Chapter 34
Chronology of events concerning Henry Blois and the Matter of
Britain.
1125. Possible arrival of Henry from Clugny to act as prior of Montacute.
Regarding the accuracy of the data in Melkin’s prophecy which produces
the line which runs through Montacute….one can only assume it must be
connected to the dig put forward in De inventione. Montacute could only be
known by someone who has decoded or constructed the prophecy. It is not
inappropriate to suggest Henry Blois affiliation with Montacute has him
searching for the body of Joseph of Arimathea which led to the concoction
of the De Inventione when he became Dean of Waltham. Throughout this
investigation it must not be forgotten that the man we propose went in
search of the body of Joseph is one and the same who invented the story for
the search for the Grail and we know the Grail is based upon the duo fassula
found in the same prophecy… said to be in Joseph’s tomb. Henry’s
connection to Montacute is unclear except through his being Dean of
Waltham, producing the spurious De Inventione and the fact that The Red
Book of the Exchequer, stated that Henry was prior of Montacute previous to
his appointment as Abbot of Glastonbury. If this had been the case it would
have been in 1125.
1126. Arrival at Glastonbury of Henry Blois. William of Malmesbury is
already at the Abbey, writing the Glastonbury saints lives. William is also
finishing the GR1. Rumours are started by Henry Blois concerning the
translation of Dunstan’s relics to Glastonbury; the aim of which was to
increase alms…. eventuating Eadmer’s letter.
1127. Henry Blois hatches a plan to cover the history of the Britons
having understood there was a blank canvas prior to Gildas. This probably
came about in discussions with William of Malmesbury. The intended
recipient of a book on British History was his uncle King Henry Ist and his
daughter the Empress Matilda. The idea was to present an honourable and
flattering history of Britain with many queens prior to Matilda the Heir
apparent to set a precedent of rule by women in Briton…. to offset the
uncomfortable position felt by many of the Baron’s.
Eadmer’s letter to the monks of Glastonbury is written. William of
Malmesbury is commissioned by the monks to write the life of Dunstan to
back up Henry’s false claim that Dunstan’s bones resided at Glastonbury
through a concocted story. VSD I is started. It is felt by Henry Blois that VSD
I is not going to achieve clarity or respond adequately to the Canterbury’s
previous accusations of Osbern concerning Glastonbury abbey’s antiquity.
Henry’s brother Stephen was fighting William Clito in Normandy.
1
Henry
has set about putting affairs in order at Glastonbury and reclaiming certain
lands using the clout and influence of his uncle Henry Ist.
1128. Henry Blois might be in Normandy with his Uncle and brother,
providing ‘knights service’ from Glastonbury. This assumption is based
upon what Huntingdon relates concerning a certain ‘somebody’
(Huntingdon did not like Henry) reciting the Franks’ history from a Trojan
provenance…. much as he later did in HRB. It is felt by Henry Blois that VSD
I is not going to achieve purpose regarding what the monks required to be
written concerning Dunstan’s translation to Glastonbury in the times of the
Danish incursion; or respond adequately to Canterbury’s accusations by
Osbern stating that Dunstan was the first Abbot. William of Malmesbury
after such discussions is asked to write a book laying out the history of
Glastonbury abbey. William commences research on DA going through all
the old records. He starts DA with the 601 charter as his primary evidence.
1129. On November 17
th
Henry Blois becomes Bishop of Winchester and
moves there. He places Robert of Lewes at Glastonbury to oversee building
projects already started and the overseeing of general affairs but remains
abbot. William of Malmesbury has finished VSD I and is currently residing
at Glastonbury while researching the DA and composing VSD II. William
has a large chest at his disposal full of old charters. He works out the list of
abbots from these charters. Henry Blois is at Woodstock in December with
his Uncle and King Henry Ist holds court at Winchester over Christmas.
2
1
William of Malmesbury. HN
2
Farrar. An outline itinerary of Henry I.
