Chapter 17
The Prophecy of Melkin
Insula auallonis auida funere paganorum, pre ceteris in orbe ad sepulturam
eorum omnium sperulis propheciae vaticinantibus decorata, & in futurum
ornata erit altissimum laudantibus. Abbadare, potens in Saphat, paganorum
nobilissimus, cum centum et quatuor milibus domiicionem ibi accepit. Inter
quos ioseph de marmore, ab Armathia nomine, cepit sompnum perpetuum; Et
iacet in linea bifurcata iuxta meridianum angulum oratori, cratibus
praeparatis, super potentem adorandam virginem, supradictis sperulatis
locum habitantibus tredecim. Habet enim secum Ioseph in sarcophago duo
fassula alba& argentea, cruore prophete Jhesu & sudore perimpleta. Cum
reperietur eius sarcofagum, integrum illibatum in futuris videbitur, & erit
apertum toto orbi terrarium. Ex tunc aqua, nec ros coeli insulam
nobilissimam habitantibus poterit deficere. Per multum tempus ante diem
Judioialem in iosaphat erunt aperta haec, & viventibus declarata.
The Isle of Avalon, greedy for the death of pagans, more than the rest of
the world, for the entombment of them all, decorated beyond all others by the
spheres of portentous prophecy. In the future, adorned shall it be by them that
praise the Most High. Abbadare mighty in Saphat, noblest of pagans, has
found sleep with 104 other knights there. Among these Joseph of Arimathea
has found perpetual sleep in a marble tomb, and he lies on a two forked line
next to the southern angle of an oratory, where wattle is prepared above the
mighty maiden and where the aforesaid Thirteen spheres rest. Joseph has
with him in his sarcophagus two vessels, white and silver, filled with the
blood and sweat of the prophet Jesus. When his tomb is discovered, it will be
seen whole and untouched and will be open to the whole world. From then on
those who dwell in that noble Island shall lack neither water nor the dew of
heaven. A long time before the Day of Judgment in Josaphat; open shall these
things be and told to the living.
Above is an acceptable translation of the cryptic set of phrases making
up Melkin’s Prophecy. It foretells of the Island of Avalon, upon which, the
discovery of Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb will be found in the future.
1
It is
commonly understood that the reference to duo fassula means that two
vessels are to be found also in the tomb. It refers to Judgement day in the
future, so one assumes this is how it became known as a prophecy. It was
written by a man who knew where a tomb was located on a specific island.
He was not a prophet but merely left a cryptic message for posterity in a set
of instructions which, if understood and followed, determine where the
Island is located. What seems to be a prophecy about events surrounding
the discovery of the tomb is more a prediction of the consequence of two
bodies being discovered. It was written by a man who knew what the tomb
contained and it is not a fourteenth century fake as considered by modern
scholars. Rather it should be considered as having accompanied the 601 AD
charter to Glastonbury. In 2012 Kim Yale discovered the meaning which
was encoded in the prophecy in ‘Melkin’s Prophecy Decoded’. I have used
much of his material in this chapter.
John of Glastonbury replicated the Melkin prophecy in his ‘Conica’. The
understanding today is that the prophecy, and Melkin himself, are a
1
This theory was first discovered by Kim Yale and Goldsworthy.
fourteenth century invention i.e. a forgery. This theory is largely based
upon the fact that Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Avalon is known to be fictitious
and it is considered that fraud was carried out at Glastonbury by Henry de
Sully in the production of King Arthur’s grave. This is view point is
incorrect, because Henry Blois is responsible for the manufacture of King
Arthur’s grave between the pyramids as stated in DA before his death.
When we consider the accuracy of the resultant geometry and when we
follow the precise instructions of Melkin’s prophecy, modern scholarship’s
deduction is falsely based on an erroneous premise. This position however,
has been taken by experts who have no understanding that the prophecy is
a cleverly constructed riddle. Scholars have based their assumptions on the
fact that there was no previous tradition of Joseph at Glastonbury prior to
the Great Fire in 1184. This position is incorrect as we will cover in the
chapter on DA. But, it would be accurate to say that there was no stated
tradition of Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury before Henry Blois.
Henry’s inception of Avalon in HRB was then later embellished into
William of Malmesbury’s DA. Henry Blois has substituted Insula Avallonis
for Ineswitrin on the extant fragment of Melkin’s prophecy to fit with his
agenda which locates his fictitious Island of Avalon at Glastonbury. As we
shall see in progression, Henry Blois is responsible for Glastonbury
assuming the name of Avalon by a confirmation found written on the cross
at Arthur’s disinterment which leads us to believe that where Arthur’s
remains were discovered is the geographical Avalon mentioned in HRB.
Joseph of Arimathea, through Henry Blois’s interpolations in DA and
through the name change of the Island on which he is buried, became
attached to Glastonbury lore. The name of Ineswitrin was substituted for
Avallonis on Melkin’s prophecy by Henry Blois which falsely relates to
Joseph’s tomb on Avalon…. simply because there is no real geographical
‘Avallon’ except in Burgundy.
It is thought Avalon’s association with Glastonbury has only occurred
since the discovery of Arthur in 1190-91. This position is hardly tenable
considering Insula Pomorum’s association with Glastonbury c.1156-7 (or as
most commentators believe- 1155 when VM was being written). Through
spurious lore planted in William of Malmesbury’s interpolated DA, which
not only corroborates the invention of Avalon in HRB and confirms Arthur’s
association with Glastonbury as posited in Life of Gildas (c.1139-40) and it
also confirms that Joseph came to Glastonbury in DA, which I think
unlikely.
We can establish all interpolation was done after William of
Malmesbury’s death and most interpolations were inserted before Henry’s
death; and some are as early as 1144. Some interpolations in DA were made
after Henry’s death but we shall look at DA in detail in a later chapter.
The final summation or coalescing of Henry’s agendas are witnessed in
the interpolation which constitutes the first two chapters of DA. We can
conclude that this particular material was written after Henry’s return
from Clugny sometime after 1158…. after VM had been written at Clugny.
As the reader will remember, Henry was opining the 19 years of his
brother’s reign in VM.
However, Joseph’s introduction and establishment into Glastonbury lore
comes in interpolated passages which sets up a historical scenario (or
plausible background) for his sudden appearance in lore. Joseph’s only
verifiable connection with Glastonbury was that the prophecy of Melkin, in
which his name is mentioned, was found at Glastonbury along with the 601
AD grant of Ineswitrin while Henry was abbot. Joseph is introduced into DA
as follows: While preaching in the region of the Franks, as narrated by
Freculf, Philip chose and ordained twelve disciples, whom he put in charge of
his beloved friend, Joseph of Arimathea, who buried the Lord. In the sixty-
third year of the Incarnation, and the fifteenth of the Assumption of Mary,
these missionaries arrived in Britain. They failed to convert the barbarous
King, but obtained the concession of a swampy and forest-girt island, known
to the natives as Iniswitrin.
What I should make clear is that the Prophecy of Melkin did exist in the
time of Henry Blois and he not only used it as inspiration to create the
mythical island where Arthur was taken in HRB, but also used the same
notion as found in the original Melkin prophecy of a body being discovered
in the future; which caused Arthur’s momentous disinterment after Henry’s
death.
Henry Blois had stated in DA where the manufactured grave site of
Guinevere and Arthur was situated. The Melkin prophecy’s greatest
contribution to the muses of Henry Blois was that the duo fassula in the
prophecy was the template for the creation of the Grail and hence its
attachment to Joseph. The decoding of the prophecy could easily be likened
to what became known as the Quest for the Grail.
Some features at Glastonbury were purposefully made to seem
significant and were highlighted in DA as if they naturally correlated to
certain words written in Melkin’s prophecy. The idea behind this was that
Melkin’s prophecy, which foretold of Joseph’s tomb being uncovered, could
only now conceivably be understood to be situated at Glastonbury.
A peculiarly detailed description of the construction of the church takes
place to coincide with the ‘Wattle’ of Melkin’s cratibus. The oratori of
Melkin’s prophecy became synonymous with the Old church. Melkin’s
adorandam virginem also was made to equate with the old church and its
dedication to the ‘Virgin Mary’. I shall cover the DA and the Glastonbury
interpolations in GR3 at length further on. But, we should look upon the
first 34 chapters of DA as having little to do with William of Malmesbury.
The following chapters in DA (35 onwards) are relatively unadulterated and
reflect Malmesbury’s true work.
Henry Blois had free rein in the DA to substantiate his fictitious island of
Avalon from HRB and establish its synonymy with the island upon which
Joseph was actually buried; the inspiration for which was taken from
Melkin’s prophecy. This is how Henry Blois brings Arthur’s Island, Joseph’s
burial island, and the new VM’s etymological Insula Pomorum…. all to be
synonymous with Glastonbury. The VM’s transformation of an island,
which previously in HRB had merely been mythical and without geographic
position…. becomes identifiable with a location known for its apples i.e. in
Somerset. This concocted aura which Henry created around Avalon was so
that all his previous propaganda coalesced and posterity is led to believe
that Avalon’s location was synonymous with Glastonbury. This is where
Henry manufactured a grave where the bogus remains of King Arthur and
Guinevere were going to be found.
Once the grave site was opened, Glastonbury was confirmed as Avalon
by the ‘leaden cross’…. contrived as an epitaph found in the grave. After
Henry Blois’ death, Avalon was deemed to be an old name for Glastonbury
once DA gradually became more widely read. Most were convinced by
corroborative interpolations which had previously been inserted into DA.
As we shall discover when dealing with Eadmer’s letter…. the inspiration
for employing the ‘Leaden cross’ and its placement in Arthur’s grave and
what it accomplishes when uncovered, came from an idea Henry Blois had
during the contention with Canterbury as witnessed in Eadmer’s letter.
Therein is a reference to a lead tablet being described in St Dunstan’s grave.
Henry mimics the cross found there in the same way for proof of King
Arthur’s grave, as Canterbury had done proving Dunstan’s body was at
Canterbury…. in establishing as proof that the body was never moved to
Glastonbury.
At this point we should note how Henry Blois brings Arthur’s Island,
Joseph’s actual burial island and the VM’s etymological Insula Pomorum all
to be synonymous with Glastonbury. The VM transformation of an island in
a location known for its apples i.e. Somerset, was implied so that all Henry’s
propaganda coalesced into the firm location of Glastonbury. We know John
of Glastonbury takes his material from many sources and his rendition of
the prophecy of Melkin is the only rendition left to posterity. It has Henry’s
own invention of Insula Avallonis replacing the original Ineswirin, which
was the island originally stated on the genuine Melkin Prophecy. To
highlight how Henry adapts his work from a previous standpoint (agenda),
we can witness that he is the one who attempts to bring his invention of
Avalon (from HRB) into line with his later post 1158 agenda with the
introduction of Joseph lore. The previous agenda in 1144 he had wished
Ineswitrin to be understood as synonymous with Glastonbury so as to
substantiate the 601 charter (which in effect establishes Glastonbury’s
antiquity).
The intention of Henry is achieved probably by his own later addition to
a verse in VM which aligns Glastonbury with Insula Pomorum through
Joseph. John of Glastonbury in his Cronica has an additional quote tacked
onto the VM verse concerning Insula Pomorum. What is clear is that John of
Glastonbury is quoting from an edition of VM which now makes
Glastonbury into New Jerusalem by association with Joseph. It seems fairly
obvious that this would have come from Henry’s hand originally as he is
guilty of the conversion of Avalon at Glastonbury.
2
It is Henry who
originally puts Joseph at Glastonbury by concocting the first two chapters of
DA (his last insertion into DA).
John in chapter 2 of his Cronica repeats all Henry Blois’ propagandist
bogus etymology found in either DA or Life of Gildas. He then goes on: From
these facts, then, it is clear why it is considered an island and why it is called
both Avalon and Glastonbury. In praise of this Island a certain poet sang:
(Verses).‘The island of Apples, which is called Fortunate, is truly named, for it
brings forth all things of its own accord. It needs no farmers to till the fields
and there is no cultivation save that which nature provides. It freely brings
forth fertile stalks and grapes and apples born of precious seed in its forests.
The earth nourishes all things as bounteous as tended land; one lives a
hundred years or more’.
3
This is just as it is written in VM, but then John
continues as if still quoting from the ‘poet’ (an obvious reference to
‘Geoffrey’s’ VM):
‘This was the new Jerusalem, the faith’s refinement, a holy hill,
celebrated as the ladder of Heaven. He scarcely pays the penalty of hell who
lies buried here’.
