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Spirit Of The Greenwood by Barbara Green

Robin Hoods Grave --a modern mystery!  Even more terrifying than the Blair Witch Project and a thousand times more intriguing than any Brother Caedfel mystery, SECRETS OF THE GRAVE and it's sequel SPIRIT OF THE GREENWOOD reveal, for the first time, the true story of the life and death of Robin Hood. Enter the dark, mysterious woods of Kirklees in West Yorkshire, and visit, with writer historian Barbara Green, the forest of Barnsdale where Robin roamed and the ruined priory gatehouse of Kirklees Nunnery where he was treacherously slain by the hand of an evil nun. Written testimonies from those who have experienced the ghostly presence of Robin and his comrades, whose spirits haunt this ancient forest, form the basis of both books, while the life of Robin, as told in SPIRIT OF THE GREENWOOD, accords fully with the Lytell Geste,(Robin's first biography) printed in the fifteenth century. This, one might think, could be the basis for a best selling book, but such seems to not to be the case, for ,according to the "experts" the public do not want to knw the truth and prefer to be fed the myth of Sherwood Forest and the dastardy deeds of the Sheriff of Nottingham, not to mention Richard the Lionheart, who does not even belong in the story at all!

The mystery of Robin's gruesome death at Kirklees, it would seem, is not the only inexplicable phenomenon surrounding the legend ! Why ARE people prevented from learning the true facts about the oulaw's life, due to the propogation of a fantasy by the media, and why is his famous grave at Kirklees, kept in a state of secrecy and neglect - and who is responsible for this bizarre situation? Dare you ask ? Dare you investigate and............. dare YOU print the truth ? Or is Robin Hood's legend to remain distorted out of all recognition, and the real man lost to future generations forever ?

"No one could see anything in the dense, suffocating blackness, but following Mark's directions we stumbled on forward through the barrier of writhing, intertwining bushes and trees; then suddenly, we found ourselves in a clearing, where, looming out of the gloom, rearing up before us in the light of our flickering torches, a massive,broken edifice was revealed . A huge ship of stone, wrecked in the everglades of Kirklees, listing crazily into the leaping shadows. We stood transfixed with fear and awe as we gazed upon the fallen pillars and twisted railings which were all that remained of Yorkshire's buried treasure -Robin Hood's Grave."

"My name is Ozymandias,king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck,boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Robin Hood's death is recorded in the ballad ROBIN HOOD, HIS DEATH AND BURIAL and briefly in the GESTE. According to the literature Robin is taken ill and decides to go to Kirklees Priory to be nursed by the prioress, who was "nye of his kin" and reputedly skilled in healing. On the way to the nunnery Robin is cursed by a witch - for reasons unknown, as the ballad is unfortunately incomplete. When Robin arrives at the nunnery, Little John, who has accompanied him, is sent away and the prioress proceeds to bleed Robin by opening a vein in his arm - standard medieval medicine, though unlikely to do anyone much good !

"Shee laid the blood irons to Robin Hood's vaine
Alacke the more pitye!
And perct the vaine, and let out the bloode,
That full red was to see. At first it bled,the thicke,thicke blood,
And afterwards the thinne,
And well then wist good Robin Hoode,
Treason there was within."
DEATH, V 16-17

2) According to the legend, Robin summons Little John with three blasts of his trusty hunting horn and the giant rushes to his comrade' s assistance, but alas,he is too late and Robin is already dying. With his last ounce of strength Robin fires his last arrow from the priory gatehouse window, requesting that where it falls he should be buried. Little John is beside himself with rage and grief and threatens to raze the nunnery and all its inhabitants to the ground.

"A boon,a boon," cried Little John,
"Master ,I beg of thee."
"What is that boon,"quoth Robin ,
"Little John,thou begs of me?"
"It is to burn fair Kirkley Hall,
"And all their nunnery."
"I ne'er hurt fair maid in all my life
"Nor at my end shall it be;
"But give me my bent bow in my hand,
"And my broad arrows I'll let flee.
"And where this arrow is taken up,
"There shall my grave digged be,
"Lay me a green sod under my head,
"And another at my feet.
"And lay my bent bow by my side
"Which was my music sweet,
"And make my grave of gravel and green,
"Which is most right and meet.
"Let me have length and breadth enough
"With a green sod under my head:
"That they may say when I am dead

The grave, six hundred yards from the gatehouse, was enclosed in iron railings in the nineteenth century. Today it is neglected and overgrown and little known to the general public. It bears the inscription:

Here underneath dis laitl stean
Laz robert earl of Huntintun
Ne'er arcir ver as hie sa geud
An pipl kauld im robin heud
Sick utlawz as his as iz men
Vil england nivr si agen
At first it bled the thicke thicke blood
And afterwards the thinne
And well then wist good Robin Hood
Treason there was within

3) The death of Robin Hood is a well known legend. He was treacherously bled to death by the wicked prioress of Kirklees nunnery, a small Cistercian house near Brighouse, West Yorkshire. The outlaw's gory and unheroic end is shrouded in mystery. Who was the evil nun and why did she commit so foul a murder? What was the role of Red Roger of Doncaster, who was present at the scene of crime? Was he a priest and also the prioress's lover? Who WAS the prioress? Was she Dame Elizabeth de Stainton, whose grave can still be seen at Kirklees, or was it Sister Mary Startin, who died of the Black Death in 1350?

