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Eighteenth-Century Anglo-Jewry In and Around Richmond, Surrey

Rachel Daiches-Dubens

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Eighteenth Century Anglo-Jewry in and around Richmond, Surrey 1 By Rachel Daiches-Dubens "/ am enchanted with Richmond Green . . . I should like to let my house and live there. It is still and sweet, charming alike in summer and winter'9. Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield. IAM very grateful for the great honour the Jewish Historical Society have bestowed upon me in asking me to deliver this lecture, on the same platform which my dear Father, Rabbi Dr. Samuel Daiches, occupied so often in the past, and to whose memory I dedicate this paper. It is a further honour that my subject has been selected by the Council as a lecture in memory of a great lady in Anglo-Jewry whose family has been linked in friendship with mine for many years. I wish to express my thanks to many eminent and busy friends who were never too busy to answer my queries and offer me snippets, and also to the many libraries and authorities2, who gave their services unstintingly. I should like to thank my husband for his help during the two years' work on this subject, and for the photographs he took of the eighteenth century houses still existing today. THE VILLAGE OF RICHMOND The ancient village of Scheen had its name changed to Richmond in 1500 by com? mand of Henry VII, who was Earl of Richmond in Yorkshire. It then grew in size and importance around the Royal Manor House which Henry rebuilt after its destruction by fire. There was a succession of Royal tenants?James II was the last. At the beginning of our period White Lodge had been built by George I, and the remains of the Royal Palace had been parcelled into private residences. To the people of London, Richmond was a country town, near enough to be enjoyed by them. Unlike other places close-by, it had the advantages of being surrounded by beautiful parkland; it had an exquisite position on the River Thames. Amongst the people of substance of the day, Richmond was one of the towns that had considerable snob-appeal. It had a long-standing reputation as a Royal Borough, and the mansion-houses, and what a house-agent would call bijou-estates, were beauti? fully laid out, and undoubtedly those residents who were more concerned with commercial activities in the City rather than running large estates, found its nearness most convenient, especially when it was possible within a short distance of London, to entertain influential nobility and Royalty. Richmond had no industry or commerce as such, it being completely residential, and I should imagine that the lower classes living in the district were concerned with 1 The Lady Magnus Memorial Lecture delivered before The Jewish Historical Society of England on May 17th, 1954. 2 A list of them is appended to this paper. H3</page><page sequence="2">144 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY service to the nobility, game-keeping and forestry in the local parks and woodlands, and general works on the river. There was a regular River service, bringing high society and wealthy middle-class on leisurely trips to enjoy the benefits of the local colour. One could spend some hours in the Pump Room of its wells or perhaps listen to a concert, or attend a ball, both of which were advertised as taking place "at Richmond Wells every Monday and Thursday evening during the Summer Season", or perhaps during the morning take a cup of coffee in White's Coffee House on the Green, where politics and local gossip would be liberally dispensed, and from where one perhaps might return to London late that night by boat "Tide permitting" with a tasty morsel of scandal. There was the local theatre on the hill where the drama of the day could be enjoyed with the added distinction of its surrounding. Needless to say, Jews of the time who had managed to amass fortunes since their return to England not long before, recognized in Richmond a handy side-entrance into English Society, as well as the possibility of keeping an eye on their thriving business concerns in the City of London, and at the same time adopting the residence and style of country gentlemen. For Jews this was a new mode of life, especially when we realize that many of them had actually come to this country from the ghettoes and oppressed communities of Europe, or were already wealthy merchants of Spain and Portugal. Through religious persecution they had never been able to enjoy their wealth or achieve any social distinc? tion. The religious and social freedom that they were experiencing must still have been a great novelty, and those industrious enough and fortunate enough to be earning great wealth were now in a position to spend it, instead of hiding it in chests and never using it. Many must have run riot in their speedy attempts to catch up socially with the long-established and noble English families now their equals in wealth. This was the picture at the end of the seventeenth century, when Solomon de Medina, the great army contractor, the first Jew to have lived in Richmond, the first professing Jew to be knighted, came to feel the need to provide himself with a country residence and style as befitted his new-found status in the circles of government and nobility. Soon after, Moses Hart of Breslau, who had secured himself an appointment as Government agent under Queen Anne, came to Richmond, and established a thriving Jewish household. Many were the Jews who came to follow these early settlers in their pursuit of nobility on holiday. An interesting facet of these Jews of great wealth and quick advancement was their strong religious conviction. De Medina was one of the greatest contributors to the funds of Bevis Marks Synagogue. Moses Hart spent a fortune in the establishment and building of the first Ashkenazi Synagogue. His brother became its first Rabbi. One of the outcomes of this seeking to acquire the veneer of English social esteem and position as country gentlemen, which in those days of a new-found freedom must have been an obsession, was that some of their descendants came to marry into that very nobility, thereby acquiring a title and sometimes bringing the necessary wealth to go with it. From the essentially Jewish point of view this is regretable, but from a social and historical point of view a remarkable feat, since one can find first and second genera? tion descendants of immigrants from Spanish, Polish and Dutch refugees of political and religious persecution and segregation bearing long-established English titles. I think that taking London as the centre, Richmond has probably played the greatest</page><page sequence="3"></page><page sequence="4">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 145 part in the social advancement of the early Jews and their quick acceptance without hindrance into Royal and noble circles. Needless to say the prime requirement of this movement was great wealth. The arrival of these opulent newcomers made noticeable by their accent and strange names aroused unkind comment, and it will be no novelty for us to learn that there were rather noisy card gatherings during which the surroundings lane were blocked with carriages and the late departures with the slamming of carriage doors and noisy farewells did not go unnoticed. It was rather unfortunate, that at about this time there was a considerable amount of antagonism to the Jews on the part of the general public, as they were objecting to the passing of the "Jew Bill" through Parliament which enabled Jews to apply to Parlia? ment for naturalisation. In Richmond in 1753 they made themselves known to such effect that a correspondent of The Gray's Inn Journal for Saturday, June 9th, 1753 was caused to write : "The last accounts from Richmond inform us that all the Butchers at that place will shortly be obliged to stop payment, on account of the stagnation in their business, occasioned by the number of Jews, who have fixed their residence in that elegant situation". However, I must point out that this is only one point of view, and I was very happy to find the following taken from letters written by one John Macky who later published them in book-form under the title A Journey Through England?had this to say about Richmond : "I had almost forgot to tell you, that here are mineral purging waters, which in Summer bring a great deal of good Company to the Wells, where there is dancing, and other publick Diversions, every Monday and Thursday, during the Season; and this is the ordinary Summer Residence of the richest Jews, some of whom have pleasant Seats here." And later in another letter he writes : "Indeed the month that I employed in the neighbourhood of Richmond afforded me as much Variety and Delight as I could wish. Here are Men of all Professions and all Religions, Jews and Gentiles, Papists and Dissenters, so that be one's Inclination what it will, you find in every Village thereabouts some of your own stamp to converse with." HERRING COURT Herring Court?or Heron Court?as it is known today, is a charming little cul-de-sac off Hill Street about 20 yards from the road onto Richmond Bridge, but around 1710 when Moses Hart took up residence in the first house on the left facing the River, there was no bridge?only a ferry. Hart's house is the first known residence of a Jew in Richmond, although in 1697 Solomon de Medina lived there. We know this from the writings of Luttrell, a Court and social Chronicler of the day, who in his book Brief Relations of State Affairs records it in an entry under the date Saturday, 18 November 1699 : "His majestie went to Hampton Court where he will stay till Wednesday; and dined with Mr. Medina, a rich Jew, at Richmond". The following year Medina was knighted by the King at Hampton Court. Solomon de Medina was known as a Merchant and Banker and as an army contractor who also had dealings with the Government chiefly through the Duke of Marlborough. Amongst many of his dealings he had secured the Contract for supplying bread and bread waggons to the British Services in the field. This he personally managed and I think it was chiefly in return for this contract that he assessed the friendship of the Duke of</page><page sequence="5">146 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY Marlborough at ?6,000 a year. Outside his business dealings he was a good Jew, with a very ready and generous hand, especially when it came to supporting the funds of the Bevis Marks Synagogue, which he did for the whole of his life from a very early age* And no doubt those who were in need could always rely on him for help. Medina enjoyed his establishment in Richmond and made maximum use of it by entertaining anyone of influence or use, that would care to come. He remained there until 1702 when he returned to live in Holland. Unhappily there are many gaps in the local public records, and the Rate Books, one of the chief sources of names in any place, are only complete as far back as 1737, due to fire, bombing, flooding and neglect. We do know about Moses Hart living in Herring Court because I found the original Deeds of The Royal Hotel, which was formed in 1786 out of Hart's house and the house next door, and Hart is mentioned as the tenant for some years before 1716. I feel I must comment here that it is almost certain that there were more Jews in Richmond at the time, because both Medina and Hart were orthodox men, and would probably not have existed in Richmond without the availability of a Minyan. This of course is not conclusive proof, but it is known that people of orthodox conviction at the time did have regular services in their own homes. Moses Hart leased his house from one Vincent Sheppard?a wealthy Richmond property owner. It overlooked the Thames and had a most wonderful view up the River to Twickenham. It also had a terrace behind, with a garden leading down to