2
Arthurian Literature XV edited by James P. Carley, Felicity Riddy. We find that Watkin is on the trail to find
out how it was that Avalon underwent a transformation: What then of Avalon? The author of the Vita Merlini
stated that it was to the island of apples that Arthur was taken; in 1138 Geoffrey of Monmouth had already said
that Arthur was taken to the Isle of Avalon to be healed (Incorrect. In EAW this is not stated). Thus it is clear
that by 1150 (incorrect) the isle of Avalon and the isle of apples are considered to be identical, and here again
we are on the verge of the identification of Avalon with Glastonbury. Finally, the connexion is made yet again
when both Gerald of Wales and the interpolator of Malmesbury derive Avallo or Avalloc……… It may seem odd
that the mythical isle of the Vita Merlini can be identified with an actual place. P.82.
One would think that if Watkin was witnessing the ‘verge of identification of Avalon with Glastonbury’ in this
period, Watkin would enquire who the abbot of Glastonbury was at that time and to whom was DA dedicated….
could he be the interpolator? Who was the patron of Gerald? How possibly, in Perlesvaus, is the chapel covered
with lead etc. etc. The problem is endemic in Arthurian scholarship. If one does not recognise the evolution of
HRB from Primary Historia to First Variant to Vulgate and one insists that any interpolation in DA is
subsequent to Arthur’s supposed disinterment…. it is impossible to understand Henry Blois as the author of the
Matter of Britain; especially, when Perlesvaus’ early date is denied, simply because the colophon which
mentions Avalon and King Arthur and his wife is assumed to be only rationally possible after the disinterment.
This assumption that Avalon only became synonymous with Glastonbury after the bogus unearthing of Arthur is
a huge erroneous deductive presumption by modern scholars.
3
The Chronicle of Glastonbury Abbey. James. P. Carley. p. 13
This later addition, one can be sure, was tied up with Henry’s last agenda
introducing the Joseph material into the first two chapters of DA. ‘New
Jerusalem’ is not a concept relative to King Arthur. Henry is introducing the
fact that Joseph is buried in Avalon and therefore we can understand the
change of name on the Melkin prophecy from Ineswitrin to Avalon firstly to
accommodate the future unearthing of Arthur and secondly so that Joseph
is somewhere at Glastonbury also.
Henry Blois’ interpolation points out in DA that Arthur is buried at
Glastonbury between the pyramids and buried with his wife . long before
the discovery of Arthur’s grave (as does Perlesvaus). Obviously, John did
not concoct this addition himself, but is using as a source, a copy of VM
which is no longer extant and which Henry had subsequently altered when
introducing Joseph lore into DA.
Henry’s masterpiece of deception is in the transformation of his own
invented ‘location-less’ Avalon in First Variant and Vulgate HRB into what
the modern world now believes is the ancient island of Avalon…. now
situated at Glastonbury. There is only one man who could make all the
foundation blocks of his literary edifice combine…. while disguising his
hand under the name of William of Malmesbury, Geoffrey of Monmouth
and Master Blehis amongst others.
William of Malmesbury may have only produced one copy of DA and
presented it to Henry Blois for his approval as intonated in the prelude and
dedication of DA. DA was dedicated and given to Henry Blois while Henry
probably promised to make a copy for William of Malmesbury, but never
did. It is possible also, (which I will cover in more detail later), that Henry
obtained all of William of Malmesbury’s works after his death in 1143 from
the abbey of Malmesbury as he had recently installed his own choice of
abbot there.
Therefore, DA, in either case (whether at Malmesbury or in his own
possession) was in Henry’s hands…. and he was free to reconstruct it as he
wished: This island was at first called Yniswitrin by the Britons but at length
was named by the English, who had brought the land under their yoke,
Glastinbiry, either a translation into their language of its previous name, or
after Glasteing of whom we spoke above. It is also frequently called the
isle of Avalon, a name of which this is the origin. It was mentioned above
that Glasteing found his sow under an apple tree near the church. Because he
discovered on his arrival that apples were very rare in that region he named
the island Avallonie in his own language, that is ‘Apple island’, for avalla in
British is the same as poma in Latin. Or it was named after a certain Avalloc
who is said to have lived there with his daughters because of the solitude of
the spot.
4
Henry Blois wrote the life of Gildas. It is plain when we investigate
Caradoc’s history in chapter 22 that he dies c.1130. What Henry Blois
achieved writing Life of Gildas after Caradoc’s death in his name and
impersonating him by using his name as a known Welsh chronicler is
Arthur’s introduction to Glastonbury. Just as Arthur was mentioned in
other genuine saints’ lives such as the Vita Cadoci and the life of St Efflam.
the format of saints lives was mimicked by the construction of Life of
Gildas. Arthur appears in Vita Cadoci as uncontrolled and tyrannical and in
other saints’ lives as rebellious. But in Life of Gildas he becomes slightly
more chivalric, akin to the Arthur of HRB. Arthur is brought into association
with Glastonbury through the abduction episode, but the manuscript’s
initial intent was to place Gildas at Glastonbury which in effect provides a
date in antiquity with which the abbey might be associated.
Henry finished the Life of Gildas in the same era as composing the
pseudo historia. The spat between Glastonbury and Canterbury had existed
before Henry’s arrival in 1126, but was made worse by him personally as
we shall cover later when we look at Eadmer’s letter. However, the enmity
grew personally between Theobald of Bec and Henry from 1139 onward
and the contention of the whereabouts of Dunstan’s relics which
encouraged the proof of the antiquity of Glastonbury i.e. the writing of
DA.... became of prime importance and thus was followed by the further
polemic concerning another of Henry Blois domains found in HRB. That
concerned the antiquity of Winchester. HRB establishes a monastic
institution at Winchester in the time of Constans.
As I have maintained, Henry inserted the last sentence in Life of Gildas to
fulfil a separate agenda which convinced others the 601 charter was
genuine by locating the unknown whereabouts of Ineswitrin as being
synonymous with Glastonbury. (How could the Island of Witrin be an estate
given to the old church on which it was situated?).
4
John Scott, DA. Ch.5
This controversy which began as a contention of Antiquity through
Osbern’s accusation, became a contention regarding primacy after William
of Malmesbury had died as Henry pursued his goal of metropolitan for the
south west of England. The final sentence in the Life of Gildas as we have
covered, establishes synonymy between Glastonbury and Ineswitrin:
Glastonia was of old called Ynisgutrin, and is still called so by the British
inhabitants. Ynis in the British language is insula in Latin, and gutrin (made
of glass). But after the coming of the English and the expulsion of the Britons,
that is, the Welsh, it received a fresh name, Glastigberi, according to the
formation of the first name, that is English glass, Latin vitrum, and beria a
city; then Glastinberia, that is, the City of Glass.
The 601 charter which refers to the Devonian Island in William’s GR3
and DA is anciently dated and therefore, because the charter can be
produced and is ancient…. it becomes the ultimate proof of antiquity. From
that time forward (in name alone) Yniswitrin is trans-located to Glastonbury
by ‘Caradoc’s’ etymological late addition as we have discussed.
It is only much later after the composition of VM that insula Avallonis
and Insula Pomorum became synonymous with Glastonbury. Henry’s
various interpolations comprising the first 34 chapters of William’s DA also
confirms Glastonbury as Avalon. From different sources, DA is employed to
corroborate and interlock the various foundation blocks of Henry’s literary
‘edifice of illusion which focus’s Glastonbury as Avalon. Henry’s agendas
evolve during his life and therefore it is made more difficult to see the
relationships which make up the myth which constitutes Glastonbury lore.
In the past, it has been impossible to see the relationship between Ynis
Witrin and Avalon without the understanding that Henry is the author of
HRB and his involvement with the 601 charter. We then have to work out
what relation Ineswitrin has to the Island where Joseph of Arimathea’s
body is buried. This must be followed by uncovering the relationship
between Glastonbury and the Avalon of HRB and then follow how Melkin’s
Joseph of Arimathea is related to the chivalric Arthur from HRB in Grail
literature. Finally, when we establish how Grail literature brings together
Joseph of Arimathea, Arthur and Avalon and the Grail itself (which has its
origin in the prophecy of Melkin as the duo fassula)…. we find that through
Henry’s continental family connections in Marie of Champagne, we arrive
at the reason Chrétien references Master Blehis and Robert de Boron Blaise
as the fount from which information on the Grail originates. The pieces of a
puzzle must be placed in position and placed in relation to each other to
build a picture according to plan and therefore, we must, with much other
evidence to follow, look to the architect, Henry Blois.
This is why the DA becomes so important in our investigation. We can
also see Henry’s work (rather than later interpolators) if we understand his
agendas more. Rather than accepting that the tracts covered so far are
fraudulent, faux-historic or interpolated, (as modern scholars accept)…. we
should be looking at the reasoning behind why this activity has taken place.
From this, we may determine when for instance Brut y Brenhinedd was
written…. as the Avalloc mentioned above in DA is Henry’s work. This
associates Avalloc and his daughters with Ynys Afallach and thereby; the
sisters coincidental introduction on Insula Pomorum in the VM, where
Henry is seen to be linking Merlin to the Welsh Bardic tradition through
Taliesin. Henry’s edifice is a web formed from his authorial prowess and
his changing circumstance; designed from a devious mind which hid its
identity from the public domain.
In later years, having stepped out of the role of the all-powerful knight
bishop, occupied with affairs of state while brother to the King; Henry is
reduced to employing his ingenuity and brilliance in the formation of a
literary edifice which constitutes a gratifying yet erroneous rewrite of
History which becomes what is now known as the Matter of Britain
I have digressed here just to show in a brief way how it is that much of
the corroborative evidences which substantiates disparate material is
established or coalesced in DA….. and this shows how important DA was to
Henry as a fundamental part of the evolving illusion he composed. The DA
locks many pieces of Henry’s jigsaw into place.
It is at a later point in Henry’s life (post 1158) when his intended
insurrection against Henry II had not transpired (despite Henry Blois
prophetical efforts), that he returned quietly to England, reduced in his
power, and not in favour…. and under suspicion by the new King. It was
under these circumstances that he started on his next great authorial feat.
Henry introduced Grail literature into the public domain both on the
continent and in Britain. The foundation blocks in terms of ideas for
Henry’s muses is based on Melkin’s prophecy and we can see evidence of
the existence of the prophecy while Henry was alive by his endeavours to
find Ineswitrin which we shall get to shortly. So, it is Melkin’s prophecy
which links the Grail to Joseph and Henry’s concocted Grail stories which
link to his concoction of the Chivalric Arthur of HRB. This finally brings us
back to the subject in hand which is Joseph and his burial site on the Island
of Avalon as stated in the only version of Melkin’s Prophecy to reach
posterity.
The only certain mention of the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea existed
with the set of instructions we find in the Melkin prophecy at the start of
the chapter. These instructions are attested to have been written by a man
called Melkin. However, Montacute is posited as Joseph of Arimathea’s
burial site also; this information coming from Glastonbury but entirely
separate from the prophecy itself. Certainly, this is not by coincidence as
Montacute concurs with part of the instructional data elucidated from the
solution to the cryptic prophecy. So, whoever posited that Joseph was
‘carefully hiddenin Montacute had a definite knowledge of the solution to
the Melkin prophecy and had decoded the prophecy…. or more
probably....was responsible for constituting the prophecy of Melkin i.e.
Melkin himself.
One can only surmise differing scenarios; Melkin planted this
information regarding Montacute as a referential clue which would
confirm the marking of the 104 mile ‘line to Joseph’s tomb (as theline’
passes through Montacute). In which case, the association of Joseph’s burial
site with Montacute must have been placed in a separate manuscript set
apart from his prophecy. The only other deduction might have been that
someone had decoded Melkin’s puzzle, but this is unlikely because Henry
Blois (as will become apparent) physically searched at Montacute for the
tomb of Joseph.
This search must have been based on the information supplied which
cryptically mentioned Joseph’s ‘careful burial’ in connection with
Montacute. Henry Blois does not know where the Island of Ineswitrin is
located which the Melkin prophecy originally stated had Joseph’s remains
buried on it, but Henry knows the island is real as it has the same name
(before he changed it) as that found in the 601 charter regarding Ineswitrin.
Another possibility is that when the tomb is eventually opened it will be
seen that the Turin cloth came from the tomb as posited by Kim Yale and
this would imply that previously in history, (but after the death of Henry
Blois), the tomb has been opened. Goldsworthy
5
posited that it was the
Templars who found the tomb by the connection that it was the
granddaughter of the last ‘grand master’ who first produced the Turin cloth.
