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The Jews of Ireland: An Historical Sketch

Leon Hühner

<plain_text><page sequence="1">THE JEWS OF IRELAND. AN HISTORICAL SKETCH. By LEON H?HNER, A.M., LL.B., Curator of the American Jewish Historical Society ; Member, American Historical Association, &amp;c. (Read before the Society on March 28, 1905.) The American people, and to a great degree Europeans as well, never associate the Jewish people with the Kingdom of Ireland; yet not only were Jews to be found in the Emerald Isle at an early date, but the Irish themselves are among the very few nations of Europe who have repeatedly sought to identify their origin and their antiquities with the history of the chosen people. Many are the books written at different times by Irish authors, seeking to trace the descent of the Irish people from Japheth, the son of Noah, and the claim has likewise been made that Ireland is the Ur of the Chaldees.1 The voluminous literature, written by serious and scholarly men, who sought to identify the North American Indians with the Lost Ten Tribes, is now generally regarded as among the curiosities of history. Even more strange and fanciful than the theories set forth in the works referred to, however, is the far less voluminous but yet appreciable literature written with equal sincerity, seeking to identify the Irish with the Lost Tribes of Israel, or to connect them with Scripture history.2 None of these works are by Jewish authors, and 1 " Ireland, Ur of the Chaldees," by Anna Wilke. London, 1873. Henry O'Brien, " Phoenician Ireland." Dublin, 1833. " The Round Towers of Ireland." London, 1834. 2 "Precursory Proofs that Israelites came from Egypt into Ireland," by Joseph ben Jacob. London, 1816. The author refers to himself as a Roman Catholic clergyman. 226</page><page sequence="2">THE JEWS OF IRELAND. 227 the amount of scholarship devoted to the subject is surprising indeed. By far the most interesting and most elaborately developed theory associating the Irish with the Jews, is one to the effect that after the destruction of Jerusalem, the prophet Jeremiah went into Egypt, and later came to Ireland, where he settled, and founded a place called Tara (supposed to be the Hebrew wrord " Torah "). The further claim is made that he then became known as Ollam Fola, the advocates of this view going so far as to pretend to point out with certainty the Prophet's grave.1 Leaving these fanciful views, and turning to authentic history, the earliest mention of Jews in Ireland is found under date 1079. Mr. Joseph Jacobs has heretofore called attention to this item, which recites that in the year 1079 "five Jews came over the sea bearing gifts to Fairdelbach (Hua Brian), and were sent back over the sea." 2 "Ho further reference is found until nearly a century later, in the reign of *King Henry II. of England. That monarch feared that an independent kingdom might be established in Ireland, and accord? ingly prohibited a proposed expedition thither. Strongbow, however, went in defiance of the King's orders, and as a result his estates were confiscated. In his venture Strongbow seems to have been assisted financially by a Jew, for under date 1170 the following record occurs: " Josce Jew of Gloucester, owes 100 shillings for an amerciament for the moneys which he lent to those who against the King's prohibition went over to Ireland." 3 In the Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, Jewish names appear between the dates 1171-1179. These references, however, are probably to English Jews, and only in connection with Irish affairs.4 1 Baronesse von Clodt, Ist wohl der Prophet Jeremias jemals in Irland gewesen. See Bloeh's Oesterreichische Wochenschrift, No, 19, Wien, May 9, 1902, p. 319, &amp;c. 2 Joseph Jacobs, " The Jews of Angevin England.'* New York, 1893, p. 255. O'Conor, " Annals of Innisfallen," ii. p. 81. 3 Pipe Roll, 16 Hen. II. 5b (m. 379). Joseph Jacobs, "The Jews of Angevin England,'* p. 51. 4 Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, vol. (1171-1251), edited by H. S. Sweetman. London, 1875. P. 8, No. 49, 1177-1178. London and Middlesex. Scutage of Ireland: " The sheriffs render their account of ?80,18 sh. aid of</page><page sequence="3">228 THE JEWS OF IRELAND. In 1171 mention is made of "Joseph the Doctor." In view of the name and profession (particularly at the date mentioned) it is not unreasonable to suppose that he was of Jewish race.1 It is very unlikely, however, that Jews settled in the island in appreciable numbers at that period, for no further record is found concerning them until several years later. An entry dated 1225 shows that Roger Bacon had borrowed considerable sums from English Jews in connection with his mission " on the King's service in Ireland." 