Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Family and early life
 Commercial career
 First visit to the holy land
 Early communal labors
 Jews of England ( 750 - 1837 )
 Second visit to the Holy Land
 Damascus Drama
 Mission to Mehemet All
 Five years of home work
 Jewish question in Russia
 Russian persecutions : mission...
 Busy decade
 Mortara Case, etc.
 Journey to Morocco
 Another busy decade
 Forty days sojourn in the Holy...

Group Title: Sir Moses Montefiore : a centennial biography wih extracts from letters and journals
Title: Sir Moses Montefiore
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072069/00001
 Material Information
Title: Sir Moses Montefiore a centennial biography wih extracts from letters and journals
Physical Description: xiv, 254 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wolf, Lucien, 1857-1930
Publisher: Harper & Brothers
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1885
Genre: individual biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by Lucien Wolf.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072069
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: The Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica
Holding Location: The Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 02572459

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
    Family and early life
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Commercial career
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    First visit to the holy land
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Early communal labors
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Plate 1
        Page 45
    Jews of England ( 750 - 1837 )
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Second visit to the Holy Land
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    Damascus Drama
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
    Mission to Mehemet All
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
    Five years of home work
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Jewish question in Russia
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
    Russian persecutions : mission to Czar Nicholas
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Plate 2
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
    Busy decade
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
    Mortara Case, etc.
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Plate 3
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
    Journey to Morocco
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
    Another busy decade
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
    Forty days sojourn in the Holy Land
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
Full Text

After a Plotogralh Iby Elliot & Fry, Londou.


21 Cntcnuia 33iograptpB







THE following biography has been compiled entirely
from official records and other reliable data. I have to
thank many kind friends for their assistance. Mr. E. H.
Lindo, Secretary to the Spanish and Portuguese Syna-
gogue, and Mr. Lewis Emanuel, Secretary to the Board
of Deputies, opened to me the important archives com-
mitted to their care. Mr. J. B. Montefiore, Mr. F. D.
Mocatta, Mr. H. Guedalla, Dr. L. Loewe, Mr. Edwin
Arnold, and Signor Cesar Olivetti of Turin placed at my
disposal a great deal of anecdotic and other information,
and Mr. Guedalla most painstakingly revised the proof-
sheets. Among the sources of information not acknowl-
edged in the following pages I must gratefully mention
Mr. Israel Davis's Biographical Sketch of Sir Moses
Montefiore, reprinted from the Times; and the files of
a large number of Jewish newspapers, particularly the
Jewish World and Jewish Chronicle of London.
L. W.


The Montefiore Family.-Origin of its Name.-Montefiores at
Ancona.-Settlement of the Family in Leghorn.-Moses Vita
Montefiore Comes to England.-Commercial Career.-Jews in
London in 1760.-Descendants of the Jewish Hidalgos.-Abra-
ham Lumbrozo de Mattos Mocatta.-Benjamin D'Israeli.-Moses
Vita Montefiore's Family.-Adventures of Joshua Montefiore.-
Sir Moses' Father Marries a Daughter of Abraham Mocatta.-
Antiquity of the Mocatta Family.-Mos6 Mocato a Literary Con-
temporary of Spinoza.-Messrs. Mocatta & Goldsmid of London.
-Connection with the Lamegos and Disraelis.-Joseph Elias
Monteflore.-His Family.-Birth of Moses Montefiore.-Moses
Montefiore's Education and Apprenticeship............ PAGE 1

Moses Montefiore Enters the Stock Exchange.-Jewish Brokers.
-Eminent Jews in the City.-Abraham Montefiore Joins his
Brother.-Nathan Maier Rothschild Establishes Himself in Lon-
don.-Montefiore's Marriage.-Connection of the Monteflores with
the Rothschilds.-First News of Waterloo.-Transactions of the
New Court Financiers.-Death of Abraham Montefiore.--Retire-
ment of Moses Montefiore.-The Alliance Insurance Company.
-Story of its Establishment.-The Imperial Continental Gas
Association.-The Slave Loan.-Park Lane Sixty Years Ago.. 13

May Day, 1827.-The Start from Park Lane.-London to Dover in
Twelve Hours.-Posting through France.-Aged Poor on the
Route.-Dangers of Eastern Travel.-The Greek Insurrection


and the Powers.-Pirates in the Mediterranean.-Mr. Montefiore
Engages a Schooner and is Convoyed to Alexandria by a Sloop
of War.-Chase of a Pirate.-From Alexandria to Cairo.-Inter-
view with Mehemet Ali.-New Year at Alexandria.-Journey to
Jaffa Disguised as Turks.-Reception at Jerusalem.-The Jews
of the Holy Land.-The Return Journey,-Battle of Navarino.-
Admiral Sir William Codrington Intrusts Mr. Montefiore with
Despatches.-Home Again.-Mr. Montefiore and H. R. H. the
.Duke of Clarence................................... PAGE 25

