The Earliest European Beliefs in their Hebraic Origins.

  Traditions of Israelite Descent  
  in England  

Introduction: Why We Believe.
Jewish Sources Concerning the British Isles in General.
Indications from Greek and Roman Mythology.
The Celtic Background.
Cornwall and Glastonbury.
Glastonbury and Joseph of
Traditions of Other Nations Concerning the Israelite Origin of the English.
(a) Netherlands. Albion and the Exiles from Assyria!
(b) Denmark.
Ancestry from Shem and
Sceld Sheafing Meaning Joseph..
Scelf Sheafing Equates with Joseph
The English Tradition of Assumed Kinship and/or Identity
Abarbanel and the Jews
John Sadler, Menasseh ben Israel, and Jews
Early Spread of the Belief.
Notable Adherents.
Notable Adherents added by Brit-Am.



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The Earliest West European Beliefs in their Israelite Origins. An Ongoing Series


Introduction: Why We Believe
The English are part of the British People. We trace the British (along with their offshoots) in general to Lost Israelites from all of the Ten Tribes but especially from the Tribes of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh.

We believe in this because the Hebrew Bible says it.
This is confirmed by other sources including secular ones.
Details may be found in our publications and in numerous articles on our web-site.

It IS IMPORTANT to remember that the present article is not out to confirm the Israelite origin of the British and English peoples.
We do this elsewhere, many times over.
We are for now merely tracing the belief as it appears in historical sources from as early a time as possible.
This is of interest and it is pertinent to the question of Israelite Origins in general.

The English are comprised of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, together with contingents from other "Germanic"-speaking groups such as the Vandals and Viking Scandinavians. All of these were super-imposed on British "natives" commonly referred to as Celts whose descendants may be the numerical majority even in England itself.

What applies to all these different peoples also is pertinent to the English.

Jewish Sources Concerning the British Isles in General.
Indications exist that amongst the Jews in Judea in the Land of Israel in Second Temple Times there existed a belief that the Ten Tribes and related bodies were to be found in the Isles of the Blessed meaning Ireland and Britain.

Aed and the Lost Tribes in Britain.


Brit-Am Now no. 1411
#7. Rechabites: A New and Unexpected Source?
Jewish Traditions Placed the Lost Ten Tribes in the British Isles!!

Indications from Greek and Roman Mythology.
Greek and Roman Mythology tended to identify Cronus (Saturn) with the Ancient Israelites. They also (in some versions) said that Saturn and his followers had been exiled to the British Isles. This could well be understood as saying that a portion of the Israelites were to be found in Britain!

See: The Identification of Israel with Saturn
by John R. Salverda.

Did the Ancients identify the Lost Israelites with Saturn in the British Isles?

The Celtic Background.
As stated that the ancestors of the Englishmen in many (perhaps most) cases may well prove to have been the native "Celts" whom the Angle and Saxon forces conquered and ruled over.
Beliefs in Israelite Origin amongst these "Celtic" Peoples will be discussed mainly in separate articles on Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.
What applies to them is also relevant concerning the Celts of Britain.

Cornwall and Glastonbury
The Province of Cornwall was inhabited by a people akin to the Welsh and was sometimes considered a part of Wales.
The Phoenicians had mined tin in Cornwall and this was probably their main source for the metal. Tin alloyed with copper makes Bronze.
There are not many source of tin available. Tin for making bronze in the Bronze and Iron Ages was very important in the ancient world.
Most of it was supplied by the Phoenicians.
Names and legends in Cornwall suggest not only an ancient Phoenician presence but also an Israelite one.
King Athelstan set the boundary between the English and Cornish peoples at the Tamar River in ca. 936 CE.  Later, Cornwall was probably either conquered or successfully infiltrated by the Anglo-Saxons and then the Normans completed its attachment to the English polity.

A Wikipedia article on British Israelism (6th March 2011) tells us:
# The idea that early Jewish miners were in Cornwall is found in numerous history books on Cornwall from the 19th century, including Richard Polwhele's History of Cornwall (1803) which notes that the oldest pits containing smelted tin in Cornwall were nicknamed Jew's Houses.[50]

A very old town in Cornwall is also known as Market Jew and British Israelites and others point out that this suggests an early Jewish settlement. Albert Montefiore Hyamson dedicated a chapter in his History of the Jews in England (1928) discussing the legends and historical sources of an early Jewish miner presence in Cornwall.
Rochelle Altman ("Silent Voices. The Story of Writing Systems in the West", 2004, USA) holds that colonies of Phoenicians existed in the southwest (Cornwall region) of Ancient and Roman Britain right up and into the Anglo-Saxon period. Cornwall (along with Wales and Brittany in France) was one of the places that gave rise to the legends and cult of King Arthur. This brings us to Glastonbury.

