At Morden, Virgo’s River Wandle flows down into Wandsworth’s Scorpion. Scorpio is the Zodiac’s sign of death, and ultimate rebirth. No coincidence then that in Osirian and Arthurian legend alike the deceased Sun King is sent down river in a coffin or barque. Is the reference to the new slain night lying under his shield, itself a possible allusion to both barques, which are more often than not shield shaped, and to mussel shells simultaneously, in some way indicative of some ancient link between this Zodiac and the Stobo version of the ballad of "The Twa’ Corbies?" The reference to the Winter Solstice and the death and rebirth of the Sun in the ballad would seem to tie all this symbolism in with the three zodiacal signs of Scorpio, Sagittarius and Capricorn all at the same time. In Arthurian legend Scorpio is supposedly the star sign of the king slayer Mordred, fragmenter of the Round Table in Malory’s Arthurian Cycles. Arthur is Sagittarius, whilst his death and ultimately symbolic rebirth takes place on the Winter Solstice, as the Sun moves out of Sagittarius and into Capricorn.
Similarly, the dead knight’s lunar shield also corresponds to the often silver coins with which Roman corpses were coined in the mouth. Gold being the colour of the Sun, whilst silver, as we saw above, in connection with the Gundestrup Cauldron, corresponds to that of the Moon. Thus, appropriately enough, Professor Pier Luigi Baima Bollone of Turin’s "International Centre of Shroud Research" claims to have located the shadows of ancient copper coins laid over the eyelids of the corpse apparently wrapped in the mysterious Turin Shroud. Perhaps the "little box about three acres square" in our ballad has some kind of connection with that in which Osiris’s corpse was ritually floated down the Nile. Similar rituals were enacted around the corpses of dead Pharoahs, some of whom were to find their way into the great Pyramid field watched over by the legendary Sphinx. The Sphinx’s female companion, Sekhmet, was a lion headed goddess associated, like the Roman Cybele, with the bee and her produce, honey. Perhaps the honey that is found in her hive is the "gold about ten thousand ton" referred to in the final verse of our ballad; whilst the silver, once again, is the Wandle that flows out from under the skirt of the Virgin Goddess whose head is crowned by the tuft of Leo’s tail; itself situated at Ewell’s Bourne Hall: possibly a hidden reference of some kind to the ancient Celtic Ban; itself yet another of our goddess’s many names. More than this though, by some strange and totally inexplicable coincidence, an ancient Roman coin was found on Chessington’s Castle Hill, which lies, once again, on Kingston’s Leonine Effigy.
As for our "little box", that too may well have a link with our Virgo Effigy in that the Greek Eve, Pandora, who Zeus ordered Hephaeston to fashion on his behalf out of clay and water, almost certainly a symbolic link to an earth sign whose own skirt was doubtless traced by a stream, likewise possessed a box which contained all the pestilences of death and disease that were to be unleashed upon the Earth; once she herself, beautiful and virginal, but with a deceitful tongue and an already corrupted heart, had been brought to life and set amongst an unsuspecting human kind. Similarly, money, itself at the root of all evil in contemporary western proverbs, is at the core of so many modern earthly afflictions. In some versions of the story Pandora’s Box is not a box, but a jug or vase, itself surely an Aquarian water pot, so it should perhaps be unsurprising that Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579), the great Elizabethan financier, and another key figure in the rise of London as a major international financial centre, was destined to build the Tudor stables at Osterley Park; itself located dead centre of the London Zodiac’s own Aquarian Water Pot.