Ineligibility of Minors for Membership of the Synagogue.-Mr.
Montefiore Petitions the Council of Elders for Admission.-Peti-
tion Granted on the same Day that a New Chief Rabbi is Elected.
-Mr. Montefiore's Zeal in the Service of the Synagogue.-He
holds Office.-Becomes Treasurer.-Isaac D'Israeli's Synagogue
Account.-Reaches the Dignity of Parnass.-Signatures in old
Minute-books. -The "Montefiore" Almshouses. -Extra-syna-
gogal Labors.-The Lavadores.-The two "Nations" in the Jew-
ish Community.-Mr. Montefiore Disapproves of the Division.-
Contributes by his Marriage and his Advice to its Eradication.-
Devotes himself to the Emancipation Struggle.-Becomes a
Member of the Board of Deputies.-Throws himself with Energy
into the Work.-Purchases East Cliff Lodge.-Could Jews hold
Land?-Former Residents at East Cliff ....... ........... 36

Early History.-Position in the Country Previous to the Expulsion.
-Jewish Learning.-Jewish Heroism.-Statutum de Judaismo.-
Expulsion by Edward I.-Legend of London Bridge.-Secret
Visits to England.-Return under Cromwell.-Denied Civil
Rights.-Disabilities in 1828.-Mr. Montefiore Devotes himself
to the Emancipation Struggle.-Early History of the Movement
not Encouraging.-The "Jew Bill" of 1753.-Mr. Montefiore
and the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts.-Interviews
with the Duke of Sussex.-Agitation from 1830 to 1837.-Mr.
Montefiore becomes President of the Board of Deputies.-Sheriff
of London.-Knighted.-Queen Victoria and Sir Moses Monte-
fiore.-Capital Punishment.-Sir Moses Montefiore and Marshal
Soult.-Sir Moses turns his Attention to his Foreign Brethren..46


Jews and Agriculture.-Mr. Cobbett's Taunt.-Sir Moses Monte-
flore Determines to Introduce Agriculture among the Jews of
the Holy Land.-Journey to the East for that Purpose.-Inves-
tigates the Condition of European Communities on his Route.
-Brussels. Aix-la-Chapelle.- Strasbourg.- Avignon.- Mar-
seilles.-Nice.- Genoa.-Florence.-Papal States.-Disabilities
of the Jews of Rome.-Lady Montefiore Expresses her Indigna-
tion to a Papal Monsignore.-Dr. Loewe.-The Eastern Ques-
tion.-Arrival at Beyrout.-Progress through Palestine.-Enthu-
siastic Receptions.-Safed.- Tiberias.- Jerusalem.-Sir Moses
makes Inquiries into the Condition of the Jews.-Distributes
Money.-Back to Alexandria.-Interview with Mehemet Ali, who
Promises to Assist his Plans.-Return to England.-Changes in
Eastern Politics.-Defeat of Sir Moses' Plans.......... PAGE 57

The "Red Spectre" of Judaism.-Its History and Origin.-Revival
of the Blood Accusation at Damascus in Consequence of the Dis-
appearance of Father Thomas.-The Fanaticism of the Monks
and the Designs of the French Consul.-M. de Ratti-Menton sets
himself to Manufacture a Case against the Jews.-Secures the
Co-operation of the Governor of the City.-Arrest, Torture, and
Confession of a Jewish Barber.-A Jewish Youth Flogged to
Death.-Further Arrests.-The Prisoners Submitted to Terrible
Tortures.-Wholesale Seizure of Jewish Children.-Ratti-Men-
ton's Mouchards.-Another Confession.-The Bottle of Human
Blood.-Two of the Prisoners Die under Torture.-Protests of the
Austrian Consul.-A Mass over Mutton Bones.-Attempt to Ex-
cite the Mussulman Populace.-The Prisoners Condemned to
Death.-The "Red Spectre" at Rhodes.-Anti-Jewish Risings..71

Significance of the new Blood Accusation to the Jews of England.
-Appeals for Help.-Meeting convened by Sir Moses Montefiore.
-Interview with Lord Palmerston.-M. Cr6mieux has an Audi-
ence of Louis Plilippe.-Action of Prince Metternich.-Mehemet
Ali takes Alarm, and Appoints a Consular Commission of
Inquiry.-French Intrigues.-M. Thiers Protests against the


Inquiry.-Resolve to send a Mission to Mehemet Ali, headed
by Sir Moses Monteflore.-Debate in Parliament.-Indignation
Meeting at the Mansion House.- Acquittal of the Jews of
Rhodes.-Sir Moses Montefiore arrives at Alexandria, and Inter-
views the Viceroy.-Hesitation of Mehemet Ali.-Intrigues of the
French Consul.-Sir Moses Montefiore's Diplomacy.-Its Happy
Results.-Release of the Damascus Prisoners.-The Eastern
Question.-Egypt and the Quadruple Alliance.-Mehemet Ali
Loses Syria.-Sir Moses Montefiore Proceeds to Constantino-
ple, and Obtains an Important Firman from the Sultan.-The
Journey Home.-Sir Moses Montefiore and Louis Philippe.
-Rejoicings of the Jews.-Royal Recognition of Sir Moses' Ef-
forts ..................... ............................ PAGE 84

