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Sir I. L. Goldsmid and the Admission of the Jews of England to Parliament

Lionel Abrahams

<plain_text><page sequence="1">SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. By LIONEL ABRAHAMS. The majority of the documents printed below have been selected from two volumes, formerly belonging to the late Sir Julian Goldsmid, which contain a portion of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid's correspondence on political and social subjects. These volumes were exhibited at the Anglo-Je wish Historical Exhibition of 1887,1 and were described by Mr. Joseph Jacobs and Mr. Lucien Wolf in Bibliotlieca Anglo-Judaic a (pp. xxiii-iv). A few of the letters have been printed by Dr. Lciwy and Professor Marks in their life of Sir F. H. Goldsmid, but the majority have been unpublished up to the present time. It appeared to the Executive Committee of the Jewish Historical Society of England that a service would be rendered to the study of the history of the Jews of England if a selection of the letters bearing on the public affairs of the Jewish community could be made accessible to the public. Through the kindness of Mr. C. G. Montefiore, formerly President of the Society, I was allowed to examine the volumes and to copy for publication those portions which appeared to be of most general interest. The selections which I have made bear entirely on the great question which was the chief interest of Sir I. L. Goldsmid's life from 1829 onwards, viz., the removal of the civil disabilities of the Jews of England. As a record of his labours they are, of course, incomplete; nevertheless they serve to indicate how much his energy, ability, and public spirit contributed to the ultimate success of the cause. Notes have been prefixed to several of the letters explaining as 1 See item No. 799 in the catalogue of the Exhibition.</page><page sequence="2">ADMISSION OF THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 117 far as possible the circumstances in which they were written and the historical allusions which they contain. It seems desirable, how? ever, to attempt to give in the form of an introduction a connected account of the civil disabilities under which the Jews of England laboured in the early years of the nineteenth century, and of the causes by which their removal was delayed. The civil disabilities of the Jews in England were the result of a system of injustice. But the system, unjust though it was, was not one of deliberate or conscious injustice. The chief importance of the Jewish emancipation struggle lies in the fact that it was a staue in the contest against a political principle that had been conscientiously maintained in England for centuries, in the belief that it was one of the safeguards of the national existence. That principle was that, inasmuch as the State recognised the religion of the Church of England as being the one true form of religion, no State duties of importance should be entrusted to those who did not profess membership of that Church. Strange results sprang from this system. Under it Pitt, if he had been a dissenter, could have taken no part in the Government of England, and Nelson, if he had been a Catholic, could never have been an officer in the British Navy. But generations of Englishmen had lived and died in the honest belief that to abandon the principle of exclusion would have been to imperil the interests of freedom, religion, and morality. And so long as all Roman Catholics were excluded from Parliament, and there were excluded from public enployment all Christians except those who subscribed to the doctrines of the Church of England, English Jews could not with any show of reason ask for a removal of their civil disabilities. But in 1828 and 1829 a political revolution was effected. In those two years Protestant dissenters and Roman Catholics were relieved of practically all their disabilities. Roman Catholics were admitted to Parliament; Catholics and dissenters were admitted to public employment : the principle of exclusion was apparently thrown to the winds: and it appeared as though the inevitable consequence of this act must be the removal of the disabilities of the Jews. At once certain members of the Jewish community, of whom Mr. Goidsmid seems to have been the most energetic, decided to take action. The legal disabilities under which the Jewish community laboured</page><page sequence="3">118 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF were in appearance very numerous. There were some which produced no practical inconvenience, but were only a source of general insecurity. For example, no one appears to have been certain whether the Jews had any right to be in England at all, and whether the royal order by which they had been banished in 1290 was not still in force. No one knew for certain whether they had a right to hold land. Doubts of this nature, though their removal would have been desirable, had no practical effect. But there were besides a great number of real disabilities resulting from the tests and formulas which had to be satisfied as a condition of admission to various offices and rights. These tests were very uncertain in their application. There were some that were invariably applied to the disadvantage of the Jews ; there were others which were sometimes applied and sometimes neglected; there were others which were habitually neglected, but which might at any time have been revived. The effect of the system of tests as it worked when the movement for Jewish emancipation began was practically this?Jews were excluded from Parliament, from high rank in the Army and Navy, from membership of the University of Oxford, and from degrees, scholarships, fellowships, and positions of emolument in the University of Cambridge. There were other positions from which they might be excluded, but their exclusion depended on the action of local bodies or individuals, not on that of the Government. They might be excluded from voting at Parliamentary elections, if the Returning Officer cared to exercise the powers that were entrusted to him; they could be prevented from becoming barristers if the Inns of Court did. not feel disposed to stretch a point of law in their favour; they could be kept out of corporate offices wherever a Corporation wished to keep them out; and in the City of London, as is well known, they were prevented l?y local regulations from becoming freemen, and were therefore unable to carry on retail trade. Of this collection of disabilities some were removed in consequence of the efforts of Jewish public men, some were quietly abolished at the suggestion of Christian friends of religious liberty, some were swept away unnoticed in the course of legal changes not directly intended to affect Jews. But from the beginning of the emancipation movement to the end, it was realised alike by the friends and opponents of the Jewish</page><page sequence="4">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 119 claims that the question of the admission of Jews to Parliament was far more important than any other question relating to the civil rights of the Jews that could possibly arise. It was not that Jewish rights required to be defended in Parliament by Jewish members. Fortunately Parliament seldom concerns itself with Jewish affairs ? and, wrhen it does so, our interests are as safe in the hands of non Jews as in those of Jews. The importance of the admission of Jews to Parliament consisted, so far as the Jews themselves were concerned, in the fact that their admission was the one and only way in which they could be recognised beyond cavil or doubt as full members of the British Empire. So far as the opponents of the Jewish claims were concerned, the matter was equally important, because, the Jews once admitted, there was an end to the pious and comfortable doctrine that the British Parliament ought to be an exclusively Christian Parliament. Thus it happened that, while nearly all the disabilities specially affecting Jews were removed before Queen Victoria's ac? cession to the throne, the opposition to their admission to Parliament was successfully carried on till 1858. Few of those who opened the campaign in 1828 can have antici? pated so prolonged a resistance. When Catholic emancipation'was granted, not by a Liberal Govern? ment, but by the Luke of Wellington, who was popularly regarded as the most determined of all upholders of ancient institutions, it seemed as though Jewish emancipation must be near at hand. For years there had been in the country a strong body of opinion in favour of the removal of religious tests. Without it, indeed, Catholic emancipation would have been impossible. In the House of Commons, long before Catholic emancipation was actually granted, resolutions had been repeatedly carried in its favour, while in the House of Lords itself there were many peers, especially on the Liberal side, who were keenly in favour of religious equality. It will be seen from Mr. Goldsmid's correspondence that one of these Liberal peers, Lord Holland, the nephew and disciple of Charles James Fox, worked on behalf of Jewish emancipation with a devotion and persistency that no member of the Jewish community could have surpassed. And, of course, outside Parliament the emancipation of the Catholics and dissenters gave an enormous accession of strength to the supporters of the Jewish claims,</page><page sequence="5">120 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF because, among Catholics and dissenters alike, there was a keen and generous feeling in favour of the concession to others of the benefits that they themselves had just received. In short, after Catholic emancipation, the prospects of Jewish emancipation were very en? couraging, and in 1829 representatives of the Jewish community decided to ascertain whether the Government was willing to carry its new policy of religious tolerance a little further, and to admit the Jews to Parliament. The Duke of Wellington was accordingly approached by Mr. Rothschild, Mr. Goldsmid and others; and his expressions were, on the whole, not unfriendly. He advised the Jews to wait. Catholic emancipation, he said, had created a great turmoil, and the public mind must have time to settle down before another measure of the same tendency was introduced. If the Jews delayed for a year or two it was quite possible that, when their case came on, it might have the support of the Government. The Jewish representatives thought that the postponement for a year of the emancipation of their co-religionists was not unreasonable, and they decided to accept the Duke of Wellington's advice. In 1829, therefore, no Parliamentary action was taken; but in the following year a bill was introduced for the removal of all disabilities affecting natural-born Jewish subjects; and the friends of the Jewish claims fully expected that it would become law. It was passed by the House of Commons, but the Lords threw it out; and, to summarise a long and tedious history, they continued for twenty-eight years to throw out similar measures. Bill after bill, resolution after resolution, was passed by the House of Commons expressing their desire to admit Jews. The Lords said " No," and they continued to say "No" ; and when at last they had to submit to the popular will, most of those, both Jews and Christians, who had first been prominent in urging the removal of Jewish disabilities were at rest in their graves. What was the cause of this denial of the full rights of citizenship to the Jews in a country which had apparently decided that religious disabilities were to become a thing of the past ? One answer to this question is given in one of the most interesting letters in Mr. Goldsmid's collection by a man who had been the chief combatant on behalf of the principles of religious equality. In 1829 Daniel O'Connell wrote to thank Mr. Goldsmid for his congratulations on the Catholic victory,</page><page sequence="6">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 121 and gave him some advice as to the way in which the Jewish claims might best be presented. "You must," he said, "force your question on Parliament. You ought not to confide in English liberality. It is a plant not genial to British soil. . . . The English were always perse? cutors. Before the so-styled Reformation, the English tortured the Jews, and strung up in scores the Lollards. After that Reformation they still roasted the Jews and hung the Papists. In Mary's days, the English with their usual cruelty retaliated the tortures on the Pro? testants. Af ier her short reign, there were nearly two centuries of the most barbarous and unrelenting cruelty exercised towards the Catholics, a cruelty the more emaciating because it was sought to be justified, by imputing to them tenets and opinions which they always rejected and abhorred. The Jews too suffered in the same way. I once more repeat, Do not confide in any liberality, but that which you will your? self rouse into action and compel into operation." O'Connell fresh from his victory would naturally regard his defeated opponents as persecutors and bigots, and would ascribe to their bigotry any opposition that might be offered to the Jewish claims. But, if one reads through the Parliamentary Debates to which the Jewish question gave rise, one finds very little of the persecuting spirit. Violent lan? guage is rare. There are few traces of dislike of the Jewish race. One finds on the part of the opponents of the admission of Jews to Parlia? ment, serious arguments, some of which, even at this distance of time, after all the changes in political and religious thought that seventy years have produced, are far from being unconvincing. One line of argument was that the Jew, peaceful and honourable and law-abiding as he might be, could not, by virtue of his race and religion, regard England in the same spirit in which other Englishmen regard it, as their home and the future home of their descendants, the country on whose prosperity their own prosperity must depend. The Jew, it was sometimes urged, was a cosmopolitan, to whom one country was as welcome a home as another, and to whom the choice of England in preference to France or Germany was a mere matter of convenience. At other times it was urged that the Jew regarded Palestine as his one and only home, and that any other habitation must be to him a place of exile from which it was his highest hope to be released as soon as possible. If this had been true?if the Jew had been in England as</page><page sequence="7">122 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF a mere cosmopolitan or an unwilling exile?there would have been good reason for denying him the right to belong to the Legislature while granting him all other civil and personal rights. This was the course repeatedly defended by Dr. Arnold. Dr. Arnold was, according to his lights, a sincere friend of religious toleration. He was in favour of every measure of liberality to Roman Catholics and Dissenters and Unitarians ; but to the Jews he would have conceded no higher position than that of privileged sojourners. " The Jews," he says, " are voluntary strangers in this country. . . . England belongs to the English, and the English may most justly say that they will admit no stranger to be one of their society." Fortunately these opinions did not take deep root. The Jews of England had no difficulty in persuading Parliament that they were neither cosmopolitans nor exiles awaiting their return to Palestine, but Englishmen to whom England was not a temporary resting-place, but their only home on earth. And, as the emancipation struggle wore on, this doubt as to the position of the Jew as an Englishman ceased to have any important influence on the issue. The other force that was opposed to the Jewish claims was, of course, the spirit of loyalty to the Church of England and the desire to preserve as much as possible of its ancient position. Seventy years ago the doctrine that the true interests of religion were opposed to political equality between Jews and Christians, and between different sects of Christians, had begun to be seriously discredited in England ; but it still had powerful adherents; statesmen and political writers supported it, and, above all, the clergy of the Church of England defended it with the obstinacy of the men who thought that their last and greatest privilege was at stake. The emancipation of the Catholics and the Dissenters, which the English Jews welcomed as a sign that the era of religious equality had set in, called forth among the clergy deep and furious resentment, and a determination to resist all further encroach? ments. The Church of England is never so strong as when it is panic-stricken, and the legislation of 1828 and 1829, followed almost immediately by the great Reform Act, produced such a panic in the Church of England as it has seldom experienced. The history of the clerical reaction against reform and religious equality can be read in the letters and pamphlets and the Parliamentary proceedings of the time</page><page sequence="8">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 123 but most fully in the literature of that famous reactionary outbreak, the Oxford movement. If one studies some of the clerical literature of the period when Catholic emancipation had been granted and Jewish emancipation was proposed, one seems to be listening to voices from a bygone century?so deep is the belief of the defenders of the Church in the sacred cause of political disabilities, so gloomy are the prognostications of what must result from their removal. In his famous sermon on National Apostasy, Keble, who was really a gentle, inoffensive country clergyman, preaches doctrines on the subject of civil and religious liberty, such as one might expect from a conscientious priest brought up by the directors of the In? quisition. The burden of his utterance is that the English nation has become apostate and alienated from God; and the act of iniquity which has led to this result is the admission of the Catholics to Parliament. In the literature of the period one can find expressions of even greater hatred on the part of the Church of England towards the policy of religious equality. It would be a waste of time to dwell long on these exhibitions of ecclesiastical feeling. It is enough to say that an influential section of the clergy regarded the admission to Parliament of persons other than Protestants as the abandonment of one of their foremost principles of public morality. By men who so loathed and dreaded the concession of full civil rights to their own fellow Christians, with what feeling was it likely that a proposal to extend those rights to Jews would be received ? There is an outspoken expression of opinion on the subject of the Jewish claims by the most influential member of the High Church Party, Dr. Pusey, and it is worth recalling, because the occasion which drew it forth was a particularly interesting one. In 1847, Pusey and his friends had worked hard to secure the election of Mr. Gladstone as one of the members of Parliament for the University of Oxford? A few months after his election, Mr. Gladstone (who had at one time opposed the Jewish claims) stated that