Gresham’s father, Sir Richard Gresham (c.1485-1549), was a former Lord Mayor of London for the year 1537. The son, educated at Cambridge, joined the Mercer’s Company, like Whyttington, before rising to prominence as "The King’s Merchant for Antwerp". Again, we are re-visiting the very same territory, in relation to our Kingstonian ballad, as that which we have already traversed when examining the story of our celebrated Whyttingtonian Cat. Gresham’s skill as a financier appears to have resulted in King Henry VIII being able to discharge himself from a heavy debt, thus averting a serious national cash crisis. Again, my supposition that the folk song contains cryptic references to some sixteenth or seventeenth century "Aquarian Honey Pot" may be well founded indeed. Although his Protestantism procured his dismissal under Queen Mary, Gresham escaped execution and imprisonment and was restored to high office upon her sister Elizabeth’s accession. On his return to England from the Netherlands, where he had previously been posted as English Ambassador, he founded the Royal Exchange, and endowed a seat of learning at Gresham College. Although Gresham was to die childless, his Father’s heirs are the Thynnes of Longleat, one of whom, Sir John Thynne, had married Gresham’s sister Christian. Their son, Sir John, ancestor of the present Marquess of Bath, likewise had notable City connections, being married to Joan, youngest daughter of Sir Rowland Hayward, another, twice elected, Lord Mayor of London.
Interestingly enough, Queen Elizabeth’s Palace at Nonsuch, a location which we shall visit yet again at a later stage, is likewise constructed on Kingston’s Virgo Effigy. (8) Whilst her now vanished banqueting hall once stood on the gigantic Virgin Queen’s head, Elizabeth’s principal confidantes, the Carews, held Beddington Manor. When Queen Bess rode the length of Kingston’s Queen of Hearts, en route to Beddington, she passed an ancient pond at Carshalton where her mother, the unfortunate Anne Boleyn, had been accustomed to bathing her feet. Legend claims that when her horse kicked a stone in the park at Beddington Manor the river Wandle flowed out from whence it had lain. At Barrow Hill in Old Malden, an ancient site with both Saxon and Prehistoric remains, a series of old highways and byways appear to trace out a wheatsheaf or corn dolly in the Virgo Effigy’s seemingly outstretched hand. In later times the wheatsheaf of prehistoric goddesses became transformed into Britannia’s trident, when Elizabethan seadogs like Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh first began to rule the waves. Raleigh, himself a near relative of the Carews, still haunts Beddington Park if the local legend respecting his restless ghost is in any way to be believed.
More interesting still is Mary Caine’s interpretation of Beddington’s name as having derived from the Celtic words for "Place of Graves", in view of my own previously set out theories respecting the possible interpretation of the pregnant symbolism inherent in Kingston’s apparently Zodiacal ballad. She notes the presence of a Roman sarcophagus in the very church where Raleigh’s headless corpse is said to lie interred amongst the slumbering Carews in their family vault. Doubtless, like Old Malden’s Church, with its Saxon foundations in the shadow of Barrow Hill, the place was sacred before the coming of Christianity. Most prominent of all his cousins was George, 1st Baron Carew of Clopton and 1st Earl of Totnes (1555-1629). In addition to taking part in a number of Elizabeth’s Irish Campaigns, most notably the suppression of Tyrone’s Rebellion, Totnes was to travel to the New World with another Elizabethan Sea Dog, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, in 1578. Interestingly enough, the Carew seafaring tradition has continued on down into modern times, some of the more prominent members of the family who have opted for naval careers having included, in the nineteenth century at least, Admiral Sir Benjamin Carew of Beddington Park and his son Captain Charles Hallowell Carew R.N. of Beddington. (9)
In view of this then, it is therefore perhaps of further relevance that one of the principal reasons for the great success of the English seafarers of the Elizabethan Age, especially in their actions against the Spanish, was the quality of their maps and charts. One of the main contributors to this English Tudor cartographic coup appears to have been Queen Elizabeth’s Court Astrologer, John Dee, who may well have been familiar with the original primordial folk traditions which would ultimately give rise to the Kingstonian Zodiacal Ballad that has formed the basis for the theories previously set out during the course of this chapter. Dee seems to have cultivated a more than passing interest in the West Country town of Glastonbury in Somerset, where, as we have already seen, there is another well documented circle of Zodiacal Effigies; a locality to which he was to make a journey in the company of his much maligned assistant, Edward Kelly. Dee himself was originally educated at Trinity College Cambridge, where he was to become one of its first fellows as well as a lecturer in Greek. He also appears to have studied at Louvain, the modern town of Leuven in Belgium, at that time the location of the most prominent and highly regarded university in Europe. It was at Louvain that Dee was to become associated with the great sixteenth century cartographer Geradus Mercator (1512-1594), one of the men undoubtedly responsible for England’s Elizabethan maritime success. More than this though, Dee also appears to have had connections with the Duchy of Lorraine, and thus with a dynasty possessed of provable associations with perhaps the most famous of all sixteenth century Astrologers: Michel de Notredame (1503-1566); otherwise known as Nostradamus.
