Perhaps upon first glance, you may not think King John has any relevance to the Beatles. However, there is quite a bit of commonality between them, even if a bit abstract. I have long held this subject in high regard, I think it is very important. I hope that after you have finished reading this article, you will agree. King John is a very interesting historical character, and in my opinion has much to do with everything we are currently facing in our modern times. Strap on your Beatles wigs for this one- because this might be a bumpy ride.
The Most Royal Candidate Theory:
Meet BridgeAnne d’Avignon. This young lady deserves a Nobel Prize. Seriously. I have often wondered if she is even aware of the significance of the discovery she had made. BridgeAnne d’Avignon from California was twelve in 2012 when she revealed her “class-project” to the world. Every President bar one (Martin Van Bruen- more on him later) are directly descended from King John of England. Every President- from Washington, to Lincoln, Kennedy to Obama are related. If you are not familiar with the story, you can brush up on your Presidential family tree history from the original article from the Daily Mail here or the actual genealogies of every president dutifully laid out and organized here.I know what you may be thinking at this point… if you go back far enough, we are all related. right? But let’s think about this a bit. What are the chances that every president (besides one) would be related to the same exact King of England? One that has such historical significance as this medieval King from the Plantagenet lineage? True- most US Presidents have come from the same small pool of original politicians from the revolution in the 18th century- which of course were originally from England. Some experts have determined that nearly 4 million descendants of King Edward III are living today. As of 2014, there are 318.9 million people living in the US alone, not counting Europe and the UK, so 4 million descendants really is just a drop in the bucket compared to today’s world population- even those with European decent. This site has determined that going back 15 generations produces at most 65,534 ancestors. This number drops significantly if there are commonalities (ie: cousin marries cousin) within the heredity chart, which of course was very common within the bloodlines of the crown.
Check out what Senator Obama had to say about being related to his old pal Dick Cheney in this video from the PBS archives.
The fact that 43 of 44 US presidents are all related to one another- and their common ancestor being King John has to be statistically improbable. I am not a mathematician by any means- if anyone has this figure or would like to try and figure out the probability- I would love to know, and appreciate the information.
Considering that there is one president that is not of the same lineage- Martin Van Buren, in my mind makes the likelihood that much more improbable (again, I have not done the math on this).
But what is an interesting notion to consider, it has long been rumored that the notorious Skull and Bones secret society has in its’ possession the skull of Martin Van Buren among their odd inventory of relics. Skull and Bones (for those who are unaware) is a fraternity located at Yale University which boasts many prominent members on its ever-growing roster. Many presidents have been “bonesmen” as have Attorney Generals, supreme court justices, CEOs, politicians, journalists and many many other high-profile characters of the past couple of centuries. So again I ask, what are the chances that this notorious secret society known for its role in providing several past US presidents, politicians and presidential nominees would have in its’ possession (or rumored to) the skull of the only President to not have belonged in the same bloodline??
Sidenote: Both current presidential nominees Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump have the same bloodline as well, and are actually distant cousins. So I suppose it is a toss up as to who will be our next sitting president as far as the bloodline guess is concerned. Google “Most royal candidate theory” for more information. Source
Why King John?
King John was not a good man,
And no good friends had he.
He stayed in every afternoon…
But no one came to tea.
-From King John’s Christmas by A.A. Milne
King John was born on Christmas eve 1166 and inherited the throne in 1199, and was the youngest of five sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine,. King John of England was literally the father of the Plantagenet line of succession. He was the last of three kings known as the Angevin Kings of England, which began when his grandfather Geoffrey Duke of Normandy married Empress Matilda, Daughter of King Henry I (Game of thrones anyone?!?). The Angevin dynasty originally holding a vast amount of land and control throughout Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries, King John lost control over much of these lands to the French Crown, and was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215, essentially giving up a lot of the crown’s control and forever shaping the course of the Monarchy in England and throughout Europe. John’s successor and son, Henry III of England is considered to be the first monarch of the Plantagenet line. The Plantagenet’s have a long, twisted history. Probably among most notable historically for the “War of the Roses“, a feud mainly compromising of two cadet branches of the Plantagenet line; the House of Lancaster and the House of York. The Magna Carta which King John was forced to sign in 1215 is a significant historical document, regarded even today as an influence of the early American colonists in the Thirteen Colonies and the formation of the American Constitution. Isn’t that interesting? Without King John and his (depending on how you look at it) disastrous reign- the United States of America may not have existed as we know it to be today. Thanks King John of England- and all your political offspring! Much appreciated.