1130. Henry Blois on May 4
th
is at Canterbury for the dedication of
Christchurch with William of Corbeil.
3
Henry Blois is still constructing his
pseudo-history of the British people from Brutus.
1131. Henry Blois instigates building projects at Winchester and works
on the pseudo-history the precursor to Primary Historia. The work at this
time consists of a partially fictional history with content concerning the
founding of Britain by Brutus. This inspiration is gleaned from a similar
French tradition which I have suggested, Henry Blois is witnessed by
Huntingdon to have recounted to his uncle while in Normandy. Henry Blois
carries out considerable research from ASC, Gildas, Bede and Nennius and
continues to compose a history of Britain with his knowledge of classical
literature and Roman annals…. some of which he surely was exposed to at
Clugny. What Henry truly achieves is the assimilation of Chronicled
histories from various sources into a form of literature through his muses.
Facets from his love of the classics are incorporated into the book on the
British History to spice up the narrative and speech content. Henry Blois is
at Waltham with his uncle. In September he attended King’s council at
Northampton where his Uncle signed a charter in favour of Clugny.
4
It was
at Northampton that the Barons were asked to swear fealty to Matilda.
1132. Henry Blois continues composing his history in order to present it
to the Empress as a much more readable volume than William of
Malmesbury’s GR. Henry oversees building projects both at Glastonbury
and Winchester. Henry Blois is again with his Uncle at Marden.
5
1133. At Christmas, Henry Blois was with King Henry at Windsor where
he signed a charter concerning the foundation of the Monastery of Rievaulx
in Yorkshire. It was at this meeting he met Walter Espec whose name he
would later use in an epilogue to a previously written work when he
impersonated Geffrei Gaimar. Henry Blois on August 1
st
was at Westborne
where he witnessed a charter to St Mary’s of Cirencester.
6
King Henry Ist
departed Westborne and England for Normandy on August 4
th
and was
never to return alive. William of Malmesbury finishes the DA and works on
finishing VSD II. The monks wished for more superlative material regarding
3
Farrar. An outline itinerary of Henry I.
4
Farrar. An outline itinerary of Henry I.
5
Farrar. An outline itinerary of Henry I.
6
Farrar. An outline itinerary of Henry I.
the honour and sanctity of their abbey…. with embellishments William was
not willing to include. William in his mind had completed the ‘original plan’
by producing evidence of the 601 charter as the start to his original DA.
William has seen the Melkin prophecy which alludes to Joseph on
Ineswitrin but since this seems spurious he does not mention Joseph’s name
in DA and he had no idea where Ineswitrin was or what the prophecy’s
indecipherable Latin pertained to.
1134. Henry Blois continued writing his ‘History of the Britons and
attended to matters in his diocese of Winchester and at Glastonbury.
William of Malmesbury snubbed slightly by the monks at Glastonbury
presents the DA to Henry Blois in the hope of some pecuniary recompense.
William now leaves Glastonbury.
1135. The barons were made to swear allegiance to the Empress for the
second time. It is probable following this forced pledge to Matilda by the
Barons….that murmurings began to be heard against a female ruler of
Normandy and England. Possibly it is in this period when prior contact is
made between Stephen and Henry Blois concerning Matilda as heir
apparent and a plan is tentatively hatched and accord is made to replace
Matilda with Stephen. On November 25
th
the King falls ill from eating
lampreys. On December 1
st
the King dies. By the 22
nd
of December Henry
Blois has convinced William of Corbeil to crown his Brother. On the 26
th
of
December King Stephen’s coronation takes place.
1136.Stephen had to intervene in the north of England immediately after
his coronation. King David of Scotland invaded the north on the news of
Henry I death, taking Carlisle and Newcastle and other strongholds. Henry
Blois is writing a diary of events later to be used in the compilation of GS.
