A Chapter taken from our booklet on Celtic Ecclesiology, the Married Abbots and Clerics of the Orthodox Culdee.
Full text is found at https://orthodoxchurch.nl/2017/05/glastonbury-married-cleric-monks/
Welsh and Celto-Saxon Kings Protecting Glastonbury
Peace to their shades! the pure Culdees
Were Albyn’s earliest priests of God,
Ere yet an island of her seas
By foot of Saxon monk was trod.
– from Thomas Campbell’s “Reullura”
In accordance with the British predecessors the early Saxon Kings are well recorded as protecting the independence of Glastonbury. In AD 712 King Ina married Guala, the Welsh representative of the last king of Wales, Cadwalader. He had made it law that both Royal houses should only marry the other (so both lose their recent identity to be one back with their original True Israel Goth/Scythian tribe). From then forward the Nobles and the people are known as Celto-Saxon.
Further background on the subject of married Monks may be gleaned from information on the last several Saxon Kings (who were all Monks of Glastonbury Abbey):
King Athelstan was a monk at Glastonbury for the last three years of his life, and it was for that period the headquarters for his court.
King Edmund succeeded his brother Athelstan, and entered Glastonbury also as a monk. He often kept his court at Glastonbury, and banished St. Dunstan from his court, later to not only let him back in but elect him as Abbot. Dunstan never ousted any of the married priests, although he was a celibate. King Edmund was assassinated in 946 near Glastonbury.
His son King Edwy, (as is in Haydn’s list of the Kings and Queens of England had the harshest words against St. Dunstan, in accordance with Edmund’s ordeal?) and that this King had not only banished him, but outlawed St. Dunstan, forcing him to flee to the Court of his kinsman Arnulf, Count of Flanders. There he entered a Benedictine Monastery at Ghent. That was the start of St. Dunstan’s new school as a Benedictine. Within two years King Edwy was dead, after much of England revolted against him, and declared Edgar King.
A charter of (Celto-Saxon / Royals who married into Celtic family) King Inna of England described our ancient See as,
|Ecclesia Britannia prima, et fons et origo totius religonis. (The first church of Brittany, and the fountain and origin of all religion.)|
It was in 725 AD that King Inna of England carried his charter with Glastonbury to Pope St. Gregory II at Rome, who confirmed this independence not only to be valid, but to be for all successors for perpetuity. (He was not the first of course, as this was re-iterating what his predecessors had elaborated.)
Within this charter King Inna recognized all past rights of Glastonbury from all his predecessors (see document 130 Saints before Augustine in Britain for many references to earlier decrees of Kings). King Inna again reiterated the many exemptions and rights of the Glastonbury Monks (Culdees) In relation to the matter of Papal Apostolic Succession, it is relevant that they had re-ratified the independence of Glastonbury from all Bishops.
One example of predecessors was well known by the exploits of the Archbishop Saint David of Wales (consecrated at Jerusalem) had codified into the monumental cathedral which stood from 546AD till the destruction by King Henry VIII, his pillar and brass tablet remained standing. The tablet is preserved to this day in a good state. It reads (as Sir Henry Spelman described in his book “Concilia”) “The first ground of God, the first ground of the saints in Britain, the rise and foundation of all religion in Britain, and the burial place of the Saints.”)
King Arthur, and many other Saintly Royals and Priests were buried at Glastonbury. Part of this tradition is recorded in the lives of the Culdees’ Saint Patrick and Saint Columbanus.
John of Glastonbury and William of Malmesbury had access to the vast libraries of Glastonbury Abbey (larger than Constantinople) that were later burned by Henry VIII. Before these were destroyed, it was accepted the world over to be indisputable factual records that King Arthur was descendant of Joseph of Arimathea. These two scholars had copied the genealogy of King Arthur back go Joseph of Arimathea as,
Helaius, Nepos Joseph, Genuit Josus, Josue Genuit Aminadab, Aminadab Genuit Filium, qui Genuit Ygernam, de qua Rex Pen-Dragon, Genuit Nobilem et Famosum Regum Arthurum, per Quod Patet, Quod Rex Arthurus de Stirpe Joseph descendit.