2 By the date just mentioned, there was undoubtedly a well-defined Jewish community in Ireland, for under date July 28, 1232, appears a grant by King Henry III. to Peter de Rivall, granting him the office of Treasurer and Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, the King's the city for its scutage. Paid into the Treasury 46 sh. 8d., payments by writ of Richard de Luci to Deodatus, Bishop of the Jews (Episcopus Judseorum), Bene? dict, son of Sarah, Moses his brother, and Vivo, Jews, 10 sh., and they owe ?78 and 16d. ; they render their account for this debt; paid into the Treasury 1 mark, and they owe ?77, 8 sh." (Pipe, 24 Hen. II. Rot. 9, dors.) Also Ibid., p. 9, No. 51, 1178-1179. Norfolk and Suffolk. Scutage of Ireland: " Roger de Kenetewell renders his account of ?6,16 sh. 8d., payments by the King's writ to Deodatus, Bishop Benedict, Moses, and Vivo, Jews. ?6, 16 sh. 8d., and he is quit." (Pipe, 25 Hen. II. Rot. 2.) Again, ibid., p. 12, No. 79. Year 1185-1186. Nottingham and Derby. "Ralph Murdoch renders his account for carrying from Nottingham to Stutebury the moneys of the Archbishop and of Aaron, which the King gave to John, his son, to go into Ireland, 18 sh. by the King's writ." (Pipe, 32 Hen. II. Rot. 8.) 1 Ibid., p. 5, No. 29 (1171). See of Winchester. 44 Richard, Archdeacon of Poitiers, renders his account. . . . Articles, &amp;c, sent into Ireland ... by Joseph the Doctor, ?10, 7 sh." (Pipe, 18 Hen. II. Rot. 6, dors). 2 Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, vol. (1171-1251), edited by H. S. Sweetman. London, 1875. P. 196, No. 1291, May 16, 1225: "The King pardons to Roger Bacon the usury of one year on the debts which he owes to Bona, who was the wife of Moses, to Benedict Fitz[ ], to Angevin Fitz Bonevie, Master Josceus de Lincoln, Abraham and Pictavinus his associate, for his expenses incurred in the K's service in Ireland before and after the arrival there of Hugh de Lascy. Mandate to the Justices for the custody of the Jews to acquit Roger of the usury of those debts. For the residue of the debts which Roger owes those Jews, the Justices shall cause him to have such fine and terms as according to the extent of his land he can bear without hardship." Westminster (Close, 9 Hen. III. p. 2, m. 13).</page><page sequence="4">THE JEWS OF IRELAND. 229 Ports and Coast, and also " the Custody of the King's Judaism in Ireland." This grant contains the additional and significant instruc? tion that " all Jews in Ireland shall be intentive and respondent to Peter as their keeper in all things touching the King."1 The Jews at this period probably resided in or near Dublin. In the Dublin White Book under date 1241 appears a grant of land containing various prohibitions against its sale or disposition by the grantee. Part of the prohibition reads " vel in Judaismo ponere."2 The unsettled condition of the country during the Middle Ages, the arbitrary power wielded by the Norman adventurers, probably kept Jews from establishing themselves in Ireland in greater numbers. Their preference during that period was generally for those countries where there existed a strong central power, and where, at all times, they could enjoy the royal protection. 1 Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, vol. (1171-1251), p. 293, No. 1969, edited by H. S. Sweet man. London, 1875. "July 28, 1232.?Grant for life to Peter de Rivall of the Office of Treasurer and Chamberlain of the Irish Exchequer with all the liberties and free customs thereto belonging . . . further grant for life to the same of custody of all the K's ports and coast of Ireland, to answer for the issue thereof at the Irish Exchequer, of custody of the King's Judaism in Ireland; all Jews in Ireland shall be intentive and respondent to Peter as their keeper in all things touching the King," &amp;c. Woodstock (Chart., 16 Hen. III. m. 3). See also ibid., p. 293, No. 1970, July 28, 1232. (The King's Mandate.) Also ibid., p. 294. 44 Letters to the Jews in Ireland to be intentive to Peter," &amp;c. (Pat., 16 Hen. III. m. 3). See also ibid., p. 295, No. 1976. " Sept. 2, 1232.?Grant for life to Peter de Rivall of the Treasury and Chamberlainship of the Exchequer, Ireland, &amp;c. . . . Custodies of the Jewry of Ireland," &amp;c. (Close, 16 Hen. III. m. 4). Comp. 44 Exchequer of the Jews of England," by Dr. Charles Gross, in 44Papers of Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition, 1888," p. 218, to same effect. 44 Peter de Rivallis," 18 Hen. III. Prynne, ii. p. 34. In 16 Hen. III. he had been appointed Warden of the Jews of Ireland. 44 Quod habeat toto tempore vitae suae custodiam Judaismi nostri Hiberniae ita quod omnes Judaei Hiberniae sint ei intendentes et respondentes, tanquam custodi suo de omnibus quae ad nos pertinent." (Shirley, 44 Letters of the Reign of Henry III." ii. 519.) 2 Historical and Municipal Documents of Ireland (1172-1320). Dublin White Book, p. 438: 44 Et quod non liceat dicto Mauricio, nec heredibus nec assignatis suis, predictam terram totam nec partem alicui vendere, invadiare, alternare, vel in Judaismo ponere, nec domui religiose conferre." (1241.)</page><page sequence="5">230 THE JEWS OF IRELAND. It is stated that about 1240, when King Henry III. needed money to meet the Welsh incursions, the Jews of England were applied to and were despoiled of 10,000 marks, transportation to Ireland being the punishment in case of refusal.1 Many families removed and hid themselves, " fearing Ireland even more than Eng? land."2 The last mention of Jews in the Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland appears about the date 1286.3 In the English Court Records (Bristol, Michaelmas Term 1232 1 Margoliouth, Rev. Moses, " The History of the Jews in Great Britain." London, 1851, vol. i. p. 174. 2 Ibid. 3 This is probably a reference to English Jews. Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, &amp;c, vol. (1285-1292), p. 92, No. 212. Easter 1286. '* The Justiciary of Ireland had been commanded to summon Thomas de Clare to appear on this day to acquit Cecilia, who was the wife of John de Muscigros, of ?120, which the King claimed of her in his court before the Justices assigned for custody of the Jews out of ? of the manor of Alvescote, held by her in dower, Robert le Muscigros, son and heir of the said John, had this manor in exchange for certain lands of the inheritance of Robert which Thomas holds in Ireland. Thereupon the King's protection for Thomas until Michaelmas a. r. 15 was produced. Wherefore the Justices assigned for custody of the Jews are commanded meanwhile to supersede the demand against Cecilia." (Coram Rege, Edw. I. No. 99, Rot. 7, dors.) Other early references to Jews in connection with Ireland are as follows: Calendar, &amp;c, vol. (1171-1254), p. 309, No. 2079. "Dec. 15, 1233.?The King grants to Walter de Lascy, whom the King sends to Ireland on his service, that, although he has not observed the terms of a fine which he made with Ursellus Fitz Hamon, a Jew of Hereford, for the debts he owes the Jews, yet the fine shall stand. The first term shall be at Pentecost, a. r. 18, and meanwhile the usury shall cease. Mandate accordingly to the Justice for custody of the Jews." Ledbury. (Close, 18 Hen. III. m. 33). Calendar, &amp;c, vol. (1252-1284), p. 77, No. 473. "Nov. 3, 1255.?The King had ascertained by inquisition made by Richard de la Rochelle, Seneschal in Ireland of Edward, the King's son, that the King holds four carucates of land in Ulveston, Ireland, which belonged to Robert de Schardelawe, and were given to him by Agnes de Weston free from all debt in exchange for four virgates of land in Angoldesthorp, in the County of Leicester, and eleven acres in Eston, in the County of Derby. Debts of the Jews being exacted out of the latter lands by summons of the King's Exchequer of the Jews. Mandate to the Justice assigned for the custody of the Jews to respite this exaction," &amp;c. Westminster. (Close, 40 Hen. III. No. 21, dors.) See also No. 511, July 22, 1256. (Pat., 40 Hen. III. No. 6). No. 526, Dec. 30, 1256.</page><page sequence="6">THE JEWS OF IRELAND. 231 1283) mention is made of one " Aaron of Ireland, Jew."1 Several possibly Jewish names of Italian merchants trading to Ireland also appear during this period.2 When the expulsion from England took place in 1290, the Irish Jews had doubtless to go as well. At any rate there is no further mention of them until the period of the Commonwealth, when the re-settlement of the Jews in England under Cromwell led to re? settlement in Ireland also. There seem, however, to have been a few isolated cases of Jews dwelling there even prior to the days of the Commonwealth. These are of course exceptional. Thus, from investigations made by Mr. Lucien Wolf, it would appear that as early as 1620 one David Sollom, mentioned in the Irish Land Register as a " Jewish Mer? chant/1 purchased some property in Meath, which is still in the pos? session of his descendants.3 About the same period, also, there appears in England a convert to Christianity named Paul Jacob. This individual, in a petition to King James I. on behalf of himself and his family, refers to himself as a " poor Jew (converted by the pious industry of your most loyall and affectionate subject, George, Lord Bishop of Londonderry, in Ire? land)." It is, therefore, not unreasonable to suppose that Paul Jacob had resided in Ireland for some time prior to his coming to England.4 1 "Aaron de Hibernia, Judaeus." See "Select Pleas, Starrs, and other Records from the Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews " (1220-1284), edited by J. M, Rigg. London, 1902, pp. 120, 127. 2 Among others Ramucius Jaoobi (vol. 1252-1284), p. 300, No. 1527, Feb. 2, 1279 (Pat., 7 Edw. I. m. 24), Coppus Joseph., Coppus Cotenue, vol. (1302-1307), No. 56, Easter 1301-1302, p. 23. 3 Lucien Wolf, " The Middle Age of Anglo-Jewish History " (1290-1656), in " Papers of the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition," p. 76. 4 State Papers, Dom., James I., vol. 188. See the interesting and scholarly paper by Rev. Michael Adler on the "History of the Dom us Conversorum," vol. iv., Transactions of the Jeioish Historical Society of England, pp. 48, 74. Paul Jacob's Petition is given in full in an Appendix to that Paper (xx.), and is of sufficient interest to be reproduced here. It is as follows:? " Dread Sir,?It is a wonder, if not a miracle, to see a son of Abraham, a child of that great King, owne your Majestie to be his natural soveraigne. To confess that the sceptre is departed from Judah, the most obstinate of my brethren are compelled to doe, but that it is rightly devolved in your hands, is</page><page sequence="7">232 THE JEWS OF IRELAND. Before proceeding, it may not be without interest to note the fact that Jews are also mentioned in ancient Irish literature. The fullest and most perfect of all the early manuscript records of Ireland is the immense book of Genealogies compiled in the years 1650-1666. In the collection known as " MacFirbis's Book of Genealogies," appears a curious characterisation of various nations, dating probably from the year 1000. Strangely enough this reference represents the Jews as being pre-eminent