The GS, recounting how Stephen acquired the throne picks up with events
at Winchester where Henry tries to bribe William de Pont de l’Arche to
release his uncle’s treasure. The treasure is released to Stephen and the new
King consolidates the crown buying allegiance from several barons. There
is however contention over the usurpation of the crown between the
Barons; because all of them had knowingly pledged fealty to the Empress
after the white ship disaster. The Welsh use this Norman disarray to their
advantage. While King Stephen is in a fragile situation politically, the Welsh
burn churches and rebel. The Welsh uprising takes place recorded in GS by
Henry Blois and a defeat at Gower. It is at this period Henry Blois is
probably present while Stephen is fighting against King David. However,
Henry Blois is in southern Wales and is present at the defeat of a Welsh
army at Kidwelly
7
sometime between June and November 1136 but was also
involved during the following months with a campaign to suppress De
Redver’s rebellion in Exeter. Henry Blois learns of the history Brut y
Tywysogion written by Caradoc of Llancarfan and obtains a copy of his life
of St Cadoc. (Caradoc’s work may have existed at Glastonbury but it seems
unlikely). Henry Blois has his brother restore the estate of Uffculme to
Glastonbury causing rebellion from Robert Bampton. There is also the
rebellion of Baldwin de Redvers. Stephen chases Baldwin to the Isle of
Wight but Baldwin does a deal with the King and crosses to Normandy and
reneges on the deal. William of Corbeil dies on 21
st
of November and Henry
Blois becomes Archbishop of Canterbury ‘in waiting’. One should assume
this was the brother’s agreement, one to be King the other head of the
church. Orderic informs us that in Advent 1136, Henry Blois went to
Normandy and was content to stay there while he sent envoys to search out
pope Innocent at Pisa because Henry: was elected metropolitan. But since by
cannon law a bishop can only be translated from his own see to another
church by the authority of the pope…. It was while Henry was in Normandy
that the backstabbing Beaumont twins counselled Stephen to curb Henry’s
power from becoming Archbishop of Canterbury. Franklin
8
has Henry visit
a papal court Nov-Dec 1136.
1137. Franklin has Henry in La Hogue, Bayeaux and Evereux in 1137.
Henry’s time would have been spent carrying out duties on his brother’s
behalf…. but also in re-hashing his pseudo-history into a Primary Historia.
Henry is in Normandy to quell the Angevin strife stirred up by Baldwin de
Redvers who had sided with the Empresscause. The pseudo-history which
Henry Blois had initially composed for Matilda is no longer fit for purpose.
Henry, after his experience in Wales having learnt much about Caerleon’s
Roman architecture and Welsh topography and Geography (in his brief
excursion)…. now has the Arthuriana added to the pseudo-history. This was
finished in 1138 and constitutes the Primary Historia…. from which we only
have witness from Huntingdon’s EAW. It is not wrong to suggest that Henry
Blois spent time at Bec carrying out his affairs and constructed the book
7
A castle which he refers to as Lidelae and says belongs to the Bishop of Winchester
8
Franklin 1993, 218
written by Galfridus Arthur which I have termed the Primary Historia. It is
possible though that Henry Blois deposited the book in the library without
notifying anyone. It seems improbable that the abbot who was Theobald of
Bec at the time was unaware of the book in his Library. It was Robert of
Torigni that showed the book to Huntingdon (both being chroniclers). This
is why I have assumed Robert would have asked about Gaufridus and may
be the cause of Robert de Torigni having been fobbed off with the
misinformation that ‘Geoffrey’ was now the Bishop of Asaph in 1155….
when Henry Blois (passing through Mont St Michel) had already consigned
‘Geoffrey’ to death. This is based upon the assumption that Robert heard
this news from Henry Blois as he travelled (without permission) across to
France to the safe haven of Clugny by a circuitous route landing at Mont St
Michel.
1138. Henry finishes the Primary Historia and signs his name Galfridus
Arthur for want of a better name based upon his recent addition to the
‘Briton History starting with Brutus’. He deposits the Primary Historia at
Bec before returning to England and is seen at the siege of Bedford and at
Bristol. Henry Blois starts to compose the Life of Gildas under the
pseudonym of Caradoc of Llancarfan, while based upon the Life of St Cadoc;
to provide an independent witness to Chivalric Arthur and to show
Glastonbury abbey had an abbot in Gildas’s era directly contradicting
Osbern’s aspersions.