Glastonbury and Joseph of Arimathea
Glastonbury is a small town in Somerset, in the southwest of England, bordering on Cornwall.
Wikipedia tells us:
# Glastonbury... is notable for myths and legends ... concerning Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and King Arthur. In some Arthurian literature Glastonbury is identified with the legendary island of Avalon. Joseph is said to have arrived in Glastonbury and stuck his staff into the ground, when it flowered miraculously into the Glastonbury Thorn. #
 Joseph of Arimathea is a New Testament character who donated the grave he had prepared for himself to the Christian Messiah.
Later legend said that Joseph of Arimathea settled in Glastonbury. The resulting Pilgrimages brought prosperity to the Church establishments in the area. Joseph of Arimathea was ascribed descent from King David and considered an ancestor of King Arthur. The Tudor Monarchs were to claim descent from King Arthur so this in turn linked them to King David.

Barbara W. Tuchman ("Bible and Sword. England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour", 1956) discusses the case of Joseph of Armathea and Glastonbury. She shows (p.18) how in popular thinking Joseph of Armathea may have become confused with Joseph son of Israel.

Whatever the case, both Cornwall and Glastonbury do appear to have had an ongoing connection to the Land of Israel dating back for centuries.
The same applies to Wales.

Deborah K. E. Crawford ("St.Joseph In Britain: Reconsidering The Legends. Part 2", Folklore 105, 1994: 51 59.) quoting from Leslie Harding (amongst others) links Glastonbury to the "Celts" of Cornwall, Wales, and Ireland.
Glastonbury  "stood on the periphery of the old Celtic area of Dumnonia, which roughly corresponds to modern Cornwall, Devon, and Somerset".
                 " name evidence suggests that a large percentage of the population in Somerset and possibly Devon remained Celtic; Cornwall remained almost exclusively Celtic"...the Celtic Christians of the British Isles placed a "strong emphasis on the legal aspects of the Old Testament"... It is claimed that the Celtic Church was closer to Judaism than any other branch of Christianity.
                 "The shared elements include the keeping of the Saturday Sabbath, tithing, the definition of 'first fruits' and offerings, the establishment of walled precints for the priestly/monastic families, inheritance of religious office, and fasting and dietary restrictions. It also appears that the Celts kept Easter by older methods of reckoning, one of which caused Easter to coincide with the Passover".
                 "Other scholarship suggests that Irish Churchmen of the seventh and eighth centuries actually considered themselves to be priests and Levites, as defined under Old Testament law".

Traditions of Other Nations Concerning the Israelite Origin of the English.
(a) Netherlands. Albion and the Exiles from Assyria!
In our article on,
# Israelite Origin Traditions:
Netherlands: Holland, Frisia

we saw the figures of Saxo, Frisso, and Bruno identified in effect as Israelites.
Saxo represents the Saxons of Holland and England.
Frisso the Frisians who were also associated with the Angles and Saxons and participated in the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England.
Bruno was identified with the Angles.

Jean Francoise Le Petit in his History of the Netherlands (1601) apart from Saxo, Frisso, and Bruno also speaks of the Alebion or Albion, who had fled from Assyria to Britain. From there, they had been expelled by Brutus (who came from Troy) and so they moved to Frisia on the Dutch coast. In addition Le Petit recalls a parallel tradition that a certain “Brutus” had expelled “giants” from Britain. These “giants” were described as refugees from Assyria who from Britain went to Holland and there intermixed with the Saxons who later invaded Britain. Goeffrey of Monmouth related that ‘Brutus’ found a large number of ‘giants’ in Cornwall, which is known as having had early Phoenician or Phoenician-Israelite contacts. We have here two separate groups (i.e. Alebion and the "giants") who were considered refugees from Assyria, who had peopled Britain, been expelled and later returned as part of the Anglo-Saxon forces.
The Alebion or Alban were evidently a branch of the Alban who peopled Scotland and whom we saw was referred to in a Scottish Tradition as "the illustrious son of Isacon" meaning Isaac father of Israel.

Historically these legends reflect the comings and goings of peoples who settled in the British Isles. The settlement at times involved invasion, expulsion, and re-invasion.
We have here another piece of evidence linking the settlers of Britain to the Israelites who had been exiled from the Land of Israel by the Assyrians and taken to different parts of the Assyrian Empire.

(b) Denmark.
  Sharon Turner ("History of the Anglo-Saxons" vo.I., 1799-1805, p.130) quotes  the "Vetus Chronicon Holsatiae" p.54:
"the Danes and Jutes are Jews of the tribe of Dan" ...and that they were brothers to the Angles.

This means that the Angles were also considered descendants of Israel.