Overall, the paradigm of King John’s reputation and acts as ruler of England are not positive. He has been portrayed by historians as greedy and satanic. Yes- you heard that right, satanic. Medieval biographers portrayed King John as the ultimate evil villain. Some historians have called the Angevin Kings of England the “devil’s crown”. Matthew Paris (a monk) even went as far as to chronicle John’s attempted conversion to Islam in exchange for military aid from the Almohad ruler Muhammad al-Nasir (this has since been debunked). King John had a strong opposition to the Roman Catholic church, and was excommunicated by Pope Innocent III during his reign. There is a lot of history here, too much to go into detail in this article. But I suggest if this is something that interests you, or if you are totally unfamiliar with this point in European history, looking deeper will give you a further understanding of how important King John really was- and how he is continually portrayed throughout history even today.
Through stories, plays and other forms of entertainment we are frequently exposed to King John of England, and usually not in a positive manner. Sometimes allegorically- sometimes blatantly. But nearly all such stories have biblical, masonic and/or Merovingian undertones. Such as:
Walt Disney’s Robin Hood:
In Walt Disney’s (a 33 degree Mason) Robin Hood, we have King John (then acting King Regent) a cowardly tyrant, egotistical, vain, and greedy. His personal advisor is a snake named Sir Hiss and he controls the will of Maid Marian (Mary Magdelene?) who is forbidden to marry Robin Hood (Jesus Christ/savior figure?)- the hero with his merrie men (disciples?) who steal from the rich, and give to the poor. I realize that Walt Disney did not invent this story- but I have always found it interesting the animals chosen for these character roles, and the guaranteed exposure to American children of the time to King John the “evil King” the “phony king of England”. Just think about it for a minute… what were The Adventures of Robin Hood really about allegorically? How about on the surface?
Released in theaters in 1973, during the reign of King Nixon (haha) amidst his political corruption allegations mere weeks before, an entire generation of American kids learned about corrupt politics, too much taxation, and stealing that is rewarded with the outlaws becoming crown-royal in-laws? Talk about mixed messages… yikes. King John is of course the main villainous character in all Robin Hood stories.
“Yeah I’m the taxman, and you’re working for no one but me…”
Another famous “historical” account comes from Shakespeare’s King John. Shakespeare portrays John in a more flattering light than other “historical” musings. And indeed, other historical and fictional records (albeit few) paint king John as a hero of the Protestants, even a martyr. It is said that a monk may have poisoned king John in retaliation, or he may have contracted dysentery. He is the subject of many famous works besides these few mentioned, such as Ivanhoe, and a really funny poem by A.A. Milne “King John’s Christmas” accentuating John’s immature, effeminate cowardice per norm. Regardless, John is a very controversial character within our given “history” and one that helped shape modern day society as we know it to be, or rather as we have learned it to be.
Come Together in Liverpool:
Finally, a Beatles connection. Well, sort of. According to Wikipedia:
“Although a small motte and bailey castle had earlier been built by the Normans at West Derby, the origins of the city of Liverpool are usually dated from 28 August 1207, when letters patent were issued by King John advertising the establishment of a new borough, “Livpul”, and inviting settlers to come and take up holdings there”
Liverpool was founded by king John by royal charter. John had built a castle there, called the very creative “Liverpool castle” which stood until its removal in the 1700’s. The town also erected a tower, for housing its mayors… (or more precisely the mayor built a tower for himself in which to live) the Stanley’s; Earls of Derby. The Stanley’s and the various Earls of Derby have been discussed in a few articles on thenumbernineblog already check here. It was barons like these that gave King John such trouble during his reign. Coincidentally(?) Ferdinando, the fifth Earl of Derby, Baron Strange of Knockin, was a patron of, amongst others, William Shakespeare (of course!) and was a member of this Stanley line. It’s probably a good time to remind you of John Lennon’s mother’s maiden name- which of course is Stanley, but no need to re-dig previously filled rabbit holes- hopefully this is starting to make a bit of sense.