English barons persuade King Stephen that his brother Henry is
becoming too powerful. Theobald who had only just been installed as
Abbot of Bec the year previously, now obtains the coveted position of
Archbishop of Canterbury. It would not be irrelevant speculation to
suppose Henry had been at Bec when abbot Theobald had become aware of
some indiscretion of Henry’s. He had betrayed the indiscretion and was
awarded with the position that Henry had coveted. The election of Theobald
of Bec took place on 24 December. King Stephen was present with the papal
legate, Alberic of Ostia, and a group of barons and bishops, but Henry Blois
was conveniently absent overseeing the ordination of deacons (apparently).
These events are obviously omitted in GS. There is nothing in GS to indicate
a rift between King Stephen and Henry which there obviously was. If GS
had been authored by an independent third party author these details
would have been noted.
1139. In January Theobald of Bec sets out for Rome to receive the
Pallium. Huntingdon while accompanying him and his suite is ‘amazed to
discover the Primary Historia. Henry Blois worked quickly to counteract the
slight of his brother by electing Theobald as Archbishop of Canterbury. On
1
st
March, Henry Blois obtained a commission as papal legate, which gave
him higher rank than Theobald of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury. There is
obvious enmity and this situation might not only be explained by Theobald
having obtained Henry’s coveted post, but may have something to do with
why the appointment was denied to Henry and given to Theobald
personally. This can only mean that Henry Blois met with the pope to
explain the chaos in the church caused by Stephen’s advisers and the
plundering of the Bishops of Salisbury, Lincoln and Ely.
While passing through Modena, Henry Blois commissions the engravings
on the Modena Archivolt which represents an episode of the ‘Kidnap of
Guinevere’ from his recently concocted tale which contains the Arthurian
anecdotal episodes from the Life of Gildas. Caradoc is already dead c.1129.
On the 30
th
of September, the Empress Matilda and Robert of Gloucester
land at Arundel. The Anarchy begins. It might not be unfair to posit that in
the visit to Rome in January and February (when on the continent), Henry
Blois had made a deal with the Empress and Robert since he had been
roughly treated by his brother Stephen. The apologia of the GS leads us to
think otherwise, but William of Malmesbury’s HN tells a more accurate
portrayal of events. Henry Blois was now Legate and may have made a deal
with Matilda…. a betrayal of his brother which he had likewise inflicted on
him. The opposite viewpoint is related in GS.
1140. Henry Blois is evidently at Ely according to the eyewitness account
in GS and at Devises. The Anarchy ensues.
1141. Events concerning the Anarchy affect Henry Blois. The events
surrounding the Rout of Winchester on September 14 transpired and Henry
is held responsible for much of the fallout. William of York elected in
January who had been staying with his Uncle Henry Blois takes a copy of
the evolved Primary Historia northward to Yorkshire.
1142. Aelred, novice master at Rievaulx in Yorkshire has a discussion
about a fabulous tale concerning Arthur with one of his novice monks. The
earliest recorded record of ‘Geoffrey’s’ Historia after Huntingdon’s
discovery of the Primary Historia at Bec. The copies of the Primary Historia
are few in this era. Unlike modern scholarships assumption that Vulgate
HRB was a completed work…. the prophecies of Merlin were not yet
incorporated into HRB or were there any dedications affixed to any work.
In fact, even though the First Variant was designed to influence Papal
authorities in 1144 naturally it must ensue from Primary Historia. Certainly
Vulgate is a final version of both Primary Historia and First Variant
combined with the evolvement of the Arthuriana but the church bias
removed and speeches fleshed out. Vulgate is definitely a later version, but
naturally our experts like Crick are even unaware of the author of HRB….
let alone why First Variant differs from Vulgate and still believes
Huntingdon saw the Prophecies of Merlin at Bec. It is a madness to assert
this on so many levels. An earlier first Variant seems to be the case if one
can accept that ‘Wace started with a First Variant version and ended
versifying into French with a Vulgate version; so one might assume Henry
had started his vernacular version as ‘Wace’ before 1155.