What will become clear is that the Melkin prophecy could not be a
fourteenth century invention because the data within the prophecy itself,
(which scholars could not unlock), in fact turns out to be a set of
instructions. These instructions to the location of Joseph’s tomb are so
precise that they identify Burgh Island (by measurement from two major
landmarks) as the old tin island of Ictis which links to Joseph by the tin
trade. Like the Dumnonian island of Ineswitrin, Burgh Island is located in
Devon, just as our ‘Island of White tin’ or Ineswitrin is named as a
consequence of its association with the tin trade.
Once Henry Blois is understood to have found Melkin’s work at
Glastonbury, there seems to be three important pieces of this work which
he employed while building his own literary edifice of rewritten history.
Firstly, we may speculate that he based Merlin the prophet on Melkin
6
having seen the prophecy and it may have been Henry Blois himself who
termed it ‘Melkin’s prophecy’ as it is known today. I would assume the
extract, as it exists, came from a larger work and I am suggesting it was
Henry who extracted it and changed the name of Ineswitrin and substituted
it with Insula Avallonis.
Secondly, there is no way that ‘Geoffrey’ is translating from an old book
given him by Archdeacon Walter as recorded in HRB and there is no island
named Avalon before ‘Geoffrey’.
Tatlock has established that HRB is a composition made up of many
sources by the author. Not one scholar has ever recognised Henry Blois as
author of HRB using Geoffrey’ as a pen name. But, the idea for providing a
semblance of an ancient source book upon which he fabricated the HRB,
may have been based upon Melkin’s works. Melkin’s works may have been
in a Brythonic tongue (if other works ever existed) but certainly the
prophecy was written by Melkin in Latin as its obtuse directions would not
have survived translation.
5
Michael Goldsworthy. And did those feet.
6
I posit this as his original Merlin Ambrosius from HRB not Merlin Sylvestris in VM, which Henry is obviously
witnessed to be conflating with the Welsh Myrrdin.
Henry Blois is the initial instigator of Grail literature in Britain and on
the continent. But it is Henry Blois who associates Arthur with Joseph in
Grail material. Material on Arthur, as Bale and Pits imply, in a book thought
to have been written by Melkin i.e. the book titled ‘De Regis Arthurii mensa
rotunda’ was obviously written by Henry Blois…. and this is where John of
Glastonbury may have got some of his material from. Why, if there is no
basis to connect Arthur to Melkin, have Pits and Bale associated Melkin’s
name with Arthur? It is more likely that Henry Blois impersonated Melkin
and composed the book Leland refers to.
However, let us return to the prophecy itself: Kim Yale explains the
prophecy by interpreting the translation so that the intended instructions
are revealed from the first part of the convoluted Latin puzzle:
Island of Avalon, coveting the pagans in death, above all others in the
world they are honoured for their entombment there before the circle of
portentous prophesy (Avebury). In the future (the island) will be adorned by
those that give praise to the highest. The father’s pearl, (Jesus) mighty in
judgement the noblest of pagans (Jews), sleeps 104 miles from it (Avebury), by
whom he received interment by the sea from Joseph named from Arimathea,
and has taken his eternal rest there, and he lies on a line that is two forked
between that and a meridian, in an angle on a coastal Tor, in a crater, that
was already prepared…. and above is where one prays which one can go at
the extremity of the verge;
7
high up in Ictis is the place they abide to the south
at thirteen degrees.
A conventional translation of the second half of the prophecy is as
follows:
Amid these Joseph in marble named from Arimathea has found perpetual
sleep and he lies on a two-forked line next the south corner of an oratory
fashioned of wattles for the adoring of a mighty Virgin. In his sarcophagus
are two cruets, white and silver filled with the blood and sweat of the Prophet
Jesus. When his sarcophagus shall be found entire and intact in time to come,
it shall be seen and shall be exposed to the whole world. From that day
forward water, nor the dew of heaven shall fail the dwellers in that ancient
7
See image 4
isle for a long while before the day of judgment in Josaphat. Fully uncovered
shall these things be and declared to living men.
The above implies that Joseph of Arimathea is buried somewhere in
relation to the church of the Virgin at Glastonbury. This is due to the
manoeuvrings of Henry Blois initially; but monks at Glastonbury have
expanded upon Henry’s initial impetus by inventing further material after
his death. This now makes it impossible not to believe that Joseph of
Arimathea’s tomb is intricately linked by proximity to the church at
Glastonbury.
Modern scholars have tended to discount Melkin for several reasons.
The first and most obvious is that they do not understand that Melkin’s
prophecy was intended as a riddle. The prophecy’s main raison d’etre was
to indicate that Joseph of Arimathea was on an island called Ineswitrin and
preserve this information into posterity. The problem is that the prophecy
(now changed) starts: Insula Avallonis. Modern scholars have understood
that HRB is a concoction. So, they have also deduced that the island of
Avalon (which was never heard of before HRB) is an island of make
believe…. existing in its first reference in a book which is known to be a
composite concoction of a faux- history.
Researchers have never contemplated that the island name of Ineswitrin
was substituted on the prophecy for the manufactured name Insula
Avallonis by Henry Blois. The reason for the invention of a puzzle by Melkin
was so that the Island and the contents it secreted would not be discovered,
until such time as indicated in the puzzle itself.
One must assume that there would be no point in Melkin constructing a
riddle which hides the location of an island in Devon if the monks at
Glastonbury knew where it was. The exception to this is, if certain monks
knew what the island contained and were guarding its secret at a point
during the Saxon invasion. The most obvious solution to me would be that
after an attack on the monastery which existed on Burgh Island, Melkin
signed the island over to the monks at Glastonbury. Possibly certain monks
were privy (like Worgrez who did not pass on the secret information). Yet,
the works of Melkin or just the prophecy itself were found at Glastonbury.
So the likelihood is that they were delivered at the time the 601 charter was
signed as indicated by the personal reference (‘I, Bishop Maworn, drew up
this deed. I, Worgrez, Abbot of the same place set my hand thereto’).
If Melkin was the King who was donating the Island, we then have to
work out why he would invent a puzzle which in effect secreted the
location yet stipulated the name on the charter. The simple answer is that
under pressure from the Saxon invasion, the island was donated to the pre-
West Saxon house of Glastonbury and the coded message was constructed
in case an abbot like Worgrez was unable to convey his secret about what
was contained on the island or where the island was located.
However, what someone knew or did not know at that period becomes
irrelevant over the five hundred year time span which elapsed…. in which
Melkin’s work gathered dust at Glastonbury…. until William of Malmesbury
found it (as he did the 601 charter) and Henry Blois started reading Melkin’s
words.
Certainly, someone back in 601AD knew of the secret contents of the
tomb within the island and constructed the geometry to form Melkin’s
puzzle. A set of instructional and directional data were created and
incorporated into what appears to be a prophecy written by a madman. It
in fact indicates with alarming accuracy, the location of the island on which
it states that Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb is to be found.
The startling fact is that there are only two references to where the body
of Joseph of Arimathea might be buried. Both places could only have been
posited by someone who had knowledge of the meaning behind the puzzle.
One of the locations is on an Island as we have covered, but another place
where Joseph is rumoured to be ‘carefully buriedis in Montacute. The only
way Henry Blois could have had foreknowledge of Montacute as being
connected with the tomb of Joseph is if the name were given as a partial
solution to the puzzle. Thus, in effect, Montacute is a marker point or even a
confirmational clue to a point on the intended 104 nautical mile line
posterity is instructed to find. This is stipulated by the geometry of Melkin’s
riddle once the riddle is understood.
Therefore, some other manuscript named Montacute separately. This
could only have been written by Melkin or someone who has knowledge of
the 104 mile line we are instructed to construct in order to locate the Island.
This might indicate that Melkin had other works at Glastonbury.... as
Montacute is not mentioned in the prophecy itself. Any person who had not
decoded the geometric line which is 104 miles long (i.e. by scribing it on a
map of southern Britain), would not know it went through Montacute with
such precision.
Henry Blois had been averted to the connection between Joseph’s burial
place and Montacute and went in search of the tomb. This same
information regarding Joseph and Montacute which was available to Henry
Blois was passed down through generations at Glastonbury until the time of
Father William Good in the era of the dissolution of the monasteries.
Modern scholars should re-consider (before consigning Melkin to
fraudulent invention) and ask how it is that the only two locations relevant
to Joseph’s burial place were both on manuscripts found at Glastonbury
and both feature in the solution to Melkin’s riddle. They are both on the
line, which, when constructed, indicates Burgh Island in Devon…. exactly
104 nautical miles from Avebury (sphaerula/circle) as intended by the
puzzle. How is it that a key pointer to the solution (the hill of Montacute) is
known before the fourteenth century if the prophecy is a forgery? We shall
cover the Montacute search by Henry Blois shortly.
The real problem is that too much spurious and contradictory
information has been written about Melkin by Prof James Carley. He and
other commentators who believe his analysis and pretence of ‘expertise and
scholarship’ concerning Melkin’s existence (and the content of his
prophecy) should reconsider the speculative pronouncements on which
their notoriety exists.
Further, it is alarming that those who profess to be knowledgeable about
Glastonburyana, Arthuriana and Grail literature, having been mentored
and submersed in this material for years have barely mentioned Henry
Bloisname. One must assume the reason for professor Carley’s denial of
the validity of Melkin and his prophecy is because he does not recognise
Henry Blois’ hand in Grail literature or Henry Blois’ fraud in the
composition of HRB and his interpolations into the first 34 chapters of DA.
Carley has followers such as sub-deacon Paul Ashdown, who also
pronounces on a subject he does not understand. I must point out most
emphatically, Melkin never mentions Glastonbury as suggested by both
‘experts’.
Subdeacon Ashdown has this to say on the subject:
The enigmatic ‘Prophecy of Melkin’, included in the Chronica of the monk
John ‘of Glastonbury’ (John Sheen) of 1342, which built upon the work of
William of Malmesbury and Adam of Domerham. The previously unheard-of
character of Melkin, who was ‘before Merlin,’ is presented in the same
vaticinatory pseudo-Welsh tradition as the Arthurian seer (Merlin) as
imagined by Geoffrey of Monmouth, and the Latin is therefore deliberately
cryptic. Here we read for the first time of the burial of Joseph of Arimathea
at Glastonbury, in a hidden tomb which will be revealed at a millennial
future time before the Day of Judgement. He lies (as I have argued elsewhere)
in a folded linen shroud, probably to be identified with that of Christ, and with
two vessels containing (presumably one of each) Christ’s blood and sweat’.
The ‘bad archaeologist’
8
is singing from the same hymn sheet: The idea of
a body being buried in a split garment rather than in a split line seems to
make more sense to me.
Those ignorant of the meaning of Melkin’s in linea bifurcata seem to
have an obsession with finding meaning behind the prophecy which they
ironically determine is a fake.
Paul Ashdown continues to regurgitate the speculative concoctions of
Prof. James Carley:
This rigmarole may well incorporate older elements but, in the form in
which we have it, is datable to the aftermath of Edward I’s visit through the
inclusion of the figure of Abbadare. As first suggested in 1981 by James
Carley, he is to be identified with Baybars (in Arabic al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn
al-Din Baybars al-Bunduqdari), Sultan of Egypt and Syria, Edward’s
formidable adversary during the Ninth Crusade, who had captured the
fortress of Safed, Melkin’s ‘Saphat,(and with it the Galilee) from the Templars
in 1266, and died of poisoning in July 1277, in the year before Edward’s visit to
Glastonbury. I have argued elsewhere that Melkin’s reference originated in
some satirical lay which had consigned the deceased Baybars and his
paladins to one of the alternative Mediterranean, Oriental or Antipodean
locations of an Avalon which has here been repatriated, along
(uncomprehendingly) with the Sultan, to its British origin.
Included among the sleeping ‘pagans’ (i.e. in contemporary usage,
Muslims), perhaps because of his status as a wealthy Jew,
9
is Joseph of
8
Poof. Keith Fitzpatrick-Mathews. Bad Archaeology.
9
Melkins prophecy is not connected in any way to Muslims. Abbadare, is one of the paganorum along with
Joseph. Jesus is the paganorum nobilissimus. There is no ‘perhaps’ about the sleeping pagans…. It is Jesus and
Joseph as ‘Jews’ to which Melkin alludes.
Arimathea. Although ‘Melkin’ is the oldest source to tell of his burial at
Glastonbury, his tomb’s exact location is clearly regarded as an occult
secret. It seems most unlikely that John Sheen was himself the author of the
Melkin doggerel. Indeed, he seems to have been the first to confuse the
mysterious linea bifurcata, which I have interpreted as a shroud, with some
kind of esoteric line in church or churchyard.