All that is left of this medieval whodunit is a ruined grave, hidden in deep woodland, and the derelict priory gatehouse of Kirklees where Robin was so gruesomely done to death. Was the famous outlaw a vitim of thwarted passion,pagan sacrifice, bad nursing, accident, natural causes or - vampirism ? The entire area where this horrific drama took place is shrouded in ,according to one old book, " .....a mystery which local people only reluctantly tried to penetrate.The mystery was helped physically by the thick shroud of trees that surrounded the place and was sustained by local tales of prioresses and nuns and of the death of Robin Hood......."

"Terribilis Est Locus Iste" Dreadful is this place - Abbe Berenger Sauniere, Renne-le-Chateau.

"The Armytage family lived over the brow of the hill on a splendid site once occupied by Cistercian nuns. It was called Kirklees. There was more than an insularity which set the mansion apart. There was a mystery about it which local people only reluctantly tried to penetrate. The mystery was helped physically by the thick shroud of trees that surrounded the place and was sustained by local tales of ghosts of prioresses and nuns and or the death of Robin Hood whose grave is so imperturbably marked as lying within Kirklees grounds in spite of any facts which might suggest to the contrary. " THE LAND OF LOST CONTENT.

This would appear to be the first reported mention of ghostly activity around Robin Hood's Grave, but considering the history of Robin's death - cursed by a witch on his way to the nunnery, murdered by an apostate nun and cast into an unhallowed grave - it is hardly surprising that the site is reputed to have unquiet spirits hovering around. An elderly lady, Mrs Edith Ellis, witnessed silver arrows in the sky above Kirklees when visiting her old aunt at Hartshead in the early years of the last century. She also reports hearing Robin calling for Marian.

Another sighting was made by a tenant farmer of Kirklees in 1926. "One day," he recalls, " I was sitting on the grave shooting rabbits. As I was about to shoot I felt a tap on my shoulder, and my shotgun went off accidentally, removing two of my front teeth on its recoil. There was nobody to be seen at the time. On another occasion I was on my way home from the Three Nuns. As I was walking through the woods something fell out of a tree and knocked me to the ground. When I got up I could see the old gatehouse. In the window I could clearly see a man with a bow. My family always said it was the drink, but it was Robin Hood's ghost."

In 1963 guitarist Roger Williams took an unofficial stroll up to Robin's grave with a friend. About twenty yards from the grave he saw a white robed woman who suddenly seemed to glide towards the two men. What made Roger's hair stand on end was how silently she moved over the twigs and bracken. At about five yards from Roger the woman stopped and stared at him with "dark,mad eyes." Then she moved away and vanished. It was 2.30 p.m. on a bright,sunny day. Roger Williams saw the same apparition again in 1972, in full daylight, and again she stopped a few yards from him and his companion. This time Roger remembered a few more details. The woman was wearing a long white dress with a square neck and long sleeves which accords with the habit of a Cistercian nun. Again she looked at him angrily before moving off, but the eerie sequel to this experience was that Roger's house then experienced a series of strange noises and bangings. After this, Roger swore that "wild horses would not drag me up there again."

Mark Gibbons, one of the founder members of Gravewatch, had a similar experience
in 1998. With other members of the group he had gone up to try and find Robin's grave one moonlit night, but they had got lost. Suddenly Mark saw a white figure pointing in a certain direction - which turned out to be where the grave was situated. Mark also experienced a sensation of great evil and hatred.

Shortly after this a reporter Judith Broadbent, from the Dewsbury Reporter, and a photographer colleague, Sue Ellis were allowed to visit the gravesite by the owner. While wandering around she heard heavy footsteps behind her and she was pulled to the ground by invisible forces. She shouted "get away" and her friend came rushing to help her. Her camera had jammed while trying to photograph the grave. A week later Sue was taken seriously ill and was paralysed f from the neck downwards for two weeks. The two reporters later wrote this article up for Yorkshire Life magazine, much of its content being taken from Yorkshire Robin Hood Society literature, including the next sighting, which appeared in THE UNEXPLAINED magazine in 1992, prior to the publication of their article.

This was when vampires entered the arena, introduced to the increasing enigmatic situation by a Bishop of the Holy Grail Church and patron of the Yorkshire Robin Hood Society. In 1992 the Bishop and two colleagues, attempted an exorcism at Kirklees. This had come about as a result of the Yorkshire Robin Hood Society asking for the site to be blessed by the local vicar. Unfortunately permission to perform such a ceremony had been unequivocally refused to both clergymen. The Bishop, however, was made of sterner stuff than the local pastor ! He was renowned for his involvement in the notorious Highgate Vampire affair in the nineteen seventies and it occurred to him that vampires might be behind the legend of Robin being bled to death and this needed urgent spiritual intervention - and he was the man for the job, with or without official sanction ! Suffice to say that on his clandestine visit to the grave the bishop came across the body of a blood drained goat, diabolical rune signs of the priory gatehouse, fingr width holes in the ground round the grave - suggesting vampiric activity - and was confronted by a darkly clad woman who turned into a hag with red staring eyes.

A further sighting by another nocturnal visitor proved a terrifying experience when she saw two figures hovering in the trees surrounding the grave, who she took to be the evil prioress and her paramour Red Roger of Doncaster. " I felt, and saw, what I can only describe streams of evil pouring out of the trees towards me" the witness stated. A lady from Nottingham, who visited the grave in the summer of 2000, experienced a psychic communication with Robin at the graveside, as did Robin Hood expert John de Locksley of the London Robin Hood Club, who also boldly battled through the giant ferns, murderous brambles and other lethal obstacles of the Kirklees rain forest to stand by his hero's grave one wild,wet October night the same year !

