6 Jan 2016

The Unfortunate Mixed Bag of William Comyns Beaumont


Biblical Avebury - British Isrealism on Steroids

Between the First and Second World Wars, William Comyns Beaumont, or simply 'Comyns Beaumont' as he preferred to be known was a highly regarded and well respected journalist writing mainly for the British newspaper the Daily Mail. Both his name and status within British society made him very much a part of the social and intellectual elite. His articles and reports on the arts, political intrigue and social issues eventually elevated him to the level of editor ranking him high among the Fleet Street movers and shakers of the time. 

His social and extended working life reads like a 'who's who?' of the British establishment having begun his career path as the Private Secretary to US German Ambassador to Germany during a period of great change and turmoil. As a young man he was no less than the personal assistant to the legendary publisher, Jesuit-insider and power broker James Gordon Bennett. 

Comyns Beaumont was a brilliant intellectual, well travelled, well read and highly regarded member of the British elite until he made the fateful miscalculation of tearing up ancient history (not always a bad idea) and developing his own theories based on his personal research, and you guessed it, British Isrealism. 

Now while I have to agree that much of his work is so 'out there' and well beyond the pale of even the most fanatical British Isrealism, Comyns Beaumont's, work needs to be considered in isolation. While his notions that Edinburgh in Scotland was the actual site of Jerusalem and that the English city of Bristol was the real Soddom of the bible, his theories on 'Atlantis' being located somewhere in the British Isles does indeed have merit and is worth examining in its own right without the biblical overlay.

Comyns Beaumont, believed (as do I) that Plato’s account of the Atlantis disaster was the Classical world's attempts to report an enormous natural catastrophe beyond the Pillars of Hercules. The disaster was so traumatic to the surviving societies that Comyns Beaumont maintain that the fabric of human society from top to bottom completely changed as a result. Not only was a complex and well developed society wiped out, but the after effects of the trauma skewed everything from religious beliefs to the social order. Resulting in the western psyche developing a 'divine punishment' neurosis which generated complete upheavals in social and spiritual dynamics.  Comyns Beaumont also believed that the survivors of 'Atlantis' became the Atlantic cultures of western Europe.

The reason for the disaster - which gave birth to the Atlantis tales - Comyns Beaumont believed was a comet which impacted the Earth about four thousand years ago and that the Celtic peoples of western Europe and the Scandinavians are a product of the aftermath of the impact. He also took the mythology further and suggested that rather than this Atlentean landmass sinking beneath the waves, sea levels quickly rose – as a result of earthquakes causing tsunamis – which then obliterating vast swaths of land and removing land bridges connecting the British Isles to continental Europe. This then resulted in severe climate changes leading to a drop in temperatures from Ireland to Norway.


Comyns Beaumont outlines this 'Atlantis of the North' theory in remarkable detail and complexity in his book Britain, the Key to World History, which was published over a century ago at the start of his glittering career in mainstream journalism. The book argues the point that Scotland was the centre of what was to become known as Atlantis. If nothing else - was remarkable for its time - is that Comyns Beaumont uses comparative mythology from around the world in order to develop his theory. This was long before Immanuel Velikovsky and Carl Jung.

Unfortunately, his otherwise interesting theory then strays absurdly into the domain of a kind of turbocharged British Isrealism by placing Scotland at the centre of not only Atlantis, but also the Biblical stories by proclaiming that Caledonia was – prior to 584 BC -  "the original domicile of the sons of Adam, who were the Titans or giants of classic fame as well as being the Atlanteans of Plato." 

Much of this association is based around finding Scottish, Irish, English and Scandinavian place names which sound Biblical. Therefore he concludes that the Faroes Islands are in fact the 'Pharaoh Islands' and so on. Unfortunately this undermines, what at its core, is a workable idea. Still, William Comyns Beaumont deserve much credit for much of the data he collected and presented in Britain, the Key to World History.

2 comments:

GREEN M said...

The dead sea in Israel quite clearly is not a *sea*. Jaffa which sits about 30 odd miles away from Jerusalem and is reached by traversing across desert hills is difficult to equate as being Joppa the port attached to Jerusalem during the biblical. Whether or not his claims are ludicrous his ability to match old Edinburghs geography to Jerusalem in the bible is fascinating https://youtu.be/sfSJathEQEc

GREEN M said...

British Israelism is a belief that the anglo-saxon *race* are descended from the lost ten tribes of Israel who migrated northwards. I'm no sure how placing the biblical Jerusalem in Edinburgh would have anything to do with tribes migrating north from the middle east and a lot of Scots are not Anglo-Saxons either ! https://youtu.be/54HSbN6kHis