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Judith Montefiore - First Lady of Anglo-Jewry

Sonia L. Lipman

<plain_text><page sequence="1">PLATE XXIX i -1 TO Lady (Judith) Montefiore?from a painting at the Montefiore College, Ramsgate (reproduced in Think and Thank, by the Rev. D. A. Jessurun Cardozo and Paul Goodman, O.U.P., 1933, facing p. 48) [See pp. 287-303</page><page sequence="2">PLATE XXX 2. The Montefiores on the terrace of their Ramsgate villa, East Cliff Lodge (from Sir Moses Monte fiore, by Dr. S. U. Nahon, published by the Bureau for Jewish Communities and Organizations of the Jewish Agency, Jerusalem, 1965, p. 23). (An artist's impression) [See pp. 287-303</page><page sequence="3">PLATE XXXI Solemn entrance of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore to Jerusalem, 1839 (from Sir Moses Montefiore, by S. U. Nahon, p. 6). (An artist's impression) [See pp. 287-303</page><page sequence="4">PLATE XXXII Page from MS. diary, 1816, of Judith Montefiore. (By courtesy of John Sebag Montefiore, Esq.) [See pp. 287-303</page><page sequence="5">Judith Montefiore ? First Lady of Anglo-Jewry SONIA L. LIPMAN, B.A. If you go into the Vestry Room at Bevis Marks (the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in London) and look round the walls your eyes will light upon a plaque: This tablet is erected by the congregation in honor and to the memory of JUDITH wife of SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE Bart to record the many noble qualities which distinguished her She accompanied her husband in all the journeys he undertook to vindicate the cause of humanity and justice as well as to rescue from tyranny and oppression our suffering brethren in many foreign coun? tries. Her charitable disposition, her virtuous life, and her strong religious faith, ob? tained for her universal respect and esteem. 5623-1863 Such has been the lasting reputation of Judith Montefiore, of whom the Jewish Chronicle of 3 October 1862 began its obituary within black-bordered columns simply and economic? ally thus: 'Good Lady Montefiore is no more.' It is, however, the woman behind the facade, the woman herself, whom I have tried to re-create in this paper both from her own writings and from things other people said about her. A QUESTION OF AGE Women are notorious for dissembling about age and Judith would seem to have been no exception. There is no record of her birth in the birth records of the Great Synagogue, registration in which was at that period occa? sional. The date of birth generally given is 20 February or 24 February 1784.1 Dr. Louis Loewe writes in his edition of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore's diaries that he had seen the date 20 February 1784 in one of Sir Moses's diaries, but he does not give details.2 One odd point about the actual date of birth is that though she is said to have been born in February, after her marriage at any rate her birthday was always celebrated on Shabbat Bereshit. In the Census returns of 1841, in which age could be stated to the nearest five years, she gave her age as 45, while Moses Montefiore gave his correct age of 56. In 1851 the Monte fiores were away, but in 1861 she gave her age as 68, when, if she had been born in 1784, she would have been 78. It is necessary therefore to consider the possibility that her Census returns may have been correct and that she was in fact born in 1794?i.e., that she was ten years younger than has been thought until now. Her death certificate, which might have provided the answer, is of no real help, for in the column dealing with age is written 'upwards of 70 years'. But Judith died on the eve of Rosh Hashana (24 September 1862) and on the second day of the Festival her death was registered by the butler, Charles Oliffe, who could be precise about the cause of death because presumably he had the doctor's certificate but obviously would not have known his employer's exact age and would have had to improvise. If we could accept the date of 1794 for her birth a number of later events become more explicable. There is, for instance, the story related by Dr. Loewe,3 as told him by Judith, of the Cohen family sitting in mourning attire on Tisha b'Av, reciting Lamentations, when Admiral Sir Sidney Smith and several other gentlemen entered the room. 'My sisters became somewhat embarrassed,' she con? tinued, 'not liking to be thus surprised in our peculiar position, but I quietly kept my seat, and when Sir Sidney asked the reason of our being seated so low, I replied, "This is the anniversary of the destruction of Jerusalem, 287</page><page sequence="6">288 Sonia L. Libman which is kept by conforming Jews as a day of mourning and humiliation." . . . Sir Sidney and the other gentlemen', she said, 'appeared pleased with the explanation I gave them. . . ' If we recall that Sir Sidney Smith was associated with the Goldsmids, who were kinsmen of the Cohens, in the establishment of the Naval Asylum, we can date the incident about 1805 1806. What can only be regarded as priggish ness in a young woman in her twenties takes on quite a different aspect when related of a child of about 11. There is, too, to support the idea, the description given of Judith riding in Palestine, in the diary kept by Jemima Guedalla on the tour to the Holy Land in 1855.4 (19 July) 'After a while Lady M. got on her horse and rode for a couple of hours. She looked really to advantage in her amazonian dress, her figure and tournure being as that of a young girl of 18.' It is hard enough to credit this as a description of a woman of 61 but how much more improbable it is of a woman of 71! On the other hand, the Jewish Chronicle obituary in 18625 gives 1784 as her date of birth and surely Sir Moses or a member of the family would have made a correction if the paper had been inaccurate. Moreover, Hodder in his Life of the Seventh Lord Shaftesbury records that on one occasion Sir Moses sent Lord Shaftesbury a donation of ?95 for the Ragged Schools, giving as his reason for the amount that his wife would have been 95 had she survived. If she had been born in 1794 she would not have achieved that age until after Sir Moses's own death. Unless and until we get more concrete evidence, therefore, we must accept the birth date of 1784, accepting also that when it came to age, Judith's vanity may have been stronger than her veracfty. EARLY YEARS Yutta, as she is described in her father's will and as she was probably called in the family circle, was the second daughter of Levi Barent Cohen by his second wife, Liba or Lydia Diamantschliefer, the sister of his deceased first wife. Levi ben Berman Cohen, or Jehudah Leib Cohen, or, as he appears on his daughter's Ketubah, Yehoshua Cohen alias Levi Cohen, had come to England from Amersfoort, in Holland, and is first mentioned in the Great Synagogue records in 1773.6 He set up in business as a merchant (Cecil Roth says a linen merchant)7 and in 1792 bought No. 11 Angel Court, Throgmorton Street, near the Bank of England, an area described by Mait land8 in 1753 as 'very large and handsome with good buildings, the habitation of mer? chants and people of repute'. That he was a man of culture would seem to be evidenced by the fact that he had sufficient books to direct in his will that they should be divided between his sons. His children were given a secular education by private tutors. Judith was taught English literature, music and singing, French, German, and Italian?the proper attainments of an accomplished young lady of the period. That her German was fluent in later life is confirmed by Jemima Guedalla,9 who tells how in Cologne she 'went to see Madame Pepys and kept up with her an animated conversation in German'. She was not so proficient in Italian, however, for during the 1818 visit to Leghorn she wrote in her diary10 after meeting young Mrs. Sebag: 'Not speaking the Italian fluently we could not enter greatly into conversation with her.' But the story Loewe tells of her winning her husband's -?100 wager that she could not pass an examination set by him in Italian grammar shows that the foundations were good.11 She also learned Hebrew and saw the tenets of Judaism practised with devotion in her own home.12 Probably it was because he took the walk from Angel Court to Duke's Place in all weathers on Sabbaths and Festivals that her father corresponded with a learned Rabbi in Prague on whether it was permissible to open an umbrella on the Sabbath.13 Certainly this is evidence of Orthodoxy, for who else would be concerned with such a matter ? That the preservation of Judaism was important to the Cohen family is clear from Lydia Cohen's will. Levi Barent