Few commentators have broached the subject of Ineswitrin and the provenance of its name in Glastonbury lore. There is a general acceptance by scholars researching Glastonbury legend that it is the old name for the island of Glastonbury as it used to exist when the flood plains of the somerset levels were swamped. Few scholars understand that this assumption of synonymy between the name of Glastonbury (isle of Avalon) and Ineswitrin is incorrect.  They have not understood Ineswitrin’s connection and importance to the propaganda which Henry Blois had interpolated into William of Malmesbury’s GR and DA.

The name of Ineswitrin is found in the GR, DA, and the life of Gildas. There is no prior instance of the name of Ineswitrin in connection with Glastonbury in any previous manuscripts prior to the twelfth century. In the GR and DA, both (in their unadulterated forms) composed by William of Malmesbury, the name Ineswitrin appears in connection with a charter concerning an island which informs us of the grant of an ‘estate’ with the name of Ineswitrin to the ‘old church’ at Glastonbury.

In the text of DA which is known not to have been interpolated, the original manuscript commenced with chapter 35 in its present form of the text (with tiny interpolations after Henry’s death).   Henry Blois added his interpolations which comprise the most part of the first 34 chapters of DA. Therefore, the opening chapter which William would have started evidencing the ‘Antiquities of Glastonbury’ would have begun with a copy of the 601 charter.

This charter dated to 601 AD was the earliest evidence William of Malmesbury could find which still existed at the Abbey when William himself, commissioned by Henry Blois, searched their records.  Thus it is with the 601 charter, William began his original manuscript thereby supplying a date in antiquity previous to Dunstan. Soon after William of Malmesbury’s death, interpolations were included by Henry Blois which comprise the first 34 chapters of DA.

In the Life of Gildas, it unequivocally states that Glastonia was of old called Ynisgutrin. The statement has no validity as the reader will come to understand and therefore indicates that whoever wrote Life of Gildas has the same agenda as the person wishing to pass off the 601 charter as applicable to an ‘estate’ called Ineswitrin….. as if the said island was located at Glastonbury. The person wishing to perpetuate this obfuscation is Henry Blois because he wishes to establish an earlier antiquity for Glastonbury church by misrepresenting the Island of Glastonbury as commensurate with the island (Ynes) of Witrin. Thus through the date specified on the charter, by conflation…….. dates the old Church at Glastonbury to have existed prior to 601 AD. The ‘Old’ Church certainly did exist prior to 601 AD as the charter evidences.

The reason that this statement is vital as corroborative evidence, is that it accords with the name in the charter of the ‘estate’ of Ineswitrin donated by a Devonian King to the Old church at Glastonbury.

Martin Grimmer356 comments on the point that British monasteries and other ecclesiastical sites are thought to have provided a foundation for West Saxon establishments, with the British Celtic communities in some fashion metamorphosing into West Saxon Roman houses.  It is this relationship which brings the 601 charter into existence in that the King of Devon is donating the most religious site in Britain to Glastonbury. The King of Devon is Melkin and it is he who in composing what is now termed Melkin’s prophecy shows us in nearly indecipherable Latin why he has donated an Island in Devon to the old church at Glastonbury. The sole reasoning behind his construction of a cipher is for posterity to understand that the papal religion at Rome is an invented religion and the proof of this is found in deciphering the cryptogram found in the Melkin prophecy.               

 For the moment, it is Ineswitrin, the island of Avalon and Avalon’s supposed synonymy with Glastonbury that bring us to the subject of this 601 charter and its relevance to why Henry Blois composed the short tract of the Life of Gildas in the first place and then subsequently added the last paragraph.

356Martin Grimmer. The Early History of Glastonbury Abbey: A Hypothesis Regarding the ‘British Charter”.

In William of Malmesbury’s unadulterated De antiquitate Glastonie ecclesie, the 601 charter begins the whole DA account with grants to Glastonbury.  This logically would be the first place to start i.e. with the oldest surviving record. William’s commission and reason for producing the De antiquitate Glastonie was to counter a claim made by Osbern of Canterbury that Glastonbury’s foundation only occurred in the mid-tenth century and St Dunstan was the first abbot of Glastonbury.

This conflict had arisen because Glastonbury monks had claimed that St Dunstan was buried in the Church at Glastonbury and in reality, Canterbury monks knew Dunstan’s relics were buried at Canterbury. Therefore, Henry Blois employed William of Malmesbury to produce a tract which, in essence, validated Glastonbury’s antiquity and contradicted the false assertion that Dustan was the first Abbot. .

Part of this proof of antiquity was based upon the 601 charter and the circumstantial evidence it provides. Another relevant point which was indicated by the date of the charter was that a religious house at Glastonbury existed before Augustine’s arrival and negates the commonly held assumption that Augustine (who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597) was the “Apostle to the English” and a founder of the English Church specifically since its metamorphosis from an ancient Briton ecclesiastical foundation attested to by Gildas.

Coincidentally, ‘Geoffrey’ expresses the same commonly held belief in his bogus Prophecies of Merlin Afterward Rome shall bring God back through the medium of a monk.  The obvious intonation is that Christianity existed in Britain before it fell away (as Gildas makes plain) and therefore Augustine could not be founder of the Church of Briton….and therefore primacy for Glastonbury at this time (Henry’s main concern) should not be awarded to Canterbury through a heritage from St Augustine, as it was in Henry Blois day; but rather, Glastonbury Church should be considered much older as it was termed already ‘old’ in the text of 601 charter.