Synagogal Labors.-Sir Moses' Popularity.-Visits to the Congrega-
tional Schools.-He helps to promote Education in the Jewish
Community.-Jews' College, the Jews' Hospital, and the Free
School.-The Board of Deputies.-Its Constitution and Functions.
-Sir Moses Corresponds with Sir James Graham and Sir Robert
Peel in respect to Various Bills before Parliament.-Foreign
Affairs.-The Holy Land.-Sir Moses MontefioreEstablishes a
Loan Fund, a Printing Establishment, and a Linen Factory at
Jerusalem.-Assists Agricultural Schemes, and Founds a Free
Dispensary.-He Raises a Relief Fund for the Jews of Smyrna.-
Promotes the Building of a Khan at Beyrout.-The Blood Accu-
sation at Marmora.-Sir Moses Montefiore and Sir Stratford Can-
ning.-The Jews of Morocco.-Correspondence with Bokhara.-
The "Reform" Movement in the Anglo-Jewish Community.. 100

Oppressed Condition of the Jews of Russia.-Seriousness of the
Russo-Jewish Question.-Its Origin Religious, not Secular.-The
Modern Charges Refuted by History.-Review of Russo-Jewish
History.-First Settlements of the Jews in the South.-Conversion
of the Khozars to Judaism.-A Jewish Kingdom in Russia.-The
Civilizing Influences of the Jews.-Inroads of the Tartars and
Extinction of the Khozars.-Jewish Settlements in the West.-
Their Privileges.-Gratifying Results of Jewish Colonization.-
Numerousness of the Polish Jews a Source of Congratulation by
Native Historians.-The Russian Prince Sviatopolk Invites the


Jews into his Dominions.-The Jews held in High Esteem by the
People.-They Serve in the Army.-They Proselytize on an Ex-
tensive Scale.-Judaism Embraced by the Metropolitan of the
Greek Church.-With the Rise of the Power of the Church the
Privileges of the Jews are Curtailed.-Three Centuries of Ghetto
Life.-Four Millions of Jews still Oppressed......... PAGE 111

The Board of Deputies and the Russo-Jewish Question.-Sir Moses
Montefiore Invited to St. Petersburg by the Russian Government
to Confer with the Minister of Education on the Condition of the
Jews.-Policy of the Czar Nicholas towards the Jews. -The Per-
secuting Ukase of 1843.-Jewish Appeals to Sir Moses Monte-
fiore.-Temporary Suspension of the Ukase.-David Urquhart on
Russian Persecutions.-Reissue of the Ukase.-Sir Moses Monte-
fiore Appeals to Lord Aberdeen to Intercede with the Czar.-The
Ukase is again Suspended.-Promulgated Once More in 1845.-
A Deputation of Russian Jews Arrives in England.-Diplomatic
Representations to the Russian Government are Ineffectual.-Sir
Moses Montefiore Deputed to proceed to St. Petersburg.-Dangers
of the Journey.-Flattering Reception in the Russian Capital.-
The Ukase suspended for a Third Time.-Interview with the Czar.
-Sir Moses proceeds on a Tour of the Western Provinces.-Ad-
ventures on the Journey.-Willingness of the Jews to follow
his Advice.-Triumphant Progress through Jewish Russia.-Sir
Moses Montefiore and Prince Paskievitch.-Revocation of the
Ukase. -Return to England.-Enthusiasm of the English Jews.-
Royal Appreciation of the Mission.-A Baronetcy conferred on
Sir Moses Montefiore.................................... 122

Resumption of the Emancipation Struggle.-Mr. David Salomons
and the Court of Aldermen.-Passing of the Municipal Corpora-
tions Bill.-Sir Moses Montefiore and the Duke of Cambridge.-
Accession to Power of Lord John Russell.-Baron Lionel de
Rothschild is Returned to Parliament.-Prevented from Taking
his Seat.-The Premier Proposes to Abolish Jewish Disabilities.
-The Bill is Passed by the Commons but Thrown out by the
Lords.-Sir Moses Montefiore Organizes an Agitation in Favor


of the Bill.-Second Defeat of the Bill.-The End of the Strug-
gle.-Who shall be the First Jewish Peer ?-Condition of the
Foreign Jews.-Another Blood Accusation at Damascus.-Sir
Moses Montefiore proceeds to Paris and Interviews M. Guizot
and King Louis Philippe.-Satisfactory Assurances.-The Jews
of Turkey.-Proposed Readmission of the Jews to Spain.-La-
bors of Mr. Guedalla.-Home Affairs.-Three Missions to Pales-
tine.-The "Judah Touro" Legacy.--Useful Works in the Holy
Land.-Sir Moses Montefiore and Said Pasha.-Conversation
with the Khedive on the Suez Canal .............. PAGE 187-