as builders.1 Another curious literary reference is found in Harrington's " Oceana." James Harrington was a prominent politician in the days of Charles I. and Cromwell, and published his " Oceana" in their stumbling block but my faith. For if onely true believers be the genuine children of Abraham, and you onely are that King of the true believers, it is a consequence undeniable, that you onely are the true King of the Jews, true successor and heir, in a mistery, of that King whose faith you defend, who was ?though crucified?the sonne of David, the heir of Abraham. And now, royall Sir, having insinuated my title unto your favour, being both your child and your subject, I beg your Majestie, not to cast me out as an Ishmalite?being by the faith embraced become your truly sonne Isaack?but allow me, amongst the rest of your loyall children, a small portion to refresh me and my family in our great necessities, and your poor Jew (converted by the pious industry of your most loyall and affectionate subject, George, Lord Bishop of Londonderry, in Ireland) shall ever pray," &amp;c. 1 The translation is given as follows in "Lectures on the Manuscript Materials of Ancient Irish History," by Eugene O'Curry, M.R.I.A, Prof, of Irish History, &amp;c. Dublin, 1861, pp. 215, 224, 580. " For building the noble Jews are found, And for truly fierce envy ; For size the guileless Armenians, And for firmness the Saracens, For acuteness and valor the Greeks, For excessive pride the Romans, For dullness the creeping Saxons, For haughtiness the Spaniards, For covetousness and revenge, the French, And for anger, the true Britons.? Such is the true knowledge of the trees.? For gluttony the Danes, and for commerce ; For high spirit the Picts are not unknown ; And for beauty and amourousness, the Gaedhils, As Giolla-na-Naemh says in verse, A fair and pleasing composition.!'</page><page sequence="8">THE JEWS OF IRELAND. 233 1656. In this famous work he outlined an ideal political system, in which he represented England as Oceana and Ireland as Panopea. He suggests the colonisation of Ireland with Jews, as the most advantageous scheme for his ideal Commonwealth.1 Passing the exceptions above referred to, Jews are first heard of again in Dublin, and there is reason to believe that they were among the Dissenters who came after Cromwell's conquests. It is even stated that some Portuguese Jews settled in Dublin on Cromwell's invitation, and that they soon became opulent merchants.2 They established a synagogue in Crane Lane.3 The Dublin congregation prospered, and seems to have been in existence in the reign of King William III. and of Queen Anne. In 1 " The Oceana," and other Works of James Harrington, Esq. 3rd edition, London, MDCCXLVII. pp. xxi. 35. " Panopea, the soft mother of a slothful and pusillanimous people, is a neighbor Hand, antiently subjected by the Arms of Oceana, since almost de? populated for shaking the Yoke, and at length replanted with a new Race. But (through what virtues of the Soil, or vice of the Air soever it be) they com still to degenerat. Wherfore seeing it is neither likely to yield men fit for Arms, nor necessary it should, it had bin the interest of Oceana so to have disposed of their Province, being both rich in the natur of the Soil, and full of commodious Ports of Trade, that it might have bin order'd for the best in relation to her Purse; which in my opinion (if it had bin thought upon in time) might have bin best don by the planting it with Jews, allowing them their own Rites and Laws ; for that would have brought them suddenly from all parts of the World, and in sufficient numbers. And though the Jews be now altogether for Mer? chandize, yet in the Land of Canaan (except since their exile from whence they have not bin Landlords) they were altogether for Agriculture : and there is no cause why a man should doubt but having a fruitful Country and excellent Ports too, they would be good at both. Panopea well peopled, would be worth a matter of four millions dry rents ; that is, besides the advantage of the Agricul? ture and Trade, which with a Nation of that Industry, corns at least to as much more. Wherefore Panopea being farm'd out to the Jews and their Heirs for ever, for the pay of a provincial Army to protect them during the term of seven years, and for two Millions annual Revenue from that time forward, besides the customs which would pay the Provincial Army would have bin a bargain of such advantage both to them and this Commonwealth, as is not to be found otherwise by either." 2 " The History of the County of Dublin," by John D'Alton, Esq., M.R.I.A., Barrister-at-Law. Dublin, MDCCCXXXVIIL pp. 54-57. Whitehall and Walsh's " History of Dublin," p. 845. 3 Ibid.</page><page sequence="9">234 THE JEWS OF IRELAND. a work published in the latter's reign, mention is made of a visit to London by a Rabbi Aaron Sophair of Dublin.1 Another clergyman, named Hirsch, seems to have been Rabbi of Dublin about 1722. One of his responses is quoted by Low in his Graphische Requisiten.2 Of another Jew resident in Dublin in 1732, we have a record which Mr. Israel Solomons has kindly supplied.3 Outside of Dublin, however, there is no record of any Jewish settlement until considerably later. In fact, the author of a curious little history of the City of Cork, published in 1737, commences his work with the following statement:? 