The current authority on the Gesta Regum are the two volumes by Mynors, Thompson and Winterbottom. Much of the information used here is derived from their analysis. There is however a difference between their conclusions and mine concerning the B & C versions of GR. It seems fairly obvious that the interpolations pertaining to Glastonbury for the most part in GR3 have been added as part of Henry Blois’ attempt to gain metropolitan status for Western England as we have covered. i.e. the interpolations in GR were early and were not updated as they were in DA as Henry’s ‘agenda’ changed. However, there are obviously parts of versions B & C of GR3 which refer to Glastonbury which are not interpolations and are from William’s pen. However, John of Worcester’s chronicle, compiled during the period c.1095 – c.1140 which incorporates and recycles some of William of Malmesbury’s Gesta Regum Anglorum which first appeared in c.1125 – c.1126 has none of the glorification’s of Glastonbury found in GR3.
The GR is transmitted in four main versions; the T, A, C and the last version B. The strange fact, as we will cover shortly, is that the C version has been interpolated last, but in general is a more recent update on A. In one of the cases where chapter 35 is concerned, parts of a genuine charter has been re-modelled for reasons that become clear as long as we are not blinkered. T is our most basic copy which we shall call Gesta Regum 1 which gets updated to a version A which we shall call GR2. But GR3 has genuine updated material by William from the T and A versions as Thompson and Winterbottom have called them.
For instance, the expanded version of the burial of Edmond Ironside577 is found in the C version and reflects new insight gained while William of Malmesbury was researching DA. A purely stemmatic analysis would make versions C and B twin offspring of GR3.578
577Thompson and Winterbottom GR, 144.3
578Thompson and Winterbottom GR. Vol ii, xxix
GR3 is as Thompson and Winterbottom assume, William’s last redaction. The twist is that there are additions and alterations to the C version which are made after William’s death by the Glastonbury establishment in the time of contention with Bishop Savaric. These are nothing to do with Henry Blois’ alterations. However, the B version also has other corrections and alterations and these are what concern us here. These are the Glastonbury interpolations made by Henry Blois in pursuit of his metropolitan. It is these which are cleverly used in conjunction with an early version of additions to the first 34 chapters of DA. Both manuscripts were employed as evidence in support at Rome in pursuit of Henry’s attempt at gaining Metropolitan status.
I realize that most people reading this will see me attempting to analyse a script that I am again stating was interpolated by Henry Blois. Let me just say for the record that by deduction from Malmesbury’s other work we can see that interpolations were made. We just need to look at the content of those additions now that Henry Blois is posited as a serial interpolator or author under an assumed name. If Henry can interpolate DA and author the ‘apologia’ of GS, he would certainly find it easy to insert a small amount of corroborative Arthur evidence in GR3. A few folio’s here and there and then off to get it copied in one of his many scriptoriums. This is the man who concocted HRB and invented prophecies as is plain by what we have already divulged. By comparison, he has only added but a spec to GR3, so please accept that this exposé is equally valid in unscrambling the mess that Henry has left to posterity.
The GR early interpolations act as a bridge for greater and subsequently more expansive fabrications in DA. The reason for this is, the GR3 Glastonbury version was interpolated first and then left unadulterated unlike the editorial changes to DA at different points in time reflecting Henry Blois’ changing agenda.
From the four versions, there are various stemma derived from each version which are elucidated by Thompson and Winterbottom. The T version appears to be the earliest and the various stemmas originate in France or Flanders. The original is thought to be the presentation copy to the Empress Matilda; a letter to whom prefaces the Tt version. The original A version would appear to be a later redaction of William of Malmesbury’s working copy of T with references back and with later additions. Thompson and Winterbottom, have concluded that the C version was a manuscript presented by William of Malmesbury to Glastonbury and is a result of discriminating corrections made by William during his researches at Glastonbury while writing his accounts of the saints there and while writing the DA.
My supposition is that the Glastonbury interpolations in the B redaction of William’s work are carried out by Henry Blois; which compliment his goal of metropolitan status for Western England. The original B version was the product of his efforts to supply a proof of antiquity for papal approval. Henry Blois carried out at least two recorded attempts to obtain metropolitan status, one in 1144 and the second in 1149.
Henry’s alterations to William’s work spread his polemic through the Glastonbury institution and to similar minded monks bent on the aggrandisement of the abbey after his death. Henry’s alterations were made in DA and GR for a specific purpose after William of Malmesbury had died. Over time, when B & C versions were copied in continental and insular monastic scriptoriums, sometimes these interpolations were corrected against T or A stemma or against manuscripts already corrected or interpolated. This is what has led to the eventual corruption of William’s words found originally in T and his expanded and corrected version of A.
There are many hypothesis put forward by Thompson and Winterbottom but none take into account fraudulent Glastonbury changes made by Henry Blois in the text just after William died. We can assign only some of the material pertaining to Glastonbury found in C & B versions to William. Some are Henry’s Blois’ additions; and some are later Glastonbury additions concerning Bishop Savaric’s intervention at the abbey after Henry had died. GR3 interpolations in parts corroborate material found in the first 35 chapters of DA (and a few subsequent places) and most of that is material interpolated by Henry Blois, except where the contention between Glastonbuy abbey and Wells is concerned.
Opinions held in A are probably William’s generally held beliefs and several passages of the Glastonburyana found in C & B were added later after William died just as in DA. It is for this reason that it is unlikely, as most scholars have assumed that the C version in totality is an unadulterated reflection of William’s new understanding after having carried out his researches at Glastonbury.
The GR composition was started by William before Henry’s arrival at Glastonbury and the T version was published c.1126. If we assume that the monks had employed William to give an account of the saints (specifically Dunstan) at Glastonbury shortly afterward and then extended William’s mandate to write DA….. it seems certain that William was still at Glastonbury when Henry had moved to Winchester. This is intonated by the dedication in the prologue of DA.
It was the monks who commissioned the lives of the Glastonbury saints, but VSD especially was commissioned to counteract the false accusation put out by Osbern that Dunstan was the first abbot at Glastonbury. Shortly after Henry arrived at Glastonbury Henry’s shake up of the abbey with a mind to increase revenues involved putting out a rumour that Dunstan’s bones resided at Glastonbury. We have covered this in connection to Eadmer’s letter along with the accusation against the ‘youth’ of Glastonbury for starting this rumour about Dunstan’s relics at the abbey.
Henry Blois and William of Malmesbury would have had contact and a lot of interests in common. As I posited earlier, it may just have been that relationship which sparked Henry to write the pseudo-history that was the precursor to Primary Historia, as he became aware of the swathes of blank canvas in insular history as seen in many cases that Huntigdon’s history covers. It may even be that he wished to belittle the dour attempts of Huntingdon and Malmesbury’s histories by creating a far more interesting and entertaining read. As Crick notes; when the historia is set against the poverty of written materials available to its author, the imaginative input is undeniable. Henry Blois was not going to let his pseudo-history go to waste once it had become redundant in its purpose when Henry Ist had died and Henry Blois brother was on the throne. Much was left in and included in Primary Historia which originally had been designed to prepare for a queen and to show a unified Briton.
Henry Blois boldly corrects both William and Huntingdon’s facts when he writes as ‘Geoffrey’. For example, Huntingdon in his chronicle writes that there are four main highways which bisect Britain and Henry Blois purposely ‘out does’ him by naming the British ruler…. Henry’s own fictional Belinus, previously unheard of in British History (who I mentioned previously), who ordered the construction of the highways in HRB. Purely for historical corroboration, establishing that such an invented character existed in history, Belinus is also mentioned in other Henry Blois interpolations. In fact if we see the name of Belinus we can establish that the manuscript has been interpolated by Henry Blois.
However, William, where he cautiously records an inscription as being relevant to a Roman victory, Henry Blois as ‘Geoffrey’ sets him straight that the inscription and its erection was due to a triumphant British King. Does ‘Geoffrey’ really, with all his authority, sound like a meek cannon at oxford…. because surely when he started writing, there was no mention of a book from which all this information was supposedly derived. The idea of a source book came later as contemporary sceptics started to question the authority with which ‘Geoffrey’ wrote.
If Winterbottom and Thompson could accept B & C versions have been interpolated by Henry Blois immediately after William’s death and subsequently by Glastonbury monks long after William’s and Henry’s deaths, many of their hypotheses will become less entangled.
The sense and propagandist intent of the interpolations in GR3 corroborate with Henry’s ‘early agenda’ for metropolitan. It is by this method we should determine which parts of GR have been interpolated at which period and for what purpose. In the past scholars have assumed relationships between GR3 and parallel material found in DA is evidence of authenticity, but this is not a notion which works when both manuscripts have been interpolated at such an early date after William’s death…. and by the same person in both manuscripts.
We need to figure out which are genuine updates which constituted William’s redaction of GR3 after his research at Glastonbury and differentiate those interpolations which have been spliced on top of the later redacted material. The confusion has arisen because some chapters found in the B & C versions are also similarly found in DA. This has cemented the belief that similar interpolated portions, because they are found to be common in both books, originate from William. This belief is only tenable if no fraud is suspected. Scholars believe this to be the case unequivocally with GR. Thus, convoluted reasoning is employed to marry the two scripts.
It seems safe to posit that the DA would not have had wide interest except to those at Glastonbury. It was conceived originally to provide proof of antiquity for the abbey and to counter Osbern’s inaccurate statement that Dunstan was the first Abbot at Glastonbury. We will cover the obvious tension between the Glastonbury monks and William shortly, evident in the prologue to DA. We will see that in all probability the DA was presented to Henry Blois at Winchester. It is fair to speculate that Henry Blois once having received the DA manuscript had indicated to William that he would have copies of DA written up. But it is likely he did not. Therefore, Henry Blois was at liberty to insert whatever he liked into DA after William’s death. This opportunity was ultimately put to good use when William died.
So, Henry’s first written concoction in the pursuit of a proof of pre-Augustine antiquity for Glastonbury abbey was when Henry himself composed the Life of Gildas impersonating Caradoc. His first ‘oral’ fabrication on joining the monks at Glastonbury as abbot however, was spreading the rumour that Dunstan’s bones resided at Glastonbury. This we have covered under the section on Eadmer’s letter.
The Life of Gildas was seemingly an innocuous tract in the same format as some of the other Celtic saint’s lives. A few manuscripts had previously and cursorily mentioned the more rebellious persona of ‘Warlord’ Arthur. It was upon these very brief appearances as a named warlord in saint’s lives, a small passage in Nennius and AC from which Henry built the persona of the ‘chivalric’ King Arthur with Norman values. There existed an oral tradition concerning ‘warlord’ Arthur to which William refers in the T version of GR1.
We will just take a deviation here to put GR in context. The last paragraph in the Life of Gildas is an addition to the life and was added after the initial composition of the Life of Gildas. We can deduce why the etymology of Ineswitrin was introduced into the Life of Gildas. Firstly, if no-one knew where Ineswitrin was, it renders the 601 charter suspect. The 601 charter was the most substantial proof of antiquity for Glastonbury.
In William’s original unadulterated DA, the book commenced with a copy of the charter which has now become chapter 35 in DA. Until it was established that Ineswitrin was synonymous with Glastonbury (so it appeared an ‘estate’ was being donated), the 601 charter did not act as a definitive proof which was required to establish antiquity.
In other words, without knowing the location which is being donated, it dilutes the credibility of the charter. There were two reasons to establish antiquity. The earlier reason was to counter Osbern’s assertion. The second reason was to show that an abbey existed at Glastonbury which was pre- Augustinian and thereby supplying adequate reason to grant a metropolitan to Henry Blois. The problem was that no one had previously heard of Ineswitrin before at Glastonbury.
The 601 charter had lain dormant in a chest. That is…. until William of Malmesbury, through his researches, while compiling DA, uncovered it.579 Hence, it was easy for Henry Blois to insert the last paragraph into the Life of Gildas that Henry himself had composed only recently. The etymological trickery provided in the last paragraph of Life of Gildas would have far reaching ramifications. We may speculate that before the exact location of Ineswitrin became an issue and the name needed to be established as synonymous with Glastonbury (in Life of Gildas), Henry had already commissioned the engravings on the archivolt at Modena…. invented as an Arthurian event in Life of Gildas.
579I would suggest the 601 charter and the prophecy of Melkin were found in the same chest of documents at Glastonbury by William. To William, the prophecy would have made no sense at all, since the only recognisable names were Joseph of Arimathea and the prophet Jesus and where Ineswitrin was located did not concern William. It was the fact that a charter donating an island to the Old church at Glastonbury (even though it referred to the same Island as the Melkin prophecy; Ineswitrin)…. the charter had a date of 601 on it which was the essential proof, which he needed to demonstrate the antiquity of Glastonbury. So, William, before Henry became Bishop, stated his proof of Antiquity by beginning his DA with the 601 charter.
Henry Blois based the HRB’s Avalon on the island of Ineswitrin in Melkin’s prophecy. Henry Blois was hardly going to include the name of Ineswitrin in HRB, especially if William, as the finder of the documents, could recognise who the author of HRB might be…. as he was still alive until 1143 However, because HRB’s mystical Isle of Avalon (Ineswitrin), is in reality where Joseph relics are buried, it is ridiculous for Lagorio to argue: If the abbey had possessed a genuine account of Joseph of Arimathea, the monks would have hardly waited until the twelfth century to establish their claim, nor would they have it publicized in secular Grail romances. Monastic audacity and inventiveness would seem to be the operative factor with Joseph, as it was with Arthur.
At least Lagorio recognises in this instance that there was a Joseph tradition in the twelfth century! This is precisely the point; the reference to Joseph of Arimathea did not refer to Glastonbury but Ineswitrin…. and monastic inventiveness was not the operative factor, but it was Henry Blois’conversion of Ineswitrin into an ‘estate’ at Glastonbury which starts the whole salad of misinformation. Lagorio goes on to say with scholastic aplomb that: In Joseph’s case, however, the claim was not exploited beyond the interpolation (in DA), as there is no Joseph legend in the abbey’s documents or in the vernacular literature such as chronicles or saints’ lives, until the end of the fourteenth century.
She had just previously explained that ‘eminent critics’ held that Robert de Boron had based his text on a Latin text at Glastonbury and Nitze and others see a Glastonbury origin for the Perlesvaus. So, how can she aver the opposite if the latest possible date for Joseph de Arimathie is 1180 (but we know it is c.1165)…. and still hold that there is no Joseph legend except for that in William’s DA until the end of the fourteenth century. Did not Robert de Boron who mentions Joseph in connection with Avaron i.e Glastonbury, compose vernacular literature???
Lagorio continues on with even more contradictory statements trying to rationalise how all these coincidences occurred concerning Joseph at Glastonbury: yet they (the monks) were obviously reluctant to propagandize him, owing to his sudden appearance on the abbey scene after centuries of alternate legends. The only reason Joseph appeared suddenly was the fact that Henry Blois had died, and Joseph’s name appeared in DA in the public domain as the founder of Glastonbury; and Robert de Boron’s romances (originally written by Henry Blois) confirmed Joseph was in the ‘west at Avaron’…. and the original promulgator of both outputs had converted Glastonbury into Avalon.
It was only after Henry’s death that all these elements coincided in the discovery of Arthur’s body. Finally, the ‘Leaden cross’ bore out that Glastonbury was Avalon, but amazingly, all these coincidences seemed to Lagorio to be a fortuitous convergence of factors. All this was arranged by Henry Blois…… not fortune or chance, but by design. Lagorio, like Carley, thinks the Melkin prophecy is a product of Glastonbury and the prophecy’s only significance is that it was included in John’s Cronica. Both of these scholars have no conception of the fact that the entire Matter of Britain edifice is built on the truth behind the prophecy of Melkin.
It is probable that the last paragraph of the Life of Gildas was added only when the 601 charter was used as evidence at Rome in pursuit of metropolitan status c.1144, (when Looe Island was also appropriated); the original Life of Gildas script (before the addition) ostensibly proving antiquity to Gildas’ era. Certainly, William of Malmesbury was ignorant of the fact that Ineswitrin was posited as being synonymous with Glastonbury while he was alive (regardless of what has since been interpolated in DA).
It is indicative that the Melkin prophecy existed with the 601 charter because they both related to Ineswitrin and Henry Blois knew he was looking in Dumnonia for an Island. Thus the appropriation of a completely useless Island which Henry assumed was the Island upon which he would uncover Joseph of Arimathea’s grave and believing what Melkin had stated….accept alms from the whole world as they visited the grave.
However, the Modena Archivolt engravings coincided and corroborated Henry’s recently written legend concerning Arthur in the Life of Gildas i.e. the engraving seemingly sprouted on the building from another independent source apart from Caradoc. The short tract of Life of Gildas would be easy to compose for someone of Henry’s literary ability. The fact that William of Malmesbury supposedly corroborates in DA that Gildas once resided at Glastonbury is due to Henry’s interpolation concerning his pursuit of metropolitan status in 1144.
The Life of Gildas was probably accomplished c.1139 just after the Primary Historia was completed in early 1138. As we have covered, while Henry Blois was on the continent in Normandy in 1137-8 (after having spent time in Wales in 1136), he spliced the Arthur content onto an already existing history of the Britons or what I have termed pseudo historia which initially had been destined for his uncle and Empress Matilda. The Primary historia at Bec having had the Arthuriana spliced in or enlarged upon from the pseudo-historia.
The Life of Gildas must have been written before 1140 if the historians are correct about the completion date of the Modena Cathedral. It was certainly written before Henry’s journey to Rome through Modena on his way to plea for Metropolitan status in 1144. It is possible the Modena archivolt may have been commissioned as Henry passed through Modena when he became legate in 1139.
The idea of an Archivolt remaining unadorned and seeking a benefactor for the engraving is the most likely scenario to explain the depiction of the kidnap of Guinevere at Modena. It is important to understand the reasoning behind the Ineswitrin etymology as a later insertion into Life of Gildas. The mention of Iniswitrin establishes through the evident etymological contrivance that the 601 charter was part of William’s genuine additions to GR3. This fact is important because it is evident that at chapter 35 of the DA William started his evidence of the antiquity of Glastonbury with the surest material which proved the point; and the charter really existed rather than it being one of the interpolations in version B.
There is no other logical reason for adding the last paragraph to the Life of Gildas. The etymological contortion resolves the problem that if the charter is to add weight as a proof of antiquity under scrutiny…. it is best if Ineswitrin is a known location i.e. we are led to believe the Island in Devon actually now refers to an ‘estate’ on the Island of Glastonbury.
If the 601 charter were merely a concoction and inserted like the other interpolations into GR3 in Henry’s attempt for metropolitan in 1144; what would be the point of concocting the name Ineswitrin and inserting an etymological explanation in the last part of the already authored Life of Gildas. It is because the 601 charter existed, that the last paragraph in Life of Gildas was added. Henry had this charter in hand at Rome in 1144.
No-where previously, in any manuscript, had the name Ineswitrin been known or seen. We should be aware that the prophecy of Melkin and the 601 charter both refer to Burgh Island in Devon obviated by the geometry we covered earlier in the section on the prophecy of Melkin. The reasoning behind Henry Blois substituting the name of Ineswitrin on the prophecy of Melkin for Insula Avallonis becomes evident when we discuss Henry Blois’ ‘second agenda’ and the introduction of Joseph of Arimathea to Glastonbury in the mystical island’s new guise as Avalon; as this is the essence of Lagorio’s uncertainty as to how Joseph lore and King Arthur’s Avalon coalesced into a definitive geographical location at Glastonbury.
Melkin’s prophecy itself provided the basis and inspiration for Henry’s mystical island in HRB580 and the 601 charter itself was included in William’s genuine additions found in GR3. The Glastonbury interpolations in GR3 (version B) by Henry are concerned with acquiring metropolitan status in 1144 being evidenced at Rome along with the Fist Variant vesion of HRB and the DA interpolated with the first set of Henry’s propaganda concerning Fagan and Deruvian; probably without the St Patrick charter and definitely without mention of Joseph or his connection to Avalon. These interpolations ostensibly take us further back in time from Gildas to Eleutherius, but the mention of Freculphus’s referral to St Philip leads us more readily to accept the assertion of the disciples of Christ being the founders of Glastonbury.
580Avalon, as we know, was not mentioned by Huntingdon in his précis of the 1139 version of HRB. The first we hear of Avalon is in the First Variant HRB and Alfred’s of Beverley’s recycling of ‘Geoffrey’s’ work c1147-50. It must be understood that HRB and its dedications were written retrospectively, and the First Variant precedes the Vulgate Historia. When Henry wrote the Primary Historia, he had not developed the idea that Arthur would be taken to a mystical island. As we have covered, Huntingdon in EAW gives a completely different rendition of the battle with Mordred and if Arthur’s return was expected as Huntingdon alludes to; then the site of Arthur’s last known location, (if indeed Avalon had been recorded in the Primary Historia), would definitely have been recorded in Huntingdon’s letter to Warin.
William never posited such an un-historically attested and tantalizing possibility concerning St Philip. If William was not willing to concede to the existence of Dunstan’s relics at Glastonbury in his VD I or II, because he knew the rumour to be false, he was hardly going to use Freculphus for an authority for a tentative proselytization of Britain or posit the original founders of the ‘old church’ were the disciples of Christ. Freculphus had confused the Galatians with the Gaul’s anyway.
Henry’s mystical Island where ‘Geoffrey’ had brought Arthur for his healing in the storyline of HRB was based (inspirationally) on the real location of Ineswitrin drawn directly from the prophecy of Melkin employing the idea of a mystical island as a template for Arthur’s island. The name Ineswitrin was originally the subject island named in Melkin’s prophecy. This had to be changed to Insula Avallonis for the sake of consistency c.1155 to accommodate Henry’s ‘second agenda’ (the conversion of Glastonbury into Avalon) changing from his ‘first agenda’ which concerned petitioning for metropolitan which depended upon Rome understanding that Ineswitrin was somehow at Glastonbury.
The reason we can substantiate this as a fact is because the data in the prophecy leads to the tin island of Ictis an Island from which Joseph of Arimathea would have bought tin ingots. As we have covered this was latterly known as ‘White tin Island’ in the Brythonic/ Dumnonian or ancient Briton tongue while it was Known as Ictis to the Greek and Latin world. It is the same island which is named in the 601 charter and it was donated to Glastonbury by a named Devonian King. The King’s signature was illegible as Malmesbury maintained, but as a document of proof, the 601 charter would surely withstand scrutiny; its age would be evident when presented at Rome to the pope.
Henry has two ‘agenda’s’ which both concern the interpolations into DA. His first agenda is concerned with convincing papal authorities of both Winchester and Glastonbury’s pre-Augustinian antiquity; Winchester, through ‘Geoffrey’s’ work, and Glastonbury through the interpolations into William’s GR3 and DA. Both locations are shown to exist with Christian institutions before Augustine’s arrival and are witnessed by Henry’s polemic; with the intended outcome of gaining metropolitan status for Henry.
I am just trying to put things in perspective for continuity’s sake, so forgive581 the deviation for a moment from the present study of the interpolations into the B&C versions of GR3, to introduce another major factor of Henry Blois’ ‘second agenda’. Joseph of Arimathea in DA is never mentioned until Henry’s ‘second agenda’ comes to the fore after 1158 i.e. Joseph lore in chapters 1&2 of DA is a subsequent addition, long after DA has been presented at Rome with the first set of interpolations.
581The problem investigating such a large corpus of material and relating it chronologically to historical events is that in the past, there has been a lack of inter-relation of the three genres which has obfuscated the solution to the Matter of Britain. Rather than throwing one’s hands in the air and concluding it is a fortuitous convergence of factors, every inter-relation builds an overall conclusion. So, I have seemed to be erratically changing subject, but by doing so I hope to bring the reader along to the same conclusions I have reached; by gradual introduction of relative material and how it relates to what we have covered already and precognition of where the investigation is going rather than isolating the points and not joining the dots.
Melkin’s prophecy is never mentioned in DA simply because Henry would be uncovered as the author of HRB and the instigator of Grail legend and suspected of interpolating DA. However, we know Henry Blois supplied much of JG’s material as we covered already, (possibly posited in Henry’s/Melkin’s De Regis Arthurii rotunda).
Henry Blois had also invented the prophecies of Merlin and if the prophet Melkin were inserted into DA, suspicion would might fall on Henry through the inter-relation between Merlin and Joseph of Arimathea brought to light under the name of Robert de Boron which links joseph to Glastonbury. The duo fassula in the prophecy of Melkin was the basis of Henry’s inspiration for the Grail. The Grail was linked to Joseph (in reality) and therefore back to Glastonbury through the change of name on the prophecy and through Henry’s convincing efforts…. which eventually end with Avallon commensurate with Glastonbury. To hide his authorship of the many attributes of the Matter of Britain, Melkin’s prophecy was not included in DA a book which any investigator could see by the preface was given to Henry Blois in person.
As witnessed in the composition of HRB, Henry’s expertise in passing off HRB’s historicity is based upon tentative connections in a murky conflated history. Whatever ‘Geoffrey’ posits is never far removed from credulity, but he leaves his readers to deduce. He expects his audience and posterity to connect the dots. As witnessed in HRB and the Grail stories, Henry cares not for anachronisms concerning his characters. Henry depends upon the reader’s credulity allowing for the vagaries of time…. thus, his apparent disregard for accuracy.
However, Chapters 1 and 2 of William’s DA which mention Joseph of Arimathea are in the earliest known manuscript of DA as part of the text which can be definitively dated to 1247. Scholars who misunderstand the role played by Henry Blois in the Matter of Britain, should not eliminate Henry Blois as the person who is responsible for creating Avalon; especially as Giraldus knew Glastonbury as Avalon c.1193, only 20 years after Henry’s death not forgetting also that ‘Geoffrey’ puts Insula Pomorum at Glastonbury c.1155-8.
It seems a little presumptuous and nonsensical as a priori that Joseph at Glastonbury was derived from continental influence through a ‘fortuitous’ set of circumstances. Let me be clear, Joseph’s connection to Glastonbury is only from the fact that the Island upon which Joseph is buried was donated to Glastonbury. Moreover It was Henry Blois’ propaganda which connected Joseph to Glastonbury by making ‘Geoffrey’s’ Insula Avallonis commensurate with Glastonbury through King Arthur’s grave being found in the graveyard and furthermore through Robert de Boron/ Henry Blois’ Joseph being connected to Avaron. To think all these pieces of a huge fiction fell into place by a ‘fortuitous convergence of factors’ is plain stupid but this uninspiring and non- conclusive theory came from Prof Carley’s teacher…. so, another generation of misguided medievalist students are awarded degrees by repeating erroneous theories.
The Melkin prophecy concerning Joseph’s burial site was discovered along with the 601 charter by William. As a sure FACT was extant in Henry Blois’ era as Abbot. This can only be deduced beyond reasonable doubt once it is understood that the Melkin prophecy’s Duo Fassula was the template for the Grail and its connection to Joseph. This of course is understood if one does not deny the prophecy is a fake and also understand that the Grail legends were initially composed by Henry Blois. I know this is a lot to understand for those who have created false ‘red lines’ which prevent this understanding
On only two documents is the name Ineswitrin found. Firstly, on the 601 charter. We know this is genuine as William starts DA with it at chapter 35 and it was used in evidence as proof of Glastonbury’s antiquity. Secondly, Ineswitrin was the name originally on the prophecy of Melkin which Henry Blois substituted later for Avallon. We know this by the conclusive geometry.
We can deduce that if the 601 Charter is genuine, then the Melkin prophecy which originally had the Ineswitrin name on it is genuine also. This can only be true, otherwise the geometry would not work as it does not in Avalon/Glastonbury and we would not be able to relate a known island of Ictis to the era when Joseph was a tin merchant which just so happens to correlate to the geometry in Melkin’s prophecy; so by simple deduction it was called Ineswitrin.
