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Joseph of Arimathea in Britain

The beginning layers of the relationships between Ictis, Joseph of Arimathea, Judah, Jesus and the Grail stories.


And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark Satanic mills?


It might seem improbable at first that the tin trade originally started with the ancient descendants from Judah. The Jews have had a presence in Cornwall since prehistoric times, but the original Jews of Cornwall are not of the Davidic line descended from Pharez, so their traditions are not ordinated around the Jerusalem temple and therefore their heritage is of much less slavish nature. This may sound tenuous but hopefully by the end of this blog the reader will understand the heritage of the two sons of Tamar a little more clearly. One son Pharez the younger but first out of the womb is the progenitor of the Jews that inhabited Jerusalem. The would be first born Zarah comes afterward and is the progenitor of the New Jerusalem.
So let us turn our attention to Judah, one of the sons of Jacob, who is the father of the 12 tribes of Israel and see how Judah fits in to our enquiry. Judah was essentially entrapped by his eldest son’s first wife Tamar, who had posed as a prostitute, eventually giving issue to twins, one of whom was probably the original progenitor of the Jewish heritage on the British southern peninsular through Zarah the brother of Pharez, Judah’s son and then through Zerah’s son called Calchol.
Pharez and Zerah’s mother’s name was Tamar the same as the name of the mighty Tamar river that divides Devon and Cornwall, but biblical history does not record what became of Zerah except from what seems to be a Babylonian source. The story, the hereditary line and the theological issues are complicated at this stage in our enquiry and would involve a large digression but this subject will be elucidated in a later chapter. Suffice it for the moment to assert that Judah was the Law (Psalm 60.7). The literal translation of ‘chaqaq’ means “inscribed” and as most Bible readers would understand the Law is that which is inscribed on a man's heart, which gives rise to what we now call today a conscience. However, rather than get embroiled in a theological discourse, let us assume that it was Zerah who brought, what we shall term for the moment, the real ‘Law’ to the British Isles, in contrast to the law that was practised by the Pharisees and Sadducees, the Jews who inhabited Judah and were spoken of in the gospel accounts. Diodorus speaks so highly of the natives of Britain and the Belerion promontory,"The Britons live in the same manner that the ancients did -they are plain and upright in their dealings - the island is very populous - the Celts never shut the doors of their houses; they invite strangers in to their feasts, and when the meal is over they ask who they are and of what things they stand in need and it is their manner, that during the course of the meal, to seize upon any inconsequential matter as an occasion for keen disputation and then to challenge one another to single combat, without any regard for their lives, for the beliefs of Pythagoras pervade among them, that the souls of men are immortal and that after a prescribed number of years they commence upon a new life, the soul entering into another body.
These inheritors let us assume, received their grace through the fulfilment of the Mosaic Law not from Pythagoras but from Judah. Strabo is quite surprised at how educated the British were of his day and tells of a man named Abaris:
"He was easy in his address, agreeable in his conversation, active in his dispatch and discreet in his management of great affairs, diligent in the quest of wisdom, fond of friendship and trusting very little to fortune; yet having the entire confidence of others, and trusted with everything for his prudence. He spoke Greek with a fluency that you would have thought that he had been brought up in the Lyceum."
Old Cornish folklore tells a story that 2000 years ago Jesus visited southern England in his early childhood. The story goes that he accompanied his uncle, who was Joseph of Arimathea, on many of his voyages to the British isles. The legend persists that Joseph of Arimathea came to Britain on many occasions as a tin merchant. It is not difficult to assume that if involved in the tin business he would certainly pay a visit to Ictis even though it might have been in the throes of closing down. The island of Ictis in his earlier visits was probably operating as in its heyday but much of the activity during the course of his lifetime would be in decline due to Roman interference. The ‘tinners’ upon Dartmoor had predominantly supplied the ancient world with tin but the supplies ran thin as demand increased. Mining methods were changing to cope with demand; Ictis’s monopoly of the past was surpassed by ‘tinners’ disbursing and operating in their own localities, making their own deals with foreign traders in many of the estuaries and rivers along the southern coast. If Joseph of Arimathea owned the island while in operation or subsequently bought the now defunct vault, hewn within the island, that used to house all the tin, this would in part explain the reference to the island being an ‘emporium’…… yet also provide a few answers to the discrepancies in the burial accounts of Jesus. Of cource today everyone is ingnorant of the storage area within the Island and its functionality and it lays as yet undiscovered. What was the best kept secret of the ancient world was now to become the best kept secret of the modern world.
