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Anglo-Jewish Country Houses from the Resettlement to 1800

Malcolm Brown

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Anglo-Jewish country houses from the Resettlement to 1800* MALCOLM BROWN One July day in 1894 Mrs Eliza Brightwen, author of Wild Nature Won by Kindness, received at The Grove in Stanmore a party of thirty-six poor Jewish mothers.1 Mrs Brightwen's house had become a centre for nature lovers, a bird sanctuary, and a home for many strange pets. Yet she was as well known for her philanthropy as for her devotion to the life of the countryside, and she kept open house during the summer months for parties of the deserving. It is unlikely that she was aware, however, that many years before, Jacob Pereira had bought some acres of pasture and meadowland and formed the first garden on the site.2 A life devoted to nature studies and charitable entertainment perhaps leaves little time for historical research of the quality attained by Rachel Daiches Dubens, Edward Jamilly and Alfred Rubens.3 Similarly, recent advances in local studies, and the increased accessibility of archives, have meant that even in an area so comparatively restricted as the Home Counties, I can make no claim to completeness. Firstly, the legal problems need to be outlined. In the absence of contemporary legislation on Jewish land-ownership - and in view of the very novelty of the Resettlement - rights of entitlement were uncertain. An act of 1723 (10 George I, c. 4) assumed, but did not make explicit, such rights for native-born and, by implication, naturalized, Jews. Those who were merely endenizened might purchase land, but could not make it over to their heirs unless they too were already endenizened at the moment of purchase.4 There was no test case and no legislation on this point until 1846.5 But the state of the law at the time does not quite correspond to what people believed it to have been. Most Jews in 18th-century England were far too preoccupied with earning a meagre livelihood to give thought to the purchase of country houses. The few who could afford to consider buying one were unsure about the legality; and the more uncertain they felt the less likely they were to buy. With rare exceptions, it was the wealthiest, the most self-reliant, and those with access to the best legal advice who went ahead, and the number of estates is correspondingly small. Cromwell House, now 104 Highgate Hill, is traditionally accepted as the * An earlier version of this paper was presented to the Society on 20 January 1982.1 am most grateful to Dr Richard Barnett for his generous advice and assistance. 20</page><page sequence="2">Anglo-Jewish country houses from the Resettlement to 1800 21 earliest surviving 'country' house in Jewish ownership. Alvaro da Costa bought the copyhold in 1675.6 He had arrived from Portugal in Catherine of Braganza's entourage and had been naturalized in 166 7. The vendor may have been a business acquaintance of da Costa, or, perhaps, it was one of the lawyers or scriveners who then sometimes acted as estate agents7 who made it known that the property was available. When da Costa purchased the house only its central section, dating to the 1630s, was standing. Da Costa and his brother-in-law, Fernando Mendes, shared the house with their large families, adding a south wing possibly as early as 1685, and a north wing in about 1710. The most tangible evidence of their ownership is the monogram 'A da C carved in the headstone of a marble fireplace in a room on the first floor of the south wing. The house remained in family ownership for three generations; and it may have been there that Voltaire heard an exchange between one of the ladies of the family and an evangelizing clergyman who had clearly underesti? mated her determination.8 Cromwell House may be visited by appointment. John Macky, writing in 1709,9 noted rather glumly that the area around Hampstead was 'overstocks with Jews*. Cromwell House was certainly very full of da Costas and Mendes. Anthony Mendes bought the copyhold of a newly Plate i Moreton House (now 14 South Grove), Highgate. Photograph c. i860.</page><page sequence="3">22 Malcolm Brown built terrace house in Highgate in 1715. Here, at 14 South Grove (see plate 1), Aaron Otto was the next-but-one resident after Mendes, and Coleridge also lived there.10 Another of the family, Jacob Mendes da Costa, bought the copyhold of The Grove at Highgate in 1733.11 This splendid mansion, long since demolished, had been built for Chief Justice Pemberton in the 1670s, about twenty years before Sibrechts was commissioned to paint a picture of it (see plate 2) from a point above Hampstead Lane, looking down towards London in the distance.12 Some of the ironwork may have survived in boundary railings of houses later built on the site, 7 and 8 The Grove. At Mitcham a stockbroker with literary tastes, James Mendes, had a lease by 1724 of what is now named Eagle House, in London Road (see plate 3).13 The rainwater-heads on the north and south elevations carry the figures 1705 and the initials F p M. The F and M are the initials of James' father, Fernando Mendes, but the raised middle letter, P, cannot be so explained. James' mother's name, unhelpfully, was Ysabella. The raised P might refer to the Plumers, the copyholders of the property who perhaps granted a building lease to Fernando in 1705. But Fernando was unlikely to have bought the property himself, as he had not obtained naturalization. So he may have reached an agreement with the copyholders whereby one of his native-born sons should eventually have the lease. James, at any rate, was allotted a pew, a privilege customarily accorded to residents of the house, when the north aisle of the parish church Plate 2 Jan Sibrechts, The Grove, Highgate, 1696 (present location unknown).