‘Since the name Ineswitrin suddenly appears as an afterthought in Caradoc’s Life of Gildas, its appearance in that manuscript is obviously bound up with substantiating the 601 charter which in reality donates an Island in Devon to the old church at Glastonbury.
Henry Blois in his desire to obtain metropolitan status and for the purpose of countering Osbern’s false statement implying Dunstan was the first Abbot of Glastonbury, has composed the Life of Gildas as it exists today. One would think it un-necessary of William of Malmesbury to dismiss Caradoc’s work concerning his kidnap of Guinevere episode, if indeed it was true that Malmesbury was referring to this episode while referring to Arthur’s renown as idle tales of the Britons.
However, Malmesbury is more likely to have been referring to those references of Arthur in Nennius. However, if Caradoc and William really were contemporaneous as the colophon in Vulgate HRB implies, it seems positive after William’s research at Glastonbury he would have referred to Caradoc’s life of Gildas contextually if indeed it had been in the public domain when composing his other works at Glastonbury. We know that any reference in DA which confirms content foun d in the Life of Gildas is however a Blois interpolation as I clearly highlight in the section on the DA.
Is it strange that William of Malmesbury does not mention Caradoc…. if Caradoc really had been a contemporary at Glastonbury and Caradoc was writing a flatulent recast of his own life of St Cadoc in the form of the Life of Gildas which evidently we know now was composed by Henry Blois.
Caradoc was certainly dead when Henry Blois came across his manuscript of the Life of St Cadoc while in Wales in 1136. Henry Blois based his own Life of Gildas on Caradoc’s genuine Life of St Cadoc and makes it appear at a later date in 1155 as if Caradoc was a conteporary of both Huntingdon and Malmesbury in the historian colophon in the Vulgate HRB. Also Henry Blois has tried to imply that Caradoc had taken up the mantle of continuing ‘Geoffrey’s’ HRB by composing the Brut y Tywysogion.
This supposed contemporaneity is in fact carried out retro-actively by back dating the Vulgate HRB (from 1155) by citing dead dedicatees as patrons of Geoffrey. So, why is Caradoc singled out so favourably in the Colophon? The reason is that Caradoc is not in reality contemporaneous, and we are being led to believe he is. Henry Blois had previously employed his name as the supposed author of the Life of Gildas when attempting to create an antiquity in response to Osbern’s accusation and indeed his own folly of fabricating a story which implied Dunstan was buried at Glastonbury (which spawned Eadmer’s Letter).
The subtle point of this is that we must remember the colophon is being written c.1155-58 and Henry Blois ostensibly demonstrates that the author of HRB (i.e. himself) could not be impersonating a dead Caradoc by producing corroborative evidence of Arthur at Glastonbury found in the Life of Gildas. We are led to believe Caradoc is supposedly alive in 1143 when William of Malmesbury was still alive. Also, we should remember Henry has no axe to grind with Caradoc…. he merely impersonates him as author of Life of Gildas. Contrarily, Henry Blois (as we have covered) has been slighted by both Malmesbury and Huntingdon in their outputs and so with an air of importance he dismisses their authority.
Of the lives of St Dunstan written prior to William’s own VD I and VD II which include material from author B’s edition of the life of Dunstan, Adelard’s, Osbern’s and Eadmer’s and in William’s other saint’s lives, and in GP….. there is no mention of Ineswitrin. An odd occurrence if it really were the old name for Glastonbury. The name featured no-where else in previous hagiographic accounts.
So, we can take it as a fact that Ineswitrin was not the old name for Glastonbury which I clearly demonstrate in the section on the 601 charter which features Ineswitrin. We can also accept it as a truth that its name was lost in time like the old language of the Britons that William so detested.
More importantly and the very reason for this present investigation is why was this island donated to Glastonbury at the time of the Saxon invasion and the question of what was deposited on the island of Ineswitrin in a bygone age c.34 AD. If the bodies in the cave on Burgh Island are found to be the relics of Jesus and Joseph, it will rock the foundation and destroy the Catholic Church.
If Caradoc’s brief little volume of the life of Gildas existed while both William and Caradoc were supposedly contemporary at Glastonbury, William of Malmesbury would have mentioned Ineswitrin (excepting the 601charter which mentions it as an exemplified on an existing document in the unadulterated DA) or referred to Caradoc’s Life of Gildas. but William had left Glastonbury to attempt receiving some form of recompense for his endeavours c.1134 by presenting his DA to Henry at Winchester.
All that ostensibly persists (regarding what we are supposed to think was William’s view of Gildas at Glastonbury) is the interpolation in GR3 (version B) and DA, regarding Gildas’ stay at Glastonbury which obviously was generated by Henry Blois to corroborate.
This is a direct indication that the 601 charter and Caradoc’s Life of Gildas are intricately linked and were utilised in the 1144 gambit for metropolitan status by Henry Blois where the 601 charter was the main physical evidence of the proof of antiquity for the abbey at Glastonbury and HRB’s professions of longevity for Winchester.
The 601 charter would only withstand scrutiny as long as it could be shown that the name Ineswitrin applied to Glastonbury. The St Patrick charter which has both Ineswitrin (and Avalon mentioned in the postscript in DA of the charter but added later), was employed latterly in 1149 and employs the further embellishments stated in that charter. The postscript to the St Patrick Charter mentioning Avalon in DA is part of Henry’s ‘second agenda’ (post 1158)
It is through Caradoc’s Life of Gildas that Henry Blois convinces us that William of Malmesbury’s 601 charter concerning Ineswitrin was the previous name for Glastonbury and he also re-iterates this same position as he employs the St Patrick charter in his second attempt at gaining Metropolitan status in 1149.
