The Cecils and the End of the British Empire

This article was first published in the monthly magazine

The Present Age Vol. 3 No. 7 in October 2017

This is the fourth in a short series of articles about the historical consequences of the rivalry between Philip IV (the Fair) of France (r.1285-1314), who destroyed the Order of the Knights Templar, and his rival Edward I of England (r. 1272-1307) who sought to conquer Wales and Scotland. Philip married his daughter to Edward’s son, and out of this fateful marriage later came the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) between France and England, which led to Joan of Arc, the English Wars of the Roses and, eventually, the new Tudor dynasty in England under which the Welsh Cecil family rose to power in the 16th century.(1)The point to keep in mind here is the mediaeval arc of destiny from Philip ‘the Fair’ to Henry VIII of England (r.1509-1547), two ‘golden boy’ princes who became, arguably, the two darkest kings of mediaeval Europe. As a result of this arc of destiny, William and Robert Cecil, in the highest position in the realm under the monarch in the period 1558-1612, as Chief Secretaries of State, were able to exercise a profound influence on the subsequent history of England and thus of Europe and indeed the world.

These two members of the Cecil family, which was originally from Wales,  opened the curtain on the British Empire. They created the preconditions for the Empire(2) just as their relative, Sir Francis Bacon,(3) created the preconditions for the development of empirical natural science in England, which would be so important for the expansion of England’s commerce and colonialism. Remarkably, two later Cecils, an uncle and his nephew, Lord Salisbury (1830 -1903) and Arthur Balfour (1848 -1930), also consecutive chief ministers of the Crown, began to close the curtain on the British Empire 300 years later, although without meaning to. This was described in the previous article in this series (). The present article will outline how these two Cecils began the process that terminated the British Empire and handed global domination over to the USA – the state that had arisen as a result of the actions of their Cecil forebears.

Salisbury’s strategy – three factors

The previous article detailed how Lord Salisbury, who is always associated with the policy of “splendid isolation” i.e. no fixed alliances for Britain, actually began to shift Britain away from its traditional diplomatic ‘friendliness’ with Turkey, Austria-Hungary, and Germany and towards France and Russia, Britain’s imperial rivals. From the late 1880s onwards, Salisbury recognised that a Franco-Russian combination would present too many difficulties for Britain and might well even lead to the loss of India, something the British elite were determined to prevent at all costs, as India, “the jewel in the crown” had become something of an addiction for the British by the last quarter of the 19th century, especially for the upper classes. Salisbury, who acted as his own (very secretive) Foreign Minister as well as being the Prime Minister (1885-1886, 1886-1892, 1895-1902), had by the 1890s also decided that the seemingly decrepit Ottoman Turkish Empire had no future and that the newly united German Empire  was becoming too much of a commercial opponent for Britain, outstripping and out-competing Britain even in its own colonial markets.

By the end of the 1890s, three significant developments had occurred: firstly, France and Russia had entered into a solid military alliance that was clearly directed against Germany in the European context, but also against Britain on the global imperialist stage. Europe was now divided between two armed alliances. How would Britain relate to this development? Secondly, there was the significant worsening in Anglo-German relations. In one sense Germany had become rudderless yet in another sense, also newly ‘ruddered’, that is, the headstrong, young, half-English Emperor Wilhelm II had dropped his country’s skilled ‘pilot’ Otto von Bismarck as Chancellor in 1890, and German diplomacy had thereafter become increasingly inept. One the other hand, the Emperor’s English fantasies and jealousies had caused him to start building a modern navy that seemed to be intended to rival Britain’s own. The German liberal middle classes, especially those in the north and west of Germany, had long sought to imitate English parliamentarianism, commercial and industrial strength, and colonialism and for this, many of them argued that Germany needed a large navy supported by the nation. As the British were already feeling very nervous about German industrial and commercial prowess by 1900, the prospect of a large German navy did not exactly appeal to them, as they knew that the existence of their own global Empire was based only on the Royal Navy.