It is true that Robin's grave was excavated in an amateurish way by a Victorian Armytage (who was reputed to be in his cups at the time) and the ground beneath found to be undisturbed, but the many historical documents naming Kirklees as Robin's final resting place cannot be ignored. The fact is, his bones could lie anywhere on that hillside, while a gravestone resembling the original one drawn by Dr Johnstone, is to be found in nearby Hartshead churchyard - to where it may have been moved during the Civil War.

5) Many visitors to the grave have recorded their experiences for posterity, including the following quote from a Victorian tourist :
"I had the strangest emotions when I first stood over the grave of this old forest hero. I stood there and had no words, nor can I find any now to tell what my feelings were. Bravehearted Robin ! Thou hast found a fit resting place in this glorious park, among these solemn yews and silent trees ."A hundred years later it is a different story:
"There it was, looming out of the dark, a massive, broken edifice, a huge ship of stone, wrecked in the everglades of Kirklees. Fallen pillars and twisted railings were were all that remained on Yorkshire's buried treasure. We had found Robin Hood's Grave."

Maybe the last word should be with Victorian poet, George Searle Phillips, a friend of the Brontes, who visited the grave in 1848, and wrote an epic poem, a small section of which is printed below :

Tread lightly o'er the earth and speak no word
Till the Great Spirit doth unloose your tongues
For where those yew trees nod their funereal plumes
Upon the highest platform of the hill,
Lies gentle Robin Hood, his mighty heart
All muffled up in dust and his bright eyes
Quenched in eternal darkness. Never more
Shall the woods echo to his bugle horn,
Or his unerring arrow strike the deer
Swift flying, till it hits the bloody grass

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Re: Spirit Of The Greenwood by Barbara Green

David Farrant claims that he first met Seán Manchester in “late 1967.” Seán Manchester is adamant that he first met David Farrant in "early 1970." Farrant conveniently slips all manner of unsubstantiated allegations into this three years discrepancy. For example, Farrant has latterly claimed he was entertained with a screening of an 8mm horror movie made by and starring Seán Manchester, and that the papier mache vampire he claims appears in the movie is what also appears in photographs of the corporeal shell of the exorcised vampire in Seán Manchester's account The Highgate Vampire (Gothic Press, 1991) and in television programmes featuring images from that book. Seán Manchester strenuously denies this and invites anyone who saw such a movie as described by Farrant to come forward and be identified. He states that no such movie was made; that Farrant was not someone he would have ever considered entertaining in his home; and that, even when they did eventually become acquainted in March 1970, he only visited Farrant at Tony Hill's coal bunker in Archway Road and later, following Farrant's term in prison, an attic bedsitting room in Muswell Hill Road.

David Farrant, on the other hand, alleges in an entry on his blog for 2 July 2009:

“I first met [Seán Manchester] in late 1967 in a pub called The Woodman in Highgate. I had brought Mary back from Spain to London in March 1967 after she had discovered that she was pregnant. We got married in a Roman Catholic Church in September 1967 and it was around this time that we used to frequent The Woodman pub just across the road from where we were living in Highgate. Mary had become friendly with a young mother nicknamed ‘Zibby’ who was married to a man named Tony [Hill] and sometimes the four of us would go into The Woodman and spend a few hours there. Now, at this time, a small trio jazz band used to play in the Saloon bar from a make-shift wooden platform at the back. There was somebody on drums, an electric guitarist and another individual [Seán Manchester] who played the saxophone.”

There is no mention of them meeting so far. In Farrant’s self-published “autobiography,” however, which first made its appearance in 2009, he claims: “I learned that he had an avid interest in ‘ghosts’ and the supernatural, although he was later to say that his ‘speciality’ was vampires. He suggested that we must all meet up again when he wasn’t playing, and have a chat about the subject.”

This claim is contradicted by Mary Farrant who denies her husband's interest in the supernatural at this time or indeed him knowing Seán Manchester in person even if he heard Tony Hill mention him. She might eventually have become aware of Seán Manchester from whatever Hill told her when they spent six months living together. She met him only once when Tony Hill and Mary Farrant called on Seán Manchester when they first "eloped." They wanted him to put them up for the night, but Seán Manchester would not become involved. He was also acquainted with Elizabeth Hill and did not want to be compromised.

Farrant could have learned of Seán Manchester’s paranormal interests from Hill with whom Farrant was only superficially acquainted at the time due to Hill’s increasing interest in Farrant's wife who worked as a barmaid in the evenings at The Woodman; though Hill would have known nothing about any case his old employer was involved in. Seán Manchester was neither acquainted with Farrant or Farrant’s wife, Mary, but knew Tony Hill from the time Hill worked part-time in Seán Manchester’s darkroom in the 1960s when the latter ran a photographic studio.

Tony Hill and Mary Farrant became an item and “eloped” for six months. Seán Manchester did not personally know Farrant, but was vaguely aware of having seen Mary work as a barmaid and met her just once when Hill ran off with her for six months. When Hill returned to his own wife and Mary returned briefly to her husband it was not long before Farrant was declared bankrupt and became evicted from his flat for not paying any rent. By which time Mary Farrant had left her husband with their two children and returned to her parents in Southampton. The next time Farrant saw her was at the Old Bailey in June 1974 when she was called as a defence witness on his behalf. Mary confirmed under oath that her husband had no interest in ghosts, witchcraft or the occult, and that Farrant's visits to Highgate Cemetery were for "a bit of a laugh and a joke and to look round." Court reports of Mary Farrant’s testimony published in newspapers in June 1974 can be found at this link:

Farrant published on his personal blog, 2 July 2009: "I first met [Seán Manchester] in late 1967 in a pub called the Woodman in Highgate."