My first glimpse into the synchronisitic realm of King John and John Lennon/the Beatles came over a year ago when I happened upon this very intriguing set of murals and corresponding riddles in Liverpool. You can read more about the entire set here, but as it pertains to this article, the beautiful artwork of Grant Searl boasts an abundance of surreal and esoteric imagery. Although called “The Madness of King John” the only King John I see here is that of John Lennon.
This mural is located at the Liverpool Lime Street Underpass station. Oddly enough, The Beatles mention Liverpool’s Lime Street in their song “Maggie Mae” which is about a maiden robber (Robin Hood/Maid Marian?)- just a bit curious. I still have yet to solve the riddle. Any Ideas? “So if you see right through this clue, all should be clear to you.” Well- it is not quite clear yet, but I think we may be getting closer to the answer.
Jane Asher, Paul McCartney’s long-time girlfriend and short-time fiance is described as having a privileged background due to her blue-blooded heritage. She has offered a lock of her flaming red hair to prove that King Richard III (her not-so-distant ancestor) did not kill his nephews ending the Plantagenet lineage as history has lead us to believe. More She shares the same bloodline as Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of York, Pattie Boyd-Harrison (see “To the Nines“) of course which then leads us to Sybilla Edmonstone (namesake of George Harrison’s London nightclub), as well as Suki Poitier as discussed previously in “A Day in the Life of Tara Browne” article. Which of course, all boils down to the father of the Plantagenet’s- King John.
Interestingly, with all of these important people -Politicians,Presidents and otherwise- ultimately sharing lineages with that of the the Plantagenet’s, one would assume that the Beatles would also be part of the family (I mean- if you go back far enough right?) You would think that being from England, would give them a more likely chance of having such descendants right? I have not been able to confirm this. Perhaps it is way way back from mothers to fathers etc etc. But as far as I can tell, neither of the 4 Beatles can be traced back to the Plantagenet Dynasty. *Disclaimer/Additional info- There seem to be an abrupt end to genetic information online. George has information available about his ancestry up to the 1700’s- . Ringo only to his Grandfather, who would sign legal documents using a variety of aliases. John is interesting as well, his mother’s Stanley line is recorded online up to the 1600’s, and then no further information (but likely came to Liverpool from Ireland at some point). The McCartney’s have done much of the work themselves, claiming ancestry from the McIntosh clan of Scotland. …McIntosh? Really? Well, how do ya like them apples? Is he just making this up, or is he for real? At this point, nothing surprises me anymore. According to Scotsman.com:
“Scotland is an area that has strong links with my family. In fact I have done some research and traced our roots back to the McIntosh clan. It seems my family came over from Ireland to Scotland about 150 years ago or so – before travelling down to Liverpool.” -Paul McCartney 2008
As an slight antidote- when I saw this meme online a few years ago, I just had to laugh. How great is this? LOL Obama’s blueblood lineage comes from his mother’s side. Too perfect to pass up.
In conclusion, what we have here is a long and winding road of oddities and curiosities. Coincidences and synchronicity that ultimately leads into the labyrinth of Beatles Mysteries that we are so accustomed to here on this blog. Is it a coincidence that every POTUS (except one) can trace their lineage back to King John of England? Is it a coincidence that the Beatles married (or almost married) into this same bloodline? Can you trace your lineage back to King John? I would love to know just how common of an ancestor King John might be to the average citizen. For now, I am preparing to watch tonight’s third and final presidential debate (thank goodness its almost over) between “cousins” Hilary Clinton-Plantagenet and Donald “not-so-Lackland” Trump. I may just put on Sgt. Pepper’s “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” to add to the already existing circus atmosphere of this entire election season.
Thanks for reading, please do not hesitate to comment. I appreciate your feedback, and especially your critiques.
…To Be Continued…