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The Jews of South-West England


Thesis by Rabbi Bernard Susser

Additional Notes 

(The figures in parentheses at the end of each Additional Note refer to the pages of the original text)

1. 'And whereas our borough of Marghas-Jew is an ancient borough, and was once a trading town and of great note, (charter of 13 June, 27 Elizabeth I.)' quoted in T. S. Duncombe, 'The Jews of England' (1866), p. 27. But cf. F. M. Muller 'Are there Jews in Cornwall', 'Chips from a German workshop' (1880), III, pp. 229-329 who asserts that Market-Jew is a corruption of 'Marghas-Jovis' (= Thursday-market). However, 'Jew' was an opprobrious epithet (Graetz, 'The History of the Jews', V, p. 293, 'the scornful nickname of Jew' and 'VJ', 16 February 1844, p. 84, 'because of the remains of ancient prejudice against the title "Jew", the 'Athenaeum calls us "Hebrews" '). It is therefore unlikely that the Cornish would have saddled themselves with such a name unless there had been good reason. (~P. 3, n. 4.)

2. They were:

(i) Joseph Ottolenghe, An Answer to two papers lately published by Gabriel Treves, a Jew of the City of Exeter. The one intituled, A Vindication of the proceedings of Gabriel Treves against Joseph Solomon Ottolenghe, now a prisoner in Southgate, Exon; the other is intituled, An Advertisement, wherein is contain'd the said Joseph Ottolenghe's vindication of himself, against the aspersions cast on him in the said papers. Together with an account of his conversion from the Jewish to the Christian religion. And also of the hardships which he hath suffered from the said Gabriel Treves, his uncle, etc., since his conversion. (?1735).

(ii) Gabriel Treves, The Ethiopian's skin not changed, nor the leper's spots washed out. Proved in a reply to a Pamphlet pretended to be penned by Joseph Ottolenghe, intituled, An Answer to Two papers lately published by Gabriel Treves etc. By the abused Gabriel Treves. (Exeter, 1736).

(iii) Lewis Stephens, Discourse preach'd before the inhabitants of the Parish of St. Petrock in Exeter, on Sunday the 6th of July, 1735: occasioned by their delivering Joseph Ottolenghe, a poor convert Jew, out of South-gate Prison; into which he was cast by a Jew, after his conversion to Christianity, etc, (Exeter, 1735).

(iv) Lewis Stephens, Excellencies of the kindness of Onesiphorus to St. Paul, when he was a prisoner in Rome. Exemplified in a discourse preach'd before the inhabitants of the Parish of St. Petrock in Exeter, on Sunday the 6th of July, 1735: occasioned by their delivering Joseph Ottolenghe, a poor convert Jew, out of South-gate Prison; into which he was cast by a Jew, after his conversion to Christianity, etc. (Exeter, 1735).

äThere is a copy of 'An Answer...ì in the Mocatta Library, London. There was a copy of 'The Ethiopian's Skinì in the Davidson Collection at the Plymouth Institution, Plymouth, but it was destroyed in World War II. It is not listed in C. Roth, 'Magna Bibliotheca Anglo-Judaicaì (1937).

Ottolenghe's subsequent career in America is of some interest. The trustees of the Society for Establishing the Colony of Georgia as a silk producing colony gave a sample of Georgian silk in 1741 to 'Sampson Levi the Jew, to take to England' (H. Huhner, 'The Jews of Georgia in Colonial Times', 'Proceedings of the American Jewish Historical Society', X, p. 90). In 1751 the Trustees sent Ottolenghe from England to superintend the silk industry, and in 1753 he was given 300 acres of land. He was consulted by the Governor and Assembly of Georgia at first in connection with his office as superintendent of the silk industry and later on other matters ('ibid'.). Sampson Levi's name suggests that he might have been the grandfather of a Sampson Levi, born Newton Abbot, 18O2. (~P. 49, n. 2.)


3. The order of 'Kaddishì precedence in the Plymouth Congregation as laid down in its 'MSSì 'Siddur', 18O5:

(a) Definition:

(i) 'Tefillah Kaddishì after 'Alenu', 'Anim Zemirot', 'Barechi Nafshiì and 'Perekì (afterwards referred to as 'T.K.').

(ii) 'Tehillim Kaddishì after Psalms, Five Megillot, and study (afterwards referred to as 'Ps.K.')

(b) Friday night after Psalm 92: 'Yahrzeit' and mourners ballot.

(c) There are 3 stages of mourners: 7 day, 30 day, 12 months Ýfrom death.

7 day minor (i.e. under 13 years) and Yahrzeit:-

The minor says 2 'Ps.K.'s' and 'Yahrzeit' 1 'Ps.K.'.

But a 30 day and 12 month are completely displaced by 'Yahrzeitì each 'Ps.K.'

(d) 'Yahrzeit' member says every 'T.K.' and displaces non-member Yahrzeit', and non-member may say one 'Ps.K.' without having to ballot.

(e) 'Yahrzeit' member and 30 day member:- 'Yahrzeit' has only one 'T.K.' after 'Maariv' or 'Shacharit' and rest to 30 day member.

(f) 'Yahrzeit' member and 30 day non-member:- 2 'T.K.'s' to member and 1 'T.K.' to non-member.

(g) Several 'Yahrzeit's':- each has one 'Kaddish' and displace 30 day.

(h) 'Yahrzeit' member and 'Yahrzeit' non-member and 30 day member:- each have one 'T.K.'

(i) Non-member 30 day and member 12 month:- share all 'T.K.'s'

(j) Equal ranking:- cast lots.

(k) Non-member 'Yahrzeit' may say one 'T.K.' in presence of 30 day or 12 month members but does not join in ballot for 'Ps.K.'

(l) 'Yahrzeit' has precedence over mourners.

(m) A married or bachelor teacher [of Torah] employed by several members

OR one who studies at a 'Yeshivah' OR a bachelor servant of a member is treated as a member.

But a married teacher employed by one member or a married servant is treated as a non-member.

(n) The day a 12 month finishes he says every 'Kaddish' unless a 'Yahrzeit' or 30 day is present. (~P. 254, n. 3.)


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