However, on the same blog one week later, 9 July 2009, Farrant claimed: "You asked how I first actually spoke to [Seán Manchester] ... I believe it was in early 1969."

Such revisionism and the layering of one falsehood on top of another is reminiscent of Farrant's self-proclaimed sightings of the vampire phenomenon at Highgate Cemetery.

His earliest published statement was in the form of a letter he wrote to the editor of the Hampstead & Highgate Express which appeared on 6 February 1970. In that published letter, Farrant claims to have witnessed "a grey figure" no less than three times:

"The first occasion was on Christmas Eve. ... The second sighting, a week later, was also brief. Last week, the figure appeared, only a few yards inside the gates. ... I have no knowledge in this field and I would be interested to hear if any other readers have seen anything of this nature."

If we roll forward some thirty years and read Farrant's self-published pamphlets, forum messages and blog comments, we discover he claims to have had only two sightings. Now roll forward almost four decades from that first letter to a local newspaper and listen to an interview Farrant gave on a blogtalk internet radio in 2009. He now apparently claims to have had only one sighting of what became known as the Highgate Vampire. That, at least, is what he told Steve Genier when interviewed in June 2009. He would reiterate “one sighting” when interviewed by Andrew Gough for Arcadia later in the same year. The reality is rather more prosaic. Farrant probably had no sightings and boarded what he perceived to be a convenient publicity bandwagon.

Let us return to Farrant's blog of 9 July 2009 because in it he continues when he allegedly met Seán Manchester in "early 1969" (having suddenly revised his "late 1967" claim from a week earlier):

"He [Seán Manchester] said that the ‘ghost’ I had been reported as witnessing at Highgate Cemetery might indeed be one such ‘real’ vampire!"

Yet Farrant first "reported" his so-called ghostly apparition (which we all know was a hoax) in February 1970, not late 1969. And he did so to the Hampstead & Highgate Express. This was his overture in the press prior to which he had not reported anything to anyone.

The casual observer is obliged to agree that Seán Manchester and David Farrant first met at the end of February 1970 or beginning of March 1970 and that their meeting came about solely because of the latter’s alleged sightings of a spectral figure in a letter he had published in the Hampstead & Highgate Express. According to Tony Hill, that letter was an attempt by Farrant to hoax a ghost story in his local newspaper after having heard tales in the pubs he frequented of a vampire said to haunt Highgate Cemetery. These tales of a vampire had been circulating for many years. Farrant’s “ghost” was entirely an invention of his own. In early 1970 he took to wearing ghost-like make-up and frightening people as they walked past the graveyard. See links:

This was one of the “silly games” he played which Mary Farrant referred to when she appeared as a defence witness at the Old Bailey in June 1974. Little did Farrant realise that, while he was playing at being a “ghost,” a genuine supernatural entity lurked nearby.

Seán Manchester’s version of events is recorded in his introduction to The Vampire Hunter’s Handbook (Gothic Press, 1997):

“It was whilst blowing a long jazz solo on the tenor saxophone in The Woodman, Highgate, where [Farrant’s] wife worked some evenings as a barmaid, that Farrant first caught sight of me in 1968. I would remain oblivious of him, however, until the beginning of the next decade. Who knows what went through his mind as he listened to my improvised harmonic structures, accompanied by a perspiring rhythm section, in that dimly lit venue for modern jazz aficionados? It was not his kind of music, but he mentioned it when I interviewed him in 1970.”

On pages 62-63 of The Vampire Hunter’s Handbook, Seán Manchester reveals:

“His alleged sightings of the vampire were to coincide with the time when he was ensconced in [Tony Hill’s] coal cellar. His wife was gone and so were the people who had helped him squander his money. His interest was not the occult at this time, but pub-crawling and the collecting of exotic birds; mostly cockatoos, parrots and macaws. This earned him the nickname ‘Birdman.’ Ironically, Hill had the nickname ‘Eggman.’ Relishing the attention he was now receiving, following his alleged sightings of a vampire, he took foolish risks and ended up being arrested in August 1970 for being in an enclosed area for an unlawful purpose. His ‘vampire hunting’ days were over.”

The Hampstead & Highgate Express, 6 March 1970, records the first meeting of David Farrant and Seán Manchester on its front page, under the banner headline “Why Do The Foxes Die?” The newspaper recounts:

“David Farrant … returned to the spot last weekend and disovered a dead fox. 'Several other foxes have also been found dead in the cemetery,' he said at his home in Priestwood Mansions, Archway Road, Highgate. 'The odd thing is there was no outward sign of how they died. Much remains unexplained, but what I have recently learnt all points to the vampire theory being the most likely answer. Should this be so, I for one am prepared to pursue it, taking whatever means might be necessary so that we can all rest.' The vampire theory was suggested last week by Mr Seán Manchester, president of the British Occult Society. … Mr Farrant and Mr Manchester met in the cemetery at the weekend.”

The British Occult Society (1860-1988) was an investigation bureau which existed solely for the purpose of examining occult claims and alleged paranormal activity. It gave birth to the Vampire Research Society (which still survives) on 2 February 1970.

