COATS OF MANY COLOURS
CHAPTER X THIRD GENERATION IN PLYMOUTH .
OF the children recorded in the family Bible no trace has bee found of Solomon Angel and Gertrude, indeed if Ruth's death had not been thereon inscribed nothing could have been known of her either. So far as the family themselves were aware of was Abraham, from whom they are descended and Matilda, whose grand-children intermarried within the family.
It seems clear that their father's reverses must in fact have caused all the children to have left home. We know that Henry went to Gibraltar and Abraham to Penzance, where also it may be presumed his youngest sister Ruth lived with ham so probably Solomon and Angel too departed leaving no discernible trace thereafter. Matilda married an elderly widower (from the photograph she was no beauty) who died three years after their son was born in 1833) Gertrude similarly might have been married. At any rate there is no record of any of them in Plymouth in 1841 except Matilda and Abraham.
What little is known of Henry Joseph has mostly already been told in the previous chapter. At the age of 22 a notarial faculty was issued to him in Gibraltar, licensing him to practice as a Notary Public in Gibraltar and His Majesty's Foreign Dominions. In 1830 he was admitted in Gibraltar to practice fully as a lawyer and in 1832 as a consequence of the Royal patronage was appointed Registrar of the Court of Request and Clerk to the sitting Magistrate. In 1834 he was nominated a Commissioner in the Bankrupt Court. By 1849 he was apparently the lay head of Gibraltar Jewry and in 1853 Gibraltar correspondent of The London Jewish Weekly "The Voice of Jacob". He apparently remained a bachelor.
Matilda married Lazarus Solomon in Plymouth. He was a widower. His wife (Esther bas Abraham) having died in 1829. He may have been father-in-law of Lemon Hart, for Mary daughter of Lazarus Solomon of Plymouth was Lemon Hart's second wife. By his first marriage he had two daughters (besides Mary) Harriet and Fanny. The latter married Joseph son of Isaac Joseph of Redruth (see Pedigree 28) and the former married Alexander Alexander uncle of Michael Solomon Alexander (his wife was a Miss Sarah Levy of Plymouth and he married her 1821) who became converted to Christianity and eventually consecrated as the first Anglican bishop of Jerusalem. At any rate by reason of his horror of his relative's apostasy, Alexander Alexander changed his surname to Abrahams.
Lazarus and Matilda Solomon's son, Solomon, was born in 1833 and was about three when his father died. After that for some years they lived with his grandfather in Plymouth. Eventually he set up an antique business in Torquay, and eventually in Baker Street, London. According to his photograph taken in middle-age he was a good looking man with charm and well dressed. In fact he married three times - his first wife Miss Sarah Lyons was probably a daughter of Solomon Lyons of Plymouth a family already mentioned as intermarrying with the Altmans. She died in childbed on 19th February, 1873 aged 36.
In families like the Josephs, whose family archives are nonexistent, there us very little that can be built into anything approaching a biography or for seeing the man as a whole. If one is lucky a photograph an entry in a circumcision register, a record of death at Somerset House eked out by impressions handed down by the family. These last appear to become the more hazy inversely with each generation back. Among the nobility or the well to do no difficulty is involved but among the majority of families biography is all but impossible.
So with Abraham Joseph born 6th June, 1799 as recorded in the family bible and in his father's circumcision record, we know just a little more perhaps than we know about his father. The only photographs of him extant are those in the last years of his life and show a short stocky man a face like his father's but seemingly devoid of humour, conscious perhaps of rectitude and righteousness. Though none of his sons remained in England, probably made to emigrate, one of them at least was devoted to him yet this son's son (the writer's father) many years after his grandfather's death came to the opinion that he was a self-opinionated old tyrant. Here are two side of a picture, which cannot be finished Some letters remain and give a picture of him in later life.
Abraham Joseph as has already been mentioned lived in Penzance and became general factotum to the congregation there.7 While there he met and married Eliza daughter of Lemon Woolf. It is deduced from the wording o the 1841 census that his first four children were born there and that he returned to Plymouth somewhere between 1833 and 1834 for his next four children are reported as being born in Devon. His first child being born in 1829, his marriage would have taken place prior to then perhaps in 1828 when he was 29 years old. Eliza Wolf was known as "the beautiful Miss Woolf of Penzance" and this epithet appears more than justified as one look at her miniature (reproduction below). In 1850 Eliza Joseph died in childbed with her last child named Eliza for her.