he had changed his views and now felt it his duty to support the admission of the Jews. Pusey was horror stricken, and wrote a letter of agonised protest. "Had I known," he said, "that you wrould have joined in what I account an Anti-Christian measure, I should not have helped to put you in a position which would have led to such a result. I would rather for your own soul's sake that</page><page sequence="9">124 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF you had been out of Parliament. ... Your election seemed the one thing which could still interest me in politics. If the Legislature pass this I could take no other interest in it than, I believe, St. Paul would have had me take in Nero. God have mercy !" The clergy of course showed special vehemence in their efforts for the exclusion of the Jews; but their supporters among the laity were very numerous, and included men of political eminence and great social position representing all shades of Christianity. Lord Grey, the Liberal leader who carried the Reform Bill of 1832, always refused his support to Jewish emancipation : Sir Robert Peel spoke and voted against it in the House of Commons : Mr. Gladstone opposed it for nearly twenty years both in Parliament and in his well-known book on Church and State : Lord Shaftesbury, the philanthropist, who in his own peculiar way was a friend of the Jewish race, described the proposal to admit the Jews as an insult to Christianity and an attempt to thwart God's wise purposes. And a crowd of less distinguished men in Parliament took the same course. Session after session members who disclaimed all personal and social prejudice against the Jews protested in the interest of the Christian religion against their admission to Parliament. " I trust," said one member, " that hon. members will rally round the Cross, and not allow the Christian religion to be subverted by the intro? duction of Jews into this House." " In my opinion," said another, " the tendency of the measure is to unchristianise the legislature of the country, and, as far as this House is concerned, to sweep away everything like a national recognition of our allegiance to God as the God and Father of our Saviour." "The question," said another opponent of the Jewish claims, "re? duces itself to this: is the supreme legislative authority of the country to be Christian, professing one common faith and one common hope, or is it to consist of those who deny Christianity, who regard the Saviour Himself and the most sacred characters of our religion as blasphemers, idolaters, as persons hateful to God and accursed among men?" It is easy to regard such expressions as the utterances of wild fanatics or of men exploiting religious feeling for political purposes. But the facts of the long Parliamentary history of Jewish emancipation are on the whole decisively against this view. The party of exclusion in Parlia? ment showed throughout the struggle the vigour and determination of</page><page sequence="10">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 125 men who were defending a principle that was very dear to them, and wdio, when that principle was in danger, did not shrink from making considerable sacrifices on its behalf. On one critical occasion the old fashioned country gentlemen by whom the opposition in Parliament to the Jewish claims was mainly carried on, threw over their leader, Lord George Bentinck, because he had spoken and voted in favour of Jewish emancipation. The leader was one whom they could ill afford to spare ; but they acted as they did because they regarded the exclusion of the Jews as a matter of conscience. According to their view, narrow and antiquated, but beyond question sincere, the interests of Christianity were at stake. Though the good old times had passed away when the only road to Parliament was through real, or nominal, adherence to the Church of England?though Catholics and Dissenters and Unitarians had all been admitted?yet they maintained, in a phrase that they were never tired of repeating, that Christianity was still part and parcel of the law of the land, and ought to remain so ; and therefore no Jew ought to be permitted to legislate in matters of Church or State. There was much in the history and practice of the English Consti? tution to nourish this feeling, especially among men whose prime feeling in public affairs was attachment to old traditions. In bygone centuries Protestantism had done so much for English liberty that it seemed to have acquired a good claim to great privileges; and though, as years went on, it had lost one of its privileges after the other, it was natural that those that remained should be strenuously defended. The fact that no King or Queen of England could ascend the throne of England with? out swearing to maintain the Protestant religion as by law established, and that no legislator could enter on his functions without a solemn declaration of Christian faith, the religious observances that still hold their place in Parliament, seemed to many devout men a continual sanctification of the State : and the proposal for the abolition of any of these ancient practices presented itself as an outrage. Moreover, the legal relation of the Church of England to the State continually gave rise to incidents which stirred this feeling into intense activity. The thirty years during which the Jewish question was being agitated were years of violent conflict for the Church of England. At one time the English bishops were warned by a Prime Minister to set their house in order; at another time Irish bishoprics were abolished</page><page sequence="11">126 SIR I. L. G0LDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF wholesale. Churchmen were continually reminded that Parliament could disestablish the Church and regulate its doctrines, and change the disposition of its properties; and that the bestowal of the most impor? tant Church offices rested with the Prime Minister, a mere creature of Parliamentary circumstance. And it happened several times during these thirty years that there were appointed to high ecclesiastical office men who were regarded by a great number of their fellow-clergymen as heretics. The clergy pro? tested, but they protested in vain. They were reminded of the bitter truth that they had no voice in the appointment of their own spiritual chief; and that, if a lax Prime Minister or an unbaptized Disraeli should ever appoint to a bishopric a man whom half the clergy in the country regarded as an unbeliever, there was no means provided by the English Constitution by which the clergy could prevent that man from continuing to be a bishop. By a strange fatality the storms that these unpopular appointments in the Church of England called forth occurred more than once just at the time that the Jewish question was being violently discussed. The more the clergy were reminded of their subjection to Parliament, the more determined they were to fight against the so-called measure for un-Christianising Parliament. It was not surprising. If the question of the admission of the Jews had to be argued on the ground of the suitability of a Jewish member or a Jewish Prime Minister to exercise ecclesiastical patronage, the advocates of exclusion would have the best of the argument. Fortunately, many men who were loyally devoted to the Church, came by slow degrees to recognise that this was not the right ground on which to argue the question ; and that it was not reasonable to exclude Jews from taking part in the ordinary work of Parliament lest they might on some occasion use their position to the detriment of the Church. Mr. Gladstone, Churchman as he was, adopted that view in 1847, and, though he represented the violently clerical constituency of Oxford, announced his change of opinion, and spoke in favour of the Jewish claims. Sir Robert Peel also, after opposing the Jewish claims for many years, ultimately became a convert to the cause of religious freedom. Gradually the exclusionists lost their more distinguished leaders. But they held out stubbornly. They went on repeating in the fifties the arguments that they had used in the thirties. Though two</page><page sequence="12">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 127 constituencies elected Jewish representatives to the House of Commons, though the House of Commons was desirous that the Jewish members should be allowed to take their seats, the party of exclusion still fought on. But when the two Jewish members, despairing of strictly con? stitutional methods, endeavoured to swear themselves in by a form not recognised by law, and when one of them insisted on making a speech in Parliament, scenes took place which convinced the House of Commons that it had to fight, not only for the interest of the Jews and religious liberty, but in a cause that in that assembly arouses more enthusiasm than any other, for the dignity of the House of Commons itself. As one member expressed it, they had to come to an under? standing as to whether the House would for the future sacrifice its rghts and privileges before the footstool of the House of Lords. John Bright urged that a batch of new lords should be created for the express purpose of enabling the Bill for the admission of the Jews to be carried. Even then, when the temper of the Commons was thoroughly aroused, the Lords would not give way so long as a Liberal Ministry was in office. But when a Conservative Government came in, and the Conservative Premier himself urged his supporters to free the Govern? ment from the embarrassment of a continual struggle between the two Houses of Parliament, the irreconcilables at length admitted that no more could be done. It was clear that by further resistance they would only discredit their own political friends; and, accordingly, they allowed a Bill to pass giving to the Jews in the most grudging manner that could be devised the privileges that they sought; but there is no doubt that the majority of the peers were convinced to the last that they were abandoning for political reasons a principle that, on the grounds of religion and morality, ought to have been defended. So, after thirty years, the constitutional struggle was ended, the last constitutional struggle specially affecting the Jews which the British Empire has witnessed or is likely to witness. As an episode of Anglo-Jewish history it is the most important that the nineteenth century has to show. But history is never mere history. One can never read it without losing some of one's illusions. And there is at any rate one illusion as to the peculiar position of the Jews in England which the records of the struggle for Parliamentary emancipation help</page><page sequence="13">128 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF to dispel. English Jews, to whatever type they conform, are all prone to think that it was, as it were, by the mere progress of time and the action of the elements that our disabilities crumbled away. And there is of course a measure of truth in this view. But there is falsehood also. It is true that forces acting outside the Parliamentary sphere, changing o[unions and dissolving prejudices, contributed indirectly towards lessening the differentiation in the eyes of the law between Englishmen of the Jewish persuasion and Englishmen of other persuasions. It is easy to recognise such forces. There was the gentle decrease that the nineteenth century witnessed in the intensity of ecclesiastical feeling and in the place that sectarian controversy occupies in the national life. There was the growing strength of the innumerable Nonconformist organisations into which English Christianity is divided, organisations which have never failed to supply stalwart champions of religious liberty whenever that great cause has needed them. Then again there were, concurrently with the Parliamentary struggle, smaller movements which enabled Jews to take their place in the professions and on local bodies, movements which look petty as they are duly set forth in accounts of Jewish progress in England, but which helped to banish the pernicious notion that the Jews are a solitary race, indifferent to the society and the affairs of the people around them. All these changes helped towards the removal of Jewish disabilities; but they were not themselves enough to accomplish the result or to make its accomplishment easy. We are wrong if we imagine that by reason of these changes?because of the disappearance in England of the racial and religious prejudices that exist in other countries?Jewish Parlia? mentary emancipation became inevitable, and a condition of absolute equality in all the relations of life became assured for the Jews of England in the future. It is salutary to remember that more than seventy years ago many of the Jews of England held the same optimistic views. They thought that in England at any rate the age of prejudice, isolation, and disabilities was already over and the age of enlightenment and equality had set in. But they were mistaken. They had to endure thirty years of disappointment, they had to exercise unwearied patience, industry, and resourcefulness before they were admitted to a right which seemed so clearly their due that they scarcely contemplated the possibility of its being withheld when once it was asked for. England,</page><page sequence="14">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 129 they found, was not quite unique among the countries of the earth. Religious freedom, they learnt (as Mr. Bradlaugh learnt in another generation), was to be obtained in England if you fought hard enough for it; but even in England it was not to be obtained for the asking. In our days religious prejudice has abated, perhaps racial prejudice has abated, but neither has disappeared, while industrial rivalry has set up a new cause of friction between Jew and Christian. And yet, while we enjoy and exercise all the civil rights of Englishmen, some of us are pleased to flaunt our doubts as to whether we ought after all to condescend to recognise ourselves as Englishmen. In the presence of such a tendency the history of the long and weary struggle, by which our predecessors won for us the position which we now enjoy, has an interest and importance which do not belong wholly to the past. VOL. IV. I</page><page sequence="15">SELECTIONS from Sir I. L. GOLDSMID'S CORRESPONDENCE and other papers relating to the hlstory of the admission of the Jews of England to Parliament. 1. [The following letter from David Ricardo was preserved by I. L. Goldsmid in his papers on the struggle for Jewish Parliamentary eman? cipation. Though not directly connected with that struggle, its subject and its intrinsic interest render it suitable for inclusion in the extracts now printed. The letter was printed in the first edition (1879) of the life of Sir Francis Goldsmid by Dr. A. L?wy and Professor D. W. Marks, but withdrawn from the second edition (1882) of that work. The speech in the House of Commons to which Ricardo refers was delivered on the 26th of March 1823 in the course of the discussion on the petition presented to Parliament by Mary Ann Carlile, who, while acting as shopwoman to her brother, a bookseller in Fleet Street, sold an atheistical pamphlet, and was in consequence sentenced to a year's imprisonment and a fine of ??500. Ricardo spoke in support of the woman's petition for redress, and argued that prosecutions ought never to be instituted for religious opinions.] From David Ricardo to I. L. Goldsmid. Upper Brook Street, \th April 1823. My dear Sir,?The approbation which you express of the sentiments which I endeavoured to deliver to the House a few evenings ago in favour of religious liberty, gives me great satisfaction.. It appears to me a disgrace to the age we live in, that a part of the inhabitants of this country are still suffering under disabilities imposed upon them in a less enlightened time. The Jews have most reason to complain, for they are frequently reproached for the dishonesty, which is the natural effect of the political degradation in which they are kept. I cannot help thinking that the time is approaching when these ill-founded prejudices against men on account of their religious 130</page><page sequence="16">ADMISSION OF THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 131 opinions will disappear, and I should he happy if in any way I should he a humble instrument in accelerating their fall. I carry my principles of toleration very far. I don't know how, or why, any line should be drawn, and am prepared to maintain that we have no more justifiable ground for shutting the mouth of the atheist than that of any other man. I am sure it will be shut, for no man will persevere in avowing opinions which bring on him the hatred and ill-will of a great majority of his fellow-men.?With best wishes, very truly yours, David Ricardo. 2. [In 1828 a Bill was introduced in the House of Commons for the purpose of "repealing so much of several Acts as imposes the necessity of receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper as a qualification for certain offices and employments." It provided that persons who took office under the crown or in corporations or municipalities should no longer be required to undergo the sacramental test prescribed in the Acts of Charles IL, but should make instead a declaration disclaiming all intention of using their office to injure or weaken the Church of England. The Bill was introduced in the interest of Protestant dis? senters, but, if it had passed in its original form, the Jews would have derived from it the same advantages as the dissenters. Unfortunately the Lords amended the form of declaration by introducing the words shown in italics in the following extract:?"I, A. B., do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare upon the true faith of a Christian. . . ." This form was retained when the Bill became law as 9 George IV. cap. 17. The four passages next printed from the Goldsmid papers relate to the unsuccessful attempt to secure the rejection of the amendment.] From Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. (Undated.) Sir,? ... I did vote and shall vote against the words, but there would be no chance of rejecting them, and a preliminary opposition on such a point would do much mischief and no good.?Yours, Vassall Holland.</page><page sequence="17">132 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF 3. From The Duke of Wellington to L L. Goldsmid. London, 21th April 1828. The Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr. Goldsmid, and has received his letter of the 22nd inst., hut does not conceive that it would be possible to prevail upon Parliament to alter the Declaration in the Bill now under discussion for abolishing the sacramental test as proposed by Mr. Goldsmid. 4. Protest entered in the Journals of the House of Lords against the introduction of the words " Upon the true faith of a Christian " into the Declaration. 1. Because the introduction of the words " Upon the true faith of a Christian" implies an opinion in which I can never conscientiously concur, viz., that a particular faith in matters of religion is necessary to the honest discharge of duties purely political and temporal. 