Dee appears to have been dispatched on a special mission to Lorraine in 1571; the purpose of which seems to have had some sort of connection with a proposed marriage between the Virgin Queen and either le Duc d’Anjou or his brother Alencon. Although Nostradamus had been dead for some five years at the time of this particular visit to Lorraine, Dee’s period at Louvain appears to have linked him with the House of Lorraine, headed in all its scion branches at this particular juncture by various descendants of the powerful fifteenth century nobleman Rene d’Anjou; father-in-law, as we have already seen, of King Henry VI of England. Rene’s Great-Grandson Jean de Lorraine, who later obtained a Cardinal’s mitre, appears to have been Bishop of Agen during Nostradamus’s residence there. And, it is therefore of interest that a number of writers and poets, including the Hermeticist Giulio Camillo, along with the poets Jean Dorat and Pierre de Ronsard, appear to have been connected not only with the Astrologer Nostradamus, but also with his patron the Cardinal.
Jean de Lorraine’s successor, Charles de Guise and his brother, Francois de Guise, were both linked to Nostradamus by the authors of the controversial pseudo-historical mystery quest "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail". Much of their research, surprisingly enough, was taken directly and verbatim from the works of Frances Yates (1899-1981) the leading Renaissance scholar of her time; whose own contribution to Elizabethan scholarship with such books as "The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age" and "Shakespeare’s Last Plays" is beyond dispute. These facts considered then, it is perhaps as a result of Nostradamus’s well documented links to the dynasty which ultimately spawned the Fitz-Warines of Whyttingtonian fame that we find the following lines amongst what are perhaps the French Astrologer’s most famous writings:
"Dedans la terre du grand temple celique
Nepveu a Londres par paix faincte meutri….."
"In the land of the great heavenly temple
A nephew at London is murdered through a false peace….."
In view of what we have already seen then, it is not unreasonable to suppose that when Nostradamus associates London with "la terre du grand temple celique", he is in some way referring to the existence of a "great heavenly temple", quite possibly a Zodiac along the lines of that previously explored during the course of this very chapter, somewhere in the vicinity of the Nation’s Capital. If this be so, it may well add substance to the previously set out theories of Mary Caine and John Michell referred to at length throughout my own preceeding paragraphs. As for the politico-historical context in which this reference is made, it is fair to say that it corresponds almost exactly to the era in which we ourselves can place the composition of the ballad previously referred to in connection with the supposed existence of the Kingston Zodiac. So, were Nostradamus and Dee in on the secret too, and if they were, was the mysterious financial cabal previously linked to Whyttington, the Fitz-Warines and the House of Lorraine in Chapter One, the original source of their knowledge?
Geoffrey Ashe interprets this stanza from the sixth book of "The Prophecies of Nostradamus" as referring to the execution of James Duke of Monmouth by his Uncle, King James II. (10) Although this is a very good guess, it is historical fact that James Duke of Monmouth was not murdered, but lawfully executed for his part in a bloody Protestant rebellion; itself by no means a "false peace" by any stretch of the imagination. A far more likely candidate for the murdered nephew alluded to above is Prince Henry Frederick of Wales, whose birth, in 1594, was to provide the Stuart descendants of the elder of Henry VII’s two daughters with a second generation male heir who would ensure the perpetuation of their grandfather’s Cambro-English Ascendancy. Prince Henry Frederick’s two Great-Uncles were Henry and Sir William Cavendish, sons of the powerful Tudor courtier Sir William Cavendish; who had served King Edward VI as Treasurer of the Chamber of the King; sat on the Privy Council during the reign of his sister Queen Mary; and had originally risen to power and prominence as one of the commissioners for taking the surrenders of the dissolved monasteries at the Reformation. And, the Union of the Crowns of England and Scotland could quite rightly be described as a "false peace", for it would be a violent Scottish reaction to the religious reforms advocated by Bishop Laud, some three-and-a-half decades later, which would spark off the Civil Wars that would ultimately tear the Kingdom apart as the first half of the seventeenth century began to draw to an end.