Ancestry from Shem and Sceld Sheafing Meaning Joseph.
The Anglo-Saxons and Frisians traced their ancestry to Shem son of Noah.
All other European nations fell in line with official Church Doctrine and adopted genealogies leading back to Japhet. Even genealogies (of the other nations) and Foundation legends that do indicate Israelite origins try somehow or other to also link up with Japhet. The Anglo-Saxons and Frisians were not so. Regardless of descent from Israel or not they still traced themselves back to Shem.

In some genealogies Shem was replaced by Sceaf also known as Sheild [Sceld] Sceafing.
Elsewhere Sceld is given as a descendants of Shem. Sceld was the ancestor of the Angles.
Sceaf in effect represents the figure of Joseph.

Sheld Sceafing son of Shem had appeared in the Angle center of Hedeby in North Germany. He turned up as as a child sleeping on an oarless boat.
Sheld taught his people the virtues of civilization.
Sheld combined aspects of both Joseph and Moses.
Don Mills (20 Aug 1999) sent us the following letter:
 Dear Yair,
 In response to some comments of Bill Cooper's, you wrote on Thursday, August 12:
#The English traced their ancestry back to Sheaf and said that Sheaf was descended from Shem. This is discussed by Leon
Poliakov in "The Aryan Myth." #
 As far as I can tell (the matter is bedeviled by competing claims in Old English and in continental Germanic sources), there is no statement anywhere in OE literature to the effect that Sceaf (Sheaf) "was descended from Shem"; rather there is some degree of agreement amongst Germanic genealogists of the Christian period that he was a direct son of Noah (e.g., "Se Sceaf waes Noes sunu," i.e., "This Sceaf was Noah's son" -- A S Chronicle, year 854).
Asserius, Alfred the Great's Welsh biographer, gave the name "Seth" at a point in the common genealogies of the Germanic [i.e. Anglo-Saxon] kings where continental genealogists had "Sceaf".  This is generally taken to be an error for "Sceaf", but some scholars have equated this "Seth" with "Shem" in the biblical genealogies of Jesus, so that rather than Sceaf being a *descendant* of Shem, they see this ancestor of the Germanic kings as Shem himself.
But in pre-Christian Germanic sources, such as the Icelandic Edda, Sceaf has no ancestry, and this is quite in line with the story of his origin.
According to the legends, he was found as an infant, floating on the sea in a small boat off the coast of Zealand [Denmark], by a priestess of
Nerthus, who named him "Sceaf" from the wheatsheaf his head was pillowed on.  His parentage was never discovered, and it was never known whether he was human or, in fact, of divine birth.

Sceaf was father to Scyld ("Shield"), and in the *Beowulf* epic, Sceaf's story is transferred to a composite figure, "Scyld Sceafing"; but a later resource, Aethelweard's Chronicle (late 10th Century), reapplies it to Sceaf.  The Chronicle summarises a variant tradition ("And this Sceaf arrived with one light ship in the island of the ocean which is called Skaney, with arms all round him.  He was a very young boy, and unknown to the people of that land, but he was received by them, and they guarded him with diligent attention as one who belonged to them, and elected him king.
("From his family King
Aethelwulf derived his descent"); but here too (as indeed in Beowulf) Sceaf has no ancestry.

I think that, in the light of these earliest views of
Sceaf, and his lack of parentage, it would be most unwise to accept the early (but post-pagan) Germanic and English genealogists' lists making him the son of Noah and ancestor of the Germanic kings.


Don Mills
New Zealand

In the above letter Don Mills admits that Sceaf or Seth ancestor of the Anglo-Saxons was equated with Shem.
He emphasizes however that the equation was made by later Christian writers.

Scelf Sheafing Equates with Joseph:
The name Sheafing could be derived from Joseph since in the Scythian area the theophoric [name of  God] element was dropped especially when it began with a vowel. That is, the Hebrew name "Yo-Seph" became "Seph" or Sheaf.

There exist a connection and similarity between Tyrgitaus ancestor of the Scyths and Sceld Sheafing. Elsewhere we have shown the existence of a cult idolizing the Patriarch Joseph in the Scythian area.

Sheaf or Sheafing was equated with the word "sheaf". Joseph had dreamt of sheaves of wheat and was symbolized by them.

Sheafing reformed the agricultural and communal practices of his people as did Joseph.

[The very name "Angle" (as in Anglo-Saxon) and Germanic tongues was interchangeable with the word "aegel" which in Hebrew means "bull-calf" and was considered a nickname for Ephraim (Jeremiah 31:18)].