The fact that the purport of the content of Melkin’s prophecy was not understood could be one of the contributory factors that it was not mentioned in the Glastonbury cartulary or in DA. As we have covered already Henry Blois knew it was an island in Devon/Cornwall i.e. Dumnonia by whom the Island was being donated. Without understanding the cryptic message which unveils the geometry of the Melkin prophecy, Henry Blois understood the Island of Ineswitrin was Joseph of Arimathea’s burial site. The prophecy (with substituted name) was most probably included in a book supposedly written under the name of Melkin (De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda) by Henry Blois from which JG transposed it into his Cronica.
In reality the book (said to be authored by Melkin) was actually composed by Henry Blois the inventor of chivalric Arthur in HRB and the Round Table under the guise of Wace. The Melkin prophecy has remained meaningless up until the present era mostly because of ridiculous conclusions about the prophecy proffered by modern scholars such as Prof Carley. Henry knew the prophecy was real and Henry tried to locate Ineswitrin as I have covered in the section on Montacute. He did not achieve his goal. But, without the prophecy we would not have the Grail stories as will become apparent in progression.
In reality, Joseph came to Britain. If Lagorio had understood this, maybe the present set of ageing scholars would have unpeeled the layers of rationalisation a different way without setting erroneous a prioris, which we all now have to manoeuvre around, getting further not nearer a solution. However, it was the Joseph in history which potentially challenged the Roman monopoly on Christianity in early British history. Any notion of Joseph’s link to Britain was expunged during the Roman occupation or possibly this knowledge may have been purposefully secreted by the early Britons and hence the bid to save for posterity by donating the Island by the King of Dumnonia during the Saxon invasion of Devon.
As long as established assumptions are reconsidered in the light of Henry Blois’ interpolative interference, we will see as we progress that fictionally, King Arthur’s Avalon is based upon the reality of Joseph of Arimathea’s burial island of Ineswitrin. Before any fraud from Henry Blois transpired, we must not forget what is recorded in Bede, who, attests to the quarrel between St Augustine and the Britons, who ‘preferred their own traditions before all the churches in the world’.582Also, Gildas says the first dawn of evangelical light appeared in this island about the 8th year of Nero c.60 A.D.583 and a quick look through Butler’s lives of the saints see many early ones in the old Dumnonia.
582Bede’s Eccl. Hist. Bk. ii. Ch2 see chapter 36
583Nero was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68 AD
The church at Glastonbury was already ‘Old’ a fact made plain to William of Malmesbury by the 601 charter. There certainly was Christianity in Briton prior to Augustine’s arrival. Christianity’s early arrival in the South of England….evidenced in the Cornish saints names marking most towns and villages. There is one indisputable way to discover if Joseph of Arimathea brought Christianity to Britain. Unfortunately our experts believe there is no truth in the evidence I have put forward, and the Devon Archaeological Society do not have the expertise to assess the viability of such a claim on Burgh Island; especially when the one scholar on Ictis (and Joseph’s obvious connection to it) can’t even recognise he has an historical episode in an account recorded by Strabo elucidating why the tin ingots were found at the entrance to the River Erm….only 2 miles from Ictis. This is the disconnected state of scholarship today.584
Once our experts understand who propagated the Joseph material both continentally and at Glastonbury, such assumptions on which they base their analysis of events concerning the Matter of Britain as a whole and concerning Arthur and Joseph at Glastonbury, will have to be re-assessed.
Valerie Lagorio is the main instigator in leading modern scholars like Carley astray. But, she, by academic default had learnt misguided deductions from previous generations: With this record of prosperity, Glastonbury had little need to enhance its Glory with Arthur’s counterpart, Joseph of Arimathea. Yet around 1250585 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.586
All of the scholars have read Giraldus’ testimony that Arthur’s resting place was known ….King Henry, for the King had said many times, as he had heard from the historical tales of the Britons and from their bards, that Arthur was buried between two pyramids that were erected in the holy burial-ground’. It is emphatically stated in DA587 where Arthur is buried. The problem was that they all without exception chose to brand Giraldus as unreliable and ignore his testimony.
584For 200 years the investigation into our three genres of study has been going on without resolution. Nowadays universities are churning out medievalist scholars by the thousands. We have authorities like the moderator of the Authurnet Judy Shoaf, Carley writing tomes on Glastonbury lore, Crick pronouncing on Geoffrey of Monmouth and reams of scholars pontificating on the early romance literature, so that little sense can even be derived anymore; so much so, that the analysis crept ever further from the truth; with dissertation after dissertation seeking favour from tutors and mentors…. that themselves were unfounded in their own tenets. It is an annoyance to me that this numbness still persists where far more is to be discovered once their dogmatic precepts are re-aligned.
585Joseph was mentioned in chapter 1&2 of DA and those chapters were written by Henry Blois. The postulation by Lagorio that in 1250 the monks quietly introduced Joseph into Glastonbury lore succumbing to the fortuitous convergence of factors is quite ridiculous. This would be akin to a building constructing itself without an architect.
586Valerie. M. Lagorio. The evolving legend of St Joseph of Glastonbury.
587DA chap 31
We must not forget how we account for the reference to King Arthur in a charter written by Henry II granting concessions to Glastonbury, documented in the Great Chartulary of Glastonbury, where it refers to the many Kings connected to Glastonbury including the renowned King Arthur c.1184. So, what gave the King, while still alive in 1189 (before the given date of the disinterment), the idea that Arthur was buried at Glastonbury?
It could only be the DA or GR3 Glastonbury version written by the person who had interpolated Malmesbury’s work and states where Arthur was buried in DA. The only way he could know where the manufactured grave was located and who was in it is the person who designed and covered up its propagandist contents.
This same person who saw that king Henry II the day before he died and probably told the King where Arthur was buried. from what other source could that knowledge of King Arthur’s grave come from. Even Gerald states the king was informed of Arthur’s grave at Glastonbury. What better time to divulge such a secret.
If one had spent an entire life creating history it would be a real shame if it went unsubstantiated, because how could one be seen comparable with Cicero if Arthur’s last act never came to final fruition and he was proved to have gone to Avalon to heal his wounds and then die there.
However, when GR3 interpolations were composed no grave was yet manufactured at Glastonbury.
Once Henry’s ‘Book of the Grail’ or forerunner to Perlesvaus,588 the missing link which is now lost and to which Grail legend refers (and which some attest was written by Master Blihis),589 is understood as part of the same propaganda as ‘Robert’s’ Joseph d’Arimathie…. only then will the Matter of Britain be understood.590 We must also take into account that certain evidence which would have led to a more accessible investigation of the truth underlying the myth of Glastonbury was destroyed in the fire of 1184.
588William A Nitze, Glastonbury and the Holy Grail p.250. “I therefore venture to uphold Baist’s suggestion that the Perlesvaus originated in Glastonbury”.
589Master Blihis is one of many variations of a misinterpretation of Monseigneur Blois and his name was referred to at the court of Champagne….. where Henry Blois spread his stories of the Grail to Chrétien de Troyes and through the name of Robert de Boron.
590Lagorio attempts to rationalise how the events at Glastonbury relate to continental romances. Most ironically of all…… is her proposition that the interpolator of DA used a legend preserved among the Celts. Lagorio says: An eminent group of critics, including Alfred Nutt and Jean Marx, hold that Robert de Boron based his story on a Latin text at Glastonbury, while William Nitze and others see a Glastonbury origin for the Perlesvaus. Such scholarly support might seem to indicate that the interpolator of De Antiquitate and the romancers used a legend preserved amongst the Celts and brought back to Glastonbury during the later twelfth century. Yet all arguments for the authenticity of Glastonbury’s claim are negated by the lack of supportive evidence in the abbey records or elsewhere. Basically, you might as well say: just see it my way, ignore the fire of 1184 and the rest of the evidence that abounds because I am the expert. She ignores all the evidence in these very pages and not one of her clones has the nouse to see it otherwise.
It certainly is a legend preserved by the Celts about an Island called Ineswitrin in the Prophecy of Melkin. Ironically the main contenders for negating the ‘supportive evidence’ are Lagorio and Carley in denying the existence of Melkin. There are none so blind as those who will not see; and modern medievalist scholars who concern themselves with the Matter of Britain are the ultimate case study of the blind leading the blind.
But none of this propaganda can deny the inspiration or truth behind the Joseph legend, because the accuracy of the Melkin prophecy, in encrypted form, attests the genuine island’s location long before scholarship had understood the prophecy’s purpose.
We have seen how Henry Blois impersonated Wace, but Henry Blois is the only person who knows he has based his Avalon in the HRB on the icon of Ineswitrin of the Melkin prophecy: I know not if you have heard tell the marvellous gestes and errant deeds related so often of King Arthur. They have been noised about this mighty realm for so great a space that the truth has turned to fable and an idle song. Such rhymes are neither sheer bare lies, nor gospel truths. They should not be considered either an idiot’s tale, or given by inspiration. The minstrel has sung his ballad, the storyteller told over his story so frequently; little by little he has decked and painted, till by reason of his embellishment the truth stands hid in the trappings of a tale. Thus, to make a delectable tune to your ear, history goes masking as fable.
The irony is that the main propagator of De gestis Brittonum concerning a chivalric Arthur is Henry Blois himself. He is the one who has turned the truth into a fable and by reason of his embellishment the truth stands hid in the trappings of a tale. Henry Blois is the minstrel….it is his ballad, he is the storyteller. All the evidence points to him and yet I am told by this haughty bunch of pontificators that it could not be possible that Henry Blois wrote so many manuscripts in the twelfth century.
William of Malmesbury in GR1 had affirmed the place of Arthur’s sepulchre was unknown and continued to believe the same until his death in 1143. Someone in the interim (before Giraldus) has converted Glastonbury into Avalon and William (who had been residing there while carrying on his researches) had no idea that Avalon even existed. William was only cognisant of a Devonian Ineswitrin and was not aware that Henry Blois had written the Life of Gildas or that he would make the Ineswitrin mentioned in the 601 charter synonymous with Glastonbury. To William Ineswitrin was just a name he had heard when he had included in his GR3 and DA the 601 charter. William dismissed the prophecy of Melkin because it was unintelligable.
Ineswitrin is not mentioned anywhere by William except in connection to the 601 charter and we can assume he did not think the charter relates to the location of Glastonbury or to and estate on Glastonbury island. The bogus explanation which seemingly comes from William in DA which implies that Ineswitrin was synonymous with Glastonbury before the Saxons is of course Henry’s work. Radford says ‘the old church itself would probably not have existed in a vacuum and must be considered in the context of the whole island settlement’. So, it hardly makes sense that the ‘Estate’ of Ineswitrin is given to the old Church; Ineswitrin by its name alone defines it as an island.
Likewise, Radford states that ‘the oldest remains with those found in the ancient cemetery. Post holes were found belonging to at least four oratories of the wattle type… The best preserved was a small building 13 feet wide over 17 the long’. No one denies that there may well have been buildings of Wattle at Glastonbury, but it is William’s overstated and excessive ‘harping on’ on about the old Church’s construction which demands our attention as to why the interpolation is focusing on this aspect with in-proportionate frequency (especially if there were other buildings of this construction method).
Anyway, author B c.1000 says the old church was constructed in wood. Wattle could not be construed as wood! Why would William i.e. Henry Blois the interpolator of William’s work high-light this construction method with monotonous frequency but for compliance with cratibus from the Melkin prophecy? Why would Henry Blois focus on this point in what is an obvious interpolation in GR3 and DA unless he had an agenda?
That agenda in 1144 was to portray that the Ineswitrin written on the prophecy of Melkin also now applied to Glastonbury in the era before Henry Blois excluded it from evidence (provided to papal authorities or not) and changed its title name to Insula Avallonis.
Henry Blois changed the island’s name on the prophecy of Melkin, the same prophecy of Melkin employed in his ‘second agenda’ but included the Prophecy in ‘an old book’ purported to have been written by Melkin himself….. and yes this had King Arthur and the newly unveiled icon of the round table in its title. It was Henry Blois who eventually substituted the name of Ineswitrin for Insula Avallonis (concuring with King Arthur’s island from HRB) in the extant Melkin’s prophecy (recycled by JG) to fit with Henry Blois’ later (post 1158) agenda in which he composed the ‘De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’ from which JG obtained and recycled the excerpt.
This enigmatic geometric cryptogram which now is known as the Prophecy of Melkin was in noway understood by Henry Blois except for the fact it mentioned an island upon which Joseph of Arimathea was buried and this Island was somewhere in Dumnonia obviated by whom it had been donated, hence the appropriation of Looe island and Henry’s visit to the cliffs near ‘Salgoem’.
I have as best as I can unveiled that Professor Carley has virtually no understanding of the prophecy of Melkin. He, like his mentor, thinks the Melkin prophecy is a fake. They have pontificated on Glastonbury lore and have, through their erroneous positions, already made the quagmire more of a ‘bog’ by the denial of Melkin or his prophecy in their own expert field of Glastonbury Lore. Lagorio and Carley simply have no understanding of the third part of our present investigation which is Grail literature and its connection to Glastonbury; yet Carley has researched the Perlesvaus. It is a fact, that without the Melkin prophecy’s existence, there would never have been Grail literature. How this literature finds its relation to Glastonbury is through Henry Blois. Until the man who lectures on this subject understands the subject matter he teaches to others, how can these impressionable students have a chance of exiting the swamp of numerous erroneous a priori positions?
William’s un-interpolated work would not mention any part of the Life of Gildas as DA was completed before 1134. It is Henry’s interpolation in DA which places Gildas at Glastonbury and mentions Melvas. Ineswitrin was merely an unknown island location dedicated to Glastonbury. William’s reason for the inclusion of the charter in GR3 is merely as an updated piece of information not known when GR1 was published in 1126, but it does prove the ‘old church’ was in fact old in 601AD…. and he makes that point; which is, in essence, what he has been tasked to do in writing the De Antiquitates.
The burial of a body to be unearthed in the future; the discovery of the Grail (in the guise of the duo fassula and its connection to Jesus); and the fact that these objects/items/icons were on an island; all find their parallel in Melkin’s prophecy. Should we really be led to believe by Carley that these coincidences are a result of the Melkin prophecy being constructed to parallel these ‘earlier’ motifs? Or, we could ignore the expert who ignores the geographical data plainly laid out in the Melkin prophecy. Carley chooses to stay ignorant of the data mentioned by the prophecy (once decrypted); which, coincidentally forms a line which locates an island in Devon…. which by any assessment could possibly be the island of Ineswitrin donated to Glastonbury.
The directional data encrypted in the wording of the prophecy of Melkin could not have been known by the supposed fraudulent constructor of the prophecy (whom Carley has proclaimed composed the wording of the prophecy) so it would be a huge coincidence if this data turned out to be relevant to an island donated to Glastonbury by a King of Devon…. and the said island connected to Joseph’s métier as tin Merchant…. just as Cornish (read Dumnonian) legend attests; especially when we can identify this island with Diodorus’ tidal island of Ictis and an actual incident actually transpired which was recorded by Strabo for which we have evidence 2 miles from Ictis. Is it not extraordinary that the encrypted data in Melkin’s prophecy even pinpoints an Island exactly 104 miles from the biggest sperula in Britain?
If Melkin’s prophecy did not exist in Henry Blois’ lifetime and the monks around 1250 ‘quietly incorporated Joseph into their founding legend’, as Lagorio posits…. it truly would be a ‘fortuitous convergence of factors’ that in 2021 Joseph of Arimathea is even posited to exist on an island by the solution to Melkin’s prophecy and the archeological experts could not be bothered to locate the grave by its tunnel under the present hotel.
For modern scholarship to deny all mention of King Arthur (and by extension Joseph) as only existing in DA as the product of later interpolation (i.e. after the 1189-91 disinterment of King Arthur) is plain ludicrous. Logically, it makes Henry II charter concerning Glastonbury which mentions Arthur a fake also.
Where my theory is criticised and dismissed as the musing of a madman because I have postulated that so many manuscripts have been interpolated or composed by Henry Blois conversely modern scholars do even worse by denying evidences by saying testimonies are reliable when they are not and vice-versa; worse than that….. declaring charters are fake when they are not and moreover deducing charters are genuine when clearly someone who did not exist could not be a signatory to a charter. Modern scholars even denying Melkin existed and ridiculously concluding ‘Geoffrey’ existed.
When will this pretence to mental acumen and privileged entitlement to expound Horseshit dressed up as scholarship, end? Not until it is taken out of their hands, the sense of entitled licence to frame an erroneous narrative; earned by bogus credentials bestowed on them by the same people with the defective gene.
This denial of the facts means that Gerald’s statement: Indeed, there had been some evidence from the records that the body might be found there,591 a pointless statement, if indeed it is not referencing DA. To what gain would the statement be made by Gerald? It seems mad for scholars to deduce that Gerald has not seen and read DA. Giraldus quotes from a passage in DA: In British it is called Inis Avallon, that is, insula pomifera (Latin: The Island of Apples). This is because the apple, which is called aval in the British tongue….. This is not derived from VM or Life of Gildas but all three manuscripts were written by Henry Blois.
591Giraldus Cambrensis. Liber de Principis Instructione
Strangely though, Giraldus gives Fagan and Damian as names of Eleutherius’ preachers but does not mention the missionary’s connection to Glastonbury. But this can be rationalized by Gerald’s concentration and interest in the Welsh Arthur rather than general affairs pertaining to the foundation of Glastonbury. The fact that Giraldus does not mention Joseph has no bearing on whether chapters 1 & 2 existed as part of DA in 1191. Gerald’s concern was not for Glastonbury or the recently highlighted biblical Joseph of Arimathea mentioned in DA, but for Arthur and Avalon. Gerald’s interest is in the Arthur mentioned in HRB and the Arthur who had a splendid court in Wales who spoke of Dubricius and St David.
Don’t forget that Gerald was only born in 1146; so, even though Henry Blois was his patron in later life it is doubtful he could have seen an edition of DA before Henry Blois inserted his ‘secondary agenda’ interpolations relating to Avalon and Joseph etc as has been communicated to me as a possible reason for Gerald not recycling Joseph lore from DA also. Our expert Julia Crick, pontificates aimlessly on Gerald and Geoffrey without knowledge that Henry Blois is Geoffrey and patron to Gerald: ‘
Gerald’s position as a privileged critic of Geoﬀrey owed much to the parallels between the lives and activities of the two men. Both are known by names which associate them explicitly with Wales, although both followed a Norman career path. Geoﬀrey in his ‘History’ styles himself Monemutensis, of Monmouth, but he graduated from Paris, or some other Continental school, with the title magister, and he spent most of the last thirty years of his life in Oxford, probably becoming a canon of St George’s. Geoﬀrey probably lacked a profound knowledge of Welsh. Monmouth may have been his birth place but he left Wales at least for the central part of his life and may not have returned even when made bishop of St Asaph, shortly before his death. Norman French is most likely to have been his ﬁrst language.
Certainly ‘Geoffrey’ lacked any knowledge of Welsh and since he never existed never went to Paris and was never bishop of Asaph. Yet Norman French was what Henry Blois spoke. Why would ‘Geoffrey’ be predicting the downfall of Henry II, calling the Normans foreigners in the seditious prophecies designed to rouse rebellion by the Celts if all his patrons were Norman while being solely dependent on their munificence. Does Crick now think that the composer of the Merlin prophecies was not the same as the composer of HRB as she claimed before. Her answer will be that ‘Geoffrey’ did not compose seditious prophecies and nor did he refer to Normans as foreigners but was in fact referring to the Saxons. Yet:
…the Lynx that sees through all things and shall keep watch to bring about the downfall of his own race, for through him shall Neustria lose both islands and be despoiled of her ancient dignity. Then shall the men of the country be turned back into the island for that strife shall be kindled amongst the foreigners.
The Lynx could not be anybody else in the leonine numbering system but Henry II and Henry Blois is predicting the new King is going to be the downfall of his race and the Normans will lose England and Ireland. Obviously composed after September 1155!!!!
However, my assertion that Arthur’s burial location was stated in DA before 1191 is more understandable if one can accept that Henry (the instigator of the entire edifice of the Matter of Britain) has already planted a bogus set of bones (some of them animal) and a lock of blonde hair and has seemingly, as if stating common knowledge, interpolated into DA:…Arthur, famous King of the Britons, buried with his wife in the monks’ cemetery between the two pyramids.
If this were written after the disinterment…. why has the interpolator not covered the events of the disinterment as well?
We should assume that no-one saw DA at Glastonbury until Henry’s death. For the monks at Glastonbury it was probably not a shock when Henry de Sully decided to unearth Arthur. They had had twenty years to accept the fact. What would be shocking though is that so much in DA was ‘apparently’ true and therefore, they must also have assumed the St Patrick Charter, which attested that Avalon was synonymous with Glastonbury, must in fact be true also; before the proof positif was unveiled by what was declared on the ‘leaden cross’. Henry was abbot of Glastonbury for 45 years and the generation which was there when William of Malmesbury was resident had probably all expired or moved on.
As I have already mentioned, most modern commentators also make the mistaken assumption that Joseph’s name could not have been in DA because Adam of Damerham makes no mention of him. Adam is just a continuator of DA not a critic nor extrapolator nor exponent of DA. He takes up his pen where William of Malmesbury supposedly finishes DA. This ironically enough is at chapter 83 regarding Henry Blois.592 Adam merely takes up a continuation of the history after Henry’s abbacy through the contentions with Wells etc.
592This remarkable man, besides his splendid birth, is also distinguished for his literary skill and for the friendliness of his address… This was written before William witnessed Henry Blois’ slippery antics changing sides to Matilda and then professing otherwise as he made plain in HN.
The first scholar to realise the significance of the Glastonbury interpolations into GR3 was Newell and he along with Robinson tried to assess the authenticity of the work but neither suspected the motive behind the interpolations was Henry Blois’ ambition to gain metropolitan status.
It is the Glastonbury material in GR3 which concerns us most, as it serves as a bridge to more embellished assertions made in DA. Most scholars believe GR3 is entirely Malmesbury’s work. This obviously is the intention of Henry Blois, but for the most part, the interpolations discussed below are in fact just a reflection of Henry Blois’ first agenda, which sets up bogus evidence of antiquity in his quest for metropolitan status.
The idea of interpolating GR written c.1125-6 (before Henry’s arrival at Glastonbury), leads papal authorities in 1144 to believe the generally held perceptions in GR3 concerning Glastonbury. Their understanding would have been that the copy offered as evidence that Glastonbury church was indeed ancient, was Malmesbury’s updated version/ latest redaction,(after his lengthy soujourn there), but who unfortunately has just died. Some of these seemingly updated views had also been reiterated by a supposedly more informed William in DA after his in depth research c.1134…. supposedly!!!!. Both DA and GR 3 would have concurred in 1144 about Glastonbury material with no other extraneous lore having yet been prévu for DA.
However, there is a Glastonbury interpolator who interpolates GR after Henry. He is responsible for the C version Glastonbury interpolations, some parts of the B version, and several subsequent additions after Henry’s death into DA. This is the man who Scott mistakenly views as his consolidator of DA. The Glastonbury interpolator after Henry had died in 1171 is specifically interested in a polemic devised to deter Savaric, Bishop of Wells interfering in the affairs at Glastonbury. This squabble was a dispute which was inherited as the product of the relationship between Robert Lewes and Henry Blois and both of their affections for Glastonbury.
Robert of Lewes who had been Henry’s right hand man at Glastonbury and fulfilled certain duties when Henry moved to Winchester, also became (through Henry’s instigation) Bishop of Bath; both of them Cluniac’s. Both allowed the independent sanctity of Glastonbury and Henry Blois was still the abbot until Robert died. It was when Henry died that the interference from the diocese of Wells started.
However, the B version of GR3 is mainly concerned with presenting a history of antiquity for Glastonbury for papal approval. But herein is the confusion of the B and C stemma where they have been corrected by more recent copyists against GR2 & 1 in the thirteenth century. If GR3 had not been interpolated in versions C & B, much in DA would have been discounted as mere interpolative propaganda. Due to the fact that some of the material is mirrored in the two works, (some which is interpolated propaganda) has led scholars comparing the texts to think…. because they parallel each other in certain instances…. they both must be William’s genuine material.
Misguidedly, scholars have used GR3 as a basis for their understanding of what is authentic in DA and vice versa…. in conjunction with the assumption that GR3 is a genuine redaction from William’s new appraisal of facts after his research at Glastonbury. The conclusion which followed this presumption is that GR3 (B version) is not interpolated. This method can only be reliably employed with T & A versions as I have said.
Henry’s interpolative work concerning Glastonbury in GR3 leads the gullible to accept much which is written in DA as having been plausibly written by William. The current consensus is that the existence of Glastonbury material in GR3 is a result of William’s researches. This understanding, to a point, is true and governs why the later interpolations are infused amongst genuine updated material in GR3. Hence, we have the appearance of the Glastonbury additions of versions C & B in GR3 being accepted as authentic as the consequence of William’s later redaction.
Those that have a suspicion that all is not right, posit that the Glastonbury material is a consequence of a presentation copy by William to the monks. This is only a rationalisation and in reality, William is intransigent about the inclusion of doubtful material in his work; so would not have embellished specially to ingratiate himself with a one off copy containing specific Glastonburyalia. If the opinion is that a Glastonbury presentation copy was used to interpolate, then I would definitely concur, but the first person to interpolate GR was Henry Blois.
To complicate things further, Thompson and Winterbottom believe all of C was written prior to William’s version of B or GR3 and this again to a certain extent is true. However, certain interpolations in C were in response to Bishop Savaric’s interventions toward Glastonbury. This has led certain scholars to suggest that contention between Wells and Glastonbury existed prior to Henry Blois’ time because they have assumed William of Malmesbury is the sole author of B & C.
There may be cause to believe contention existed before and possibly during Henry’s abbacy, but it is doubtful that such highly specific curses toward a Bishop intonated in Ine’s and Edgar’s charters would lead two Kings to be so poignantly directed against interference from Wells or any other bishop. Both charters smack of warning shots from Glastonbury against the bishop of Bath and Wells and both were interpolated by someone after Henry’s death becoming the second member of what my uncle Ferdinand Lot593 referred to as the Officine de faux.
593Francis Lot received a library full of books relating to the ‘Matter of Britain’ in 1972 from Ferdinand Lot.
This, however, does not exclude the likelihood of a subsequent consolidating redactor of DA before our present T version. As I have made clear, Scott’s conclusion that a consolidating author is responsible for coalescing much of the work in DA’s first 34 chapters is misguided, because it does not recognise Henry Blois as the main interpolator. It is not impossible that soon after William died, Henry borrowed from and never returned the latest copy of William’s GR which had been deposited at Malmesbury monastery. Henry had installed his own candidate as Abbot of Malmesbury. It may be that Henry had his own copy and Glastonbury interpolators of C or our consolidating author of DA had another.
Leland’s comment about the lack of knowledge about William at Malmesbury in Leland’s own era might indicate that if William had left his work at Malmesbury, it did not remain there. We can speculate that Henry Blois could have obtained William’s works from Malmesbury as we can see John of Worchester relates that in 1140-41 Henry Blois installed his ‘man’ as abbot there: Peter the monk, who was of great learning and knowledge was made abbot of Malmesbury by the bishop of Winchester, legate of the Holy Roman see. He had been a monk at Clugny, and for some time had been prior of La Charité (‘Geoffrey’s’Karitia). Thence he became abbot of the monastery of the holy pope Urban in the diocese of Chálon-sur-Mer. When troubles arose and threatened him, he was forced to leave that house, and at the prompting of the bishop of Winchester, he came to England, and took over the rule of Malmesbury in this year.594
Just so there is no doubt in the reader’s mind about whether Bishop Henry could lie and fabricate so readily, I will just take another brief diversion before getting back to the analysis of GR.
