, and by whose commandment, and by Merlin’s deliverance.

Then Arthur made great dole when he understood that Sir Ector was not his father. Sir, said Ector unto Arthur, will ye be my good and gracious lord when ye are king? Else were I to blame, said Arthur, for ye are the man in the world that I am most beholden to, and my good lady and mother your wife, that as well as her own hath fostered me and kept. And if ever it be God’s will that I be king as ye say, ye shall desire of me what I may do, and I shall not fail you; God forbid I should fail you Sir, said Sir Ector, I will ask no more of you, but that ye will make my son, your foster brother, Sir Kay, seneschal of all your lands. That shall be done, said Arthur, and more, by the faith of my body, that never man shall have that office but he, while he and I live.


For obvious reasons, C. S. Lewis’s book That Hideous Strength has never received the praise it deserves.  I cannot agree with A. N. Wilson’s assertion, in his entertaining but tendentious biography of Lewis, that the novel is too long.  For me, in fact, it ends too soon: its principal flaws are that the descent of the Oyeresu is described too briefly, and that the reconciliation of Mark and Jane Studdock is left to the imagination.
Most of all, I should like to have heard more from Merlinus Ambrosius, that is, Merlin, who irrupts into the book half-way through. The enemy planned to use him as a tool for evil, but he turns out to be a Roman Christian gentleman who puts himself at the service of Ransom, the Director of St Anne’s and true Pendragon in the line of Arthur. For my money, the best parts in the story are those in which Merlinus is commenting on the mid-twentieth century world into which he has been revived, after his long sleep beneath the turf of Edgestow.
Sometimes his observations pertain only to the stranger manners of the latter days:
“Sir,” said Merlin, in answer to the question which the Director had just asked him, “I give you great thanks. I cannot, indeed, understand the way you live, and your house is strange to me. You give me a bath such as the Emperor himself might envy, but no one attends me to it: a bed softer than sleep itself, but when I rise from it I find I must put on my own clothes with my own hands as if I were a peasant. I lie in a room with windows of pure crystal so that you can see the sky as clearly when they are shut as when they are open, and there is not wind enough within the room to blow out an unguarded taper; but I lie in it alone, with no more honour than a prisoner in a dungeon. Your people eat dry and tasteless flesh, but it is off plates as smooth as ivory and as round as the sun. In all the house there is warmth and softness and silence that might put a man in mind of paradise terrestrial; but no hangings, no beautified pavements, no musicians, no perfumes, no high seats, not a gleam of gold, not a hawk, not a hound. You seem to me to live neither like a rich man nor a poor one: neither like a lord nor a hermit. Sir, I tell you these things because you have asked me. They are of no importance.”
Morals, however, he recognises as infinitely more important than manners:
She did not understand the words: but Dimble did, and heard Merlin saying in what seemed to him a rather strange kind of Latin: “Sir, you have in your house the falsest lady of any at this time alive.” 
And Dimble heard the Director answer in the same language. Sir, you are mistaken. She is doubtless like all of us a sinner: but the woman is chaste.” 
“Sir,” said Merlin, “know well that she has done in Logres a thing of which no less sorrow shall come than came of the stroke that Balinus struck. For, sir, it was the purpose of God that she and her lord should between them have begotten a child by whom the enemies should have been put out of Logres for a thousand years.”
“She is but lately married,” said Ransom. “The child may yet be born.” 
“Sir,” said Merlin, “be assured that the child will never be born, for the hour of its begetting is passed. Of their own will they are barren: I did not know till now that the usages of Sulva [the moon] were so common among you. For a hundred generations in two lines the begetting of this child was prepared; and unless God should rip up the work of time, such seed, and such an hour, in such a land, shall never be again.” 
“Enough said,” answered Ransom. “The woman perceives that we are speaking of her.” 
“It would be great charity,” said Merlin, “if you gave order that her head should be cut from her shoulders; for it is a weariness to look at her.”
Merlinus is surprised, too, that the little company at St Anne’s do not  see the justice of treating self-sterilization as a capital offence:
“The Pendragon tells me,” he said in his unmoved voice, “that you accuse me for a fierce and cruel man. It is a charge I never heard before. A third part of my substance I gave to widows and poor men. I never sought the death of any but felons and heathen Saxons. As for the woman, she may live for me. I am not master in this house. But would it be such a great matter if her head were struck off? Do not queens and ladies who would disdain her as their tire-woman* go to the fire for less? Even that gallows bird (cruciarius) beside you – I mean you, fellow, though you speak nothing but your own barbarous tongue; you with the face like sour milk and the voice like a saw in a hard log and the legs like a crane’s – even that cutpurse (sector zonarius), though I would have him to the gatehouse, yet the rope should be used on his back, not his throat.”