The English Tradition of Assumed Kinship and/or Identity

The idea that the English may be descended from Israelites permeates English Historical Literature but it does so in an implied manner.
It is something that seems to be taken as a self-evident possibility or as a spiritual equivalent that may well have had physical parallels.
The Doom Book of King Alfred (c. 893 CE) describes the Anglo-Saxons as having been once 'strangers in Egypt' hinting a possible belief in Hebrew ancestry and other expression of King Alfred stengthen this possibility.

English leaders from Richard-1 to Elizabeth-1 and Oliver Cromwell are on record as referring to England as Israel. The question is whether they were speaking in figurative terms or in real physical ones?

In 1296 Edward-I moved the Stone of Scone from Stirling, Scotland to England. It was built into a throne on which English monarchs have been coronated ever since. Early legends say that this stone was that on which Jacob slept and saw the angels arising and descending. In this vision God promised Jacob that his descendants would be a great and might people. The legends said that the Stone had been taken from Israel to Ireland and from there to Scotland. It was associated with the promise of international pre-eminence to the descendants of Jacob. Whatever historical truth may or may not lurk behind these traditions, they served an ideological purpose. They implied that the Irish, Scottish, and English were one people, i.e. the British, and in them were destined to be fulfilled the promises to Jacob.

Whatever one may think about these legends the fact is that the Promises to Jacob indeed were fulfilled in the British and their offspring.

Leon Poliakov:
"The British had four great mythologies  with which to construct their own myth of origin -- the Greco-Roman, the Celtic, the Germanic and the Hebrew. In the writings of Gildas the Celts became the real Israel" ("The Aryan Myth", 1974 ch.3 p.44 ).

Edward-iv (1442-1483) traced his ancestry back to King Jehoshaphat (867-851 BCE) of Judah.
Brit-Am Now no. 1167
#2. English King Traced His Ancestry to the Kings of Judah.

The Welshman, John Dee (1527-1609), was an advisor to Queen Elizabeth-1. He believed in the British colonization of North America, a British Navy, and British Empire. He influenced Sir Francis Drake who claimed North America on behalf of England and named it "New Albion". Drake also referred to England as "Israel".

M. le Loyer, a French magistrate of Huguenot ancestry, in his book, "The Ten Lost Tribes Found" (1590) wrote that The Israelites came to and founded the English Isles.

 Francis Bacon was a scientist, alchemist, and philosopher. His last book, published posthumously in 1626, is entitled "The New Atlantis". In this work he describes an island which may represent an idealized version of Britain itself. The island is named "Bensalem" i.e. the New Jerusalem. The laws of Bensalem had been given by a "King Salomona" i.e. Solomon.
New Tribesman no.16
Early British Belief in Brit-Am Type Israelite Origins
"The New Jerusalem. The Extraordinary True Story of How a Secret Society Rebuilt London" by Adrian Gilbert, 2002, Corgi Books, Great Britain. Adrian

Abarbanel and the Jews
Don Isaac Abarbanel (also pronounced as "Abravanel", 1437-1508) was a Statesman of international repute and also a Biblical Commentator who had much influence on Christian scholars.
He believed the Lost Ten Tribes were in the east. He also admired the English. He believed that many Israelites had settled in France and the British Isles.
He never expressly identifies England with the Lost Ten Tribes but on several occasions comes quite close to doing so.
Britain, France, and Northwest Europe in Explicit Prophecy

There was also the phenomenon over the centuries of Jews such as Iben Ezra visiting England and Englishmen learning Hebrew.
In 1290 the Jews had been expelled from England. It appears that many had remained. Villages of converts to Judaism had formerly existed in England.
Henry-vii (first of the Tudor monarchs, reigned 1485-1509) married his son to the daughter of the King of Spain. One of the marriage stipulations to which Henry agreed was that the bar against the entrance of Jews would not be relaxed.
Henry-viii (reigned 1509-1547) employed a group of Marrano Jewish musicians. The Papal envoy in England protested so Henry sent them away and then brought them back again, one by one.
Later Henry-viii appealed to Jewish scholars against the Pope in his divorce case.
David S. Katz. The Jews in the History of England 1485-1850

As a result of this episode Henry declared himself supreme head of the Church in England, abolished Papal authority, and disbanded the monasteries.
Elizabeth-1 (daughter of Henry viii, reigned 1558-1603) knew Hebrew.  A Jewish Marrano doctor was falsely accused of trying to assassinate Elizabeth and subsequently executed. Elizabeth later realized that the charge had been a false one. Elizabeth befriended a young Jewish woman who upon feeling pressure to change her religion left the country.

All these and more social and cultural contacts had a cumulative effect. The English language and English dialects and slang expressions often show similarities to Hebrew. Traditional English music is also similar to that of the Jews. These are facts that are frequently discovered and rediscovered by Jewish and Gentile scholars familiar with both sides of the picture.

