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Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo) of Amsterdam (1603-1675) and his Connection with England

A. L. Shane

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo) of Amsterdam (1603?1675) and his connections with England* A. L. SHANE Jacob Judah Leon was born in 1603, a piece of information he gives in the preface to one of his books.1 The place of his birth is still unknown but he was clearly of Spanish-Portuguese origin and most writers restrict themselves to that statement. Others say he was born in Hamburg. In any event, he came at an early age to Holland and spent most of his life there.2 He was a teacher and Rabbi by profession. As such, Leon must be unique in Jewish his? tory, for there cannot have been many Rabbis who became famous not so much for their learning as for a travelling exhibition or show, which was widely exhibited for many years and which received Royal Patronage and approval. Although the exhibitions were only models of the Temple of Solomon and the Tabernacle of Moses, they had such universal appeal that there was a revival some 85 years after the author's death, when the shows were again a great success and ran?off and on?for years. So successful, indeed, that one man who saw the models was so impressed that he wrote a note about them which made history, albeit Masonic history, and adopted one of the pictorial designs he saw at the show as most suitable as the coat of arms of his Grand Lodge of Free? masons. Much has been written about the models and a little about Leon himself, but Leon's connec? tion with England, notably the English Royal Family and English Freemasonry, has generally been passed over. The purpose of this paper is to try to restore the balance. As to his name: Leon is known under several names, all based on the original Hebrew name of Arye, i.e., lion. The name was originally spelt in the Portuguese manner, viz. Lea?, which is the form generally found in the records of the Amsterdam community. Leon was one of a large family of this name and the name, spelt Lea?, occurs frequently in the records of the Amsterdam Jewish community, forming a trap for the unwary.3 Leon was obviously proud of his name and the coat of arms which he adopted for himself proudly displays a lion as a main feature of the design. But proud as he was of his name, Leon was equally proud of his Jewish ancestry, for it is noteworthy that in all his literary publications Leon invariably adds the word 'Hebreo', thus making his name read 'Jacob Judah Leon, Hebreo'. In later years the appellation 'Templo' was added to the family name by Leon's descen? dants, notably his son Solomon, a reference clearly suggested by Leon's association with the model of the Temple of Solomon for which Leon had then become famous. Leon himself, however, never used the name Templo on any of his publications and it would seem that it was his son Solomon who first adopted it as part of the family name so that he became known as Solomon Judah Leon Templo. Throughout the whole of his life Leon's main occupation was that of a 'Rubi', or teacher, in Jewish schools. In accordance with the cus * Paper delivered to the Jewish Historical Society of England on 12 March 1975. 1 The Address to the Reader prefaced to Las Alabamas de Santidad, Amsterdam, 1671. In this Leon writes: 'My work . . . which I compiled in the space of seven months, in the moments of leisure from the exercise of my school duties, [a haste] so inconsistent with [my] sixty-seven years.' 2 Dr. M. Kayserling, Biblioteca Espanole-Portugueza (Strasbourg, 1890, German), p. 58, and his note; the Jewish Encyclopedia, (New York, 1904) Vol. VIII, p. 1, on Leon (listed as Templo), which is still the best short comprehensive account of Leon. It lists some 20 members of the Leon family. 3 Ibid. 120</page><page sequence="2">Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo) 121 tomary practice he commenced these duties at a very early age, probably soon after reaching the age of 13, gradually progressing from pupil teacher to Rubi. This position was combined with that of assistant Rabbi and also member of the Beth Din of the congregation. Leon served in these capacities in Hamburg, Middelburg, and finally Amsterdam, and was apparently still serving in Amsterdam when he died in 1675.4 As can now be shown, he is buried in the old cemetery at Oudekerk, near Amster? dam. The teaching establishment at the congrega? tional school in Leon's time is interesting. The school comprised three classes and the hours and curriculum were all carefully prescribed. The head teacher was Haham Saul Levi Mortara, who took the top class. His principal assistant was none other than the famous Menasseh ben Israel, who took the middle class. Leon took the third class, which com? prised the young children, to whom he taught the Jewish alphabet and prayers. Later on, when Menasseh ben Israel quarrelled with the Elders of the congregation, Leon was promoted and took the Talmud class. Despite all his literary and outside interests, Leon continued to teach at Jewish schools and he tells his readers in one of his books that T wrote this work during my leisure hours from my school duties'.5 The success of Leon's models and the popular booklets he wrote describing them has over? shadowed his other serious literary works, par? ticularly on Biblical and Talmudical subjects, including an edition of the Mishna with vowels. Towards the end of his life Leon was held in great respect because of these more serious works, as is amply demonstrated by the fact that in 1671 Isaac Orobio de Castro, the famous philosopher and physician, wrote as a foreword to Leon's Spanish translation of the Psalms an Appreciation of 'los grandes estudios del Senor Haham, Yahacob, Yehuda, Leon, Hebreo', in which he praises his works and refers to him as '. . . el sapiente Leon'. But it is not as a teacher or indeed as a com? munal Rabbi that Leon is remembered; nor again for the learned books which he wrote. Rather it is for the models of the Temple of Solomon and of the Tabernacle of Moses that he had constructed and for the popular hand? books that he wrote to be sold in conjunction with the public exhibition of these models. Interest in these curiosities continued after Leon's death, but nevertheless one can say with some certainty that Leon would have been for? gotten but for the fact that the model of the Temple was noted by a half-educated Irish? man, Laurence Dermott, when it was again on exhibition in London some 85 years after Leon died. It was this adoption by Laurence Dermott in 1764 that brought Leon and his works into the annals of English Freemasonry and was to make him the subject of continuing interest and dispute. This posthumous fame is worthy of a paper in itself but only a cursory examination of the subject can be undertaken in this paper. In between these two aspects of Leon's life? viz., schoolteacher-Rabbi and posthumous acclaim by English Freemasonry?and forming the connecting link between the two, is Leon's visit to London in 1675 and his association with the English Royal Family, notably King Charles II and his mother, Henrietta Maria. Although little is known of the actual visit to London, the circumstances in which Leon came to make it and the preparatory booklet which he prepared for it forms a unique chapter in Anglo-Jewish history. Yet curiously enough 4 Details of Leon's career as teacher and Rabbi can be found in the following works: (a) Graetz, History of the Jews (American edition, 1895. Vol. 5, pp. 114-5. But this edition omits the note to be found in the German edition (Leipsic, 1888) as to Leon's authorship of the 200 pictorial designs referred to by Surenhusius. See Geschichte, Vol. 10, pp. 20-1). (b) D. H. de Castro and others, Essays on the Synagogue of the Portuguese-Jewish Community in Amsterdam (Dutch), Amsterdam, 1950. (c) J. S. da Silva, History of the Portuguese Jews of Amsterdam (Dutch), Amsterdam, 1925, pp. 25-6. (d) Com? memorative Handbook to Celebrate 300th Anniversary of the Talmud Torah and Ets Haim School of the Jewish Com? munity of Amsterdam, by Dr. M. C. Paraira and J. S. da Silva-Rosa (Dutch), 1916. (e) Dr. C. Roth, Life of Menasseh ben Israel (Philadelphia, 1945), who includes Leon in Menasseh's circle of Jewish friends, p. 129. (f) Rev. Isidore Harris, *A Dutch Burial Ground and its English Connections', Trans.JHSE. Vol. VII, 1911-1914, p. 239. 5 Las Alabancas de Santidad por el Haham Yahacob Yehuda, Leon, Hebreo (Amsterdam, 1671).