The Principado da Pontinha, The Knights Templar of Britannia, and the Quest for the Holy Nail

UPDATE: Some details about the Principado da Pontinha have been corrected and expanded.

A dramatic headline in the Daily Telegraph:

Nail from Christ’s crucifixion found?
A nail dating from the time of Christ’s crucifixion has been found at a remote fort believed to have once been a stronghold of the Knights Templar.

We are told that the nail was found last summer in a fort on “Ilheu de Pontinha”, a small island near Madeira which was “thought to have been held by the Knights Templar”. The paper quotes an arhaeologist named Bryn Walters, who explains:

“It dates from the first to second centuries,” he told the Daily Mirror.

While one would expect the surface to be “pitted and rough” he said on this nail the surface was smooth.

That suggested that many people had handled it over the centuries, with the acid on their hands giving it a “peculiar finish”.

So, the answer to the question in the headline is… no. But there’s more:

Christopher Macklin of the Knights Templar of Britannia said the discovery was “momentous”.

The original Mirror article can be seen here, and also on the Knights Templar of Britannia website here (That’s where I got the “Holy Nail” idea for the post title from). Macklin is shown holding the nail above the sub-heading “Knights Templar: It’s relic from crucifixion”, and the Mirror hack inevitably ties it in to the Da Vinci Code. But not even Macklin claims that it’s the genuine article – just that the medieval Templars believed it to be so.

It is difficult to find the Ilheu de Pontinha (or, rather, the Ilhéu da Pontinha) on the map. However, in English it is known (less romantically) as Loo Rock, and it is an atoll which is now connected to Madeira by the harbour arm of Funchal’s port. The atoll has fort, known as the Forte São José, which is owned by a teacher named Renato Barros. In 2007 Barros declared it to be an independent country, the Principado da Pontinha (see Portuguese-language news report here), and he is thus now Prince D. Renato Barros. He is also allowing archaeological work to take place, as reported here:

When questioned about lhe ‘Rock’s’ fate he summarily explained that, “a crew of local archaeologists have been working laboriously inside the Fort for the past few months in the hope of finding valuable artefacts”. ln spite of having uncovered a few human bones, bullet shells and a canon ball from the half-century old rocks this inquisitive teacher added that, “efforts to unearth the lost pieces to the ‘Puzzle of the First Port of the Atlantic’ will continue until some light is shed a propos to Europe’s best kept secret, the first port of the Atlantic – Fort of São José”.

Finding a relic from the Crucifixion clearly beats a few bones and bullet shells, and the principality’s website has also reposted the Daily Mirror article. The Templar angle remains mysterious, though, as Madeira was not even discovered until a hundred years after the Templars had been officially disbanded – so there is no way that the fort is a Templar structure. However, Christopher Columbus is known to have spent time on the island, and there is a legend that he was associated with secret Templars.

The “Knights Templar of Britannia”, meanwhile, are properly known as the “Hereditary Knights Templar of Britannia”. The organisation appears to have some unusual beliefs; here’s a taster:

Our Order’s knowledge is derived from the Temples of Egypt; whilst the names and even languages have changed throughout history the common beliefs are fundamentally the same. Derived from Akhennaten´s monotheistic religion (belief in ‘One God’) who created the Mer-Ka-Ba symbol where the original Knights Templar symbol is taken… Quite possibly the Magi came from Nazara and were known as Nazarenes. Did these “Three Wise Men” become the teachers of Jesus “Keepers of the Knowledge” the sacred knowledge taught to initiates of the Nazara… The Knights Templar used meditation daily, meditation is said to lead to higher consciousness used by Buddhists. Christianity does not mention meditation, yet the Knights Templar Order clearly used it, one can only deduce that the Knights Templar religious traditions came from a different source other than Roman Catholism… After the death of Jesus it is interesting to note that Mary Magdalene went to Europe and formed her own church, not based on Christianity, but the old religion of Egypt “Isis/Osiris”, believed to be the same beliefs of the Magi. Was Mary Magdalene a High Priestess of the Magi?