2. Because it appears from two Acts, one passed in the 10th of George I. (cap. 7?) and the other in the 13th of George II. (cap. 7), that the words "Upon the true faith of a Christian" occurring in the Oath of Abjuration have been dispensed with in cases which were found not to be within the spirit and scope of the original Law, and it seems to me inexpedient to introduce unnecessarily into a declaration of this nature a form of words which experience has shown may produce effects not contemplated by those who impose it. Vassall Holland. 5. From John Bowring to I. L. Goldsmid. 2 Queen's Square Place, 1st May 1828. My dear Sir,?The Dissenters' Committee (to whom I read your letter) have recorded their regret at the introduction of the Christian faith com? pelling clause, and have expressed their non-concurrence in it. I moved that this opinion should be communicated to Lord John Russell, but failed. They choose that their good deeds should be hidden from day. I hope, however, you will make an attempt to get rid of the clause to? morrow night; and as the Dissenters do not choose to proclaim their opinion lest they should defeat the Bill, that their opinion will have proper currency given to it.?Ever yours, John Bowring.</page><page sequence="18">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 133 6. [The letter printed below was written on the day on which the Act above mentioned (9 George IV. cap. 17) became law. The eldest son of the writer was, of course, F. H. Goldsmid, who became a barrister in 1833, Q.C. in 1858, and succeeded his father in the Baronetcy in 1859. An account of Mr. F. H. Goldsmid's call to the Bar of the Benchers of Lincoln's Inn is given in his biography, compiled by Prof. D. W. Marks and Dr. A. L?wy. The liability of the Jews to be deprived of the elective franchise for the reason mentioned in this letter was re? moved in 1835 by the sixth section of "An Act to limit the Time of taking the Poll in Boroughs at contested Elections of Members to serve in Parliament to One Day " (5 &amp; 6 William IV. cap. 36). The section is as follows:?"And be it further enacted, That no Elector at any Election shall be required to take the Oaths commonly called the Oaths of Allegiance, Abjuration, and Supremacy, nor any Oath or Oaths required to be taken by any Act of Parliament in lieu thereof, any Law or Statute to the contrary notwithstanding."] From Isaac L. Goldsmid to The Duke of Wellington. Dulwich Hill House, 9th May 1828. My Lord Duke,?I am so sensible how your Grace's time must be occupied, that I would not have ventured to trespass even on any small portion of it, did I not believe that this short statement will be thought to deserve an indulgent consideration, not from its individual effects alone, but from the general consequences which it involves. My eldest son has received a good education, he has been admitted a student of Lincoln's Inn, he is likewise able by the regulations of that body to be called to the Bar, and take the oaths required of supremacy and allegiance ; and he fully believed, until the recent debates have thrown a doubt upon the subject, that there would be no difficulty in his practising, because he understood that he could take in Westminster Hall the oath of abjuration, and omit the words "on the faith of a Christian." He did not, however, arrive at this conclusion on slight grounds, for he did not rely on the 9th and 10th of George I. and 13th of George II. alone, but on the constant practice at contested elections, and especially at that of Westminster when Mr. Tooke was High Bailiff, where Jews, required to take the Abjuration Oath, were allowed by the aforesaid gentleman in the presence of several</page><page sequence="19">134 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF eminent counsel to omit the words alluded to, and the decision acted on in these cases has never been contravened. Now, however, not only my son's expectations will be completely frustrated, but it is also more than probable that hereafter the Jews will be deprived of the elective franchise they have so long enjoyed under the sanction of the highest legal authorities of the country on those subjects, because a vote is only of effect when there is a contest, and on these occasions they will always be required by the parties for whom they do not vote to take the abjuration oath according to the Statute of the of Queen Anne,1 with which under these circumstances they cannot comply. May I therefore request that, as a remedy can be afforded without militating in the slightest degree against the principles of the recent Act, without impugning the doctrines of any party whatsoever, and without conferring any additional power upon the Jews, Government will be disposed to sanction a proposition which will be framed solely for the purpose of allowing them to act as Barristers, and to retain the same privileges as heretofore to vote at the election of Members of Parliament. ?I have the honour to be, My Lord Duke, Your Grace's most obedient servant, Isaac L. Goldsmid. 7. [Henry Richard Yassall Fox, the third Lord Holland (born 1773, died 1840), was a lifelong advocate of religious liberty. He was a consistent supporter of Catholic Emancipation from the time of the union between England and Ireland. He had charge of Lord John Russell's bill for the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts (9 George IY. cap. 17) during its passage through the House of Lords. The selections from his correspondence with Sir I. L. Goldsmid which are now printed show how keen and steady was his interest in Jewish Parliamentary emancipation. His wife was the hostess of the famous parties which made Holland House the centre of aristocratic Liberalism. The following letter was written a few days after the passing of the Act for the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts.] From Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. May ISth, 1828. My dear Sir,?I think you do quite right in applying in the first instance to Government and obtaining all the relief they are disposed to grant and to recommend to Parliament. The first and chief reason for such 1 The Statute referred to is 6 Anne, c. 23, section 13.</page><page sequence="20">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 135 a course is this, that all you can prevail upon them to recommend is sure to be obtained, and "half a loaf is better than no bread." I should hope that they will be inclined not only to place persons of your persuasion in as good a situation as they were before the late Bill and declaration, but to extend by law the permission of omitting the words " upon the true faith of a Christian " to all cases where in practice they have been allowed to omit them. The second reason for applying to Government rather than to those who on broader principles are your friends, is that the latter cannot without injury to their argument and, indeed, some compromise of principle, propose (though they may support) any measure short of complete relief, and that, though reasonable and just and unobjectionable is as yet, I fear, unattainable. There should in truth be a declaratory Law, explicitly and distinctly to secure to you those rights to which I must believe you are, and I am quite certain you ought to be, strictly entitled. You should then be allowed to omit the words "upon the true faith of a Christian" in the declaration and in the Oath of Abjuration. The effect would be to admit you to all temporal offices and to Parliament, and above all to remove all that uncertainty (together with the popular prejudices which it engenders and perpetuates) which hangs about the present tenure of your rights. I can only say that I shall always be ready to support and, when I think it at all likely to succeed, to propose the measure of complete and entire relief which I have here sketched out, and in the meanwhile will do my best to reconcile persons in Parliament and power to any measure of the sort you bring forward either now or in next session of Parliament. Indeed, I consider myself pledged to do so, but independent of any such pledges I should from principle and con? viction at all times be at your command for such an object.?Yours, Vassall Holland. 8. From Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. Private. 10th February [1829 ?] Dear Sir,?I send you a memorandum of our conversation. Pray do not consider it as advice, but merely as a suggestion of topics on which to form your decision. The point, too, to be decided is not, according to my ap j3rehension, whether you are to bring on your question and petition Parlia? ment this session or not, but whether you should take an early opportunity of ascertaining the disposition of the present Ministry, and force them in public or at least in some official communication to give a categorical answer to your request of support. There was an argument which, had I had legs and spirits to speak, I should have used in the Lords when your question was debated, and which has been very slightly, if at all, touched upon by your advocates in and out</page><page sequence="21">136 SIR I. L. G0LDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF of Parliament. It is in truth better suited to a council than a legislature, and for that reason it may have more effect on the Duke of Wellington than in debate, if Mr. Rothschild or any of you have access to him. He is, I believe, more disposed to extend his views to our foreign relations than most English statesmen, and certainly than the majority of either House of Parliament. The topic I allude to is this. The preponderance of Russia in Turkey and Persia is an object of great jealousy to most Governments in England, and the more so from the circumstances which, in addition to their geographical and mili? tary advantages, give the Russians great moral influence in those countries, especially in European Turkey. These are in a great measure owing to the Christian subjects of Turkey, who, being chiefly of the Greek Church, look up to the Russian Power as their natural protector and ally, and, though their numbers are not equally large in Persia, I believe the sects of Christians who predominate there are by some accident or other less averse to Russian encroachment and predominance than to that of any other foreigners, and certainly more favourable to it than the Jews. The Jews throughout those eastern countries are an active, intelligent, opulent, and above all compacted and united race?remarkable, as you well know they are everywhere, for a rapid and confidential communication of their sentiments and feelings one to the other, and in possession of many of the most lucrative trades and professions of the country. They must therefore have, and in fact they have, much moral though indirect influence on the councils of the State, and still more on the disposition of the people. Now I believe, and I dare say you know, that in spite of the calumnies so industriously circulated of the indiffer? ence of many rich men of your persuasion here to the recovery of their rights, all your brethren, even of the remotest countries, look with intense interest to the progress and success of your question?that they are sensitively alive to the treatment of their nation by the different governments of the world, and that their inclination to favour or to baffle the views of the various Cabinets of Europe, would in a great measure be regulated by their sense of the greater indulgence or severity with which they are treated in the countries those Cabinets represent. If then the Jews of England were on an equal footing with all their other fellow-subjects, would not their brethren of Constan? tinople, Turkey, and the Levant, feel that in promoting the political objects of Great Britain they were furthering the views of a friendly power, and the more so as it is notorious, and for very obvious reasons, that Jews every? where are predisposed to regard Protestants with less suspicion and dislike than either Greeks or Roman Catholics, inasmuch as from both of those sects they have at no very distant periods and in various parts of the world experi? enced such cruel persecution ? It was notorious throughout the Levant, and even to the uttermost East, that the Jews were willing and even active in promoting the views, military as well as political, of Napoleon, and their command of money and communication rendered them no contemptible</page><page sequence="22">TEIE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 137 auxiliaries in Poland, in Egypt, in Turkey and elsewhere. And why were they so disposed ? Simply and exclusively because that great and enlightened man's Government was the first and only one that had treated the persons of their persuasion with common justice, and that he not only extended indul? gences to their race which other rulers have often done, but which by the very name implies as much insult as kindness, but he acknowledged their equality and their rights, to which no men, be they of what colour and religion they may, will ever be or ought ever to be indifferent. If England had the good sense as well as the justice to court in the real spirit of amity and good-fellowship the goodwill of the Jews, as Napoleon did, I believe every Jew banker, Jew physician, Jew merchant throughout Turkey, would become an active and useful partisan of the English system of policy in the Levant, whatever that system may be.?Yours, Vassall Holland. 9. [The "great question now supported by His Majesty's Government/' which is mentioned in the first paragraph of this letter, is the question of Catholic emancipation. On the 5th of February 1829 it was an? nounced by the Duke of Wellington in the House of Lords, and by Sir Robert Peel in the House of Commons, that it was the intention of the Government to introduce a measure for the removal of the chief civil and political disabilities affecting Roman Catholics.] From M. L. Mozley to I. L. Goldsmid. Liverpool, Feb. 17th, 1829. Sir,?When we had the pleasure of seeing you here, you gave your opinion to my sons on the present state of our nation as to their being deprived of their civil rights, which opinion I have long advocated. Circumstances which have taken place since you were here on the great question now supported by His Majesty's Government, leads me to think that the time has come when the Hebrew community ought to petition for repeal of any laws in existence against their enjoying the Civil Rights they are entitled to, equal with others of His Majesty's subjects. Messrs. Roscoe, Yates, Rathbone, and other dissenters have informed me their petitions to Parliament are in our favour, and strongly recommend us to petition ourselves ; they say if we do not the fault will be with us. The observation of Gorman Mahon, in the late Catholic Association, when he moved a petition in favour of their Jewish brethren to obtain their civil rights, stated plainly, if the Jews did not petition themselves, they desired to remain in the state they are at present.</page><page sequence="23">138 SIR I. L. G0LDSMID AND THE ADMISSION of The declaration in the late Act in favour of dissenters places us in a worse situation than we were prior to the Act passing. Under these impressions I addressed a friend to ask Mr. John Wood, member for Preston, if he would present and support a petition in our favour. I enclose you a copy of his reply for your perusal. Having explained my motive in addressing you, for which I hope I shall not be deemed intrusive, I request to be favoured with your idea, as to petitions being obtained from our nation in London to Parliament, if not from a considerable number, whether you think it advisable, and could get the signatures of some of the most respectable. If you favour the measure, and would put it in operation, I could get a similar petition signed here, and have no fear of getting it presented to both Houses of Parliament; many towns in the kingdom would follow us, and I do think success would attend our just claims. When I am favoured with your reply, I will take leave to suggest the outline of the petition for your approval.?Your obedient servant, M. L. Mozley. 10. From M. L. Mozley to I. L. Goldsmid. Liverpool, March 1st, 1829. Sir,?My son's journey to London to attend the anniversary dinner of the Jews' Free School, as one of the Stewards, affords an opportunity of my acknowledging receipt of your very esteemed favour of the 24th ult. The contents are truly of a gratifying nature, as expressing the resolution of your endeavours to obtain the civil rights for our nation we are as British born subjects entitled to. I coincide in opinion with you and the rest of our advocates, that we should wait till the intended Bill in favour of Catholics is seen, as it will guide us in our manner and time of petitioning Parliament. My son will have the pleasure of conversing with you on this subject, and will let you see the offers he has of services to forward and obtain the desired object. It would be premature to give any outline of a petition at present, as so much will depend on the Bill for relief of the Catholics. I have merely enclosed the heads of petitions which I think should form the subject were we to present them now for your consideration, being, however, fully satisfied that any petitions formed by yourself will be done with more ability, and more effectual than any in my power to form. I trust that the Almighty will in His goodness favour the wishes of His chosen people and endow the hearts of the rulers of this happy land to grant them their</page><page sequence="24">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 139 civil rights, that every man may rest content and in peace under his own Wine Tree and Fig Tree. In full confidence of your best exertions.?Your most obedient servant, M. L. Mozley. 11. The Catholic Relief Act (10 George IY. cap. 7) allowed Roman Catholic members of Parliament to substitute for the Oaths of Alle? giance, Supremacy, and Abjuration a single oath not containing the expression "On the true faith of a Christian," which appeared in the Oath of Abjuration. If a Jew had been allowed to take this single oath on the Old Testament, it would of course have been possible for him to sit in Parliament whenever elected by a constituency. But the Act provided that the special form of oath was to be taken by Catholics only. Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. March Uth, 1829. Dear Sir,?. . . I wish the oath in the Catholic bill had been so managed as to have one oath which Catholics, Protestants, and Jews might have all taken without scruple ; but it is hazardous to make an alteration, and even as it stands I am not sure that without perjury or equivocation, though with some little sophistry and subtlety, a person of your nation might not hold office and sit in Parliament ; at any rate there will be good ground laid for removing any obstacles that remain hereafter, but one must not moot the question till the Catholic Relief Bill is passed and in force.?Yours ever, Yassall Holland. Many thanks for the papers, which are very interesting. You may depend upon my vigilance and that of some others about your interests, but I am clearly of opinion that, for the sake of both, they must not be mixed up with those of the Roman Catholics. When you form the only exception to the general principle of admission and toleration, there will be no decent reason, and what is more material there can be no secret motive, for maintaining the exception. 