The Druid Order - History

History

Ronald Hutton in his book The Druids writes that the Druid Order in its current form started around 1909 or 1912 when George Watson MacGregor Reid (1862?-1946) led the group, influenced by universalists. When Thomas Maughan (1901–1976), who practised homeopathy, was elected chief in 1964, some senior members and the Order's Maenarch (Chairman) Ross Nichols (1902–1975) left to form the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Ross Nichols in 'The Book of Druidry' wrote that MacGregor Reid told of a history in which John Toland, on the day of the Autumn Equinox 1716 at Primrose Hill, (where began the Welsh Gorsedd of Bards), called for Druids to meet at the Apple Tree Tavern, Covent Garden, London a year and a day later, and that the meeting which formed An Druidh Uileach Braithreachas ie. The Druid Circle of the Universal Bond took place on the 22nd September 1717 with representatives from London, York, Oxford, Wales, Cornwall, The Isle of Man, Scotland, Anglesey, Ireland and Brittany. It was also claimed that John Aubrey, the eighteenth-century antiquarian, revitalised the Mount Haemus Grove, founded in Oxford in 1245. The claim of Toland and Aubrey as members of any druid order is thought now to be unlikely from a historical perspective. Ronald Hutton, in his book 'Blood and Mistletoe: A History of the Druids in Britain,' takes the lineage prior to George Watson Reid to be merely part of the legend of the order's origins.

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