William, (except in Henry’s interpolations in DA and through Henry’s authorship of Life of Gildas), does not in any way infer that Ineswitrin is synonymous with Glastonbury. William of Malmesbury is merely including the 601 Charter in GR3 along with a few other up-dates which we shall cover shortly. If Henry Blois had not written the final paragraph in the Life of Gildas establishing Ineswitrin as the old name for Glastonbury; the charter would be referring to an ‘estate’ of five cassates541 existing on an island somewhere unknown (which in reality it does).
541See image 3
It was more important to establish Glastonbury as synonymous with the Ineswitrin mentioned in the 601 charter for credibility’s sake…. as the physical evidence of the antiquated charter itself was unchangeable. The 601 charter was to be handed to papal authorities in evidence which was to help Henry aquire Metropolitan status for Winchester but by consequence the whole of south west England (including Glastonbury). It is the charter itself which comprises a substantial part of Henry Blois’ case in Rome and the first question would be concerning the 601 charter’s authenticity…. where is Ineswitrin?
Henry Blois was much younger than his brothers Theobald and Stephen. Therefore, for a considerable time Henry was a Grandee in England through his family connections after they had died. His appointment to Glastonbury and Winchester both held at the same time was unusual and was only sanctioned by having such illustrious family connections.
It was his ease at court and his knowledge of how history records only Kings and Queens which gave him the confidence to commence composition of the pseudo-history as a fabricated history (which was in fact the precursor of the Primary Historia found at Bec). It was Henry’s intricate knowledge of court affairs and of events in the anarchy which gave Merlin his insight in the prophecies. Henry knew the intricate details of his family’s forebears to be able to construct prophecies about the ‘white ship’ and his uncle etc. Who else would take the liberty to invent such a fraudulent edifice?
Scott is basically correct in that the first 34 chapters of DA are not William’s work. It would not seem stupid to speculate that folios were adeptly forged which matched William’s text and style and inserted at the beginning of the extant account of DA where William commences his proof of antiquity at 601 AD.
Therefore, the body of William’s work has remained relatively untouched in the latter half of DA…. This becomes apparent in that Henry’s probable format (following William’s original) is still held in our current DA where Henry’s last consolidating additions concerning Joseph are at the beginning…. inserted into the monograph copy (and subsequent to his own previous interpolations). which later was copied by scribes from one of Henry’s many scriptoriums.
We have discussed already the variation in storyline and the unlikely omission by Huntingdon to mention Avalon in his précis which constitutes EAW. If it had been originally mentioned as part of the storyline in the Primary Historia, Huntingdon would have commented on it while mentioning the hope of the Britons/Bretons with which he concludes EAW. Especially since Arthur’s return was the hope of the Britons and Arthur’s last known location (if it had been part of EAW) was on Avalon.
Henry Blois knew of Caradoc’s Brut y Tywysogion and ends his HRB where Caradoc starts his tract in the era of Cadwallader and Pope Sergius, who was Pope from 15 December 687 to his death in 701.
The impersonation of Caradoc of Lancarfan was chosen by Henry Blois because (contrary to the current understanding of modern scholarship) the body of Brut y Tywysogion was written by Caradoc prior to the Primary Historia.
The Brut y Tywysogion chronicle commences A.D. 680. It does not give the events under each year, but under each decade as 690, 700, 710 etc. and registers a series of occurrences without comment until six or seven years prior to 1100. This historical section must obviously have been taken from another source by Caradoc or is his own compendium of events.However, just prior to 1100 in the tract, one can witness Caradoc takes over in his own narrative in an era from his own experience and memory.
About 1100 AD, the Brut y Tywysogion commences the use of the phrase “Y vlwydyn rac wyneb,” (the ensuing year,) before each year, under which events are recorded, until the next decade, successively…. and the narrative is carried on in a uniform style to the year 1120.
Now, the editors of the History and Antiquities of Saint David’s, referring to Nova Legenda Angliae, fol. iv, as their authority, place the death of Caradog in 1124. This may be explained logically in reality by the death of Caradoc at that time. (We know ‘Geoffrey’s’ misleading contemporaneity with Huntingdon and Malmesbury is a sham).
Also, at this period, again, a remarkable alteration is very evident; in that, the narrative of the events in Caradoc’s chronicle of the twenty years between 1100 and 1120 occupies a space double to that devoted to the history of the period which elapsed between 1120 and 1164 (Henry died 1171). So, it is not unfounded to assume that this is the period 1100-1120 naturally expanded upon by Caradoc while writing the Chronicle in his own era. But, there is also something else which might indicate that Caradoc actually died in 1129.
After continuing the history recorded in the Brut y Tywysogion we come to a point where the manuscript weirdly records itself as having nothing to record in 1130: Four years after that, that is to say, one thousand one hundred and thirty was the year of Christ, when there were four successive years without any story to be found, that could be preserved in memory.
This in itself is already strange in that, a chronicle written by someone supposedly alive says nothing happened. This is quite ridiculous for a chronicler to make such a statement. If someone is taking over a chronicle at a point four years after the previous author died and trying to continue the same format he would have to be aware of what transpired. So, from 1130 to 1134 the world apparently stands still in Wales. Now, if Caradoc as Geoffrey suggests was alive in 1120 (when he expounds about recent events) and is supposedly still alive in 1143 when we know Malmesbury died….why,if continuing on with his chronicle could there be nothing preserved in his own memory especially with the Norman incursions and perpetual squabbles between the Welsh themselves. In other words Caradoc dies and a continuator takes up the mantle from 1134.
