Insula auallonis auida funere paganorum, pre ceteris in orbe ad sepulturam eorum omnium sperulis propheciae vaticinantibus decorata, & in futurum ornata erit altissimum laudantibus. Abbadare, potens in Saphat, paganorum nobilissimus, cum centum et quatuor milibus domiicionem ibi accepit. Inter quos ioseph de marmore, ab Armathia nomine, cepit sompnum perpetuum; Et iacet in linea bifurcata iuxta meridianum angulum oratori, cratibus praeparatis, super potentem adorandam virginem, supradictis sperulatis locum habitantibus tredecim. Habet enim secum Ioseph in sarcophago duo fassula alba& argentea, cruore prophete Jhesu & sudore perimpleta. Cum reperietur eius sarcofagum, integrum illibatum in futuris videbitur, & erit apertum toto orbi terrarium. Ex tunc aqua, nec ros coeli insulam nobilissimam habitantibus poterit deficere. Per multum tempus ante diem Judioialem in iosaphat erunt aperta haec, & viventibus declarata.
The Isle of Avalon, greedy for the death of pagans, more than the rest of the world, for the entombment of them all, decorated beyond all others by the spheres of portentous prophecy. In the future, adorned shall it be by them that praise the Most High. Abbadare mighty in Saphat, noblest of pagans, has found sleep with 104 other knights there. Among these Joseph of Arimathea has found perpetual sleep in a marble tomb, and he lies on a two forked line next to the southern angle of an oratory, where wattle is prepared above the mighty maiden and where the aforesaid Thirteen spheres rest. Joseph has with him in his sarcophagus two vessels, white and silver, filled with the blood and sweat of the prophet Jesus. When his tomb is discovered, it will be seen whole and untouched and will be open to the whole world. From then on those who dwell in that noble Island shall lack neither water nor the dew of heaven. A long time before the Day of Judgment in Josaphat; open shall these things be and told to the living.
Above is an acceptable translation of the cryptic set of phrases making up Melkin’s Prophecy. It foretells of the Island of Avalon, upon which, the discovery of Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb will be found in the future.396 It is commonly understood that the reference to duo fassula means that two vessels are to be found also in the tomb. The Prophecy refers to Judgement day in the future, so one assumes this is how it became known as a prophecy.
The text of the prophecy was obviously composed by a man who knew where a tomb was located on a specific island. Melkin was not a prophet but merely left a cryptic message for posterity in a set of instructions which, if understood and followed, determine where the Island is located. The whole contents of the cryptically composed geometrical instructions to map the location of the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea is arrogantly ignored by scholars who have rightly judged that because it mentions Avalon it must follow the advent of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s work. The stupidity is their refusal to recognise Henry Blois as the pen name for Geoffrey of Monmouth and therefore not to see the connection of Yniswitrin to Glastonbury and to Henry Blois the abbot of Glastonbury.
396This theory was first discovered by Kim Yale and Michael Goldsworthy.
What seems to be a prophecy about events surrounding the discovery of the tomb is more a prediction of the consequence of the bodies of two world renowned people being discovered. Certainly the Melkin prophecy is not a fourteenth century fake as considered by modern scholars making judgements by ill-informed previous generations of scholars studying the Matter of Britain. The text of the Melkin prophecy should be considered as having accompanied the 601 AD charter to Glastonbury in the hand of the King of Devon. In 2012 Kim Yale discovered the geometrical meaning which was encoded in the prophecy. He laid bare his discovery in ‘Melkin’s Prophecy Decoded’. I have utilised much of his material in this chapter.
John of Glastonbury replicated the Melkin prophecy in his ‘Cronica’. The understanding today is that the prophecy, and Melkin himself, are a fourteenth century invention i.e. a forgery. This theory is largely based upon the fact that Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Avalon is known to be fictitious and it is considered that fraud was carried out at Glastonbury by Henry de Sully in the production of King Arthur’s grave. This theoretical view point is incorrect, because Henry Blois is responsible for the manufacture of King Arthur’s grave between the piramides in the graveyard at Glastonbury. The description of the location of the manufactured grave was interpolated into William of Malmesbury’s DA after his death but before Henry Blois’ death. So It could not have been Henry de Sully who manufactured King Arthur’s grave site. Instead, he just knew where to dig to find the manufactured grave. This will become clear after investigating the DA and at what period the bulk of interpolations were inserted into DA and by whom.
When we consider the accuracy of the resultant geometry and when we follow the precise yet cryptic instructions of Melkin’s prophecy, it is clear that the Melkin prophecy is not a 14-century fake. This position has been taken by experts who have no understanding that the prophecy is a cleverly constructed riddle which has had the name of the island to which it alludes changed by Henry Blois the inventor of the name Insula Avallonis. The whole text was originally intended to cryptically allude through a geometrical set of clues to the Island of Iniswitrin in Devon.
Scholars have based their assumptions on the fact that there was no previous tradition of Joseph at Glastonbury prior to the Great Fire in 1184. This position is incorrect as we will cover in the chapter on DA. But, it would be accurate to say that there was no stated tradition of Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury before Henry Blois propagated such a rumour.
Kim Yale explains the prophecy of Melkin by interpreting the translation so that the intended instructions are revealed from the first part of the convoluted Latin puzzle:
Island of Avalon, coveting the pagans in death, above all others in the world they are honoured for their entombment there before the circle of portentous prophesy (Avebury). In the future (the island) will be adorned by those that give praise to the highest. The father’s pearl, (Jesus) mighty in judgement the noblest of pagans (Jews), sleeps 104 miles from it (Avebury), by whom he received interment by the sea from Joseph named from Arimathea, and has taken his eternal rest there, and he lies on a line that is two forked between that and a meridian, in an angle on a coastal Tor, in a crater, that was already prepared…. and above is where one prays which one can go at the extremity of the verge;397 high up in Ictis is the place they abide to the south at thirteen degrees.
397See image 4
A conventional translation of the second half of the prophecy is as follows:
Amid these Joseph in marble named from Arimathea has found perpetual sleep and he lies on a two-forked line next the south corner of an oratory fashioned of wattles for the adoring of a mighty Virgin. In his sarcophagus are two cruets, white and silver filled with the blood and sweat of the Prophet Jesus. When his sarcophagus shall be found entire and intact in time to come, it shall be seen and shall be exposed to the whole world. From that day forward water, nor the dew of heaven shall fail the dwellers in that ancient isle for a long while before the day of judgment in Josaphat. Fully uncovered shall these things be and declared to living men.
The above might imply that Joseph of Arimathea is buried somewhere in relation to the church of the Virgin at Glastonbury because the Island of Avalon as the title has been switched by Henry Blois so the meaning of the following content seems to be about his created island mentioned in HRB. This is due to the manoeuvrings of Henry Blois initially; but monks at Glastonbury have expanded upon Henry’s initial propaganda by inventing further material after his death to create a quagmire of Glastonbury lore. Reading the propaganda left to posterity by Henry Blois, it is now difficult not to believe that Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb is intricately linked by proximity to the church at Glastonbury.
Modern scholars have tended to discount Melkin for several reasons. The first and most obvious is that they do not understand that Melkin’s prophecy was intended to be decrypted geometrically on a map from known geological formations or those made by man i.e. The Beltane line (St Michael Line) the Island of Burgh Island (as it is known today) and Avebury Stone circle.
The prophecy’s main raison d’etre was to indicate that Joseph of Arimathea was buried on an island called Ineswitrin with some enigmatic and directly unmentionable object and to preserve this information into posterity. The problem is that the prophecy (now changed) starts: Insula Avallonis.
Modern scholars have understood that HRB is a concoction. So, they have also deduced that the island of Avalon (which was never heard of before the HRB was authored by Henry Blois) is an island of make believe…. existing in its first reference in a book which is known to be a composite concoction of a faux-history. Thus modern scholars have also consigned the cryptic information found in the text to be fake also because of their refusal to recognise Henry Blois as Geoffrey of Monmouth and the connection of the 601 charter’s mention of Iniswitrin to the Geometrically stated and decrypted location of Burgh Island. In effect their own stupidity prevents them seeing Henry Blois’ involvement in the change of the name in the title of the island i.e. from Ineswitrin to Avalon, or Burgh island’s connection to the King of Devon or the 601 charter.
Researchers have never contemplated that the island name of Ineswitrin was substituted on the Melkin prophecy for the manufactured name Insula Avallonis by Henry Blois. The reason for the invention of a puzzle by Melkin was so that the Island and the contents it secreted in a sepulchre would not be discovered, until such time as indicated in the puzzle itself.
One must assume that there would be no point in Melkin constructing a riddle which hides the location of an island in Devon if the monks at Glastonbury knew where it was. The exception to this proposition is, if certain monks knew what the island contained and were guarding its secret at a point during the Saxon invasion. Possibly, after an attack on the monastery which existed on Burgh Island, Melkin signed the island over to the monks at Glastonbury. Possibly certain monks were privy (like Worgrez who did not pass on the secret information). Yet, the works of Melkin, or just the prophecy itself, were found at Glastonbury. So, the likelihood is that they were delivered at the time the 601 charter was signed as indicated by the personal reference (‘I, Bishop Maworn, drew up this deed. I, Worgrez, Abbot of the same place set my hand thereto’).
If Melkin was the King who was donating the Island, we then have to work out why he would invent a puzzle which in effect secreted the location, yet stipulated the name Ineswitrin on the charter. The simple answer is that under pressure from the Saxon invasion, the island was donated to the pre-West Saxon house of Glastonbury and the coded message was constructed in case an abbot like Worgrez was unable to convey his secret about what was contained on the island or where the island was located.
However, what someone knew or did not know at that period becomes irrelevant over the five hundred year time span which elapsed, in which Melkin’s work gathered dust at Glastonbury until William of Malmesbury found it (as he did the 601 charter) and Henry Blois started reading Melkin’s words.
Certainly, someone back in 601AD knew of the secret contents of the tomb within the island and constructed the geometry to form Melkin’s puzzle. A set of instructional and directional data were created and incorporated into what appears to be a prophecy written by a madman. Once decoded, the prophecy of Melkin indicates with alarming accuracy, the location of the island on which it states that Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb is to be found.
The startling fact is that there are only two references to where the body of Joseph of Arimathea might be buried in ancient literature. Both places could only have been posited by someone who had knowledge of the meaning behind the puzzle. One of the locations is on an Island as we have covered i.e. Ineswitrin, but another place where Joseph is rumoured to be ‘carefully buried’ is in Montacute. The only way Henry Blois could have had foreknowledge of Montacute as being connected with the tomb of Joseph is if the name were given as a partial solution to the puzzle. Thus, in effect, Montacute is a marker point or even a confirmational clue to a point on the intended 104 nautical mile line that posterity is instructed to find by decrypting the meaning of the prophecy. This is stipulated by the geometry of Melkin’s prophecy once the riddle is understood.
Therefore, some other manuscript named Montacute separately apart from the prophecy of Melkin. This could only have been written by Melkin or someone who has knowledge of the 104 mile line we are instructed to construct in order to locate the Island. This might indicate that Melkin had other works at Glastonbury, as Montacute is not mentioned in the prophecy itself. Any person who had not decoded the geometric line which is 104 miles long (i.e. by scribing it on a map of southern Britain), would not know the line we are encouraged to find went straight through Montacute with such precision.
Henry Blois had been averted to the connection between Joseph’s burial place and Montacute. We know this because there is evidence that he went in search of the tomb at Montacute as will become clear shortly in the next section. This same information regarding Joseph and Montacute which was available to Henry Blois was passed down through generations at Glastonbury until the time of Father William Good in the era of the dissolution of the monasteries.
Modern scholars should re-consider (before consigning Melkin to fraudulent invention) and ask how it is that the only two locations relevant to Joseph’s burial place were both on manuscripts found at Glastonbury and both feature in the solution to Melkin’s riddle. They are both on the line, which, when constructed, indicates Burgh Island in Devon…. exactly 104 nautical miles from Avebury (sphaerula/circle) as intended by the puzzle. How is it that a key pointer to the solution (the hill of Montacute) is known before the fourteenth century if the prophecy is a forgery? We shall cover the Montacute search by Henry Blois shortly.
The real problem is that too much spurious and contradictory information has been written about Melkin by Prof James Carley. He and other commentators who believe his analysis and pretence of ‘expertise and scholarship’ concerning Melkin’s existence and Carley’s elucidation of the content of his prophecy, should reconsider the speculative pronouncements on which their notoriety exists.
Further, it is alarming that those who profess to be knowledgeable about Glastonburyana, Arthuriana and Grail literature, having been mentored and submersed in this material for years…. have barely mentioned Henry Blois’ name. One must assume the reason for professor Carley’s denial of the validity of Melkin and Melkin’s prophecy is because he does not recognise Henry Blois’ hand in Grail literature or Henry Blois’ fraud in the composition of HRB and Henry Blois’ interpolations into the first 34 chapters of DA. Carley has followers such as sub-deacon Paul Ashdown, who also pronounces on a subject he does not understand. I must point out most emphatically, Melkin never mentions Glastonbury as suggested by both ‘experts’.
Subdeacon Ashdown has this to say on the subject:
The enigmatic ‘Prophecy of Melkin’, included in the Chronica of the monk John ‘of Glastonbury’ (John Sheen) of 1342, which built upon the work of William of Malmesbury and Adam of Domerham. The previously unheard-of character of Melkin, who was ‘before Merlin,’ is presented in the same vaticinatory pseudo-Welsh tradition as the Arthurian seer (Merlin) as imagined by Geoffrey of Monmouth, and the Latin is therefore deliberately cryptic. Here we read for the first time of the burial of Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury, in a hidden tomb which will be revealed at a millennial future time before the Day of Judgement. He lies (as I have argued elsewhere) in a folded linen shroud, probably to be identified with that of Christ, and with two vessels containing (presumably one of each) Christ’s blood and sweat’.
The ‘bad archaeologist’398 is singing from the same hymn sheet: The idea of a body being buried in a split garment rather than in a split line seems to make more sense to me.
Those ignorant of the meaning of Melkin’s in linea bifurcata seem to have an obsession with finding meaning behind the prophecy which they ironically determine is a fake document anyway.
398Poof. Keith Fitzpatrick-Mathews. Bad Archaeology.
Paul Ashdown continues to regurgitate the speculative concoctions of Prof. James Carley:
This rigmarole may well incorporate older elements but, in the form in which we have it, is datable to the aftermath of Edward I’s visit through the inclusion of the figure of Abbadare. As first suggested in 1981 by James Carley, he is to be identified with Baybars (in Arabic al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn al-Din Baybars al-Bunduqdari), Sultan of Egypt and Syria, Edward’s formidable adversary during the Ninth Crusade, who had captured the fortress of Safed, Melkin’s ‘Saphat,’ (and with it the Galilee) from the Templars in 1266, and died of poisoning in July 1277, in the year before Edward’s visit to Glastonbury. I have argued elsewhere that Melkin’s reference originated in some satirical lay which had consigned the deceased Baybars and his paladins to one of the alternative Mediterranean, Oriental or Antipodean locations of an Avalon which has here been repatriated, along (uncomprehendingly) with the Sultan, to its British origin.
Included among the sleeping ‘pagans’ (i.e. in contemporary usage, Muslims), perhaps because of his status as a wealthy Jew,399 is Joseph of Arimathea. Although ‘Melkin’ is the oldest source to tell of his burial at Glastonbury, his tomb’s exact location is clearly regarded as an occult secret. It seems most unlikely that John Sheen was himself the author of the Melkin doggerel. Indeed, he seems to have been the first to confuse the mysterious linea bifurcata, which I have interpreted as a shroud, with some kind of esoteric line in church or churchyard.
399Melkin’s prophecy is not connected in any way to Muslims. Abbadare, is one of the paganorum along with Joseph. Jesus is the paganorum nobilissimus. There is no ‘perhaps’ about the sleeping pagans…. It is Jesus and Joseph as ‘Jews’ to which Melkin alludes.
)Prof. Carley is of course the source for the piffle about Baybars, but the ludicrous notion of Ashdown’s is even more ridiculous. Modern scholars accuse JG of the prophecy’s fabrication, but if John Sheen was the author of the Melkin prophecy (as some experts profess), why accuse Sheen of confusion over his own interpretation of linea bifurcate.
John correctly understands the purport of the prophecy being relevant to determining where the grave is. Ashdown’s interpretation of a ‘shroud’ from a ‘bifurcated line’, found in an obviously geometrically encrypted puzzle, with measurements of length and angle, is preposterous. It is not worthy of consideration as it is passed off as learnèd deduction.
John Sheen is exactly correct in recognising the line geometrically as an esoteric line and it is only through the contortions of Henry Blois and his interpolations into DA and GR3 (B version) that Sheen believes the linea bifurcata finds relevance with the old church.
The fact that William of Malmesbury did not mention Melkin is best explained by William’s distrust of fables. Why is it incumbent upon William of Malmesbury to include what he does not understand? If he had seen Melkin’s work and any mention of Joseph of Arimathea, he probably would have simply dismissed it.
Any evidence William of Malmesbury might have seen would have been written 500 years before his time. William, like Carley did not understand the obtuse Latin and so why recycle Melkin’s prophecy which makes no sense to him in any work of his own. However, Carley has taken upon himself to tell everyone that what he does not understand or is able to decrypyt is a document that has been faked.
Carley burbles out a load of horseshit about the Melkin prophecy which is supposed to sound as if what he had to say was ‘scholarly elucidation’. Carley perceives himself an ‘authority’ and like many other scholars if you are unable to accept or even try to understand a new view which might shed light on a subject then you are one of the ‘Learnèd club’ . These are those people who are only capable of accepting what their mentors have taught them. Even though that knowledge might be based on a false premise…they still think it is better to regurgitate what has been taught than think anew. One Numpty following the ignorance of another.
Anyway, there were no other works of Melkin…. but Bale and Pits attest there were. But, given the title of one manuscript concerning the ’round table’ (De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda), I suggest Henry Blois is culpable of writing that work under Melkin’s name, because both the Chivalric King Arthur and the icon of the ‘Round Table’ were both concepts from the mind of Henry Blois’ muses.
In any case, William of Malmesbury probably would have discounted any mention of Joseph of Arimathea as mere fabrication, even if Iniswitrin was on the original prophecy and he had seen it with that name written thereon. The Melkin prophecy was too obtuse for William of Malmesbury to even consider mentioning Melkin or the prophecy.
It was the 601 charter alone which proved antiquity for Glastonbury. The proof of antiquity for the Abbey was William of Malmesbury’s directive in the composition of DA as the title suggests. To William, the Melkin Prophecy was meaningless. There were saints and their relics at every religious house as it was good for business, but if William had seen Joseph of Arimathea’s name in connection with Britain (or Glastonbury) it would have been discounted. As we shall discover further on, it was not even William of Malmesbury who posited St. Philip as the apostle across the channel as witnessed in GR3 and DA.
The important key to unlocking Melkin’s riddle is the ‘bifurcated line’. The bifurcated line is where we are informed Joseph’s tomb lies, but there has to be two lines for one to bifurcate the other. It is the line which bifurcates the ‘Michael line’ which Melkin wants us to find and construct on a map. The point at which two lines bifurcate at Avebury is the solution of Melkin’s puzzle. The only line or marker that Melkin could guarantee would not be destroyed over millenia and would always exist…. is the alignment now known as the St. Michael line. This old ‘Beltane line’ which runs across southern England is now aligned with churches dedicated to St Michael built by the Templars so that the line would never be lost. It is quite ridiculous of modern scholars to insist that this line exists by coincidence. The Templars built this line of churches to mark out what Melkin had indicated,i.e. the position of an Island. A contemporary of Henry Blois, Hugh of St Victor, in his Practica Geometriae, (trans. Frederick A Homann) makes it quite clear that measurement over large distances on the landscape was within the Templar’s capability. Moreover, it was within Melkin’s capability in the sixth century otherwise the obtuse Latin puzzle would not terminate on Burgh Island on the line defined by the 104 mile length and its orientation given by the 13 degrees from the St Michael line.
As Melkin’s intention was to provide a key for someone in the future to find Ineswitrin, he used the ‘bifurcated line’ and its bifurcation point as a starting place from which a separate line would divide (at thirteen degrees) and act as a ‘pointer’ 104 nautical miles long to Burgh Island in Devon.
The ancient alignment of the Michael line is the starting line, without which, the rest of the instructions in the prophecy could not be understood. The Michael line is made up of landscape features which include Avebury stone circle, Glastonbury tor, Burrow Mump, and the Hurlers, to name a few.400 We can understand the reference to a sperula which obviates the word ‘Sphaerula’ or circle and which pertains to Avebury stone circle, where the bifurcation occurs. These are immovable reference points on the British landscape which constitute a straight line that would not move overtime.
400The Sun and the Serpent. Paul Broadhurst, Hamish Miller
The Michael line, or as Melkin refers to it, ‘the English Meridium’ (Meridianum Anglum) acts as Melkin’s line; which we are instructed to bifurcate. It is from within this prehistoric stone circle of Avebury that Melkin directs us to Burgh island by way of completing the instruction…. and drawing the line 104 nautical miles long.
Those scholars who believe that this nautical mile measurement could not be made or understood in 600 AD by Melkin…. must forget that Pytheas in 325 BC could only arrive at deducing the Latitude of Marseille (which he did quite accurately) by using the nautical mile measurement as Eratosthenes was hailed for doing a century later. Eratosthenes was supposedly the first person to calculate the circumference of the earth which he did by comparing angles of the mid-day Sun at two places a known North-South distance apart.
There are just two numerical instructions in the Melkin prophecy. One is that we are to draw a line 104 miles long which bifurcates the original line within the Spherula (of Avebury). The angle at which the line is to be divided or bifurcated is thirteen degrees and this is Melkin’s other numerical instruction. If we carry out the instructions on a map, the line we are instructed to create coincidentally goes through ‘Devises.’
More pertinently, but definitely not coincidentally, it goes through Montacute…. a marker hill just like Glastonbury tor and Burrow Mump. At the end of the line stretching from Avebury to the coast, which is at thirteen degrees to the Michael line…. exactly 104 nautical miles away is the Island of Ictis better known as Burgh Island or the Ineswitrin upon which Melkin says are the remains of Joseph of Arimathea and the enigmatic Grail (duo fassula).
With precision, (to the yard) the line Melkin has helped us construct, leads to Burgh Island which we have already identified as Ineswitrin. The bifurcation angle between his unmovable line and the one we are instructed to draw on a map is 13 degrees. The reader can construct the same line drawing as I have on Google Earth. Don’t forget that Melkin’s measurement of 104 is in ‘nautical’ miles because this is a fixed measurement defined by division of the 360 degrees that make up the circumference of the earth.
Now, it would be silly to insist that Burgh Island has nothing to do with Joseph of Arimathea or Melkin without explaining the coincidence that this line runs right through Montacute the place where ‘Father Good’ cryptically writes that Joseph of Arimathea is ‘carefully hidden’. No doubt, scholars will insist that the only two places mentioned as the resting place for Joseph of Arimathea, which are both precisely on the line Melkin by his prophecy is instructing us to create, is just a coincidence. Professor Carley the biggest Numpty of them all declaring in complete ignorance that the prophecy itself is a fake!!!
If we ignore their pronouncements, this would then allow the fact that Henry Blois knew of the clue regarding Montacute which prompted his search of the hill at Montecute evidenced by the production of the manuscript known as De Inventione.401 The evidence of Henry Blois actively searching for a grave at Montacute would then reasonably negate the notion that the persona and prophecy of Melkin are a fourteenth century forgery.
No commentator has previously understood that Henry Blois had based his Montacute search for the relics of Joseph of Arimathea on evidence which must have been provided by Melkin. This evidence or false lead which implicates Montacute as Joseph’s burial site was only meant as a confirmation point on the line we are sent to construct to find Ineswitrin by way of connstructing the line on a map of southern Britain.
401See section on De Inventione Sanctae Crucis Nostrae
Unless the Melkin prophecy is decoded, Henry Blois could not know this, so he assumed Montacute might be the Island he was looking for which was named by Melkin originally as Ineswitrin. Henry’s discovery of the ‘Holy Cross of Waltham’ will be covered in the next section. However, in a brief aside, it seems likely Henry Blois had been to the south west (in Devon and Cornwall) looking for this mysterious Island of Ineswitrin.
Just to re-iterate…. Melkin’s original prophecy was about Ineswitrin and it was Henry who substituted its name for Insula Avallonis on the copy of the prophecy that JG has copied into his Cronica. Henry Blois, also fully comprehended, that Ineswitrin was not at Glastonbury, because Henry is the one responsible for the propaganda, which in fact now makes us think the prophecy pertained to the Island of Avalon. In fact Henry Blois has changed its location to Glastonbury as an ‘estate’ simply by composing the etymological rubbish written in the life of Gildas.
Henry knew that Ineswitrin was in Devon as it was donated by a Dumnonian King in the 601 charter…. blatantly deducible by the provenance of the donator. Since Devon and Cornwall were once known collectively as Dumnonia, it will not come as a surprise that Looe Island which had a small Celtic chapel on it would have appeared as a possible location to which the prophecy applied when Henry was looking for Ineswitrin.
Not surprisingly then, Looe island was appropriated by Glastonbury in Henry Blois’ tenure before 1144 when it appeared in a list of the abbey’s possessions. This recently acquired possession is also referred to later in a confirmation of Glastonbury’s possession by pope Lucius II. Pope Lucius II just happened to be the friendliest pope toward Henry Blois. It was pope Lucius who granted Henry metropolitan status to Winchester. The ownership of Looe island by Glastonbury was important as it appears again in another papal confirmation in 1168; again, while Henry was alive.402
402The Archaeology and History of Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury’s Cornish connections. P.253
It does not take much to work out that there was little territorial interest in Cornwall before the Norman Conquest and up to the point in 1144 when Henry claims a piece of the mainland opposite Looe Island in the parish of Talland…. and both the island and the mainland area were then referred to by the name Lammana. Henry thought Ineswitrin was Looe Island as he associated the Ineswitrin as pertaining to the Dumnonian King as stated on the 601 charter. We know Henry was looking for Joseph’s remains by carrying out his his search at Montecute and by his acquisition of Looe island.
It would not be wise to rule out the possibility that Henry’s real interest in Looe Island was connected to finding the relics of Joseph of Arimathea. In fact the Island is still connected to Joseph of Arimathea in local legend where it is said the Island was called Lammana and Jesus was put on a beach nearby to play while Joseph of Arimathea was with him.
The map above shows the ‘bifurcated line’ where it divides within Avebury stone circle and runs through Montacute at an angle of 13 degrees to the Michael line for 104 nautical miles to Burgh Island.
The termination of the 104 mile line is on the present Burgh Island, the old Ineswitrin or as Henry Blois had substituted his invention; the Isle of Avalon.