(more manuscripts aso confirming the Joseph of Arimathea story may be found at https://orthodoxchurch.nl/2019/12/numerous-ancient-manuscripts-confirming-st-joseph-of-the-sanhedrin-founded-the-british-hebrew-priesthood-at-glastonbury-in-36ad/)
King Edgar in the 10th century also re-ratified the Independence of Glastonbury. One of rights being that all Abbots of Glastonbury are chosen out of their own body of Monks. Concerning the many privileges, rights and immunities extending to the Monks, he caused first to be confirmed in a synod of bishops and nobles assembled in London, and afterwards sent them to Rome, where they were also confirmed by a bull of Pope John the Thirteenth.
King Edgar, in the same year of his coronation elected St. Dunstan as Archbishop of Canterbury. St. Dunstan then with the King sought to implement Benedictine monasticism state-wide. Benedictine monks also had the practice of keeping wives (although separate during time of performing the Divine liturgy). During his reign he wrote one of the greatest Charters for Glastonbury Abbey’s rights equal to the King in Glastonbury, as well as several privileges abroad. (charter is quoted below) Edgar was laid to rest at Glastonbury Abbey.
In his charters he described Glastonbury as the first church in the kingdom built by the disciples of Christ. He not only confirmed all the privileges and donations of the predecessors, but he also decreed the many grants to extend to their predecessors for all perpetuity.
Several of his predecessors grants to the Abbey included, King Edward, Alfred, Kentwyn, Ina, Cuthred and even Avarigus who granted the original twelve hides to be tax free for ever.
He discharged them from several burdens, duties, contributions, and subjections; and gave them a right and power to receive fines, punish malefactors, and of enjoying their lands as free from all claims as he enjoyed his own, especially the town of Glastonbury itself. These privileges in the charter are thus called, Burghbrice, hundredsoena, Athas, Ordelas, Infangentheofas, Homsocna, Frithbrice, Foresealle, Toll and Teame.
In the charter of King Edgar the Abbey is said to be ‘the first church in the kingdom built by the disciples of Christ’ (Conybeare’s Roman Britain, p. 254). In 963 Edgar bestowed upon this Abbey the manour of Stoure, alias Stouerminster, and twenty hydes of land more in other places. Edgar granted several charters to this Abbey; some conveying to the Abbot and his Monks more lands, and some enlarging their privileges. That dated at London, in the year 971, adds to the privileges granted by his father King Edmund, Soram and Sacam, on Strond and on Streame, on Wode and on Feld; that is to say liberty to determine pleas and correct delinquents at the sea shore or on the river, in the wood, or in the field, above ground and under ground. Hundredsitrna, which was a privilege of sanctuary in the limits of the hundred; Galle Word, as which signifies the appropriating their own use any hidden treasure found within their territories; Forestall, that is to say, intercepting provisions coming to their market; and Bufan, Corderran, Bencoderan, Flemeneferde, Hamsoena, Grith Brice, and Fridishire, are other terms of franchises for the Monks indefinitely. These rights included the sole priviledge as a monk who met with any malefactor going to the gallows, in any part of the kingdom, could take him out of the executinoer’s hands, and give him his pardon. Moreover, King Edgar by this charter, exempts this Monastery, and the parishes of Street, Mireling, Budicle, Shapewick, Sowy, and the several chapels within the said parishes, to wit, those of Beckery, called Little Ireland, Godeney, Mortinesey, Ferramere, Padonberge, and Adredery, from the ordinary jurisdiction of the bishop, except some things, with a salvo to the Church of Rome, and that of Canterbury.