The more one sees of the world, the more equipped one is to see the fallacies of customs, habits, ceremonies, and religious beliefs held in some enclaves. It would have been with this God given perception coupled with a tutored education, that Jesus after having been well travelled was able to walk into the temple in Jerusalem and cause such a reaction against the religious hypocrisy that thrived in the holy land at the time. His views when he revealed them on his return from his sojourn in Britain were all based on the Mosaic Law. He was able to do this because the people that occupied the South West of Britain at the time he was educated were also descended from one of the sons of Israel, through Judah. The one son through whom God was to propagate the living law was Judah’s son Zerah and the Law was to be propagated by circumcision of the heart and not circumcision of the body. As the reader will soon discover, Jesus spent more time in Britain than most people think and once we have uncovered the meaning of the Grail and what it was that Joseph of Arimathea brought to Britain…… the old Cornish legend gains more cedibility.
However regarding Jesus’ learning…… If he did get his enlightened view of the prophets while sojourning in Britain, it is entirely possible that Phoenicians brought the books of the Prophets to Britain in the period after the Babylonian captivity. The reader at this point may think the connections made thus far might seem tenuous; however, after our enquiry into the prophecy of Melkin and the Grail legends these connections will be confirmed because why would Joseph have the body of Jesus repatriated back to England?
When the body of Jesus is unveiled, it in no way detracts from his status or his mission or to what he has accomplished through God’s divine plan during the last 2000 years. The only people it would offend are those who believe the resurrection involves a body physically lifting off the earth and leaving no trace, even though this technically was the Ascension. It is for this very reason the ‘Grail’has been so many things except the body of Jesus, as this would not fit the reports of the Ascension which Apostolic sources had assumed similar to Elijah's…… the lack of a body perpetuating the belief in Ascension. It is also the reason for the complicated and conflicting polemicism surrounding the discovery of the empty tomb related by the Gospel writers.
How is it that so many questions surround Jesus’s provenance at his arrival in Jerusalem to carry out his mission? John the Baptist his own cousin was not familiar with him, yet the inhabitants of Jerusalem knew his mother. They did not know Jesus on his arrival because he had been away for some time and he was castigated for being a Zerhite by being called a Nazarene. Most Bible scholars are aware that Nazareth as a location or town did not exist and the first non-biblical source to mention that town was by Sextus Julius Africanus, dated about 200 AD; the first biblically connected reference being from the Church Father Origen, around the same time. A Nazarene comes from the word ‘Nazir’ which actually means an untrimmed vine, and refers to a Nazarite, a person with a conferred status rather than hailing from a location called Nazareth which the Gospel writers had rendered thus, due to their misunderstanding and scant biblical reference. Thus Nathaniel is rendered as having remarked: "Can any good thing proceed from Nazareth?" (John 1:46). There is no pre-Christian mention of Nazareth and it would seem that the Gospel writers dealt with the accusation of ‘Jesus the Nazarene’ as bestowing a place of origin. The origin of this name in biblical reference actually derives from the blessing of Joseph, given in Genesis 49:26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. Essentially a Nazarene (na-zir) was accounted as a sober minded person who obeyed the law while at the same time literally conveying the sense of someone separated philosophically from the Davidic line yet compliant in the law, giving a sense of an uncut vine in juxtaposition to the Davidic line that had been greatly nurtured and pruned, the story of which is recorded in the Bible narratives. Formerly as in Numbers 6:2 it was someone who was understood to have undertaken ‘to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves to the LORD’
However, Jesus would not have learnt nor been able to challenge the Pharisees in their understanding of the Law in Jerusalem, if indeed he had not received instruction elsewhere…… nor was it by visiting Egypt, as is often thought,. It was obvious who misunderstood the Law by Jesus’s ability to confound the Jerusalem temples’best accusers and sophists who asked between themselves the provenance of his wisdom. The Jews believing they had a monopoly on the interpretation of Law were deeply puzzled by Jesus's interpretations asking: "How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" (John 7:15). Jesus had been away for most of his formative years being schooled in the Law and what the prophets had predicted. The three main reasons for thinking it was England is that the Grail stories once understood show that his coffin was brought to England…… Melkin’s prophecy emphatically states where the body is…… and Cornish tradition has always maintained that he visited British shores.