The 601 A.D. charter in effect was a proof which indicated that even at that date, the church at Glastonbury was termed ‘old’ and therefore evidenced a pre-existence of the British (Celtic) church before Augustine’s arrival. This is entirely obvious through the works of Gildas; but the dispute was specifically about the antiquity of Glastonbury. The DA, as I have posited already, was interpolated by Henry Blois himself and this practice evidently continued after his death in the same book.

So, I will cover the analysis of the exclusively Glastonbury record of DA in a later section. The DA, which in effect was an instantaneous cartulary (and treated like one thereafter), is thought by modern scholars to have been originally written c.1129-34.  However, it was interpolated ‘for the first time’ immediately after William of Malmesbury’s death in 1143 by Henry Blois.

Since the name of Ineswitrin357 is only corroborated in the Life of Gildas which was in fact composed by Henry Blois and we know the DA is grossly interpolated by him also; I will state for the record now, that the unadulterated version of DA was written prior to 1134.358 The Henry Blois interpolations into the DA were started post 1143.

  357John Scott DA I, pp. 44-45; 5, pp. 52-53; 9, pp. 56-57;88- 89, pp. 140-41.

358The DA refers to Henry as brother of Theobald, not the more likely named by importance, King Stephen,so must have been composed prior to 1135 when Stephen was crowned.

The main body of the Life of Gildas may well have been composed after the 1134 date of the presentation of DA to Henry Blois, but the last additional paragraph of Life of Gildas  dates to after 1143 because it ties in with Henry’s ‘agenda’ to gain Metropolitan status for Winchester; where it is also employed as corroborative evidence to uphold Henry’s position in presenting Yniswitrin as an estate ‘on’ Glastonbury island. This mis-representation of an island in Devon being accounted as an ‘estate’ on Glastonbury island was easily done because no-one at that time knew where the Island of Witrin was located. In fact before the Melkin document and the 601 charter were discovered by William of Malmesbury and shown to Henry Blois, no-one had ever heard the name. So it was Henry Blois who purposefully conflated the two island locations.i.e. ineswitrin and Glastonbury as an Island.

To construct an initial edifice, an architect is necessary. Once the structure stands and the architect is dead, additions to the edifice can still be added by subsequent generations. Henry Blois has built his literary edifice in secret on the back of appearing that sources derive from various authors; one of which was through the interpolarions in William of Malmesbury work i.e the GR3 and the DA. The Arthurian legacy and the Grail legends are built upon the foundations of Henry’s own HRB through a fictitious ‘Geoffrey’ at first and then through then through the Glastonbury lore presented in GR3 and DA followed by a certain ‘Master Blehis’.

Why it was necessary for Ineswitrin to be established as the earlier appellation of Glastonbury island is the puzzle I hope to clarify. Certainly, the most ingenious etymology has been employed to establish this as a fact which most modern scholars accept at face value, as it is portrayed by Henry Blois’ sophistry and accepted by them as a truth.

In reality Ineswitrin was an Island in Devon which was donated to the Glastonbury Church in 601 AD.  It was never a part of the Island on which the Glastonbury church stood or even an ‘estate’ near to the Glastonbury church. It is entirely misleading and inaccurate to assume the location of Ineswitrin and the donation of the Island estate by a Devonian King applies to an estate or parcel of land existing as part of the Glastonbury Island itself.

It is only Henry Blois’ statement in the Life of Gildas which is reiterated in DA which transforms through misinformation, the island of Ineswitrin into an ‘estate’ near to Glastonbury.  We are led to believe it is the old name for Glastonbury.  In reality the name applies to an island in Devon and the reason for this purposeful translocation lies squarely with Henry Blois.  The answer lies in the fact that the Ynis or the ‘Ines’ part of the name denotes an Island. We know from the vivid description in the ‘Dunstan author B’ manuscript that Glastonbury was an Island c.1000AD.

The 601 charter represents a genuine donation of an island estate to the Church at Glastonbury on a genuinely extant charter at the time Malmesbury searched Glastonbury’s records. The 601 charter, drawn up by a Bishop Mauuron, records a grant to the ‘old church’ made by a King of Dumnonia of five ‘cassates’ at Ineswitrin at the request of Abbot Worgret.

William of Malmesbury records the donation as follows: On the estate of Ynswitrin, given to Glastonbury at the time the English were converted to the faith. In 60I AD the King of Dumnonia granted five cassates on the estate called lneswitrin to the old church on the petition of Abbot Worgret.  I, Bishop Mauuron wrote this charter. I, Worgret, abbot of that place, have subscribed. The age of the document prevents us knowing who the King was, yet it can be presumed that he was British because he referred to Glastonbury in his own tongue as Yneswitrin which, as we know, was the British name. But Abbot Worgret, whose name smacks of British barbarism, was succeeded by Lademund and he by Bregored. The dates of their rule are obscure but their names and ranks can clearly be seen in a painting to be found near the altar in the greater church. Berthwald succeeded Bregored.