Hugh Paulinus de Cressy mentions another charter of King Edgar’s to the Abbey of Glastonbury, wherein, amongst other things, he granted that:
|“the Monks should always be electors of their own Abbot who was to be chosen out of their own body. Insoasmuch that, if the youngest and lowest of all their congregations were capable, they should not have recourse for an Abbot abroad; nor then, ” also, should any be imposed on them without their suffrages ; only he reserved to himself the power of conferring the crosier or pastoral staff on the person elected. Again, that all controversies, as well in secular as ecclesiastical affairs, should be determined in the Abbot’s court. Likewise, that the Bishop of Wells (the ordinary of Somersetshire) should exercise no jurisdiction over them to call their priests to his synods, to suspend any of them from the divine office, &c. These charters of privileges, with many other secular immunities, he caused first to be confirmed in a synod of bishops and nobles assembled in London, and afterwards sent them to Rome, where they were also confirmed by a bull of Pope John the Thirteenth.”|
One, if not both, these charters. King Edgar carried himself to Glastonbury; and that it might be perpetually valid, he, at the delivery of it, laid his scepter upon the altar of our Blessed Lady, together with the charter; which scepter was curiously made of ivory. After which he made the said scepter to be cut into two pieces, least some succeeding Abbots should sell it, or give it away, one half whereof he left with the Abbot, and kept the other half himself. This he did in the time of Aelfhard, or as Mr. Willis writes him, Aelfstanus, abbat, and in the fifteenth year of his reign, which was in the year of Christ 974.
Abbot Henry of Blois (1098/9 8 August 1171) [son of William the Conquerors daughter] procured from the successive kings and popes whom he had outlived, confirmations of all the possessions and privileges of Glastonbury ; these confirmations were made by the Popes Innocent II., Alexander III., and by the three kings, Henry I., Stephen, and Henry II.
In the charter granted by Henry II (1185) for rebuilding Glastonbury, he styled it:
|“the mother and burying-place of the saints, founded by the very disciples of our Lord.”|
In Germany King Richard I was taken hostage by Duke Leopold of Austria and wasnt released until he agreed to annex the Abbotship of Glastonbury to his cousin, Savaricus who was ArchDeacon of Northhampton. He made him Bishop of Bath and Wells and ultimately exerted a fraudulent authority over Glastonbury.
In Speeds Chronology of England Henry IIs charter was again confirmed by King Edward III in his charter for Glastonbury Abbey.
His father, Edward II, is recorded to have done the same on November 12, 1313 in Westminster. Text in Calendar of Charter Rolls of Edward I and II reads, Inspexiumus and confirmation of a charter of Henry II, dated at Westminster, in favour of the Abbot and convent of Glastonbury (Original manuscript: Monasticon, Vol. I, p. 62.)
Excerpt with English footnote:
De Cranemere. Ibid. pag. 597.
Henricus, rex Angliae, Arnulfo camerario, et omnibus baronibus de Sumerseta, Salutem. Sciatis, me concessisse Herliwino, abbati de Glastingeberia, terram de Cranemere, liberam et quietam tenere et defendere contra me, pro tribus hidis terrae, sicut pater meus concessit Hardingo de Wiltona. Teste Ur de Abbetot et Rogero capellano apud Westmonasterium.
Charta Regis Henrici II. Super restaratione ecclesiae Glastenburiensis, totius Angliae et orbis christiani antiquissimae, cum in minibus ejusdem regist existens in cineres fuisset redacta. Wilkins. Concilia. vol. 1. P. 489.
Henricus Dei gratia rex Angliae, dux Normaniae, Aquitaniae, et comes Andegaviae, archiepiscopis, episcopis,
Quantum ad Septem ecclesias. There had been a controversy of above four hundred and fifty years standing, between the monks of Glastonbury and the bishops of the diocese, about the jurisdiction over those parishes, which afterwards made up the archdeaconry of Glastonbury, and are to this day called the jurisdiction of Glastonbury.