As listed in the 1841 census their surviving children were
Rose 12 years old
Living with them was Israel Levi (Hebrew teacher) aged 18 and Phoebe Levi aged 20. Of this family Moses and David did not survive infancy and if there were any other children except for another daughter Hannah born after Ruth and before Eliza ten years later nothing is known about then
What Abraham did for a living on his return to Plymouth and
thereafter is not known but he lived in some style and was of some
importance yet at his death his estate was under £7,000. After
the death of his wife he paid court9 to his first cousin Rosa
daughter of Nathan and Brinay Joseph and in 1855 he married her. For
he writes her mother from London on 10th March 5616
As the time approaches for the day of [huppah] with dear Rosa I naturally feel that it is to me, as to her, an important event of life but being satisfied it is being directed by an All Wise Providence, I feel happy that He ordained all things for the best, and, therefore, I am assured of my and dear Rosa's happiness. I am sure we understand each other and that being the case I am sure all we promise ourselves will be realised and have only to ask (His) blessings and Protection and when that is the case, the word second wife loses all the meaning the world attaches to it. I am sorry you and the dear girls cannot be present at the ceremony however you make up for it by visiting us after when the bustle is over. With kind regards to all the girls - Julia, Sarah and Annie.
I am (indecipherable)
P. S. Tell Annie with my love that as even the mention was such a task to her, that I fear to write to her and incur her displeasure. I think if the fashionable ladies were to see how well my dear Rosa looks in the new headdress they would all lose their old ones."
June, 24th, 5616.
After the visit you were pleased to honour me with, in reference to the Board of Deputies, I feel it is due that I should inform you, I have given the matter my most serious consideration, and reviewing it in all its bearings I feel I am unable to come to any other resolve than the one lately adopted by me not again to enter the Board.
After the fearless manner in which I hope I always upheld and advocated the sacred cause we all have so much at heart (and of which Thank God you are enabled by your exalted position to be the great conservator) I feel less hesitation in coming to this conclusion than I otherwise might, from a perfect conviction that no endeavour of any humble orthodox member can be of any avail in counteracting that spirit of utilitarianism (falsely called liberalism) which seeks to break down all those great characteristics of Judaism, that have preserved our nationality amidst the same vicissitudes and afflictions that have befallen us; the broad and marked distinctions which separate our nation from others and which many vainly endeavour to obliterate constitutes our chief Honour and preeminence, in proof of which we have only to refer to the sacred Scriptures wherein the great antagonist of our Nation was made to exclaim in terms of laudation
"Behold they are a People, who dwell alone and will not be reckoned among the nations"
May God in his mercy grant you many years of Health and happiness and continue to uphold you as the ornament and champion o the House of Israel.
Believe me I remain
Yours most faithfully
One other letter, only a copy exists in the handwriting of his wife written to the Chief Rabbi Dr. Adler from 8, Leigham Terrace, Plymouth. At this time he is "broken down and shattered in health" so much so he had not been able to leave his house to attend important synagogue services. He again complains of rapid changes (for the worst of course) "so that now I am come to where I am. I can look back and feel comforted that [ ] and during my very chequered and tried life, I always felt [ ]." The object of writing to the Chief Rabbi was to prevent an act which would give grave offence to many who remember what Plymouth was [ ] but which has all now vanished. It seems that one Samuel Ralph, an apostate of 50 years and a mason's labourer, who had been married once or twice in Church, had become very ill. To the letter writer's utter surprise he had heard that their Minister had visited him. This visit apparently was arranged by Abraham Ralph, his brother and executor of his cousin Jacob Nathan who wished his brother not to be buried in a Christian cemetery. He implores the Chief Rabbi that he is drawn into the affair he will at least not buried in the Main Ground of the Jewish Cemetery. (vide 30W, pedigree of Jacob Nathan)
So during the closing years of his life blessed by the birth of a daughter Floretta, Abraham Joseph suffered in mind from the inroads of progress upon orthodoxy and in body from the ravages of disease. Finally in 1868 in his 69th year he died.
His obituary in the Jewish Chronicle reads as follows: "We have had lately the mournful task to record in our obituary the death of Mr. Abraham Joseph of Plymouth. Those who were intimately acquainted with him can bear witness to his superior intelligence and to his extended knowledge of the Hebrew language.
