Skip to comments.The Mystery of the Westford Knight
Posted on 04/28/2014 4:43:24 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
One particular bit of speculative history that has fascinated me for decades is the story that a Scot sailing for Norway discovered America about a hundred years before Columbus made his famous trip in 1492. This Scot, Henry Sinclair by name, is said to have spent some time in Nova Scotia and then sailed south along the New England coast before returning to Scotland. In particular, hes supposed to have visited Westford, Massachusetts, lost one of his knights there, and left behind a memorial punched into a ledge. Theres a lot of disagreement about this. If you want all the details, you can read a recent book by David Goudsward titled The Westford Knight and Henry SInclair...
Anyway, given that Henry Sinclair was a Scot, how could I not use parts of the story in my Liss MacCrimmon Scottish-American Heritage series? So, in the entry that will be available tomorrow, Bagpipes, Brides, and Homicides, I have a medieval Scottish conclave taking place as part of the annual highland games. Part of the entertainment is supposed to be a reenactment of a battle between Sinclairs men and native Americans. Did it ever happen? Who knows? But one of Sinclairs men did end up dying, so they say, in Westford, Massachusetts...
(Excerpt) Read more at mainecrimewriters.com ...
My guess is quite a few people from Europe made it to America before Columbus. Except for the Vikings I doubt any of them made it back to Europe.
I have often read about early American explorers running into Indians who spoke various English dialects or maybe just knew a few words.
I don’t know how the weather is there, but it’s more like the onset of winter here today, howling wind, high of 49F, sucks, basically.
A summer vacation spent looking at artifacts sounds good, doesn’t it? Somewhere I have photos of the Newport Round Tower, inside and out, including that small arched niche about halfway up the inside of the thing. In the 1940s a runic inscription (translates as “stool” iow “seat”) was discovered on it, and Barry Fell noted that Verrazano (a Florentine explorer in the employ of France) described it as a “Norman tower” (there’s a high level of denial about this) about a century before the English settlement of Rhode Island.
The Westford Knight, the Newport Tower, and Related Sites
A blog dedicated to discussion of exploration of North America before Columbus
Prince Henry Sinclair, The Westford Knight
Clan Gunn Society of North America
(image search with eight hits, spam alert, so just load and view the images one by one, don't visit the page)
Inscriptions and Carvings - Amazing Massachusetts
He almost established a colony there, but then made the mistake of serving the natives Haggis. They were not amused.
That’s probably why they killed him.
cf. “The Lost Colony of the Templars: Verrazano’s Secret Mission to America”
By Steven Sora
cf. p35 where Vikings could have sailed to Albany NY in 1000`s.
cf Viking timbers discovered near Albany, NY by a farmer, & looked at by NY State Archaeological Dept. but hushed up after that.
cf. “Celtic” buildings discovered on SW side of Lake George and also hushed up by by NY State Archies. [my brother saw these.]
Also another “Celtic” settlement east of Paradox Lake on the downslope toward Lake Champlain, also hushed up the NY State Archies.
Here they are calling it a “Viking” settlement, or even calling it a “Celtic settlement”
cf also 2008 NY State Archaeological dig 3 miles east of the above wherein a stone wall was discovered that is 1/4 mile long and the NY Archies are calling it a 10,000 year old Aboriginal settlement... except there are no records of Aboriginal Peoples anywhere this area for hundreds of miles building 1/4 mile stone walls.
I have seen this wall myself. Upon enquiry to the NY Archies, I found out that there is no report for this site at all. It s only 100 yards from my farm; so this one is hushed up too.
Also 2 rock inscriptions showing swords, and one with helmeted figure and a curved sword 2 miles east of the
Site near Paradox, and 3 miles east, resp.
Also 5 or 6 large flat rocks with figures and runic?/ inscriptions same area within 25 yards of the swords -
also one mile north of the swords are several rock inscriptions showing north star/big dipper oriented north rock inscriptions
with unknown characters, appear to be sundials.
America B.C.A fascinating letter I received from a Shoshone Indian who had been traveling in the Basque country of Spain tells of his recognition of Shoshone words over there, including his own name, whose Shoshone meaning proved to match the meaning attached to a similar word by the modern Basques. Unfortunately I mislaid this interesting letter. If the Shoshone scholar who wrote to me should chance to see these words I hope he will forgive me and contact me again. The modern Basque settlers of Idaho may perhaps bring forth a linguist to investigate matters raised in this chapter. [p 173]
by Barry Fell
(1976) find it in a nearby library
Mystery Hill a.k.a. America’s Stonehenge is clearly ancient and megalithic, and despite the radiocarbon dating done some years ago (the ‘barrow’ part of the structures had a hearth, the carbon in it tested to 2000 BC) there are ninnies who claim it was built by a colonial family in the past 400 years.
Was Christopher Columbus in Greenland 15 years before he discovered America?