</page><page sequence="3">122 A. L. Shane these events have been generally overlooked and their importance gone unnoticed. Since the revival of interest in Leon in the eighteenth century a good deal of information has been written about him which is inaccurate and the best description of him and summary of his work is still to be found in a passage in the Preface by that great Dutch scholar Suren husius to his famous Latin translation and commentary on the Mishna, which was pub? lished in 1698, some 20-odd years only after Leon's death.6 In this passage Surenhusius, after mentioning the difficulty he had had in finding illustrations for his edition of the Mishna, goes on to speak of the inquiries which he made among his Jewish friends for suitable material and then says: 'The first of them to present himself was the eminent scholar, Salomo Jehuda Leon Templo, Chief Master of the Hebrew Schools of the Portuguese Jews, Rabbi of their Synagogue, and third in rank in their High Court of Justice, or Beth Din, as they style it. He contributed to the common stock of knowledge more than two hundred pictorial designs bequeathed by his father. The acceptability of these designs was all the greater in my eyes, because they came from a most cultured man, who was well known by his numerous literary productions. His name was Jacob Jehudah Leon, sometime Rabbi of the Synagogue at Hamburg, and subsequently that at Amsterdam. He had won the admiration of the highest and most eminent men of his day by exhibiting to anti? quaries, and others interested in such mat? ters, an elaborate model of the Temple of Jerusalem, constructed by himself. His re? nown induced Augustus, Duke of Brunswick Luneburg, to have his Hebrew treatise on the Temple turned into Latin by Johann Sau? bert, and to have his portrait engraved. Furthermore, he published the following treatises: Fabrica Tabernaculi; Misna cum punctis. His unpublished works, still in his son's possession, comprise Quaestiones variae ad adstruendum ea quae de Templi Fabrica ediderat, et De Ritibus Sacrificiorum quo tidie in Templo offerendorum . . .' This picture of Leon as 'a most cultured man who was well known by his numerous literary productions' is most revealing, coming as it does from one of the greatest Oriental scholars of his day. This passage is of added interest because of its reference to the 'pictorial designs' bequeathed by Leon to his son and the nature of these designs and their authorship has been the subject of much discussion. These pictorial designs have ceased to exist as a collection, so that one cannot be certain as to their nature. But it is reasonable to assume that Leon had intended them as illustrations for his books, which dealt, as we have seen, with such topics as the Temple of Solomon and the Tabernacle of Moses; the Cherubim and the Mishna. Indeed, these works contained many such pictorial designs. Further, it is known from the broadsheets advertising the exhibition of models that books of pictures were sold at them. So again it is a safe assumption that these were taken from the collection formed by Leon and bequeathed by him to his son Solomon. Leon formed this collection. So much is cer? tain. But whether he was the artist who actually created these pictorial designs is another matter. Much has been written on this topic and none of it conclusive. The only verdict which can even now be given with confidence is the Scottish one of 'not proven'. But this uncer? tainty should not cloud the important fact that the designs were executed if not by Leon then at least to his order and under his direction. And they do illustrate the text of his books and they do so remarkably well. By them the text be? comes clear and alive. It is no wonder that Surenhusius gladly accepted them as suitable illustrations for his book. As the passage above from Surenhusius makes clear, it was Leon's model of the Temple which brought him renown and which induced the Duke of Brunswick to have Leon's portrait engraved. Several portraits of Leon have sur? vived and it could well be that one of these is that commissioned by the Duke. One of them is by Salom Italia and another by Conr. Buno. 6 Guiliemus Surenhusius, Michna . . latinitate dona vit, ac Notis illustravit. (Amsterdam, 1698).</page><page sequence="4">Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo) 123 Both these portraits carry an inscription in Latin which states that it is the 'portrait of the learned and celebrated Jacob Yehuda Leon, Hebrew author of the model (structurae) of the Temple of Solomon made in the year 1641'.7 As this is usually taken as the date the model was finished, it follows that Leon was then 38 years of age. In the following year, viz., 1642, patents were granted by various Dutch States to Leon granting him the right of publication of a book describing the model. These patents were immediately followed by the publication of Leon's various works on the subject, beginning with the Spanish 'Description' entitled Retrato del Templo de Selomo, published in Middelburg in 1642. This work proved popular and editions in Dutch, Hebrew, and French followed in quick succession. These 'Descriptions' are not literary efforts. They are short guidebooks of the type still sold at museums and exhibitions and it would seem that Leon wrote them specifically to be sold in connection with the exhibition of his models. They are composed of short paragraphs giving titbits of information concerning the Temple and the Tabernacle of Moses gleaned from the books of the Bible, the Talmud, and Josephus. No non-Jewish authorities are quoted. It is probable that it was this simple and easily digestible form of presentation that made the books so popular. In addition to these booklets Leon produced pamphlets or broadsheets describing the models and advertising the place and times of exhibition. Some of these broad? sheets have survived and will be referred to later in this paper. Leon continued to publish books on the models right up to his death in 1675 and it is reasonable to conclude that the models were on exhibition throughout this period. They attracted (as Surenhusius put it) the admira? tion of the highest and most eminent men of the day. Among this distinguished company were members of the English Royal Family and their Court. Leon was fortunate enough to be living in Holland at the time when the English Royal Family was in exile on the Continent, accom? panied by an entourage which included many Royalist Bishops and other English gentry. This exile in Holland gave the English Royal Family ample opportunity of meeting members of the local Jewish community. In 1641, when Charles I was hard pressed by Cromwell and his Roundheads, his Royal Consort Queen Hen? rietta Maria left England for Holland, accom? panied by her daughter Mary, who shortly afterwards married William Prince of Orange, the son of the Stadtholder Frederick Henry. Soon after her arrival in Holland the Queen received instructions from Charles I to sell some of the Crown Jewels to provide funds for the Royal cause. The Queen decided to pawn the jewels but experienced some difficulty in doing so, as the Dutch merchants doubted the Queen's authority to dispose of them. Ulti? mately it was arranged and no doubt the Jewish merchants in Amsterdam had a hand in the transaction. The Jewish merchants favoured the Royal cause as opposed to Menasseh ben Israel, who from the moment Cromwell came to power had solicited Cromwell's aid for the readmission of the Jews to England.8 The sup? port of the Jewish merchants extended through? out the Royal Family's exile and it was the Jewish merchants of Amsterdam who provided the money which the English Royal Family needed to finance their return to England, a fact which was gratefully acknowledged by Charles II, who promised to extend his pro? tection to the Jews when he was restored to his kingdom. But the best illustration of the Queen's interest in the local Jewish-community was the Royal visit to the Amsterdam Synagogue. This was arranged at the request of the Queen and took place on 22 May 1642. It was in effect a State visit, as the Queen was accompanied by the Stadtholder and his son and newly acquired daughter-in-law. The visit was the occasion of the famous Address of Welcome of Menasseh ben Israel, which included a eulogy of the 7 As to the portraits, see: (a) Albert Wolf, 'Die Portraits des Jacob Jehuda Leone' (German), Monatschrift des Judentums (1900), pp. 41-3. (b) Lucien Wolf, 'Anglo-Jewish Coats of Arms', Trans. JHSE, Vol. II, p. 156. (c) Alfred Rubens, 'Anglo Jewish Coats of Arms', Anglo-Jewish Notabilities, JHSE, 1948, p. 76. 8 See Roth's Menasseh ben Israel, noted above.