Lady Monteflore's Health gives Cause for Anxiety.-A Winter in
Italy.-Sad Condition of the Italian Jews.--Return to England.-
The Mortara Case.-Abduction of a Jewish Boy by the Roman
Inquisition on the Ground that he had been Secretly Baptized.-
The Pope Refuses to Surrender him.-Appeal to Sir Moses Monte-
flore.-Excitement in Europe.-Another Attempted Secret Bap-
tism.-The Pretensions of the Papacy.-Action of Christian Pub-
lic Bodies in England.-Indignation Meetings.-Consternation
Among the Jews of the Papal States.-Sir Moses Montefiore In-
terviews Lord Malmesbury.-Representations to Napoleon III.-
The Powers Remonstrate with the Papal Government.-Non Pos-
sumus.-Sir Moses Montefiore Proceeds to Rome.-Negotiations
with Cardinal Antonelli.-The Pope Refuses to see Sir Moses or
to Surrender the Child.-Subsequent Efforts unavailing.-The
Labors of 1859, 1860, and 1861.-Miscellaneous Foreign Business.
-The Morocco Relief Fund.-Persecution of the Syrian Chris-
tians.-Appeals of Sir Moses Montefiore and M. Cremieux.-The
"Blood Accusation" Tablet at Damascus ................. 152

Death of Lady Montefiore.-Her Early Years.-Education.-Mar-
riage.-Participation in her Husband's Humanitarian Work.-
Accompanies Sir Moses on his Foreign Missions.-Diaries of the
Journeys to Palestine.-Extracts from her Journals.-Home Life.
-Anecdote Illustrative of her Benevolence.-Communal Labors.
-The Funeral at Ramsgate.-Memorial Foundations.-The
Tomb on the East Cliff................................. 167


Trip to Constantinople to Obtain a Confirmation of Firmans from
the new Sultan.-Return to England, and Retirement at Rams-
gate.-Appeal from Gibraltar on Behalf of Moorish Jews.-Arrest
and Torture of Twelve Jews at Saffi at the Instance of the Span-
ish Consul.-Execution of Two of the Prisoners.-Sir Moses Hur-
ries to London and Prevails upon the Foreign Secretary to Tele-
graph to Morocco requesting a Stay of Proceedings.-Correspon-
dence with Morocco Discloses a Sad State of Affairs among the
Local Jews.-Sir Moses resolves to Proceed to Morocco.-The
Journey to Madrid.-Interview with Queen Isabella.-Friendliness
of the Spanish Government.-Arrival at Tangier.-Release of the
Prisoners.-The Journey into the Interior.-Arrival at Morocco
City.-Imposing Reception by the Sultan.-Promulgation of an
Edict Protecting Jews and Christians.-Second Interview with
the Sultan.-The Return Home.-Audiences with Queen Isabella
and Napoleon III.-Reception in England.-Parliamentary Tri-
bute to Sir Moses Montefiore.-Freedom of the City of Lon-
don.................................... ..... PAGE 188

Drought in the Holy Land.-A new Relief Fund.-The Sixth
Journey to Palestine.-The Locust Pest in Palestine.-Sir Moses
Investigates the Condition of the Jerusalem Jewish Community.
-Promotes Public Works in the Holy City.-Holds an Inquiry
respecting a Charge brought against the Safed Jews by the
Rev. Dr. Macleod.-Suggestions for the Application of the Bal-
ance of the Relief Fund.-Death of Dr. Hodgkin.-Persecution
of Jews in Roumania.-Mission to Bucharest.-Interviews with
Prince Charles.-The Prince's Assurances.-Home Labors.-A
Second Journey to Russia.-Reception at St. Petersburg.-Audi-
ence with the Czar Alexander II.-Improved Condition of the
Russian Jews.-Resignation of the Presidency of the Board of
Deputies.-The Montefiore Testimonial Fund............. 205

The Seventh Journey to the Holy Land.-Diary of the Journey.-
Forty Days' Sojourn in the Holy Land."-Arrival at Venice.-
Admiral Drummond Warns Sir Moses against Cholera.-Ancient


Intercourse between the Jews of Venice and London.-The Sab-
bath at Sea.-Arrival at Port Said.-Reception at Jaffa.-The
Jews of Jaffa.-On the Way to Jerusalem.-A Moonlight Ride
from Bab-el-Wad.-Enthusiastic Welcome at Jerusalem.-The
Work of the Forty Days.-Georgian Jews and Jewish Hero-
ism.-Sir Moses Suggests Sanitary Improvements at Jerusalem.
-Return Home.-Scheme for the Amelioration of the Condi-
tion of the Palestinian Jews.-Sir Moses Montefiore and Jerusa-
lem ............................................... PAGE 222

CoHcLusIow ............................................. 237


SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE. After a Photograph.. Frontispiece
EAsT CLIFF VILLA. Ramsgate................To face page 44
SmI MOSES MONTEFIORE. From the Portrait by
G. Richmond, R.A..........................To face page 130
IN THE GOTHIC CHAMBER. East Cliff Villa, Ramsgate.




The Montefiore Family.-Origin of its Name.-Montefiores at Ancona.
-Settlement of the Family in Leghorn.--Moses Vita Montefiore Comes
to England.-Commercial Career.-Jews in London in 1760.-De-
scendants of the Jewish Hidalgos.-Abraham Lumbrozo de Mattos Mo-
catta.-Benjamin D'Israeli.-Moses Vita Montefiore's Family.-Ad-
ventures of Joshua Montefiore.--Sir Moses' Father Marries a Daughter
of Abraham Mocatta.-Antiquity of the Mocatta Family.-Mosd Mo-
cato a Literary Contemporary of Spinoza.-Messrs. Mocatta & Gold-
smid of London. -Connection with the Lamegos and Disraelis.-
Joseph Elias Montefiore.--His Family.-Birth of Moses Montefiore.-
Moses Montefiore's Education and Apprenticeship.