Gerald of Wales595 does say that as well as ‘Art’, Henry was a collector of animals and actually had a menagerie at Wolvesey. But, it is to William of Newburgh’s reference to Henry having pet Greyhounds we should look. Below is an example as it shows Henry’s ability to fancifully enforce a story from an object which was obviously a fossil of some description: When a huge rock was being split by iron implements in a quarry, two dogs became visible, filling a receptacle in the rock which was big enough for them, but which contained no air holes. They seemed to be a breed of dog called greyhounds, but they were ferocious in appearance, smelly and hairless. It is reported that one of them soon died, but the other, said to have had an astounding appetite, was kept as a pet for very many days by Henry bishop of Winchester.596And Newburgh thought ‘Geoffrey’ was the liar!!!
594John of Worchester.
595As we know, Henry Blois was a patron of Giraldus.
596William of Newburgh, 119
A living Greyhound cannot come from a rock fossil unearthed in a quarry; nor can any live animal come from a split rock with no air holes. We might speculate why in Roman de Brut and HRB the dragons came from similar stones as it deviates from Nennius’ ‘tents’.597
597It is upon Nennius’ account of ‘the boy’ who ‘Geoffrey’ later models his introduction of Merlin into HRB. Nennius says: but I desire to question your wise men, and wish them to disclose to you what is hidden under this pavement:” they acknowledging their ignorance, “there is,” said he, “a pool; come and dig:” they did so, and found the pool. “Now,” continued he, “tell me what is in it;” but they were ashamed, and made no reply. “I,” said the boy, “can discover it to you: there are two vases in the pool;” they examined, and found it so: continuing his questions,” What is in the vases?” they were silent: “there is a tent in them,” said the boy; “separate them, and you shall find it so;” this being done by the king’s command, there was found in them a folded tent. The boy, going on with his questions, asked the wise men what was in it? But they not knowing what to reply, “There are,” said he, “two serpents, one white and the other red; unfold the tent;” they obeyed, and two sleeping serpents were discovered; “consider attentively,” said the boy, “what they are doing.” The serpents began to struggle with each other; and the white one, raising himself up, threw down the other into the middle of the tent….
tAs many commentators have remarked, there is virtually no instance in the story line or plot of HRB which cannot be traced to some source; we have also witnessed this…. as Melkin’s prophecy can also be deemed source material for the invention of the icon of the Grail based on Henry’s perception of the duo fassula and also the invention of the mystical island of Avalon. So, it also seems likely that Henry has spliced the allusion from Nennius’ of two un-encapsulated serpents to become in Wace: At the bottom shall be found two hollow stones, and two dragons sleeping in the stones… and in HRB: two hollow stones and therein two dragons asleep…
Two agendas of Henry’s are clearly understood. The first features in GR3 and DA, the second only in the later consolidation of interpolations in DA. The earlier ‘agenda’ was directed at obtaining metropolitan. Both GR3 and a copy of DA (probably not mentioning Avalon and certainly without Joseph’s inclusion) were used as evidential support in this endeavour while making a first presentation case to the pope in 1144. This possibly evolved to the inclusion of Phagan and Deruvian and the St Patrick’s charter in a possible second attempt at metropolitan status in 1149.(However, both these attempts fall under what I have termed his ‘first agenda’)
Henry’s ‘second agenda’ involved Avalon and Joseph while at the same time propagating Grail stories. The same man and mind, from which the invention of HRB was created, was the initial instigator of the Grail stories. Both HRB and Grail stories subtly tying back to two common denominators; Henry Blois and the prophecy of Melkin.
Henry’s ‘second agenda’ was concerned with convincing us that Glastonbury was Avalon and that Joseph was the original founder of the Old Church. This did not start to evolve until after 1158 on Henry’s return from Clugny (not forgetting VM at this stage was getting us used to the idea that Insula pomorum in Somerset was also Arthur’s last known location).
Therefore, parts of DA were overwritten in what was an already twice completed and interpolated DA which had served its purpose in convincing papal authorities to grant Henry his wish. So, in all probability, there were two DA versions which had been completed and employed in pursuit of metropolitan status…. once in 1144 and the other in 1149. (This proposition is provisional if the St Patrick charter was presented separately).
When there was no further point in pursuing metropolitan status and at a time after 1158 when Henry returned to England, Henry then set about rearranging an already interpolated DA for a final time consolidating the St Patrick charter with its ‘second agenda’ postscript.
The aim was to incorporate material to support his secondary agenda of Joseph and Arthur ‘at’ Avalon. This will become evident as we progress through the GR3 Glastonbury material incorporated into Version B and then when we examine the DA in the section on the De antiquitate Glastonie ecclesie. Eventually, GR version B was handed on to Glastonbury at Henry’s death but during his life the B version may have been copied and propagated by Henry employing scribes at scriptoriums in Clugny, Winchester or Glastonbury.
We cannot be exactly sure of what William’s reconsidered opinions are concerning Glastonbury legend. Nor can we know exactly what has been spliced in by Henry Blois to meet his personal ‘agendas’. The original GR3 though, was William’s latest model and Henry has spliced into that…. elements which were meant to convince the papal authorities of an early pre-Augustinian Briton church at Glastonbury. The surest method is to assume in most cases that because it is in version B and it pertains to the establishment of an early church, it should be suspect. Yet, some portions are definitively the product of William’s later and final recension.
The best way of unpeeling the layers of this puzzle is to use the interpolations found in only B and C versions described by Thompson and Winterbottom in their appendix598 which are not found in T & A versions. T & A are indisputably William’s unadulterated work. I have used Thompson and Winterbottom’s translation and chapter headings of GR to demonstrate that some of the material is the consequence of William’s researches and up-dates. The rest are Henry Blois’ interpolations. What is found in GR3 is highlighted to avoid confusion from other quotes.
598William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum Anglorum, vol I. Appendix P. 803-833
Chapter 19 of GR3 B version:
Now, as we have reached the reign of Cenwealh, and the proper place to mention the monastery of Glastonbury, let me then from its birth tell thereof, the rise and progress of that house, so far as I can gather it from the formless mass of the documents. We are told by trustworthy annals that Lucius King of the British sent to Eleutherius, thirteenth successor of St. Peter, to beg that he would lighten the darkness of Britain with the rays of Christian preaching. O brave King, and worthy of all praise his undertaking! That faith which in those days nearly all Kings and people persecuted when it was presented to them, he went out of his way to ask for when he had scarce heard of it. So, preachers sent by Eleutherius came to Britain, where their work shall endure for ever, although many years’ oblivion has devoured their names.
At first, this seems entirely innocuous. Except Bede does not connect Eleutherius with Glastonbury and the connection is not in T or A version; yet William was entirely acquainted with Bede when he wrote both of those versions. Henry has chosen an appropriate place in the text to insert his propaganda. Starting off by saying: let me then from its birth tell thereof, the rise and progress of that house, and then arbitrarily attaching Eleutherius’ preachers to Glastonbury must be cause for suspicion.
One might assume the fabricator of the St Patrick charter would make such an assumption. When we get to Lucius, it is virtually impossible to know if William wrote his name or Henry did. I doubt it was introduced by William, but we should remember William is a fan of Bede and it is Bede who introduces the erroneous story in connection with Britain.
One must then ask: why should it be in the supposedly updated content of GR3? It would not have been found by research specifically carried out at Glastonbury. Without the passage acting as an ‘intro’ we would not accept the natural progression to hear of Phagan and Deruvian later on in DA. It is the presumed attachment of Eleutherius’s preachers to Glastonbury which raises suspicions because such a lot is made of this connection later in DA and in St Patrick’s charter. The evidence for interpolation supports Henry’s output as author of HRB where Phagan and Deruvian’s names are introduced for the first time. Yet a remarkable coincidence, as we have already noted, is Huntingdon’s omission of the illustrious pair, not only in his history but in the letter to Warin. As I have made plain before, if Phagan and Deruvian’s names had been in the Primary Historia found at Bec, how remiss of Huntingdon not to mention the first he had ever heard of Phagan and Deruvian. If they had been mentioned in the Primary Historia Huntingdon would definitely have related to his friend Warin and related in EAW who was responsible for proselytising Britain
When presenting evidence to the pope in 1144 one can surmise that Fagan and Duvianus were also pointed out, as they feature in the First Variant which evolved from the Primary Historia…. where they should have been mentioned if only they had been included in the Primary Historia. We should note Alfred of Beverley was aware of their names.
It seems certain that the St Patrick charter is aimed at the second attempt at metropolitan in 1149 and this seems to have convinced the pope to grant Metropolitan status to Henry. It is necessary to understand that the St Patrick’s charter may have been a separate charter presented individually which was produced for the visit to the pope. What the charter stated may have been later consolidated in DA (as certainly the postscript in DA is part of Henry Blois’ ‘second agenda’)
Conveniently, the preacher’s names are known in the St Patrick charter and in the First Variant, but for Huntingdon not to have mentioned such an influential pair in British history in EAW (having compiled his own Historia Anglorum, first published around 1129), indicates the illustrious pair were not included in text of the Primary Historia at Bec. Logically why would they be? Their sole raison d’etre was to attach Bede’s Eleutherius to the antiquity of Glastonbury and this is done through the missionaries and Lucius’ request. The pursuit of metropolitan status was not an issue for Henry when the Primary Historia was being composed while Henry was in Normandy in 1137.
As I have stated, until the Primary Historia’s publication in 1138, Henry assumed he was going to be Archbishop of Canterbury. In fact, when Henry Blois left England to help quell the disruptions in Normandy, he was in effect Archbishop of Canterbury. While Henry was abroad, his brother Stephen elected the abbot of Bec to his treasured post. We know Henry was at Bedford when Stephen lays siege to Miles of Beauchamp at Christmas-time in 1138. In January 1139 Theobald is back at Bec accompanied by Huntingdon on his way to Rome.
Henry Blois on several occasions599 makes pretense of being ignorant of facts to deflect suspicion of authorship. The very fact that many years’ oblivion has devoured their names makes one suspicious we are being led to believe that a charter had only been located recently i.e. the St Patrick charter. But, to play out the pantomime…. the now dead but reliable historian, William of Malmesbury, had alluded to these missionaries. What we and the papal authorities are led to believe is that before Henry’s arrival at Glastonbury this reliable chronicler William of Malmresbury had made reference to the preachers which are mentioned by name also in the early copy of the evolving HRB i.e. First Variant.
The persuasive trustworthy annals to which William (or rather Henry) refers…. and specifically, the mention of the Lucius myth, are from the 6th-century version of the Liber Pontificalis, Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum and the ASC. And while at this point it is my suspicion that the adopted son of Hadrian was the intrigue of which Henry and his accomplices were up to while at Rome which we came across earlier. His attempt at intrigue600 was to portray the adopted Lucius son of Hadrian as the same Lucius referred to mistakenly by Bede.
The main point is that where Henry states many years’ oblivion has devoured their names; it could be just a ploy of Henry’s to appear as if it is William writing GR much earlier i.e. by having us believe oblivion has devoured their names and thus explaining the uncovering of the Patrick charter as it was presented later in DA.601
599He does this posing as Wace in pretence not to understand the Merlin prophecies.
600John of Salisbury referring to Henry Blois states:…After being publicly received back into favour, he began to intrigue with Guy of Summa, bishop of Ostia, Gregory of St Angelo and other friends (as they afterward confessed) to secure a pallium for himself and become archbishop of western England.
601However, these may be William’s original words as he was respectful of Bede and also aware of ASC’s mention of Eleutherius (which one assumes is derived from Bede). This may on the other hand be where Henry puts these words to compensate for William making no mention before of Eleutherius in other writings, but at least conceding here that preachers came.
If my supposition is correct in that an early copy of DA was presented to the papal authorities in consideration of their granting metropolitan status, and an early edition of a St Patrick charter was evident also in DA (there are too many scenario’s), Henry might have excused William’s earlier lack of their names to the papal authorities as a proof of what William had only recently discovered i.e. the Patrick charter, a ‘copy’ of which is subsequently in DA.
Do not forget the subtleties concerning the ‘good book’ and Walter…. found in Gaimar’s epilogue, before discounting to what extent Henry is willing to go to get what he wants and avoid discovery.
It is not by coincidence that the First Variant with its biblical allusions, just happens to have the preacher’s names as the envoys of Eleutherius also. It is Henry Blois’ Phagan and Deruvian from HRB which were honoured in DA which brings suspicion upon the connection between Glastonbury and the preachers.
In fact, once it is understood that Phagan and Deruvian are connected to a Lucius who never existed in Britain…. it highlights and lends credence to the fact that these are interpolations in GR3 by the man who invented the St Patrick charter and concocted HRB.
At no time previous to the St Patrick charter or First Variant of HRB was there any mention of their names or connection to Glastonbury. So, where William appears to write ‘their work shall endure for ever’ it seems a bit obtuse…. since not only oblivion had devoured their names but their deeds. And since William was never aware of their deeds; because we know the St Patrick charter is concocted and we know their names did not feature in the Primary Historia; or any of the saints lives or in William’s GP; logically, we can see they were employed as part of Henry’s fraud. Therefore, why would ‘their work shall endure for ever’ be a statement that William would make.
The only contrary evidence to what I have indicated above is that the two founders of the old minster at Winchester (Phagan and Deruvian) as Thomas Rudborne later tells us, were accorded that fame in the Winchester annals. If they really were the founders of the Old minster it is surely not by coincidence that they suddenly came to popular consciousness in the First Variant and DA as Eleutherius’ preachers.602 Again, it is not coincidence that two previously, un-famous and ‘never heard of before’ founders of Winchester (their names obscured in the reams of annals found at Winchester) should also just happen to be the preachers who were honoured, being part of the foundation lore at Glastonbury in DA in what is obviously a bogus St Patrick’s charter.
Now, the obvious advantage of this is that Winchester must (also appear to) be as old as Phagan and Deruvian if a charter of St Patrick603 shows they were the founders of the Glastonbury Old Church also.
As the reader will remember in HRB, Lucius despatched his letters unto Pope Eleutherius beseeching that from him he might receive Christianity. For the miracles that were wrought by the young recruits of Christ’s army in divers lands had lifted all clouds from his mind, and panting with love of the true faith, his pious petition was allowed to take effect, forasmuch as the blessed Pontiff, finding that his devotion was such, sent unto him two most religious doctors, Faganus and Duvianus…604
602We should remember that based upon how the erroneous-history of HRB is compiled, it is highly unlikely that these two were names picked out at random. Rather, Henry employed their names because they were in the book which Gaimar says exists chained up at Winchester. This may indeed be where Rudborne’s information originates.
603Dom Watkin, regards the Charter of St Patrick as a 13th century fake based on the fact that Wellias is named. Without Henry Blois to connect the preachers to HRB, there is little benefit to be found in the invention of the St Patrick charter or its mention of Ineswitrin. Dom Watkin of course does not allow that a consolidating author of DA may have interpolated Henry Blois’ interpolations in the era of the contention with Savaric.
604HRB IV, xix
There are two scenarios on the appearance of Wellias in the St Patrick charter. One may be that his name was interpolated by our consolidating author of DA to demonstrate Wells’ subordination to the importance of Glastonbury. His name might however, be a ploy of Henry’s.
We know Henry Blois loves to employ eponyms which would then lead the reader to more fully accept the St Patrick charter’s credibility, as Wells is so close geographically i.e. we are led to believe that Patrick’s friend Wellias went off and founded Wells. I doubt that a consolidating author or other than Henry Blois would have the effrontery to put forward such a suggestion as it is painfully obvious the town of Wells is named after its ability to reach the Water table rather than gaining its name from a certain Wellias.
Moreover, St Patrick probably never set foot in Glastonbury. The name Wells comes from three wells, today dedicated to St Andrew one in the market place and two within the grounds of the Bishop’s palace and cathedral. As I cover later, it is commonly supposed by commentators that the inclusion of Wellias’ name in the St Patrick charter infers that the Patrick charter itself dates from Glastonbury’s contention with Savaric. It is far more likely that Wellias is Henry’s invention so that Patrick is given proximity to Glastonbury through Wells being named after Wellias.
The Patrick charter would provide evidence for Glastonbury’s antiquity and a Phagan and Deruvian605 foundation when Henry was grasping for metropolitan status. It is one of the main reasons their names appear in the First Variant along with the more ecclesiastical tone by comparison with the Vulgate HRB version.
The chain of misrepresentation starts with a misreading of the Liber Pontificalis by Bede who thought ‘Britio’ in Turkey referred to Britain;606 Versions of the Lucius story based on Bede’s mistake, thus appeared in his Historia Brittonum, and HRB and ASC and the Book of Llandaff and Huntingdon’s Historia Anglorum. It is upon Bede’s mistake that Henry introduced his Phagan and Deruvian.
605One observation should be noted about Huntingdon’s précis to Warin of the Primary Historia. One would imagine if Huntingdon had seen the names Phagan and Deruvian (as they are in the First Variant not Primary Historia) he would have commented. This is not to say that Eleutherius and Lucius were not part of the storyline of Primary Historia because they were mentioned in Bede. In his main text at the beginning of book viii after saying ‘Lucius was the first of the British to become a Christian’, Huntingdon by coincidence asks himself who the bishops of that time were. If he had heard in 1139 about Phagan and Deruvian he would have been interested in the names of the two people who are accounted as responsible for Christianising Britain. We know Bede did not mention them and as Rudbourne suggests their names far more likely derive from a Winchester foundation/source. This would probably have been the most important fact to relate to Huntingdon’s friend Warin… if their names had indeed existed in the Primary Historia.
606Adolf von Harnack first proposed in 1904 that the Lucius story derives from a scribal error substituting Britanio, referring to Britannia, for Britio, referring to Birtha or Britium in what is nowadays Turkey which was in the old Mesopotamia. In 179 Birtha was ruled by the Christian-friendly Roman client King of Osroene whose full title was Lucius Aelius Megas Abgar IX. Henry expands the same mistake originating in Bede and then in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle introducing Lucius into HRB. Henry uses Lucius as historical padding to take account of a historical period for which he wished to write his own historicity. The introduction of Lucius corresponded with Henry’s fabricated storyline of a mutual accord between the Britons and Romans posited in HRB. When speaking of the conversion of the Britons Logorio tells us: The widely accepted view was that in 167 AD, at the request of King Lucius of Britain, pope Eleutherius sent Phagan and Deruvian to convert Lucius and all his people. The first place we hear of Phagan and deruvian is in HRB. Are we to understand that Lagorio accepted ‘Geoffrey’s’ testimony?
I have no desire to bore the reader by ploughing through GR and DA but to get to the bottom of what transpired it, is a necessary tedium to endure for a comprehensive understanding. After having set out to reduce somewhat the muddle around the Lucius myth, we no sooner encounter another…. following on in the same interpolation in the same chapter 19 of GR3:
The ancient church of St Mary at Glastonbury was their handiwork, as the faithful tradition of succeeding century’s recounts. There is too that trustworthy record found in several sources, which declares that no other hands made the church of Glastonbury, but it was Christ’s disciples themselves that built it.
If GR3 is a genuine reflection of William’s revised knowledge after his research at Glastonbury, supposedly redacted c.1140 (as most commentators agree), and the DA supposedly came out before 1134;607 why would scholars insist that the St Patrick charter is a late invention…. as the reference above is to the two missionaries? This is obvious that their handiwork follows in direct reference to the preachers: (So, preachers sent by Eleutherius came to Britain, where their work shall endure for ever, although many years’ oblivion has devoured their names.).
607DA chap 83. When William came to the end of DA, Henry’s claim to fame is as ‘brother to count Theobald’ not King Stephen. Note also the references in this chapter 83 are still written as if addressing the monks themselves. But, we know from the prologue of DA that it was written after the completion of the main text of DA and after William had been deferred payment by the monks at Glastonbury. William was referred by the monks to Henry Blois who was residing at Winchester. William then addresses Henry as bishop of Winchester. William’s prologue in DA is a flattering address designed part as apologia for any shortfall felt by the Glastonbury monks for William’s refusal to include rumour. Also, to see if he can gain some recompense and not be ‘deprived of the fruit of his labour’ by seeking to offer to Henry his ‘little work’… ‘whatever its worth’.
We can probably account this sentence to the second attempt by Henry Blois to gain metropolitan status in 1149. The two visits to Rome take into account the previous attempt where a missionary foundation seems to have been posited to pope Lucius II. Henry in his interpolation into GR3 leaves open to speculation who the builders of ‘old church’ were. He is not really bothered as long as metropolitan status is granted. The question is; why would he need to invent the St Patrick Charter if an apostolic foundation had been accepted already?
One scenario to explain the later invention of the St Patrick’s charter could be that apart from a suggestion that the ‘Old church’ was built by the Disciples of Christ, Henry concocted something a little more convincing that definitively took the ‘possible’ foundation from the disciples to something more concrete.
The story of Eleutherius and Lucius, even though not in reality historical, yet the product of a misidentification on Bede’s part, was accepted as historical because the venerable Bede had accounted it historically correct. In effect then, through Bede, the preachers were validated by ‘Geoffrey’s’ corroboration of their connection to Eleutherius; and the possibility of an apostolic foundation having existed before them…. and the fact that Fagan and Deruvian found an already existing church (as stated in the St Patrick charter). This confusing reconciliation gave credence to both positions, either apostolic foundation; or that foundation accomplished by the preachers. We are led to believe by the discovery of the St Patrick charter how the sequence of the suggested foundation history has come down to posterity i.e. by the very concocted document of the St Patrick charter.
Henry posits both of his bogus foundation histories when reconciling his propaganda from two attempts at metropolitan and leaves the confusion of three foundation positions as deriving from antiquity i.e. the mists of time have clouded further illumination . Henry leaves the foundation as ambiguous saying: The ancient church of St Mary at Glastonbury was their handiwork (referring to the un-named missionaries). In the charter of St Patrick, it avers that the Disciples built it: the brothers showed me writings of St Phagan and St Deruvian, wherein it was contained that twelve disciples of St Philip and St James had built that Old Church in honour of our Patroness.
Later, to incorporate the ‘additional’ evidence Henry adds: So it was by the work of these men that the old church of St Mary at Glastonbury was restored, as trustworthy history has continued to repeat throughout the succeeding ages.
It is quite ridiculous to think the St Patrick’s charter is not Henry’s work, but that of a later interpolator; especially considering it is ‘Geoffrey’ who adds Phagan and Deruvian’s names to the First Variant where they had not previously existed in the Primary Historia. More pertinent is the fact that the three archflamens’ are also missing in EAW also. As we have discussed, at the writing of the Primary Historia in 1137-8, metropolitan status was not an issue for Henry, so there was little point in mentioning any Archbishopric. The names of Phagan and Deruvian (originating from Winchester annals) are inserted by the bishop of Winchester into ‘Geoffrey’s’ First Variant version and William’s DA; specifically, for the attempt at metropolitan i.e. in 1144-1149. Coincidentally, the insert of Henry’s chapter 19 of GR3 comes just after William relates (unadulterated) that Winchester’s old Minster was founded by Cenwealh!
‘The faithful tradition of succeeding centuries’ can only be that evidence concocted in DA and based on the preacher’s names in HRB. Therefore, Henry is cross-referencing his own interpolated work. The persuasive words of ‘trustworthy record found in several sources’ is already not an accurate depiction from author B’s ‘Life of St Dunstan’ account, which never mentioned the Disciples of Christ. In fact, the inference is so clever that Henry wishes us to believe that the ‘first neophytes of the catholic law’ in author B’s work refer to Phagan and Deruvian. But author B’s Vita Dunstani does not have them specifically in mind when he writes: For it was in this island (Glastonbury) that, by God’s guidance the first novices of the Catholic law discovered an ancient church, not built by or dedicated in the memory of man.608
The discrepancy of the disciple legend may be based upon two different renderings of author B’s work: nullis hominum recordationibus fabricatum uel dicatam- not built by or dedicated in the memory of man. Another version (derived from Eng609) of author B’s passage: nulla hominum arte (ut ferunt) constructam, immo humanae saluti caelitus paratam- built by no human skill though prepared by heaven for the salvation of mankind.
608The early lives of Dunstan, Winterbottom and Lapidge. P.13
609William of Malmesbury. Saints lives. Winterbottom and Thompson. xviii
The discrepancy is that the church in the first instance is not built in the ‘memory of man’ as author B most probably genuinely stated…. and in the second, a supernatural foundation; or the possibility of an apostolic builder is allowed. If one was pedantic, this would then contradict the assertion it was built by disciples…. as disciples have human skill. This would coincide with the fabricated assertion found in DA concerning St David, that the old church was consecrated by Christ himself and this particular story is only concocted by Henry to nullify statements found in the life of St David by Rhygyfarch, where it ascribes the foundation of Glastonbury to St David. But the link with St David will be discussed further in the section on DA.
We know William of Malmesbury used author B’s Vita S. Dunstani as a reference when writing his own VD at Glastonbury. William does not include this particular passage of B’s in his own VD. It seems fair to assume that if William set out in DA to show genuine antiquity for the ‘old church’ he would not have to rely on the 601 charter as definitive evidence of a pre-existing church as his strongest case of a foundation before Augustine. William would have cited the ‘trustworthy records’; especially if they could be witnessed in ‘several sources’ as we are led to believe he has written above in GR3.
William is writing VD at the same time as DA. One must assume, if an apostolic foundation were really known or even posited by William then it would have at least been anecdotally commented upon when the old church is mentioned at the arrival of Dunstan’s mother610 in VD I or when he refers back to the wooden church (incidentally and not surprisingly, with no emphasis on wattle construction):
Dunstan was now assured of the King’s generosity and friendship and he proceeded to raise to new heights the monastery that God had seen fit to entrust to him. At Glastonbury, as I mentioned before, there is, next to the wooden church, a stone one, whose founder is said by an old and reliable tradition to be of King Ine.611
610William of Malmesbury. Saints Lives, VSD, vol I, 1,2
611William of Malmesbury. Saints Lives, VSD, vol I, 16
The point is; if VSD and DA were written simultaneously…. why is there no disciple foundation mentioned in VSD II which was written just after the main text of DA? Why therefore, if we know DA is vastly interpolated, do scholars still insist that the painfully obvious ‘Glastonbury’ interpolations in GR3 (version B) are the resultant consequence of a ‘new revelation’ to William during his researches at the abbey?
Why would Newell be so gullible as to insist it is a conjecture of William’s and conclude: It was William, therefore, who invented the association between Philip and Glastonbury. If there were genuine evidence of apostolic foundation, one can be sure it would be cited elsewhere. Newell does not understand why Philip is mentioned and Freculphus is cited….. because, like other modern commentators, he assumes no fraud in GR3.
Henry (posing as ‘Geoffrey’) has used as his inspiration for Avalon, the Island mentioned in the prophecy of Melkin to which the directional data refers. The prophecy’s sole purpose is to indicate the location of Joseph of Arimathea’s body. Newell does not know this. But it is interesting to speculate that Newell possibly finds another reason apart from Freculphus’s reference, why Henry Blois (posing as ‘William’) has lighted upon Philip.612 The best that can be achieved by our Glastonbury interpolator of GR3 is to steer the gullible to accept his propaganda by way of citing Freculphus as the closest tentative and persuasive argument.