the water's edge?a very choice position. The house was one of the three which constituted Royal Terrace, and were built towards the end of the 17th century and are still standing to this day. Although in 1763 these houses formed the Royal Hotel, they again became private houses in the 19th century, and strange to relate at this moment they have been reformed into a hotel now known as the Palm Court Hotel, where over the door the Licencee's name is inscribed "Mr. Mendes da Costa". I have visited this establishment and found the occupants completely unaware of the early tenants. Moses Hart's cousin was Benjamin Levy, a wealthy man who had speculated in land in New Jersey, though these were lost to his heirs at the time of the American Rebellion, and from the end of this War to the present day much of his property remains unclaimed. Benjamin Levy died in 1702, and Elias Levy, his elder son, became the Ward of Moses Hart, and from an early age was a frequent visitor to Herring Court. I should imagine that his sister Abigail also came to Richmond before she married Jacob Franks and settled in America. Hart interested himself with Benjamin Levy in the establishing of the first Ashkenazi cemetery, when he procured a lease for 1,000 years on a plot of ground in Globe Road, Mile End, and it was probably through Benjamin Levy's influence that Hart's enthusiasm for furthering the estabhshment of the Ashkenazi Community was fired. One of Moses Hart's first acts in England after becoming well-established in business, in which he was aided by his cousin, Benjamin Levy, was to bring his brother Aaron here. Aaron was a man of different inclinations to his brother; he was a scholar and Rabbi, already well respected in his own country, and Moses Hart knew that he was the fit man to be the first Rabbi of the Ashkenazi Community in England. Although at the time, there were only about 750 Jews here and only 200 of them were Ashkenazi, Hart was confident that the Community would grow, and was ambitious for it to equal in importance and weight the Sephardi Congregation. In addition to the</page><page sequence="6">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 147 Cemetery there was already established a small House of Worship, and there is no doubt that Aaron Hart did good work for the Community and was held in high esteem. Moses Hart was in the habit of inviting his brother together with other members of the Community, to enjoy the hospitality of his establishment in Richmond, where it was the custom to hold services in the house. They must have formed quite a congregation and we can but imagine these Doyens and founders of the Ashkenazi Community, talking and planning its development whilst strolling along the banks of the River or up the Hill towards the Wells. Elias Levy, who since his Father's death was the ward of Moses Hart, preferred the society of his guardian and friends rather than the small Rabbi's house in which he was living with a view to taking up a rabbinic career. However, it was not long before Elias decided that the Ministry was not his metier, having always aspired to business and high finance. Shortly after Moses Hart left Richmond in 1716 with the intention of moving to Isleworth, two more Jews came to live in Herring Court. One Moses Medina, nephew of Sir Solomon de Medina, took a lease of the house that Hart had lived in. The other was Isaac Fernandes Nunes who lived in what is now called Hotham House, named after Admiral Hotham, who was a subsequent tenant to Nunes, and which today houses the Borough Surveyor. Nunes was a well-known and wealthy London merchant. He died 16 years after coming to Richmond. He was a Gabay at Bevis Marks and later a Warden. Nunes was next door but one to Moses de Medina in this exclusive terrace of houses, and I find much delight in contemplating the fact that the gentleman who owned the house in the middle was Sir Philip Jackson, a Director of the Bank of England, and I should imagine that Messrs. Medina and Nunes followed a "good-neighbour" policy much to their advantage. In fact it is hard to visualise such a situation ever repeating itself, where two ambitious hard-headed and shrewd Jewish merchants, with everything to gain?with a director of the Bank of England living between them. However, we do know details of one enterprise in which they were all participants together with a Dr. Caleb Cotesworth who lived in the house that is now part of Richmond Town Hall. They subscribed to a Bill of Complaint against Thomas Eggar and sub? sequently William Collins, leaseholders of a neighbouring Alehouse, who had erected an ale brewhouse with a copper in it and a large chimney, in which they were wont to brew about four or five barrels and more of drink per day for use in their alehouse, and as outlined in the Bill of Complaint, the top of the chimney was on a level with the first floor of the houses in Heron Court, and the "smoak, filth, and stench", would injure the fruit and plants in their gardens, spoil the furniture, render the house unhealthy, and otherwise lower the value of the neighbourhood, and prove of great prejudice to the manor of Richmond. It seems that they were not successful in reducing this nuisance, as the chimney is still standing today. ACROSS THE RIVER By 1716 Moses Hart with his large family and considerable income, felt that his Home in Heron Court was too small, and whilst still maintaining a London house in St. Mary Axe, a property he never relinquished, he began to look around for a freehold residence with some land, as the house in Heron Court had been leasehold and there had been no grounds.</page><page sequence="7">148 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JE WRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY By 1718 he acquired a residence which must have satisfied his yearning for a place big enough to accommodate his large family in comfort, and with an aspect that matched his means. The house was situated across the River from Richmond, adjacent to the village of Isleworth, and was a palatial mansion standing in several acres of well-arranged grounds. He subsequently improved this property by adding extra wings to it, but above all other considerations it was freehold and therefore could remain for the benefit of his family. The house was previously owned by General Stanhope, It was adjacent to the property of Isleworth House owned by the Franks family, but unfortunately does not exist to this day. However, on the site once occupied by Hart's house stands Gordon House which today is being used as a Ladies' Training College. John Macky, in his book entitled A Journey Through England wrote ; "Moses Hart the Jew, hath a noble seat and offices in this village, with fine gardens, inferior to few Palaces". Hart lived here with his wife, five daughters and only son, but unfortunately for him his especial pride and joy was taken away, when Hyman, the son who had been ailing^ from childhood, died at Bath where he had been convalescing. A cutting from a local paper dated Wednesday, 16th August, 1738 reads : "Died Mr. Hart of Isleworth, a gentleman of a considerable estate and son to Moses Hart, Esq., the Jew at Isleworth". Unfortunately there are very few press notices concerning activities at Hart's home, except that it was recorded that they experienced a fire there, it seems it was bad enough to have been noticed, but not bad enough for any record of damage or loss. Of Moses Hart's five daughters, three subsequent to their marriage lived very nearby, and one may assume that they were a very happy and united family. Bilah Hart married Aaron Franks and lived next door in Isleworth House, still standing today in perfect repair without any change whatsoever. Judith Hart married Elias Levy, her Father's Ward (once a frequent visitor to the Hart household in Heron Court), and eventually settled in Richmond, of whom more later. Isabella and Rachel, married two Adolphus brothers, Jacob and Michael. Rachel and Michael lived a number of years in Richmond. Simcha Hart, also known as Frances, married Aaron Franks' brother, Isaac, who had a fine town house. A rather interesting notice as regards this marriage appeared in the Original Weekly Journal in 1719 as follows : "Engagements. November 7th. We hear a marriage is on foot between Mr. Isaac Franks and a Daughter of Mr. Moses Hart, the two Gentlemen who got the twenty thousand pound prize in the present lottery; so that by virtue of this agreement Mr. Franks is to have the whole twenty thousand pound". And it is interesting to note that this money must have been put to good use, for at the time of his death reported in 1739 there was a notice in the European Magazine as follows : "Isaac Franks Esq., a Jew Merchant, worth 300,0001, who for several years past has given 50001 per Annum to the poor." The London Magazine added that he was "equally eminent for Riches and an excellent good Character, and particularly charitable, as well to Christians as Jews." Moses Hart's home in Isleworth was always full of people; for his family and friends, there was the ever open door, and no-one who knew him ever hesitated to take advantage of this. The voices of his children and grandchildren echoed through his home. And well on into the nineteenth century, there were always various members</page><page sequence="8">CATALOGUE OF THE GENUINE and ENTIRE COLLECTION O F Italian, Fkmi?) and Dutch PICTURES, Two magnificent large Sconces, and a curious OElave Spinnet. O F Moses Hart, Efq; Late of Ifleworth, in the County of Middlesex, ?&gt;ccc&lt;ifcD; Which, (by Order of the Executors) Will be fold by A U C T I O N, By Mr. LANGFORD, At hi:-. Houle in the Great 'Piazza, O^eut Garde?/, On Wednefday the 23d of this Inftant March 1757. The faid Collection may be view\l on Monday the 2 1 ft: Ii.ihnr, and till the" Time of Sale, which will begin punctually at Twelve o'Clock. C; a t a l o g ? l s of which may be had at Mr. LANGFORD'*, in the Great Piazza aforefaid. \ CONDITIONS of SALE as ufual. N. B. / '.r the Accommodation cf the Nobility and Gentry, Mr. Lakcford has enfi*J \ ? Civer:^ oi\r the Stone Pa (Tage and Staircafc leading up to his Auction Room. L _ _ The Sale Catalogue of Moses Hart's Pictures</page><page sequence="9"></page><page sequence="10">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 149 of the family, or those of his sons-in-law, living in the neighbourhood. The name Franks was extremely well-known all over the district of Isleworth, Teddington and Mortlake, and I shall have a good deal to say of them further on. Moses Hart's residence in Isleworth was in such style that it was worthy of inclusion in a set of engraved views of great houses on the banks of the River Thames visible from Richmond Hill. It was bracketed in this series with the establishments of the Earl of Radnor and the Countess of Suffolk and others. They were drawn by famous engravers of the day and published at the price of "1/- plain or 2/- neatly coloured". So we may conclude that Moses Hart in this acquisition had made his mark socially, in that he possessed an establishment ranking with the noblest. An interesting snippet reads as follows : "Last Friday afternoon, as Mr. Gonzales, an eminent Jew Merhcant, was going to Richmond, in company with some Gentlemen and Ladies, they were attacked on Barnes Common, by a single Highwayman well mounted, who robbed them of their watches and considerate sums of money. Five coaches were robbed within an hour by the same man". I think that it is a reasonable assumption and a pleasant thought, that Mr. Jacob Nunes Gonzales and company, were hastening to join Moses Hart for the week-end, and hoping to be in time for the commencement of the Sabbath, as of course Hart held religious service in his own home, and made a point of having his friends around him. For a long, long time, it has been generally accepted that in 1750 Moses Hart left his home in Isleworth to move back to Richmond. No doubt