Following this we enter into a history about the struggles of the Welsh with Stephen and under the year 1134: And the ensuing year, Henry, son of William the Bastard, King of England and Wales, and of all the island besides, died in Normandy, on the third day of the month of December. And after him his nephew, Stephen of Blois, took the crown of the Kingdom by force, and bravely brought all the South of England under his sway.
Now, if the author who has picked up Caradoc’s Brut y Tywysogion refers to Stephen as brave, this is strange from a Welsh point of view. There is nothing to say that a Welsh speaking continuator continued the journal from this point onward. More likely is that Henry got his hands on it while in Wales in 1136 and had a scribe continue its chronology.
My suggestion is that Caradoc’s death coincided with the period where there was nothing to report before the next author takes up the continuation. I am suggesting that Caradoc died c.1129 and thus Henry Blois used his name to write the propagandist polemic called the life of Gildas.542This initially was an innocuous work which put Gildas at Glastonbury with King Arthur, but essentially was a work designed to add credence to the antiquity of Glastonbury abbey. Don’t forget 1139 would be when Henry was on his way to Rome and instigated the only other reference to the Kidnap of Guinevere in the engraving on the Modena Archivolt. We know Henry wrote the Life of Gildas and concocted the ‘Kidnap’ story, but knowing Henry’s modus operandi; He would not have used Caradoc’s name as author of the Life of Gildas unless he knew Caradoc was dead. Take this deduction with what his chronicle ridiculously states and one might conclude why there is no news for a four year period!!
542Henry Blois (as ‘Geoffrey’) constructs the HRB to end where Caradoc’s Brut begins. Caradoc may have died as early as 1126-29 when Henry was at Glastonbury. The fact that he is hailed as contemporary to ‘Geoffrey’ in the Colophon is irrelevant…. as this could only have been written after 1155 (defined by the updated prophecies in the Vulgate version) and the need to backdate the prophecies after the seditious prophecies were made public.
Many commentators drawn into Henry Blois’ clever devise of backdating Vulgate HRB, assume Caradoc took up the mantle passed to him by ‘Geoffrey’ after completion of HRB. It is made plain in the colophon that Caradoc is supposedly ‘contemporary’ with ‘Geoffrey’. Henry imposters Caradoc’s name c.1136-9 to compose the life of Gildas simply because Caradoc had written Brut y Tywysogion. If Caradoc had not written Brut y Tywysogion, and Geoffrey had not picked it up in Wales there would be no point or grounds for impersonating him when producing the polemic provided in Life of Gildas. This time-line also fits for the engravings on the Modena Archivolt and Henry’s trip to Rome.
There would be little point in carrying out the charade in the colophon which portrays Caradoc as a continuator of HRB if ‘Geoffrey’ did not already know there was a continuation from the date that Caradoc starts his account. That is the whole point of ‘Geoffrey’ supposedly ‘supplying the materials’ for the continuation so that it appears so.
Is Caradoc really supposed to have the book which informs him more perfectly than the other two historians and enables his continuation? The reader must now definitively conclude that the source book is a sham; so is ‘Geoffrey’s’ contemporeinty with Caradoc.
The effect of the use of Caradoc’s name in the Colophon was twofold. Firstly, a real chronicler with an already composed work was made to appear to have carried out Geoffrey’s wishes. Secondly this work also added credence to the other volume (the Life of Gildas) into which Henry Blois impostures Caradoc’s name.
Both Henry of Huntingdon, William of Malmesbury and of course Caradoc were dead at the time this colophon was written. The reason for inclusion of their names was to put Caradoc on an equal footing being accounted as a comparative historian, (but only by what he had written before his death). This in effect contributed more authority to the Life of Gildas which Henry had himself produced to highlight the prominence of Glastonbury by having an Abbot that converses with King Arthur and Gildas. By seeming to have granted permission to a named continuator in the person of Caradoc…. Henry also adds to ‘Geoffrey’s’ supposed authority as a historian.
The fact that ‘Geoffrey’ calls Caradoc his contemporary is purely a device which implies Caradoc is alive. The obvious intention of this was to back date the Vulgate version of the HRB from 1155 by twenty years or so…. to when William of Mamesbury was alive. Henry’s illusion gave the appearance that, in the interim, the Brut y Tywysogion had been written.
We covered above, at the end of the chronicle called Brut Tysilio543 the following statement: I, Walter, Archdeacon of Oxford, translated this Book from Welsh into Latin, and in my old age I translated it a second time from Latin into Welsh…
543Myvyrian Archaiology. vol. ii
WS not goingHenry Blois’ ploy is more evident in trying to provide a personal detail of contact between himself (Geoffrey) and Caradoc in his ongoing promotion and is witnessed in the two copies, which are printed in the Myvyrian Archaiology, vol. ii: The princes who were afterwards successively over Wales, I committed to Caradog of Llancarvan; he was, my contemporary, and to him I left materials for writing that book. From henceforward the Kings of the English and their successors I committed to William of Malmesbury and Henry of Huntington, to write about, but they were to leave the Welsh alone; for they do not possess that Welsh book, which Walter, archdeacon of Oxford, translated from Latin into Welsh; and he narrated truly and fully from the history of the aforesaid Welshmen’.
