"I have held up a light in the obscurity of Philosophy, which will be seen centuries after I am dead. It will be seen amidst the erection of Tombs, Theatres, Foundations, Temples, Orders and Fraternities for nobility and obedience — the establishment of good laws as an example to the World. For I am not raising a Capitol or Pyramid to the Pride of men, but laying a foundation in the human understanding for a holy Temple after he model of the World. For my memory I leave it to Men's charitable speeches, to foreign Nations and the next Ages, and to my own Country after some Time has elapsed." -- Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning (1605), Bk II.


Join me to explore the hidden tenets of arranged alignments of architecture and art. Structures as diverse as the Great Pyramid, Baalbek, The Tower of the Winds, Hagia Sopia, Basilica San Vitale, The Dome of the Rock, St. Peter's Square, Gisors, The Newport Tower, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, and the Georgia Guidestones all may have a common origin.

Three reproductions of the Tower of the Winds in England help to display how this age old value is viewed through time. Along the way many legends and myths associated with the Holy Grail and other relics are examined.

Treasure myths such as the Oak Island Legend and The Beale Treasure Legend may have a common origin and hidden meaning. The tale of The Bruton Parish Church Vault (a.k.a. "Bacon's Vault) may also be a copy of an already existent mystery at Stirling Castle.

Et in Orcadia Ego. The true story of Templars in America part 3.

In recent years much has been made of the possibility of pre-Columbian incursions into North and South America by a cast of characters that includes Phoenicians, Norse Vikings, Knights Templar, and Romans among others. Each ancient culture seems to provide the possibility that people came at different times and attempted to claim or settle these regions. It is not beyond the scope of possibility that ancient peoples happened upon a new land that they did not previously know existed. What is really in question is who came to these new lands and established a lasting presence to back up their claim.

To date no evidence of extensive settlement by any parties prior to the establishment of L’ Anse Aux Meadows Norse site in northern Newfoundland has been exposed. Evidence of any earlier settlements or visits by ancient people have elements involved that are questionable yet it still is possible that Romans or Phoenicians visited the new lands though no verifiable evidence has yet come to light. In addition the historical record suggests that later people also for lack of a better term faked artifacts and sites that they believed would prove the existence of these earlier cultures.

Due to these factors here we will examine all of this in the context that includes L’ Anse Aux Meadows having actually been one of the sites that had been described as Vinland in the original Norse Sagas of this era. This line of inquiry will also suggest the involvement of a individuals who held the title of the Earl of Orkney in its different incarnations. As it turns out all of the men who held this title may have also held direct genealogical relationships to the earliest of the Norwegian Earls of Orkney.

The spatial relationship of the Orphir Round Kirk (1124) and Rosslyn Chapel (1456) includes them both being related via the same longitude designation on the globe. This association could have been executed long before the advent of the modern form of latitude and longitude using this meridian as the “0” line in their own scheme of measurement similar to what we see at Greenwich England today and as illustrated in the famous Paris Meridian. If true we then see the influence of early Earl of Orkney Haakon Paulsson and the axis mundi he had created using the site of the Orphir Round Church. It may be far beyond a coincidence that two Earls of Orkney, family related, had both constructed emblematic structures in this tradition stemming back to Constantine, The Tower of the Winds of Athens, and more ancient cultures.

What is more amazing is what these family and architectural clues may mean to the history of North and South America later more precisely the history of the United States of America. The legacy of the Orphir Round Kirk and Rosslyn Chapel may expose how later the Newport Tower in Rhode Island was used to suggest imperial ownership of New England in order to degrade a Spanish and French claim to the region and later possibly to even dispute the control of the Hanoverian faction of the Stuart family that had gained the English throne thus alienating the Stewart’s of Scotland who many feel are the rightful heirs to that crown.                

