Still one of the largest pieces of architecture ever constructed, the Great Pyramid has long been the subject of wonder as to when it was built, by whom, and most importantly, why. The conventional explanation is that it was built during the reign of the Pharaoh Khufu by skilled Egyptian labourers as a funerary monument. In the 19th century, in the absence of hard information other than detailed studies of its dimensions, a whole class of speculation grew up which has been called ‘pyramidology.’ The pyramidologists came to believe that the Great Pyramid encoded advanced knowledge of the physical universe, and the course of human history. This book is one of the primary texts of pyramidology.
In addition to pyramidology, Joseph Seiss was a Christian dispensationalist, a 19th century millennialist school of thought. The dispensationalists viewed human history as a series of covenants with God. They were certain that the end of days could be pinpointed using Biblical prophecy. This was the origin of a set of beliefs widely accepted by contemporary evangelical Christians.
The aim of the writer of this monograph is to draw attention to a by-path of archaeology where the traveller with some acquaintance with the prehistory, history and folklore of the countryside through which it leads may easily become an adventurer on almost untrodden ground. No pretence is made to say anything new about the well-known megalithic monuments of other parts of the British Isles, but in referring to the race responsible for the introduction of the megalithic culture into these islands more than local significance is given to the ancient folk customs and folklore associated with these archaic monuments. What the writer tries to show is that in a part of England usually supposed to be entirely without prehistoric megaliths there are certainly some large boulders, recognised as mark-stones, that seem to have originally served like purposes to those of many of the more widely known menhirs or standing stones and probably had contemporary origin.
The Sculptured Stones of Scotland are the most remarkable in the world, and of these the most singular is that known as the Newton Stone. This is unique, being inscribed with characters unlike any found in Europe, and which, though recognised as Oriental, have hitherto defied interpretation. To this stone and its inscriptions, therefore, the especial attention of the reader is invited, since the interest of the whole inquiry, as conducted in this volume, turns upon the significance ascribed to this puzzling monument.
The author’s theory is that ancient engineers laid out straight lines of signal stations across the width of Britain. The stations were connected by trackways, though these (unlike Alfred Watkins’s leys) were not straight. Whatever the merits of this theory, it is interesting as an early example of “landscape geometry”on a large scale.
AS I know the pleasure, which every branch of ancient literature gives you I should not excuse myself, if I did not communicate to you a late discovery of Roman antiquities in these westernmost parts of Britain.
In the year 1756 a farmer at Bossens, in the parish of. St. Erth, driving his oxen from the field, perceived the foot of one of them to sink a little deeper than ordinary into the earth at A, fig. 8. (See Tab. 1.) Curiosity, and the hopes of treasure, led him soon, after to search the place; where was soon discovered a perpendicular pit, circular, of two feet and half diameter. Digging to the depth of 18 feet, there was found a Roman patera (fig. 1. & 2.) : about 6 feet deeper, the jug, fig. 3: nearby, among the rubbish, the stone, fig.. 4; a small .millstone, about 18 inches diameter: then another patera, with two handles, in other particulars of the shape and size as fig. 2, but unfortunately mislaid, and not now to be found. Intermixed with these were found fragments of horns, bones of several sizes, half-burnt sticks, and many pieces of leather, seemingly shreds of worn-out shoes. Having sunk to the depth of 16 feet, they found the bottom of the pit concave, like that of a dish or bowl. There was a sensible moisture, and mostly wet clay, in all parts of the pit. On each side there were holes at due distances, capable of admitting a human foot, by which persons might descend and ascend. There is no doubt but this work must have been intended for a well: but a pit so deep, and of such narrow dimensions, must have been sunk thro’ a stony ground with much difficulty, and with tools very different from those now in use.
The following expose is taken from a book titled ‘And Did those Feet’ by Michael Goldsworthy which explains how the most famous tomb still to be discovered has been geometrically pointed out to posterity by Church Markers that have been built within the old Ley line System in Britain. The book can be ordered from most major booksellers.