The prophecies of the old testament were prognostcated during a period of nearly six hundred years prior to and during the Babylonian captivity. Jesus was well versed in the prophets as a cohesive body of insight and knew that the Prophets spoke on a higher plane which relate to the development of consciousness in man rather than their words been treated purely as an historical account.
Jesus was not negating the Law by challenging it with new insight, but instead confirming and fulfilling what the prophets had predicted and the Pharisees had misinterpreted. Essentially the Law to the Jews or Pharisees in Jerusalem had become as the law that lawyers rely on today. If the tenets of the law are not upheld by living life through the law, but instead by living the letter of the law, the law becomes corrupt…… and so it is today in our courts, that no man can be sure that the truth will be upheld. Precedent, previous case judgements upon which future judgements are decided, over time has been so corrupted by those who profess to search for the truth, that conscience and judgement in the courts has diverged so far that even common sense does not prevail .
The wise of Jerusalem were rendered incapable of such correct understanding of the law by being subject to its corruption. Neither did Jesus get his teachings from Egypt, for it was only after the Jews came out of Egypt that they received the Mosaic Law, so it would be impossible to conceive, Jesus, going back to Egypt to receive superior instruction in the Law.
Jesus had also understood the concept of ‘Time’ and knew that the prophets were not only historically accurate in their predictions but spoke to Man’s spirit and were communicating the ‘words of God’ spoken by the voice of men. Jesus knew he was fulfilling all the words of the Prophets in his time, even though much of the historical content of what they said was concerning the downfall of Jerusalem; but he was also cognizant of the fact that their words were bound by ‘Time’ and were true for ‘The New Jerusalem’. Jesus also understood that he had come to establish the prophets predictions in the temporal Jerusalem but one also was to come to carry out the same task in the Times.(until a time and times and a half time) Daniel 7:25, 12:7 and Revelation 12:14.
Rather than going further off track we shall return to our initial enquiry concerning the offspring of Zerah who lived the law, unlike the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jerusalem. The Temple in Jerusalem at that time was like an empty shell, the Ark of the Covenant, the life of the temple, had been secreted by the Temple priests five hundred years earlier, deep in the vaults, while being besieged by the Babylonian army at the first captivity or even before that due to the Egyptians. Although the book of the Law was re-discovered on the Jews release from captivity, and their return with Ezra and Nehemiah, the Ark remained secreted and undiscovered.
