Adam Rutherford

Institute of Pyramidology

By Gavin Ross

Photo:Magazine cover - 1968

Magazine cover - 1968

LHS archives - scan from photocopy in RB 170

29/31 Station Road became in 1967 the address of the Institute of Pyramidology. It was the home of Adam Rutherford, founder of the Institute in London in 1940, who moved to Harpenden in 1967 and lived here until his death in 1974. Between 1957 and 1972 he published four large volumes devoted to establishing a link between the measurements of the pyramids of Egypt and theories about the Bible and the Lost Tribes of Israel. The present address of the Institute is in Chesham, Bucks.  

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Adam Rutherford' page

LHS archives - scan from photocopy in RB 170

Rutherford belonged to a sect known as the British Israelites, whose origins went back to the 17th century. Revived in 1864 by Charles Piazzi Smyth, the theory was that the West European races, and the British in particular, are descendants of the ten tribes of Israel exiled by the Assyrians. Smyth defined the ‘pyramid inch’ and used this to assert that various measurements taken on the Egyptian pyramids were found to match with some numbers mentioned in the Old Testament, including a prediction of the date of the end of the world in 1881, which had to be revised when the date passed without incident.  

Flinders Petrie, who had measured the pyramids with greater accuracy than Smyth, dismissed the whole theory as nonsense, and later research on Bible texts showed that the supposed scriptural references were not relevant. Genetic research contradicted any assertion that the British had oriental origins. Whether there are many surviving adherents to the sect is not clear.  

The pyramids have fascinated many people, and the term ‘pyramidology’ includes many fanciful theories, to be found in a number of internet articles. 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Adam Rutherford' page

LHS archives - scan from photocopy in RB 170

Photo:29-31 Station Road

29-31 Station Road

Gavin Ross

Photo:Pyramids at Gizeh

Pyramids at Gizeh

Gavin Ross

This page was added by Gavin Ross on 03/11/2015.
Comments about this page

A number of quite sensible Harpenden residents were British Israelites, including at least one in Roundwood Park.  At the time it did not seem so improbable as a belief.  We had an Empire that many people thought was still growing.  We had kept the peace for over a hundred years (subject to a few lapses). And the Treaty of Versailles had given us a Mandate to rule the Holy Land, which we kept with some difficulty until 1948.

By John Wyborn
On 01/12/2015

Does anyone know if the Institute of Pyramidology is still functioning?  Also are there any living descendants of Adam Rutherford?  

Please contact us through the website, and we will pass information on to Mr Davis, ed.

By Russell Davis
On 07/06/2016

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