The building was originally Buckingham House, built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham, but in 1762 George III bought it for Queen Charlotte, and it was known as the Queen’s House. George IV made many alterations, but never lived in it.
The arch now known as Marble Arch was originally in front of the house; Queen Victoria had it moved to its present position. Since her reign it has been the main royal residence, and the Changing of the Guard is done every morning at 11.30.
It was considerably enlarged when it became a palace; the side facing the Mall is a facade, originally built in 1847 and replaced by a design by Sir Aston Webb in 1913. The actual front of the house faces the garden, which has curving paths and a serpentine lake with an island.
It must often have been remarked by those who are in the habit of reading treatises (great or small) on antiquities, that their authors, while sufficiently able to describe the objects they have seen, are, from the narrow field of their observation (it may have been a parish or a county), but ill furnished with a basis on which to found rational theories, and yet that the men who are in possession of the fewest facts are those who indulge in the greatest amount of theory.
In introducing these Notes of a visit to the Island of Sardinia, it is necessary to premise that my object in visiting that beautiful country was simply to do what the class of antiquaries above mentioned has not done — that is, over a wide range of observation, to examine carefully, and to measure and delineate some of those antiquarian puzzles, the Nuraghi. This I had previously done to many of the vast antiquities in Brittany; and being already familiar with the pre-historic structures of Scotland, I hoped to be in a position to better understand that class, both there and elsewhere, and to institute comparison where similarities exist
I judge that you pick up this booklet with much the same ideas on the subject that I had a few months ago. The antiquarians had not helped you or me very much, but had left us with vague ideas and many notes of interrogation.
On early trackways they alternated between a misty appreciation of hill-tracks and ridgeways, and an implied depreciation of all track-makers before the Romans came. To learn the meaning of mounds they did not go beyond the child’s investigation of a drum, cut it open to see; and, if nothing was there, quite failed to profit by such valuable negative evidence. In perhaps one moat in five they found a dwelling, and argued finely on the defensive importance of a ring of water; but as to the other four, with no dwelling, and in unexplained positions, they closed their eyes.
THIS volume is one of the effects issuing from the labours of the “Royal Archaeological Institute for Great Britain and Ireland.” Having been asked, in the spring of this year, by some friends interested in the researches and prosperity of that useful Association, to contribute a paper at their annual meeting, to be held this year at Bury St. Edmund’s; I acquiesced, and fixed upon the subject which gives the title to this publication. I considered it a proper theme for an Essay to be brought under the notice of an assembly of archaeologists, who were to meet in the town which bears the name of one of the kings of the East Angles. The subject commended itself to the Honorary Secretary of the Institute, and I forthwith set to work to isolate some materials for this particular purpose, from MSS. on kindred subjects, upon which many a year’s hard work and study had been bestowed.
I AM DELIGHTED TO WRITE A FOREWORD to this book FAR BEYOND THE STARS written by Walter Seaman, a friend of many years.
In the contemporary world, the minds of all thinking people are being stretched as never before in a multitude of directions because almost daily some extension of discovery in so many different ‘fields’ are knocking at the doors, ruthlessly demanding our attention. The result is that today we are more confused in our thinking than were those who preceded us. There is a story told of two saintly clerics both famed for their intelligence and for their ‘other worldliness’, but the difference between them was that one of them had his feet firmly on the ground but the other had not. Walter Seaman’s FAR BEYOND THE STARS is a highly intelligent attempt to relate the realistic facts of today’s world, especially in the realm of what is actually happening, to that which is beyond the scope of purely material understanding but which, deep in our innermost being as thinkers, we are convinced exists in ways we cannot grasp.
THE GREAT PYRAMID’S DIVINE REVELATION DEFINES, in terms of modern astronomical science, the dates of the Birth and Passion of the promised Saviour of humanity. Its symbolical representation has stood for 46 centuries, awaiting the discovery of its confirmation of the many independent traditions and records concerning the purpose of its Revelation. The modern presentation of the astronomical data, defining the dates of the life of the promised Saviour, has remained on record for nearly nine years.