A serious symptom of worsening Anglo-German relations had been the clash of the two countries’ economic interests in South Africa in 1895-96, after which the Press in both countries remained at daggers drawn. The Colonial Minster in Lord Salisbury’s government, Joseph Chamberlain, had become secretly involved in Cecil Rhodes’ attempt to overthrow the Boer government in S. Africa in order to incorporate the Boers’ territories into a British-controlled South Africa. Chamberlain, a convinced racial imperialist with a young American wife, was keen to see the ‘Teutonic peoples’ (British, Germans, Americans – as he saw them) ruling the world together and from 1898 he urged an Anglo-German Alliance just as Lord Salisbury’s government was about to embark on the Second Boer War (1899-1902) in order to accomplish overtly, through massive military action, what Cecil Rhodes and Chamberlain had failed to do more covertly in their ‘modest’ coup d’etat of Jan. 1896. Chamberlain, however, was neither Foreign Secretary nor Prime Minister; Lord Salisbury held both those posts. He was the man in charge of ‘the big picture’, and it was he who blocked all efforts for an Anglo-German Alliance in 1898-1901.(4)

Furthermore, soon after Wilhelm II became German Emperor, Salisbury had become convinced that Wilhelm was “not quite normal”, a British understatement meaning ‘insane’, or close to it. In turning down an alliance proposal from the German diplomat Baron Eckardstein, Salisbury said to him “Nous sommes des poissons” (we [British] are fish). This meant not only that he saw Britain’s interests as pre-eminently naval; it was also indicative of Salisbury’s fluid modus operandi: the historian John Charmley writes that “Salisbury had an instinctive understanding of …the first essential for a ‘statesman’ concerned with ‘high politics’, namely that ‘in the great high latitudes of policy, all is fluid, elastic, mutable; the friend today [is] the foe tomorrow; the ally and confederate against your enemy, [is] is suddenly his confederate  against you: Russia or France or Germany or America, one sort of Power this year, quite another sort and in deeply changed relations to you, the year after(5). It was in accordance with this ‘mutable’, ‘Venetian’ practice of the constantly shifting balance of power that British diplomacy had always worked since the days of the Tudor Cecils.

The British foreign policy elite, led by the Cecils and their extensive network of aristocratic family connections and links to academia (notably Oxford University) and the Press, had from the late 1880s been weighing up the question of who was the greater threat, as they saw it, to Britain’s world power. Despite the fishy ‘fluidity’ of the diplomacy of Salisbury and Balfour, they never lost of sight of the fact that for Britain, Russia was the main threat, because she was the only Power that could threaten British India. ‘Friendship’ with a Russia that was growing ever stronger thus meant safety for British India; compared to this, they reasoned, Germany had little to offer Britain. They were thus prepared to sacrifice the old friendship with Germany  – despite the numerous cultural ties between the two countries  – for ‘friendship’ with the new Franco-Russian alliance. Salisbury made the first steps in this direction in the late 1880s; his nephew and successor as Prime Minister consolidated them in the Anglo-French Entente of 1904. It was a policy based essentially, but pragmatically, on British weakness, and for the two Cecils, it had the added advantage that if it ever came to war, Germany, a serious commercial rival to Britain, would be ruined.

Anglo-German relations had further been adversely affected by the poisonous personal relationship between the new King of England, Edward VII (r. 1901-1910) and his nephew, Wilhelm II of Germany (r.1888 – 1918); the two men loathed each other. Edward was also a strong supporter of better relations with Russia. Greatly interested in foreign policy, he gathered a circle of aides and advisers around him that almost constituted an informal foreign office. Through these men, he used his influence to have teutophobic supporters appointed to key positions in the official Foreign Office and in the diplomatic corps. Many of these men were connected to the Cecils’ social and political network. Sir Edward Grey, for example, was a social friend of Arthur Balfour, despite their differing political positions.

The third significant factor was that by the late 1890s, the British and American elites had become ever more closely linked. From the 1870s to 1914, about 350 wealthy American heiresses  married into impecunious British aristocratic families – Jenny Jerome’s marriage to Randolph Churchill (their son was Winston) was one of the most notable. Furthermore, despite a serious spat over Venezuela in 1895, relations between the British and American governments were becoming ever warmer, as elites on both sides of the Atlantic basked in the mutual congratulation, the warm glow of Anglo-saxon chauvinism, the feeling that they were destined to rule the world together and bring to it peace, civilisation, and enlightenment just as they believed the  Romans had once done. This feeling was especially strong in the USA in the East Coast circles around Theodore Roosevelt. In Britain, men of the older generation like Salisbury would never have accepted that Britain would hand its imperial sceptre to the USA, but those of a younger generation such as Balfour and Sir Edward Grey were more aware of Britain’s growing weakness and more prepared to give ground to American ambitions. Imperialists like Cecil Rhodes and Lord Rosebery were even enthusiastic about the prospect of Britain and America ‘reuniting’, and the government of the new imperial superstate moving across the Atlantic to Washington. In the decade before 1914, these growing ties with the USA and especially its financial elite (e.g. J. P. Morgan) gave the British elite confidence they could win a war against Germany.

