Keith Hunt - Joseph with ... lands in Britain - Page Five   Restitution of All Things

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Joseph with ... enters Britain to live

They are given a place of Safety

Continuing with John Keyser's study

Joseph ... from France to Britain

The summary so far:

1/. At Marseilles and St.Baume we find cave churches or dwelling-
places of the early Christians, held as such since time
immemorial and identifies with Lazarus and one of the Maries.
Joseph of Arimathea is said to have come with them AND PASSED ON
(Local tradition and "Life of Rabanus").

2/. At Limoges and Rocamadour we find a similar caveshelter and
the traditional coming of Jewish missionaries in the first
century, one of whom is Joseph of Arimathea. Zaccheus and Martial
remain, while JOSEPH PASSES ON (Tradition).

3/. At Morlaix a disciple of Joseph - Drennalus - is said to have
preached in 72 A. D. Again, at Fecamp (along the coast from
Morlaix) we find the legend of the washing ashore of the trunk of
a fig-tree belonging to Joseph of Arimathea. The name (Ficus
Campus) Fecamp is believed to have arisen from this legend.
(Tradition and "North -Western France," by Augustus Hare. George
Allen, 1895).

4/. In Cornwall we find traditions of Joseph arriving in a boat
with a young Jesus. HE PASSES ON (tradition).

     So WHERE did Joseph go - WHERE did he fanally stop and do
the Work of God?

     Researcher George Jowett notes:

"How many of the disciples were with him (Joseph) during HIS
SHORT STAY IN GAUL, it is difficult to say. It is amazing how
nonchalantly the records deal with this important matter. Various
existing records agree in part with the Rasmonius record (Annules
ecclesiastici, vol.1, p. 327), naming among the occupants of the
castaway boat Mary Magdalene, Martha, the handmaiden Marcella,
Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead, and Maximin the man
whose sight Jesus restored. Then non-committally the report
reads, 'AND OTHERS'" - "The Drama of the Lost Diciples," p. 63.

     A number of records state that PHILIP (one of the 12
disciples) was included in the phrase "and others." There is a
wealth of uncontested testimony proving that Philip went to Gaul
where he received Joseph when he arrived at Marseilles, and
APPOINTED HIM APOSTLE TO BRITAIN! It is well known that a great
number of converts had left Palestine during the Saulian
persecution - very probably on ships belonging to Joseph. Philip
was one of them.

     Not long after Joseph's arrival in southern France, a
British delegation arrived at Marseilles to greet him and extend
an invitation for him to return with them to Britain. The
delegation was sent by KING ARVIRAGUS and, through them, he
offered Joseph lands, a safe haven and protection against Roman

"Arviragus was prince of the noble SILURES OF BRITAIN, in the
Dukedom of Cornwall. He was the son of King Cunobelinus, THE
CYMBELINE OF SHAKESPEARE FAME, and cousin to the renowned British
warrior-patriot, CARADOC, whom the Romans named CARACTACUS.
Together they represented the ROYAL SILURIAN DYNASTY, the most
powerful warrior kingdom in Britain, FROM WHOM THE TUDOR KINGS
Disciples," p.68).

     Joseph gladly accepted the British invitation and made ready
to embark for Britain with a specially chosen group of
     Philip, it is reported, consecrated Joseph in the year 36,
and from then on Joseph of Arimathea became known as "THE APOSTLE

     Without a doubt Joseph was attracted to the Sacred Isle of
AVALON for reasons other than the opportunity to preach the
gospel to the people of Britain. Evidently ARVIRAGUS AND JOSEPH
WERE WELL KNOWN TO EACH OTHER prior to the delegation's
invitation, and this is quite believable when we realize Joseph
more than likely acquired many friends in the south of Britain
during the years he looked after his mining interests in Corn-
Wall and Somerset.
     After leaving their friends behind in the Rhone Valley,
Joseph and his new group of companions - twelve in all - headed
along the great northern road to the north coast of France. We
can retrace their journey step by step. From the city of
Marseilles up the Rhone River as far as Arks or farther; then a
journey of thirty days across Gaul, through the country of the
Lemovices to the seacoast of Brittany; the stopover at Limoges;
the arrival in Brittany at either Vannes or Morlaix and, finally,
four days' sailing across fhe English Channel to Cornwall. Legend
relates that after searching the coast of Brittany, Joseph and
his eleven fellow-travelers sailed from Morlaix to FALMOUTH in
England. From here they continued on to Cornwall.