Melkin indicates that posterity would find the island where Joseph is buried 104 nautical miles from Avebury where Burgh Island is situated. Burgh Island just happens to fit Diodorus’ corrupted rendition of Pytheas’ description of Ictis, in that it has a tidal sand bar and in practical terms is situated centrally to the biggest deposit of tin in Britain and therefore was the ideal place from which to export.
Melkin was known as a geometer even though that idiot professor Carley ignores the fact that Melkin is giving his secret of where a body is buried in the very language he is renowned for i.e. GEOMETRY. Until now we have had no proof of Melkin’s existence or that his display of geometrical prowess could be witnessed. The encrypted geometrical instructions given by his obtuse Latin puzzle lends credence to those contemporaries who attested that he was a geometer and to his very existence. So, let us take a closer look by breaking down Melkin’s previously misunderstood Latin prophecy sentence by sentence as Kim Yale indicated.
The Following in Highlighted Black is the understanding of the Prophecy explained phrase by phrase as it is decoded and its understanding rendered into English:
Insula Aualonis avida funere paganorum:
The island of Avalon, as I have explained already, was named by Henry Blois in the HRB from the name of a town in the Blois region. Henry replaced the original name of Ineswitrin and substituted his own invented name of Avallon. It is on this Island which Melkin tells us Joseph of Arimathea is buried. Melkin’s Ineswitrin provides Henry Blois with the inspiration of a mystical island upon which King Arthur is last seen alive in HRB and VM and a locus from which the re-emergence of Arthur is to come.
Some commentators403 assume Arthur is buried on Burgh Island because ‘Geoffrey’ wove the mythical island into the storyline of HRB and was understood as Arthur’s last known location. Since both Avalon and the Chivalric Arthur are both imaginary ‘make believe’, CREATED IN ‘Geoffrey’s’ HRB, King Arthur cannot be buried on Burgh Island.
To be clear, the name of Avallonis has nothing to do with Melkin. It seems relatively certain that Henry had no idea of the location of the Devonian island of Ineswitrin even though he had been as near as Plympton as witnessed in GS, and even nearer if I am correct about Salcombe being Salgoem and ‘Geoffrey’s’ Saltus Geomagog (which is said to be near Totnes), where the Giant is thrown over a cliff by Corineus, which we covered earlier.
However, going back to the highlighted phrase above, Melkin’s word Avida means ‘coveting’ so the sense is ‘coveting the pagans in their death’ in reference to the island. Paganorum cryptically refers to a Jew; as Abbadare i.e. Jesus was King of the Jews the noblest of pagans and Joseph his Father (or Uncle) was a Jew also. Carley’s notion of Paganorum having connection to Muslim Baybars we can dismiss as irrelevant. Professor Carley is the root of the problem concerning any understanding about Melkin. Carley has muddied the waters with his blatant opinions of bullshit, neither grounded in scholarship or reasoning but by his own lofty opinion of himself as a self proclaimed expert on a subject he himself admits he knows nothing about!!!
403Goldsworthy. And did those feet. It is quite ridiculous of Goldsworthy to posit that King Arthur is buried on Burgh Island. If the chivalric Arthur of HRB is a composite and fabrication of Henry Blois’ i.e. ‘Geoffrey’…. how can there be any historical remains of a King Arthur? Goldsworthy’s premise is based on his belief that Avalon was indeed an Island and was the subject of the original Melkin Prophecy. Once we understand that Avallon is named after a Burgundian town, the notion that Arthur’s connection to Avalon then becomes untenable…. except when we understand that the author of HRB is Henry Blois and the inspiration for the mythical Island was the Melkin prophecy seen by Henry Blois at Glastonbury…. which originally referred to Iniswitrin.
pre ceteris in orbe ad sepulturam eorum omnium:
The phrase is usually translated as: ‘At the burial of them all, will be decorated beyond the others in the world’. The more probable sense would be that those buried on the island are ‘honoured above all others in the world’.
sperulis prophecie uaticinantibus decorate:
This phrase has been understood only in ‘gobbledegook’ since professor Carley had a stab at translating its meaning i.e. as connected with prophesying and soothsaying ‘circle’s by most translators following Carley’s ignorance of its real meaning.
The meaning is quite clear in conjunction with the other instructions in the prophecy and refers to Avebury stone circle as the bifurcation point. The word is used twice in the prophecy; once as ‘sperulis’, as in this instance; and once as ‘sperulatis’. Both of the variations convey meaning through Sphaerula. However, sperulatis in the second instance refers to the symbol for degrees i.e. a small circle following after the number. Since it is a small circle it is written in the diminutive form, but by degrees it actually refers to the acute angle of 13° at Avebury formed by drawing the line which goes through Montacute relative to the ‘Michael line’.
et in futurum ornate erit altissimum laudantibus:
The sentence gives the sense that when Joseph’s tomb is discovered, the Island of Avalon will be arrayed by the mass of new converts, giving praise to God. This sense concurs with the final part of the Melkin prophecy which indicates that Joseph’s sepulchre will be opened to the whole world, giving an impression that the island will become a pilgrimage.
Abbadare, potens in Saphat, paganorum nobilissimus:
‘Abbadare, mighty in judgement, most noble of the pagans’ is a straightforward translation. The name Abbadare, has given rise to speculation about the word’s provenance and meaning, but it has to be a reference to Jesus, meaning “The father’s pearl”. The rationale behind Melkin using this appellation is by combining Abba meaning father and Dar meaning pearl in Aramaic, and Hebrew. That Abbadare should be found with Joseph in the sepulchre is yet to be discussed, but as the Grail literature suggests something connected with Jesus is buried with Joseph. It is only the commonly misinterpreted understanding of the duo fassula which makes us think it is a vessel of some sort.
The denial of the Roman church by excluding Chapter 29 of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament and the silencing of the tales of the Britons may well have a basis in truth before and after Augustine’s arrival. Similar to the journey of the Holy family in Maurus’ account, we can assume Joseph leaves Jerusalem, and arrives at Ineswitrin (Ictis) after having sailed on from Marseilles, to an island familiar to him from which he had previously bought tin. Joseph brought the body of his son to Ineswitrin. Henry Blois later interprets this mysterious object of the duo Fassula mentioned by Melkin as sang réal. i.e. Henry Blois realised that Joseph had brought some relic of Jesus from Jerusalem.
This relic or body is carried inside an ark or box by some Grail accounts. The Grail romances which refer to the Grail as an object metaphorically refer to some artefact connected to Jesus. As the reader will be aware, the word ‘Abbadare’ would have been used by Melkin to avoid direct reference to ‘Jesus’s body’ as it is well known that the Christian belief was that the body in the Gospel accounts evaporates to Heaven. By refering to Jesus as Abbadare Melkin would avoid an adverse reaction of heresy, (especially deposited in the Monastic system). If the prophecy itself had stated overtly that Jesus and Joseph were buried on the Island in the prophecy itself, the document now known as the Melkin prophecy might be destroyed leaving no knowledge of the island to posterity. So, Melkin refers to Jesus as Abbadare and to his remains as the Duo Fassula.
cum centum et quatuor milibus domiicionem ibi accepit:
…cum centum et quatuor translates ‘with one hundred and four’. Milibus is actually cryptically referring to ‘miles’ employing the measurement of nautical miles. The reader will remember my explanation why Melkin the Geometer uses the unit of nautical miles. it is the only divisible unit of measurement on the Earths circumference which correlates to a sixtieth of a degree. This same unit having been employed by the ancients as I previously showed by Pytheas having accurately measured the Latitude of Marseille in 320 BC.
The nautical ‘knot’ only came into use in 1630 AD…. but the ancients had sub divided the globe into degrees of a circle reckoned on the immutable laws of Geometry. The numerical division i.e. 60 nautical miles to one degree is defined by the circumference of the earth and the 90 degrees which make up the four quadrants of the earth which correlate to the 360 degrees which make up a circle. This unit of measurement of one nautical mile as a sixtieth of a degree had evidently been calculated by Pytheas’s calculations in Latitude404 and the fact that Phoenicians found their way to Ictis in Herodotus’ time and perhaps even in Solomon’s.
Melkin was attested as a geometer and astrologer and is now vindicated as one by the geometric understanding of the measurement of distance by comparison with the surface of the Earth. He is perfectly capable of measuring the distance from Avebury to Burgh Island, but could only be certain of the transference of this measurement to posterity i.e. the 104 miles in the immutability of what constitutes a nautical mile i.e. one sixtieth of a degree.
Some translators have inserted the word ‘Knight’s’ from the Latin word ‘Militus’ with the assumption that it refers to ‘the others’ that are said to be buried in Avalon. Other translators have opted for implanting the word “saints”, assuming a scribal error for 104 as a measurement across the landscape in nautical miles. Some commentators, while not replacing the number, have assumed that a mistake has been made and that Melkin is referring to the 144 thousand saints in the Book of Revelation 7:4, 14:1 & 14:3.
This misrepresentation has been highlighted by later interpolators as in the case of Capgraves ‘Nova Legenda Angliae’, which renders the sense of Melkin’s words to ‘milia dormientium accepit’ which refers to Joseph who has 104,000 sleeping with him.
The nautical mile measurement is precisely 104 miles (to within a yard) from the Cove stone in Avebury stone circle (sperula) to the entrance of the tunnel on Burgh Island upon which the modern Burgh island hotel has been built. The figure below shows the line Melkin requires us to draw on the map which Kim Yale referred to as the ‘Joseph Line’. The ‘Joseph line’ drawn from Avebury to Burgh Island passes directly over St. Michael’s Montacute. Montacute acts as a marker on the line which we are instructed to create by the data provided in the prophecy. It is no coincidence that Montacute is on the hypothetical line (until constructed) where the body of Joseph is ‘carefully hidden’ and is confirmed by Father William Good. Henry Blois knew this information.
The Joseph line forms the acute angle of 13° at Avebury with the Michael line and runs through the castle at Devises and then through Mons Acutus (Montacute). It is 104 nautical miles to Burgh Island from Avebury.
domiicionem ibi accepit:
Most translators render ‘took his sleep there’ or ‘received his rest there’. This sense of the sentence has been mistranslated as “Abbadare, powerful in judgement, the most noble of the pagans took his sleep there with 104 thousand”.
‘Abbadare’ appears to be taking his rest with 104,000 others if Mille is employed instead of Milibus; especially when the first words of the next sentence are ‘inter quos’ which translates as ‘among whom’. The meaning which Melkin is conveying is that Joseph and Jesus (both) are taking their rest there.
Inter quos ioseph de marmore, ab Armathia nomine, cepit sompnum perpetuum:
The usual translation of the sentence is ‘among these Joseph of Arimathea received eternal slumber in a marble tomb’. In the previous set of words Melkin used ‘domicionem ibi accepit’ and now he is using ‘cepit sompnum perpetuum’ immediately afterwards. Melkin has devised a riddle in which he speaks of two people once the meaning is understood. ‘Jesus received his rest there’ and ‘Joseph named from Arimathea took his perpetual sleep there’. The word ‘Inter’ by most translators is rendered ‘among’, but this is a riddle we are deciphering…. and Melkin’s meaning is derived from ‘interrare’; to put in the earth i.e. bury.
‘Inter quos’ is translated as ‘among whom’ but here Melkin is using a play on words and his meaning is ‘to inter’ or ‘interred with whom’ which infers two people. The implication of this is that it now establishes ‘Abbadare’ as another separate subject in the tomb and the translation infers ‘Abbadare’, ’interred with whom is Joseph, named from Arimathea taking his eternal slumber by the sea’. ‘Marmor’ translates as a marble stone or as ’the sea’. Small wave motion in calm water gives the impression of marble, hence the expression, ‘a marbled sea’. It was said that King Arthur, when he was fictitiously found, was ‘not in a marble tomb’.405 This point was possibly made to distinguish it from Joseph’s tomb which was commonly thought (because of the word Marmor in the Melkin prophecy) to be marble and which might have been in the same grave yard at Glastonbury. However, the sentence that Gerald of Wales wrote Which I will get to later, which has the beginning missing in the manuscript reads: [The beginning of the sentence is lost.] . . . had proposed, thus Arthur’s body was discovered not in a marble tomb, not cut from rock or Parian stone, as was fitting for so distinguished a King, but rather in wood, in oak that was hollowed out for this purpose….
405Giraldus Cambrensis, Speculum Ecclesiae, X.
It just seems an odd coincidence to mention marble or stone when there are so few examples of sixth century sepulchres from which Giraldus might be comparing. It is possible Giraldus is making reference to marble to compare with the other notable person of Joseph…. who is supposed to be in the same graveyard and understood to be in a marble tomb as indicated in the prophecy. If this were the case, Gerald who died in 1223, (if that was his implication) would show that the prophecy would not be John of Glastonbury’s invention. But there are many more definitive ways which show that the Melkin prophecy pre-existed John of Glastonbury which completely negates the pronouncements of Carley and Lagorio and we shall come to in progression
Henry Blois was patron to Gerald and some of the points made by Gerald about Arthur may indeed have been informed by Henry himself. However, I shall cover what Gerald has to say on Arthur’s disinterment shortly, because this may have a bearing on his relationship (as patron) with Henry Blois, even though the unearthing took place 20 years after Henry’s death. Gerald however, does not mention Joseph of Arimathea and gets his Glatonburyana concerning Avalon and Ineswitrin straight from the interpolated DA. It is mainly because Gerald does not mention Joseph that modern scholars believe Joseph’s name is interpolated into the DA much later. The scholar’s assumption is not entirely tenable if we assume Gerald is only interested in Arthur i.e. not concerned with what he presumes is some concocted fable in order to increase alms at Glastonbury.
Bale understands Joseph being buried in a Marble tomb when he renders the phrase as ‘somnum sub marmore coepit’. However, one twist that has not been considered is that ‘Joseph de marmore’ could be a reference to Melkin’s understanding of Joseph of the sea as in ‘sea trader’. However, the more likely translation, given the islands location…. and in reference to Abbadare is:‘by whom he received interment by the sea from Joseph named from Arimathea’.
The repetition of ‘dormicionem’ as referring to Abbadare, then being immediately followed by ‘sopnum perpetuum’, referring directly to Joseph of Arimathea, indicates that Abbadare and Joseph are two different entities…. especially since the ‘mighty in Judgement’ is referring to Jesus. Melkin has set out to misdirect his readers with the double meaning of ‘inter’, informing us that Jesus has received his rest there. This he has done by not offending Christian sensibilities.
Et iacet in linea bifurcata iuxta meridianum angulum oratori:
This sentence is most frequently quoted in reference to Melkin’s prophecy, the usual translation being: ‘and he lies on a two forked line next to the southern corner of the oratory’. William of Worcester who measured and described the abbey church at Glastonbury c.1478 has grasped that ‘in linea bifurcata’ is part of a geometrical instruction, designed to indicate the grave site. Monks at Glastonbury have continued the tradition of concocting seemingly plausible evidence that infers the ‘Line’ applies to directions within the abbey grounds centred on the old church: ‘and opposite the second window (of the lady chapel) on the south side there are in the cemetery two stone crosses hallowed, where the bones of King Arthur were buried, where ‘in linea bifurcata’ lies Joseph’ etc.
Most commentators have previously suspected ‘the line’ referred to is an indicator to where the tomb is located. Henry Blois misdirection in DA has been built upon the word ‘oratori’ linked with ‘adorandam virginem’. It is upon these words and words like ‘wattle’ that the Glastonbury deception was based. These inventions helped the eventual translocation of the Devonian Island to Glastonbury along with the etymological propaganda written in the life of Gildas composed by Henry Blois. We will never know which words have been altered or inserted in the Melkin prophecy, but we can conclude Henry changed Ineswitrin for Avalon and we can also deduce that the numerical instructional data was not tampered with…. and nor were the obtuse words like sperula and bifurcata which are central to the decoding of meaning behind the obtuse latin in the prophecy.
Nowadays, Glastonbury is considered as Avalon and the ‘linea bifurcata’ that supposedly gave directions from the oratory, has now become a ‘folded linen cloth’ in which Joseph is buried,406 because modern commentators are still trying to find sense in the prophecy. It is shameful that certain modern commentators have misinterpreted the original purport of ‘linea bifurcata’. It is no longer accounted as anything to do with a directional instruction. It is those same commentators who deny the existence of Melkin and deem his prophecy a fake. If it was a fake, why waste time inventing convoluted solutions that don’t augment the position for which the doubters say the prophecy was concocted.
406This misinterpretation of Melkin’s words stem possibly from Lord Fromes account written to Henry V where…. describing a recent discovery: This Coffin was adorned most excellently beyond the others, with linen cloth inside all over. I shall cover this later in the chapter on Giraldus.
If linea bifurcata really alluded to a cloth, one would think that if the prophecy were a late concoction designed to convince us that Joseph is specifically at Glastonbury Abbey; an exacting, more persuasive and less obscure set of words might have been written. If we try to put the prophecy in terms of a fourteenth century forgery it would be an impossible coincidence that there just happens to be a line on the English landscape which bifurcates into another line at a point within a circle, at the exact angle and length provided in the prophecy. Of course this kind of rational or analytical thought does not occur in the mind of a medievalist scholar like professor Carley. Not only does this line go over the hill at Montacute, (where Joseph of Arimathea was rumoured to be hidden carefully), but the total length of the line defined specified in the Melkin prophecy is 104 miles and the line stops/terminates on an island…. and this by any interpretation is what the puzzle is designed to do (locate the island). Explain that to an idiot expert and you get told the prophecy is a fake.
The Melkin puzzle starts with and points out as its subject ‘the island’ where Joseph of Arimathea is buried. The probability of this puzzle being invented by a fourteenth century monk at Glastonbury is as idiotic as those experts who still maintain the prophecy is a fake.
Some modern commentators have used the most imaginative ways of trying to understand the meaning of ‘bifurcata’. The most far-fetched is derived from a meaning of ‘in linea’ as linen and ‘bifurcata’ as folded to give a ‘folded linen cloth’.
Scholars have been duped into believing Glastonbury is Avalon, therefore, there is no further requirement to seek directions to Avalon or… so the logic goes. One can then understand their supposition that Joseph is described as ‘lying in linen’ and lies somewhere in the abbey grounds. But what then becomes of the rest of the riddle? What is the point of the extraneous words such as Sperulatis (degrees), Sperula (Avebury circle) Tredicim (thirteen), cum centum et quatuor (104), Milibus (miles) or even more to the point Abbadare.
No early commentator has even posited Joseph ‘lying in linen’ and it seems our modern experts get more outrageous testing the bounds of their own credibility. Since John of Glastonbury, it was understood ‘where’ Joseph lay i.e. in Avalon. It is only in the modern era such unconnected notions exist where a ‘bifurcated line’ has no relevance to geometry.
The linea bifurcata was the crux of Melkin’s instructions and the Glastonbury establishment needed to establish a link with their oratori. Hence, we get the versions of concocted measurements from the ‘Old Church’ from a randomly placed pillar on the site of the old church…. to mislead the gullible into thinking Melkin’s ‘line’ is connected with a church supposedly founded by Joseph. Therefore, posterity is led to believe, Joseph’s sepulchre must be within the Abbey grounds. All this, mostly brought about by interpolations into DA.
However, we could, like modern scholarship, ignore Melkin’s puzzle, but coincidence cannot outweigh the bounds of probability. Is it probable that an invented set of words supposedly concocted in the fourteenth century can now be understood with alarming accuracy as a set of instructions, which, when put into action, form on a map of southern Britain and indicate a line which locates the Island of Avalon (Ineswitrin)…. which coincidentally falls upon an island in Devon? To believe that this is a coincidence or conclude the geometry is irrelevant would have to be considered as ‘studied ignorance’.
The fact that this geometric coincidence coincides with a charter found at Glastonbury concerning Ineswitrin donated by a Devonian King, and…. taking into consideration the implications of a genuine etymology that this was an island named ‘White Tin,’…. might be more than a rational mind can accept as coincidence. A further improbable chance occurs in that: this same Island fits a description given by Diodorus of an Island in the ancient world which ‘provended’ tin. Coincidence then leads us to the legend of Joseph visiting Britain as a tin merchant and his name being connected with the same island by the solution to Melkin’s puzzle indicating Joseph’s tomb is upon it.
The final glory of the ‘bifurcated line’ was brought to the fore in the bogus directions given on the illustrious ‘brass plate’, with the helpful reminder ‘lest we should forget’. The implication from the brass plaque discussed shortly…. is that we should not question that Glastonbury was any other place but Melkin’s Avalon.
From ‘Meridianum’, most commentators have derived ‘Southern angle’ from Melkin’s text. The word ‘meridianum’ conveys the sense of a plotted line like a meridian and this was surely Melkin’s intention. It is also worth noting that ‘meridianum anglum’ could be translated as an ‘English Meridian’; surely a pun not lost on Melkin. Melkin is referring to the angle at 13 degrees to the St. Michael line and this is why the strange inclusion of the second ‘habitantibus’ becomes a split word of habit antibus, ‘residing opposite’ the 13-degree angle formed within Avebury.
The oratori is a small chapel of prayer and fits conveniently the description of the wattle church. Whether the old church was ever wattle is debatable considering the efforts gone to by Henry Blois to have words in the prophecy coincide with features at Glastonbury …. which becomes evident in my exposition of interpolations into GR3 and DA. We will never know in this instance if the word ‘oratory’ was added to comply with ‘cratibus’ or perhaps ‘cratibus’ was originally written to intend ‘crater’ implying hole or void in the ground and the Oratory was on Burgh Island. To my mind, too much is made of the ‘construction’ of the old church in Malmesbury’s work and smacks of ‘the lady protesting too much’.
The ‘wattle’ construction of the church becomes too insistent i.e polemically biased with comments about its rude construction: The church of which we are speaking, from its antiquity called by the Angles, by way of distinction, ‘Ealde Chirche,’ that is, the ‘Old Church,’ of wattle-work, at firsts savoured somewhat of heavenly sanctity even from its very foundation, and exhaled it over the whole country; claiming superior reverence, though the structure was mean.
There may have been further interpolation in providing a rationalisation of why the ‘wattled’ could not be seen and was ‘covered’: and the tradition of our ancestors has handed down, that the companion of his labours, Paulinus, who was Bishop of Rochester after being archbishop of York, covered the church built as we have before observed, of wattle-work with a covering of boards.
We know the directional data in the Melkin prophecy has not been changed for the most part as the accuracy is too improbable to be random. But one can speculate about other interpretations: some other words as ‘ora tor’ could be a possible word split. We might speculate that one solution would be that the Latin word ‘ora’ and ‘tor’ from ‘torus’ were split. ‘Ora’ translates as ‘the border or coast of a country; particularly the sea coast or maritime district’. The word ‘tor’ from the Latin ‘torus’ meaning ‘a knoll or high mound of earth’. Maybe Melkin gives the real sense of where Joseph’s body lay i.e. an island resembling ‘a Tor by the coast’ or ‘Tor by the sea’.Most commentators have assumed cratibus applies directly to the oratory as its construction method, but what is the relevant meaning of ‘Cratibus preparatis’?
If Burgh island was the Ictis of old, based on Diodorus’s description, and as pytheas describes ‘large quantities of tin’ were taken to the island; the community of tinners would have to keep a large cache of ingots safe and ready to export when a phonetician trader came to the island. Hence,we can now understand the reference to the ‘prepared cave’ hewed out long ago…. that applies to the tomb and not to the wattle construction of a church at Glastonbury.
Is Melkin using the term ‘Crater’ to describe a cave or cavern or ‘hole in the ground’ which was ‘pre-prepared’ which refers to the Ictis repository? These are high definition micro directions not macro geographical instructions which locate the island by way of data transferred to a map. In other words, once the island is located, we are told that Joseph is in a ‘Crater’ which was pre-prepared or ‘dug out’ long ago.
In the scenario where Glastonbury is concerned…. the ‘preparatis’ is hard to rationalise as pertinent to ‘wattle preparation’. Wattle by definition is a preparation. Without the storage area on the Devonian island, the functionality of Ictis and its description as an Emporium would be redundant; so, more likely, it refers to the crater rather than a reference to the production or preparation of wattle.
super potentem adorandam uirginem supradictis sperulatis locum habitantibus tredecim:
This is a difficult part of the prophecy, especially to find relevant meaning to a situation in Glastonbury which to my mind negates the proposition John Sheen created the prophecy. If we accept that the prophecy is a puzzle to be de-ciphered, we should try to be inventive in our interpretation…. as so far, there is little which complies with Glastonbury. We cannot be sure however, that Henry Blois has not tampered with any of the words. It does seem even after Henry’s death, the Glastonbury monk craft is complying with the wording of the Prophecy in their propaganda…. not vice versa i.e. the creation of a prophecy to seem relevant to the church at Glastonbury. If the prophecy was a fake it would be more plainly understood. Because it is genuine, it is obtuse and carries out the function it was designed for.
‘Super’, translates as above, upward or on high and ‘potentem’, as mighty or powerful. ‘Adorandam’meaning adorable could be split into ad orandam we could be looking at the word orandam, meaning ‘to pray to’.
Virginem; derived from ‘Virga’ is a reference to the Virgin Mary to most commentators. ‘adorandam virginem’ therefore renders “adorable virgin or maiden”. One idea is that these may be local instructions to the entrance of the vault, giving its relation in the local vicinity to the crater in relation to where an old chapel used to be situated on the Island
If we split ‘adorandam’ into ‘ad orandam’ it renders ‘in prayer’. The English word ‘verge’ has the same derivative root of virga. If one interprets this word string ‘super potentem adorandam uirginem supradictis’ as a whole, whilst splitting ‘supradictis’ into ‘supra ad ictis’, we get the sense ‘up where one prays at the verge high up on Ictis’. This may be too contrived, but still more credible than Muslims and Baybars being in anyway connected to the prophecy.
Supradictis translates normally as ‘aforementioned’ and seemingly refers to sperulatis but sperulatis is different from the previously mentioned sperulis.
Is Melkin referring to the ‘aforementioned sperulis’ in the early part of the prophecy or is he splitting the word ‘supra-ad-ictis’; informing us that Joseph and Jesus are ‘high up in Ictis’? However, this also appears contrived and does presuppose Melkin knew the island was once called Ictis.
One might conclude that if this information concerning Joseph was passed down to Melkin 600 years after the fact, there would have to be some form of writing explaining why this island was chosen by Joseph. One cannot be sure what Melkin wrote in the manuscripts found at Glastonbury (if there were any) for Henry Blois to use as inspiration for his Grail literature. Perhaps he used the prophecy alone.407 Another consideration is how Joseph’s name got confused as the ‘authority’ in the ‘High History of the Grail’ and also became misunderstood as the narrator. One might imagine that the authority for the story of the holy relics reaching Britain stems from Joseph himself. Some commentators assume the name refers to Josephus408 the historian in the ‘High History of the Grail’; the authority upon which the tale rests. It is unlikely Josephus, had any involvement with the Perlesvaus from which the High History is derived.
