The Grail in America

A Closer Look at the Charles II / Virginia Connection

A great deal of literature has seen light in recent years about the voyage of the “Holy Grail” from Europe to America. The idea of a Templar Fleet sailing the oceans and carrying their treasure trove across the Atlantic was extensively re­searched by Baigent and Lee for their 1989 “The Temple and the Lodge.” Many authors had picked up the theme, tracing and documenting the ability of the original Knights Templar to perform such a feat, as they escaped from the continent on their ships in Spain and southern France, after the sudden demise of their order in 1307.

Much of this research focuses on Sir Henry St. Clair (Sinclair) of Scotland, whose grandson William built the Ros­lyn Chapel, and who is said to have voyaged in the late 14th century to Oak Island in Nova Scotia, and buried “some­thing” there in the famed “Money Pit.” This location was later also connected with two famous contemporaries from 16th century England, similarly named “Francis”—Drake and Bacon, one a sea-farer and explorer, the other a philos­opher and mystic.

Francis Drake claimed many of the lands which subsequently became the U.S. and Canada for the Crown of Eng­land, including the entire East Coast with Oak Island. Tales of his hidden treasures across the region spur many ad­venturers even today. And Francis Bacon is said to have viewed the “virgin land” of the newly discovered continent as the perfect place to practice his mystical philosophy. His work “The New Atlantis,” published a short time before his death in 1626, was a utopian vision of a benevolent kingdom.

According to many scholars of the subject, Bacon planned to implement his ideas in America. In 1606 he drafted the charter of the Virginia Company, which later oversaw the Jamestown settlement on the east coast and the devel­opment of Virginia lands. Thus Bacon personally had a very big hand in the first permanent and successful white set­tlement in the north of the new continent, one from which the nation of the United States eventually grew.

In 1610 Bacon was granted land in Newfoundland by King James I, which included Oak Island. Many researchers believe that this gave him a perfect opportunity to study the Sinclair “Money Pit” location at length, and enabled him to deeply extend its underground levels and secret passages, in which he eventually hid his own treasure—his most secret knowledge and reportedly some “magical” artifacts.

The man possibly most responsible in modern times for spreading the idea of Bacon’s New Atlantis as the embodi­ment of the “Holy Grail” in America, was the great 20th century mystic and occultist Manly P. Hall. In his “Secret Destiny of America” (1958) Hall noted that “For more than three thousand years, secret societies have labored to create the background of knowledge necessary to the establishment of an enlightened democracy among the nations of the world … and they still exist, as the Order of the Quest … All were searching for one and the same thing under a variety of rituals and symbols. That one thing was a perfected social order, Plato’s commonwealth, the government of the philosopher-king.”

Hall contends that Bacon and other influential Elizabethan figures of his younger years, like Drake, Walter Ra­leigh and John Dee, all belonged to that secret order and sought to perpetuate their ancient tradition on the new “un­occupied” continent. The order is said to have been “Rosicrucian,” in the nature of its symbolism and mystical beliefs. This is of course a very interesting connection for Grail seekers, because the founder of the modern Rosicrucian Or­der in medieval times is said to have been Jean De Gisors, also believed by some to be the founder of the now famous Priory of Sion, the “guardians of the Grail.”

The voluminous research conducted on this topic leaves little doubt that “some kind” of an esoteric doctrine is very likely to have lain at the foundation of the United States. In addition to the Baconian philosophy and similar doc­trinal evidence, this theory also finds a great deal of support in the incredible wealth of Masonic and otherwise esoter­ic symbolism present in the architecture of Washington D.C. and other important places, a topic well studied and documented.

I have chanced upon another extremely interesting yet curiously entirely overlooked link between the origins of America and the legend of the Holy Grail.

When browsing through the history of Northern Virginia in the U.S., the area known as “the Northern Neck” near Washington D.C. and westwards, one is struck by a very interesting entry right at the top of every timeline. It says that the history of European settlement in the region began with the lands in question being given as a gift from King Charles II to seven of his most loyal supporters, known as the Seven Barons, in the year 1649.