Prof Carley is of course the source for the piffle about Baybars, but the
ludicrous notion of Ashdown’s is even more ridiculous. Modern scholars
accuse JG of the prophecy’s fabrication, but if John Sheen was the author of
the Melkin prophecy (as some experts profess), why accuse Sheen of
confusion over his own interpretation of linea bifurcate. John correctly
understands the purport of the prophecy being relevant to determining
where the grave is. Ashdown’s interpretation of a ‘shroud’ from a
‘bifurcated line’, found in an obviously geometrically encrypted puzzle,
with measurements of length and angle, is preposterous. It is not worthy of
consideration as it is passed off as learned deduction. John Sheen is exactly
correct in recognising the line geometrically as an esoteric line and it is only
through the contortions of Henry Blois and his interpolations into DA and
GR3 (B version) that Sheen believes the linea bifurcata finds relevance with
the old church.
The fact that William of Malmesbury did not mention Melkin is best
explained by William’s distrust of fables. Why is it incumbent upon William
of Malmesbury to include what he does not understand? If he had seen
Melkin’s work and any mention of Joseph of Arimathea, he probably would
have simply dismissed it. Any evidence he might have seen would have
been written 500 years before his time. Perhaps there were no other works
of Melkin…. but Bale and Pits attest there were. But given the title of one
concerning the round table (De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda)…. I suggest
Henry is culpable of writing under Melkin’s name. In any case, William of
Malmesbury probably would have discounted any mention of Joseph as
mere fabrication, even if Iniswitrin was on the original prophecy and he
had seen it with that name written thereon. The Melkin prophecy was too
obtuse for Malmesbury to even consider mentioning Melkin or the
prophecy.
It was the 601 charter alone which proved antiquity. The proof of
antiquity for the Abbey was William of Malmesbury’s directive in the
composition of DA as the title suggests. To William, the Melkin Prophecy
was meaningless. There were saints and their relics at every religious house
as it was good for business, but if William had seen Joseph of Arimathea’s
name in connection with Britain (or Glastonbury) it would have been
discounted. As we shall discover further on, it was not even William of
Malmesbury who posited St. Philip as the apostle across the channel as
witnessed in GR3 and DA.
The important key to unlocking Melkin’s riddle is the ‘bifurcated line’.
The bifurcated line is where we are informed Joseph’s tomb lies, but there
has to be two lines for one to bifurcate the other. It is the line which
bifurcates the ‘Michael line’ which Melkin wants us to find and construct on
a map. The point at which it bifurcates at Avebury is the solution of
Melkin’s puzzle. The only line or marker that Melkin could guarantee would
not be destroyed over millenia and would always exist.... is the alignment
now known as the St. Michael line which runs across southern England. I
will explain in progression how churches now exist on this line.
As Melkin’s intention was to provide a key, he used the ‘bifurcated line’
and its bifurcation point as a starting place from which a separate line
would divide (at thirteen degrees) and act as a ‘pointer’ 104 nautical miles
long to Burgh Island in Devon. The ancient alignment of the Michael line is
the starting line, without which, the rest of the instructions in the prophecy
could not be understood. The Michael line is made up of landscape features
which include Avebury stone circle, Glastonbury tor, Burrow Mump, and
the Hurlers, to name a few.
10
We can understand the reference to a sperula
which obviates the word ‘Sphaerula’ or circle and which pertains to
Avebury stone circle, where the bifurcation occurs. These are immovable
reference points on the British landscape which constitute a straight line
that would not move overtime.
10
The Sun and the Serpent. Paul Broadhurst, Hamish Miller
The Michael line, or as Melkin refers to it, ‘the English Meridium’
(Meridium Anglum) acts as Melkin’s line; which we are instructed to
bifurcate. It is from within this prehistoric stone circle that Melkin directs
us to Burgh island by way of completing the instruction…. and drawing the
line 104 nautical miles long.
Those scholars who believe that this nautical mile measurement could
not be made or understood in 600 AD by Melkin.... must forget that Pytheas
in 325 BC could only arrive at deducing the Latitude of Marseille (which he
did quite accurately) by using the nautical mile measurement.
There are just two numerical instructions in the Melkin prophecy. One is
that we are to draw a line 104 miles long which bifurcates the original line
within the Spherula (of Avebury). The angle at which the line is to be
divided or bifurcated is thirteen degrees and this is Melkin’s other
numerical instruction. If we carry out the instructions on a map, the line we
are instructed to create coincidentally goes through ‘Devises.’
More pertinently, but definitely not coincidentally, it goes through
Montacute…. a marker hill just like Glastonbury tor and Burrow Mump. At
the end of the line stretching from Avebury to the coast, which is at thirteen
degrees to the Michael line…. exactly 104 nautical miles away is the Island
of Ictis better known as Burgh Island or the Ineswitrin upon which Melkin
says are the remains of Joseph of Arimathea and the enigmatic Grail (duo
fassula).
With precision, (to the yard) the line Melkin has helped us construct,
leads to Burgh Island which we have already identified as Ineswitrin. The
bifurcation angle between his unmovable line and the one we are
instructed to draw on a map is 13 degrees. The reader can construct the
same line drawing as I have on Google Earth. Don’t forget that Melkin’s
measurement of 104 is in nautical miles.
Now, it would be silly to insist that Burgh Island has nothing to do with
Joseph of Arimathea or Melkin without explaining the coincidence that this
line runs right through Montacute the place where ‘Father Good’ cryptically
writes that Joseph of Arimathea is ‘carefully hidden’. No doubt, scholars will
insist that the only two places mentioned as the resting place for Joseph of
Arimathea, which are both precisely on the line Melkin is instructing us to
create, is just a coincidence.
If we ignore their pronouncements, this would then allow the fact that
Henry Blois knew of the clue regarding Montacute which prompted his
search of the hill evidenced by the production of De Inventione.
11
This
would then reasonably negate the notion that the persona and prophecy of
Melkin are a fourteenth century forgery. No commentator has previously
understood that Henry Blois had based his Montacute search for the relics
of Joseph of Arimathea on evidence which must have been provided by
Melkin. This evidence or false lead which implicates Montacute as Joseph’s
burial site was only meant as a confirmation point on the line.
Unless the prophecy is decoded, Henry Blois could not know this, so he
assumed Montacute might be the Island he was looking for. Henry’s
discovery of the ‘Holy Cross of Waltham’ will be covered in chapter 18.
However in a brief aside, it seems likely Henry had been to the south west
(in Devon) also looking for this mysterious Island of Ineswitrin.
Just to re-iterate…. Melkin’s original prophecy was about Ineswitrin and
it was Henry who substituted its name for Insula Avallonis on the copy of
the prophecy that JG has copied into his Cronica. Henry Blois, also fully
comprehended, that Ineswitrin was not at Glastonbury, because he is the
one responsible for the propaganda, which in fact trans-located the Island
not only into Avalon…. but its location to Glastonbury as an estate of that
island. He knew that Ineswitrin was in Devon as it was donated by a
11
See chapter 18
Dumnonian King in the 601 charter…. blatantly deducible by the
provenance of the donator. Since Devon and Cornwall were once known
collectively as Dumnonia, it will not come as a surprise that Looe Island
which had a small Celtic chapel on it would have appeared as a possible
location to which the prophecy applied when Henry was looking for
Ineswitrin.
Not surprisingly then, Looe island was appropriated by Glastonbury in
Henry Blois’ tenure before 1144 when it appeared in a list of the abbeys
possessions. This recently acquired possession is also referred to later in a
confirmation of Glastonbury’s possession by pope Lucius II. Pope Lucius II
just happened to be the friendliest pope toward Henry Blois. It was pope
Lucius who granted Henry metropolitan status to Winchester. The
ownership of Looe island by Glastonbury was important as it appears again
in another papal confirmation in 1168; again while Henry was alive.
12
It does not take much to work out that there was little territorial interest
in Cornwall before the Norman Conquest and up to the point in 1144 when
Henry claims a piece of the mainland opposite Looe Island in the parish of
Talland…. and both the island and the mainland area were then referred to
by the name Lammana. Henry thought Ineswitrin was Looe Island as he
associated the Ineswitrin as pertaining to the Dumnonian King as stated on
the charter 601 charter. We know Henry was looking for Joseph’s remains
by his search at Montecute.
It would not be wise to rule out the possibility that Henry’s real interest
in Looe Island was connected to finding the relics of Joseph of Arimathea. In
fact the Island is still connected to Joseph of Arimathea in local legend
where it is said the Island was called Lammana and Jesus was put on a
beach nearby to play while Joseph of Arimathea was with him.
12
The Archaeology and History of Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury’s Cornish connections. P.253
The map above shows the ‘bifurcated line’ where it divides within Avebury
stone circle and runs through Montacute at an angle of 13 degrees to the
Michael line for 104 nautical miles to Burgh Island.
The termination of the 104 mile line is on the present Burgh Island, the old
Ineswitrin.
Melkin indicates that posterity would find the island where Joseph is
buried 104 nautical miles from Avebury where Burgh Island is situated.
Burgh Island just happens to fit Diodorus corrupted rendition of
Pytheas description of Ictis, in that it has a tidal sand bar and in
practical terms is situated centrally to the biggest deposit of tin in Britain
and therefore was the ideal place from which to export.
Melkin was known as a geometer, but until now we have had no
proof of his existence; the encrypted geometrical instructions given by
his puzzle lends credence to those who attested that he was a geometer
and to his very existence. So, let us take a closer look by breaking down
Melkin’s obtuse Latin prophecy sentence by sentence as Kim Yale indicated:
Insula Aualonis avida funere paganorum:
The island of Avalon, as I have posited, was named by Henry Blois in
place of the original name of Ineswitrin. It is on this Island which Melkin
tells us Joseph of Arimathea is buried. Melkin’s Ineswitrin provides Henry
Blois with the inspiration of a mystical island upon which Arthur is last
seen alive…. and a locus from which the re-emergence of Arthur is to come.
Some commentators
13
assume Arthur is buried on Burgh Island because
‘Geoffrey’ wove the mythical island into the storyline of HRB and was
understood as Arthur’s last known location. Since both Avalon and
Chivalric Arthur are both imaginary ‘make believe’…. Arthur cannot be on
Burgh Island. To be clear, the name of Avallonis has nothing to do with
Melkin. It seems relatively certain that Henry had no idea of the location of
the Devonian island of Ineswitrin even though he had been as near as
Plympton as witnessed in GS, and even nearer if I am correct about
Salcombe (Salgoem) and ‘Geoffrey’s’ Saltus Geomagog (which is said to be
near Totnes), where the Giant is thrown over a cliff by Corineus, which we
covered earlier.
However, Melkin’s word Avida means ‘coveting’ so the sense is ‘coveting
the pagans in their death’ in reference to the island. Paganorum cryptically
refers to a Jew; as Abbadare was King of the Jews the noblest of pagans and
13
Goldsworthy. And did those feet. It is quite ridiculous of Goldsworthy to posit that King Arthur is buried on
Burgh Island. If the chivalric Arthur of HRB is a composite and fabrication of Henry Blois’ ‘Geoffrey’…. how
can he have any remains? Goldsworthy’s premise is based on his belief that Avalon was indeed an Island and
was the subject of the original Melkin Prophecy. Once we understand that Avallon is named after a Burgundian
town, the notion that Arthur’s connection to Avalon then becomes untenable…. except when we understand that
the author of HRB is Henry Blois and the inspiration for the mythical Island is Melkin’s prophecy…. which
originally referred to Iniswitrin, but was replaced by Insula Avallonis
Joseph was presumably one also. Carley’s notion of Paganorum having
connection to Muslim Baybars we can dismiss as irrelevant.
pre ceteris in orbe ad sepulturam eorum omnium:
The phrase is usually translated as: ‘At the burial of them all, will be
decorated beyond the others in the world’ The more probable sense would
be that those buried on the island are honoured above all others in the
world.
sperulis prophecie uaticinantibus decorate:
This phrase has been understood only in ‘gobbledegook’ as connected
with prophesying and soothsaying circles by most translators. The
meaning is quite clear in conjunction with the other instructions in the
prophecy and refers to Avebury stone circle as the bifurcation point. The
word is used twice in the prophecy; once as ‘sperulis’, as in this instance;
and once as sperulatis’. Both of them convey meaning through
Sphaerula. However, sperulatis in the second instance refers to the
symbol for degrees i.e. a small circle after the number. Since it is a small
circle it is written in the diminutive form, but by degrees it actually
refers to the acute angle of 13° at Avebury formed by drawing the line
which goes through Montacute relative to the Michael line.
et in futurum ornate erit altissimum laudantibus:
The sentence gives the sense that when Joseph's tomb is discovered, the
Island of Avalon will be arrayed by the mass of new converts, giving praise
to God. This sense concurs with the final part of the prophecy which
indicates that Joseph's sepulchre will be opened to the whole world, giving
an impression that the island will become a pilgrimage.
