The Matter of Britain, the Isle of Avalon, King Arthur and the works of Geoffrey of Monmouth
The research in the following pages concerns Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, King Arthur and the Matter of Britain. The subject is complicated and the inquirer will need to read through each section of the evidence presented here so that a conclusion to the Matter of Britain and how it relates to the deception of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s work is unequivocally established. In this era of ‘fake news’ the battle of empirical truth against propaganda is the subject of our age. If modern medievalist scholars imbued by qualification accept fallacious Medieval propaganda as part of their empirical reasoning, how may we trust them to reach an empirical truth. As Piers Morgan has recently observed ‘once you know someone’s lying about some things, how can you believe anything else they are saying without hard evidence to support it? So, if Geoffrey’s HRB is full of lies in the narrative (which all agree), and in what the HRB claims in association to contemporaries, ‘Geoffrey’s’ patrons and his source material, why should we lend any more credence to his biographical details or even his person ever having existed?
This investigation starts with Geoffrey of Monmouth’s works of the HRB and the Vita Merlini. The second stage of the research material covers Glastonbury Abbey lore concerning King Arthur and his seemingly anachronistic relation in literary manuscripts to Joseph of Arimathea. Thirdly, this investigation covers the early Grail legends and their origins uncovering by whom they were first formulated. The conclusions drawn to each segment of investigation create an entirely different set of conclusions currently understood by modern scholars.
The evidence presented in this work suffers from English phraseology spoken as a learnt language, but for the diligent inquirer, the truth of the conclusions in this work are self evident when the three genres of investigation are viewed as a whole. The substantiation that Geoffrey of Monmouth was really the Bishop of Winchester is plainly documented in these pages. But… how do you teach the flat earth society (current modern scholars) that the world is round when their subjective perception on Arthuriana and Glastonbury lore indicates a different perspective.
This is the problem with the truth’s which I wish to convey to those qualified to contradict me who have accepted a propaganda and are unwilling to see a truth objectively. If the ‘learnèd’ have been taught to believe a lie and have founded every empirical conclusion based upon certain fallacious medieval propaganda, it is nearly impossible to un-learn the learnèd. Scholars are considered learnèd because they have learned their subject matter but it does not follow that which has been learnt is correct. Geoffrey of Monmouth’s work and the ‘Matter of Britain’ would hardly attract so much scholastic endeavour, if truly the subject had reached a conclusion.
For two hundred years, modern scholars have been investigating Geoffrey of Monmouth’s work and they are still exasperated that ‘Geoffrey’ and his literary production remains an enigma. Every time a theory is advanced about the ‘History of the Kings of Britain’ or the Vita Merlini or about ‘Geoffrey’s’ biographical details, including his sometimes apparent pro-Norman sympathies and at other times anti Norman bias; it seems only temporary propositions or theories can be maintained by modern researchers. That is, until some other new information is uncovered which contradicts or negates a previously held argument by medievalists. Understanding ‘who’ composed the HRB and the VM brings clarity to all the conundrums faced by students of ‘Geoffrey of Monmouth’s’ work.
Prof. O.J. Padel points out: What is certain is Geoffrey’s subtlety and the complexity of his work: the gravest error that we students can commit is to underestimate it. The more one learns about his work, the more one feels that Geoffrey was always one step ahead of his twentieth-century readers: anything that we may establish, by dint of hard work and detailed scholarship, is open to revision by some future discovery.
Unless Padel accepts that ‘Geoffrey’ really was a Norman Aristocrat named Henry Blois and that he wrote at times with a pretense of empathy with the Britons under the pen name of Galfridus Artur and latterly as ‘Geoffrey of Monmouth’; ‘Geoffrey’s’ seeming complexities will never be understood.
A hundred years ago Evans says: In simple fact, we can never read Geoffrey aright until we realise what nation it was of which he aspired to be the national writer of the national epic. The reasoning of the proposal is right but the rationale is wrong. It takes no account of purposeful misdirection or the reasoning behind ‘Geoffrey’s’ propaganda. If the author of HRB is established, more understanding of ‘Geoffrey’s seeming contradictions become clear. Rather than accepting detailed obfuscation of chronology and personal details which are devices to aid Henry Blois remain incognito; students of ‘Geoffrey’ need to try to understand that ‘Geoffrey’ was a fabricated persona by Henry Blois. Once this basic premise is grasped, then….. to what ‘Geoffrey’ aspired, by composing the HRB and VM, is writ large in the evidences which follow!