Indeed, very few Englishmen have attained the breadth of religious learning which characterised him in theological discussion. He was armed at all points and he carried with him a peculiar charm of manner a happy facility of persuading his hearers to believe as he believed.
This was particularly proved some years since, at a Meeting of the Deputies, when a serious measure, which would have opened the flood gates of secession fell to the ground, for, Mr. Abraham Joseph the member for Plymouth by his warm eloquence and fervency in advocating what was truly "his life" won to his side the single vote, which would have admitted, what the zealous Pleader fought so earnestly to bar out.
Great suffering from a dire disease, was his portion in this life, borne with unexampled patience and submission to the will of God. He succumbed to it on the 28th day of Iyyar aged 69 years, at his residence Leigham Terrace, Plymouth. His Hebrew Library he bequeathed to his valued friend the Revd. Dr. Adler and his Hebrew Scroll he has ordered to be presented to the Plymouth Congregation to the [shul] of his Birth place. All those who knew him must mourn that a brave upholder of our Holy Faith is no more. To his bereaved wife and children is the irreparable loss, soothed only by the undying knowledge that "Earth hath not perceived, neither hath the eye seen, what God hath prepared for him, that waiteth for him"
He also left his portrait of Rabbi Sieva Ashkenazi to his son-in-law Leon Solomon and it is now in the Jewish Museum. All his children except Hyman and the others who had predeceased him were remembered in his Will, but the residue was left to his widow Rosa.
His widow survived him many years until well into the 19th century. She requested Mr. Moses S. Keyser as a remembrance of the friendship between them to write an inscription in Hebrew for his tombstone. "He will not write too much" he had told his wife when enjoining his wife to make the request. It is to her, too, that we are indebted for the preservation of the Joseph Documents (now in the Jewish Museum) prepared by her mother in 1840. Her daughter Floretta never married and they lived together in Brighton.
CHAPTER XI WEST COUNTRY CONNECTIONS.
In all small communities there is much intermarriage and Jewry in Devon, Cornwall and neighbouring Somerset was no exception (as we have already seen in early London (Chapter VII) glimpsed in the early days of the North American Colonies (Chapter VIII) and shall see in Australasia. (Chapter XIII) In regard to these families some apology is in order by reason of the fact that much genealogical material has already been compiled notably by Mr. Alex Jacob in his excellent paper on the Jews of Falmouth1 and including Israel Solomon and Major William Schonfield. The reason which perhaps is important, why this duplication is not being avoided is that by not leaving any pedigree out2 some idea of the inter-relation of the families can be viewed as it were at a glance. However, so far as Plymouth in particular and Bristol there are many omissions as will be observed by study both of the former Aliens Register and Circumcision Register but the families do not seem to have intermarried with the group connected with the Josephs of Plymouth.
Though we hazard the possibility of Mrs. Joseph Joseph was either a Hart or Woolf of Penzance,3 we are quite sure that her daughter-in-law was Eliza daughter of Lemon Woolf of Penzance. Penzance strangely enough for such a small town is as well known in Anglo Jewish history as almost any place in the British Isles outside London. This is perhaps due to the vivid pen picture Israel Solomon gives of his family in the early days of that community and the comprehensive article by Cecil Roth.
Matilda Solomon née Joseph
Sarah, née Lyons, first wife of Solomon Solomon
Bella Levy, née Woolf, of Penzance
Moses Woolf of Melbourne
Rose Solomon née Woolf
Nellie (Ellen) Lyons née Levy
Julia Isaacs née Levy
[to be inserted: Mark Levy II]
From these and other sources it is possible to assemble fairly exhaustive pedigrees of these families. (vide 30W2 pedigree Hart of Penzance; 30W3 pedigree Woolf of Penzance; 30W4 Solomon of Falmouth; 30W5 Moses of Falmouth; 30W6 Jacob of Falmouth; 30W7 Israel Levy of Exeter; 30W8 Levy of Exeter; 30W9 Harris of Falmouth, Truro and Sydney)
The family of Barnet Levy's wife, Esther Elias opens some fascinating problems. In Schofield's paper, where he is talking of Lynn Joseph and in this instance more particularly of his wife, Judith daughter of Barnet Levy, he says "an Uncle of her mother is said to have risen to the position of Civil Governor of St. Helena." This can only really refer to Saul Solomon (1776-1852) son of Nathaniel Solomon of Canterbury and his wife Phoebe de Metz. Coupled with this he also mentions relatives of the name of Solomon and a stay in Canterbury for Lynn Joseph before coming down to Falmouth to live, rather ties in this connection. However, Esther Elias's dates circa 1737 to 1780 and as Phoebe de Met z was only born in 1760 (she married at the age of 15) the relationship of Esther and Saul cannot have been niece and uncle and the reverse is impossible. The one solution to this appears to be that Nathaniel Solomon (1735-1793) the father was Esther Elias's Uncle, her mother being his elder sister.
