Arthur Uther Pendragon
||This biographical article is written like a résumé. (August 2010)|
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|Arthur Uther Pendragon|
Arthur attending 2010 Stonehenge Summer Solstice ritual
5 April 1954 |
Wakefield, Yorkshire, England
|Known for||Helping to restore the rights of neo-druids to worship at Stonehenge. Many anti-road and other environmental campaigns.|
|Title||Titular Head and Chosen Chief,
Raised Druid King of Britain.
|Parents||May Victoria Barratt (Mother) and Wilfred Lawrence Rothwell (Father)|
Arthur Uther Pendragon (born John Timothy Rothwell, 5 April 1954) is an English eco-campaigner, neo-druid leader, media personality, and self-declared reincarnation of King Arthur, a name by which he is also known.
Early years 
Arthur was born John Timothy Rothwell to a working-class family in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Later, the family moved to Aldershot, Hampshire as Arthur's father became stationed in the British Army there.
In the early 1970s he rode a custom-built Triumph Thunderbird, attended free festivals such as Windsor free festival and Stonehenge free festival and became head of a biker gang called the Gravediggers (later renamed the Saddletramps). Arthur was given the nickname 'King John' due to holding parties at the ruined castle at Odiham which they called 'King John's Castle'.
Becoming Arthur 
After reading a book by Gareth Knight on King Arthur, he claimed to be astonished to see so many similarities between himself and Arthur in the book, and decided to adopt the new name. He officially changed his name to Arthur Uther Pendragon on 11 June 1986 by deed poll.
Arthur is largely known for his many battles with the British Government (in the form of English Heritage). He has campaigned for the right of everybody to legally enter the monument at Stonehenge at the Solstices, picketing the site between September 1990 and January 1991.
On 19 October 1998, with assistance from organisations such as Liberty who acted as Arthur's Counsel, Arthur was able to have his case heard by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Arthur claimed that because of the exclusion zone around Stonehenge, that his freedom of thought, conscience, religion and freedom of expression were restricted under the European Convention of Human Rights under articles 9, 10 and 11. Although the court decided in favour of the UK government, Arthur can be justified in claiming victory as the exclusion zone around Stonehenge was never repeated. In 2000, full public access to Stonehenge was officially granted for celebrating the solstices.
Although Arthur Pendragon had been involved in consultation meetings with English Heritage for over 10 years, he believed that things were moving far too slowly; the consultation costs were escalating at over £7 million. So Arthur, again, took to conducting a picket of Stonehenge and complained that English Heritage were, in his eyes, becoming guilty of mismanagement of the monument. Arthur's allegations centred on English Heritage's promise to return the monument to its natural environment with the roads and visitors centre moved further away and hidden from sight.
After 10 months of picketing the Stonehenge visitors centre, Arthur proved victorious again. English Heritage announced that they would create a new, hidden, visitors centre and remove the road close to the monument. With this news, Arthur was happy to remove his picket on 19 May 2009.
In August 2011 Pendragon in a high Court appeal to have the cremated remains of forty 'Guardians' of Stonehenge to be reburied. However, Pendragon sees that he didn't lose in court as the remains legally have to be reburied back at the Stonehenge site by 1st November 2015.
Although the remains of 40 cremated bodies will be reburied, English Heritage plan to display the remains of one body, which was not part of the 2008 archaeological dig, at the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre. Pendragon has voiced his opposition to displaying the body's remains, claiming that out of respect to the ancient British ancestors replica bones should be on view instead.
Poll Tax Protest 
After refusing to pay the Poll Tax, he was summoned to Magistrates court. His case was presided over by Lord Tenby. Lord Tenby allowed Arthur to wear his robes and sword in court, and allowed Arthur to swear oath on his sword. At the end of the hearing, the case went against Arthur and he was ordered to pay his Community Charge.
Other legal cases 
Arthur has been arrested, mainly for trespass, over 30 times. Whilst in prison as a remand prisoner, Arthur has been denied his remand prisoners right to wear his own clothing – his Neo-Druidic robe – and ordered to wear prison uniform. Arthur, refusing to comply with these orders, has then been left without clothing and put in solitary confinement. Due to Arthur's continued stance at challenging this point, he has had considerable success. Neo-Druids on remand in HM Prisons are now allowed to wear their neo-druidic robes.
Arthur had been supporting and taking part in a protest in Kingston-upon-Thames when he learned about a place where seven ancient English monarchs had their coronations. Just as contemporary UK monarchs have been coronated using the Stone of Scone Saxon monarchs used another stone – the Coronation Stone. Whilst Arthur was in the area he took advantage of the situation and on 3 January 1998, after inviting many guests, was proclaimed 'Raised Druid King of Britain' by representatives from 5 neo-druid orders.
Candidate at elections 
- Sydney Morning Herald, 25 December 2009 ("Mr Pendragon, formerly known as John Rothwell")
- Pendragon & Stone (2003) pp.28–32
- Cohen, N, (1995-06-11)
- Penton, K, (2008)
- Pendragon & Stone (2003) p.90
- Pendragon & Stone (2003) pp.225–227
- Loyal Arthurian Warband, Free Stonehenge Picket
- Loyal Arthurian Warband, Media
- King Arthur Pendragon loses human remains legal battle: BBC News - King Arthur Pendragon loses human remains legal battle
- Stonehenge bones decision backed by humanist association: BBC News - Stonehenge bones decision backed by humanist association
- Stonehenge should display fake human remains, druid says: BBC News - Stonehenge should display fake human remains, druid says
- Judicial Review: Judicial Review - STONEHENGE PICKET NEWS & NOTICES
- Pendragon & Stone (2003) pp.95–96
- Loyal Arthurian Warband, Bardic Corner
- Pendragon & Stone (2003) pp.220–223
- Loyal Arthurian Warband, Archives
- Berens, C, (1994-02-10) Britons, behold your King. The Independent.
- Cohen, N, (1995-06-11) King Arthur fights holy war.
- Glastonbury Order of Druids, History
- Kennedy, Maev (2008-06-21) "Sturdy survivor of Stonehenge jape surfaces after 40 years", The Guardian, retrieved 2010-09-01
- Loyal Arthurian Warband, Bardic Corner.
- Loyal Arthurian Warband, Free Stonehenge Picket – the story so far: What was the reason behind the picket?
- Loyal Arthurian Warband, Media.
- Loyal Arthurian Warband, Archives.
- Morris, S, (2009-05-03) Stonehenge protester King Arthur Pendragon defies eviction order. The Guardian.
- Pendragon, A, U, & Stone, C, J, (2003) The Trials of Arthur: The Life and Times of a Modern-day King.
- Pendragon Independent (2005)
- Pendragon, A, U, King Arthur's Kingly Accoutrements
- Penton, K, Sunrise Festival Interview. (2008)
- "It dawns on Druids they're a day early for solstice", Sydney Morning Herald, 25 December 2009, retrieved 2010-09-01
- Arthur Pendragon and Chris J. Stone (2003). The Trials of Arthur: The Life and Times of a Modern-day King. Thorsons. ISBN 0-00-712114-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Arthur Uther Pendragon|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Arthur Uther Pendragon|
- Arthur's 2010 Salisbury Election Website
- Arthur's official Loyal Arthurian Warband website
- Slate – The British Election: King Arthur versus the Tory Cybersquatter details Arthur's 2005 Winchester campaign
- YouTube – Interview with Arthur Pendragon
- YouTube – Leading parade dance at Stonehenge 2005