In brief, the ‘High History of the Grail’ or Perlesvaus was in its original form written by Henry Blois. It says that the origins for all the Grail material came from the Island of Avalon. We know that Avalon is a Henry Blois invention, hence anything connected with the Grail, Joseph or Arthur on Avalon…. derives from the mind and composition of Henry Blois.
Our expert on this subject James Carley reckons: ‘that there must be some sort of relationship between the Grail romance Perlesvaus and Glastonbury Abbey has long been recognised; the colophon itself informs readers that the work is nothing more than a translation into French of a Latin original found at Avalon/Glastonbury’.409
407It is plain that the prophecy contains the main elements of Henry’s inspiration icons of the grail stories i.e. a body to find in the future, the duo fassula as the Grail, the quest or search element, and the mysterious island where he situates King Arthur.
408The Antiquities of the Jews, by Flavius Josephus
409Glastonbury Abbey and Arthurian tradition p.309
Most commentators have assumed that the reference in the ‘High History of the Grail’ to the book having its source in the Island of Avalon indicates the writer of the Perlesvaus transcribed it from there. Henry Blois is the inventor of the name Avalon and abbot of Glastonbury. Scholars just need to accept a fraud on a large scale and that Henry Blois committed it. It is not too far-fetched to assume Henry Blois wrote the Perlesvaus colophon (just as he did Gaimar’s epilogue and the colophon in HRB…. to misdirect) and implied that his French translation was from a Latin original. The stupidity of the statement is that either translation could only have been written by himself.
Henry Blois invents Avalon in HRB but in VM converts Insula Pomorum to equate with it. Then he makes Avalon commensurate with Glastonbury in propaganda interpolated into DA. DA confirms the illusion of Glastonbury in antiquity being synonymous with the island of Avalon.
Carley makes misguided assumptions that whoever wrote the Perlesvaus ‘Glastonbury’ edition must have made a trip to England to know about King Arthur’s disinterment. Carley’s assumption is based upon what the author supposedly sees and therefore the geographical references to Glastonbury.410 Allusions in the colophon of Perlesvaus to King Arthur’s interment in Avalon; is not an ‘a priori’ upon which one can presume a date for the composition of Perlesvaus i.e. after Arthur’s disinterment.
Modern scholarships assumption is that the Arthur and Guinevere reference in the Perlesvaus colophon refers to an already transpired disinterment of King Arthur at Glastonbury. The Colophon does not imply that, but scholars for generations have been cloned to believe this chronology of events. They have forced the pieces of evidence to fit their own theory and ‘assumed’ chronology.411 The reference in the Colophon rather takes the form of a statement of fact…. from someone who knows where the bodies are and who has planted Guinevere’s lock of hair along with bones which supposedly were Arthur’s in a grave between the Piramides that we are convinced by the ‘Leaden cross’ is Avalon. This person knows where both bodies lie in a manufactured grave-site set up by him to be discovered in the future coincidentally just like Joseph in the future will be discovered as the Melkin Prophecy portends.
Obviously in the interpolated part of DA in the first 34 chapters, Henry deliberately points out the whereabouts so that in time (after his death) some monk in the future reading DA, like Henry de Sully,412 knows where to find the body between the two piramides. Don’t forget, both ‘chivalric Arthur’ and ‘Avalon’ are both innvovations created in HRB by Henry Blois posing as ‘Geoffrey’. By Gerald’s account the location of the grave was known prior to the disinterment. Also according to Gerald’s account we can deduce Henry Blois must have told King Henry II also before his death and possibly intonated the depth of the grave.
410Carley bases his assumptions thus: ‘even if it does not seem necessary to postulate a trip to England to account for the Glastonbury= Avalon= the place of Arthurian burial equation, there are still the internal allusions to which seemed to show a precise knowledge of the Glastonbury landscape. In the Lancelot scene in particular we have an obvious evocation of Glastonbury Tor (la Montaigne de la valee), the old church (chapel novelement faite…. covert de plon), and Chalice Well (‘un fontaigne mout cler’ which flows ‘de la hautece de la forest par devant la chapele’). Carley then concedes that it is not easy to account for ‘the reference to the stream flowing from the forest above past the chapel and here we may have at least the Echo of some sort of verbal communication to the author of Perlesvaus’. P.317
411Carley quotes Carman: Until after the latest year ever chosen by a reliable scholar as the date of composition of the Perlesvaus, the exhumation of King Arthur is not mentioned in any continental document, and Helinand of Froidmont actually affirms that Arthur’s grave has not been found. We just infer that the Perlesvaus, which alludes to this event must have been written in England.
412Henry de Sully who was abbot of Glastonbury and later became Bishop of Worcester in 1193 is a different person from Henry Blois’ Nephew of the same name.
Since Nitze and Jenkins found seven manuscripts containing parts of or the complete Perlesvaus, two more fragments have turned up. Modern scholarship has determined they are all linked with the north-eastern part of France. Rather they all emanate from Henry Blois. The Brussels manuscript (BR) and the Paris manuscript (P) contain a passage found in the ‘Wells’ fragment (We), but the (We) fragment is more closely related to the Oxford manuscript (o); although it is not a direct copy. The 14th century Welsh text of the Perlesvaus (W) is closely linked to the early printed editions of 1516 and 1523 (BL). However, BL and W are linked to the Oxford manuscript. All seem to derive from a common source.
Since Potvin’s (BL) was found in France at a late date, there is nothing to deny that it too originated from an early Glastonbury version in England. This would enable us to suggest an English source which would have been the source used by John of Glastonbury. If this English source was separate from a version of Perlesvaus created by Henry in France, this would explain the commonality of all the versions seeming to originate in France. This assumption was based on the diction and style of writing. In effect, one could posit Henry as the originator of a British and French source which negates the convoluted rationales to the dating of Perlesvaus by Nitze which has squewed so many of modern scholars’ theories dating Perlesvaus after King Arthur’s disinterment at Glastonbury. Nitze fully concedes as his only useful ‘red line’: A priori, there can be no doubt that the writer had in mind the twelfth-century Glastonbury with its hill or Tor and its well-known Lady-chapel. The problem is that Nitze excludes Henry Blois as Perlesvaus’ original author based on Baist’s deductions and thus propounds further theories with no validity.
It would also explain how in the variations, the pseudonym of Henry Blois appears as Master Blehis. It answers the conundrum of how John of Glastonbury had an early copy of the Perlesvaus from which to construct his synthesis of all previous lore up to the time he wrote his Cronica.
A comparison of the Welsh text with the Wells text, establishes that the Wells text cannot be the direct source for the Welsh one. However, the Welsh version and the printed editions are a subgroup of the same family from which the Oxford and the Wells version are derived e.g. our primary British source, (as long as we allow BL originated in Britain). We know that the Wells version can be dated to the first half of the 14th century and was written in Britain. Analysis of the Wells fragment indicates that the original scribe was Anglo-Norman.
Carley suggests the providence of the Wells fragment appearing ‘less than 10 miles from Glastonbury Abbey makes it desirable to reconsider the thorny question of the relationship between Perlesvaus and Glastonbury’. In other words, it is time to consider who might be the common denominator.
Henry Blois has not been considered (even though the likeness of his name is said to be the authorial provenance), because of the assumption regarding the dating…. based on the colophon and its mention of Avalon; which to a scholar’s self set red line, can only exist at Glastonbury after the ‘Leaden cross’ appears at the disinterment of King Arthur 1189-90. The presumption of the use of the name Avalon only being known at Glastonbury after the disinterment of Arthur is based on another erroneous scholastic assumption. If it were accepted that most interpolations in DA were composed by Henry Blois, scholars today following Lagorio and Carley’s theories would not have stepped in the quagmire of inaccurate rationalisations which follow from a false-premise.
Scholars today have spuriously deduced that it was Henry de Sully who manufactured the grave-site of King Arthur. Henry Blois is adept in creating illusion. The reader concludes from the colophon of Perlesvaus that the Latin text of Perlesvaus is ancient…. from which we are led to believe, we now have the French translation. Especially poignant, as we progress through this quagmire of evidence and join these three previously disconnected genres of study…. we find that Henry Blois has planted a manufactured grave for King Arthur at Glastonbury and left it to mature until after his death.
We must therefore take into account that we find the same notion in steering posterity to a conclusion that Arthur and Guinevere were to be found in the tomb at Glastonbury (Avalon in Perlesvaus) as indicated in DA,long before the concocted remains of King Arthur and Guinevere were discovered.
L’auteur du Haut Livre du Graal affirme même que son texte est copié d’un manuscrit latin qui a été trouvé en l’Isle d’Avalon en une sainte meson de religion qui siét au chief des mares aventurex, la oli rois Artuz e la roïne gisent.
‘The author of the High Book of the Grail even claims that his text is copied from a Latin manuscript which was found in the Isle of Avalon in a house of holy religion which sits atop reaching tides where King Arthur and Queen Guenievre lie’.
The first observation is that the colophon does not insist or intonate that Arthur and Guinevere have been found. Mares aventurex could also be translated as ‘hazardous marshes’ which would have aptly described the wetlands of Somerset in the 12 century. The author i.e. Henry Blois knows that King Arthur and Guinevere ‘lie’ at Glastonbury because he put their ‘bits’ in the grave while Henry Blois was still alive. Henry de Sully only uncovered them! There is nothing to say that the Perlesvaus was not written by Henry Blois prior to the unearthing of their gravesite as it certainly was!!!.
Henry Blois had not only planted, but left directions toward the gravesite in chapter 31 of DA: but I omit it from fear of being tedious. I pass over Arthur, famous King of the Britons, buried with his wife in the monks Cemetery between two pyramids, and many other leaders of the Britons.
We shall cover this point later in the chapter on DA, but obviously if Henry Blois wrote this and planted the body of Arthur, it is hardly surprising we find Gerald’s eye witness testimony that he saw Guinevere’s lock of hair and wrote about the disinterment of King Arthur that:
for the King had said many times, as he had heard from the historical tales of the Britons and from their poets, that Arthur was buried between two pyramids that were erected in the holy burial-ground.413
It becomes obvious who must have planted the grave in progression of the evidence provided in this work section by section in this exposé, but what is extraordinary is that scholars such as Carley choose to ignore what an eye-witness has to say because how can his theory fit with Gerald’s testimony.
413As we have previously covered, Gerald was very closely connected to Henry II, so to imply that the King had spoken on many occasions of the location of Arthur’s burial would lead us to believe that he had been informed of the depth and location by the person who had planted it and had knowledge of its whereabouts.
Gerald actually states that the inscribed cross found in the grave has Guinevere’s name on it. The interpolated part of DA composed long before the disinterment states that Arthur is buried with his wife. Both the ‘leaden cross’ and what was written in DA is provided courtesy of Henry Blois to ensure his manufactured grave was discovered.
We get back to the most obvious point which shows that this reference in DA about the whereabouts of the grave must precede the disinterment of Arthur as no other incidents (such as Gerald relates) about the disinterment were mentioned in DA. How could these details mentioned by Gerald exist in the DA?
Henry Blois the interpolator of DA was not present at the disinterment and nor was the supposed scribe who wrote the interpolations in DA. There was no later scribe that interpolated the first 34 chapters of DA. The only later interpolations into DA are minimal and discussed in the section on the DA.
The only way modern scholars can excuse the lack of fanfare/coverage about the exhumation of the supposed grave… not covered by the DA, is to contradict their own proposal in that the disinterment was a propaganda exercise. If it was a later propaganda exercise surely the information covered by Gerald would have been expanded more in the DA than Gerald had related. And why leave it to Gerald anyway to cover the events of the disinterment if the scholar’s theory had any merit????
There is no evidence which runs contrary to my position which is that: 20-30 years prior to Arthur’s discovery, Henry Blois manufactured a grave site; again, based on an idea Henry Blois’ muses had recognised in the Melkin prophecy i.e. of the discovery of a famous person in history found in the future and used that idea in the manufacture of King Arthur’s grave.
It makes no sense for scholars to insist the composition of Perlesvaus post-dated the disinterment of Arthur. It is worth noting also, how intently the Old Church414 was being focused on as being synonymous with the Grail chapel (upon which the Grail chapel was modelled). Yet the supposed Island on which that Chapel was supposed to exist is the tor (‘atop’ in the colophon) a mile or so away from the Abbey where ‘ealde Chirche’ existed at the time of composition of the Perlesvaus.
Henry Blois, as he does in the St Patrick Charter, is using both the St Michael church on the Hill as part of the same establishment as below at the abbey and interrelates them both. The fact that the DA avers that the wattle church was renovated and covered in lead (in the first 34 chapters of DA which is known to be interpolated) should of course alert scholarship to the possible coincidental authorship of Perlesvaus and to the dating of the interpolations in DA.
414Il cevaucha tant qui lest venus a l’ avesprer en un grant valee,o il avoit forest e d’une parte d’autre; e dure bien la valee grans lieus galoshes. Il esgarde a destre desor la montagne de la valee, e voit un chapel nouvellement faite, qui mout estoit bele e riche; si estoit covert de plon, e avoit par desore deux croix, qui sembloient ester d’or. The assumption that Arthur and Gawain go to Avalon and see Guinevere and the fact that Guinevere was supposedly disinterred with Arthur at Glastonbury (when added as a proof to what is avowed on the leaden cross), has led modern scholars to believe that Glastonbury must be the location of Avalon.
Carley states that: ‘both the internal passages and the colophon make it abundantly clear that the author of Perlesvaus must have had Glastonbury in mind when he described Avalon and that he must, therefore, have heard about the famous Arthurian excavation of 1191. From this incontestable fact both Nitze and Carman deduced that the author must have come to England himself to obtain news of the discovery. It needs to be stated unequivocally by me: the author of the original Perlesvaus was in England and most emphatically he had Glastonbury in mind. The author of the source Manuscript of Perlesvaus is the same person who invented Avalon in the HRB. Henry Blois created Arthur’s grave site and was not alive at the excavation. What Carley avers as ‘incontestable’ because Nitze and Carmen made a false assumption is irrelevant hot air from Carley as usual. It should rather be understood that Henry indicated where to find Arthur’s tomb in his interpolations into the DA before he died. The initial author of the contents found in the Perlesvaus had never heard about the famous Arthurian excavation of the 1191…… he was the instigator and manufacturer of the grave site of Arthur and Guinevere 20-30 years before the unveiling transpired!!!
The Cove stone within Avebury stone circle is where the bifurcation or fork occurs between the Michael line and the Joseph line at 13 degrees. The line extends for 104 nautical miles from this stone to within 1 yard of the entrance to the tunnel on Burgh Island.
Anyway, to continue unravelling the translation of the Prophecy of Melkin: Most translators have rendered the translation of sperulatis locum habitantibus tredecim ‘where the aforesaid 13 spheres rest’. The word ‘sperulatis’ has in this case been employed cryptically as a relevant part of the instructional material. Without decoding it’s meaning (as pertaining to ‘degrees’) the direction of 13° just becomes a random number of 13, lost along with the 104 in the meaningless riddle.
The original use of the word is ‘sperulis’, from which we derived sphere/circle at the beginning of the prophecy, related to the stone circle of Avebury. Melkin gives the impression he is referring back to ‘sperulis’ by employing the word “aforementioned” trying to convince the reader that the two words ‘sperulis’ and ‘sperulatis’ have one and the same meaning. However, his use of the word for the second time has the same sense as in ‘circle or sphere’ but latterly the word is employed differently in the a diminutive form. This small circle is the symbol for degrees i.e. 13°…. the symbol being a small circle °. The circle glyph in its origins was used to represent degrees in early navigation being representative of the globe and symbolising its divisions of that spherical globe
We know we are dealing with geometric instructions in the prophecy of Melkin. Otherwise the prophecy is meaningless if it pertained to the abbey grounds at Glastonbury. In the contortions of previous interpretations at Glastonbury of Melkin’s prophecy, no commentator, scholar or monk has tried (in their ingenuity) to weave the number 13 into any bogus directions in connection to the ‘bifurcated line’ and the old church before it was burnt. In other words, they can find no relevance to the meaning of the number 13 or relevance to its inclusion in the numerical data provided in the obtuse latin cryptogram.
Melkin’s ingenuity has prevented the ‘13’ ever been associated with the enumerated angle at the point of bifurcation. The essence of the prophecy is indecipherable if the initial line which runs across Britain is believed to be in some way relative to where the old church was situated. This misrepresentation was cleverly depicted by the bogus directions on the twelfth or thirteenth century bronze plaque.
The word locum is rendered as ‘where’ by most commentators, but this same word also translates as ‘tomb or sepulchre’ in Ainsworth. Locum generally understood by translators as locus, refers to a place such as the location or place being discussed.
The word habitantibus means to ‘dwell’ or ‘abide’ and seems very out of place in this sentence. We could speculate that if ‘habit’ and ‘antibus’ were split….the sense of ‘dwelling opposite’ the 13 degree angle might be a feasible understanding of the word. It is only because ‘habitantibus’ is unusual, especially in this section of the directional part of the prophecy, that it would seem that the word needs to be split. Some commentators have contrived the sense as the thirteen sperulatis actually ‘dwelling’. The reader can see how accurate Melkin has been…. and by carrying out a simple trigonometric calculation of the angle between the bifurcated lines, the precise angle is 12.838568 degrees on google earth, which is only about 9 ‘seconds’ out.
The prophecy of Melkin is a puzzle to be unlocked, not a piece of prose designed to highlight Joseph’s presence at Glastonbury Abbey. From the Latin below, we can only hope to make sense by applying not only directions on the landscape but topographical detail as well, so a few liberties have been taken in trying to make an overall sense of what Melkin intended by:
Et iacet in linea bifurcata iuxta meridianum angulum oratori, cratibus praeparatis, super potentem adorandam virginem, supradictis sperulatis locum habitantibus tredecim.
‘Both lie in a bifurcated meridian line in a pre-prepared cave near a chapel that is above it; where one prays at the verge high up in Ictis. In a tomb they reside opposite a thirteen degree angle’.
Both lie on a bifurcated line which is at an angle to a meridian in a previously readied crater up at the verge near where on prays up high in Ictis in a place opposite at 13 degrees they dwell.
Both lie in a bifurcated line in a tor by the sea above in a prepared crater in a tomb above which is the mighty adorable virgin and they dwell opposite an angle of thirteen degrees on a meridian.
Both lie on a line that is two forked between that and a meridian, in an angle on a coastal Tor, in a crater, that was already prepared and above is where one prays which one can go at the extremity of the verge, high up in Ictis is the place they abide at thirteen degrees.
In the caption above we can see the 13° formed between the Michael line and the Joseph line which ‘bifurcate’ inside the ‘sphaerula’ at Avebury at the Cove stone.
Habet enim secum Ioseph in sarcophago duo fassula alba & argentea, cruore prophete Jhesu & sudore perimpleta:
This sentence is usually translated as ‘Joseph has with him in the sarcophagus two vessels, white and silver, filled with the blood and sweat of the Prophet Jesus’.
It is wholly down to the interpretation of Melkin’s prophecy that the ‘duo fassula’ becomes synonymous with the Holy Grail. Over time, the importance of the prophecy has transformed the duo fassula to become synonymous with the two jugs on the heraldic shield of Glastonbury. The Glastonbury establishment has attempted to concur with as many features in Melkin’s prophecy such as the purposeful construction of the bronze plaque with its spurious directions which according to the rasonings the plaque was made it marks where the old church once stood after it had burned down.
Lagorio and Carley have assumed the Melkin prophecy is mimicking the vessel of the Grail having erroneously concluded that the origins of Grail literature’s provenance to have emanated from the continent. This is just ignorant of the fact that Henry Blois had seen the Melkin prophecy in his lifetime. The misguided assumption of scholars is incorrect and just shows that Carley’s later pronouncements are cloned on this incorrect conclusion adduced by his mentor Lagorio. Henry Blois was inspired by what he thought were ‘vessels’ in the prophecy of Melkin. Glastonbury is conforming to the prophecy…… not an invented prophecy conforming to any existent tradition at Glastonbury derived from Grail literature as is put forward by Lagorio.
The implication is that…… in the sarcophagus or tomb, Joseph has with him the two ‘fassula’. Why would someone in the thirteenth or fourteenth century invent two vessels along with words like sperula and sperulatis that have no bearing on the church at Glastonbury? Why invent two numbers like 13 and 104?
As I have pointed out, ‘thirteen’ is not even utilised as part of any existing lore which tries to equate the number’s relevance to the old church, with a measurement or direction. Why, if the prophecy is an invention based upon continental Grail literature, would the supposed fraudster and inventor of the prophecy of Melkin go to the effort of finding an explanation that the 104 is a misprint for 144 and then apply it as referring to saints from the book of Revelation? How the fuck does a one hundred and four mile line terminate precisely on an Island anyway!!! Let alone that it bifurcates an existing line at 13 degrees. You just have to be as thick as Carley not to get that!!!
It is not difficult to see that the institution of Glastonbury is complying with the prophecy in an effort to find common features from the prophecy; which are then made to appear as pertaining to a fictitious burial site of Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury relative to the church.
If this were an exercise in writing a prophecy that conformed to features found at Glastonbury…. even I could have made my intended fraud easier to be understood. It would be simpler to omit what appear to be random numbers such as thirteen and one hundred and four and terms (such as sperulatis) which are hard to equate with any prospective burial site at Glastonbury.
The prophecy does not fulfil the proposed intention for which dullards like Carley have insisted the prophecy was fabricated. It truly would be the most startling coincidence that someone could invent a prophecy from supposedly composite parts (referring to Baybars etc. in the east) which coincidentally directs by its data to an island unintentionally….. which by chance we then find that same island was donated to Glastonbury i.e. Burgh Island the modern day name for Ineswitrin. This is tMelkin’s intention for composing the prophecy as it starts with the word insula…. but obviously in its original form pertained to Ineswitrin not Avallonis.
It would also be an amazing coincidence that all the pertinent information supplied in the prophecy without leaving out one piece of data (which is supposedly deemed redundant data by Carley), formulates a solution of a line on a map (entirely relevant) which located an island in Devon.
This island coincidentally, as I show in the section on Ictis was an Island used by Tin merchants an…..lo and behold that was the trade of Joseph of Arimathea….. about which the prophecy speaks!!
In other words, the coincidence would be that Joseph of Arimathea by way of association with the tin trade is also indicated to be buried on the Island thought to be Ictis and yet this same island geographically is found to be the same Island by deciphering Melkin’s riddle in which Joseph of Arimathea is specifically mentioned.
This scenario would be a truly remarkable set of coincidences 800 years after the prophecy’s supposed invention by John of Glastonbury as is ridicoulously proposed by scholars. Yet if we are to follow our expert’s analysis of why the prophecy was invented; what was the point of the prophecy’s invention, as Joseph’s body has still not been located at Glastonbury?
Ironically, what may have prevented a falsified find of Joseph’s remains was the fact that Glastonbury monks were unable to produce something so sacred as the blood and sweat of the Lord Jesus.
The Prophecy of Melkin leads the reader by way of purposeful design to believe that the ‘duo fassula’ holds two liquids, blood and sweat. So, from the Latin ‘vas’ a vase, or ‘vascula’ a vessel…. commentators have assumed the word ‘vassula’ as the container of a liquid.
A ‘fasciola’ however, is a bandage and a ‘fasceola’ is a swaddling cloth or a cloth swathe
Alba translates as ‘white’ and more commonly refers to a ‘white cloth’. This might imply that if the body of Jesus is found with the body of Joseph as the prophecy implies, Melkin might be inferring a white grave cloth. Could this be the Turin Shroud of which there was mention in all four Gospels?
Argentea generally translates ‘of silver’. It also has another meaning of plated (as in silver plated) but also means ‘overlaid’. Is this the heart of Melkin’s message which really shows who it is that Joseph brought to England and the proof?
Cruore from ‘Cruor’, translates as blood. The Glastonbury ‘cruets’ as vessels or as Father Good referred to them as golden ampullae are purely derived from word association from the Latin word for blood, ‘cruore’ which led to ‘cruet’. This is another case of Glastonbury lore conforming to the prophecy and not the prophecy conforming to lore at Glastonbury.
Some people have chosen to translate as ‘two cruets’, leaving out the word ‘fassula’ as the vessel. They have mistakenly represented the blood supposedly contained in the vessel as the vessel itself, which held the blood. Again, one must wonder why such contortions took place if the prophecy were a late invention.
In no way are the two beer jugs as represented in the Glastonbury Arms in anyway representative of the Grail…. if Glastonbury monk craft were following an established Grail tradition, a stupid theory put forward by Lagario. Rather, Glastonbury is seen to be doing its best to conform to features found within the wording in the Melkin Prophecy.
Why, if ‘monk craft’ at the abbey were mimicking a Grail tradition does Glastonbury lore stray from the singular Grail into two vessels? A question somehow conveniently overlooked by the the experts!!
It is Henry Blois who consolidates his misinterpretation of the duo fassula straight from his having seen the Melkin prophecy into the Grail cup of the last Supper …..and from where Robert de Boron (Henry Blois) gets his idea of the vessel used at the ‘last supper’.
Henry Blois as a serial ‘conflator’ adapted a couple of ‘Vessels’ into a singular Grail, based on the cup from the last supper. The Melkin prophecy predates Henry Blois’ expansion of the idea of a Grail cup through his muses into an icon of Grail Literature. It should be understood by all students of Grail literature that: Henry’s interpretation of the duo fassula is the singular primordial germ of the icon of a Grail Cup in all Grail Literature.
Sudore translates as sweat or travail. Melkin’s real intention is that the enigmatic ‘duo fassula’ is a doubled swathe or breast cloth from ‘fasciola’. The swathing cloth, is a ‘doubled’- ‘duo’, white cloth covered in sweat and blood from Jesus, (overlaid, from ‘argentea’, as one would overlay an image with silver). If Geoffroi de Charney who was the first to exhibit the Turin Shroud, had removed it from the tomb it would explain its sudden appearance in the 1350’s.415
Perimpleta has always provided the word for ‘full’, in the context of‘filled with the blood and sweat’ by most commentators on the prophecy. Perimpleta is not a word in its own right that has meaning, so one can conclude it must be part of the riddle to be solved. It can be made up from ‘per – impleta’, coming from the verb ‘impleo’ which means ‘I fill up’. ‘per-‘ is a common Latin prefix for emphasis, i.e. ‘completely’. ‘Pleta’ comes from ‘pleo’ which simply means ‘I fill’. So, if Melkin is not giving misdirection by association and there are not two vessels alongside Joseph in the tomb, I would suggest another way of looking at Melkin’s riddle.