In other words, we are led to believe ‘Geoffrey’ provides the materials to Caradoc. It is plain common sense that once Henry Blois’ fraud is unveiled that there is no ‘Geoffrey of Monmouth’ and there is no modern scholar wishing to put his head above the parapet and admit that the Vulgate HRB has devises within the text which are not true and in essence back date the publication from the real date when it was ‘made public’ in 1155.
No-one but Henry Blois would make such a statement, (i.e. no later continuator or interpolator), as there is simply no advantage, except in showing that Caradoc is alive to accept the materials for writing that book. Therefore, Henry has not only backdated the Vulgate HRB, but has us unequivocally believe that Caradoc is the continuator of HRB as ‘Geoffrey’ is supposedly supplying the materials to carry out the composition. We even have the composition!!
We are left with a ridiculous anachronism if scholarship’s views are adhered to. Especially, if we consider the old book from which ‘Geoffrey’ was supposedly translating is non-existent. If Caradoc really was the continuator, how is the Brut so different in format from what we know Caradoc actually wrote? Why does the difference in chronology start when others attest he died at that time? We must assume Caradoc dies c.1129.
‘Geoffrey’ really does not do dates in the HRB in general for chronology is the inhibitor to his creative historicity, especially with the fictional Chivalric King Arthur. ‘Geoffrey’ just distributes throughout his work synchronicities with other contemporaneous events to give the appearance of truth and the seeming appearance of sound chronology.
The only reason that Walter’s book is ever posited is because ‘people’, after 1155, were starting to wonder who Galfridus Arthur or Geoffrey of Monmouth was…. and how he was able to give such specific information, of which other ancient chroniclers were unaware. An authority was invented in the form of a fictitious book ex Brittanica to prevent accusation to the author ‘Geoffrey’ of the invention and deeds of a fictional King Arthur.
Henry must have put a lot of work into the pseudo-history before Henry I died and one thing he was not going to do after its purpose for which he had hoped it could be employed had become redundant after the death of Henry Ist and his efforts in composing this manuscript had never seen the light of day and had laid dormant for years. But while in Wales in 1138 he was not going to let his initial efforts go to waste and determined to compose the Primary Historia. The pseudo-historia had to be different from the Primary Historia for Henry to have developed the Arthuriad by his experience in Wales in 1136.
What was initially aimed at being an informative and interesting history had caused a stir between its first appearance in 1139 and around York c.1147-50, but now in 1155 it had evolved into the Vulgate edition with the malicious prophecies (which had recently come to light); people were asking questions. The accusation was that HRB was termed fabulous or pseudo-historical. To counter this accusation and to avoid the blame of inventing a book of lies (which essentially HRB is)…. Walter’s book was the source, and any-one who lacked it and professed to be a historian, was ill-informed without the book.
Now we see why Gaimar’s epilogue becomes an important part of Henry Blois’ empirical edifice of lies and misdirection. The simple fact is that ‘Geoffrey’ brought his epic to a close at Calwallader because there already was a Welsh history written from that date until 1129 (compiled by Caradoc). Henry Blois is the continuator who adds the fiction about ‘Geoffrey’s’ details.
No-one could make a single enquiry to any living person in the twelvth century referred to in Vulgate HRB. There was no-one to answer any questions…. and Caradoc, who was ‘Geoffrey’s’ appointed continuator, is known to be dead also. Giraldus Cambrensis informs us that Caradoc was buried in the north transept of St. David’s Cathedral, near the altar of St. Stephen. He was canonized by Innocent III c.1161-2 at the insistence of Giraldus wierdly enough; who had Henry Blois as his patron. Caradoc the saint…. who would disbelieve Caradoc’s work?!!!
The effect is to give the appearance that in 1155, both Vulgate HRB and its updated prophecies were extant 20 years earlier. Also, the Arthurian and Gildas connection with Glastonbury posited in Life of Gildas by Caradoc (Geoffrey’s continuator), should not be doubted and nor should ‘Geoffrey’s’ word concerning Walter’s book. Walter, supposedly in his own words, says he has translated the same. It is a clever illusion which could only be carried out by one man, when we consider the manufactured history of personas by Henry.
However, Henry Blois’ stroke of genius is that through the colophon in HRB, we are made to believe there is going to be a future continuation set down in writing by Caradoc. Because such a chronological continuation exists, it follows that scholars are led to believe Caradoc dutifully accepts ‘Geoffrey’s’ invitation….especially, as we are told it is ‘Geoffrey’ who is supplying the materials. But, as we saw above, it is written in the past tense: he was, my contemporary and to him I left materials for writing that book. Time has apparently moved on. Whereas I hand over in the matter of writing unto Karadoc of Lancarvan, my contemporary… which once was a future exercise of continuation of a completed composition (i.e. HRB)…. is now openly exposed as it transpired in reality. Don’t forget as we covered earlier in the section on the Oxford charters, Henry does make mistakes in chronology when manufacturing a false trail, where Henry Blois is openly exposed fraudulently applying the signatures to the original charters at Oxford after the fact; because how could a supposed already ordained ‘bishop of Asaph’ apply his signature alongside Archdeacon Walter who died in 1151 when he only became bishop in 1152. Will this evidence make a blind bit of difference to the Blind who lead the Blind.
