British Israelism (sometimes called Anglo-Israelism) is a Christian theology essentially based on the premise, that most ancient British people, Europeans and/or their royal families were direct lineal descendants of some of the Lost Tribes of Israel and in many cases also of the Tribe of Judah.
British Israelism states that large numbers of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel were deported by Sargon II, king of Assyria, on the fall of Samaria in 721 BC, eventually migrating to Northern Europe, the British Isles, and with European colonization eventually North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and elsewhere around the globe.
Many early legends abound in ancient British folklore suggesting a link to the Holy Land. These include but are not limited to:
1) The story that Joseph of Arimathea (uncle of Jesus) traveled to Cornwall sometime after Christ's crucifixion and established an early Christian community.
2) Suggestions that the Stone of Scone might be Jacob's Pillar or Jacob's Pillow Stone.
3) Legends that the Israelite prophet Jeremiah may have been the "Olam Fadlah" of Celtic lore.
4) The legend that Tamar Tea Tephi the ancient matriarch of the Royal House may have been the daughter of Zedekiah king of Judah and that her sister Scota may have been the matriarch of the "Scots".
5) The legends of the Historia Regum Britanniae connecting Britain to the Mediteranian and Middle East and detailing early English genealogies.
6) The coming of Brutus of Troy (Britis) to Great Britain after the burning of Troy and his genealogy leading to the Israelite tribe of Benjamin.
7) The Matter of Britain detailing the Arthurian Legend.
8) The claims by Henry VIII to be descended from King Arthur, who legend has it was the eighth generation from Joseph of Aramathea.
9) The claim that St. Paul visited Britain.
The key component of British Israelism is their representation of the migrations of the Lost Tribes of Israel. They often suggest that the Behistun Inscription has provided an invaluable missing link. George Rawlinson, Sir Henry Rawlinson's younger brother, connected the Saka/Gimiri of the Behistun Inscription with deported Israelites: "We have reasonable grounds for regarding the Gimirri, or Cimmerians, who first appeared on the confines of Assyria and Media in the seventh century BC, and the Sacae of the Behistun Rock, nearly two centuries later, as identical with the Beth-Khumree of Samaria, or the Ten Tribes of the House of Israel."