‘Peri’ is a word meaning ‘around’ and is usual as a prefix meaning enclosing, as in the word ‘perimeter’. ‘Pleta’ giving, ‘I plait’ in English, meaning to fold or as the definition gives, “to bend cloth back over itself”. Melkin has a message to convey, otherwise why include it in the prophecy? Is he implying that Jesus is in an ‘enclosed fold’ or ‘enclosed in a fold’? The breakdown of the word appears to imply the Turin Shroud is the article that Melkin is describing. This would mean the tomb on Burgh Island has been discovered already by the Templars.416 Is Melkin informing the world that a ‘doubled grave cloth, covered with blood and sweat from the prophet was folded over Jesus and was present in the tomb when he wrote?
415Goldsworthy. And Did Those Feet. His theory is that the Templars discovered the tomb on Burgh Island and removed the shroud alone. Goldsworthy does not however note that if the Templars had found the tomb and had produced the shroud and also had knowledge of a body…. he omits to comment on the fact that it would be a good reason for the pope (conspiring with King Philip) to give orders for all Templars to be murdered across Europe on Friday 13th in October 1307. If the body of Jesus had been discovered on Burgh Island it would be the end of the Vatican.
416If we consider that the Michael line is shadowing an existing line demarcated by monuments from the Neolithic era…. someone in the modern era has aligned the churches which constitute the St Michael line. The wealth for such an endeavour can only come from a wealthy institution like the Templars.
Habet enim secum Ioseph in sarcophago duo fassula alba& argentea, cruore prophete Jhesu & sudore perimpleta:
‘Joseph has with him in the sarcophagus a doubled white swaddling cloth covered with the blood and sweat of the prophet Jesus that was folded around him’.
We could speculate that Joseph has with him in the tomb a doubled white folded cloth that was laid over the prophet Jesus and outlined by his sweat and blood. The Koran refers to Jesus as the prophete Jhesu. Melkin by naming Jesus is also hinting at the person behind the Abbadare enigma.
Cum reperietur eius sarchofagum integrum illibatum, in futuris videbitur et erit apertum toto orbi terranum:
The translations of this sentence appear for the most part as: ‘Once his sarcophagus is discovered, it will be seen whole and untouched and then open to the whole world’. Another way of translating the above could be: ‘With the discovery of his tomb, which will be whole and undefiled, from thenceforth it will be viewed and open to the entire world’. The word integrum translating as ‘entire or whole’ is in reference to the body of Jesus being preserved by cedar oil in the Grail Ark as has been explained by Kim Yale and Michael Goldsworthy.
Ex tunc nec aqua nec ros celi insulam nobilissimam habitantibus poterit deficere:
‘from then on, those who dwell in that noble island will lack neither water nor the dew of heaven’
Melkin starts the sentence ‘ex tunc’ or literally ‘from that time’, indicating the expectation of change at the point of time when the tomb is unveiled. The insulam nobilissimam translating as ‘noble Island’ is from where Henry Blois got the idea for having Arthur brought to an island (the mythical Avalon) when composing the HRB….and then extended it to where King Arthur would come from as part of the ‘Briton hope’.
Per multum tempus ante diem Judioialem in iosaphat erunt aperta haec, & viventibus declarata:
Most translations of this passage differ only slightly: ‘for a long time before the day of judgement in Josaphat, these things will be openly declared to the living’.
With modern scholarship freely admitting to large scale fraud at Glastonbury abbey, it is extraordinary how accepting scholars are of an unsolved mystery and how ready they are to rationalise contradictory positions. Does scholarship really think that the prolific inter-relationship of Arthuriana, Glastonburyana and the Grail edifice just happened randomly i.e. formed, following on from what ‘Geoffrey’ (based at Oxford) wrote of King Arthur? Did not the King Arthur story suddenly appear in the exact era that Henry Blois was abbot of Glastonbury, Bishop of Winchester, Legate to the pope and brother to the King. Yet, not one commentator has even discussed Henry Blois as instigator or author of Life of Gildas because they think Caradoc was a contemporary of ‘Geoffrey’s’ by believing Henry Blois’ misdirection.
Few researchers have even mentioned Henry’s name in connection with the three genres under investigation in this exposé. Henry Blois is the man who avowed on the Mosan plates that the greatest worth (more than riches) was the art of the Author; the man who compared himself to Cicero.417 Authorship was the aspiration to which Henry Blois accounted great worth. Are we really to believe a man who held such thoughts, even to the extent of revealing his passion on his self composed epitaph on the Meusan plates, only left the dull record of his deeds at Glastonbury?
417Ironically, James Carley, the expert on affairs at Glastonbury and Athuriana says of Henry Blois: Although he did not himself produce any work of erudiction, he was a supporter of scholarship and was a patron of two fine writers: William of Malmesbury and Gerald of Wales. Glastonbury Abbey p.20. As an expert, one probably could not make a bigger gaff, but scholarship’s naivety concerning Henry Blois’ association with Glastonbury lore and especially the Melkin prophecy is endemic…. because every student follows what the dimwitted and pontificating Carley proposes no matter how incredulous his theories become!!
There is no concise position on the Prophecy of Melkin by experts. Supposed academics would not recognise Ictis if it had a sign on it…. or equate Joseph of Arimathea’s tin trading connections in association with it. Most archaeologists dig up ancient detritus and have never heard of the island of Ictis. They have no idea of the practicalities of navigation in antiquity or seamanship or for that fact the testimony of Strabo who gives good reason why the Astragali were discovered so close to Burgh Island.
Scholars who study medieval literature, such as ‘Geoffrey’s’ HRB, know that it has little historical accuracy and yet it pretended to be an accurate historical record. If they do not accept ‘Geoffrey’s’ history and recognise fraud; why accept naïvely the fraud of the created persona of Geoffrey of Monmouth or Glafridus Artur?
Nothing is known about the man who wrote the most popular blockbuster in the medieval era and what is known about him is as dubious as the contents of HRB. The fact that scholars have accepted Henry Blois’ scribble of Galfridus Artur’s signature on a few charters around Oxford and the fact that a totally bogus Bishop of Asaph signs alongside Henry Blois on the Treaty of Winchester…. has convinced them of ‘Geoffrey’s’ real existence. Sluggards the lot of them but they will not recieve instruction they just like to give it, like the blind leading the blind!!!
Historians have combed through works which provide the basis for Glastonburyalia knowing they are full of forgeries. Few commentators have been looking for the architect; the common denominator, who combines Arthurian material in HRB and continental Grail literature and who connects these subjects to Glastonbury.
Modern research should focus on which manuscripts provide essential building blocks for Henry’s edifice and whether or not these manuscripts were fraudulently written by the most prolific author in the 12th century and the person responsible for the largest interpolative fraud in William of Malmesbury’s DA.
If we leave the task of elucidation up to the university lecturers teaching the next generation who believe Henry Blois did not himself produce any work of erudiction; then the three genres of work under investigation will never become clearer to the next generation of Medieval scholars currently in our universities.
If scholars had recognised the perpetrator in Henry Blois, rational deductions could be made…. such as Master Blehis, Blaise, Bliho-Bleheris, having a similar name to Monseigneur Blois in Grail literature….or the coincidence of the glorification of Winchester in HRB…. and Henry’s connection with the metropolitan request found as precience in the Merlin prophecies.
If there was any intellectual merit to the term ‘medieval scholarship’ they should have deduced Henry Blois was behind the creation of Avalon as well. Yet I am accused of being ‘mad’ because of their inability to recognise fraud, interpolation and Henry Blois’ influence of the propagation of his authored works.
Because of this lack of vision, Joseph lore has been discounted and is thought to have arrived at Glastonbury from France. Melkin’s prophecy has been suspect because of a flawed chronology in assuming Arthur and Joseph and Avalon were not interpolated into DA until after Arthur’s disinterment. At least, where Avalon and Arthur are concerned, Gerald even contradicts this spurious assumption of modern scholars. Typically, medieval scholars have chosen to ignore Giraldus’ testimony, the only eyewitness account; to make their theories fit together by cherry picked rationalised theories; non of which stand scrutiny once our three genres are brough together. Again, we shall deal with Gerald’s evidence later.
Armitage Robinson first implies Melkin’s prophecy to be fake, following the rational based upon the apparent late emergence of Joseph of Arimathea mentioned in manuscripts. Margret Murray, contrives a Coptic origin for Melkin’s prophecy and Aelred Watkin thinks it could be oriental in origin.418
418Glastonbury Abbey and the Arthurian tradition. P.26
Aelred Watkin goes on to say ‘It could be a tour de force of monastic forgery. It is either the earliest or latest link in the chain that connects Joseph of Arimathea with Glastonbury. It is either of great or of almost no significance….’ I am no scholar, but this does sound as if Watkin has not formed any useful opinion and is sitting on the fence. However, I would rather Watkin’s prevarication than Carley’s pretence of learnèd authority concerning the prophecy of Melkin. Though his sedentary and wholly rationalised pontifications Carley has mis-directed a generation of cloned medievalist ‘experts.’
Let me state for the record: Melkin’s prophecy is of the greatest significance, but it is Henry Blois who connects Joseph of Arimathea with Glastonbury by changing the title of the subject island about which the contents of the prophecy apply to Insula Avallonis.
The prophecy of Melkin is the earliest link which connects Joseph to an object (the duo fassula) which is related to Jesus…. and which Joseph brought to an island called Ineswitrin, through his connection as a tin merchant; now called Burgh Island. Joseph did this to avoid the Jews of Jerusalem who had in effect condemned his son to death. He brought the body of his son to an Island he had traded with (in the past) which had been shut down as an operating tin mart by the Roman occupation just after the incident recorded by Strabo which we covered earlier.
Bale and Pits posit that Melkin wrote a book titled ‘De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’. Why they would do this if no book existed, we can only speculate. However, this was long after ‘Geoffrey’ and no volume has come to light. My view is that this book (judging by its title) was written by Henry Blois even though Wace is supposed to be the first to have mentioned the round table. We will cover later in the chapter on Wace how it would be impossible for Wace to be the author of the Roman de Brut, but the author could only be Henry Blois providing one accepts Henry composed HRB. The chances are that John of Glastonbury derived certain extracts from this book written by Henry titled ‘De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’ supposedly written by Melkin, corroborating HRB’s fictions such as Arviragus’ role in history and obviously Wace’s round table.
The chivalric round table (mensa rotunda) where all around it are equal is Henry’s own expansion on his HRB when posing as Wace. He impersonates the real Wace, for the most part versifying the First Variant version. Henry Blois’ Roman de Brut made sure the HRB with minor expansions was written in his own vernacular. Thus, the tales of Arthur spread quickly across the continent. Wace, (impersonated by Henry Blois) claims he was not the source of the ‘round table’ obviously implicating the supposed book by Melkin, yet coincidentally no-one can date the Round table’s manufacture accurately or determine when it happens to turn up at Winchester or the source for its appearance in Wace.
The HRB written in Latin before the Roman de Brut could only be understood by the educated clergy and courtiers. ‘Wace’s’ version in norman vernacular made HRB more accessible. The fact that the ‘round table’ is associated with Winchester is another indicator of Henry’s stamp of authorship. What convinces me most is the fact that in 1155…. Henry is publishing the Vulgate HRB (or at least the latest version of prophecies) and yet ‘Wace’ says he wrote the Roman de Brut in 1155. In reality, he must have started it at least two years previously, hence the reason why the first half of Wace’s poem is derived from the First Variant version.419 Scholarship is still in the dark as to why ‘Wace’ commenced his project of verifying HRB with First Variant and concluded the Roman de Brut with the Vulgate version as a template. It is not improbable that Henry Blois commissioned the Winchester Round table. The story that it was built by Cornish carpenters is of a later date, but it could well date from 1170-1200. There is no definitive expert opinion which could deny this date as a speculation…. as there are so few samples with which to compare the dendrology.
419There is a possibility that Harley MS 6358 reflects a state of composition in that it too is split between a first Variant which ends with a Vulgate. Scholars assume this is a result of two copyists but like Wace’s Roman de Brut formed similarly, it may reflect a transitional stage from First Variant to Vulgate. What it probably reflects is that Henry Blois was versifying HRB before 1155 and completed it after that date using the later Vulgate version as a template. Harley MS 6358 may reflect Alfred of Beverley’s source of the evolved First Variant.
Robert de Boron’s Merlin following Wace creates the round table in imitation of the table of the Last Supper and of Joseph of Arimathea’s Holy Grail table. The fact that nothing is known of ‘Robert’ except that he comes from the village of Boron just north west of Clugny, not far from Autun and Langres should make us suspicious that Robert’s knowledge of the Grail, and Avalon and Joseph is derived from Henry Blois…. an uncle to the main Grail propagators court at Champagne and Troyes.
What is known of Robert’s life comes from Joseph d’Arimathe where he applies to himself the title of meisters, just as ‘Geoffrey’ was magister, but later he uses the title messires meaning Knight. At the end of the Joseph d’Arimathe poem, he mentions being in the service of ‘Gautier of Mont Belyal’. Henry Blois just loves to portray a persona; but like Gaimar and Geoffrey (and Wace), what we are led to believe about the author’s persona in reality is usually based in some sort of identifiable and plausible reality.
However, Le Gentil’s misguided assumption is that the mention of ‘Avalon’ shows that ‘Robert de Boron supposedly wrote Joseph d’Arimathe after 1191, when the monks at Glastonbury claimed to have discovered King Arthur. This a priori is so misguided but endemic in modern scholarship.
Until it is accepted that most interpolations in DA were made by Henry Blois, there will be misinterpretation and until HRB is understood to be composed by Henry Blois; like a defective gene passed down to the next generation of Arthurian scholars the Matter of Britain will remain as an unresolved enigma. This misconception has been mainly promulgated by Lagorio and Carley and Crick in the recent era.
Henry Blois, if he did not author both Robert’s Merlin and Joseph d’Arimathe, he is certainly the source of Robert’s material, which we shall cover later. To be clearer, Henry impersonated Wace, and interpolated Gaimar’s L’estoire des Bretons after 1155 by inserting the epilogue.
Henry’s inspiration for the Island of Avalon in HRB (not the name) derives from the prophecy of Melkin and its mystical island icon. By Henry’s own propaganda, Avalon was purposefully being steered toward geographical location at Glastonbury as we see in VM. This proposition is evident in the transformation which is made in VM as early as 1155-7. Obviously, Henry had nothing to do with the actual act of unearthing Arthur at Glastonbury, but assuredly he is the instigator of the grave.
Henry, we can speculate, based on Gerald’s evidence instructs Henry II and also points out where Arthur is buried between the piramides in DA. We can speculate that Henry Blois informed King Henry where the body he had planted 10 or so years before his death might be found. This vital information was probably passed on to King Henry II when he came to visit Henry Blois the day before Henry Blois died.
The similarities between Adam of Damerham’s description of the unearthing of Arthur’s grave and that description found in Henry’s concocted De inventione are strikingly similar. I think that Adam has confused the two accounts to a degree. We may assume the Montacute dig took place c.1144 at the same time Looe Island was procured. At this period Henry was looking for Ineswitrin.
Henry Blois had no intention of unearthing the body of King Arthur in his own lifetime. He just laid the seeds for the future so that both Grail literature and HRB which spoke of Avalon became the location where Arthur was to be eventually found…. at Glastonbury. While HRB storyline was spread on the continent through ‘Wace’s’ work, the audience were being primed with Henry’s latter agenda….the offshoots of Grail literature. This propagation of early oral grail stories transpired for most of the decade of the 1160’s.
It is hard to believe that Henry de Sully would produce a ‘Leaden cross’ and promote Glastonbury as Avalon and more incredible that the entire population of England supposedly accepted the evidence of the cross alone…. and from thenceforth Glastonbury was synonymous with Avalon.
The DA had many allusions to Arthur…. Life of Gildas placed Arthur at Glastonbury. Grail literature mentioned Avalon long before the discovery of Arthur’s body and all knew Avalon was in the west. Avalon’s island location surrounded by apples in VM (under its other name as Insula Pomorum) leaves little scope for imagining it might be anywhere else…. considering Arthur was at Glastonbury in the kidnap episode and Arthur was last seen at the Island of Avalon (according to ‘Geoffrey’). It is the conglomeration of these factors (along with the Leaden cross) which brought the ready acceptance that Glastonbury was Avalon in 1191 when the bones were exposed. To believe Avalon had not been pre-ordained at Glastonbury by Henry’s propaganda before the disinterment and then readily accepted at the time Arthur was uncovered…. we just have to look at Gerald’s testimony.420
420See Chapter 27. Gerald of Wales and the discovery of King Arthur’s tomb.
This manufactured unearthing accompanied by the ‘Leaden cross’ is the very act that cements all Henry’s efforts. Here lies buried King Arthur in the Isle of Avalon. Avalon, from that moment onward, certainly became synonymous with Glastonbury. But, the major groundwork had been accomplished already by Henry’s interpolative efforts in the first 34 chapters of DA.
Obviously, William of Malmesbury only mentions Arthur in passing just enough to comment on the oral ‘hope of the Britons’. Even though Henry employed various means in DA to make us believe that William was well acquainted with the name Avalon, William had no idea Avalon was commensurate with Glastonbury in his lifetime and the name is not in GR. William’s words in GR: this is the Arthur, concerning whom the idle tales of the Britons rave wildly even today; a man certainly worthy to be celebrated not in foolish dreams of deceitful fables but in truthful history.
Another reason modern scholars deny the historical Melkin is because Bede does not mention Melkin. Bede, c.673–735 was an English monk at a Northumbrian monastery in modern Jarrow and even though the monastery had a good library, he would not have read Melkin’s works as they only existed at Glastonbury…. if any other manuscript apart from the Melkin prophecy and the 601 charter existed…. if indeed Melkin was the King of Devon. The best speculative proposition might be that the volumes mentioned by John of Glastonbury,Pits and Bale (if they existed) may have been authored and deposited at Glastonbury by Henry Blois. Certainly, a manuscript existed at Glastonbury from which Melkin’s prophecy was extracted and the copy which had been adulterated now mentioned Avalon instead of Ineswitrin.
John Leland says he saw fragments of Melkin’s work, even a ‘volume of great antiquity’. As a guest of Abbot Whiting, Leland went right through the library at Glastonbury. He says he took notes from an ancient fragment of Melkin’s Historia and divulged certain facts about Melkin not found in the Prophecy. He says Melkin was born in Wales, and that he wrote a Historiola de Rebus Britannicis in prophecy form. Is this maybe the template for Merlin? Leland claimed that Melkin was a famous and erudite ancient British writer and a bard, of Welsh origin, and that he was the author of a “History of Britain” (Historiola de Rebus Britannicis), yet is it not a huge coincidence that Henry Blois as ‘Geoffrey’ decided to write a book on the same subject. One proposition might be that while pressure was mounting to find the author of HRB and ‘Geoffrey’ is seen to be distancing himself from its invented history by citing that his work is a mere translation of a book ex-Brittanica; it is possible that Henry Blois may be responsible for the authorship of the book seen by Leland which cites Melkin as author.
Is HRB’s bogus assertion that itself is a translation based on Walter’s book derived by notion of Henry Blois having seen some manuscript of Melkin’s. Bale, Capgrave, Hardyng and Pits either give the titles of the books, supposedly written by Melkin or incidental added information from them. The three books which John Pits cites, as having been written by Melkin, are the, ‘De antiquitatibus Britannicis’, ‘De gestis Britannorum’ and ‘De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’. Any one of these three could have contained the Melkin prophecy cited in the Cronica by John of Glastonbury. It would be obvious to most that the title ‘De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’ would not have been written by the same Melkin as originally encrypted the genuine geometry which genuinely points out the position of Joseph of Arimathea’s burial island . De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’ is Henry’s work from which most probably JG obtained his information. The Melkin prophecy is not interpolated into DA as then the other interpolations in DA concerning Joseph become too obviously a fraud. Henry Blois understands that corroboration from various sources is a better for of persuasive propaganda.
It is really silly that scholars are in denial about Melkin’s prophecy considering De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’ said to be written by Melkin is at Glastonbury, is about King Arthur and the round table and that we know both subjects are Henry Blois’ inventions. But it does also show amongst a host of other evidence that Melkin’s name was known to Henry Blois. We could speculate that the other two titles may be genuine works of Melkin and if not; one or the other may have contained Henry Blois’ copy of the HRB so that it appeared there was a source book for HRB.
Even without the solution to Melkin’s prophecy which witnesses an intelligent design, the evidence points to the existence of a real person in antiquity. Whoever Carley thinks the fraudster is…. ‘Melkin’ has produced a coincidental set of numbers and clues which by transformation of the data provided in a cipher, transcribe to create a line onto a map and pin point an Island in Devon. Another reason for discounting Bede’s authority in connection with omitting reference to Melkin can be explained in what William of Malmesbury divulges in his GR. ‘Nay, they even report, that he (Bede) went to Rome for the purpose either of personally asserting that his writings were consistent with the doctrines of the church; or of correcting them by apostolical authority, should they be found repugnant thereto’.
What is a near certainty is that the Roman church, whether at an early stage (evidenced by the exclusion of Acts 29, see chapter 36), or even later, after Augustine’s arrival in Britain…. eradicated any rumour of Joseph (and possibly Jesus) in Britain and stamped it out. Rome made sure that its hereditary monopoly through St Peter was never challenged. The only residue of the British truth concerning Joseph of Arimathea and Jesus’ connection to Britain nowadays is the Cornish legend and a fortuitous find of Melkin’s prophecy indicating Joseph’s sepulchre is on Ineswitrin.
Bede may have been censored by the Roman Church on what he says regarding any tradition found in Britain. These rumours as Augustine found in Britain when he arrived relates to the Britons: “who preferred their own traditions before all the churches in the world”, could only mean one thing. These traditions, if they incorporated the Uncle of Jesus, throw up primacy issues with Rome’s self-professed monopoly on Christianity; especially, if any substance were found in the rumours and were allowed to foment, regarding the supposed British traditions.
Since Melkin’s works probably came to Glastonbury at the time the grant was dated, (601AD), it is doubtful if Bede, far away in Jarrow, had even heard of Melkin. One can be sure though, that the Templars knew something that threatened Rome’s monopoly on Christianity.
Carley states: My mentor for many years has been Valerie M. Lagorio, a fine and imaginative Arthurian scholar, one whose articles on the evolution of the Joseph of Arimathea legend must be regarded as definitive.
It is clear that I am annoyed at the complacency of modern scholars. Neither Carley’s nor Lagorio’s views are ‘definitive’. Carley’s presiding authority over Glastonburyana is obviously an extension of having found a niche subject on which to do his dissertation. This was his erudite work on John’s cronica. To compose a thesis on this work alone takes a vast amount of peripheral study by which he has become our present-day expert. It is a known fact that he assumes an air of the foremost authority on the goings on at Glastonbury. It is also known that he does not accept contrary opinions that do not dovetail with his own views. Lagorio, similarly grew out of her dissertation which traced the development of the Joseph of Arimathea legend. Their views are neither definitive nor wholly correct. The impression one gets from them and a host of other scholars including Crick and Crawford, is that of entitlement to pronounce their theories as an incontestable truth over a whole domain of Arthurian scholarship.
The DA is a minefield unless one understands why DA was interpolated and by whom. Scott’s book421 has helpful insights. Few have deigned to even scratch the surface of what is and is not interpolation in the DA. In an unkind critique of John Scott’s translation of the DA (referring to it as ‘uninspired’) Carley does laud his mentor as the superior knowledge and fount…. from which, he has obviously followed and accepted all her views, concerning the Joseph tradition at Glastonbury: Modern Scholars have examined the process of accretion which led to this connection and Valerie M. Lagorio, in particular has given a masterful analysis in her study on “The evolving legend of St Joseph at Glastonbury”.
421The Early History of Glastonbury. John Scott. Boydell.
Lagorio’s views have shaped Prof. Carley’s and Lagorio’s view is: As a consequence of the Arthurian affiliation, the abbey some fifty years later incorporated St Joseph of Arimathea into the legend of its foundation.
The fact is that Joseph and Avalon were established by Henry Blois in DA before 1171. Lagorio’s and Carley’s assumption (followed by Scott) is that after Chrétien de Troyes mentions the Grail or Robert de Boron had written Joseph d’Arimathie…. a Joseph tradition was incorporated at Glastonbury, upon which, Melkin’s Prophecy (supposedly much later) imitated the Grail by the invention of the duo fassula. This viewpoint is the reverse of how events transpired in that…. the Grail (duo fassula) is the essence of Melkin’s Prophecy and the Melkin prophecy was most emphatically extant in Henry Blois’ era.
Their assumption is largely based upon the fact that Joseph is not mentioned in the St Patrick charter and their assumption is that the whole charter was written during the contretemps with the bishop of Bath. This presumption of chronology is again incorrect. The charter of St Patrick was written by Henry Blois himself, probably just before his second attempt at gaining metropolitan status for Winchester in 1149; as I will show clearly in the chapter on the DA.
There would be no ‘Grail tradition’ without a ‘duo fassula’ ….and there would be no tradition of Joseph (except that found in Cornwall) without Melkin’s Prophecy. There would be no Avalon without the genuine prophecy of Melkin’s instructions (which point to Ineswitrin in Devon) which in turn became the basis for Insula Avallonis in Henry’s HRB. The name Avallon is based on the Burgundian town in the county of Blois, just as Karitia (Charite) and Autun and Langres are all cited in HRB by Henry’s personal knowledge of them.
Lagorio’s view of Joseph lore is that: to date, no-one has traced his slowly evolving legend, or tried to assess the many factors which promoted the successful joining of Joseph the saint with Arthur, the Hero King, in the hallowed grounds of Glastonbury.422
422Valerie.M. Lagorio. The evolving legend of St Joseph of Glastonbury.
The real problem is that everyone has accepted Lagorio’s conclusions thereafter which make it impossible (following her chronology) to successfully join the dots between Joseph, Arthur and Glastonbury. Without establishing Henry Blois as author of the HRB and the primordial Grail literature…. Lagorio is in no position to assess the many factors which promoted the successful joining of Joseph the saint with Arthur.
Until Henry Blois’ fraud or at least his hidden authorship is accepted, no-one will ever contemplate or understand the link between the three genres i.e. Geoffrey’s Arthurian work created in HRB along with the Vita Merlini; Glastonburyalia (embodied in Life of Gildas, DA and GR3 version B), and their connection to the origins of Grail Romance by one single mind. Until an intransigent scholastic community recognise they have been duped by Henry Blois and Joseph’s entire legend (as we know it) is based upon the Melkin prophecy (linked to Avalon by Henry Blois)…. scholarship is blindfolded.
