William Comyns Beaumont (1873-1956) was a British journalist and author. He is frequently referred to as an eccentric and not without reason. He published an extraordinary book, Britain – The Key to World History, in which he claimed among other things, that Edinburgh was the original Jerusalem, London was Damascus and rather worryingly that Bristol was Sodom (see map). Beaumont located the Pillars of Heracles at Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway along with its counterpart on the Isle of Staffa in Scotland(h), an idea resurrected over sixty years later by Marco Goti. In addition he was convinced that 18th Dynasty Pharaohs ruled the Welsh Britons. The foreword to the ‘Key’ is available online(d) as is a 1949 newspaper review(e).
In an earlier work he had identified ancient Britain as Atlantis and claimed that Atlantis was destroyed by a cometary impact in 1322 BC. This book introduced Beaumont as possibly the first British catastrophist, who expanded on this subject of celestial collisions in a subsequent book.
It has been claimed that Beaumont’s theory of celestial impacts partly inspired Immanuel Velikovsky’s writings, but characteristically, without receiving any recognition from that quarter.
Some years ago Benny J. Peiser drew attention to how Beaumont’s work had been overlooked and probably plagiarised citing a list of 25 similarities between the theories of Beaumont and Velikovsky previously noted by Alfred De Grazia(a).
In 1975 the American psychologist, Robert Stephanos(1925-2011)(c), founded the Comyns Beaumont Society in Philadelphia. Stephanos appears to have totally accepted Beaumont’s ideas including their more bizarre elements. In 1994 Stephanos published an article in Fate magazine(f), in which he also claimed that Velikovsky had ‘borrowed’ many of Beaumont’s catastrophist ideas.
Beaumont’s books are hard to find, however, all four of them have now been made available as reprints(b) and are a must for students of the history of catastrophism and its part in the Atlantis story.
Beaumont had completed the manuscript for another book, The Great Deception, shortly before his death. This has now been edited for publication by Janice Mendez and is now available in print and online. In it Beaumont returned to the subject of catastrophism along with some radical historical revisionism and has its objective described by his grandson, Christopher Toyne, as “to propound the ultimate subterfuge by Emperor Constantine the Great to reconstruct the story of Jesus away from the British Isles and place it in the now Middle Eastern ‘Holy Lands.’ This is THE GREAT DECEPTION.” I expect the reviews to be entertaining.
A more recent (Jan.2017) review(g) of Beaumont’s odd ideas might be worth a read.
(a) http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/cc101797.html (link broken July 2018) See: Archive 2315
(f) Catastrophists in Collision: Did Velikovsky borrow from Beaumont’s original works? Fate [March 1994], 66-72