In the end the establishment of L’ Anse Aux Meadows may have provided a rationale as to why the original Stewart Kings had a more legal claim to what would become New England later. This concept would be displayed later in history and portions of the truth of this saga are brought to light in examining the legends of Oak Island, The Newport Tower, The Stafford Hill Memorial, The Kensington Rune Stone, The Beale Treasure, and “Bacon’s Vault” of Williamsburg. As the United States grew westward additional “mysteries” would be planned and clues would be left that may or may not lead to a real treasure but would reveal true hidden aspects of the history of North America. Later it is possible these claims had been argued over and disputed by Norwegian, Scottish, and English factions coupled with religious differences between Catholics, Protestants, and those with more secular views in the United States. The Norwegians may have felt they had a claim to parts of North America. Their progeny that would later be considered Scottish such as the Earls of Orkney may have also seen this claim to North America as part of their cultural legacy that developed independently of Norway. Still further as the Scottish Kings became the English monarchs others were led to believe this claim would now extend to the crown of England. All three of these separate views may have also depended on disproving or devaluing the accomplishments of Cristobal Colon a.k.a. Christopher Columbus.

In part what we may reveal here is a legacy spanning centuries that involves the influence of the Earls of Orkney in their many different forms. Over time the Earls of Orkney would display a distinct allegiance to both their Scandinavian and Scottish roots. What we may be looking at here in terms that mystery lovers will appreciate is a case of “Et in Orcadia Ego” as opposed to “Et in Arcadia Ego” which upon closer examination does involve many of the same characters. Evidence presented here will also link distinctly Orcadian Norse symbols to other points of mystery in North America including the Newport Tower, Kensington Rune, The Archer Reliquary of Jamestown, Runes present in Orkney, and finally the symbology of the Order of the Thistle of Scotland.  Many myths that seem to include treasure legends may be part of this phenomenon. Later this same Orkney influence would extend to the mysteries of the Newport, Rhode Island in which some do suggest a Norse origin. A clear path from the Earls of Orkney and the Honeyman family of England and Scotland leads us to the Newport Tower, Orphir Round Kirk, The Kensington Rune, and the real reasons many associate the imagery of North America with Rosslyn Chapel and the supposed exploits of Henry Sinclair in the new land.

This amazing story also includes some of the most revered and fascinating stories of their respective eras. Though an examination of the Honyman (Honeyman) family a saga is exposed that may show us the political and cultural truths hidden by the Newport Tower and other structures like the Orphir Round Kirk and Rosslyn Chapel. The Honeyman’s have had significant interface with Mary Queen of Scots, Her husband an Earl of Orkney, as well as other members of the Stewart and Sinclair families over time. One of the earliest and most interesting was Robert Honeyman (Ioniman) of Magdalen College Oxford:

Rev. Robert Honyman, of Staffordshire, England.

“There was a Rev Robert Honyman of Staffordshire, England, of a generation earlier than Bishop Andrew Honeyman of Orkney of whose family I can give but the briefest sketch. Without a doubt he belonged to the same later Scottish family of the same name. He is one of the earliest persons bearing the name to which my researches bound light. He matriculated at Magdalen College Oxford, Nov. 17, 1581 at the age of twenty-seven. He must have been therefore born about 1554. He graduated from that College with the degree of B.S. and received an M.A. in 1587. He was noted as a clerk at Magdalen College in the 1570’s. He held this position until his death at the age of seventy-one and was buried in the College Chapel. He had been licensed to preach at the chapel there and was also entered on the books as a “college chaplain.” His name spelled on records as Ioniman. I suspect that from these records he was related to Bishop Honyman of the Orkneys. There is no proof of him being married.”  

This Robert Honeyman is interesting for many reasons. His association with Magdalen College is notable as well as his relation to the later Bishop Andrew Honeyman of Orkney. Also of note is the appearance that this man came from Staffordshire and will later be associated with the same Stafford family of Newport Rhode Island as well as a later Rev. Honeyman who established the first Episcopal Church in Newport in about 1700. Later still during the Revolutionary War another member of the Honeyman family would be known as “Washington’s Spy.” In the end we may even see some amazing connections to the first and only English Pope Nicolas Breakespeare who in turn may link us to the very famous Sir Francis Bacon and his concept of the “New Atlantis.” In fact it is possible that Breakespeare had an impact on how and why the Orphir Kirk and other round churches on Bornholm Island in the Baltic Sea were even constructed in the first place. The Honeyman family relations will show intimate knowledge of the Orphir Round Kirk as well as associations with the Stewart family royalty of Scotland and the Earls of Orkney in turn leading us to Newport Rhode Island. The seemingly latin spelling of Honeyman or Ioniman may be suggestive of deeper connections. The Isle of Iona in Scotland is associated with St. Columba. These images would later become part of the symbols of the United States.