Abbadare, potens in Saphat, paganorum nobilissimus:
Abbadare, mighty in judgement, most noble of the pagans. The name
Abbadare, has given rise to speculation about the word’s provenance and
meaning, but it has to be a reference to Jesus, meaning “The father's pearl”.
The rationale behind Melkin using this appellation is by combining Abba
meaning father and Dar meaning pearl in Aramaic, and Hebrew. That
Abbadare should be found with Joseph in the sepulchre is yet to be
discussed, but as the Grail literature suggests something connected with
Jesus is buried with Joseph. It is only the commonly misinterpreted
understanding of the duo fassula which makes us think it is a vessel of some
sort. The denial of the Roman church of Chapter 29 of the Acts of the
Apostles and the silencing of the tales of the Britons may well have a basis
in truth before and after Augustine’s arrival. Similar to the journey of the
Holy family in Maurus’ account, we can assume Joseph leaves Jerusalem,
and arrives at Ineswitrin (Ictis) after having sailed on from Marseilles, to an
island familiar to him, taking with him what Henry Blois later interprets as
sang réal. This is carried inside an ark or box by some Grail accounts. The
Grail romances which refer to the Grail as an object metaphorically refer to
some artefact connected to Jesus. As the reader will be aware, the word
‘Abbadare would have been used by Melkin to avoid direct reference to
‘Jesus's body’. This would avoid an adverse reaction of heresy, (especially
deposited in the Monastic system) whereby the prophecy itself might be
destroyed leaving no knowledge of the island to posterity.
cum centum et quatuor milibus domiicionem ibi accepit:
cum centum et quatuor translates ‘with one hundred and four’.
Milibus is actually cryptically referring to ‘miles employing the
measurement of nautical miles. The reader will remember the unit of
nautical miles (because of the only divisible unit of measurement)
correlates to a sixtieth of a degree; this same unit having been employed
by the ancients. The nautical ‘knot’ only came into use in 1630 AD…. but
the ancients had sub divided the globe into degrees of a circle reckoned
on the immutable laws of Geometry. The numerical division i.e. 60
nautical miles to one degree is defined by the circumference of the earth
and the 90 degrees which make up the four quadrants of the earth which
correlate to the 360 degrees which make up a circle. This unit of
measurement of one nautical mile as a sixtieth of a degree had evidently
been calculated by Pytheas’s calculations in Latitude
14
and the fact that
Phoenicians found their way to Ictis in Herodotus’ time and perhaps
even in Solomon’s.
Melkin was attested as a geometer and astrologer and is now
vindicated as one. He is perfectly capable of measuring the distance from
Avebury to Burgh Island, but could only be certain of the transference of
this measurement to posterity in the immutability of what constitutes a
nautical mile i.e. one sixtieth of a degree.
Some translators have inserted the word ‘Knight’s’ from the Latin
word ‘Militus’ with the assumption that it refers to ‘the others’ that are
said to be buried in Avalon. Other translators have opted for implanting
the word “saints”, assuming a scribal error for 104 as a measurement
across the landscape in nautical miles. Some commentators, while not
replacing the number, have assumed that a mistake has been made and
that Melkin is referring to the 144 thousand saints in the Book of
Revelation 7:4, 14:1 & 14:3.
This misrepresentation has been highlighted by later interpolators as
in the case of Capgraves ‘Nova Legenda Angliae’, which renders the sense
of Melkin’s words to ‘milia dormientium accepit’ which refers to Joseph
who has 104,000 sleeping with him.
This nautical mile measurement is precisely 104 miles (to within a
yard) from the Cove stone in Avebury to the entrance of the tunnel on
14
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01hlkcq
Burgh Island. The figure below shows the line Melkin requires us to draw
on the map which Kim Yale called the Joseph Line. The 'Joseph line' drawn
from Avebury to Burgh Island passes directly over St. Michael’s Montacute.
Montacute acts as a marker on the line which we are instructed to create. It
is no coincidence that Montacute is on the hypothetical line (until
constructed) where the body of Joseph is ‘carefully hidden’ and is
confirmed by Father William Good. Henry Blois knew this information.
The Joseph line forms the acute angle of 13° at Avebury with the Michael line and runs
through the castle at Devises and then through Mons Acutus (Montacute). It is 104 nautical
miles to Burgh Island from Avebury.
domiicionem ibi accepit:
most translators render ‘took his sleep there’ or ‘received his rest there’.
This sense of the sentence has been mistranslated as “Abbadare, powerful in
judgement, the most noble of the pagans took his sleep there with 104
thousand.‘Abbadare’ appears to be taking his rest with 104,000 others if
Mille is employed instead of Milibus; especially when the first words of the
next sentence are ‘inter quos’ which translates as ‘among whom’. The
meaning which Melkin is conveying is that Joseph and Jesus (both) are
taking their rest there.
Inter quos ioseph de marmore, ab Armathia nomine, cepit sompnum
perpetuum:
The usual translation of the sentence is 'among these Joseph of
Arimathea received eternal slumber in a marble tomb'. In the previous set
of words Melkin used domicionem ibi accepit’ and now he is using ‘cepit
sompnum perpetuum immediately afterwards. Melkin has devised a
riddle in which he speaks of two people once the meaning is understood.
‘Jesus received his rest there and ‘Joseph named from Arimathea took
his perpetual sleep there’. The word ‘Inter’ by most translators is
rendered among’, but this is a riddle we are deciphering…. and Melkin’s
meaning is derived from‘interrare’; to put in the earth, bury.
‘Inter quos’ is translated as ‘among whom’ but here Melkin is using a
play on words and his meaning is ‘to inter’ or ‘interred with whom’
which infers two people. The implication of this is that it now establishes
'Abbadare' as another separate subject in the tomb and the translation
infers 'Abbadare', ’interred with whom is Joseph, named from Arimathea
taking his eternal slumber by the sea'. ‘Marmor’ translates as a marble
stone or as ’the sea’. Small wave motion in calm water gives the
impression of marble, hence the expression, ‘a marbled sea’. It was said
that King Arthur, when he was fictitiously found, was ‘not in a marble
tomb’.
15
This point was possibly made to distinguish it from Joseph’s
tomb which was commonly thought (because of the word Marmor in the
Melkin prophecy) to be marble and which might have been in the same
grave yard at Glastonbury. However, the sentence that Gerald of Wales
wrote which has the beginning missing in the manuscript reads: [The
beginning of the sentence is lost.] . . . had proposed, thus Arthur's body was
discovered not in a marble tomb, not cut from rock or Parian stone, as was
fitting for so distinguished a King, but rather in wood, in oak that was
hollowed out for this purpose….
It just seems an odd coincidence to mention marble or stone when
there are so few examples of sixth century sepulchres from which
Giraldus might be comparing. It is possible Giraldus is making reference
to marble to compare with the other notable person of Joseph…. who is
supposed to be in the same graveyard and understood to be in a marble
15
Giraldus Cambrensis, Speculum Ecclesiae, X.
tomb as indicated in the prophecy. If this were the case, Gerald who died in
1223, (if that was his implication) would show that the prophecy would not
be John of Glastonbury’s invention. But there are many more definitive
ways which show the Melkin prophecy pre-existed John which we shall
come to.
Henry Blois was patron to Gerald and some of the points made by
Gerald about Arthur may indeed have been informed by Henry himself.
However, I shall cover what Gerald has to say on Arthur’s disinterment
shortly, because this may have a bearing on his relationship (as patron)
with Henry Blois, even though the unearthing took place 20 years after
Henry’s death. Gerald however, does not mention Joseph of Arimathea and
gets his Glatonburyana concerning Avalon and Ineswitrin straight from the
rewritten DA. It is mainly because Gerald does not mention Joseph that
modern scholars believe Joseph’s name is interpolated into the DA much
later. The scholar’s assumption is not entirely tenable if we assume Gerald
is only interested in Arthur i.e. not concerned with what he presumes is
some concocted fable in order to increase alms.
Bale understands Joseph being buried in a Marble tomb when he
renders the phrase as 'somnum sub marmore coepit'. However, one twist
that has not been considered is that 'Joseph de marmore' could be a
reference to Melkin's understanding of Joseph of the sea as in 'sea trader'.
However, the more likely translation, given the islands location…. and in
reference to Abbadare is:by whom he received interment by the sea from
Joseph named from Arimathea’. The repetition of ‘dormicionem’ as referring
to Abbadare, then being immediately followed by ‘sopnum perpetuum’,
referring directly to Joseph of Arimathea, indicates that Abbadare and
Joseph are two different entities…. especially since the ‘mighty in
Judgement’ is referring to Jesus. Melkin has set out to misdirect his readers
with the double meaning of ‘inter’, informing us that Jesus has received his
rest there. This he has done by not offending Christian sensibilities.
Et iacet in linea bifurcata iuxta meridianum angulum oratori:
This sentence is most frequently quoted in reference to Melkin’s
prophecy, the usual translation being: ‘and he lies on a two forked line next
to the southern corner of the oratory’. William of Worcester who measured
and described the abbey church at Glastonbury c.1478 has grasped that 'in
linea bifurcata' is part of a geometrical instruction, designed to indicate
the grave site. Monks at Glastonbury have continued the tradition of
concocting seemingly plausible evidence that infers the ‘Line’ applies to
directions within the abbey grounds centred on the old church: 'and
opposite the second window (of the lady chapel) on the south side there are
in the cemetery two stone crosses hallowed, where the bones of King
Arthur were buried, where 'in linea bifurcata' lies Joseph’ etc.
Most commentators have previously suspected the line referred to is
an indicator to where the tomb is located. Henry’s misdirection has been
built upon the word ‘oratori’ linked with ‘adorandam virginem’. It is
upon these words and words like wattle’ that the Glastonbury deception
was based. These inventions helped the eventual translocation of the
Devonian Island to Glastonbury. We will never know which words have
been altered or inserted but we can conclude Henry changed Ineswitrin
for Avalon and we can also deduce that the numerical instructional data
was not tampered with…. and nor were the obtuse words like sperula
and bifurcata which are central to the decoding of meaning.
Nowadays, Glastonbury is considered as Avalon and the 'linea
bifurcata' that supposedly gave directions from the oratory, has now
become a ‘folded linen cloth’ in which Joseph is buried,
16
because
modern commentators are still trying to find sense in the prophecy. It is
shameful that certain modern commentators have misinterpreted the
original purport of 'linea bifurcata'. It is no longer accounted as anything
to do with a directional instruction. It is those same commentators who
deny the existence of Melkin and deem his prophecy a fake. If it was a
fake, why waste time inventing convoluted solutions that don’t augment
the position for which the doubters say the prophecy was concocted.
If linea bifurcata really alluded to a cloth, one would think that if the
prophecy were a late concoction designed to convince us that Joseph is
specifically at Glastonbury Abbey; an exacting, more persuasive and less
obscure set of words might have been written. If we try to put the
prophecy in terms of a fourteenth century forgery it would be an
impossible coincidence that there just happens to be a line on the English
16
This misinterpretation of Melkins words stem possibly from Lord Fromes account written to Henry V
where…. describing a recent discovery: This Coffin was adorned most excellently beyond the others, with linen
cloth inside all over. I shall cover this later in the chapter on Giraldus.
landscape which bifurcates into another line at a point within a circle, at
the exact angle and length provided in the prophecy. Not only does this
line go over Montacute, but its total length defined as 104 miles
stops/terminates on an island…. and this by any interpretation is what
the puzzle is designed to do (locate the island). The puzzle starts with
and points out as its subject ‘the island where Joseph of Arimathea is
buried. The probability of this puzzle being invented by a fourteenth
century monk at Glastonbury is as idiotic as those experts who still
maintain the prophecy is a fake.
Some modern commentators have used the most imaginative ways of
trying to understand the meaning of 'bifurcata'. The most far-fetched is
derived from a meaning of 'in linea' as linen and 'bifurcata' as folded to give
a folded linen cloth.