The seven parishes named in king Ina’s charter of exemption, anno 725, are Sow, Brent Merling, Schapewick, Street, Budcaleth, and Pilton; the charter of king Edgar, anno 971, mentions but five of these parishes, and leaves out Brent and Pilton. Henry the Second’s charter, 1185, printed in the History of Glastonbury, p. 129, mentions seven churches, as in king Ina’s charter, and the same, except Brent, which is omitted, and instead of that Dicheseat is inserted.
But in truth, the seven churches claimed by the archdeacon of Wells on one side, and the abbat and monks on the other, were those mentioned in the charter of king Henry, and the other three, of Pilton, Pennard, and Ditchet returned to the archdeacon of Wells, and the archdeaconry of Glastonbury was continued within the seven parishes mentioned in this charter. Notwithstanding this, both Pilton and Ditchet are mentioned in the prohibition sent to the bishop, 1319, as belonging to the jurisdiction of the abbat and convent, when it is most evident, by the registers, that Pilton was then a peculiar jurisdiction, belonging to the precentor of Wells, as it is now; and Ditchet was then in the jurisdiction of the bishop and archdeacon of Wells, as it is still. –Archer.
In the year 944, King Edmund wrote a charter for Glastonbury and their Abbot St. Dunstan, not only confirming all the privileges and donations formerly granted to their predecessors, by his ancestors, King Edward, Alfred, Kentwyn, Ina, Cuthred, and others, but discharged them from several burdens, duties, contributions, and subjections ; and gave them a right and power to receive fines, punish malefactors, and of enjoying their lands as free from all claims as he enjoyed his own, especially the town of Glastonbury itself. These privileges in the charter are thus called, Burghbrice, hundredsoena, Athas, Ordelas, Infangentheofas, Homsocna, Frithbrice, Foresealle, Toll and Teame.
King Egelred, or (as others write him) Ethelred, King Edgar’s second son, bestowed upon Sigegar, then Abbot, six hydes of land at Anstancliff, one hyde at Sitebeorge, a mannoui at Pucklechurch containing thirty hydes of land, and a house he bought for forty marks of gold in Wilton.
King Edmund the Second, sirnamed Ironside, son to King Egelred, having been mortally wounded by the treacherous Duke Edrick, A. D. 1016, bequeathed seventeen hydes of land to this Abbey, and his body to be buried there.
The Saxon Kings continued a tradition of protecting the Culdees’ institutes even across Europe. This included the Frankish descended Kings (i.e. Saxony / Bavaria / Carolingian Italy House of d’Este Guelph Brunswick) protecting the most important academic institutes on the Continent (like the Columban institutes of Luxeuil Abbey, St Gall & St Othmar’s Switzerland). The English lines of the Saxon Kings in Britain included some detailed protections of our institutes (like Glastonbury) which spanned more than 1,500 years of recorded history. The continual protections were evident as many important marriages of the English Royals were with the Scottish (Celtic) Royals. For example princess Maud of Scotland, daughter of King Malcom III was Queen of England and Duchess of Normandy at the same time. Her heirs included the Chiefs of the House of Anjou, whose Empire included the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Eleven successive Kings of Jerusalem were direct house members of the Anjou (Angevin) Dynasty of France and of England’s Culdee New Jerusalem headquarters. The Angevin King Richard was kept hostage by the Austrian Duke Leopold until a special prisoner exchange was deal was met. In exchange for his successors the Duke (later Emperor) Otto IV of Brunswick, Henry of Brunswick and also the Abbice of Glastonbury, these were given to the Imperial house of Germany in exchange for King Richard’s release. This tyrannical Emperor of Germany Henry VI had died in 1197 and so Richard (who was heir of the Electorate of Arles) placed his vote for these Guelph princes to become the next Emperor. After many attempts by Otto IV’s uncle (King Richard) to secure a marriage with the Scottish Royal House (to become King of Scotland) he had re-arranged his commitments to Brunswick by making all to fall back to Otto IV as the Angevin heir, by making him the Duke of Angevin Aquitaine and the Count of Poitou in 1196. At the death of King Richard in 1197 a false Regency of Angevin was presided over by King John who was at war with France. In 1198 two of the Heirs and owners of