     If we turn to the poem "Mort d'Arthur," we find mentioned
that Joseph, his son Josephes and the rest of the group arrived
at a place called "SARRAS." In book xiii, cap.10 the narrative
goes on to say that the "SARACENS" (of Sarras) under King Tolleme
la Feintes were fighting against the Britons under King Evelake.
Evidently King Evelake was a local leader belonging to one of the
provinces of Britain, and the Saracen (Tolleme) "which was ... a
rich king and a mighty [one)," is related as marching to meet
him, and the encounter seems to have taken place on the British
side of the Channel. "Moreover - and this is of further interest
- King Tolleme the 'Saracen' is said to have been the 'cousin of
King Evelake,' so that although they were at war with each other
and apparently of different nationality, ties of marriage had
taken place between the 'Saracens' a  the ancestors of King
Evelake" ("The Coming of the Saints," pp.149-150). 

     Are not these "SARACENS" under the leadership of the wealthy
King Tolleme none other than the JEWISH TIN WORKERS of Cornwall?
We have already seen that the Jews of Cornwall "appear to have
called themselves or were called by the Britons of Cornwall

     The ararmative in the poem goes on to say that the
"Saracens" turned a deaf ear to the message of Joseph and his
companions, however King Evelake and the Britons were kindly
disposed towards him and were more or less won over by the
teaching of Joseph and his son. Isn't that interesting?

     From Cornwall two traditional routes are found in the
legends of Glastonbury tracing Joseph and his group to their
final destination. One tradition has the little group traveling
OVERLAND from Cornwall to Avalon while, according to the other
legend,  "the refugees sailed around the southern tip of En- 
gland, passing what is today known as 'Land's End.' Then
following the west coast, they sailed northward to the Severn 
Sea. From there they entered the estuaries of the  rivers Parrot
and Brue. Following the River Brue eastward, they arrived at a
little cluster of islands about twelve miles inland from the
quiet retreat ...[and] a place they knew had already been
hallowed by the presence of their Master [Christ]"
("The Traditions of Glastonbury," pp.38-39).

The Royal Welcome

     When Joseph and his companions arrived at Avalon, they were
met by King Guiderius and his brother ARVIRAGUS - who was a king
of the royal Silures of Britain. As we have seen, Joseph and
Arviragus were old friends and, as a result of this friendship,
the king gave Joseph and his companions TWELVE HIDES OF LAND -- a
hide for each disciple. Since each hide represented 160 acres,
the sum total of the grant was 1,920 acres. It is an interesting
fact that in the last century, when the United States of America
was expanding westward, grants of land were given to settlers -
160 acres per person or family!

     E. Raymond Capt writes about this grant of land to the
refugees from the East:

"King Arviragus is recorded as having granted to Joseph and his
followers, 'twelve hides' of land, tax free, in 'Yniswitrin,'
described as a marshy tract - afterwards called the 'Isle of
Avalon.' Confirmation of this Royal Charter is found on the
official DOMESDAY BOOK of Britain (A.D.1086) which states: 'The
Domus Dei, in the great monastery of Glastonbury, called the se-
cret of the Lord. This Glastonbury Church possesses, to its own
villa XII hides of lard which have never paid tax." (Domesday
Survey folio p.249b.)' This notable act of the King gave the
recipients many British concessions, including the right of citi-
zenship with its privileges of freedom to pass unmolested from
one district to another in time of war. [This 'right' proved
invaluable to the later preaching of the gospel o the British.]
The grant was given to them as 'Judean refugees.' (Quidam advanae
-- 'certain strangers' - old Latin. In Later Latin, 'Culdich' or
Anglicised, 'Culdees')" - "The Traditions of Glastonbury," p.41.