</page><page sequence="4">Anglo-Jewish country houses from the Resettlement to 1800 23 Plate 3 Eagle House, Mitcham. Photograph c. 1970. was rebuilt in 1738. A letter from Solomon Athias to Sir Nicholas Carew, lord of the manor of Mitcham, is informative. It was written on behalf of Mendes, and asks for permission to lop some trees that interrupted a view. Athias mentions that Mendes had been resident at Mitcham 'for upward of 20 years' and refers to the property as the 'Turrett' House.14 The view from the turret in question still stretches for many miles. On its balcony, James Thomson, a frequent visitor, may have gained some inspiration for his poetry. The house, recently restored, is now used as an education centre by the local authority.15 James' brother-in-law, John Mendes da Costa, bought the freehold of another property in Mitcham in 1721.16 Many years earlier, when it was the principal residence in the locality, Queen Elizabeth twice visited the house, which had recently been modernized. Baron House appears in an early 19th-century watercolour (see plate 4). The property came to da Costa with apple orchards, hop gardens, a 'Walnut Tree Close', and a 'Cherry Ground'. Circumstances compelled him to part with it in 1742.17 The next resident was Benjamin Goodison the furniture maker, and it later became a school. Although nothing of the building remains,</page><page sequence="5">24 Malcolm Brown Plate 5 Copped Hall, Totteridge. Engraving by Badeslade, 1739.</page><page sequence="6">Anglo-Jewish country houses from the Resettlement to 1800 25 part of Walnut Tree Close survives as the local cricket pitch. The best-known da Costa house was Copped Hall, Totteridge, then in Hertfordshire.18 The building was so named from the high pitched gables visible in a contemporary print (see plate 5).19 There had been structures on the site since the 16th century,20 which probably accounts for the straggling layout. Early in Charles II's reign, Alderman Chiverton bought the property, and two later owners subsequently enlarged the estate.21 The house and gardens had been remodelled for John Charlton (of the Ordnance Office) in the early 1700s.22 When Joseph da Costa bought Copped Hall in 1721, the lord of the manor was Sir Paul Whichcott, son-in-law of the Sir Francis Pemberton who had built The Grove at Highgate.23 Whichcott must have been at least acquainted with the da Costa family, for as early as 1690 he had sold Alvaro da Costa a reversionary interest in several rent rolls, the first record we have of the family's interest in provincial land dealings.24 A few features are still recognizable, for instance the footpath that runs down from Totteridge Lane to Folley Brook. On the site of the village smithy, just outside the palisade, now stands the village pub, The Orange Tree. Nothing of the formal gardens remains, but members of the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Nature Trust are permitted to follow a path around some of the outlying property, which leads down to the water shown in the distance. Copped Hall was the scene of Philip Mendes da Costa's final and unsuccessful bid for the hand of his cousin Kitty da Costa Villareal, the eldest daughter of the house. Witnesses in the lawsuit, brought in 1732, mention the gates of the gardens to which Kitty had her own key and where she would wander at will.25 It was probably at about this time, soon after she moved here to escape Philip's attentions, that her father enlarged the house. The structure with an open front supported on columns might have housed a private prayer room, but it is more likely to have been a farm building or perhaps an orangery.26 At another house nearby lived the tutor to the da Costa children, Dr Lewis Crucius. The date and manner of his arrival are not recorded, but by 1743 he was resident at one of Totteridge's most quaintly named homes, Lilliput, then part of the Copped Hall estate.27 The da Costas remained at Totteridge until 1758 when Copped Hall was sold to Abraham Chambers, a banker.28 From him it passed to another banker, William Manning,29 father of Cardinal Manning whose earliest years were spent here. The house was later remodelled by the younger Kendall, whom Lord Lytton employed at Knebworth in the 1850s,30 and was demolished in 1929. Its site is now occupied by three properties, in the grounds of one of which may be seen an early ice house. The leading Ashkenazi families of the 18 th century were the Harts and Franks. Moses Hart, the magnate of the Great Synagogue, bought the property</page><page sequence="7">26 Malcolm Brown known as Gordon House (now the headquarters