A lot of people in England and the British isles believe or at least in the past believed that their ancestors were probably Hebrews!

John Sadler, Menasseh ben Israel, and Jews
 Menasseh ben Israel (1604-1657) was of Spanish Marrano descent and related to the family of Abarbanel. He became the leading rabbi of the Netherlands.
Menasseh corresponded with John Sadler in England who greatly admired him. John Sadler announced in the English Parliament that the English were descended from Israel. Sadler also wrote "The Rights of the Kingdom" tracing Old English laws back to Hebrew sources finding parallels in Talmudic Literature.

English Common Law is apparently similar in many ways to that of the Talmud. This is a phenomenon that seems ot be remarked upon quite frequently.
Brit-Am Now no. 1393
#10. The Talmud and English Common Law.

John Sadler was a friend of Oliver Cromwell who appears to have shared similar views. Oliver Cromwell allowed the Jews to return to England. Up until then the presence of Jews (mainly Marranos from Spain and Portugal) had been tolerated but still formally considered illegal.  Cromwell brought Menasseh ben Israel over for a visit to England. Menasseh published  THE HOPE OF ISRAEL (in Hebrew "Mikveh Yisroel") in 1652. In this book Menasseh speaks of the Lost Ten Tribes. He discusses reports (extant in his day) that the Lost Ten Tribes had been found amongst the Red Indians in North America and amongst the natives of South America.
Menasseh also quotes from Ortellius who related the tradition that Dan and Napthali were in Scythia or Tartary.

The passage from Ortellius was explained and translated in our work,

The Tribes by Yair Davidy
Menasseh assumed that the Ten Tribes had crossed from Scythia to America which is how academics in our time also explain the arrival of the Amerindians.
On the whole Menaseh comes down strongly as declaring that various areas of Scythia were important areas of Exile. In addition he discusses Tarshish.
In Isaiah 60:9 it is predicted that the Lost Ten Tribes will return in ships of Tarshish.  Using Talmudic and Biblical sources Brit-Am has explained  that the meaning was ships from the Atlantic Ocean area.
Menasseh reached the same conclusion placing Tarshish in the Atlantic region. He  suggests that Tarshish would be found somewhere around the West Indies. It should be remembered that in his time the USA did not exist, the colonization of North America was just beginning, new lands and civilizations were regularly being discovered. Menasseh was attempting to explain the passage according to the reality of his own time. Menasseh does not try to say anything really definite about the Lost Ten Tribes in his book but discusses various reports and legends. He discusses the possibility that the Lost Ten Tribes are in India, Ethiopia, perhaps in Persia. He identifies the Isles of the Sea linked with the Lost Tribes in Isaiah 11:11 with the Americas.  The purpose of the book was to show that the Jews (including in his definition The Lost Ten Tribes) had been scattered all over the world and that they had to be in every place before the Messiah could come.

Menasseh quotes from Isaiah 11:12 HE WILL RAISE AN ENSIGN FOR THE NATIONS, AND WILL ASSEMBLE THE OUTCASTS OF ISRAEL, AND GATHER THE DISPERSED OF JUDAH FROM THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH.   Menasseh explained this verse as meaning that the Lost Ten Tribes are  the OUTCASTS OF ISRAEL who must be at the ends of the earth gathered together in specific areas whereas the Jews (Judah) are THE DISPERSED OF JUDAH i.e. the Jews who are scattered all over the world. Menasseh thought that this verse must be fulfilled literally and that Jews would have to be found in every nation before the Messianic Age.

Manasseh never expressly says that the Lost Ten Tribes are in the British Isles though he quotes the finding of a Hebrew-language inscription in the Scottish Hebrides. Such beliefs however are often ascribed to him and he was on friendly terms with John Sadler who spoke and wrote on the subject.

Other Jews in some way or other also contributed to the trend of thought leading to the conclusion that the English were of Israelite origin.

Early Spread of the Belief
During the Rule of Oliver Cromwell several different groups and individuals gave expression to the idea that the English were descended from the Ten tribes of Israel. Cromwell himself made statements that could be understood to that effect. This was not a new notion but must have existed for some time previously. Fear of the Church and the Establishment had however kept such beliefs "under-cover" as may be seen in the work of Franz Kobler concerning the restoration of the Jews to the Land of Israel.