Anyway,it is quite preposterous that Caradoc’s chronicle could be considered a continuation from the same book ‘Geoffrey’ supposedly used. The Book of Hergest has a similar colophon, but Henry’s vague description of ex Britannicus is now understood as Walter’s book having originated from Brittany: The Kings that were from that time forward in Wales, I shall commit to Caradog of Llancarvan, my fellow student, to write about; and the Kings of the English to William Malmesbury and Henry Huntington. I shall desire them to be silent about the Kings of the Britons, since they do not possess this Breton Book, which Walter, archdeacon of Oxford, translated from Breton into Welsh, which is truly a collection of their histories, in honour of the said princes.
Now, if the Vulgate version resembled the copy found at Bec, what happened to Avalon, Merlin, and Archflamens in the Bec copy? What was the point in producing the First Variant version in a less expanded form than an already written Vulgate, as is proposed by modern scholars? It is a madness to think HRB was disseminated in its Vulgate form before 1155 and even more foolish to posit the Vulgate version existed in 1139.
Why has Alfred of Beverley not mentioned Caradoc, Walter or any of the dedicatees or even that there was a source book? Scholars need to understand that in 1147-50 in Alfred’s copy; the trail to ‘Geoffrey’ had not been obfuscated and Galfridus at that time was not from Monmouth!!
‘Amazed’ is Huntingdon at Galfridus Artur’s history, but as a historian (or even as one possessed of common sense), the first thing Huntingdon would do is to locate Walter’s book itself, if it were possible….and ask Alexander for the ‘Original’ of the Merlin prophecies. But, as discussed, the Prophecies or the mention of Merlin were definitively not part of the Primary Historia which Huntingdon witnessed at Bec. The ‘good book’ as the source of the later Vulgate HRB, had not yet been employed.
If any of the dedicatees’ names had appeared or Walter’s book had been mentioned in the Bec copy which Huntingdon saw, surely one of them would be mentioned, even in a synopsis. But no! Not even Merlin warrants a mention by Huntingdon and he is mentioned many times in Vulgate and is integral to the arrival of Stonehenge. Yet, Huntingdon, the first historian to mention and to name Stonehenge (before ‘Geoffrey’) gives another account of Stonehenge without Merlin being mentioned. And yet, we are supposed to accept the view point of modern scholars that EAW omits mention of Merlin because of a proclivity of Hundingdon’s, where he purposefully omits mention of him. Probably, the very reason Geoffrey explains the provenance and use of Stonehenge in later editions is because of Huntingdon’s bewilderment concerning Stonehenge!!!!
It is the genius of backdating and the very reason why only c.1170 we hear the first criticism of ‘Geoffrey’ from Newburgh and later from Gerald 30-40 years after the Vulgate’s publication. It is only in Henry II’s era that the Vulgate HRB version starts to become popular and propagate.
We know that the chronology of HRB is based upon confusion and conflation, but Malmesbury and Huntingdon are told to leave well alone for they do not possess that Welsh book, which Walter, archdeacon of Oxford, translated from Latin into Welsh; and he narrated truly and fully from the history of the aforesaid Welshmen’. But, how is it that if it is a Welsh book from which Geoffrey is supposedly translating (as he avers)…. do we then have the same book translated back into Welsh by Walter? What would be the point if it already existed in Welsh? Who is writing this false testimony and for what reason?
We know Caradoc of Llancarfan also wrote the second version of the Life of Saint Cadog in which Arthur also figures prominently and which Henry employs as a template for his Life of Gildas. Caradoc obviously wrote in Latin otherwise Henry Blois would not have understood his history and decided to end his Primary Historia at that point. We also know the Brut y Tywysogion has survived from an original Latin version, which has not itself survived. One could assume that Henry Blois had a Welsh monk translate them both from Latin into Welsh (with additions).
Archdeacon Walter never had anything to do with or ever possessed any book from Wales or Brittany, or translated any ancient book proposed as the source book for HRB. Archdeacon Walter’s sole claim to fame was that, like Ralf of Monmouth, his name was affixed as a witness on the charters which already existed at Oxford when Henry Blois attended a meeting there in (late 1153) or 1154 (13 of January) when Duke Henry met King Stephen. Shortly before, in late 1153, Gaufridus episcopus sancti Asaphi had supposedly signed on the Winchester treaty.
The name Geoffrey of Monmouth had not been envisaged before January 1154. The name Ralf of Monmouth, (Galfridus’ supposed compatriot on the said charters), had not yet been associated with Gaufridus, but now became the reason for ‘Geoffrey’s provenance from Monmouth. Do not forget, Alfred of Beverley c.1150 does not refer to a Geoffrey of Monmouth (not once) but to ‘Britannicus’. He avoids using the obvious pseudonym of Gaufridus Artur.
Henry had the HRB translated into Welsh and then had the Chronicle attached as if Caradoc had obeyed Geoffrey’s wish. All the Welsh manuscripts have ‘Geoffrey’ as bishop of Llandaff, so it is not out of character for Henry to confuse us further. It seems apt that the Peniarth Brut gives the date of ‘Geoffrey’s’ death as 1154 as he had signed the Treaty of Winchester just before Christmas in 1153 as the Bishop of Asaph along with another signatory… his puppeteer Henry Blois, the Bishop of Winchester.
It really makes no difference if ‘Geoffrey’ supposedly died in 1155, but what this shows is that it was time to kill off Geoffrey of Monmouth soon after his new appellation was envisaged and evidence of his having actually lived could be verified by his scribble on the charters. So, at the very same time his new title of Geoffrey of Monmouth was being added to Vulgate HRB, along with the other dedicatees, Henry consigns ‘Geoffrey’ to death and lets Robert of Torigni know of Geoffrey’s elevation to the Bishop of Asaph when he lands at Mont St Michel.544
544Robert of Torigni’s quote under the year 1152 in the Bern MS is that: ‘Geoffrey Arthur, who had translated the History of the Kings of the Britons out of the British into Latin, is made Bishop of St. Asaph in North Wales’. Does it not seem odd that Walter does the same thing and then back into Welsh?