Cohen's own will in 1808 made no plea for adhesion to the</page><page sequence="7">Judith Montefiore?First Lady of Anglo-Jewry 289 traditional faith. His concern was that '(God forbid) there shall be no strife and contention among you' and he exhorted his family to 'Endeavour and exert yourselves always in mutually assisting each other, for two persons are safer than one'. But Lydia in her will made shortly before her death in 1819 is deeply afraid that her children may follow the example of other prominent members of the community and convert: 'I beg and pray for you not to forget that you are Jews and keep your religion and always have in your memory your father who is in Heaven and take example from him.' She must have been deeply worried by the baptism of the Disraeli children in 1817 and of the Basevis at about the same time. But even nearer home was the conversion of Benjamin Goldsmid's widow, the former Jessie Prager Salomons, and her children, and no doubt this would have been in Lydia's mind, especially as Judith could not have failed to mention seeing Mrs. Ben Goldsmid in the Governor's box at La Scala when she was in Milan in 1818.14 MARRIAGE TO MOSES MONTEFIORE In 1806 Judith's sister Hannah married Nathan Mayer Rothschild, but by the time Moses Montefiore came courting at Angel Court, Levi Barent Cohen was dead and it is doubtful whether they were ever acquainted. I do not know either how Judith and Moses Montefiore met but he and her brother-in law were business associates and it may be that the introduction was effected through Hannah and her husband. On the other hand, they may have met casually or have known each other for some time. In any case, judging by her Honeymoon Diary,15 the match seems to have been approved on all sides. At the time of the marriage in 1812, Moses Montefiore was 28, wealthy and successful, though probably considered somewhat inferior socially to his bride. His family had come from Leghorn, whence his grandfather, Moses Vita Montefiore, had emigrated to England and set up as an importer of straw hats, then the height of fashion. Evidently he made money, for after 20 years he was able to take a house in Hackney, a suburban district popular with wealthy Jews. His son Joseph Elias, one of 17 children, married Rachel Mocatta in 1782, and it was while they were on a business visit to Leghorn that their eldest son, Moses, was born. It might be thought that there would be no difficulty in speaking about Moses Montefiore. After all, so much is known of his activities and so much has been written about him. But no modern, critical biography exists and it is difficult to distinguish between the myth and the real man in earlier works. We know from these that he received an elementary education16 at a school near his parents' home in Kennington Lane and that he was given Hebrew lessons by his uncle, Moses Mocatta,17 a considerable scholar and author, who did not, however, succeed in turning him into a Talmid flacham. Moses's father, Joseph Elias Montefiore, died in 1804, leaving his children ?10 each and bequeathing the remainder of his fortune, the amount of which is unstated, to his wife. The sum of ?20 was left outright to the Synagogue (i.e., Bevis Marks) and he authorised his wife to make donations to any other charity as she thought proper?all of which argues either a lack of wealth or a not very close association with communal affairs, or both. Moses Montefiore, who had been appren? ticed to a firm of wholesale tea merchants and grocers,18 the head of which, Mr. Robert Johnson, was a neighbour and friend of his parents, soon left to pursue a financial career, helped by his uncles, who purchased for him the right to serve as one of the 12 Jew brokers in the City. After early difficulties, he was joined by his brother Abraham and the firm acquired a high reputation. Later he became stockbroker to Nathan Mayer Rothschild and was his neighbour in New Court after his marriage. On her marriage Hannah Cohen was re? puted to have brought Nathan Mayer Roths? child a dowry of ?10,00019 but at that time her father was alive to give it. In his will is written: 'to my daughter Yutta a spinster may she live I give ?3200'. The same formula is</page><page sequence="8">290 Sonia L. Lipman used for the other two unmarried daughters, who received similar bequests. It is noteworthy that in her will, written in the form of a letter, Lydia Cohen states that 'it would give me great pleasure if it was in my power to give you all a sum of money but you know, my dear children, I never had any at my disposal since the death of your father5. However, she had been left ?7,000 plus ?1,564 Consols at 3 per cent plus a further ?6,040 Is. 6d., the latter two sums standing jointly in the name of Levi Barent Cohen and of another man (whose name is indecipherable). 'All the said sum shall be her own and at her own disposal for her to act therewith in such manner as she may deem proper.5 Is it too much to suppose that some of this money was used to dower her daughters, thus adding to the legacies left them by their father? Judith would not have disapproved of such an arrangement on romantic grounds, for when writing of the young Mrs. Sebag she remarked without further comment: 'She is an only daughter and had a good fortune for her marriage.520 The marriage of Moses Montefiore and Judith Cohen is traditionally considered in the nature of a precedent breaking down the barriers existing between the Sephardim and Ashkenazim. But a look at the marriage con? tracts of Bevis Marks21 shows a somewhat different picture. It is true that earlier in the eighteenth century 'mixed5 marriages had been frowned upon and that even when they were permitted the lady was often described merely as Tedesca, but after 1795 there seems to have been a spate of such marriages, including some of social importance, such as that between Daniel Mocatta and Anne Goldsmid, daughter of George Goldsmid, the elder brother of Abraham and Benjamin Goldsmid, in 1801; that between David Lindo and Matilda, daughter of Jehiel Prager Salomons, in 1805; and that between Emanuel Lousada and Jane Goldsmid, daughter of Abraham Goldsmid, in 1807. That relations generally between the two communities were cordial is evidenced by the fact that Levi Barent Cohen left ?25 to Bevis Marks. Good relations between Sephardim and Ashkenazim was an object always close to the hearts of the Montefiores. In Judith's diary for their first journey to Palestine in 1827, she describes how on their Shabbat in Jerusalem they went to a meal with an Ashkenazi family and prevailed upon their Sephardi host to go too, 'Whereby we hoped to promote unanimity between the Portuguese and German con? gregations, an object which Montefiore wished to accomplish it being the ardent desire of Dr Hirschel [the Chief Rabbi] who solicited his interference to this effect'. That the marriage between Judith and Moses Montefiore was far from being a manage de convenance there can be no doubt. She begins her Honeymoon Diary:22 'I was this day united in the holy bonds of matrimony to Moses Montefiore, whose fraternal and filial affection gained in me an interest and solicitude in his welfare at a very early period of my acquaint? ance with him, which joined to many other good qualities and attention towards me, ripened into a more ardent sentiment. There was a large party at our marriage, and to dinner, consisting of the major part of my beloved Montefiore's friends and my own, in the whole between eighty and ninety persons. ... May God prosper our union.' In the 1816 diary, although her mother was unwell at the beginning of their Continental holiday, 'every other wish is fulfilled having one of the best of husbands whose indulgences and laudable conduct to myself and everyone I shall en? deavour always to retain a just sense of and to deserve'. In 1840, when he had left her at Ramsgate and gone up to London, she wrote in a letter to him: 'I flattered myself a line from your wife would prove acceptable', and she concluded, 'Ever yours with love . . .'23 The affection was not one-sided. In 1844, Sir Moses wrote: 'On this happy day, the 10th of June, 32 years have passed since the Almighty God of Israel in His great goodness, blessed me with my dear Judith, and for ever will I be most grateful for this blessing, the great cause of my happiness through life. A better and kinder wife never existed, one whose whole study has been to render her husband good and happy.'24 And in 1855, Jemima Guedalla adds a further note from Vienna: 'H. and I took advantage of</page><page sequence="9">Judith Montefiore?First Lady of Anglo-Jewry 291 a box presented to Lady