of the West London Institute of Education) in 1718, and rebuilt it extensively a few years later.31 It is probable that the craftsmen he employed were those working on neighbouring houses such as that on Richmond Hill, being built for Lady Houblon, widow of the Governor of the Bank of England, who lived opposite Hart's earlier house in Richmond.32 Nearby was another house tenanted from time to time by others of Hart's family.33 Isaac Franks, who is believed to have had a retreat in the neighbourhood in the 1730s, encouraged the family to become landowners by the terms of his will, proved in 1736.34 In it he directed his brother Aaron, his sole executor, to invest upwards of ?90,000, 'if he thought fit', in the purchase of freeholds for the benefit of his two children. Aaron was further instructed to register the properties in his own name, to entail them, and to apply the income to the upbringing of the children until they should come of age. Aaron first entered the land market by purchasing the Simplemarsh estate at Chertsey in 1738. This was a property long tenanted by a succession of yeoman farmers,35 as was Ongar Hall Park in Essex and sundry properties in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire detailed in a rent roll bought in 1748.36 Aaron's .. . .... . Plate 6 Misterton Hall, Leicestershire. Engraving by Thoresby, 1792.</page><page sequence="8">Anglo-Jewish country houses from the Resettlement to 1800 27 most substantial investment in Isaac's estate was made in 1753, when the Offley's mortgage of Misterton in Leicestershire failed.37 As shown in a print produced forty years later, the building had few architectural pretensions (see plate 6). It was the Offleys' second house, let occasionally to other minor gentry.38 The first of the family to spend any time there was Naphtali Franks, some of whose correspondence with the lord of the manor, the sixth Lord Denbigh, may be found at the Warwickshire Record Office. Lord Denbigh writes to enlist Naphtali's support for a parliamentary candidate in a county election; Naphtali replies that he has instructed his agent at Misterton accordingly. Naphtali writes from Brighton asking Lord Denbigh to use his influence to obtain preferment for a friend in the Navy.39 Naphtali's interest in gardening is clear from a letter mentioning some pine cuttings he is expecting, presumably from America, and which he promises to deliver to Lord Denbigh's town house.40 Capability Brown had recently been engaged in laying out the grounds of Newnham Paddox,41 the Denbighs' estate a few miles from Misterton, and six exceptionally large pines still standing there may be the very trees mentioned. Misterton has been much rebuilt, but the kitchen garden is still marked off by a similar, if not the same, high hedge as it was in Naphtali's time.42 Mortlake was Naphtali's usual address out of town. He moved there soon after his marriage in 1743, to the house that was to be his for over fifty years. The building has been identified beyond doubt as The Limes, the subject of a famous painting by Turner dated 1826.43 The house was first recorded in 1728. Naphtali seems to have made few alterations, apart from adding a portico and a top storey. The garden was his main interest, but that now lies buried beneath electricity generators and avenues of terraces. Later occupants of the house, now identified as 123 Mortlake High Street, include Sir Garnett Wolseley and Dr Quintin Hogg. For some years past, the local authority has used The Limes for commercial lettings, and the interior is divided into offices. On the other side of the river, at Teddington, Naphtali's youngest brother, Moses Franks bought the leases of several plots of land when the Seven Years War was nearing its end.44 On his marriage he commissioned a villa there from his friend Sir William Chambers who was then at work on the Royal Gardens at Kew.45 Chambers prepared a plan that was loosely based on one of Palladio's projects, but this was evidently too elaborate for his client (see plate 7). Teddington Grove belonged for a while to John Walter, founder of The Times, and it may well have been altered during the 19th century.46 It was demolished soon after the Great War, and Grove Gardens and Terrace were built on the site. The riverside property longest associated with the Franks is Nazareth House at Isleworth. Moses Hart bought and resold it in 1742,47 just before his</page><page sequence="9">28 Malcolm Brown Plate 7 An unexecuted design for Moses Franks' villa at Teddington, c. 1765. Plate 8 Isleworth House. Engraving by Rock, 1850.</page><page sequence="10">Anglo-Jewish country houses from the Resettlement to 1800 29 I Ml ,.||t.&gt;-. II U I . lH-.MKnW I &gt; I \ I L I I Ml t , Ml , ,. 11. 