1 Rev. Moses Margoliouth, " The History of the Jews in Great Britain." London, 1851, vol. 2, p. 63. A certain work, "Urim and Thummim," was pub? lished in Queen Anne's Reign. Mention is made therein of a divorce in Sept. 1706, on which occasion it is stated Rabbi Aaron Sophair of Dublin " was on a visit in London." See also James Picciotto, 14 Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History," p. 77. Though generally referred to as Rabbi Aaron Sophair, the word " Sophair " probably referred to his occupation ** scroll writer." He seems to have spent the last years of his life in London. Prof. David Kaufmann referred to him in an elaborate paper on " Rabbi Zevi Ashkenazi and his family in London." "The scroll writer Aron, formerly of Dublin, was at this time already advanced in years." Transactions of Jewish Historical Society of England, iii. p. 104, and authorities there cited. 2 See also Jewish Ledger (New Orleans), p. 5, July 24, 1903. 3 On the back of title-page of a copy of the *2G?n Mr. Solomons has found this entry:? minn tiaabi nwn maab pban ppa jaaa wjp vjk "isdh n? xb y#x ia ont ipk d*Bnc?n m nyih \y?b on dv&gt; ^Dn ia warn bwnbi panb ?noa ])wb ik ainn po D*amai D^an rnina *&gt;m?D Dnn ii^b 1? enip pwb p n^ ''P31 n* P^a ? pnpn uvjn D?n onao ^ *a pna by xb na niD^n ppb ik p by xkd ont i? pnpn *a by p:na ?b onan dwd n&amp;a KVDJt? n? panb Dy *aa mtyb nrn ison ksem *nro *6i *n?pp ab "ok pbart na baiata oawa anw rimDa ja oma? aroan xa ontn pbnsn w n? irbv* n rrapn tytow? by aw ^xi 'a or n^n 'id pab avn ru^ This interesting entry deserves examination, but it only came to light in time to insert it without annotation.</page><page sequence="10">THE JEWS OT IRELAND. 235 " Though the Jews appear by a peculiar malediction to be dis? persed into every flourishing Seaport upon Earth, yet I can't find a Synagogue in this second city of the Kingdom." 1 This statement does not necessarily imply, however, that indi? vidual Jews were not settled there. Certain it is that toward the middle of the eighteenth century Cork had a Jewish community. It is even stated that in several Irish cities there were at that time men who professed to be licensed to kill Jewish meat, but that the only " Shochet" legally qualified was to be found at Cork.2 In 1728 or thereabout, Michael Phillips presented the Dublin Jews with a freehold piece of ground at Bally bough Bridge, for a cemetery.3 An account of the history of this gift appeared many years ago in a Dublin paper (The Inspector), which stated that the deed of the cemetery had been discovered in Birmingham Tower in Dublin Castle. From that account it appears that in 1727 one William Phillips bought a piece of ground in Druncondra, opposite Bally bough Bridge, for ??34, 10 shillings. The title was taken in the name of Joseph Denderici, who conveyed it to Michael Phillips, the latter giving the parcel to the congregation upon the express condition that a portion thereof be used for the free burial of Irish Jews.4 1 "Remarks upon the Religion, Trade, Government, &amp;c, of the City of Corke, by the Free, Plain, Impartial hand of Alexander the Coppersmith.5* Corke, 1737. 2 James Picciotto, " Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History." London, 1875, p. 169. See also Jewish Chronicle (London), Jan. 4, 1901. 3 Jeioish Year Book (1903), p. 137. The references throughout are to the Jewish Year Book issued annually in London by Greenberg &amp; Co. See also Jewish Chronicle, Jan. 4, 1901. 4 See vol. 14, Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums (1850), No. 51. James Picciotto, in " Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History," makes a statement appa? rently in conflict with the above. At p. 76 he says: "Among the muni? ments of the Spanish and Portuguese community is found a conveyance of a certain space of ground in the City of Dublin, bought in 1748 for the purpose of conversion into a cemetery, and we believe that the same land is now em? ployed for that identical object by the Dublin congregation." Again, at p. 168, occurs the following:? "The purchase (of the cemetery) was effected in the year 1748 through a Mr. Jacob Phillips. After much correspondence the Wardens of the Portuguese</page><page sequence="11">236 THE JEWS OF IRELAND. About the middle of the eighteenth century the Bevis Marks congregation of London assisted the Dublin Jews financially toward erecting a wall about the burial ground,1 and the same congregation still possesses a deed relating to the conveyance of the ground.2 It should also be mentioned that the Dublin congregation at one time proposed to affiliate itself with the Spanish and Portuguese congrega? tion of London. Dublin in 1745 contained about forty Jewish families, comprising about two hundred persons.3 Their synagogue was at Marlborough Green, and their cemetery in the centre of the village of Ballybough.4 In 1746 a Bill was introduced in the Irish House of Commons ".for naturalising persons professing the Jewish religion in Ireland." It was again introduced in the following year, agreed to without amendment, and presented to the Lord Lieutenant to be transmitted to England, but it never received the royal assent.5 In this con? nection the claim is made by some Irish historians that the real object Synagogue authorized Mr. Phillips to draw upon them for the required funds, which he accordingly did when the conditions had been arranged, and trans? mitted to them the title-deeds. There does not appear to have been any reason why the Portuguese should have desired to acquire the ground beyond a general wish to benefit their race, for the Hebrew residents in Dublin were of German extraction, and the German communities in London would have been, strictly speaking, bound to assist members of their nationality in the Irish capital." An inspection of the document referred to by Picciotto may clear up the apparent conflict both in the date and the detail of the transaction. 