</page><page sequence="5">124 A. L. Shane Queen, who was described as the 'Worthy consort of the Most august Charles, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland'. At this time Leon was busy with his model and publication of his books, but as an assistant Rabbi it is probable that he would have been present on the occasion of the Royal visit to the synagogue. But whether this is so, it is clear that the Queen must have then heard of Leon's models, for shortly afterwards she visited his exhibition in Amsterdam. It was Queen Henrietta Maria's curiosity which had taken her to visit the synagogue and it would seem that this same curiosity impelled her to visit Leon's exhibition. We can conclude this from the subsequent statement by Leon in the English version of the Description published some 30 years later in 1675. This English book? let forms an important link in the Leon saga and calls for special mention later. But the Queen was not alone in visiting the exhibition. Another distinguished Royalist saw the model in Holland at about the same time. He was Michael Honywood, Dean of Lincoln. He was a supporter of the Royalist cause and at the beginning of the Civil War he went to Holland, where he made a collection of books which he brought back with him after the Restoration. He erected a library to the design of Christopher Wren at the Cathedral at Lincoln, where he housed his collection of books and tracts. In 1958 that indefatigable investigator of Anglo-Jewish history the late Wilfred S. Samuel discovered in the library of Lincoln Cathedral a copy of the Dutch edition of Leon's 1641 broadsheet sold in conjunction with the exhibition of his model.9 This broad? sheet was part of the Honywood Collection and its provenance is beyond doubt. It seems certain that Dean Honywood saw the model of the Temple in Holland before the Restoration in 1660 and was impressed enough to purchase a copy of the broadsheet for his collection. It would seem that Leon was sufficiently encouraged by the interest shown in his models by Queen Henrietta Maria to plan a visit to London after the restoration of the Royal Fam? ily, for the purpose of exhibiting them there. As part of his preparation he had printed in Amsterdam in 1675 an English edition of his Description. This little booklet is of considerable historical interest to Anglo-Jewry and to a lesser extent to English Freemasonry and deserves special mention. The frontispiece reads as follows: 'a rela? tion Of the most memorable thinges in the TABERNACLE of MOSES and the TEMPLE of SALOMON, According to Text of Scripture. By Jacob Jehudah Leon, Hebr. Author of the Model of Salomon's Temple, [vignette of the English Royal coat of arms] At Amsterdam, Printed by Peter Messchaert, in the Stoof stench, 1675'. The production of this booklet entitles Leon to three 'firsts' in Anglo-Jewish history. First, it bears on the title-page a reproduc? tion of the Royal Warrant or coat of arms of the English Royal Family with the well-known motto 'Dieu et Mon Droit', thus signifying Royal approval and patronage. This is the first recorded use of the Royal Warrant by a Jew. The use of the Royal Arms in this manner has always been strictly controlled and cer? tainly required Royal permission in Leon's time. It is unlikely that Leon would have used the Royal insignia without permission if he was proposing to present the book bearing it to the King. The probability is that the Royal pat? ronage extended to Leon by Queen Henrietta Maria during her stay in Holland included a warrant or permission to use the Royal in? signia. The second unusual feature of the booklet is that it is prefaced by a Dedication to Charles II and this is a historic document in itself, as it is the first instance of a dedication to the reigning King of England composed by a Jew. The Dedication reads as follows: May it please your Sacred Majestie But the love of the Divine worship, that imparalel Pietie of your Majestie, known not only to your Brittains, but to all Europe, cals for the Protection, not of the most magnifi? cent structures of this World, but of a build 9 For information as to the discovery of this Dutch broadsheet and its significance, see note by Lewis Edwards in Q.C. Lodge Transactions, Vol. 73, 1961, p. 52.</page><page sequence="6">Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo) 125 ing, though made with hands, yet that hath God Himself for the Architect thereof; Vouchsafe therefore, most Potent Prince, Great Brittain's Protector and Defender of the things of God, to cast a Benign eye upon what is here represented to your Sacred Majestie, it being the Exact form of the Tabernacle, so as it was in the Wilderness, with the structure of Salomons Temple, the Holy Vessels, Garments and Utensils thereof delineated and set forth to the life. The which as it was graciously owned with devote affec? tion 30 years ago and upwards, by that Serene Queen, your Majesties Mother, so be pleased most Noble Prince to imitate her Pietie. The Lord God of the whole earth preserve your Majestie for the Good of your great Empire; which is the prayer of him that in all humilitie casteth himself at your Majesties Feet. Jacob Jehudah Leon Hebrew But above all it is the prayer for the pros? perity of the King which Leon incorporated as a separate item which calls for special mention.10 This prayer is based on the one used in syna? gogue by the Jews of Amsterdam and is the first Jewish prayer in English for an English King. Menasseh ben Israel had included a refer? ence to this prayer in his 'Humble Addresses' to Oliver Cromwell some ten years earlier, but this is the first occasion when it was used as a prayer. No doubt Leon incorporated it in his booklet to strengthen his claim to Royal pat? ronage. The Prayer reads as follows: A Prayer for the Prosperitie of his Royal Majestie. He that sends deliverance to Kings, and giveth Dominion to Princes, whose Kingdom and Dominion is everlasting: He that delivered David his servant from the Peril lous sword, And he who made a way through the Red Sea, and Pathes through the River Jordan: He himself blesse, preserve, assist, make great, and more and more Exalt our Gracious Lord CHARLES the II, King and Protector of England, Scotland, France and Yreland, The King of Kings by his Merciful Benevolence preserve, Vivifie, and deliver him from all trouble and danger. The King of Kings encrease and highten the Star of his Constellation, to prolong his dayes over his glorious Kingdome. The King of Kings put it into his heart, and into the hearts of his Nobles and Princes, to use benigne Clemen cie towards Us, and to the Israel of God, our brethren under his Dominion: Amen. After this noble oration the text of the booklet itself is something of an anti-climax. It is an English version of the earlier booklets and con? tains a description of the Tabernacle and the Temple, the contents thereof, and the garments of the priests and the High Priest. Nevertheless, the contents of this booklet are of some importance to students of Masonic history in view of the subsequent claim by Grand Secretary Dermott to have found the design for the coat of arms of his Masonic Grand Lodge while visiting Leon's models in London. It is accordingly necessary to describe these contents. Chapter I deals with the . . Camp of the Israelites rounde about the Tabernacle'. This chapter describes the division of the tribes into twelve parts, each with their own standards or banners, and with the Tabernacle in the centre of the camp. Chapter II describes the Temple and Chap? ter III describes the vessels and instruments therein. This description includes the statement that . . the most glorious [ornaments] were the Arke of the Covenant, that was wholly covered with Gold and with two golden cheru bims'. The significance of these two descriptions will be appreciated later. But it is Chapter V which contains the important link with the Masonic coat of arms. In this chapter Leon deals with the garments of the priests and in particular the garments worn by the High Priest. This pas? sage ends with a description of the golden plate worn by the High Priest and (said Leon) 'upon 10 For further reference to this prayer and its place in Anglo-Jewish history, see Rev. S. Singer, 'The Earliest Jewish Prayers for the Synagogue', Trans. JHSE, 1899-1901, p. 102.</page><page sequence="7">126 A. L. Shane this golden plate were driven or beaten out letters to bee read, namely Kodes Laadonnai, which is interpred, Holinesse to the Lord'. The text ends with this passage and a reader of the booklet could not fail to have noticed it. One such reader was Laurence Dermott, a Masonic Grand Secretary, who, as we shall see, not only refers to the booklet but actually adopts this phrase as the motto for his coat of arms. This booklet was obviously intended to be sold in conjunction with the exhibition of the models in England and we now know that the models came here in about 1675, together with the descriptive literature, and were on exhibi? tion in London for a number of years. The question arises: did Leon come with the models ? No positive answer can be given, but the evidence suggests that he did. First, there is the warmth of the Dedication to King Charles II in the Description of 1675, with its leference to the King's mother having previously visited the model and acknowledged it to be true likeness and followed by the invitation to King Charles to do the same. Leon, if he followed the usual practice of the time, would have wished to present a copy of the booklet with this invitation to the King in London. And he certainly would have wished to be present when the King inspected the model, just as his Royal mother had done. The probability that Leon came with the model is strengthened by the fact that we know for certain that