In order to put this amazing story in its proper context we must travel back in time to the era of the Norman Conquest of England and the First Crusades in the Holy Land. The era of the development of L’ Anse Aux Meadows, The Norman Conquest, and the mystery of the Orphir Round Church all took place between the mid eleventh century (1000 A.D.) to the mid twelfth century (1100 A.D). These three events were to have a major impact on these stories over time extending even to the current era of the early twenty-first century. This of course is also the era of the first Crusades and the Latin Kingdoms of the Levant, what is today Turkey, also including Greece and Macedonia.

The amazing story of King Sigurd of Norway and the Norwegian Crusade to the Holy Land holds many hints and clues as to the value of the Orphir Round Kirk and Rosslyn Chapel later. Both the Norman Conquest and the Norwegian Crusade all took place within one hundred years of when we are told L’ Anse Aux Meadows was established in Newfoundland. This was a great time of development for the Scandinavian culture as they emerged from their pagan Viking roots to take a seat in the grand monarchies of Europe. Coincidentally this same period marks what most agree to be the advent of the magnetic compass. The history of Northern Scotland and especially the Orkney Islands is reflective of these events and many clues may have been left for us to ponder in discerning the truth of this era. Note here that the entire saga of the Norwegian Crusade took place just prior to the establishment of the Knights Templar. That order did not even exist so as to have any impact upon the following story. In fact much of this history will display a complete lack of the involvement of the Knights Templar and may instead point to the influence of Scandinavian and German knighthoods that were never associated in any way with the famous Knights Templar.

King Sigurd and his men made the long journey by sea to Jerusalem but took a leisurely course that first led them to Santiago de Compostela and the rest of Galicia. It is likely that Sigurd and his men made port at A Coruna. Santiago de Compostela is an important place to both the Scottish and Scandinavian people including Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. During the eras in which these kingdoms were aligned with the Catholic faith Santiago de Compostela served as a major pilgrim’s destination. Part of this value may involve the legend of the namesake of Scotland Queen Scota who once made the Galician Port of A Coruna her home. Santiago de Compostela represents a kind of hidden link that reveals many aspects of the values of our Norwegian and Scottish nobility. During periods of history that Jerusalem was inaccessible Santiago de Compostela served as a kind of New Jerusalem that stood proxy for the original in the hearts and minds of European pilgrims of those eras. This is interesting in that even the Orphir Round Kirk of St. Nicholas seemed to have been built to reference the concept of a New Jerusalem or the creation of a holy place that referenced the original.

A Coruna is the site from which according to legend Scota’s husband sighted Ireland from atop the famous Torre de Hercules lighthouse (6th Century) there. Some speculate that the original form of this lighthouse extended from Phoenician times thus matching any association with the Queen Scota Legend. In some ways Scottish people may have viewed this region as a homeland that took on added significance in relation to the cult of St. James and its associated Pilgrimage. Scottish and Scandinavian pilgrims would also arrive at A Coruna and follow a different pilgrimage route from there to Santiago de Compostela in comparison to their European cohorts. Galicia had also been long ruled by the Suebi tribe who hailed originally from the Swabian region of what is today Germany. During the era of Sigurd this Swabian link may have also represented a common culture linking the Normans and the French culture of the day which included southern Germany. This is all occurring at the era just after the reign of Charlemagne as well.

Some researchers speculate that even the Danish red cross flag was inspired by the Cross of Santiago. The Cross of Santiago appears as a red cross that infers the shape of a knife or sword. This is also the primary symbol of the Knights of Santiago. The story of Sigurd and the Scotsmen coming to Santiago de Compostela may also infer an association between these men and the Order of Santiago over time. In past works we have discussed the membership of Sir James Douglas and William Sinclair builder of Rosslyn Chapel as possibly being members of this order. As we see this tradition may go all the way back to King Sigurd and his army’s time in Santiago de Compostela. Much of the confusion in others associating the Sinclair’s with the Knights Templar may come from their actual association with the Order of Santiago and a value of the Camino de Santiago. There are many mysteries associated with Santiago including speculation that the sepulcher there actually contains the remains of James the brother of Christ in addition to those of Santiago or James the Apostle of Christ. The story of Sir James Douglas even includes him taking the heart of Robert the Bruce to Santiago de Compostela prior to him being slain in the battle of Teba in which he bore the heart into battle in a locket around his neck. Note also that Robert the Bruce also descended from the same genetic stock as King Sigurd and all of the subsequent Earls of Orkney.