12. [Extract from the Minute-Book of the Board of Deputies for the Affairs of British Jews, dated March 17, 1829.] Mr. I. L. Goldsmid attended, and proceeded to give a detail of the steps he had thought it right to adopt since the introduction of the bill in April last for the relief of the dissenters, and stated that the words "Upon the</page><page sequence="25">140 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF faith, of a Christian" in that hill placed the Jews in a much worse situation than they were in previously. He also informed the meeting that he had had occasional interviews with several members of both Houses, and read various letters that had been addressed to him by Lords Holland, Lansdowne, and Suffield, Messrs. Baring, Gurney, Martin, and others containing as? surances of their aid and support in any measure that may be submitted to Parliament for the relief of the Jews. He then intimated he had reason to calculate on further powerful influence through Mr. M. Montefiore and other friends, and concluded by assuring the meeting that he would not take any public or decided step without again consulting them. Mr. Goldsmid having retired it was resolved : " That the present era ap? pears to this meeting propitious for the Advancement of the Civil Interests of the Jews of the United Kingdom." 13. [No doubt the " Mr. R." mentioned in this letter is Mr. N. M. Roths? child, who took an active part in the movement for Jewish emancipa? tion. (See Extracts from the Minutes of the Jewish Board of Deputies, dated April 16, 1829, No. 15 below.)] Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. 11th April 1829. My dear Sir,?I spoke to those powerful persons whom we mentioned, and I find them as friemily to the object you have in view as Mr. R. reported them to be. But I find them also very averse to any immediate step either of petition or motion. It certainly would not be prudent to commence any proceeding without their full concurrence. Perhaps a petition at end of session and two bills at the commencement of next, one declaratory of your legal rights as natural born subjects, and the other legislative, to omit the words " On the true faith of a Christian" in the Oaths of Abjuration, &amp;c, would be the most advisable method of pro? ceeding. I think a petition now would rather injure than advance the cause, but at any rate wait till Brougham comes to council.?Yours, Yassall Holland. 14. Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. 12th April 1829. My dear Sir,?I can easily believe that the persons you mention, the press, and the public are well disposed to promote your cause, and I think the Government (or at least the portion of it which has most influence in such</page><page sequence="26">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 141 matters) are friendly to it. But for that very reason I think that both in propriety and prudence their wishes and convenience should be consulted as to the time and manner of bringing it forward. It is clear to me that they wish you to be quiet just now, and it is almost as clear to me that, if ever brought forward with their sanction and approbation, the success is certain. For these reasons I own I should be inclined not to present the petition, or at any rate not to present a bill, till they recommend you to do so, or at least engage to support you if you do. A petition this year may be advisable. If well received, it might be followed up by a bill and pass, and, if there are obstacles, it might be laid as the ground of a fresh application to Parliament next year. At any rate wait till Brougham is in town. I am confident that the presentation of your petition before the holydays would retard rather than assist your cause.?Yours, Vassall Holland. 15. [Extract from the Minute-Book of the Board of Deputies for the Affairs of British Jews, dated April 16, 1829.] Mr. Isaac Lyon Goldsmid and Mr. N. M. Rothschild attended by invita? tion. Mr. Rothschild stated for the information of the meeting that he had consulted with the Duke of Wellington, the Lord Chancellor, and other influential persons connected with Government, concerning the disabilities under which the Jews labour, and recommended that a petition praying for relief should be prepared in readiness to be presented to the House of Lords whenever it may be thought right; that the petition should be on the part of natural born subjects only, and should ask for the full protection in holding and conveying of landed property, &amp;c. He also strenuously advised that for the present not a single observa? tion should be published in the daily papers on the subject, being convinced that any controversy would prove fatal to the object in view. 16. Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. Holland House, May 4th [18291 Dear Sir,? ... I think such application during the present session would be more likely to do harm than good. There are all who voted against, and some, I fear, who voted for, the Repeal of the Test Act who think we have gone too far on the perilous road of common sense, justice, and</page><page sequence="27">142 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF liberality. They would be anxious to redeem their characters in certain quarters and to mark their lingering attachment to the j&gt;rinciples of In? tolerance at the expense of those who have no power or popularity to resist them, and they wTould certainly pledge themselves against such concession to the Jews, more especially as all favour to persons of your faith indirectly implies favour to those Christians who, admitting the inspiration and authority, deny the Divinity, of Christ, and who under the name or" Socinians or Unitarians, but in truth in the character of friends to real liberty, civil and religions, are more obnoxious to the High-flyers than any other class of men, Freethinkers and Roman Catholics perhaps excepted. If in the course of a year the legal question could be brought to a practical issue and the real hardship (in my judgment a most cruel and unjust one) proved in any individual case, then I think a petition for relief might possibly be favour? ably entertained, not as a corollary to the measure just passed, but as a reasonable indulgence to the Jews, who are loyal subjects here, and who in other countries are generally admitted to those rights from which they were for centuries debarred. All I can say is, that I shall be always happy to assist you, and that, whenever such an application is made, be the season favourable or unfavourable, it shall have my support, and that the protest I entered (a copy of which I enclose) will I think lay the ground for a future application to Parliament as it records what is true, that the case of the Jews was not contemplated when the words were moved [the rest of this letter is lost]. 17. Report by the Solicitor to the Jewish Board of Deputies addressed to the President of Board. May 1829. Dear Sir,?In compliance with your request that I should state what passed at the consultation with Dr. Lushington and the subsequent interview with Lord Bexley on Monday last on the above bill, I beg to say that previously to your arrival Mr. Goidsmid opened the business and very fully stated to Dr. Lushington the wishes and motives of the Deputies on the subject. Dr. Lushington, although he professed the strongest wish to render the cause every assistance in his power, yet evidently betrayed an apprehen? sion that the bill would not be carried through this session. He stated to us the conversation he had had with Lord Bexley, who, he said, had very kindly promised to do everything in his power to promote the success of the measure, and had pledged himself to see the Duke of Wellington that day and obtain his sentiments on the subject and meet us afterwards at his house. On the arrival of Lord Bexley, he, as you know, informed us that he had seen the Duke of Wellington and that the result of the interview was</page><page sequence="28">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 143 unfavourable. The ground of objection on the part of His Grace appeared to be, that having recently carried so important a measure as the Catholic Relief Bill, which had excited the feelings of all classes of society from one end of the kingdom to the other, and that as such feelings were now sub? siding, he was averse to the risk of creating any hostile feeling to the Government by lending his support to another bill, so similar in its character, during the same session. His Lordship being very pointedly asked whether, if the Petitions were presented, His Grace would feel displeased and probably throw the whole weight of his influence into the scale of opposition, answered most decidedly that he did not doubt that such would be the result; and that, if the bill were lost now by forcing it on against the Duke's wishes, it never would be carried by the present Ministry : and upon being further asked if the Deputies out of respect to the Duke's wishes were to abandon their intention to the next session whether in that case the bill would meet the support of the Duke, replied that he could not pledge himself, but had every reason to think that it would. Under all the circumstances Lord Bexley and Dr. Lushington unani? mously agreed in the propriety of advising the bill to be abandoned, and suggested that a deputation should wrait upon the Duke of Wellington and state that it was the ardent desire of the Jewish nation to obtain such relief as was contemplated by the bill, but that, out of respect to His Grace's wishes communicated to them by Lord Bexley, they most cheerfully acquiesced, postponing the bill for the present session, and to entreat His Grace to sanction their bringing in a bill the next session to relieve them from all the disabilities under which they now labour. It can hardly be doubted but that such a line of proceeding as this would be most judicious ; and when the very late period of the session is considered, even did not His Majesty's Ministers oppose the bill, yet there would be some risk of carrying it through both Houses of Parliament. Should it have been lost in the last stages for want of time, it would have been most exceedingly mortifying, more especially as the expenses in Parlia? mentary business are extremely heavy, the office fees being nearly ?200, &amp;c. ?I have the honour to remain, dear sir, &amp;c, H. P. Pearce. M. Mocatta, Esq., President. 18. Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. May 12th, 1829. My dear Sir,?I am afraid the Government, though not unfriendly to the object of your petition, are more decidedly adverse to the policy of starting the subject this session than you and Mr. Rothschild supposed. Such is Lord Bexley's impression as well as my own.</page><page sequence="29">144 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF You are to decide what to do, and, whatever your decision is, you will have my best wishes and support. If you ask my advice, I should recom? mend you not to press the discussion, and still less a division on the question, at a moment when the Ministers and powerful, otherwise favourable, wish and advise you to desist.?Yours truly, Yassall Holland. 19. Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. Sir,? . . . With respect to your city and Catholic friends, and the pro? priety of stirring the subject of your just claims out of Parliament, even though you do not bring it forward in Parliament, you must after all judge for yourselves, as it must in great measure depend on the question how far the zeal of your supporters requires to be fed by much previous discussion. I should think, upon the very imperfect knowledge I have of the case, that any relaxation of bye-laws in Corporations against Jews or any expression of corporate, municipal, or mercantile bodies of men in favour of extending your civil rights would even now do good, and prepare men's minds in and out of Parliament for the application, in the manner least liable to objection. On the other hand I am inclined to apprehend that any assistance or public co-operation of the sort from religious bodies, Catholic or Protestant, would, till the consequences of the late conflict have a little subsided, be unseason? able and premature and possibly injurious. You should quietly propitiate all neutral and moderate men during the recess, and should avoid both the reality and appearance of keeping alive the passions which have been excited by the great question relating to Roman Catholics. Procure the testimony of merchants to your practical grievances and prepare the state? ment of your political injuries, and on them found your application to Parliament next year, with the approbation of the Government, and I think you will and must succeed. I can see no objection to public expressions of goodwill to you and interest in your success from any political bodies, and especially from such as the Corporation of London.?Ever truly yours, Yassall Holland. 20. [The Bishop of London referred to in this letter is C. J. Blomfleld.] Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. 2Uh June [1829]. My dear Sir,? ... I am very anxious indeed that another session should not pass by without bringing your question fairly and fully before Parlia? ment and the country, and I am equally anxious that you should adopt a</page><page sequence="30">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 145 course of proceeding, and take the preliminary steps both as to concert with persons and parties and as to the form of your application and measure, most likely to ensure you success. For this purpose you should he employed during the recess in sounding Government and individuals, and in preparing your petition and hill as well as some short and accurate statement of your case for the public. Brougham tells me that his brother William is able and willing to lend his assistance, and I have written to some of my friends among the Protestant and Catholic dissenters to bespeak their active co? operation in case of necessity on the score both of principle and gratitude. I should think not only Lord Bexley and the members of the Cabinet both in Lords and Commons should be propitiated during the recess, but that endeavours should be made to interest some of the leading characters on the Bishops' bench in the success of your bill. The present Bishop of London in his speech on the Test Act broadly stated his objection to a religious test in a way that would include a disapprobation of the effect of the law which now excludes native Jews from Parliament and office. He is very able, and generally not unwilling, to take a leading part in the details of any measure affecting such matters, and, if Lord Bexley could be induced to consult him, and to urge upon him the justice, consistency, and charity of extending the relief now granted to all others, to native Jews, I think he would promote your cause most effectively. I have no objection to speak to him, but I am not clear that the application of such a Latitudinarian as I pass for with Church of England men would be of much use. At any rate some endeavours should be made by your friends during the recess to reconcile the leading men in the Church and in the Law to the notion of admitting you to office and to Parliament. I quite concur with you in thinking that you should on no account ask for less than your entire rights. I have no more time to write, but hope soon to talk over the matter with you. Be assured that I feel not only inclined from principle, but bound in duty and feeling, after what has passed, to do my utmost to promote your reasonable wish.?Yours truly, Vassall Holland. 21. [These " questions " are in the handwriting of Lord Holland. The legal difficulties raised under the first head appear to have been imaginary. There appears to have been no good reason for calling in question the right of English-born Jews to hold land and to enjoy all the privileges of British subjects other than those from which they were excluded by statutory provisions. The debates on the Jews' Naturalisa? tion Bill of 1753, and on its repeal in 1754, make it clear that at that time Jews held land in England, and that the preponderating opinion VOL. IV. K</page><page sequence="31">146 SIR i. l. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF among lawyers was that there was no legal objection to their doing so. See Yols. XIV. and XV. of Hansard's Parliamentary History of England from the earliest Period to the year 1803. The question of the legal status of the Jews at, and subsequently to, their return to England in the 17th century is discussed by Mr. H. S. Q. Henriques in the Jewish Quarterly Review for July 1902.] Four Preliminary Questions for Consideration of Petitioning Jews, 1829. Four Questions submitted to the discretion of such native Jews as are desirous of applying to the Legislature for relief from the disabilities and other hardships to which the present state of the Law exposes them. I. Whether their petition should embrace the distinct and final re? moval of such doubts respecting their legal condition in England, and their right of purchasing and inheriting land as either exist or are supposed to exist among lawyers, or should be confined to the omission of the words " Upon the true faith of a Christian " in the and in the declaration qualifying persons for office, which incapacitate the native Jew who scruples to take or to sign them from offices under the Crown and from a seat in Parlia? ment. II. Whether the motion for relief had better originate in the Lords or in the Commons. III. From what party or description of persons it would be most eligible with a view to success that the mover should be selected. IV. What should be the shape of the first proceeding. A reference to a general committee ? A resolution of the House declaratory of the object and principle of the measure, or the measure itself in the shape of a bill 1 On the first question it would be well to advert to the following con? siderations. It is indeed hardly credible that any Court calling itself a Court of Justice or of Equity, would (if the question could once be brought to an issue before it) sanction so preposterous a proposition as that often surmised in conversation and more than once insinuated in argument and debate, namely, that a large, opulent, and loyal body of men, born within the realm, are, in the eye of the law of this free country, dependent on the personal favour of the King for their liberty, land, and property, and are, by a solecism in language as well as an anomaly in law, strangers, aliens, and foreigners in the land which gave them birth;?but it is observable that it is out of the power of these persons to bring that question to any issue before our tribunals, and that it can only be brought</page><page sequence="32">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 147 to an issue by an attempt on the part of the Crown to enforce an authority which, whether it possesses or nor, it will assuredly never exert. More? over, it cannot be denied that, if such was ever the Law of England (whether in virtue of the Common1 Law, of the ancient and somewhat doubtful2 declaration of Edward the Confessor, of any legal3 construction or inference of the 3rd of Edward I., commonly called Statutuni de Judaismo, or of the supposed but non-apparent 4 Statute of the 18th of that King), it would be difficult to cite any positive Statute which has repealed, or any distinct ordinance or decision of a competent authority or tribunal which has directly abrogated or ousted, such Law. It must be acknowledged that in the discussions which took place in 1753 on the enactment and repeal of the Jew Naturalisation Bill and on the proposed repeal of the Plantation Act, several persons5 of weight, including some lawyers, maintained that such law was in existence, and that Jews, wherever born, could neither purchase nor inherit land, nor were, in fact, entitled to any protection but such as the King out of his personal grace and favour might choose to extend to them. I am afraid it is not less true that Lord Hardwicke, though he did not confirm, never directly contradicted that opinion. He not only cautiously avoided giving any himself, but he seems to have prevented6 all reference to the judges thereupon. More 1 So said Fazakerley, Duke of Bedford, and others in 1753. 