The site also extols the virtues of “white gold powder“, which can expand the lifespan to 900 years and facilitate teleportation, among much else, and that “anyone who uses the white powder will develop a halo about his body” (surely that’s Ready Brek?). Further:

…Is there a direct descendant of Jesus alive today, if so who is he/she? Would such a bloodline be powerful? Or is the real Holy Grail and secrets the truth about our planet, Humans & secret enemies within. Our we all living an illusion of freedom? Our the Templars the real Gedi Knights [sic]. Is there a secret WAR OF THE WORLDS going on today?

The connection of the “Hereditary Knights Templar of Britannia” to the original Templars has been confirmed by an unnamed “Former-Vatican Priest” who “carried out an investigation lasting 7 years into the various Knights Templar Organisations throughout the world.”

Strangely, besides the reproduced Mirror article, neither Macklin nor anyone else is mentioned by name on the site, and Macklin’s Linkedin  page has no reference to any of this. However, a companion US site mentions as its Grand Commander a certain “Sir Baron de Rochefort”, and a certain meditation teacher named Mark Borrington is involved in the UK. An earlier version of the site tells us that the organisation is “raising funds to purchase Spiritual Centres throughout the world for teaching meditation and spiritual matters”.

The book The Templar Code for Dummies (p. 212) claims that the Knights Templar of Britannia is run by Gary Martin Beaver, also known as “Lord Beaver of Newport; His Serene Excellency, the Magistral Prior of Notre Dame St. Mary of Magdalene; the Chevalier Baron de Richecourt, KGCNS, KtJ; the Marquis of Aulnois; and the Most Reverend Archbishop Gary, Hughes II”. However, Beaver seems to have been involved with other Templar groups, and so I am not sure that this is correct.

The old version of the organisation’s site, still in use a re-direction page, is registered to “Baron G. Fothergill”, who reportedly once sold a title to Beaver; this is Graham Fothergill of Manor Titles. There is also a phone number on the old site which corresponds to Paul Dunkley’s Noble Titles business (as does an address on the Knights Britannia Facebook page – which also features Macklin’s Templar ID card and this remarkable CD cover; we’re assured that “C.D Removes: Mind programing, Mind controls, Brain washing, unblocks Inhibitors and restores your natural higher consciousness abilities. Includes Free Postage in the U.K.”).

Macklin was previously in the news in 2007; the Daily Mail reported that:

After her twin sister Gabriela bagged an Establishment boyfriend in the curious shape of MP Lembit Opik, Cheeky Girl Monica Irimia may have thought she had raised the stakes by posing with a member of the aristocracy.

Alas, property developer “Lord” Christopher Macklin is not all he appears, despite his reported £35 million fortune. For rather than inheriting his title, burly Macklin bought his via a lord of the manor property deal.

The Cheshire-based businessman, who at 50 is 26 years older than Monica, is backing the launch of the Cheeky Girls’ perfume…

I previously blogged on chivalric orders here and here.

4 Responses

  1. And bones were discovered at Rosslyn Chapel this last month. Boy, it seems to me that too many people are caught up with physical evidence that in no way tells us anything new about Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s mission. If we found some writings, now that would be news worthy of publishing.

  2. […] The Principado da Pontinha, The Knights Templar of Britannia, and the Quest for the Holy Nail |Barth… […]

  3. […] little further investigation would reveal that the find-spot of the nail,  Ilhéu da Pontinha (which the newspapers uniformly […]

  4. This story could be correct. John Drummond, grandson of Lord Henry Sinclair, went with the early Portuguese settlers to Porto Santo, Madeira. His family assumed he was lost in France. Perhaps he had been sent there on a Templar mission. You must bear in mind that his maternal grandfather was one of the most famous Templars of his time who went on secret missions to North America. John Drummond’s uncle built Rosslyn Chapel.

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