Leon's wife, Rachel, came to London and was here in 1675 and it would have been most unusual for a Jewish woman to have travelled without her husband at that time. We have the silent testimony of a tomb? stone in the Old Cemetery (the Bethahaim Velho) of the Spanish-Portuguese Jewish congregation at Mile End Road to confirm this. Thanks to the efforts of such distinguished scholars as the late Rev. D. B. de Mesquita, Dr. R. D. Barnett, and now Dr. A. S. Diamond, the history of the Old Cemetery and many of the people buried there is well known and their respective works are the authorities on the subject.11 They drew attention to two entries in the Burial Register and in particular to an inscription on one of the tombstones which indicated that Leon's wife Rachel was buried in the cemetery and possibly Leon as well. Their researches were supplemented by those of the late Wilfred S. Samuel, who took a photograph of the tombstone in question, and I am fortunate to have it in my possession together with a manuscript note which Mr. Samuel made at the time transcribing the inscription on it. All these researchers are agreed that tomb? stone No. 21 is that of Rachel, the wife of Leon, who is stated as having died on 16 Kislev 5436, corresponding to December 1675. They disagree, however, as to the reading of the inscription on the tombstone and in particular as to whether Rachel is described as the 'Wife' of Leon or his 'Widow'. Dr. R. D. Barnett and the late W. S. Samuel both maintain that the reading should be 'Viuva', i.e., Widow, and in this they are supported by the fact that the entry in the Burial Register clearly states that grave No. 21 is that of Rahel Va. do H. H. Jb. Jehudah Leao, 'who was buried on 16 Kisleu 5436 "sin piedra" '. Dr. A. S. Diamond supports the other view. He points out that the entries in the Burial Register are not contemporary entries but were made later and are not always accurate. In par? ticular, the entry 'sin piedra', i.e., 'without stone', is clearly wrong, as there is obviously a tombstone which still exists. Dr. Diamond's claim that the entries in the Burial Register cannot be relied upon is supported by ref? erence to entry No. 28, which purports to record that 'Jb. Yehudah Leao' also was buried on 16 Kisleu 5436 but no grave or tombstone has been found in the cemetery to corroborate this entry. However, the dispute would seem to be settled by the authorities in Amsterdam, who state that Leon died on 26 Tamuz 5435?i.e., 11 Their respective works are: (a) Rev. D. Bueno de Mesquita, 'The Historical Associations of the Ancient Burial Ground of the Sephardi Jews', Trans. JHSE, 1921-1923, p. 225. (b) Dr. R. D. Barnett, 'The Burial Register of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews', JHSE Miscellanies, Part VI, 1962. (c) Dr. A. S. Diamond, 'The Cemetery of the Resettlement', Trans. JHSE XIX, 1955-1959, p. 163, and also 'The Community of the Resettlement', Trans. JHSE, XXIV, 1970-1973, p. 139.</page><page sequence="8">Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo) 127 July/August 1675, and was buried at the old Jewish cemetery at Oudekerk.12 The best explanation one can give derived from these facts is that Leon came to London early in 1675 together with his models and English booklet and accompanied by his wife Rachel; that he returned to Amsterdam shortly afterwards, leaving his wife in London, and that he died suddenly in Amsterdam in July/ August of that year. The fact that Leon left his wife in London would seem to indicate that he intended to return and it is highly probable that he left his wife with relatives. Indeed, it has been argued that Leon left his wife with his son Abraham Judah Leon, who was either already in London or who came with his father and mother. However, all that is known for certain is that the List of Seatholders of the synagogue in London for the year 5442 (1682) shows Abra? ham de Lea? Templo as having been allocated seat No. 21 on the right-hand side of the Ark, so that he was evidently an established member of the congregation by this date.13 The addition of 'Templo' to Abraham's name here is note? worthy and is the only instance of its use in the synagogue records. Abraham was a qualified Rabbi and fol? lowed in his father's footsteps, for in 1685 he was appointed Rubi or teacher to the London congregation's school, a post which he held until his death in 1707. His death is recorded in the Burial Register in entry No. 283 under date 9 Tisri 5467. Earlier, in 1694, Abraham was involved in a remarkable incident involving his colleague Joseph Abendanon. These two men could not get on together and their quarrels and unseemly conduct became a public scan? dal, which resulted in the Mahamad suspend? ing both men from their offices as Rubi. Abraham Judah Leon had a son, Isaac, and two daughters, Lea and Rachel, who later figure in the history of the models. It is clear from the Address to King Charles II in the English Relation that Leon was hop? ing that the King would follow his Royal mother's example and inspect the model. In this hope Leon must have been disappointed, for there is no evidence that the King ever visited the exhibition or saw the model. Nor is there any evidence of any meeting between the King and Leon. The story that Leon was received at the Palace of Whitehall by King Charles in 1675 and showed the King the model can be traced to the very fanciful biography of Leon com? posed by David Franco at Berlin in 1788. This work is generally regarded as unreliable but nevertheless the story of Leon's reception by King Charles II put forward with much detail by Franco has been so widely accepted as true that it is necessary to recall it if only to show how fanciful it was.14 Franco writes: Tn the year 1675 he [Leon] made his way with the model of the Temple, already men? tioned with the permission of the above holy congregation and went to London the royal city of England. He was received at the King's palace with honour and he showed him the Model of the Temple and the uten? sils and the King was very glad to see them and to hear about their quality and use. He also gave him a present and a letter sealed and signed that permission is given to him alone and no one else to show the work in all his Kingdom to all his subjects and citizens in day light at his sole discretion and to make money profit without any let hindrance or trespass. Afterwards he returned to the Continent to his work and his burden . . . .' As already mentioned, there is no evidence of any kind to support this Royal meeting. The 12 This information was communicated to me in a letter from the Custodian of the Historical Jewish Cemeteries of Holland. A further communication from Dr. S. Hart, the Director of the Municipal Archives of Amsterdam, states that the burial registers of the Portuguese-Jewish community of Amsterdam are missing for the period 1630-1680. 13 See Albert M. Hyamson, The Sephardim of England (1951), p. 51 and Appendix III. 14 David Franco, Hamaasef ('The Collector'), in which he attempts a biographical account of Leon (Berlin, 1788). Dr. Steinschneider and others say this account is not reliable but nevertheless Franco's fanci? ful account of Leon's visit to London has been widely accepted. It was repeated by James Picciotto in his Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History (1875), p. 44. and through him and Lucien Wolf's acceptance of the story into many standard works of reference. I am grateful to Mr. Bernard Braham for providing a translation of this work, which is in difficult Rabbinic Hebrew.</page><page sequence="9">128 A. L. Shane English diarists were particularly active during the reign of Charles IL They treated the Royal Family with scant respect and were mostly shocked by this King's wanton behaviour. They recorded his daily affairs, both public and private, in great detail and they would have been the first to record such an unusual event as a meeting between the King and a visiting Dutch Rabbi or a visit to the exhibition of the models. The absence of any record by the diarists of any such meeting or visit is almost conclusive proof in itself that they did not take place. It has been suggested that Leon made more than one copy of his models, the first having been presented as a gift or sold to Queen Henrietta Maria on her inspecting them in Holland in 1642. However, the story of the Queen having acquired the models is based on a misunderstanding of Leon's subsequent reminder to Charles II of what his mother had done at this visit. What the Queen had then 'graciously owned' (as Leon put it) was not the models but that they were '. . . the exact form . . .' of the Tabernacle and Temple?i.e., owned their correctness. The dictionaries of the period give the primary meaning of the verb 'to own' as 'to acknowledge' and a carry-over of this original meaning is to be found in the current expression 'to own up', meaning to acknowledge or confess the truth. As stated, Leon went back to Holland in 1675, leaving