Glastonbury Abbey Ruins

Legends abound in the county of Somerset dating back 2000 years and beyond. Several significant legends emerge from the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey situated on what was once theisland of Avalon. Close by is another island known as Inis Wytren, or Glass Island where excavations have revealed a once busy site of the glass making industry for which ancient Britons were famous so that Saxons later named it Glastonbury. Centuries devoted to draining the land have turned what were numerous islands into a dry plain and pushed the sea back several miles.  

As early as 36CE Joseph of Arimathea is said to have brought the story of Christ’s Resurrection to Britain with him as well as the chalice used by Jesus and the Disciples during the Last Supper. It was this goblet that gave rise to the ‘Quest for the Holy Grail’ legends of King Arthur, whose discovered remains lie buried at Glastonbury. Another legend relates to Joseph’s staff which grew when planted on Wearyall Hill, and flowered twice a year at Christmas and Easter. Reputedly, Joseph established here the very first church outside Jerusalem. 

Joseph of Arimathea is said to have been present when his niece Mary, the mother of Jesus, died in 48 CE. and was buried at Glastonbury Abbey.  

According to Cressy, a Benedictine Monk and historian, St. Joseph of Arimathea died and was buried ‘over Mary’ at Glastonbury Abbey on 27 July, 82 CE. Inscribed upon Joseph’s sarcophagus were the words ‘Ad Brittanos veni post Christum Sepelivi Doci Quieri’ or “To the Britons I came after I buried the Christ. I taught, and I have entered my rest.” Besides Joseph and his niece Mary, and contrary to Romanised history, a number of the Apostles, ended their days in Britain and were buried at Glastonbury in Somerset. The remains of others were transported to Britain after their death.  

Converts to Christianity flooded to Glastonbury Abbey for baptism, instruction, and missionary assignment. Isadore, Archbishop of Seville [600–636CE] wrote in his ‘Historia’ that Philip from Bethsaida together with his daughters preached Christ to the Gauls. At one point, Philip sent 160 disciples from Gaul to assist Joseph of Arimathea and his team at Glastonbury. One of the first outreaches from Glastonbury was undertaken by the Bethany group including Mary, Martha, their maid Marcellus and brother Lazarus. This family headed back across the channel to France where Lazarus evangelized in the region of Marseilles for seven years. They lived out the rest of their lives preaching and teaching in southern France. From this point, Glastonbury became the centre of Christian outreach world-wide. For centuries, Gallic records indicate the Archbishops of Treves and Rheims were all Britons supplied by the mother church of Glastonbury, Avalon in Somerset, Britain.  

Montacute Village

Turning to Montacute just a few miles away, local historian Tim Lambert writes, the Somerset village of Montacute gets its name from the Latin words Mons Acutis, which simply means “pointed hill”. (In the Middle Ages all educated people spoke Latin and the names of places and landmarks were often Latinised in documents in the same way that plants to this day carry a Latin botanical name). 

In the 11th century, according to an old legend Tostig, a lieutenant of King Canute found a miracle working cross at the site. The Normans built a motte and bailey castle on the hill. A motte and bailey castle consisted of a wooden stockade around a hill with living quarters on the top. Later the land was given to the French abbey at Cluny. The French monks founded a priory (a daughter abbey) at Montacute in 1102. It was called the Priory of St Peter and St Paul and in the Middle Ages dominated the area. 

In the Middle Ages the settlement at Montacute by royal decree, became a market town, allowing the people of Montacute to hold weekly markets. (In those days there were few if any shops and if you wished to buy or sell anything you waited for market day, grew your own, or bartered directly with a farmer or grower). Like many Somerset towns Montacute became a centre of the wool trade. By standards of the 21st century it was a small village with a population of only a few hundred. Montacute grew large enough that in 1240 a new borough (or suburb) was added to the town. 

In 1539 Henry VIII closed the priory and most of its buildings were demolished and the stonework, at least, used in other construction projects. However, a fishpond remains and also a dovecote, where both fish and doves were farmed as food sources. 

Montacute House

It was from here that the family of Robert and Elizabeth (Denman) WILTON migrated from Plymouth aboard the Oriental on the 22 June 1841 and arrived at Port Nicholson 26 October. They were going to sail on up the west coast past Mount Egmont to New Plymouth but because of Elizabeth’s ill-health the surgeon recommended they disembark in Wellington.  

Robert Wilton [1796-1869]     Wiltons Galore

        Robert Wilton [1796-1869]                   The Story of Robert & Elizabeth's Family


 Historical Family
1. Ancient Beginnings
2. English Family
3. Parliamentary
4. Coming to N.Z.
 Persons of Renown
Sir John & Sir William Chamberlayne
Sir Roger Chamberlayne
Sir Leonard Chamberlain
Sir Thomas Chamberlayne I
Sir Thomas Chamberlayne II
Major Thomas Chamberlain III
Edward Chamberlayne
Thomas Pardoe
John Chamberlain
Gen. Joshua Chamberlain
Col. Thomas Chamberlain IV
Henry Bowland
Joseph Chamberlain
Giles E. Chamberlain
Sir Austen Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
Gertrude (Burford) Rawlings
Isaac Sykes
Owen Chamberlain
Robert E. (Bob) Chamberlain
 Particular Places
County Down
Preston Capes
Woodford Halse
 Supplements, Historic, Biblical
Mail Box
The Reason Why?
Destiny's Lodestone
The Feud For Zion
What A Difference A Name Makes
 No Simple Passage
 Preston Capes
 Wilton Family
 Genealogy Software
No Simple Passage
The Journey of the "London" and her passengers from England to New Zealand in 1842. Thomas & Susannah Chamberlain, together with their four children sailed aboard the London on this voyage to Port Nicholson. The author is Jenny Robin Jones a descendant of one of the passengers. The book was published in 2011 by Random House ISBN 978 1 86979 510 8
Wiltons Galore

The Pioneer Story of Robert Wilton and Elizabeth Denman from Montacute, Somerset, England and continued through their children and grand-children in New Zealand. Mary Wilton married Arthur Joseph Chamberlain, and this is the story & record of her family.
This book was compiled by descendant Jo Wilton and published in 2007 by Colin Watson & Colin Liddell
ISBN 978 0 473 11318 6

Petticoat Pioneers
Petticoat Pioneers 

Stories of New Zealand's North Island women of the colonial pioneering era compiled and recorded for us by author Miriam Macgregor. Two of the women featured in this book are Susannah Catherine (Bull) Chamberlain and her daughter -in-law (Catherine McKenzie) Kitty Chamberlain.
This book was published in 1973 by A.H.& A.W. Reed, Wellington, New Zealand.
ISBN 0 589 00771 8

Paddy the Wanderer
Paddy the Wanderer 

The true story of an Airedale dog who captured the heart of the city of Wellington during the dark days of depression. Also captured here is Paddy's association with Blue Taxicab manager, Merlin Chamberlain. The author is Dianne Haworth, a dog-lover and editor of Animal's Voice, who lives and works in Auckland.
The book was published in 2007 by HarperCollins NZ.
ISBN 978 1 86950 625 4

On the Trail of
Parker & Walker

Parker-Walker Families

This 2015 self-published family history has been put together by Marjorie Prictor on the trail of Parker and the Walker families who came to New Zealand in the 1860s. Marjorie is a descendant still living in the Northland district of Port Albert where each of these families settled.

Douglas Family Reunion

A family history of the Douglas Family in Australia, compiled in 1981 for a family reunion by sisters Grace Douglas & Rosalie Vanstan of Bendigo, Victoria.
Downloadable as file-093 from the Supplements Page.