East Anglian 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: 3 January 2016
Latest revision: 11 December 2016


by Harry Levine

The region of East-Anglia - the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk is a good example of how Jewish communities begin, develop, gradually reach their maximum strength, and then slowly decay and disappear from the pages of Jewish History - leaving in their wake only disused cemeteries as evidence of a once strong and virile community.

Communities Discussed


* * * * * * * *


Papers on East Anglia

IPSWICH (Suffolk)

Published Data

A  -  There was a synagogue here in 1792, and a cemetery purchased in 1796. In 1830 there were 50 Jewish residents in the city. in 1841 20 adult male trustees of the community, even though there were only 5 resident in the town. In 1851 there were 10 appropriated seats, and 9 seatholders, with an attendance of 10 at service. The estimated population was 75. In the 1890s the community had disappeared.
[Primarily, The Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth (1950)].

Board of Deputies returns

  births marriages burials seatholders


1 (M)









No further returns


by Harry Levine

(For the Community's earlier history, see "Ipswich" in Cecil Roth's "The Rise of Provincial Jewry", 1950)

By the middle of the nineteenth century Ipswich Jewry had already disappeared. The foundation stone of the Synagogue in Rope Lane was laid on August 18th 1792. The burial ground was acquired four years later, and the trustees were Levi Alexander, Simon Hyam, Ansell Ansell, Lazarus Levi, Israel Abrahams, Joseph Levi and Samuel Levi of Colchester. In 1830 the community comprised fifty souls, quite a considerable number for a small community, but there was a rapid decline in the second half of the nineteenth century. To-day, there is one family on the books of the Norwich Hebrew Congregation, Mr. David Myer and his wife Mrs. Nan Myer, M.B.E.

The April issue of the East Anglian Magazine contains an interesting article on the cemetery, by Daniel Roper, with a photograph of "Ipswich Jews Last Rest". We are told that, "the cemetery is situated where, in those days, was a notorious inn known as the Green Man, at the end of Roger's Court, and not far from Salthouse Street Corner. There are between 30 and 40 graves from the middle of the 16th to the middle of the 19th centuries, with inscription stones in English and Hebrew, which indicate that Jews from Harwich, Bury and Colchester were buried here, besides the Jews of the local community".

According to an article in the Jewish Chronicle in the issue of June 7th 1895 by the Rev. Hermann Gollancz entitled "A Ramble in East Anglia", Sarah Lyons who lived to the remarkable age of 105, is buried. in the Ipswich cemetery and also three of the trustees mentioned above, Lazarus Levy aged 86; Israel Abrahams aged 86, Ansell Ansell aged 77; and Levi Alexander aged 63.


Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain - List of Contents

Ipswich's Former Jewish Community and Old Hebrew Congregation home page

Formatted by David Shulman


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