Unfounded pronouncements such as Carley’s assessment of the prophecy of Melkin will prevent scholastic advancement in the Matter of Britain. Lagorio has no solution as to how the Joseph legend arrived at Glastonbury believing it transpired through a ‘fortuitous convergence of factors’. Where does she think the ‘extant legends of the abbey’s origins’ came from…. if not from DA when interpolated by Henry Blois. Every commentator recognises fraud in DA, but the assumptions of Lagorio are misguided without recognising the early fraud of Henry Blois in connecting Joseph to Avalon before the discovery of King Arthur’s manufactured grave in Avalon.
Lagorio’s misunderstanding is based upon the assumption that any mention of Arthur in DA follows the discovery of his bones in the grave ( its location pointed to by information supplied in DA) and that Joseph lore at Glastonbury is a later insertion: She says: With this record of prosperity, Glastonbury had little need to enhance its glory with Arthur’s counterpart, Joseph of Arimathea. Yet around 1250 the monks quietly incorporated Joseph into their founding legend, possibly succumbing to the fortuitous convergence of factors supporting such a claim: the impact of traditional belief in Britain’s conversion to Christianity by an apostle; Joseph’s legendary status as an apostle and missionary; extant legends of the abbeys origins; and the Arthurian Grail cycle, which proclaimed Joseph as the apostle of Britain.
Who put out the propaganda supporting such a claim? Firstly, Henry Blois is the originator of the Arthurian Grail cycle as explained further on in this investigation. When we cover the DA in detail, it becomes clear that the bulk of the first 34 chapters of DA have been written by Henry Blois.
Ferdinand Lot (my uncle) dismisses Glastonbury legend as nothing more than invented by a conclave of falsehood… meaning monk-craft. Ferdinand Lot wrongly confirms scholarship’s viewpoint that the fraud evident in DA was carried out over a long period of time after the discovery of Arthur’s body and by many monks. The viewpoint held by Medievalist scholars excludes the truth behind Henry’s inventions such as: The Grail as an icon derived from Melkin’s prophecy and the book which Henry must have written, (referred to as ‘Sanctum Graal’), was based on the duo fassula from the prophecy.
The Grail itself derives its name from the interpretation of the Melkin prophecy. The ‘holy blood’, contained in one of the supposed vessels, was interpreted as sang real. Logically, if there is no truth behind the ‘chivalric Arthur’ character found in HRB and his deeds are subsequently encompassed in a body of literature which involves Joseph of Arimathea and the Grail (and this is connected to Glastonbury lore), and we know the DA was presented to Henry Blois (and interpolated by him)…. then it becomes fairly obvious that the common denominator (once the originator of the Grail stories is accepted as Master Blehis) is Henry…. who is also ‘Geoffrey.’
The first step to any understanding of the Matter of Britain is to contemplate that Melkin’s prophecy existed at Glastonbury in Henry Blois’ era. Once one can understand that the island, about which the Melkin prophecy speaks, is the template of a non-geographically located Avalon…. transferred by Henry’s muses from a real island (Ineswitrin) to a mythical island presented in HRB…. one can then understand why it became the mythical island of HRB and who changed the name of the island on the Melkin prophecy. The emblem of the Grail should be recognised as having been derived (again by Henry’s muses) from the duo fassula through ‘Master Blehis’ and the inspiration of Robert de Boron (if he existed). Robert’s knowledge of Joseph existed through Henry’s knowledge. Henry was Robert’s ‘Blaise’ and any knowledge of Joseph which Robert had…. came originally from Henry’s inventions which were based on the Prophecy of Melkin and were made to chime with Glastonbury as a location of Avalon through the interpolations in DA.
The glorification of Glastonbury as Avalon takes place after Henry’s return from Clugny in 1158. Glastonbury is never mentioned in HRB which only highlights the author’s connection to HRB in that Arthur had already been associated to Glastonbury by Henry Blois when he composed the Life of Gildas. Henry could not betray his authorship of the Vulgate HRB, especially now theMerlin prophecies were updated…. otherwise, he would then be implicated for inciting rebellion among the Celts through his prophecies.
It was a bit of a ‘chancy move’ to pay for the sculpture on the Modena archivolt and have Arthur associated with Glastonbury through the Kidnap episode represented from the Life of Gildas. HRB could not mention Glastonbury. If Henry got discovered, he would have been the laughing stock and branded a liar; but he was not going to let all his previous efforts in creating the psuedo historia destined originally for his uncle to go to waste.
Winchester is however glorified in his work in First Variant and it ultimately led to Henry obtaining metropolitan status for Winchester in 1144. Winchester is mentioned more than any other place except London in HRB. We may speculate as to why Henry did this. Firstly, Winchester was the main city in southern England in the Saxon era and secondly after the Primary Historia was written, the second redaction (the First Variant) featured Winchester with early monasticism. This ploy indicated it was a religious house long before the Roman church’s usurpation of primacy at Canterbury. This of course is tied up with the effort to gain metropolitan status for Winchester by Henry Blois.
Glastonbury was going to be glorified through Henry’s invention of Grail stories concerning Joseph and through the planting of Arthur’s body in the graveyard near the abbey to be discovered in the future.
Someone has constructed the prophecy of Melkin to lead us to Burgh Island and has surely set out to manifest the whereabouts of Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb, leaving specific and precise instructions within his encrypted and bemusing Latin cipher. It was not Henry Blois. It was someone who knew what ‘is’ on Burgh Island.
If Melkin had wished to spell out the location of Avalon (or more accurately Ineswitrin) he would not have hidden his instructional data so cleverly and cryptically. if the reader of the encrypted geometrical data in the Latin cipher does not understand the start of the instructions i.e. knowing what the ‘bifurcated line’ refers to, there is no way of finding the Island on a map or working out the solution to the puzzle.
The ‘island’ is the primary subject of the Melkin prophecy. It is perfectly clear from the encrypted puzzle of the Melkin prophecy that the tomb of Joseph is on the same island mentioned in the prophecy ( whether the name has been changed from Ineswitrin to Avalon or otherwise). Also, if Melkin had wanted us to understand immediately that Jesus was buried alongside Joseph, he would not have referred to him as ‘Abbadare’. There is no doubt that Melkin wanted someone in the future to understand this riddle…. otherwise there would be little point in constructing it by making its geometrical understanding obtuse. The clues in it are extraordinarily accurate and precise and could not randomly fall into an order to indicate Burgh Island by way of following instructions to draw a line on a map.
Who would employ a word like sperulatis which has no meaning, unless it was intended as part of a puzzle? The Latin in the prophecy is archaic and grammatically incorrect and who knows what single word could have been added or subtracted; but I do not think there has been any change except the name of the Island from Ineswitrin to Avalon. Because of the numerical accuracy of the directional data, and the use of obtuse words, the prophecy is evidently original and has not for the most part been changed. However, Melkin was presented with a conundrum when constructing the cryptogram: how to carry into posterity the knowledge of a tomb and what it contained without destroying the very vehicle of the Christian religion in the monastic system by which the puzzle would be perpetuated into the future.
Melkin’s puzzle relates to the finding of a tomb. The evidence of what is found within will provide us with a different account of that which transpired immediately after the crucifixion, which is currently found in the Gospel accounts. That Joseph did come to Britain with an object (or two) is evidenced by the criteria put forward in Melkin’s prophecy. When the tomb is opened, what is found within will directly contradict Roman Catholic eschatology.
However, the Grail (which is the body of Jesus) will never be found without determining the key to the instructions in the prophecy which is Melkin’s linea bifurcate. Without this key, none of the other directional clues have any relevance. Especially where, some modern commentators are insisting that the linea bifurcata is a ‘folded linen’, which is complete nonsense. Also the scholastic community’s misunderstanding of the credibility of using the unit of the nautical mile (the 104 measurement) is based in ignorance, because Pytheas used this same immutable unit defined by the circumference of planet Earth. Even the medieval chroniclers at Glastonbury understood the prophecy related to a geometrical instruction; even though, through bogus directions in geometrical terms while trying to find its relation to the old church at Glastonbury. It is purely coincidental that Melkin’s duo fassula turns out in reality to be the burial shroud of Jesus, but this is secondary to our present focus as Yale and Goldsworthy have provided an account on the appearance of the shroud in the modern era.
Linea bifurcata was surely understood as instructional or directional by the writer of the late liturgical piece, prefixed by Hearne to John of Glastonbury’s chronicle. Any affiliation between the old church and the bifurcated line’s bogus relevance to it could only exist after the fire in 1184, indicating the position of the then burnt ‘Olde chirche’. The bronze plaque is fairly irrelevant to our inquiry regarding Henry Blois.
However, after relating information about a hypothetical line from the pillar on which the bronze plate was affixed, outside on the North, through the point up to which the eastern end of the ‘old church’ originally stood, the writer states: ‘near this line, according to certain ancient writers lies St. Joseph with a great multitude of Saints’. It is also obvious that John of Glastonbury had understood that the ‘Linea’ was a directional relation to the old church as he writes: ‘amongst whom, Joseph also was buried, and placed (et positus) in linea bifurcate over against the aforesaid oratory’.
Most medieval commentators have assumed that Joseph was buried near the Old Church, in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey since Henry Blois propaganda which focused the meaning of the prophecy to apply to the church at Glastonbury. The institution at Glastonbury Abbey has proactively encouraged and propagated such a position to find relevance to the church which had burnt. This is because of Henry’s propaganda in DA which implied that Joseph had built the original.
In Medieval times the ‘linea bifurcata’ was at least understood to be part of a geometrical instruction which would point out the location of the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea as it was intended by Melkin. The two supposed learnèd experts offer their considered opinions about Melkin’s prophecy.
Prof. Valerie M. Lagorio writes: ‘a mystifying prophecy had arrived to Melkin, a pagan sage who supposedly lived before Merlin. In essence Melkin stated that Joseph, together with two cruets holding the blood and sweat of Jesus, was buried near the vestusa ecclesia; and that when his secret tomb was found and opened, the ancient island of Britain would never again know drought’.
She goes on to say: ‘the full import of this account rests less on the promise of future miracles than in the establishment of Glastonbury as Joseph’s and Arthur’s joint resting place’.
In The evolving legend of St Joseph of Glastonbury, she states ‘there is a very remote possibility that Joseph may have journeyed to the Glastonbury area of Britain and preached the faith there’. She further concludes, ‘if Joseph did come to Britain then his Glastonbury- accorded fame has a ring of poetic justice. Based on the known facts, however, it is only in the late 15th century England that the legend of St Joseph of Arimathea and Glastonbury came to full maturity’.
Lagorio has no understanding that the meaning of Melkin’s prophecy needs to be unlocked and therefore it was Melkin who composed the prophecy in order to convey a secret over time. By saying: a mystifying prophecy had arrived to Melkin, Lagorio is implying Melkin received a prophecy like a biblical prophet. Melkin did not mention ‘cruets’ nor did he state that Joseph was buried near the vestusa ecclesia and certainly did not mention ‘drought’. Quite simply Valerie should not be mentoring Carley!!!
Melkin’s words ‘At that time neither dew, nor rain, will lack from that noble island apply to ‘spiritual rejuvination’ not to any metrological future condition. I only mention this so that the reader can see that the purport of the prophecy is lost on Lagorio.
Melkin had no idea that Joseph’s resting place in the future would be at Glastonbury. The fact that Joseph is thought to be at Glastonbury is entirely down to Henry Blois. If Henry had not replaced the name Ineswitrin for Avalon on the original prophecy, and used this name in HRB, Arthur would never have been unveiled at Glastonbury either. The prophecy of Melkin was Henry’s inspiration for manufacturing the grave-site ensuring the potential discovery of Guinevere’s and Arthur’s remains ‘in the future’. The Melkin prophecy foretold of Joseph’s sepulchre being found in the future. One is bogus, the other real.
The point is not whether Joseph might or might not have gone to Glastonbury, it is the fact that Joseph is buried on an island…. and the man who knew this (as a certainty) composed the prophecy i.e. Melkin. Lagorio has no understanding of the fraud of Henry Blois and even denies Melkin’s existence and ponders about Joseph going to Glastonbury. Without Henry Blois there would be no Joseph lore at Glastonbury.
Prof. James P. Carley’s views are mainly unfounded and contradictory also. Carley states: it was at roughly the period of Edward’s visit that the prophecy of Melkin the Bard was concocted at Glastonbury. Carley’s main reason for positing that Melkin’s prophecy was a fraud is that he believes, like his mentor, the prophecy was concocted as a consequence of the Grail tradition. The opposite is in fact true!!!!!
Henry Blois based the Grail tradition on Melkin’s knowledge of the whereabouts of the tomb and who was in it. Carley’s ’wholly respectable holy blood relic, historically unimpeachable, brought to England by Joseph of Arimathea’ is not fiction…. but is the basis of Grail literature first propagated by Henry Blois. Melkin’s prophecy was the source material for Henry’s muses.
There is of course only one way to disprove this standpoint and that would be to go to Burgh Island and enter the tomb (which is now bricked up) with qualified archaeologists. Therein is the problem. There is no crossover of expertise. No archaeologists are qualified to assess the faulty views of medieval scholars. It is not their field of expertise to divine whether or not such a tomb exists. Those who supposedly have the expertise to advise archaeologists on the validity of the tomb’s existence have ineptly discounted Melkin’s prophecy. Hence the unfortunate necessity of this study; written by an untutored retiree to confound modern scholar’s mis-conceptions.
The fact that someone has entered the tomb since Melkin’s day is indisputable on two points. One is that the Turin shroud mentioned by Melkin came from the tomb. This is clearly shown by Goldsworthy and Yale. Secondly, the fact that some institution has tried its best to make sure that the information concerning the marker point of Montacute on Melkin’s line, (of which Father Good informed us), never reached the public domain. I will explain this shortly, but it involves the attempted destruction of Father Good’s information deposited in the English College at Rome, now found in just one of the copies of Maihew’s Trophea.
We know that Arthur’s dis-internment was at a fabricated grave-site…. manufactured for posterity by Henry Blois and we know also Joseph has never been found at Glastonbury. Would it not be simpler to go to Burgh Island, the place we are directed to by a real person in history…. who had knowledge of what the tomb contains? Goldsworthy had tried to achieve this but was told by the local coroner he could do nothing. The owner of Burgh Island was then advised by experts that Melkin’s prophecy was a fraud.
The determining factor which has allowed the perpetuation of the Glastonbury fraud is the transposition of the island in Devon to which Melkin originally refers…. to Henry’s ‘fabulation’ of the island of Avalon at Glastonbury. The only fraud bigger than this is the continuance of the Roman Empire in the form of the oppressive Catholic Church.
If, as Scott suggests, there was a consolidating author of DA c.1230, why did the said author not eradicate the contradiction in foundation stories rather, than smoothing one into the other. I would imagine the date is considered a point at which the list of abbots ends in 1134 and the presumption that Joseph material is added in between this time and 1247 by a consolidator of DA.
Melkin’s works were found at Glastonbury by Henry Blois probably along with William of Malmesbury while trying to find evidence of Antiquity for the old church. It is through Henry’s imposture, chicanery, guile, and craft and skill and inventiveness as an author…. on which Glastonbury’s notoriety exists. As the deception was subsequently believed and more extraneous lore was added (such as the bronze plaque), the modern understanding of Glastonbury’s status is that it ‘is’ Avalon…. the place where King Arthur was buried. Glastonbury’s lore is built upon King Arthur by the man who composed HRB. It is also built upon the appropriation of history which pertains to an island in Devon and the events that transpired there after the crucifixion.
I will cover the search for Joseph at Montacute shortly. However, in this next passage we can get a good idea of Carley’s understanding of Melkin and how Carley gets the chronology and reasoning about Glastonbury (the Montacute dig) and the prophecy muddled:
these two excavations can ultimately, I think, be linked with the figure of Joseph of Arimathea. After the stone cross found in Arthur’s tomb identified Glastonbury as ‘insula Avallonia’, it was only a matter of time before Joseph of Arimathea’s name (taken in this context out of the French Grail romances) came to be associated with Glastonbury and in 13th century additions to William of Malmesbury’s De Antiquitates Glastonie Ecclesie it is first stated that Joseph was the hitherto unknown apostle of Christ who evangelised Britain and built the wattle church at Glastonbury. With the Joseph legend came the Grail, which was transformed into an ecclesiastically respectable relic, two cruets containing the blood and sweat of Jesus. Ultimately Glastonbury produced writings by a Merlin like figure, Melkin the Bard, which articulated in a rather cryptic prophetic form Joseph’s role in early Glastonbury history. In Melkin’s prophecy it is made quite clear that Joseph’s place of burial is unknown and that if the tomb is ever found great miracles will occur.
No matter how one understands the words of Melkin’s prophecy, ‘Joseph’s role at Glastonbury’ is not implied and nor is Glastonbury mentioned. This only comes by implication as subsequent monks, historians or chroniclers have been duped by Henry’s fraud. Again, it is Henry’s transformation of the genuine island of Ineswitrin by substituting its name as Avalon and the bogus corroborative evidence supplied in DA (and the mention of Avalon on the ‘Leaden’ cross) which forms Carley’s opinion.
To state that Melkin had made it clear that Joseph’s place of burial is unknown is quite a stupid statement by a supposed expert . The very objective of the Melkin prophecy is to point out the location of an Island by encrypted geometrical data i.e length and angle of a line at a point of bifurcation.
The reader will understand in the following extracts that Prof. Carley has virtually no fixed opinion on Melkin. This is why it is so crucial that he should not be accounted an expert on the subject nor his opinions on Melkin should carry any weight.
Leland says that Melkin was anciently known as one of the most famous and erudite of British writers and his later obscurity was a result of the Saxon invasions. However, Leland mentions Melkin’s belief that Joseph of Arimathea was buried at Glastonbury. Melkin does not mention Glastonbury and nor has he gone to the trouble of creating a cipher which obviously indicates an island in Devon…. if he believed Joseph was buried at Glastonbury. This is Henry Blois’ propaganda which has trans-located the relics of Joseph to Glastonbury.
Both Carley and Leland are duped by Henry Blois’ transformation and conflation between Avalon and Glastonbury. Leland himself does not believe Joseph is buried at Glastonbury but more accurately should have said that Melkin believes Joseph is buried in Avalon…. although Melkin did not. Melkin knew as fact that Joseph was buried on Ineswitrin and if Kim Yale is correct about the breakdown of the word ‘supra ad ictis’ he may well have known the island was once called Ictis.
Carley goes on to say about the prophecy: ‘its general sense however is clear; Avalon has always been known as the burial place of pagans. Buried there is Abbadare powerful in saphat, who sleeps there with 104,000, among whom was Joseph from across the sea who lies ‘in linea bifurcata’ against the South corner of the wattle church built by the 13 inhabitants of the place. Joseph has with him in his coffin two silver cruets filled with the blood and sweat of the Prophet Jesus’.
Carley informs us that Melkin is telling us that the wattle church was built by the 13 inhabitants of the place. He then goes on to say that Melkin’s prophecy defies exact translation and any interpretation of it abounds with difficulty of every kind. ‘Whatever the origin of Melkin, it is clear that Glastonbury accepted the prophecy with gratitude though she never pretended to have understood it.’
It is clear that Carley does not know the origin of Melkin’s Prophecy. Carley admits: The language of the prophecy, which was probably put together in its present form in the 13th century, is singularly obscure and defies precise translation.
It is startling to me, with these pronouncements, that our present authority is so ready to discount Melkin. Carley goes as far as saying regarding Melkin’s inclusion into John of Glastonbury’s Cronica:
‘as a historical personage mentioned in the gospels and venerated as the local Saint and patron, Joseph of Arimathea could well be expected to have left his remains at Glastonbury; these would be relics worthy of the greatest veneration. Interestingly though, Melkin’s prophecy is very vague on the issue’. The text states that he is buried at Glastonbury: Et iacet in linea bifurcata iuxta meridianum angulum oratorii, cratibus praeparatis. But what this actually means has caused considerable confusion (and certainly exercised the ingenuity of modern commentators).’
Melkin’s prophecy is anything but vague. Carley’s eyes deceive him, for nowhere does the text state that Joseph is buried at Glastonbury. (It is Henry’s propaganda which makes the conversion). Lagorio also has the same problem. The text does however locate an island, but it is not at Glastonbury and nor is Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb.
Carley’s opinion is formed by John of Glastonbury’s Cronica when he interprets part of Melkin’s prophecy, he states that: ‘Joseph sepultus est et positus in linea bifurcara iuxta oratorium predictum’. ‘Joseph is buried, and positioned in a line that bifurcates where the oratory was’. This is obviously what monks at Glastonbury had interpreted now that they believed Avalon was Glastonbury (since the discovery of the leaden cross) and hence the bronze pillar perpetuating this belief that the line had relevance to the ‘old church’ now burnt.
Carley knows JG is referring to Glastonbury but does not understand Melkin does not refer to Avalon but to Ineswitrin. This in itself would be an odd assertion if John of Glastonbury is referring to Glastonbury old church, especially if (as some have posited), he invented the prophecy himself. Where do the numbers 104 and 13 fit in? Why include the elusive sperula?
John can hardly be the person who provides us with genuine instructions which locates an island in Devon 104 nautical miles from a bifurcation point by way of a line which bifurcates the Michael line at 13 sperulatis. Without the 13 degree angle, even if one had knowledge of the St. Michael line, one would still need to know where the bifurcation point occurs (in the sphaerula of Avebury). The angle at which to extend the 104 mile line is vital to locating the island of Ineswitrin in Devon.
Logically, Carley would have us believe JG interprets his own concocted prophecy…. and conveniently leaves out all the irrelevant data which modern scholars choose to ignore also. The difficult conundrum with which modern scholars are therefore presented is…. why include spurious numerical values like 104 and 13 in the first place if the prophecy is an invention to bolster the presence of Joseph at Glastonbury and the numbers are not employed in relation to the position of the burnt Church?
The answer will not be found in Abu Adar al-Badr or Sultan Baibars or al Malik Adh Dhahir or the Syrian fortress of Safad. The geometry of Melkin is unequivocal and has nothing to do with Glastonbury. It marks an island in Devon, in England….not Syria. Carley’s theories make him look ludicrous.
Carley goes on to explain how a certain R. Willis arrived at Linea Bifurcate being interpreted and equated to a linen shirt through Linea=undergarment…. being divided by two flaps and Aelred Watkin thinking it a corruption of ligno bifurcato, the sense being that Joseph lies under a cross.
Carley is also baffled by the ‘bifurcated line’; again because of his focus at Glastonbury:
‘In none of these cases is there any indication that this line has actually been located or that the site has been excavated. Presumably the monks could find no burial site with which they could identify with Joseph. The prophecy, however, suggests both that this site exists and that finding it is an enterprise of occult meaning, which could be linked with the millennial vision’.423
423Carley. The chronicle of Glastonbury abbey. P lvii
It is gratifying (in this instance) that Carley concedes the site of Joseph’s burial might in reality exist based upon what the prophecy suggests. Until the prophecy is decoded and one understands whose relics are with Joseph in the tomb, the magnitude of the meaning is more than a ‘Millennial vision’.
To imply that the line has not actually been located is incorrect. More accurately, Carley has chosen to ignore Yale’s solution to the prophecy as this would involve some backtracking and embarrassment from his previous ‘scholarly’ postulations.
Let me state clearly that the line exists and that this line has actually been located …. the evidence for it has been available for more than 20 years.424 The ‘Michael line’, is an alignment running across southern England. It is a line of alignment which has existed since the Megalithic period. It is also known as the ‘Beltane line’ and was certainly aligned in Melkin’s era, same as it is today. This is why Melkin employs the line as a reference which can be drawn on a map!!!!
What it is and why someone has adorned it with St Michael churches and similarly in Montacute and on Burgh Island does not concern us for the present. I will elucidate this point further on and by whom the St Michasel churches were built to prevent the burial site of Joseph slipping into obscurity. What the St Michael churches on the ‘Beltane’ line and its subsequent product of the line created by the 104 nautical mile line which also has the two churches dedicated to St Michael indicates, is that sometime in the past, someone might have been aware of the lines which Melkin refers to and thus built churches at relevant points so that the lines would not be lost to posterity.
The Michael line is the line that Melkin is showing us to bifurcate within the sperula at Avebury with a meridianum, at an angle of 13 degrees, and extend a line 104 nautical miles. The meridianum mentioned by Melkin indicates it is a line on a map.
Melkin is not vague about where the body is buried. The prophecy does not reference any part of the church at Glastonbury. From this we should be able to understand that someone i.e. Henry Blois, has put much etymological effort into the translocation of both HRB’s Avalon and the 601 charter’s Ineswitrin, to seem as if the location to which they pertain exist at the island of Glastonbury. This transformation was aided by Insula Pomorum becoming Arthur’s final resting place in VM. What we can determine is that Henry Blois’ efforts have paid off; for posterity has swallowed the illusion. The illusion was facilitated also by author B’s reference to Glastonbury as an island c.1000…. even if the Somerset levels were not flooded enough to isolate Glastonbury as an island in the 12th century.
Carley maintains that: ‘The facts of the story- that is, that Joseph’s relics were never located-seem incontestable, although it is difficult to understand why this is the case. Why would the later mediaeval community at Glastonbury not undertake some sort of exhumation, the finds of which could be associated with Joseph? Why did Melkin’s prophecy put the unearthing of Joseph’s grave squarely within an apocalyptic tradition? Surely it would have been more convenient to have physical relics on display to corroborate the so-called ancient writings and to stand as an ecclesiastical parallel to the Arthurian relics’.425
424The Sun and the Serpent. Paul Broadhurst, Hamish Miller. 1989
425James .P. Carley . A Grave Event.
Carley asks the most sensible question: Why did Melkin’s prophecy put the unearthing of Joseph’s grave squarely within an apocalyptic tradition? When Joseph’s grave is opened it will be apocalyptic, but Carley is too dim to realise that Melkin is pointing out where the tomb is. The unearthing will be nothing less than the eradication of the Roman Catholic lie about a body vanishing into heaven. Not even Henry Blois could unearth Joseph because to Henry the Melkin prophecy was not a fake and the body would be found one day. When that transpired Henry Blois would be known thereafter as a fraudster if he had fabricated Joseph’s grave also.
No-one understood what constituted the duo fassula. We can see that Henry Blois, when he relayed the Grail stories at the court of Champagne to Marie and Alix in their original form; Henry must have used the term sang real while listeners to Bleheris misheard the name, leading to Jongleurs like Chretien writing San Graal.
Henry Blois made the connection to the vessel (fassula) in the prophecy because of the mention of the blood itself. We can safely conclude, later troubadours who had heard Henry’s words must have heard reference to san Graal instead of Sang Real or Holy blood from an oral representation, because Henry Blois himself knew the prophecy to refer to hold blood and sweat.