Scholars have been duped into believing Glastonbury is Avalon,
therefore, there is no further requirement to seek directions to Avalon or so
the logic goes. One can then understand their supposition that Joseph is
described as 'lying in linen' and lies somewhere in the abbey grounds. But,
what then becomes of the rest of the riddle. What is the point of the
extraneous words such as Sperulatis (degrees), Sperula (Avebury circle)
Tredicim (thirteen), cum centum et quatuor (104), Milibus (miles) or even
more to the point Abbadare.
No early commentator has even posited Joseph ‘lying in linen’ and it
seems our modern experts get more outrageous testing the bounds of their
own credibility. Since John of Glastonbury, it was understood 'where'
Joseph lay i.e. in Avalon. It is only in the modern era such unconnected
notions exist where a ‘bifurcated line’ has no relevance to geometry.
The linea bifurcata was the crux of Melkin’s instructions and the
Glastonbury establishment needed to establish a link with their oratori.
Hence, we get the versions of concocted measurements from the ‘Old
Church’ from a randomly placed pillar on the site of the old church…. to
mislead the gullible into thinking Melkin’s ‘line’ is connected with a church
supposedly founded by Joseph. Therefore, posterity is led to believe,
Joseph’s sepulchre must be within the Abbey grounds. All this, mostly
brought about by interpolations into DA.
However, we could, like modern scholarship, ignore Melkin’s puzzle, but
coincidence cannot outweigh the bounds of probability. Is it probable that
an invented set of words supposedly concocted in the fourteenth century
can now be understood with alarming accuracy as a set of instructions,
which, when put into action, form on a map of southern Britain and
indicate a line which locates the Island of Avalon (Ineswitrin)…. which
coincidentally falls upon an island in Devon? To believe that this is a
coincidence or conclude the geometry is irrelevant would have to be
considered as ‘studied ignorance’.
The fact that this geometric coincidence coincides with a charter found
at Glastonbury concerning Ineswitrin donated by a Devonian King, and….
taking into consideration the implications of a genuine etymology that this
was an island named ‘White Tin,’…. might be more than a rational mind can
accept as coincidence. A further improbable chance occurs in that: this
same Island fits a description given by Diodorus of an Island in the ancient
world which ‘provended’ tin. Coincidence then leads us to the legend of
Joseph visiting Britain as a tin merchant and his name being connected
with the same island by the solution to Melkin’s puzzle indicating his
sepulchre is upon it.
The final glory of the ‘bifurcated linewas brought to the fore in the
bogus directions given on the illustrious brass plate, with the helpful
reminder ‘lest we should forget’. The implication from the plaque is that
we should not question that Glastonbury was any other place but
Melkin’s Avalon.
From ‘Meridianum’, most commentators have derived ‘Southern
angle’ from Melkin's text. The word ‘meridianum’ conveys the sense of a
plotted line like a meridian and this was surely Melkin’s intention. It is
also worth noting that ‘meridianum anglum’ could be translated as an
‘English Meridian’; surely a pun not lost on Melkin. Melkin is referring to
the angle at 13 degrees to the St. Michael line and this is why the strange
inclusion of the second ‘habitantibus’ becomes a split word of habit
antibus, ‘residing opposite’ the 13 degree angle formed within Avebury.
The oratori is a small chapel of prayer and fits conveniently the
description of the wattle church. Whether the old church was ever wattle
is debatable considering the efforts gone to by Henry Blois to have words
coincide with features in the prophecy…. which is evident in my
exposition of interpolations into GR3 and DA. We will never know in this
instance if the word ‘oratory’ was added to comply with ‘cratibus’ or
perhaps ‘cratibus’ was originally written to intend ‘crater’ implying hole or
void in the ground and the Oratory was on Burgh Island. To my mind, too
much is made of the construction of the old church in Malmesbury’s work
and smacks of ‘the lady protesting too much’. The wattle construction
becomes too insistent with comments about its rude construction: The
church of which we are speaking, from its antiquity called by the Angles, by
way of distinction, Ealde Chirche,' that is, the Old Church,’ of wattle-work, at
firsts savoured somewhat of heavenly sanctity even from its very
foundation, and exhaled it over the whole country; claiming superior
reverence, though the structure was mean.
There may have been further interpolation in providing a rationalisation
of why the ‘wattledcould not be seen and was covered’: and the tradition
of our ancestors has handed down, that the companion of his labours,
Paulinus, who was Bishop of Rochester after being archbishop of York,
covered the church built as we have before observed, of wattle-work with a
covering of boards.
We know the directional data in the Melkin prophecy has not been
changed as the accuracy is too improbable to be random. But one can
speculate about other interpretations: some other words as ‘ora tor’ could
be a possible word split. We might speculate that one solution would be that
the Latin word ‘ora’ and ‘tor’ from ‘torus’ were split. ‘Ora’ translates as ‘the
border or coast of a country; particularly the sea coast or maritime district’.
The word ‘tor’ from the Latin ‘torus’ meaning ‘a knoll or high mound of
earth’. Maybe Melkin gives the real sense of where Joseph's body lay i.e. an
island resembling ‘a Tor by the coast’ or ‘Tor by the sea’.
Most commentators have assumed cratibus applies directly to the
oratory as its construction method, but what is the relevant meaning of
‘Cratibus preparatis’? If Burgh island was the Ictis of old, based on
Diodorus’s description, and large quantities of tin’ were taken to the island;
the community of tinners would have to keep the cache of ingots safe,
hence the ‘prepared cave’ hewed out long ago…. that applies to the tomb
and not to the wattle construction of a church at Glastonbury. Is Melkin
using the term ‘Crater’ to describe a cave or cavern or ‘hole in the ground
which was ‘pre-prepared’ which refers to the Ictis repository? These are
high definition micro directions not macro geographical instructions which
locate the island by way of data transferred to a map. In other words, once
the island is located, we are told that Joseph is in a ‘Crater’ which was
pre-prepared or ‘dug out’ long ago.
In the scenario where Glastonbury is concerned…. the ‘preparatis’ is
hard to rationalise as pertinent to ‘wattle preparation’. Wattle by definition
is a preparation. Without the storage area on the Devonian island, the
functionality of Ictis and its description as an Emporium would be
redundant; so, more likely, it refers to the crater rather than a reference
to the production or preparation of wattle.
super potentem adorandam uirginem supradictis sperulatis locum
habitantibus tredecim:
This is a difficult part of the prophecy, especially to find relevant
meaning to a situation in Glastonbury. If we accept that the prophecy is a
puzzle to be de-ciphered, we should try to be inventive in our
interpretation…. as so far, there is little which complies with Glastonbury.
We cannot be sure however, that Henry Blois has not tampered with any of
the words. It does seem even after Henry’s death, the Glastonbury monk
craft is complying with the wording of the Prophecy…. not vice versa.
If the prophecy was a fake it would be more plainly understood. Because
it is genuine, it is obtuse and carries out the function it was designed for.
‘Super’, translates as above, upward or on high and potentem,as mighty or
powerful. ‘Adorandam’meaning adorable could be split into ad orandam we
could be looking at the word orandam, meaning ‘to pray to’.
Virginem;derived from ‘Virga’ is a reference to the Virgin Mary to most
commentators. ‘adorandam virginem’ therefore renders “adorable virgin or
maiden”. One idea is that these may be local instructions to the entrance of
the vault, giving its relation in the local vicinity to the crater in relation to
where an old chapel used to be situated on the Island
If we split ‘adorandam into ‘ad orandam’ it renders ‘in prayer’. The
English word verge’ has the same derivative root of virga. If one interprets
this word string super potentem adorandam uirginem supradictis’ as a
whole, whilst splitting ‘supradictis’ into ‘supra ad ictis’, we get the sense
‘up where one prays at the verge high up on Ictis’. This may be too
contrived, but still more credible than Muslims and Baybars being in
anyway connected to the prophecy.
Supradictis translates normally as ‘aforementioned’ and seemingly
refers to sperulatis but sperulatis is different from the previously
mentioned sperulis.
Is Melkin referring to the aforementioned sperulisin the early part of
the prophecy or is he splitting the word ‘supra-ad-ictis’; informing us that
Joseph and Jesus are ‘high up in Ictis’?
However, this also appears contrived and does presuppose Melkin
knew the island was once called Ictis.
One might conclude that if this information concerning Joseph was
passed down to Melkin 600 years after the fact, there would have to be
some form of writing explaining why this island was chosen by Joseph.
One cannot be sure what Melkin wrote in the manuscripts found at
Glastonbury (if there were any) for Henry Blois to use as inspiration for
his Grail literature. Perhaps he used the prophecy alone.
17
Another
consideration is how Joseph’s name got confused as the ‘authority’ in the
‘High History of the Grail’ and also became misunderstood as the
narrator. One might imagine that the authority for the story of the holy
relics reaching Britain stems from Joseph himself. Some commentators
assume the name refers to Josephus
18
the historian in the ‘High History
of the Grail’; the authority upon which the tale rests. It is unlikely
Josephus, had any involvement with the Perlesvaus from which the High
History is derived
In brief, the ‘High History of the Grail’ or Perlesvaus was in its original
form written by Henry Blois. It says that the origins for all the Grail
material came from the Island of Avalon. We know that Avalon is a Henry
Blois invention, hence anything connected with the Grail, Joseph or Arthur
on Avalon.... derives from Henry. Our expert on this subject James Carley
reckons: ‘that there must be some sort of relationship between the Grail
17
It is plain that the prophecy contains the main elements of Henrys inspiration i.e. a body to find in the future,
the duo fassula as the Grail, the quest or search element, and the mysterious island where he situates King
Arthur.
18
The Antiquities of the Jews, by Flavius Josephus
romance Perlesvaus and Glastonbury Abbey has long been recognised; the
colophon itself informs readers that the work is nothing more than a
translation into French of a Latin original found at Avalon/Glastonbury’.
19
Most commentators have assumed that the reference in the ‘High
History of the Grail’ to the book having its source in the Island of Avalon
indicates the writer of the Perlesvaus transcribed it from there. Henry
Blois is the inventor of the name Avalon and abbot of Glastonbury.
Scholars just need to accept a fraud on a large scale and that Henry Blois
committed it. It is not too far-fetched to assume Henry Blois wrote the
Perlesvaus colophon (just as he did Gaimar’s epilogue and the colophon in
HRB…. to misdirect) and implied that his French translation was from a
Latin original; and either could only have been written by himself. Henry
Blois invents Avalon in HRB but in VM converts Insula Pomorum to equate
with it. Then he makes Avalon commensurate with Glastonbury in DA. DA
confirms the illusion of Glastonbury in antiquity being synonymous with
the island of Avalon.
Carley makes misguided assumptions that whoever wrote the Perlesvaus
‘Glastonbury’ edition must have made a trip to England to know about King
Arthur’s disinterment. The assumption is based upon what the author
supposedly sees and therefore the geographical references to Glastonbury.
20
Allusions in the colophon of Perlesvaus to Arthur’s interment in Avalon; is
not an a priori upon which one can presume a date for the composition of
Perlesvaus i.e. after Arthur’s disinterment.
Modern scholarships assumption is that the Arthur and Guinevere
reference in the Perlesvaus colophon refers to an already transpired
disinterment of King Arthur at Glastonbury. The Colophon does not imply
that, but scholars for generations have been cloned to believe this
19
Glastonbury Abbey and Arthurian tradition p.309
20
Carley bases his assumptions thus: ‘even if it does not seem necessary to postulate a trip to England to account
for the Glastonbury= Avalon= the place of Arthurian burial equation, there are still the internal allusions to
which seemed to show a precise knowledge of the Glastonbury landscape. In the Lancelot scene in particular we
have an obvious evocation of Glastonbury Tor (la Montaigne de la valee), the old church (chapel novelement
faite…. covert de plon), and Chalice Well (‘un fontaigne mout cler’ which flows ‘de la hautece de la forest par
devant la chapele’). Carley then concedes that it is not easy to account for ‘the reference to the stream flowing
from the forest above past the chapel and here we may have at least the Echo of some sort of verbal
communication to the author of Perlesvaus’. P.317
chronology of events. They have forced the pieces of evidence to fit their
own theory and ‘assumedchronology.
21
The reference in the Colophon
rather takes the form of a statement of fact…. from someone who knows
where the bodies are and who has planted Guinevere’s lock of hair along
with bones which supposedly were Arthur’s in Avalon. This person knows
where both bodies lie in a manufactured gravesite set up by him to be
discovered in the future (just like Joseph in the Melkin Prophecy).
Obviously in DA, Henry deliberately points out the whereabouts so that
in time (after his death) some monk in the future reading DA, like Henry de
Sully,
22
knows where to find the body between the two pyramids. Don’t
forget, both ‘chivalric Arthur’ and ‘Avalon’ are both inventions in HRB by
Henry Blois posing as Geoffrey. By Gerald’s account the location of the
grave was known prior to the disinterment. Also according to Gerald’s
account we can deduce Henry Blois must have told King Henry II also….
and possibly intonated the depth of the grave.