Interestingly enough, the two Cavendish brothers’ sister Elizabeth had married Charles Stuart Earl of Lennox, King James I’s paternal uncle, who was himself the grandson of Margaret Tudor by her second marriage to the Earl of Angus. With the extirpation of Plantagenet Blood under the Tudors, which had resulted in the wholesale butchery of the Lords Stafford, the Courtneys, the Poles and a number of the Howard Family, ancestors of the present Earls of Arundel, the Cavendish brothers’ neice, Lady Arbella Stuart, was fourth in line to the throne when the unfortunate Prince of Wales died of a mystery illness; generally believed by those modern historians less inclined towards conspiracy theories to have been typhoid fever, but more likely poison. With his sister already betrothed to the Elector of Bohemia, and his brother, the future King Charles I, a sickly youth who had not even learned to walk until he was four years old, Lady Arbella would have been a viable pretender to the throne on account of her English Mother. One of the stipulations of King Henry VIII’s will had been the exclusion from the succession of all those of Tudor and Plantagenet Blood born off Sovereign English soil. And, with the ever rising unpopularity of James’s Scottish courtiers being parodied in London theatricals such as those of Ben Jonson, whose play "Eastward Ho!" had resulted in him being sentenced to a term of imprisonment for suggesting that as many Scots as possible should be sent to the newly established Virginia Colony at Jamestown (11), Lady Arbella would have made a perfect English candidate for the crown. (12) Indeed, Her Ladyship had previously been considered by the Gunpowder Plotters, English Gentlemen Catholics to a man, as the quintessentially English alternative to Archduchess Isabella Clara Eugenia as a possible Royal successor to James Stuart in the event of their plans having successfully borne fruit.
As to the "False Peace" of Nostradamus’s predictions, although the brief period between the suppression of Monmouth’s Rebellion in 1685 and the so called "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, which would lead to the outbreak of hostilities in Ireland and would eventually culminate in the crushing defeat of the Catholic army of James and his supporters by William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, could rightly be described as a "False Peace", so too could the years between the previously referred to accession of King James I and the outbreak of the Civil Wars in 1642. The wars between Crown and Parliament and the eventual establishment of a limited monarchy were in effect an extension of the religious wars of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries: the most bloody of which would break out on the Continent in November 1620 after Princess Elizabeth’s brief installation, together with her husband, as King and Queen of Bohemia. Indeed, the interregnum between the sixteenth century revolts of Sir Thomas Wyatt and the previous Catholic Rising known as the "The Pilgrimage of Grace", which would eventually give rise to "The Rising of the North" and the "Great Rebellion" of the following century, could well and truly be described as a "False Peace"; especially when it is considered that the Eighty Years War in the Netherlands, which had begun in 1568 and would not effectively come to an end until 1648, raged pretty much continuously from the Age of Elizabeth Tudor right the way through until the eve of Charles Stuart’s trial and execution in early 1649.
To be fair to Geoffrey Ashe however, confirmation of certain aspects of his own previously set out theories can be found in the second two lines of this, the twenty second quatrain of the sixth century of Nostradamus’s "Prophecies", unfortunately ommitted by Ashe himself in his introduction to Mary Caine’s "The Glastonbury Zodiac: Key to the Mysteries of Britain". For, in it, we do actually find a hidden reference to the "Glorious Revolution" and the accession of William and Mary.