Lord Milner and the Round Table

Given these three developments, when Lord Salisbury stepped down in July 1902 and was replaced as Prime Minster by his nephew Arthur (Edward VII had succeeded his mother Queen Victoria in 1901), the scene was set for a major change of direction and a realignment of forces. Cecil Rhodes also died at this time in March 1902, two months before the end of the Boer War that he had done so much to bring about. That war was actually organised and carried through by a close ally of Rhodes’ since 1891, Lord Alfred Milner (1854-1925) (see photo above), a middle class man of formidable willpower and charisma, and a fanatically determined imperialist. After Rhodes’ death, Milner took charge of the great financial resources of the Rhodes Trust, gathered a brilliant group of young men around him, known as Milner’s Kindergarten, all dedicated to his ideals of imperial federation, and sought to reconstruct S. Africa. Returning to England in 1905, he became Chairman of the Rio Tinto Zinc mining company, and also a banker, developed close links with the Cecil family network to advance his goal of imperial federation, and campaigned for military conscription and a stronger navy. He was convinced that only if the Dominions of the Empire (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa) became a single federal state ruled by an Imperial Parliament could Britain hold its own in the 20th century against countries such as the USA, Russia, Germany, Japan, China. Milner believed that “the competition between nations, each seeking its maximum development” was “the law of human progress…the Divine Order of the world, the law of Life”.(6) In 1909, he formed a group called The Round Table to campaign behind the scenes for imperial federation. It consisted mainly of his young acolytes who had been with him in S. Africa, some of whom had since returned to England. He was, in effect, the ‘King Arthur’, the inspirational leader of this Round Table, the two main ‘knights’ of which were Philip Kerr (1882-1940, later Lord Lothian, see photo below, taken in the 1930s; his ancestor had been an intimate friend of King James I) and Lionel Curtis (1872-1955). Round Table would become from 1909 until Kerr’s death in 1940, arguably, the most significant pressure group for British imperialism within the British elite.(7) Milner was its inspirer and ‘chief’ but it was led by the indefatigable Kerr and Curtis who, ultimately against their chief’s intentions, from about 1916 onwards, worked to transform the Empire into an informal Anglo-saxon federal Commonwealth headed by the United States, as they realised that Milner’s original dream of a political  imperial federation led by Britain was unachievable because of nationalism in the white Dominions. Curtis, for whom the concept of the Commonwealth was tantamount to religious faith, believed that the British Empire and Commonwealth would gradually expand to become the ‘World State’. The nation state would become irrelevant and all states would belong to a world federation which would be run according to “the fundamental principles which lie at the heart of Anglo-saxon civilisation”.(8) Less overtly racist than Lord Milner, Kerr and Curtis nevertheless always believed that it was the destiny and duty of the Anglo-saxons to govern the world. The worldview of Kerr and Curtis combined the nationalism and racism of the late Gabrielic age (c.1789-1879) with the supranational cosmopolitanism and imperialism of the new Michaelic age (post-1879).(9) From the 1870s until the 1940s there was an overlap between these two impulses, the Gabrielic fading out as the Michaelic faded in and gained in strength.

The scholar who made the most detailed study of the Milner Group and the Round Table, Carroll Quigley, wrote in 1949 : “The power that was utilized by Milner and his Group was really the power of the Cecil family and its allied families…The Milner Group was originally a major fief within the great nexus of power, influence and privilege controlled by the Cecil family [which] has been all-pervasive in British life since 1886.” In a very recent book, written for insiders by another consummate insider, Andrea Bosco, who is Jean Monnet Professor of Political Science at the University of Florence (he is also Director of the Lothian Institute, an institute that upholds and promotes Philip Kerr’s “Anglo-saxon federalist ideals”, with special reference to the European Union), Bosco writes (p. 360, see n.6 below) that Milner was “the most lucid interpreter of the British imperialist tradition, which in federalism found a device to perpetuate the privileges of the ‘few’….against the rights and interests of the ‘many’. Milner was the strong man…. of that small but powerful group of men – representing the historical families of the British Establishment – who had run Great Britain, behind the throne, since the Act of Union [with Scotland] in 1707.”