After the crucifixion, Joseph managed to obtain Jesus's body and supposedly collected his blood and sweat into one or two receptacles and brought them with him to England and for all the Grail’s multitudinous depictions, it is the connection with Jesus that is the one unchanging theme. The vessel or vessels supposedly now lie with Joseph of Arimathea in an undiscovered sepulchre on mainland Britain. This may not be the whole truth but we will uncover the meaning of ‘duo fassula’ later as a riddle for ‘duplico fasciola’ which is a direct description of the Shroud of Turin being a doubled body cloth, which as we know today is full of the blood and sweat of Jesus. What most scholars believe today is that Melkin’s prophecy is a fraud but it is in fact what the mythical status of Glastonbury is founded upon. Without the gradual fraudulent transference of Glastonbury into Avalon maybe Gastonbury’s mythical status as the place where Joseph was laid to rest may purely have been based upon his church there. Was it this prophecy or some other writings of Melkin that establishes the association with Joseph of Arimathea. Glastonbury is certainly not the Avalon of Melkin’s prophecy as the reader will become aware shortly especially when Melkin’s ‘adorandam virginem’ does not apply to the old church. Glastonbury acolytes have always assumed it was this phrase which locates Avalon in Glastonbury because the chapel of the virgin Mary was located there. As we progress through the evidence it becomes clear that Melkin’s prophecy applies to the old island of Ictis where Joseph chose to bury his Son and he subsequently would be buried.
If we just follow the dots, it's not so difficult to conceive that the Cornish legends have substance. If Joseph of Arimathea was Jesus's uncle and was a rich tin merchant who occasionally visited the South West of England, it would seem natural to find a refuge after the crisis that had taken place in Jerusalem. The refuge he sought was the Fabled island of Ictis. It seems Joseph had established a relationship with the people who controlled the island or more probably bought it during his time as a tin merchant as it is this island to which Melkin leads us to…… but he calls it ‘Avallonis’.
Joseph after the murder of his Nephew would wish to return to a part of the world where people were known for their good nature. This should be understood also in terms of Joseph’s recent enlightenment that his nephew or son was in fact the ‘Messiah’which had been spoken of by the prophets. However, there is always one continual thread in the various sources from Baronius, Melkin, William of Malmesbury and John of Glastonbury, to name but a few; and that is, that Joseph of Arimathea arrived in Britain, whether on St. Philip's instructions, on his son’s shirt, on Solomon’s ship or with Mary Magdalen. All this extraneous information can be accounted as immaterial because all we need to accomplish is find his resting place and all will be revealed. The enquiry of this book does uncover the whereabouts of Joseph of Arimathea's resting place; however, there are several more aspects to our enquiry that need to be considered first.
Joseph of Arimathea, who acted as a father figure to Jesus, realised that Jesus had fulfilled much that had been prophesied by the prophets of Israel and as the gospels relate, took it upon himself to ask Pilate for Jesus’s body that he might take care of it. Joseph of Arimathea returned to Britain having being fully converted by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit with the benefit of having understood the truth of the words that Jesus spoke in the temple and the relevance of his message. He returned as one of the main disciples to proselytise the British Isles and sited the first church in the British Isles at Glastonbury.
The Jews of southern England, amongst whom Jesus had received his education did not dwell upon their heritage from Judah knowing that circumcision was of the heart and not of the body and their Jewishness in juxtaposition to the Pharez Jews was not consciously propagated by a pretence of obedience to Levitical law. Jews who were already present in the South West were those who understood God’s law, but were no longer termed Jews. as we progress further we shall discover that we are still able to trace their heritage back through King Arthur.
At the time of Jesus’ death or even earlier in the Maccabean revolt, Jews will have migrated to escape the Roman oppression some maybe through the metallurgy trade that was then booming in Southern Britain or some learning of a different branch of Judah in Britain. These Davidic rather than separated Jews, who came to join their distant cousins in England are the Davidic Jews that have left their trace in place names in Cornwall today. What had transpired in the holy land with the fall of Jerusalem in 71AD had dispersed the Pharez line from what used to be the Promised Land, to eventually establish a presence in just about every major city throughout the world, but this migration had left them without a homeland. The Torah and the message of Jesus were to live together for 2000 years, but the Promised Land was to be something entirely different from what the Davidic line had hoped.
Gildas circa.540 AD, the earliest source for the arrival of Jesus’s message in Britain attests, that Christianity first reached Britain when Tiberius was Emperor around 37AD. The Glastonbury tradition gives Joseph building the first church circa 67AD and both Tertullian 200 AD and Eusebius 280 AD, each confirm an early date for the first Christian message reaching Britain. Tertullian states that:
“For in whom else have the people of the world trusted, except in Christ who has already come?...How then the varieties of Gentiles and the many borders of the Moors, all the boundaries of the Spaniards, and the various nations of the Gauls, and the regions of the Britons, inaccessible to the Romans, but subdued by the true Christ.


