When I blogged on Friday on Christopher Columbus aka Cristobal Colón I stated that I had always been led to believe that he was from Genoa but that the latest research suggested he was a Catalan Jew – see the blog below.
This led to Malcolm Davidson sending in a comment that he wasn’t Spanish, Catalan or Italian but Scottish. Well if there are a people far too big for their boots other than the Catalans it’s the Scots.
None-the-less I admit I had read a report in the Daily Telegraph suggesting that Christopher Columbus was actually Pedro Scotto, a likely tale I say.
Here’s what the Daily Telegraph had to say: “Alfonso Ensenat de Villalonga has disputed conventionally-accepted narratives on the explorer’s origins - that he was the son of a weaver in Genoa, Italy, or that he was from Catalonia or Galicia in Spain.
“In fact, he was from Genoa, but he was “the son of shopkeepers not weavers and he was baptised Pedro not Christopher,” Mr Villalonga told Spain’s ABC newspaper on Sunday.
“And his family name was Scotto, and was not Italian but of Scottish origin.
“He had light-coloured eyes and freckles. He also had blond hair even though it quickly turned white. That’s how his contemporaries described him. Nothing like the traditional images (of him), which are totally invented,” the historian said.
“Mr Villalonga cited a chronicle of Catholic kings written by Lucio Marineo Siculo, who referred in his writings to "Pedro Columbus", not Christopher.
“The historian has also claimed that the navigator once worked for a pirate called Vincenzo Columbus, and adopted that family name in order not to "expose" his relations.
“Mr Villalonga said his research involved combing the archives in the Genoa region along with those in the Spanish history academy and national library.”
All well and good but until I see a picture of Christopher Columbus wearing a kilt and munching haggis I will remain unconvinced. So I will still cling to the belief that he hailed from Mediterranean origins and not north of Hadrian’s Wall.