his wife in London, and it would seem that the models stayed in London with her, for there is no evidence of their being exhibited in Holland after Leon's death. On the other hand, there is evidence of the models' being on exhibition in London after Leon's visit and for some years afterwards. The evidence is contained in another record in the library of an English cathedral, this time Wells Cathedral. In this library is a manuscript history of the cathedral written about 1680 by Peter Chyle, the Bishop's Secretary.15 In the course of this history Peter Chyle wrote: posed by Rabbi Leon, a Jew of the Hebrew nation, which has been, and still is, common to be seene in London; and if we may believe their papers and report, was seven years in contriving, making, finishing, doubtless very exact, and worth any inquisative person's view and contemplation.' This reference to the model is very revealing. It confirms beyond doubt that the model did come to London, where it seems to have gained the same popularity as on the Continent, so that it was on show for at least five years. And it also confirms that 'papers'?i.e., descriptive booklets, were on sale which would have included Leon's English booklet. We do not hear of the models again for some 76 years and when we do they are still in England. They turn up as one of the bequests in the will of one Isaac Lyon, who died in 1756 and whose will, dated 1 July 1756, was proved in London in that year. Isaac Lyon left to his nephew Moses de Castro 'the Model of the Temple of Solomon and Tabernacle of Moses with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging which said Temple and Tabernacle at the present time the said Moses de Castro hath in his possession'.16 This 'Isaac Lyon' is none other than Isaac Leon, the son of Rabbi Abraham Judah Leon, to whom reference has already been made. The nephew, Moses de Castro, is one of the sons of Lea Leon, who is recorded as having married Isaac Pereira de Castro on 9 Tamuz 1708. Moses was accordingly a great-grandson of Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon, of Amsterdam. His full name was Moses Pereyra de Castro and he is identified as the gentleman of that name who in 1747 was appointed Clerk to the Beth Holim or communal hospital, which was opened in Leman Street, London, in 1748. Moses, however, proved unsatisfactory as Clerk and was dismissed before the end ofthat year.17 It is clear from the terms of the will of Isaac 'That Model of Solomon's Temple com 15 First published in a note in The Freemason of 24 June 1882, signed 'A Masonic Student', who was later identified as being B. Woodford, a respected Masonic historian. 16 Listed by A. P. Arnold, M.A., in 'Anglo Jewish Wills and Letters of Administration', published in Anglo-Jewish Notabilities (noted above), p. 184. I am indebted to Mr. Alfred Rubens for placing at my disposal his correspondence with Ronald D'Arcy Hart and others relating to this will. 17 Hyamson. See note 13, above.</page><page sequence="10">Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo) 129 Lyon that he had given the model to his nephew, Moses de Castro, during his lifetime and this must be the same person as the gentle? man calling himself 'M. P. Decastro a near relative of the Author' who was the proprietor of the model in 1778, when it was again on exhibition in London, and who is so described in the English broadsheet which was sold in conjunction with the exhibition. The title-page in full reads: 'an accurate description Of the GRAND and GLORIOUS TEMPLE of SOLOMON. In which are briefly Explain'd, I. The Form of that Fabric. II. The Vessels and Instruments belonging thereto. III. The King's Palace. IV. Fort Antonio, built for the Defence of the Temple. First printed in Hebrew and Spanish at Middleburg, By that celebrated Architect, jacob juda lyon, in the year mdcxlii. Translated by m. p. decastro, (Proprietor of the said Model, and a near Relation to the Author) LONDON: Printed for the above Proprietor, by w. bailey, Wellclose-Square. m,dcc,lxxvtii.' Although the only copy of this broadsheet which appears to have survived is dated 1778, earlier editions of it would un? doubtedly have been published in conjunction with the earlier exhibitions of the model in London, which are now known to have taken place in 1759/60. This 1778 edition of the English booklet is substantially different from the one produced by Leon himself in 1675 and is a revised or up? dated version evidently considered by M. P. Decastro, the then proprietor of the model, to be more suitable for his public. Unlike the earlier booklet, the new one does not bear the Royal insignia and there is no Dedication to the Royal Family. In their place we get a vignette of the well-known portrait of Leon engraved by Conr. Buno depicting Leon holding a measuring rod and line in his right hand while in his left he holds a heraldic shield or crest representing his coat of arms. This booklet forms another link between Leon and the Freemasons' coat of arms. In it we now get the first reference to Leon as an 'Architect' and it will also be noted that his name is now anglicised to 'Lyon'. The booklet opens with a Dedication ad? dressed to the Minister from the Republic of Genoa by 'M. P. de Castro who ventures out of the pale of the Synagogue with dutiful address . . .' to so dedicate it. There then follows the usual preface 'To the Reader', in which De Castro states that: 'Altho' the sacred scriptures and many other Writings speak much concerning the building, as well as the Sumptiousness of Solomon's Temple, yet they vary so greatly in their Accounts, that those who have read those Works have not been able to obtain a competent knowledge of that glorious Fabric. This prompted me to bring those Things to View, which have lain in the dark, and been sepulchred from the thoughts of men for many centuries. To this End the following short Treatise is offer'd to the Publick trans? lated into English from the Original, com? posed by that very learned and great Architect, J. Juda Lyon (HEBREW, printed in the years 1642, 1643 and 1669) the INVENTOR and Maker of the model of the said Temple; giving an exact Description of the whole, divided into Four Parts. 'These 4 Treatieses, I presume, will give a distinct idea of whatever the curious may deserve to know of this wonderful Building the Model of which I have in my possession, made all of wood, with its appendages, being 3? ft. long, East to West, 7 ft. wide, from North to South and H ft. high . . . Which may be seen at No. I, Gun Square, Houndsditch [address handwritten in original], with a complete Explanation tho' this structure is formed in so small a compass yet every thing is distinct and in true proportion; therefore it may strictly be called "THE MODEL OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE". 'Note The Prince of Orange afterwards King William the 3rd honoured the Author by his particular Approbation of this Model in a Letter of Recommendation addressed to the states of Holland; which is in the posses? sion of the Proprietor.' It is clear from this English broadsheet that the model was on exhibition again in London in 1778 but it would seem that it had been on exhibition for some years earlier. Unfortunately no broadsheets or advertisements have come to</page><page sequence="11">130 A. L. Shane light in respect of these earlier London exhibi? tions and we have to rely entirely on the state? ment of Laurence Dermott that the models were in fact on exhibition in 1759 and 1760, in which years, he said, T had the pleasure of perusing and examining both these curiosi? ties. '?8 As Laurence Dermott was the man re? sponsible for introducing Leon into the annals of English Freemasonry, it is necessary to make some reference to him and to the state of English Freemasonry at the time. The first half of the eighteenth century is known as the transi? tional period in English Freemasonry. At the beginning of the period the Masonic lodges were little more than trade guilds of working stonemasons, each of whom was self-governing and owing no allegiance to a central body. By the middle of the eighteenth century the lodges had grouped themselves into two rival fraterni? ties, each with a Grand Lodge at its head. More important, the membership of the lodges had changed dramatically with the change in economic and social conditions. They had ceased to be entirely composed of working or operative stonemasons and they had begun to accept as brother Freemasons men outside the trade of stonemasons who were known as non operative or speculative masons. Again for social reasons it became fashionable to be made a Freemason and members of the Royal Family, nobility, and clergy became members of the fraternity, thus altering its original character still further. The first body calling itself a Grand Lodge of Freemasons was set up in London in 1717. This fraternity called itself the Premier Grand Lodge of England but was generally known as the Grand Lodge of the Moderns, as it was