1-.. Plate 9 Old Loughton Hall, Essex. Watercolour c. 1820. daughter Bilah married Aaron Franks. Bilah died in 1748, whereupon Hart bought the house for Aaron and the children.48 All that exists of this period is the stable block and service quarters. Most of the building was remodelled in 1832 for Aaron's grand-daughter, Lady Cooper, by Edward Blore, the domestic architect.49 A print was published in 1850,50 thirty years before the Nuns of Nazareth came to the house, which they maintain in excellent condition as an old people's home (see plate 8). At Epsom, Anthony Suasso, third Baron d'Avernas le Gras, owned the freehold of The Cedars, Church Street, in 1726. Dr Lehmann in his research on Epsom, quotes the London Gazette of 1724 that records a letter sent to Suasso, demanding money and threatening to burn his country seat. Dr Lehmann suggests that The Cedars might have been the house, although there is reason to suppose that it was in fact Old Loughton Hall in Essex, which appears in an undated watercolour sketch (see plate 9).51 Suasso was said to have been 'of Loughton Hall' by 1726, and we know for certain that it was leased to him soon after his endenization in 1721. The local registers record the burials of the baron's butler in 1732, and of Phoebe Knaggs, 'servant to the Baron's lady', in 1733. A memento of the Suassos' time at Loughton was discovered a century after they had left, when a mezzuzah was found on the door of a small room next to the library.52 The Cedars at Epsom has been much altered since Suasso's day, and Suasso's second house there, bought in 1736, has disappeared completely. When newly built for Mr Rooth it was considered worth including in the second</page><page sequence="11">30 Malcolm Brown volume of Vitruvius Britannicus, published in 1717. Celia Fiennes had visited it a few years earlier, and wrote a characteristically voluble account.53 In Middlesex an entry in the freeholders' books54 shows that Francis Francia, born in Bordeaux and endenizened in 1687, was in possession of Neale's, one of the largest houses in Edmonton, as early as 1702. It was here that Francia's nephew, the Jacobite, Francis Lewis sounded out the political opinions of the local people and reported them to the government of the day.55 Four years before his death, Francia arranged that a life-interest in the house was to go to his Very good friend' Rebecca King.56 Neale's, with 10 acres of grounds, stood at the corner of Fore Street and Water Lane, an area now much developed.57 Jacob Pereira, a brother-in-law of Anthony Suasso, is first recorded at Stanmore in 1748.58 The Chandos trustees had recently obtained an act of Parliament enabling them to convert copyholds into freeholds, and were advertising plots of land for sale in several London papers.59 Pereira bought 30 acres, known as The Thrifts, in the northeast corner of Stanmore, to which he later added another 62 acres. These he converted into a 'plantation or pleasure ground' which he 'called, or intended to be called', Mon Plaisir.60 No mention of a house occurs in the title deeds, but Rocque's map of 1754 shows a small dwelling on the site. Aaron Capadose, who succeeded Pereira at Mon Plaisir, died there in 1782 at an advanced age.61 The house was pulled down and rebuilt in 1877 for the Brightwens.62 All that now survives of Pereira's time is an entrance lodge and the wall of the kitchen garden.63 The Lyonsdown estate at Barnet, which Henry Isaac the diamond merchant bought in 175 7,64 falls within the ambit of Copped Hall. Sir Peter Meyer, a near neighbour of the da Costas, had bought Lyonsdown in 1716, but the only dwelling there was leased with the land to a yeoman farmer. The estate continued to be let on lease after 175 7, while Isaac's residence out of town was in an area much favoured by City gentlemen, South Street, Walthamstow.65 Moses Isaac Levy moved to Wimbledon in 1768, the year he was appointed vice-president of the Board of Deputies.66 Levy had acted as one of the syndicate of army contractors based at M?nster during the Seven Years War (his particular speciality being the improvement of forage supply services at Osnabr?ck).67 If Mrs Daiches-Dubens' suggestion is correct, Levy's previous home was on the outskirts of Richmond, at Spring Grove. This however was rented property only, and Levy no doubt felt that the Copse Hill estate at Wimbledon was more in keeping with his communal promotion. Here he built Prospect Place, a two-storeyed villa with splendid views towards Richmond and Kingston. The garden,'hot-houses and forcing-walls', to quote from a contem? porary description, '[produced] the earliest, largest and finest fruits in the county'.68 Levy played a considerable part in local life, serving on the poor-law</page><page sequence="12">Anglo-Jewish country houses from the Resettlement to 1800 31 and church-rebuilding committees, and remained at Wimbledon until 1789, when he was elected president of the Board of Deputies. Prospect Place was pulled down in 1853, and its site is now occupied by Atkinson Morley's Hospital. Just to the east stood another large house, built some twenty years after Prospect Place and named Mount Ararat by its owner, Samuel Castell. Castell's family had been armigerous since Edward Ill's reign,69 and Mount Ararat was probably named with regard less to its solemn overtones than to the annual incidence of rainfall at Wimbledon. There was one other Jewish family in Wimbledon at this time, that of Abraham Aguilar, the Jamaica merchant, who was related to the Levys of Prospect Place through his wife's family, the Lamegos. Aguilar's house was known as The Keir, on the west side of Wimbledon Common. In recent years it has been divided into flats, but before then had belonged to the founder of the John Evelyn Society. In Berkshire, David Ximenes, a stock broker of Great Ayliffe Street, Goodmans Fields, bought Bear Place, Wargrave, from George Rogers of the Navy Office in 1784.70 A Tudor brick and half-timbered house then stood there, surrounded by a moat which still survives. Local legend has it that when the family bought the estate they rebuilt the house on higher ground, their hot Spanish blood being unable to stand the damp in low places.71 Evidently there is ?jga*1 jLjQWBF &amp; s?uft IV.ir IM:,,-.