Martin Grimmer’s suspicions are that the date of the charter is wrong based upon the term anno Dominae.  Grimmer dates the charter for other reasons to the 670’s in line with the establishment of Wessex rather than 601 which was obviously the date expressed on the extant charter from which Malmesbury makes a copy.  The logic of Grimmer’s assessment does not follow as the 601 date ties in perfectly with the second Saxon incursion into the south west c.590-660 and provides the reason for the donation.

Grimmer’s other point of objection to the date of 601 being genuine is also contestable because contrary to his argument the paschal tables used by priests to find the date for Easter by their nature began at the incarnation. Dionysius Exiguus had already implemented this as a dating system c.500 A.D.

The 601 charter is the one piece of evidence upon which Glastonbury stakes its foundation, in a proof that it was founded prior to Canterbury (that is before all the other early foundation legend was added to DA subsequently). Therefore, the charter itself would have been under scrutiny as to whether it was genuine or not. Although the charter appears only in the later B & C stemma versions of William of Malmesbury’s GR, it does not follow that the charter was not genuine by omission in GR1, because GR1 was composed before William spent time searching the records at Glastonbury.

Many of the other Glastonbury additions to version C & B of GR will be elucidated in a later chapter specifically covering material related to our investigation found in the GR.

There is no reason to doubt the charter and its date is genuine. William of Malmesbury was accustomed to seeing old charters. Why would someone perpetrating a fraud have a charter with Dumnonian King as donor if the charter in reality did not apply to a real location in Devon? Why choose a place called Ineswitrin which no-one has heard of as the object of the grant, if the 601 charter was a 12th century fraud? If the charter was really archaic and it was a genuine charter from the 670’s as Grimmer posits; why perpetrate the fraud by applying a date of 601AD which is after Augustine’s arrival in any case and no other reasoning can be found for implying that date.

There can be no reason why a Saxon house which used to be a ‘Briton/Celtic’ church would change a date of donation from a Devonian King. There was no charter evidence relating to the years between 601 and 670 at Glastonbury, but a picture that William of Malmesbury had seen by the altar led him to record three names of Abbots in the intervening 70-year period and relate that they were British abbots.  If there were these abbots, why is Grimmer so insistent that the 601 charter is of later date?  If his suspicion of fraud is purely based on the Anno Dominae term, there is not much previous charter evidence for comparison upon which to base such a dismissal of the date on his seemingly flimsy premise.

So, let us leave the date at 601, remembering that this is the very charter to be scrutinised by detractors at Canterbury or whoever at Rome later. Those accusers such as Osbern, who presume a case of Roman primacy in an Augustinian foundation at Canterbury would have viewed the original most probably.  The reader will understand as we progress that the charter was also to be produced as supporting evidence at Rome in to aide Henry’s case for Metropolitan.

The supposition that the charter was manufactured to lend weight to the claim for Glastonbury’s antiquity might be tenable if the Island did not exist in Devon in reality and did not coincide with the precise position to which Melkin’s encrypted geometrical prophecy locates it one the cryptogram is deciphered. Again,  if the reader can understand and accept for the moment that Henry Blois has substituted the name of an island called ‘Ineswitrin’ in the original version of Melkin’s prophecy for his own invented name of Insula Avallonis also posited in HRB as an Island to which a wounded Arthur was taken, all will become clear by the end of this exposé.

The naming of the Island of Avalon (Insulam Avallonis) on the Melkin prophecy is an interpolation by Henry Blois. The rest of the text which makes up the content of the prophecy of Melkin is not fictitious. Modern scholars have made a huge error of judgement by dismissing Melkin’s prophecy as a fake.  Researchers like Carley who hold this view could never understand fully the elements of Glastonbury legend or Grail legend which relate to the Island of Ineswitrin in Devon without accepting that the Melkin prophecy is a bone fide cryptogram obviated by its deconstruction and what it unveils when de-crypted.

The Island of Avallon is Henry Blois’ invention in HRB; so re-named upon the name of a town in the region of Blois. It would be a remarkable co-incidence that Melkin’s  geometric instructions couched in no uncertain terms in the prophecy of Melkin, mark precisely the spot which locates an island in Devon i.e. Ineswitrin.

Especially, when it just so happened also, that a supposedly faked charter is witness to an Island being donated to Glastonbury by a Devonian King. and can be identified through logic that the island of Iniswitrin in Devon is the same Island to which the content of the prophecy of Melkin refers to.  Henry Blois who had a copy of this document i.e. the prophecy of Melkin swapped the name of the island as the subject of the prophecy  to refer to his invented name of Avallon. This will become blatantly clear as the reader progresses through the information here under investigation.

The interpretation of the 601 charter is not straightforward because of Henry Blois’ bogus and misleading etymology in the life of Gildas. William of Malmesbury at the time of composing DA (in his own words) in no way intonates that Ineswitrin is synonymous with the island of Glastonbury. Everything which points to the supposition that Ineswitrin (as a location) is an ‘estate’ at or near Glastonbury or the old church is an interpolation into DA or false information supplied by Henry Blois in Life of Gildas or interpolated into GR3.

What has added more confusion to the salad which researchers have to deal with is Henry Blois’ etymological explanation in the Life of Gildas, because this etymology is recycled  by Gerald of Wales.359  It is little wonder then that for 200 years of scholarship Ineswitin is believed to be commensurate with Glastonbury.