,Galfridus Arthur, the charter signer who became bishop in waiting and then a signatory on the treaty of Winchester, alas had died before he received his title of provenance from Monmouth; and he had died at the very period his work was finally published in the Vulgate form when the seditious prophecies were also published.
As I have maintained throughout, Caradoc is impersonated as the author of the Life of Gildas. He was however, the author of the second Life of St Cadoc and it is obvious that Henry Blois has modelled his entirely fictitious Life of Gildas by basing it on Caradoc’s genuine Life of St Cadoc. The Life of St Cadoc was originally written by Lifricus, son of Bishop Herwald of Llandaff and himself Archdeacon of Glamorgan and Master of St. Cadog of Llancarfan. Lifricus of Llancarfan (probably before 1086) had written his concoction which overtly pertains to land rights. After the Norman incursion, Llancarfan suffered greatly and land was being usurped by Norman overlords. But Lifric concocted a precedent which he maintains must remain inviolable: according to the agreement which had been previously made with Maelgon and Arthur….
We can now see the reasons Caradoc was employed as a persona through whom Henry propagates his web of lies. Firstly, Caradoc is dead. Secondly, he has already written a saint’s life which includes anecdotes on Arthur. Thirdly, because Caradoc has already written his chronicle in Latin, he is now recommended as the reliable witness to continue the history of the Kings of Britain by the same person farcically appealing to him as a continuator who possessed the fictitious source book and to whom ‘Geoffrey’ was supplying the materials.
In Caradoc of Llancarfan’s genuine account of the Life of St. Cadoc, we hear that St. Cadoc:
’In the days of Lent, Saint Cadoc was accustomed to reside in two islands, Barren and Echni and on Palm Sunday, he came to Nantcarvan, and there remained, performing Paschal service, feeding daily one hundred clergymen… It happened that at another time the blessed Cadoc on a certain day sailed with two of his disciples, namely Barruc and Gwalches from the island of Echni, which is now called Holme, to another island named Barry. When therefore he prosperously landed in the harbour, he asked his said disciples for his Enchiridion, that is his manual book; and they confessed that they, through forgetfulness, lost it in the aforesaid island. Which on hearing, he immediately compelled them to go aboard a ship, and sail back to recover their book, and burning with anger, said, “Go, not to return.” Then his disciples, by the command of their master, without delay quickly went aboard a boat, and by sailing, got to the said island. Having obtained the aforesaid volume, they soon in their passage returned to the middle of the sea, and were seen at a distance by the man of God sitting on the top of a hill in Barry, when the boat unexpectedly overturned, and they were drowned. The body of Barruc being cast by the tide on the shore of Barry, was there found, and in that island buried, which from his name is so called to the present time. But the body of the other, namely Gwalches, was carried by the sea to the island of Echni, and was there buried.’
All of Caradoc’s Life of Cadoc is in the same vein as many other hagiographic accounts, and as we can see, St Cadoc in the account is only thirty miles distant from Glastonbury just across the Severn. It is in Life of Cadoc however, where we first meet personalised information concerning Arthur: three vigorous champions, Arthur with his two knights, to wit, Cai and Bedwyr, were sitting on the top of the aforesaid hill playing with dice. It is certainly the account from which Henry Blois gets the names to have engraved upon the Archivolt at Modena.
The purpose of Henry impersonating Caracoc of Llancarfan and composing the Life of Gildas is to establish pertinent facts relative to Glastonbury’s antiquity. It establishes that in the time of Gildas there was already an abbot. Osbern is instantly confuted.
St Gildas, because of his contrived connection to Glastonbury is supposedly buried there and this helps the coffers at the abbey; especially, when confirmation of Gildas at Glastonbury is intonated in interpolations in GR3 (version B) and then firmly confirmed as buried at Glastonbury in DA…. as a grave was probably appropriately manufactured.
Henry Blois was clever enough to make it appear as if the author of HRB was entirely different to the person who bears witness of Arthur at Glastonbury (and supposedly what William of Malmesbury wrote concerning Arthur in DA). Again, Henry’s skill at the choice of person upon whom to make the conflation….. is witnessed where Gildas is connected to St Cadoc in the Vita Cadoci, but in that tract, there is no connection between Gildas and Glastonbury.
Henry Blois, posing as Caradoc (now dead), would have us believe about Gildas that: He crossed the Gallic Sea and remained studying well in the cities of Gaul for seven years; and at the end of the seventh year he returned, with a huge mass of volumes, to greater Britain. Having heard of the renown of the illustrious stranger, great numbers of scholars from all parts flocked to him. They heard him explaining with the greatest acuteness the science of the seven rules of discipline.
Undoubtedly, one of these volumes, in Henry’s mind, contained the history from Brutus, but we are stuck with the fact that Gildas did not mention Brutus or Arthur in De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae. If the reader remembers, Taliesin in VM is also returned to Merlin having been with Gildas. All is totally contrived and really shows that the author of VM is the same as he who connects Arthur to Gildas at Glastonbury!!