2 Leges Confessoris, chap. xxix. " Omnes Judaei et sua sunt Regis," quoted in Anglia Judaica, p. 2, in Fazakerley's speech in 1753, et passim in Law Books and Dictionaries. 3 Such was the leaning of Lord Coke's opinion, who supposed their banish? ment "to be consequential and not actual." Vide Anglia Judaica, p. 204. He is said, and indeed is proved by Prynne, to have mistaken the date of the Statutum de Judaismo. 4 It is not on the rolls, nor has it been found elsewhere ; vide Anglia Judaica, p. 204, and pages 232, 233, 234. That the Jews were banished in that year A.D. 1290 is clear enough, but whether by Act of Parliament or Proclamation, or how, non liquet. 5 Parliamentary History. See speeches of Fazakerley, Lord Egmont, vol. xiv. p. 140 B., and Duke of Bedford, vol. xv. p. 104. Other authorities, especially Raymond, Booth, and Pigot, but not Lord Hardwicke, were quoted in favour of their being natural born subjects, and Pelham, Newcastle, Pitt, and many other statesmen treated it as an acknowledged fact that they were so. 6 The Duke of Bedford first, and Earl Temple afterwards, wished to refer questions on these points to the judges, probably with different and even opposite views, as Bedford was an enemy, Temple a friend to the bill. The Duke of Bedford moved to omit a clause in the repeal of the Jew Bill, pro? hibiting Jews from holding advowsons and presenting to livings, and objected to it on the ground that an exception to their right of landed property implied</page><page sequence="33">148 SIR I. L. GOLDSMLD AND THE ADMISSION OF recently Lord Chancellor Eldon, in a cause relating to the Bedford Charity where the counsel seemed to think that the question of the legal existence of Jews in this country was raised, and accordingly argued it wiih great earnestness and learning, with similar caution avoided pronouncing any judgment, or even any obiter dictum thereupon. He decided the case before him on grounds purely special, namely, the con? struction of the words of the testator. In the yet more recent debates on the Unitarian Marriage Bill, the same learned Lord threw out hints of the extreme uncertainty on which the validity of Jewish marriages,1 and the civil consequences thereof, rested, and on the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts he abstained from all comments on my assertion that native Jews must and ought to be, to all intents and purposes, natural born subjects. Such uncertainty, be it greater or less, and although it has never for 150 years, nor in all probability will ever lead to the slightest invasion of the property or personal - security of any native Jew, cannot, however, fail to be a source of uneasiness, and is harassing, vexatious, unjust, and degrading to that people. It is not the least painful consequence of so indefinite a state of law, that it affords pretexts and facilities for avoiding, deferring, or even refusing, the redress of any other grievances to which the same body may happen to be exposed. Thus, should the Jews confine their application to the Legislature next year to the simple relief from the words in the oath and declaration which exclude them from Parliament and office, there will not be wanting timid and pedantic cavillers to insist on a previous and full examination into the nature and extent of the rights which they now possess, or malignant bigots to charge them with attempting by a side wind and on false pretences of other grievances, to do away with restrictions which the Law for nearly five centuries has deemed it wholesome and just to impose on them. To defeat such malice the most obvious expedient is to petition for a declaratory Law on this point, as well as an omission of the obnoxious words in Abjuration Oath and in Declaration. But then other inconveniences arise. Inferences of an opposite nature, but of a yet more injurious tendency may be raised. Such an application may be construed into an admission of the existence of such a law. And should all redress on this and other subjects be that they were capable of holding, purchasing, and inheriting land not so excepted. I am afraid the clause was struck out without this objection being answered. 1 This, however, did not arise, as I understood him, from the Laws affecting Jews either in Edward the Confessor's or Edward III.'s time, nor from the peculiarity of the Jewish nation, but from some general maxim that Christianity is part and parcel of the Common Law, and some fine-drawn inference from thence that no marriage but Christian marriage can have legal consequences.</page><page sequence="34">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 149 refused, which is by no means an impossible event, the Jews would per? versely be placed in a worse situation than they were before this application to Parliament. Their allegation of the grievance and the Parliament's rejection of all schemes for redressing it, might at some future period be urged with much plausibility as a presumptive proof that they are considered in law as aliens, not natural born subjects, and that the same Parliament which had removed the disabilities both of Protestant and Roman Catholic dissenters had deemed the principle, which stigmatizes Jews as a separate and /. reign nation, so sacred that it refused to extend all similar relief to that people, though natives of England. A middle course might, perhaps, be steered with safety. Let the language of the petition invite and provoke inquiry into the state of the law rather than evade or suppress all allusion to the subject ; and yet let it avoid all appearance of raising, much less of sanctioning, any doubt about the title of native Jews to the rights of liege subjects of the King. Let them be described in the title and body of their petition as Natural born subjects professing the Jewish religion. In reciting as a precedent the 10th of George I., let it carefully preserve and dwell on the phraseology, His Majesty's subjects professing the Jewish religion, and let the prayer for relief be grounded on the fact that they are natural born subjects of his Majesty, amenable in common with all others to the Common and Statute Law of the land, subject to the same burthens and entitled by their birth to the same privileges as their countrymen of every other religious persuasion. Another advantage would arise from such a course of proceeding. It would lead to the adoption of similar language in the bill itself. The use of such terms as natural born subjects professing the Jewish religion in the act of relief, especially if the existence of such natural born subjects were alleged to be the reason of the enactment therein contained, would lay at rest for ever the preposterous and silly, yet vexatious, doubts which have long been and are still prevalent on the subject. 2. There is little reason to apprehend much opposition in the Commons. Should the bill pass that branch of the Legislature without much discussion or delay, it no doubt will come before the Lords enforced with greater authority than any individual peer, unless he be a King's minister or a Bishop, can give it. On the other hand, if it originates in the House of Lords and passes there, all danger is over and it would pass the Commons without difficulty and probably without comment. It is worthy of remark that the words "on the faith of a Christian " were introduced into the Bill of Repeal of Test Act by the Lords. The omission of them would come with a better grace from those who originally suggested, than those who acquiesced in them. It is just possible that the Peers who did so recently introduce them, though not</page><page sequence="35">150 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF unwilling to omit them partially themselves, might yet be disposed to adhere pertinaciously to them, when the other House ventures so soon to propose a suspension or alteration of them. If, however, the friends of the measure ensure its passing the Commons, I should recommend its originating there, unless by some clear and explicit understanding with Government and the Bishops the active support of both in the Lords can be reckoned upon with certainty. In that case I should prefer the introduction of the measure in the first instance into the House of Lords. The petitioners would then sur? mount the greatest obstacle in their way, viz., the prejudice of the Lords and Bishops before the extent of the only other obstacle, the prejudice of the people, can be ascertained, and an early acquiescence of the Law Authorities and the Bishops in such a measure would probably correct all such bigoted prepossessions before the question came before the public. 3. The best person to propose the measure would be a minister, the next a Bishop, and the next some member of character who voted against the Roman Catholic Relief Bill. Such a mover would propitiate the scrupulous and disarm the malignity of the High Church party. Lord Bexley, who has avowed himself friendly to such a bill, would be as proper a man as could be found in the Lords. In the Commons the mover and the seconder should be men who voted different ways on the Catholic Relief Bill, and such, if such can be found, as would propitiate the Evangelical party and not alarm the ultra Tories of that assembly. 4. With respect to the course of proceeding and shape of the measure, a General Committee as productive of delay and favourable to chicane should be avoided. Even a resolution makes an additional step necessary, and this is not a matter where it is requisite to lead men's minds by slow and regular steps to the conclusion, or where a previous pledge to the principle is indispensable to reconcile members to the trouble and difficulty of considering the details. A simple bill appears to me preferable to any abstract proposition. It should plainly enact the omission of the words in Abjuration Oath and Declaration whenever a natural born subject of the Jewish religion is required to take the oath or sign the declaration. This would remove the obstacle to Parliament as well as office, and unless the bill effects both these objects, I presume it is hardly worth a Jew's acceptance, and I am sure it is unbecoming a Christian to offer it. A proviso that nothing in the bill should extend to offices purely ecclesi? astical or even to authorise the omission of the words in Abjuration Oath or Declaration wherever they are now required by law to be taken or subscribed for the purpose of enabling any one to present to ecclesiastical livings, or to receive and hold any ecclesiastical benefice or office whatsoever, would, I think, be just, right, and consistent, and, in my judgment, quite sufficient. If, however, the Government or individual members of weight wished to</page><page sequence="36">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 151 introduce all trie exceptions which are to be found in the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, there would not and ought not to be the slightest inclination on the part of the Jews or their friends to resist such unimportant and unneces? sary amendments. V. H. 22. From Lord Glengall to I. L. Goldsmid. Thursday. Dear Sir,?I have seen Lord Hertford and conversed with him on the subject of the proposed measure. I am happy to say that he appears to be remarkably well disposed, and not to require very considerable persuasion to induce him to look favourably on the whole matter. Among other points which we discussed, he expressly said he thought (and for a considerable time had done so) that persons of your persuasion ought to have been allowed to purchase land, &amp;c. The point which he chiefly hesitated about was Parliament, grounded on the supposition that none ought to be eligible but English people, and he seemed rather to conceive that, in many cases, Jews came under the head of foreigners. . . .?Very truly yours, Glengall. 23. Daniel O'Connell to I. L. Goldsmid. Dakrynam Abbey, near Caherciveen, 11th Sept. 1829. My dear Sir,?I am much obliged to you for your kind congratulations on the event of the Clare Election. I also gladly avail myself of this oppor? tunity to offer you my very sincere thanks for the great kindness which my son and I received from you and your amiable family while we were in London. I assure you I should be most happy, if any event should induce you to visit the " Green Isle," to show you my sense of your kindness in the best manner in my power. Ireland has claims on your ancient race, as it is the only Christian country that I know of unsullied by any one act of perse? cution of the Jews. I entirely agree with you on the principle of freedom of conscience, and no man can admit that sacred principle without extending it equally to the Jew as to the Christian. To my mind it is an eternal and universal truth that we are responsible to God alone for our religious belief?and that human laws are impious when they attempt to control the exercise of those acts of individual and general devotion which such belief requires. I think not lightly of the awful responsibility of rejecting true belief?but that</page><page sequence="37">152 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF responsibility is entirely between man and bis Creator, and any fellow-being wbo usurps dominion over belief is to my mind a blasphemer against the Deity, as he certainly is a tyrant over his fellow-creatures. With these sentiments you will find me the constant and active friend to every measure which tends to give the Jews an equality of civil rights with all other the King's subjects?a perfect unconditional equality. I think every day a day of injustice until that civil equality is attained by the Jews. Command my most unequivocal and energetic exertions in Parliament to do awray with the legal forms and the Laws which now ensnare or impede the conscientious Jew in seeking for those stations to which other subjects are entitled. I have not ability to offer you, but I have zeal and activity. Allow me at once to commence my office of your advocate, and to begin by giving you advice. It is : Not to postpone your claim of right beyond the second day of the ensuing session. Do not listen to those over-cautious persons who may recommend postponement. Believe an agitator of some experience that nothing was ever obtained by delay?at least in politics. You must to a certain extent force your claims on the Parliament. You cannot be worse, recollect, even by a failure, and you ought to be better by the experiment. As far as you and your friends may entrust the measure to me, I will bring it forward in twenty different shapes if necessary to advance its success. Of course I wish your cause committed to more able and to infinitely more influential hands than mine. I only speak of myself to indicate the mode in which I think you ought to be served. Confided or not confided in, my course will be the same, that is, I will, on every practical occasion, struggle to extend the full effect and operation of the principle of freedom of conscience to all your people. In me they shall have a perfectly disinterested as well as a constant friend, because I deem their present exclusion an injustice in which every legislator participates unless he actively resents its con? tinuance. You must, I repeat, force your question on the Parliament. You ought not to confide in English liberality. It is a plant not genial to the British soil. It must be forced. It requires a hot-bed. The English were always persecutors. Before the so-styled Reformation the English tortured the Jews and strung up in scores the Lollards. After that Reformation they still roasted the Jews and hung the Papists. In Mary's days the English with their usual cruelty retaliated the tortures on the Protestants. After her short reign there were near two centuries of the most barbarous and unre? lenting cruelty exercised towards the Catholics, a cruelty the more emaciating because it was sought to be justified by imputing to them tenets and opinions which they always rejected and abhorred. The Jews too suffered in the same way. I once more repeat, Do not confide in any liberality but that which you will yourself rouse into action and compel into operation. After all you are the best judges of your own affairs, and if you deem</page><page sequence="38">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 153 my advice unwise, you will not the less receive every assistance from me in my poor power.?I have the honour to he, your obliged and faithful servant, Daniel O'Connell. 24. Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. Thursday, 28th January [1830]. Dear Sir,?To prevent mistakes I send these few lines containing the substance of my conversation with you on the new points suggested to be introduced into your bill. There is no doubt that, if your bill is to pass, it would in principle be more perfect, and in effect more satisfactory, if there was a distinct clause to repeal and oust altogether the Statute de Judaismo and to lay at rest the questions often mooted in conversation of your right to hold land, and your character of aliens or natural born subjects. I think the doubt is, as it now stands, if not injurious, insulting and galling to a loyal class of subjects, and therefore I should gladly see it laid at rest for ever. But there are two questions for your discretion which arise upon it. 1. If such a clause is in your bill and the bill is rejected, are you not left in a worse situation than you were before ? Does not the introduction of the clause imply an admission that there is something in the doubt ? and might not the rejection of the bill be argued as presumptive proof that Parliament interpreted such doubt in a manner unfavourable to you ? It is not indeed probable that a Court of Justice would admit such loose in? ferences, but they might be the ground or the pretext for individuals not completing the sale or purchase of lands and thus subject Jews to vexatious delays in such transactions. 