To Whom It May Concern
On 23 July 2008 Shani Oates visited me in Bristol, bringing with her five letter from Mike Howard, dated between 2 August 1996 and 2 July 2008, and thirty-six letters from Evan John Jones, dated between 23 August 1996 and 20 August 2003. As I corresponded with both gentlemen within that same period, I can verify that the correspondence concerned was written on their usual typewriters and bears their true signatures.
From these documents, I can verify the following pieces of information:
- That Shani Oates was introduced to Evan John Jones [known to his friends as John] by Mike Howard, in August 1996, having no other mean of contact with him.
- That by early 1998, John was expecting that the Clan of Tubal Cain, which he led, would perish with him, and that he was expecting its regalia to be destroyed on his death along with its identity as a group.
- That he decided in the course of the spring and summer of 1998 that Shani was the ideal person to carry on on his tradition, and therefore on 26 September of that year he ceremonially invested her with the office of Maid or Lady of the Clan. His letters make quite explicit that this office was the one which held supreme and undivided authority over the whole Clan, and that after Shani's investiture with it he himself looked to her as its leader.
- That John then left it to Shani to form a working group to carry on the Clan's tradition, which she swiftly did. He did not meet with any other members of this group until its May's Eve celebration in 1999, which he attended as an honored guest and at which he formally handed over the regalia of the Clan to Shani.
Signature of Ronald Hutton
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