He finds the changes in geo-politics, too, hard to grasp:
“Mehercule!” he cried. “Are we not going too fast? If you are the Pendragon, I am the High Council of Logres, and I will council you. If the Powers must tear me in pieces to break our enemies, God’s will be done. But is it yet come to that? This Saxon king of yours who sits at Windsor, now—is there no help in him?”
“He has no power in this matter.”
“Then is he not weak enough to be overthrown?”
“I have no wish to overthrow him. He is the king. He was crowned and anointed by the Archbishop. In the order of Logres I may be Pendragon, but in the order of Britain I am the King’s man.”
“Is it, then, his great men – the counts and legates and bishops – who do the evil and he does not know of it?”
“It is – though they are not exactly the sort of great men you have in mind.”
“And are we not big enough to meet them in plain battle?”
“We are four men, some women, and a bear.”
“I saw the time when Logres was only myself and one man and two boys, and one of those was a churl. Yet we conquered.”
“It could not be done now. They have an engine called the Press whereby the people are deceived. We should die without even being heard of.”
“But what of the true clerks? Is there no help in them? It cannot be that all your priests and bishops are corrupted.”
“The Faith itself is torn in pieces since your day and speaks with a divided voice. Even if it were made whole, the Christians are but a tenth part of the people. There is no help there.”
“Then let us seek help from over sea. Is there no Christian prince in Neustria or Ireland or Benwick who would come in and cleanse Britain if he were called?”
“There is no Christian prince left. These other countries are even as Britain, or else sunk deeper still in the disease.”
“Then we must go higher. We must go to him whose office it is to put down tyrants and give life to dying kingdoms. We must call on the Emperor.”
“There is no Emperor.”
“No Emperor . . .” began Merlin, and then his voice died away. He sat still for some minutes wrestling with a world which he had never envisaged.
Here, as I think Christopher Derrick pointed out, the story suffers from Lewis’s own lack of Catholic faith.  The real Merlinus Ambrosius would doubtless have also asked about the Pope of Old Rome. And he would have wanted to know more about the ‘pieces’ into which the Faith had supposedly been torn, to discover whether he was sitting with Catholics or heretics (Warren Carroll pointed out in an unforgettable passage in his History of Christendom that in the later 5th century, all the kings in Europe were either pagans, heretics or schismatics, with the single exception of Arthur, who alone stood with the pope.)
This flaw apart, the conversation is excellently well done:
Presently he said, “A thought comes into my mind and I do not know whether it is good or evil. But because I am the High Council of Logres I will not hide it from you. This is a cold age in which I have awaked. If all this west part of the world is apostate, might it not be lawful, in our great need, to look further . . . beyond Christendom? Should we not find some even among the heathen who are not wholly corrupt? There were tales in my day of some such: men who knew not the articles of our most holy Faith but who worshipped God as they could and  acknowledged the Law of Nature. Sir, I believe it would be lawful to seek help even there – beyond Byzantium. It was rumoured also that there was knowledge in those lands – an Eastern circle and wisdom that came West from Numinor. I know not where – Babylon, Arabia, or Cathay. You said your ships had sailed all round the earth, above and beneath.”
Ransom shook his head. “You do not understand,” he said. “The poison was brewed in these West lands but it has spat itself everywhere by now. However far you went you would find the machines, the crowded cities, the empty thrones, the false writings, the barren beds: men maddened with false promises and soured with true miseries, worshipping the iron works of their own hands, cut off from Earth their mother and from the Father in Heaven. You might go East so far that East became West and you returned to Britain across the great Ocean, but even so you would not have come out anywhere into the light. The shadow of one dark wing is over all Tellus.”
In other words: just as it is a good discpline for the mind to translate one’s words into a foreign language, especially if it be very foreign, such as Latin or (I suppose) Chinese, since that forces one to think more clearly about what one really means, so it is a good discipline for the soul to explain one’s own times to someone from ages past, and so begin to see them as they really are.
* I had to look up tire-woman.  It means lady’s maid, tire being short for attire.