this conclusion was encouraged by the fact that he was known to own property there which he purchased about the year 1750. It was the site in Palace Lane?a very choice position which originally had formed part of Richmond Palace?where 20 years later, Asgill House was built for a Lord Mayor of London, Sir Charles Asgill. It is interesting to know that Asgill House still carries the Cohen Coat of Arms above its front door, and that Sir Andrew Cohen, present (1956) Governor of Uganda, was born there. On the river end of the property there were stables and a brewery. There were also two other houses in Palace Lane, and no doubt Moses Hart derived quite an income from his investment as it was all very profitably leased out. There is no record of Moses Hart ever having lived on this site, although later he gave one of the houses to his daughter Rachel, married to Michael Adolphus, who were childless. Their house was situated between Trumpeter's House and the corner of Palace Lane. Unfortunately, this part of the property was bombed in the 1939-45 war, and has not been touched since. However, it is possible to see this house in an engraving of the period. I have found ample proof to show that Moses Hart remained in Isleworth until his death on 19th November, 1756. Firstly, there is in existence the catalogue of the sale of his paintings. On the cover is printed : "Moses Hart of Isleworth". Secondly, in a codicil to his Will it defines Moses Hart as of St. Mary Axe and of Isleworth. The sale of the paintings took place on Wednesday, 23rd March, 1757. In his Will Moses Hart left his Lands at Richmond and Isleworth (and Topsfield) to his daughters. To Judith Levy he left his Horses and Coach. In the codicil to his Will it states that he left his furniture to Judith Levy, and the house at Richmond to his daughter Rachel and Michael Adolphus. One further interesting point about this codicil is recorded by Sir Thomas Colyer-Ferguson, who devoted a considerable amount of his talents and time to compiling K</page><page sequence="11">150 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY archives of notable Anglo-Jewish families. In his notes on Moses Hart I discovered the following : "On 24th December, 1756, John Botley and Susannah Hughes, both of Isleworth and servants of Moses Hart of St. Mary Axe but of Isleworth, state they found a book bound in red leather with clasps being Riders British Mertin for 1756 in which they found Codicil behind a looking glass". Moses Hart in his lifetime rendered one great service to the Anglo-Jewish Com? munity for which his name will always be remembered, and that was the fantastic effort he exerted in playing an almost single-handed role in the building and financing of the Great Synagogue in Duke's Place, London. It was opened in the year 1722, and from then on he took a prominent part in its management and communal matters associated with it. Later three of his sons-in-law became the first wardens, and his brother Aaron was its first Rabbi. Altogether, a notable milestone in the history of Anglo-Jewry had been reached, all the more remark? able for being virtually the work of one man. FRANKS IN ISLEWORTH There must have been many Jews who lived in Richmond in the eighteenth century, but the ones we really do know about were relative giants, and I think one of the families with the largest ramifications was the Franks family, which seemed to suffer from in marriage as much as any Royal Family. One can only conclude that it was either because there was a lack of suitable matches, or an intense wish to keep their wealth and connec? tions within the bounds of the one family. It would be possible to devote a separate work to their history, but in this chapter I will be referring only to those who lived on the other side of the River from Richmond, at Isleworth and Teddington. There were some more who lived in Mortlake, but of them later. Abraham Franks, a rich broker of Duke's Place in the city, and his wife Abigail, a sister of Moses Hart, had five sons and one daughter. Two sons Aaron and Isaac married two of Moses Hart's daughters, Bilah and Simcha (Frances). A strange piece of inter-marrying between cousins?a practice never recommended today in the light of our more modern knowledge on eugenics and heredity. Aaron Franks and his wife Bilah came to live in Isleworth on a property adjoining Moses Hart's new home. The Frank's house was a beautiful mansion called "Isleworth House" and remained in Aaron Franks' family for over a century. It stands to this day in its original form, although the surrounding views and properties have changed. Moses Hart's house has disappeared, and on the site of it now stands Gordon House. Isleworth House is now occupied by the Nuns of Nazareth who use it as a Home for the Infirm. They have also built a Children's Orphanage and a Chapel on the property. I have visited the Nuns there and was very impressed with the wonderful work they are doing, and I do feel that it is through their care that the house is in such a wonderful state of preservation. It has a stone-flagged and pillared entrance-hall with a beautifully carved oak staircase sweeping up in two wings, and off the Hall are two fine reception rooms with bay-windows overlooking the River. And as far as is visible, the only change is an unobtrusive installation of central-heating. In the dining-room can be seen a carved pelmet after the style of Grinling Gibbons which has probably never been touched since it was installed.</page><page sequence="12">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 151 THE FRANKS IN ISLEWORTH, TEDDINGTON, AND MORTLAKE ISLEWORTH Isleworth House Aaron Franks m. Bilah Hart Phila m. Moses Franks * (from America) Priscilla m. Jacob Franks (from America; Isabella m. Rev. Sir William Cooper *lived in Teddington MORTLAKE Barnes Terrace Naphtali Franks m. Phila Franks (from America) (niece of Aaron Franks) Charlotte Abigail Jacob Henry m. Miss Roper Margaret George H. Emma John F. I think it is a very happy thought that two families so closely connected should live on adjoining properties of such magnificence, and it is recorded that many musical evenings and social functions that took place there, would have been by our contemporary standards, of unimaginable magnificence. And it was the practice to invite the great artists of the day to come and entertain at these gatherings. Aaron Franks, whose city address was Billiter Square, was a very wealthy diamond merchant, who made a habit of lending or hiring his jewellery to the gentry and nobility for great social occasions ; he even lent his most precious stones for the crown used at King George IPs Coronation. This activity was recorded by Horace Walpole, a friend and subsequent neighbour.</page><page sequence="13">152 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY In a letter dated 1742 to Sir Horace Mann, he writes of the Princess of Wales?that at a Masquerade at Norfolk House she "was vastly bejewelled; Franks had lent her forty thousand pounds' worth, and refused to be paid for the hire, only desiring that she would tell whose they were". Walpole, who in 1774 lived in Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, also recorded : "This morning I was at a very fine concert at old Franks' at Isleworth, and heard Leoni, who pleased me more than anything I have heard these hundred years". Aaron and Bilah had one son and two daughters, Phila, one of the daughters, was known as a great beauty. Reynolds painted her in 1766 on her twenty-first birthday. Phila married her cousin Moses Franks, the son of Aaron's brother Jacob Franks of New York, and Abigail, sister of Elias Levy. Jacob had followed his Uncle Benjamin to New York, but his three sons Naphtali, Moses, and later David, came to England and made their homes in Mortlake, Teddington, and Isleworth. Phila and Moses Franks bought a house in Teddington, and their only child Isabella will figure prominently later. The Moses Franks household was very happy and very popular. They often exchanged visits with Horace Walpole as was noted by Rev. William Cole, a frequent visitor to Strawberry Hill: "Mr. Franks, the Jew, also called on Sunday morning to ask him to a concert, where his daughter who is an incomparable hand was to be the chief performer". Aaron Franks' other daughter, Priscilla, married her second cousin Jacob Franks, also from New York. At this point Jacob's father, David Franks, came to live in Isle? worth House after the death of Aaron Franks in 1777. And when David died, he recorded with grateful thanks the attention accorded him by his son and daughter-in-law in his Will dated 1785 : "I give to my son Jacob Franks 800 acres of any lands I own and I give my son Jacob this preference to the rest of my children for his and wife's very kind attention to me." In 1787, Isabella, daughter of Moses and Phila Franks of Teddington married by special licence a non-Jew, William Henry Cooper, when they were both minors, at 7 Cavendish Square, the home of the bridegroom. Obviously Moses Franks and Cooper's father, Sir Grey Cooper, Bart., came to an amicable understanding on the relationship between money and nobility. Many years later Isabella's husband became Chaplain-in Ordinary to George III. A year after Priscilla Franks' death, we find Isleworth House in possession of Isabella and her husband, now Sir William and Lady Cooper, and as Isabella's parents, Moses and Phila Franks of Teddington were both dead, she was next in fine of inheritance to this family property. As we see by a notice concerning the death of Moses Franks in The Scots Magazine of 1789 Sir William Cooper did himself very well in the end. "By his death Mr. Cooper (son of Sir Grey) who lately married his (Moses Franks) daughter becomes entitled to above ?70,000, the rest of the fortune, if Mrs. Franks dies unmarried, will to the amount of ?100,000 more devolve on that gentleman." The local affiliations of the Franks families in Isleworth and Teddington and Mort? lake were certainly not insular. They all made a point, very successfully it seems, of becoming local popular figures. And this popularity resulted in considerable material gain to the local deserving and needy. A good example in this direction is contained in Priscilla Franks' Will, in which she left ?200 to the Ministers and Churchwardens of the Parish of Isleworth to be distributed to the local poor, and ?50 to the Trustees of two local almshouses.