     At first, according to William of Malmsebury, Arviragus and
his subjects were not receptive to the Gospel message preached by
Joseph and his companions:

     "In the year of our Lord, 63 [actually, it was earlier],
twelve holy missionaries, with Joseph of Arimathea (who had
buried the Lord) at their head, came over to Britain, preaching
the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. THE KING OF THE COUNTRY AND HIS
consideration that they had come a long joumey, and being
somewhat pleased with their soberness of life and unexceptional
behaviour, the king, at their petition, gave them for their
habitation a certain island bordering on this region, covered
with trees and bramble bushes ad surrounded by marshes, called
Ynis-wytrin" - Written 1126 A.D. from "the writings of the
ancients" which he found at Glastonbury Abbey.

     Afterwards, however, Arviragus must have become converted
because "Hardynge's Chronicle" (a fifteenth-century writing based
upon much earlier works) gives the following passage about Joseph
and Arviragus:

     Joseph converted this King Arviagus
     By his prechying to know ye laws divine
     And baptisted him as write hath Nennius
     The chronicler in Britain tonque full fyne
     And to Christian laws made
     him inclyne.

     With the gift of the twelve hides of land came the
PROTECTION Arviragus offered against intrusion by the legions of
Rome. During the middle of the firstcentury A.D. the countryside
on both sides of the Severn was held by the British in
comparative security, being OUTSIDE the main lines of Roman
     It is a remarkable fact that despite the bitter
determination of the Roman Empire to persecute, uproot and
destroy everything that was Christian in Britain - despite the
pillaging and burning of monasteries, churches and libraries by
Roman, Saxon, Dane and Norman - not once was the sanctity of
Avalon defiled. These are the lands which Roman writers referred
to as "territory inaccessible to the Roman where Christ is

     Behind the wall of protection formed by Arviragus and his
Silurian warriors Joseph, and the disciples of Christ who
frequently visited the area, were safe from harm, and free to
preach and teach the Kingdom of God to the local inhabitants.
     After they received title to the land, the little band built
homes for themselves out of wattle and daub - following the
practice of the Celts who inhabited the area. The abbey records,
quoted by William Malmsebury, show that Joseph and his companions
also built a meeting-place: 

"These holy men built a chapel of the form that had been shown to
them. The walls were of osiers waffled together." (From research
undertaken by the late F. Bligh Bond, F.R.I.B.A. (member of the
Somerset Archaeological Society and formerly director of
excavations at Glastonbury Abbey).
     This meeting-place constructed by Joseph and his men was
circular, having a diameter of 25 feet, with the twelve huts of
Joseph and his companions forming a circle around it. All the
buildings were evidently enclosed in a circular stockade to keep
out wild animals. The center building, or the meeting-place, may
have incorporated or covered the earlier structure built by
Christ when He was at Glastonbury.
     Although Malmsebury describes the wattle meeting-place as
"rude and misshapen," its wall was without a doubt built in the
custom of the day - timbered pillars and framework, doubly
waffled inside and out. The roof was thatched with reeds as
author Capt notes, "often painted or washed with lime, these
wattle buildings withstood the most severe weather." Even castles
of the day were built of the same material. Giraldus Cambrensis,
speaking of Pembroke Castle wrote: "Arnulphus de Montgomery, in
the days of Henry I (A.D.1068-1135) built a small castle of twigs
and slight turf." According to "Ovid in Faesti ad Fest Roma," the
primitive Capital of Rome was of similar construction.

Spreading the Gospel

     This little settlement on the Isle of Avalon soon became the
center of a missionary effort that spread throughout the land
and across the English Channel into Europe. Joseph wasted no time
in proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God to all who
would listen.

     In examining the early records there does not appear to have
been any national or general acceptance of God's Truth in Britain
for over a hundred years after Joseph arrived - although the
gospel was preached in foreign countries by MANSUETUS, BEATUS and
MARCELLUS during the intervening century. Mansuetus (also known
as St.Mansuy), an Irish or Caledonian Briton, became founder of
a Church of God at Toul in Lorraine, and his death is placed at
89 A.D. This is confirmed by a second-century Christian
sarcophagus discovered at Malaincourt in Lorraine, which bears an
inscription indicating that it was the tomb of one of Mansuetus'
friends who accompanied him from Britain ("Acia Sanctorum,
Supplement," vol.i, pp.313, 343, 349).