According to Quigley, the “Cecil Bloc” was built up by Lord Salisbury: “The methods used by this man were merely copied by the Milner Group. These methods can be summed up under three headings: (a) a triple-front penetration in politics, education and journalism; (b) the recruitment of men of ability (chiefly from All Souls College [at Oxford University]) and the linking of these men to the Cecil Bloc by matrimonial alliances and by gratitude for titles and positions of power; and (c) the influencing of public policy by placing members of the Cecil Bloc in positions of power shielded as much as possible from public attention.”(10) The very first issue of the journal The Round Table (1910) carried an editorial by Kerr that identified Germany as Britain’s main enemy. By 1914, the Round Table had established branches and connections throughout the white Dominions of Empire. These helped to provide a background of support for “the Mother Country” when war came. In 1909 Arthur Balfour,  associated with the Rhodes-Milner Group since the early 1890s, sent a letter, under his own name but drafted by Philp Kerr, to ex-US President Theodore Roosevelt, who had just left office. The letter argued in favour of a loose  Anglo-saxon Confederation of all the white English-speaking countries: “The Federal Council would only deal with  the question of preference [i.e. trade tariffs] and …defence…No permanent government would be required…such a confederation would be practically unassailable and would dominate the world…It would practically dictate peace by sea to the rest of the world…The balance of power…would be permanently upset.”(11) The Anglophile Roosevelt was in tune with such ideas; in the presidential election of 1912 he was to play a key role in ensuring the defeat of presidential candidate Taft and the election of Woodrow Wilson and also in bringing America into the war on Britain’s side.

                                                                                     Balfour during the First World War

Arthur Balfour, Milner and the ‘coup’ of  Dec. 1916

The Balfour government of 1902-1905 was short-lived but played a critical role in the diplomatic realignment that had begun with Salisbury in 1887. Although Balfour and Milner disagreed over the issue of free trade vs protectionist tariffs, they were essentially at one on foreign policy. In 1903-1904, the official Foreign Office, now full of teutophobes, and the unofficial ‘foreign office’ around King Edward VII, collaborated – despite their mutual wariness -  in bringing about the Entente Cordiale between  Britain and France. This was the crucial step towards the Entente between Britain and France’s ally, Russia, which was secured by the Liberal government in 1907. The Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, and the Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, were in sympathy with the Milner Group’s imperialist aims though not members of the group. Grey’s own foreign policy followed the Milner Group’s anti-German direction. At the crucial Cabinet meeting on 2 August 1914 at which the decision was made to intervene in the war, a note from the Conservative leader Bonar Law was delivered to Cabinet at the crucial point in the meeting. The foreign office historian Zara Steiner “saw Milner behind Bonar Law’s note”. In sending the note, which gave Conservative Party support for  intervention, “Bonar Law had acted under pressure from Austen Chamberlain, Arthur Balfour, [General] Henry Wilson, the Duke of Cavendish, and Lord Talbot”.(12) These men were all members of the Milner Group or its associated ‘Cecil Bloc’. Members of these two groups held numerous positions in the wartime coalition government from May 1915, but their key moment came in December 1916, when Milner and his allies, who had been planning for almost a year, succeeded in effecting a kind of coup d’etat against Asquith’s government, forcing him out and replacing him with Lloyd George. A crucial role here was played by Balfour, whose refusal to serve under Asquith was the final straw that led to Asquith’s resignation. Asquith would later always regard Balfour as having betrayed him.