Gildas apparently crossed over to Ireland, but we hear: St. Gildas was the contemporary of Arthur, the King of the whole of Britain, whom he loved exceedingly, and whom he always desired to obey’’.
However the high spirited Arthur kills one of Gildas’ twenty three brothers: Gildas, historian of the Britons, who was staying in Ireland directing studies and preaching in the city of Armagh, heard that his brother had been slain by King Arthur……… meanwhile, the most holy Gildas, the venerable historian, came to Britain, bringing with him a very beautiful and sweet-sounding bell, which he vowed to offer as a gift to the Bishop of the Roman Church. He spent the night as a guest honourably entertained by the venerable abbot Cadocus, in Nant Carban. (Henry Blois/Caradoc, Life of Gildas)
We have a different storyline on the bell that we first heard from Caradoc of Llancarfan as Henry Blois conflates Caradoc’s Life of St Cadoc with the present piffle.
In the concocted storyline, Gildas wants to give the bell to the pope but St Cadoc covets it: The latter pointed out the bell to him, and after pointing to it, handled it; and after handling it wished to buy it at a great price; but its possessor would not sell it. When King Arthur and the chief bishops and abbots of all Britain heard of the arrival of Gildas the Wise, large numbers from among the clergy and people gathered together to reconcile Arthur for the above-mentioned murder. But Gildas, as he had done when he first heard the news of his brother’s death, was courteous to his enemy, kissed him as he prayed for forgiveness, and with a most tender heart blessed him as the other kissed in return. When this was done, King Arthur, in grief and tears, accepted penance imposed by the bishops who were present, and led an amended course, as far as he could, until the close of his life.
The main point of this whole preamble is to connect Gildas and Cadoc by including the bell scenario and an incidental trip to Rome, but now Arthur is firmly woven into the story thus far in connection with Gildas.
At Rome, Gildas revealed to the pope that the most holy Cadoc, abbot of the church of Nancarvan, had wished to buy the bell and the pope says he can have it. It is all really mindless babble which is meant to seemingly coincide with Caradoc of Llancarfan’s genuine account of St Cadoc.
So that the reader can witness Henry’s ingenuity, I have included the whole of Henry Blois’ impersonated concoction of the Life of Gildas in appendix 33.
However, back to Gildas: Being thereby exceedingly distressed, he could not remain there any longer: he left the island, embarked on board a small ship, and, in great grief, put in at Glastonia, at the time when King Melvas was reigning in the summer country. He was received with much welcome by the abbot of Glastonia, and taught the brethren and the scattered people, sowing the precious seed of heavenly doctrine. It was there that he wrote the history of the Kings of Britain. Glastonia, that is, the glassy city, which took its name from glass, is a city that had its name originally in the British tongue. It was besieged by the tyrant Arthur with a countless multitude on account of his wife Gwenhwyfar, whom the aforesaid wicked King had violated and carried off, and brought there for protection, owing to the asylum afforded by the invulnerable position due to the fortifications of thickets of reed, river, and marsh. The rebellious King had searched for the queen throughout the course of one year, and at last heard that she remained there. Thereupon he roused the armies of the whole of Cornubia and Dibneria; war was prepared between the enemies.
When he saw this, the abbot of Glastonia, attended by the clergy and Gildas the Wise, stepped in between the contending armies, and in a peaceable manner advised his King, Melvas, to restore the ravished lady. Accordingly, she who was to be restored, was restored in peace and good will. When these things were done, the two Kings gave the abbot a gift of many domains; and they came to visit the temple of St. Mary and to pray, while the abbot confirmed the beloved brotherhood in return for peace they enjoyed and the benefits which they conferred, and were more abundantly about to confer. Then the Kings reconciled, promising reverently to obey the most venerable abbot of Glastonia, and never violate the most sacred place nor even the districts adjoining the chief’s seat.
When he had obtained permission from the abbot of Glastonia and his clergy and people, the most devout Gildas desired to live a hermit’s life upon the bank of a river close to Glastonia, and he actually accomplished his object. He built a church there in the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity, in which he fasted and prayed assiduously, clad in goat’s hair, giving to all an irreproachable example of a good religious life. Holy men used to visit him from distant parts of Britain, and when advised, returned and cherished with delight the encouragements and counsels they had heard from him.
He fell sick at last, and was weighed down with illness. He summoned the abbot of Glastonia to him, and asked him, with great piety, when the end of his life had come, to cause his body to be borne to the abbey of Glastonia, which he loved exceedingly. When the abbot promised to observe his requests, and was grieved at the requests he had heard, and shed copious tears, St. Gildas, being now very ill, expired, while many were looking at the angelic brightness around his fragrant body, and angels were attending upon his soul. After the mournful words of commemoration were over, the very light body was removed by the brethren into the abbey; and amid very loud wailing and with the most befitting funeral rites, he was buried in the middle of the pavement of St. Mary’s church; and his soul rested, rests, and will rest, in heavenly repose. Amen.
Glastonia was of old called Ynisgutrin, and is still called so by the British inhabitants. Ynis in the British language is insula in Latin, and gutrin (made of glass). But after the coming of the English and the expulsion of the Britons, that is, the Welsh, it received a fresh name, Glastigberi, according to the formation of the first name, that is English glass, Latin vitrum, and beria a city; then Glastinberia, that is, the City of Glass.
Caradoc of Nancarban’s are the words; Who reads, may he correct; so wills the author.