</page><page sequence="14"></page><page sequence="15">Wonderful museum . Auch Jewess usually called TAo Quetft ofilzcfonondCrem</page><page sequence="16">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 153 In Aungier's History of Syon and Isleworth is written : "The poor of the neighbour? hood speak in glowing terms of the innumerable acts of kindness and charity which they experience from the liberal possessor of Isleworth House". The various owners of Isleworth House were very proud of this wonderful residence and obviously did much to improve and enhance it. Priscilla Franks, at the turn of the century, had purchased and pulled down some old houses and cottages, and part of the old Isleworth Road, in order to enlarge and improve the grounds; and extend them down to the water's edge. She had a new road built, and a high wall now surrounded the estate. When Sir William and Lady Cooper took up residence there, they improved and altered it greatly "and fitted it up in admirable style". After his death, Isabella, his widow, also had the house "thoroughly repaired and beautified". When she was visited by William IV he admired the scene from Isleworth House; Thorne in his Environs of London writes that to improve it and in obedience to the King's instructions "the Syon Vista in Kew Gardens was cut in order to open a view of the pagoda and observatory to the front of the house". It is unfortunate that this record of the Franks family presents such a series of confusing relationships. As not only did they all marry each other and live in each other's houses, but the whole family seemed to restrict itself to the use of a very Umited number of names, I have found it very difficult to paint a clear picture of their progress within my period, and it is for that reason I have drawn a family tree. In general the Franks family were good, but I feel that their Jewish convictions were not quite so pronounced as in the case of their immediate forbears, although several of them were Wardens of the Great Synagogue; it seems to me that a conscious effort was being made at assimilation. I think this naturally followed on with the ambition to ally their great wealth to noble position and prestige in the community. It is recorded that Priscilla, Jacob and David were all buried in Isleworth Parish Cemetery. I do not admit of any good reason to condone the activities in this direction by the Franks families, but it occurs to me that there is a factor about the Jewish Community that might have encouraged it, and might also explain the inter-marriage within the family. Although by 1750 there were already more Ashkenazim than Sephardim in England, the number of wealthy and cultured families was proportionately much less among the Ashkenazim than among the Sephardim; and marriage between Ashkenazim and Sephardim was severely discouraged, especially by the latter. Therefore, a wealthy family of Ashkenazim, which had many contacts with the non-Jewish world, might well tend to walk either among themselves or outside the community altogether. THE QUEEN OF RICHMOND GREEN Judith Levy, nee Judith Hart, a daughter of Moses Hart, lived from 1706 until 1803, a life-span of 97 years, a remarkable feat in those days of prevalent disease and lack of skilled care. She was a colourful personality and in her lifetime saw the rise of the Jewish Community in England. She saw it grow from a few hundred in number to many thousands. She witnessed the establishment of the first Ashkenazi Synagogue by her Father in 1722, and when the Great Synagogue was rebuilt in 1790 she handsomely assisted the project to the extent of donating ?4,000. She was a good wife, but was unhappy in that the last 50 years of her life she spent as a widow and an eccentric recluse. She achieved local recognition by her good works and eccentricites, and was generally known in Richmond as The Queen of Richmond Green.</page><page sequence="17">154 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY Judith Levy spent her youth in Heron Court and at Isleworth in her Father's House. Her home life must have been very happy and very full, as the family were never lacking in guests, entertainment, and cultural and religious activities. I think it was in the company of her Father that she developed a brilliant business head, and being very sharp-witted and intelligent, she had long discussions with him about his dealings in the City, and no doubt she contributed considerably in ideas and imagination. Elias Levy, son of Moses Hart's cousin, Benjamin Levy, was in the habit of visiting Hart who became his guardian on the death of his father. No doubt they became closer friends after Elias Levy had made up his mind to forsake a rabbinic career for one in commerce. However, they did have one major difference. Hart, being Elias' guardian, was trustee for all the shares and properties left to him by his Father. There was a long period of angry argument and discussion on the question of using the money and shares in trust, for investments and dealings on the Stock Exchange. However, Elias succeeded in the end by his brilliant use of these assets in making a fortune. From then on Hart had the utmost respect for his Ward. One can imagine the mutual attraction between Elias Levy and Judith Hart. Here was a very go-ahead, ambitious young man, and an intelligent, astute and witty young woman, whom Elias was wont to refer to as a "Minerva in skirts". They were often together when Elias visited the Harts, and there must have been much common ground for discussion and exchange of ideas. The natural result of this association was that in 1727 they married, Elias aged 28, and Judith 20. They went to live in a large mansion in London, in Wellclose Square, and they had two children, Benjamin and Isabella?the son unfortunately died at a very early age. Judith, in addition to running a home and bringing up her daughter, insisted on saving her husband the expense of a personal secretary and clerk. She assisted him to consider? able effect in his business in which she took very many weighty decisions, and together they amassed a large fortune. Her dowry on marriage had been ?10,000 with an annual income of ?500, and at her Father's death she was to inherit ?6,000 per year. However, soon after her marriage she went to her Father and demanded more money, as she discovered that her sisters' dowries had been larger. So one must believe that if she was capable of this she must have been the most extraordinary person to deal with in business. After about 22 years of married life, which was full of incident and interest for both parties, Elias Levy died at the age of 50. He had been a Warden of the Great Synagogue several times, and a pair of Sefer Torah Bells which he presented are still in existence today, and are probably the oldest possession in regular use. Judith Levy suffered further great bereavement, five years later when her only daughter Isabella died, presumably in childbirth?a great hazard in those days?after eleven months of married life to the Hon. Lockhart Gordon, a non-Jew. As far as I can trace this is probably one of the first recorded cases of inter-marriage. Judith Levy, now a lonely widow, suddenly changed her style of life. After having been an avid money-maker unwilling to allow a penny to go unaccounted for, and never having spent money unnecessarily, she began to enjoy her vast fortune as well as she could. She sold her house in Wellclose Square, and took up residence in Albemarle Street, off Piccadilly?the centre of London's noble and social life. She acquired a fine carriage and horses, and staffed and equipped her establishment as befits a person of great wealth and taste.</page><page sequence="18">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 155 She also bought the freehold of No. 4 Maids of Honour Row, on Richmond Green. This was the end house of a wonderful row of four Queen Anne Houses, which were originally the homes of Royal Ladies-in-waiting when Richmond Palace was a Royal Residence. Miraculously these houses still stand today in their original state, and are really wonderful to behold, and No. 4, is at present occupied by Mr. Croft Murray, Assistant-Keeper of Prints at the British Museum. The previous tenant to Judith Levy had been Heidigger, who was George IPs Master of Revels. Judith lived in this house for nearly fifty years until 1802, one year before her death. About the same time as Judith Levy bought her house in Richmond, one of her sisters Rachel, who had married Michael Adolphus, came to live in Richmond almost next door. Their house was situated in Old Palace Court, all that remained of the former Royal Palace. This house was on the property owned by Moses Hart, which he left to her on his death. Judith Levy's life after her husband's death, was so different from that previous that one can almost think of her as two different people. I would also say that she became very bitter and sour against the world in general, and I don't think, except for one or two intimates, people found her company very pleasing. One of her obsessions was that anyone who approached her was after her money, and it seems that she was jealously guarding the considerable fortune that she had so ably assisted to amass. However, she did not deny herself one item of luxury or expensive living. It seemed that she was trying to make up for the years of hard work and self-privation. Most of her energy was directed towards insinuating herself into high society; before her husband's death she probably considered these self-same people as wasteful and unproductive. One of her close friends was the Duchess of Northumberland, who was instrumental in effecting the marriage between her daughter Isabella, and the Hon. Lockhart Gordon. The Duchess lived in beautiful Syon House in Isleworth, one of the show places of England today. Judith attended every ball and function there and was in the habit of accompanying the Duchess to Bath, the favourite watering place of the nobility. One must assume that she occasionally visited her cousins the Franks living in Isleworth House across the River, although there is no record of them being close friends. Whether she was staying in Richmond or Albemarle Street, she had her coach and beautifully prepared horses always at the door awaiting her. Every meal was laid out to the full?and catering for many courses was the general rule?although she herself was only a frugal eater. There is no record of Judith making any special mark for herself in high society, although her movements were reported in the local press. With all this she was a very lonely woman, for she had lost her husband, daughter, and father, all within the short space of four years. Although she did not participate to the full in Jewish communal matters, and it is safe to say that she did not attend Synagogue regularly?if ever?she did not forget her origins, as apart from the gift of ?4,000 for the rebuilding of the Duke's Place Synagogue, she supported other good works. In 1802, a year before her death, and at the ripe old age of 96, she disposed of her house in Maids of Honour Row in Richmond, keeping the house in Albemarle Street as her home. One can only assume that at this age she had found keeping herself going in two social circles rather tiring, and had decided to concentrate on London. One might also assume that the journey was too tedious for her,</page><page sequence="19">156 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JE WRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY In 1803 she finally succumbed and died a very lonely death virtually unattended. It seems most strange for a woman who had proved her astuteness in business not to have left a proper Will. One can only assume one of two things?either that her fifty years of strange and eccentric lonely living had acutely affected her judgement, or that she felt that she had no relatives worth thinking about. However, the situation today is that there must be several people walking about entitled to benefit in this large fortune, but due to her inprovidence are unable to prove it. I do feel that Judith Levy was a well-meaning person but was affected by undeserved ill-fortune, and if she is not remembered for much, she is still known in Richmond as the Queen of Richmond Green. One of the most intriguing stories in Anglo-Jewish history concerns Judith Levy's Will, and remains a puzzle to this day. The vast fortunes which became hers on the deaths of her husband and daughter are still in the Bank of England, and for the past 150 years, her ?125,000 which must have multiplied many times since, has been claimed by a host of alleged relatives and descendants. There have been law-suits, enquiries, and inquests, croping up every now and then, but the mystery remains in the vaults of the Bank, and the 92 year-old solicitor who has occupied himself with the matter since the end of the nineteenth century, is still waiting for the name of one Trustee, the missing link, and the clue to the inheritors. Strange to relate, John Adolphus, a great grandson of Judith Levy's aunt Abigail, a famous barrister and friend of Sir Walter Scott's, might have prevented this history of the unclaimed fortune from taking place, had he heeded the words of a fortune-teller in the West Indies. The story comes to us through his daughter Emily Henderson, who published the biography of her Father under the title Recollections of John Adolphus in the year 