1125. Possible arrival of Henry from Clugny to act as prior of Montacute. Regarding the accuracy of the data in Melkin’s prophecy which produces the line which runs through Montacute….one can only assume it must be connected to the dig put forward in De inventione. Montacute could only be known by someone who has decoded or constructed the prophecy. It is not inappropriate to suggest Henry Blois’ affiliation with Montacute has him searching for the body of Joseph of Arimathea which led to the concoction of the De Inventione when he became Dean of Waltham. Throughout this investigation it must not be forgotten that the man we propose went in search of the body of Joseph is one and the same who invented the story for the search for the Grail and we know the Grail is based upon the duo fassula found in the same prophecy… said to be in Joseph’s tomb. Henry’s connection to Montacute is unclear except through his being Dean of Waltham, producing the spurious De Inventione and the fact that The Red Book of the Exchequer, stated that Henry was prior of Montacute previous to his appointment as Abbot of Glastonbury. If this had been the case it would have been in 1125.
1126. Arrival at Glastonbury of Henry Blois. William of Malmesbury is already at the Abbey, writing the Glastonbury saints lives. William is also finishing the GR1 and at this time does not know where Arthur is buried or has even heard of the Island of Avalon. Rumours are started by Henry Blois concerning the translation of Dunstan’s relics to Glastonbury; the aim of which was to increase alms…. eventuating Eadmer’s letter in response to Henry’s rumour.
1127. Henry Blois hatches a plan to cover the history of the Britons having understood there was a blank canvas prior to Gildas. This probably came about in discussions with William of Malmesbury. The intended recipient of a book on British history I have termed throughout this discourse as the ‘pseudo history’, was his uncle King Henry Ist and his daughter the Empress Matilda. The initial idea was to present an honourable and flattering history of Britain with many queens prior to Matilda the Heir apparent; to set a precedent of rule by women in Briton and to offset the uncomfortable position felt by many of the Baron’s. Henry Blois of great learning, reading Huntingdon’s history and William of Malmesbury’ GR, along with what he found in insular and continental sources had constructed this history to create a worthy provenance for the Kingdom of his Uncle comparative to the French kings.
Eadmer’s letter to the monks of Glastonbury is written. William of Malmesbury is commissioned by the monks to write the life of Dunstan to back up Henry’s false claim that Dunstan’s bones resided at Glastonbury through a concocted story. VD I was started on this account. It is felt by Henry Blois that VD I was not going to achieve clarity on the antiquity of Glastonbury or respond adequately to Canterbury’s previous accusations by Osbern concerning Dunstan being the first abbot of Glastonbury and by implication, casting doubt on the abbey’s antiquity.
Henry’s brother Stephen was fighting William Clito in Normandy.857 Henry has set about putting affairs in order at Glastonbury and reclaiming certain lands using the clout and influence of his uncle Henry Ist. Henry Blois is enjoying his new freedoms as an adult and comes into contact with many Irish monks at Glastonbury and Henry at this stage intermingles with them at ease as is made plain in William of Malmesbury’s prologue. Henry at this stage is a grounded young man brought up on the Chanson de Geste and fond of literature and turns his hand to verse.
857William of Malmesbury. HN
Henry Blois always has a source for his muses and composes Tristan and Iseult based on what he has heard from Irish monks at Glastonbury i.e. Tóraigheacht Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne or the pusuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne. This becomes his source for the early branch of the Cornish legend. In the story, the aging Fionn mac Cumhaill takes the young princess, Gráinne, to be his wife. At the betrothal ceremony, she falls in love with Diarmuid, one of Fionn mac Cumhaill’s most trusted knights. Gráinne gives a sleeping potion to all present at the ceremony except for Diarmuid. Eventually she convinces him to elope with her. The fugitive lovers are then pursued all over Ireland by a band of knights loyal to Fionn.