Kobler tells us:

The identification of the English people with Israel found its most ecstatic expression in the rebellion organised by Thomas Vernier against Cromwell in 1657 and promptly put down.
In a contemporary manifesto the rebels pledged solemnly that they would not "sheathe their swords again until Mount Zion becomes the joy of the whole earth". Thomas Tarry, a London goldsmith, was one of several men who not only prophesied the impending Restoration of the Jews but actually conducted themselves as Heaven-sent redeemers. They originated a movement which, under the name of British-Israelites, was to acquire a surprising importance much later on. In a tract published in 1650, Tarry describes himself as a descendant of the tribe of Reuben and High Priest of the Jews. Shortly afterwards he was drowned when he set out in a small boat in order to call the Jews of Holland to
organise an expedition to reconquer the Holy Land.

France Kobler, "The Vision Was There!" (1956)
Part One 1.
pp.15-16 (Brit-Am .pdf edition).

John Toland (1670-1722) spoke of many of the Scottish and English being of Jewish descent. Toland appears to have based his statements on local traditions.

Jakob Abbadie's Triomphe de la Providence et de la Religion (1723) notes, "Unless the Ten Tribes have flown into the air, or have been plunged to the centres of the earth, they must be sought for in the north and west...and in the British Isles". Abbadie believed the lost 10 tribes were Goths who moved into Britain and other parts of Northern Europe, including France.
Abbadie was a Protestant theologian and propagandist of some importance in his time. He lived in Ireland and England but was born a French Protestant in France. The name is Jewish.

In 1793 Richard Brothers declared his task to be leading the Jews back to the Land of Israel. He also said that many of the British were descended from the Ten Tribes and he would lead them back as well. Brothers had prophesied the death of the King so he was imprisoned for treason and later put in an insane asylum. He was quite eccentric and somewhat amusing in his own way. Cecil Roth wrote an entertaining little booklet describing his antics. In his time Roberts did succeed in arousing public interest and popularizing notions that later became associated with British-Israel.

Ezra Stiles in the USA published "The United States elevated to Glory and Honor" (1783) which identifies the British and American peoples with the Lost Ten Tribes and traces them back to the Exiles who from Assyria moved to Scythia and then to Europe.

Sharon Turner (1768-1847) was one of the first modern historians. He traced the Anglo-Saxons to the Scythian Sakai of southern Russia. He presents his historical accounts and quotes from sources (such as the Danish  "Vetus Chronicon Holsatiae") in such a way as to indicate that he too may have believed in the Israelite origin of the English and related peoples.

In 1827 Sir Henry Rawlinson transcribed the Behistun Inscription in Persia. This was understood to equate the Cimmerians and Scythian Sacae as one people. Rawlinson also suggested that the name Omri as transcribed in Assyrian and the Name for Cimmerian were interchangeable. The Assyrians named the Israelites after King Omri. They referred to the Israelite Kingdom as Bait Khumri (House of Omri) or just as Khumri (i.e. Omri) long after the original monarch of that name had passed away. The Cimmerians at that time were equated with Gomer and understood to represent the ancestors of the Celts and Germanic-British peoples. This implied  that the British might be descended from the Hebrews.

In our work "Lost Israelite Identity. The Hebrew Origin of Celtic Races"
we analyze the linguistics concerned equating Gomri [Cimmerians]  with Khumri-Omri [Israelites] and find the linguistics to be feasible.
New findings strengthen the linguistic equation. We ourselves did not put much emphasis on this similarity in itself since other explanations are also possible.
Nevertheless it still may well serve as "scientific" evidence and in the past was considered much more potent evidence than it would be today.
In addition it has now become clear that Jewish Sources confirm the Gomer-Israelite Equation. On the one hand this is obvious from the first two chapters of the Book of Hosea. Nevertheless it still helps when great and renowned authorities confirm it.
See the article:
GOMER is a Name of Israelites!
According to Rabbi Yisrael Alter ("Beis Yisroel"), Rabbi of of Gur!

This article explains how Rabbi Yisrael Alte (1895 - 1977), also known as the "Beis Yisroel", the fourth Rebbe of the Hasidic dynasty of Ger from 1948 until 1977 affirmed that the Israelites (especially when associated with Joseph and the Future Redemption) are known as Gomer and as Gomrim or Gomerites.
It is unlikely that the Rabbi was influenced by British Israelite teaching though it could somehow have happened, even indirectly. Otherwise we must assume that the Rabbi reached his conclusion through indepdendent Bible Study and/or Divine Inspiration.

John Wilson in 1840 published "Our Israelitish Origin".
# There he claimed that the peoples of Israel made their way across the continent of Europe to the British Isles. He brought evidence to bear from works by Diodorus and from Ptolemy,...He studied the works of Rawlinson, Herodotus and Josephus and quotes extensively from Sharon Turner. #

Wilson's work sold in the hundreds of thousands.
After that numerous other writers followed in his tracks and several organizations sprang up.

Charles Piazzi Smyth (Astronomer Royal for Scotland) was influenced by Wilson and agreed with his beliefs. Piazzi Smyth sought to confirm the proposed ancestral links between the British and Hebrews through a mathematical study of the pyramids.