1 Jewish Year Book (1903), p. 137. 2 Ibid. See also Jewish Chronicle (London), Jan. 4, 1901. But see note 4, p. 235. 3 44 The History of the County of Dublin," by John D'Alt on. Dublin, 1838, pp. 54-57. Harper's 44 Book of Facts." New York, 1895, p. 395. 4 44 The History of the County of Dublin," by John D'Alton. Dublin, 1838, pp. 54-57. 44 In the centre of the village is perhaps the only Jewish cemetery in Ire? land, containing about a rood of ground inclosed by a high wall and thinly planted with trees and shrubs, among which are a few headstones with Hebrew inscriptions." 5 Ibid. pp. 54-57. Harper's 44 Book of Facts." New York, 1895, p. 395. Picciotto,44 Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History," p. 114. John Curry, Historical and Critical Review, he, London, 1786, vol. 2, p. 262.</page><page sequence="12">THE JEWS OF IRELAND. 237 of the Bill was to induce Jews to settle there that they might take the place of the Catholics who were leaving the country on account of Protestant domination.1 These Irish bills, however, had one very important result, namely, the formation of the Committee of Dili? gence, which was organised by British Jews at this time to watch the progress of the measure. This ultimately led to the organisation of the Board of Deputies, which important body has continued in existence to the present time.2 1 Some Irish writers refer to this episode with great bitterness. See "An Historical and Critical Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland from the Reign of Queen Elizabeth to the Settlement of King William," by John Curry, M.D. London, MDCCLXXXVL, vol. 2, p. 262, &amp;c. " An expedient was soon looked for and found by the great wisdom of the nation, to supply the place of these self exiled papists, by introducing foreign Jews and providing a national settlement for those devoted vagrants. And although this expedient was for a while excepted against by some few over? scrupulous persons, as discovering an inordinate and precipitous zeal in its authors for strengthening the Protestant interest by a measure which seemed to bid defiance to a divine prophecy . . . yet the Irish Commons in the session of 1747 brought heads of a Bill into their House * for naturalising persons pro? fessing the Jewish religion/ which were committed, agreed to by the House without any amendment, and presented to his Grace the Lord Lieutenant, to be by him transmitted into England. It is remarkable that in the session immediately preceding the same Bill was brought in by the Commons and carried through without any debate, but it then miscarried either here or in England, as it did this second time, so that it has not as yet had the honour of being passed into a law among us." 2 James Picciotto, " Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History," p. 114. "On Nov. 18, 1745, Mr. Morgan introduced into the Irish House of Commons a Bill for the naturalisation of persons professing the Jewish religion. The Bill was passed Nov. 25, but was thrown out by the Peers. Mr. Morgan again brought forward the Jewish Naturalisation Bill on March 18, 1746, and the Irish Commons, to show their determination, carried it through in three days without a dissenting voice. It was thrown out again by the same power, but only by a small majority. There were very few resident Jews in Ireland at that time, and so this result was not of great practical moment. Nevertheless, the congregation at Bevis Marks, considering the principle at stake, was much annoyed at this disappoint? ment. It was believed that had proper measures been adopted, the votes required to secure success in the Upper House might have been obtained. As other movements in the same direction were anticipated, a * Committee of Dili? gence* was appointed by that community to represent the interests of the nation, and to seize every opportunity to establish its freedom. The duties of this committee were to watch over the affairs of the Jews, to grasp at every</page><page sequence="13">238 THE JEWS OF IRELAND. Jews were expressly excepted from the benefit of the Irish Naturalisation Act of 1783.1 The Dublin congregation declined steadily toward the end of the eighteenth century, and by the beginning of the nineteenth the synagogue was discontinued,2 and the borrowed scrolls returned to the Bevis Marks congregation.3 About 1822 the congregation was re-organised, and it has prospered ever since. Its place of worship was for several years at 40 Stafford Street; a new synagogue was built in Mary's Abbey in 1835, and the present place of worship is in Adelaide Road.4 The Missionary Movement for the Conversion of the Jews, which