Although Chrétien claims to have written a Tristan story in his introduction to Cligès it has not come to posterity, but this reference does imply that both Marie and Chrétien had come into contact with supposedly Celtic base material which was connected to chivalric Arthur and the main promulgator of both of these stories is our anonymous author that likens himself to Cicero by his influence. Any scholar today thinking that Henry Blois did not have a right to compare himself with Cicero simply does not understand his output. More study has been set down on paper regarding the anonymous works of Henry Blois by comparison to any other ‘man made’ subject matter excluding the religious exegetes.
1128. Henry Blois might be in Normandy with his Uncle and brother, providing ‘knights service’ from Glastonbury. This assumption is based upon what Huntingdon relates concerning a certain ‘somebody’ (Huntingdon did not like Henry) reciting the Franks’ history from a Trojan provenance…. much as he later did in HRB for the Briton heritage. It was felt by Henry Blois that VD I was not going to achieve purpose regarding what the monks required to be written concerning Dunstan’s translation to Glastonbury in the times of the Danish incursion; or respond adequately to Canterbury’s accusations by Osbern stating that Dunstan was the first Abbot. William of Malmesbury after such discussions and the finding of the 601 charter is asked to write a book laying out the history of Glastonbury abbey. William commences research on DA going through all the old records. He starts DA with the 601 charter as his primary evidence.
1129. On November 17th Henry Blois becomes Bishop of Winchester and moves there. He places Robert of Lewes at Glastonbury to oversee building projects already started and the overseeing of general affairs but remains abbot. William of Malmesbury has finished VD I and is currently residing at Glastonbury while researching the DA and composing VD II. William has a large chest at his disposal full of old charters. He works out the list of abbots from these charters. Henry Blois is at Woodstock in December with his Uncle and King Henry Ist holds court at Winchester over Christmas.858
1130. Henry Blois on May 4th is at Canterbury for the dedication of Christchurch with William of Corbeil.859 Henry Blois is still constructing his pseudo-history of the British people from Brutus.
1131. Henry Blois instigates building projects at Winchester and works on the pseudo-history the precursor to Primary Historia. The work at this time consists of a partially fictional history with content concerning the founding of Britain by Brutus. This inspiration is gleaned from a similar French Trojan tradition which Henry Blois is witnessed by Huntingdon to have recounted to his uncle while in Normandy. Henry Blois carries out considerable research from ASC, Gildas, Bede and Nennius and continues to compose a history of Britain with his knowledge of classical literature and Roman annals…. some of which he surely was exposed to at Clugny. What Henry truly achieves is the assimilation of Chronicled histories from various sources into a form of literature through his muses.
Facets from his love of the classics are incorporated into the book on the British History to spice up the narrative and speech content. Henry Blois is at Waltham with his uncle. In September he attended King’s council at Northampton where his Uncle signed a charter in favour of Clugny.860 It was at Northampton that the Barons were asked to swear fealty to Matilda again because the murmur from the Barons was getting louder.
1132. Henry Blois continues composing his history in order to present it to the Empress as a much more readable volume than William of Malmesbury’s GR. Henry oversees building projects both at Glastonbury and Winchester. Henry Blois is again with his Uncle at Marden.861
858Farrar. An outline itinerary of Henry I.
859Farrar. An outline itinerary of Henry I.
860Farrar. An outline itinerary of Henry I.
861Farrar. An outline itinerary of Henry I.
1133. At Christmas, Henry Blois was with King Henry at Windsor where he signed a charter concerning the foundation of the Monastery of Rievaulx in Yorkshire. It was at this meeting he met Walter Espec whose name he would later use in an epilogue to a previously written work when he impersonated Geffrei Gaimar.
Henry Blois on August 1st was at Westborne where he witnessed a charter to St Mary’s of Cirencester.862 King Henry Ist departed Westborne and England for Normandy on August 4th and was never to return alive. William of Malmesbury finishes the DA and works on finishing VD II. The Glastonbury monks wished for more superlative material regarding the honour and sanctity of their abbey…. with embellishments William was not willing to include. William in his mind had completed the ‘original plan’ by producing evidence of the 601 charter as the start to his original DA. William has seen the Melkin prophecy which alludes to Joseph on Ineswitrin, but since this seems spurious he does not mention Joseph’s name in DA nor has any reason to do so and he had no idea where Ineswitrin was or what the prophecy’s indecipherable Latin pertained to.