1871. I now quote freely from this work. "John, as a young man in the West Indies, in January 1785 was taken by a friend to see a fortune-teller whom the latter used to consult. She was an American who practised the art, not for monetary gain, but for her own enjoyment. She used a pack of picquet cards which she placed in four rows ; the person had to express a wish and from looking at the cards she 'pronounced the decrees of fate'. John Adolphus' wish was that T might return safely to England, and become an eminent barrister'. All that the fortune-teller predicted at the time in that far-off country came true for John, but what interests us mostly are the predictions concerning Judith Levy and her Will. I quote, 'There is a person who is able to do you great good and make you very rich, and will do so if you take the proper methods, but you must not suppose that your in? troduction to that person will be favoured by an individual who will profess great friend? ship for you, it will rather be thwarted than advanced by him; you will, however, become acquainted with the person, and I advise you (though I think you will not follow my advice), not to let pride or bashfulness keep you from doing that which will make your future. For example, said she (and I shall never forget her earnestness) if she asks you to make her will, don't refuse, or avoid the request, but do it at once' 'The allusion made to a person of great wealth applied to a distant connexion of our family, a lady. Mr. Henry, my Uncle's executor, who shewed great friendship for me in other respects, was extremely jealous of my being introduced to the old lady. He dined with her every Sunday, but took particular care never to facilitate my going to her. I had written a paragraph in a newspaper commending her very highly for an act of munificence to a public charity, and was credibly informed that he said, "she shall see the paragraph, but shall never know who wrote it". I was, however, soon</page><page sequence="20">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 157 introduced to her by a mutual friend; she received me with great kindness, and up to her death in 1803, she professed a high respect and regard for me, complaining often of her situation, and the extreme selfishness of those who surrounded her. She would often say : 41 know how many people flock around me with a view to what they can get, but mind, I don't mean you Mr. Adolphus, you have always acted like a gentleman'. I once spoke of my determination never to have to do with building. cOh, but you will, Sir,' said she ?when you have a large fortune'. But to return more closely to the augury of my Sybil. On several occasions the old lady asked me cif there was any difficulty in making a Will ? Could not a person with common sense make their own with a little help. Independently of interest, perhaps in mere common civility, I ought to have proffered my services, but pride or destiny clogged my tongue, and the end was her dying intestate, although she was nearly related to my uncle's family ... I was not in such a degree of affinity as to claim anything after her decease." So much for Judith Levy's unclaimed fortune. ISRAELITES IN COURT Before bringing to a close the various tales concerning the intermarried families of Hart and Franks, I should like to relate the true facts of the Isabella Gordon case, over which confusion has grown over the years. It will be remembered that Isabella was the only daughter of Judith Levy who died after only eleven months of married life. Her husband was the Hon. Lockhart Gordon, and her marriage was arranged through the agency of the Duchess of Northumberland. Confusion in this case arose because Isabella and much later Judith Levy both died intestate. This fact, coupled with directives contained in Moses Hart's and Elias Levy's Wills, encouraged many people to try their luck at claiming portions of the vast fortunes entailed. If Isabella had had a normal span of life, doubtless she would have willed her possessions in the normal way. But I think that it was her early death that was the main reason for the ensuing dissatisfaction regarding the disposition of their properties. Isabella Gordon has been subjected to many romances and wild conjectures as to the details of her short life and her personality. But unfortunately she has remained a figure of mystery. Various historians have handed down the fable?garnished by the years?that she died in her Mother's house in Wellclose Square on the morning of her wedding-day, and that her frantic and distressed Mother left wedding-breakfast, decorations and clothes undisturbed, and locked up the house, never to return. In actual fact, her very sad Mother did leave Wellclose Square a few months after her daughter's death, but she left it for two fashionable houses in the west-end of London in Albemarle Street, and a much sought-after period mansion on the Green at Richmond, for it was really after her daughter's death that her eccentricities in fashion and society hunting came to the fore. I do think that there are mitigating circumstances in Judith Levy's behaviour, for she was now completely alone. Although one of the strange facets of this case was that Judith Levy's husband, Elias, had left a directive in his Will, that should his daughter Isabella die without issue her money, if not her Mother's also, should pass to his sister's children, members of the Adolphus family, but for some reason, unaccountable to-day, this direction was never upheld. The fable that historians have passed down continues. It had frequently been</page><page sequence="21">158 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JE WRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY suggested that Lockhart Gordon was Isabella's second husband, and many suppositions were made regarding the fate of her first; this I can now disprove; there never was a former husband. In June, 1754, three months after Isabella's death, Lockhart Gordon was granted Letters of Administration in respect of "Isabella Gordon, nee Levy, late of Richmond, Surrey, and St. Martin's-in-the-Field, Middlesex". I have seen these words in Somerset House. And the reason why it was thought that there had been a former marriage was on account of an error in the Journals of the House of Lords where there is a report on Gordon's Petition and Appeal on 10th April, 1769, and where it mentions "the Honourable Lockhart Gordon Administrator of Isabella Gordon formerly Lucas his late wife, Judy Levy Widow and Administratrix". J. M. Bulloch, in his book The Earls of Aboyne writes : "Mrs. Gordon, who died without issue, March 17th, 1755, was possibly a widow when Gordon married her, for she is described in the House of Lords Journal as "Isabella Gordon, formerly Lucas". These clerical errors appear frequently in the House of Lords Journals of the eighteenth century; they were caused by the Clerks who were responsible for writing the reports. May I suggest that as a gentleman by the name of Gotfrit Lucas had been mentioned as one of the appellants during the reading, and as the words "Judy" and "Administratrix" followed close on, the Clerk became confused, and instead of writing nee Levy, his pen scrawled the word "Lucas", and so it seems that we can confound a story current over a period of 200 years. The true circumstances are that Isabella's Mother, Judith Levy, friendly with local aristocracy of the day, knew the Duchess of Northumberland very well. The Duchess lived in Syon House very near the Franks and Hart residences in Isleworth. Judith and Isabella attended many concerts and balls at Syon House, and at one of these functions the Duchess of Northumberland, knowing that Isabella was heiress to a great fortune, introduced her to a member of an aristocratic Scottish family with a name, but no fortune. The Hon. Lockhart Gordon, the husband-to-be, was born in 1732 and educated at Glasgow University. He then entered upon an army career. Isabella and Gordon were married on 25th April, 1753 and Isabella died a year later on 17th March, 1754. On her marriage Isabella was given a dowry of ?10,000 worth of South Sea shares, which her Mother had been given by her Father, and it was directed that if still in existence on Isabella's death they were to pass to the children of Elias Levy's sister, in fact Isabella's cousins. In spite of this, upon his wife's death Gordon claimed the money, and as reported in the Journal he quickly found himself: "A defendant in a strange galley of Israelites". The action was brought by the seven children of Joy Adolphus (cousins of Isabella) a relation and friend, David Waag, Judy Levi, Aaron Franks and one or two others. The Court of Chancery met twice over this case, in 1758 and 1767, but decided against Gordon. He appealed to the House of Lords, but the case was dismissed on 10th April, 1768. Gordon married again and eventually died in Calcutta in 1788. The Calcutta Chronicle in their Obituary Notice said : "he was a man beloved and esteemed by all who knew him". So it seems that Gordon fell on his feet after all. THE MORTLAKE FRANKS At the time of the very gay and happy establishments of Aaron Franks at Isleworth and Moses Hart next door, a new household, that was eventually to become dreary and sad, was established in Barnes on the Mortlake Road facing the River Thames. Naphtali</page><page sequence="22">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 159 Franks, nephew of Aaron Franks, married Phila, granddaughter of Moses Hart and daughter of Isaac Franks of the City of London. Naphtali Franks came from New York where many of the Franks family had settled, and were carrying on prosperously in business, and making a considerable mark for themselves in the American Community. One or two others of this family eventually came back to the Thames Valley to settle, as they had strong family ties in the neighbour? hood. The exact whereabouts of Phila and Naphtali's house in Barnes is unknown, but by a process of elimination and reasoning I believe it to be one of five spacious houses in Barnes Terrace near the Barnes Railway Bridge. There is no evidence of there having been much in the way of grounds. No doubt early in their married life they must have visited Isleworth and have enjoyed the good times there. They had three children, Charlotte, Abigail, and Jacob, and at holiday times they all used to go and stay in their country house, Misterton Hall in Leicestershire, reported to have been a fine building, ample but not too large with beautiful grounds. It was also artistically furnished and decorated with many fine pictures and other art treasures. Misterton Hall was purchased by Naphtali Franks as his country home. It was a lovely manor house in the village of Misterton, 1| miles east of Lutterworth and 15 miles from Leicester. The house and spacious lands surrounding it were originally the property of William Pulteney, first Earl of Bath, well-known during Queen Anne's reign as Secretary for War and member of the Privy Council. Misterton was Pulteney's family heritage and he sold it to Naphtali soon after the latter's marriage. A Leicester paper writing about the Franks family and Misterton Hall in one of their issues during the year 1925 wrote : "To this family we are indebted for the many fine trees, now in their prime, which adorn the Misterton Park and grounds. We are also deeply indebted to the brothers Franks, who in 1863 restored the interior of Misterton Church. There is scarcely a church in the Midlands provided with finer solid oak carved furniture than this ancient parish church. It is said, the wood came from the estate, and the entire cost of restoration was mainly borne by the brothers". The two Franks brothers referred to were George Henry, Rector of Misterton, and John Frederick, the grandsons of Naphtali. So Moses Hart built Duke's Place, and his daughter restored it; his great-great-grandsons however, saw fit to restore a church ! In