1143. William of Malmesbury dies. On the 24
th
September 1143 pope
Innocent II dies. Henry Blois loses his legation and power. He travels to
Rome in the hope of re-establishing his Legation. It is not granted by pope
Celestine.
1144 On the 8 March 1144 Celestine II dies. Henry Blois sees that the only
solution to free himself from subordination to Theobald is to become an
Archbishop himself. On the 12
th
March, Lucius II is made pope. Henry
interpolates William of Malmesbury’s GR3, which to all interested parties
assume was first published in 1125-6. Also Henry Blois interpolates DA for
the first time with a tame version of an apostolic foundation of Glastonbury
and interpolations which inferred Gildas was an Abbot of Glastonbury prior
to Augustine’s arrival. In other words there is a complete version of DA with
interpolations which coincides with the much earlier publication of GR.
However, the version presented at Rome is the GR3 with B version of
Henry’s interpolations. Henry Blois composes the First Variant version of
the Historia with updated details from the Primary Historia witnessed by
Huntingdon.
9
It is tailored to an ecclesiastical audience and does contain the
Eleutherius and Lucius connection, but probably mentions the three
9
Even though we only know of the contents of this version through the précis version of Huntingdon’s letter to
Warin, there are numerous changes some significant in storyline. These can be witnessed in Diana Greenways
analysis and translation of Huntingdon’s EAW which is included with her translation of the Historia Anglorum.
Archflamens. It is difficult to assess if the changes in speeches in the first
Variant are toned down against Anti-Roman sentiment from the Primary
Historia or whether they have been specifically embellished and expanded
in the Vulgate HRB. My deduction is that there is an element of both
whereby the First Variant was tailored for an ecclesiastical audience and
thus many battle-descriptions and other emotive passages are omitted by
comparison to the Vulgate. What is sure though, the Historia was an
evolving work from a Primary Historia (1139) in the Bec tradition which
evolves through a first (1144) and possibly second (1147-9) Variant to the
finalised Vulgate HRB of 1155.
Henry Blois goes to Rome to apply for metropolitan status from pope
Lucius. In the presentation of his case for the antiquity of a Briton church
prior to Augustine, Henry employs GR, DA, and the First Variant version of
HRB. The life of Gildas may have had the additional last paragraph added as
most certainly the 601 charter will have been offered in evidence at this
time. Obviously with the assertions in the First Variant that there was a
monastery at Winchester in Constans era, Henry is granted metropolitan
for south western Britain.
1145. The granted metropolitan is not officially ordained. On the 15
th
of
February Lucius II dies. Pope Eugene III a friend of Bernard of Clairvaux
refuses to grant the metropolitan to Henry Blois.
1146. The first set of the prophecies of Merlin (libellus) are composed
around this era presenting known history in the form as if it were
prophesied and pertained to future events. Some of these are very pertinent
to Henry Blois. These obviously do not include the latest prophecies about
the ‘sixth’ in Ireland and prophecies with foretell of a Celtic uprising. These
are specifically added to in the final Vulgate HRB post 1155. The first set
just deal with kings up to 4.
1147. The prophecies of Merlin are circulated as a separate libellus and
Henry’s hoped metropolitan is predicted along with that of St David’s.
Cistercian Pope Eugene III, starts proceedings to have the archbishop
William of York deposed in favour of the Cistercian Murdac. William of
York was formally deposed as archbishop by Eugenius early in the year.
1148. Abbot Suger receives a set of innocuous Merlin prophecies from
Henry Blois. William of York’s deposition was confirmed at the Council of
Reims on 21 March. FitzHerbert worked to secure his restoration to York,
which he finally achieved after the deaths of both Murdac and Eugene III.
