John Wilson (1799-1870) was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland, and took to studying innumerable histories at the library of Trinity College Dublin. Basing his studies on obscure but interesting writers who had written over the preceding century, he came to several interesting conclusions: the British are the descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes; the Royal Family is in fact the House of David; and the British and their daughter nations are the inheritors of the Covenant.
He began teaching these beliefs when he was 38, and in 1840 published his collected lectures as Our Israelitish Origin, citing Ptolemy, Diodorus, Rawlinson, Herodotus, Josephus, and the then noted writer on the topic Sharon Turner. His methodology was reminiscent of other alternative historians such as James Churchward and Erich von Daeniken.
In that era of British confidence and expansionism – when Evangelical “muscular Christians” implicitly saw the Empire as a vessel of election for the redemption of the World – Wilson’s notions presented a theological justification, much as Mormonism does for American Exceptionalism.