M. by Baron Anselm Rothschild for the Burgh Theatre. Sir Moses was disinclined to go; consequently Lady M. who never likes to enjoy any pleasure without him, declined to go.'25 It will be noticed that Judith never called her husband Moses. In letters and in the diaries are found either his full surname, Montefiore, or such shortened versions as Mun, Monte, and even Munny. In the early years of the century it was, of course, not the custom for a wife to use her husband's first name, but even when later the practice became general, she did not adopt it. Perhaps she merely did not like the name 'Moses5! It seems that her influence on him was lasting and deep. She refined him and directed his talents. Indeed, one can imagine that with a different wife, one less encouraging and sympathetic as well as less well connected, he might have remained a successful business man, playing his part in the London Sephardi com? munity and holding its various offices, but not achieving anything outstanding. He himself was generous in acknowledging what he owed to her. Lucien Wolf records his reply to some? one who expressed his gratification at meeting so great a man: T am no great man . . . the little good I have accomplished or rather that I intended to accomplish, I am indebted for it to my never-to-be-forgotten wife, whose enthusiasm for everything that is noble and whose religiousness sustained me in my career.526 Perhaps if they had had children her interests would have been divided, but as it was she could devote herself wholly to him and accompany him on all the journeys he under? took. There is a story told of Judith having fallen two storeys at the age of three into the hall below and terrifying the family, who thought that she must be dead or dreadfully injured.27 To their delight, however, the child was sitting smiling as if nothing had happened. The incident is used to illustrate that from her earliest days she possessed that calmness of temperament which stood her in good stead in the most difficult circumstances in later life. But there is supposed to have been a further outcome. According to some writers, she injured her back and grew up slightly deformed. However, I have found no hint of this in the primary sources, i.e., the diaries, and certainly she did not lack energy and physical resilience. On one occasion at the end of 1817,2 8 for example, she and her companions had arrived on Friday at Borghetta, 'a miserable dirty village, the hotel in consonance with the town. We were encouraged to continue our journey on foot the following day, this not being the most favourable spot to pass the Sabbath'. The walk was 15 miles to La Spezia but they were not put off, 'having become since travers? ing the Appenines excellent pedestrians'. Judith does not fear strain nor is there any record of concern on the part of her husband. Which would seem to imply that there was nothing wrong with her constitution as a young woman. THE DIARIES I have referred to the diaries as a primary source of information about Judith's life and character. Both she and Moses Montefiore were regular and persistent diarists, but frustratingly from the point of view of the historian all that remain, with a few exceptions, are the extracts published by Dr. Louis Loewe. The exceptions, however, include a number of Judith's travel journals. There are the extracts from the diary she kept on her honeymoon in 1812 and a few extracts from a diary of 1825, both published in an article by Lucien Wolf;29 there is the diary of their first visit to Palestine in 1827, which was privately printed but never circulated; and the better-known Notes from a Journal, which records their visit to Palestine in 1838, by which time Moses Montefiore had served as Sheriff of London and had been knighted. Through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. John Sebag-Montefiore I have also been able to consult a diary in manuscript which Judith kept on their travels in 1816 and on another journey at the end of 1817 and the beginning of 1818. These two diaries are in a stiff-covered exercise book, one beginning at each end, and except for a very few pages they are clear and easy to read. They are of no great literary merit but what they record is of</page><page sequence="10">292 Sonia L. Lipman interest. Even more important is the fact that unlike the later diaries they were not intended for publication and their author was therefore not on her guard. Thus there is a spontaneity, a sense of humour, and a liveliness we do not find later. TRAVELLERS' TRIALS With the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815, English tourists flooded the Continent. In 1815 itself, 25,000 English are said to have been in Paris,30 and in succeeding years the Continental holiday, generally lasting at least a couple of months, remained popular with the moneyed classes. Money, however, or journeying in one's own comfortable coach as the Montefiores did, was no guarantee of easy or luxurious travel. Hotels varied, some being very good, others little more than wayside inns which would get no rating in a Michelin guide, and in small places there was no alternative accommodation. In such a small town in Italy on Christmas Day 1817, she wrote, after they had decided to remain there until the 26th: 'This afforded us opportunity of regarding our apartment, which yesterday when fatigued, cold and hungry we found so comfortable an asylum. The cielingf/fc] of our chamber was covered with cobwebs and soot. . . the sound of rats and mice amused our ears and the smoke from the kitchen was most refreshing.' And in 1827 when staying at an hotel in Messina, she wrote: 'Unhoped-for company, however, soon made their appear? ance, of whose intrusion it was impossible to get rid.' But on one occasion she complained that they were too comfortable: 'Our chamber walls are hung with rich crimson silk and damask, with white flowers . . . and the hand? some French bed is tastefully furnished with elegantly trimmed and embroidered muslin hangings; all of which contributed together with the softness of the matress to prevent our obtaining that rest which a humbler couch might have afforded.'31 Roads, once travellers left the main high? ways, were bad, mountains had to be crossed in the days before tunnels made the journeys easier, and often horses were not available at the posting inns, thus occasioning long waits. Nor was it possible to lie abed in the mornings if the programme for the day entailed a long journey, even though the 87 miles covered on 8 May 1827, which she describes as 'a long day's journey in France', was exceptional. Time and again Judith records that they were up literally at the crack of dawn and sometimes while it was still dark to be on their way. On the first visit to Palestine in 1827, they had to cross Sicily overland despite the fact that there were no proper roads, after Judith had become so ill on the boat from Naples to Malta that she had had to disembark at Messina. At Alexandria, they were held up for nine weeks because there was no convoy to Jaffa and it was dangerous for a vessel to sail alone, with an escalation of the Graeco Turkish war threatening. The contrast between their status in the earlier diaries and later in life is marked. In 1812, Montefiore booked two places in the stage coach to Chatham.32 In the 1816 diary, Judith writes in Lyons: 4We see daily arrivals of English families of consequence, several going to Rome.' Obviously she does not con? sider that they are among the 'families of con? sequence'. In Paris in 1817, she reports: 'I find everywhere new amusements. Certainly the middling class as well as the higher have great opportunity of diversion here.' Once again, she is identifying herself with the 'middling class'. RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE The earlier diaries have provided somewhat startling evidence about their religious habits. As might be expected, they do not travel on Shabbat and they say their prayers regularly. In later days, Sir Moses would have no truck with the Reform Synagogue, founded in the 1840s, and he travelled with his own Shohet. But at this time they were apparently not so particular about kashrut. On the honeymoon they stayed at various inns.33 In Dover, 'we ordered dinner to be ready at four o'clock . . . which consisted of boiled soles and peas, and beef-steaks and potatoes, ale and a pint of wine'. In Ramsgate, supper consisted of 'a roast duck, green peas, potatoes and a boiled</page><page sequence="11">Judith Montefiore?First Lady of Anglo-Jewry 293 gooseberry pudding and an excellent bottle of red port5. In the 1816 diary, when they were at