The Milner Group now took actual command of the State. A new 5-man War Cabinet was set up to run the war. Four of its members were allies of Milner. Lloyd George, with his rhetorical gifts was the Milner Group’s mouthpiece. Philip Kerr was made Lloyd George’s private secretary to keep him in order and supplied with the right ideas and information. Balfour replaced Sir Edward Grey as Foreign Secretary, and Milner himself entered the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio, a role which allowed him considerable freedom. The crucial importance of this December coup was that it was carried out (7 Dec.) in order to forestall the German peace offer which was known to be imminent and which came officially on 12 Dec. 1916. Milner and his allies were determined that the war should not stop until Germany had surrendered unconditionally. Rudolf Steiner’s lectures in these days of Christmas 1916 are full of anguished hopes that peace would not be shouted down and denied, but it was denied, as a result of the coup led by Milner and his Cecil Bloc allies, notably Balfour who, as Foreign Secretary, was formally responsible for refusing to enter into peace negotiations with Germany. The December coup by the Milnerites ensured that the war went on for another two years, and in those two years the world changed: the age of European domination ended and that of America and Soviet Russia began.

This was not what some in the Milner Group wanted, including Milner himself, but others did. Kerr, Curtis, Balfour and his cousin, Lord Robert Cecil, Lord Salisbury’s eldest son, all looked forward to a post-war world that would be governed by a League of Nations, a concept devised by members of the Cecil Bloc and developed by Robert Cecil who became a leading advocate of it. But this League of Nations, they imagined, would be steered and guided from behind the scenes by Britain and America. In 1917, with America now in the war,  Balfour addressed a meeting of the elite Anglo-American Pilgrims’ Society, annual gatherings of some of the richest and most powerful men in Britain and the US, at which he said: “We both spring from the same root…Are we not bound together forever? Will not our descendants, when they come to look back on this unique episode in the history of the world, say that among the incalculable circumstances  which it produced, the most beneficent and the most permanent is perhaps, that we are brought together and united for one common purpose in one common understanding – the two great branches of the English-speaking race?….This is a theme which absorbs my thoughts day and night. It is a theme which moves me more, I think, than anything connected with public affairs in all my long experience.”(13) For Balfour, then, the war was justified because it had brought the English-speaking peoples together, not in an imperial federation perhaps, as Milner had wanted, and as Kerr and Curtis now realised was not going to happen, but in an informal arrangement, a collaboration of the English-speaking elites. Organisations, modelled on the Round Table, they felt, would have to be devised to keep this collaboration on track. To this end, after the war, at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, Kerr and Curtis, with Milner’s blessing, organised the transatlantic Institute of International Affairs. The British branch, which later became the Royal Institute of International Affairs, also known as “Chatham House” began straightaway, funded by Milner Group members and allies. Opposition in the US to further involvement in European affairs, however, made the American branch a non-starter; it had to wait for two years, after which, American allies of the Milner Group created the New York-based Council On Foreign Relations in 1921. These two organisations, through their myriad conferences, seminars, and publications, have helped to keep US and UK foreign policy largely in tandem since the Second World War, irrespective of the governments in power in the two countries.

On 6 January 1917 Rudolf Steiner said: “What the British Empire is striving for is a close-knit relationship between the motherland and the colonies. I have told you about the application of occult forces, and it is these forces that are being used to achieve this goal….Those who imagine that world peace can be achieved by means of programmes and an inter-state organisation obviously have no idea what forces have to be used in reality to achieve a welding of the British motherland to her colonies [including the ex-US colonies! – TB.] in a way that will create the kind of totality which suits the British Empire…To make this possible an impulse was needed that would steal into people’s hearts and turn their minds towards something they would not otherwise have found acceptable. It is with this that the war in Europe is connected, for out of the mood of this war certain impulses will arise which the British Empire needs in order to create a uniformity between the motherland and her colonies….if the British Empire wants to draw its colonies closer together …then it needs a war, and this war is the means to that so-called end desired by the state. And wherever such thoughts are thought, the end sanctifies the means.”(14)

The most recent historiography agrees with Steiner’s assessment. Andrea Bosco, a man who approves of the ideals of Milner’s acolyte Philip Kerr, writes in his 2017 book about the fall of the Second British Empire (the first Empire, in N. America, fell in 1776-81): “Milner, the chief architect of the Second Anglo-Boer War, and one of the major figures who bear the moral responsibility – on the British side – for the First World War created the Round Table(15) in order to gain the Dominions’ support for Great Britain in the event of a new European war. Britain’s controversial entry into the Great War could be seen as a desperate attempt to save Britain from the breaking-up of the Empire, without which Britain would have regressed to the rank of a second-rate Power. According to this interpretation, Wilhelmine Germany fell….like the naïve Boers … – into a trap skilfully set by the British imperialists to reaffirm with weapons a global economic and political hegemony by then almost completely lost….It was Milnerism which ‘invented’, to a large extent, the German threat in South Africa and in Continental Europe in order to foster the closer union of the Empire…In order to stand, Empires feed themselves with wars.”(16)