2. The statement of the grievances you are exposed to by this doubt might furnish some lukewarm friends, and those who have given you am? biguous promises of favour and support, with an opportunity of granting you something (scarce worth having) but still withholding from you that which you are chiefly desirous of obtaining, and which, if obtained, would de facto though not de jure secure you the benefit of all these inferior boons. Still, I ag' ee with Dr. Lushington that on every principle of justice and legislation the thing ought to be done, and 1 only throw out these two remarks as considerations of policy and prudence. With respect to the provisoes taken from the Catholic Belief Bill, they may possibly conciliate and can do no harm; some are right in principle and others, though foolish, unobjectionable in practice. The bringing the Jews within the Toleration Bill is quite right in principle and perhaps may be necessary, but it is liable to the second of my observations on the de Judaismo clauses, and may moreover excite the intolerant to revive the operation of</page><page sequence="39">154 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF those Acts against Jews, from which usages and time have de facto exempted your synagogues almost as effectually as the Toleration Act has the chapels of Dissenters. The clause to repeal the Acts about teaching Christian children seems to me to be liable to all the observations I have made on the others, and moreover, to another more important objection. It will give a colour of more extensive innovation to the measure, and possibly may awaken a train of foolish but formidable apprehensions in the High Church party, who may represent it as directly aiming at the subversion of Christianity itself, and encouraging Jews, or infidels under the cloak of Jews, to seduce our children from the religion of their fathers and of the State. When I reflect that the Act proposed to be repealed is nearly a dead letter, and that the Jews are by no means desirous of making proselytes among Christian children, I do not think the object worth the risk, and should strongly recommend you not to introduce that clause. If the bill pass without it, and any vexation hereafter arise from the Acts in question, there will be no difficulty whatever in getting them repealed. The anomaly of keeping such Acts against a class of men admitted to office and Parliament will then be irresistible and must prevail. ?Yours ever, Yassall Holland. 25. From Robert Owen to I. L. Goldsmid. 49 Bedford Square, 22nd Feb. 1830. My dear Sir,?I rejoice to find that the leading members of the Jewish nation in this country have at length determined to ask the British Parlia? ment to grant them those rights, by law, of thought and action which belong to all men by nature, and I trust you and your friends will succeed in this application to the fullest extent of your wishes, and that the people composing your Society may speedily experience the beneficial change which the attain? ment of important natural rights is certain ultimately to produce upon all men. ?Your sincere friend, Robert Owen. 26. [Robert Grant, the writer of this letter, was born in 1779. He entered Parliament as member for the Elgin Burghs in 1818, and was afterwards elected for Inverness Burghs (1826), Norwich (1830), and Finsbury (1832). In 1830 he introduced a bill for removing the civil disabilities of the Jews, which was rejected by the House of Commons. In 1833 and 1834 he introduced similar bills which, after passing</page><page sequence="40">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 155 through all their stages in the House of Commons, were rejected by the House of Lords. Mr. Grant was not able to render any assistance to the cause of Jewish emancipation after 1834. In that year he was appointed Governor of Bombay and was knighted. He took up his new position in 1835, and died in India three years later. In the papers printed below will be found a letter to Mr. Grant signed by many mem? bers of the Jewish community in England (No. 38), and a letter relating to an address of thanks presented to him by the Jews of Frankfurt, in recognition of his efforts on behalf of Jewish emancipation in England (No. 43). With reference to the advice given in the present letter it is inter? esting to note that, in spite of Mr. Grant's desire that the right of Jews to hold land should be declared in the bill for the removal of their disabilities, no direct reference to the subject was made in the bill of 1830.] Private. From Robert Grant to I. L. Goldsmid. Westminster, 31st March 1830. My dear Sir,?I yesterday fell in with Dr. Lushington, and on men? tioning to him the strong reasons (as they appeared to me) for placing in the front of our bill, at its very introduction into the Commons, a clause declaring your right to hold lands, I had the happiness to find his opinion entirely concurrent with my own. Allow me to state briefly the reasons I allude to. 1. Doubts being notoriously entertained by many persons as to the power of Jewish subjects to hold lands, and those doubts having been strongly maintained and more than plausibly supported in the recent pamphlet of Mr. Blunt, I see no force in the objection that the proposal even of a declaratory law for the removal of such doubts may do mischief by confirming them. The doubts already exist, and as nobody can wish that Jews should not have the power of holding lands, the proposal in question will, I should think, aid the bill, and thereby do more good than it will do harm by acknowledging what all the world knows. 2. Almost everybody to whom I have mentioned the subject has thought that the bill ought to be proposed with such a clause, and has expressed the utmost astonishment on hearing that the contrary was intended. 3. Not only will the bill be, as a general measure of relief, incomplete without such a clause, but it will show a glaring defect on its very face, inasmuch as a permission to Jews to serve as Members of the House of Com</page><page sequence="41">156 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OP mons must, as to the far greater number of places there represented, be absolutely nugatory if unaccompanied with the power of possessing real estate. 4. A strong feeling exists in some quarters that the only way of attaching the Jews to the country is by putting out of doubt their right to acquire an interest in the soil. One or two members (one was Sir Richard Yyvyan) have told me that unless this is done they will oppose the bill. 5. With reference to the idea of tacking to the bill at its very last stage a repeal of the Statute de Judaismo, my impression, I own, is that this sort of contrivance seldom succeeds so well as a plainer and more straightforward course. Accident may defeat our dexterity and even make it mischievous. For instance, can we be sure that some ili-wishers to the bill may not support it for the very reason that he expects it to be nearly inoperative as to Parlia? ment, and may for the same reason oppose the clause respecting lands when it at length makes its tardy appearance ? I could add some other considerations, but am in haste. Those that I have mentioned affect me with a force which, after all, I have understated. Forgive me, therefore, for pressing this subject on your notice. I think it of great importance. I should have urged my opinions on you when I last had the pleasure of seeing you, had I not mistakenly conceived that Dr. Lushington judged differently. I cannot help touching on another subject. I heard it vaguely said that some of your own community were getting up a petition against the bill, and that it was to be presented to the House of Commons by Sir R. Inglis. Would it not be expedient to inquire into the grounds of this rumour ??Yours very truly, Robert Grant. 27. [The pamphlet mentioned in the first sentence of this letter is no doubt the " Remarks on the Civil Disabilities of British Jews," by F. H. Goldsmid (London, 1830).] From H. H. Milman to I. L. Goldsmid. St. Mary's, Reading, April 6th. Sir,?I was about to write to express my acknowledgment for the very interesting pamphlet with which you have favoured me, when I received your second letter concerning a petition to which you requested my signature. The petition has never reached me ; I was therefore in some degree relieved from the difficulty in which it would have placed me. I do not scruple to assert that Christianity owes to your race an ample compen? sation for ages of cruelty and oppression ; nor have I any hesitation in</page><page sequence="42">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 157 asserting my anxious desire that you should be full partakers in all the rights of British subjects. My reluctance to sign a petition would arise solely from a determination, recently formed, to take no very prominent part in any political measure, and perhaps I feel some hesitation, I will not say more, about seats in the Legislative Body. I mean, not that these scruples, for they are no more than scruples, ought, or, in a case of strong emergency, would interfere to prevent me from forwarding what I consider an act of justice, but unless under such circumstances I certainly am reluctant that my name should be brought before the public. I have just seen the day's paper, which informs me of the majority in your favour. I beg you to accept my congratu? lations on this prosperous beginning. I presume, however, the main struggle will be in the Lords. I again request you to accept my thanks for your pamphlet. I fear from the manner in which the Jews out of London are calculated, that you do not possess what may be called National Statistics. I have felt that the statement of the numbers adhering to your religion must be extremely vague and inaccurate, particularly as in many countries from their mercantile habits they may be considered as a sort of floating population. Should I be wrong and should any authentic documents of your numbers exist, I should esteem it a high obligation if you could refer me to the quarter where they may be obtained.?I have the honour to be, your obedient servant, H. H. MlLMAN. 28. [The " late triumphant debate " mentioned in this letter is the debate on the motion for leave to introduce a bill for the removal of Jewish disabilities. The motion was carried after considerable discussion, but later in the session the bill was thrown out on the second reading.] From Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. 13th April 1830. Dear Sir,?The unfriendly and, I think, unhandsome manner in which the Jews have been treated by those from whom they had some right to expect neutrality, if not support, has made me keener than ever to pro? mote the object of their petition to its fullest extent, and to open to their just claims both office and Parliament. The more I reflect on the nature of their case, and it has occupied my thoughts for some years, the more I am satisfied that it is only retarded from not being understood. If the exact nature of your grievances were known, if the strange and fortuitous origin of those restrictions which alone legally exclude you from a full enjoyment of your rights, and if the utter inapplicability of the phrases brought against</page><page sequence="43">158 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF you to the question at issue, were explained to the public, I am quite satis? fied that you would triumph over the bigotry of a few churchmen, and the timidity of politicians in power this very session. But the difficulty lies in raising general attention to your case, without giving it a character, which it in no sense deserves, of an encroachment and attack upon our establishments. The apprehension of the latter inconvenience very reasonably deters you from resorting to meetings, petitions, and numerous and popular publica? tions. It has occurred, however, to me that it might promote your cause to print a correct copy of the late triumphant debate in the Commons in the shape of a pamphlet during holidays, if Mr. Grant, Sir James Mackintosh, Mr. Macaulay, and Dr. Lushington, could be prevailed upon to correct their speeches for that publication, it would be a valuable manual for all those who in or out of Parliament are disposed to urge the facts and reasons in your favour. In such a work short explanatory notes might be subjoined, and there are some passages in the debate, especially such as relate to the form of the oath, that require explanation. I doubt there existing any common or statute law which renders the usual formula of administering the oath on the Evangelists peremptory or indispensable upon qualifying for office or Parlia? ment any more than in giving testimony in a Court of Justice, and if not, such a proposition should not be admitted by your advocates, nor should the scruple of taking the oaths on the Evangelists come from you, but from the Christian authorities which require the oaths. It is clear that the form of kissing or touching a book which you do not believe to be sacred is purely indifferent; it may in some minds have the effect of lessening the obligation, and impairing the efficacy, of the oath, but it is in itself no acknowledgment of the truth or sanctity of the book. Consequently unbelievers in that book cannot reasonably object to the form of touching it, but believers in it may reasonably insist on-their substituting for such form some other which they deem more solemn and binding. This the common law has done in the Courts of Justice, and the same principle, certainly the same law, I believe, would justify and warrant, without any statute, the administering the oath to a Jew who was elected to Parliament on the Old Testament only in lieu of the Evangelists on which Christians usually take it. I think it is desirable that this point should in the course of our dis? cussions be fully cleared up, because in truth the notion of the oath being by common law exclusively Christian, lies at the bottom of all the vulgar prejudices, for I cannot even in courtesy call it argument, which is urged against the admission of the Jews. Pray think over my suggestion of printing with short explanatory notes the debate on Mr. Grant's motion.?Yours, Yassall Holland.</page><page sequence="44">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 159 29. [The information given in this letter is to some extent confirmed by No. 30.] From J. P. Thompson to I. L. Goldsmid. 28th April 1830. Dear Sir,?Being in the city, I called to see you, but too late. A man coUnected with the public press told me to-day that there has been a remark? able alteration in the feeling expressed in the Government quarters towards the Jews ; that he for his own part received several articles, from what he conceives a Treasury quarter, strongly in favour of the Jews, and afterwards was surprised at receiving one of a directly contrary tendency. From what he can ascertain, he says, the explanation is that the Duke of Gloucester has been moved to oppose on religious principles (the old story of Christianity being part and parcel, &amp;c), and that he and his wife (the Princess Sophia, I believe) have gone to the King in consequence and worked upon his mind. He added (which seems to have sense in it) that it might be of great ad? vantage if the question could be put off for a time. The question would come forward at a future period with much greater advantage if it was fresh and undecided, compared with what would be the case if it had a few months before been decided unfavourably in consequence of the personal interference of the King. At the same time it is not easy to say how this could be done with bienseance, unless Mr. Grant should be sick.?I am, dear sir, yours very truly and sincerely, J. P. Thompson. I. L. Goldsmid, Esq. 30. From John Bowring to I. L. Goldsmid. 5 Millman Street, 15th May 1830. Dear Sir,?I am just returned from the north, and anxious as I am for the success of your cause, I hope it will have occurred to you that you should not let the question be brought forward just now. Do not let any defeat now embarrass the future of the question. Among probabilities a connection of the Whigs with the present administration may be looked to, and it would have an effect if the Duke were committed on your particular cause. Nor do I hear of any such difficulties with William the Fourth as you had with George IY. I do not speak my own opinion alone, but that of wiser men. However, you will attribute my writing to the right cause. I was glad to hear you had been a guest at the Philosopher's Hermitage.?Yours most truly, John Bowring.</page><page sequence="45">160 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF 31. From John Bowring to I. L. Goldsmid. 5 Millman Street, 2nd June 1830. My dear Sir,?I cannot but respect your motive. On the other side is the resolution passed unanimously, which you can report to your friends, assuring them we mean to do all we say.?Yours most truly, John Bowring. You may give any publicity to the resolution you think fit. Resolution. At a general meeting of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association held this day at the Finsbury Chapel; John Towill Rutt, Esq., in the chair. It was moved by Dr. Bowring, seconded by Christopher Richmond, Esq., and unanimously resolved :? " That as this Association have on every occasion, without exception or reserve, advocated the principle that no civil distinctions or disabilities should attach to opinions on religious matters, they sincerely regret the failure of the attempts which have been made in Parliament to obtain for the Jews the equal rights of citizenship ; that they deem it incumbent on them to continue their exertions in favour of religious liberty until its triumph shall be complete, and they hereby instruct their Committee to take such measures as may appear likely to remove from their Jewish brethren the stigma inflicted on them by exclusive statutes, and from their country the opprobrium of intolerance and persecution." 32. From Sir J. R. G. Graham to I. L. Goldsmid. 46 Grosvenor Place, 9th June 1830. Sir,?I am very unwilling that you should take the trouble of calling on me, for the opinions which I entertain on the measure to which you allude are not lightly formed and will not easily be shaken. Moreover, for the present session the question is at rest; and before another year I shall have ample time for further reflection, and it will be a source of real pleasure to me if, consistently with my sense of paramount duties, I can support the claim of any class of my fellow-subjects to privileges which, as they think, are withheld on insufficient or even unjust grounds.?1 have the honour to be, Sir, your faithful and obedient, J. R. G. Graham.