ONE evening, in the early part of the year 1784, a
highly respectable Jewish merchant of the city of Lon-
don announced to his wife, in their cosey drawing-room
at Kennington, that he purposed paying a visit to Italy
at an early date, to buy some advantageous parcels of
straw bonnets, to which his correspondents had drawn
his attention. In those days, when not merely the bor-
ing of the Mont Cenis, but railways themselves, were
undreamed of, such a journey was no light matter. The
wife, however, was young and adventurous, and she gave
her consent to the proposed enterprise on one condition:
that she was not left behind. The husband prudently
declined to contest his partner's whim; the conjugal

2 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.

bargain was struck ; the company of the lady's brother
was invited, and the journey was undertaken. Not the
least important incident in this commercial expedition
occurred at Leghorn, on the evening of the 24th of Oc-
tober, 1784. The lady in question gave birth to a boy,
whose name was registered in the archives of the local
synagogue as Moses Haim Montefiore. The travellers
were Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Elias Montefiore, of London,
and Mrs. Montefiore's brother, Moses Mocatta, likewise
of London; the nouveau-nd was the subject of this book.
In the Via Reale, opposite the new Leghorn Synagogue,
the house is still pointed out in which this event took
place, just one hundred years ago.
Little is known of the family history of the Monte-
fiores beyond the four generations settled in England.
It is generally assumed that they must have come
originally from the small town of the same name in the
Italian province of Ascoli Piceno. The fact has, how-
ever, been overlooked that there are two Montefiores in
Italy, one in the neighborhood of Fermo, and the other
near Forli. No certain evidence exists to connect the
family with either of these places, although, from the
frequent adoption by Jews of surnames from the names
of the towns in which they have resided, there is a
strong probability that at some period it was domiciled
in one of the Montefiores. At the same time the fact
must not be lost sight of that names of flowers or con-
nected with flowers have always been popular with
Jews, and that the name Montefiore itself appears very
frequently among Jews in the German equivalent
Blumberg, together with many kindred names, such as
Blumenbach, Blumenthal, Rosenberg, Rosenthal, Ros-
enfeld, Veilchenfeld, Lilienfeld, etc. /

Family and Early Life. 3

The earliest record which has been preserved of the
Montefiore family is neither engraved on stone nor in-
scribed on parchment. It exists appropriately enough
in the shape of a silk ritual curtain, magnificently em-
broidered, and fringed with gold, which, on festive occa-
sions, is suspended before the Ark in the ancient Jewish
Synagogue at Ancona. In the centre of this curtain is
a Hebrew inscription recording its gift to the Synagogue
in 1630 by Leone (Judah) Montefiore, whose wife Ra-
chel, it states, had embroidered and inscribed it with her
own hands. The Montefiores appear to have occupied
a good position as merchants at Ancona, where, through-
out the middle ages, their co-religionists enjoyed the
reputation of a prosperous and industrious class. When
Pius V. expelled the Jews from the States of the Church
he expressly excepted those of Ancona, in order not to
disturb the trade with the East, which was entirely in
their hands. In the latter half of the seventeenth cen-
tury Amadio Montefiore and Ismael Montefiore appear,
from entries in the Synagogue books, to have been prom-
inent members of the Ancona Jewish Community.
At an early period some of the Ancona Montefiores
settled in Leghorn. The Jews of that city enjoyed
even greater prosperity than their brethren in the Adri-
atic port. Their commercial genius was an important
element in the development of commerce and industry
all over Italy, but in Leghorn the tolerance of the Me-
dicis secured them the freest scope for their activity,
Menasseh ben Israel, in his petition to Cromwell for
the readmission of the Jews to England, attributes the
rise of Leghorn entirely to the industry and "mer-
chandising of the Jews; and, indeed, their commercial
influence must have been very great, when we find a

4 The Life of Sir .Moses Aontefore.

writer relating, in the early part of the eighteenth cen-
tury, that the inhabitants generally, Jew and Gentile,
observed the Jewish Sabbath as a day of rest from bus-
iness. Early in the seventeenth century there were
Montefiores in Leghorn, who signed themselves Monte-
fiore d'Ancona," thus placing their origin beyond all
doubt. One of them, Isach Vita Montefiore, was a mer-
chant of standing about 1690. He took into his busi-
ness his nephew Judah, who had come from Ancona to
seek his fortune. Judah, in process of time, married a
daughter of the Medinas, who presented him with four
sons, the eldest of whom, Moses Haim (or Vita*) Monte-
fiore, was Sir Moses Montefiore's grandfather.
Moses Vita Montefiore, the elder, was born Decem-
ber 28th, 1712, and married, on March 29th, 1752, Ester
Hannah, daughter of Massahod Racah, a Moorish mer-
chant of Leghorn. The bride was only seventeen; and,
according to a portrait of her, still extant, was of re-
markable beauty. Moses Montefiore did not prosper at
Leghorn; and six years after his marriage he resolved
to emigrate to England, where several of his mother's
relatives had made large fortunes, notably the wealthy
Sir Solomon Medina, who financed Marlborough's cam-
paigns, and was the Rothschild of the reign of Queen
Anne. Accompanied by his youngest brother Joseph
-who stayed, however, but a short time-Moses Monte-
fore landed in England in 1758, and immediately estab-
lished himself as a merchant, trading with Italy. He
lived and had his offices and warehouses at Nos. 13 and
15 Philpot Lane, in the city of London; and, according
to his son Joshua, who has recorded the fact in his Bi-
*" Haim is a common Hebrew name, signifying Life," or, in Ital-
ian, "Vita." "Hyam"and "Hyman" are forms of the same name.