Montpelier, she wrote: 4We returned to the Cheval Blanc in very good humour, Montefiore and Rebecca [his younger sister who accom? panied them on the tour] full of frolic and teasing each other. . . . The air caused us to think a good luncheon would not be amiss before our departure from hence. Accordingly, we ordered some good lamb steaks, a salad and a bottle of wine which did justice to.' I think the clue may lie in the Honeymoon Diary, when, referring to the first Sabbath after their marriage, she wrote: 'I do not know any circumstance more pleasing to me than to per? ceive that my dear Monte is religiously inclined. It is that sort of religion which he possesses that in my opinion is most essential?a fellow feeling and benevolence.' A comment which I read as meaning that though he was not then meticulous in observance, he had a true Jewish heart! Later he became a bcfal teshuva and since, according to Jewish teaching, a ba'al teshuva stands higher than a zaddik, his change of heart can only be commended. On his 43rd birthday, on 24 October 1827?and it is sug? gestive that it was just after his first visit to the Holy Land?he wrote: 'This day I began a new era. I fully intend to dedicate much more time to the welfare of the poor and to attend Synagogue as regularly as possible on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.'34 That the Montefiores were extremely success? ful in living down their past can be seen from a report in the Jewish Chronicle of 16 November 1883. It describes how, at the consecration of Compton House School, which had been moved to Buckingham Place, Brighton, the Rev. Dr. Hermann Adler, in the course of his address, said of Sir Moses: '. . . his firmness and constancy had been further shown. . . He had never touched forbidden food, no matter where he might have been. . . .' In the early days, too, we do not get as much information about the Jewish communities they visit as in the later diaries. On the honey? moon they could hardly be expected to be interested in anything outside themselves, but in 1816 they were in Paris for almost four weeks and do not seem to have gone to synagogue at all. They visited James de Rothschild, met Saloman and his wife, who were staying in Paris, and attended the Opera even on Friday night, though the tickets would no doubt have been bought in advance.35 In Bordeaux, however, 'Montefiore went to Synagogue. He returned at ten o'clock to breakfast quite pleased with the building and the regularity of their manner of devotion. The favourable account given of the same induced us to go there to afternoon prayers when we had an occular demonstration of the justness of the foregoing account both as to the synagogue itself and the devotion and order therein observed. We had several invitations but did not accept of any. There are about 2,000 persons of the Jewish persuasion in this city'. And at Avignon: 'There are at present but seventeen Jewish families residing at Avignon. We went to the synagogue which is a good building but now rather neglected. Monte gave something to the porter and a trifle in the poor box. Formerly there were a great number of this nation inhabiting this town.' But the most interesting information of Jewish concern from the manuscript diaries is surely her first visit to Leghorn in January 1818, 'Montefiore's native town. I felt an indescrib? able pleasure at entering a town which gave birth to one to whom am allied by the tenderest ties which place had long been most anxious to visit from this sentiment'. In Leghorn, they were cordially entertained by his family and other connections: 'Montefiore met an uncle and two cousins. Rebecca received a very tender salute from the Old Gentleman but I not being so nearly related alas escaped the affectionate embraces.' They attended syna? gogue, 'a fine building. Two rows in the gallery for the ladies. Montefiore called up and offered for his new relations as well as all friends in London'. On the following day, they 'went to see the Jews burying ground, which is very spacious; there are some tombstones with Hebrew, Spanish, Latin and Italian epitaphs. Montefiore observed that of his late esteemed Uncle Racah's which according to his will was simple and plain. He was a man of great respectability and benevolence. Was Mun's</page><page sequence="12">294 Sonia L. Lipman godfather. Monte seemed much interested in seeing the tomb and asked for a copy of the inscription'. They also visited the house where Montefiore was born. In the light of later events, it is noteworthy that it was on this visit to Leghorn that they 'went in a boat to view two vessels that were going to Jaffa. Montefiore having a great inclination to visit Palestine, which enterprise I hope will not undertake'. How different was her attitude in 1827, when, exalted at being in the Holy Land and con? scious that 'only six European females are said to have visited Palestine in the course of a century', she wrote: 'I can never be sufficiently thankful to Almighty God for suffering us to reach this city in safety. The obstacles that presented themselves, the dangers with which we were threatened, the detentions and vexa? tions which had actually to be endured, all rose in my mind as I gave way to the feeling of delight with which I at length saw the fulfil? ment of my dear husband's long-cherished wish. Nor was my satisfaction a little increased at the recollection that I had strenuously urged him to pursue the journey, even when his own ardour had somewhat abated and when I had to oppose my counsel to the advice and wishes of our companions'. RECORD OF A FRIENDSHIP One of these companions both in 1818 and 1827, when he remained in Alexandria, either because he opposed the scheme or because he was unwell?she does not make it clear?was an Italian non-Jew, Mr. Mezzara, a cultivated gentleman, a talented amateur artist, and evidently a Hebraist, for he gave Montefiore Hebrew lessons and on one Friday night read to them Proverbs in Hebrew and translated into French. We can trace the friendship back in the diaries to 1816, when they met at Marseilles and found that they had much in common. The acquaintance ripened in Lyons, whence Mr. Mezzara had gone by a different route to meet his wife, and in 1817 we find the whole company setting out together from England en route for Italy. The Montefiores were the guests of the Mezzaras in Rome in 1818, and in 1827 Mr. Mezzara came to meet them in Milan, thereafter accompanying them on their journey. The Mezzaras were Catholics but each seems to have respected and shown interest in the religion of the other. In Paris in 1817 Judith 'accompanied Mr and Mrs Mezzara to Church to hear Grand Mass? they were very devote kneeling most the whole time'. And in Rome 'Mrs Mezzara went with us to a Convent to see a young woman (for? merly in her service in a superior situation) about to become a Nun . . . the principal motive for this young woman's becoming a religious, I believe is to obtain a comfortable situation'. At the same time, Montefiore went to see the synagogues: 'There are about 6,000 persons of the Jewish persuasion in Rome, they live in very confined situations and near each other. Unfortunately a great deal of prejudice and illiberality exists against them.' It was because of Mr. Mezzara that we get an unexpected glimpse of a somewhat anti? social Moses Montefiore, so very different from the man of the world he later became. Judith records in 1817 that 'Mr Berkeley, his son, daughter and chaplain, friends of Mr Mezzara, called and passed an hour with us, they appear very agreeable and greatly attached to Mr and Mrs M. Mr B. gave us a very pressing invitation for the following day to Dinner which we reluctantly accepted, Montefiore not liking to form new acquaintance'. But the dinner was a success, for on the day following she wrote: 'Montefiore returned from this visit better pleased than he went owing to the kind reception he met with from the new acquaint? ance.' One might be permitted to conjecture that it was due to Judith, with her convivial background and her obvious liking for society, that he became more sociable in later years. These early diaries abound with personal incidents, interesting anecdotes, and flashes of humour, as well as an awareness of what is going on in the world. For example: in Nantes they visited the Museum of Natural Curiosities, 'one among which was the skin of a human person who died in the Revolution from a wound he received from a rebel, who swore he would have his skin for a pair of small cloths. This unnatural being was afterwards put to</page><page sequence="13">Judith Montefiore?First Lady of Anglo-Jewry 295 