Appendix 24
The Boar of Brittany, protected by an aged oak, takes away the moon, who
brandished swords behind her back.
The Boar of Cornwall was originally Arthur as the forests of Gaul shall
he posses’. The Boar of Brittany may even be King Stephen and the aged
oak is Henry Blois after the prophecies have been squewed from an original
in the LibellusMerlini. When the Anarchy came to a head, Henry, again, cast
his lot with Stephen having briefly changed allegiance (although not
admitted in GS). Having been abused by the Empress Matilda and then
begged by his brother’s wife Queen Matilda to aid his imprisoned brother,
Henry at this stage sees himself as the ‘protector’ of Stephen. When Matilda
was about to be crowned, Henry was allied with her and learns that the
Empress is disrespectful of him and most other lords now that she thinks
the crown is a fait accompli.
There is little more stultifying than a vain and arrogant Henry Blois
traipsing around in the retinue of a vain and haughty Matilda. But, Henry
also finds out in the brief period where he swapped allegiance to her that
she could not keep her word and was not to be trusted and had few
feminine or redeeming qualities.The Empress Matilda is outmanoeuvred by
Henry Blois and her eventual downfall is the failure to stop Henry at the
rout of Winchester where also her own brother was captured.
‘Taking away the moon’ alludes to the fact that Matilda’s power base was
in effect removed by the guile and subtlety of Henry Blois’ manipulation of
events. The sword behind her back is his allusion to her dishonesty; and
may even refer to his own scheming which was the cause of her swift
departure from London.
The artifice of Henry Blois in the Prophecies of Merlin is partly to
confuse and partly to give the impression and sound like a prophet from the
century. It is also partly to employ the devise of using known
information about historical events so as to appear as prophetic by giving
the prophecies the aura of antiquity. William of Newburgh’s castigation of
Geoffrey of Monmouth gives the impression that an original set of
prophecies genuinely existed written by Merlin. They were not Merlin’s and
did not exist in antiquity!
Because of Henry’s later updated versions found in Vulgate HRB and
VM…. later commentators such as Newburgh assumed that ‘Geoffrey’ had
added and changed original verses written by Merlin. What Newburgh did
not realise was that the original set which were created separately from the
Primary Historia (which Newburgh implies have been manipulated) were
in fact written by Henry Blois also.
However, one of these original icons was the ‘boar’ and Henry’s basic
use of it changes where individuals are applied specifically to confuse and
mix into the soup’ of his later additions…. yet using some earlier icons to
seem consistent. To speculate, we might posit that Henry’s understanding of
the animal symbol is that of the hereditary line from Arthur which
transmuted to Brittany and from thence into Normandy, eventually to be
returned back into Britain as William the Conqueror, the first to return the
crown of Brutus in its original sense.
So it is possible that the boar of Brittany refers to his Brother Stephen in
this instance. Earlier in the Vita we understood that Stephen and Henry
were William the Conqueror’s Nephews, and William the Conqueror was
then the Boar of Cornwall.
The nephews of the Boar of Cornwall cast everything into confusion, and
setting snares for each other engage in a mutual slaughter with their wicked
swords. They do not wish to wait to get possession of the Kingdom lawfully,
but seize the crown.
However, the prophecies have been squewed from the original Libellus
to the updated HRB rendition and then in to the VM edition, so that we
cannot be certain sometimes to what the icon refers. This may more
properly have referred to Arthur and Morgan in the original sense.
In this instance the ‘boar’ might be Stephen. Stephen is the fourth as we
found earlier, and he is crossing the Legate (the shadow of the helmeted
man who is the pope).This is Henry himself at a time when he and his
brother were at odds following the election of Theobald of Bec as
Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry in the VM prophecies refers to specific
events and thus at that time he uses the terminology ‘crossed’ because that
was the sentiment that he felt, crossed betrayed: A fourth shall be in
authority whom awkward piety shall injure until he shall be clothed in his
father, so that girded with boar’s teeth he shall cross the shadow of the
helmeted man.
In the Prophecies of Merlin in the HRB the boar seems to apply to
For the Boar of Cornwall shall bring succour and shall trample their necks
beneath his feet. The islands of the Ocean shall be subdued unto his power,
and the forests of Gaul shall he possess.
However, there is no end of Henry’s subtlety when again in
theProphecies of Merlin from the Vulgate HRB, he refers to himself as the
Boar of commerce regaining the misappropriated lands of Glastonbury
abbey: Then shall the Boar of commerce arrive in the land, who shall recall
the scattered flocks unto the pastures they have lost. His breast shall be meat
unto the hungry and his tongue as drink unto them that thirst.
This could as well be accounted as an illusion the Roman church and its
obvious materialism connected to Augustine’s arrival.Lastly, the appellation
of ‘boar’ goes back to Brutus an appellation supposedly because he landed
there initially but this may well have been squewed: After him shall succeed
the Boar of Totnes, and with baleful tyranny shall he oppress the people.