An interesting geographic twist may lend credence to the notion that some Scots nobles were Knights of Santiago. At octagonal baptistry of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela may be used to form an arc on the globe that extends to Rosslyn Chapel.

Parts of the saga of James Douglas also infer that the heart of the Bruce may have later been interred at Santiago de Compostela though the common history tells us it is located at Melrose Abbey not far from Rosslyn Chapel. Interestingly Sir James Douglas was named for Santiago via being named for his uncle James Stewart who in turn was known to value Santiago de Compostela and the entire culture of St. James. Yet another strong piece of evidence that supports the notion that all the Templar confusion in association with Henry Sinclair and Rosslyn Chapel is a mistaken value of Santiago and the lore of Scota in Galicia. Beyond the similarity of their icons and symbols there may exist political reasons as to why this version of the story was not told later in history.

Sigurd’s exploits in the Holy Land were what one would think a band of fighting men from Scandinavia could accomplish during this post Viking era of the Norman Conquest of England. They served King Baldwin in many military capacities with great success and after a period of three years Sigurd departed the Levant and travelled to Constantinople under the protection of one of the last Byzantine rulers. This episode of the travels of King Sigurd supplies us with the amazing story of the Viking Varangian Guards of the Byzantine Emperor. As part of his bargain with the Emperor Sigurd left a division of his elite troops to serve as bodyguards for the Byzantine Emperor. Runic graffiti in Hagia Sophia in Istanbul verifies this historical footnote. The establishment of the Varangian Guards also seems to have continued the use of Scottish and Scandinavian bodyguards that was also practiced by none other than Charlemagne himself. The tradition and influence of personal bodyguards to monarchs would also later extend to the Cavalier culture of Virginia and the presence of Wilhelm Bruce bodyguard of Napoleon later in Gold Rush era California. Again note that the entire saga of Sigurd’s journeys in the Holy Land took place several years before the establishment of the Knights Templar.

It is within this framework of history that Haakon Paulsson would visit the Holy Land in penance for murdering Magnusson on the alter of a Church in Orkney. As further penance Haakon would build the Orphir Round Kirk. Haakon’s trip to the Holy Land and his construction of the Orphir Round Church of St. Nicholas was also prior to the establishment of the much vaunted Knights Templar. It appears that all of the history and imagery that is recorded in the meridian of the Orphir Round Kirk and later repeated at Rosslyn Chapel is not a result of any involvement with the Knights Templar.

Other odd coincidences associated with the Orphir Round Kirk include the presence of two rune stones. One of them includes a portion of the Lord’s Prayer. The other stone may supply us with an interesting link to a theme seen at the famous Rennes le Chateau mystery.

The second stone includes and inscription in runes that is interpreted “This is a bad Church.” This is strangely similar to the inclusion of “This Place is Terrible” over the entrance to the Chapel at Rennes le Chateau. It is possible that both inscriptions are referring to the story of Jacob’s Ladder. Upon his return to earth Jacob was known to have said that “This place is terrible” in comparison to heaven. This theme is often misinterpreted as meaning something else.

The Orphir Round Kirk does resemble the plan of the Temple Church in London as both structures were inspired by the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem at different times for different reasons. Given this history it is clear that if any Knighthood is associated with these exploits it is the personal bodyguard of King Sigurd and their descendants or more obviously the imagery and symbols of the Knights of Santiago that is repeated on the Danish flag today. The symbols and imagery of the Knights of the Garter values St. George and more closely resembles the heraldry of the Knights Templar. These simple factors and a total ignorance of the historical background of the Earls of Orkney may have contributed to the views of many that the Knights Templar are associated with not only the Sinclair family but the Battle of Bannockburn.

If there were Knights at Bannockburn displaying “Templar Crosses” then this would also point to Scandinavian help and not necessarily that of the Knights Templar. Robert the Bruce was of the same Norwegian descent as the Earls of Orkney. King Sigurd included a Greek “Templar Cross” on coinage commemorating his Crusade prior to the establishment of the Knights Templar. A later rejection of the tenets of the Latin Church in England and Scotland may have also contributed to this muddying of the historical waters in favor of a more desirable story.