862Farrar. An outline itinerary of Henry I..
1134. Henry Blois continued writing his ‘History of the Britons’ and attended to matters in his diocese of Winchester and at Glastonbury. William of Malmesbury is snubbed slightly by the monks at Glastonbury and then is referred to Henry Blois. William of Malmesbury presents the DA to Henry Blois in the hope of some pecuniary recompense. William now leaves Glastonbury.
1135. The barons were made to swear allegiance to the Empress for the last time. It is probable following this forced pledge to Matilda by the Barons, that dissatisfied murmurings were heard against a female ruler of Normandy and England. Possibly it is in this period when prior contact is made between Stephen and Henry Blois concerning Matilda as heir apparent and a plan is tentatively hatched; and an accord is made to replace Matilda with Stephen prior to Stephen’s race to London. On November 25th the King falls ill from eating lampreys. On December 1st the King dies. By the 22nd of December Henry Blois has convinced William of Corbeil to crown his Brother. On the 26th of December King Stephen’s coronation takes place.
1136. Stephen had to intervene in the north of England immediately after his coronation. King David of Scotland invaded the north on the news of Henry I death, taking Carlisle and Newcastle and other strongholds. Henry Blois is writing a diary of events later to be used in the compilation of GS. The GS, recounting how Stephen acquired the throne picks up with events at Winchester where Henry tries to bribe William de Pont de l’Arche to release his uncle’s treasure. The treasure is released to Stephen and the new King consolidates the crown buying allegiance from several barons
There is however contention over the usurpation of the crown between the Barons; because all of them had knowingly pledged fealty to the Empress after the White Ship disaster. The Welsh use this Norman disarray in arguing between themselves to their advantage. While King Stephen is in a fragile situation politically, the Welsh burn churches and rebel. The Welsh uprising takes place recorded in GS by Henry Blois as an eyewitness and a defeat at Gower. It is at this period Henry Blois is in Wales while Stephen is fighting against King David. However, Henry Blois is in southern Wales and is present at the defeat of a Welsh army at Kidwelly863 sometime between June and November 1136 where the very strikingly beautiful Gwenllian was captured and put to death.
Henry Blois’ Guinevere is lightly modelled on Gwenllian after seeing her beheaded he wrote her into his history concerning Arthur. Henry Blois leaves Wales and was involved during the following months with a campaign to suppress De Redver’s rebellion in Exeter as is made plain from eye witness acoounts in GS. Henry Blois learns of the history Brut y Tywysogion written by Caradoc of Llancarfan and obtains a copy of his life of St Cadoc. (Caradoc’s work may have existed at Glastonbury, but it seems unlikely).
Henry Blois has his brother restore the estate of Uffculme to Glastonbury causing rebellion from Robert Bampton. There is also the rebellion of Baldwin de Redvers. Stephen chases Baldwin to the Isle of Wight but Baldwin does a deal with the King and crosses to Normandy and subsequently reneges on the deal. William of Corbeil dies on 21st of November and Henry Blois becomes Archbishop of Canterbury ‘in waiting’.
One should assume this was the brother’s agreement, one to be King the other head of the church. Orderic informs us that in Advent 1136, Henry Blois went to Normandy and was content to stay there while he sent envoys to search out pope Innocent at Pisa because 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…. It was while Henry was in Normandy that the backstabbing Beaumont twins counselled Stephen to curb Henry’s power from becoming Archbishop of Canterbury. Franklin864 has Henry visit a papal court Nov-Dec 1136.