Basically, modern scholars are unwilling to overturn a hundred years of ‘hard work and detailed scholarship’ and prefer their own imperfect rationalisations instead of accepting the simple axiom that Geoffrey of Monmouth was in fact Henry Blois, even though those scholarly rationales contradict the evidence when seen in context. Scholars today would rather cherry pick and cobble together certain pertinent parts of the Matter of Britain into an incomplete theory, without tackling the subject as a whole.
This obduracy has obviously led to false conclusions which have then forced red lines upon other cross-over deductions to create an empirical falsehood. Researchers have accepted the persona of Geoffrey, which is based on blatant propaganda initiated by Henry Blois…. the evidence for which is presented in the following sections.
Yet scholars ‘strain’ at the minutiae and have poured over the content of HRB and the Merlin prophecies in its variant texts without any context concerning the author’s motives for both works. If scholars are still unclear about which variant or version of the HRB text preceded another chronologically, there is little hope of establishing that the copy found at Bec in 1139 was not a Vulgate text. This important point is blatantly obvious from reading EAW. Yet, mis-directional dedications to certain HRB texts have created false conclusions about the date at which editions were made public. Some highly specific Merlin prophecies included in those editions can only be of later date obviated by that which they pretend to predict.
Henry Blois, the abbot of Glastonbury and Bishop of Winchester composed a significant output of manuscripts. Henry Blois wished to remain anonymous in his authorship, but modern scholars blithely accept his propagandist misdirection and the fact he composes manuscripts under false names.
When researchers into Geoffrey’s work know the content of that author’s output is filled with falsehoods and they know no contemporary of Geoffrey argues or even converses with Geoffrey himself; then why are we reliant on only a few Oxford charters as evidence of his existence in reality? Especially if there was so much interest in his work in his own era and now.
If a medievalist investigator understands the text of HRB as an evolving text from an original book I have termed the Psuedo Historia composed c.1130-34 for Henry Ist, which was never published; we can then understand from the research carried out for his first proposed composition, Henry Blois then created another work c.1137-38. I have termed that secondary manuscript the Primary Historia, the original version of HRB found at Bec Abbey in 1139, from which we get the Huntingdon synopsis known as EAW (letter to Warinus).
Contrary to modern scholar’s understanding of the evolution and dissemination of ‘Geoffrey’s’ works; these first versions were then followed by the First Variant version and several abridgments and branched versions until lastly the Vulgate version of HRB was published from 1155-7 en masse with updates to the Merlin prophecies. These Vulgate versions had dedications added which in effect ‘back date’ the Vulgate version by way of appearing to have been published in the lifetime of the dedicatee. This understanding goes against that of modern Medievalist scholars because they have not realised that the dedications which they think date some manuscripts are false.
They have also assumed the text of the Vulgate version of the manuscript catalogued in 1160 at Le Bec was the same as that found in 1139 which is obviously not true.
The dedications were added later and were purposeful propaganda created by Henry Blois. The reasoning behind all the misleading propaganda is complex but the proofs that Henry Blois has laid a false trail is certain when all his propaganda is viewed in context. Unless Henry Blois is understood to be the author of many of the differences in these versions of HRB and these versions are put into context chronologically i.e. First variants being composed before Vulgate version, the conundrums which scholars inevitably face in denial of this fact will never dissipate. An axiomatic approach is the only viable solution to finding the truth behind the Matter of Britain where previous methodology has cherry picked information and excluded other detail which provided false a priori for a contextual understanding. If the postulate that Henry Blois used Geoffrey of Monmouth as a pen name is taken to be true to serve as a premise or starting point for further reasoning and arguments the chronological swamp becomes much clearer.
In effect, ‘Geoffrey’ seems always to be one step ahead of investigators, being hard to pin down in the contradictions of sentiment found in the content of the HRB, Merlin prophecies and the Vita Merlini. Researchers have had differences of opinion to exactly gauge ‘Geoffrey’s’ methodology or motivations behind writing such an extraordinary composition. Once our academics understand the motivation behind the origins of the HRB, the time-line of the evolving manuscripts and the logical contradictions of statements made in HRB; scholars can then understand that the dedications which prefix the work are a ruse which essentially backdate several editions for essential reasons which become evident.