Henry understood the enigma of the duo fassula as a ‘vessel’ is clear in Robert de Boron’s references…. even though in the interim transition from oral to written word, it becomes a holy ‘Graal’ or san Graal, but still contains the blood as is inferred in the prophecy.
Henry understands it as a container and because of this, links it to any container known to be associated with Jesus i.e. either the cup of the last supper as Robert’s version indicates (or the Magdalene foot bowl).
Certainly, Helinand knows from whom the information came but does not mention Melkin and has an idea of what the Grail consists of: ‘At this time a certain marvellous vision was revealed by an angel to a certain hermit in Britain concerning St. Joseph the noble decurion who deposed from the cross the body of our Lord, as well as concerning the paten or dish in which our Lord supped with his disciples, whereof the history was written out by the said hermit and is called ‘Of The Graal’ (De Gradali).
Helinand was a minstrel who won the favour of King Philip Augustus c.1180 the same Philip who might have provided the book to Chrètien as he was the son of Adele of Champagne the daughter of Henry Blois brother Theobald. Helinand who is the first to connect a British Monk with the Grail and the history (rather Histoire) was written out by the British monk.
Evidence of a British monk trying to influence people on the continent implying the ‘Grail book’ is ancient, smacks of Henry’s propaganda because Henry Blois’ brother’s sons were married to Marie and Alix both known propagators of the Grail legend so it is hardly a stretch of the imagination that King Philip Augustus has a copy of the Grail book. Probability suggests that Henry Blois is the connection especially in that we know Henry commissioned many Tournai marble fonts and must have passed through this area. Froidmont is very close to Tournai. It seems fair that knowledge of the Graal may have been spoken of by a passing bishop of some renown who left a book written by an ancient British monk (which just so happens to get to Philip Augustus).
In any case, it would have been difficult to fake the finding the Grail at Glastonbury even if one could propose that a set of bones belonged to Joseph of Arimathea. Who is going to be brave enough to forge an object on which so much potential and mystery rests? If someone was going to fake such a thing it would have been Henry Blois as he has no regard for twisting the truth. It was easier and more propitious to convince the world that Henry Blois’ chivalric alter-ego i.e. King Arthur, had at one time existed in reality by creating a grave with an old Gorilla skull426 and tibia bone and a lock of hair which pretended to be relics of Arthur and Guinevere.
It was probably Henry Blois who reiterated to Henry II where the body was located as well as making it seem as if William of Malmesbury had casually mentioned its position in DA. Giraldus relates a story of Henry II involvement. Henry Blois could have told the King while Henry Blois was on his deathbed. We know Henry had surreptitiously indicated the grave’s location between the piramides in DA.
We know that King Henry II visited the old and blind dying bishop the day before he died and the King was castigated by Henry Blois regarding the murder of Becket. There is also some possibility that the unearthing of King Arthur could have been instigated by Eleanor of Aquitaine who may also have been privy to certain information from the King or Henry Blois as she had just been released from prison on Henry II’s death.
At this time the court of Champagne presided over by Eleanor’s two daughters Marie and Alix and the French court would have been immersed in Arthuriana and Grail literature for twenty years since Henry Blois’ death. Marie and Alix were both married to Henry Blois’ nephews.
We might speculate that Eleanor had also heard all these stories while imprisoned. We should not forget that Eleanor was mother-in-law, to two of Henry Blois’ nephews and it is possible she may have been given books by Henry Blois or by her daughters while imprisoned. Do not forget that Henry Blois is a man who went out of his way to rewrite history and to spread and propagandise his fabrications on two continents using his connections.
The commonly accepted scenario is that Henry de Sully, abbot of Glastonbury fraudulently concocted the pantomime of Arthur’s disinterment when Richard I, Eleanor’s son had just inherited the throne. Supposedly funds had dried up for the reconstruction of the abbey since Henry II’s death. This may have been coincidental and opportune…. but there is no way that Henry de Sully consummated Henry Blois’ Matter of Britain edifice by fabricating a cross and confirming the historicity of Henry’s fiction.
To carry out such a fraud, one would need to pass some censure or scrutiny of those at the dig. One might conclude the grave had lain dormant for some time. Adam’s witness of curtains surrounding the dig is a confusion with the dig at Montacute which Henry had turned into a ‘fairy tale’ now known as De Inventione and I shall get to that matter in the next chapter.
Henry’s aim and reason for laying bare the grave’s location in DA and also perhaps passing this information to the King was so that, like Joseph’s tomb, it would be found in the future. Henry had procured and moved enough relics in his time as bishop and abbot of Glastonbury, to be sure that after his death the grave site would be re-found…. 40 years after William had supposedly mentioned it casually in DA. Once this set of circumstances is understood, it allows an earlier date for the composition of Perlesvaus than that previously thought.
We are no longer bound by contrived chronologies which the scholastic community has deduced, such as…. there is no mention of Avalon in DA427 until after Arthur’s disinterment. It now becomes feasible in the time line to account Blihos Bliheris, or Master Blehis as the provider of the information for Chrétien…. which had hitherto been discounted due to the colophon in the Perlesvaus which refers to Arthur and Guinevere’s grave at Glastonbury/Avalon. Scholarship, adhering to the assumed a priori that DA did not have this information inserted into it until after the unearthing of Arthur’s grave, has seriously the rational of several theories about the date of Glastonbury’s transformation to Avalon.
427Chapter 31. I Passover Arthur, famous King of the Britons buried with his wife in the monks cemetery between the two pyramids.
The deduction of scholars is held erroneously, assuming DA was first published c.1134 and then determining no interpolations concerning Avalon were made until after Arthur’s bogus exhumation. This in effect leaves a gap of sixty years. If we can accept the fact that Henry Blois interpolated DA, and he died 1171…. as well as accepting that he had pointed out the place of Arthur’s grave-site; it would mean that from the time Avalon became synonymous with Glastonbury (and became understood as such) until the disinterment in 1191, the gap would be 20-30 years since Arthur’s and Guinevere’s ‘relics’ were interred in the grave yard undisturbed (assuming the grave was manufactured post 1158). We should not forget that it is ‘Geoffrey’ who indicates Arthur’s association with Insula Pomorum c.1155-58 in the Vita Merlini
Rather than the commonly accepted principle upon which scholars reckon the unearthing took place, (funding for the abbey’s reconstruction), we should think of it differently. Arthur’s grave-site was known locally before the fire. We should not think of any reason for exhuming him as the Glastonbury graveyard and church was packed with saints anyway. One must not forget Henry’s propaganda concerning Arthur’s grave had only recently been manufactured and was part of the fledgling Lore of the previous generation. But, after the fire, as the new building arose, it was a consideration, as Gerald relates…. to have Arthur’s body put in the new Church on more sacred ground.
We therefore now have a gap of less than ten years from the Glastonbury fire and a good reason in terms of alms collections, for making Arthur a feature of the new Church. So, to assume Henry de Sully is the instigator of the fraud is unfounded. Especially as the fabricator of the cross must be Henry. In essence, the ‘Leaden cross’ confirms Henry’s Avalon found in HRB was now Glastonbury as his propaganda had proposed in DA.
We already have witnessed this is his intention by creating Insula Pomorum in VM. We could speculate that all Henry de Sully is doing is carrying out the time-honoured ploy of reaping an increase in alms for his church by increasing the prominence of Arthur within the proposed new building.
Henry Blois finally fulfilled the trans-location of a fictional island by concurring with ‘Geoffrey’s’ assertion where Arthur was last witnessed to be. Miraculously the grave is found and confirmed to be in Avalon.
Now, the reader is aware that Melkin’s Ineswitrin has been replaced in Melkin’s prophecy with the name of Henry Blois’ Avalon…. the disinterment of Arthur in effect has diluted somewhat the problems of disinterring Joseph with the enigmatic duo fassula as Joseph lies supposedly on a bifurcated line ‘undiscovered’ near the old church. But, all are now convinced that since Arthur’s disinterment has proved Glastonbury to be Avalon by that which is stated on the leaden cross…. all may now accept that Joseph is buried there also, purely because of the substitution of Ineswitrin for Avalon on the Melkin prophecy. It is also confirmed by Henry’s propaganda which Robert de Boron relates concerning Joseph and the magical vessel, that it too is connected to the vaus d’Avaron in the west, (En la terre vers Occident, Ki est sauvage durement, En vaus d’Avaron) which could only be now construed as Glastonbury.
Carley is as much in the dark as everyone else.428 He asks the right questions: Abbadare, potens in Saphat, paganorum nobilissimus, cum centum et quatuor milibus domiicionem ibi accepit: ‘This portion of the text has been almost universally ignored or, in the case of Capgrave and Usher versions, deleted. Why, for example is Abbadare buried with 104,000? Is this a mistake for the 144,000 of Revelations 7:4? And why is the pagan nature of the cemetery stressed? There is no doubt that Glastonbury was once a pagan shrine, but what does this reference mean in this context? Finally, just who is Abbadare and where is Saphat’.
Quite simply, Abbadare is not buried with 104,000, he is buried 104 nautical miles from the sperula and he lies on a bifurcated line, the end of which coincidentally terminates on an island 104 miles from the said circle of Avebury. There are two Jews on the Island not pagans. Abbadare is Jesus and Saphat is not a place.
428Cicero. No one can speak well, unless he thoroughly understands his subject.
It is excruciating that Saphat has become a place as Carley proceeds to lead the next generation of medieval scholars astray. Carley pontificates further with a pretence of diligent authority: Concerning the context of these last two words, at least, I think I can provide some suggestions. The first important point is that Abbadare is specifically called a pagan. Secondly, the sound of his name clearly suggests an Arab source and this of course ties in with the pagan epithet. Thirdly, later in the prophecy there is a section with pagan and Arab (specifically Moslem) connotations: Jesus at 1.11 is called the ‘Prophet Jesus’. Moreover, this very unusual term to describe Jesus is used at one other point in John’s Cronica. In this passage John describes the adventures of one Rainald of Marksbury who traveling to the holy land, was captured by a certain sultan, and then was released after he obtained for the sultan some of the soil from Glastonbury cemetery. The sultan at one point asks Rainald; si haberet noticiam cuiusdam insule inter duos montes site ubi Ioseph ab Arimathia nobilis decurio quiescit qui prophetam Ihesu assumpserat de cruce.
According to John, these events occurred when Michael de Beckery was sacristan at Glastonbury Abbey, which was in the last quarter of the 13th century. That the ‘Prophet Jesus’ of the Melkin prophecy contains an echo of the Rainald adventure is in my opinion highly probable. Surely Melkin’s Abbadare is the garbled rendition of some pagan name which Rainald (or another crusader) brought back with him from the East. Moreover, the whole Rainald episode is concerned with the sanctity of the very soil of the cemetery, since the sultan released Rainald only after the latter had brought back some earth from this most sacred burial ground. The parallels with Melkin’s statements about the pagans buried at Glastonbury because of its sanctity suggest that there is a strong tradition linking the two episodes, that some eastern material has been absorbed into Glastonbury lore.429
429Carley. The Chronicle of Glastonbury abbey p. lviii
Quite simply, Melkin did not make any statements about pagans buried at Glastonbury. Melkin’s Abbadare is not a garbled rendition of Rainald or has any connection to the Rainald episode. The ‘garbled rendition’ is rather the explanation and improbable supposition of Carley’s…. rather than the inaccuracy of Melkin’s instructions.
Carley seems to think that: Abbadare is a latinized form of some name like Abu Adar (used as a personal name) or perhaps a version of the relatively common name al-Badr. Another possibility is that it is a transliteration of the name of a Sultan Baibars (al Malik Adh Dhahir) who seized Safad from the Templars in 1266- the interpretation would assume that Baibars was the Sultan to whom Rainald refers.
Again, Abbadare has nothing to do with ‘al Malik Adh Dhahir’ or Safad or ‘Abu Adar’…. or the blind leading the blind with a pretence of scholarship!!. The island is in England and the person in the tomb as far as the prophecy is concerned is Joseph of Arimathea….. quod erat demonstrandum
Now, even if you were to understand only that Joseph has ‘something’ with him in the grave, we might just take a cautious guess and come up with Jesus …. considering it is only in association with Jesus we know anything of Joseph.
Because Jesus is referred to as a prophet (which he was) why should Carley’s convoluted suggestion have any merit…. just because Jesus is referred to as a prophet. Jesus refers to himself as a prophet in Mathew 13.57 and Mark 6.4 when some took offence at him: Then Jesus told them, ‘A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family’…. In Mathew 21.11 do not the crowds say: ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galiee.’
Safad, Baibars, ‘al Malik Adh Dhahir’, ‘Abu Adar’ is pure piffle dressed up as ‘learnèd’ deduction by Carley. Carley goes on to say:
the Arab connections are a means of providing a very probable identity for the place rendered as Saphat. If the basis for this portion of the prophecy is material which Rainald brought back from the Holy Land, then Saphat is almost certainly a transcription of Safad, which was a major Templar fortification in the Kingdom of Acre.
And they have the audacity to call Francis Lot mad!!!!
John of Glastonbury (and every other sane person) thought the Melkin prophecy related to Joseph of Arimathea and Avalon in England. For the likes of a dimwit like Carley to pronounce Melkin an invention whilst positing this sort of ‘horseshit’ does not commend scholarship.
Saphat is ‘judgement’ and the word refers to Jesus!!!! To think also that the prophecy is a composition of tradition, or even a composite work of more than one person as some scholars maintain…. we can dismiss as trite postulation.
It would be hellishly clever of different people, combining different material at different times, to hazard upon random figures which generates precision geometry through a line which bifurcates and terminates on an island (the subject of the prophecy) and this island turns out to be donated by a King of Devon to Glastonbury.
If the false premise that Melkin’s prophecy is an invention is maintained, it becomes easier to extrapolate nonsense regarding it. I quote the expertise of Carley at length here:
In this section of the prophecy it seems clear, therefore, that we are dealing with a tradition which was originally separate from the material about Joseph of Arimathea and the Grail. Historically, both traditions must have been formulated in their present form at approximately the same time, that is, in the second half of the 13th century. The psychological reasons for the linking are also easy to understand; both stand as traditions with occult and eastern meanings, which could easily be associated with the general context of an ancient prosthetic tradition. The possible astrological hints are the last aspect of the prophecy which I wish to discuss. Bale and Pits (following him) seem to assume that Melkin is making some sort of astrological reference in his text. Bale, for example, describes Melkin as follows: astorum peritus ac geometer, non solum arcana somniorum et cometarum eventus discutere atque planetarum dispsitiones demonstrare solebat. The first possible suggestion of an astrological meaning comes in the confusing phrase sperulis prophecie vaticinatibus decorate. Spaerula as a diminutive of sphaera, does occur in the Vulgate Bible where it seems to mean a small ball or sphere. Other specialised mediaeval meaning of this word include knob, chape of a sheath, or incense receptacle. But none of these seems to fit here. The word, moreover, occurs again later in the prophecy: superadictis sperulatis locum habitantibus tredicim. Watkin suggests in an unpublished note that in these contexts it might refer to a whorl pattern of Celtic crosses in the cemetery at the old church of Glastonbury. Alternatively he considers that it might describe some kind of clothes or headgear that could produce the idea of a spiral. But these and almost any other alternative translations do not explain why the sperulae are prophesying, and why Avalon is the place with 13 sperulatis inhabitants.430
One wonders if Watkin also had a PhD431 to come up with the spiral or ‘headgear’ idea. The piffle which has been written by those who pretend to better inform us is depressing in its pretension. The deciphering of Melkin’s cryptic prophecy has been seen and witnessed by Carley and summarily dismissed…. and we can see why: any other alternative translations do not explain why the sperulae are prophesying, and why Avalon is the place with 13 sperulatis inhabitants. Our expert Carley is a ‘distinguished research professor’ B.A. (Victoria); M.A. (Dalhousie); Ph.D. (Toronto). He expounds ‘horseshit’ on the subject of Melkin
430Carley. The Chronicle of Glastonbury abbey p.lix.
431Aelred Watkin achieved a Double First in History and was a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
So, let us defer once again to the authority on the subject of Melkin and Prof Carley’s supposedly expert analysis of the Melkin prophecy:
Sphaera is itself the word normally used to describe a heavenly body. In this context the diminutive spherula might well be used to describe a small representation of a planet or constellation. Certainly this interpretation would explain why the sperulae in this text could be endowed with a prophetic function. This suggestion would also help to explain why there were 13 ‘sphered’ habitantibus. The number quickly brings to mind astrological associations and the hypothesis that these 13 are the signs of the Zodiac with some planet, perhaps the sun at their centre seems very feasible’.
Again, Feasible to whom? This is astounding piffle, but it continues unabated:
It is also important to note just what locus is being discussed in connection with the 13 sphered things. From my earlier discussion of Joseph’s burial site and from the mention of cratibus preparatis, I think it becomes clear that the reference is to the original wattle church which was destroyed by fire in 1184. This suggests that the prophecy contains at least one remnant of a much earlier tradition. Moreover, the reference to the wattle church recalls a very peculiar statement which William of Malmesbury made about the floor of the old church: Moreover in the pavement may be remarked on every side stones designedly interlaid in triangles and squares, and figured with lead, under which if I believe some sacred enigma to be contained, I do no injustice to religion.
There are no ‘13 sphered things’ and it is Henry Blois (as we shall see in the chapters on GR and DA) who attempts to find a connection between ‘wattle’ and the old church, which, we know was in wood when William of Malmesbury wrote DA. Now, why would the interpolator of GR3 and DA have us believe there is a connection to ‘wattle’ with the church? Do you think that it is because the prophecy is extant in the interpolator’s day and it is the same interpolator who would have us believe Glastonbury is synonymous with Avalon?
It beggars belief that Lagorio and Carley both focus on the ‘drought’ or lack of water either in Britain or at Glastonbury and do not understand the intended spiritual meaning behind the turn of events immediately following the future discovery of the tomb of Joseph and Jesus. The same metaphoric language pervades biblical prophecy, which, to a certain extent, Melkin was mirroring.
After explaining that ros celi has something to do with the Rosicrucians, Carley then goes on to conclude:
‘at this time I am unable to formulate any kind of exposition of the meaning of the climatic promise of the prophecy, but I do contend that these esoteric parallels exist, that the key to the prophecy is astrological, and that it is somehow linked with the occult symbols which William saw on the old church floor’. Piffle again!! The key to the prophecy is geometrical.
So, let me state for the record, the prophecy has nothing to do with William of Malmesbury’s observations. The prophecy has no astrological or Eastern connection (except for Joseph and Jesus hailing from that side of the globe). The ‘Climatic promise’ however is a certainty. It is the purport of the Melkin prophecy.
The tomb has to be opened first and this is hardly likely to happen if so called experts like Carley deny the existence of Melkin and the set of instructions plainly evident in his prophecy. The opening of the tomb on Burgh Island will bring about the ‘Climatic promise’; but don’t expect rain!!! Religion is the new ‘race’ and we are defined by it. Contemplate the discovery of a body which a third of the globe previously thought had disappeared to heaven and then ask why the pope killed the Templars in one day.
In the Downside Review, Carley pretends to elucidate further, but exposes that he has little understanding of the prophecy. He expounds in an exposé called Melkin the Bard and esoteric tradition at Glastonbury Abbey from which we can observe his rather uncertain standpoint as to whether Melkin existed. We can also witness his views as to ‘precisely what sources and traditions stand behind the few extant lines supposedly written by this vates and Bard’….
Carley proposes that: ‘Glastonbury Abbey, it transpired, had its own Welsh bard, whose greatness rivalled Merlin’s and who pre-dated Merlin by a number of years’. The idiocy of this statement is apparent in that Henry Blois’ or rather ‘Geoffrey’s’ Merlin was partly based on Melkin or a Welsh Myrrdin. Geoffrey’s Merlin and his prophecies are a construct of Henry Blois and may have been inspired by coming across the works of Melkin at Glastonbury.
How can a fictitious character make up fictitious prophecies mostly based around the Anarchy and following a numerical leonine line from Henry’s grandfather in a book full of fabrications known to be a pseudo-history…. be called into relation with a historical person who has encrypted geometry into what looks like a prophecy; a prophecy which points out to posterity where Joseph of Arimathea’s relics are deposited. Does Carley think Merlin the prophet actually lived if he refers to a time in which Melkin might have pre-dated him?
Carley then goes on to say: ‘no modern scholar, it seems to me, can seriously maintain that this discovery was altogether legitimate, that there really was an ancient bard called Melkin in whose writings were stored at Glastonbury’. It is here that the mud has to stick. No serious scholar could maintain otherwise. There was an ancient bard. It is not as mad as some of the previous statements to posit that Melkin may well have been the donator of Ineswitrin to Glastonbury by the 601 charter… as the Devonian King. It seems our expert would rather give Merlin more credence than Melkin whose geometry is irrefutable!!!!
Referring to John of Glastonbury’s Cronica, Carley makes the observation that: ‘John does not claim to have rediscovered Melkin; in fact, he seems to assume that his readers will have knowledge of this figure and that they can consult the older text from which he is ostensibly quoting’.
Henry’s version of DA was followed by Adam of Damerham’s Historia de Rebus gestis Glastoniensibus. John’s Cronica followed Adam’s to recount and consolidate the propaganda started by Henry in DA. William’s DA was impregnated and interpolated before Henry’ Blois’ death, even though Melkin is not mentioned in it. Let us also remember that Glastonbury is not mentioned in HRB and is the oldest church in England. Carley is right in that Henry Blois did write other corroborating material from which JG is consolidating. Otherwise we could not have Arviragus from HRB attached to Glastonbury lore. I will deal with Arviragus under the chapter on DA.
If a reader believed the content of HRB…. is he to assume Glastonbury did not exist? To excuse this omission, positing Glastonbury was known as Avalon is ludicrous…. because Avalon did not exist before Henry. If Melkin and the prophecy were mentioned in DA most contemporaries would have connected Robert de Boron and Chrétien’s work to Henry Blois considering Arthur was going to be unearthed at some stage (in Avalon) and the vaus d’Avaron becomes the place where Joseph is supposedly buried also.
At Henry’s death, Avalon was at Glastonbury according to his own already published propaganda; the holy blood which is mentioned in Melkin’s prophecy was the sang réal, Joseph was connected to Avalon etc. etc.
If Henry’s aim was to secret his authorship (which he has certainly done for over a thousand years), the inclusion of the Melkin prophecy in a book dedicated to him by William of Malmesbury would lay bare the rest of his fraud. In Henry’s lifetime, two separate continental authors concur that Joseph did bring something to England and the only tract which associates Joseph directly with Glastonbury and the Grail is Perlesvaus…. yet Robert associates Avalon with Joseph and the Grail…. and Chretien associated Arthur with the Grail.
Since Henry is the instigator of the Grail stories, the inspiration for which was derived from the works of Melkin at Glastonbury, it is hardly likely (since William does not mention Melkin elsewhere) that Henry is likely to implicate himself in the interpolative fraud by introducing into DA the material which inspired his mythical Island into HRB or the duo fassula upon which the Grail was based; because his name is associated with that book as dedicatee. I would stress that DA and its interpolated updates may not have been in the public domain until Henry’s manuscripts were given to Glastonbury after his death. How much of the propaganda concerning Joseph and his connection to Glastonbury found in the interpolated DA was understood by the outside world is an unknown in terms of proliferation.
John of Glastonbury’s attitude toward Melkin (as Carley correctly points out), negates the proposition that John is the forger of the prophecy. Adam of Damerham does not mention Melkin. Why Should he? If Carley cannot make head nor tail of Melkin’s prophecy why would Adam be any the wiser. He ignores it too!!! Adam merely picks up in his journal where DA finishes.
Henry either got rid of any works of Melkin, so the source of his edifice would never be discovered…. or possibly Melkin’s works were destroyed in the fire.432 Luckily a copy of the prophecy survived, but we know by the island’s change of name…. the prophecy has been doctored by Henry. So, one must conclude that some of the works ascribed to Melkin (especially De Arthurii mensa rotunda,) have a Henry Blois provenance. This is where JG is getting his extraneous connections not incorporated in DA.
432Adam of Damerham relates that many books were destroyed by the fire.
In consideration of all we have covered so far, it would be ignorant to assume this next interpolation found in DA was written by any other than Henry Blois. Otherwise Adam and John would never have believed they were at Avalon and the VM’s Insula Pomorum would have no relevance to Glastonbury:
This island was at first called Yniswitrin by the Britons but at length was named by the English, who had brought the land under their yoke, Glastinbiry, either a translation into their language of its previous name, or after Glasteing of whom we spoke above. It is also frequently called the isle of Avalon, a name of which this is the origin. It was mentioned above that Glasteing found his sow under an apple tree near the church. Because he discovered on his arrival that apples were very rare in that region he named the island Avallonie in his own language, that is ‘Apple island’, for avalla in British is the same as poma in Latin. Or it was named after a certain Avalloc who is said to have lived there with his daughters because of the solitude of the spot.433
433John Scott. DA. Ch. 5
Modern scholars have, for the most part, dismissed John’s quotation of Melkin’s prophecy as a forgery, and the general assumption has been that John of Glastonbury was responsible for the fraud.
Carley goes on to say: ‘An examination of later medieval and renaissance citations of Melkin, however, suggests that this dismissal of Melkin represents a very modern attitude’. Carley and Lagorio’s dismissal of Melkin, being the main proponents…. are the ‘modern attitude’. However, their views are based on redundant misconceptions.
Modern scholarship has effectively delivered a character assassination upon Melkin, purely because they have no understanding of the prophecy. Yet, ‘up to the mid- eighteenth century, every major compilation of British writers included a section on Melkin and his work’.
Without Melkin and Henry Blois, there would be a pitiful legend at Glastonbury. Carley confirms that he has no understanding of the prophecy he is purporting to elucidate upon: ‘Since it is written as a prophecy, it is not surprising that the meaning is somewhat obscure; what is confusing is just how garbled the actual syntax is, and how altogether incomprehensible the allusions are’. Carley would be less bemused if he understood that the island which is referred to in the charter referenced at the beginning of William of Malmesbury’s unadulterated DA against all probability is also pointed to geometrically as the island of the Melkin prophecy. He is just too dim to recognise this fact.
Carley then states: Once again, the hypothesis that it is a late forgery, consciously written as such, does not by any means seem as obvious as scholars have suggested’.
For all Carley’s dubious hypotheses; The prophecy of Melkin is not a forgery but is a document encrypted to lead posterity to the Grave of Joseph of Arimathea on Burgh island. Carley tells us he will analyse both the text and allusions to Melkin by saying:
‘what I hope to establish is both the considerable antiquity of portions of the prophecy and that the existing fragment is only one item in a larger corpus of works ascribed to Melkin’.