863A castle which he refers to as Lidelae and says belongs to the Bishop of Winchester
864Franklin 1993, 218
1137. Franklin has Henry in La Hogue, Bayeaux and Evereux in 1137. Henry’s time would have been spent carrying out duties on his brother’s behalf against Angevin agitators. Most Importantly Henry Blois was also re-hashing his pseudo-history into a Primary Historia since its initial purpose had become redundant. Henry is in Normandy to quell the Angevin strife stirred up by Baldwin de Redvers who had sided with the Empress’ cause. The pseudo-history which Henry Blois had initially composed for Matilda is no longer fit for purpose. Henry, after his experience in Wales having learnt much about Caerleon’s Roman architecture and Welsh topography and Geography (in his brief excursion)…. now has the Arthuriana added to the pseudo-history. This was finished in 1138 and constitutes the Primary Historia…. from which we only have witness from Huntingdon’s EAW. This is not Crick’s Vulgate edition of HRB catalogued in 1160 because the Primary Historia had been switched out for the newest edition and probably by Henry. The reader must remember just prior to this era there was a lot of pressure on ‘Geoffrey’ as is evident in his distancing himself from the composure of the HRB but more so the updated seditious prophecies and this probably subsided as news of his death was published but in the end he was untraceable because no-one knew about the Bishopris in Asaph if it even existed.
It is not wrong to suggest that Henry Blois spent time at Bec carrying out his affairs and constructed the book written by Galfridus Arthur which I have termed the Primary Historia. It is possible though that Henry Blois deposited the book in the library without notifying anyone. It seems improbable that the abbot who was Theobald of Bec at the time was unaware of the book in his Library. It was Robert of Torigni that showed the book to Huntingdon (both being chroniclers). This is why I have assumed Robert would have asked about Gaufridus and may be the cause of Robert de Torigni having been fobbed off with the misinformation that ‘Geoffrey’ was now the Bishop of Asaph in 1155…. when Henry Blois (passing through Mont St Michel) had already consigned ‘Geoffrey’ to death. This is based upon the assumption that Robert heard this news from Henry Blois as he travelled (without permission) across to France to the safe haven of Clugny by a circuitous route landing at Mont St Michel. Certainly Robert of Torigni was the first to see the book and by what he says he never associated Henry with Galfridus. So, there are two options how Robert came to read Primary Historia before Huntingdon. Henry casually deposited it in the Library or simply Henry passed it off as a British work by Galfridus and no one suspected. But and this is a speculative ‘but’, why is Theobald of Bec given Henry’s coveted job just before it is discovered, but if Theobald had suspected Henry as author, he certainly never told Huntingdon.
1138. Henry finishes the Primary Historia and signs his name Galfridus Arthur for want of a better name, based upon his recent addition of Arthur to the ‘Briton History starting with Brutus’. He deposits the Primary Historia at Bec before returning to England and is seen at the siege of Bedford and at Bristol. Henry Blois starts to compose the Life of Gildas under the pseudonym of Caradoc of Llancarfan, while based upon the Life of St Cadoc; to provide an independent witness to Chivalric Arthur now the Primary Historia was in the public domain and to show Glastonbury abbey had an abbot in Gildas’s era directly contradicting Osbern’s aspersions. At this stage there were no Prophecies in HRB and no real concern it his authorship was discovered. i.e he did not have to be careful but nor did he overtly connect Arthur to Glastonbury in HRB.
English barons persuade King Stephen that his brother Henry is becoming too powerful. Theobald who had only just been installed as Abbot of Bec the year previously, now obtains the coveted position of Archbishop of Canterbury. It would not be irrelevant speculation to suppose Henry had been at Bec when abbot Theobald had become aware of some indiscretion of Henry’s. He had betrayed the indiscretion and was awarded with the position that Henry had coveted. The election of Theobald of Bec took place on 24 December. King Stephen was present with the papal legate, Alberic of Ostia, and a group of barons and bishops, but Henry Blois was conveniently absent overseeing the ordination of deacons (apparently). These events are obviously omitted in GS. There is nothing in GS to indicate a rift between King Stephen and Henry which there obviously was. If GS had been authored by an independent third party author these details would have been noted and the reasons why an archbishop in waiting and a brother to boot was denied the position.