Family and Early Life. 5

ble, was of high and respectable standing in society,
and a merchant of eminence." After twenty years of
successful trading, he took a house in Mutton Lane,
Hackney, then a rural district; much affected by wealthy
Jews. Here dwelt at their ease such notable Israelites
as Ephraim Aguilar, the father of Grace Aguilar, and a
scion of one of the most distinguished of the Portu-
guese Jewish families, his kinsman, the generous Abra-
ham Lopez Pereira, who left a substantial sum to the
churchwardens of Hackney to supply the local poor
with coals in the winter season, in addition to noble
legacies to the Synagogue, and David Alves Rebello, the
gifted numismatist and writer on natural history. Close
by, in Bethnal Green, resided many more descendants
of the Jewish Hidalgos, among them Abraham Lum-
brozo de Mattos Mocatta, an opulent Jewish broker,
whose daughter Rachel became the wife of Montefiore's
son Joseph, and mother of Sir Moses. Abraham Mo-
catta was one of the patriotic band of London mer-
chants who, in March, 1774, when the rumors of a
French invasion in favor of the young Pretender were
prevalent, waited on George II. with an address, ex-
pressing their "resentment and indignation at so rash
an attempt," and declaring their resolution "at this
critical conjuncture to exert our utmost endeavors for
the support of public credit; and at all times to hazard
our lives and fortunes in defence of your Majesty's sa-
cred person and government, and of the security of the
Protestant succession in your family." Among the Ital-
ian merchants with whom the elder Montefiore com-
peted in business was one Benjamin D'Israeli, of 5
Great St. Helen's, the father of Isaac D'Israeli, author
of "Curiosities of Literature," and grandfather of the

6 The Life of Sir Moses 2Montefiore.

Earl of Beaconsfield, sometime Prime Minister of Eng-
land. Among the Hebrews he must have frequently
met in the ancient Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue
in Bevis Marks were the two Bernals, Abraham Ricar-
do, the father of the economist, Ephraim, Baron d'Agui-
lar, ancestor of General d'Aguilar, and father-in-law of
Admiral Keith Steward, Mordecai Rodrigues Lopez,
grandfather of the present Sir Massey Lopes, Naphtali
Basevi, the father-in-law of Isaac D'Israeli, and the scions
of many other ancient Hebrew families, such as the
Abrabanels, Mendez da Costas, Villa-Reals, Alvarez,
Lindos, Lousadas, Francos, Salvadors, Samudas, Nunes,
Osorios, Seixas, Fonsecas, Supinos, da Silvas, Garcias,
de Castros, and Ximenes.
Moses Montefiore not only prospered, he completed
the Mosaic blessing by multiplying as well. His wife
bore him seventeen children, nine sons and eight daugh-
ters. Several of the daughters married well. Of the
sons the first three were born at Leghorn, and the el-
dest, Judah, remained there in the care of his grandpar-
ents; the second, David, became a tobacco merchant,
and carried on business in the Borough; the third,
Samuel, married Mr. Abraham Mocatta's daughter Grace,
entered the export business, and settled in Mansell Street,
Goodman's Fields; the fourth, Joseph Elias, was the fa-
ther of Sir Moses; the fifth, Abraham, went abroad; the
sixth, Joshua, became a lawyer and a soldier; the sev-
enth and eighth, Eliezer (who married a granddaughter
of Simon Barrow, of Amsterdam), and Jacob, became
partners, established themselves as general merchants in
Camomile Street, City, and subsequently went to the
West Indies; a ninth son, Lazarus, died in infancy.
The most remarkable of all Moses Montefiore's chil-

Family and Early Life. 7

dren was his sixth son, Joshua. Possessed of a well-
stored mind and splendid abilities, he might have made
an important name for himself had it not been for his
roving disposition. At eighteen years of age he com-
menced to study law with James Cross, and, in the
same year that his nephew, Sir Moses Montefiore, was
born, he was admitted an attorney-at-law and solicitor
in Chancery by Sir William Scott, Judge of the Ad-
miralty Court, and Notary Public by the Court of Fac-
ulties of the Archbishop of Canterbury. While work-
ing at his profession he obtained considerable success
as an author. His Commercial and Notarial Prece-
dents" quickly ran through three editions in London
and two in the United States. His Commercial Dic-
tionary," which was dedicated by permission to Lord
Ellenborough, was long regarded as the standard work
of its kind. He also wrote the Trader's Compendium,"
the "United States Trader's Compendium," an essay on
the "Law of Copyright," and "Law and Treatise on
Book-keeping." Joshua Montefiore was, however, not
fitted for a stay-at-home life, and he seized the first op-
portunity of exchanging the pen for a sterner weapon.
Towards the end of 1791 a colonizing mania seized the
citizens of London. Several merchants formed them-
selves into a society for the purpose of establishing set-
tlements on or near the coast of Africa, and an expedi-
tion, consisting of 275 adventurers, was fitted out to take
possession of the Island of Bulama. One of the di-
r3ctors was Moses Ximenes, afterwards Sir Maurice
Ximenes, a prominent and wealthy Israelite, and among
the adventurers was Joshua Montefiore, who gave up
his legal practice to take part in an enterprise which
accorded so well with his venturesome tastes.