spread throughout the British Isles during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, found its way into Ireland also. An Auxiliary Society was established at Dublin as early as 1821,5 with branches at both Sligo 6 and Belfast.7 It may not be amiss to mention here that among the zealous defenders of the rights of the Jews was the famous Irishman, Daniel O'Connell.8 Mr. Lionel Abrahams has but recently published a strong letter of " the Liberator," written in 1829 to I. L. Goldsmid, with whom he appears to have been on intimate terms. In this letter chance for improving their condition, and to protect them against any danger. . . . Another attempt was made by Mr. Morgan in favour of the Jews in the Irish House of Commons. In Dec. 1747 the Jewish Naturalisation Bill was once more agreed to, to be rejected as before by a stubborn Upper House, notwithstanding the exertions of the Committee of Diligence. In 1760 the Board of Deputies was organised." See also 44 Papers of the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition," 1887, p. 5. 1 Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, vol. xiii. p. 684. 2 44 The History of the County of Dublin," by John D'Alton. Dublin, 1838, p. 57. " The Temple on discontinuance was converted into a glass house." White? hall and Walsh, " History of Dublin," p. 845. See also Picciotto, 44 Sketches," &amp;c, p. 225. (The synagogue was closed about 1791.) See also Jewish Chronicle, London, Jan. 4, 1901. 3 Picciotto, p. 225, and Jewish Chronicle, Jan. 4, 1901. 4 John D'Alton,44 History of the County of Dublin," p. 57. Jewish Year Book, 1903, p. 137. 5 44 The Jewish Expositor and Friend of Israel." London, 1821, p. 201. 6 Ibid. p. 478. 7 Ibid. 8 44 The American Cyclopaedia " (1874), vol. viii. p. 598.</page><page sequence="14">THE JEWS OF IRELAND, 239 O'Cormell urges him to continue the fight for Jewish emancipa? tion.1 In 1833, though the House of Lords rejected the Bill for the removal of Jewish disabilities, the Archbishop of Dublin (Wbately) both spoke and voted in its favour.2 Little by little the restrictions on the Jews of Ireland were removed, much as they were removed in the rest of the British Isles. The exceptions in the Naturalisation Act of 1783, referred to above, were abolished in 1846.3 In the same year the obsolete statute, " de Judaismo," which prescribed a special dress for Jews, wras also for? mally repealed.4 The Irish Marriage Act of 1844 expressly made provision for marriages according to Jewish rites.5 When the Irish famine was at its height in 1847, the Jews of America took an active interest in relieving the distress; and a notable meeting was organised by the Spanish and Portuguese Con? gregation of New York, at which a fund was raised which was trans 1 See the interesting article on "Sir I. L. Goldsmid and the Admission of the Jews of England *to Parliament," by Mr. Lionel Abrahams, in Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, vol. iv. p. 151. Part of O'Connell's letter is as follows : "lam much obliged to you for your kind congratulations on the event of the Clare election. ... 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 persecution of the Jews. " I entirely agree with you on the principle of freedom of conscience, and no man can admit the sacred principle without extending it equally to the Jew as to the Christian. . . . 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 away 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," &amp;c. &amp;c. 2 See article above referred to. Transactions of the Jetuish Historical Society of England, vol. iv. p. 167. 3 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th edition, vol. xiii. p. 684. * Ibid., p. 684. 5 Jewish Year Bool (1902-1903), p. 384.</page><page sequence="15">240. THE JEWS OF IRELAND. mitted in aid of the sufferers.1 The Rev. Samuel M. Isaacs, minister of another New York congregation, also made a collection for the same purpose from among the members of the Franklin Street Synagogue.2 Toward the middle of the nineteenth century several families of German Jews settled in Ireland. Conspicuous among these was the Jaffe family of Belfast, which established the famous linen house bearing its name.3 Jews have repeatedly held office in Ireland. A Benjamin D'Israeli or Disraeli, a public notary in Dublin from 1788 to 1796, and later a prominent member of the Dublin Stock Exchange, held the office of Sheriff for County Carlow in 1810.4 In all likelihood, however, he was a Jew by origin only. Another person of Jewish extraction, Ralph Bernal-Osborne, was a prominent landowner in Ireland. He had married the heiress of Sir Thomas Osborne, of Newtown Anner, Tipperary, in 1844, and assumed the name of Osborne in addition to the family name of Bernal. He represented Waterford in Parliament in 1870.5 1 See The Occident (Phila., 1847), vol. v. pp. 35-45, for an elaborate account of this meeting. Its object was 44 to take measures for the relief of the famishing thousands in that unfortunate and destitute country, Ireland." Samuel Lazarus was Chairman, Isaac Phillips, V.P., and S. J. Josephs, Sec. Addresses were made by Rev. J. J. Lyons, Uriah H. Judah, Jonas B. Phillips, Assistant District Attorney, and Major Mordecai M. Noah. 2 44 Report of the Irish Relief Committee of the City of New York." New York, 1848, p. 41. 