To my own knowledge, several capable scientists, during the past eight years, have endeavoured to find a flaw in the presentation of the scientific principles of demonstration, or an error in the detailed presentation of the astronomical data. The silence of these and other critical investigators, skilled in the mathematical and astronomical elements of the problem, is significant, particularly in view of the world-wide interest and opposition that the Great Pyramid’s Divine Revelation has created and aroused respectively.
The date of the birth of the Saviour of humanity is defined as 6th October (Julian), B.C. 4. The day coincides with the 15th day of the Hebrew month Tisri in B.C. 4, and the 15th of Tisri is the day of the Hebrew Feast of Tabernacles. The Gospel according to John (i, 14, R.V. margin), in referring to our Lord Jesus Christ as “the Light of the World,” therefore says “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.”*
The above table is prepared chiefly from Dr. Kelly’s ” Universal Cam. history; but inasmuch as he does not descend below foot measures, and the inches are then deduced by dividing his values for the feet by twelve: —the list is supplemented by positive inches, or their verbal equivalents. pouce, tomme, tum, pollegada, pulgada, &c., as contained in Weale’s Woolhouse’s “Weights and Measures.” subdivided into tenths and half-tenths,. and equal in length to one 500 – millionth of the Earth’s Axis of Rotation.
Three miles long and half a mile across, the tiny granite island of Lundy lies 12 miles to the north-west of Hartland Point off the coast of North Devon. Lundy is pounded on her Western side by the Atlantic and faces the busy Bristol Channel on her Eastern board. A haven for Kittiwakes, Gannets, Puffins and seals, Lundy emanates a sense of other worldliness and peace, remote in her oceanic isolation from civilisation. With just one pub, the Marisco Tavern, the Church of St Helena, a single shop and a scattering of cottages, Lundy has featured rarely in the field of ‘Earth Mysteries’ and attention to our islands is perhaps overdue.
IN MY LAST NOTES I REFERRED TO THE STAR OBSERVATIONS WHICH MIGHT BE MADE BY MEANS OF STONE CIRCLES.
I now pass to solar observations.
I have already pointed out that much time has been lost in the investigation of our stone circles, for the reason that in many cases the exact relations of the monuments to the chief points of the horizon, and therefore to the place of sunrise at different times of the year, have not been considered; and when they were, the observations were made only with reference to the magnetic north, which is different at different places, and besides is always varying; few indeed have tried to get at the real astronomical conditions of the problem.
The first, I think, was Mr. Jonathan Otley, who in 1849 showed the “orientation” of the Keswick circle “according to the solar meridian,” giving true solar bearings throughout the year.
I wrote a good deal in Nature on sun and star temples in 1891, and Mr. Lewis the next year expressed the opinion that the British stone monuments, or some of them, were sun and star temples.
Mr. Magnus Spence, of Deerness, in Orkney, published a pamphlet, “Standing Stones and Maeshowe of Stenness,” in 1894; it is a reprint of an article in the Scottish Review, October, 1893. Mr. Cursiter, F.S.A., of Kirkwall, in a letter to me dated March 15, 1894, a letter suggested by my “Dawn of Astronomy,” which appeared in that year, and in which the articles which had been published in Nature in 1891 had been expanded, directed my attention to the pamphlet; the observations had no pretension to scientific accuracy, and some of the alignments are wrongly stated, but a possible solar connection was pointed out.
I began the consideration of the Stenness circles and alignments in 1901, but other pressing calls on my time then caused me to break off the inquiry. Quite recently it occurred to me that a complete study of the Stenness circles might throw light on the question of an earlier Stonehenge, so I have gone over the old papers, plotting the results on the Ordnance map.