8 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.

The expedition turned out disastrously, and Joshua
Montefiore was one of the few who survived its many
trials and reverses. On his return home he wrote an
account of his adventures. From this work it appears
that, having a taste for soldiering, the military arrange-
ments of the expedition were from the outset confided
to him. It was he who hoisted the British flag on
landing at Bulama, and he, too, organized the whole
offensive and defensive economy of the colony. Soon
after the adventurers were settled, we find him in com-
mand of one of the vessels belonging to the expedition,
keeping a lookout for suspicious craft, and chasing and
boarding Portuguese slavers. One day the colony was
surprised by a war-canoe full of armed "Indians," and
it devolved upon him to pacify the chiefs by a diplo-
matic palaver. The "Indians" retired, and Joshua
counselled his fellow-colonists, on the next appearance
of the natives, to make overtures to them for the acqui-
sition of the island by purchase, at the same time point-
ing out the injustice of holding by force land which did
not rightly belong to them. His filibustering hearers
stared amazed at this unexpected sermon, and flatly re-
fused to follow his advice. The result was that, when
next the "Indians" landed, a severe conflict took place,
and the new colony was wrecked. Joshua Montefiore
then travelled into the Papel country, met the Antula
Indians, interviewed a native king, and dined with him
on porcupine and squirrels. At Sierra Leone he visited
another dusky potentate, the King of Nambana, whom
he describes as "a very respectable old gentleman."
On his return home he was presented by Lord Boston
to King George III., at his Majesty's special request, and
was offered knighthood, which he declined. Finding

Family and Early Life. 9

it difficult to settle down to his old profession, he en-
tered the army, and was the first Jew to hold a milita-
ry commission in England. He served in various parts
of the world, and in 1809, as an officer in the York
Light Infantry, was at the taking of Martinique and
Guadaloupe. On his retirement he proceeded to the
United States, where he practised as a lawyer, and pub-
lished a weekly political journal, entitled Men and
.Measures, which was subventioned by the British Gov-
ernment. In his seventy-third year he married a sec-
ond time, and died in 1843, aged eighty-one, leaving
issue by his second marriage, seven children, the young-
est of whom was only six weeks old. Joshua Monte-
fiore had cast his lot among strangers, but on his death-
bed he called his eldest daughter to his side, and, asking
her for pen, ink, and paper, wrote out from memory
an English translation of the Hebrew burial service,
which he enjoined her to read aloud at his funeral.
He also desired to be buried in his garden at St. Albans,
Vermont, and his wish was complied with. One of his
sons, Mr. Joseph Montefiore, has achieved quite a rep-
utation as a lawyer and journalist, and is now editor of
the Baldwin Bulletin, Wisconsin. Sir Moses Monte-
fiore still retains a vivid recollection of his dashing
"Uncle Josh," whose laced red coat and pigtail, and
cocked hat and sword, together with his fund of tre-
mendous anecdote, rendered him a huge favorite with
his nephews.
On his mother's side, Sir Moses Montefiore's lineage
is of undoubted antiquity. "Mocatta" is an Arabic
name, which carries back the family bearing it to, at
least, the period of the Moorish dominion in Spain.
The Mocattas claim for themselves, however, a more

10 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.

remote antiquity, alleging that, as an Eastern Jewish
family, they entered the Peninsula in the wake of the
conquering armies of Tarik and Musa, in the eighth
century. After the expulsions by Ferdinand and Isa-
bella part of the family settled in Venice, traded, flour-
ished, became impoverished, and died out about a cen-
tury ago, leaving their tombs on the Lido, the long
island extending like a breakwater in front of the Vene-
tian lagoon, where the Jewish cemetery was situated.
The branch from which Sir Moses Montefiore is de-
scended emigrated to Holland, and traded there. Some
members presided from time to time over the Amster-
dam Congregation. Others, with literary tastes, made
graceful contributions to the poetical literature of the
Hispano-Jewish exiles. A Mos6 Mocato was a literary
contemporary of Spinoza, and one of a band of twenty-
one young Jewish poets who applauded in Hebrew,
Spanish, and Latin verse the publication of Joseph
Penso's Hebrew dramas. The literary traditions of the
family have in recent years been worthily sustained by
Mr. Frederic D. Mocatta, with an excellent sketch of
the history of the Jews of Spain and Portugal.
When, in 1688, William of Orange entered England,
a large number of Dutch Jews took up their abode in
that country. Among them were the Mocattas, or Lum-
brozo de Mattos Mocattas, as they were called. In 1694
Mr. Isaac de Mocatta established in Mansell Street the
firm which, about three quarters 6f a century later, be-
came Mocatta & Keyser, and in 1783, when Mr. Asher
Goldsmid joined it, assumed the style, which it still pre-
serves, of Mocatta & Goldsmid, bullion brokers to the
Bank of England and the East India Company. Sir
Moses Montefiore's maternal grandfather, Abraham
Lumbrozo de Mattos Mocatta, married, about 1760, the