The reader will understand in a later chapter once we get to that point…. that Gerald has seen and read DA (for the most part in its current form) prior to King Arthur’s disinterment.

 Heather Edwards360 assesses the 601 charter as probably genuine and also sees no motive for forgery. William of Malmesbury obviously believed the charter itself to be representative of Glastonbury’s antiquity by mention of the ‘Old church’ and the date of the charter. William of Malmesbury in no way infers in any work (of his pen) that Ineswitrin is an estate on the Island of Glastonbury.361  In his account in the GR, he makes the observation that Glastonbury must be an ancient foundation as ‘even then (it) was called Old Church’.

William portrays that the poor condition of the document caused the King’s name to be illegible. William says: The age of the document prevents us knowing who the King was. However, where it is stated that the writer of the charter is British because he referred to Glastonbury in his own tongue as Yneswitrin which, as we know, was the British name… this is a certain interpolation by Henry Blois which concurs with what he had written in Life of Gildas.

359De principis instructione 1.20 (c.1I93-95), and Speculum Ecclesiae 11.8-10 (c.1216).

360Heather Edwards, The Charters of the Early West Saxon Kingdom (Oxford: British Archaeological Reports 198, 988) p. 65.

361William of Malmesbury’s VD ii (written after the body of DA) does not mention Ineswitrin.

William knew Ineswitrin was a British name for an island somewhere, but it is Henry Blois’ interpolation which infers the name is synonymous with Glastonbury. In no other document is it found that Ineswitrin was the old name for Glastonbury prior to Henry Blois’ interpolations. How could it be when the name actually applies to an Island in Devon?

William’s statement that the Island of Ineswitrin was given to Glastonbury at the time the English were converted to the faith is based upon the commonly held belief that the real faith i.e. Roman, only arrived at the time of Augustine. This incidentally adds credence to the fact that the 601 date is firmly believed by William. The apparently mistaken date of A.D. 610, which also references the conversion of the English which is found in the GR C version must be a dyslexic misprint because it states: ‘that is, in the fifth year of the coming of the blessed Augustine’. William is implying that a church existed at Glastonbury. At the time of the donation, it was already old.

In reference to the contention of antiquity between Canterbury and Glastonbury monks, it is being spelled out to Osbern that, ‘Glastonbury already had an old church before the founder of yours (Canterbury) arrived on English shores’. This is the main reason for the erroneous etymology ostensibly making the island in the 601 charter appear to be the synonymous with  the island upon which the ‘old church’ existed.

William of Malmesbury while living at Glastonbury, would have become very sympathetic to the views of Glastonbury monks because it is evident to him that Dunstan was not the first abbot and so took on the commission of composing DA to counteract the rivalry against Canterbury.  William’s disgust (as a prodigy of Roman religion) for anything prior to Augustine’s time is evident in his reference to Abbot Worgret.

Martin Grimmer’s exposé on this 601 charter is revealing, but he does not understand Henry Blois’ role or reasoning behind the motive in having the audience of Life of Gildas believe Ineswitrin was a previous appellation for Glastonbury. Grimmer states that:

Ineswitrin looks like a British name, it cannot securely be contended that it was the pre-Saxon name for Glastonbury. The possibility exists, rather, that Ineswitrin was the name of an estate, as it is in fact called in the charter, that was later erroneously taken to be the early name for Glastonbury, perhaps because the actual origin, identification, and location of the grant was forgotten.

This is in part true.

The knowledge of Ineswitrin had faded into obscurity, since the charter was deposited in the scriptorium or chest of old documents which William of Malmesbury was going through in the abbey at Glastonbury. The charter would have fallen into obscurity or redundancy as a consequence of the change from a Briton to a West Saxon house. However, it was not by accident Ineswitrin was posited as the old name for Glastonbury.

The relevance to this donation is intricately linked to the prophecy of Melkin.  We should discount any notion that Melkin’s prophecy was a late invention as attested by James Carley who’s theoretical errors abound; his ability to make rational deductions on Melkin and a score of other matters being tainted by a priori positions taken by his mentor Lagorio.

Scholars are simply quite wrong and have no evidence to back up the false accusation that Melkin’s prophecy is a fake, especially after Carley having stated he does not understand the prophecy’s meaning. Without any evidence that the Melkin prophecy is a fake, it is simply a position taken by modern scholars on the assumption or fallacious deduction that Insula Avallonis was a name of the Island about which Melkin’s prophecy referred to.  This was where ‘Geoffrey’ had placed King Arthur having been wounded and therefore any mention of Avalon is tied up with the fraud that scholars have wrongly determined was carried out by Henry de Sully. i.e. thinking the cross which explained that where King Arthur was unearthed was only from that moment on… now know as Avalon. One wrong turn in this quagmire of confusion hightens the inadequacy of subsequent conclusions. This is where Lagario and Carley have misled everyone and are just too obdurate or dimwitted to realise their error. 

The logical consequence of that is that if ‘Geoffrey’ dreamed up the story-line of the chivalric King Arthur being taken to Avalon, then Avalon itself must be a figment of ‘Geoffrey’s’ imagination; especially since it is entirely obvious to all modern scholars that the disinterment of Arthur on Avalon was staged.

