JCR-UK

Oxford Jewry
in Victorian Britain

 

 

   
 


Extract from papers on
Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain

Papers prepared by Dr. (later Prof.) Aubrey Newman for a conference at University College, London, convened on 6 July 1975 by the Jewish Historical Society of England
(Reproduced here with Prof. Newman's kind consent)

Paper first published on JCR-UK: 4 January 2016
Latest revision: 11 December 2016

OXFORD

Published Data

A  -  In 1845 there were 4 Ba'ale Batim; there were 20 individual members in 1851, and 10 attenders at service that year on Census Sabbath. The population was estimated at about 50. In 1852 there were 6 appropriated seats.

1874[a]

No mention

1901[b]

30 resident Jews, and 14 Jewish University students.

Synagogue, Richmond Road. Founded 1841. Seatholders 12. The income for 1897-98 was 76. There is a Jewish cemetery here. The seating accommodation in the Synagogue is 100.

[A - Primarily from The Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), by Cecil Roth]
[a - The Jewish Directory for 1874, by Asher I. Myers]
[b - Jewish Year Book]

 

Board of Deputies returns

  Marriages seatholders

1893

1

26

1900

0

15


OXFORD
Cecil Roth

(For a brief early history of the Community, see "Oxford" in Cecil Roth's "The Rise of Provincial Jewry", 1950)

By the beginning of the reign of Queen Victoria a handful of permanent Jewish residents had arrived in the town - second-hand clothes dealers, cigar merchants, and so on - perhaps half a dozen families all told. One of them was that of 'Rabbi' Aaron Jacobs who was burned to death with his eldest daughter Rebecca in a fire which broke out at his home in St. Ebbe's in the morning of 27th February 1844. A newspaper recorded how the Oxford Jews 'feel very acutely the loss they have sustained in the premature death of one who as a Rabbi, or as a neighbour, commanded the respect and esteem of all who knew him'. A scroll of the law was also destroyed in the fire. In 1841, according to official report, these families formed themselves into an organised Jewish community with a synagogue (certainly not constructed especially for this purpose) situated from 1847, if not earlier, in Paradise Square. In 1874, after a period of decadence, the synagogue was transferred to 15 Worcester Place, and in 1893 to what had formerly been a church lecture hall, in Nelson Street.

From Oxoniensia, XV, 1950


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