the preface to a recent publication of the Jewish Historical Society is the copy of a print of Misterton Hall published in 1792 and entitled "The Seat of Isaac Franks". This date, however, and owner's name, we can now prove as an error on the part of the publisher of the print, as Isaac Franks had died in Bath 56 years previously, and Misterton was not purchased until a number of years later. The print should have been entitled "The seat of Naphtali Franks". Misterton Hall stands today; the present owner and occupier is Lord Cromwell. The first infliction on the Franks household in Barnes was on the death of Naphtali's widowed Mother-in-law, when Henry Franks, a mentally deficient brother-in-law came to live at Barnes. This must have been a great and depressing hardship as he had to be looked after and escorted. He was Phila's one and only brother. A little while after that Naphtali's spinster sister, Rebecca, arrived from America to join them. She was a woman of forbidding aspect and not particularly handsome, who no doubt added to the feeling of oppression already existing. We can assume that Naphtali and Phila were generous and kind, for they took in</page><page sequence="23">160 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY their two lonely relations who must have been rather a handful. Phila, by all accounts was very beautiful and very good-natured, and Naphtali an upright and most successful businessman, with a respectable address in Billiter Street. He had a strong communal sense in the tradition of the Franks family. He was several times Warden of the Great Synagogue, Duke's Place, established by his wife's grandfather. He evidently took great pride in, and enjoyed, his activities in the Jewish Community. And I think that the subsequent history of their two daughters and one son is all the more strange. I feel that I must assume that from the time these two relations were taken in, bad influences permeated the establishment. We can safely assume that the additional care needed to cope with a mentally deficient cousin and a soured spinster aunt must have curtailed their activities considerably. We can also assume that less was seen of the families at Isleworth and Teddington, and it is quite possible that with these two odd characters in the house, they did not have very many visitors. The tradition in the Franks and such families at this time was to have as many children as possible, and to encourage intermarriage within the branches, conserving the family fortunes and gaining many advantages in business. But as far as the children of Naphtali and Phila Franks were concerned nothing like this ever happened. All three after a very fine education went along alien paths. The son married a Miss Roper in the district of Lutterworth near Misterton Hall, and his Father, strange to relate secured for him a living in the locality and I presume he carried the title of Vicar. This son Jacob Henry, had two daughters, one of whom married a subsequent Vicar of Misterton. He must have been very well provided for because after his Father's death, he maintained the family mansion, the house at Barnes, and yet a third in Cadogan Place. The two daughters remained spinsters for the rest of their lives, but they also became Christians, and were subsequently buried in Mortlake Churchyard. Abigail the elder daughter, when she died, willed that she should receive "a pious Christian invocation" and left all her money to the cause of converting Jews to Christianity. How unlike Naphtali her Father, who left considerable sums to Jewish charities. There are two possible reasons which one might accept for these happenings. First of all there did not appear to be any eligible men in the Franks family in that generation, although there were several who could have been imported from America. And secondly, their strange spinster Aunt Rebecca had started much earlier by becoming Christian, and interesting herself in local parish matters. Rebecca, during her residence in Barnes, may have exerted a strong influence over the girls and the household in general. It is rather a shame, that what could have been an important Jewish family should have been quenched so completely. And most unfortunate also, these happenings were not unique either in this family or others at the time. I have reason to believe there may be more to know about this family in Barnes, as many records and family papers that are believed to be still in existence are rather too jealously guarded for practical purposes, and for all the money and help given by this family to the upkeep of local parish causes, I do feel the local authorities might have been more co-operative in helping us to learn a little more about them ! A situation quite unique in all my searches. ROEHAMPTON AND THE GOLDSMIDS One of the spectacular characters of early Anglo-Jewry came to Roehampton in 1798 ?a man of vast wealth, fantastic business acumen, and an acutely developed social sense and ambition, coupled with a lack of refinement and good taste. Benjamin Goldsmid,</page><page sequence="24">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 161 youngest of four brothers who, together with his brother Abraham, next youngest, founded the firm B. &amp; A. Goldsmid, Bankers and Bill Brokers. William Thackeray's reference in Vanity Fair to Roehampton as a colony of bankers was very apt, for Goldsmid's neighbours were none other than the Earl of Bessborough and the banker Gosling. Benjamin's Father, Aaron Goldsmid, came from Holland, and had founded a prosperous merchant and bill-broking concern in Whitechapel, and the firm B. &amp; A. Goldsmid was formed in one fell swoop on the securing of a contract for a huge Government loan in 1795, against opposition from the then well-established bankers and dealers in govern? ment stock. But before that in 1783 Benjamin put his own position on a very firm footing by marrying Jessie, daughter of Israel Salomons of Clapton, a wealthy East Indian merchant. She brought a dowry of ?100,000 with her, which meant that Benjamin now had behind him a considerable credit. On his marriage in 1783, Benjamin took up residence in Stamford Hill. Subse? quently in addition to a fine town house in Spital Square, he also purchased the magnifi? cent estate in Roehampton. He had now realized a long-standing ambition as he now had an English gentleman's country residence with aristocratic surroundings. In those days, very wealthy Jews made a point of giving considerable sums to any and every charity?Jewish and otherwise, and one of the things that Benjamin did was to become patron to Levy Alexander, a publisher of Jewish religious books, not in a very big way, but probably one of the first of any note in England. I would like to quote from a notorious book : The Life of Benjamin Goldsmid by Levy Alexander. He must have been very grateful and very proud of his benefactor, for the following account is most lavish and flattering : "Everything is here on a scale of magnificence and beauty, equal to any Nobleman's country seat. Drawing, Music, and Dancing Rooms, furnished with the highest taste and latest fashions, with a profusion of ornamental as well as useful articles. Ice-houses, hot-houses, the whole forming an accommodation fit for the reception of a Prince. In this house he has been visited by Mr. Dundas and also the Royal Family unexpected, when he entertained them in a manner highly to their satisfaction". "There are thirty bedrooms with water laid on in each, and a library with most famous Roman and English classics." I have seen the remains of this house. Unfortunately it was destroyed by enemy action during the last war. But up to 1939 it was owned by the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Roehampton, who during the 100 years or so that it had been in their possession, had added to it a Training College, Chapel and residential quarters, and the house itself had been maintained in perfect repair. All that remains today is the back wall. I do not consider this house as having been so very large, and I think that Levy Alexander's statement that it contained thirty bedrooms to be a gross exaggeration, and I should imagine that with Benjamin's household establishment as it was, they must have experienced considerable over-crowding. In 1792 Benjamin Goldsmid bought about 150 acres of freehold ground in Roe? hampton, and on it were the burnt-out ruins of a house and some stables. The house probably belonged to a Lady Eggleton, as Lysons in his Environs of London noted that in 1780 there had been a "dreadful hurricane in Roehampton. A walnut tree, 12 feet in circumference, which grew upon Lady Eggleton's premises (now Mrs. Goldsmid's) was torn up by the roots and carried to a distance of 22 feet". The ground was very expansive, and in the middle of this enormous acreage Goldsmid built a mansion that "excited the admiration and envy of all in the locality who beheld it".</page><page sequence="25">162 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY Everything about it was lavish. The finest builders, artisans and craftsmen were engaged on the job. The grounds were just as fabulous. A rather strange thing about this property was that the roadway now known as Roehampton Lane, ran almost across it, and Goldsmid went to enormous trouble and expense to try and have it diverted, but the local authorities of the time would never agree to this. So undaunted he built a tunnel under the road, in the style of an Italian grotto, to enable him and his family to reach the furthest parts of the estates without having to cross the highway. Both the tunnel and the rose-garden on the far side can be seen today. At great expense, he also had a large artificial lake constructed which must have been very beautiful. He installed a home-farm complete with cattle and poultry and small crop-holdings. He also set aside a plot of ground, where a variety of food-stuffs were grown especially for the needs of the Chief Rabbi, produce from which was presented to him at Festivals, and needless to say it provided the grain for the Chief Rabbi's Matzoth. The house was surrounded by beautiful trees, and through these one had a view over London as far as Harrow in the distance. It was built on two stories and well proportioned. There were out-buildings consisting mainly of servants' quarters, stabling, and coachhouses, hot-houses and so on. The ground-floor was given up to three main reception rooms, one of them was a ballroom stretching from front to back on one side, leading directly onto a magnificent terrace with a heavy columned portico. Mrs. Goldsmid, apart from bearing her husband seven children, and being beautiful when he married her, we know little about, except that after her husband's death she hastened to become baptised a Christian. Goldsmid at his peak entertained many notabilities of the day, and a not infrequent visitor was Lord Nelson who was a particular friend of Benjamin's brother Abraham, who lived in princely style at Morden. It is rather interesting to know that on Nelson's last night in England, he was entertained and spent the night at Roehampton, and after Nelson's death the Goldsmids and many of their friends rallied round and gave con? siderable help to Lady Hamilton. Goldsmid used to relate the fact: that a certain chair in his study, which he called his favourite chair, was also the favourite chair of Lord Nelson. There is no doubt that Nelson was much admired by the Goldsmid children, and they were very grieved at his death. It is interesting to know that the Dowager Lady Swaythling, a direct descendant of Benjamin Goldsmid, has many fine pictures and prints of past members of the family, and there is a particularly fine painting of a family group containing all of Benjamin's children. She also has the youngest: son Lionel's notes and diaries in which many references to Lord Nelson were made. There is a note to the effect that Goldsmid "kept all his family