During this period William FitzHerbert was looked after again by Henry
Blois at Winchester. William FitzHerbert probably gave Alfred of Beverley a
copy of the First Variant or it found its way to Beverley by William but his
version is an evolved First variant, which may have had an early edition of
prophecies like Suger’s attached.
10
Bishop Alexander of Lincoln died in
February 1148, so it is a certainty his name was not attached to the
prophecies before this date.
1149. Henry Blois’ case for metropolitan is put forward again to Eugene
III. The DA now contains the charter of St Patrick. There are now three
archflamens to help Henry’s case. The fact that there was a third
metropolitan prior to Augustine’s arrival in Britain has been added since
Huntingdon’s appraisal of the Primary Historia where EAW only states
there were 28 bishops. There are two vital points which Huntingdon would
have included if they existed in the Primary Historia; Firstly, the mention of
Phagan and Deruvian as the first named proselytisers of Britain and
secondly, that there were three archbishops in Britain…. both facts
unknown to Huntingdon as he had not read life of David nor had anyone
seen the St Patrick charter until this date. This clearly shows the
progression to the First Variant version and it is at the second attempt
where the St Patrick charter, which names Phagan and Deruvian, is
employed at Rome. Metropolitan is still not granted.
1153. On the 23
rd
December, the peace treaty of Winchester was ratified
at Westminster. Henry after all witnesses have signed the treaty and left it
in his possession adds one name to the list: Gaufridus episcopus sancti
Asaphi. Henry Blois starts to realise his investment in Eustace, Stephen’s
son, has come to nought as Stephen makes a pact to pass on the crown to
Duke Henry at Stephen’s death. On the 8th July 1153 pope Eugene III dies.
1154. On the 13 of January Duke Henry, King Stephen and Henry Blois
met at Oxford. It was on this occasion that Henry Blois went to the
scriptorium in the castle at Oxford where the treaties and charters were
stored and randomly signed Galfridus Arthur on 5 documents. The final
10
It is not clear if this was the case. It may be that the First Variant which now has the updated post 1155
prophecies existed with earlier prophecies from the libellus. It is impossible to say from Alfred of Beverley’s
account whether all were added to the exemplar of the first Variant by Henry post 1155 or some existed and later
corrections were added.
Vulgate HRB was not yet complete. It was while at Oxford signing the
charters that Henry Blois first conceived of employing the name of Walter
Henry saw the Archdeacon’s name was on the charters also. The First
Variant version does not include Walter’s name. Also Henry Blois saw the
name of Ralph of Monmouth on the charters. It was from this time onwards
Henry was to rename his author of HRB as Geoffrey of Monmouth and to
aver the contents were not invention but merely a translation. Henry
lighted upon the idea of employing Gaimar’s work to show an old book
existed. He wrote Gaimar’s epilogue and interpolated parts of Gaimar’s
work. On the 25
th
of October King Stephen dies. On the 3
rd
December pope
Anastasius IV dies. Nicholas Breakspear pope Adrian IV becomes the first
and only English pope. Henry finalises the last edition of HRB suitable to
show the gallant history of the Britons in one last final attempt at
metropolitan.
1155 Henry Blois completes the final version of HRB adding in the
updated prophecies and completes the numbering system of Kings to Six.
Henry Blois backdates the HRB by adding a dedication to Robert of
Gloucester in the Vulgate HRB. Other facile dedications to Stephen and
Robert or Robert and Waleran are added to the copying of versions along
with the dedication of the prophecies to Alexander. Versions are copied and
distributed by his own hand and the Colophon which includes the three
historians is concocted. All three historians are dead at the time of inclusion
of the Colophon. Walter has appeared since the First Variant as the provider
of the Old book from which ‘Geoffrey’ supposedly translates. The last
version of HRB may have been for the English pope as the biblical portions
of the first Variant were refreshed and a Briton history contrary to the
Roman annals was fully expanded for general distribution. The rhetoric in
some of the speeches is anti-Roman. The glorification of a British empire
and its defiance of Roman rule is expanded from First Variant to Vulgate,
since the decision lies with an Englishman concerning Henry’s request for
metropolitan.