In 1999 the British government made a significant attempt finally to get rid of the principle of inherited titles from the House of Lords, the British Parliament’s second chamber. The attempt had some success, but a vigorous campaign to resist the move to eject Britain’s traditional aristocracy from political power completely was mounted, and as a result, the government, despite its overwhelming majority in the House of Commons, agreed that 92 hereditary peers should be allowed to retain their seats in the House of Lords, and there they still sit today. The campaign to retain the hereditary peers was led by Robert Michael James Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury, the great-great grandson of Lord Salisbury. The 7th Marquess lives at Hatfield House, the grand home built in 1611 by his ancestor Lord Robert Cecil, Secretary of State to King James I.

1 See King Philip IV (the Fair) of France and Henry VIII of England (.
    Rudolf Steiner discussed these two kings in a lecture he gave on 1 Oct. 1916 (GA 171).
2 By making peace with Spain in 1604 and maintaining it thereafter, Robert Cecil ensured that English seafarers could both profit from trade with Asia (first trading ‘factory’ in India 1615) and establish settlements in N. America (the first, Jamestown Virginia in 1607) which eventually would become the United States of America.
3 Sir Francis Bacon was the son of Anne Cooke. Her sister was married to William Cecil (Lord Burghley),
   so Francis Bacon and Robert Cecil were cousins.
4 See John Charmley, Splendid Isolation? Britain and the Balance of Power 1974-1914 pp. 254-290
5 Charmley, pp. 295-296.
6 Milner speech, 28.10.1901 Durban, S. Africa, quoted in A. Bosco, The Round Table Movement and
   the Fall of the Second British Empire 1909-1919 (2017), p. 7.
7 For detailed analysis of the influence and reach of the Round Table, see Carroll Quigley, The Anglo-
   American Establishment – From Rhodes to Cliveden (1981) and Andrea Bosco, The Round Table
   Movement and  the Fall of the Second British Empire 1909-1919 (2017).
8 “The future of the world depends upon the gradual recognition, by the rest of the world, of the
    fundamental principles which lie at the heart of Anglo-saxon civilisation” – Kerr to Curtis, 9 June
    1920, quoted in Bosco, The Round Table Movement….prior to Introduction. See n. 7.
9 The Age of the archangel Gabriel (1510-1879, according to R. Steiner) focused mankind’s attention
     on everything that had to do with incarnation into the physical plane. This included identification
     with one’s birthplace, place of habitation, people, language, nationality, race etc. The Age of the
     archangel Michael (1879-c.2300) is the antithesis of this: the focus is on the spirit,on human
     intelligence and the cosmopolitan – all that which goes beyond local and national, physical
10 Carroll Quigley, The Anglo-American Establishment – From Rhodes to Cliveden (written 1949, first
      published 1981), p. 15.
11  Kenneth Young, Arthur James Balfour, (1963) p. 283. For details, see T.M. Boardman, Sir Edward
      Grey, Liberal Imperialism and British Responsibility in 1914 – From the British Empire to the
      American Empire at:  Balfour is also known for the Balfour
      Declaration of 2 Nov. 1917, addressed to Lord Rothschild as head of the Zionist movement, which
      promised Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people, but the Declararation was in fact
      drafted by Milner and Kerr, and merely signed by Balfour as Foreign Secretary. He was, however,
      very much in sympathy with Zionism.
12  Bosco, p. 360.
13  See Boardman, Sir Edward Grey….:
14. R. Steiner, The Karma of Untruthfulness Vol. 2 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2005) pp. 30-31.
15  The Round Table’s founding meeting took place in 1909 at Plas Newydd, the home of Lord Anglesey, on the North Wales island of Anglesey. Off the western coast of this island is the smaller, Holy Island, which was the main spiritual centre of all the Druids of ancient Britain. It was deliberately destroyed by the Roman army under Gaius Suetonius Paulinus in 60 AD – TB]
16  Bosco, pp.12-14.