Henry VIII,the Reign
Joseph of Arimathea buried the body of Jesus Christ after the Crucifixion.
There are a number of legends about him, one of which is that he visited Britain with the young Jesus, and another that after the Crucifixion he came to England and at Glastonbury in Somerset established the first Christian church. His story is told in all four gospels.
Joseph was apparently a wealthy man who originally came from Arimathea in Judea, the exact location of Arimathea however, has never been established. Joseph was a member of a member of the Sanhedrin, the city council but also a secret supporter of Jesus and so did not participate in the Council's actions against Jesus.
After the death of Jesus, he asked Pilate for permission to take Jesus' body and bury it properly. Permission was granted and the body was taken down. Joseph, helped by Nicodemus, wrapped the body in cloth and buried Jesus in a vacant tomb that Joseph may have intended for himself. The tomb, to its eternal fame, was protected by a heavy stone rolled against the opening.
Some of the Legends
Joseph was the first person to bring Christianity to Britain, sent with other disciples by St Philip
He built Britain's first church which some claim was the first Christian church in the world.
He was Mary's uncle, and thus Jesus' great-uncle
He was a merchant who visited England to buy Cornish tin
He took Jesus with him to England when Jesus was a teenager, local legends say that among the places they visited were St Just in Roseland and St Michael's Mount.
He brought to England two vials containing the blood and sweat of Jesus, or two vials containing the sweat of Jesus.
He brought the Holy Grail to England and hid it in a well at Glastonbury, now called the Chalice Well
Joseph was related to Jesus
Joseph of Arimathea visited the West Country of England with the teenage Jesus.
William Blake’s poem was set to music by Sir Hubert Parry as 'Jerusalem':
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.
William Blake (1757-1827)