- m K r rU 0 w vi-, i 11 Si-?i i.l' M Xnm...^ K(:|. Plate 10 Bear Place, Wargrave. Engraving by Walker, 1796.</page><page sequence="13">32 Malcolm Brown some truth in the story, since a contract for rebuilding was drawn up in 1784, stipulating that as much of the old material as possible was to be reused on the new site.72 Ximenes died two years later, leaving his son Moses (or Moris) in possession (see plate 10). A near neighbour was the stage-struck Lord Barrymore, who in 1790 built a 700-seat theatre for himself and his guests at Wargrave. Ximenes entered into the spirit of private theatricals with great gusto, playing such parts as Double Fee in The Follies of a Day, and the lover in a harlequinade of Robinson Crusoe. After performances, the company would retire to the grounds of Bear Place, where parties would last until dawn. If the supply of wine ran short, they had only to dig for more bottles conveniently planted nearby.73 All this fun was quite ruinously expensive. After just two years, the theatre was dismantled and the row of cottages put up by Barrymore for his guests was taken over by Ximenes for the troop of territorials he had raised. Apart from home defence, several local activities attracted family support. Ximenes* mother-in-law left money for the poor of the parish,74 and he himself gave generously to village charities, but when Be vis Marks elected him to the Mahamadt the finta was never paid.75 Much more observant of his communal responsibilities was Ximenes' brother-in-law, Emanuel Baruch Lousada of Sidmouth, who served on the Mahamad over a period of nearly fifty years. Lousada happened upon Sidmouth Plate ii Peak House, Sidmouth. Engraving by Lewis, 1816.</page><page sequence="14">Anglo-Jewish country houses from the Resettlement to 1800 33 in 1788, when he bought a small house and some fields, previously known as Pike's or Pick's tenement, from the principal family in the town.76 Sidmouth was then on the brink of fashion, which arrived two years later when George III paid a visit.77 By 1796 Lousada had added so much to his original holding that it was the second-largest estate there. The property included most of what is now the golf course, and stretched from the plantations on top of Peak Hill down to the site of Jacob's Ladder, the stairs connecting the foreshore with the coastal path. The house shown in a print of 1826 was described in the letterpress as 'extremely neat' and 'commanding a fine reach of the ocean.'78 On the periphery of the estate, Lousada built five or six smaller houses, and the two constructed above his own featured in another print79 of 1816 (see plate 11). The family fortified their social position by a liberal display of hospitali? ty - a local newspaper of 1819 mentions their winter ball, 'as usual thronged', with the Moris Ximenes' and other relatives among the guests.80 Lousada died at Peak House in 1832. His links with Sidmouth had been numerous. He had sat on the infant poor school committee, as well as another committee formed to support the making of a local harbour. The Peak House pew in the parish church was always available for guests or members of the household, although Lousada himself never attended a service.81 * &lt;#ri .'S*..* *. ''.4, 3 r, i&gt;io rr t ho xj s k. {ZieuP 6en*Wm?*trJ J*ul* iy J. IP'aUif ft. AfarM* /.Urarv JutmoiOk. fSZ&amp; Plate 12 Belmont House, Sidmouth. Engraving by Rowe, 1826.</page><page sequence="15">34 Malcolm Brown Peter Orlando Hutchinson, the town's historian in the last century, recalled in old age a summer's day spent at the Peak with Lousada's nephew and successor there. Eating strawberries and sauntering up the path to Fox's Corner, they reached the angle and Hutchinson saw, to his surprise, an open grave with boards around it. 'Uncle means to be buried there', said the nephew. But it was not to be. By 1832 Sidmouth was only two days distance from London, and the family, naturally enough, insisted on removal to the Beth Haim. The second Emanual Baruch Lousada continued the tradition of local service. When the print known as the Long View of Sidmouth was reissued in 1840, it carried with it the same dedication as to the first Lousada, 'to whose active exertions and liberality of spirit' the environs of Sidmouth were said to be Indebted for their principal charms'. The family, obviously, were among the leading patrons of the local printseller, Wallis, whose fortune was built on Sidmouth's apparently inexhaustible demand for as many illustrations as possible of its new villas. Among these were Helens, Belmont and Rosemount, all houses connected with the family at various times. Moses Gutteres, who had married a niece of the first Lousada, took