     Suetonius Beatus is said by the old records to have been
converted in Britain, baptized by Barnabas, a companion of
Aristobulus, and to have afterwards become the Apostle of the
Helvetians (Swiss). He died at Under Seven in Helvetia, 110 A.D.
This is validated by local traditions and the cave of Beatus on
the borders of lake Thun. Beatus is remembered in the area as a
British missionary, and the site of his first meeting-place is
still shown. The district around Interlaken, "Unterseen" and
Beatenberg is full of old traditions regarding him.

     Marcellus, the first British martyr, founded churches at
Tongres and Triers, and is said to have been martyred in 166 AD.
These three men are remembered as BRITISH MISSIONARIES, and it is
difficult to believe that they would have wandered about on the
other side of the Channel preaching the gospel if their own
country had meanwhile remained ignorant of the Truth. There is  
little doubt that the British historian Gildas was right
in picturing the Britons as very slow in receiving the Truth -
even though it was brought to them in the very earliest
years. And those in whom the gospel message took root in the area
of Glastonbury, naturally turned to those who were ready to
receive their message, even at the cost of long journeys to
distant cities and to far countries.

(A hundred years or so of hearing the truth of the Gospel may
seem a long time, but the eventual fact of history is that
Britain did as a whole finally make Christianity the national
religion - even some centuries later the Roman Catholic church
had to admit, that Britain was the first country in the world to
make Christianity its national religion. All this history can be
found in various other studies on this Website concerning early
Britain and Christianity - Keith Hunt)

     The "Vetusta Ecclesia" of Glastonbury remained as a witness
for the Truth of God; but it was not until the year of the great
persecution at Lyons and Vienne in Gaul (177 A.D.) that we find
any indication of a widespread Christianity in Britain.
     It appears that it was toward the end of the second century
that God's Truth received its main impetus, and that up to that
time its progress had been slow. "From the writings that have
come down to us it may reasonably be gathered that FEW CONVERTS
were made by the original missionaries, but that their holy lives
(and possibly descendants) had kept the memory of their religion
green and fragrant, and that the Church of Glastonbury still
remained a monument of their devotion" ("The Coming of the
Saints," p.160).

(Other research and study would disagree with this deduction that
Christianity made little inroads in Britain until near the end of
the second century - Keith Hunt).

     From this time forward the Church of God in Britain must
have grown rapidly, for at the end of the third century and the
beginning of the next (300-305), when the great DIOCLETION
PERSECUTION had begun, a GREAT NUMBER of British Christians
(according to Gildas) suffered for the Truth - among them Alban,
Anphibalus, Julius, Aaron, Stephanus and Socrates. About this
time, even the JEWS OF CORNWALL accepted the Truth of God!

     Records show that Kelvius, son of Solomon, DUKE OF CORNWALL,
not only accepted Christianity but became a minister; and a man
by the name of Moses - said to be British, but presumably of some
HEBREW relationship - became an APOSTLE TO THE "SARACENS"!

Entering His Rest

     No apostle, not even Paul, led a life more filled with high
purpose, enterprise and achievement than did Joseph the uncle of
Christ ....

(Somewhat of an overblown statement I believe - there surely was
great purpose in the life of Joseph of Arimathea, but to compare
his life with the life and purpose of Paul .... is overblown
indeed. Paul not only suffered more persecution, hardships,
beatings, stonings, rejections, hunger, shipwreck, imprisonments,
than just about anyone of the ministers of God in the first
century, but like many others, he was finally killed for his
faith, a fact that is nowhere recorded of Joseph of Arimathea.
Paul was also used by the Lord to write 14 books of the New
Testament, Joseph of Arimathea did not leave us with one book,
let alone a book of the New Testament. So, we need to keep things
in true perspective - Joseph was used by God, but certainly in no
mighty way as compared to the apostle Paul - Keith Hunt)


To be continued

Entered on this Website February 2008

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