Farrant carried out his threat to "pursue [the vampire], taking whatever means might be necessary" and was arrested on the night of 17 August 1970. The Daily Express, 19 August 1970, reveals Farrant’s explanation:

"‘My intention was to search out the supernatural being and destroy it by plunging the stake [found in his possession when arrested in Highgate Cemetery by police] in its heart.’" The report continues: "David Farrant pleaded guilty at Clerkenwell, London, to entering St Michael's churchyard, Highgate Cemetery, for an unlawful purpose. Farrant told police he had just moved to London when he heard people talking about the vampire in Highgate Cemetery. In a statement he said that he heard the vampire rises out of a grave and wanders about the cemetery on the look-out for human beings on whose blood it thrives. Police keeping watch for followers of a black magic cult arrested him. He was remanded in custody for reports. Last night, Mr Seán Manchester, leader of the British Occult Society, said: ‘I am convinced that a vampire exists in Highgate Cemetery. Local residents and passers-by have reported seeing a ghostlike figure of massive proportions near the north gate.’"

View Farrant's latter-day self-revelations in a French television interview he gave in 2008. Click on this link:

The video begins with self-proclaimed French Satanist Jean-Paul Bourre who befriended Farrant in January 1980. Together they concocted all manner of skullduggery for media consumption and their own self-aggrandisement. The shambling shell of Farrant shuffles onto the screen some third of the way into the video as he nervously speaks from outside the gates of Highgate Cemetery. Next is a scene at his Muswell Hill bedsitting room where viewers are shown photograph albums containing naked females he had duped into his malefic publicity stunts involving phoney witchcraft and pseudo-occultism. One of these wretched creatures is Martine de Sacy whose nude image in a mausoleum containing satanic symbols became vital evidence for the successful prosecution of Farrant at London's Old Bailey.

This pathetic man appears oblivious to the implication of what he is displaying on screen and is clearly without any remorse. An arch-deceiver who always attempts to turns everything into something it is not, Farrant might make an interesting case study for the psychiatrist in search of a project concerning narcissistic personality disorders, or a priest specialising in the examination of demonic possession brought about by compulsive dabbling in pseudo-occultism for publicity, but is otherwise tedious and ultimately boring beyond belief.

A chronicle of Farrant's obsessive publicity-seeking and descent into darkness can be viewed by clicking below. Due to spurious complaints from Farrant and his clique of misfits this material carries a “content warning,” which is bizarre in the circumstances, but can nonetheless be viewed at the following link:

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Re: Spirit Of The Greenwood by Barbara Green

"If, as you state, [Bishop] Manchester wants nothing to do with David Farrant( and myself) as you claim why are you busybodying yourselves writing all this stuff about him, which in all fairness, and in the interests of free speech in this country, David is entitled to refute if he feels it is untrue or mirespresentative. ... Will you stop writing all this, lets face it, tosh about David, and myself?" - Barbara Green

Can't you see that it is your perpetual falsehoods and fabricated allegations against Bishop Seán Manchester which are being refuted by me with counter claims that, at least, are resourced to evidence in the public annals? You and your sick sidekick Farrant are merely responding to my refutations with further libel. If neither of you had launched into personal attacks against the man you are so obviously obsessed with there would be no need for me or anyone else to refute anything.

My corrections and counter responses are not for your benefit. I am aware that you take no notice of anything outside your agenda to wage a vendetta against the bishop. Other people are able to read your defamation and it is for their benefit that these refutations and rebuttals appear.

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Re: Spirit Of The Greenwood by Barbara Green

If, as you state, Mr Manchester wants nothing to do with David Farrant( and myself) as you claim why are you busybodying yourselves writing all this stuff about him, which in all fairness, and in the interests of free speech in this country, David is entitled to refute if he feels it is untrue or mirespresentative. What exactly do you want me to do now I have read this blurb--yet again! Forgive me if I simply havent the time or patience to go into every link you so kindly have provided. So, What do you expect me to do?
Should I be impressed?

Say, " Gosh--I never thought of it like that before, thank you for drawing my attention to this dreadful person and his misdeeds--what shall I do now to please you--and his holiness?" cos you will have to tell him of your successful mission on his behalf, wont you, otherwise you will have wasted all that time putting the story up--plus links as well--so what happens now-

Will you stop writing all this, lets face it, tosh about David, and myself?

Cos you have already told us that the bishop doesnt want to ever have anything to do with David ever again and it has been a great trial to him over the past 40 years sending out all this stuff about David's misdeeds and there is nothing more he would like in the world than to hear nothing more.

But you vampire society are fanning the flames, he might be very annoyed if I tell him what you are up to, as he doesnt know--according to youseselves-- does he?


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Re: Spirit Of The Greenwood by Barbara Green

"You were an active member of the National Front Party - indeed you canvassed for them at the 1970 June election" - David Farrant

As this is a very serious allegation to be levelled at anyone, much less a bishop, so it will be dealt with in some detail in order to reveal the true motive behind Farrant's desire to publish such a damaging libel.

A Sunday People article in 1977, written by someone in collusion with David Farrant, claimed that the existence of a Neo-Nazi cell in north London during that period was "phoney." Ironically, within a short space of time after that article's publication a fire-bombing campaign on north London synagogues was carried out by the very organisation claimed by the Sunday People's Frank Thorne to be "phoney."