Strangely enough Israel Solomon states that Zender Falmouth was Uncle to Esther Elias's mother, which would make Zender Falmouth also Nathaniel Solomon's uncle, their father or mother being his brother or sister.
From the names of her sister Esther Elia Levy's father probably was either Abraham or Levy Elias. Now there is an Abraham Elias of around the right dates of whose children one is Levy Elias. (vide 30W10 Levy of Falmouth and Plymouth; 30W11 Simmons of Falmouth)
Emden (Emdon, Emdin etc) is not an uncommon name among Jews being of the topographical kind it is not frequent however and when it is found in close proximity in England some connection may be inferred. According to the Plymouth census of 1841 three Emdons are shown residing in Plymouth and Devonport - Solomon aged 68 foreign born and Phoebe aged 50 in Catherine Street, Plymouth; Eleazer aged 75 foreign born salesman and Kitty aged 65 also foreign born in Cannon Street, Devonport with Hannah Kendall aged 40 and Harriet (20) Jane (15) Elizabeth (15) Kendall presumably her children; and in Duke Street, Devonport, Woolf Emden a salesman born in Devon aged 36 with his wife Rebecca aged 30. Then in the Plymouth Aliens register are Solomon, Eleazer and Hiam Emden born in Amsterdam in 1771, 1764 and 1767 respectively. Presumably these three were brothers, the last moving on to Bristol where he married Lazarus Jacobs' (W13) daughter, therefore, with the help of Mr. Bertram Emdon it is possible to build a fairly thorough though not exhaustive pedigree (vide 30W12 Emdon of Plymouth; 30W13 Jacobs of Bristol)
Though strictly springing from Portsmouth the Emanuel family here delineated had many ties with West country families and is therefore included. For instance it will have been noticed that Abraham Joseph of Plymouth mentions in his Will (39) an Angel Emanuel or his nephew. Now Samuel Emanuel (ben Emanuel of Geistock) is a contemporary of Abraham Joseph, both of them probably immigrants, and its possible that they married sisters (assuming at the moment Angel is Samuel's son) If that be so Hannah (for that was Samuel's wife's name) would have been the daughter of Solomon Abraham and Gitla Moses or Michaels (her father being Jehiel Michael ben Moses Joseph (L3) - strangely enough Michael and Moses appear as names of two of his sons. On this rather slender evidence, then, there is such a possibility.
The tree of Jonas of Exeter family is very incomplete and rather sketchy. The first Jonas of record is Samuel Jonas, who flourished in Exeter 1763 to 1783, a clockmaker. With information supplied41 it is possible to put forward some semblance of a pedigree. (vide W15 Jonas of Exeter)
Apart from the Jonas (W15) the Levys (W8) and the Ezekiels, other families in Exeter were the Lazarus (W17) and more prominently the Solomons. These last were not the first family of that name there, for Roth mentions an Emanuel Solomon and Henry Marks (a first cousin of Isaac Polack of Penrhyn) married Elizabeth daughter of David Solomon of Exeter. Both these refer to the second half of the eighteenth century.
The first of the second family was Josiah ben Solomon (d. 1826) "The Chaver of Exeter" and ancestor of Wilfred Samuel; his wife Ruth died about 1825. (vide W16 Solomon of Exeter; also W16A Solomon of Exeter continued)
The Dyte family were quill merchants of Bristol and they intermarried with the Lazarus family of Exeter who were in the same kind of business. (vide W17 Dyte (and Rubinstein57 of Bristol)
Thus have been recorded several of the Jewish West Country families established around the turn of the nineteenth century, while no claim could be possibly maintained that these are in any way exhaustive, as written the names appearing in Roth, in the lists prepared by Wilfred Samuel, in the circumcision registers and the Plymouth register of Aliens for example, yet on the whole they seem to include, may one say, the more prevalent families. (vide W18 Hyman of Plymouth; W19 Ezekiel of Exeter and Cincinnati)
Joseph Family Contents
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