On the shore of the Bay of Fundy, opposite the Town of Yarmouth, stands a rock weighing about four hundred pounds, which. about the end of the last century, was discovered by a man named Fletcher. It has been well known for nearly a hundred years, and those who dwell in its vicinity have always accepted it as a genuine relic of antiquity, no breath of suspicion ever having fallen upon it. The glyphs have been at various times copied and sent abroad to men of learning who have made more or less attempts at deciphering them, more than one savant seeing traces of Semitic origin.
It was May 1993 when Muriel and I first went on holiday to Scotland. We were staying on a farm near Aberlemno. We could hardly miss the roadside Stones, and to our surprise found a picture of a Centaur, which together with other figures beside it made us realize that the designer of that carving was conveying ideas with which we were already familiar.
So the hunt was on to see what we could find. To whom or what would it lead us?
Although we have been interested in the early history and origins of the British Race or Races the Picts were little known to us. What could we possibly have in common with them?
In 1929, a group of historians found an amazing map drawn on a gazelle skin.
Research showed that it was a genuine document drawn in 1513 by Piri Reis, a famous admiral of the Turkish fleet in the sixteenth century.
His passion was cartography. His high rank within the Turkish navy allowed him to have a privileged access to the Imperial Library of Constantinople.
The Turkish admiral admits in a series of notes on the map that he compiled and copied the data from a large number of source maps, some of which dated back to the fourth century BC or earlier.
THE HISTORY OF A NATION IS THE HISTORY OF ITS RELIGION, its attempts to seek after and serve its God,” says an old writer. Of no nation or country is this more true than of Great Britain, where from the standing stones of Stennis in Orkney, to the Maen Ambres in Cornwall—the prehistoric remains of open-air sanctuaries,—artificial mounds and scientifically constructed astronomical circles, bear witness to the vigour and vitality of a national religion, which has already passed from the primitive into the metaphysical stage, and embodies abstract ideas, astronomical observations and a high and pure, code of morals.
From the comparative study of antiquity in Chaldea, Arabia, Persia, and Palestine, we now know this religion to have been Druidism, one of the oldest religions in the world, and in its Asiatic and Semitic form of Buddhism, the religion still of one-half of mankind.
HE HISTORY OF A NATION IS THE HISTORY OF ITS RELIGION, its attempts to seek after and serve its God,” says an old writer. Of no nation or country is this more true than of Great Britain, where from the standing stones of Stennis in Orkney, to the Maen Ambres in Cornwall—the prehistoric remains of open-air sanctuaries,—artificial mounds and scientifically constructed astronomical circles, bear witness to the vigour and vitality of a national religion, which has already passed from the primitive into the metaphysical stage, and embodies abstract ideas, astronomical observations and a high and pure, code of morals.
From the comparative study of antiquity in Chaldea, Arabia, Persia, and Palestine, we now know this religion to have been Druidism, one of the oldest religions in the world, and in its Asiatic and Semitic form of Buddhism, the religion still of one-half of mankind.
MOST CHRISTIANS ARE TAUGHT TO SHUN ASTROLOGY and shy away from anything having to do with zodiacs. These two ancient astral concepts are usually viewed with contempt and disdain by most Christians, but the truth is, the Zodiac (Hebrew: mazzaroth) is much older than the art of astrology. Though the latter, especially in its modern form, has no significance whatsoever for today’s Christian, however, this is not true concerning the Zodiac. Few people are aware of this astounding fact: the original Zodiac of antiquity has always had one major focal point, that being the life and mission of Jesus Christ.
This assertion must be revelatory to most astrologers as well, for the modern meanings of the twelve signs of the Zodiac have become fairly entrenched; and these meanings have nothing to do with Jesus Christ. In fact, most astrologers seem to have a very pronounced anti-Christian bias in favor of the occult. However, it has become very clear to me that the Messiah-based symbolism of the original Zodiac is still represented by most of the twelve signs, as well as by the 36 decans (sub-signs) that go in tandem with these signs. Some of the pictographical signs have changed over the millennia, but most of them still retain their original pictography. In this research, we will go back in time, covering a span of six to seven thousand years, to discover the origin of the Zodiac, the Prophetic Mazzaroth. What emerges from an intense, close-up study of the oldest constellations is a very consistent, unwavering prophetic outline of the life and mission of Jesus Christ on our planet Earth.