The Cornish these days cannot remember any of the words to continue the song that starts “Joseph was a tin merchant”. This song has helped perpetuate the legend of Jesus in Cornwall for 2000 years and more recently this same story has been brought into popular consciousness by Blake’s anthem exposing the same legend at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. There is another song associated with Joseph in Cornish tradition, which we know today as “I saw three ships come sailing in”. Today it is a popular Christmas Carol, but many in Cornwall seem to think it has associations with Joseph of Arimathea’s voyages to the West Country but as we will uncover, this song stems from a completely different tradition, which also was to become the world’s second best kept secret.
Joseph of Arimathea and his connection with the British Isles has been related by many people, but there is none more responsible for putting him squarely in British history than John of Glastonbury but some of Joseph of Arimathea’s spurious associations with Glastonbury had already begun before he reiterated the prophecy of Melkin.
It is not by accident that his opening lines about dispelling ‘doubts regarding the antiquity of the church of Glastonbury….. is the reason for to the confusion that mistakes Avalon with Glastonbury. If the church is not anciently connected then the church that Melkin’s prophecy supposedly refers to…… along with the ‘cratibus’ reference to its construction, is now voided…… even though William of Malmesbury says it was covered with lead. It is essential that the antiquity of the church be established, otherwise Avalon cannot be established as referring to Glastonbury and this is essentially done through the church references in Melkin’s prophecy, but this shall be discussed at length later.
John of Glastonbury is the main consolidator of the Joseph legend and from his work in the ‘Cronica’, he starts his treaties of St. Joseph of Arimathea, which he claims are taken from a book which the Emperor Theodosius found in Pontius Pilate’s council chamber in Jerusalem, and here he is quoted at length from a translation by David Townsend from James P. Carley’s study of John of Glastonbury’s ‘Cronica’:
Matters which admit doubt often deceive the reader; in order to dispel doubts regarding the antiquity of the church of Glastonbury, therefore, we have added some undisputed facts gathered from the ancient sayings of historians.
When the Lord had been crucified and everything had been fulfilled, which had been prophesied of him, Joseph of Arimathea, that noble Decurion, came to Pilate, as the gospel story explains, asked for the body of Jesus, wrapped it when he had received it in linen, and placed it in a monument in which no one had yet laid. But the Jews, hearing that Joseph had buried the body of Jesus, sought to arrest him, along with Nicodemus and the others who had defended him before Pilate. When they had all hidden themselves, these two-that is Joseph and Nicodemus, revealed themselves and asked the Jews,’ why are you aggrieved against us because we have buried the body of Jesus? You have not done well against a righteous man, nor have you considered what benefits he bestowed upon us; instead you have crucified him and wounded him with a lance’. When the Jews heard these words, Annas and Ciaphas seized Joseph, shut him up in a cell where there was no window, sealed the door over the key, and posted guards to watch over him. But Nicodemus they sent away free, since Joseph alone had requested Jesus’ body and had been the principal instigator in his burial. Later, when everyone had assembled, all through the Sabbath they considered, along with the priests and Levites how they should kill Joseph. After the assembly had gathered, the chief officials ordered, Annas and Ciaphas to present Joseph; but when they opened the seals on the door they did not find him. Scouts were sent out everywhere, and so Joseph was found in his own city, Arimathea. Hearing this, the chief priests and all the people of the Jews rejoiced and glorified the God of Israel because Joseph had been found whom they had shut up in a cell. They then made a great assembly, at which the chief of the priests said, ’how can we bring Joseph to us and speak with him?’ They took up a piece of parchment and wrote to Joseph, saying,’ peace be with you and yours. We see that we have sinned against God and against you. Deign therefore, to come to your fathers and your sons, for we have marvelled greatly over your assumption. Indeed, we know that we have plotted evil counsel against you, and the Lord has freed you from our evil council. Peace to you, Lord Joseph, honourable among all the people’. And they chose seven men who were friends of Joseph and said to them, ’When you reach Joseph, greet him in peace and give him this letter.’ When the men had reached him, they greeted him peaceably and gave him the letter. Joseph read the letter and said, ’Blessed are you, O Lord my God, who have liberated Israel, that he should not shed my blood. Blessed are you, O my God, who have protected me under your wings.’ And Joseph kissed the men who had come to him and took them into his house. The next day he climbed up on his ass and went with them until they came to Jerusalem; and when all the Jews heard of it, they ran to meet him, saying, ’Peace at your coming in, father.’ Joseph responded to them, saying, ’Peace be with you all.’ And they all kissed him, and Nicodemus received him into his house and made a banquet for him. The next day the Jews all came together, and Annas and Ciaphas said to Joseph, ’Make confession to the God of Israel, and reveal to us all that which you are asked. We quarrelled with you because you buried the body of Jesus and shut you up in a cell on account of the Sabbath; on the following day we sought you but did not find you. Therefore, we were greatly astonished, and fear has held us even up until now, when we have received you. Now that you are present, tell us before God, what happened to you’ .Joseph answered them, saying, ’When you shut me up at evening on the day of preparation, while I stood at my Sabbath prayers, the house in which I was held was taken up in the middle of the night by four angels, and I saw Jesus like a flash of light. I fell for fear onto the ground, but, holding my hand; he lifted me up from the ground and covered me with the scent of roses. As he wiped my face, he kissed me and said to me, “Do not fear, Joseph; look upon me and see who I am.” I looked at him and said, “Rabbi Elijah,” and he said to me, “I am not Elijah, but Jesus, whose body you buried.” Then I said to him, “Show me the monument where I lay you.” And taking my hand, he led me to the place where I buried him and showed me the linen shroud and the face cloth in which I had wrapped his head. Then I recognised that he was Jesus, and I adored him saying,’ “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Then, holding my hand, he led me into my house in Arimathea and said to me, “Peace be with you. Do not go out of your house until the 40th day. I shall go to my disciples.” And when he had said these things, he disappeared.’
After all this, the noble Joseph of Arimathea, animated by an ardent faith, became the disciple of blessed Philip the apostle, and, filled to overflowing with his saving doctrine, was baptised by him, along with his son Josephes. Later he was appointed guardian of the blessed ever virgin Mary by blessed John the apostle, while John himself laboured at preaching to the Ephesians: Joseph was present at the assumption of the same glorious virgin, along with blessed Philip and his other disciples, and he preached incessantly through many lands the things which he had heard and seen of the Lord Jesus Christ and his mother Mary; finally, converting and baptising many, in the 15th year after the blessed virgins assumption he came to Philip the apostle in Gaul, along with his son Josephes, whom the Lord had earlier consecrated Bishop in the city of Sarras. For when the disciples dispersed throughout the various parts of the world after the Lord's Ascension; as Freculph bears witness in his second book, in the fourth chapter; Philip came to the kingdom of the Franks to preach, and he converted and baptised many into the faith of Christ. Since then, the holy apostle wished to spread the word of God, he sent twelve of his disciples to Britain to proclaim the good news of the Word of Life; over these he set his dear friend, the aforesaid Joseph, who buried the Lord, along with his son Josephes. More than 600 came with them, as is read in the book, called ‘the holy Grail’ (Sanctum Graal), men as well as women, all of whom vowed that they would abstain from their own spouses until they had come into the land appointed to them. They all made a sham of their oath however, except for 150, whom at the Lord's command crossed the sea upon Josephes’ shirt on Easter night and landed in the morning. The others repented, and through Josephes’ prayers on their behalf, a ship was sent by the Lord which King Solomon had artfully constructed in his time and which endured all the way to the time of Christ. That same day, they and the Duke of the Persians named Nasciens reached their companions; Joseph had earlier baptised Nasciens in the city of Sarras, along with the King of the city, whose name was Mordrain. The Lord later appeared to Mordrain in a vision and showed him his pierced hands and feet and his side wounded by the lance. Taking great pity upon him, the King said,’ O Lord my God, who has dared to do such a thing to you? ’And the Lord answered,’ the faithless King of North Wales has done these things to me, and he who has bound in prison, my servant Joseph and his companions, who were preaching my name, in his territories, and who has inhumanely denied them necessary sustenance. You then, do not delay but hasten to those parts, girded with your sword, to avenge my servants upon the tyrant and free them from their chains.’
