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" Friendship is a sheltering tree "

Coleridge

The Radical Roots of Modern Druidry

August 19th, 2010
A misperception of modern-day Druids is that they are flakey New Agers out of touch with the reality of living in a difficult and challenging world. Not so! The modern Druid movement has been founded upon the ideas and inspiration of engaged radicals, as Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, Bristol University points out:

‘On radical Druidry: Stukeley was (at first) a pagan Neoplatonist who disapproved of the intolerance of Christianity; Iolo a pacificist and republican, who was regarded as dangerous by the government and held a Gorsedd of Bards that was broken up by mounted militiamen; William Price a revolutionary who plotted to overthrow the state by an armed uprising, did not believe in marriage or Christianity, and won a law case that made cremation possible in the UK; George Watson (Macgregor) Reid a radical socialist who incited workers to strike and native peoples in North Africa to resist Western imperialism. The claimed list of Chosen Chiefs is a roll-call of radicals and freethinkers.’
Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, Bristol University