death and the wife of the former obtained the skin of her husband which she presented to Government'. In Pavia, while Montefiore and Mr. Mezzara went to visit the hall of anatomy at the university, the ladies waited in the adjoining room, but were very soon annoyed by the students, 'who followed us and were pleased to say we were the best ornaments of the Museum'. From Toulouse: 'At this town there were some severe actions fought between the Allies and the French armies, and many lives were unfortunately lost in the last engage? ment unnecessarily, the Treaty of Paris having been signed ten days previous thereto.' At Montauban: 'This evening Montefiore being rather indisposed went immediately to rest. The following morning he said if he were not better should have a dose of medicine.' And on the next day: 'Finding a little medicine requisite, Montefiore took some Cheltenham Salts which we had brought with us, which detained us till half past two o'clock.' TASTES AND INTERESTS Life must have been very pleasant for the Montefiores. They were wealthy; they had a large circle to visit and entertain; they had the wherewithal to travel. They both enjoyed reading serious books and devotional works, though Judith also kept up to date with the latest fiction. She was interested in art and during the 1827 journey through Italy she wrote in her diary: 'In speaking of painting, I am happy to be able to say that I am beginning to acquire the power of recognising the different styles of the best masters.' The couple shared other interests, including a passion for whist, and wherever they went they visited the opera, of which Judith was inordinately fond, though she roundly condemned on a number of occa? sions the Continental practice of darkening the auditorium and lighting only the stage.36 They maintained the most cordial relation? ships with the members of their families. Both Judith and Montefiore were devoted to their respective mothers-in-law. A letter from Mrs. Montefiore written just before they left Eng? land for Palestine in 1838 to thank her 'dear children' for a present they had sent her, shows U that the sentiments were mutual: 'I assure you that from your earliest age your presence has always afforded me the greatest . . . happiness also Judith since I have had the pleasure of knowing her.'37 But it was not only the immediate family with whom they were on close terms. In these days of casual relationships we might not appreciate the ramifications of family in the nineteenth century. Nathan Mayer Rothschild had married Hannah Cohen, but Hannah's sister and brother-in-law as well were drawn unreservedly into the circle of the Continental Rothschilds. They visited them in Paris, Naples, Vienna, and Frankfort. When Saloman and his wife on their way to England in 1817 met the Montefiores in Calais, after they had crossed from Dover, Mrs. Saloman gave Judith a pre? sent of a 'handsome French embroidered dress',38 which she had been taking to London for her. As the Rothschilds became more important, this friendship was of benefit even to people as eminent as the Montefiores had by that time become. Anselm, for instance, used his influence to get them a private cabin on the boat from Trieste to Constantinople in 1855,3 9 a privilege which evidently they could not have obtained on their own account. DOMESTIC CHANGES By the time he was 40 Montefiore felt he could retire from regular business, though he retained various important directorships. The famous story is told of how he went to his wife for approval of his plan and of her reply: 'Thank God and be content.'40 Incidentally, at his death in 1885, his personal estate was ?370,000. In 1825, the Montefiores moved from New Court. After a short time living in Green Street, they took No. 7 Grosvenor Gate, Park Lane, on a long lease and there Moses Montefiore remained for the rest of his life. The house, then the last before Marble Arch, still stands. Now No. 99 Park Lane, it is the corner house of a terrace of seven just north of Grosvenor House.41 At the other end of the terrace lived Benjamin Disraeli after his marriage. This Montefiore house was to be the setting</page><page sequence="14">296 Sonia L. Lipman for numerous social functions and family parties. Here in 1843 the presentation of a testimonial to Sir Moses in appreciation of what he had achieved in Damascus was made the occasion for a banquet when 'covers were laid for 32' and Lady Montefiore and her sister the Baroness de Rothschild were the only women present.42 Here the Montefiores enter? tained the young son of the Pasha of Egypt; here they received notabilities both Jewish and national. They also had a taste for country life?a taste which was shared by many non-Jewish contemporaries who had made money as a result of the Industrial Revolution or from trade and who were buying country estates. In the early days of their marriage, the Montefiores had satisfied their yearning for rural surroundings by taking a few days' holiday whenever they felt like it at the village of Smithembottem, in Surrey, where they stayed at the inn and walked in the surround? ing countryside.43 Later they acquired Tenby Lodge Farm, near Tunbridge, but their require? ments were not really satisfied until they bought East Cliff Lodge at Ramsgate?a town they had first visited and liked on their honeymoon. Living and entertaining in this house obviously brought them great happiness and it was due to its situation that they first came into contact with the future Queen Victoria. The story is well known of the princess and her mother coming to Ramsgate on holiday and of Moses Montefiore offering them the use of his grounds, even having a special golden key cut for them. They were graciously pleased to accept the offer. In later years the Montefiores were invited to State Balls and Drawing Rooms at Buckingham Palace, though Victoria drew the line, so it is said, at making him the first Jewish peer, a step which was advocated by Lord Shaftesbury.44 Lady Montefiore was obviously more than equal to her new role, which was to give her the status of a queen among Jewish women. She mixed with the aristocracy, went to recep? tions at the most noble homes, on one occasion brought plants of the Cedars of Lebanon from their native soil for the Duchess of Leinster. Now when they travelled they were feted and honoured. They were acquiring the public image which is known to us. THEIR OWN SYNAGOGUE When they bought their estate at Ramsgate their dream was to have a synagogue of their own. With the means and the place to gratify this wish they went ahead with the synagogue, which was founded 'by Moses Montefiore and Judith his wife in commemoration of the happy event of their visit to the Holy City of Jerusalem, the inheritance of their forefathers and as a humble tribute to the Almighty for His great and manifold blessings'.45 The foundation stone was laid with earth from the Holy Land on Rosh Hodesh Ellul in 1831 and it was com? pleted in 1833 and dedicated on their wedding anniversary. It is, incidentally, amusing to note from the Census returns of 1851 that Isaac K. Myers, described as Sir Moses's chaplain, living at Hereson (the nearby village), had named two of his children Judith (who at the time was four) and Montefiore (two months). One wonders how popular the names became among Jewish families in the mid-nineteenth century! At the Ramsgate Synagogue, Lady Monte fiore's seat was in the right-hand corner of the front bench in the Ladies' Gallery,46 and it was, I understand, because of her wish that the custom grew up, which is not normally a Sephardi practice, of having kiddush in the synagogue on Friday evenings. She, an Ashkenazi born, persuaded Sir Moses to intro? duce this custom, which she had known in the Great Synagogue in her youth.47 Every year Sir Moses was Hatan Torah and every year on Simhat Torah the congregation, which included the local Jewish traders and their families, were invited to breakfast. In 1845, we learn from the Jewish Chronicle that a 15-year-old boy acted as reader when the incumbent was ill, and so pleased was Sir Moses that he gave him ?15 and undertook to help him with his education. Lady Montefiore provided the youth with comfortable clothing. She was very strict about behaviour in synagogue. Having to spend Tom Kippur in Alexandria in 1827 she refers to the women</page><page sequence="15">Judith Montefiore?First Lady of Anglo-Jewry 297 thus: T can not say much of their devotion, conversation having been more attended to than prayers', and she further comments: 'The gentlemen here tell me it is not considered essential for ladies to observe that strict piety which