612Newell. William of Malmesbury. On the antiquity of Glastonbury p.469: What authority had the author for connecting Joseph with Philip? The only testimony yet discovered is a Georgian document, assigned to the eighth century, which undertakes to describe the erection of a church at Lydda, to Mary, mother of God. The Georgian book, which professes to emanate from Joseph himself, recites his captivity by the Jews, release by the risen Saviour, and collection of the sacred blood (received in the grave-clothes of Christ). At Arimathea the Redeemer appears to Joseph, breathes on the company present (which includes Seleucus and Nicodemus) the Holy Ghost, and commands Joseph to resort to Lydda, where he will meet Philip. Joseph obeys, and reaches Lydda, whither also proceeds Philip, who preaches with success, baptizing five thousand persons. The new converts wish Philip to remain, and he declares that they will be safe under the guidance of others, and pursues his way. A site is chosen for the new church, and Peter summoned from Jerusalem in order to preside over its construction. Hence- forward, Joseph plays a secondary part, and does not again come into contact with Philip.’ It will be observed that in this account Philip commends his disciples to the care of Joseph, as in DA; a story resembling the Georgian document would be sufficient to account for the latter. (Newell)
If I am correct about Henry Blois as the instigator of the reference to Freculphus that Henry obtained this from the abbey library; we must assume that Freculphus had misinterpreted Gallatia for Gaul where Philip actually was located. Henry Blois must however, have come across this Georgian book to make the connection between St Philip and Joseph. Lagorio seems to think the abbey looked to the Apocrypha as if like bees working in concert…. the monks over several generations contrived the DA interpolations to fit with the Romances. This proposition as Carley parrot’s also is rationalisation by a scholar with no intent to look further for a real reason
Understated assertions in William’s GR tend to corroborate the more unrealistic and over-embellished propaganda found in DA. The commonalities of the Glastonbury GR3 interpolations and their counterparts in DA, seems to have added to the credence and authenticity of both accounts amongst scholars….. even with the blatant contradictions. Ultimately, a disciple foundation in GR3 naturally leans toward the acceptance of Joseph lore in DA. It becomes less of a giant leap when Henry engages upon his ‘second agenda’. Unless one sees the DA as a book which evolved through updated redacted interpolations, (useful to Henry’s purpose at different times), one will never understand that the content was interpolated according to the changing motives.
The first two chapters in DA concerning Joseph was very much a part of the propaganda already included in DA when Henry Blois died. This is a fact denied by the modern scholastic community simply because it does not fit with their re-construction of events. There is no definitive evidence to suggest that the first two chapters of DA did not exist as part of the last additions written into DA before Henry’s death. But since no scholar has even posited that Henry Blois has anything to do with the interpolations in DA even though the book is dedicated to him; it is hardly surprising.
Like a defective gene, the assumption that the mention of Joseph was a late addition by a consolidating author has been passed down through succeeding generations of scholars.
One critic of my thesis who said he had studied the same subject for 45 years and one must assume was a scholar, said that I had only written this work for my own edification. Well this dullard is quite wrong in that this work of uncovering the faults of scholars does not edify anybody. The scholar is just too thick to understand to what this work ultimately leads to.
If ‘Geoffrey’ is Henry Blois and Henry Blois interpolated the DA and was the primordial promulgator of Grail lore; then my critic surely is sedentary in thought if he does not realise that Henry Blois had the Melkin prophecy at Glastonbury. If he did posess the Melkin prophecy, it surely means the body of Joseph of Arimathea is still on Burgh Island. But one thing stands the test of time and is proof unto itself; if over the last 200 years with all that has been written on our three genres under investigation; modern scholars have not been able to deduce the basics about our three genres i.e. Henry Blois wrote HRB, the Merlin prophecies and was responsible for interpolating DA and the composition of original Grail literature under the name Blohis; I very much doubt they will understand the ramifications of the Melkin prophecy existing in Henry Blois’ era.
Henry Blois is well acquainted with the contents of the prophecy of Melkin which, even when misinterpreted, clearly suggested that on Ineswitrin Joseph is buried to be found someday in the future. If Henry had not had a copy, there would be no mystical island called Avalon in the First Variant. There would be no Graal in Chrétien’s work, and there would be no Joseph and a mysterious vessel in the Vaus d’Avaron613 in Robert de Boron’s work. Most of all, there would never have been the idea to plant a fake grave-site to be found in the future in Avalon with the location of the grave pointed out in DA.
However, like the ‘experts’ in the modern era, Henry Blois did not understand the instructional data or solution to the cryptogram of Melkin’s prophecy. But only the inept could not understand the unearthing of a cross at Montacute and not connect it to the clue left by Melkin concerning Joseph’s burial site mentioned by Father Good. Especially, regarding a point on the 104-mile line we are instructed to find in the directional data of the Melkin prophecy.
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Henry Blois had already searched for Joseph at Montacute. It was himself who eventually substituted Ineswitrin for Avalon on the Melkin prophecy as part of his second agenda, aware that Joseph’s remains were on Ineswitrin but uncertain of the island’s location. Henry could not interpret the obtuse Latin prophecy in the form of a geometric cryptogram which could only be solved by transferring the data to a map, but Henry understood the intent of the prophecy was to cryptically provide the islands location, by means of direction unlike our university professors of today.
Even Henry, unable to unpick the solution of the crytogram would know that the bifurcated line mentioned would indicate that the prophecy would probably have a geometrical solution. Henry just thought he would appropriate the only island in ancient Dumnonia with a Joseph legend i.e. Looe island.
Carley, who has seen the solution to Melkin’s prophecy614 is unwilling to admit that all the pieces of his and Lagorio’s assessment of Glastonbury lore, the dismissal of the Melkin Prophecy and Melkin himself; and the study of the three genres under discussion in this volume has validity do not warrant his time. Joseph lore in DA being dismissed by him as late interpolation by Glastonbury monk craft has led to some serious scholastic contradictions in chronology. Specifically, if the composer of the Perlesvaus whose author knew Glastonbury well…. knew who was in the manufactured grave at Avalon and the grave was yet undiscovered and the volume was known to have been composed by Master Blihis, how could it be an early thirteenth century composition.
613Lagorio’s perception is interesting: Joseph’s premier in the Grail romances occurred in Robert de Boron’s Joseph d’Arimathie, a late twelfth century work telling how Joseph and the Grail company travelled from Jerusalem westward with the ultimate destination in the Vaus d’Avaron, possibly a variation of Avalon. Do you think?
614According to Goldsworthy, And did those feet….a copy of the geometry was seen by Carley and ignored.
Anyhow, instead of finding the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (as it was set out in the Melkin prophecy), Henry Blois decided to concoct the biggest fraud in history by staging the bogus remains of his chivalric King Arthur in a tomb and placing with it an identifying ‘Leaden cross’. The location of the burial site was pointed out in DA and Henry knew the relics of King Arthur would eventually be searched for by posterity.
Disinterment and the re-interment of famous people and saints was a common practice and the collection of random saints’ relics were known to have been sourced by Henry and taken to Glastonbury. The fame of Henry’s renowned chivalric King Arthur would live forever in the memory of the British Isles. However, none of these events disprove the existence of the prophecy of Melkin; they highlight its existence. Now, if our ‘experts’ would have us understand that these ‘set of circumstances’ just happened at Glastonbury ‘fortuitously’ by the coincidental actions of so many different monks over generations (a bit like throwing a jigsaw in the air and expecting all the pieces falling into place) they should not be posing as scholars.
Our current expert on Geoffrey of Monmouth, Julia Crick understands ‘Geoffrey’ invented the chivalric persona of Arthur but has no idea ‘Geoffrey’ is Henry Blois even after researches entitled ‘Script and Forgery in England’.615 She may however, like some perceptive commentators, realise that Avalon is a fabrication.
If Avalon were really Glastonbury, why is it that William of Malmesbury does not mention it anywhere except in the interpolated section of DA? If Avalon was not synonymous with Glastonbury and had never been heard of by William of Malmesbury, and both ‘Chivalric Arthur’ and Avalon were fabrications; would not such an ‘expert’ be able to deduce the same man might be responsible for both inventions…. cognisant of the fact that ‘Geoffrey’s’ Arthur is fictionally placed in Autun, (a stone’s throw from a town called Avallon) in the region of Blois…. and all this transpired while Henry Blois was abbot of Glastonbury!!!
615Crick acts upon the appeal of A. G. van Hamel: What is wanted most at present is a minute study of all the Latin texts that are still buried in British and continental libraries. Crick achieves this in Dissemination and Reception but without knowing who the author of HRB is in reality, she is in no way equipped to categorize the HRB’s evolution from Primary Historia, through an altered First Variant aimed at a Papal audience where changes were made ingratiating the text toward papal approval; and then followed chronologically (in terms of being made public) by the later expanded Vulgate version. This is not to say that a Primary Historia was a reduced first Variant. Episodes recorded in EAW from Primary Historia may have been redacted in First Variant to be re-established again in Vulgate considering the mindset of Henry Blois when the origins of HRB was composed. Scholar’s like Griscom have tried to put into historical context HRB but only to support theories regarding the dating of texts through dedicatees. As we know this is a fruitless exercise.
Our scholars would have us believe that Chrétien writes about Un Graal (which is based on the ‘vessel’ of the duo fassula in the prophecy of Melkin) and Robert de Boron writes about the Grail and Joseph of Arimathea and sending it to the Vaus d’Avaron, completely independently of Glastonbury or Henry Blois’ influence…. while Avalon, by a ‘fortuitous convergence of factors’, suddenly becomes synonymous with Glastonbury at the find of one object (the ‘leaden cross’). So how come ‘Geoffrey’ knows Insula Pomorum is Avalon/Glastonbury in 1155, long before 1189-90. I wonder if an ancient bard had foretold that Guinevere and Arthur were buried in Avalon in the Perlesvaus but how could he know where a manufactured grave would be uncovered. Come to that, I wonder how the interpolator of DA knows the location also before the disinterment. I wonder if Master Blihis or Blihos Bleheris (because nobody knew who he was at court) or Henry Blois could have anything to do with all these coincidences at Glastonbury.
More miraculously, Avalon just happens to be accepted as Glastonbury by Gerald of Wales in 1193, even though he refers to records which indicate where the body was located. As I will cover shortly in the section on Gerald, Gerald has read DA and in that book the name Avalon already exists.Or do you think Henry Blois as Gerald’s patron might have said something????
In the interim 20-year period between Henry Blois’s death and the unveiling of Arthur’s tomb are we to believe there was no cognisance of Avalon’s synonymy with Glastonbury? Scholars would have us believe Henry de Sully (the abbot in 1191) decided to carry out a fraud at Glastonbury positing for the first time that Glastonbury’s previous name was Avalon. And hey presto, in the same period Robert de Boron completely remote from Glastonbury has Joseph and Avalon and Marie of France c.1165 is referring to Avalon also 25 years before Arthur’s cross is found at Glastonbury.
It is this ludicrous red line in the recognition of when Avalon supposedly became known as Avalon which has hampered scholar’s chronology. Le Gentil argues that the mention of Avalon shows that Robert wrote Joseph d’Arimathie after 1191, when supposedly monks at Glastonbury had manufactured a grave and then claimed to have discovered the coffins of King Arthur and Guinevere. Le Gentil, Scott, Carley, Lagario and every other bend over backwards to unsee the obvious.
One thing all the experts leave well alone is the question of Glastonbury’s transformation into Avalon and who was behind it. It would be unbelievable for all and sundry to suddenly accept Glastonbury as Avalon just because the ‘leaden cross’ implicates Glastonbury as such. Even in the twelfth century healthy scepticism existed and Henry de Sully would hardly get away with pulling a stunt, which, to all intents and purposes, just mimics an island mentioned twice in HRB.
Do you really think they just had a hole dug and pulled out bones and everyone was ok with the pantomime? and this rigmarole was staged based on Grail stories from the continent; and oh yes! Let’s include Joseph of Arimathea in Glastonbury lore because there is something written by Robert de Boron about the Grail in the vaus D’Avaron; and Oh yes let’s all make up a ditty about Joseph in Avalon since King Arthur went to Avalon and call it Melkin’s prophecy….. but we will make it so nobody ever understands it!!!!! Professor Carley is teaching this stuff to youngsters, but his rationalizations have become so ‘insane’ that the very document which is at the core of the matter of Britain is not about Britain at all according to his ballonious theories; its about Syria.
Arthur’s grave had matured ten years at least and we will get to Gerald’s eyewitness testimony shortly which modern scholars have haughtily ignored because it does not fit with how they have instructed us that events transpired. This array of corroborative events could never happen without Henry’s groundwork; not forgetting Insula Pomorum is part of this groundwork toward transformation as early as 1155-7 in VM.
Previously, scholars have rationalised that Avalon transformed into Glastonbury at the time the ‘leaden cross’ was unearthed and therefore the Charter of St Patrick followed subsequently. The postscript to the Patrick charter in DA (which antedated the disinterment because it too was composed by Henry Blois in his final consolidation of DA), substantiated further the position that Avalon was the old name for Glastonbury.
When the ‘leaden cross’ was found, there was a ready acceptance that Avalon was the previous name for Glastonbury based on a book written by Willam of Malmesbury and this book had been in the public domain 20 years since Henry Blois death long before the disinterment of King Arthur and from this book the exact position of the manufactured grave was stated.
No scholar has suspected the instigator of the St Patrick charter, and the person who interpolated the location of Arthur’s grave site into DA is the same person who invented the name Avalon and the chivalric Arthur with Norman values. It also the same person who pre-ordained this lore and location to Glastonbury as early as 1155 through Insula Pomorum. The same person had the ‘leaden cross’ fabricated. Henry de Sully unearthing the relics was just doing what Henry Blois knew would eventually be done and what Henry Blois himself had done with saints relics in the past. The abbey had burnt down and with the popularity of King Arthur abounding….. Henry de Sully dug up King Arthur’s manufactured grave to re-house the bones in the new building. It was Henry Blois who on his death bed spoke to King Henry II the day before he died and made sure King Henry knew the grave was in the graveyard. In 1184 King Henry signs a charter which implies it is common knowledge Arthur is buried there.
The reader may also remember Henry Blois was the instigator of the rumour regarding Dunstan whereby that rumour had been countered by Eadmer’s letter in which it was stated that Eadmer as a boy at Canterbury remembers: With it was found in inscription on a lead tablet which clearly stated that there lay the body of St Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury. It was from this incontestable proof from antiquity that Henry Blois got the idea for his ‘Leaden cross’ to deposit in the manufactured grave site, to mimic and establish a similar proof of Arthur in Avalon.
The abbot of Glastonbury, (aka Geoffrey of Monmouth) is the inventor of both Avalon and the persona of the Chivalric Arthur and who fabricated the cross which bears testimony to his inventions at a location at which he was abbot. Also, preachers named by ‘Geoffrey of Monmouth’ also come to Avalon in what the scholars know to be a concocted charter in a book dedicated to Henry Blois. These are not a fortuitous circumstances!! This is conscious design by the architect of the Matter of Britain.
For scholars like Lagorio, the answer to many of these random coincidences is to force all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to fit together face side-down. In so doing, no-one can see the picture, the resolution has no context! Adherents to Lagorio’s theory are happy to accept that Joseph lore appeared at Glastonbury by a ‘fortuitous convergence of factors’. Modern scholars like professor Carley have no understanding of the meaning behind Melkin’s prophecy. They have even less idea than those who lived in the fourteenth century; who at least understood the Melkin prophecy was a set of geometric instructions, which, when deciphered, led to a sepulchre on an island in Britain (not Syria). If it was not how the hell does a line 104 miles long terminate on an island and that line is bifurcated from the English Meridian at 13 degrees as the prophecy states. Carley has simply chosen to ignore all the words which constitute the prophecy and pontificate vacuous horeshit dressed up as scholarship for the feeble minded to repeat.
Our ‘experts’ decree is clouded in ignorance and yet they pronounce the prophecy is a fake and even worse, they maintain the man who encrypted the geometrical data for the prophecy never lived, while insisting the prophecy is a construct of various sources. If all that were true, one must ask why bother to invent solutions like Baybars (in Arabic al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn al-Din Baybars al-Bunduqdari), Sultan of Egypt and Syria. What are we looking for here an island in Dumnonia or something to baffle the poor university students?
The modern conclusion is that a person who did not exist could not leave an accurate set of instructions…. which when portrayed on a map lead us to an Island in Devon. Our scholars would have us believe that it must be coincidence that Joseph was a tin merchant and the Devonian Island donated to Glastonbury in the 601 charter (which fits Diodorous’ description of Ictis) is not Ineswitrin. The evidence for Carley is too much to process and becomes to overwhelmingly contradictory to every erroneous position which he has expounded in volumes over the years. Lagorio and Carley’s theories do not stand up to scrutiny.
None of these experts consider the traditions of the Cornish regarding Joseph and how the panoply of early saint’s names, defines by their names… the existence of most towns and villages in Cornwall. These towns were namedfrom the earliest Christian followers in the first century. Should we not consider why there is such a large number of early Saints particularly in Cornwall. If our present authority on Joseph lore can’t see the wood for the trees and understand that Joseph of Arimathea came to Britain and was buried here; he is hardly going to get his head around the prophecy of Melkin being a real document which spells out where Joseph is buried.
Henry Blois as we know, carries out all his authorship with subtlety to avoid discovery. If Melkin’s prophecy or Melkin’s name had been included in DA with the original name of the island on the prophecy i.e. Ineswitrin, it would lead every investigator back to Henry Blois as Abbot of Glastonbury and how it was a dead Caradoc wrote the life of Gildas in which Ineswitrin is transformed into Glastonbury; and how this book was produced 10 years after Caradoc’s death and to which Malmesbury never referred in his unadulterated writings in VD or the unadulterated words of William of DA. This essentially is why there is a record of the prophecy under the name Insula Avallonis (in a no longer extant volume), which JG must have seen, and why the name of the Island was changed on the prophecy.
The same prophecy about the island of Avalon could only be associated with ‘Geoffrey’ as no-one had heard of Avalon before ‘Geoffrey’ had it in the storyline as the mystical isle in HRB. But, if the Life of Gildas manuscript, where Glastonbury is transformed into Ineswitrin and where Arthur is connected to Glastonbury and the scene is then portrayed on the Modena Archivolt, were to then be connected to a Melkin prophecy (which had the original Ineswitrin name on it); then c.1140 Henry Blois would have been recognisable as the common denominator. But because the prophecy had a change of name and was in a tract purportedly written by Melkin (De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda) and much later only JG divulges its contents, Henry Blois is not even connected to the Prophecy or suspected as the promulgator of Joseph lore at Glastonbury.
The Melkin Prophecy is after all where Henry Blois got the inspiration for the actual ‘island’ as an icon; a mystical place he named Avalon in HRB…. named as we have covered, from the Burgundian town not far from where he grew up. Melkin and Joseph have been discounted and deemed later Glastonbury inventions, because our scholar’s understanding of events is that DA was interpolated over time and institutionally by monk craft at Glastonbury.
Also, their understanding is that DA’s interpolation took place at a time after Arthur’s disinterment; even though the location of Arthur’s grave is specifically mentioned in DA and by Gerald’s account known to be in the abbey graveyard.
On what basis is this huge presumption made by modern scholars? It is made purely on the spurious deduction that it was Henry de Sully who instigated the fraudulent unearthing. It is the forcing of pieces of a jigsaw with no apparent picture visible, nothing more. But, by adopting this viewpoint, it obviously obscures Henry Blois as a possible interpolator, even though these experts know the entire Grail edifice innately connected to Glastonbury was propagated by someone named Master Blehis, who has a name like Monseigneur Blois, Maistre Blohis, Blihos Bliheris or Blaise even Bledhericus. Could this possibly be Henry Blois who just happens to be the uncle of three known Grail propagators. One would need to be a medievalist modern scholar such as Crick or Carley or Shoaf to not see what is apparent. Of course they cannot counter the evidence put forward in this investigation as it will just highlight their own inadequacies in the fields in which they are supposed to be experts.
Not only have they ignored Gerald of Wales’s written testimony given twenty years after Henry Blois death as an eyewitness to the disinterment of Arthur (written only one or two years after the event), but they have shunned every coincidence which connects our three genres of study under investigation i.e. of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Glastonburyana, and Grail legend. It takes more effort in their convoluted rationalisations to deny the fact that Henry Blois is the common denominator than to accept it.
Henry Blois’ portrayal of royal court extravagance in HRB is so close to the real-life experiences of Henry Blois, so how does a Welsh cleric from the Marches have such insight to affairs of state? How is it that Merlin foresees two new metropolitan sees and so many episodes of the Anarchy? How is it that much of the corroborative evidence is found in a book (DA) dedicated to the person who is obviously the perpetrator of this fraud? How is it that the person attested to have propagated Grail legend has a name like Monseigneur Blois, Master Blehis, Maistre Blohis, Blihos Bliheris or Blaise. Giraldus Cambrensis’ Bledhericus is the ‘famosus ille fabulator’ who had lived “shortly before our time”; and we have already caught Henry as ‘Hericus’ as the hedgehog at Winchester earlier while investigating the Merlin prophecies.
The four corner pieces of the puzzle; Arthur, Joseph of Arimathea, the Grail, and the mystical Island have all been turned upside down and the pieces should fit together but the connecting pieces don’t make a picture which anyone can see. A blank picture is what our experts have presented to us and they think certain pieces to the puzzle are best left outside the four squares because they don’t fit.Especially now that several other pieces have been forced together and they refuse to see the correct way of construction.
Carley’s denial of the solution to Melkin’s prophecy can only be termed ignorant. A vital piece of the puzzle which makes up the Matter of Britain is now excluded. When the puzzle is turned over for all to see nothing matches, no-one can make sense of the picture. There are two big holes left and the pieces just won’t fit in the puzzle now it is forced. The two pieces left out however, fit together and should have been in the center of the picture i.e. Henry Blois and the Melkin prophecy.
However, to concede to those scholars unaware of the solution to Melkin’s prophecy, we can understand that their assumption that Melkin is a fabrication is largely based upon the fact that there is no mention of Melkin in DA and that the prophecy had not been deciphered before 2010. But, as I have commented already, if a fourteenth century forger came up with directions by coincidence, which actually, (when understood as a cipher), pointed to an island firstly and then this island was found to be in Devon…. this in itself would be alarming; and really would be a case of throwing pieces in the air and watching them neatly form on the map.
Commentators have not suspected that one mind is behind the developing myth even when Arthur and Joseph and Avalon are linked in the earliest continental romances and Giraldus bears testimony that the raconteur of renown lived ‘shortly before our time’.
Henry Blois was patron to Gerald and we know Henry Blois goes to extraordinary lengths in detailed interpolation to secret the fact that he is the propagator of the Matter of Britain. It would not be surprising that both Henry II and Giraldus had both been primed as to Arthur’s whereabouts.
One must not forget, in the minds of those living c.1190, it was William of Malmesbury, the reliable historian, who lets us know where Arthur is buried. Do you really think a thirteenth century interpolator after the fact would just let us know where Arthur was buried without aggrandising the whole disinterment affair in DA if that is how it transpired and our scholars had got their chronology correct? The real point to make is in both references, the present tense is used i.e. In DA Arthur and Guinevere are between the piramides and the same in the colophon of Perlesvaus Arthur and Guinevere are buried in Avalon before they going to be found there in the future.
Scholars dating estimation of Robert de Boron’s Joseph d’ Arimathie c.1160-80 is guesswork but at least this incorporates the period Gerald says Bledhericus who is the ‘famosus ille fabulator’ lived “shortly before our time”. The oldest manuscript of Joseph d’ Arimathie just by coincidence comes from Modena where we know Henry passed through.
If we can witness one mind behind most of the pertinent interpolations in DA and GR which connects Glastonbury lore to the romances and the Grail, why must it be assumed that Joseph was only inserted into DA after Arthur’s disinterment? As long as no-one suspected Henry Blois as the fraudulent author of the chivalric Arthur in HRB, this assumption has remained tenable. It no longer holds when it is understood that the advent of both Arthur and Joseph into DA are by the same man who was the original propagator of the romance literature and was the author of the Historia. When this fact is accepted, the Joseph legend will be seen to have derived from Melkin and from a verifiable prophecy which in essence can be substantiated and historically proved once the tomb is uncovered. But with modern scholarship ill equipped to recognise the connections made in this study of the three genres of work, Ictis will be in Plymouth, Joseph will just be a legend and the most important artifact worldwide will remain under Burgh Island and the Roman lie of monopolistic Catholicism will be perpetuated.
So, if we were to sum up on the present state of scholarship of our three genres; we would have to say there is no current authority who understands the provenance of the Grail romances. Most scholars have died disputing and chasing the answer much like the elusive Grail quest itself. Carley, our expert on Glastonburyana, by his own admission can’t make any kind of sense from the prophecy of Melkin and is not qualified to dismiss its contents as a fabrication simply because he has chosen to ignore evidence. Since Carley regurgitates Logario’s views, we can expect no new revelation from him without crumbling the very edifice of erroneous pronouncements he and his mentor have made regarding Joseph of Arimathea
When it comes to our expert on the History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Julia Crick is our expert. If she does not know who wrote the book, it hardly seems the correct starting point by informing others how it was disseminated. In fact, Julia informs us that Geoffrey’s literary output too has been seen as a bid for patronage. Henry Blois was probably the richest man in Britain, in no need of a patron and all her recycled ramblings of previous scholar’s assessments of the dedicatees as a viable method of dating or chronology are redundant; because not one dedicatee was ever a patron of Geoffrey… simply because ‘Geoffrey’ is Henry Blois.
Certainly, none of our current experts are ‘qualified’ to make assertions concerning the Island of Avalon as none knows of the provenance of its name; nor do they understand how it is in reality Burgh Island in Devon derived by decoding the Melkin prophecy and having understood that its original subject of the Island of Ineswitrin has been transposed so that JG’s rendition of the Melkin prophecy speaks of the Island of Avalon (a ‘Geoffey’ invention).
Once we (the non-experts, using only common sense) understand that the prophecy of Melkin was in Henry Blois possesion, we can then comprehend why Henry in his interpolations in William of Malmesbury’s work, comments too frequently on the construction of the Old church i.e. to chime with the Melkin prophecy
In effect, this prepares his audience to more readily accept that the words cratibus and oratori from Melkin’s prophecy are references to the Old church at Glastonbury. As we have covered, the reference applies to the naturally formed slate cavity/cave where Joseph is buried and the other to a religious house which once existed where the current hotel is situated on Burgh Island as Camden attests. If one witnessed inside the tomb one would understand why Melkin refers to it obliquely as a crater. It is formed from the geological upheaval of slate deposits which creates a naturally arched cave in which, (at the present day), the ceiling has partially collapsed and the tunnel to the cave has been bricked up.
The cave was entered by the Templars c.1340 and the shroud, now known as the Shroud of Turin was removed. In 1453 a Margaret de Charney supposedly the Templar’s granddaughter, deeded the shroud to the House of Savoy and in 1578 the shroud was transferred to Turin. This is another statement for which I have suffered abuse and now I am termed ‘mad’ again. The effrontery is that it is they who think ‘Geoffrey’ is real and the Melkin prophecy and its solution have no validity. They believe the Grail romances were written by anybody else but Henry Blois…..the main promulgator’s uncle!!!!!!!!!!! They think I am making this stuff up; while they reference each other in volumes as if it is some secret society where only the initiated has the right to proffer an utterance, so long as someone has said it before, and they all agree!!!!
Anyway, there is a well-known local legend that on Burgh Island there was a monastery at one time in antiquity and it is to this that the word ‘Oratori’ in the Melkin Prophecy relates. In whatever book Henry Blois reproduced the prophecy,616 he wants his audience to understand that the words in the prophecy apply to the old church at Glastonbury as far as any intelligible material in the prophecy can be made to appear coincidental. Hence the direct reference to the church covered in lead in mentioned Perlesvaus i.e. chapel nouvelemant faite, qui mout estoit bele e riche; si estoit covert de plon…. the DA features the same church with lead covering.
The wattle construction of the oratory is not mentioned elsewhere in William of Malmesbury’s work except in what we know to be Henry Blois interpolations of GR3 and DA. Therefore, we should look to the reasoning of why such a normally inconsequential detail is highlighted and a wooden church becomes necessarily wattle in construction. The obvious reason would be that our propagandist is steering his audience to accept the ‘oratory’ in the prophecy as the current wooden church. The only reason he would be doing this is because the prophecy exists.
