Glastonbury Scripts

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Glastonbury Scripts

Title given to a series of nine booklets edited by Frederick Bligh Bond containing various automatic writing communications concerning Glastonbury Abbey and its history: (1) The Return of Johannes, (2) Pages from the Book of Immortal Remembrance, (3 and 7) Life of Hugh of Avalon, (4) Life of Abbot Ailnoth, (5) The Vision of Mathias, (6) The Rose Miraculous, (8) The Founding of the First Christian Church, and (9) King Arthur and the Quest of the Holy Grail.

Number 1 contains writing obtained by Bond with the medium John Alleyne (psudonym of J. Allen Bartlett). The communicator claimed to be "Johannes Bryant," a monk of Glaston-bury of the period 1497-1534. Numbers 3, 4, and 7 are the work of two American sitters to whom the history of the abbey was unknown.

Number 2 records the writings of a Winchester medium whose hand was allegedly used automatically without her volition. The communicators claimed to be monks of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. According to psychical researcher Nandor Fodor, "they were veridical in scores of cases, the most famous of which is the discovery of the Norman wall of Herlewin's Chapel, recorded by Bond in his book The Company of Avalon " (1924). It was the public's linking this discovery with psychical research (in Bond's publications) that led to the abrupt closing of the excavations in 1922. Bond was suspended from his directorship of the excavations and forfeited his privileges. In the atmosphere of the times, when Spiritualism was considered a crackpot belief by many, the abbey trustees were alienated. Several of Bond's findings were allegedly obliterated by the removal of stones and the filling of trenches.

Numbers 5, 6, 8, and 9 of the Glastonbury Scripts were obtained by Bond in his sessions with Hester Dowden, who claimed that his presence and the contact of his fingers on her hand or wrist was a sine qua non in the process of obtaining them. The mental contact came through Bond, Dowden said. Her contribution was the motor power of transmission and the more mechanical side of the word formation. For this reason the automatist disclaimed sole copyright, alleging "dual mediumship."

This view was energetically contested by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who in conjunction with the Authors' Society gave his support to the chancery court action of July 1926 (Cummins v. Bond ), which established the ruling that all automatic scripts are the sole copyright of the amanuensis, who is thus regarded by law as the only author.

The story of the Glastonbury Scripts carried on the record of prediction and discovery as told by Bond in a series of earlier books: The Gate of Remembrance (1918), The Hill of Vision (1919), and The Company of Avalon (1924). These examples of cross-correspondence were obtained through four far-separated mediums. To these a fifth may be added, since the monk "Johannes" again wrote, in his old style, through the hand of Mina Crandon of Boston in 1926-27. Part of the record is printed in the Clark University Symposium of 1926.


Bond, F. Bligh. The Glastonbury Scripts. 9 vols. Glastonbury, England: Abbot's Leigh, n.d.

Kenawell, William W. The Quest at Glastonbury: A Biographical Study of Frederick Bligh Bond. New York: Garrett Publications, 1965.

Lambert, G. W. "The Quest at Glastonbury." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 43, 728 (June 1960).