"La barque alors deviendra scismatique,
Liberte faincte sera au corne & cry…"
"The ship at this time will become schismatical,
A feigned liberty shall be with hue & cry…"
The reference to "the ship" or "barque" in the third line of the quatrain almost certainly refers to the secret family rivalries of the Herberts, variously Earls of Pembroke, Earls of Powis, Earls of Torrington and Barons Herbert of Chirbury. Arthur Herbert, son of Sir Edward Herbert, Attorney General to King Charles I, and a near relative of William Herbert Earl of Pembroke and Huntingdon, had been elevated to the peerage as Baron Torbay & Earl of Torrington in 1689; following the accession of King William III whose Dutch fleet he had commanded at "The Revolution". Originally in the service of King Charles II, whose fleet he had likewise commanded in successful naval operations at Tangier and Algiers, Herbert had gone into exile in Holland following his dismissal by King James II. The cause of the circumstances respecting Torrington’s rift with the last of the Stuart Kings of England appears to have been due to the latter’s preferment of Lord Dartmouth over himself. A seventeenth century predecessor to Nelson, James’s loss, for failing to heed the advice of others well placed to know that the reputation "he had gained with the people in England, and his skill in sea affairs, made it necessary to endeavour to keep him in good temper" (13) turned out to be William’s gain when the new king came to cross the Channel with his army in the November of 1688.
In spite of his abilities as an Admiral, however, Torrington had found himself subjected to a court martial in 1690; due to his alleged misconduct during a naval engagement with a larger French fleet off Beechy Head; a matter through which he was to be subjected "to considerable reprehension, deprivation of his command and committal to the Tower"(14). And, all this in spite of the fact that he had "fought most gallantly against a superior force", though "not achieving a victory". "He was" however "eventually…..acquitted, but never again employed."(15). Torrington’s unfortunate fall from grace is documented in the pages of Delarivier Manley’s "The New Atalantis", an early eighteenth century roman a clef written in the style of the French chronique scandaleuse; where his downfall is attributed to a loss of bellicosious ardour as a result of his wanton sexual liasons; as represented by Venus, goddess of love, disarming Mars, god of war; a popular use of imagery in contemporary French literature of the same genre.
Torrington’s relative and successor as the Tory Lord High Admiral between 1708 and 1709 was Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke (1656-1733), represented in the same tract by Manley as "some great good man"; thus illustrating her own Tory sympathies. The "schism" alluded to by Nostradamus is most certainly a reference to the rivalry between the Whig and Tory factions in Parliament, as well as the inter-family rivalries within the Admiralty. Torrington had been the man responsible for establishing the "feigned liberty" of the powerful Whig Grandees; themselves the brunt of Manley’s subtle political satire, whilst his relative and successor as "Lord High Admiral" belonged to the opposing Tory faction; several of whom had refused to subscribe to the oath of allegiance to William of Orange. Amongst these was the first Duke of Beaufort, and it is therefore no coincidence then that Volume One of "The New Atalantis" opens with the following dedication:
"To His Grace Henry Duke of Beaufort, Marquis & Earl of Worcester, Earl of Glamorgan, Baron Herbert & Lord of Chepstow, Raglan & Gower."
Henry Somerset, 2nd Duke of Beaufort (1684-1714) was the grandson of Henry 1st Duke, (1629-1700) and a descendant of Elizabeth Herbert, daughter of William Herbert Earl of Pembroke and Huntingdon, through the latter’s marriage to Sir Charles Somerset Knt.; illegitimate son to Henry Beaufort, 3rd Earl of Somerset, the most senior surviving male representative of the Plantagenet Blood; himself created Earl of Worcester in 1514. The Duke’s own son and successor, Henry 3rd Duke of Beaufort, is noted by "Burke’s" as having been married to Frances, daughter and only child of Sir James Scudamore of Holme Lacy, Hereford; a family we have encountered previously in Chapter One. And, in view of her connections with the High Tory Somerset Family, it comes as little surprise that at the heart of Manley’s satires in "The New Atalantis" are her attacks on the self serving politicians and court favourites, who claim to be acting on behalf of the people but who are in reality directly involved in the pursuit of a policy deliberately intended to deprive them of their economic freedom; whilst simultaneously contributing to their complete political disenfranchisement: a situation which could very well be described as a "feigned liberty" along the lines of that prophesied by Nostradamus.