The politicians who ‘are determined to prevent no deal’ are shameless liars. Their one overwhelming objective is precisely to prevent a deal between HM Government and the EU that might obtain a majority in Parliament. They wish to exclude the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a deal because they know that this prospect is the only spur to the EU to offer a deal that Parliament might accept. They seek to frustrate Brexit itself on any terms but fear to be exposed for their dishonesty before the electorate (having promised to respect the referendum for which they voted) and so they must prevent a deal so that they can pretend merely to oppose ‘no deal’. They are without honour.



Rome, 7th September 1793

Noble sir, We consider that our especial commendation and the testimony of our heart may be justly claimed by those who, in this time of apostasy and impiety, have exerted the force of their genius that they might write in defence of the cause of right, and that they might labour with all their strength in helping and in favouring not only those distinguished ecclesiastics who are now exiles from the kingdom of France, but also all the Catholics residing in the most happy dominions of Great Britain. Amongst them you have stood out as one of the foremost, in that you have composed a famous work to overthrow and utterly destroy the fictions of the new philosophers of France, and have exhorted your fellow country-men not only to show indulgence to the above mentioned ecclesiastics in which they are pre-eminent, but also to show indulgences to Catholics born in the realm of Great Britain–those Catholics who, buoyed up by the renown of their loyalty, have made themselves worthy of the whole nation lavishing its love and benevolence upon them, and have also shown that they are no hindrance to the tranquility and security of the kingdom. This has taken place through your agency, often and at many times, but especially in the year 1780 and also on many subsequent occasions. And therefore it is our wish that you should accept with joyful and cheerful heart our congratulations and praises, which have this especial object—that you should more and more exert yourself to protect the cause of civilization, and that you should moreover feel assured that an encouragement has been given to our high opinion of the illustrious King of Great Britain and the renowned British people, because of such noble arguments for liberty. All this shall be declared personally to you by him who is to hand you this letter, and who has particularly recommended himself to us and to the Apostolic See since he can boast, to some extent a common nationality with yourself. Meanwhile we invoke upon you from the Almighty and beneficent Father all such good things as the heart can desire.

Given at Rome, the seventh day of September, 1793, in the nineteenth year of our pontificate.


Romæ, 7 septembris 1793.

Nobilis vir, salutem. Nostram profecto commemdationem, nostrique grati animi testimonium jure quodam suo vindicare sibi videntur ii, qui apostasiæ et impietatis tempore suas ingenii vires eo intenderunt, ut bonam causam defendendam susciperent, utque plurimum adlaborarent in juvandis fovendisque non iis modo egregiis ecclesiasticis viris, qui sunt e regno Galliarum extorres, sed omnibus etiam catholicis, qui in florentissimis istis Magnæ Britanniæ regnis commorantur. Hos inter tu in primis emituisti, qui celebre elucubrasti opus ad evertenda et profliganda novorum Galliæ philosophorum commenta, quique tuos hortatus esses cives nedum ut opem ferrent, ea qua præstant humanitate memoratis Galliarum ecclesiasticis viris, sed etiam ut plurimum faverent catholicis in Magnæ Britamniæ. Regno natis, qui fidelitatis laude pollentes se dignos reddiderunt, in quos natio universa suum amorem et benevolentiam conjiceret, et in quibus publici regiminis tranquillitas, et securitas conquiesceret. Quod quidem per te, et sæpe alias factum est, et ammo præsertim 1780, et aliis quoque temporibus, quæ postea sunt consecuta. Hinc læto hilarique velimus accipias animo nostras commendationes et laudes, quæ eo maxime spectant, ut tu magis magisque exciteris ad tuendam causam humanitatis, tibique præterea persuasum habeas, nostræ in Magnæ Britanniæ regem illustrem, et in inclytam mationem existimationi ob tam eximia liberalitatis argumenta magnam factam accessionem fuisse, veluti melius coram declarabitis, qui tibi has nostras litteras reddet, quique Nobis, et apostolicæ Sedi addictus est, et communem tecum nationem habere quodammodo gloriatur. Interim tibi a Deo optimo maximo bona omnia ex animo adprecamur.

Datum Romae , die 7 septembris 1793, pontificatus nostri anno decimo mono.

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