Staines means “stones” and it is thought to come from a group of nine stones mentioned in a twelfth century charter of Chertsey Abbey which delineated the boundaries of the Abbey lands, and was reported in Up Pontes by Christine Lake. The settlement of Staines is very ancient, with evidence of habitation from Mesolithic times; the Romans had an fairly important town here called “Ad Pontes” (“by the bridges”) as it was the place where the London to Silchester road crossed the Thames and Colne, and was about half-way between them (a day’s march from each). There are the remains of an old bridgehead at The Hythe; this is not the Roman one (there were also Saxon and Norman bridges here) but may be on the same site. Stukeley says that the whole town was bounded by a ditch. The charter says this:
Like Lockyer’s Stonehenge and Other British Stone Monuments Astronomically Considered, William Stukeley’s 1740 study of Stonehenge stands out among the huge number of books on the subject. Stukeley was a pioneer preservationist. He lamented the callous treatment of the majestic ruins both by tourists and landholders. He coined the term ‘trilithon’ for the doorway-like arrangement of three stones, now common in the literature about megalithic architecture. Stukeley was one of the first to make accurate drawings of the site. The three dozen illustrations to this book, which show Stonehenge from every angle and document its context in the 18th century landscape, are still used today by scholars. He also did some rudimentary archaeology, and describes opening the grave of a warrior princess.
Stukeley’s Stonehenge was intended to be the first volume in a comprehensive study of universal history, which he never completed. He believed a pure form of Christianity was the original religion of mankind, which had been subverted by idolatry, and finally restored by Jesus. Stonehenge was a temple of this primordial patriarchial religion, built by immigrants from the Near East, possibly Phoenicians. They became the progenitors of the Celts, founded the Druid religion and built the mysterious standing stones. (Today scholars believe that Stonehenge was constructed by an indigenous, pre-Celtic, pre-Druid culture).
The Aryan past is spectacular: we were the Sumerians who originated pictographs and writing; we were the ancient Atlanteans; we built Arkaim in Russia, the ancient Aryan capital of the world with an astronomy site in line with Stonehenge; we built the hanging gardens of Babylon; we were the original inhabitants of ancient Egypt, as the earliest frescoes and statues depict blue-eyed people: Menes, the son of the Assyrian king, Sargon the Great, was Egypt’s first king. We were the Egyptian Melchizedek priesthood with Horus the Hawk, our Holy Spirit, leading and guiding us. We built the Great Pyramid of Giza with Freedom Labour inspired by God in mathematics which tells a story to whoever will open their eyes to it–Isaiah 19:19-25–this edifice intended as an altar unto the Lord, with a little passageway on its inside time line, going from the “Descending Chamber” to the “Ascending Chamber” at A.D. 33. The three pyramids were built in alignment with the stars on Orion’s belt, Orion being the constellation of Christ, or the Spirit of truth; the Egyptian Sphinx is ours; so is the South American Mayan temple and stone masonry found around the world
IF THIS WERE AN ACADEMIC DISSERTATION, I would probably choose the subtitle ‘An introductory argument’—-n no field is it more necessary to ask the right questions than when attempting to discover the Druids. The simple truth is that one person’s Druid is another person’s fantasy.
The Druids have been conjured in a wide variety of perceptions, as to who they were, what they believed and what they taught, since the sixteenth century. The basic problem is that no Druid, nor sympathetic contemporary
observer, ever committed to writing the necessary unequivocal information for our latter-day understanding. We have to search diligently among many sources to come up with our answers and, as Levi-Strauss implies, the result of the search depends on what questions we ask.