Seán Manchester's position is quite clear. He has no interest in party politics and has at no time in his life been a member of any political party. False allegations to the effect that he has been a National Front member, and canvassed for them, stem exclusively from David Farrant; the same David Farrant who attempted to stand as a WWP candidate in the 1978 British General Election; the same David Farrant who recommended that potential voters should switch to the National Front when he stood down; the same David Farrant who has sought and received support from Nazi-minded individuals with far right associations to attack Seán Manchester. In the '70s and '80s Seán Manchester was the North London Regional Co-ordinator for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and an active member of Pax Christi. His peace campaigning was supported by such eminent figures as Lord Fenner Brockway, often resulting in media coverage. When Manchester led the "Fast for Peace" one Christmas he was joined by the elderly Lord Brockway and other peace campaigners. On that occasion thugs believed to be Neo-Nazis attacked those fasting. This was reported by local newspapers at the time. So the suggestion by Farrant that Seán Manchester is, or ever has been, a Neo-Nazi is not only risible but ludicrous in the extreme. Furthermore, this allegation is not even hinted at, much less suggested, in the Sunday People article itself.

John Russell Pope, a collaborating supporter of David Farrant since 1973, has a long history of Neo-Nazi involvement. He has forwarded articles to the National Front in relatively recent times. He resides at the London home of his late uncle, Bill Binding, who was in the news in 2001 when he attempted to join the Conservative Party:

"Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith says he will be looking at whether action is needed over reports that a former deputy leader of the Ku Klux Klan in Britain has joined the Tory party. Bill Binding, 76, from Clapton, east London, who stood for the far-right British National Party (BNP) in the 1997 election, told the Guardian he had left the Klan four years ago after deciding different races were genetically alike."

Binding's nephew John Pope runs Jack the Ripper tours in east London. On his website Pope describes himself as “a master of the black arts, a third degree witch and Odinist … a natural shaman and master of Yoga and other preternatural mysteries and systems.” He also claims to be a descendant of Robin Hood, as well as being of “blood line to Jack the Ripper and Dracula”. For decades he and his associate Farrant have been openly hostile toward Seán Manchester. Pope, who nowadays styles himself "Pope-de Locksley," is dubbed on his website as “The Scariest Man in London.”

Photograph of John Pope in the 1970s:

Frank Thorne's sensationalist piece (known as a "spoiler") in the Sunday People, 9 October 1977 was based exclusively on that newspaper reporter's collaboration with David Farrant who, then as now, remains violently antipathetic toward Seán Manchester. Farrant had not long been released from prison when his collusion with Thorne took place. The Sunday People article came about when Seán Manchester refused to collude with Frank Thorne on an investigative piece he had begun to have published as a commission with the Times Group Newspapers who at that time published the Borehamwood Post, Finchley Times and Hendon Times etc. This resulted in Thorne harassing the bishop's parents on the doorstep of their Islington home. Seán Manchester asked the journalist to desist on the grounds that his parents were not involved, nor responsible for any story he might be looking to find in order to spoil, and that one of them, the Manchester's father, was suffering with a heart condition. Thorne ignored such pleas and Seán Manchester was obliged to meet the journalist, albeit briefly, at the offices of the Sunday People on 5 October 1977 in order to prevent any further harassment of his parents. Such is the blackmail exerted by tabloid journalists.

This meeting confirmed Seán Manchester's worst fears when it became apparent that Thorne, who suffered from a serious alcohol problem which eventually cost him his job, was in contact with David Farrant who was clearly willing to go along with anything the newspaper wanted that might cause Seán Manchester damage. Frank Thorne had decided the direction his piece on the Manchester's already extant work was heading after hearing from Farrant, and four days later published his "spoiler," as it is known in the print media, against the Times Group's exclusive series already in progress under the Seán Manchester's byline.

In this "spoiler" - titled "We Unmask Phoney Nazis" - Thorne attributed quotes to three people. They all denied making them and all issued complaints. Complaints against Frank Thorne and the Sunday People were filed with Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd by Seán Manchester, Mike Clarke and John Russell Pope. A complaint was also lodged with the Press Council by Seán Manchester against Frank Thorne and the Sunday People.

A statement was witnessed and signed by John Pope in pursuit of his complaint against the Sunday People. A copy was also included among the documents lodged with the Press Council by Seán Manchester in his case against Frank Thorne. Pope's testimony was added to illustrate that someone who was completely unsupportive of Manchester would nevertheless not allow himself to be bullied by Thorne. It is understood that the following statement transcribed from his original taped recollection was made at the insistence of Pope's father, Fred Pope, who resented his son's treatment by the newspaper:

"On the evening of 6 October 1977, two men called at my home at [address deleted], Barnet, Hertfordshire, and without identifying themselves demanded to see me. My father thought they were police detectives by their manner. When invited to come inside, they refused and insisted that I accompany them to a nearby car. That is when they first revealed themselves to be working for the Sunday People. One, calling himself Frank Thorne, tried to make me say that a photograph of a man in a Nazi uniform was Seán Manchester. They showed me a copy of the Borehamwood Post and tried to make me say that the article called 'The New Nazis' was false. But they would not let me read any of the article and did not refer specifically to the 'League of Imperial Fascists.' They told me that I would be guaranteed future mention in their newspaper if I co-operated, but I was not prepared to let them use me in this way. The following evening I telephoned the Sunday People and asked to speak to the News Editor. I complained to him about his reporters' methods, especially Frank Thorne, and reminded him that I belonged to a survivalist group that had political connections, further about which I did not wish to elaborate. I did not seem to get any satisfactory replies, so I spoke to him again on the telephone on Saturday morning, 8 October 1977, by which time I had been told by Seán Manchester what Frank Thorne had alleged I said on Thursday evening, which I knew to be false. I did not identify any person in the photographs shown to me."

A statement (ref; CFW/SP/P6282/6/3/78) issued by Mike Clarke, editor of the Borehamwood Post, was noted by the Press Council. This greatly respected newspaper editor denied all the remarks attributed to him by Frank Thorne in the Sunday People article of 9 October 1977. He underlined the fact that he had most definitely not said the words, nor anything similar, to the effect of "I'm afraid I'm left with egg on my face. I shall be taking legal advice."