The Prophecy as a whole (not portions of it) is from antiquity. The only part definitively more recently forged is the subject location Insula Avallonis which was substituted for ‘Ines Witrin’. In fact, the events the prophecy refers to transpired c.35AD. If Joseph was Jesus’ father (or uncle)…. Jesus was buried after the crucifixion on Joseph’s ‘tin island’ and was later interred there himself along-side Jesus. The nearest we can get to the antiquity of the prophecy is in connection to the charter which is dated to 601AD which refers to the same Island.
Carley then goes on to give his interpretation of the prophecy in translation:
In the translation which follows however, I have tried to remain as safe as possible to the text itself since my purpose is one of elucidating meaning rather than enhancing poetic value: The Isle of Avalon, greedy in the burial of Pagans, above others in the world, decorated at the burial place of all of them with vaticinatory little spheres of prophecy, and in future it will be adorned with those who praise the most high. Abbadare, powerful in Saphat, most noble of pagans, took his sleep there with 104,000. Amongst them Joseph de Marmore, named ‘of Arimathea’, took everlasting sleep. And he lies on a forked line close to the southern corner of the chapel with prepared wattle above the powerful venerable maiden, the 13 aforesaid sphered things occupying the place. For Joseph has with him in the tomb to white and silver vessels filled with the blood and sweat of the prophet Jesus. When his tomb is found, it will be seen whole and undefiled in the future, and will be open to all the earth. From then on, neither water nor heavenly dew will be able to be lacking with those who inhabit the most noble island. For a long time before the day of judgement in Josaphat will these things the open and declare to the living. Thus far Melkin.
After much uncertainty on most issues in the prophecy, Carley excuses his untenable rationalisations with the following conclusions:
‘There is a disease which attacks most scholars who deal with the history of Glastonbury Abbey, a kind of galloping gullibility. This essay is not, I hope a manifestation of early symptoms of this malady’. Carley’s are less like early symptoms of a malady but rather a mortal sickness.
Carley then goes on to make his position less clear than positions explained previously:
’I am not suggesting that the Grail has links with the Templars and Glastonbury (through Safad and the Red Cross Knight), nor that this symbol is the key for resolving the secrets of the universe, nor that this esoterica Abbadare came from the East to be buried at Glastonbury, nor even that this esoteric alchemical exercise has any intrinsic metaphysical meaning. What I do suggest however is that Melkin’s prophecy is an example of a highly esoteric text laced with occult information, and that it contains hints of a consciously coded secret which by the time of John of Glastonbury had become altogether garbled. Equally important, this paper suggests that the prophecy quoted by John is only one item in a large corpus of works attributed to Melkin, although it is difficult to determine either the number (from 1 to 3 according to various accounts) or the exact age of the material. I think that what Leland has to say about Melkin and his works must be taken as somewhat accurate’.
One wonders why, if the prophecy is ‘esoteric text laced with occult information’, and that it contains hints of a consciously coded secret, the solution to the code is still ignored by Carley. Carley himself admits he is at a loss to what it all means.
This is the state of modern medieval scholarship where one is bent on preserving reputation rather than uncovering the truth. Until scholarship catches up with Henry’s clever façade involving the authorship of HRB and medievalists realise the two people first known to propagate both Arthurian, Josephian and Grail related material i.e. Robert de Boron and Chrétien de Troyes (both also supposedly come from the Blois region and speak of things directly related to Glastonburyana), there will be no discovery on Burgh Island.
The final summation of Carley states: When scholars determined that Joseph of Arimathea was almost certainly created as the Glastonbury Saint through the transmutation of the French Grail legends, then it seemed equally clear that Melkin’s prophecy was forgery. This condition must in general terms still be accepted, since the prophecy in the form it now stands certainly cannot predate the 13th century. But what my study shows is that the prophecy is at least as complex as the earlier excavation (Arthur’s), that it cannot be dismissed as the fabrication of a single author with a clear purpose of deception. It must, in fact, date from several periods and include material from a number of traditions. Melkin, too is no doubt a fabricated rather than historic personality, but this creation seems to involve complicated transmutations of older documents rather than conscious forgery.
If Melkin is not a historic personality, who is it that has devised the riddle which so accurately locates an island in Devon 104 miles from the sphaerula at Avebury. How is it that an Island even exists on the opposite end of the same 104 mile line which just happened to bifurcate the only known line on the landscape at 13 degrees within the circle or Sphaerula indicated in the prophecy? If a professor admits that the Melkin prophecy has a ‘consciously coded secret’ why would he resist the secret unveiled in the geometry revealed. Quite simply because everything he has written on the subject of Melkin and the propositions he has put forward concerning the ‘Matter of Britain’ will be exposed for what they are ….’horseshit’
There is an extraordinary coincidence, that the line falls (at its extension of 104 miles) on an Island in Devon….(donated by the King of Devon as Malesbury attests) especially when our expert has advised us that the Prophecy must, in fact, date from several periods and include material from a number of traditions. That random material translates onto a map which indicates an Island truly is a ‘fortuitous convergence of factors’!!!!!
That someone in the past has decoded such a set of geometrical instructions that identify an island from a set of obtuse words that date from several periods and include material from a number of traditions is in itself amazing even though it is a ‘consciously coded secret’. Especially, now the people who would concur that these were geometrical instructions i.e. the Templars, have built a whole set of aligned St Michael churches on all the spots demarcating the lines so that posterity did not lose this information again.
If one follows the supposition that French Grail Literature is the cause of Joseph lore at Glastonbury, one will never understand how Henry Blois built his literary edifice known as the Matter of Britain. There are so many contradictory opinions in Carley’s output, it would have been more helpful to remain silent than pontificate with a pretence to authority.434
434Carley. The Chronicle of Glastonbury abbey P. l, li. The Grail itself might be heterodox and not an actual relic but the events describing it (and especially the Arthurian connection) could all be interpreted as historical fact. Given both the existence of this French material and the lacuna in Glastonbury tradition, it became practically inevitable that Joseph’s name would be assimilated. In fact, from Glastonbury’s perspective, the French tradition would have appeared almost inspired; it provided the missing clue to Glastonbury history.
Now, I wonder whose ‘inspiration’ might have influenced the French tradition. Could it be Master Blehis or even Blihos-Bliheris. Is there a clue anywhere? To posit that the Arthurian connection could in any way be connected to Joseph (as possible historical fact) is silly…. and an anachronism too far. Just imagine the inevitability of it all; the fortuitous convergence of factors which assimilates Joseph at Glastonbury!!!
William of Worcester who measured and described the abbey church c.1478 at Glastonbury has understood that ‘in linea bifurcata’ is meant as part of a geometrical and measurable instruction: Et ex opposite secunde fenestre ex parte meridionali sunt in cimeterio duo cruces lapidee concuate vbi ossa Arthuri regis recondebant vbi in linea bifurcate iacet Josephus ab Arimathea….‘and opposite the second window (of the lady chapel) on the south side there are in the cemetery two stone crosses hallowed, where the bones of King Arthur were buried, where ‘in line bifurcata’ lies Joseph of Arimathea’.
The ‘bifurcated line’ presented problems and early propaganda at Glastonbury trying to find parallel meaning in the confines of the abbey, concentrated on the construction of the Old church to affect a compliant match to the Melkin prophecy. This can also be witnessed by the Perlesvaus version that emanated from Henry Blois where the ‘Old Church’ is made to coincide with the Grail chapel also with lead roof. These versions have the Grail chapel covered with lead as it was in Henry’s day.
In the Perlesvaus there is a: chapel nouvelemant faite, qui mout estoit bele e riche; si estoit covert de plon… It would not make sense to maintain that the Perlesvaus is composed by a continental scribe, long after Henry’s death with the occurrence of the 1184 fire at Glastonbury which burnt the church covered in lead.
Are we supposed to believe the author of Perlesvaus is linking his story to Glastonbury by a church which has burnt down? This is where Carley’s and Lagorio’s thesis breaks down. If the Grail legends are composed after Arthur’s disinterment c.1189-91 why are the composers writing about a burnt down Grail chapel.
To any rational person the composer of Perlesvaus is referring to a chapel ‘covered in lead’ still standing. Big question is how do Grail stories from the continent written after the disinterment supposedly lead to Glastonbury lore about a chapel still standing (burnt in 1184) which is evident in Perlesvaus, especially when Arthur and Guinevere are still buried in Avalon as is evident from the colophon in Perlesvaus.
We know the author is fully acquainted with Avalon and Joseph. We know that the author of Perlesvaus is acquainted with the fact that Guinevere and Arthur are buried in Avalon…. and we know the story emanates from Master Blehis and a certain Blihos Bleheris ‘who knew the whole story’. Let us take an intuitive guess who the author was and why he was referencing a still existing old church (before the fire) and knows of Arthur’s burial location before the disinterment in 1191.
By reversing the mistaken assumptions of scholars which dictate that all things Arthurian in DA post-date the discovery of Arthur’s grave, we now can realise Henry was the interpolator of DA who indicated Arthur was buried in the ground at Glastonbury. Therefore, mention of Guinevere and Arthur in the tomb together, (made plain in the colophon of Perlesvaus), no longer determines (as scholars have previously thought) that the Perlesvaus must have been written after Arthur’s disinterment; because Henry (the writer of the colophon) knew what he had placed in the manufactured gravesite. What this allows then is that Master Blehis is now contemporary with Henry Blois just as Gerald makes plain in reference to ‘Bledhericus’ the ‘famosus ille fabulator’ and says he lived ‘a little before our time’.
This then allows the person attested to have propagated Grail legend who has a name like Monseigneur Blois, Master Blehis, Maistre Blohis, Blihos Bliheris or Blaise to possibly be Henry Blois who just happens to be the uncle of three known Grail legend propagators. Giraldus Cambrensis’ Latinised version of the name ‘Bledhericus’ is the ‘famosus ille fabulator’ who had lived “shortly before our time” i.e. in the period 1160-1170; not to mention the Bliocadran!!! Why is Henry Blois dismissed as the author of the Matter of Britain. It starts with HRB incorporates Glastonbury lore and ends with his Nephews and their wives. Any Medievalist scholar would expend more effort denying the glaring connections than just accepting the coincidences as a truth.
We have come across ‘Hericus’ before but not with the ‘BL’ prefix like all the others from whom Grail legend emanates. We know that Henry is the Hedgehog in the Merlin Prophecies with the pun on ‘Hericus’ instead of Henricus and we know he rebuilt the city of Winchester.
Of Winchester: all will fall down
And the earth will swallow you up
The pastoral see there will be razed.
As we have noted before, The Hedgehog is Henry’s own reference to himself:
A hedgehog which will be loaded with apples will rebuild her.
In the Melkin prophecy, the bifurcated line was important. Somehow, if the prophecy was to be relevant to Glastonbury, the featured ‘line’ in the prophecy should be presented as being directional in relation to the positioning of the ‘old church’ or oratori which Henry Blois had linked to Joseph in DA. This was the only object by which the ‘bifurcated line’ could seem relevant…. as even the later Glastonbury acolytes (unlike modern scholars) understood ‘the line’ as being instructional and directional toward the place where Joseph was buried in their propaganda.
The logic was that Joseph, having founded the church (through Henry’s propaganda), must have been buried in it before it was burnt. The simplest solution was to concoct a sense of directional relevance from the oratori and the problem was overcome.
We can conclude therefore, unlike the allusions to wattle in the prophecy, which substantiated that the church was the same intended place as that to which the prophecy referred….the bifurcated line would have been more difficult to incorporate as part of Glastonbury lore until long after the fire since the church was no longer visible and hence the manufacture of bronze plaque
Henry makes it appear that the allusion to wattle was written by Malmesbury in both GR3 and DA. At this time, there is no mention of the ‘bifurcated line’ in Henry’s propaganda. Not even Henry could simulate any relevance to the church with a bifurcated line along with two random numbers. This was left to a later generation of monk-craft (after the fire) who implied the bifurcated line had relevance to the burnt down church. They, however, chose to leave out the numerical information from the Melkin prophecy because they, like Carley, had no idea to what the numbers referred.
Thereafter, the implication was that the bifurcated line had relevance to the church and pretended to point to its location. This cannot logically stand the test of scrutiny as the reader is now cognisant that the prophecy predated the fire (as Henry’s muses had used it as a template). So, why the bifurcated line would be referencing the church or any point in it where Joseph might be buried makes no sense. Surely it would have been obvious before the fire if Joseph had ever been buried at Glastonbury.
The bronze plaque is later propaganda which does show the credibility and weight which was given to the prophecy in trying to mimic aspects of the Melkin prophecy’s geometric data. What it does show is that not even Henry could work out what the bifurcated line alluded to.
The bronze plaque which provides fictional relevance to Melkin’s prophecy.
The 31st year after the passion of the Lord twelve saints among whom Joseph of Arimathea was the first, came here. They built in this place that church, the first in the realm, which Christ in honour of his mother, and a place for their burial, presently dedicated. St David Archbishop of Menervia rested here. To whom the Lord when he was disposed to dedicate that church appeared in sleep and recalled him from his purpose, also in token that the same Lord had first dedicated that church with the cemetery: he pierced the bishops hand with his finger, and that pierced it appeared in the sight of many on the morrow. Afterwards indeed the same Bishop as the Lord revealed, and the number of saints in the same grew, added a chancel to the eastern part of this church and consecrated it in honour of the Blessed virgin. The altar whereof, of priceless sapphire, he marked the perpetual memory of these things. ‘and lest the site or size of the earliest church should come to be forgotten by reason of such additions, this pillar is erected on a line extended southward through the two Eastern Angles of the same church, and cutting off from it the chancel of the aforesaid. And its length was sixty feet westward from that line; its width twenty six feet; the distance of the centre of this pillar from the middle point between the said angles, forty eight feet’.
The writer of the late liturgical piece prefixed by Hearne to John of Glastonbury’s Cronica continues Glastonbury’s propaganda about the ‘bifurcated line’. Melkin’s original 104 miles becomes the rationalised 144 thousand saints. After relating information about the line from the pillar (with the bronze plate affixed) outside on the North through the point up to which the eastern end of the old church originally came, the writer states: ‘near this line, according to certain ancient writers lies St. Joseph with a great multitude of Saints’.
Father Good states: This cross, moreover, had been set up many years before to mark the length of the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin, made by Saint Joseph with wattle. The length was measured by a straight line from the centre of the cross to the side of the chancel afterwards built of hewn stone, under which also there was of old, in a subterranean crypt the Chapel of St Joseph. Outside, in the wall of this Chapel of the blessed virgin…
To the North of the Lady Chapel stood a column (Father Good relating that it was a Cross) upon which a bronze plate was attached. It was close to the site where the pyramids used to be, the column foundations being uncovered in 1921. The function of the bronze plaque affixed to the column was propaganda but not Henry’s. However, it confirms my point that the monks were complying with the Melkin prophecy not that they invented the document. The Monks are witnessed attempting to produce a satisfactory relevance for the bifurcated line and hence the ‘cutting off’ allusion which gives the appearance that it complies with some sort of understanding of the word ‘bifurcate’. The bronze plate related the vision of St. David, so that positioning of the Chapel added by him, gave pertinence to Melkin’s bifurcated line:
‘and lest the site or size of the earliest church should come to be forgotten by reason of such additions, this pillar is erected on a line extended southward through the two Eastern Angles of the same church, and cutting off from it the chancel of the aforesaid. And its length was sixty feet westward from that line; its width twenty six feet; the distance of the centre of this pillar from the middle point between the said angles, forty eight feet’.
As we can see from the above there is a direct attempt to make the bifurcated line relevant. In logic, from the description above, the bifurcated line is only made relevant by its associations with the new additions. And therefore, if one were to believe the wholly concocted pretention of geometrical nonsense, one would have to believe the prophecy is a late invention.
However, even though the monks perfectly understood the bifurcated line had relevance to instructional data (which supposedly pointed out Joseph’s burial site); modern scholars, who insist the prophecy is fake, now determine the linea bifurcata relates to a linen cloth. One wonders therefore why they should bother seeking any explanation for what they think is a fraud and deny the medieval monks their interpretation of the bifurcated line as geometrically relevant.
The existence of the column still standing with the bronze plate in place can be traced back to the second quarter of the 17th century. It relates the story of the arrival of Joseph of Arimathea, the dedication of the original church by our Lord in person, and how the church was built to honour his Virgin mother all Henry’s creation in the first 34 chapters of DA.
The bronze plaque seems to have carried out its intended function as a propaganda instrument showing by measurement the location of the old church. J. Blome on 10th June 1345, having obtained his royal permit, set out to search for Joseph’s tomb within the Glastonbury grounds. One of the reasons given for the search was ‘because it is said in certain ancient writings that the body was there buried’ a reference to Melkin’s Prophecy: in quibusdam Antiquis Scripturis dictur continere Corpus eius ibidem fuisse Sepultrum.
For all Carley’s pronouncements on Melkin the following is astounding:
Whether or not John actually fabricated the prophecy- to which there is no reference in GC for example- is not relevant here.435
435Carley. The chronicle of Glastonbury abbey. Xxvii.
Who wrote the prophecy is the most consequential fact of all Glastonbury lore. It is highly relevant to establishing its veracity. If John flourished supposedly c.1400 where he says he stops his history in the prologue or the earliest date for John’s Cronica could be 1375 (since it refers to John Chinnock as postea abbas); or even if we take the date when the Cronica actually finishes which is 1342…. how is it that J. Blome is searching the grounds in 1345 on information obviously supplied by Melkin’s prophecy…. when Carley is the main proponent in accusing John of fabricating the prophecy which Bloom says was ancient.
If we assume the Cronica was started in 1340 and finished in 1342 it is still astounding Blome gets a royal writ on the grounds of a prophecy so newly invented. How is it that Blome has a Royal writ to search; especially if Melkin or his prophecy were supposed to be newly fabricated? Are we to believe the royal writ was granted on grounds of evidence supplied in Grail literature?
As I have stated, this transpired before the reliable Leland, (not prone to exaggeration or invention), saw the original text (of Henry’s with the name Avalon) of the Melkin prophecy and described it as an Exemplarium Vetustatis.436 So, what Carley deems as not relevant becomes highly relevant in that; through Henry’s interpolations in DA in chapters one and two and the existing knowledge of Melkin’s prophecy, a search is carried out for Joseph’s remains before John ‘flourished’.
436It is worth noting here just how the scholastic world feeds from one generation to the next expanding on erroneous theories which in the end make little sense. It is plain Watkin has no more idea about the early provenance of Melkin’s prophecy than Carley: Leland saw the original text of this prophecy and described it as an exemplarium vetustatis and it is certainly couched in a style that is antique, obscure and ungrammatical. Its general sense, however, is clear:
Avalon has always been known as the burial place of pagans. Buried there is Abbadare powerful in saphat, who sleeps there with 104,000 among whom was Joseph from across the sea who lies in Linea bifurcate against the south corner of the wattle church built by the thirteen inhabitants of the place. Joseph has with him in his coffin two silver cruets filled with the blood and sweat of the prophet Jesus.
The whole of this is couched in terms which defy exact translation and any interpretation of it abounds with difficulty of every kind. Dr Margret Murray has made an ingenious plea for its Coptic origin; others hold that it stems from Arabian astro-mythology, which Armitage Robinson seems to imply that it was a fourteenth-century forger. Certainly, it could be of Oriental origin and ancient in date. It could be ancient but have been interpolated by the hand of a fourteenth-century discoverer- perhaps John Bloom who in 1345 secured permission to search for the body of St Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury. It is either of great or of almost no, significance…. P 90. Arthurian Literature XV edited by James P. Carley, Felicity Riddy.
I have to state that: The prophecy of Melkin is of great significance and does NOT ‘defy exact translation’ and it IS ancient in date. It would be equally helpful if our scholars in their ‘ingenious pleas’ had suggested Pinocchio wrote it.
Carley further states: Blome’s writ therefore, represents the first witness to an awareness of Melkin outside Glastonbury. I can only stress that Henry Blois’ search at Montacute was for Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb and the only reason he is conducting a search at Montacute (evidenced by the production of De Inventione) is because Melkin has connected Joseph’s burial place to Montacute. Montacute sits on the line we are led to construct in the Melkin Prophecy. The 104-mile line measured in nautical miles is the solution of the Melkin prophecy once deciphered and when constructed on a map, it defines which Island the relics of Joseph are on i.e one end of the line terminates on Ineswitrin. In Henry Blois’ era and by conducting a search at Montacute for Joseph’s tomb there must have been some connection left by Melkin which associated Montacute and Joseph’s tomb other than the information provided in the Melkin prophecy itself which obviously produces a line running through Montacute.
Only Melkin could know the line passes through Montacute and thus we have the resultant of this search for Joseph at Montacute by Henry Blois which was unsuccessful because somewhere else in Melkin’s work that was discovered at Glastonbury was a pointer or tip to constructing the 104 -line; it was not the burial spot of Joseph’s tomb. After Henry had wasted time on a wild goose chase and no doubt much resources, he cut his losses by creating the fabricated De Inventione manuscript long before Bloom’s search. I will cover the Monacute search and the production of De Inventione shortly.
The royal writ is printed from the patent role in Rymer’s Foedera:
The King to all of whom these presents shall come, Greeting! John Blome of London has petitioned us that since (as he asserts) a divine injunction has been laid on him as concerning the venerable body of the noble decurion Joseph of Arimathea, which rests in Christ buried within the bounds of the monastery of Glastonbury, and is to be revealed in these days to the honour of God and the edification of many; to wit, that he should seek it diligently until he find it; because it is said to be contained in certain ancient writings that his body was there buried: We therefore, (if so it be) desiring to pay, devout honour to this sepulchre, and to the relics of him who performed such offices of religion and humanity to our Redeemer in His death, taking down His body from the cross and laying it in his own new sepulchre; and hoping for ourselves and all our realm a wealth of grace from the revelation aforesaid; have conceded and licence given, so far as rests with us, to the said John that he should have power to dig within the precinct of the said monastery and seek for those precious relics according to the injunction and the revelation made to him in the places where he shall see it to be most suitable: provided, however, that this can be done without hurt to our beloved leader in Christ the Abbot and convent of the said monastery and without destruction of their church and houses there; and that for this purpose he have the license and assent of the Abbot and convent themselves…..In testimony whereof and witness the King at Westminster on the 10th day of June. By the King himself.
Evidently, the search was instigated by the will of John Bloom himself (rather than divine injunction) as no grave containing Joseph was found. As I have stated before; just as Henry never mentions Glastonbury in HRB, so he never mentions Melkin or his prophecy in DA. It is also relevant that Henry introduces a certain Maeldinus (Melchinus) in a bit role in VM for no certain purpose, which suggests to readers also…. that his name is associated with Insula Pomorum and therefore Avalon (now he has substituded Avalon for Ineswitrin). We know Melkin lived c.600 AD and his works are attested by others. Leland visiting Glastonbury Abbey prior to the ‘Dissolution’ states: ‘while examining (the chests in the library) in addition to many other exemplars of remarkable antiquity, I found a fragment of Melkin’s Historia’.
Leland states that Melkin was anciently known as one of the most famous and erudite of British writers. Now if John Leland’s stated goal was ‘to make a search after England’s antiquities and peruse the libraries of all Cathedrals, Abbies, Priories, Colleges and all places wherein records, writings and secrets were reposed’; one would think he was qualified to comment on Melkin’s fame and erudition in Britain.
Leland as a guest of Abbot Whiting perused the library at Glastonbury. It is possible that Melkin wrote a Historiola de Rebus Britannicus. Leland also states that Melkin flourished before Merlin, but misinterprets Melkin by implying it was Melkin’s belief that Joseph of Arimathea was buried at Glastonbury (through Avalon). Melkin obviously knows where Joseph is buried on the island of Ineswitrin…. otherwise his cleverly constituted instructions would be meaningless. So, contrary to what Leland asserts, Melkin does not imply Joseph is at Glastonbury or Avalon. Leland has deduced this because of the change of name on the prophecy.
John Leland in his Assertio Arturii cited Melkin from which he gives information from the extract he has seen stating that he ‘celebrated the name of Gawain’ and that he ‘praised Arthur’; information which is entirely independent of Melkin’s prophecy. It indicates surely that Melkin has an Arthurian or even Grail affiliation independently of what is normally considered the natural connection through the ‘duo fassula’ and Joseph.
Logically, the only person to promote chivalric Arthur is Henry Blois author of HRB and here is our most solid proof that Henry Blois is connected to Melkin437 and therefore Henry knew of Melkin’s prophecy. The book Leland is referring to is a concoction associating Melkin and Arthur and most probably composed by Henry. The fact that the chivalric Arthur is Henry Blois’ alter-ego and we know he has used the Melkin prophecy to inspire parts of his work which constitute the Grail legend…. (with all the other evidence put forward), it should convince the most ardent sceptic that the prophecy existed in Henry Blois’ era.
The references Leland cites are flimsy and must post date Henry’s invention of the chivalric Arthur. It has been thought that Leland’s testimony might be derived from a time when his mental capacity was waning but the Assertio Arturii was written a decade before Leland’s death in 1552 according to Carley,438 (while Carley wrestles in rationalising erroneous positions taken by his mentor); so it would seem as if somehow Leland is seeing a reference to a book authored by Henry Blois under the name of Melkin.
437In Leland’s Assertio Arturii, we are told that Melkin named Glastonbury as Arthur’s burial place. We must assume then that Henry Blois who manufactured the grave site of Arthur is writing under Melkin’s name (Blome’s testimony bearing witness) and since we can conclude the round table (which turns up at Winchester) is a Blois manufactured artefact…. we may speculate his authorship of a work called De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda is also a fabricated text which was burnt in the fire to which Leland has seen references.
438Justin.E. Griffin. Glastonbury and the Grail. P.242
Robert de Boron’s magical vessel is the same as Chrétien’s Grail; both stem from Henry’s knowledge of the prophecy of Melkin which connects Joseph of Arimathea to the Grail (duo fassula) and the Isle of Avalon. Melkin’s affiliation with the Grail stories can only transpire in two ways. Either Gawain, Arthur and the Grail (and therefore Joseph) are connected through a genuine undiscovered manuscript of Melkin’s as Bale and Pits seem to suggest regarding Arthur; or Leland is referencing a lost work composed by Henry Blois impersonating Melkin, which refers to what we know to be Henry Blois’ invention i.e. the chivalric Arthur.
The most likely answer is that Henry’s Grail literature is based on the Melkin prophecy and possibly other Melkin material now lost. The reason to posit genuine material from Melkin is; how else could the geometric key or pointer of ‘Montacute’ (in connection to the Joseph tomb) be known, except it were provided by Melkin, the composer of the encrypted geometrical data itself.
From where did the information concerning Montacute come from which just so happens to be 100% relevant, which is not mentioned in the prophecy itself yet is pertinent to it; once the 104 mile line is revealed in decryption of the prophecy and as Father Good bears testimony, associates Joseph’s tomb with Montacute.