Manley’s writings are likewise pregnant with Astrological symbolism. This is particularly evident when Manley makes reference to the writings and person of the great proto-feminist writer Aphra Behn (1640-1689). In Classical Mythology, for example, "Astrea", the Greek Goddess of Justice, corresponds to the Astrological sign of Virgo. The name had originally been used by Aphra Behn in her own writings to refer to herself. Manley, therefore, as an admirer of Behn, and another supporter of the Stuart line, for whom Behn had acted as a spy in the 1660s whilst living at Antwerp, likewise refers to Behn when employing her own use of the character of Astrea in "The New Atalantis". Behn’s best known works are her Restoration comedies, which include "The Forced Marriage", "The Rover", and "The Feigned Courtizans"; which provided the model for Manley’s own "Lost Lovers" and "Royal Mischief". And, Manley’s use of the name "Young Caesario" to refer to the Duke of Monmouth in her own scandal fiction has likewise been taken directly from "Love letters between a Nobleman and his Sister", a work of Behn’s dating from the years 1684 to 1687. Similarly, two lines of Mary Pix’s poetry prefixed to Manley’s "Royal Mischief" of 1696 confirm Manley’s admiration of Behn, by making direct reference to the latter’s own literary eloquence.
Confirmation that my interpretation of the above given tract taken from "The Prophecies of Nostradamus" is correct is given a certain degree of substance by Manley’s own family details, in that her father, Roger Manley (1626-1687), a prominent Cavalier soldier and writer, whose various works were to include "A True Description of the Mighty Kingdoms of Japan and Siam"(1663) and "A History of the late Warrs in Denmark" (1670), was a son of the one time "Comptroller of the Household" to Henry Frederick Prince of Wales; who I myself have previously identified as the murder victim referred to in the same prophetic verses. Henry, unlike his sickly brother Charles, was seen by the Arch-Protestant Puritan faction at Court as being a potential champion of a staunch Anti-Catholic foreign policy. And, with his unfortunate, youthful and premature passing, rumours of poisoning abounded: a fact well remembered by Magnus Magnusson and his fellow compilers of "Chambers’ Biographical Dictionary".
The older Manley’s younger son, John, who had come under the influence of this powerful court faction and would serve as a general under Cromwell, was to father Isaac Manley, Postmaster General of Ireland, and John Manley; to whom Delarivier Manley was to become bigamously married in 1689; following the dashing of her hopes of becoming a Maid of Honour to James II’s Queen, Mary of Modena, in the wake of "The Glorious Revolution". Roger Manley in turn was to become one of the less well known but nevertheless significant seventeenth century residents of Kew, itself just a short distance up river from Prince Henry’s former residence at Richmond Palace, with its magnificent picture gallery designed by Inigo Jones; his house there having been inherited, in 1687, by his other daughter, Mary Elizabeth, Delarivier’s older sister. Manley seems to have acquired an in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of early seventeenth century politics, something which is evidenced by the fact that amongst the numerous historical and political anecdotes which feature in "The New Atalantis" is the story of Elizabeth of Bohemia, the unfortunate "Winter Queen". It is therefore by no means impossible that she herself would have known the whole truth respecting the unfortunate fate of Elizabeth’s younger brother; who I myself have identified as the "nephew murdered at London through a false peace….."
Appropriately enough, Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester, together with his son George Somerset, ancestor of the 2nd Duke of Beaufort, Delarivier’s patron, were likewise noted residents of Kew Park (16), a long vanished house not so very far from the later Palace; a one time eighteenth century home of the unfortunate Frederick Prince of Wales; who will feature elsewhere in our story. Somerset’s own descent from the Plantagenet Blood was through John Beaufort Earl of Somerset and Marquis of Dorset, the illegitimate son of John of Gaunt and grandfather of Magaret Beaufort Duchess of Richmond; wife of Edmund Tudor, mother of King Henry VII and patroness of William Caxton; Thomas Malory’s printer. Beaufort’s several children were to include Edmund Duke of Somerset, whose son Henry was the Earl of Worcester’s "natural father".