The point is…. if Henry Blois is employing certain words in Malmesbury’s works, so that they seem to correlate to the ‘Old Church’ and we know the prophecy does not apply to anywhere else but Burgh Island…. we must conclude that the person wishing to convince us of this has a reason for doing so. It is a purposeful attempt to mirror with what is stipulated in the prophecy so as to conflate Glastonbury with the original island location in the prophecy.617
It is quite lame that scholars find it unremarkable and natural for supposedly William of Malmesbury to mention what a building used to be made of on several occasions, especially when William himself (not the interpolations) says it is made of wood.618 So, if Henry is keen to seek a harmonisation of criteria in the prophecy with what features exist at Glastonbury and this harmonisation is found in William’s GR3; the Melkin prophecy is unlikely to be a fourteenth century concoction; especially, if the church had burnt down and these were subsequent interpolations. This would be the case, unless it is a ‘fortuitous convergence of factors’ and coincidence that the data in the prophecy just so happens to indicate an island in Devon which had a name in Brythonic which meant the ‘island of White tin’ (attested to by Diodorus as Ictis by its location and description) and as William of Malmesbury relates was donated to Glastonbury in 601AD.
616It has to be Henry who reproduced the prophecy as it has his invented name of Insula Avallonis substituted for Ineswitrin.
617The exact same procedure was used when it was imperative that Ineswitrin appeared synonymous with Glastonbury in the Life of Gildas.
618William of Malmesbury. Saints Lives, VSD, vol I, 16. At Glastonbury, as I mentioned before, there is, next to the wooden church, a stone one, whose founder is said by an old and reliable tradition to be of King Ine.
It is Henry Blois who is transforming William’s work in GR3 to correlate with a word found in the prophecy concerning ‘Wattle’. Cratibus praeparatis: ‘prepared wattle’ is not clear; but is more relevant to a previously prepared (pre-readied- paratis) ‘cave’ or crater as witnessed in Melkin’s prophecy in which Joseph is buried.
To be fair (and running contrary to my proposition), in both DA (chap 1&6) and in GR3 the term for wattle used by Henry Blois is virgea rather than cratibus but in essence gives exactly the same sense. In fact in DA, Henry Blois’ interpolation uses uirgis torquatis saying the disciples ‘had been instructed, making the lower part of all its walls of twisted wattle, an unsightly construction no doubt…619 The ‘oratory’ at ‘Avalon’ (in reality made of wood with a lead covering at the time of writing DA) now has one redeeming feature with which it becomes synonymous (or becomes eligible to be conflated with) the oratori mentioned in the prophecy, which now finds relevance situated at Glastonbury.
619Early history of Glastonbury abbey. John Scott, chap 1.
‘William of Malmesbury’ supposedly has told us that the church used to be built of wattle, but it is with too much emphasis and too often to be genuine narrative from William. Henry Blois makes such a point of this (and that is why I am labouring the point), so that the prophecy about the Island known as Avalon agrees on as many parallel points as possible. Henry Blois then persuades us (and John of Glastonbury follows his lead) that there should be no doubt that the cratibus found in the prophecy can only apply to the Glastonbury oratori. Henry, pretending to be William, is overly defensive and too frequent in his attempts to convince us of the construction and antiquity of the church in both GR and DA The obsession with the material of construction ironically points out that Henry is making a case rather than being able to base his assertions in fact, which evidently establishes the reason behind the interpolations.
Author B’s Life of Dunstan only ‘suggests’ that St Patrick died at Glastonbury, but Author B does not quote from any apostolic legend. There was none previously before Henry’s abbacy at Glastonbury. The only definitive proof of dating for Glastonbury abbey in antiquity was the 601 charter. The 601 charter and the prophecy of Melkin were probably in ‘the chest of documents’ until William found them.
Henry establishes the veracity of his position concerning an apostolic foundation by averring in DA that: There are letters worthy of belief to be found at St Edmund’s to this effect: ‘The hands of other men did not make the church at Glastonbury but the very disciples of Christ, namely those sent by St Philip the apostle built it’. It is suspicious that we are not informed upon what authority these ‘letters’ or works are based, but the reference is probably to the unus historiographus Britonum which includes material based on author B, but it does not mention Philip or disciples. The same argument exactly about Freculphus and the Gauls and St Philip is used in DA as in GR3; the only difference is that in DA an apostolic foundation is posited as a certainty. In none of the saint’s lives written by William of Malmesbury is St Philip mentioned. One would think St Philip was worthy of mention in VSD II considering what William had found out since writing VSD I…. if there were any truth to the assertion that William made such a claim. The same principles Henry uses to construct HRB i.e. conflation, obfuscation and confusion. St Philip was an apostle in Samaria and Palestine, (admittedly there is no evidence he did not come to Europe)…. but it seems fair to speculate that it is Freculphus who starts the rumour confusing the Galli or ‘Gauls’ with Galatians or Gallati.
We do not know if William of Malmesbury620 would have known of Freculphus’s continental work nor quoted it as an authority.621 The matter of William’s tantalising proposition is probably the most important subject matter concerning the church and not a topic for a serious historian to trifle over. To posit such an earth shattering proposition (only tentatively) does not hold with the normal self-imposed professional strictures William normally obeys. This black hole in history from which Henry Blois weaves his web of fabrications is consciously admitted in that in HRB, he promises a translation of another fictitious book devoted to the exile of the British Clergy in Brittany after the ravages of the farcical African King Gormundus. One can only imagine that Henry Blois envisioned writing the proposed fictitious book devoted to the exile which would surely have completed the Glastonbury void in history. I can speculate that it might have gone as far as a confirmation of St Patrick with St Germanus in Brittany.
620His father was Norman and his mother English and he spent his whole life in England.
621According to G. Baist two copies of Freculphus’ chronicles composed c.830 were listed in the Glastonbury Library catalogue in 1247
The reader should be aware that if Henry had been discovered as the author of these various tracts, especially with the advent of the Merlin Prophecies, he would have been ridiculed and cast out as a liar and manipulator. So, Henry had to be careful in composing another fake history which (without incorporating Winchester or Glastonbury into them) would serve no purpose except to corroborate the pseudo-history of HRB. But, if he had written the book on the exile of British clergy, he would have been exposed by now. Instead the VM was composed, in which steps were taken to convince us ‘Apple Island’ was the same place as Avalon.
Fortunately for us in the modern era, a new 1158 ‘second agenda’ was born on Henry’s return from Clugny. Glastonbury was to be glorified to take on even Rome’s apostolic succession. Henry moved Glastonbury’s status as high as one might presume to aim in hereditary succession…. through the family of Jesus by his supposed Uncle. Henry knew Joseph’s burial site existed, but could not locate the Island of Ineswitrin…. otherwise what is he doing searching at Montacute. Why would he perpetuate the Melkin prophecy if he did not believe it and propagate Grail stories at the court of Champagne about Joseph and the Grail based on the material in the Melkin prophecy.
Henry relates about a vessel containing Christ’s blood being taken to ‘Geoffrey’s’ Avalon, organised by Joseph of Arimathea and tells of the Vaus d’Avaron…. so it would be a madness not to understand that Henry based his association of Joseph with the Grail on anything else but the prophecy of Melkin. The prophecy is the only thing we know is genuine by the accuracy of its data. The only change is the substitution of the Burgundian name of Avalon which we know derives from ‘Geoffrey’.
It is doubtful that William of Malmesbury would ever have been convinced of an apostolic foundation. Unless he is sequentially working toward that argument, I can see no reason why Freculphus should be called upon to back up what is essentially an unfounded proposition. The real truth lies in the fact that the first 34 chapters of DA are an interpolation and William of Malmesbury starts the original DA with the 601charter as the earliest evidence. Hence, a disciplic provenance was not known by William in his unadulterated work.
Surely, someone is compiling a case calling upon a parallel of Author B which exists at St Edmund’s, and also a proposition which cites the nearest tentative documented622 disciple’s name to come within range of Britain put forward by Freculphus. This is then combined with persuasive rhetoric such as ‘faithful tradition of succeeding centuries’ and most convincing of all, ‘that trustworthy record found in several sources’.
If William refused to include falsehoods in his work which confirm Dunstan’s relics are at Glastonbury, while under great pressure from the monks to do so; it is doubtful he would flaunt a proposition of such importance contrary to every principle; especially with the following caveat. But I would not be thought to deceive my reader’s expectations with romantic fancies and therefore; leaving these points of difference undecided, I will set to tell a story of solid truth. The caveat is meant to undo suspicion…. but again the seed is planted, the stepping stone is placed. This is how Henry Blois operates and contrives his illusion of pseudo-history. In DA, nearly every tentatively held position in GR3 becomes certain fact.
The interpolator of GR3 is of the same mind as the interpolator of DA. VD II was finished after the main body DA623 and mentions nothing of William’s supposed new discoveries, much of which would have been incidentally relevant in VD II. If we can understand that VD II is the real reflection of what William understood after having written DA; how is it that no apostolic foundation is mentioned in VD II?
It is therefore a serious flaw on which to base a priori assumptions, adducing that we may understand William’s original words from commonalities and comparisons between sections found in GR3 and DA. GR3 version B was composed by Henry. It is from William’s DA research, that modern scholarship surmises William’s better understanding and the reason for his additions in GR3. If this were wholly true VD II should include the supposed momentous discovery of new understanding of a disciple or apostolic foundation posited in DA. But William’s general measured statement in VD II is: It was an ancient place as I have said, going back well beyond his (Dunstan’s) time; but though it owes its first foundation to earlier benefactors, it is indebted to Dunstan for its new pre-eminence.624
622The Roman church, at a very early stage, expunged chapter 29 from Acts of the Apostles, which relates that St Paul came to Britain. Since Augustine’s arrival any early trace of the British church’s heritage has been wiped clean most probably in the early Roman occupation, by the tightly held Roman monopoly on the Christian religion.
623In VD book II, the prologue starts: I have dealt with in another work, as well as God allowed me, with the antiquity of this most holy Monastery of Glastonbury. Yet the prologue of DA states: I have laboured to commit to eternal memory the life of the blessed Dunstan, abbot of Glastonbury and later archbishop of Canterbury, and have now completed with scrupulous regard for the truth two books about him which your sons and my masters and companions had asked for. The discrepancy is explained by the prologue of DA being written after both VD book II and the main body of William’s unadulterated DA.
624VD II 10.3
VD II was written after the original body of DA, so one must be suspicious. The above quote is hardly the commendation of a man employed to search out the ancient sanctity of Glastonbury who has already stated that the Disciples of Christ built the church in DA and posited such a similar position in GR3. Therefore, both of the latter must be interpolations.
Surely modern scholarship is not going to insist these are late interpolations after Henry Blois had died now they understand the motive behind such a grandiose claim in the Glastonbury interpolations of GR3 and DA…. and by whom they was written. The interpolator inserting propaganda into William’s GR3 version B, which, (not by coincidence), concerns for the most part Glastonbury, (excepting William’s genuine updated material)…. is surely the same person who initially concocts the charter of St Patrick.
Don’t forget Henry is inserting folios into the only monograph copy of William’s DA. Henry would test the bounds of credibility using the reputation of William of Malmesbury. By this bold assertion of concocted propaganda and impersonation, it appears as if William of Malmesbury recorded the Patrick charter in DA (even if no charter was concocted or existed in gold, only in ‘copy’ form).
In the St Patrick Charter the Lord’s brother James had sent the uncle of Jesus to found Glastonbury.625 St Philip of GR3 is now outranked. In GP William of Malmesbury expressed his view that the first founder of the monastery of Glastonbury was King Ina, acting under the advice of St Aldhelm. So to think a reliable historian could go from that position to Philip’s disciples or James (and making no mention of this new-found knowledge in VD II) is nonsensical. Grandsen626 says: They show that William still had a strong tendency to bias when dealing with a monastery which interested him. Now the object of his favour was Glastonbury abbey, not Malmesbury. The reason for his interest in Glastonbury is not clear.
625If truth were known, Joseph of Arimathea is more likely to be the Father of Jesus and therefore James his son also. In John 19:38 we hear ‘Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. Joseph of Arimathea a secret disciple or Father? Certainly only the father by Jewish law could remove the body!!! If he was rich and part of the Sanhedrin his fear is that of a Father at their irrational behaviour in having obeyed the mob which condemned Jesus.
626Historical Writing in England I c.550- c.1307. p. 183 Prof. Antonia Grandsen
What we do know is that William of Malmesbury worked at glorifying the English saints, but had no regard for the Briton’s as is evident from his comments on the 601 charter. William is not about to invent the 601 charter and logically, if it was a Henry Blois invention, why would he make the last paragraph addition of the bogus etymological statement in Caradoc’s life of Gildas to support the initial ‘agenda’…. and then go through the contortion of reversing this proposition later by converting Avalon into Glastonbury in his ‘second agenda’.
There would be no point of inventing the 601 charter, which had the name Ineswitrin on it, if the charter did not exist already in the archives at Glastonbury; especially when no-one had ever heard of the Island/estate before William’s discovery of the charter. As I have covered previously, how could the island of Ineswitrin, with only five cassates, be given to the ‘old church’ at Glastonbury if the old church is on the same Island termed Glastonbury?
If Arthur and Gildas met in the time of Melvas, how is that the Island has two names Ineswitrin and Avalon? Also, when one considers the contortions which Henry goes through to set up Avalon as Glastonbury as part of his ‘second agenda’; the fact that he was forced to convince us that Glastonbury was indeed the Island of Ineswitrin in the first place adds weight to the existence of the genuine 601 charter.
The 601 charter would have been the main body of evidential proof which, not only countered Osbern’s postulation that Dunstan was the first abbot, but also clearly showed by the date and William’s own observation that the church (by its appellation) was already referred to as ‘old’ at the time. The point being that Henry Blois was Abbot of Glastonbury and the 601 charter was genuine proof that the old church pre-existed any Augustinian institution and the charter would have been scrutinized at Rome (hence the need for ‘Caradoc’s’ nimble but latterly added etymology).
It has been necessary to undergo the ramble above while we are discussing the GR. Without the foreknowledge of these events, much of scholarships assessment of events can still be maintained…. until the three genres are brought under the same umbrella and disparate dissociative analysis is substituted for an all-inclusive synthesis of common sense.
After that long diversion which sets the relationship of the two sets of interpolations into William’s work, I return again to the text of the GR3 interpolations of version B chapter 19 continued:
Nor is it unlikely; for if the apostle Philip preached to the Gauls, as Freculphus says in book 2, chapter 4, we can well believe that he also sowed the seed of his preaching across the sea. But I would not be thought to deceive my reader’s expectations with romantic fancies and therefore; leaving these points of difference undecided, I will set to tell a story of solid truth.
It is Henry Blois who postulates Philip. Presenting himself in character as William with the pretence of probity eschewing mere speculation; the factual historian moves on to tell a more solid proof. The seed is planted and it acts as a stepping stone. What once was tentatively posited as speculation becomes concrete fact in DA. Henry Blois uses the same format in the construction of the HRB. An episode or a persona mentioned in one of the annals is expanded upon so that there is historical reference, but the sense and situation is changed with no concern for anachronism.
Chapter 20 (version B of GR3)
The church of which I speak commonly called by the English Ealdchirche, that is old church, on account of its antiquity, or that first made of wattle, and from its very beginning it possessed a mysterious aura of sanctity, and although ‘rough was the fabric that inspired such awe’, the whole country felt the breath. Hence the floods of common folk streaming in by every road; the gatherings of rich men, their grandeur laid aside; the frequent visits of the saintly and the learned.
Much of this passage is reiterated in DA and is commonly understood by commentators as newly redacted material from having completed the DA rather than propaganda. Again, the wattle features and even an apologia is provided for the rustic construction and a repeat of the veneration in which the old church was esteemed as found in author B’s account. Although it is obvious to say that William is concerned with the antiquity of the church (as he has been commissioned to write a book on the subject), it seems to me that it is more the agenda of the interpolator of GR who constantly reminds us of its antiquity as it is him who is vying for metropolitan status based upon the establishment of early Christianity in Southern England.
Gildas, for instance, a historian not without style and insight, whom the British have to thank for such knowledge of them as exists among other peoples, spent (so our fathers tell us) many years at Glastonbury, attracted by the holiness of the place. This church then is the oldest of all that I know in England, and thence derives its name.
It is not impossible to speculate that Henry Blois by this statement would have his audience believe that instead of Galfridus Arthur, Gildas was the author of the first Variant edition presented at Rome as Geoffrey himself refers to his own work as a ‘British History’ a work which had existed ex- Brittanica, not forgetting Gildas supposedly sojourned in Brittany.
As I stated in my introduction to this section on GR, we can only make educated guesses at what are William’s new-interpretations concerning Glastonbury in GR3 and what is Henry’s propaganda that has been spliced in. I think William did believe the church was the oldest in Briton and did in fact include the 601 charter in GR3 and therefore knew the old church existed before King Ine as he had previously indicated in GP. Gildas does not mention Glastonbury in De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, and Henry Blois is relying on his bogus Life of Gildas as the authority of a connection with Gildas. He is plainly caught in his manipulation of history assuring his audience that such traditions were held by ‘our fathers’. As I covered, positing Gildas at Glastonbury dates the abbey to a pre-Augustine era and primarily was employed to confute Osbern’s assertion.
Henry Blois is planting the seed again for expansion in DA. We know the only account where Gildas is ‘put’ at Glastonbury is through ‘Caradoc’s’ account and we know that it was written by Henry. It is doubtful that William ever saw the bogus Caradoc account; and certainly, before Caradoc’s account, there was nothing to indicate Gildas set foot in Glastonbury. We can therefore understand that in William’s genuine work, he knew nothing of Gildas’ connection to Glastonbury. Gildas is initially posited as having spent many years at Glastonbury in GR3. Subsequently in the final consolidation of Henry’s interpolations into DA, Henry Blois has turned him into a Glastonbury saint. According to the dates in the Annales Cambriae, Gildas would have been a contemporary of King Arthur. However, Gildas’ work never mentions Arthur by name or his own stay at Glastonbury.
Gildas is only otherwise mentioned in GR1 in connection with his book where William discusses the state of the Britons: it is written in the book of Gildas wisest of the Britons…627
As I posited earlier, there is a suspicion that Henry is the person responsible for insinuating that the Nennius volume was written by Gildas which, (except for hagiographical accounts, the Annales Cambriae, and by of St Omer),628 mentions Arthur by name and records his twelve battles. Henry tries to convert his audience (when writing as ‘Geoffrey’ in HRB) to the acceptance of Gildas being the author of the work currently recognised as being written by Nennius.
Henry has concocted the Life of Gildas under the pseudonym of Caradoc; so it does not add up that William supposedly relies on the authority of a contemporaneous author (i.e. Caradoc’s work) and adduces that Gildas spent many years at Glastonbury. These are not William’s words, but the product of Henry’s propaganda which are being re-used as part of the papal presentation…. as the Vatican copy of Nennius (probably donated by Henry) is supposedly authored by Gildas.
If Caradoc’s Life of Gildas had been read in reality by William, (as this is the only work that connects Gildas to Glastonbury); why does William not make mention in GR of the Gildas and Melvas episode in connection with Arthur? One would think that the T or A versions of GR would mention Gildas at Glastonbury, if, in truth, Life of Gildas was not a fabrication. Especially, when William of Malmesbury says in his own words (because it is in the T version) that Arthur ‘is the hero of many wild tales among the Britons even in our own day, but assuredly deserves to be the subject of reliable history rather than the false and dreaming fable; for he was long the mainstay of his falling country’,629(this, however, could be just another correction).
628Lambert is the only chronicler to refer to Arthur as Arthur dux Pictorum interioris Britannie regens regna, fortis viribus ‘Arthur, leader of the Picts, reigning over realms of the interior of Britain, resolute in strength’…and refers to Arthur’s palace in the land of the picts, composed c.1120, twenty years before Henry Blois’ Primary Historia. Since Lambert has recycled Nennius’ twelve battles of Arthur with additions, it is still a sound premise to recognise the ‘problems with Nennius’ account…. but best to leave it as it stands as no-one can be sure of his account…. except that it was certainly Henry Blois who would have us believe Nennius’ account was authored by Gildas.
629GR, Thompson and Winterbottom, vol I P.27
Gildas established a proof of antiquity to Glastonbury in Henry’s mind, especially by association, living at a time prior to Augustine’s arrival. Yet, because Henry is the author of the Life of Gildas…. through discrimination, he avoids implicating himself as the author by not mentioning the Guinevere kidnap episode in HRB even when he fleshes out the first Variant with so much extra content to become the Vulgate; (Life of Gildas being probably completed after the Primary Historia).
Again, it is artful confusion in that Henry implies in HRB that the work of Nennius was written by Gildas even connecting the two names in HRB. Gildas does not mention his stay at Glastonbury in any of Gildas’ work; an oversight considering he is posited as writing his works there. The reader can appreciate what a vital role the Life of Gildas had in confusing modern scholars. It corroborates certain pertinent pieces of information, which, when assumed as a genuine work and not produced specifically for propaganda; the Life of Gildas inevitably becomes a stumbling block to the truth of what really transpired at Glastonbury.
Chapter 20 (version B of GR3) continues about the old church:
In it are preserved the bodily remains of many saints, some of whom we shall touch on in due course, and there is no part of the sacred building without the ashes of holy men, so thickly piled with relics are the floor, tiled with polished stone, the sides of the altar, and the altar itself, above and below. One may also notice in the pavement on both sides, stones carefully placed in triangular and square patterns, and sealed with lead; and I am not irreligious if I believe that some secret holy thing lies beneath them.
This could of course be William’s text but the inference in the final line is Grail-esque and is highly suspicious that William should propose such a tantalising mystery. Especially if we consider by the 1170’s a story of Joseph and the Grail was being broadcast in the courts of Europe along with Arthurian romance and there is mention of a holy thing…. which turns out to be supposedly located at Glastonbury. I still think the insistence on the sanctity is overstated as if the passage is written, bent on convincing his readers (the papal authorities) rather than merely stating the case as William would have done. It seems to be highlighted too often, not as anecdotal narrative as William would write, but with propagandist repetition.
The age of the place and its multitude of Saints inspire such reverence for the shrine that men would scarcely dare keep vigil there by night, or void their overflowing rheum by day; one conscious of pollution by the visions of sleep would tremble in every limb. No one ever carried hawk or drove animal into the neighbouring graveyard, and yet went his way unscathed in person or possession. Persons obliged to undergo ordeal by fire or water who made their supplications here have, with one sole exception in living memory, been triumphantly vindicated. If anyone had sought to raise nearby a building that might overshadow the churches light, he laid it open to ruin. It is notorious that the men of that region have no more solemn or familiar oath than to swear by the old church, and shun nothing more, from fear of immediate penalty, then to be forsworn. Any weakness in the truth of what I say, I shall remedy with evidence, in chronological order, in my book on the antiquity of Glastonbury.
On three occasions in the Glastonbury additions of GR3 (version B) the writer shows insecurity about the veracity of what he has written. It is Henry himself as the author of the interpolations who directs us to his vastly interpolated DA giving the appearance of William substantiating his claims about Glastonbury in a more comprehensive volume. This is Henry Blois’ art.
Nowhere else in GR is William of Malmesbury trying to convince his audience on such flimsy material citing vague tradition and un-named ancient sources. Normally, William’s material is matter of fact, but a tradition here is being empirically built surrounding the church without any definitive foundation and this is not William’s modus operandi. The Persons obliged to undergo ordeal by fire or water i.e. judgement…. one assumes is Thurstan.630 Also, we witness in HRB the ease with which Henry is able to conjure up a scene. He has certainly here endowed the church with a mystical sanctity, that apparently all people hold it in awe; in effect confirming its illustrious disciplic foundation.
630DA chap 76
Chapter 21 (version B of GR3)
Meanwhile, I have made it clear that the resting place of so many saints richly deserves to be esteemed a little heaven on earth. How sacred was that place, even among the Princes of the land, so that there above all other they preferred, under the protection of the mother of God, to await the resurrection, there is much to show, which, for fear of being tedious, I omit.
Henry’s reticence in not mentioning names for fear of being tedious implies there is much more to divulge. Henry’s pretence of William’s probity and reticence where he withholds in GR is compensated for (in no small measure) as he embellishes in DA. One prince named Arthur, (it turns out) was awaiting the resurrection at Glastonbury. I know of no other prince631 which ‘preferred’ to be buried at Glastonbury.
In DA, it is made clear that Henry planted the body of Arthur between the piramides. In GR1 William does not know where Arthur is buried and miraculously in DA the location was stipulated. However, when GR3 interpolations were composed no grave was yet manufactured at Glastonbury. The above assertion about the preference of royalty could apply to Arthur and lends credibility to the reasoning of why Arthur would be taken to Avalon. We know that Henry’s conversion of Glastonbury into Avalon is part of his post-1158 agenda and therefore we can be reasonably certain the faked grave site was concocted c.1160.
My guess, given Giraldus’ testimony, is that Henry Blois told King Henry II while on his deathbed when the king visited him the day before he died, where Arthur’s body was located as well as having stipulated its location in DA. This is why the instigation of the search is attached by Giraldus to the King’s name.
632Modern scholars have believed that the interpolation giving the location of Arthur’s grave in DA was inserted after having disintered Arthur at Glastonbury. This is based purely upon how those scholars have decided to piece together their theories. What they should have realised is that the interpolator would have given a record of the disinterment in DA rather than just the location. It is just not feasible that a Glastonbury acolyte supposedly inserting in DA where the body ‘was’…. after the unveiling, would leave the account of Arthur’s disinterment to Gerald to write up.
631Excepting the reference to the figure on the pyramid which was said to represent ‘a King in state’.
632In Gerald of Wales De principis instructione we are told: It was above all King Henry II of England who most clearly informed the monks, as he himself had heard from an ancient Welsh bard, a singer of the past, that they would find the body at least sixteen feet beneath the earth, not in a tomb of stone, but in a hollow oak. Now, it is fairly obvious to all that no bard could know the burial site of the ‘chivalric’ Arthur…. as Avalon had been concocted by Henry Blois only recently. Only one person could know the whereabouts of the body. That was the person who fabricated the leaden cross and buried some bones in a tree trunk to make it look like a burial from the times of the ancient Britons (even though it was a Saxon custom to bury in hollowed out trees). Only Henry Blois could contrive such a deception and make Henry II believe it. Henry Blois appears to have lived in retirement at Winchester according to popular opinion and we know for the last year of his life he was nearly blind. Before going blind, it is feasable he disguised himself as a conteur at times in the courts on the continent c.1160-68 to propagate his Grail propaganda. It is Roger of Wendover however, who gives account of how and when Henry Blois might have convinced the King of a rumour he had heard of Arthur’s burial site while also foretelling other things which were to happen on account of King Henry’s murder of Thomas Becket: The same year, also, on the 7th of August, King Henry returned to England and visited Henry of Winchester, now on his death bed, who rebuked the King for the death of the glorious martyr Thomas and foretold many of the evils which would come upon him on account of it. The bishop died full of years the next day. It is my opinion that Gerald’s assertion that Henry II was somehow involved in the unearthing of Arthur is accurate. The unearthing may have occurred in 1190 rather than 1191 as stated by Ralph of Coggeshal as we shall cover shortly, but it should never be forgotten King Henry II knows of Arthur’s link to Glastonbury as Arthur is mentioned in the charter shown previously signed by King Henry II.
With the advent of Arthurian Grail literature and Kings involved with the discovery of Arthur’s most ‘un-human’ bones, this would have been the biggest news event in Britain. Every little detail would have been vastly expanded upon. Gerald’s account is nothing to the hype that would have been written in DA if it was an interpolator who could express what he had seen and what had been found.
If only modern scholars would see that the mundane detail innocuously referred to in DA about where Arthur’s manufactured grave is situated is written by the person who had constructed the site but was not present when it was dug up.
In essence, the scholastic standpoint is based upon the presumption that Arthur’s tomb was unknown prior to the disinterment and the assumption that Henry de Sully was the instigator of the fraud and defined where the body would be found. To arrive at this theory, one has to ignore Giraldus who may have written as early as 1192 and may well have been an eyewitness to the unearthing of Arthur.
