According one popular legend, dating back to the 9th century and persisting even into modern times, the British polity was founded by Brutus of Troy, a descendant of Aeneas—thus linking Albion’s history to that of both ancient Greece and Rome. But others have tried to connect their national history to the Bible, a case made by John Garnier in the 1890 book Israel in Britain: A Brief Statement of the Evidences in Proof of the Israelitish Origin of the British Race. Jeffrey Maynard writes:
John Garnier was a colonel in the Royal Engineers and a prominent member of the British Israelite movement, which believed that the British were the descendants of the ten lost tribes. This small book is in my library as a curiosity—providing perhaps, for its believers, a theological justification for the British empire. It is, of course, quite fanciful.
Maynard reproduces some excerpts, in which Garnier sees Great Britain as the fulfillment of various divine promises to the Israelites:
There is the prediction that the descendants of Joseph were to possess “all the precious fruits of the earth and sea, and the chief things of the ancient mountains, and the precious things of the lasting hills” (Deut. xxxiii. 13–17). In other words, they were to possess all the valuable fruits of the earth, the products of the sea, and the vast mineral products which are chiefly found in hills and mountains.
This exactly applies to Britain and the United States. No other nation can compare to them in riches. Their iron, tin, and coal mines have been the foundation of their wealth, and they at present possess all the principal gold, silver, copper, diamond, and other mines in the world. They own all the most valuable fisheries, and the rich and increasing products of the lands they possess all over the world make them independent of any other sources of supply. So complete a fulfilment of the prophecy to the British race alone is a strong confirmation that they are the people of whom it was foretold.
It may also be remarked that the British obey all the other demands of the old covenant made with Israel. The British laws are based on those given by God to Israel, and are enforced to rich and poor alike with a justice and equity unknown to other nations. The command to help the poor and needy is also strictly obeyed, as may be seen by the numerous benevolent institutions and societies for the assistance of the poor and the suffering, and in the fact that every appeal for help in any case of undeserved hardship and suffering is immediately responded to.