accused of introducing new practices into the fraternity. In 1723, some five years after the formation of this Grand Lodge, Dr. Anderson, its Secretary, published the first 'Book of Constitutions' of English Freemasonry. This book, which was to make its permanent mark on Freemasonry, was not, however, well received by those outside Anderson's Grand Lodge, who continued to charge Dr. Anderson with introducing new practices. In 1751 a new Grand Lodge was formed composed almost entirely of Irishmen, of whom there was a large influx into London at this time seeking work. They named their fraternity 'The Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons' and the lodges which were formed under its aegis claimed that they and they alone were carrying out the original practices and traditions of Free? masonry, with the result that they became known as 'The Ancients'. It is with this Grand Lodge that we are concerned. It not only drew most of its early members from Ireland but maintained close links with the Irish Grand Lodge, which had been established some time before 1725, so much so that its lodges were generally known as the 'Irish Lodges'. These lodges admitted Jews as Freemasons almost from the start, although they were not alone in this, as the Moderns began to do so also.19 The position of Jews with regard to Free? masonry up to that date was this. So long as the fraternity was composed entirely or almost so of 18 An English broadsheet dated 1725 and a number of advertisements in the Daily Courant newspaper covering the period 1725-30 have come to light advertising an exhibition of the Temple of Solomon and Tabernacle of Moses. On first sight they appear to relate to Leon's models but from the stated size of the models and other details it is clear that they relate to the rival exhibition put on by M. Gombrecht or Gumprecht, 'Conseiller du Due de Mecklenburg'. He was exhibiting models of the Temple and Tabernacle produced by Gerhard Schott, a lawyer, of Hamburg (1641-1702). They were much bigger models than those of Leon -?20 ft. square by 12 ft. high?and this is probably the reason why they have survived. They are now housed in the Municipal Museum at Hamburg. Leon's models have disappeared. There is no record of them after 1778, when M. P. De Castro exhibited them. 19 For the circumstances leading to the rise of this Grand Lodge see chapter V of Henry Sadler's Masonic Facts and Fictions, originally published in 1887 but reproduced with notes by Harry Carr in Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, vol. 85 (1972), p. 185, and entitled 'The Origin of the Ancients'. Reference should also be made to the paper of Mr. J. M. Shaftesley, O.B.E., 'Jews in Regular English Freemasonry: 1717-1860,' contained in this volume of Trans. J.H.S.E. An earlier article by Dr. W. J. Chetwode Crawley, 'Rabbi Jacob Jehudah Leon', in Transactions of Q.C. Lodge, vol.* 12. (1899), p. 150, gives a compre? hensive account of Leon's literary works.</page><page sequence="12">Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo) 131 operative stonemasons banded together for the purpose of regulating their employment and supporting each other in times of need, then there was obviously no place in their ranks for Jews, quite apart from their religious beliefs. There were simply no Jewish stonemasons. This certainly was the position in Leon's life? time and although he was later referred to by Dermott as being a 'brother', i.e., a Free? mason, this was virtually impossible in Leon's time if only because of the form of the oath which candidates for admission were obliged to take, which effectively limited the membership to Christians. Leon's visit to England was too short for him to have been made a Freemason here. It is equally unlikely that he would have been made a Freemason in Holland. Freemasonry as we know it began in England and did not expand on to the Continent until the eighteenth century. It was not until 1734 that Freemasonry was established in Holland and the first 'Dutch lodge' was founded at The Hague in that year. Before then, what are known as 'occasional lodges' had been held in Holland, but, as the name implies, these were rare events and when they did take place were regarded as meetings of English lodges. The first of such occasional lodges to be held in Holland of which one can speak with certainty is that held at The Hague in 1731. It was a historic occasion, for at it Francis of Lorraine, the future German Emperor and husband of Maria Theresa, was made a Freemason. Dermott's knowledge of Masonic history was limited, to say the least, but this did not pre? clude him from incorporating in his Book of the Constitution, entitled Ahiman Rezon, a section headed 'The History of Masonry in England'. This account is more fictional than factual but it does reveal the state of mind and beliefs of Dermott. The following extract, relating as it does to Charles II and his exile, is interesting and indicates that Dermott might well have thought that Leon had been made a Free? mason at an occasional lodge. The passage reads: 'The breaking out of the Civil Wars obstructed the progress of Masonry in England for some time. After the Restoration however, it began to revive under the patronage of Charles II who had been received into the Order during his exile'. A footnote to this passage reads: 'Some lodges in the reign of Charles II were constituted by leave of the several noble Grand Masters and many gentlemen and famous scholars requested at that time to be admitted to the Fraternity.' However, by the middle of the eighteenth century, when Dermott wrote his book, the attitude of the two Masonic Grand Lodges towards religion had changed and one conse? quence of this was a change in the form of oath on admission which enabled Jews to become Freemasons and they were then being admitted. So much so that Dermott felt obliged to make some provision for them in his new Book of Constitutions. It has also been suggested that the change made by Dermott's Grand Lodge in 1758 in the date for installations of officers from 'on every St. John's Day' to 'on (or near) every St. John's Day' was done at least in part to meet the feelings of the Jewish brethren. In 1752, a year after the formation of this Grand Lodge of the Ancients, Laurence Dermott was appointed the Grand Secretary, and it is due to his vigorous championship of its cause that it rapidly spread in numbers and authority. Laurence Dermott was an Irishman who had been made a Freemason in Ireland prior to coming to England. He was a half educated man and prone to exhibit such little learning as he possessed on every possible occasion. Dermott's immediate task was to get his new Grand Lodge accepted as the authentic voice of English Freemasonry and in opposition to the Grand Lodge of the Moderns. As part of this task he published in 1756 what was intended to be the Book of Constitutions of his new Lodge. He was obliged to do this if for no other reason than that the Moderns had pub? lished their Book of Constitutions under the authorship of Dr. Anderson in 1723, as already stated. Grand Secretary Dermott gave his book the following title: 'The CONSTITUTION of FREE-MASONRY; or AH I MAN REZON', and the meaning of the words 'Ahiman Rezon' has been the subject-matter of considerable research but no one has yet come up with a really satisfactory answer. It is said by some that the words represent a Hebrew phrase</page><page sequence="13">132 A. L. Shane which Dermott heard or rather mis-heard and subsequently attempted to write down. Others say the words mean 'faithful brother Secre? tary'. In the Address to the Reader, Dermott set out the preparations which he had made when writing his Book of Constitutions, and having described how he furnished himself with a sufficient quantity of pens, ink, and paper, he then proceeded to write that: T placed the following Works round about me so as to be convenient to have Recourse to them as Occasion should require viz. Dr. Anderson and Mr. Spratt directly before me . . . and Mr. Scott and Mr. Lyon behind me.' It has been suggested that Mr. Scott and Mr. Lyon here referred to are none other than Gerhard Schott and Leon, whose respective models of the Temple and the printed books and pamphlets published in connection with them were currently on show in London and had been seen by Dermott. This work Ahiman Rezon is a remarkable literary effort and caused a sensation when published. It contains many items of Jewish interest and among other novelties 'A Prayer said at the opening of the Lodge etc. used by Jewish Free-masons.' This is a lengthy prayer extending over five paragraphs and is accom? panied by a lengthy explanation in which Dermott refers to 'our holy Brother Moses' who he claimed was a Freemason along with Aaron and the seventy elders of Israel. Then follows a lengthy justification by Dermott for this contention, taken, he says, from the Mishna. Even more interesting is the insertion by Dermott of another prayer headed 