In spite of several references to Druids in Greek and Latin writings and in spite of the traditions recorded in the native Celtic literatures, we are still far from being absolutely knowledgeable.
IT may seem adventurous to propose to read the Gospel of Christ from what Herschel calls “those uncouth figures and outlines of men and monsters usually scribbled over celestial globes and maps.” So it once would have seemed to the writer. But a just estimate of the case cannot be formed without a close survey of what these figures are, what relations they bear to each other, whence they originated, and what meaning was attached to them by the most ancient peoples from whom they have been transmitted to us. Such a survey the author of this volume has endeavoured to make. From an extended induction he has also reached conclusions which lead him to think he may do good service by giving publicity to the results of his examinations.
The current explanations of the origin and meaning of the constellations certainly are not such as should satisfy those in search of positive truth. Herschel characterizes them as ” puerile and absurd.” They are nowhere to be found outside of Greece and Rome and modern works which have thence derived them. They are part of the staple in the theories and arguments of infidelity. The more ancient and explanations to do away with the intended conclusion as a non sequitur. The argument of these infidels is indeed fatally defective, especially in assuming that the old astronomy throughout, and all the myths and worships associated with it, have come solely from the natural observation and imagination of man, apart from all supernatural light, revelation, or inspiration. With this starting-point unproven and incapable of verification, and with the positive assertions of all the primeval world and all the indications directly to the contrary, the whole argument necessarily breaks down. Like all the efforts of unbelief, it signally fails. But though the argument, as such, is false and worthless, it does not follow that the materials collected to build it are the same. For the most part, they are solid enough in themselves, and the gathering of them was a valuable contribution to a better cause. The showings made of the close likeness between the old constellations and the Gospel are well founded, and can now be illustrated to a much greater and more minute extent. But, instead of proving Christianity a mere revival of old mythologies, they give powerful impulse toward the conclusion that the constellations and their associated myths and traditions are themselves, in their original, from the very same prophetic Spirit whence the Sacred Scriptures have come, and that they are of a piece with the biblical records in the system of God’s universal enunciations of the Christ.
(Herwig Duschek:) It was then I started to look closely at some of the extremely important statements made by Rudolf Steiner about a century ago. Now – a hundred years on – it is time we really grasped the meaning of these decisive statements without which we would not be able to understand certain aspects of what is happening in the world today.
Rudolf Steiner, 2. 1. 1906 (CW 93): “What is expressed by Tao is a driving force which can only be set in motion by the power of selfless love. It will be possible to use this power to drive machines which will, however, cease to function if egoistical people try to make use of them.
[…] A motive force of a purely moral nature, that is the idea of the future; the most important force with which civilisation must be inoculated, if it is not to fall back on itself. The mechanical and the moral will then have to penetrate each other because, without the moral, the mechanical will be nothing. Today we are standing on this very frontier. (1906! H. D.) In the future, machines will be driven not by steam alone, but also by spiritual-moral power. The Tao sign stands for this power which was poetically symbolised in the past by the image of the Holy Grail.”
THE SECRET SCRIPT OF THE DRUIDS, is known as Coelbren in Welsh and is Paleo Hebrew the true script of the Hebrews according to Allan Wilson. The Hebrews never wrote right to left, but the Edomites did and do, although the Hebrews did write up and down or in circles. They say the Paleo-Hebrew documents have disappeared and that Coelbren never existed, despite stones with this script can be found across the UK and other parts of the world. This is to hide the fact that the Caucasian peoples are the true Israel. The modern block Hebrew is the alphabet of the Yiddish speakers!
The Romanesque Cathedral of Speyer in Palatinate is the largest in Europe. Erected on a hill by the River Rhine, its monumental walls of red sandstone are an impressive sight. The Cathedral was completed in 1061, but has suffered from the usual catastrophes and barbarism (being used as a shed by French revolutionary troops).
