The Druid Order traces its origins back to the Pherryllt who were alchemists. They were the teachers and guardians of the Druid mysteries of Ceridwen at Cor Emrys on the Penmaen ridge of Snowdon. The Pherryllt had a Druidic Grove at Oxford prior to the founding of the University and were associated with the outer movement of what is now known as the Celtic Church. They were great mystics and strong in spirit. In 1166 The Oxford Grove of Druids were persecuted by order of the Bishop of Oxford of the Roman Church. Their records were burnt but their memory remained.
Haymo of Faversham gathered around him those who still held the Druid philosophy and laid the foundations of an order. After his death, Philip Brydodd called a conference of companions and established the Mount Haemus Grove at Oxford in 1245.
This grove continued through the centuries and in 1717 delegates from Oxford and other Druid centres in York, London, the Isles of Man & Anglesey, Cornwall, Scotland, Ireland, Wales & Brittany united to form An Druidh Uileach Braithreachas, the Mother Grove of the Ancient Druid Order. The inspiration for this came from John Aubrey of the old Mount Haemus Grove through John Toland who was elected Chief of the reconstituted Order.
The Druid Order continued under the leadership
of the following Chief Druids:-
John Toland 1717-1722
William Stukeley 1722-1765
Edward Finch Hatton 1765-1771
David Samwell 1771-1799
William Blake 1799-1827
Godfrey Higgins 1827-1833
William Carpenter 1833-1874
Edward Vaughan Kenealy 1874-1880
Gerald Massey 1880-1906
John Barry O'Callaghan 1906-1909
George Watson MacGregor-Reid 1909-1946
Robert MacGregor-Reid 1946-1964
Thomas Lackenby Maughan 1964-1976
Christopher Sullivan 1976-1981
David Loxley - the present Chief, since 1981
The Druid Order, Gnosticism and Early Christianity
Christian Mysticism and Druidism both taught the concept of the god within, that is, the inner union of god and man through the mind and soul of each person, not through the priest or pope of a cult or religion. It was this desire to preserve the understanding of this inner unity that inspired Haymo of Faversham to found an order. In early life he studied Druidic philosophy and around 1220 he became a Franciscan monk of the Friars Minor whose knowledge derived from the mystical teachings of Joachim of Flora in the monastry of Calabria. From this school came Francis of Assisi and later Dante Aligheri.
The Gnosis was the way of knowledge preserved from an ancient line.
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