Since Nitze and Jenkins found seven manuscripts containing parts or the
complete Perlesvaus, two more fragments have turned up. Modern
scholarship has determined they are all linked with the north-eastern part
of France. Rather they all emanate from Henry Blois. The Brussels
manuscript (BR) and the Paris manuscript (P) contain a passage found in
the ‘Wells’ fragment (We), but the (We) fragment is more closely related to
the Oxford manuscript (o); although it is not a direct copy. The 14th century
Welsh text of the Perlesvaus (W) is closely linked to the early printed
editions of 1516 and 1523 (BL). However BL and W are linked to the Oxford
manuscript. All seem to derive from a common source.
Since Potvin’s (BL) was found in France at a late date, there is nothing to
deny that it too originated from an early Glastonbury version in England.
This would enable us to suggest an English source which would have been
the source used by John of Glastonbury. If this English source was separate
from a version created by Henry in France, this would explain the
commonality of all the versions seeming to originate in France. This
21
Carley quotes Carman: Until after the latest year ever chosen by a reliable scholar as the date of composition
of the Perlesvaus, the exhumation of King Arthur is not mentioned in any continental document, and Helinand of
Froidmont actually affirms that Arthur's grave has not been found. We just infer that the Perlesvaus, which
alludes to this event must have been written in England.
22
Henry de Sully who was abbot of Glastonbury and later became Bishop of Worcester in 1193 is a different
person from Henry Blois’ Nephew of the same name.
assumption was based on the diction and style of writing; so, one could
posit Henry as the originator of a British and French source.
It would also explain how in the variations, the pseudonym of Henry
Blois appears as Master Blehis. It answers the conundrum of how John of
Glastonbury had an early copy of the Perlesvaus from which to construct
his synthesis of all previous lore up to the time he wrote his Cronica.
A comparison of the Welsh text with the Wells text, establishes that the
Wells text cannot be the direct source for the Welsh one. However, the
Welsh version and the printed editions are a subgroup of the same family
from which the Oxford and the Wells version are derived e.g. our primary
British source, (as long as we allow BL originated in Britain). We know that
the Wells version can be dated to the first half of the 14th century and was
written in Britain. Analysis of the Wells fragment indicates that the original
scribe was Anglo-Norman.
Carley suggests the providence of the Wells fragment appearing ‘less
than 10 miles from Glastonbury Abbey makes it desirable to reconsider the
thorny question of the relationship between Perlesvaus and Glastonbury’. In
other words it is time to consider who might be the common denominator.
Henry Blois has not been considered (even though the likeness of his
name is said to be the authorial provenance), because of the assumption
regarding the dating…. based on the colophon and its mention of Avalon
which to a scholar’s brain, can only exist at Glastonbury after the Leaden
cross appears. The presumption of the use of the name Avalon only being
known at Glastonbury after the disinterment of Arthur is based on another
erroneous scholastic assumption.
Scholarship, spuriously has deduced that it was Henry de Sully who
manufactured the gravesite. Henry Blois is adept in creating illusion. The
reader concludes that the Latin text of Perlesvaus is ancient from which we
now have the French. Especially poignant, as we progress through this
quagmire of evidence and join these three previously disconnected genres
of study…. we find that Henry Blois has planted a grave of Arthur at
Glastonbury and left it to mature until after his death. We must therefore
take into account that we find the same notion in steering posterity to a
conclusion that Arthur and Guinevere were to be found in the tomb at
Glastonbury (Avalon in Perlesvaus) as indicated in DA long before they
were discovered.
L'auteur du Haut Livre du Graal affirme me que son texte est copié
d'un manuscrit latin qui a été trouvé en l’Isle d’Avalon en une sainte meson
de religion qui siét au chief des Mares Aventurex, la oli rois Artuz e la
roïne gisent.
'The author of the High Book of the Grail even claims that his text is copied
from a Latin manuscript which was found in the Isle of Avalon in a house of
holy religion which sits atop reaching tides where King Arthur and Queen
Guenievre lie'.
The first observation is that the colophon does not insist or intonate that
Arthur and Guinevere have been found. The author knows that they ‘lie’ at
Glastonbury. There is nothing to say that this was not written by Henry
Blois prior to the unearthing of their gravesite as it certainly was!!!. Henry
Blois had not only planted, but left directions toward the gravesite in
chapter 31 of DA: but I omit it from fear of being tedious. I pass over Arthur,
famous King of the Britons, buried with his wife in the monks Cemetery
between two pyramids, and many other leaders of the Britons.
We shall cover this point later in the chapter on DA, but obviously if
Henry Blois wrote this and planted the body of Arthur, it is hardly
surprising we find Gerald’s eye witness testimony that he saw
Guineveres lock of hair. It becomes obvious who must have planted it
there in progression of the evidence put forward here in this exposé.
Gerald actually states that the cross has Guinevere’s name on it and
DA states Arthur is buried with his wife. Both the leaden cross and what
was written in DA is provided by Henry Blois. We get back to the most
obvious point which shows that this reference precedes the disinterment
as no other incidents about the disinterment were mentioned in DA.
How could they be, Henry Blois the interpolator of DA was not present
and nor was the scribe who wrote the anecdote above. It is the same
person!!!
There is no evidence which runs contrary to my position which is that
20-30 years prior to Arthur’s discovery Henry Blois manufactured a
gravesite (again based on an idea his muses had recognised in the
Melkin prophecy). It makes no sense for scholars to insist the
composition of Perlesvaus post-dated the disinterment of Arthur. It is
worth noting also, how intently the Old Church
23
was being focused on as
being synonymous with the Grail chapel (upon which the Grail chapel was
modelled). Yet the supposed Island on which that Chapel was supposed to
exist is the tor (‘atopin the colophon) a mile or so away. Henry Blois, as he
does in the St Patrick Charter, is using both the St Michael church on the
Hill as part of the same establishment as below at the abbey and
interrelates them both. The fact that the DA avers that the wattle church
was renovated and covered in lead (in the first 34 chapters of DA which is
known to be interpolated) should of course alert scholarship to the possible
coincidental authorship of Perlesvaus and to the dating of the
interpolations in DA.
23
Il cevaucha tant qui lest venus a l’ avesprer en un grant valee,o il avoit forest e d’une parte dautre; e dure
bien la valee grans lieus galoshes. Il esgarde a destre desor la montagne de la valee, e voit un chapel
nouvellement faite, qui mout estoit bele e riche; si estoit covert de plon, e avoit par desore deux croix, qui
sembloient ester d’or. The assumption that Arthur and Gawain go to Avalon and see Guinevere and the fact that
Guinevere was supposedly disinterred with Arthur at Glastonbury (when added as a proof to what is avowed on
the leaden cross), has led modern scholars to believe that Glastonbury must be the location of Avalon. Carley
states that:both the internal passages and the colophon make it abundantly clear that the author of Perlesvaus
must have had Glastonbury in mind when he described Avalon and that he must, therefore, have heard about the
famous Arthurian excavation of 1191. From this incontestable fact both Nitze and Carman deduced that the
author must have come to England himself to obtain news of the discovery. It needs to be stated unequivocally:
the author of the pre-cursor of Perlesvaus was in England and most emphatically he had Glastonbury in mind.
The author of the source of Perlesvaus is the inventor of Avalon. Henry Blois created Arthur’s grave site and
was not alive at the excavation. What Carley avers as incontestable because Nitze and Carmen made a false
assumption is irrelevant. It should rather be understood that Henry indicated where to find Arthur’s tomb in DA
before he died. The initial author of the contents found in Perlesvaus had never heard about the famous
Arthurian excavation of the 1191…… he was the instigator of its manufacture 20-30 years before the unveiling
transpired!!!
The Cove stone within Avebury stone circle is where the bifurcation or fork occurs
between the Michael line and the Joseph line at 13 degrees. The line extends for 104 nautical
miles from this stone to within 1 yard of the entrance to the tunnel on Burgh Island.
Most translators have rendered the translation of sperulatis locum
habitantibus tredecim ‘where the aforesaid 13 spheres rest’. The word
‘sperulatis’ has in this case been employed cryptically as a relevant part of
the instructional material. Without decoding it’s meaning (as pertaining to
‘degrees’) the direction of 13° just becomes a random number of 13, lost
along with the 104 in the meaningless riddle.
The original use of the word is ‘sperulis’, from which we derived
sphere/circle at the beginning of the prophecy, related to the stone circle
of Avebury. Melkin gives the impression he is referring back to ‘sperulis’
by employing the word “aforementioned” trying to convince the reader
that the two words ‘sperulis’ and ‘sperulatis’ have one and the same
meaning. However his use of the word for the second time has the same
sense as in circle or sphere, but is employed differently as a diminutive
form. This small circle is the symbol for degrees i.e. 13°…. the symbol
being a small circle °.
We know we are dealing with geometric instructions. Otherwise the
prophecy is meaningless if it pertained to the abbey grounds at
Glastonbury. In the contortions of previous interpretations at
Glastonbury of Melkin’s prophecy no commentator, scholar or monk has
tried (in their ingenuity) to weave the number 13 into any bogus directions
in connection to the bifurcated line and the old church. In other words they
can find no relevance to its meaning.
Melkin’s ingenuity has prevented the ‘13’ ever been associated with the
enumerated angle at the point of bifurcation. The essence of the prophecy is
indecipherable if the initial line which runs across Britain is believed to be
in some way relative to where the old church was situated. This
misrepresentation was cleverly depicted by the bogus directions on the
twelfth or thirteenth century bronze plaque.
The word locum is rendered as ‘whereby most commentators, but this
same word also translates as ‘tomb or sepulchre’ in Ainsworth. Locum
generally understood by translators as locus, refers to a place such as the
location or place being discussed.
The word habitantibus means to ‘dwell’ or abide’, and seems very out of
place in this sentence. We could speculate that if ‘habit’ and antibus’ were
split….the sense of ‘dwelling opposite’ the 13 degree angle might be feasible.
It is only because ‘habitantibus’ is unusual, especially in this section of the
directional part of the prophecy, that it would seem that the word needs to
be split. Some commentators have contrived the sense as the thirteen
sperulatis actually ‘dwelling’. The reader can see how accurate Melkin has
been…. and by carrying out a simple trigonometric calculation the precise
angle of 12.838568 degrees, which is only 9 ‘seconds’ out.
The prophecy is a puzzle to be unlocked, not a piece of prose designed to
highlight Joseph’s presence at the Abbey. From the Latin below we can only
hope to make sense by applying not only directions on the landscape but
topographical detail as well, so a few liberties have been taken in trying to
make an overall sense of what Melkin intended by:
Et iacet in linea bifurcata iuxta meridianum angulum oratori, cratibus
praeparatis, super potentem adorandam virginem, supradictis sperulatis
locum habitantibus tredecim.
‘Both lie in a bifurcated meridian line in a pre-prepared cave near a
chapel that is above it; where one prays at the verge high up in Ictis. In a
tomb they reside opposite a thirteen degree angle’.
Or
Both lie on a bifurcated line which is at an angle to a meridian in a
previously readied crater up at the verge near where on prays up high in
Ictis in a place opposite at 13 degrees they dwell.
Or
Both lie in a bifurcated line in a tor by the sea above in a prepared crater
in a tomb above which is the mighty adorable virgin and they dwell
opposite an angle of thirteen degrees on a meridian.
Or
Both lie on a line that is two forked between that and a meridian, in an
angle on a coastal Tor, in a crater, that was already prepared and above is
where one prays which one can go at the extremity of the verge, high up in
Ictis is the place they abide at thirteen degrees.
In the caption above we can see the 13° formed between the Michael line
and the Joseph line which ‘bifurcateinside the ‘sphaerula’ at Avebury at the
Cove stone.
Habet enim secum Ioseph in sarcophago duo fassula alba & argentea,
cruore prophete Jhesu & sudore perimpleta:
This is usually translated as Joseph has with him in the sarcophagus two
vessels, white and silver, filled with the blood and sweat of the Prophet
Jesus’.
It is wholly down to the interpretation Melkin’s prophecy that the duo
fassula becomes synonymous with the Holy Grail. Over time, the
importance of the prophecy has transformed the duo fassula to become
synonymous with the two jugs on the heraldic shield of Glastonbury. The
Glastonbury establishment has attempted to concur with as many features
in Melkin’s prophecy such as constructing the bronze plaque with its
spurious directions.