is required of themselves; but surely at a place of devotion the mind ought to testify due respect and gratitude towards the Omni? present.' On another occasion, in Florence, she wrote: 'Several German females were present and they wished to be very conversant; but I, as usual, at a place of devotion was as deter? mined to be taciturn.'48 In London, she often accompanied her husband on Shabbat on his walk from Park Lane to Bevis Marks and back, a journey on which they had to start about 6 a.m. Later in life she was carried in a sedan chair, as on the occasion when they attended the Queen's Drawing Room at Kensington Palace on Shavuot in 1838, the year when he was Sheriff. PALESTINE JOURNEY?1838 The 1827 journey to Palestine had been undertaken as a pilgrimage, but in 1838, when they paid their second visit to the Holy Land, the object was altogether practical, Sir Moses having conceived the idea of financing the Jews of Palestine to take up agriculture so that they would not be dependent on charity. He intended to make a survey of conditions and possibilities with the leaders of the community and then to get the permission of the Turkish authorities and the grants of land. Judith, watching a crowd of poor Jews queueing up for financial aid, com? mented: 'May the Almighty grant that the plan which my dear husband contemplates may succeed, so that these poor creatures may be enabled to gain an independent livelihood instead of relying on the assistance of other countries whose contributions are so pre? carious.'49 The journey had again been a difficult one though for different reasons from those of 1827. This time, although the Montefiores were now important people, they were unable to find a ship to Malta and they had had to spend Pesah in Rome. The one mitigating feature from their point of view had been their meeting with Dr. Louis Loewe, whom they persuaded to accompany them on their journey though he was then on his way back from the East. His services as interpreter and organiser were in? valuable. He also would on the Shabbat explain the Sidra to them or expound on such subjects as reward and punishment in Judaism or the origins of the Mishna and Talmud. On the second night of Passover 'he dined and said the Haggada with us, most satisfactorily comment? ing on the same'. From him, to while away the time, Judith took lessons in Arabic and made good progress. On this journey they found that Palestine had been ravaged by plague, which was only abating when they arrived in Jerusalem. They therefore camped on the Mount of Olives and on Shabbat the crowds came to see them: 4A cord protected us from their near approach and every precaution was deemed necessary, it being reported that 14 or 15 deaths occur daily in the City5. Later they entered the city and when they went to synagogue T was allowed the honour of lighting four lamps in front of the altar and putting the bells on the Sefer'.50 A couple of days later she wrote: 'We yester? day went to inspect the western wall of the temple of Solomon. How wonderful that it should have so long defied the ravages of time! The huge stones seem to cling together; to be cemented by a power mightier than decay, that they may be a memorial of Israel's past glory: and oh! may they not be regarded as a sign of future greatness, when Israel shall be redeemed, and the whole world shall, with one accord, sing praises to Israel's God!' 'In the course of the day the ladies of a charity for the relief of the sick and for the apportioning of poor young women, called and brought a letter, requesting me to become patroness of the charity and to allow my name to be placed at the head of the institution.' To this, with her husband's consent, she agreed. APPEAL FROM PALESTINE Her reputation was so great in Palestine that in 1849 the leaders of the Sephardi and Ash kenazi communities wrote her a letter which</page><page sequence="16">298 Sonia L. Lipman she had published in the Jewish Chronicle as one of a series on 'The State of Jerusalem'.51 'To the honoured and pious Judith Lady Montefiore who pursueth righteousness and mercy, who is an ornament to her sex and a bright example to the women of Israel. May she be blessed above women in the tent and may the grace of God compass her as a shield. 'Madam?Were we not already convinced by the many tokens of your benevolence of the active interest you take in the affairs of mourn? ing Jerusalem?had we not received many proofs of your sympathy with the afflicted Land of Holiness, we should not venture to address you, as it is but rarely that ladies trouble them? selves with such matters. But you have on so many occasions joined your noble and august consort in his benevolence to our distressed brethren, you have been so frequently his companion in his journeys for the defence of Israel against the slanderers and for the pro? tection of Jacob from malicious persecution, that we are encouraged to appeal to you as well as to Sir Moses, to make known and publish our distresses among your numerous circle of friends among the women of Judah and Israel in Europe, and particularly in England, so that they may assist and cooperate with you in your exertions for the relief of the poor and the sick, and to build a hospital where they may be taken care of and have the advice of skilful physicians. For we must endeavour to compete with the tower built by the mis? sionaries to entangle the Jews in their nets, as we have fully explained in our letter to Sir Moses. You have commenced the good work; pray, complete it. You have provided us with a physician and medicines and drugs which are certainly acts of great importance and benefit to us; but the measure of kindness will not be complete till you provide an asylum where we may find refuge and bind up our wounds. O that you, my lady, could see our sufferings and we are sure that you would not leave any means untried which might relieve us, for we know the goodness of your soul. O that you could hear the cries of the sick in the street, and the weeping of the mothers, and you would fly to our assistance! Why should we be left desolate and bereft of all help, whilst our enemies increase and prosper? Why should they taunt the Jews with apathy and indifference to their brethren and to the land for which we pray, to which we look day and night? O make known to the wealthy women of your country our calamities, and if the breath of God breathes within their souls they will come to our rescue. May they contribute with you to lay the cornerstone and to found the asylum which will be called after your name. May the Lord strengthen you in your efforts and under? takings; and may He who looketh down from his holy habitation in heaven to the space where once stood his residence on earth?may He guard and guide you; and may you, like the prophetess of old help Israel from the hand of their enemies, while the Redeemer cometh, the true Messiah for Israel. 'We shall not, meanwhile, relax our prayers, studies and meditations for these at present are all we can offer. Accept, my Lady, the assurance of our gratitude and esteem as long as we live.' ENGLISH LOYALTIES Yet with all her interest in the Holy Land and the satisfaction she gained from visits there, she never regarded herself as anything but an Englishwoman, even though she was but first-generation English born. For in an age when Jews were socially accepted in society, even though they were not politically emanci? pated, she was by education and training52 able to assimilate socially and by inclination to remain separate in her beliefs, which were treated with respect by her associates. How fully she identified herself with England?besides her expressed liking for a 'nice cup of tea' and a reference to 'our brave English tars'?is apparent from the entry in her 1817 diary in which she tells of their shock at the news of the death of the Princess Charlotte, which when first seen in an Italian newspaper they had refused to credit. But in the Moniteur, 'Alas, we soon found a confirmation in the extracts from London of the afflicting news and national calamity in the demise of the promising heiress to the throne'. And on this account they did not accept an offer of tickets to the theatre:</page><page sequence="17">Judith Montefiore?First Lady of Anglo-Jewry 299 'Indeed our spirits were too depressed.' In later years, when the Montefiores travelled abroad on their missions to help the Jews of less fortunate communities, they could depend on all the support which the British Government of the day and its agencies abroad could give. How natural it was therefore that they should try to influence the rulers of suffering Jewish