The complaint lodged by Seán Manchester with the Press Council follows:

"The Sunday People newspaper concocted an inaccurate article about me which they did not correct when presented with Mr John Pope's statement and other evidence which showed none of Frank Thorne's allegations against me to be true. Photographs belonging to me were used in an article without my permission. I was, however, promptly paid a sum of money for their use, which, unwisely, I accepted as compensation for what amounted to copyright theft. From the start I had made clear to Frank Thorne that I had no wish to 'collaborate' on the Nazi story as (a) it was my work, and (b) the Sunday People's 'treatment' of my work, as proposed by Frank Thorne to me, was one I found to be unacceptable. Frank Thorne then threatened to use my material with or without my permission. None of the quotes attributed to me are true. I did not state to Frank Thorne that the 'Nazi recruiting picture of John Pope' was 'faked.' I did identify the person in the picture [of the 'Commander']. This was ignored by Frank Thorne."

A compelling piece of evidence presented to the Press Council was Frank Thorne's complete reliance on collusion with David Farrant. Nobody other than Farrant was able to "identify" the Nazi Commander in the stolen photograph. For legal reasons Thorne fraudulently added John Pope's name to the identification, but Pope absolutely denied making any such identification as his signed statement of 9 December 1977 attests. Furthermore, Pope, off the record, claimed that he had been "roughed up" by Thorne and the accompanying journalist when they took him away from his home for interrogation in their car.

Incredibly, Farrant, who, remember, was and still is extremely antipathetic toward Seán Manchester, agreed to make a statement (probably seeing its enormous publicity potential) which he duly signed on 2 January 1978. The statement was lodged with the Press Council by the bishop.

David Farrant's statement follows:

"I received a 'phone call from Trevor Aspenal of the Sunday People who enquired about my relationship with Seán Manchester and the British Occult Society. I told him there was no change and that we were still strongly opposed to each other. I then spoke to Frank Thorne of the same newspaper who asked me if I could identify Seán Manchester in a picture. I told him that I would be able to. He then arranged for me to attend the Sunday People's offices where I was shown a photograph of someone in a Nazi uniform. He then showed me a number of other photographs of men and women in Nazi uniforms. I identified one of the men as John Pope. I agreed with Frank Thorne that the original picture shown to me could have been Seán Manchester."

Unfortunately, the payment as a form of compensation by the Sunday People to Seán Manchester for the use of his pictures without permission technically placed the complainant in a contractual relationship with the newspaper, thus contravening paragraph 4 of the Press Council's guidelines. The Press Council, therefore, was unable to process the complaint, but nonetheless acknowledged in writing that Seán Manchester, Mike Clarke and John Russell Pope had disavowed the quotes attributed to them by Frank Thorne in the Sunday People article. Six months after publication of the offending article, it was time for the journalist to reward Farrant with some promised publicity for his co-operation.

Frank Thorne accompanied Farrant on a train journey to Grimsby where he was photographed with "fiancée" Nancy O'Hoski outside a church for a half-page feature about their proposed wedding. Published in the Sunday People, 16 April 1978, Thorne's article opens with the following words:

"Self-styled witch king David Farrant - the man jailed for desecrating a tomb and threatening detectives with voodoo - has a new shock in store. What's more, Britain's best-known Prince of Darkness is dreaming of a traditional white wedding."

The article quoted Farrant as saying; "I want to put my ghoulish past behind me now. Either I give up witchcraft or Nancy."

See Sunday People article here:

Soon after the story was printed, Farrant gave up Nancy O'Hoski, a speech therapist (Farrant suffers from a nervous stammer). They did not get married. There was never any intention on Farrant's part of them getting wed. Then came a very curious turn of events. Within days of the publicity generated by his abandoned wedding plans in the Sunday People, Farrant prepared to stand as a candidate in the forthcoming British General Election. He launched what was described as the "Wicca Workers Party" to the cry of "Wiccans Awake!" Journalist and editor Peter Hounam wrote a front page story for the Hornsey Journal, 30 June 1978, that thundered:

"A new peril for candidates fighting the marginal Hornsey constituency emerged this week with news that some of their supporters who indulge in witchcraft may switch their votes to the 'Wicca Workers Party' in the General Election. David Farrant, who lives in Muswell Hill Road, is fighting under the slogan 'Wiccans Awake'."

See Hornsey Journal article here:

Farrant became more confident and published a letter in the Hornsey Journal, 21 July 1978, which stated:

"It is not my intention to use your letter columns to promulgate the views of the Wicca Workers Party or to become involved in futile argument with any of your readers, but having seen the opinions expressed in the letter columns of the Journal, I feel that I should set the record straight. In fact, the WWP is a serious political party and has growing support from people all over the country; including other political groups with whom we are now amalgamated."