The accepted theory takes no account of William’s genuine description of the piramides which is why Henry chose the location in the DA. I should rather accept Giraldus’ account633 rather than Adam of Damerham’s written after 1277, who even gets Henry Blois’ death wrong by 7 years, saying he died in 1177.
Henry Blois, writing as William in DA, inferred that Arthur was buried in a precise location between the piramides. The DA manuscript was in Henry Blois’ possession until his death, so it was not public knowledge where Arthur’s gravesite was situated until after Henry’s death when his collection of books got released to Glastonbury monks. If my presumption is correct, Henry Blois probably told King Henry of the fact the day before he died. Therefore, it was not widely known. When the body was discovered, there would be no come back on Henry Blois. After all, who would bury a body to be discovered after their death?…. except the person who invented the bogus chivalric persona of Arthur. He could be the only one who planted the bones in the position stated in DA because sure as Hell…. William of Malmesbury didn’t know he was there because Henry Blois had not even thought of putting him there until after 1158.
This GR3 passage above is reiterated nearly word for word in DA in chapter 31. This is the reason why scholarship has assumed the addition is a later interpolation after the fact.634 This may well be the case in that GR3 and DA did agree when both were being used to support Henry’s case at Rome before 1149, but it does not take into account Henry moving on to his second agenda and his glorification of King Arthur into posterity. It is such a pretention to write I omit it from fear of being tedious; when he clearly does not in either GR3 or DA.
633See section on Giraldus.
634Following the same sentence in DA, Henry makes one addition when he moves to his second agenda: I omit it from fear of being tedious. I pass over Arthur, famous King of the Britons, buried with his wife in the monk’s cemetery between two pyramids. Henry Blois then cleverly in DA splices back supposedly into William’s work.
Henry secretes the supposed body sometime after 1158 and it is unearthed 1190-1. So, the difference between the passages is where Henry lays bare his hand in DA and spells out where Arthur’s grave is located i.e. the addition in DA is only made when Henry had planted the body whereas before GR3 and DA mirrored each other.
In DA Henry uses this same passage, but instead of being coy about which prince or nobles he is referring to which are awaiting the resurrection, he names Arthur; about whom he had only intonated in GR3 as above. He employs the same words as if William has just added an inconsequential fact: There is much proof of how venerated the church of Glastonbury was even by the nobles of our country and how desirable of the burial, that there especially under the protection of the mother of God they might await the day of resurrection, but I omit it from fear of being tedious. I pass over Arthur, famous King of the Britons, buried with his wife in the monk’s cemetery between two pyramids and many other leaders of the Britons……635
635(DA), The Early history of Glastonbury, John Scott. Chap 31
When Henry Blois died, the precise location of Arthur’s tomb was specified (as above) in DA as it is Henry Blois who plants his alter-ego’s resting place at Glastonbury and had already laid the groundwork of propaganda which converts Glastonbury into Avalon. This is done by the same man who fabricated the St Patrick’s charter and who also introduced Phagan and Deruvian as the founders of Glastonbury in the St Patrick charter, which, just happens to mention both Ineswitrin and Avalon in DA under the section on the St Patrick charter.
If modern scholars deem it otherwise, based on an erroneous presumption, that is what they do best. But, the problem remains that until one of our experts recognises that Avalon was substituted for the name of Ineswitrin (where Joseph of Arimathea is really buried) on the Melkin prophecy and it is accepted that Ineswitrin is not the same place as Glastonbury…. a society of hobbyists like the ‘Devon Archaeological Society’ will never understand to unearth the greatest discovery of the last 2000 years…. and the world will still keep believing a lie which was perpetuated to extend the Roman Empire by the Roman Church.
‘The Vatican’ is the Roman extension of its empire (the single richest entity on earth) and in the present era has sway over a third of the human population. Do we really believe Jesus as having said And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church. This is quite simply a lie and so is the resurrection (as posited in the Gospels) and we have a body to prove it; over which, the image on the Turin shroud was formed. That body is still extant on Burgh Island. Why otherwise would the Roman church extinguish the Templar Knights in one day?…. because it was them who owned the Turin shroud and potentially had the power to bring down ‘the lie’ that the Vatican had perpetuated, by crushing any residue of the traditions of the Britons i.e. the true events which transpired in Britain after the crucifixion. But now they say, the man is mad!!! F U Lot.
This next section however, found in GR3 may be wholly or partially or not at all written by William. It is found nearly word for word in DA. It is worth considering that if it is original in its entirety, it might (as I posited earlier) have had some bearing on why Henry chose the ‘piramides’ as markers for the site of Arthur’s tomb.
One thing generally unknown I would gladly tell, could I discover the truth, and that is the meaning of those pyramids which stand on the edge of the monastic graveyard a few feet from the church. The taller, which is nearer the church, has five tiers, and is 28 feet high. It threatens to collapse from old age, but still displays some ancient features, which can be deciphered though they can no longer be fully understood. In the uppermost tier is the figure habited like a Bishop, in the second one like a King in state, and the inscription ‘Here are Sexi and Bliswerh’. In the third too are names, Wencrest Bantomp, and Winethegn. In the fourth, Bate, Wulfred and Eanfled. In the fifth, which is the lowest, is a figure, and this inscription: ‘Logwor Weaslieas and Bregden, Swelwes, Hiwingendes, Bearn. The other pyramid is 26 feet high, and has four tiers, on which are inscribed Centwine, Hedde Bishop, and Bregored, and Beorward. The meaning of these I am not so rash as to determine, but I suppose the stones are hollow, and contained within them the bones of those whose names are to be read on the outside. Certainly, it is maintained with perfect truth that Logwor is the man who once gave his name to Logworesburgh, the present Montacute; that Bregden is the origin of Brent Marsh; and that Bregored and Beorward were abbots of Glastonbury in the days of the Britons. To them, and to such others as we may meet with, I shall thenceforward gladly devote more space; for it will now be my endeavour to set out the succession of the Abbots, the gifts conferred on each for the use of the monastery, and the King from whom they came.
Firstly, in GR William does not devote more space or cover the succession of Abbots, so, it is a possibility he is referring to his endeavours in DA or this passage is copied from DA. The complexity of the issue concerning chronology is exemplified in that; if this is an interpolation…. how is it that William in GR3 version B is saying I shall thenceforward gladly devote more space when, if he is referring to DA, DA was completed before 1134 and supposedly… when the GR3 was written c.1140, it could not be looking forward. The fact that the piramides are mentioned is probably a salient fact in their incorporation into GR3.
Not that it has much bearing on our investigation, but the generally held view by modern scholarship is that the word Piramide was meant as a monumental cross636 seems in this case a little stretched. On account that William has singled them out, it seems that these two piramides are given specific attention because they differ somewhat from the normal description of a monument over a tomb.
636Thompson and Winterbottom, GR. Vol ii, commentary p.401
I agree with Scott’s assessment that the description of the piramides are William’s own words and a genuine update or expansion into GR or Henry’s into DA. However, this again presents a big problem in chronology as Bregored is mentioned both as a name on the piramide and in the 601 charter. These two piramides seem to be West Saxon and might mean Henry Blois has inserted the name Bregored because it is on the 601 charter. This cannot definitively be proved to be the case, but it hardly matches chronologically if Centwine died c. 685 and Hedde who is the bishop of Winchester from 674-705 are interred in the same West Saxon monument.
In DA chapter 35, Beorwald is successor to Bregored whereas in chap 32 of DA it says Beorwald became abbot after Haemgils. I would suggest that on the 26 foot pyramid only Centwine, Hedde the bishop and Beorward were mentioned. I hold this view purely on the basis of date thinking the name Bregored is an addition. The reason Henry might have done this is because there is no previous mention of Bregored anywhere else at Glastonbury (or Worgrez for that matter) and these names were the witnesses on the document which was being produced as proof of antiquity i.e. the 601 charter. One could speculate, since Ralph of Coggeshall in his Chronicon Anglicanum c.1200 could not make out any names on the piramides that this is precisely what Henry was banking on by inserting Bregored.
Even though a pyramis637 may in some way be used similarly by Eadmer to describe Dunstan’s grave at Canterbury and William’s use of the word in GP to describe the tomb of Wulfstan at Worcester and of course Indract638 at Glastonbury; it does not represent an accurate embodiment of William’s depiction here. Some commentators think it refers to an obelisk shaped cap on a cross in the graveyard.
It is stated that the piramides are tiered. So, to posit that the bones of those named on the outside are somehow contained within the shaft of a tiered cross does not seem to tally with William’s description. To describe the structure as possibly hollow, and to contain the amount of bones of those named by William, would indicate a tiered pyramid, not a stone shaft with a pyramidal cap.
The suggestion they are commemorative rather than sepulchral seems to differ from the postulation in the text. I do agree that a singular tomb marked in some way by what is termed a piramide in which St. Patrick was said to be placed near the altar639 has a commonality in meaning or design or function, but these piramides, it would seem, were large tiered exterior structures. They were also prominent enough or of significant importance to warrant the description and height enumerated of an unequivocal place which described where Arthur was buried. If you had said Arthur’s body is between the piramides you could not really mistake the location given their size and after all Henry’s effort in the production of finding blonde hair and gorilla bones and skull,640 you would not want the world to miss the last act. So, an indisputable and definitive spot was chosen.
638DA, chap 20
639DA, chap 10
640See image 2
The last sentence seems to confirm that William is referring to the DA which implies that material facts about Glastonbury in GR are being updated after William’s visit to Glasonbury as above: To them, and to such others as we may meet with, I shall thenceforward gladly devote more space; for it will now be my endeavour to set out the succession of the Abbots, the gifts conferred on each for the use of the monastery, and the King from whom they came.
The only problem is, again, that the interpolations in GR3 were written after William’s unadulterated DA had been completed. Why if this were a genuine update is it looking forward to writing DA which has been accomplished already? William does not set out the ‘succession of abbots’ in GR1, 2 or 3 as we have mentioned. One explanation maybe that Henry is merely leading into the next chapter concerning St Patrick while appearing to make the narrative flow so that the GR3 interpolations as seen in version B are not glaringly obvious additions into the text.
As Watkin observed,641 some names were later used by the forger of St. Patrick’s charter to provide a semblance of Glastonbury continuity and antiquity. What Watkin does not realise is that Weaslieas could well be Henry’s invention. I have concluded that the Patrick charter inserted into DA was used in a propaganda exercise to acquire metropolitan status after the death of William.642 So, it seems likely that specifically the names (including Weaslieas) supplied authenticity to the Patrick charter.643 The piramides ultimately provide a way of locating Arthur’s tomb in the future…. as it was Henry who added the location as part of his second agenda when he redacted the copy of DA he had already provided in Rome. Obviously at that previous time before manfacture of the grave, Arthur was not interred at Glastonbury, the Anarchy was in full swing and Henry’s major priority was to establish a metropolitan for himself to free himself from Theobald’s subordination.
641A. Watkin. The Glastonbury Pyramids and St. Patrick’s companions. Downside review lxiii 1945.
642What is astounding always is Lagorio’s frivolous accounting of how the Matter of Britain, Joseph lore and Glatonburyana in general just happens: Despite the ecclesiastically suspect nature of the Grail legends, the temptation of this body of literature, linking the eminently qualified Joseph with Arthur and Britain’s conversion, was evidently too great to resist. Accordingly, Joseph was acclaimed as Glastonbury’s apostolic founder by a series of interpolations in William’s de Antiqitate, made shortly before 1250. These revisions amplified the extant charter of St Patrick to make Joseph of Arimathea, as Philip’s dearest friend…. Lagorio would have us believe that, if the Charter of St Patrick was extant and there had already been a conversion of Glastonbury into Avalon by the discovery of Arthur, then someone at Glastonbury appropriates Robert de Boron’s Joseph and the magic vessel story (written 1160-70) which mentions the vales of Avalon in the west; and suddenly (according to her analysis) around 1250 a group of monks appropriate Joseph to Glastonbury from a continental Grail story. This really would be a ‘fortuitous convergence of factors’!!! Why,one must ask, if her analysis is true, is there no fanfare surrounding King Arthur’s disinterment in DA and the whole eyewitness account is left to Gerald who states what is written on the cross essentially defining Avalon at Glastonbury. it is just idiotic to ignore Gerald’s testimony and believe the very monks who supposedly interpolated DA specifically for the hyping of the abbey’s glory….. and uncovering supposedly positive proof of Glastonbury being the same Avalon as Geoffrey’s mystical isle…. why would they not mention one jot about the events surrounding such a huge discovery which proved that the myth of King Arthur was true…… supposedly the point of the exercise, if it really had been the monks c.1250 who had made the interpolations in DA according to Lagorio, Carley crawford etc.
643It is a little-known fact that when the Saxons invaded the Britons, the Invaders called them the wealas – an Old English word meaning slave or foreigner. This is probably the root of the name found on the 28-foot pyramid related in Malmesbury’s unadulterated text and may be the source for Henry’s muses to connect this name on the ‘piramide’ Weaslieas to his Wellias from Wells.
The taller, which is nearer the church, has five tiers, and is 28 feet high. It threatens to collapse from old age, but still displays some ancient features, which can be deciphered though they can no longer be fully understood. In the uppermost tier is the figure habited like a Bishop, in the second one like a King in state, and the inscription ‘Here are Sexi and Bliswerh’. In the third too are names, Wencrest Bantomp, and Winethegn. In the fourth, Bate, Wulfred and Eanfled. In the fifth, which is the lowest, is a figure, and this inscription: ‘Logwor Weaslieas and Bregden, Swelwes, Hiwingendes, Bearn
Chapter 22 (version B of GR3)
First, I will say a few words about St Patrick, with whom light first dawns on our recorded history. At a time when the Saxons were molesting the peace of the British, and the Pelagians644 assailing their orthodoxy, St Germanus of Auxerre came to our aid on both fronts: the enemy he routed with the alleluia triumph song, the heretic he blasted with the apostolic thunders of the gospel. Returning thence to his own country, he called Patrick to be a member of its household, and some years later with the authority of the Pope Celestine dispatched him to evangelise the Irish. Hence the entries in the Chronicles:
‘AD 425 St Patrick is ordained by Pope Celestine for service in Ireland, and A.D. 433 Ireland converted to Christianity by the preaching of St Patrick, with many miracles’. After executing his mission with vigour at the end of his life he came back home, and landed in Cornwall voyaging on his altar, which is still held in great veneration by the Cornish for its holiness, and its value in the treatment of the sick. So, he came to Glastonbury, and having become a monk and Abbot there, after some years paid the debt of nature.
Any hesitation about this statement is dispelled by the vision of one of the monks, who after the Saints death, when the tradition was already uncertain whether he had been a monk and Abbot there, and the question was much discussed, had his faith established by the following oracle. In his sleep, he seemed to hear someone reading, at the end of an account of St Patrick’s many miracles, the following words: ’so he was honoured with the Sacred Pallium of an Archbishop; but afterwards became a monk and Abbot here’. The reader added that, if he did not fully believe, he would show what he had said, written in letters of gold. So, Patrick died in the 111th year of his age and the year of our Lord for 472, which was the 47th year after his sending into Ireland. He rests on the right side of the altar of the old church, in a stone pyramid, which the devotion of later times has overlaid with silver. Hence it is an ancient custom amongst the Irish to visit Glastonbury to kiss the relics of their patron saint.
644Notice how Henry Blois in his impersonation of Wace as author of the Roman de Brut is no longer concerned with the Pelagian Heresy as he was when he composed the First Variant. The sole purpose was to highlight Briton’s fight to preserve the Christian values held by the Catholic Church to which he was appealing. He also uses Pelagius c. 400 to show Christianity existed in Britain at that date. In Roman de Brut he merely mentions: St. Germanus came to Britain, sent by St. Romanus, the Apostle of Rome. With him came St. Louis of Troyes. These two fair bishops, Germanus of Auxerre and Louis of Troyes crossed the sea to prepare the way of the Lord. Henry has moved on from trying to secure a metropolitan. This also is an indicator that when Henry published Roman de Brut…. it was probably c.1160
There are three statements, which at a glance, put the claim for Patrick at Glastonbury on shaky ground: 1) Any hesitation about this statement…. 2) the question was much discussed…. 3) if he did not fully believe, he would show what he had said….
Let it be stated now so that there is no confusion; St Patrick never became abbot of Glastonbury and the sole purpose of mentioning that he was an archbishop, who became abbot, confers by implication that St Patrick ran his metropolitan from Glastonbury.
GR3 consists of genuine updates and material that acts as a propaganda bridge to positions held by Henry Blois which incorporate his two agendas. The fact that this polemically motivated passage is in version B of GR3 adds to the suspicion that the above chapter is polemically motivated like many of the other passages here discussed in version B of GR3. An advantage is clearly witnessed in professing to house famous saints. Most monasteries of the era receive alms from visiting pilgrims; the more famous the saint, the more pilgrims.
In my view, the practice of housing dubious relics at Glastonbury had started in Dunstan’s time. If the legend of Patrick was an assured fact (that he was abbot at Glastonbury), why is it here (fraudulently) in GR3…. and not in what remains of William’s life of Patrick? The fact he was an Archbishop and later to become abbot of Glastonbury is highly dubious…. yet we can understand why Henry Blois would have added it in his claim for metropolitan. Patrick’s presence at Glastonbury has its germ in author B’s Life of Dunstan where it is put forward that it was ‘thought’ St Patrick was buried at Glastonbury. Henry uses this tentative belief to promote to a more credible status that which is accomplished in the fabrication of the St Patrick Charter.
Some commentators have suggested that ‘nothing comes from nothing’ and therefore the rumour of St Patrick buried at Glastonbury is probably true, but I would suggest someone in the past has built upon a dubious association of another person called Patrick in the Meare and Glastonbury area. Certainly, author B in the Life of St Dunstan distinguishes between an elder and younger Patrick645 and holds to the rumoured account of St. Patrick being buried at Glastonbury: Now Irish pilgrims, like men of other races, felt special affection for Glastonbury, not least out of their desire to honour St Patrick, who is said to have died there happily in the Lord.
Author B was an eye witness at Dunstan’s funeral and therefore may well be correct in his assertion or may well be employing the time-honoured practice of pursuing alms by professing such a position. Some commentators have suggested it was Dunstan himself who started the rumour about St Patrick at Glastonbury, yet we are not appraised of Author B’s connection to Glastonbury.
William’s view on Patrick is seen from the small extracts in his life of St Patrick which Leland related along with John of Glastonbury (as it is no longer extant). William had read Author B’s Life of Dunstan and uses some of his material in his own life of Patrick. Neither mentions time in Brittany with St Germanus. Nennius does however state: Saint Patrick taught the gospel in foreign nations for the space of forty years.646 The only supposed account we have of William’s which avers such a position is in GR3 and DA, both interpolated by Henry Blois and which infer an archbishop became an abbot of Glastonbury.
645Early lives of St Dunstan, Winterbottom and Lapidge p.19
646Nennius. Chap 54
I do not believe William himself would hold such a bold position as that found in DA or GR3 that Patrick became abbot of Glastonbury. The fact that the author (Henry) knows it is dubious and then concocts a ludicrous mythical supportive proof (which in itself is flimsy), to my mind, confirms that it is a Henry concoction.
No suspicion would fall on the Norman Henry Blois in the glorification of a Briton or an Anglo-Saxon saint. The strange coincidence of Patrick’s supposed stay at Glastonbury is that it produces the events which supply the background of an even greater concoction in St. Patrick’s charter and also a fleeting connection to St Germanus. Author B does not suggest Patrick as abbot, but does say there are Irish pilgrims.
William made Glastonbury updates to his GR which in effect have determined where Henry’s interpolations are inserted into GR3. As Henry Blois is splicing onto what originally constituted new material from the original GR1, I would go no further than to suggest that St Patrick was introduced because Author B had established the possibility (senior or junior) and it is upon this that Henry Blois saw the opportunity to fabricate the St Patrick charter as being newly discovered by William in his researches (but after William’s death).
The genuine historical facts are included for effect: ‘AD 425 St Patrick is ordained by Pope Celestine for service in Ireland, and A.D. 433 Ireland converted to Christianity by the preaching of St Patrick, with many miracles’. It is Henry Blois who has attached the extraneous lore. In what remains of William’s life of Patrick related by Leland there seems to be no connection with Glastonbury (excepting that which Leland derived from DA). It is likely that Henry Blois might have created a third book devoted to the life of St Patrick in which the Glastonburyana propaganda may well have appeared.
Whether William’s life of Patrick was written by Henry or William is a moot point as it is no longer extant if it truly did exist. Leland relates that at the end of the second book it says: Now I shall direct mind and pen to his welcome return to his homeland and his glorious passing to heaven. We can only speculate that the tome was going to be full of Patrick’s exploits at Glastonbury as there was no mention at all in the extant copies which Leland worked with.
Chapter 23 (version B of GR3)
According to a well-established tradition, this later attracted hither, two eminent natives of Ireland, St Indract and St Brigid. Brigid left behind her some personal relics, a necklace, a purse, and some weaving implements, which are still displayed as a memorial of her sanctity, and healed various diseases; but whether she returned home or entered into rest at Glastonbury, is uncertain. Indract, as we shall see in the course of our narrative was martyred near Glastonbury with seven companions, and later translated into the old church.
To my mind this could be one of the genuine additions made by William. When GR1 was finished he had not written these ‘lives’ and so it is feasible to posit that the Glastonbury interpolations in GR3 are built around the section where William has added genuine insertions. However, when we hear the words ‘well established tradition’ we should be suspect as this is how Henry is witnessed establishing dubious propaganda.
Chapter 24 (version B of GR3)
Patrick was succeeded in the office of Abbot by Benignus, but for how many years is uncertain. Who he was and what his name in his native tongue, is neatly given in this epitaph at Meare:
Within this to the bones of Beonna lays,
Was Father here of the monks in ancient days.
Patrick of old to serve he had the honour,
So Erin’s sons aver and name Beonna.
The favour that he found, and still finds, in the sight of God, is clearly shown by the miracles worked during his life in old days, and since his recent translation into the larger church.
I would say the epitaph is real, but the inclusion here is not William’s. The epitaph may however indicate the uncertain discrepancy found in author B of a senior and junior Patrick. This opens up to the possibility that there was once an abbot named Patrick but it was not the St Patrick. We have seen concerning Eadmer’s letter which accuses Glastonbury monks of claiming Dunstan’s relics. This is all part of Henry’s business plan for financing his building spree. The fact that Benignus is ‘recently’ translated might indicate it is part of the same plan. However, again this may well be a genuine insertion but as we will cover in chapter 13 in DA, it seems highly dubious with the mention of Benignus.
Chapter 25 (version B of GR3)
The esteem for Glastonbury felt by the great St David, Archbishop of Menevia, is too well known to need any advertisement from me.
This statement alone is enough to rouse suspicion since none of William’s previous saint’s lives has mentioned him. However, as we know David was mentioned in HRB. The chapter is designed to substantiate the fact that there was already a church in St David’s era. The life of St David by Rhygyfarch ascribes the foundation of Glastonbury to St David, but the link with David will be discussed further in the section on DA.
The antiquity and holiness of the church was established through him by heavenly vision. With seven other bishops, whose metropolitan he was, he came to take part in the dedication; and when all things needful for the ceremony were made ready, on the night preceding (as was thought) the festival, he fell asleep. When he was sound asleep, he saw standing beside him the Lord Jesus, who gently asked the reason of his coming. He explained without hesitation; whereupon the Lord turned him from his purpose, saying that He had long since dedicated that church in honour of His mother, and it was wrong for such a sacrament to be repeated, and so profaned, by the hand of man. At the same moment, in a dream, the Lord pierced with his finger the palm of his hand, and said: ‘Behold a sign that what I have done already must not be repeated. Nevertheless, in as much as you were motivated by piety and not presumption, your penalty shall not last long. In the morning at Mass, when you come to the “With Him and through Him and in Him”, you shall be fully restored to health and strength. The Bishop awoke in terror. He grew pale and then at the running sore of his hand, and later no less surely welcomed the truth of the prophecy. And, that his journey might not seem fruitless, he quickly built and dedicated another church.
My own feeling about this interpolation is that Henry is trying to negate that King Ine built the original church which William attests to in GR1647 where, it simply states that Ine built in a sequestered marsh, intending that the more confined the monks’ view on earth, the more eagerly they would hold to heavenly things. However, in the GR3 version at this point we have ‘Ine’s additions to whose splendour will be found described in the little book I have composed on the ancient history of the house’.
647GR 1 i.35.3
What Henry Blois is in effect doing is extending the foundation further into antiquity from Ine’s building c.700 by saying King Ina only carried out an ‘addition’ to a building which in effect had been established by St David. Henry then refers us again to his little book which not surprisingly is the interpolated DA. The problem was that Malmesbury’s GR was already in the public domain so his interpolations could only be kept to a minimum, hence the referral to DA.
As we have already explained this agenda is in pursuit of metropolitan status and coincides with the position of an apostolic foundation. We will get to this shortly and see that this simple insertion in version B replaces 35C and 36C specifically…. so it does not contradict the St David stone building.
Concerning this famous and incomparable man, I find no certainty whether he died at Glastonbury, or ended his life in his own see. They say he lies with St Patrick, and the Welsh, by their habit of praying to him, and often in conversation, definitely confirm this, telling how Bishop Bernard more than once looked for his body, and in face of many protests could not find it. So much for St David.
Henry Blois imitates William and pretends probity in stating he finds no certainty concerning St David, but then makes sure the seed is planted in that St David lies near St Patrick; and St Patrick is fortuitously already established as buried at Glastonbury. Henry Blois even knows through conversations with his friend Bishop Bernard and his endeavour to find the grave, that there is no trace of St David’s burial place in Wales.
Chapter 26 (version B of GR3)
Long after, in the year of our Lord 596, came Saint Augustine’s mission to Britain, sent by St Gregory; and it was one of his fellow campaigners, Paulinus Archbishop of York and later Bishop of Rochester, who according to the tradition of our fathers clothed the church, which had long been made of wattle as we have said, in a covering of wooden planking. His admirable skill contrived, while taking nothing from its sanctity, greatly to increase its beauty; and true it is that churches, when they are made more beautiful and solemn, can kindle even the dullest mind to prayer and bend to supplication the most obstinate.
The first thing to note is the ‘long after’…. as this is the crux of the polemic against Canterbury and is the cornerstone of the request for metropolitan in that…. why would a church be subordinate to Canterbury if it pre-existed St Augustine’s arrival. Again, I can only reiterate the attention to the construction of the church seems to be based in propaganda as an apologia for the existence of a wooden church rather than a wattle church.
The church is obviously constructed in wood at the time of Henry Blois’ abbacy as noted earlier. Considering that we know this is an interpolation which in effect put forward the story of a contemporary missionary of Augustine’s i.e. Paulinus covering an already existing church in essence establishing a pre-Augustine church, we need to ask; what is the reason for convincing an audience of a wattle church being synonymous with the wooden church which is obviously standing in the abbey grounds? Too much is made of such a seemingly small detail and to what end? The only solution has to be that it is to comply with what is found in Melkin’s prophecy as the oratory of the (adorable) Virgin Mary built of Wattle and so made to seem to have relevance to the oratori, the virginem adorandam and the cratibus.
We should not forget that all these chapters we are investigating here are the B version of Glastonbury additions and are not in GR1. However, it is with the 601 charter that William in his original DA started his evidence toward elucidating the antiquity of Glastonbury…. so, we can assume/allow that the Charter’s inclusion in GR3 was a genuine update of William’s into William’s last unadulterated redaction.