1139. In January Theobald of Bec sets out for Rome to receive the Pallium. Huntingdon, while accompanying him and his suite is ‘amazed’ to discover the Primary Historia. Henry Blois worked quickly to counteract the slight of his brother by electing Theobald as Archbishop of Canterbury. On 1st March, Henry Blois obtained a commission as papal legate, which gave him higher rank than Theobald of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury. There is obvious enmity and this situation might not only be explained by Theobald having obtained Henry’s coveted ecclesiastical position, but may have something to do with why the appointment was denied to Henry and given to Theobald personally. This can only mean that Henry Blois met with the pope to explain the chaos in the church caused by Stephen’s advisers and the plundering of the Bishops of Salisbury, Lincoln and Ely.
While passing through Modena, Henry Blois commissions the engravings on the Modena Archivolt which represents an episode of the ‘Kidnap of Guinevere’ from his recently concocted tale which contains the Arthurian anecdotal episodes from the Life of Gildas. Caradoc is already dead c.1129. On the 30th of September, the Empress Matilda and Robert of Gloucester land at Arundel. The Anarchy begins. It might not be unfair to posit that in the visit to Rome in January and February (when on the continent), Henry Blois had made a deal with the Empress and Robert since he had been roughly treated by his brother Stephen. The apologia of the GS leads us to think otherwise, but William of Malmesbury’s HN tells a more accurate portrayal of events. Henry Blois was now Legate and may have made a deal with Matilda…. a betrayal of his brother, which he had likewise inflicted on him by breaking their deal. The opposite viewpoint is related in GS.
1140. Henry Blois is evidently at Ely according to the eyewitness account in GS and at Devises. The Anarchy ensues.
1141. Events concerning the Anarchy affect Henry Blois. The events surrounding the Rout of Winchester on September 14 transpired and Henry is held responsible for much of the fallout. William of York elected in January who had been staying with his Uncle Henry Blois takes a copy of the evolved Primary Historia northward to Yorkshire. Stephen was captured following the Battle of Lincoln which was accurately portrayed by Ganieda, Merlin’s sister in VM.
1142. Stephen nearly seized Matilda during the Siege of Oxford but the Empress escaped from Oxford Castle across the frozen river Thames to safety.
Aelred, novice master at Rievaulx in Yorkshire has a discussion about a fabulous tale concerning Arthur with one of his novice monks. The earliest recorded record of ‘Geoffrey’s’ Historia after Huntingdon’s discovery of the Primary Historia at Bec. The copies of the Primary Historia are few in this era. Unlike modern scholarships assumption that Vulgate HRB was a completed work…. the prophecies of Merlin were not yet incorporated into HRB nor were there any dedications affixed to any work. In fact, even though the First Variant was designed to influence Papal authorities in 1144 naturally it must ensue from Primary Historia. Certainly, Vulgate is a final version of both Primary Historia and First Variant combined with the evolvement of the Arthuriana and refinenments with additions and subtractions as seen in Variants; but with the church bias removed and speeches fleshed out, once the Roman audience concessionary text was expanded upon.
Vulgate is definitely a later version, but naturally our experts like Crick are even unaware of the author of HRB or the reasoning behind why First Variant differs from Vulgate and still believes Huntingdon saw the Prophecies of Merlin at Bec. It is a madness to assert this on so many levels just because her Bec copy was catalogued c.1160 as I have covered.
1143. William of Malmesbury dies. On the 24th September 1143 pope Innocent II dies. Henry Blois loses his legation and power. He travels to Rome in the hope of re-establishing his Legation. It is not granted by pope Celestine.
1144 On the 8 March 1144 Celestine II dies. Henry Blois sees that the only solution to free himself from subordination to Theobald is to become an Archbishop himself. On the 12th March, Lucius II is made pope. Henry interpolates William of Malmesbury’s GR3, which to all interested parties assume was first published in 1125-6. Also, Henry Blois interpolates DA for the first time with a tame version of an apostolic foundation of Glastonbury and interpolations which inferred Gildas was an Abbot of Glastonbury prior to Augustine’s arrival. In other words, there is a complete version of DA with interpolations which coincides with the much earlier publication of GR. However, the version presented at Rome is the GR3 with B version Glastonbury interpolations.