They simply have no way of thinking otherwise until it is understood that Henry Blois manufactured the grave-site including a cross which in effect declared Avalon as Glastonbury when it was found with Arthur’s remains. The huge erroneous judgement on the part of Carley is that the author of the story in HRB and the manufacturer of the gravesite are one and the same as the interpolator into DA which points out the position of where to find King Arthur’s manufactured grave. Carley in his arrogance and stupidity is still misleading students today. Not being aware of his error leads to a whole heap of ignorance by rationalising Henry de Sully manufactured the grave and at a later date a monk interpolated DA recording the site of the disinterment in DA and yet not recording one fact about the exhumation; defeating the idea of why Carley posits the exhumation took place, to promote alms to the abbey.  Carley needs instruction instead of blowing smoke on those who wish to learn what happened and the sequence of events which is known as the Matter of Britain.

The name on the Melkin Prophecy originally was Ineswitrin as will be shown in progression.

Henry Blois certainly had no idea of where the island of Ineswitrin was located, but I will also cover later how and where his search for its location was carried out (in two places). Henry Blois was appraised of the Island of Witrin’s genuine existence because he knew the charter was genuine and the island existed in Devon. It was Henry Blois who eventually substituted the name of Ineswitrin for Avalon in the extant Melkin’s prophecy (recycled by JG) to fit with Henry Blois’ later (post 1158) agenda in which he composed the ‘De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’ from which JG obtained and recycled the excerpt which constitutes the Prophecy of Melkin as it is witnessed today.

This point becomes self-evident as we progress through the following chapters. However, Grimmer, attempting to enlighten us on the Ineswitrin conundrum follows on with an exceptionally lucid point:

Nor for that matter does Ineswitrin even have to be an estate which is located within Somerset. This opens up the possibility of Ineswitrin being situated further west in territory in Devon or Cornwall still under the control of a British King.

Thank you for opening up this possibility Grimmer because the King of Dumnonia i.e. Devon and Cornwall does have an Island that used to be called Ineswitrin. The only problem is, to find this island one has to decrypt Melkin’s document and understand that Henry Blois and not ‘Geoffrey’ has changed the name of the island (which is the ‘subject Island’) which is indicated by the Melkin prophecy in its geometry.  Understand the raison d’être of the Melkin document!!!!! It points out the island’s location in Devon.  This is the only reason the so called prophecy was encrypted!!!

If Grimmer or any other of the experts understood the HRB had been composed by Henry Blois, they would understand why ‘Geoffrey’s’ Insulam Avallonis had been inserted instead as the subject of the Melkin prophecy. The fact is it points clearly to an Island in Devon once called Ictis in the Greek era.

The King of Dumnonia would only be able to grant land within his own territory, which locates Inis Witrin somewhere in Devon or Cornwall, the old Dumnonia. There seems to be no obvious reason why the name Dumnonia would have been interpolated into the charter, especially if the charter was a fraud and the intent was to provide proof of antiquity for Glastonbury.  Instead it adds credence to the unequivocal position that Ynis Witrin really was an island location in Dumnonia and someone is trying (through interpolation) to make us think otherwise.

Grimmer also states that William’s: assertion that the donor was the ‘King of Dumnonia’ (‘rex Domnonie’), which he presumably made because that was what he found on the document from which he was working. This is a fairly explicit statement of the charter’s origin.

Finally, Grimmer concludes: As has been shown, there is no contemporaneous evidence suggesting that Ineswitrin was the name for Glastonbury, rather than the name of an estate granted to Glastonbury.

Well done Grimmer for making this statement!!!! It is true; but to get solid proof of this fact one has to follow the rest of the evidences put forward in the rest of this research.

Henry Blois’ etymological addition to the last paragraph of the Life of Gildas is added later to a script ( which he had already written) so that none could accuse Glastonbury of having a grant or document (which proved proof of its antiquity) pertaining to an unidentifiable location.

The inconsistency of logic of this charter referring to Glastonbury is: if Glastonbury was an Island as described in Dunstan ‘B’, the ‘old church’ and any monastic house attached to it would be considered as ‘Glastonbury’; so why is Glastonbury, if it is an island, receiving by donation a part of itself i.e. the ‘island of Witrin’….  on which the ‘old church’ is located.

Logically, Ineswitrin being defined as an island by the British word ynes and the island entity of Glastonbury and its ‘old church’, cannot be one and the same but must be separate Islands. It was the synchronicity of both Ineswitrin being an island and the fact that the ‘old church’ existed on an island in the Dunstan text by author B which made the illusion (by which Henry Blois attempts to mislead his audience) all the more plausible.

The purposeful etymological transformation concocted in the Life of Gildas concerning Ineswitrin was added in 1144 by Henry Blois to a manuscript already wholly composed by himself countering Osbern’s accusation. Thereafter, all and sundry accepted Ineswitrin as the old name for Glastonbury. 

At the end of the Life of Gildas, between an ‘amen’ and a verse colophon proclaiming the authorship of Caradoc, there is the postscript, stating that: “Glastonbury was of old called Ynysgutrin and is still called so by native Britons.”  It is this ‘postscript’ and the cleverly inserted ‘g’ gutrin (made of glass) in the etymology which misleads us all to ‘Glass Island’ in further bogus etymology which then extenuates further into the fog as the Isle de Voirre. I shall get to this point later.