These factors may have also contributed later to much of the speculation that the Newport Tower is of Norse origin when in fact it was built by Benedict Arnold who the common history states as its creator. Given this it appears that a coincidence in the form of the Newport Tower resembling a Round Kirk may have later been used as an argument bolstering the assumption that Norse interests had built it long ago thus supporting England’s claim to that region. All of this may boil down to a rejection of the Catholic Church by specific factions in early America thus linking us to a rejection of the accomplishments of Columbus. This may be easy to understand when the true story includes the many heroic exploits of men who fought in the Holy Land for the glory of Church of Rome and the Latin Kingdom. As this story unfolds it may become obvious that the notion of the Newport Tower being a round kirk did not evolve until after 1700.

The Knights Templar may serve as a potent symbol of a rejection of the tenets of the Church thus the reason they may have had many things attributed to them after the date they supposedly no longer existed. Many of these false notions have made them alternately scape goats and heroes. This may also be why an attempt to portray a man like Henry Sinclair as a Knights Templar after the time they had been persecuted has been adapted by many people. It is in this manner that history is distorted and changed to match the political and religious views of a given era.  Henry Sinclair was likely a Knight of the Tomb (Santiago) and not a Knights Templar. His heritage and association with Scotland in addition to his Norwegian Royal blood at a time Scotland was not governed by England may also attest to this truth. Many sources point to a lack of involvement on the part of the Knights Templar in Scandinavia during their entire existence and the history of the Sinclair family and the Earls of Orkney would not reflect any involvement with this Order as a result of that view. Rosslyn Chapel is telling you the story of the sagas and their association with North America.

Is it possible that a chance resemblance between the Newport Tower and the Orphir Round Kirk inspired later people to promote this structure as being part of an earlier period of history? Who could have come up with such an idea in the early history of Newport Rhode Island?

The Reverend Robert Honeyman of Scotland was the very first Episcopal minister in Newport Rhode Island. Rev. Honeyman came from the same storied line of ecclesiastical figures that had produced our Robert Honeyman of Magdalen College, and the Bishop of Orkney Andrew Honeyman. Quite a coincidence in any possible legacy connecting the Newport Tower to the real Rose Line of the Orphir Round Kirk. Though there are no records of Rev. Honeyman influencing views of the Newport Tower it is within the realm of possibility that given his heritage he would have recognized this form of architecture as being similar to the famous Round Kirk of Orkney. Here in the person of Reverend Honeyman we have a direct link to this family and its Orcadian legacy including Rosslyn Chapel, the Orphir Round Kirk and much more.

Part four coming soon with more details and a continuation of the saga. Thank you.- Cort Lindahl

Outline for how this story needs to be told:

1. The Norwegian Crusade and the Holy Rood. Story of Varangian guards of Constantinople.
2. Sigurd left Haakon as earl at this time then Haakon later went to Jerusalem as penance for killing Magnusson on altar of church. The Kirk thus became a symbol of the Earls of Orkney. Each Earl of Orkney was likely privy to the truth of this.  Also illustrate how Robert the Bruce is descendant of the same Norwegian nobility going back to king Sigurd.
3. The story of Rosslyn Chapel and William Sinclair. Henry Sinclair his relation to Norway and the Comyn family (who Robert the Bruce slew on altar of Church just like Haakoon had slew Magnusson). Relate the story of Bruce slaying Comyn and their relation to Henry the Navigator. This establishes that Henry Sinclair and Henry the Navigator are directly related. Mention Nav’s relation to Pizarro and Cortes.
4. The story of Robert Honeyman of Magdalen College and Staffordshire. Does Honeyman translate to Ionaman? The story of Bishop Honeyman and Mary Queen of Scots. Again Bothwell her husband Earl of Orkney. How Honeyman married Mary Stuart. This includes the Stewart Earls of Orkney.
5. The Story of Rev. Honeyman of Newport
6. The Earl of Orkney George Hamilton governor of Virginia and builder of the Powder Magazine in relation to Lord Selkirk of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
7. The relation of Stephen Douglas to the name of Douglas County where the KRS is located shows the family legacy of the Newport Tower and why the KRS was put there later. This also involves Poe.
8. How the Earls of Orkney are associated with the Hooked X and AVM symbols seen on the KRS. They are the source of these symbols from Queen Mary of William and Mary. Legend of William being descendant of Christ is well known. Mary is a Stewart of course. Bishop Honeyman’s children would also then be Stewarts.

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