Henry Blois composes the First Variant version of the Historia with updated details from the Primary Historia witnessed by Huntingdon.865 It is tailored to an ecclesiastical audience and does contain the Eleutherius and Lucius connection, but probably mentions the three Archflamens. It is difficult to assess if the changes in speeches in the first Variant are toned down against Anti-Roman sentiment from the Primary Historia or whether they have been specifically embellished and expanded in the Vulgate HRB. My deduction is that there is an element of both whereby the First Variant was tailored for an ecclesiastical audience and thus many battle-descriptions and other emotive passages are omitted by comparison to the Vulgate. What is sure though, the Historia was an evolving work from a Primary Historia (1139) in the Bec tradition which evolves through a first (1144) and possibly second (1147-9) Variant and other Variant inserts for reasons which one day might become clear, to the finalised Vulgate HRB of 1155 with updated prophecies.
Henry Blois goes to Rome to apply for metropolitan status from pope Lucius. In the presentation of his case for the antiquity of a Briton church prior to Augustine, Henry employs GR, DA, and the First Variant version of HRB. The life of Gildas may have had the additional last paragraph added as most certainly the 601 charter will have been offered in evidence at this time. Obviously with the assertions in the First Variant that there was a monastery at Winchester in Constans era, Henry is granted metropolitan for south western Britain.
865Even though we only know of the contents of this version through the précis version of Huntingdon’s letter to Warin, there are numerous changes some significant in storyline. These can be witnessed in Diana Greenway’s analysis and translation of Huntingdon’s EAW which is included with her translation of the Historia Anglorum.
1145. The granted metropolitan is not officially ordained. On the 15th of February Lucius II dies. Pope Eugene III a friend of Bernard of Clairvaux refuses to grant the metropolitan to Henry Blois.
1146. The first set of the prophecies of Merlin (libellus) are composed around this era presenting known history in the form as if it were prophesied and pertained to future events. Some of these are very pertinent to Henry Blois. These obviously do not include the latest prophecies about the ‘sixth’ in Ireland and the seditious prophecies with foretell of a Celtic uprising. These are specifically added to in the final Vulgate HRB post 1155. The first set just deal with kings up to four in the leonine line.
1147. The prophecies of Merlin are circulated as a separate libellus and Henry’s hoped metropolitan is predicted along with that of St David’s. Cistercian Pope Eugene III starts proceedings to have the archbishop William of York deposed in favour of the Cistercian Murdac. William of York was formally deposed as archbishop by Eugenius early in the year.
1148. Abbot Suger receives a set of innocuous Merlin prophecies from Henry Blois. William of York’s deposition was confirmed at the Council of Reims on 21 March. FitzHerbert worked to secure his restoration to York, which he finally achieved after the deaths of both Murdac and Eugene III. During this period William FitzHerbert was looked after again by Henry Blois at Winchester. William FitzHerbert probably gave Alfred of Beverley a copy of the evolved second Variant or it found its way to Beverley by William but Alfred’s version is an evolved First variant, which may have had an early edition of prophecies like Suger’s attached.866 Bishop Alexander of Lincoln died in February 1148, so it is a certainty his name was not attached to the prophecies before this date.
866It is not clear if this was the case. It may be that the First Variant which now has the updated post 1155 prophecies existed with earlier prophecies from the libellus. It is impossible to say from Alfred of Beverley’s account whether all were added to the exemplar of the first Variant by Henry post 1155 or some existed and later corrections were added.
1149. Henry Blois’ case for metropolitan is put forward again to Eugene III. The DA now contains the charter of St Patrick. There are now three archflamens to help Henry’s case. The fact that there was a third metropolitan prior to Augustine’s arrival in Britain has been added since Huntingdon’s appraisal of the Primary Historia where EAW only states there were 28 bishops. There are two vital points which Huntingdon would have included if they existed in the Primary Historia; Firstly, the mention of Phagan and Deruvian as the first named proselytisers of Britain and secondly, that there were three archbishops in Britain…. both facts unknown to Huntingdon as he had not read life of David nor had anyone seen the St Patrick charter until this date. This clearly shows the progression from Primary Historia to the First Variant version through evolving variants and it is at the second attempt where the St Patrick charter, which names Phagan and Deruvian, is employed at Rome. Metropolitan is still not granted. I believe the prophecies of Merlin were integrated into the evolved variant of HRB as evidential support for Henry’s request for Metropolitan.