It is aligned with the Kalmit mountain, the highest peak in Palatinate, by a ley running strictly from the E to the W, and has a second, modern alignment cutting through it in a rough N to S direction – Speyer Cathedral lies at the intersection of two alignments pointing at all cardinal points (see sketch). The roughly W to E and N to S alignments at English holy hills has been noted as a pattern in TLH 100 by Paul Devereux.
As the New Ley Hunting continues to rediscover leys as spirit paths, a body of evidence begins to grow and solidify as surely as the old theories disintegrate under close scrutiny. To add to the already impressive research collated so far, a shining example can be found at Tynwald Hill on the Isle of Man.
Much has already been written about this focal point of the island a sit is the seat of the oldest continuous government, the Manx Parliament. For nearly a millennium, on old Midsummer’s Day (5 July) the laws and proclamations of the land have been read from this spot in Manx and English. It has been variously described as the omphalos of the British isles, a place of pagan celebration and the seat of learning of the Celtic Druidic tradition.
Whites built the Great Pyramid in 2,600 BC. It was 481 feet high, as tall as a 40 story skyscraper covering 13 acres of land. It took 20 years to construct and consists of 2.3 million blocks of stone weighing 2.5 tons each. The mongrelized people of Egypt today could not build such a monument.
The Egyptians were very race conscious as seen here from this depiction of an ancient monument. From left, the blonde leader, next the Semitic Arab, then the mulatto with Semitic and Negro features and finally the pure Negro. Note that they knew that the Negro cannot grow a beard!
Notes on The Author
SAMUEL BIRLEY ROWBOTHAM, (1816–1884) was an English inventor and writer who wrote Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe under the pseudonym “Parallax”. His work was based on his decade-long studies of the earth and was originally published as a 16-page pamphlet (1849), which he later expanded into a 430-page book (1881). According to Rowbotham’s method, which he called Zetetic Astronomy, the earth is an enclosed plane, centred at the North Pole and bounded along its outward edge by a wall of ice, with the sun, moon, planets, and stars only a few hundred miles above the surface of the earth.
Rowbotham started out as an organiser of an Owenite commune in the Fens, where he first observed the strange phenomenon on the Bedford level that led to his theories about the earth. Following allegations of sexual misconduct he reinvented himself as an itinerant lecturer under the name Parallax. He took a little time to learn his trade, running away from a lecture in Blackburn when he couldn’t explain why the hulls of ships disappeared before their masts when sailing out to sea. However, as he persisted in filling halls by charging sixpence a lecture his quick-wittedness and debating skills were honed so much that he could “counter every argument with ingenuity, wit and consummate skill”.
When finally pinned down to a challenge in Plymouth in 1864 by allegations that he wouldn’t agree to a test, Parallax appeared on Plymouth Hoe at the appointed time, witnessed by Richard Proctor, a writer on astronomy, and proceeded to the beach where a telescope had been set up. His opponents had claimed that only the lantern of the Eddystone lighthouse, some 14 miles out to sea, would be visible. In fact, only half the lantern was visible, yet Rowbotham claimed his opponents were wrong and that it proved the earth was indeed flat so that many Plymouth folk left the Hoe agreeing that “some of the most important conclusions of modern astronomy had been seriously invalidated”.
In 1861 Rowbotham was married for a second time to the 16-year-old daughter of his laundress and settled in London, producing 14 children, of whom 4 survived. He was also alleged to be using the name “Dr. Samuel Birley”, living in a beautiful 12-roomed house selling the secrets for prolonging human life and curing every disease imaginable. De Morgan refers to him as S. Goulden. He patented a number of inventions including a ‘life-preserving cylindrical railway carriage’.
His book Zetetic Astronomy – The Earth not a Globe appeared in 1864. His lectures continued and concerned citizens addressed letters to the Astronomer Royal seeking rebuttals for his claims. A correspondent to the Leeds Times observed that “One thing he did demonstrate was that scientific dabblers unused to platform advocacy are unable to cope with a man, a charlatan if you will (but clever and thoroughly up in his theory), thoroughly alive to the weakness of his opponents”.