communities to emulate the behaviour of the British! Judith did not think of mass emigration as the answer to the problems of persecuted Jewries; just as she looked forward to the emancipation of the Jews in England?described by Sir Moses in a letter from Russia as 'happy England'?which despite setbacks was only a question of time, so she thought that with growing tolerance in other countries would come the alleviation of the sufferings of their Jews. HER PUBLIC IMAGE Her journeys with her husband were now no longer personal. The eyes of the world?and not only the Jewish world?were on them. With the Damascus Affair Sir Moses assumed for the first time the role he was to occupy for the rest of his life: as roving ambassador to trouble spots in which Jewish life and safety were threatened. But the achievement of the Damascus journey was marred for Judith by frequent illness, which took the form of fainting fits and general weakness, causing her husband considerable anxiety. On their journey to Russia in 1846, when they used their influence to have revoked the ukase expelling Jews from the border areas of Russian Poland, they received a tremendous welcome from the communities they visited. A report of their stay in Vilna published in the Jewish Chronicle told of 'His lady (long may her life be spared!) had not a dry eye for weeping over the extreme distress she here beheld... .'53 Whenever they went on their missions abroad, prayers were said for them and poems written. One of these, in Hebrew, with English translation by Moses Angel, was published in the Jewish Chronicle54" on their departure to Palestine in 1849, and contained a verse about Judith which shows that already she had be come a legendary figure bearing little resemb? lance to the real Judith who enjoyed novels and opera and the pleasures of the London season: And Judith, thou of women blessed supreme Thy Lord's right hand, with good thine actions teem; Deep in thy heart doth every virtue bide, More than the river's drops that swell the tide; Earth's joys thou spurnest?shadows of a day Thou garner'st seeds no waves can wash away. CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES Throughout the years Lady Montefiore was busy with her social work and philanthropies at home. Her name is in numerous subscription lists published in the Voice of Jacob and the Jewish Chronicle, either alone or together with that of her husband. The sums generally given are not large, ?5 or ?10,5 5 but her charity was continuous and given to various causes. She was a vice-president of the Jews' Orphan Asylum and in 1844 became one of the patronesses of the newly formed Jewish Ladies' Loan and Visiting Society. She was for some years responsible for having a number of girls edu? cated and taught cookery at the Jews' Hospital. With her husband she was often present at functions of the Jews' Free School, particularly at the public examination of the pupils. Charity balls, then as now, were a popular means of raising money and the Montefiores were fre? quently present at such balls, generally taking a large party with them. Sometimes Judith was a patroness, or, if the ball was under royal patronage, a vice-patroness, while Sir Moses might serve as a steward. She sent regular yearly donations to the four holy cities of Palestine and there survives a letter to Dr. Loewe56 asking him to write the necessary letters to accompany the ?10 dona? tions and another of ?5 'to the sculptor'. Within the Sephardi community, of course, she held an unrivalled position as a patroness of charities. She and her husband also played a leading role as patrons of the Sephardi schools, and every Purim they would give the children a treat. Lady Montefiore was 'passion? ately fond of children and she would pet and caress the younger pupils as they toddled up</page><page sequence="18">300 Sonia L. Lipman to the platform to receive their present; some? times she would take them in her lap and kiss them'.57 'THE JEWISH MANUAL' On 10 October 1862, the Jewish Chronicle, reporting the reputed views of the Chief Rabbi on the projected Lady Montefiore Endowment, referred to the fact that she 'wrote a book for Jewish Cookery, or at least assisted in its composition'.58 The book, the first Jewish cookery book to be published in England, was The Jewish Manual, by 'A Lady', which appeared in 1846. There had been advertisements in the Jewish Chronicle about this forthcoming publication and later a review appeared: 'We can sincerely recom? mend this work on the culinary science as principally practised in the Jewish kitchen, to all lovers of good living. We also call the attention of our female readers to the valuable recipes and hints it contains relative to the toilette.' In the introduction the reader is told that: 'Our collection will be found to contain all the best receipts hitherto bequeathed only by memory or manuscript from one generation to another of the Jewish nation, as well as those which come under the denomination of plain English dishes; and also such French ones as are now in general use at all refined modern tables. 'The receipts we have given are capable of being varied and modified by an intelligent painstaking cook, to suit the tastes of her employers.' Note that the mistress of the house is not expected to do her own cooking. The quantities are enormous, showing the size of the average household of the period: For mulligatawny soup: 'Take two chickens'; for Palestine soup : 'Stew a knuckle of veal, and a calf's foot, and one pound of chorissa [a sausage peculiar to the Jewish kitchen, of delicate and piquant flavour], and a large fowl, in four quarts of water. . . .' And giving a clue to the identity of the author: 'A Juditha is a sweet with gooseberries and cream rice, "an elegant dish".' In the toilette section is another clue to identity, for, after describing the injurious effect of ready-made cosmetics on the skin and suggesting 'a strict attention to diet, regular ablutions, followed by friction, frequent bath? ing and daily exercise, active enough to promote perspiration, which, by carrying off the vicious secretions, purifies the system, and perceptibly heightens the brilliancy of the skin', she con? tinues: 'These are the simple and rational means pursued by the females of the east to obtain a smooth and perfect skin, which is there made an object of great care and con? sideration.' There is a recipe for a cosmetic bath, which is from 'the confidential attendant of an English lady, who is in the habit of using it every week: 'Boil slowly one pound of starwort in two quarts of water, with half a pound of linseed, six ounces of the roots of the water lily, and one pound of bean meal; when these have boiled for two hours, strain the liquor, and add to it two quarts of milk, one pint of rose water, and a wine glass of spirits of camphor; stir this mixture into a bath of about ninety-eight degrees.' Perhaps her comment that 'body and mind are, in fact, so intimately connected that it is futile, attempting to embellish the one, while neglecting the other especially as the highest order of all beauty is the intellectual'?perhaps this comment may be taken as evidence of her own lack of physical beauty, for what woman who has enjoyed a reputation for looks decries them ? Women's dress is fully treated: 'Simplicity should be preferred to magnificence; it is surely more gratifying to be admired for a refined taste than for an elaborate and dazzling splendour; the former always produces pleasing impressions while the latter only provokes criticism. 'Too costly an attire forms a sort of fortifica? tion around a woman which wards off the admiration she might otherwise attract. 