Chapter 27. (version B of GR3)
In the year of our Lord 601, the fifth, that is after the arrival of St Augustine, the King of Dumnonia gave the old church land called Ineswitrin, in which it stands, (quae ibi sita est) comprising five hides in answer to the prayer of Abbot Worgrez. ‘I, Bishop Maworn, drew up this deed. I, Worgrez, Abbot of the same place set my hand thereto’. The Chapter 27 inclusion of the 601 charter is for the most part a genuine insertion into GR3. The charter is the clearest evidence which Henry has that the old church pre-dated Augustine. It would be pointless averring the existence of a charter if it did not exist as a proof. By producing this document and the scanty first redaction of William’s DA along with GR3 with version B interpolations is the evidence upon which pope Lucius granted metropolitan status to Henry.
If Ineswitrin did not apply to Glastonbury, to which Island did it apply? One of the reasons for the final paragraph in Life of Gildas giving the bogus etymology of Glastonbury was to make Ineswitrin appear to be synonymous with Glastonbury. We know the highlighted sentence above has to be an interpolation in DA also as it was Henry who wrote the etymological farce inserted into the Life of Gildas. So, it would only be him who avers (not William) that the Church stands in Ineswitrin (quae ibi sita est).
It is quite ludicrous that an estate called Ineswitrin (which obviously refers to an island by the prefix Ines) is donated to an old church existing on the same island; which, has never been referred to as Ineswitrin before Henry’s arrival. Considering we know that Burgh Island is the real Ineswitrin obviously situated in Devon (by donation by the King of Devon), a certain amount of word play is necessary to complete the illusion of translocation. By implying (as above) that the old church stood in Ineswitrin (quae ibi sita est) ‘in which it stands’, the translocation is made. It is plain the estate of Ineswitrin did not exist at Glastonbury. The ‘island of white tin’ was donated to the ‘Eald Church’ which also existed on an island; so how come the ‘Ines’ can be donated to the ‘Eald church’ already existing on it.
It is cleverly implied that prior to the arrival of the Saxons, the British name for the Island at Glastonbury was Ineswitrin. Author B does not mention Ineswitrin and nor does any other document but the 601 Charter…. and as we have proposed the original prophecy of Melkin. Author B states: Now, in Heorstan’s neighbourhood, there was an Island belonging to the crown; the old English name for which, was Glaestonia, (antiquito Anglorum vocabulo Glaestonia vocitata).648This in no way implies that the Island was named Ineswitrin or Avalon previously. The name of Ineswitrin is only corroborated in the fabricated charter of St Patrick which is a master piece in retro engineering of the Glastonbury legend and in the additional last paragraph of the Life of Gildas…. both authored by Henry Blois.
648Early Lives of St Dunstan. Winterbottom and Lapidge p.13
Chapter 28 (version B of GR3)
We cannot tell who this King was from the antiquity of the charter. That he was British is quite clear from his calling Glastonbury in his native tongue Ineswitrin, for that is known to have been its British name. Another point is worth notice; how ancient a foundation must be that even then was called old church. Among its Abbots with their barbarous British names, were, besides Worgrez, Ledemund, and Bregored. The dates of their reigns are obscure, but their names and dignities are on public record in the larger church, painted up near the altar. Happy the dwellers in that place, whom reverence for their ancient sanctuary of itself encourages to holiness of life; nor, I believe, can any perish from the way to heaven, of those who at their departing find so many patron from saints to recommend or to defend them.
We can see that someone is trying to persuade us that the charter applies to Glastonbury and so we are told it is ‘quite clear’ based upon the fiction that Ineswitrin in the native tongue of the Briton applied to Glastonbury. It is not ‘quite clear’, simply because it is not true…. and William would not advocate the point!
Nor would William say it is ‘known’ to be Glastonbury’s name in ‘British’ as he had never come across the name until he found the charter. Finberg is one of the few scholars that realises Ineswitrin is not synonymous with Glastonbury and that the grant applied to elsewhere…. although most of his other speculations on Ineswitrin are misguided. As we covered earlier, Grimmer has reservations also. In my opinion the insertion by Henry is as follows: That he was British is quite clear from his calling Glastonbury in his native tongue Ineswitrin, for that is known to have been its British name.
It has to be an interpolation created by Henry as this is what he himself wishes his papal audience to believe because it substantiates the 601 charter. Henry understands that the church was British or Brittonic prior to its takeover by the West Saxon Kingdom. So, it is not William’s statement that the British name for Glastonbury was Ineswitrin. There was no prior evidence of this and William would not have been aware of Henry’s fabrication of Caradoc’s Life of Gildas.
If it had been known by William in his previous researches, it would have been recounted in a saints’ life somewhere or in GR1 or GP. The fact that the only evidence to that effect is supplied in the St Patrick charter and the DA and Caradoc’s life of Gildas, (all fabricated by the same person) is testimony to it being an insertion by Henry Blois in GR3.
It is doubtful that William had any other understanding of Ineswitrin other than it was named on a very old charter as an estate donated to Glastonbury. I doubt ‘Ines’ or ‘Ynis’ even registered with William that in the Brythonic tongue refered to an island….. just as it does today i.e. Ynys Llanddwyn or Llanddwyn Island being a small tidal island off the coast of Anglesey.
William would however have grasped the importance of what this charter would mean in evidence of antiquity which was the main thrust of his researches. The charter is of such a date that it evidences the church was already ‘old’ and hence William makes that observation and knows that it must be pre-west Saxon because of the Dumnonian King.
William would have had no doubt that the Glastonbury church stood long before Augustine’s arrival and William makes this plain in the prologue to VD I: In fact, Glastonbury passed under the sway of the church long before St Patrick, who died in AD 472, while Dunstan saw the light of day in AD 925. William gives credence to the rumour started by Dunstan or author B concerning the possibility of St Patrick at Glastonbury as that was the reason he was asked by the Glastonbury monks to do ‘another’ Dunstan biography. This same assertion is made here in the Glastonbury interpolations in chap 22 of GR3 and in DA in chap 10, but the point is that he understood this while writing VD I.
Finally, it seems fair to say that William did think of the Britons as barbarous and hence the last observations would appear to be William’s own words: The dates of their reigns are obscure, but their names and dignities are on public record in the larger church, painted up near the altar. Happy the dwellers in that place, whom reverence for their ancient sanctuary of itself encourages to holiness of life; nor, I believe, can any perish from the way to heaven, of those who at their departing find so many patron from saints to recommend or to defend them.
We shall see in chapter 35 of DA that Henry Blois recognises a logical discrepancy, especially having been the writer of HRB, which upholds the view that there were no sub Kings in that era. How could Arthur then rule Britain if there is a King of Devon? So he cleverly inserts in DA: It ought rather be believed that this King was an Englishman because in the time of the Britons there were no provincial Kings, as in the time of the English, but only absolute monarchs and also because, although that estate (Ineswitrin) and many others were granted to Glastonbury in the time of the Britons, as is plain from the preceding….
Henry suddenly realises that having made Ineswitrin synonymous with Glastonbury it hardly obeys logic on two counts: 1) That a King of Devon would be donating land that is already on the island on which the church exists if it was one and the same island denoted by its prefix of ‘Ines’. 2) How can there be a provincial King if there is a national King.
Henry Blois deals with this conundrum in two ways, by offering an explanation to the contradiction: yet when the English drove out the Britons they, being pagans, seized the lands that had been granted to churches before finally restoring the stolen lands and many others at the time of their conversion to the faith. In other words the grant now applies to when the Saxon’s came and took the land. By so contriving this invention, he manages to stay consistent that the original estate of Ineswtrin (which he had posited as being one and the same with Glastonbury), is just being re-established by the grant…. now the Saxons have converted to the faith. If Grimmer is right, how does a genuine charter have a date of 601 if the West Saxons arrived c.670 (according to Grimmer) and the rationalisation above is genuine? I think it was the second invasion of the Saxons in to the West Country c.590 that caused the real donation of Ineswitrin to Glastonbury. The king of Dumnonia oviously knew what was secreted below the St Michael monastery on Burgh Island ans was afraid of this secret knowledge being lost. Hence the reasoning behind the composition of a cryptic note (the Melkin Prophecy) which accompanied the original charter of donation to the old church at Glastonbury.
Chapter 29 (version B of GR3)
In the year of our Lord 670 Cenwealh, then in the 29th year of his reign, gave to Berhtwald Abbot of Glastonbury by the mediation of Archbishop Theodore, two hides at Meare. This Berhtwald against the wishes of the King and his diocesan, resigned from Glastonbury, and retired to rule the monastery at Reculver. So Berhtwald, as he was celebrated for holiness of life, of distinguished lineage (being brother’s son to Aethelred King of the Mercians), and most conveniently situated for Canterbury, succeeded on the death of Theodore to the archiepiscopal throne. I need say no more about the antiquity of the church of Glastonbury. Now let me return in due order to Cenwealh, who (was so generous) ………… main text of GR3 continues.
The whole section just above is William’s, except for where he states: I need say no more about the antiquity of the church of Glastonbury. This in effect splices the reader back into the original updated text of GR3 after all the Glastonbury version B interpolations which have suited Henry’s purpose in garnering evidential support in his case for metropolitan status. The text in GR continues normally until chapter 35 where William is on the subject of King Ine saying: …his own high character can, to this day, be seen reflected; clear too from the noble monasteries built by him at Kingly cost, above all Glastonbury,
Here the text deviates and in William’s GR1 it continues on with the following: … a house outstanding in our times too. He built it in a sequestered marsh, intending that the more confined the monks’ view on earth, the more eagerly they would hold to heavenly things.
However, in the GR3 (or specifically the B version) at this point, instead of the above we have: …‘Ine’s additions to whose splendour will be found described in the little book I have composed on the ancient history of the house’. The C version which we will cover shortly is not entirely what William wrote as a later redaction i.e. it also has been interpolated,649 as it has had content added which is only relevant to the time of Savaric. However, William had redacted 35c and part of 36c which is King Ine’s charter without the later interpolation.
649The interpolation is the latter part of the charter concerned with preventing a bishop coming to Glastonbury. We can speculate that our consolidating author is responsible for the whole or partial interpolation of chapter 36C.
Henry Blois as we have seen above is responsible for the B version and substitutes William’s later redactions of 35C and 36C by replacing it with the small addition cited above about ‘Ine’s additions’. This was done so the B version does not contradict itself in the self-same volume after the additional Glastonbury interpolations i.e. GR3. The problem with William’s 35C and 36C version and the reason it had to be extracted from the B version is that version B was presented as evidence to the pope. If 35C and 36C were included, it would negate what Henry was trying to substantiate in St David having built the stone buildings instead of King Ine. So, GR2 is more sincere than GR3 but part of 36C has been interpolated at a later date in the conflict with Savaric.
So, to make it clear, instead of what is to be related below i.e. 35C and 36C, Henry inserts just the small addition in the B version: ‘Ine’s additions to whose splendour will be found described in the little book I have composed on the ancient history of the house’. This replaces both 35C and 36C. In effect this does not contradict Henry’s assertion of a building by St David which he had made previously in chapter 25 of the B version.
So, now going to the ‘C’ version of GR3:
Glastonbury, to which he ordered to be translated the bodies of the blessed martyr Indract and his companions after removal from their place of martyrdom. Indract himself he placed in a stone pyramid on the left of the altar, where the care of the later generations has also laid St Hild and the others beneath the pavement, as chance or purpose decided. Ine also built from its foundations the Church of the holy Apostles, as an appendage of the old church of which I was speaking, and he enriched it with great possessions granting a charter in the following terms:
It is necessary to see clearly what Henry Blois has in effect achieved. In 36C, (which we are getting to), St David’s consecration of the church at Glastonbury is genuine fact and is mentioned in the unadulterated part of the ‘Ine charter’. It was added into GR2 after William’s researches along with the other redacted pieces we have already covered. However, the sense portrayed by William in 36C has been deliberately corrupted by Henry Blois to become the source for the concocted St David legend at Glastonbury. The reference to St David has been turned into a ridiculous myth where St David now build’s a church and the ‘unheard of miracles’ becomes a clear miraculous sign from God. This, as we shall see is not what William wrote in the King Ine charter in 36C.
Henry, employing the Ine charter, has contrived the St. David building myth in DA and inserted into GR3 chapter 25…. around what was essentially a genuine King Ine charter, which Henry has excluded from GR3 B version on grounds of continuity. The St David fabrication of Henry’s is what now constitutes chapter 15 in DA. Henry’s aim in the second attempt in 1149 at achieving metropolitan status was toward convincing the pope by establishing the Phagan and Deruvian myth through the St Patrick charter. Also, to avoid any doubt of antiquity, Henry infers that St David built the stone church as an appendage to the Old church…. rather than what William of Malmesbury’s actually believed and wrote i.e. that King Ine built it.
If David really had built the stone church, author B would have mentioned it rather than a vague reference to its antiquity. Given the charter evidence in 36C and chapters 40 and 42 of DA and the fact the Parker MS of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (in a marginal entry) states that it was Ine who ‘built the minster at Glastonbury’ (not just the monastery buildings), it seems fair to conclude he did. One assumes, only the Old church stood before that. St. David’s name stated as the builder is only contrived from the words in 36C which in no way implies construction but only consecration. However, we must take into account the tradition found in the eleventh century life of St David by Rhygyfarch who ascribes the foundation of Glastonbury to St David and which states that St David founded twelve monasteries to the praise of God: first, arriving at Glastonbury, he built a church there… If William had known of this, why would he state King Ine built the church?
Henry had redacted initially a copy of DA which certainly contained no mention of Joseph, but it was interpolated and ready for the pope with material which establishes the propaganda for Henry’s first agenda of acquiring metropolitan status. When Henry presents his case for metropolitan to the pope, GR3 and DA are employed as witnesses. Also, the 601 charter is produced. These were presented in conjunction with HRB and Life of Gildas.
However, much later, because of the contradictions of who built what-when, Henry then attempts to clarify in DA in chapter 40. Henry in chapter 40 of DA is merely trying to coalesce the various contradictions from a first papal agenda which moved from an apostolic / Phagan and Deruvian foundation and combine it with his post 1158 agenda which moved from either apostolic/disciplic to a Josephean foundation. Henry would not have posited a Joseph agenda to a pope when Rome had the monopoly on Peter.650
650Saying this does not negate that Joseph came to Britain or is still buried on Burgh Island. It just adds to the fact that any previous knowledge of Joseph as in Cornish tradition has been expunged by Roman influence…. just as chapter 29 of Acts (which mentions St Paul’s visit to Britain) has been deleted from the New testament. Also, the heinous interpolation was added which provided Rome with its self professed authority: And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church. That sane men and women believe in the pope’s infallibility and position as the representative of Jesus is the most extraordinary lie ever perpetuated which in effect extends the Roman empire to the present era. The prophet Daniel was not wrong!!!
It is entirely obvious that mention of Joseph in Henry Blois’ DA and grail literature is derived from the Melkin prophecy.So is the icon of the Grail derived from the ‘Duo Fassula’ in the Melkin prophecy.
Joseph would have outranked Rome’s own self-professed primacy through Peter; Joseph being a family member. The answer to the conundrum of when chapters 1 & 2 of DA were written is that the chapters including the Joseph lore were not in DA in 1144 or 1149 but were the last addition of consolidated Henry Blois propaganda finally redacted post 1158 and correlate with the advent of Henry’s Grail story promulgation. Joseph lore at Glastonbury and Grail legend and its attachment to Glastonbury based on the prophecy of Melkin. This is the only reason we have the two strains of Henry Blois’ inventions interwoven i.e. Joseph and the Grail and King Arthur and the Grail.
Post 1158 Henry Blois re-worked DA to incorporate Henry’s more modern agenda of a Joseph foundation and the establishment of Avalon at Glastonbury. This is how Henry left the copy of DA…. his last interpolations becoming chapter 1 & 2 of DA.
We will also see in DA that Henry Blois puts to good use Ine’s privilege which was omitted from the earlier interoplations found in GR3. But, in DA, Henry employs his own qualifications of being the prime interpolater and understanding his own agendas by giving explanation/rationalisation and a more extended version in chap 40. Here he offers an explanation for the seeming contradictory discrepancy of William’s understanding. Ine also founded the greater church of the apostles Peter and Paul and because there were many churches there, I wish to insert here the facts about the location of the different churches at Glastonbury and their founders.
I have left the next quote from the C version un-highlighted so that the reader can see the King Ine charter is employed by a monk concerned with the Savaric dispute. Whether or not this is the same as Scott’s consolidating author of DA cannot be determined or if there was more than one interpolator of DA and GR after Henry Blois had died.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I, Ine, endowed of the Lord with the dignity of the King on the advice of Seaxburgh my Queen, and with the leave of Berhtwald Archbishop of Canterbury and all his suffragans, and at the request of Baldred and Aethelheard my sub Kings, and to the old church which is in a place called Glastonbury, which long ago our great high priest and supreme Pontiff consecrated by his own ministry and the ministry of Angels to himself and to Mary ever virgin, as he made manifest to St David by many unheard of miracles, from among those lands, contiguous and convenient, which I possess my inheritance from my father and hold for my especial domain, do grant for further increase of the religious life and for the use of the monks: in Brent ten hides, in Zoy ten hides, in Pilton twenty hides, in Doulting twenty hides, in Bleadney one hide, together with all those gifts which my predecessors have given to the church aforesaid, to wit: Cenwealh, who by the mediation of Archbishop Theodore gave Meare, Beckery, Godney, Marchey, and Nyland; Centwine, who had been wont to call Glastonbury the mother of saints, and appointed that it should be free from all services both ecclesiastical and lay, granting it also this honourable privilege, that the brethren of that place should enjoy the power of choosing and appointing their own ruler in accordance with the rule of St. Benedict; Bishop Haedde who gave Leigh (in Street), Caedwaalla approving and confirming it with his own hand; albeit a pagan; Baldred, who gave six hides at Pennard; Aethelheard, who gave sixty hides at Polden Hill, with approval and confirmation from myself. To the devotion and the generous request of all those persons I accede, and against the wiles of the men of ill-will and barking dogs I set the sleeping bulwark of my Royal Charter, that as the church of our Lord Jesus Christ and of Mary, ever virgin, is first in the Kingdom of Britain and the source and fountainhead of all religion, so it may enjoy a privilege and dignity above all others, and that she may never do humble service to any man on earth, who rules over the angel choirs in heaven. Therefore with the approval of Gregory the supreme Pontiff, who receives in the protective embrace of the Roman church both (Glastonbury) as the mother of his Lord, and me (unworthy as I am) with her; and with the consent of all the Kings of Britain, the Archbishops, bishops, thegns and Abbots; I determine and confirm that all the lands the territories and possessions of St Mary of Glastonbury should remain quit and be for ever inviolate and free of all such royal exactions and services as may be decreed from time to time, to which military service and the building of bridges and fortresses, and from the decrees and interference of all archbishops and bishops, even as is found to be confirmed in the ancient charters of that same church and is known to have been provided by my predecessors Cenwealh, Centwine, Caedwalla, and Baldred. Whatever cases shall arise of homicide, sacrilege, poisoning, theft, rapine, in the ordering of churches and appointing of their boundaries, in the ordination of clerks, in the synodal assemblies and in judicial investigations of every kind, let them without the pre-judgement of any man be determined as the Abbot and convent may dispose.
To all the Kings of my Kingdom, the archbishops, bishops, thegns and Princes, I ordain as they value their honour and my love for them and to all servants mine as well as theirs I ordain as they value their bodily safety, and none of them presumed to enter the island of Lord Jesus Christ and of Mary ever virgin, to wit, Glastonbury, nor the possessions of the said church, for the purpose of impleading or making search or forcible removal or any other act that might be to the scandal of the servants of God in that place. This too I prohibited by the authority of Almighty God and of Mary ever virgin and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and of all saints, that in the mother church of Glastonbury or in its daughter churches of Zoy, Brent, Moorlich, Shapwick, Street,Butliegh, and Pilton, or in their chapels or in the islands, for any reason whatsoever any Bishop should presume to establish his episcopal see or celebrate solemn masses or consecrate altars or dedicate churches or conduct ordinations or make any dispositions whatsoever, unless he be invited by the Abbot or brethren of the aforesaid place. Should he come for this purpose at their invitation, let him not usurp for his own use any of the goods of the church or of the offerings made thereat, knowing that in two places lodgings have been set apart for him out of the possessions of the church, one in Pilton and one in the Vill called Polden Hill, that he may have a place of entertainment on his arrival or resting place on his departure. For it is not lawful for him, unless he be detained by stress or whether by bodily infirmity, or be invited by the Abbot or brethren, to pass the night there or to do so in the company of more than three clerks or four of the most. And let the said Bishop look well to this, that every year with those of his clerks who are of Wells, he acknowledge his mother the church of Glastonbury with a solemn litany on the Monday after Ascension day. But if being puffed up by pride he failed to do so or contravene what has been above ordained and confirmed, let him lose the lodgings above appointed for him. Let the Abbot and monks be free to receive the sacrament of the church from anyone of their choice who observes the canonical Easter, whether in the church of Glastonbury or in its dependent churches or in their chapels. Whosoever at any future time and for any occasion whatsoever, of whatever dignity, profession or rank, attempts to convert or brings to nought this record of my generous liberality, let him know that he will perish in everlasting confusion with the arch traitor Judas in the devouring flames of inexpressible torment.
This charter of donation was drawn up in the year of our Lord’s incarnation 725, the fourth indiction, in the presence of King Ine and of Berhtwald Archbishop of Canterbury’.
It seems that the author who has interpolated GR3 to create version C in Savaric’s time has interpolated with additions Ine’s charter derived from William’s unadulterated DA.
Version B of GR3 from chapter 38 onward through to the end of chapter 150 (which itself might be suspect) seems to be an unadulterated version of William’s genuine updated redaction. I shall include the additions here just for consistency to show that the B version is in fact William’s last redaction with Henry Blois’ interpolations interspersed. The main confusion to modern scholarship has been that these later ‘innocuous’ additions to version B, which are the product of William’s more recent learning, are accounted similarly with the Blois interpolations…. which, as we can see from most of the above form a basis for propaganda.
Cuthred bestowed many benefits on Glastonbury, and gave them a charter in the following words:
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I, Cuthred, King of the West Saxons, confirm all the gifts of previous King’s of Centwine, Baldred, Ceadwalla, Ine, Aethelheard, and of Aethelbald King of the Mercians, in towns and in villages, in farms and fields and greater estates, with which the ancient city of Glastonbury was endowed, and this benefaction of the Kings aforesaid, confirmed as it is with the subscription of my own hand and the sign of the cross, shall endure for ever approved and ratified, as I hereby decree, ”while the revolving skies with ordered sway round earth and sea the starry ether wheels”. But if any man full of tyranny and insolence, attempts for any reason to break the witness of this might give and bring it all to naught, let him be separated by the winnowing fan of the last judgement from the company of the Saints, and being joined with the society of the rapacious, pay to all eternity the price of his violence and the presumption. But who is so with good intent is zealous to approve, support and confirm it, may his prayers be answered, and may he behold the glory of the most high for ever and ever together with the blessed hosts of the Angels and of all the saints. The text of this deed and gift was published in the monastery aforesaid in the presence of King Cuthred, and he with his own generous hand laid it upon the high altar in the wooden church where the brethren do honour to the burial place of abbot Haemgils, in the year of the incarnation 745.
For, as I have described in my recent book on the antiquity of the church of Glastonbury, the bones of the holy Bishop Aidan, of Abbot Ceolfrith, and of the most holy virgin, St Hild, and of many others were at that time translated to Glastonbury, and some bodies of other saints elsewhere.
He lies in France at St Paul’s Cormery, a house built by Charlemagne on his advice. That is why even today in that church food and drink of four monks are distributed as daily alms of the soul of Alcuin.
Chapter 138 version B
(St Peters Church)… Which is now destroyed but which I know from my own eyes was large and by the standard of ancient times, came first in the monastery; St Mary’s which the monks used prior to the church which now stands was built later, in King Edgar’s days, under Abbot Aelfric. Of the reputation Aethelstan enjoyed among the Gauls, both in the toils of wall and in Christian piety, the letter which I subjoined gives some indication:
To Aethelstan, I have the honour of the most high and undivided Trinity and with the most distinguished intercession of all saints Kings glorious and munificent, I Radbod, prior of St Samson the Bishop, wish glory in this world and in the next, internal blessedness.
May it please your most generous and exalted majesty, O most religious and among all the early Kings of our own day most excellent and illustrious King Aethelstan, I would have you know well most godly prince, that while the stability of this our country still endured, your father Edward introduced himself by letter to the community of brethren of St Samson the great confessor and to Archbishop Levenanus my senior and cousin, and his clerks. As a result down to this day we offer our untiring suffrages to Christ the King for the salvation of his soul and for your salvation, and by day and night, as we behold your great kindness to us, in our psalms and masses and prayers, as though I and my 12 canons have been prostrate at your knee, we promise to beseech God mercy for you. And now I send you relics which we know are dearer and that all property on Earth, to wit, the bones of St Senator, St Paternus and St Scubilio, master of the aforesaid St Paternus, who likewise passed to live with Christ the same day and hour as St Paternus. The these two Saints beyond question lay with St Paternus on his left and right in the sepulchre, and their festivals are celebrated on 23 September, as is that of St Paternus. And so, glorious King, pillar of holy Church, humbler of heathen wickedness, mirror of your realm, exemplar of all goodness, scatterer of your enemies, father of clerks, helper of the needy, lover of all Saints, suppliant of the Angels, we who for our deserts and our transgressions live in exile and captivity in France, pray and humbly beseech you that in your felicity, in your generosity, in your great pity you should not forget us’. Such was the letter.
For the rest, the King in trusted the relics of St Paternus to Malmesbury, and those of the other saints to Milton, a place where he had established a monastery from its foundations. For at that time as I have said above, while the piratical Northmen were infesting the whole seacoast as well as the city which lie on the Loire, the bodies of saints translated from Brittany and that part of Gaul now called Normandy and carried to safer places were, because of the poverty of their bearers, easily available for sale to anyone, and especially to Aethelstan, a well-known King with a great appetite for such things.
(submitting to a seven-year penance) (so the story goes) underwent involuntary restraint at Lamport. Hence, when he saw that the neighbouring church of Mulchelney was a very modest building, is said to have vowed more than once, that if he were ever released, he would raise it with great distinction. Whatever be the truth of this, one thing is certain, that, as I have said in muniments of the church, King Aethelstan raised the church of Muchelney to greater heights in honour of St Peter, helping those who dwelt there with many rents. It is also to his credit that, if we may believe it, he (took passionate vengeance on) the man who had him formed against his brother.
Chapter 150 B version
Edgar of glorious memory, King of England, son of King Edmund, whose attention was especially directed towards the worship of God, frequently came to the monastery of Mary, holy mother of God at Glastonbury, and made every effort to exalt that place beyond all others in faith and importance; hence he made a gift of many splendid privileges with the common consent of the bishops, Abbots, and leading men of the province. The first is that no one except among the house should enjoy the name and office of Abbot there, and then only after undisputed election, according to the provisions of the rule, by the unqualified assent of the house. If it proves necessary for the Abbot or monk of some other place to be put in charge, Edgar decreed that no one should be chosen so one elected by the congregation of the monastery to rule over them, as fear of God dictates to them; but to prevent such an outcome, they are to take every trouble to discover whether someone, even the least of the congregation, can be found suitable for the office. He thought it proper, therefore, that the monks should forever retain the right to elect their Abbot, though he reserved to himself and his heirs the power to present the pastoral staff to the brothers chosen. He also laid down that whenever the Abbot and monks of the place decided that some of their own people should be marked out with holy orders, they should have them ordained in the name of St Mary, monk or clerk, as they thought suitable, by any canonically ordained Bishop, either in his see or in the monastery of St Mary at Glastonbury. He also agreed that, just as he did in his own property, so too the Abbot and convent should decide causes affecting the whole island, in all secular or church business, without anyone saying them nay. Nor would it be permitted to anyone to enter the island of his birth, whether he be Bishop or thegn or prince or another of whatever rank, in order to do anything that might be prejudicial to the servants of God there, just as his predecessors laid down and confirm the privilege, namely Centwine, Ine, Aethelheard, Cuthred, Alfred, Edward, Aethelstan, and Edmund.