Lagorio and Carley have assumed the Melkin prophecy is mimicking the
vessel of the Grail having found its provenance from the continent. This
assumption is incorrect. Henry Blois was inspired by what he thought were
vessels in the prophecy. Glastonbury is conforming to the prophecy not an
invented prophecy conforming to any existent tradition at Glastonbury
derived from Grail literature.
The implication is that in the sarcophagus or tomb, Joseph has with him
two ‘fassula’. Why would someone in the thirteenth or fourteenth century
invent two vessels along with words like sperula and sperulatis that have no
bearing on the church at Glastonbury? Why invent two numbers like 13
and 104? As I have pointed out, ‘thirteen’ is not even utilised as part of any
existing lore which tries to equate the number’s relevance to the old church,
with a measurement or direction. Why, if the prophecy is an invention
based upon continental Grail literature, would the supposed fraudster and
inventor of the prophecy of Melkin go to the effort of finding an
explanation that the 104 is a misprint for 144 and then apply it as referring
to saints from the book of Revelation?
It is not difficult to see that the institution of Glastonbury is complying
with the prophecy in an effort to find common features, which are then
made to appear as pertaining to a fictitious burial site at Glastonbury
relative to the church. If this were an exercise in writing a prophecy that
conformed to features found at Glastonbury…. even I could have made my
intended fraud easier to be understood. It would be simpler to omit what
appear to be random numbers and terms (such as sperulatis) which are
hard to equate with any prospective burial site at Glastonbury.
The prophecy does not fulfil the proposed intention for which scholars
have insisted the prophecy was fabricated. It truly would be the most
startling coincidence that someone could invent a prophecy from
supposedly composite parts (referring to Baybars etc. in the east) which
coincidentally directs by its data to an island unintentionally which by
chance was donated to Glastonbury. This is the intention of the prophecy as
it starts with the word insula…. but obviously in its original form pertained
to Ineswitrin not Avallonis.
It would also be an amazing coincidence that all the pertinent
information supplied in the prophecy without leaving out one piece of data
(which is supposedly redundant data), formulates a solution of a line on a
map (entirely relevant) which located an island in Devon. This island
coincidentally might have been Ictis. A further coincidence would be that
Joseph of Arimathea by way of association with the tin trade is also
indicated to be buried on the Island thought to be Ictis and yet found to be
the same Island by deciphering Melkin’s riddle in which he is specifically
mentioned. A truly remarkable set of coincidences 800 years after the
prophecy’s supposed invention by John of Glastonbury. Yet if we are to
follow our expert’s analysis of why the prophecy was invented; what was
the point of the prophecy’s invention, as Josephs body has still not been
located at Glastonbury?
Ironically what may have prevented a falsified find of Joseph’s remains
was the fact that Glastonbury monks were unable to produce something so
sacred as the blood and sweat of the Lord Jesus.
The Prophecy leads the reader by way of purposeful design to believe
that the ‘duo fassula’ holds two liquids, blood and sweat. So from the Latin
‘vas’ a vase, or ‘vascula’ a vessel…. commentators have assumed the word
vassula’ as the container of a liquid.
A ‘fasciola’ however, is a bandage and a ‘fasceola’ is a swaddling cloth or
a cloth swathe
Alba translates as ‘white’ and more commonly refers to a ‘white cloth’.
This might imply that if the body of Jesus is found with the body of Joseph
as the prophecy implies, Melkin might be inferring a white grave cloth.
Could this be the Turin Shroud of which there was mention in all four
Gospels?
Argentea generally translates ‘of silver’. It also has another meaning of
plated (as in silver plated) but also means ‘overlaid’. Is this the heart of
Melkin’s message which really shows who it is that Joseph brought to
England and the proof?
Cruore from ‘Cruor’, translates as blood. The Glastonbury ‘cruets’ as
vessels or as Father Good referred to them as golden ampullae are purely
derived from word association from the Latin word for blood, ‘cruore’
which led to ‘cruet’.This is another case of Glastonbury conforming to the
prophecy and not the prophecy conforming to lore at Glastonbury.
Some people have chosen to translate as ‘two cruets’, leaving out the
word fassula’ as the vessel. They have mistakenly represented the blood
supposedly contained in the vessel as the vessel itself, which held the blood.
Again one must wonder why such contortions took place if the prophecy
were a late invention. In no way are the two beer jugs as represented in
the Glastonbury Arms in anyway representative of the Grail…. if
Glastonbury monk craft were following an established Grail tradition.
Rather, Glastonbury is seen to be doing its best to conform to features in
the Prophecy.
Why, if ‘monk craft’ were mimicking a Grail tradition does it stray
from the singular Grail? It is Henry Blois who consolidates his
misinterpretation of the duo fassula into the Grail cup of the last Supper
and from where Robert de Boron gets his idea of the vessel used at the
‘last supper’. Henry Blois as a serial ‘conflator’ adapted a couple of
‘Vesselsinto a singular Grail, based on the cup from the last supper. The
prophecy predates his expansion of the idea through his muses. Henry’s
interpretation of duo fassula is the singular primordial germ of the icon
of Grail Literature.
Sudore translates as sweat or travail. Melkin’s real intention is that
the enigmatic ‘duo fassula’ is a doubled swathe or breast cloth from
‘fasciola’. The swathing cloth, is a ‘doubled’- ‘duo’, white cloth covered in
sweat and blood from Jesus, (overlaid, from ‘argentea’, as one would
overlay an image with silver). If Geoffroi de Charney who was the first to
exhibit the Turin Shroud, had removed it from the tomb it would explain
its sudden appearance in the 1350’s.
24
Perimpleta has always provided the word for ‘full’, in the context
of‘filled with the blood and sweat’ by most commentators on the
prophecy. Perimpleta is not a word in its own right that has meaning, so
one can conclude it must be part of the riddle to be solved. It can be
made up from ‘per impleta’, coming from the verb 'impleo' which
means 'I fill up’. 'per-' is a common Latin prefix for emphasis, i.e.
24
Goldsworthy. And Did Those Feet. His theory is that the Templars discovered the tomb and removed the
shroud. He does not however note that if the Templars had found the tomb and had produced the shroud and had
knowledge of a body…. comment on the fact that it would be a good reason for the pope (conspiring with King
Philip) to give orders for all Templars to be murdered on Friday 13
th
across Europe. If the body of Jesus had
been discovered it would be the end of the Vatican.
'completely’. 'Pleta' comes from 'pleo' which simply means 'I fill'. So, if
Melkin is not giving misdirection by association and there are not two
vessels alongside Joseph in the tomb, I would suggest another way of
looking at Melkin’s riddle.
'Peri' is a word meaning 'around' and is usual as a prefix meaning
enclosing, as in the word ‘perimeter’. ‘Pleta giving, ‘I plait’ in English,
meaning to fold or as the definition gives, "to bend cloth back over itself”.
Melkin has a message to convey, otherwise why include it in the prophecy?
Is he implying that Jesus is in an ‘enclosed fold’ or ‘enclosed in a fold’? The
breakdown of the word appears to imply the Turin Shroud is the article that
Melkin is describing. This would mean the tomb on Burgh Island has been
discovered already by the Templars.
25
Is Melkin informing the world that a
‘doubled grave cloth, covered with blood and sweat from the prophet was
folded over Jesus and was present in the tomb when he wrote?
Habet enim secum Ioseph in sarcophago duo fassula alba& argentea,
cruore prophete Jhesu & sudore perimpleta:
‘Joseph has with him in the sarcophagus a doubled white swaddling cloth
covered with the blood and sweat of the prophet Jesus that was folded around
him’.
We could speculate that Joseph has with him in the tomb a doubled
white folded cloth that was laid over the prophet Jesus and outlined by his
sweat and blood. The Koran refers to Jesus as the prophete Jhesu. Melkin by
naming Jesus is also hinting at the person behind the Abbadare enigma.
Cum reperietur eius sarchofagum integrum illibatum, in futuris videbitur
et erit apertum toto orbi terranum:
The translations of this sentence appear for the most part as: ‘Once his
sarcophagus is discovered, it will be seen whole and untouched and then open
to the whole world’. Another way of translating the above could be: ‘With
the discovery of his tomb, which will be whole and undefiled, from thenceforth
it will be viewed and open to the entire world’. The word integrum translating
as ‘entire or wholeis in reference to the body of Jesus being preserved by
25
If we consider that the Michael line is shadowing an existing line demarcated by monuments from the
Neolithic era…. someone in the modern era has aligned the churches which constitute the St Michael line. The
wealth for such an endeavour can only come from a wealthy institution.
cedar oil in the Grail Ark as has been explained by Kim Yale and Michael
Goldsworthy.
Ex tunc nec aqua nec ros celi insulam nobilissimam habitantibus poterit
deficere.‘from then on, those who dwell in that noble island will lack neither
water nor the dew of heaven’. Melkin starts the sentence ex tuncor literally
‘from that time’, indicating the expectation of change at the point of time
when the tomb is unveiled. The insulam nobilissimam translating asnoble
Island’ is where Henry Blois got the idea for having Arthur brought to an
island and then extended it to where he would come from as part of the
‘Briton hope.
Per multum tempus ante diem Judioialem in iosaphat erunt aperta
haec, & viventibus declarata: Most translations of this passage differ only
slightly: ‘for a long time before the day of judgement in Josaphat, these
things will be openly declared to the living’.
With modern scholarship freely admitting to large scale fraud at
Glastonbury abbey, it is extraordinary how accepting they are of an
unsolved mystery. Does scholarship really think that the prolific inter-
relationship of Arthuriana, Glastonburyana and the Grail edifice just
happened randomly i.e. formed, following on from what ‘Geoffrey’
(based at Oxford) wrote of King Arthur? Did not the King Arthur story
suddenly appear in the exact era that Henry Blois was abbot of
Glastonbury, Bishop of Winchester, Legate to the pope and brother to the
King. Yet, not one commentator has even discussed Henry Blois as
instigator or author of Life of Gildas because they think Caradoc was a
contemporary of Geoffrey’s.
Few researchers have even mentioned Henry’s name in connection
with the three genres…. the man who avowed that the greatest worth
(more than riches) was that of the art of authorship; the man who
compared himself to Cicero.
26
Authorship was the aspiration to which
Henry Blois accounted great worth. Are we really to believe a man who
held such thoughts, even to the extent of revealing his passion on his self
26
Ironically, James Carley, the expert on affairs at Glastonbury and Athuriana says of Henry Blois: Although he
did not himself produce any work of erudiction, he was a supporter of scholarship and was a patron of two fine
writers: William of Malmesbury and Gerald of Wales. Glastonbury Abbey p.20. As an expert, one probably
could not make a bigger gaff, but scholarship’s naivety is endemic.
composed epitaph on the Meusan plates, only left the dull record of his
deeds at Glastonbury?
There is no concise position on the Prophecy of Melkin by experts.
Supposed academics would not recognise Ictis if it had a sign on it…. or
equate Joseph of Arimathea’s tin trading connections in association with
it. Most archaeologists dig up ancient detritus and have never heard of
Ictis. They have no idea of the practicalities of navigation in antiquity or
seamanship. Scholars who study medieval literature, such as ‘Geoffrey’s’
HRB, know that it has little historical accuracy and yet it pretended to be an
accurate historical record. If they do not accept ‘Geoffrey’s’ history and
recognise fraud; why accept naïvely the fraud of a created persona?
Nothing is known about the man who wrote the most popular
blockbuster in the medieval era and what is known about him is as dubious
as the contents of HRB. The fact that scholars have accepted Henry Blois’
scribble of Galfridus Artur on a few charters around Oxford and the fact
that a totally bogus Bishop of Asaph signs alongside Henry Blois on the
Treaty of Winchester.... has convinced them of ‘Geoffrey’s’ real existence.
Historians have combed through works which provide the basis for
Glastonburyana knowing they are full of forgeries. Few commentators have
been looking for the architect; the common denominator, who combines
Arthurian material in HRB and continental Grail literature and connects
them to Glastonbury. Modern research should focus on which manuscripts
provide essential building blocks for Henry’s edifice and whether or not
these manuscripts were fraudulently written by the most prolific author in
the 12
th
century and the person responsible for the largest interpolative
fraud in DA.
If scholars had recognised the perpetrator in Henry Blois, rational
deductions could be made…. such as Master Blehis, Blaise, Bliho-Bleheris,
having a similar name to Monseigneur Blois in Grail literature....or the
coincidence of the glorification of Winchester in HRB.... and Henry’s
connection with the metropolitan request. If there was any intellectual