To think Henry Blois is not ‘Geoffrey’, or to think that Henry Blois is not impersonating Caradoc as the writer of the Life of Gildas would be the same as denying that Henry Blois is not Master Blihis or Bliho-Bleheris; believing what is stated in HRB that Caradoc is a contemporary of ‘Geoffrey’. The facts which connect Henry Blois to Caradoc are on the Modena archivolt.

Gildas’ entirely fictitious connection to Glastonbury found in the Life of Gildas is the common denominator:

he (Gildas) 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.362 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.

William of Malmesbury’s ‘British tongue’ epithet in reference to the charter just alludes to the fact that Inis Witrin is old English, but in no way establishes the etymological truth between the supposed connection of ‘vitrea’ and the ‘Glass’ in Glastonbury. This subtle connection which is similar to some later etymological interpolations, are part of a persuasive polemic designed by Henry Blois to synchronise what initially were contradictory and conflicting evidences.

The name Glastonbury, from the Anglo-Saxon period exists in charters from the reigns of the West Saxon King Ine (c.704) where it was termed ‘Glastingaea’ and from Cuthred (c.744) as ‘Glastingei’. There are other early variations, ‘Glaestingabyrig’ and ‘Glaestingeberig’.

Glastonbury was never at any stage in history ‘well known’ as Inis Witrin, but had always been Glastonia, Glaesting, Glaesinbyrig, Glasteigbyrig and never Ynes gutrin, Insula Vitrea, Isle of Glass, Isle of Apples or the Fortunate Isle, before Henry Blois came to England. Most emphatically, no one had previously thought to establish Glastonbury as Avallon, Avalonia, or Insula Avallonis as this appellation is derived from the name of a town north of Clugny near to Arthur’s battle scene by Henry Blois the composer of HRB. 

362It is not by coincidence that the composer of the Life of Gildas would have us believe, just like ‘Geoffrey’ (and Orderic in the interpolated passage about Merlin’s prophecies), that Nennius’ Historia Brittonum was written by Gildas.

However, this brings us to the interesting question of ‘cassates’ mentioned in the 601 charter: peticionem Worgret abbatis in quinque cassatis (superscript: id est hidis) i.e. hides.

Even though William of Malmesbury summarises this grant as follows: ‘The King of Dumnonia gave five hides of land known as ‘Yneswitrin’ (‘rex Domnonie dedit terram apellatam Yneswitherim v hidas’), the original word ascribed from the charter is ‘cassatis’.

If we consider first, the original nature of the hide; the word ‘hida’ occurs in the laws of King Ine, c. 690.  If the reader can excuse the somewhat tiresome explanation that follows; some commentators have posited that the word is derived from ‘hydan’ -English “hut” to a certain measurement of land ‘a hide’, but there is nothing in the sources of Anglo-Saxon history to support this opinion nor is it probable that the word “hut” was used as a complimentary part of a whole ‘estate’. Coincidentally, Henry posing as ‘Geoffrey’…. who had obviously come across this problem while dealing with this 601 charter (and knowing that Henry Blois is the same person who loves to please in etymological explanations in HRB)…. ‘Geoffrey’ writes in HRB:

Hengist took a bull’s hide, and wrought the same into a single thong throughout. He then compassed round with his thong a stony place that he had thought cunningly chosen, and within the space thus meted out did begin to build the castle that was afterwards called in British, Kaercorrei, but in Saxon, Thongceaster…363 

There is absolutely no truth in this statement, but it just indicates that Henry can fabricate on any subject plausibly.

Bede, in his history, always uses the word ‘familia’ where in Anglo-Saxon we should expect to find the word ‘hide’; and in King Alfred’s paraphrase of Bede the word ‘familia’ is commonly rendered hida, or by one of its allied forms, hiwisc or hiwscipe.

For example— Singulae possesiones decern erant familiarum — waes thaes landes hundtwelftig hida; comparata possessione decern familiarum — gebohte tyn hida landes.

Another example— Habens terram familiarum septem millium — is thaes landes seofen thusendo hida; donavit terram octoginta septem familiarum — sealde seofon & hundeahtig hida landes.

So, when Bede estimates the extent of Islands, his unit of measurement is still the family. Thus, about the Island of Thanet he says:

Tanatos insula non modica, id est magnitudinis juxta consuetudinem aestimationis familiarum sexcentarum — six hund hida, and of the Isle of Wight he gives, — Est antem mensura ejusdem insulae (juxta aestimationem Anglorum) mille ducentarum familiarum — twelf hund hida.

From these examples, we may gather that in the time of Bede, who died on Ascension Day 735 AD, the value and extent of land was measured, not by its acreage nor by its material worth, but by the number of families it could maintain.  Later, in England, it became a unit used in assessing land for liability to “geld”, or land tax and the ‘hide’ lost its original meaning and became the basis of a tax system of assessment; but this was long after the Dumnonian charter which mentiones five ‘cassates’.