'Ahabath Olam', which is a rough translation of the Hebrew prayer of that name which appears in the Jewish morning service. Dermott's version even ends with the well-known blessing, 'Blessed art thou, O Lord God, who hast chosen thy people Israel in love'. Dermott says in explanation of his prayer 'See Dr. Woo ton on the Mishna', referring to the famous transla? tion by that English divine. But it is really with the Second Edition of this book published in 1764 that we are concerned. In it there is a new and revised 'Address to the Reader' which brings the story back full circle to Rabbi Leon and his model of the Temple. This second edition contains for the first time a frontispiece which purports to set out the arms of Dermott's Grand Lodge. No doubt the Grand Secretary thought that it would help to establish the dignity of his Grand Lodge if it could be shown to have some armorial bearings of great antiquity and more particularly so if he could trace the grant of the arms back to King Solomon, one of the traditional founders of Freemasonry. Having published the new coat of arms in his book, Dermott felt obliged to make some reference to it and did so in the following pas? sage, which introduces Leon not only as an 'architect' (a description, it is suggested, he took from De Castro's earlier booklet) but also for the first time as a 'brother', i.e., a Free? mason : 'N.B. The free masons arms in the upper part of the frontispiece of this book, was found in the collection of the famous and learned hebrewist, architect and brother, Rabi, Jacob Jehuda Leon. This gentleman at the request of the states of Holland, built a model of Solomon's temple. The design of this undertaking was to build a temple in Holland, but upon surveying the model it was adjudged that the united provinces were not rich enough to pay for it; whereupon the States generously bestowed the model upon the builder, notwithstanding they had al? ready paid him his demand, which was very great. This model was exhibited to public view (by authority) at Paris and Vienna, and afterwards in London, by a patent under the great seal of England, and signed Killi grew in the reign of King Charles the Second. At the same time, Jacob Judah Leon pub? lished a description of the tabernacle and the temple, and dedicated it to his Majesty, and in the years 1759 and 1760 I had the pleasure of perusing and examining both these curiosities. The arms are emblasoned thus, quarterly per squares, countercharged Vert. In the first quarter Asure a lyon rampant Or, in the second quarter Or, an ox passant sable; in the third quarter Or, a man with</page><page sequence="14">Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo) 133 hands erect, proper robed, crimson and ermin; in the fourth quarter Asure, an eagle displayed, Or. Crest, the holy ark of the covenant, proper, supported by Cherubims. Motto, Kodes la Adonai, i.e. Holiness to the Lord.' It will be immediately seen that the design of this coat of arms and Dermott's description of it bear a close similarity to the contents of Leon's English Description of 1675. In par? ticular the motto, which Leon had said was engrossed upon the golden forehead plate of the High Priest, has now become the motto on Dermott's coat of arms. Evidently Dermott felt that his readers would require some explanation of the significance of the design of the coat of arms thus displayed, and he goes on: 'To this I beg leave to add what I have read concerning these arms.' He then quotes a mixed bag of authorities, includ? ing the following, which he attributes to the 'Trad, of the Heb.'?viz.: 'When the Israelites were in the wilder? ness, and encamped in four cohorts, the standard of the tribe of Judah carried a lion, the tribe of Ephraim an ox, the tribe of Ruben a man, and the tribe of Dan an eagle; those four standards composed a Cherubim; therefore God chose to sit upon Cherubims bearing the forms of those ani? mals, to signify, that he was the leader and king of the cohorts of the Israelites.' He concludes: 'As these were the arms of the masons that built the tabernacle and the temple, there is not the least doubt of their being the proper arms of the most antient and honourable fraternity of free and accepted masons, and the continued practice, formalities and tradi? tion, in all regular lodges, from the lowest degree to the most high, i.e. the HOLY ROYAL ARCH, confirms the truth hereof.' Although Dermott published this coat of arms in 1764 and it may have been used as such from that date, the design was not officially adopted for use as the Seal of Grand Lodge until 1 March 1775, as the following minute of that date proves: 'The Grand Secretary produced a Draw? ing of the Arms of the Fraternity and urged many weighty reasons for having them Engraved immediately, to be used in future as the Seal of the Grand Lodge, and also remarked that Mr. Kirk, a person of emi? nence in that branch, informed him that the expense would be about Fifteen Guineas. After many Debates the Grand Lodge order'd that the Arms should be engraved for a Seal in a Masterly manner under the Inspection of Bros. Lau. Dermott . . ., and not to exceed the Sum of Fifteen Pounds fifteen Shillings.' Grand Secretary Dermott's explanation of his newly found coat of arms and its history were received with considerable scepticism by his more learned contemporaries but in the process of time many of his statements have been found to be correct and the link with Leon established. As to the coat of arms itself, its existence was unknown until Dermott drew attention to it, as recorded above. It is clear from the broadsheets and booklets sold in conjunction with these models that not only was there a guide at the exhibition who explained their details to visitors but also that books of pictures and pictorial designs were sold. One of these pictorial designs seems to have caught the attention of Dermott, so that he made inquiries about it and was informed that 'these were the Arms of the masons that built the tabernacle and temple . . .'. Dermott accepted the explanation and was sufficiently impressed at what he had seen and been told to consider that they would make 'proper', i.e., suitable arms for his fraternity of Freemasons. Dermott reinforced his contention by asserting that the suitability of the design was confirmed by 'the practice formalities and tradition' of his fraternity. The case for acceptance of Dermott's state? ment that he saw the design at the exhibition of Leon's models in 1759/60 is reinforced by the fact that an almost identical design seems to have been used for its seal by the Irish Grand Lodge as far back as 1760, as an old Warrant of that year has been found bearing it. But this is the only example of such early use in Ireland</page><page sequence="15">134 A. L. Shane and the next one is dated 1781. Further, there is a record in the minutes of Dermott's own Grand Lodge under date 3 June 1761 of the following disbursement: 'To G.S. Dermott for a new Seal which he got engraved in the year 1760, ?1:11:6.' Unfortunately no document bearing an imprint of this seal has survived, so one is unable to say if it incorporates the same design as the coat of arms attributed to Leon. What, however, can be said for certain is that at least from 1775 onwards both Dermott's Grand Lodge and the Irish Grand Lodge were using seals basically identical in design to that attributed to Leon. It could well be, therefore, that the exhibition of Leon's models in 1759/60 was the original or common source of the design as asserted by Dermott. Despite the scepticism of members of the Moderns, the members of Dermott's own fraternity seemed to have agreed upon the suitability of the design and, as has been shown, it was afterwards adopted as the official coat of arms and the official Seal of the fraternity. Indeed, the design seems to have achieved the same popularity in Masonic circles as the models had achieved outside, and on the Union of the two rival Grand Lodges in 1813 the coat of arms and Seal of the Antients were adopted by the new governing body, the United Grand Lodge of England. The basic design is still used and has also been adopted by overseas Masonic Grand Lodges. So much then for the explanation which Dermott gave his readers in 1764 for adopting the coat of arms of Leon. But Dermott did not stop there, and, as we have seen, he then went on to explain to his readers who Leon was. He gives a short biography of Leon and the history of his models and, allowing for some exaggera? tion, no doubt to impress his readers, what Dermott said is substantially correct. As to Dermott's sources, it is clear he had Jewish friends and no doubt some were brother Masons who may have given him information on Leon which Dermott repeats in this book. One such person could have been Moses Pereyra de Castro himself, although there is no record of his having been a Freemason. It is clear, however, that one of Dermott's sources was the 1675 English edition of Leon's booklet A Relation of the