a lease of Helens in 1826,82 and is next heard of at Bellevue, later to be the annexe to a summer residence of Elizabeth Moulton Barrett.83 By 1833 he had a lease of Belmont,84 a crenellated villa in a central position on the parade (see plate 12), and which was to be the family's seaside home for another generation (it has since been rebuilt as an hotel of the same name). Daniel Ximenes, Moris' younger brother, retired to Sidmouth and died at Rosemount in 1829, leaving to his daughter there a Tomkinson piano and an Erard harp.85 A few years later the second Lousada bought the freehold and rented the house to John Levien (the wives of both men were daughters of Abraham Goldsmid). The third Lousada experienced financial problems soon after inheriting. Rosemount and the Peak were sold off in his lifetime, and both houses have been rebuilt since. Abraham Goldsmid was one of two brothers whose Surrey villas are among the better-known houses of our period. Abraham, the younger of them, is first recorded at Morden in 1796,86 at a house previously let to a Mr Mendes. The property was then owned by John Groves, Clerk of the Works at St James', who remodelled it for Goldsmid in the early 1800s. The Duke of Sussex was entertained there one evening to a dinner cooked by Goldsmid's own chef, Hymon, whose journey back to London with the duke is the subject of one of Lucien Wolf's most delightful anecdotes.87 Five years after Abraham's death another house was built on the site.88 In the same year that Abraham took up residence at Morden, Benjamin Goldsmid bought a modestly sized house, The Rookery, at Roehampton.89 The place is thought to have derived its name from the rooks that once nested in its</page><page sequence="16">Anglo-Jewish country houses from the Resettlement to 1800 3 5 elm trees when the ancient forest sprawled unchecked around the hamlets of Putney.90 Goldsmid's house was evidently quite unsuitable for entertainment on the scale envisaged, so a new structure, Elm Grove, was built on the other side of Roehampton Lane. When James Spiller had completed it, several engravings were published. The architect solved the problem of satisfying his client's demand for space by adapting the rather narrow ground plan (dictated by the shape of the cellars of the previous house) so as to carry a projection some 130 feet out from the rear. The Goldsmids entertained profusely here for a few years until Benjamin's untimely death. Nothing survives of Elm Grove, but in 1924 the house immediately adjacent was bought by a collateral descendant of Goldsmid, Claude Monteflore, when the newly established Froebel Institute was looking for a home.91 Finally, a house built by an architect for his own use, Lonesome Lodge, at Tillingbourne near Dorking, designed by Theodore Jacobsen, architect of the Foundling Hospital,92 and bought by David Franco of Twickenham in 176 7.93 The River Tilling springs a little way outside the attractive estate and runs through a valley covered with an abundance of well-matured timber. On one side of this valley Jacobsen raised a platform on which to build the house, almost all of which has disappeared. But there survives a copy of the particulars of sale in 176 7,94 when Franco bought the estate. After detailing the rooms, the catalogue goes on to describe the grounds: 'Behind the house, there is a double slope that drops on a large flowery lawn, and leads to a fine Trout Stream, which... in its Meander forms a number of small purling rills.' Elsewhere was a 'Pavilion with a view of a Cascade that falls near 80 feet down the Bosom of a Rock_From the Delightfulness of the Situation every comfortable Indulgence may be expected: - instead ofthat dull Solitude which the name of it may seem to imply, there is the noblest Employment for the Mind; the highest entertainment for the Eye_It is, as Milton says, a happy rural seat of various Views, - for, turn every Way, - and tread every Path, it will be found that all the Ways are Ways of Pleasantness; and all the Paths are Peace.' 'A good house is a great comfort', wrote Elizabeth Montagu in 1781, 'and among the few felicities that money will procure'.95 Few of those who lived in the house described here would have disagreed. A glance down the ladder of prosperity they had mounted so adroitly would have revealed indigence, want and need, a community of refugees, sometimes of paupers, often living in cramped circumstances, with little will to consider the grandeur available to those placed more fortunately than themselves. The fortunate few often glanced down, and most of them were contributors, on a princely scale, to such communal charities as then existed. Behind their donations lay reserves of capital, and the need to invest prudently. Fortunes might be lost through</page><page sequence="17">36 Malcolm Brown ill-advised ventures: land and houses had the attraction of being the surest haven for surplus resources. And so it came about that some of the wealthiest in the community, as much through deliberation as from a mere desire to conform, bought a stake in their country of adoption.96 With it came the cares, responsibilities and duties common to landowners everywhere. Such duties were discharged for the most part honourably.97 But the record of absorption, in the 18th century at least, suggests that the effort to uphold a distinctive way of life in such a setting was too great for any family to sustain for longer than a very few generations. NOTES 1 W. H. Chesson (ed.) Eliza Brightwen (London 1909) 191-3. 