When, therefore, as has been said, he had decided to confirm these privileges on the place in accordance with the general agreement of his bishops, Abbots, and nobles, he placed his own beautifully wrought ivory and gold staff on the altar of the holy mother of God, and by that gift handed the privileges over for possession for all time to the holy mother of God and her monks. Presently he had the staff cut in half in his presence, so that none among later Abbots could give it away or sell it, giving instructions that half of it should be kept in situ as a perpetual reminder of the said gift. But recalling the wanton fickleness to which men can succumb, and fearing that someone might one day try to remove these privileges or drive the monks out he sent this charter, witness of his Kingly munificence, to the glorious Lord Pope John, successor to Octavian, praying that he strengthen them in writing with the papal authority. The Pope received the embassy kindly and confirmed what had been ordained with the unanimous agreement of the Roman Council, putting in writing the papal instruction and turning a dreadful vengeance of everlasting anathema against any future violator. The confirmation sent to Glastonbury by the Pope, King Edgar of fragrant memory placed on the altar of Mary the blessed mother of God as a lasting memorial, ordering that is carefully preserved from then on for the information of posterity. In case we should appear to be making all this up, we have found it agreeable to insert both these documents of all those who seek not to enter the fold of St Mary like shepherds through the door, but like thieves and robbers, to break into it by some other way.
Let all the faithful be aware that I, John, by the mercy of our pious maker, the unworthy Pope of the holy see of Rome, have been moved by the humble request made by Edgar, a glorious King of the English, and Dunstan Archbishop of Canterbury, on behalf of the monastery of St Mary of Glastonbury, a house which they themselves had, through love of the King on high, enriched with many great possessions, increasing the monastic (population and instituting a stricter) observance there, and had shored up by the Royal command; I too will do the same, without delay. Assenting to their well-meant request, I received that place into the bosom of the Roman church and the protection of the blessing Apostles, and I affirm and confirm by privilege that until the end it remain in the monastic order under which it now flourishes, and that the monks choose their Shepherd from among their own number. But the ordination both of monks and clerks is to be at the discretion of the Abbot and convent. We also decree that no man whatever may enter the Island to hold court or to investigate or correct anything else there. If anyone plots to disobey, or to remove, retain, diminish, or rashly assault the possessions of the church, let him be subject to perpetual curse unless he regains his senses, on the authority of God, the Father, son, and holy spirit, and Mary, the holy mother of God, and the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints. But on all who do right by the place that the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ rest, amen, and let those conditions remain unshaken.
‘Done in the time of Aelfweard, Abbot of the monastery’
These things, therefore, the said King Edgar confirmed by his holy writ at London in the 12th year of his reign. And in the same year, 965 A.D. Pope John gave them his authority in a general synod at Rome, and ordered all the distinguished men who controlled the council to confirm them. Let, therefore, those who disregard such a curse realise under what hard sentence of excommunication they lie; and indeed Christ handed to St Peter, Prince of the Apostles, the power of binding and loosing, together with the keys of heaven. It is clear and patient to any one of the faithful that he who presides over the Roman church is the vicar of the apostle and the especial heir to his power. John of holy memory in his time presided in a praiseworthy manner over that church, just as even today he flourishes in glorious recollection; for he was advanced in that position by the choice of God and the whole people. If then, the decree of the apostle Peter is fixed, so consequently is that of Pope John. But no one can be so mad as to deny that the decree of Peter is fixed; so no sane man can argue otherwise John’s. These people then must allow to the blessed Peter and his successors the power given them by Christ and cease to flout the authority of such an interdict. Otherwise, if they disregarded it, they will, like the devil and his lackeys, fall perpetually under the curse. It is therefore beyond question that no outsider who has snatched the monastery for himself has failed to lose it disgracefully, and that this has befallen each of them not by any machination of the monks but by the judgement of God in enforcement of his holy authority. Let therefore no one who reads these words underrate there force; then no one draw attention to himself by even a mild show of anger. For if he is angry, he will be acknowledging that the words perhaps written for another apply to him too.
I have highlighted what seems to be suspicious polemic which indicates later interpolation after Henry’s death directed at the Bishop of Wells. We can only suspect on grounds that it is about Glastonbury and surely seems aimed at interference from Savaric. However, as we have covered before, while Henry was at Clugny and his power and influence had waned….there may have been interference from a bishop, but it is doubtful it came from Robert of Lewes.
But this great victory was not achieved without bloodshed; for he lost many of his dearest friends, among them that distinguished man and valiant knight Roger of Gloucester. Severely wounded in the head by a bolt from a cross bow at the siege of Falaise, he gave to the church of St Peter’s Gloucester the manor called Coln St Andrew, and for this he sought the assent and concession of the King, who had come at once to see him, on which occasion, he besmirched with blood from his forehead the Kings hand when he kissed it by way of the thanks. As further evidence of this action we have thought good to insert the confirmation and donation and the testimony of the King against Gilbert of Minières.
‘Henry, King of the English, to Samson Bishop of Worcester and Walter Sheriff of Gloucester and all his barons of Gloucestershire both French and English, greeting;
Be it known to you that I have given and conceded the manor of Coln to the church of St Peter’s Gloucester for the common sustenance of the monks, as Roger of Gloucester gave and conceded it to them, to hold as securely as he did, for the souls of myself and my wife and those of my predecessors. Witnesses: Girmund Abbot of Winchcombe and Roger of Gloucester and Hugh Small.’
‘Henry King of the English, to his archbishops, bishops, Abbots, earls, barons, sheriffs, and all his faithful followers, both French and English throughout all England greeting.
Know that the monks of Gloucester and Gilbert of Minières came before me in my court, on a date set between them, to settle the dispute between them concerning the manor of Coln which Gilbert claimed as his against them and their abbot; and Adam de Port and William son of Odo testified before me that they were present when Roger of Gloucester gave that manor as alms to the church of St Peter and the monks serving God there, and when I confirmed that donation to them at Roger’s request, and that Gilbert refused judgement for it.
Witnesses: William Archbishop of Canterbury, and Roger Bishop of Salisbury, and William Bishop of Winchester, and Bernard Bishop of St David’s, and William Bishop of Exeter, and Urban Bishop of Glamorgan, and Jeffrey the Chancellor, and Robert de Sigillo, and Miles of Gloucester, and Henry de Port, and Walter of Amfreville, and William of La Folie and William and Roger and sons of Adam de Port. Given at Winchester in the year of our Lord 1127’.
In this chapter on GR, we can see that GR3 has a high percentage of interpolations on Glastonbury, some simply William’s later redactions amongst which Henry Blois has inserted propagandist material in (version B). As long as we can understand who the interpolations serve, we can then better understand at what stage they were written. As we will see in DA, what is often tentative in GR3 is often posited as fact when Henry consolidated his final version of DA which establishes the bulk of Glastonbury lore. Who would ever have suspected the venerable Bishop of Winchester to have carried out such a fraud.
Finally, I will include here what William divulges of King Arthur in GR. Since Henry Blois is not concerned with anything else in his B version of GR, except those evidences which help his claim to metropolitan, it seems natural that he would not enlarge any further on Arthur than William’s original comments. The other updates of GR3 can be accounted to new information learnt by William while at Glastonbury. If his brief mention of Arthur had been expanded upon, suspicion of authorship of HRB and interpolation might then be found to have a commonality at Glastonbury.
With his decease of the Briton’s strength withered away and their hopes dwindled and ebbed; at this point, in fact, they would have collapsed completely, had not Vortigern’s successor Ambrosius, the sole surviving Roman, kept down the barbarian menace with the outstanding aid of warlike Arthur. This Arthur is the hero of many wild tales among the Britons even in our own day, but assuredly deserves to be the subject of reliable history rather than that of false and dreaming fable; for he was long the mainstay of his falling country, rousing to battle the broken spirit of his countrymen, and at length at the siege of Mount Badon, relying on the image of our Lord’s mother which he had fastened upon his arms, he attacked nine hundred of the enemy single handed, and routed them with incredible slaughter. 8.2
It was then that, in the province of Wales called Rhos, they discovered the grave of Gawain, who was Arthur’s nephew, being his sister’s son, and not unworthy of his uncle. He ruled in the part of Britain still called Galloway, and was a knight with a heroic reputation; but he was driven from his Kingdom by a brother and nephew of Hencest, of whom I have spoken in the first book, though he got some compensation for his exile from the great damage previously inflicted on them. And he deserved a share of his uncle’s glory, because they postponed for many years the fall of their ruined country. Arthur’s grave however, is nowhere to be found, whence come, the traditional old wives’ tales that he may yet return. In any case the tomb of the other prince was found, as I have already said, in the King William’s time on the seashore….. 287
If, as I suggest, the Melkin prophecy had stipulated Ineswitrin originally and Henry had employed the name in HRB instead of concocting the name Avallon, everyone would certainly have suspected that Galfridus Arthur was associated with Glastonbury, especially considering the recently emerged content of the Life of Gildas. Henry did not utilise the name Ineswitrin in HRB because he was reacting to the earlier agenda in ensuring the 601 charter was relevant to Glastonbury by concocting the etymology that Ineswitrin was Glastonbury.
It became simpler at the later date when Henry came up with the idea to fabricate the St Patrick’s charter, to aver that both Avalon and Ineswitrin were the ancient names for Glastonbury. Because the 601 charter was being used as evidence in the case for metropolitan status for Western England, Henry did not use the name Ineswitrin in First Variant where Avalon first appears; and we know First Variant was composed using a template of an updated and evolved Primary Historia for the 1144 appeal for metropolitan. In the Primary Historia composed 1137-38, the icon of a mystical island in connection to Arthur nor the name of Avalon have yet appeared to Henry’s muses.
Therefore, it is not by accident that the etymological hodgepodge in the last paragraph of the Life of Gildas gets added to Henry’s already written Life of Gildas c.1139-40 and Avalon first appears in First Variant at the same time…. as the reader is now appraised that the two names are both common to the same prophecy of Melkin. It would not have taken long for someone to deduce the connection of authorship of HRB to Henry.
So, it is only later when Henry Blois’‘second agenda’ takes priority and the bishop of Asaph is dead that Joseph of Arimathea, (with whom the island of Ineswitrin had originally been connected in the Melkin prophecy), was then to be associated to Arthur’s Insula Avallonis. Henry’s muses invented stories which were proliferated into the ears of Chrètien and Henry’s verse work regarding Joseph and Merlin was put into prose by Robert de Boron through the elusive Blaise on the continent; through Henry’s visits to the court of Champagne. The explanation of why Robert’s works could only be based on works by Henry Blois in verse is explained in the section on the Grail legends.
We can see that it was the prophecy of Melkin that Henry’s muses or imagination utilise as a basis for the story of the Grail. The Grail came into being from the enigmatic but cryptic code found in the prophecy. Henry used the essential icon of the duo fassula. He did not know of what the duo fassula consisted, but it seems likely he understood it as a vessel as this is made plain by Robert de Boron and is a natural association to make since a literal translation infers blood and sweat…. liquids contained in vessels.
The duo fassula was linked with Joseph in the prophecy and was to be found also in the same sepulchre containg Joseph, on an island. As we now understand, the name Ineswitrin was substituted. Henry Blois uses his substituted name of Avalon which is clear from Robert’s work recorded supposedly by ‘Blaise’ and what was written by Master Blihis in the ‘Grail book’ implying the Grail came to Avalon…. exactly as it is waiting to be found on the Island originally mentioned in the prophecy i.e. Ineswitrin or Burgh Island obviated by the exact geometry which points to Burgh Island.
We should not forget that Melkin’s prophecy must have existed in some other work with the original name Ineswitrin (if indeed it was not a separate folio found in the chest by William of Malmesbury) and since it made little sense….it is probably a good reason why it is not in DA or the Glastonbury cartulary. The Prophecy of Melkin must have pre-existed John of Glastonbury who was completely unaware of the accuracy of its instructions which indicate Burgh Island as the burial site of Joseph. John of Glastonbury could not randomly generate such accuracy by chance invention. Nor could the accuracy of the Geometry be created in the proposed method of composition of the prophecy put forward by the expert Carley i.e. the prophecy is a composite from different authors. How the hell would the 104 mile line terminate on an island in Devon if his ridiculous proposition is given any credence.
However, John of Glastonbury was aware that someone prior to him had associated certain features in the prophecy with the old church and the old church was in John’s day accepted to have existed in Avalon. It should be remembered that John refers to Melkin as if his readers understand already of his existence as they naturally would…… having seen the book composed by Henry Blois about Arthur and the round table, purportedly written by Melkin i.e. the book called De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda.
Henry Blois sees the advantage to be gained by improvising and foisting upon the world at large his ‘second agenda’ post 1158. While writing VM at Clugny, while lamenting the 19 years651 of his brother’s reign, he implicates Glastonbury as Avalon by calling it Insula Pomorum. This is a part of the conversion process of Avalon becoming a physical location at Glastonbury. Henry in VM has concocted associations with the last two stanzas of the Black Book text of Afallennau where the Apple tree will stay hidden until the two sons of prophecy come in the shape of Cynan652 and Cadwaladr which he then uses in the John of Cornwall’s prophecies and the Merlin prophecies in HRB. Yet we know it was not Merlin…. but someone interested in causing mayhem and rebellion against Henry II in the final edition.
651Vita Merlini. “Nineteen were the apple trees which once stood here with their fruit: they stand so no longer. Who, who has stolen them from me? Where have they gone so suddenly? Now I see them, now not. The qusetion of who stole Henry’s life is the answer to why seditious prophecies were composed i.e. Henry II.
652Henry Blois purposefully conflates Cynan Dindaethwy or Cynan ap Rhodri King of Gwynedd c. 798 – c. 816 in the prophecies with Conan Earl of Richmond c. 1138–1171, who Henry is trying to incite to rebellion against Henry II. Henry employs the same process with Cadwaladrap Cadwallon King of Gwynedd c. 655 – 682 in the same instance trying to incite Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd c.1096 – 1172 to join forces with the Scots and Cornish and Conan to unseat Henry II from the throne by manipulating the prophecies of Merlin.
Henry Blois’ ‘first agenda’ deals with the pursuit of metropolitan status pre-1155. The start of what I have termed the ‘second agenda’ commences in VM in pointing to the obvious association that the Island of Apples has with Somerset where the apples are plenty. This runs in conjunction with the further interpolations in DA concerning Joseph of Arimathea and the propagation of Grail literature through Master Blihis and Blaise recounted by Robert de Boron and Chrétien de Troyes. It is at this period, post 1158, where the Grail edifice has its beginning….. the actual point in time where reams of scholarly deductions have removed it from. Thus, the essential building blocks of Grail lore stemming from the prophecy of Melkin are now lost through a contrived chronology built by reams of scholars since the turn of the twentieth century….. a false empirical wasteland which by its own invented strictures deduces the Melkin prophecy a fake.
The duo Fassula as the Grail, along with Joseph, are integrated in romances with ‘Geoffrey’s’ Arthur and his Avalon. The Grail is linked to Arthur by Chrétien; and Robert de Boron also expands upon ‘Geoffrey’s’ Merlin and supposedly by ‘a fortuitous set of circumstances’….speaks of Joseph and the Grail and their connection to Avalon.
The whole continental interest is initiated by Henry impersonating Wace and spreading the myth of Arthur in the French vernacular through the Roman de Brut. How the hell does Wace living in Caen know more than a Welsh ‘Geoffrey’ to introduce a ’round table’ and yet we know of Melkin’s association with Glastonbury and yet Melkin was he who supposedly wrote the book called De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda. I wonder ….at a stretch…do you think all these highly improbable connections might have something to do with Henry Blois rather than depending on random fortuitous convergence of factors.
The Wace material, as we have covered, had been started probably shortly after the metropolitan attempt of 1149 and was based on the First Variant version of HRB when Henry first started to compose Roman de Brut. It was then finished just after the Vulgate version became more evolved and disseminated c.1155-58
The various independent testimonies of Bleheris and Blaise etc. are just the incognito names for Monseigneur Blois. Henry employed a Jongleur in front of the Count of Poitou (the future Richard I) amongst others, as he spread his tales of Romanz to the amused court at Champagne.
‘Wace’ accuses the storytellers of embellishing their narratives until they appear as fable and Chrétien referred to Erec as ‘the hero of Tales which those who had their livelihood by relating such stories were wont to mangle and spoil in the presence of Kings’. Chrétien also says the ‘Perceval’ was the best tale ever told in a Royal court. It was Henry who could gain access to all. Given what we have covered so far, there seems little doubt that Henry Blois is directly responsible for propagating the ‘Matter of Britain’ in various different ways but the modern students exiting universities today will have had their blinkers firmly affixed by the old guard.
The point of greatest importance to note is that Henry Blois recognised and accepted that Joseph’s burial was in Britain along with the duo Fassula (whatever it was). Joseph and the duo fassula’s existence in Britain was historical and both were to be found in the same sepulchre on an island. In effect, it was Henry himself who masked it as fable by reiterating his Arthuriad tale so frequently that little by little Henry Blois has decked and painted, till his embellishment of the truth stands hidden in the Melkin prophecy and his inventions in the HRB and propaganda concerning Glastonbury: The minstrel has sung his ballad, the storyteller told over his tale so frequently; little by little he has decked and painted, till by reason of his embellishment the truth stands hid in the trappings of a tale. Thus, to make a delectable tune to your ear, history goes masking as fable. Wace-(Henry Blois).
The fact that Faral653 has two bourdeurs ribauds boasting their knowledge of the Romances telling of such people as Kay and Perceval le Blois and Pertenoble le Gallois…. it is not surprising that we can accuse Henry of originating these names, especially when we consider his good friend Peter the Venerable, (who he entrusted with his moveable wealth when Henry fled England in 1155), could be the template for Pertenoble le Gallois. With a name like Perceval le Blois, as Henry’s Perceval (like himself)…. Henry needs to find the Grail.
However, the coup de grace was not only the Joseph additions in DA, which correlated with his continental Joseph of Arimathie and other Grail material concerning Arthur and other hero knights: but it was the fact that in DA he had stated where Arthur was buried. Henry Blois knew that if he planted a body for Arthur and it was found, his alter ego would be more famous than any other King in history. For those at Glastonbury at the unearthing there was no doubt that the bones were from Arthur. They had probably been buried 20-30 years earlier, long before the time of discovery.
It was Henry Blois’ certainty that one day after his death Arthur’s bones would be dis-interred. Arthur could not be found until Henry’s last redaction of his consolidated lore found in DA entered the public domain (after Henry’s death)…. and that too was nearly thirty years after William of Malmesbury’s death.
What has confounded researchers is the presumptive diktat that any mention of Avalon or Arthur in DA has been definitively accounted by scholars as interpolation which occurred after the dis-interment.654 Obviously their reasoning behind such a misguided assumption is based upon the idea that pressures for financing the rebuild of the Abbey were to be relieved by the alms brought about by the discovery of the body.
Scholarship is agreed that this is what inspired the fraudulent discovery by Henry de Sully of King Arthur’s remains in 1190-91. This theoretical standpoint is an a priori (unfounded knowledge which proceeds from erroneous theoretical deduction) presumption and runs contrary to the eyewitness account of Giraldus.655 More profoundly, if the position of the grave really was a late addition into DA ….why is there no account of the disinterment, rather than the plain fact of where King Arthur was discovered.
653E. Faral, Mimes Francais du XIII Siècle p.96
654Scott’s insistence on this a priori formulates his chronology:…because of the reference to Avalon, which we know was made only after the claim to possess Arthur’s bones. P.188
As to archaeological evidence of Wattle buildings at Glastonbury in the distant past: campaigns of excavation between 1908 and 1979, have attempted to identify the various features described by both author B and William of Malmesbury. Unfortunately, no comprehensive excavation report has ever been published.656
However, I am not implying that there never was a ‘Wattle’ church. It is the fact that the interpolations in GR which seem to be from Henry Blois corroborate the wattle mentioned in Melkin’s prophecy which makes me suspicious…. especially once we have understood that the prophecy and its directions never applied to Glastonbury. Therefore the ‘Wattle’ in the prophecy could not apply to the antiqua or vetusta ecclesia, but we are being persuaded to draw that conclusion. That means someone at an early stage must have knowledge of the Melkin prophecy.
What is known as just a wooden church in Dunstan’s day has its construction highlighted too often for it to seem naturally remarked upon as we will see in progression. In GR3 chapter 26: Paulinus Archbishop of York and later Bishop of Rochester, who according to the tradition of our fathers clothed the church, which had long been made of wattle as we have said, in a covering of wooden planking. Also in DA chapter 19: Paulinus, Bishop of Rochester and earlier Archbishop of York, had strengthened the structure of the church, previously made of Wattle, as we said, with a layer of boards and had covered it from the top down with lead.
We could posit that the author of the Perlesvaus or ‘Grail book’ had Glastonbury in mind, (the original book now lost), having been propagated by Master Blihis. It may be the ‘Book’ which Henry is presenting in the Mosan plates as he is portrayed prostrated. The person writing about the Grail chapel has in mind the chapel at Glastonbury because in the Perlesvaus there is a: chapel nouvelemant faite, qui mout estoit bele e riche; si estoit covert de plon…. the DA features the same church with lead covering.
There is no mention of Wattle except in those places where we know Henry Blois has interpolated and this is my reason for suspicion that there might be an underlying ulterior motive. In GR3 and DA, too much attention is paid by the interpolator on the church’s construction which used to be wattle but is now wood. To my mind, the one reason which stands out is that cratibus in the prophecy is the link to Melkin’s prophecy through the word virgea.
The reader might think this a mute-point, but in VD1 when talking about the relics which had been transferred to Glastonbury ‘from beyond the Humber, I shall be happy to relate when the moment arises in my book on the antiquity of the church’….657a few lines later states: at Glastonbury as I mentioned before there is next to the wooden church, a stone one whose founder is said by old reliable tradition to be King Ine. The point is that if VD I and DA are written at the same time or the DA just shortly after VD I…. what could possibly cause the author to suddenly start taking an interest in the previous construction of the church, when he had referred to it as just a wooden church only months before. Why in GR3 and DA (which we know have both been interpolated by Henry) does this become a high-lighted issue; except to coincide with criteria found in the Prophecy of Melkin.
656The early lives of Dunstan, Winterbottom and Lapidge, p. 12
Why does our interpolator want his audience to know the current church (in wooden board or covered with lead) ‘used to be’ previously in wattle. What can only be normally considered an inconsequential fact is thus made into an issue like the lady protesteth too much. It begs the question as to why, if the old church is not of wattle at the time William published DA or GR3; why do we need to be informed of its former construction by an interpolator in two separate works of William of Malmesbury? I only mention this because it has a vital bearing on the considerations of the old church matching the description in Melkin’s prophecy when, in reality, the prophecy is obviously referring to a completely different location.
If I am correct about the reasoning, it would add credence to any-one who still has doubts that the prophecy existed in Henry’s time and leads to the conclusion that it was his inspiration for much of the Glastonbury Grail legend; the establishment by Henry’s muses in HRB of Arthur’s mystical island and Arthur subsequently being found in Avalon in the future…. at the very place Henry had been abbot.
We can see the same gambit used at a later date by implying the bifurcated line also references where the church once stood before the fire. This can be seen in my section on the prophecy of Melkin where I show ‘The bronze plaque’ which provides fictional relevance to Melkin’s prophecy.
Fourteenth century Glastonbury monk craft is mimicking the Melkin prophecy not the prophecy’s composition being based upon facets of the old church.
Herein lies the problem with modern scholars. Firstly, if you deny Melkin’s geometrical solution you would never understand that it is intended for purpose i.e. to show on which Island Joseph’s tomb awaits to be discovered. If you deny Melkin’s prophecy existed in the time of Henry Blois, you could never make the connections mentioned above between the people and places and literature. You would end up with a theory like Lagorio’s which is backward and inverse and then the problem arises that because nothing makes sense….. you have to make false assumptions to make a concocted theory fit together; and since none of it fits together the conclusion can only be at best vague.
The prophecy and the duo fassula and the introduction of Joseph existed at an earlier date than that proposed by Carley or Lagorio.658 In William’s day the old Church was not in wattle…. so why is the church’s previous construction highlighted, (who cares?) excepting that it fits the criteria of ‘cratibus’ in Melkin’s Prophecy. The prophecy is in an already extant document; and the fact that the 104-mile line is in reality that which Melkin wanted us to construct (so that it indicates Burgh Island), is witnessed by the search for Joseph at Montacute by Henry and the consequent composition of De Inventione. It could only be Melkin who knew at this time that the line went through the marker point of the hill at Montacute which had been a clue to confirm that the constructed line from Avebury terminated on the said island by passing through this point. (carefully hidden according to Father Good).
658Lagorio, seems to think that somehow, the whole edifice (put together by Henry Blois’ inspiration and propaganda) was formulated in response to the chivalric claim of Charlemagne and was instigated by Henry II: …by quelling those rebellious Celtic factions within his English realm, whose belief in future national leadership was fostered by Arthur’s promised return. Therefore, the institution of a British legend, praising the deeds of King Arthur and his round table, glorifying the heroic past of Great Britain, and establishing a national Monastic shrine would have been patently advantageous to the monarchy. It is a madness to think that Henry II was the driving force of promoting Arthur at Glastonbury. Are we really to believe that Henry II was in some way responsible for the conversion of Glastonbury into Avalon? Are we to suppose the production of the Charter of St Patrick just fortuitously happened in conjunction with Henry II’s facilitation of the discovery of Arthur…. and the Avalon legend at Glastonbury? Our expert assures us that: Since Glastonbury had traditionally been equated with Avalon, Arthur could easily be included among the abbey’s early royal patrons….Depending on which argument she is defending; in one instance there is a tradition of Avalon before the unearthing and in the next it is the Leaden cross which establishes the tradition where there had not been one before.
Just to counter any argument that Joseph’s relation to Montacute related by Father Good could be a later discovery by those Templars who entered the tomb and had de-ciphered the prophecy; I should remind the reader of De Inventione being the product of Henry’s search at Montacute and his relation to Waltham. We know he was looking for Joseph on an island in the old Dumnonia, hence his appropriation of Looe island at that date.
The only other three cogent pieces of Melkin’s prophecy which are applicable to the ‘old church’ are at best tentative. Virginem adorandam (the adorable virgin), does fit with St Mary’s church, but so could it fit with local directions on the island as we have covered. Oratori which applies to a church could have been an ecclesiastical institution rumoured to have existed on Burgh Island in the distant past…. the footprint of which is now covered by the current Hotel made plain by Camden who refers to it as a St Michael church. The ‘Island’ is probably the most clearly unequivocal part of the prophecy, but Avalon as we have seen is contrived as being applicable to Glastonbury and the name is unheard of in relation to an island in Britain before Henry’s HRB. The duo fassula becomes Henry’s sang réal, which in turn through oral translation or purposeful obfuscation became san Graal or Holy Grail. Helinand’s description of a large plate may just be a coincidental rendering of a word Graal in relation to a platter. However, we know Henry passed by Froidmont next to Meuse and so may well have implanted news of the Grail at the abbey which Helinand added to his chronological history.
The directional data encoded in the prophecy was not understood until the modern era since the Templars unpicked the encryption and removed the shroud from the cave.
It was not until after Henry Blois’ era that any relevance for the bifurcated line was sought by establishing the ‘Bronze Plaque’. But this action demonstrates that imitation and relation to the Church was sought based upon the Linea bifurcata as part of the prophecy.
Bogus directions on the plaque were meant to mimic the encrypted instructions and show relevance to words in the Melkin prophecy. We know from the directional data in the prophecy itself, that the Devonian King donating Ineswitrin is in fact donating Burgh Island and we have already established the name of Avallon is derived from the town in the region of Blois.