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Glastonbury, Holy Thorn Of

There is an ancient market town in Somersetshire, England, which owes its origin to a celebrated abbey, founded, according to tradition, in 60 A.D. We are further told that Joseph of Arimathea was the founder, and the "miraculous thorn" which flowered on Christmas day as believed by the common people to be the veritable staff with which Joseph aided his steps from the Holy Land. The tree was destroyed during the civil wars, but grafts flourish in neighboring gardens. Glastonbury has the honor of ranking Saint Patrick, 415 A.D., and Saint Dunstan, 940 A. D, among its abbots. In 1539 Henry VIII summoned Abbot Whiting to surrender the town and all its treasures, and on his refusal condemned him to be hanged and quartered, and the monastery confiscated to the king's use, which sentence was immediately carried into execution. King Arthur is said to be buried in this place.

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