The King, then awoke and rejoiced in the Lord because of the vision revealed to him, made disposition of the house and kingdom, began his journey with his army and coming to the place by God's guidance, commanded the aforesaid King to permit God’s servants to depart freely. But the Welsh King, altogether refusing the command, indignantly ordered him to leave his land without delay. When King Mordrain had heard this, he and the aforesaid Duke Nasciens came against him with their army, and Nasciens killed the Welsh King in a battle of just vengeance. Then King Mordrain went to the prison where the wicked King held Joseph and his companions under arrest, led him thence in great joy, and told him the vision which the Lord had revealed to him in order to free them. Then all were filled with great joy and thanked the Lord mightily.
After this Saint Joseph and his son Josephes and their 10 companions travelled through Britain, where King Arviragus then reigned, in the 63rd year from the Lord's incarnation, and they trustworthily preached the faith of Christ. But the barbarian king and his nation, when they heard doctrines so new and unusual, did not wish to exchange their ancestral traditions for better ways and refused consent to their preaching. Since however they had come from afar, and because of their evident modesty of life, Arviragus gave them for a dwelling an island at the edge of his kingdom surrounded with forests, thickets and swamps, which was called by the inhabitants Ynswytryn, that is ’the Glass island’. Of this a poet has said, ‘The twelvefold band of men entered Avalon: Joseph, flower of Arimathea, is their chief. Josephes, Joseph’s son, accompanies his father. The right to Glastonbury is held by these and the other ten.’ When the saints then, had lived in that desert for a short time, the Archangel Gabriel admonished them in a vision to build a church in honour of the holy Mother of God, the ever virgin Mary, in that place which heaven would show them. Obeying the divine admonitions, they finished a Chapel, the circuit of whose walls they completed with wattles, in the 31st year after the Lord's passion, the fifteenth, as was noted, after the assumption of the glorious Virgin, and the same year in fact, in which they had come to St Philip the apostle in Gaul and had been sent by him to Britain. Though it was of unsightly construction, it was adorned with the manifold power of God; and, since it was the first church in the land, the son of God distinguished it by a fuller dignity, dedicating it in his own presence in honour of his mother. And so these 12 saints offered there, devout service to God and the blessed virgin, freeing themselves up for fasting and prayers; and, in their necessities they were revived by the assistance of the Virgin Mother of God. When the holiness of their lives was discovered, two of the Kings, though pagans, Marius, the son of King Arviragus, and Coel, son of Marius, granted them each a hide of land and at the same time confirmed the gift. Thus, to this day, the 12 hides take their names from them. When a few years had passed, these saints were led forth from the workhouse of the body. Arthur was buried among those men and Joseph and positioned on a bifurcated line next to the oratory mentioned before. Consequently, he occupies the same place that was the lair of wild beasts, which formerly was the dwelling place of saints, until it pleased the Blessed Virgin to restore to her oratory as a monument of the faithful.


The consequences of such writings have helped to maintain Glastonbury as Avalon because in Avalon according to Melkin the Holy Grail is buried alongside Joseph of Arimathea. This twist of fate has now put King Arthur in Avalon and now at Glastonbury but this is not the case. They are both interred at Burgh Island and the evidence which proves this follows.




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