In the so called dialogue of Arthur and Gwenhwyfar545 discussed by Evan Jones and Mary Williams it cannot be established who in fact say’s what. The fact that Melwas may be in Devon or Arthur is there in Devon in disguise, as some believe the poem alludes to…. or Gwenhwyfar has seen one or the other in Devon; it makes no difference:
I have seen a man of moderate size
At Arthur’s long table in Devon
Dealing out wine to his friends
Gwenhwyvar of facetious speech
It is woman’s nature to banter:
There it is thou didst me see.
545See Note 8
T ‘The fact that it has Melvas, Arthur, Guinevere, and Devon in this dialogue is indicative that it is a Blois invention. More importantly, Melvas says he is Melwas from Ineswitrin (not Avalon), so, it does not take much imagination to deduce who the author is and why Devon is mentioned. It is because of its link to Ineswitrin on the 601 charter. The 601 charter was found during the researches by Malmesbury and is so important that it starts the main body of evidence supporting Glastonbury’s antiquity in the non-interpolated bulk of the DA. Chivalric Arthur and Guinevere are Henry’s inventions and so is the fact that Melvas kidnapped Guinevere. So, it is fairly obvious that a charter which had remained undiscovered until Malmesbury’s research which mentioned Ineswitrin (in Devon) is now associated with other inventions of Henry Blois indicates that the ‘Dialogue’ is also a Henry Blois invention
We know that the kidnap episode is an invention in which Melvas and Arthur are at Glastonbury; and we know the fabricator of the Life of Gildas which mentions this story is Henry Blois. The one person who is entirely culpable of changing the Devonian island of Ineswitrin into a location at Glastonbury is Henry Blois. Therefore, even if the sense has now been misunderstood, the original ‘dialogue was undoubtedly composed by Henry and the long table obviously preceded the advent of the round table.
Through the Monk of Ruys’ account of the Life of Gildas, plausibility is set up for the confusion of Gildas’ island being connected to Glastonbury. Neither Caradoc’s account of St. Cadoc, nor the Monk from Ruys’ Life of Gildas, mention Glastonbury or put either of the saints there. After concocting the life of Gildas, Henry, always taking liberties with the truth thinks: why not have Gildas buried at Glastonbury as well?
Henry Blois was in Wales in 1136 as the GS establishes. He must have obtained a copy of Caradoc’s Latin versions of the Vita Cadoci and the unadulterated ‘Chronicle of the Princes’ in Latin. The topography learnt on that trip and the inspiration gleaned from the Vita Cadoci about Arthur was put to good use while Henry was acting as vice regent for his brother Stephen in Normandy in the entire year of 1137 and the first half of 1138. Of course, this is how the Primary Historia was found at Bec the following year only 4 months after Henry had left Normandy and Robert of Torigni had time to read it before recommending it to Huntingdon.
We witnessed in GS that Henry was giving his own eyewitness description of Wales (missing pages) in early 1136. Then in GS Stephen chases Baldwin to the Isle of Wight and afterward, Baldwin is exiled and crosses to Normandy. William of Corbeil dies on 21st of November 1136 and Henry Blois becomes Archbishop of Canterbury in waiting. Orderic informs us that in Advent of 1136 Henry Blois went to Normandy and was content to stay there while he sent envoys to search out pope Innocent at Pisa.
We know also from Gervaise that Henry: was elected metropolitan. But since by cannon law a bishop can only be translated from his own see to another church by the authority of the pope…546Henry gets way laid and Stephen then joins Henry in Normandy from mid-March until the 28th of November 1137.547 Stephen departed from his brother in Normandy and Henry still thought that when he would return to England he would be Archbishop of Canterbury.
546Gervaise of Canterbury
547Gesta Stepani. Potter and Davis p.46
It was while Henry was still in Normandy and after Stephen had returned to England that the backstabbing Beaumont twins counselled Stephen to curb Henry’s increasing power. Waleran of Meulan, the lay patron of Bec was attempting to put his own man in the second most powerful position in England. Waleran and his twin brother Robert, Earl of Leicester, were Henry’s chief rivals for Stephen’s favour. Henry looked on them as unreliable toady flatterers. Both were disliked by Henry Blois intensely. Probably not by coincidence Theobald of Bec travelled to England in 1138 to supervise the monastery of Bec’s lands in England; a trip which took place shortly before his selection as the new Archbishop of Canterbury in 1138.
So, before Christmas in 1136 (after having been in Wales at Kidwelly) Henry crossed the channel and stayed all of 1137 in Normandy on his brother’s behalf to quell the Angevin strife in Normandy stirred up by Baldwin and the Empress. It is in Normandy during this period that the Arthurian legend is spliced onto an already constructed pseudo Historia which had originally been written for Henry’s uncle and his daughter Matilda (but subsequently had become redundant as his brother had usurped the throne).
Henry stays at Bec abbey in the first half of 1138 where he deposits his Primary Historia under the newly invented nom de plume of ‘Galfridus Artur’. At this stay at Bec, we might speculate that Henry Blois relates to Theobald (still abbot of Bec at that time) what plans he has in store for the English Church once he becomes Archbishop.
As I have mentioned before, it was Henry’s intention to set up a state based on Gregorian values with himself head of the church. It seems just too coincidental that Theobald becomes Henry’s replacement and that Theobald did not have something to do with Henry being snubbed by King Stephen for that position. The question is: did Theobald scupper Henry’s plans by relating to Stephen (through Waleran) some confidence or other which Henry had discussed with Theobald in relation to Henry’s future plans? If this is the case, it might explain the coincidence that Theobald was duly rewarded with the Archbishopric.