the Angevin estates (Henry V Count Palatinate on the Rhine, Duke of Brunswick, and Henry of Winchester Duke of Brunswick) came to England to dispute King John for their rightful place in the Angevin Empire. However, this came to no avail. A peace treaty with France recognized King John as the heir of the Angevin Empire estates (although disputed by the House of Brunswick even till the last Capetian King was killed in the French Revolution, in the Brunswick Manifesto who claimed to raze Paris to the ground, lining up all civilians for a military execution if they continued to dishonor their rightful King/ally/ Rival Capetian house, who had made the Duke of Brunswick the rightful commander in chief of all the French Military, which Napoleon had defeated). So it also was just a French false construction in 1200AD when a peace treaty was made with King John all to counter balance the power against the then elected Emperor Otto IV in 1198. Also France tactfully predicted King John could not hold together his estates, and we all witnessed this epic collapse of the Angevin Empire (from Jerusalem to England). The proof the protest has continued is shown in several treaties, battles and wars that have come up within the last 100 years. Among these also a mark of sovereignty of this line has been continued as Brunswick continues to bear the French Coat of arms as the primary two shields in the smaller version coat, the two lions on a red shield. This holds in international law enough to suffice the maintenance of this Angevin and Aquitaine inner-house struggle as a Capetian rival house. Otto IV of Brunswick held the main estates of the Angevin Empire, and had a pledge of King Richard to give the rest to the other sons of Henry the Lion who came to his aide, giving their lives to the Hohenstaufen Tyrant in exchange for his freedom. However these efforts came to no avail as war with the smaller areas of France were unwinding with King John winning a treaty with the rival Capetian line who are today’s Kings of France.
The last real Angevin ruler then remains to be Henry II of England. He was father-in-law of Henry the Lion of Brunswick, and had long battled to retain headship of the Angevin Empire as a rival branch of the House of Capet, often in war against France, as allies with Imperial Germany. It does stand today all of these other branches are required to remain in subordinance to Europe’s oldest Royal House(Saxony Brunswick Imperial line) for the continuation of the House of the Angevin-Britain-Saxony-Jerusalem Empire). Brunswick maintains that the Capetian house is junior on several lines, including the Carolingian branches. So the highest claims to the crowns of Europe (and Jerusalem) are continued to this day.
At the heart of that struggle for the Angevin Empire was the Abbice of Glastonbury. Emperor Henry the VI, to only release Richard in a conditional exchange for the two Dukes of and the control of Brunswick. It was a first time ever transaction of such for Glastonbury. It was to make his kinsman Savaricus the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and to annex the Abbotship of Glastonbury to that Bishoprick. This returned back to the local Clerics quickly after this Hohenstaufen Tyrant was defeated. A witness of this continuance with the local true Culdees was evident in the historical records of the exploits of the last Cleric Lord Prior of Glastonbury John Nott. He resisted Henry VIII, refused to sign his act of supremacy, and petitioned the next two monarchs to let this abbice continue to his heirs.
We know the Culdees themselves were under the most impervious of protections by the next successive Kings of England, as well as those of their Local lords. For example, the King Henry O’Neill, King of Tyrone, was declared “the Chief of the Irish Kings” by Henry VII. The O’Neils also being the primary line of the Abbots of Iona Scotland and the Scottish Royals (of the Red Branch).
The many layers of Celto-Saxon Royal protections have many books published on their own. Each of the many areas deserve a books of their own and should be noted as one of the highest supporting factors of God’s covenant work in the earth as He promised to provide to the seed of David, David’s Throne(see Stone of Scone), the seed of Levi (see Welsh Pedigrees of Saints and studies on the Irish Royal history), and the numerous books covering the Birthrights of the House of Joseph in Ephraim(England) and America (Manasseh) Anglo-Saxon German and Kindred peoples.