See crucial admission in Farrant's letter here:

John Pope continued with his Neo-Nazi associations, and more recently published a piece in the journal of the south-western branch of the National Front, an organisation with overtly Neo-Nazi views. He has belonged to survivalist groups and has always managed to maintain contact with some of the most extreme movements to have existed on the far right. David Farrant has a history of association with people with Neo-Nazi ideology. He connects, for example, to names such as Philippe Welte and Jean-Paul Bourre, two Frenchman who greatly admired Hitler at the time Farrant was in collaboration with them in the 1980s. Farrant's self-published pamphlet Beyond the Highgate Vampire includes a photograph of Jean-Paul Bourre whom he describes in the caption beneath as "a leading Satanist attempting to invoke the Devil." What Farrant fails to mention is his close friendship and collaboration over many years with Bourre. There are others with whom David Farrant has been associated who have far right connections. Kenneth Frewin, for example, a National Front supporter, acted as Farrant's "minder" during the '70s and '80s and allowed his council flat address to be used for hoaxed letters written by Farrant to newspapers. Frewin also collaborated in some of Farrant's publicity stunts, on one occasion adopting the pseudonym "Kenny French." The journalist Frank Thorne is nowadays unemployed and resides in Sydney, Australia.

Farrant’s Wicca Worker’s Party poster can be viewed at this link:

Compare a section of the WWP poster with a section of a League of Imperial Fascists’ poster at this link:

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Re: Spirit Of The Greenwood by Barbara Green

Considering it was you, yourself who wrote that poster, 'anonymous' (in the presence of a witness I might add) it should hardly surprise us that you have such an intimate knowledge of it.

You WERE a member of the National Front Party in 1970 and were actively canvassing for them at the General Election in June of that year. At this time, you were also employed as a milkman in Holloway.

My remark was not 'libellous' as you put it, because it is true.

David Farrant, President, BPOS

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Re: Spirit Of The Greenwood by Barbara Green

PS Just out of interest, 'anonymous', how can you say this is a libellous statement, when I was only talking to yourself without saying who it was?!
Further proof of your true identity - if indeed, any was needed!

David Farrant, President, BPOS

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Re: Spirit Of The Greenwood by Barbara Green

My worth--he protesteth too much, write a million words, and doesnt answer oen question.!

If Bishop Manchester wants nothing to do with David, why are you lot "Vampire Research Party" busybodying and interfering on his behalf.

Also how come you have so much info at your fingertips to copy and paste. Frankly I didnt bother reading your last overkill post, I feared I would die of boredom in the process.

Stop stoking the fires of I will report you to Bishop Manchester for winding David up and prolonging the feud which the dear Bishop--mops his brow--wanteth no more do do with!


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Re: Spirit Of The Greenwood by Barbara Green

When you post comments on the internet you are not addressing just one person. You are addressing everyone who might have read the cause of the comment or replies to comments. It is a matter of refuting published libel.

Bishop Manchester has never been a member of the NF and invites anyone, journalists included, to trawl through the NF records. Nothing will be found to indicate he was a member of indeed canvassed for them. The same cannot be said for David Farrant who transferred any potential support he would have received when he attempted to stand as a WWP candidate in 1978 to the NF. On 21 July 1978, Farrant wrote in the Hornsey Journal: "I feel that I should set the record straight. In fact, the WWP is a serious political party and has growing support from people all over the country; including other political groups with whom we are now amalgamated." See his published words here: What I want Farrant to do is identify who those "other political groups" with whom he became amalgamated are? I happen to believe one was the NF and that another was the LIF. Farrant surrounded himself with people who had extreme right-wing views, eg John Pope, Kenny Frewin, Philippe Welte and Jean-Paul Bourre; all of whom greatly admired Hitler.

Farrant's comments most certianly are libellous because he cannot substantiate them with any evidence (because no evidence exists) and when defamatory statements are published the burden of proof is on the person making the allegation.

Farrant's posters were designed by Farrant and nobody else. He alone had them privately printed and distributed. There will be found no evidence to the contrary.

Tony Hill was the only person (connected to any of this) who was a milkman. In 1970 Bishop Manchester was a professional photographer as confirmed on the front page of the Hampstead & Highgate Express, 27 February 1970. He had run his own photographic studio throughout the previous decade in which Hill had briefly worked part-time some years earlier.

Barbara Green admits she doesn't read my responses yet claims they answer nothing. A truly remarkable accomplishment!

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Ian Topham
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Re: Spirit Of The Greenwood by Barbara Green

I am sorry but you have alll gone totally off topic here.  What has any of thi sto to did Barbara Green's book?  Nothing.  If you are not addressing the topic in hand then these posts should be going up in new forum topics.  

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Re: Spirit Of The Greenwood by Barbara Green

You must ask David Farrant that question because he has chosen to introduce all manner of irrelevant matter in the form of defamatory allegations made against the founder of the Vampire Research Society onto this thread. If Farrant is permitted to post libellous falsehood about the VRS and its founding president, surely a rebuttal is due?

Farrant's allegation about the NF is so serious it required a full and expansive refutation. He conveniently overlooks the fact that his close friend and "minder" Kenny Frewin was a fully paid-up member of the NF at the time they both knew each other back in the previous century.

The other allegation made by Farrant about an 8mm film that only exists in his imagination and how and when he met the VRS founder also deserved a comprehensive explanation and rebuttal; especially as he links his claim about the film to images in a bestselling non-fiction book.

Had Farrant not raised these and other irrelevant topics on this thread (ostensibly about Robin Hood) and had his friend Barbara Green not done the same, there would have been no need whatsoever for me to refute anything. But they did bring their vendetta onto this thread. And, therefore, I felt obliged to respond to set the record straight. My original post on this thread kept to the topic, but it was not long before Barbara Green was finding fault and making her usual nasty comments about the VRS founder.

I have already stated that the Vampire Research Society has made its case and therefore rests its case on the thread for comments about Farrant's Highgate Vampire article. But will Farrant leave it at that? He just keeps posting what he considers to be provocative comments which are unrelated to his article in the hope that he can continue to fuel his hate campaign against the man who has become his archnemesis.



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