</page><page sequence="46">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT, 1G1 33. From M. L. Mozley to I. L. Goldsmid. Liverpool, November 3rd, 1830. Dear Sir,?My son Elias has communicated to me the substance of his interview with you on the subject of our civil rights, in the obtaining of which you feel so much interested. I can assure you no one can feel more anxious on this subject than myself, or will unite more cordially with you in endeavouring for its ultimate success. I wrote by this mail to Mr. B. Van Oven to furnish him with all the information requisite previous to my calling a meeting of our Committee for future proceedings. I trust that we shall find our fellow-townsmen as ready to assist us in Petitions as they did last year, but I feel satisfied that much depends on our own exertions and free communication from the London Committee. For this I rely on you, and your Vice-President and Secretary. I annex you copies of General Gascoyne's letters to me, agreeable to your wish expressed to my son, who, with my other sons and Mr. Barned, unite in respects.?Your obedient servant, M. L. Mozley. Enclosure to the above. [Isaac Gascoyne was one of the twro members representing Liver? pool in Parliament.] From I. Gascoyne to M. L. Mozley. House of Commons, Map 3rd, 1830. Sir,?If the bill now in Parliament was confined to the doing away the persecuting laws still upon the statute-books, and removing civil disabilities to which the Jewish sect are liable, I shall not hesitate to give my support, but the admission of that sect into political power, or in other words the admission of Jews into Parliament, is what, consistent with my former opposi? tion to the admission of Roman Catholics, I cannot support. I withheld my opposition to the introduction of the bill that the tendency and object of it might be clearly known, and if there is any hope or expectation of the bill being altered and limited in the Committee, to ascertain what the proposed alterations may be, and how far those alterations may coincide with my views on this subject; but if admission into Parliament is made a sine qua non, the same principles which prompted me to object to the admission of the Roman Catholics will unquestionably induce me to oppose the introduction of Jews into Parliament. Any measure short of that will meet the support of your most obedient servant, I. Gascoyne. vol. iv. l</page><page sequence="47">162 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF 34. From S, Perceval. 6 York Street, St. James's, February l$th, 1831. Dear Sir,?I do not despise the Jew, I can sincerely assure you. I am taught to honour all men, and I desire particularly to honour them whom God above all nations honoured and will honour again, to whom pertaineth the adoption and the glory, and the covenants and the giving of the law, and the service of God and the promises; whose are the Father, and of whom con? cerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all God blessed for ever. Him they rejected. They knew not the voice of the Shepherd of Israel, and the things that pertain to their peace were and are hid from their eyes. " But I know that there shall come out of Sion a deliverer, and turn away ungodli? ness from Jacob." I know that " the gifts and calling of God are without repentance," and that although they are now " enemies as concerning the Gospel, yet as touching the election, they are beloved for the Father's sake." But I know that they fell through unbelief, and that I and my nation can only " stand by faith." I therefore desire not to be high-minded, but to fear. What would it have been to the Jews to have admitted into the Sanhed? rim or any other public and national body of rulers or councillors idolatrous men ? or to have paid from public treasure the priests of Baal ? Judge you. I am content to leave the matter to the plain decision of an honest heart. The French pay the Eabbi not because they love the Jews more, but because they honour Christ less ; they do it practically to illustrate that they hold religion to be a matter of indifference, that the teachers of lies and of truth are equally worihy of public pay and support. We propose to admit the Jew to Parliament because we are bit by the French fashion of liberality, and know not in what consisteth the strength of our nation. You call Jesus of Nazareth the Cursed one, and ye say well, but you say it ignorantly in unbelief. You despise and reject him, and esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted, but he was wounded for your and our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastise? ment of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed, for all we like sheep have gone astray, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He indeed became a curse for us, as it is written: Cursed is every one that hangeth upon a tree ; but it was to redeem us from the curse of the law, as it is written : Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. I forget the exact passage, but you are told, I know, to pray for the peace of the Land into which the Lord shall carry you, for in its peace you shall</page><page sequence="48">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 163 have peace. Desire not therefore to sin against our God and Saviour, lest in the destruction that must come upon us ye he partakers. I have not time to write more. Pray read the 10th of Romans, and believe me, dear Sir, and trust your sincerely willing servant, for Jesus Christ's sake. S. Perceval. 35. From Lord Grey to I. L. Goldsmid. East Sheen, June 11th, 1832. Sir,?I have had the honour of receiving your letter of the 9th inst. relative to the introduction of a bill into Parliament to place the Jews u|3on the same footing as other Dissenters, and expressing a hope that such a measure would receive the support of His Majesty's Government. I must, however, beg to decline entering into engagement upon this subject, and at any rate I do not see the possibility of any measure being brought forward for such a purpose during the remainder of the present session.?I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant, Grey. 36. [This letter is not dated, but it must have been written in 1833. The Irish Church Reform Act to which reference is made was intro? duced in February of that year and passed in July.] From Edward Blount to I. L. Goldsmid. Private and Confidential. My dear Sir,?I was not unmindful of your wishes, and yesterday at dinner took occasion to moot your question. There were present amongst others Lord Brougham, Lord Essex, Lord Melbourne, Lord Tavistock, Lord Surrey, Marquess of Stafford, Lord John Russell, &amp;c. (but not Lord Grey, who was unwell and excused himself). All are friendly to your cause, and anticipate your getting through the Commons, though not without a struggle. They have doubts, however, of your succeeding with the Lords, and if I might venture a suggestion, it would be to recommend to your consideration the expediency of weighing well the pros and cons of proceeding to the Lords till the Irish Church Reform Bill has passed at least one reading there. If that bill passes the Lords, which I anticipate it will, some of the impediments in the way of your success will be sur? mounted, and I fear you will have less chance of success so long as the bigots see any prospect of defeating the Irish Church question.</page><page sequence="49">164 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF I have heard this opinion strongly expressed by influential friends of yours, but I am not at liberty to mention names. Pray keep this note entirely to yourself, so far at least as names are mentioned.?Wishing you every success, yours, Edward Blount. 37. From Elizabeth Fry to I. L. Goldsmid. 21st March 1833. My dear Friend,?I do not like thee to think me unmindful of thy request or in any way of the interests of thy people, for I feel that we who profess to be Christians are peculiarly called upon to show you every kind? ness and respect. As to the point in question, I do not think I am an able judge on it; one thing I may candidly say, that I have so hi^h a view of the real Christian principle that I wish all who govern our country to be really influenced by it, though I lament to say I think far too many who take a part in this important work are only Christians in name, and I fully believe many of our Jewish brethren are examples to them in life and conversation, and even where they do not fully acknowledge it, they are much guided by the high moral standard inculcated in the Holy Scrip? tures. I therefore believe there are amongst you who would fill a place in the House of Commons to the satisfaction of their constituents, but again I say I do not think I am a judge as to what is best to be done generally; but as I saw Joseph Pease, I spoke to him on the subject. I could not advise his being forward in speaking, but I understood that at all events his vote would be in your favour.?I remain, with much regard, thy friend, Elizabeth Fry. 38. To the Eight Honourable Robert Grant, M.P. London, April 11th, 1833. Sir,?We understand that an attempt has lately been made to diffuse a report that only two or three individuals among the Jews take a warm interest in the removal of the disabilities affecting them, and that the com? munity in general and even the most influential of the persons who compose it regard the subject with indifference. After the presentation within the last few weeks of a petition signed by nearly a thousand of the Jewish inhabitants of London in which they stated their extreme anxiety to see that measure carried into effect, and also of similar petitions from almost every part of the</page><page sequence="50">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 165 country where Jews reside, it may well he considered superfluous labour to deny the truth of the report to which we have referred. Yet we trust that you will excuse our troubling you with this contradiction of it, because we thus gain an opportunity not only of saying that we are earnestly desirous to obtain enfranchisement, and shall be deeply grateful for all the exertions which you may make to ensure the attainment of that object, but also of offering you our warmest thanks for the valuable services you have already rendered the cause of ourselves and our co-religionists.?We have the honour to remain, your faithful servants, Lionel de Rothschild, Antony de Rothschild, Nathaniel de Rothschild, Isaac L. Goldsmid, Francis H. Goldsmid, Frederick D. Goldsmid, Louis Lucas, J. Y. Henriques, Andrew Cohen, Lyon Samuel, Sol. Cohen, Mos. Franco, Francis M. Franco, Aaron Asher Goldsmid, Judah Cohen, Emanuel Lousada, Lewis Samson, Samson Goldsmid, Isaac Levi, Sol. I. Levi, David Salomons, Daniel Mocatta, Moses Montefiore, Moses Mocatta, M. A. Goldsmid, I. Levitt, A. L. Mocatta, Abraham Mocatta (senior), Ah. Samuda, Judah Cohen, Joseph Joseph, G. Salomonson, Louis Raj3hael, Sol. Keyser, B. Cohen, Simeon I. Joseph, E. Montefiore, Abraham Hart, David Mocatta, Edward E. Micholls, R. Raphael, Albert Cohen, E. H. Lindo, A. Mocatta (junior), Philip Salomons, M. Montefiore, J., A. de Symons, Isaac Cohen, H. J. Montefiore, David Brandon, M. Oppenheim, Jonas Spyer, John Wagg, M. M. Oppenheim, Joshua Joseph, Elliott D. Aarons, Abraham Cohen, John Joseph, Jacob Jacobs, S. Levy, N. P. Levi, Henry Levi, Joseph d'Aguilar Samuda, P. J. Salomons, Stephen Hart, Solomon Abraham, Barnard Van Oven, A. Isaac. 39. Resolution passed at the Meeting of the Unitarian Association of London, 29th May 1833. On the motion of Richard Taylor, Esq., seconded by-Talbot, Esq. Resolved,?That this Association regards with unabated interest and sympathy the efforts of the Jews to obtain relief from all civil disabilities, and anticipates with cordial congratulation the success of the bill now before Parliament, which, if sanctioned by the legislature, will raise that venerable portion of their countrymen to the same political position with themselves, and that looking beyond the defeat of ignorance, defamation, and bigotry by the triumphant passing of the present bill, this meeting trusts the day will soon arrive when Jews shall be at liberty to enter the Public Schools and the Universities as freely as the Houses of Parliament, and to vie with</page><page sequence="51">166 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF their distinguished brethren who, to the disgrace of Protestant England, are admitted in Catholic countries to the full advantages of public education and are thereby enabled in many cases to attain to the highest honours in the medical profession and in various departments of learning and philosophy. 40. Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. June 2Mh, [1833]. My dear Sir,?You may depend on my showing your letter or stating the substance of it to Grey and others, and indeed of my doing all in my power, firstly, to remove the false and injurious impression of your brethren being insensible or unthankful to those who exert themselves in promoting their just claims ; and, secondly, to urge the impropriety of any expectation that they should act in political matters as a body with a view of purchasing their just rights. I am confident that, if such an idea has been thrown out, it has been in the thoughtless conversation of individuals, and that none in office and certainly none as official men can possibly utter or entertain such an unjust and impolitic view of the matter. It mortifies me not a little that an act of such obvious justice as that of your admission to office and Parliament should be any longer deferred, and that the very discussion of it should be postponed while many of your best friends are in office or, as the common phrase has it, in power; but yet on mature reflection I am more and more satisfied that the immediate proposal of it, all just and reasonable as it is, would be more likely to defeat than to promote the object, would therefore not be serviceable to you, and would in all probability be injurious to the interests of your friends in Parliament. You fully understand that while I venture to recommend on the ground of policy the postponement of the discussion until a more favourable season, I am ready and indeed bound by my view of the subject to support it most earnestly under any disadvantage of time or manner in which it may come before me, because I consider it, and have ever considered it, as a bare act of justice which nothing but State necessity (that cannot even be pretended to exist in this instance) can justify us in withholding. When therefore I venture to advise you to put off agitating the question, do not imagine that I relax, or ever will relax, in my endeavours to promote the object of it. At all times I am ready to support it, and if I see, as I trust I shall, a favourable moment for pressing, shall be much more forward and cheerful in urging you to insist on it than 1 am now in stating my apprehensions that discussion or at least a motion in Parliament would do harm.?Yours truly, Yassall Holland.</page><page sequence="52">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 167 41. Lord Sidmouth to I. L. Goldsmid. 31st July 1833. Sir,? ... I regard the members of the Jewish persuasion with no feelings of disfavour: on the contrary I have frequently had occasion to admire in those with whom I have been acquainted, and others whom I have met in society, great liberality of disposition, and a warm and im? partial benevolence, but it never was, nor is it now, my opinion that persons of that persuasion, however respectable in themselves, should be rendered capable of becoming legislators in a Christian country.?I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant, Sidmouth. 42. [This letter appears to have been written in 1833, shortly before the rejection by the House of Lords of the Bill for the removal of Jewish Disabilities which had been passed by the House of Commons. In the debate in the House of Lords the Archbishop of Dublin (Whately) spoke and voted in support of the Bill, and the Bishops of Chichester and Norwich voted on the same side.] From Lord Holland to I. L. Goldsmid. Dear Sir,?I have done and am doing all I can for you, and I think four bishops in your favour is a good omen for your future prospects. At present you have no chance. I have pressed Grey, but I cannot now, for he really wants country air and repose, and would not, I know, like to give a proxy. Indeed, for reasons I can explain when I see you, I think his neutrality is this year better for you than his unsuccessful resistance. If Archbishop of Dublin speaks, get his speech well reported. I have drawn out a long (much too long) protest, and sent it as containing speechable matter to Lord Clanrickarde. I do not think it would do to enter such a pamphlet as it is on the journals, but parts of it may do there, and if the rest is of any use elsewhere, it shall be at your command ; in short, everything that you can have from a man without legs and with shattered nerves that prevent his speaking. Let Clanrickarde know by a mere reference in what Act of Parliament you are styled "His Majesty's natural born subjects of the Jewish per? suasion," and also where Eldon's judgment about presenting a parson is reported. I am vexed but not surprised at our failure. V. Holland.</page><page sequence="53">168 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF P.S.?Auckland is the man to look after the proxies. I have secured half-a-dozen that were not easily obtained. The prejudice on this subject is beastly and foolish to the last degree, but you must not deceive yourself ; it is still very strong, and your endeavour must be to grind it down gradually. It makes my blood boil, but that must not appear. Norfolk's proxy was not entered by a mistake of Albemarle's, but if it were entered to Lord Albemarle, I am afraid we could not prevail on him to attend and support the bill. Oxford's proxy I have entered to Lord Camperdown, who has two, as have Lord Panmure and Lord Poltimore, the former of whom with his usual good-humour stays in town much to his inconvenience to vote and give them in your favour. I have Lord Suffolk's and Lord Radnor's entered to me. But in your present condition one bishop is worth five laymen, so powerful is our tribe of Levi among us. Little Benjamin will, however, get up in the world one of these days, and then we shall have our own way. 43. From Philipp Ellissen to I. L. Goldsmid. Francfort, a/m, 2nd August 1833. Sir,?With the present I beg leave to give you advice of a parcel marked A. No. 1 forwarded to you via Hamburg containing an address to the Right Honourable Robert Grant from the Jewish inhabitants of our town, expressing their deep-felt satisfaction at the manner in which he brought forward the Jewish Franchise Bill. Though an utter stranger to you, sir, yet I do not hesitate to trouble you with the delivery of this address, confident that the cause to which it refers would be regarded by you both as an introduction and a sufficient apology. Indeed, sir, your well-known and successful efforts to forward the measure in question have secured to yourself the esteem and gratitude of our co-religionists, and, if you have identified yourself with the cause by your zeal in promoting it, my request and the conviction that it could not be entrusted into better hands are but the natural consequences of it. I may be further allowed to state that a great many more signatures might easily have been obtained, but that these, including the foremost with regard to property and intelligence, have been thought sufficiently to repre? sent the whole, and that at any rate the obtaining of more could not be an adequate compensation for the loss of time it would have occasioned. As of course all those who signed the address are anxious to learn what reception it has met with on the part of Mr. Grant, perhaps it might not be presuming too much to ask you to drop a few lines relating to it in answer to this, which would be regarded as a great favour by your most obedient servant, Philipp Ellissen.