A court at Winchester is held in 1155 and Henry feels an unfair wind
blowing and the invasion of Ireland is discussed. Peter the venerable, abbot
of Clugny transports Henry’s wealth abroad. Henry is told to dismantle or
hand over his castles by Henry II. Henry Blois flees to Clugny from the
south west, via Robert of Torigni on Mont St Michel evading Normandy as
he leaves without the King’s permission leaving still his castles in his own
possession. It is not lame to suspect that at this time the ‘round table’ was
commissioned. (Rumours of the table having been built by Cornish
carpenters may have foundation). No connection is made to Henry Blois as
it is delivered to Winchester and he is out of the country for three years.
Henry lands at Mont St Michel and Henry Blois informs Robert of Torigni of
Geoffrey of Monmouth’s (or more correctly) the bishop of Asaph’s elevation
to Bishop. Robert Warelwast, who was Bishop of Exeter and a personal
friend of Henry Blois died.
1156. Henry composes the VM and looks back introspectively over the
last nineteen years of his brother’s reign. These are the nineteen apple
trees. Henry composes John of Cornwall’s prophecies backdating them as
usual as John of Cornwall supposedly translates for Robert Warelwast while
he is alive. He employs some prophecies from the libellus and some newly
invented ones and changes a few icons so they seemingly resemble the
version found in the Vulgate…. but they now have a malevolent
propagandist intent to rouse the Celts. About a third of Merlin’s prophecies
were mixed with others entirely freshly concocted, designed to create
rebellion against Henry II and to place Henry Blois as an ‘adopted son’ over
Britain once the Welsh, Scottish, Cornish, and Bretons had been successful
in their rebellion. Henry also inserts the interpolation of Orderic c.1155 to
make sure that there is evidence of the existence of the prophecy which
incites the Celts which appears to have been written before king Henry Ist
died. Theobald writes letters suggesting Henry Blois return to England.
1157. Henry Blois impersonates Wace and writes the Roman de Brut to
spread his HRB pseudo history to the continent. He introduces the ‘round
table’ into Arthurian lore and other small expansions which show that
Wace and the composer of HRB are one and the same. Archbishop
Theobald instructs Henry Blois to return to England…. with a guarantee
from the King, which suggests Henry was nervous of what the
repercussions may be. He had not surrendered his castles and left without
permission. It could be suggested that he was nervous of being found out to
be the inventor of the prophecies. This may in deed have been the cause for
the unusual depth to which he went to cover his tracks. Any potential hope
of inciting rebellion is now lost as a pact is made with the Welsh and Conan.
1158. Henry Blois returns to England. All hope of power is lost. Henry
starts his second agenda now he is back in Britain; the conversion of Avalon
into Glastonbury and the connection of Joseph lore at Glastonbury.
1159. Henry commences two aims which are to change the course of
history; firstly, the conversion of his invention of Avalon from HRB into a
fixed location at Glastonbury. Sometime before the advent of Perlesvaus he
manufactures Arthur’s grave. Henry also is interpolating DA further;
putting Arthur firmly at Glastonbury/Avalon and begins the introduction of
Grail lore. Secondly, Henry starts on a ten year course of action which sees
the creation and proliferation of his Grail edifice under the auspices of
Master Blehis, which links back to the Arthuriana found in his HRB. Henry
writes the precursor to Perlesvaus and the book thought to have been
written by Melkin i.e. ‘De Regis Arthurii mensa rotunda’.
1160-1171.
Henry Blois involved in affairs of state but his main legacy from this period
is the introduction of Grail literature to the court of Champagne. Henry
writes in verse that which later Robert de Boron puts in prose. The circle is
complete and the Matter of Britain is set on its course because: For there is
nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not
be known or brought out into the open. (Luke 8.17)