I made a point if seeing this a few weeks back. You definitely can see a sword but a knight I couldn’t see. There is a TV show on I think Discovery Channel called “America Unearthed” that points out some very interesting places in the US and elsewhere that could be connected. Some of it is stretching it but most of it is pretty good. The same guy had a show about the Kennsington stone that was really eye opening and well done. Scott Walter is his name.
I have no linguistic training at all and am just throwing out a few things which have caught my attention over the years. Probably just coincidence but you never know.
Some Finnish words seem similar to Japanese and also some seem similar to Turkish names.
The difference is:
“When Chris discovered America it stayed discovered”.
Cocain was found in Egyptian Mummies—someone must have got the drugs and sold them to the Egyptians. The story of the beared “Feathered Serpent” may be stories of Ancient Explorer/Merchants—Carthage perhaps? Romans had the ships—they sailed them to China—a trip to the Americas would have been easy—Someone should build a Roman style merchant ship and try to sail from Rome to Mexico. It would make a good TV show. We know that ships did sail west from Spain in Roman Times—no record of them returning.
And his name was Corrigan
I believe America was visited by others before Columbus. I’ve read that the Indians in the northeast were different from the western Indians.
In New England there are Mystery place... such as Gullywamp (sp)Near Groton, CT.
I read the Hjalmar Holand book on the stone, he did an excellent job, but the hatchet jobs have continued to fly.
:’) That’s what is often said. It never stopped being known about per se, but colonization periods were circumscribed by natural climate changes. By 1492, for the first time, the colonizers had firearms, a definite advantage over what was basically stone-age technology of PreColumbian Americans. And the stream of colonists was continuous.
Finns have a loan vocubulary from the Huns, and naturally, the Huns came from the steppe.
I like your idea of a show, sort of Roman Empire version of Thor Heyerdahl’s Ra Expeditions.
Romans in Brazil During the Second or Third Century?
If you get a chance to photograph any or all of those, let me know.
Ancient Romans In Texas?
Why did American tech stay in the stone-age for so long? What stunted their growth?
Oooooh! good one!
Or, as the old saying goes, colonial root cellar my ass.
They used gold, silver, and copper, and probably meteoritic iron (I forget), but apparently only for decorative items, despite the fact that there was non-stop internecine warfare throughout PreColumbian America. The copper extracted in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan prior to the (documented) European presence exceeded the known use, until it was found in recent decades that the copper in Mexico and Central America originated in Michigan, at least as often as not. Big trade networks, just like everywhere else on Earth.
Stone blades (arrows, spears, hatchets, knives) work well, and can be re-edged for continuous use for perhaps years or more. They are more effective than the metals (other than the possible meteoritic iron) when hunting or in combat, and the armor reported by Bernal Diaz (”Conquest of New Spain”, last surviving member of Cortez’ expedition) was made of cotton. IOW, stone worked, the metals they knew didn’t work as well.
If one PreColumbian culture had discovered, say, bronze, it is not yet known, and the impact of that discovery would surely have been felt by other cultures and observed by the conquistadors and whatnot.
That is a very good point and one which is hard to explain if Europeans did visit America in ancient times.
Despite that, I do think there is evidence that they were here. It might be that is is difficult to start a new civilization from scratch even knowing certain things have been done. Maybe language and some genes were the only thing they left in any amount.
If one were to dump a dozen British citizens in the middle of North America in 1000 AD they probably would not have been able to replace their tools when they wore out. I do think they would have figured out a was to use the wheel tho.
I wonder, actually I believe, it had more to do with culture. Something in their culture was holding them back. They built enormous cities, roads, had cement and other innovations, but left it at that. Some way of thinking was limiting them, I believe.
> yarddog wrote: That is a very good point and one which is hard to explain if Europeans did visit America in ancient times.
And that’s a great point — but if the visits amounted to trade only, or small colonies that were later abandoned, assimilated, or wiped out, maybe not so much.
The lack of the wheel (apart from children’s toys) is difficult to fathom, but then again, they appear to have lacked much in the way of draft animals (llamas, sled dogs, that’s about it, other than the possibility of PreColumbian horses), and the rickshaw isn’t much of an improvement over walking. :’)
No wheel, but Ollantaytambo, Peru:
The photos will be in my book
It isn’t a root cellar. I think it was made by someone (Irish or Welsh) before Columbus. The Newport Tower is another mystery. I think it was Vikings.
Don’t forget Americas Stone Henge in North Salem, NH and Table Rock, a Dolmen in Lynn, Ma, that isn’t the official name we called it that when I was a kid.
I read that coal (from RI) were found in a Viking settlement in Greenland. I think Vinland was the southern New England area.
This is a great thread, lots to unpack here. Somehow, I had not heard of the Westford knight.
The supposed Westford Knight (Sir James Gunn) is supposedly my ancestor. Not totally convinced that Sinclair made this voyage, but makes for neat stories.