2 See below, n. 60. 3 Trans JHSE XVIII (1958) 127-69; XIX (i960) 13-52. 4 The point is put most lucidly by Lord Chancellor Hardwicke (BL, Add. MS. 35592, f. 98 v.), quoted in P. C. Yorke, The Life and Correspondence of Philip Yorke, Earl of Hardwicke II (Cambridge 1913) 130. 5 H. S. Q. Henriques, The Jews and the English Law (Oxford 1908) 193; R. A. Rout ledge, 'The Legal Status of the Jews in England 1190-1790', Journal of Legal History III?2 (September 1982) 91-124. 6 P. Norman, Cromwell House, Highgate (1926) the 12th monograph of the London Survey Committee, is the standard authority; see also A. Oswald in Country Life CXXXIX (1966) no. 3612. I am grateful to Mr Philip Barber for advice and information about Mendes and da Costa houses in Highgate. 7 F. M. L. Thompson, Chartered Surveyors (London 1968) 26. 8 Notebooks, ed. T. Besterman (Geneva 1968) 365: I am grateful to Dr Norma Perry for locating this reference. 'Madame Acosta [sic] dit en ma presence ? un abbe qui vouloit la faire chretienne, votre dieu, est il ne juif? Ouy. A t'il vecu juif [?] Oui. Est il mort juif? Ouy. Eh bien soyez done juif.' Mr Edgar Samuel has pointed out that in view of Voltaire's attitude to the religious, these are hardly likely to have been the actual words spoken. 9 C. Morris (ed.) The Journeys of Celia Fiennes (London 1947) xxvi and 141. 10 Survey of London XVII (1936) 45. 11 Greater London Record Office (here? after GLRO) M/90/2049. The family left the house in 1756: see notice of auction of furni? ture, etc. in Swiss Cottage Library, Heal colln. A III 4. 12 J. Harris, The Artist and the Country House (London 1979) 73; Victoria County History (VCH) Middlesex VI (1980) 126. 13 E. N. Montague, Eagle House, Mitcham (Merton Historical Society 1974) and 'Baron House', unpublished typescript at Kingston RO. I am most grateful to Mr Montague for his suggested solution of the riddle of the initials. 14 BL, Add. MS. 29599, f. 347, published in C. Roth, Anglo-Jewish Letters (London 1938) 124-5. 15 Mitcham Library, Vestry Minutes Book,, f. 165. Among Mendes' collection of paintings were thirteen by Zurbaran, the series known as The Patriarch Jacob and his Sons. Twelve of these were sold by auction on 2 5 February 1756 to the Bishop of Durham and are still at Auckland Castle; the Benjamin was acquired by Lord Willoughby de Eresby and is now at Grimsthorpe Castle. Another painting belonging to Mendes, the Murillo Flight into Egypt now at Detroit, was bought by Sampson Gideon at the same sale (Victoria and Albert Museum, MS. 86/00/18, f. 285). It was placed in the Great Room built by Isaac Ware at Belvedere after 1752 (Kent RO, U 448/T 1). 16 PRO, C/54/5189 pt 10. 17 PRO, C/54/5669 pt 9. The property was transferred to Anthony da Costa in 173 7: PRO, Feet of Fines, Hilary 10 George II. 18 Trans JHSE XIII (1936) 274. 19 J. Badeslade and J. Rocque, Vitruvius</page><page sequence="18">Anglo-Jewish country houses from the Resettlement to 1800 37 Brittanicus, Volume the Fourth (1739) pis 98-9; reissued by Benjamin Bloc, Inc. (New York 1967). 20 VCH Herts. Ill (1912) 149 21 PRO, C/54/5194, pt 2. 22 Defoe, visiting in Charlton's day (Tour, vol. I letter 6) described it as 'a very delicious Seat, the House new Built, and the Gardens extremely fine'. The property passed to Captain Henry Long, the vendor in 1721, before 1712 (Herts. RO, D/P46.B.8/1). 23 See above, n. 12, and Burke. 24 PRO, C/54/4725, pt 5; C/54/4729, pt 29 (re dower lands of Queen Catherine of Braganza); C/54/4755, pt 16; C/54/4860, pt 17; C/54/5152, pt 7; C/54/5645, pt 5; C/54/5729, pt 5 (sale of rent roll by Anthony Suasso, Baron de Avernas, Alvaro Lopes Suasso, Sarah Mendes da Costa and Jacob Pereira de Paiva to Thomas Holies, Duke of Newcastle). 2 5 [Mendes da Costa] Proceedings ...1734 (BL, 498.D.13). 26 I am grateful to Mr H. M. Colvin for his opinion on this point. 27 Herts. RO, D/ERm/T 1. For Crucius (alias Crusius), headmaster of Charterhouse in 1748, see DNB. 28 PRO, C/54/6023, pt 3. 29 Herts. RO, Totteridge Land Tax Assess? ments. 30 The Builder 48 (1885) 883-4. 31 A. C. B. Urwin, Railshead (Hounslow and District History Society 1974) 28. 3 2 I owe this opinion to Mr R. Jeffree of the Barnes and Mortlake History Society. 33 Hounslow Library, Isleworth Rate Books 1721 (Heilbut), 1726 (Franks), 1729-33 (Levi). 34 PCC Derby 243. 35 PRO, C/54/5607; I am grateful to Mr B. F. J. Pardoe of Ottershaw for detailed information about Simplemarsh. 36 PRO, C/54/5775, Pt 14; C/54/5777, Pt 3. 37 Leics. RO, DE/1012/1/3 7-42, 38 Leics. RO, Turville Constable-Maxwell MS. DG/39/1587 and DE/1012/1/29. 39 Warwicks. RO, CR 2017/C 243-4. 40 Warwicks. RO, CR 2017/C 308/29; see also L. Hershkowitz and LS. Meyer, Letters of the Franks Family (AJHS 1968) 135. 41 D. Stroud, Capability Brown (London 1975) 71-2. 42 I wish to thank the present owners, Mr and Mrs Frank Craven, for their hospitality and kindness in showing me the grounds at Misterton, which are occasionally open to the public. 