1151. Theobald held a legantine council in London. The council was attended by the king and his son Eustace the king’s eldest son, as well as other members of the nobility. The council decreed eight canons, or ecclesiastical statutes, including ones condemning the pillaging of church properties and the imposition of financial levies on the clergy. The King proposed Euctace his son to be crowned to prevent further contestations from Matilda.
1152. King Stephen demanded in April that Theobald of Bec crown Eustace, but the archbishop once more refused, and then went into exile in Flanders. Funnily enough this is supposedly when our ‘Geoffrey’ becomes a bishop while Theobald is out of the country. Theobald of Bec claimed that Stephen had gained the throne through perjury, implying that if the archbishop crowned Eustace, he would then be perpetuating this crime. The king and the archbishop reached a truce in August but one can see Henry Blois stirring the pot in the background.
1153. On the 23rd December, the peace treaty of Winchester was ratified at Westminster. Henry after all witnesses have signed the treaty and the treaty was left in his possession adds one vital name to the list of witnesses to the Charter: Gaufridus episcopus sancti Asaphi. Henry Blois starts to realise his investment in Eustace, Stephen’s son, has come to nought as Stephen makes a pact to pass on the crown to Duke Henry at Stephen’s death. On the 8th July 1153 pope Eugene III dies.
1154. On the 13 of January Duke Henry, King Stephen and Henry Blois met at Oxford. It was on this occasion that Henry Blois went to the scriptorium in the castle at Oxford where the treaties and charters were stored and randomly signed Galfridus Arthur on 5 documents.
The final Vulgate HRB was not yet complete. It was while at Oxford signing the charters that Henry Blois first conceived of employing the name of Walter. Henry Blois had seen the Archdeacon’s name was on the charters in Oxford and that he had expired in 1151. The First Variant version does not include Walter’s name nor doe Alfred’s copy. Also, Henry Blois saw the name of Ralph of Monmouth on some of the charters while adding the Galfridus scribble. It was from this time onwards Henry was to rename his author of HRB as Geoffrey of Monmouth and sometimes Translacio Gaufridi Arciri Monemutensis de gestis britonum to aver the contents were not invention but merely a translation and this harked back to the original Gaufridus Artur with a little misdirection. This timeline points out that for Henry the prophecies of Merlin were not looking favourable for Henry II because he is already covering his tracks before his brother is dead.
Henry lighted upon the idea of employing Gaimar’s work to show an old book existed. He wrote Gaimar’s epilogue and interpolated parts of Gaimar’s work. On the 25th of October King Stephen dies. On the 3rd December pope Anastasius IV dies. Nicholas Breakspear pope Adrian IV becomes the first and only English pope. Henry finalises the last edition of HRB suitable to show the gallant history of the Britons in one last final attempt at metropolitan.
1155 Henry Blois completes the final version of HRB adding in the updated prophecies and completes the numbering system of Kings to Six. Henry Blois backdates the HRB by adding a dedication to Robert of Gloucester in the Vulgate HRB. Other facile dedications to Stephen and Robert or Robert and Waleran are added to the copying of versions along with the dedication of the prophecies to Alexander. Versions are copied at scriptoriums and distributed by his own hand and the Colophon which includes the three historians is concocted. All three historians are dead at the time of inclusion of the Colophon. Walter has appeared since the First Variant as the provider of the Old book from which ‘Geoffrey’ supposedly translates. The last version of HRB may have been for the English pope as the biblical portions of the first Variant were refreshed and a Briton history contrary to the Roman annals was fully expanded for general distribution. The rhetoric in some of the speeches is anti-Roman. The glorification of a British empire and its defiance of Roman rule is expanded from First Variant to Vulgate, since the decision lies with an Englishman concerning Henry’s request for metropolitan.