The various Galfridian versions of HRB will remain an enigmatic composition until modern scholars come to understand that the evolving ‘variant’ editions of HRB and the text of the Vita Merlini were composed by Henry Blois, the abbot of Glastonbury.
The several ‘agendas’ of Henry Blois culminate ultimately in the surfacing of Arthur’s bones at Glastonbury followed by Arthur’s connection to Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury and in the creation of Grail legend. Glastonbury became synonymous with Avalon through propaganda initiated by Henry Blois which, again, is clearly defined in later pages.
The answers to this investigation of course lead us to the mysterious author of the ‘book of the Grail’ mentioned by Chrétien de Troyes and the early Grail stories references to its original author.
It is not by accident or coincidence that the Bleheris who, according to Wauchier, had ‘told tales concerning Gawain and Arthur’s court’; and the Master Blihis, ‘who knew the Grail mystery’, and gave solemn counselling about its revelation; the Blihos-Bliheris, ‘who knew the Grail, and many other tales’; the Bréri, ‘who knew all the legendary tales concerning the princes of Britain’; and the famous story-teller Bledhericus, of whom Gerald of Wales speaks, are all coincidental concoctions. These are not separate people, or mere source inventions of the separate subsequent ‘continuators’ of Grail literature after Robert de Boron and Chrétien. The ‘Blihos’ of Blihos Bleheris gives the anagram H. Blois.
Once our experts understand who propagated the propaganda about Joseph of Arimathea on the continent and at Glastonbury, the Matter of Britain as a whole, concerning King Arthur and Joseph at Glastonbury, will have to be re-assessed.
Valerie Lagorio is the main instigator in leading modern scholars like Carley and Crick astray. But, Lagorio, by academic default had learnt misguided deductions from previous generations of the learnèd which led her to fatuous conclusions, such as:
With this record of prosperity, Glastonbury had little need to enhance its Glory with Arthur’s counterpart, Joseph of Arimathea. Yet around 1250 the monks quietly incorporated Joseph into their founding legend, possibly succumbing to the fortuitous convergence of factors supporting such a claim: the impact of traditional belief in Britain’s conversion to Christianity by an apostle; Joseph’s legendary status as an apostle and missionary; extant legends of the abbeys origins;and the Arthurian Grail cycle, which proclaimed Joseph as the apostle of Britain.
Crawford, in her study of St. Joseph and Britain, says that ; The proponents of a literary evolution have never provided an adequate solution to the central puzzle: why anyone’s imagination should have brought Joseph- a most unlikely person- to Britain at all. It is simply not accepted that the Melkin prophecy which mentions Joseph of Arimathea’s burial island is the original document which historically connects Joseph to Britain. Crawford adds nothing in terms of elucidation by her inquiry because she has not grasped the several ‘agendas’ of Henry Blois or perceived his hand in the interpolations of William of Malmesbury’s DA. She therefore makes erroneous deductions about Joseph’s appearance at Glastonbury, based on Joseph’s absence from the charter of St Patrick and Joseph’s name not being mentioned in Malmesbury’s GR.
Crawford, following erroneous chronology, has dismissed the possibility of William of Malmesbury and Henry Blois having discovered the prophecy of Melkin in the archives at Glastonbury along with the 601 charter concerning the island of Ineswitrin. Also, as both Carley and Lagorio have dismissed the Melkin prophecy as a fake, based upon the fact it centered upon ‘Geoffrey’s Isle of Avalon, they have not understood that Henry Blois substituted the name of Ineswitrin for Insula Avallonis on the Melkin document. Thus, Crawford misunderstands the reasoning behind Joseph of Arimathea’s connection to Glastonbury lore and also misses the fact that the abbot of Glastonbury was the author of the HRB.
Crawford like every other scholar before her summarises that:
Glastonbury appears to be the hesitant recipient rather than the originator of the link between Joseph and Britain.
Of course, she follows the deductions of other scholars (including my uncle) in assuming that it was Glastonbury as an institution that interpolated Malmesbury’s DA. This logically could not be as I lay out further on in this work.