'All ornaments and trimmings should be adopted sparingly; trinkets and jewellery should seldom appear to be worn merely for display; they should be so selected and arranged as to seem necessary either for the proper adjustment</page><page sequence="19">Judith Montefiore?First Lady of Anglo-Jewry 301 of some part of the dress, or worn for the sake of pleasing associations. Tt is, however, in bad taste to wear them [dresses] very low on the shoulders and bosom: in youth, it gives evidence of the absence ofthat modesty which is one of its greatest attractions; and in maturer years it is the indication of a depraved coquetry, which checks the admira? tion it invites.' How complete a Victorian she had become! Born into George Ill's England, married in the Regency period, and living in an age of transition, she seems to have surrendered without a struggle and without a regret to the prudery and ultra-respectability which are associated with Victorianism. DISAPPROVAL OF EXTRAVAGANCE Throughout her life there are also evidences of economy and even parsimony unexpected in one of her wealth: in 1816, when they found that L'Hotel du Midi at Montpelier 'demanded an exorbitant price for an apartment viz. 18 francs per day', they justifiably enough immediately went to the Cheval Blanc, 'an hotel equally good, where we found rooms for 10 francs a day'. But on the 1827 journey, while praising the hotel at Turin, she writes: 'but it must be paid for'. And it was evidently important enough for her to comment that a small cup of coffee which they took on leaving cost two francs per person. In Joigny, 'being in the wine country, a bottle of vin du pays was called for; it was, however, found to be no better than the ordinaire, though four francs the bottle'. In The Jewish Manual, after stating that 'the cuisine of a woman of refinement, like her dress or her furniture, is distinguished not for its costliness and profusion but for a pervading air of graceful originality', she warns the cook that 'a trustworthy, zealous servant must keep in mind that waste and extravagance are no proof of skill'. Her servants, one feels, would have been very closely supervised, and, since she did not employ a housekeeper, the control would have been personal. No special blame can be attri buted to her, however, for the high turnover of her domestic staff; movement of the servant population seems to have been frequent and on a large scale, though whether voluntary, i.e., to better itself, or because of dismissal, is uncertain.59 LAST YEARS In the last years of her life Judith suffered from ill-health. Uncomfortable and in pain, she was in the hands of doctors and specialists. Her illness, described in the death certificate as 'great derangement of the stomach?obstruc? tion of bowels?Ileus 6 days', could, I under? stand, have been cancer, but was not definitely so. In the summer of 1862, the Montefiores celebrated their Golden Wedding. Through that summer she was seriously ill and before Rosh Hashanah she was brought back to Park Lane, where she died on the Eve of the Festival. On the Saturday night her body was taken to Ramsgate, there to be buried in the mausoleum which Sir Moses had built for them both. The news was the signal for sincere mourning from Jews and non-Jews both in this country and in distant lands where she had been known both personally and by reputation. Sir Moses survived her by 23 years. As her memorial he founded the Judith Lady Monte? fiore College, which he built at Ramsgate, though he did first consider the idea of establish? ing it in Jerusalem. Ramsgate became ever more dear to him. And it was there that he penned, on 10 June 1879, when he was 95 years old, opposite a black-edged visiting card from the Archbishop of Canterbury, this poignant entry in his last diary, now acquired by the Society: Oh my dear dear Judith Alas, alas, Lord, what a change Happy 10 June 1812 but the God of our Fathers granted me the happiness of blessed wife for fifty short very short years. The companion and guide to me of every good action. O God, pardon forgive my repining at her (?) closing journey . . . the Angels in Heaven. May I become deserv</page><page sequence="20">302 Sonia L. Libman ing, more and more deserving of the blessed happiness of being again her companion in Heaven. Amen Amen *** This paper was delivered to the Society on 4 May 1966. NOTES 1 In the Colyer-Fergusson papers both dates are given. 2 Louis Loewe, Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, Vol. I, p. 2. 3 Ibid., Vol. II, p. 3. 4 Diary of a Tour to Jerusalem and Alexandria in 1855 with Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, by the late Mrs. H. Guedalla. London, 1890. 5 Jewish Chronicle, 3 October 1862. 6 Cecil Roth, History of the Great Synagogue, p. 197. 7 Ibid. Mr. Edgar Samuel disputes this, and says that Levi Barent Cohen was probably a stock and bill broker, since he was a sworn broker from 1789 until about 1800, when he gave his medal to his eldest son, Joseph. Mr. Samuel feels, too, that Judith and Hannah must have gained their under? standing of the stock market?which was treated with respect by their husbands?from their father. There is, however, no reason why Levi Barent Cohen, having achieved success as a merchant, should not have extended his interests to include brokerage. G. Yogev, in his study of the diamond trade, quotes the Prager papers to show that in 1778 Levi Barent Cohen assisted Simon Daniels in or? ganising a 'ring' of Jewish buyers at the East India Company's auctions of damaged cloth; and in 1783 Jacob Prager condemned his brother for purchasing china in partnership with so petty a merchant as Cohen. 8 Wm. Maitland, History of London (1757), Vol. II, p. 840. 9 Diary of a Tour to Jerusalem and Alexandria in 1855 with Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore. 10 MS. diary, 1817-1818. See below. 11 Louis Loewe, Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, Vol. I, p. 101. 12 Op. cit., p. 3. 13 Cecil Roth, History of the Great Synagogue, p. 197. 14 MS. diary, 1817-1818. 15 'Lady Montefiore's Honeymoon', published in Essays in Jewish History, by Lucien Wolf, edited by Cecil Roth. 16 Lucien Wolf, Sir Moses Montefiore. 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid. 20 MS. diary, 1817-1818. Contemporary attitudes are clear from the novels of Jane Austen. 21 Bevis Marks Records, Part II, 'Abstract of Ketubot'. 22 'Lady Montefiore's Honeymoon'. 23 I am indebted to Mr. Raphael Loewe for showing me this and other letters in his possession. 24 Louis Loewe, Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Monte?ore, Vol. I, p. 16. 25 Diary of a Tour to Jerusalem and Alexandria in 1855 with Sir Moses and Lady Monte?ore. 26 'Lady Montefiore's Honeymoon'. 27 Louis Loewe, Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Monte?ore, Vol. I. 28 MS. diary. See below. 29 'Lady Montefiore's Honeymoon.' 30 Jane Aiken Hodge, 'The Grand Tour 1814 1815', in History Today, February 1965, p. 102. 31 1827 diary. 32 'Lady Montefiore's Honeymoon'. 33 Ibid. 34 Gardozo and Goodman, Think and Thank, p. 7. 35 1816 MS. diary. 36 1816, 1817-18 MS. diaries. 37 I am indebted to Mr. Corcos, of Jerusalem, for allowing me to quote from this letter. 38 A dress length. Ready-made clothes were not produced until much later. See Alison Adburgham, Shops and Shopping (1964). 39 Diary of a Tour to Jerusalem and Alexandria in 1855 with Sir Moses and Lady Monte?ore. 40 Paul Goodman, Moses Monte?ore. 41 The house, now turned into offices, has an interesting later history. It was bought by Sir Edward Beddington-Behrens from Mrs. Douglas Fairbanks. During the war Oskar Kokoschka worked in a studio which Sir Edward had built for him on the top floor. I am indebted to Sir Edward for this information and for arranging for me to go over the house. 42 Voice of Jacob, 3 March 1843, p. 123. 43 Louis Loewe, Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Monte?ore, Vol. I, p. 17. 44 Letter from Lord Shaftesbury to Mr. Glad? stone, quoted in Louis Loewe, Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Monte?ore, Vol. II, p. 224. 45 Gardozo and Goodman, Think and Thank. 46 Ibid., p. 42. 47 I am indebted to Dr. N. Wieder for this information. 48 Notes from a Journal, p. 115. 49 Ibid. 50 Ibid. 51 Jewish Chronicle, 6 April 1849, p. 208. 52 Lucien Wolf, in Sir Moses Monte?ore, stresses the influence of the Mendelssohnian movement on Levi Barent Cohen and his family. 53 26 June 1846, p. 163. 54 20 April 1849, p. 226. 55 Even taking into account the conversion rates, these sums were small when compared with Rothschild donations, but the Montefiore fortune,</page><page sequence="21">Judith Montefiore?First Lady of Anglo-Jewry 303 though of millionaire rating by modern standards, was also tiny in comparison. For instance, Lionel de Rothschild (d. 1879) left ?2,700,000 and Lady Rosebery (d. 1889) ?720,000. 56 In the possession of Mr. Raphael Loewe. 57 Lucien Wolf, Sir Moses Montefiore. 58 I am indebted to Mr. J. M. Shaftesley for drawing my attention to Judith's authorship of the cookery book, as well as for providing me with numerous references in the Jewish Chronicle and elsewhere. 59 The 1841, 1851, and 1861 Census returns show a high turnover of servants in all seven of the Grosvenor Gate houses. It is noteworthy, however, that the butler, Charles Oliffe, who registered Judith's death, was in the Montefiores' employment in both 1851 and 1861. And Caroline Schwerin, who became Sir Moses's housekeeper after his wife's death and remained with him until her own death in 1884, was the cook in 1861.</page></plain_text>

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