43 The history of the ownership of the house has been researched by Miss Caroline Crimp, to whose credit the identification is due. For Turner's Mortlake Terrace, see Frick Collec? tion, New York, Catalogue of Paintings I (1968) 131-3 (illus.). 44 GLRO, Acc. 1246/41. Abraham Prado bought his Twickenham estate from Moses Franks in 1762 (GLRO MDR/i 762/2/97). 45 J. Harris, Sir William Chambers (London 1970) 49, 249. 46 VCR Middlesex III (1962) 67. 47 GLRO, MLR/1742/3/149. 48 GLRO, MLR/1748/1/449. 49 H. M. Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects (London 1978) 117. 50 W. Kean, The Beauties of Middlesex (London 1850) 66. 51 W. C. Waller, Loughton in Essex (Epping 1889-1900) frontispiece. Anthony's brother Alvaro (d. 1752), the commissioner for Geor? gia, bought the West Hatch estate at Chigwell in 1734 (PRO, C/54/5512): Abraham Teiles, the jeweller, is named as his co-trustee in the articles of purchase. Teiles himself owned the Hedgmans estate at Gale Street, Dagenham (Essex RO, D/DHS/M 32, f. 113) which in his will (1742, Trenley 203) he instructed Alvaro Suasso to sell. The West Hatch estate was sold by Anthony Suasso in 1746 (Essex RO, D/DE/T 55). 52 PRO, C/54/5317 and Waller (see n. 51) II p. 62. 53 C. Morris (see n. 9 above) 344-7. 54 GLRO, MR/FB/i, p. 233. 55 Trans JHSEXl (1928) 190-205. 56 GLRO, Acc. 1376/89. 57 I wish to thank Mr David Pam for identifying the location of Neale's. Another colourful member of the Francia family was Abraham {d. 1749). A bachelor, his passion for country pursuits led him to take lodgings in a house at Chingford; the inventory of his pos</page><page sequence="19">38 Malcolm Brown sessions (PRO, Prob. 3/48/26) lists an extra? ordinary quantity of sporting tackle and ends with 'part of a boarded Shed or room called a Tabernacle'. 58 GLRO, MLR/1749/1/318. 59 C. H. C. and M. I. Baker, The Life and Circumstances of James Brydges, first Duke of Chandos (Oxford 1949) 443-5. 60 GLRO, MLR/1763/1/152. 61 GLRO, DRO/14/A 1/5. 62 VCH Middlesex V (1976) 93. 63 I owe this information to Mr F. G. Phillips of Marconi Space and Defence Sys? tems, owners of the site since 19 71. The adjacent 63 acres bought by Pereira have been part of the Green Belt since 1937. 64 PRO, C/54/5086 pt. 12. 65 I owe this information to Mr David Mander of the Vestry House Museum, Wal thamstow. Other Hertfordshire and Middlesex properties of interest include the manors of Childwickbury and Shenleybury, bought by Isaac and Moses Sierra in 1749 (PRO, Recov? ery Roll Easter 22 George II; Close Rolls 4 George III pt 9 item 6) and the house of Benjamin d'Israeli senior at Enfield. Although traditionally supposed to have been demo? lished when Enfield Town railway station was built on the site, it is clear that the house stood in Baker Street, Enfield, and was first rented by d'Israeli in 1782 (GLRO, DRO/4/D 1/78). Mr Graham Dalling has identified the building as Carlton House, demolished in 1966. For de? scription and plan, see Enfield Archaeological Soc. Bulletin 21 (1966) 5-10. 66 I am grateful to Mr Richard Milward for much advice about the history of Wimble? don houses and their owners. 67 BL, Egerton MS. 2227, f. 46V. 68 Harrison &amp; Co., Picturesque Views of the Principal Seats (London 1788). 69 BL, Add. MS. 17097, f. 1. 70 PRO, C/54/6705 pt 2. 71 E. B. Pope, History of Wargrave (Hitchin 1929) 19. 72 Berks. RO, D/ERm/T 34. 73 A. Pasquin, The Life of the late Earl of Barrymore (London 1793) 22. 74 Esther Sierra, 1801, Pec Abercrombie 614. 75 J- Picciotto (ed. I. Finestein), Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History (London 1956) 295-6. 76 Devon RO, 1334 M/T 169-77. 77 J. A. R. Pimlott, The Englishman's Holi? day (London 1947) 61. 78 [Rev. E. Butcher] The Beauties of Sid? mouth Displayed (Sidmouth 1810) 59. 79 J. V. Somers Cocks, Devon Topographical Prints 1660-1870 (Exeter 1977) 173, no. 2579. 80 Western Luminary, 5 January 1819. I owe this reference to Rabbi Dr Bernard S?sser. 81 P. 0. Hutchinson, unpublished MS history of Sidmouth, vol. IV, p. 145. I am grateful to Dr G. H. Gibbens for permission to study this MS, the property of the Exeter City Library. 82 Somers Cocks (see n. 79) 171, no. 2547. 83 Pigot's Guide, 1832. 84 Devon RO, 1855A/PO 5. 85 Devon RO, Copy of will proved at Exeter in 1829. 86 Kingston RO, Land Tax Assessments. 8 7 L. Wolf, Essays in Jewish History (Lon? don 1934) 191-2. 88 I am grateful to the Librarian of the London Borough of Merton for this informa? tion. 89 Kingston RO, Land Tax Assessments. 90 Mother Hilary Davidson, The Story of Elm Grove, catalogue of exhibition 1967, at Battersea Public Library. 91 Lucy Cohen, Some Recollections . . . (London 1940) 127. 92 H. M. Colvin (see n. 49) 451. 93 PRO, C/54/6212 pt 20. 94 GuildfordRO, 85/2/1(1). 95 Quoted in J. Dor an, A Lady of the Last Century (London 1873) 3? 5 96 See Sir John Habakkuk, 'The Rise and Fall of English Landed Families 1600-1800', Trans Royal Historical Society, 5th series, no. 31 (1981) 213. 9 7 The obvious exception being the eccen? tricities of Ephraim, Baron d'Aguilar, at 'Star? vation Farm', Islington. For an alternative view of landownership see L. and J.C.F. Stone, An Open Elite? England 1540-1880 (Oxford 1984) 287.</page></plain_text>