These personalities were numbered amongst the leading academics of their time.

British Israel Originally Amongst the Eartliest Supporters of Restorationism i.e. Zionism Supported by Britain.
Franz Kobler tells us:
      # A simultaneous phenomenon was the rise of British-Israelism. Its origins go back to the beginnings of Puritanism and, at a later stage, to Richard Brothers (see p. 43), but as a sect British-Israel did not come into being until the middle of the nineteenth century. The year 1845 saw the publication of the first systematic work of this eccentric school, John Wilson's Our Israelitish Origin. The followers of the new creed claimed that the ancestors of the Saxon races appeared in the seventh, or eighth century B.C.E.: at the very place in Asia to which the inhabitants of the Israelitish Kingdom had been removed early in the eighth century. For Israel thus rediscovered in the English people the originators of the theory laid claim to the blessings of Abraham and asserted that it would also perform the Restoration of the descendants of Judah and Levi. "The Jews most assuredly will return to Judaea, but not until we ourselves restore them", said Edward Hine, one of the exponents of British-Israelism.

      # On this evidence, British-Israelism may be regarded as a branch of the Restoration Movement, though apart from its eccentricity it held an inherent contradiction to the fundamental Messianic principle of the Restoration idea and this provoked violent opposition especially from Restorationists themselves.

Franz Kobler "The Vision Was There. A History of the British Movement for the Restoration of the Jews to Palestine" London, 1956, Part Four, III. CONTINUANCE AND TRANSFORMATION.

The Story of Tea Tephi also did much (possibly as much as anything else) to popularize the belief.

This legend traces the British Monarchy back to a Jewish princess who married a local Irish prince.
From their issue descend the Monarchs of Britain.
It may not sound much and it has little to base itself upon but the story became immensely popular and it still is a favorite.
It has been claimed that the British Royal Family generously funded the researcher who first propounded the tale and supplied the necessary genealogy.
British Israel
Tephi - The fall of a princess
It would seem that the Tea-Tephi myth was initiated by a BI [British-Israel] scholar named F.R.A Glover 1861 3. Glover combined the totally unrelated names of 'Tea' and 'Tephi' (known people with known ancestries) into one mythical person. This error was then adopted unchecked by other British-Israelites, including C.A.L. Totten's first five volumes of Our Race (1890-92), followed by W.M.H. Milner, The Royal House of Britain an Enduring Dynasty (1902), J.H. Allen (1902) and Herbert W. Armstrong 2 . It was also adopted, by most, if not all, Revivalist BI scholars.
British Israelites claim that Queen Victoria was sympathetic to their movement.
A letter written by George VI in 1922 (published in The Independent, 6 April, 1996) before he was king and still known as Albert, the Duke of York, says:
I am sure the British Israelite business is true. I have read a lot about it lately and everything no matter how large or small points to our being ’the chosen race’.

At first all these beliefs tended to be accompanied by a sympathetic attitude towards the Jews.
Many famous and important people were influenced by them.
Later things changed.
Brit-Am is more in accordance with the original belief and historical tendency than any other movement.

For more on this subject and British Israel see our article:
Brit-Am versus British Israel.
Brit-Am is Closer to the Original British-Israel Movement in the Positive Sense!!

Notable Adherents
A list published by Wikipedia (article "British Israelism") gives the following well-known adherents of British Israel type belief and after that we have added (below) names of others who were known to believe in the matter.

Notable adherents
Richard Brothers (1757–1824), early believer and teacher of this theory.
John Wilson (1799–1870), collected his lectures in a book, Our Israelitish Origin (1840).
Charles Piazzi Smyth, the pyramidologist and Astronomer Royal for Scotland.
William H. Poole, minister, known for his book Anglo-Israel or the Saxon Race?: Proved to be the Lost Tribes of Israel (1889).
J. H. Allen, wrote Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright which was the basis of Herbert W. Armstrong's teachings on this same subject.
C. A. L. Totten, Professor of Military Tactics at Yale University, he wrote countless articles and books advocating British. Israelism, including a 26-volume series entitled Our Race.
Richard Reader Harris (KC) (1847–1909), founder of the Pentecostal Movement in London.
William Massey, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1912–1925).
William Comyns Beaumont (1873–1956) British journalist, author, and lecturer.
Herbert W. Armstrong (1892–1986), United States founder of the Radio Church of God.
Roger Rusk (1906–1994), author and self-proclaimed Bible scholar.
Charles Fox Parham (1873–1929), American preacher who was instrumental in the formation of Pentecostalism.
Alan Campbell Pentecostal pastor from Northern Ireland.
Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910) founder of the Christian Science religion.