in the proper subordination of religious decorum, and at particular times used to have prayers performed in the study-room, where he kept a Law of Moses with its sacred vestments". In fact, in many ways Goldsmid was a model father as he went to great lengths to see that his children were properly educated, as a further note from Lionel's diary indicates : "We had private Tutors in the house. English and Classic Masters, also French, German and Hebrew". Goldsmid entertained local nobility of whom there was a plentiful supply. He took great pains to entertain and cater for his fine guests, and often went far and wide looking for novel entertainment. He had a richly-bound library, fine furniture, and many pictures to show them. A further note in Lionel's Diary will show that he was</page><page sequence="26">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 163 not unaware of certain refinements in this direction. "My Father loved all, and it was well known that we had a Jew cook as well as a French "artist". The Jews are famous for some dishes of pastry, and a Jew cook who had lived in the family had made himself independent, but went out to assist at big dinners, as no Jew's dinner could be perfect without him, but he received at my Father's an honour, perhaps not granted elsewhere ; he was permitted to come into the drawingroom after Dinner and mix with the guests, always appearing well dressed and well behaved certainly". Goldsmid ingratiated himself with the local authorities by being very generous to all causes and charities. But unfortunately many of his actions were frowned upon by other Jews, as they considered much of his money was used to curry favour in certain quarters, and effect his own personal advancement. One of the causes which he and Abraham and a few other very wealthy Jews along with members of the English aristo? cracy interested themselves in, was the Naval Asylum and the Naval Orphanage, and these establishments became particularly well endowed. One of the amusing things in this connection was that Benjamin used to collect subscriptions, however small, from Jews of his acquaintance, or that he met in business, and no doubt these donors hoped in this manner to ingratiate themselves with Benjamin. Meanwhile the banking firm of B. &amp; A. Goldsmid went from strength to strength. They were interested in the huge Government loans made necessary by the wars on the Continent, which imposed a special strain on the Exchequer, because of the subsidies that Britain was offering to countries concerned with resisting Napoleon. The Bank of England was in continual difficulties, and with Pitt on one side demanding the impossible, and the continual need for money on the other, there was a long succession of crises, and it was to firms like B. &amp; A. Goldsmid that the Bank turned. It was in 1797 that the first of the Goldsmid's difficulties occurred, just after the famous eighteen million pound "Loyalty Loan" was launched, in which they were very heavily engaged. Both consols and the "Loyalty Loan" dropped to an enormous extent, but four years later they were well back in funds again, and for the next seven years Benjamin enjoyed even greater prosperity, and had earned a reputation for luck in his financial dealings. He also succeeded in winning two sweepstakes in one year. But by this time he had other troubles. He had always been subject to fits of depression and melancholia, and latterly he had been seriously affected by gout; during his attacks he used to lie for days writhing in agony on his bed. And on the 15th April, 1808, he hung himself in his bedroom at Roehampton. As reported in the Gentleman's Magazine at the time, the coroner's jury found a verdict of lunacy?a most dismal end for a very colourful personality. An interesting point is that Lionel, the youngest son, so helpful to us in waiting his memoirs and diaries, married into the Franks family who stemmed from Isleworth, when he married Eliza Campbell whose Mother was a daughter of David Franks of Philadelphia and Isleworth, and also the niece of Priscilla and Jacob. After Benjamin's death, as mentioned before, the widow became baptised along with all of her children. They sold the house in 1810 as they were probably in need of the money as, amongst other things, the son Lionel had managed to run up a debt of ?30,000 before he was twenty-one. All the children married out of the faith except Lionel who married half out, and three of the sons joined the army?a strange contrast to their father's activities.</page><page sequence="27">164 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY OTHERS IN RICHMOND There are many difficulties in finding out about people, who have no especial reason to be accorded biographies, except for the fact that they were Jews who lived in Richmond. There is very little recorded in works of reference or the press of the day and even local authorities and keepers of parish records have not always proved helpful, as there are considerable inconsistencies in the matters of early spelling, and in some cases the most outrageous mistakes were made. Frequently, it is a question of working by averages and habit, as for example with the Rate Books of Richmond?I became as familiar with the route taken by the collector on his rounds as he was, and it was only by knowing the order of the entries that I discovered much information. I have described several large and important families with such ramifications and activities that they are recorded in histories and biographies of the people and times; not only did they write letters, they also made a point of associating themselves with characters far more important than they were, and by so doing were certain to provide me with a little more information than just where they lived. There were an increasing number of Jews living in Richmond and the surrounding district from 1700 onwards, and I would like to bring to the light of present day, members of that small but elite community of Anglo-Jewry, who so far have not been accorded printed space. As far as I am concerned however, they did live in Richmond, and as anyone who lived there was virtually a country gentleman, they were people of substance. In order to paint as coherent a picture as possible, I have decided that what little is known about these people will be more appreciated by describing them in chronological order. We find in the Rate Books of 1737, the first mention of the name Mendez da Costa. The entry states "late Mendez". At about the same time I also found this gentleman's Will from which the following is an extract: "Having some time since sold the furniture of my dwelling house at: Richmond and also my plate and jeweils which formerly I had, I have only remaining the furniture of the London house, and therefore I bequeath and give the same to my second son Jacob Mendes da Costa". Thus we must conclude that the Richmond house belonged to Philip or Moses Mendez da Costa, the writer of this Will, who died in 1739, and, from the Will quotation, he left the house to his second son Jacob Mendes da Costa who presumably let it, as we never find the rates paid under his name again. I would like to assume the probability that Philip or Moses Mendez da Costa purchased his Richmond house around 1720, as he was a Gabay of Bevis Marks in 1702 and again in 1709, and at the same time one of his colleagues was Isaac Fernandes Nunes who went to live in Heron Court. He may have recommended Richmond to da Costa; but of course the reverse may be possible. Da Costa may have lived in Richmond long before Nunes. Mendes da Costa was a wealthy London merchant who had lived in Rouen in France, and had come to England about 1692. His son Jacob, who, on his Father's death, inherited the Richmond house, evidently preferred somewhere a little nearer London, as he took up residence in Barnes. The descendants of this Philip da Costa were the founders of what was to be a very large, influential family, prominent in Anglo-Jewry. The Mendez house can still be seen on Hill Rise, although unfortunately the ground floor has been extended forward to what is now the pavement of Richmond Hill, and today consists of a shop-front.</page><page sequence="28"></page><page sequence="29">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 165 In the year 1742 a book entitled History of the Life and Times of Cardinal Wolsey was published. It was written by one Joseph Grove, and in it he describes many of the contemporary houses of Richmond, and their residents, and it is rather interesting that he mentions the names of two Jews, Abraham Joseph de Cappidocia and Abraham Levi. This was the first reference I had of these two gentlemen, but I soon found out that they had lived within a stone's throw of each other and that the former lived next door to Mendez da Costa. And I would like to hazard the guess that they were all friendly or at least known to each other. Abraham Joseph de Cappidocia lived in a large and spacious house looking towards the river. In later years it was named "Holbrook House"; eventually it became "Holbrook School" and today, still standing, it has become "Holbrook Garage". The house was next door to Philip/Moses Mendez da Costa. Like Mendez da Costa, Cappi? docia took up residence on Hill Rise well before 1737, and he remained there until 1741. Abraham Joseph de Cappidocia (or Capadose) was an ardent Jew and a zealous worker for the Bevis Marks Synagogue. He was four times Parnas?in 1732, 1736, 1740 and 1748. In Kent's London Directory of 1736 he is described as a Merchant of St. Mary Axe. He died in 1753 in Amsterdam. He is mentioned in the book entitled Noble Families among the Sephardic Jews as "The Mr. Capadose, a Jew Merchant at Amsterdam, who got the ?10,000 in the bridge lottery in 1740". However, the Gentle? man's Magazine records the following in his Obituary notice : "But the coup was not as lucrative as it appears. A contemporary newscutting states : "We are informed that Mr. Capedosia the Jew Merchant, to whom one of the ?10,000 prizes lately fell, went into the wheel with ?12,000 worth of tickets". Mendez da Costa and Cappidocia lived in the second and third houses respectively past the corner of Ormond Row, almost facing Abraham Levi's house in Bridge Street, or Ferry Hill as it was then known. This Mr. Abraham Levi was a very wealthy Hounds ditch merchant, who died in 1774. In his Will, apart from all his property which he left to his wife and two sons, he made a bequest of ?50 to the "German Jews Synagogue, Duke's Place, London; ?30 to the Beth Hamedrash; ?30 to the Talmud Torah". Levi's house, later named "Bridge House" was well-known for its magnificent position. It was of good size, high up, and commanding a beautiful view over the Thames, and the lawns sloped down to the bank of the River. Richmond Bridge was not built until towards the end of the eighteenth century and in Levi's day passengers crossed to the Twickenham bank by means of the Ferry. This Ferry was tied up at the righthand end of Levi's garden. In 1930 "Bridge House" was pulled down to make way for the public garden and steps leading down to the Richmond Landing Stage. The site of the house was exactly behind the King's Head, at the commencement of what is today Richmond Bridge. Five years before Abraham Levi left "Bridge House" we find that our friend Mr. Cappidocia from Hill Rise returned to Richmond. This time he rented a much smaller house some yards further down in Hill Street, backing onto Heron Court, the cul-de-sac where Moses Hart, Moses Medina, and Isaac Fernandes Nunes had all lived some thirty years before. In this house he remained for two years, until 1751 when he finally left Richmond and soon after departed for Amsterdam where he died the following year. Having lived in such a large mansion on his first stay in Richmond, he probably moved into a comparitively small one on his return, on account of the recent death of his wife. The