The year 1649 is one that will ring many bells for any serious student of England, because it was by no means an insignificant year in that country’s history. It was the only time they ever had a reigning monarch executed by his own countrymen. He was executed by what can be termed a “popular revolution,” more precisely a revolt by his dis­gruntled nobility. This was Charles I, the father of young Charles II.

Despite what one might think from reading the bloody history of Europe, the execution of a reigning monarch was far from a regular phenomenon. In fact it happened only three times in modern history—the other two being Louis XVI in the French Revolution of 1793, and Nicholas II in the Communist Revolution in Russia in 1917. The two latter events forever changed the course of our entire history—the first produced Napoleon and his conquests, and the second heralded the Soviet Empire and the Cold War.

The English Commonwealth Revolution, which executed Charles the First, can be said to have influenced the world in similarly far-reaching ways. It was the first time in modern history that the king’s nobility had successfully challenged his right to make unilateral decisions based on his “regal prerogative” alone, or implementing what is known as the Divine Right of Kings. The philosophy behind the Commonwealth Revolution created the system of Constitutional Monarchy, which still persists in many countries. It led to the consolidation of the English Parliament as a ruling body, which became the progenitor of every elected parliamentary system we know today.

The Parliamentary doctrine of 17th century England produced vital works of political philosophy, such as the Bill of Rights, used in 1688 to oust the Catholic James II from the throne. It’s a most important document in the history of Political Science—not least because many of its precepts were incorporated a hundred years later into the U.S. Constitution, which created a democratically elected government, independent and disdainful of any royal power.

The early English influence on the origins of America in that respect is undisputed (although during the War of Independence itself, it was of course the French who were heirs to that legacy and thus allies of the new Americans, while the political system of England reverted to the old Royal ways.) But the mentioned date in the historical records of Virginia means that we need to take a look at another most interesting aspect of the story.

The important point is that Charles II was NOT the “King of England” in 1649. After the beheading of Charles I on January 30, the official ruler of England was Oliver Cromwell, the leader of the Commonwealth Parliament, who bore the title “Lord Protector of England.” And Charles II at that time was but a youth of nineteen, probably confused and scared, who had just seen his father beheaded and was on the run himself, hiding out in the French forests. As a “de­posed monarch,” he was in no position to make any land grants which would be recognized by the “official govern­ment.” Why, then, do the records mention his name as the one who made the original grants?

One reason would undoubtedly be the historical English penchant for royalty, which doesn’t like to see a break in its succession. For example, looking at this typical historical timeline of the period, we see the following two entries: “30 Jan 1649 CE Parliament became the supreme power in England under the rule of Oliver Cromwell. 30 Jan 1649 CE The Prince of Wales becomes King Charles II, of England, although technically Britain is a republic.” (emphasis mine).

In fact it was Cromwell who was the actual ruler of England, and Charles II who was “technically” still considered the king by some. For royal genealogists, the succession continued even when he was in exile. And a decade later, when he was reinstated on the throne in 1658, he approved and ratified the land grants he made earlier, thus giving his seven barons the official legal title to the holdings, according to the law of the land.

But what was so important about this particular land grant that it had to be made so urgently, right after the pow­er switch in England and with Charles II hiding in France? Surely this could’ve been done later in a more orderly fashion, like other grants indeed were. To answer that question, we must recall the vital fact that Charles II and his father were not only kings of England and Scotland, but also heads of the Stewart dynasty, usually spelled “Stuart.”

The Stewarts/Stuarts have been named by the writers of “Holy Blood, Holy Grail,” and much of the subsequent lit­erature which that book prompted, as nothing less than the heads of the “secret brotherhood” charged with safe­guarding the Holy Grail on the British Isles, and in fact themselves hereditary descendants of the Merovingians and the sacred Grail Dynasty. The Grail itself, whether a physical artifact or a person or both, was said to have been safely secreted in Scotland by Templars fleeing from France, with Rosslyn Chapel being a likely location.