Knowing William of Malmesbury’s resistance to the invention of material, we should assume that his inability to read the flourit of the Devonian King364 substantiates William was looking at the charter he was duly copying. If the charter were a fraud, doubtless the name of a King would have been provided on the charter which was evidenced as his first chapter in DA before Henry Blois interpolated the manuscript. The evidence that William is actually eyeballing the charter is witnessed also by the personal form of the two ‘attesters’ using the word ‘I’:‘I, Mauron the bishop, wrote this charter. I, Worgret, abbot of the same place, have subscribed it.’

363HRB VI, xi

364See Note 6

It would seem it is William’s own interpretation that ‘Hides’ translates from the ‘Cassates’ term used on the 601 charter. Cassatis, derived from cottages i.e. cassa was interchanged with the word hides…. as the understood measurement in William’s day. Given the fact that both ‘cassates’ and ‘hides’ seem to be measurements of land, maybe the Island of Ineswitrin had five cottages located on it. This may be clearly seen in Image 3.

I would suggest that the ‘five’ refers to dwellings on the island. This then throws light upon the King knowing exactly what he is donating on the island of Ineswitrin to Glastonbury before Henry Blois contaminates the meaning by sophistry. The King of Dumnonia is giving an Island (Inis) with the name ‘Witrin’ with five cottages on it to Glastonbury old Church. This is the purport of the 601 charter.

In the next chapter we discuss the actual location of Ineswitrin as Burgh Island based upon two indisputable facts along with the rationale we have just covered. Ineswitrin without doubt becomes Melkin’s Island mentioned in the prophecy where Joseph of Arimathea is buried. This fact may seem difficult to accept at the moment, but all will become apparent shortly. Burgh Island in Devon is Ineswitrin and was Pytheas’ Island of Ictis. Strangely enough, five cottages on the Island would be about the right amount for a small fishing community based there in 601AD.

However, the reason that Glastonbury held a grant from a Dumnonian King and then lost interest in any monetary value that the island may have provided, would indicate the five families or cottages were just those of a small community on the island.365 The reason the Dumnonian King donated the Island to Glastonbury is not stated in the charter but the importance of what the island contained was hidden in the numerical and topographical puzzle which became known as ‘The Prophecy of Melkin’.

This mystical sounding prophecy or document just happens to appear at Glastonbury also. What scholars have to understand is that the 601 charter donated an Island to Glastonbury. Nobody at Glastonbury knew where the island was located. Guess what…. alongside that document was another which also had the name Ineswitrin as its subject title (not Insula Avallonis). If one could crack the code or encryption on the document which became known as Melkin’s prophecy you would be able to locate Ineswitrin.  I will show for the reader evidence in the following pages that the prophecy of Melkin was extant in the time of Henry Blois. Ignore prof. Carley, the pontificating Cretin who, with no basis in fact,has told all his students that the Melkin prophecy is a fake. He is the fake!!!!

Over time, and after the Saxon incursion, the connection was lost between the Island of Ineswitrin and the ‘old church’ at Glastonbury until such time as William of Malmesbury found the charter in an old chest and Henry Blois produced the charter to provide evidence of antiquity for the abbey at Glastonbury.  From this proof of antiquity i.e. what was written on the charter…. an opportunistic advantage was realised. ‘Ynis’ was indisputably understood as the Dumnonian, Celtic, Briton word for ‘Island’.

Unquestionably author B refers to Glastonbury as an Island c.1000 AD…. So, to confuse Glastonbury with Ineswitrin is not a huge contortion for someone wishing to propagate such a misconception…. and is easily done with bogus etymology. Even Grimmer got that point!!

Henry Blois’ problem was if the 601 charter was to act as a proof to the sceptical for the early existence of a church at Glastonbury, surely someone questioning the charter’s genuineness would be asking: ‘where exactly is the place being donated’. Hence the need for the contrived etymology in the Life of Gildas, as no-one at Glastonbury, five hundred years after the 601 charter was signed, had any idea of the island’s location which was being donated. Henry Blois could not understand or fathom one jot pertaining to the document which shows any inquirer exactly where the island is located.  Carley is just to dim to understand this  and what the great scholar Carley has pronounced upon will not be retracted. The reader can read all the flatulence that Carley has excreted in the section on the Prophecy of Melkin.

365See Image 2


There is no mistaking where the king is from. William of Malmesbury’s recognition of Dumnonia as Devon is seen in GR ‘in Dumnonia, now called Devonshire (Deuenescire)’, and again where William says ‘Crediton is a small villa of Dumnonia, which is commonly called Devonshire’.

In Gildas’ ‘De excidio Britanniae’, Dumnonia is included as one of the British Kingdoms and therefore William of Malmesbury and Henry Blois and any who contended the validity of the charter would have no problem accepting the reality of a King from Dumnonia. The problem was that they would think if the charter was genuine…. to what location in Devon does it apply?

This is specifically why it was necessary to concoct corroborative evidence so that though charter appeared genuine (which it was)…. Ineswitrin had to be construed as part of Glastonbury to give location to an island which was lost in the mists of time. Therefore, the last paragraph was inserted in Life of Gildas (and later backed up by another corroborative interpolation found in the St Patrick charter in DA).