Notable Adherents Added by Brit-Am.
We may add the following personalities to the list:

Lord John Fisher (1841-1920)
British admiral, First Sea Lord before and into World War-1, closely associated with Winston Churchill.
# The argumentative, energetic, reform-minded Fisher is often considered the second most important figure in British naval history, after Lord Nelson.#
His belief that the British were from the Lost Ten Tribes and brothers to the Jews was well-known and is mentioned on the first page of "The Six-Day War" by Winston Churchill, grandson of Sir Winston Churchill.

Colonel Richard Henry Meinertzhagen
CBE DSO (1878 - 1967) was a British soldier, intelligence officer and ornithologist. Great courage and innovative unconventional military skills of historical significance. A fervant supporter of the Jewish people and of Zionism.

Lt. Colonel John Henry Patterson, DSO (1867 – 1947).
Wikipedia tells us:
...a major figure in Zionism as the commander of both the Zion Mule Corps and the 38th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (aka Jewish Legion[3] of the British Army) in World War One, which would eventually serve as the foundation of the Israeli Defence Force decades later. He retired from the British Army in 1920 as a Lieutenant after thirty-five years of service. His last two books, With the Zionists at Gallipoli (1916) and With the Judaeans in Palestine (1922) are based on his experiences during these times. After his military career, Patterson continued his support of Zionism as a strong advocate toward the establishment of a separate Jewish state in the Middle East, which became a reality with the statehood of Israel on May 14, 1948, less than a year after his death. Patterson was close friends with many Zionist supporters and leaders, among them Vladimir Jabotinski and Benzion Netanyahu (father of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu). He was also Godfather to Benzion's elder son, Lt. Colonel Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu, who was the commander of the elite Israeli army commando unit Sayeret Matkal.

Major-General Orde Charles Wingate, DSO and two bars (1903 – 1944)
Wikipedia tells us:
... A highly religious Christian, Wingate became a supporter of Zionism, seeing it as his religious duty to help the Jewish community in Palestine form a Jewish state. Assigned to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1936, he set about training members of the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary organization, which became the Israel Defense Forces with the establishment in 1948 of the state of Israel.[5] He is most famous for his creation of the Chindits, airborne deep-penetration troops trained to work behind enemy lines in the Far East campaigns against the Japanese during World War II.
His belief in British Israelism is related by Christopher Sykes, "Orde Wingate", 1959, p.117 who quotes from Morris Marguiles, "The American Zionist".

William Morris "Billy" Hughes, CH, KC (25 September 1862 – 28 October 1952), Australian politician, was the seventh Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923.

Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936) was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist.

Israel Zangwill (1864 - 1926) was a British Jewish humourist and writer important in Jewish circles.

ED KOCH, former Jewish Mayor of New York City, once told U. S. Cardinal John O?Conner, an American of Irish descent, "The TEN LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL we [Jews] believe ended up in Ireland" (U. S. News & World Report, March 17, 1987). #

Professor Roger Rusk (1906–1994), brother of former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, was a prominent teacher of British Israelism. He worked for 13 years as a public school teacher. After completing his doctorate in physics, he worked for 28 years as a professor at the University of Tennessee, where he became Emeritus Professor of Physics. He was also a member of the American Physical Society and the Tennessee Academy of Science.

Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911 – 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989).
Understood to have believed in some type of British Israelism.
Reagan is claimed to have said his ancestors were Irish Kings, consecrated at Tara (meaning "Torah" he said!) and of Hebrew origin.
Verbal Testimony given by the son of a participant to Yair Davidiy from an interview with President Reagan. It was later denied by one of the parties. The case is still uncertain but Yair tends to believe it.
The quotation derives from an off-the-cuff informal conversation so even if it is true may not say much.

The situation concerning the English and belief in Hebrew Origins needs to be taken into consideration together with that of related and neighboring peoples.
It also needs to be weighed in the light of additional evidence.
I once came across an old book on English Customs.
Some English practices were similar to Hebrew ones.
Mourning practices were similar.
The Old English Word for the Mourning Period was "Arvel".
In Hebrew it is "Avel". There is not much difference.
This is just one example out of many.
All of this and more does not absolutely prove anything but it is evidence pointing in a certain direction.
Taken altogether as one comprehensive whole alongside the Biblical Proofs and other evidence leads to the conclusion that the British Peoples and their offshoots derive to a significant degree from Israelite Ancestors.

For more articles in this series,
The Earliest West European Beliefs in their Israelite Origins.


For articles on other nations see:
The Earliest West European Beliefs in their Israelite Origins: Countries Index

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The name "Ephraim" in Hebrew Letters as Seen
by Satellite in the Hills of Ephraim

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