The probable solution, where all the pieces fit together, is the scenario that Melkin witnessed the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea on an island known to him at that time as Ineswitrin. Or if he was the Devonian King donating the Island as revealed in the 601 charter, the information about the tomb was handed down to him through generations of a royal line, from the earliest time of arrival of Joseph with the coffin of Jesus at the Island of Ictis (known c.600 as Ineswitrin).
It is also pertinent to remember that the clue of Joseph being ‘carefully hidden’ in Montacute later exposed by father Good was extant in the time of Henry Blois was alive; otherwise we would not have the Holy Cross of Waltham concoction in the manuscript of De Inventione.
Therefore, it seems fair to posit, Henry used Melkin’s prophecy as an inspirational source for Joseph material in the formation of Grail stories which found two early outlets in Robert De Boron’s Joseph d’Arimathie and Perlesvaus. Henry then tied in Merlin from HRB…. also witnessed by Robert de Boron. Ultimately the round table which features in Robert’s work (which was made a reality at Winchester) was originally initiated by Henry posing as Wace as early as 1156-7.
John Bale, writing in 1548, says that Melkin was a geometer as we have touched on already and an astronomer specialising in Comets. Bale describes him: astorum peritus ac geometer, non solum arcana somniorum et cometarum eventus discutere atque planetarum dispositiones demonstrare solebat….. ‘Not only skillful in astronomy and a geometrician, but discusses the secrets of dreams, the events of comets and demonstrates the disposition of the planets’.
The solution to his prophecy testifies to Melkin’s skill as a geometer. It is common knowledge that one is able to navigate by the heavenly bodies with the aid of an instrument which measures between horizon and a heavenly body. Distance over the earth’s surface can be determined between two places with the aid of careful calculation taken at each place. The dismissal of Melkin’s measurement of 104 nautical miles and the geometric precision which he employs to indicate Burgh Island at its termination point at 13 degrees to a ‘Meridianum Anglum’ i.e. the St Michael line, must now be accepted, given the talents that are attested to him.
It must be remembered that the unit of nautical miles is used so that a unit of measurement correlates to a sixtieth of a degree; this same unit having been employed by the ancients and by Pytheas’ in 350 BC. This unit of measurement is the only one Pytheas could use to determine the latitude at Marseille. Melkin’s prowess as a geometer is borne out also, if we take into account information regarding Montacute as an accurate marker.439
439In Carley’s exposé on John’s Cronica he remarks: Why the monks thought Joseph might be buried at Montacute has never been established; but there is a strong parallel with Arthur’s exhumation and the story of the finding of a miraculous cross at Montacute. P. lvii. If Carley would accept the solution to Melkin’s Prophecy (which he denies has any veracity) he might just answer his own question. Sadly, he knows nothing of celestial navigation or Melkin’s ability to define a line in nautical miles.
Carley believes Bale may have derived the astronomer and geometer attribute for Melkin from terminology in the prophecy. Carley does concede that: ‘it may indicate that he actually saw material credited to Melkin which has since disappeared’. I think the latter is more likely as no comets were alluded to in the prophecy. Bale, cites another work by Melkin which he names as De Arthurii mensa rotunda, which one would assume Leland had seen to divulge about Gawain; although Leland does not mention this title. Is this a lost invention of Henry Blois’ as it is Henry who invents the ‘Round Table’ scenario firstly through Wace?
The ‘round table’ is also in Robert’s story of Joseph and then in Robert’s Merlin, where Merlin creates the ‘round table’ in imitation of the table of the Last Supper. This version probably has its roots with Henry. The method of Dendrochronology by which the Winchester round table is dated slightly later c.1270 has no other comparative example on which to date it and so…. given a margin of error, and the expert opinions of those taking a stab in the dark; the present table at Winchester is more than likely to have been commissioned by Henry Blois even though most think it was designed in King Edward’s day.
If the round table turned up in Billericay I might have concluded differently. The man who invented the utopian ideal of the round table based on his witness of the baron’s behaviour at Stephen’s court and witnessed how they aspired to climb the pecking order in his uncle’s court (Henry I) was Henry Blois.
Henry therefore thought that much of the strife in the Anarchy took its impetus from the petty jealousies of competing courtiers and had meditated on the solution to prevent the negative force of bitterness and discontentment between the Barons. He therefore included the icon in his versified version of HRB impersonating Wace, while composing the Roman de Brut as I will cover later on in this investigation. So, we should be sceptical of the Dendrology experts’ date of fabrication. Who else would commission its build and have it delivered to Winchester? (If it was truly made in Cornwall)
We are told by Capgrave that Melkin lived just before the time of Merlin and King Arthur circa 550AD. Pits in his ‘De illustribus Britanniae scriptoribus’ circa 1620, describes Melkin as an ‘Avalonian’, and calls him a British bard, historian, and astronomer. He dates him with assurance to 560 AD, within the reign of Malgocunus (Maelgwn). These anecdotes are more probably rationalisations rather than facts but does put Melkin as a King of Devon in the right era to donate Insewitrin at 601AD as seen in the 601 charter related by William of Malmesbury. Leland however, calls Melkin’s prophecy a ‘fragment of history written by Melchinus an Avalonian’ which sounds as if Henry’s stamp is on this because Avalon is his creation.
Nowhere is Avalon heard of prior to ‘Geoffrey’s’ HRB. John Pits cites three books written by Melkin: ‘De antiquitatibus Britannicis’, ‘De gestis Britannorum’ and ‘De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’. How could all of these references be fictitious? It would seem to me that the last title was not composed by Melkin but there was possibly other Melkin material at Glastonbury but if so why did Malmesbury not see it. Henry Blois may have embellished the other works in his usual fashion written under the name of Melkin.
Henry Blois’ common authorship440 is also witnessed through a combination of written and oral transmission in the ‘Chapel ride’ scene from the Glastonbury Perlesvaus, Chrétien de Troyes and Robert de Boron, where incidental detail is found common to all three. Robert and Chrétien’s work is the means by which the Grail cycle developed, inspired by the duo fassula of Melkin and tied back in through Wace and Gaimar into the earlier HRB. But what is most fascinating is that Henry must have entertained not only Marie and Alix, the Count of Poitou, and Philip whilst incognito, posing as the elusive Master Blihis or produced a Manuscript which was read at court said to have emanated from the various names.i.e. Master Blehis, etc It is Henry or his employee who stands in the court incognito as a troubadour or reader of the manuscript composed by Henry and spreads his Arthurian legacy through affiliations to the Grail.
440Carley. The Chronicle of Glastonbury abbey p.lx. It is an odd irony that Carley who waxes lyrical never connects the dots of common authorship between HRB’S Brutus and the Grail’s Joseph: Like a new Brutus, Joseph appealed to a deep seated national pride and has remained a part of the myth of English greatness.
Joseph of Arimathea, through Henry Blois’s interpolations in DA and through the name change of the Island on which he is said to be buried in the Melkin prophecy, became attached to Glastonbury lore. It is entirely logical that Ineswitrin was substituted for Avallonis on Melkin’s prophecy by Henry Blois, simply because there is no real geographical ‘Avallon’ except in Burgundy.
It is theorised by modern scholars that Avalon’s association with Glastonbury has only occurred since the discovery of Arthur in 1190-91. This position is hardly tenable considering Insula Pomorum’s association with Glastonbury c.1156-7 in the VM. Through spurious lore planted in William of Malmesbury’s interpolated DA, which not only corroborates the innovation of Avalon in HRB and confirms Arthur’s association with Glastonbury as posited in Life of Gildas (c.1139-40); it also confirms that Joseph came to Glastonbury in DA, which in reality (if he did) makes no difference to our investigation.
We can establish all interpolation was carried out in DA after William of Malmesbury’s death and most interpolations were inserted before Henry’s death; and some are as early as 1144 and used as propaganda in the attempt to get Metropolitan status as i have already covered.. Some interpolations in DA were made after Henry’s death but we shall look at DA in detail in a later chapter.
The final summation or coalescing of Henry’s ‘agendas’ are witnessed in the interpolations which constitutes the first two chapters of DA. We can conclude that this particular material (for the most part) was written after Henry’s return from Clugny sometime after 1158; after VM had been written at Clugny. As the reader will remember, Henry was opining the 19 years of his brother’s reign in VM.
However, Joseph’s introduction and establishment into Glastonbury lore derives from interpolated passages which sets up a historical scenario (or plausible background) for Joseph of Arimathea’s sudden appearance in lore. Joseph’s only connection in reality with Glastonbury was that the prophecy of Melkin, in which Joseph’s name is mentioned, was found at Glastonbury probably at the same time the 601 AD grant of Ineswitrin to Glastonbury was discovered while Henry was abbot.
Joseph is introduced into DA as follows: While preaching in the region of the Franks, as narrated by Freculf, Philip chose and ordained twelve disciples, whom he put in charge of his beloved friend, Joseph of Arimathea, who buried the Lord. In the sixty-third year of the Incarnation, and the fifteenth of the Assumption of Mary, these missionaries arrived in Britain. They failed to convert the barbarous King, but obtained the concession of a swampy and forest-girt island, known to the natives as Iniswitrin.
What I should make clear is that the Prophecy of Melkin did exist in the time of Henry Blois and he not only used it as inspiration to create the mythical island where Arthur was taken in HRB, but also used the same notion as found in the original Melkin prophecy of a body being discovered in the future; which caused Arthur’s momentous disinterment after Henry’s death. This proposition becomes crystal clear when investigating the germs of Grail literature in progression.
The Melkin prophecy’s greatest contribution to the muses of Henry Blois was that the duo fassula in the prophecy was the template for the creation of the Grail and hence its attachment to Joseph. The decoding of the prophecy could easily be likened to what became known as the Quest for the Grail.
Henry Blois had free rein in the DA to substantiate his fictitious island of Avalon created in HRB and establish its synonymy with the island upon which Joseph was actually buried; the inspiration for which was taken from Melkin’s prophecy. This is how Henry Blois brings Arthur’s Island, Joseph’s burial island, and the new VM’s etymological Insula Pomorum…. all to be synonymous with Glastonbury.
To highlight how Henry adapts his work from a previous standpoint (agenda), we can witness that he is the one who attempts to bring his invention of Avalon (from HRB) into line with his later post 1158 agenda with the introduction of Joseph lore. The previous or ‘First agenda’ in 1144, Henry had wished Ineswitrin to be understood as synonymous with Glastonbury so as to substantiate the 601 charter (which in effect established Glastonbury’s antiquity at the time) and thus the etymology which effects this conversion found in the Life of Gildas.
The intention of Henry is achieved in DA apropos to establishing Avalon by his secondary interpolations which became his ‘second agenda’ post 1158 and by his own later addition to a verse in VM which aligns Glastonbury with Insula Pomorum through Joseph. John of Glastonbury in his Cronica has an additional quote tacked onto the VM verse concerning Insula Pomorum. What is clear is that John of Glastonbury is quoting from an edition of VM which now makes Glastonbury into New Jerusalem by association with Joseph. It seems fairly obvious that this would have come from Henry’s hand originally as he is guilty of the conversion of Avalon at Glastonbury.441 It is Henry who originally puts Joseph at Glastonbury by concocting the first two chapters of DA (his last insertion into DA).
John of Glastonbury in chapter 2 of his Cronica repeats all Henry Blois’ propagandist bogus etymology found in either DA or Life of Gildas. He then goes on:
From these facts, then, it is clear why it is considered an island and why it is called both Avalon and Glastonbury. In praise of this Island a certain poet sang: (Verses).‘The island of Apples, which is called Fortunate, is truly named, for it brings forth all things of its own accord. It needs no farmers to till the fields and there is no cultivation save that which nature provides. It freely brings forth fertile stalks and grapes and apples born of precious seed in its forests. The earth nourishes all things as bounteous as tended land; one lives a hundred years or more’.442
441Arthurian Literature XV edited by James P. Carley, Felicity Riddy. We find that Watkin is on the trail to find out how it was that Avalon underwent a transformation: What then of Avalon? The author of the Vita Merlini stated that it was to the island of apples that Arthur was taken; in 1138 Geoffrey of Monmouth had already said that Arthur was taken to the Isle of Avalon to be healed (Incorrect. In EAW this is not stated in the 1138 Primary Historia). Thus it is clear that by 1150 (incorrect 1155-7) the isle of Avalon and the isle of apples are considered to be identical, and here again we are on the verge of the identification of Avalon with Glastonbury. Finally, the connexion is made yet again when both Gerald of Wales and the interpolator of Malmesbury derive Avallo or Avalloc……… It may seem odd that the mythical isle of the Vita Merlini can be identified with an actual place. P.82.
One would think that if Watkin was witnessing the ‘verge of identification of Avalon with Glastonbury’ in this period, Watkin would enquire who the abbot of Glastonbury was at that time and to whom was DA dedicated…. could he be the interpolator? Who was the patron of Gerald? How possibly, in Perlesvaus, is the chapel covered with lead etc. etc. The problem is endemic in Arthurian scholarship. If one does not recognise the evolution of HRB from Primary Historia to First Variant to Vulgate and one insists that any interpolation in DA is subsequent to Arthur’s supposed disinterment…. it is impossible to understand Henry Blois as the author of the Matter of Britain; especially, when Perlesvaus’ early date is denied, simply because the colophon which mentions Avalon and King Arthur and his wife is assumed to be only rationally possible after the disinterment. This assumption that Avalon only became synonymous with Glastonbury after the bogus unearthing of Arthur is a huge erroneous deductive presumption by modern scholars where starting with a false premise incurs major contradictions neccesitating contortions in their theories.
442 The Chronicle of Glastonbury Abbey. James. P. Carley. p. 13
This is just as it is written in VM, but then John continues as if still quoting from the ‘poet’ (an obvious reference to ‘Geoffrey’s’ VM):
‘This was the new Jerusalem, the faith’s refinement, a holy hill, celebrated as the ladder of Heaven. He scarcely pays the penalty of hell who lies buried here’.
This later addition, one can be sure, was tied up with Henry’s ‘last agenda’ introducing the Joseph material into the first two chapters of DA and the proliferation of Grail literature. ‘New Jerusalem’ is not a concept relative to King Arthur. Henry is introducing the fact that Joseph is buried in Avalon and therefore we can understand the change of name on the Melkin prophecy from Ineswitrin to Avalon firstly to accommodate the future unearthing of Arthur and secondly so that we are led to believe Joseph is buried somewhere at Glastonbury also.
Henry Blois’ interpolation points out in DA that Arthur is buried at Glastonbury between the pyramids and buried with his wife …. long before the discovery of Arthur’s grave (as does Perlesvaus). Obviously, John of Glastonbury did not concoct this addition himself, but is using as a source, a copy of VM which is no longer extant and to which Henry had subsequently altered/added a colophon when introducing Joseph lore into DA as part of his ‘second agenda’.
Henry Blois’ masterpiece of deception is in the transformation of his own invented ‘location-less’ Avalon in First Variant and Vulgate HRB, into what the modern world now believes is the ancient island of Avalon…. now situated at Glastonbury. There is only one man who could make all the foundation blocks of his literary edifice combine…. while disguising his hand under the name of William of Malmesbury, Geoffrey of Monmouth and Master Blehis amongst others.
William of Malmesbury may have only produced one copy of DA and presented it to Henry Blois for his approval as intonated in the prelude and dedication of DA. DA was dedicated and given to Henry Blois while Henry probably promised to make a copy for William of Malmesbury, but never did. It is possible also, (which I will cover in more detail later), that Henry obtained all of William of Malmesbury’s works after his death in 1143 from the abbey of Malmesbury as he had installed his own choice of abbot there.
Therefore, DA, in either case (whether at Malmesbury or in his own possession) was in Henry’s hands…. and he was free to reconstruct it as he wished: This island was at first called Yniswitrin by the Britons but at length was named by the English, who had brought the land under their yoke, Glastinbiry, either a translation into their language of its previous name, or after Glasteing of whom we spoke above. It is also frequently called the isle of Avalon, a name of which this is the origin. It was mentioned above that Glasteing found his sow under an apple tree near the church. Because he discovered on his arrival that apples were very rare in that region he named the island Avallonie in his own language, that is ‘Apple island’, for avalla in British is the same as poma in Latin. Or it was named after a certain Avalloc who is said to have lived there with his daughters because of the solitude of the spot.443
443John Scott, DA. Ch.5
Henry Blois wrote the life of Gildas. It is plain when we investigate Caradoc’s history in the section on Caradoc that he dies c.1129-30. What Henry Blois achieved writing Life of Gildas after Caradoc’s death under Caradoc’s name and impersonating him by using his name as a known Welsh chronicler, is Arthur’s introduction to Glastonbury. Just as ‘Warlord’ Arthur was mentioned in other genuine saints’ lives such as the Vita Cadoci and the life of St Efflam.… the format of saints’ lives was mimicked by the construction of Life of Gildas.
Arthur appears in Vita Cadoci as uncontrolled and tyrannical and in other saints’ lives as rebellious. But in Life of Gildas he becomes slightly more chivalric, akin to the Arthur of HRB. Arthur is brought into association with Glastonbury through the abduction episode, but the manuscript’s initial intent was to place Gildas at Glastonbury which in effect provides a date in antiquity with which the abbey might be associated and thus establish its antiquity.
As I have maintained, Henry inserted the last sentence in Life of Gildas to fulfil a separate agenda which convinced others the 601 charter was genuine by locating the unknown whereabouts of Ineswitrin as being synonymous with Glastonbury. (How could the Island of Witrin be an ‘estate’ given to the old church on which Island it was situated?).
This controversy which began as a contention of Antiquity through Osbern’s accusation, became a contention regarding primacy after William of Malmesbury had died as Henry pursued his goal of metropolitan for the south west of England. The final sentence in the Life of Gildas as we have covered, establishes synonymy between Glastonbury and Ineswitrin:
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.
The 601 charter which refers to the Devonian Island in William’s GR3 and DA is anciently dated and therefore, because the charter can be produced and is ancient in its physical appearance…. it becomes the ultimate proof of antiquity. From that time forward (in name alone) Yniswitrin is trans-located by Henry Blois to Glastonbury by ‘Caradoc’s’ etymological late addition as we have discussed.
It is only much later after the composition of VM that insula Avallonis and Insula Pomorum became synonymous with Glastonbury. Don’t forget VM was written at Clugny and just prior to henry’s second agenda which was Grail literature and secondary interpolations in DA. Henry’s various interpolations comprising the first 34 chapters of William’s DA also confirms Glastonbury as Avalon. From different sources, DA is employed to corroborate and interlock the various foundation blocks of Henry’s literary ‘edifice of illusion’ which focus’s Glastonbury as Avalon. Henry’s agendas evolve during his life and therefore it is made more difficult to see the relationships which make up the myth which constitutes Glastonbury lore.
In the past, it has been impossible to see the relationship between Ynis Witrin and Avalon without the understanding that Henry is the author of HRB and his involvement with the 601 charter. We then have to work out what relation Ineswitrin has to the Island where Joseph of Arimathea’s body is buried. This must be followed by uncovering the relationship between Glastonbury and the Avalon of HRB and then follow how Melkin’s Joseph of Arimathea is related to the chivalric Arthur from HRB in Grail literature.
Finally, when we establish how Grail literature brings together Joseph of Arimathea, Arthur and Avalon and the Grail itself (which has its origin in the prophecy of Melkin as the duo fassula)…. we find that through Henry’s continental family connections in Marie of Champagne, we arrive at the reason Chrétien references Master Blehis and Robert de Boron Blaise as the fount from which information on the Grail originates. The pieces of a puzzle must be placed in position and placed in relation to each other to build a picture according to the plan of Henry’s evolving agenda and therefore, we must, with much other evidence to follow, look to the architect, Henry Blois.
This is why the DA becomes so important in our investigation. We can also see Henry’s work (rather than later interpolators) if we understand his ‘agendas more’. Rather than accepting that the tracts covered so far are fraudulent, faux-historic or interpolated, (as modern scholars accept)…. we should be looking at the reasoning behind why this activity has taken place.
From this, we may determine when for instance Brut y Brenhinedd was written…. as the Avalloc mentioned above in DA is Henry’s work. This associates Avalloc and his daughters with Ynys Afallach and thereby; the sisters coincidental introduction on Insula Pomorum in the VM. Also, we see the progression where Henry is seen as the innovator of firstly a ‘Merlin Ambrosius’ in HRB to be linking the later Merlin Sylvestis to the Welsh Bardic tradition through Taliesin in VM. Henry’s edifice is a web formed from his authorial prowess and his changing circumstance; designed from a devious mind which hid its identity from the public domain.
In later years, having stepped out of the role of the all-powerful knight bishop, occupied with affairs of state while brother to the King; Henry is reduced to self exile having had his castles re-appropriated. So, at Clugny between 1155-58 employing his ingenuity and brilliance Henry Blois writes VM with the addition of the seditious prophecies and updates the HRB prophecies to include them also and then the John of Cornwall prophecies pointing out that he should be the next King, in the hope that Henry II is defeated by the Celts through the suggestion to rebellion.
When Henry Blois is instructed to return to England in 1158, he is much reduced and evolves over time to become the ‘Vernerated Bishop’. But, all the while until a year before his death, he is quietly unleashing the formation of a literary edifice which constitutes a gratifying yet erroneous rewrite of History which becomes what is now known as the Matter of Britain.
I have digressed here just to show in a brief way how it is that much of the corroborative evidences which substantiates disparate material is established or coalesced in DA….. and this shows how important DA was to Henry as a fundamental part of the evolving illusion he composed. The DA locks many pieces of Henry’s jigsaw into place.
It is at a later point in Henry’s life (post 1158) when his intended insurrection against Henry II had not transpired (despite Henry Blois’ prophetical efforts), that he returned quietly to England, reduced in his power, and not in favour…. and under suspicion by the new King. It was under these circumstances that he started on his great authorial feat of Grail literature.
Henry introduced Grail literature into the public domain both on the continent and in Britain. The foundation blocks in terms of ideas for Henry’s muses is based on Melkin’s prophecy and we can see evidence of the existence of the prophecy while Henry was alive by his endeavours to find Ineswitrin which we shall get to shortly. So, it is Melkin’s prophecy which links the Grail to Joseph and Henry’s concocted Grail stories which link to his concoction of the Chivalric Arthur of HRB. This finally brings us back to the subject in hand which is Joseph and his burial site on the Island of Avalon as stated in the only version of Melkin’s Prophecy to reach posterity.
The only certain mention of the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea existed with the set of instructions we find in the Melkin prophecy at the start of the chapter. These instructions are attested to have been written by a man called Melkin. However, Montacute is posited as Joseph of Arimathea’s burial site also; this information coming from Glastonbury but entirely separate from the prophecy itself. Certainly, this is not by coincidence as Montacute concurs with part of the instructional data elucidated from the solution to the cryptic prophecy. So, whoever posited that Joseph was ‘carefully hidden’ in Montacute had a definite knowledge of the solution to the Melkin prophecy and had decoded the prophecy…. or more probably….was responsible for constituting/composing the prophecy of Melkin i.e. Melkin himself.
One can only surmise differing scenarios; Melkin planted this information regarding Montacute as a referential clue which would confirm the indicater of Montacute hill on the 104 mile ‘line’ as a confirmation of the composed line which at its termination point pointed out Joseph’s tomb (as the ‘line’ passes through Montacute). In which case, the association of Joseph’s burial site with Montacute must have been placed in a separate manuscript set apart from his prophecy. The only other deduction might have been that someone had decoded Melkin’s puzzle, but this is unlikely because Henry Blois (as will become apparent) physically searched at Montacute for the tomb of Joseph.
This search must have been based on the information supplied which cryptically mentioned Joseph’s ‘careful burial’ in connection with Montacute. Henry Blois does not know where the Island of Ineswitrin is located which the Melkin prophecy originally stated had Joseph’s remains buried on it but Henry knows the island is real as it has the same name (before he changed it) as that found in the 601 charter regarding Ineswitrin.
Another possibility is that when the tomb is eventually opened it will be seen that the Turin cloth came from the tomb as posited by Kim Yale and this would imply that previously in history, (but after the death of Henry Blois), the tomb has been opened. Goldsworthy444 posited that it was the Templars who found the tomb by the connection that it was the granddaughter of the last ‘grand master’ who first produced the Turin cloth.
What will become clear is that the Melkin prophecy could not be a fourteenth century invention because the data within the prophecy itself, (which scholars could not unlock), in fact turns out to be a set of instructions. These instructions to the location of Joseph’s tomb are so precise that they identify Burgh Island (by measurement from two major landmarks) as the old tin island of Ictis which links to Joseph by the tin trade. Like the Dumnonian island of Ineswitrin, Burgh Island is located in Devon, just as our ‘Island of White tin’ or Ineswitrin is named as a consequence of its association with the tin trade.
Once Henry Blois is understood to have found Melkin’s work at Glastonbury, there seems to be three important pieces of Melkin’s work which he employed while building his own literary edifice of rewritten history. Firstly, we may speculate that he based Merlin Ambrosius the prophet on Melkin445 having seen the prophecy and it may have been Henry Blois himself who termed it ‘Melkin’s prophecy’ as it is known today. I would assume the extract, as it exists, came from a larger work and I am suggesting it was Henry who extracted it and changed the name of Ineswitrin and substituted it with Insula Avallonis.
444Michael Goldsworthy. And did those feet.
445I posit this as his original Merlin Ambrosius from HRB not Merlin Sylvestris in VM, which Henry is obviously witnessed to be conflating with the Welsh Myrrdin.
Secondly, there is no way that ‘Geoffrey’ is translating from an old book given him by Archdeacon Walter as recorded in HRB and there is no island named Avalon before ‘Geoffrey’ so, Henry having seen Melkin’s prophecy uses the mystical island icon as his equivalent of Homer and Virgil’s Elysian fields.
Lastly, the idea for providing a semblance of an ancient source book upon which he fabricated the HRB, may have been based upon Melkin’s works. Melkin’s works may have been in a Brythonic tongue (if other works ever existed) but certainly the prophecy was written by Melkin in Latin as its obtuse directions would not have survived translation. Henry Blois is the initial instigator of Grail literature in Britain and on the continent and this icon is derived from the Melkin prophecy.
It is Henry Blois who associates Arthur with Joseph in Grail material. Material on Arthur, as Bale and Pits imply, in a book thought to have been written by Melkin i.e. the book titled ‘De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’ was obviously written by Henry Blois…. and this is where John of Glastonbury may have got some of his material from. Why, if there is no basis to connect Arthur to Melkin, have Pits and Bale associated Melkin’s name with Arthur? It is more likely that Henry Blois impersonated Melkin and composed the book Leland refers to.