</page><page sequence="54">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 169 44. From Philipp Ellissen to I. L. Goldsmid. Frankfort, 24th December 1833. I had the honour of receiving two pamphlets which you have been kind enough to send, by my brother, as well as your agreeable letter of the 19th November by post. I have found great satisfaction in perusing the pamphlets, as they greatly tend to elucidate the question with regard to England. There, the opposition to your claims is openly avowed to rest on religious grounds solely, the Jews are allowed to be worthy of emancipation, but that the peculiar relative posi? tion of church and state renders compliance imprudent. Not so with us. We are harassed by sophisms of a less fair character, outraged by reproaches we do not deserve. V\ e have to defend our cause against the imbecility of the one or the Jesuitism of the other, and no sooner is one argument triumph? antly reflected than another starts up equally ridiculous or perfidious. . . . 45. From Lord Grey to I. L. Goldsmid. Downing Street, 6th February 1834. Sir,?I have received your letter of the 27th ult. stating it to be the intention of His Majesty's Jewish subjects to renew their application to Parliament for the removal of the disabilities to which they are liable, but am sorry that I cannot, according to your wishes, give you any assurance that a measure introduced for that purpose will receive the support of His Majesty's ministers.?I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant, Grey. 46. From Phineas Franklin to Barnard Van Oven. 54 New Buildings, North Bridge Street, Edinburgh, 19th April 1831. My dear Sir,?You will herewith receive the petition to the Commons together with copies for your perusal of the letters despatched by this day's post, addressed to the Bight Honourable the Lord Advocate, Mr. Aber crombie, and Mr. Grant. In your interview with the Lord Advocate I strongly recommend your calling his lordship's attention to the fact that the petition contains the signatures of the entire Town Council, and, as they are</page><page sequence="55">170 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF popularly elected, their signatures alone would be sufficient to stamp the petition with the character of representing the opinions of the majority of the inhabitants of Edinburgh, but supported as it is by 6110 signatures in addition, must entirely dispose of the question as to the feeling here in regard to the subject of Jewish emancipation. With respect to the proceedings at the public meeting, I think it would be of importance to inform his lordship that the meeting seemed to be composed of persons of all political opinions, as was apparent from some disapprobation manifested at some partisan expressions in one or two of the speeches ; but with every sentiment bearing reference to Jewish emancipation the approbation was truly unanimous. It is of some importance that Parliament be made aware that the question is by no means viewed here as a political one. The Committee have delayed sending up the petition to the Lords, it being the opinion of some members that it will be advisable to let it lie for additional subscriptions, but as this measure would not only be attended with increased expense, but might be objected to as irregular, we wait your advice concerning it. I herewith submit to you a very rough and hasty digest of the petition. "When a similar document was transmitted to you last year, the comparatively small number of the signatures afforded an opportunity of making a more minute scrutiny; I must now content myself with simply copying the titles attached to the numerous signatures which the present petition contains, but you can easily perceive that had all the parties signing given themselves a designation, most of these titles of the names, were they particularly examined, would be found double or treble the number here quoted.?I am, my dear Sir, yours most truly, Phineas Franklin (Hon. Sec). To Barnard Van Oven, Esq. (Hon. Sec). Digest. The Right Honourable the Lord Provost. 1 Honourable. 2 Baronets. 33 Town Councillors (the entire number). 19 Advocates (these you may take at treble the number). 1 Bishop. 26 Clergymen (these may be taken at least as double). 79 Writers to the Signet (these at least six times the number). 56 Doctors (these at least six times the number). 2 Bankers. 3 Military Officers. 4 Naval Officers. It is scarcely necessary to continue this further, as any one acquainted with Edinburgh will see the respectability of the subscriptions by the address</page><page sequence="56">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 171 attached to each name. I will add for instance Mr. Stewart Montheath of Closehurn, father-in-law of the Earl of Mar, &amp;c. &amp;c. P. F. 47. From Harriet Martine au to I. L. Goldsmid. July 1834. Dear Sir,?I hope that even such a barbarous defeat as that of the other night wrill not dishearten you or any of youv family. I am persuaded that it will be with this question as it has been with others of somewhat the same nature?that it will be carried at last so suddenly as to leave you almost incredulous about the thing being really done. The disgrace of the exclusion of the Jews is so deep that, as soon as their lordships of the Upper House become fully conscious of it, they will be in a prodigious hurry to get rid of it; and the question will be carried so easily that the gentlemen themselves will wonder why it was not carried long ago. Such is my prophecy. May it be fulfilled next year! I shall watch your proceedings from my distant resting-place, wherever it may be at that time, and I need not say how earnestly I shall wish you success.?Yours very truly, Harriet Martineau. 48. From Lord Melbourne to I. L. Goldsmid. Downing Street, May 2nd, 1835. Sir,?I have the honour of acknowledging a letter dated the 1st inst. and signed by yourself and several other gentlemen of the Jewish persuasion, and enclosing a petition to the House of Lords praying for such measures as may be necessary to place the Jewish subjects of His Majesty in the same condition as to all civil rights and franchises with the other subjects of His Majesty dissenting from the Established Church. I beg leave to acquaint you that, upon that petition or upon any measure founded upon it, I shall pursue the same course as upon former similar occasions, by giving it my individual support.?I have the honour to remain, Sir, your faithful and obedient servant, Melbourne. 49. [The result of the protest contained in this letter was that on the 4th of December 1838 the Jewish Board of Deputies passed the follow? ing resolution, viz.: " That it is the opinion of this Board that no indi</page><page sequence="57">172 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF viduals, by being members of a synagogue or of the Board of Deputies, are precluded from exerting their influence with the Government of the country for the promotion of their civil rights and privileges." The letter as printed here (with omissions) is taken from the Minute-Book of the Jewish Board of Deputies.] From I. L. Goldsmid to the Parnassim and Vestry of the Great Synagogue. 26th September 1838. Gentlemen,?Ever since the adoption of the late regulations for the new formation of the Board of Deputies entitled "the Deputies of the British Jews," I have felt that in those regulations it was impossible for me to acquiesce. I have hitherto, however, abstained from taking any decided step in consequence of my entertaining a slight hope that some modifications might have been effected by which the necessity of any such step would have been spared. But as the arrival of the period when the customary payments are made by members of the synagogue renders ir, indispensable that 1 should determine what course I am to pursue, I can no longer defer a full explanation of my sentiments on the subject. The regulations in question appear to me in several points open to objection. I am unable to see why there is any necessary connection between the circumstance of a man being a ns2 5&gt;JD and his fitness for the office of a Deputy, or why, if he be considered by the majority of ratepayers as one of the persons best able to advance their interests in the latter capacity, they should nevertheless be prevented from choosing him because he doesn't fill the former. Again, the great number of Deputies is quite sufficient to make the body wholly unsuited to watch proceedings before Parliament. So much time is lost in issuing circulars and calling a meeting of a numerous body like this, that the proper season for acting has usually passed before the Deputies have begun to deliberate. And if by some rare chance a meeting is obtained, when the right moment for action has not gone by, the unanimity, and, above all, the promptitude and decision are wanting, which can only be found in a small committee, and without which any attempt at originating or influencing legislative measures will either fail to be made or will be feeble and useless. It is by these circumstances that I am willing to account for the fact which I shall presently notice more fully, a fact which I should be reluctant to attri? bute to want of energy on the part of individual members of the Board of Deputies, but the existence of which appears to me not to admit of doubt,</page><page sequence="58">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 173 that for all purposes connected with the civil rights of the Jews, that Board has always proved itself to be utterly inefficient. Nor do I see how it can be expected that the mere adoption of a new mode of electing the body (leaving it in all its unwieldy bulk, giving it no authority to delegate its powers to a sub-committee, and making, as far as I am informed, no very extensive and material change in its composition) can be expected to adapt it to the task of watching over the political condition of our community. But however much I may regret what I may consider unwise in these arrangements, and whatever my wish may be that a body really suited to the purpose I have referred to should be formed, I should not have felt myself compelled to interfere were it not for the principle involved in the 21st of the Regulations in question, which declares the Deputies to be the only official medium of communication with the Government for the purposes of their appointment (including, according to the 3rd Regulation, all matters affecting the political interests of the British Jews), a principle so extraordinary that I am convinced its real effect cannot have been considered at the time when it was adopted. In the first place, as far as regards the Jews living elsewhere than in the Metropolis, this declaration involves an absurdity. . . . But while this regulation contradicts itself, and has no real meaning with regard to the Jews resident out of London, and whom it cannot be seriously supposed to bind, the matter is worse as it respects Jews who do not subscribe to the London Synagogues, and who, if they continue to subscribe to them, may be held to be bound by the regulations they have adopted. What strong motive of expediency is there which should induce us to submit to a proceeding so extraordinary ? What experience have we of the efforts of the Deputies for procuring a recognition of the civil rights of the Jews being so much superior to the efforts of individuals that we ought to transfer all power from the latter to the former ? I will endeavour to answer the question. The admission of the Jews to the freedom of the City of London which has enabled them to earn their subsistence as shopkeepers, and which has opened the way to the attainment of high civic offices by gentlemen at whose elevation no one can rejoice more than myself?this admission was brought about partly by my son's pamphlet, which directed public attention to this among other subjects, and partly by my exertions and those of Mr. Apsley Pellatt and other members of the Common Council. In the next place my son practically demonstrated the fact that a Jew may be called to the Bar, a fact of which I am glad to learn that several young men are preparing to take advantage. Again, a bill was on three several occasions passed by the House of</page><page sequence="59">174 SIR I. L. GOLDSMID AND THE ADMISSION OF Commons for placing the Jews on a complete equality with their fellow subjects, a circumstance which some may be disposed to undervalue, because it produced no immediate tangible benefit, but which I believe to have had no small effect in raising the condition of the Jews in public estimation. This result was owing to my devoting to the purpose my time and best energies from night to night, from week to week, and from session to session, whilst I found, it is true, in some a disposition to co-operate warmly with me, but experienced from others, and among them influential members of the Board of Deputies, a great unwillingness to contribute their personal exertions and a total refusal of pecuniary assistance. Considerable service has also been done to the cause of the Jews by the able pamphlet of Mr. Van Oven, and by the efforts of Mr. David Salomons, who has been the first to obtain as a Jew the offices of Sheriff and of Magis? trate, and has been long engaged in a struggle for that of Alderman. Finally, I have had the honour of taking, in common with many emi? nent individuals of different faiths, an active part in founding, in upholding through a series of difficulties, and ultimately I doubt not in fixing upon a stolid basis, a University College, the establishment of which has led to the institution of the new University of London, and in conjunction with it has been the means of laying open to persons of all religions, and Jews among the rest, the great advantages of academical education and distinctions. And now let me inquire what during the progress of all these changes has been accomplished or attempted by the Deputies'? What have they done towards obtaining for the Jews the freedom of the city, or admission to the Bar or the offices of Sheriff, Magistrate, or Alderman, or University edu? cation, or recognition by the House of Commons of their rights to all the privileges of Englishmen 1 The answer is (as it has been said a battle should be) decisive. Nothing ! Nay. Even when a measure was in progress which it was more espe? cially the province of the deputies to watch, because it was a legislative measure thought by some to interfere in a degree with the religious opinions of the Jews, and imposing on them restrictions to which they had not pre? viously been liable (I mean Lord Lyndhurst's Marriage Act), the Deputies procured no information about the matter until the bill had passed, and it was too late to do airpthing except to make an attempt to get the Jews ex? empted from its operation, which if made when the law was in progress might perhaps have succeeded, but being deferred till the next session was unavail? ing. . . . For myself the object of my efforts on behalf of the Jews has been to benefit them, and not to obtain their applause. I have therefore never courted approbation. I have left it to be earned by those who desired it. I have not sought thanks for applying years of labour (of pecuniary expense I say nothing) to forwarding the cause of Jewish enfranchisement.</page><page sequence="60">THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. 175 But when I find the first acknowledgment of my services in the adoption of a regulation which, if acquiesced in, would make it almost impracticable for me or others who are younger than I now am to render similar services for the future, I am reluctantly compelled to state what I have done and at the same time to say that I cannot possibly consent to entrust my political interests to the charge of the Deputies. To be forced to separate from a body with which my father and family have been connected for very many years, and with which as a religious and charitable society I desire still to remain in connection, would cause me the deepest concern. ... I. L. Goldsmid. 50. To the Jewish Electors of the City of London. Having more than eleven years since taken a leading part in submitting to Parliament a measure for the entire enfranchisement of the Jews, which was afterwards carried through the House of Commons by large majorities, I trust I shall stand excused in calling your attention to the important service you may now render to the cause of civil and religious liberty by the support that you shall give to the noble lord who is a candidate to represent you in Parliament for the city of London. You will recollect, I am sure, the steady and uniform assistance he has given to that cause ; you will bear in mind that on a recent occasion when he spoke in favour of a measure calculated only to relieve the Jews from all legal difficulties when elected to corporate offices, for which probably some of you might be chosen in this very city, and which are now, through favour, held by our co-religionists in a few of the provincial towns, he declared he was ready to support not that Bill merely, but every measure which would tend to remove civil distinction on account of religion. You will recollect that, as a Minister of the Crown, he has assisted you and the Dissenters generally by the establishment of the University of London, where you can obtain for your children the highest honours that superiority in education can bestow, and of the benefits of which I know that many of you have already abundantly availed yourselves. You will also not forget, 1 am sure, that the noble lord is doubly valuable to us at this moment, after the hand of death has within so short a time deprived us of two of our most powerful and active friends, Lord Holland and Sir Robert Grant, whose constant exertions were devoted to the endeavour to obtain justice for their Jewish countrymen. I ask, then, is not this a golden opportunity, when by one act of ours we can accomplish two great and important objects 1 when we can at once evince to Lord John Russell our gratitude for his past services, and join in</page><page sequence="61">176* ADMISSION OF THE JEWS OF ENGLAND TO PARLIAMENT. sending to Parliament a representative so inclined by principle, so fitted by great mental powers and high station, to promote on our behalf not any partial measure, but an enactment which may relieve us from the odious badge of disfranchisement, and enable us to devote our energies, free and un? fettered, to the advancement of the welfare of our native land ??I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, your faithful servant, Isaac L. Goldsmid. St. John's Lodge, Regent's Park, June 18th, 1841. 51. From Lord John Russell to John Allen. Downing Street, 24th August [1841]. My dear Allen,?I think you may inform Mr. Goldsmid that his name will be included among the Baronets.?Yours, J. Russell. The best reason for this honour is Lord Holland's strong wish in favour of it.</page><page sequence="62"></page></plain_text>

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