A court at Winchester is held in 1155 and Henry feels an unfair wind blowing and the invasion of Ireland is discussed. Peter the venerable, Henry’s old mentor and abbot of Clugny transports Henry’s wealth abroad. Henry is told to dismantle or hand over his castles by Henry II. Henry Blois flees to Clugny from the south west, via Robert of Torigni on Mont St Michel evading Normandy as he leaves without the King’s permission leaving still his castles in his own possession. It is not silly to suspect that at this time the ‘round table’ was commissioned. (Rumours of the table having been built by Cornish carpenters may have foundation). No connection is made to Henry Blois as it is delivered to Winchester and he is out of the country for three years. Henry lands at Mont St Michel and Henry Blois informs Robert of Torigni of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s (or more correctly) the bishop of Asaph’s elevation to Bishop. Robert Warelwast, who was Bishop of Exeter and a personal friend of Henry Blois died.
1156. Henry composes the VM and looks back introspectively over the last nineteen years of his brother’s reign. These are the nineteen apple trees mentioned in VM. Henry composes John of Cornwall’s prophecies backdating them as usual as John of Cornwall supposedly translates for Robert Warelwast while he is alive, but he died in March the previous year so seems the ideal candidate to associate with the new set of prophecies. Henry Blois employs some prophecies from the libellus and some newly invented ones and changes a few icons so they seemingly resemble the version found in the updated Vulgate prophecies and those in VM, but they now have a malevolent propagandist intent to rouse the Celts. About a third of Merlin’s prophecies were mixed with others entirely freshly concocted, designed to create rebellion against Henry II and to place Henry Blois as an ‘adopted son’ over Britain once the Welsh, Scottish, Cornish, and Bretons had been successful in their rebellion and needed a consolidating new King that all might agree upon since he too had been put upon by King HenryII (or so the logic went in his mind). Henry also inserts the interpolation of Orderic c.1155 to make sure that there is evidence of the existence of the prophecy which incites the Celts which appears to have been written before king Henry Ist died. Theobald of Bec writes letters suggesting Henry Blois return to England.
1157. Henry Blois impersonates Wace and writes the Roman de Brut to spread his HRB pseudo history to the continent. He introduces the ‘round table’ into Arthurian lore and other small expansions which show that ‘Wace’ and the composer of HRB are one and the same. Archbishop Theobald instructs Henry Blois to return to England…. with a guarantee from the King, which suggests Henry was nervous of what the repercussions may be. He had not surrendered his castles and left without permission. It could be suggested that he was nervous of being found out to be the inventor of the prophecies. This may in deed have been the cause for the unusual depth to which he went to cover his tracks. Any potential hope of inciting rebellion is now lost as a pact is made with the Welsh and Conan.
1158. Henry Blois returns to England. All hope of power is lost. Henry starts his second agenda now he is back in Britain; the conversion of Avalon into Glastonbury and the connection of Joseph lore at Glastonbury.
1159. Henry commences two aims which are to change the course of history; firstly, the conversion of his invention of Avalon from HRB into a fixed location at Glastonbury. Sometime before the advent of Perlesvaus he manufactures Arthur’s grave. Henry also is interpolating DA further; putting Arthur firmly at Glastonbury/Avalon and begins the introduction of Grail lore. Secondly, Henry starts on a ten year course of action which sees the creation and proliferation of his Grail edifice under the auspices of Master Blehis, which links back to the Arthuriana found in his HRB. Henry writes the precursor to Perlesvaus and the book thought to have been written by Melkin i.e. ‘De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’.
Henry Blois involved in ecclesiastical affairs while subtly undermining King Henry, but his main legacy from this period is the introduction of Grail literature to the court of Champagne. Henry writes in verse that which later Robert de Boron puts in prose. The circle is complete, and the Matter of Britain is set on its course because: For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. (Luke 8.17)