3 Jewish Year Book, 1903, p. 305. The writer is informed that Mr. G. W. Wolff, a member of the well-known ship-building firm of Harland &amp; Wolff, is of Jewish birth, and has been a leading resident of Belfast for many years, representing one of the divisions of that city in Parliament. 4 He died August 9, 1814, and was buried in St. Peter's Churchyard, Dublin. See 44 Dictionary of National Biography," edited by Leslie Stephen, 1888, vol. xv. Also Foster, Collecteana Genealogica, pp. 6-16, 60. Notes and Queries, 5th series, vi. 47,136 ; xi. 23,117. According to Mr. Lucien Wolf, he was probably a member of a Huguenot family, named Disraeli. See Mr. Wolf's interesting paper on the Disraeli Family, p. 202, above. 5 44 Dictionary of National Biography," iv. p. 373, &amp;c. He was born in 1808 and died in 1882. See Bagenal's 44 Life of Ralph Bernal Osborne," 1884. London Times, Jan. 5 and 11, 1882. Gentlemans Magazine, 1844, pt. ii. pp. 310, 538. Temple Bar, Sept. 1884. Fortnightly Review, Oct. 1884. According to Picciotto (44 Sketches," p. 211), his father, Ralph Bernal, was</page><page sequence="16">THE JEWS OF IRELAND. 241 The first professing Israelite, however, to hold office was Lewis Harris, Alderman of the City of Dublin.1 His son, Alfred Wormser Harris, succeeded him as senior Alderman, and in 1880 contested the County of Kildare in the Liberal interest. The latter now (1903) holds Commissions of the Peace for the City and County of Dublin.2 The most prominent position ever held in Ireland by a Jew was that of Lord Mayor of Belfast, held by Sir Otto Jaffe, 1899-1900, and again in 1904. He also became High Sheriff in 1901. At present Sir Otto Jaffe is Justice of the Peace for Belfast, and also Consul at that city for the German Government,3 Maurice E. Solomons, Justice of the Peace for the City and County of Dublin, is also acting Consul in that city for the Austro Hungarian empire.4 Among the Jews graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, may be mentioned N. L. Benmohel, the first professing Israelite to enter the institution since its foundation by Queen Elizabeth, John D. liosenthal, LL.D., Barrow Emanuel, and Ernest W. Harris, LL.D. The Rev. Alfred Philipp Bender, J.P., a native Irish Jew, has been government member of the Council of the University of the Cape of Good Hope.5 It has been repeatedly stated, though the writer is unable to say on what authority, that Elizabeth Jane Charlemont, Countess Caulfield, a woman of varied accomplishments, and wife of the third Earl of Charlemont, although a Christian by birth, became a regular attendant of synagogue worship, often seeking advice from Rabbis in religious matters. She resided in the country near Belfast, and frequently attended synagogue there.6 the son of Jacob Bernal, a prominent Jew who had educated his children to Christianity. See also Gentleman s Magazine, 1823, pt. ii. 92; 1854, pt. ii. 628. Sir Henry Cole's Biog., 1885, i. 289-290. 1 Jewish Year Booh, 1902-1903, p. 294. 2 Ibid., 1902-1903, p. 294. 3 Ibid., p. 305. See also Jewish Chronicle (London), Feb, 8, 1901. The Jewish World (London), Nov. 3, 1899. This contains a sketch of Sir Otto Jaffe, and his portrait as Lord Mayor of Belfast. 4 Jewish Year Book, 1902-1903, p. 341. s Ibid., 1902-1903, pp. 284, 332. 6 See Jewish Exponent, Sept. 11, 1903. VOL. V, Q</page><page sequence="17">242 THE JEWS OF IRELAND, Ireland is the only portion of the British Isles which has a religious census, and consequently figures are more nearly correct here than elsewhere. The Jewish population in 1871 was 258. By the census of 1881 it did not exceed 453, mostly of English and German extraction.1 Since that date, however, the Jewish popula? tion has increased considerably, doubtless owung to Russian immigra? tion. In 1891 it was given as 1779,2 and in 1901 the estimate was 3771 souls.3 The bulk of this population resides in Dublin, which contains about 2200 Jews.4 Besides the synagogue in Adelaide Road, there are five minor congregations, a Board of Guardians, and a number of charitable and educational institutions.5 Belfast has a Jewish population of about 450, and contains several charitable organisations and a synagogue, of which Sir Otto Jaffe is President.6 The Jewish population of Cork is about 400.7 Limerick,8 Londonderry,9 and Waterford 10 have each a syna? gogue and charitable organisations. Zionist societies also have been established in Ireland. According to provinces, the Jewish population is distributed as follows: Oonnaught, 4; Leinster, 2246; Munster, 670; and Ulster, 851.11 1 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th edition, vol. xiiL p. 685. 2 Jewish Year Book, 1900-1901, p. 27. 3 Ibid., 1901-1902, p. 177. The total is now probably 1000 higher. 4 Ibid., 1903, p. 137. In 1907-1908 the number given is 2700. 5 Ibid., p. 137. This gives the various institutions in detail. 6 Ibid. In 1907-1908 the number of Belfast Jews is given as 800. 7 Ibid., p. 210. 8 A description of the Jews of Limerick appeared in the Syracuse (N.Y.) Telegram, written by M, A. Hartigan. See also American Israelite, Oct. 23, 1902. Jewish Year Book, 1903, p. 148. The synagogue is on Calooney Street. See also Jewish Chronicle, Jan. 28, 1901. 9 Jewish Year Book, 1903, p. 152? 10 Ibid., p. 169. 11 Ibid., 1901-1902, p. 177.</page></plain_text>