Carley and Lagorio base all their conclusions on paleographical evidence not allowing for the destruction of the Library at Glastonbury in 1184. They both have wrongly judged that the Melkin prophecy is a fake because they have misunderstood to which Island the enigmatic prophecy of Melkin originally referred to, before the name of the island on the original document was altered i.e. Yniswitrin.
Nowadays, the Prophecy of Melkin’s association to the Island of Avalon is inseparable and for this reason it is dismissed, but the genuineness of the geometrical data encrypted in the prophecy of Melkin is undeniable.
Scholarship has simply missed the fact that Geoffrey of Monmouth was the pen name for Henry Blois, the abbot of Glastonbury. Scholarship has tried its best to alter chronology by twisting the facts to suit contrived deductions. If the ‘Chivalric’ King Arthur is a construct of Geoffrey of Monmouth (which he certainly is), then how does ‘Geoffrey’ know that King Arthur would be found in Avalon (Insula Pomorum) when writing in 1155 and yet King Arthur’s supposed remains were not discovered until 1189-91. How does the author of Perlesvaus c.1165 situate the Grail chapel at Glastonbury and know Guinevere is buried with Arthur? Could it have something to do with the abbot of Glastonbury manufacturing the grave-site of King Arthur before his death and then letting all know where to find the grave?
It is obvious that the interpolator of William of Malmesbury’s DA knows where King Arthur is buried because the actual person who interpolated Malmesbury’s DA is the same person who created King Arthur’s grave site, the person to whom the DA was presented to originally.
Henry de Sully who is currently thought to be the instigator of the fraud at Glastonbury purporting to uncover King Arthur’s grave, merely uncovered a previously manufactured grave created by Henry Blois during his lifetime while Abbot of Glastonbury. We can determine this fact by what is interpolated into the DA about where the grave of King Arthur would be found.
Yet, as one would expect, before the actual disinterment, nothing is mentioned about the exhumation itself in the DA. Also, the colophon in the Perlesvaus (written well before 1190) also predicts what will be found in the grave with King Arthur i.e. Guinevere; which is precisely what Gerald of Wales attests to also. Gerald was an eyewitness to the exhumation of the previously manufactured grave. The grave-site and what was found therein was assembled by Henry Blois and uncovered by Henry de Sully.
Logically, if the interpolator of the DA was writing after 1191, of course he would have given a description of the events but Henry Blois died before the unearthing of his manufactured grave site took place. Of course the logic of why the events surrounding the exhumation of Arthur are not mentioned in DA (if DA had supposedly been interpolated after the event), seems to evade modern scholars acumen.
The Perlesvaus was composed before the disinterment of the manufactured grave, so how does the author know that Guinevere will be in the Grave with Arthur when discovered as Gerald of Wales also attests? Unless, logically, the composer of Perlesvaus is one and the same person who manufactured the Grave and pointed out in DA where the grave was located i.e. between the piramides.
The only way modern scholars can get round these facts is by creating a false chronology and ignoring Giraldus’ testimony. If the interpolator of the DA wrote after the disinterment of King Arthur, how remiss of him not to include one detail of the discovery. Why would the interpolator casually note where the grave STILL LIES i.e. at the time of the interpolation, the grave has not been uncovered.
Modern scholars would have us believe that Glastonbury, the great institution of interpolators (or as my uncle called them the officine de faux), decided to leave the whole account of the disinterment of King Arthur to Gerald of Wales. If, as modern scholars have determined, the point of the exhumation by Henry de Sully was the glorification of Glastonbury and if indeed most of the interpolations into DA were composed after the exhumation of Arthur as current researchers have divined; then logically those interpolators would have made more of a song and dance about King Arthur’s discovery had they written after the disinterment of Arthur.
Plainly, just stating where the position of the grave is situated in the graveyard at Glastonbury indicates someone prior to the unearthing knows where it is and that logically can only be the person who manufactured it and interpolated the grave’s location in the Glastonbury graveyard into the text of DA prior to the exhumation.
Crawford says: Professor Carley suggests (based on paleographical evidence) that it cannot be proven that Glastonbury’s writers directly referenced Arthurian texts before the fourteenth century. There were no ‘Glastonbury writers’ of any significant importance which influenced the events leading to the Matter of Britain except for Henry Blois. There are a few unimportant interpolations in the DA not made by Henry Blois discussed later in this work. Henry Blois died in 1171 and actually authored (not ‘referenced’) the Arthurian texts; both HRB and the original Grail works.