The English Revolution was actually a Civil War between several conflicting factions on the Isle, and a most trou­bling time for the Stewarts (and consequently their “Grail fraternity”). They were besieged not only by Cromwell’s parliament in England, but also by the Presbyterian parliament in Scotland.

If Scotland was indeed the resting place of “the Grail” and the Stuarts its champions, then the English Revolution would surely be a time when its keepers would need to seriously consider moving something as vital as this charge to a safer location again.

Civil wars are notoriously a time when one doesn’t know whom to trust, one’s old friends could suddenly go over to the “other side.” The best case in point is Charles I himself, who trusted the Scottish Parliament and surrendered to them hoping for help, but was instead handed right over to Cromwell, to later be executed.

In such a situation, it seems obvious that young Charles II had been pressed by others in the Grail circle into ur­gently making the Virginia land grants right after his father’s beheading. It was the time to quickly ferry the Grail to safety—away from their troubled country and to that far-away land across the ocean. Title to the land was an impor­tant facet of the operation, so that their ownership of the Grail’s resting place would not later be disputed. They used the atmosphere of confusion, which the upheavals caused to their advantage, removing and transferring the cache unobserved.

The story of Charles II and the Seven Barons in the Virginia annals with the incongruous date is the clue they left in the history books for future researchers who would seek the Grail in later times. It was meant to tell us that the Grail was taken from Scotland and moved to Virginia, in the years immediately following the execution of Charles I.

Upon looking closer at the history of that state, we see that it is perhaps the single most significant place in the development of the United States. Jamestown, Virginia (not Plymouth, Massachusetts) was the location of the first vi­able English colony on the new continent, in 1607. It was also the first financially successful English overseas ven­ture, from which pretty much all of modern American business and commerce spawned. And as noted earlier, the original charter was written by Francis Bacon himself.

The land holdings of the Seven Barons are said to have all been eventually purchased by one of them, Thomas Cul­pepper, whose daughter married Thomas Fairfax, fifth baron of Cameron. Their son, Thomas Fairfax, the sixth Came­ron, became a personal friend and benefactor of both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. His support was one of the chief factors which brought these men to early prominence.

The region had afterwards become synonymous with the Fairfax name. Later, part of the Northern Neck grant lands became Washington D.C., the national capital no less, and a great deal has been written about the significance of its location at those precise coordinates.

The name “Virginia” itself is extremely meaningful in the lore surrounding the Grail. Named by Drake after the “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth I, it is in fact a symbol for the Maiden, a “virginal” form of the Goddess—who is the embod­iment of the sacred feminine principle, which some say that the Grail represents.

We have here, then, a most significant link to the early origins of the United States, and perhaps the underlying reason behind the vast amount of arcane meanings present in the various symbols of this country and in the layout of its capital city. This could be the final bit of evidence to clinch the theory that the Grail legacy really continued in America.

Several interesting locations in Virginia should be noted in that regard, in addition to Washington D.C. itself. The town of Williamsburg, further south from D.C. towards the historical Jamestown settlement, holds the famed Bruton Church, where Manly Hall and many others believed that Francis Bacon had hidden part of his “treasure,” consisting of some immensely vital secret documents and other things.

For seekers of more modern thrills, there is the headquarters of the CIA at Langley, on the front lawn of which sits one of the great riddles of today—the enigmatic Kryptos sculpture. Formerly reputed to play a part in Dan Brown’s upcoming Langdon novel, its three solved parts of the code seem to point to a hidden treasure, with an obvi­ous link to ancient Egypt—a description of Howard Carter opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb. The CIA itself is of course implicated in just about every conspiracy theory one can think of.

Whether any of these connections are meaningful to the greater quest or not is unimportant here. But that curi­ous date in the historical annals of Virginia definitely appears to be a vital hint about the later fate of the Grail, after it left Roslyn Chapel in Scotland.

I think it’s safe to say, “Yes Virginia, there IS a Sanity Clause.”

Reprinted by permission from


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