most memorable things in the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Salomon, which had been sold in conjunction with the exhibition of the models in England. This no doubt formed one of the 'papers' which Peter Chyle had noted in his reference to the exhibi? tion of the model. Indeed, Dermott says as much in his statement that '. . . at the same time [i.e., the reign of King Charles II] Jacob Judah Leon published a description of the tabernacle and the temple and dedicated it to his Majesty . . .', and this is of course exactly what Leon did. Dermott goes on to say that the model was exhibited in London in the reign of King Charles II and this again is true. Equally true is the fact that the exhibition would have re? quired Royal approval and this if given would have been signed by Killigrew, just as Dermott said. It is doubtful, however, whether the Great Seal of England would have been re? quired for this purpose. Dermott would seem to have been misled into making this error by seeing the Royal coat of arms on the frontis? piece of Leon's booklet. The gentleman referred to is clearly Thomas Killigrew, who played an important part in the affairs of the Royal Family during its struggle with Cromwell. Killigrew was a trusted courier who carried messages between Charles I and his Royalist supporters and the Queen. He joined Queen Henrietta Maria and her family in Holland during their stay there. He was a close friend of Charles II, who after the Restoration made him Groom of the Bedchamber and Master of Revels. This was a position of some importance and as such Killigrew would have been the person to issue the patent or warrant authoris? ing the exhibition of Leon's models and publica? tion of his books. Dermott's explanation of his coat of arms fits in well with the descriptions given in Leon's books on the Tabernacle of Moses and also with the short descriptions given in the 1675 and 1778 English handbooks. These hand? books contain nearly all the subject-matter of the explanations given by Dermott of his coat of arms, including the motto, 'Kodes la Adonai, i.e., Holiness to the Lord'. Indeed the similarity in wording between Dermott's motto and</page><page sequence="16">Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo) 135 Leon's inscription on the head plate worn by the High Priest is too close to be coincidental. It can only be explained by Dermott having extracted the quotation from Leon's book and attaching it to his newly acquired coat of arms. Moreover, Leon was fascinated by the Cherubim, which came a close second to his interest in the Temple. He wrote a book about them and illustrations of them are invariably incorporated in the illustrations to his books. In fact, he was so prone to use them as illustrations that they can be treated as almost being Leon's trade-mark. The design adopted by Dermott for his coat of arms features Cherubim both as supporters and as part of the crest, where they are depicted in their traditional Jewish role as covering the holy Ark of the Covenant. All this is just as described by Leon and the inference of some association is almost inescapable. But all this is special pleading and really unnecessary. Dermott says he saw the design of his coat of arms at the exhibition of the model. No alternative source has been produced and the evidence now available corroborates the correctness of most of what Dermott said about Leon. There would appear to be no valid reason now to reject Dermott's claim to have seen the design when he visited Leon's models. But whether Leon actually executed the design or engraved it is another matter.20 There is no clear evidence that Leon was an artist, engraver, or that he even illustrated his own books. Nor was he an architect save in the widest sense of that word.21 It is noteworthy that Surenhusius, in his reference to the designs which he used in 1698 to illustrate his edition of the Mishna, says only that they 'came from' Leon, whom Suren? husius describes as a cultured man well known for his literary works. He did not assert that Leon was an artist or designer nor that Leon had himself executed the pictorial designs which he used. But Leon clearly commissioned these pic? torial designs and Leon's text and ideas must have influenced them, so that to that extent at least he was the author of them and that is what really matters. This leaves only the models themselves to be considered. Surenhusius says in the extract quoted that Leon himself constructed the model of the Temple of Solomon and this has been followed by David Franco and others. If so, this presumably must be the source of the otherwise inexplicable entry in the List of Illustrations in Vol. VIII of the Jewish Encyclo? paedia, which describes Leon simply and solely as 'Dutch Mechanician'. In contrast, Gerhard Schott says that 'the best Hands of Mechanicks' were employed in making his models. The time has now surely come to remove the myths which have crept into the Leon saga largely as a result of what David Franco and Lucien Wolf have written. What can be said with certainty is: (1) That Leon was a learned Rabbi and teacher, with a particular interest in the Temple of Solomon and everything associated with it. (2) That he made a wooden model of the Temple and of the Tabernacle which aroused wide interest and made him famous. (3) That he wrote a number of booklets in connection with the exhibitions of his model and produced illustrations and 'picture books' to be sold thereat, the authorship of which is not settled. 20 One of the original and main protagonists for Leon as the designer of the Masonic coat of arms was Lucien Wolf. As early as 1888 he was respon? sible with W. H. Rylands, a distinguished Masonic historian, for the Note to Item 618 in the Catalogue of the Anglo-Jewish Exhibition of 1887, entitled 'Masonic Arms'. This item consisted of a painted mahogany panel bearing a coat of arms similar to that described by Dermott. This (said the learned writers) 'was designed by Jacob Jehuda Leon, surnamed Templo, who visited London in 1678 with a model of the Temple which he was permitted to exhibit to Charles II and his Court.' Wolf repeated this claim and set out his reasons in a paper 'Anglo Jewish Coats of Arms', Trans. J HSE Vol. II, 1894, p. 153, and followed it up with a further paper to the Authors' Lodge of Freemasons (Transactions, Vol. I] in 1915 boldly entitled 'An Early Jewish Freemason.' Unfortunately, Wolf advanced no new evidence and such as he does produce does not support his claims. 21 For a discussion of Leon's position in architec? ture see Dr. Helen Rosenau, 'Jacob Judah Leon Templo's Contribution to Architectural Imagery', Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol. 23, 1972, p. 72.</page><page sequence="17">136 A. L. Shane (4) That Leon came with the model to England hoping that King Charles II would receive him but there is no evidence that the King did. (5) That the model remained in England with members of Leon's family and was ex? hibited again in London in 1759-1760, when it was seen by Dermott. (6) That Dermott subsequently adopted as the coat of arms of his Masonic Grand Lodge a design he had seen at the exhibition of the models, but the identity of the person who actually made the design is not proved. (7) That Leon was not a Freemason and was not commissioned to design a Masonic coat of arms nor did he design one of his own volition. [See PLATES XIX &amp; XX]</page><page sequence="18">PLATE XIX [See 'Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo)'] IW?tedby VillthcStocf-fteech, 167 ^ Title-page of Leon Templo's description, in the English edition of 1675, of the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Solomon. It includes the English Royal coat-of-arms, the first recorded use of the Royal Warrant by a Jew (Reproduction from the copy of the booklet in the Mocatta Library, University College London)</page><page sequence="19">PLATE XX [See 'Rabbi Jacob Judah Leon (Templo)9] For ^,^0fp^ / Royal M^jf*ityg 1 EfJktf /?u?r deliverance to Kjngs\ &lt; */Vf/? Dominion to fraces~ ' Kingdom and Dominion is e*l ^om tbeTeriUous /word, Andhe\ made a way through the fyd Sea , &lt;md f f?rwg? ^ &lt;HfVer Jordan : He himfelf preferVe, &lt;^?/2, make great, and more*arid) Exalt our Gracious Lord C^^^LES the IL IQng and TroteElor of England, Sfotland, "Bran and Irelandytbe %mg of IQngs hf his Mercij (Benevolence preferVe , Vivifie , and deliver from all trouble and danger. The IQng of " encreafe and highten the Star of hit Conflei to prolong his dayes over his glorious IQngdome. Xjng offings put it into hit heart &gt; and into tl hearts of hit Nolles and Princes, to ufe benigi Clemencie towards Us, and to the Ifratl of God, our brethren under hit !Dommn: Jam* TO Leon Templo's Prayer for King Charles II, in his 1675 booklet (see Plate XIX), the first Jewish prayer in English for an English king (Mocatta Library, University College London)</page></plain_text>

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