house had a tiny garden at the rear, and was the first of a row of four terrace houses. While writing this, excavations have been going on under this property by L</page><page sequence="30">166 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY workmen who are pulling up the remains of the foundations. This house, bombed during the war, had eventually become a shop, and is being reinstated as such in the course of the next few months. But strange to relate some eighteenth and nineteenth century pottery and silver has just been unearthed in the cellars?together with a very pure spring?which for all we know may have provided the Cappidocia household and the following Jewish household with their water. As soon as Cappidocia moved out from here, another Jew moved in. This gentle? man's name was "Mr. Levi". I have as yet been unable to find out his identity. One can make conjectures, as the name " Levi" was far from uncommon even at this early date. But perchance he was one of the two sons of Abraham Levi of "Bridge House". Richmond seems to have abounded in Levys at this time. Not forgetting our old friend, The Queen of Richmond Green, there was yet a fourth Levi in the neighbourhood. This time at Marshgate, at the other end of the town, just where the ancient gates used to be. Marshgate is at the junction of Queen's Road and Sheen Road, by the Black Horse, built as an inn in 1769. It was here that another Mr. Levi lived in a large and beautiful Georgian house called "Spring Grove House", built by the Marquis of Lothian at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The mansion was opposite Pesthouse Common, and today the site is occupied by some modern houses. Originally it was named "Batchelor's Hall" and it was apparently changed when the house came into the hands of the family of Sir Charles Rugge-Price. It was in the possession of the Price family for three generations, from the middle of the eighteenth century, and the freehold was originally purchased by Sir Charles Rugge-Price's grandfather, though it was leased out from time to time. It seems to have been a noble home; it was the custom in those days as it is today, for fine country houses to be let furnished for short or long periods, to families of note and standing. Mr. Levi, lived here for about five years from 1762, and I have reason to believe that he was Moses Isaac Levy, who in 1789 was appointed President of the Board of Deputies. Moses Isaac Levy and his wife lived in a house at Wimbledon during his presidency, and he also had a town-house, but it is quite likely that before purchasing the Wimbledon country house, he leased the one in Richmond from the Rugge-Price's. Very little is known about this gentleman, except that it was on the occasion of his appointment as President in 1789, that the first joint meeting of the Ashkenazi and Sephardi took place, for the purpose of presenting an address to George III on the occasion of his recovery from illness. The previous tenant to Mr. and Mrs. Levi in "Spring Grove House" was Lord Pollington, and the Countess of Lichfield occupied the adjoining property, which was pulled down shortly after the Levis vacated "Spring Grove House." "Spring Grove House" alas, stands no more. Before the last war it too was pulled down to make way for an estate of modern houses. But its name remains in the first turning off Queen's Road which is called Spring Grove. In the eighteenth century Kew Foot Lane stretched from the Green as far as Kew, cutting across what eventually became Kew Gardens. When the Gardens were formed, part of the road was closed?and today a major road cuts the remaining part in two. The Girls' High School and the Richmond District Hospital are in this road. Very few of the original eighteenth century houses remain and it is virtually impossible to trace many of the original sites. But it is known that here were situated some fine houses? some large and many smaller ones. It was here that the Richmond poet Thomson lived</page><page sequence="31">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 167 for some years. It is here too that in the latter half of the eighteenth century we find the homes of four Jews. A certain "Mr. Mendes" lived here for a few years (1750-1754). His house must have been a large one, for in later years it was divided up. Once again it has proved impossible to find out who this "Mendes" was, as there are no clues except his surname in the Rate Books. But he may have been Solomon Mendes, well-to-do merchant and patron of the arts, a writer himself, and a great friend of the poet Thomson who had recently died. On the other hand it may have been the merchant and poet Moses Mendez, of whom the various papers of the day wrote so highly. At present it is impossible to come to any conclusion ; future historians may alight on the answers. From 1760 until 1768 we find a Nat Henriques living in a small house in this road. Once again we know nothing further, except that he may have been Natan de Moshe Henriques, a member of Bevis Marks. Yet two more Jewish homes in Kew Foot Lane were those of two brothers Alexander and Joseph Abrahams. Alexander had a house here from 1768 until 1780, and Joseph came to live a few doors away. There is a possibility that Joseph may have been England's first Jewish Notary Public. We must leave Kew Foot Lane and return to The Green. Next door to Judith Levy in a very similar house, No. 3, Maids of Honour Row, which I have just visited, standing unchanged after over 200 years, lived a Jewish family named Marks from 1763-1779. All that has been gleaned about this family is that in the Gentleman's Magazine for the year 1777 under the heading Marriages, and date February 12th, is an announcement that Moses Moses, Esq., of Bury Street, was married to Miss Marks of Richmond. The very fact that they were mentioned in the Gentleman's Magazine proves that they may have been of some note in their day. Perhaps the most well-known select and fashionable part of Richmond?even to this day, was the Terrace. There, at the top of Richmond Hill stood some very fine houses, overlooking one of the most famous views in England?well-known in many parts of the world?the view over the Thames across the bend in the River, towards Windsor, which can be seen on a clear day. A row of houses had been built on the Terrace, which were burnt down in 1749. In 1767 numbers 3 and 4 were rebuilt. Sir William Richardson, who owned the lease? hold of No. 4 built himself a magnificent house next door, named Doughty House, two years later in 1769. All these houses stand unchanged to this day. Doughty House was in more recent years the home of the Cook family, and was renowned for its art gallery and treasures. However, in the year 1767 Sir William Richardson let No. 4 to one Abraham de Paiba, who lived there until 1775 a year before his death on 19th Decem? ber, 1776. In the Court Rolls of the day, there is an entry as follows : "Also another new Erected Messuage etc. belonging also on Lease to the said Sir William Richardson and in the occupation of Mr. Paiba". Abraham de Paiba was a London Diamond Broker and "one of the 12 Jew Brokers". He was quite a prominent member of Bevis Marks, and was the Governor of the Sephardi Marriage Portion Society. He had married Leah da Costa Athias, who had however, died before he moved to Richmond. His youngest aunt married Rabbi Isaac Nieto who succeeded his Father, David Nieto, as Ecclesiastical Chief of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation of London in 1728. So perchance a future Sephardi Chief Rabbi was an occasional visitor to Richmond Terrace. Abraham's father Isaac, had been a diamond broker and a very orthodox member of the Sephardi Congregation. "As a pious duty he acted for many years as Mohel to</page><page sequence="32">168 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY the Synagogue, and in this capacity initiated Isaac d'Israeli, the Father of Lord Beacons field, into the Abrahamic Covenant. His private residence and office were situated in Bevis Marks, St. Mary Axe, close to the Synagogue". Like many other Sephardim reared in the vicinity of Bevis Marks, Abraham chose Richmond to make his home. He was looked after ably by his housekeeper whom he made the Executrix of his Will. He had shared out and given most of his money to his children some years before his death. The remainder he left to his housekeeper as a reward for fifteen years loyal service. He also left money to Bevis Marks, the poor, the Shames, his sister and two brothers. Abraham de Paiba had distinguished neighbours. Apart from his landlord Sir William Richardson who lived on one side, Christopher Blanchard, card-maker to George III, lived at No. 3 on the other side. Sir Joshua Reynolds lived almost opposite him in Wick House. A very pleasant garden lay at the back of de Paiba's house. Down the Hill and facing the Bridge, is Ormond Row, which consists of a few beautiful houses built around 1715. Here in a fine house. No. 7, lived a Mr. J. Mendez da Costa. He actually resided there for about 10 years from 1785-1795 but he purchased the freehold in 1770 and let the house for a few years. Many have been my conjectures as to this J. Mendez da Costa, but none of them have been satisfactory owing to lack of evidence. Perchance he was the very wealthy Joshua Mendez da Costa, son-in-law of the wealthiest Jew of the day, Joseph Salvador of Totteridge. The house is attractive with a pleasant garden at the rear, and was built over part of Henry VII's water conduit, which had been laid in 1497 for the purpose of bringing water down from a spring in Richmond Park to the Royal Palace on the Green. Joshua died in 1802. And so the eighteenth century in Richmond draws to its close. One by one the Jewish residents leave or pass on, and Judith Levy alone remains the only one of her faith in Richmond to usher in a new century. But not for long. Two years later she too departs. And the nineteenth century brings with it new names, new faces, new houses. Still Jews come to make Richmond their home. But nineteenth century Jewry in Richmond is still virgin territory and will one day claim a story of its own. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish to acknowledge my grateful thanks to the Librarians of the Richmond, Twickenham and Leicester Public Libraries; the British Museum Reading Room, the Jewish Chronicle Library, the Jews' College Library, the Jewish Memorial Council Library, the London Library and the University College Library; the Borough Treasurer of Richmond and the Commissioners of Crown Lands, who made available their records and facilities, and were always helpful. I wish to thank the Trustees of the British Museum and the Richmond Public Libraries Committee by whose courtesy the prints in this work are reproduced, and Mr. W. G. Brown of the Richmond Reference Library whose help in this direction was indispensable. I want especially to mention Miss Christine Perfect of the Richmond Reference Library who without stint or question gave me the fullest possible assistance. I also wish to thank my very good friends Mr. Arthur Arnold, Mr. Richard Barnett, Mother Hilary Davidson, Mrs. Hilda Finberg, Sir Ambrose Heal, the late Mr. Albert</page><page sequence="33">EIGHTEENTH CENTURY ANGLO-JEWRY IN AND AROUND RICHMOND, SURREY 169 Hyamson, Mr. Arthur Keyte, Dr. Oscar Rabinowicz, Mr. Alfred Rubens, Mr. Edgar Samuel, Mr. Wilfred Samuel, Mr. Spaull, and the Dowager Lady Swaythling, who always answered my letters and 'phone calls, and never ceased to offer all sorts of interest? ing snippets of information. Last, but by no means least, I must pay tribute and express my gratitude to my husband, Stanley D?bens, for the ready availability of his help, advice and photographs, and without whose untiring efforts and continual encouragement this story could not have been told. Rachel D?bens.</page></plain_text>

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