The puzzle of the appearance of the Grail and Joseph of Arimathea lies simply in the discovery of the prophecy of Melkin while Henry Blois and William of Malmesbury were sorting through ancient documents trying to find definitive proof of Glastonbury abbey’s antiquity. Geoffrey Ashe, Daniel Scavone , Crawford, Carley Crick etc. all wonder how Joseph of Arimathea is linked to Britain and the Grail and most of their ‘scholarly’ theories are preposterous, shutting out the very possibility to the reality of the Prophecy of Melkin being the source for both the Grail legends and Joseph’s association with Britain.
Henry Blois’ embellishment of that cryptic piece of writing i.e. the Melkin Prophecy found at Glastonbury, is his template for the story of the Grail and the reasoning behind King Arthur’s connection to Avalon. The island is represented in the prophecy of Melkin as the resting place of Joseph of Arimathea but the original document before Henry Blois altered the name of the island, referred to Yniswitrin….. not Avallon.
Avallon was just a name taken from a town in the county of Blois which is still so named today which then became the namesake for the Insula Avallonis mentioned in HRB and is the substituted name of the island where Joseph is buried found also on JG’s recycling of the prophecy of Melkin in his Cronica.
In reality, the prophecy of Melkin’s enigmatic message encodes the blood relic of Jesus with Joseph of Arimathea’s relics and shows the ‘Grail’s’ hidden location on an island. Once the obtuse Latin is decoded and once it is understood that originally the prophecy of Melkin referred to the island of Ineswitrin, we can then understand how the geometric cryptogram which is portrayed by the message in the prophecy of Melkin is made plain for all rational researchers to understand i.e. the grave of Joseph of Arimathea remains yet undiscovered.
Henry Blois has simply embellished what he himself did not understand i.e. the Duo Fassula becomes the Sang Real or ‘Royal Blood’ to become the San Graal. It is evident that Henry Blois was the originator of Grail Legends if the evidences and conclusions in this work are taken into account.
As long as scholars today insist without further examination that the Melkin prophecy is a fake, or like Crawford, Carley, Crick etc. ignore the Melkin prophecy as the template for the Grail (and even the ‘quest’ for the Grail), and even more importantly, the Grail’s association with Joseph; then their bewilderment regarding the provenance of Joseph’s association with Britain will prevail!!
Medievalists already understand Giraldus’ testimony that Arthur’s resting place was known prior to the disinterment, because Gerald clearly says about King Henry II, for the King had said many times, as he had heard from the historical tales of the Britons and from their bards, that Arthur was buried between two pyramids that were erected in the holy burial-ground’. It is emphatically stated in William of Malmesbury’s interpolated DA where Arthur is buried, otherwise the manufactured grave site described by Gerald would never have been found.
The problem is that researchers, without exception, have denied the early provenance of the Interpolations into William of Malmesbury’s DA and thus by erroneous chronological deduction have all chosen to brand Giraldus as unreliable. Pressed by their own false a priori, they ignore Gerald’s testimony; so that their own wrongly constructed theories on the events surrounding King Arthur’s supposed disinterment were not blatantly contradicted by Gerald of Wales’ testimony.
If modern scholarship’s assessments about the ‘Matter of Britain’ was correct, it should not be forgotten how we account for the reference to King Arthur in a charter written by Henry II granting concessions to Glastonbury, documented in the Great Cartulary of Glastonbury, where it refers to the many Kings connected to Glastonbury including the renowned King Arthur c.1184. So, what gave King Henry II, while still alive in 1189 (before the given date of the disinterment), the idea that Arthur was buried at Glastonbury?
We also should remember that the single copy of William of Malmesbury’s DA was presented to Henry Blois as a monogrammed single copy for appraisal…. as the prologue attests. It is through the many interpolations in this work that Henry Blois has managed to corroborate his other variously secretive and propagandist works which now constitute the material known as the ‘Matter of Britain’.
This work shows clearly that Avalon and the ‘Chivalric’ King Arthur attested to in the HRB along with the Joseph of Arimathea legend at Glastonbury, and the primary source material of Grail legend was the invention of Henry Blois!!!
The Reverend Francis Uriah Lot
Copyright © 2013 Francis Lot
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