William of Malmesbury’s reference to Worgret’s abbacy ‘of that place’ (‘eiusdem loci abbas’), indicates that, Worgret previously had been an abbot of Glastonbury. It must have been prior to the abbacy of Haerngils, for whom at least two charters survive from the 680’s.  Haerngils appears at the head of what appears as an ‘abbatial list’ for Glastonbury, contained in an eleventh-century manuscript.  This would further suggest Worgret’s abbacy must have been prior to the 680’s and thus adds weight to the date of 601 that William has ascribed to the charter contrary to Grimmer’s proposed later date. The charter was only recently discovered in the chest of old papers from which William was gathering evidence to compose his DA. Of course a sensible chronicler like William of Malmesbury would no include a document in DA which made no sense to anyone.

William in the employ of the monks at Glastonbury was commissioned to write ‘De antiquitate Glastonie’ to provide a document which validated Glastonbury’s antiquity. This acted to counter the claim made by Osbern of Canterbury that Glastonbury’s foundation only occurred more recently. The main discrepancy followed propaganda put out by Glastonbury that St. Dunstan’s relics resided at Glastonbury as opposed to Canterbury.

The DA was in part written to counteract Osbern’s denial of Glastonbury’s claim.  Osbern a monk at Glastonbury in his Life of Dunstan had claimed that Dunstan was the first Abbot of Glastonbury, but the Monks at Glastonbury thought this to be untrue as evidence existed at the abbey in the 601 charter which proved the Glastonbury church and monastery history went further back.

So when Henry Blois was abbot there he thought he would take on Osbern at his own game and so put out his own false claim. Henry retorted with the clain that Dunstan was buried at Glastonbury not Caterbury. This sent the monks at Canterbury into a spin of anger which resulted in Eadmer’s Letter.

St Dunstan 909–988AD was an Abbot of Glastonbury, a Bishop of Worcester, a Bishop of London, and an Archbishop of Canterbury who was later canonised as a saint. So, Dunstan’s remains were a valuable relic to possess in terms of alms and prestige at a monastic institution. So, to think Henry Blois had put out false propaganda claiming his relics were at Glastonbury resulted in an argument between the two monastic houses linked to the ecclesiastical institutions.

Osbern, when he was a little boy at Canterbury remembered that the Archbishop had removed the coffins of Dunstan and Elfege, in preparation for building the church. 50 years afterwards he testified to the reality of that translation of the corpses in order to confute the untrue assertions made by the monks of Glastonbury.

The monks of Glastonbury claimed that during the sack of Canterbury by the Danes in 1012, Dunstan’s body had been carried for safety to their abbey at Glastonbury. Until Henry Blois interpolated William of Malmesbury’s DA there was no famous church father of note associated with Glastonbury.

By the time Henry Blois died there was a plethora of Church Fathers who were supposedly buried there.  This story of St Dunstan’s translation was disproved by Archbishop William Warham, who opened the tomb at Canterbury in 1508.  Supposedly they found Dunstan’s relics still to be there so the reader must take note of Henry Blois dishonesty at an early age in feeling that he had the right ‘to just make up stuff’. But we shall see later on in progression that this erroneous rumour put out by Glastonbury which required a response in the form of Eadmer’s letter was perpetrated by Henry Blois.

The hubris of my statements throughout this work is because for 200 years the people professing to be experts on Glastonburyalia, ‘Geoffrey’s HRB and Grail literature have less clue of what transpired in the era of Henry Blois than the uneducated!! The task I have in uncovering their errors is made worse by the volume of information that needs correlating to bring the reader along as we progress; so that unlike the method of scholars, the evidence that joins the three genres may be seen to correlate as we progress as evidences are uncovered and context is understood.

In William’s DA, he references two passages by author ‘B’s Life of Dunstan’ and in a passage following the statement that Dunstan’s father took him as a boy to visit Glastonbury, then goes on to describe the place itself:

’There was within the realm of King Athelstan a certain Royal Island known locally from ancient times as Glastonbury. It spread wide with numerous inlets, surrounded by lakes full of fish and by rivers suitable for human use and, what is more important, endowed by God with sacred gift. In that place at God’s command, the first neophytes of Catholic law discovered an ancient church, built by no human skill as though prepared by heaven for the salvation of mankind. This church was consecrated to Christ and the holy Mary is mother, as God himself the architect of heaven, demonstrated by many miracles and wonderful mysteries. To this church they added another, an oratory built of stone which they dedicated to Christ and to St Peter. Henceforth crowds of the faithful came from all around to worship and humbly dwelt in that precious place on the island’.

The other relevant passage that William quotes from author ‘B’s Life of Dunstan’ is:

 ‘that Irish pilgrims as well as other crowds of the faithful had a great veneration for Glastonbury particularly on account of the blessed Patrick the younger, who was said most happily to rest in the Lord there.

However, all this evidence apart, we can still know that the Island to which Melkin refers upon which Joseph of Arimathea is said to be buried in the prophecy of Melkin, was once known as ‘White Tin Island’ or Ines witrin (as I shall uncover in the next section). This is Joseph’s connection to the Island that Diodorus describes from Pytheas’ account which traded tin with the Phoenicians. Diodorus’ account by its description of Ictis fits Burgh Island and it is the geometry in the decrypted Melkin’s prophecy which also situates the substituted the island of Avalon in that prophecy precisely where Burgh Island is located.

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