Family and Early Life. 11

heiress of the Lamegos, another ancient and distin-
guished family, one of the progenitors of which was
Joseph Zapateiro de Lamego, a Jewish navigator of
the fifteenth century, who first brought the intelligence
to Europe that there was a South Cape of Africa, which
could be doubled. Moses Mocatta, one of the sons of
Mr. Abraham Mocatta-the names Lumbrozo de Mat-
tos were dropped by royal license in 1780-was the
author of several works, and translator of the celebrated
controversial essay of Isaac Troki, "Chizuk Emunah."
IIe was a fellow-traveller of his sister and brother-in-law
in 1784, when his nephew, Moses Montefiore, was born,
at Leghorn. It may be mentioned that, through the Mo-
cattas, a slight relationship is established between Sir
Moses Montefiore and the late Earl of Beaconsfield.
The mother of the earl, nee Sarah Basevi, was sister-in-
law to Sir Moses Montefiore's uncle, Moses Mocatta,
and also to Ephraim Lindo, whose brother, David Abar-
banel Lindo, was Sir Moses" uncle, by marriage with
Abraham Mocatta's daughter Sarah. It was David
Abarbanel Lindo who performed on Lord Beacons-
field the ceremony of initiation into the Covenant
of Abraham.
Joseph Elias Montefiore, the father of Sir Moses, was
born in London, on the 15th of October, 1759, soon after
his parents arrived in England. He passed his early
years in his father's warehouses in Philpot Lane, and
eventually established himself on his own account in
Lime Street, Fenchurch Street. Here he carried on a
considerable business in Italian goods, notably Leghorn
straw bonnets and Carrara marbles. On his marriage, in
1783, he took a house at No. 3 Kennington Place, Vaux-
hall, where, in addition to his eldest son, seven children
were born to him-two sons, Abraham and Horatio, and

12 The Life of Sir .Moses Montefiore.

five daughters, Sarah, Esther, Abigail, Rebecca, and Jus-
tina. All the sons did well in life. Abraham, whose
commercial career was identified with that of his elder
brother, was twice married. By his first wife, a daugh-
ter of Mr. George Hall, of the London Stock Exchange,
he had one daughter, Mary, who married Mr. Benjamin
Mocatta, and by his second wife, Henrietta Rothschild,
he had two sons (Joseph Meyer, of Worth Park, and
Nathaniel Meyer, of Cold East), and two daughters,
Charlotte and Louisa, the latter of whom is the present
Lady Anthony de Rothschild. Horatio became a suc-
cessful London merchant. He married Sarah, a daugh-
ter of David Mocatta, by whom he had a family of six
sons and six daughters. His youngest son is Lieutenant-
Colonel Emanuel Montefiore, late of Bombay. Of the
daughters of Joseph Montefiore, the eldest, Sarah, mar-
ried, first, Mr. Solomon Sebag, of London, and secondly,
Mr. Moses Asher Goldsmid, youngest brother of Sir
Isaac Lyon Goldsmid; the second, Esther, met her
death by an accident in her fifteenth year; the third,
Abigail, became the wife of Benjamin Gompertz, a
well-known mathematician and actuary of the Alliance
Insurance Company; the fourth, Rebecca, married Mr.
Joseph Solomon, of London; and the youngest, Justi-
na, found a husband in the same family whence her
elder brother took his wife. She married Mr. Benjamin
Cohen, of Richmond, Surrey, who was for many years
connected with the elder Rothschild. One of their
sons is Mr. Arthur Cohen, Q.C., M.P.
All the sons of Mr. Joseph Montefiore received an
elementary education at a local school, which they left
early for the more serious business of life. Mr. Moses
Mocatta, who lived in Kennington Place, a short dis-
tance from the Montefiores, superintended their studies.

Commercial Career.

in Hebrew and religion, and it was from him that Mo-
ses Montefiore derived that large-hearted interest in the
traditions and fortunes of his race which has enabled
him to exert so potent an influence on their more re-
cent history. On leaving school, each of the sons was
taught a trade. Abraham was apprenticed to Mr. Flow-
er, the eminent silk merchant, of Watling Street. It is
a curious circumstance that Mr. Flower's grandson, Mr.
Cyril Flower, afterwards became the husband of one of
Abraham Montefiore's granddaughters. Moses entered
a provision house. One of his father's neighbors in
Kennington Place was a Mr. Robert Johnson, head of
the firm of Johnson, McCulloch, Sons, & Co., whole-
sale tea merchants and grocers, of 19 Eastcheap. An
intimacy sprang up between the two families, and
young Moses Montefiore became articled to the East-
cheap house. Here, in the closing years of the last
century, he gained his first commercial experience.



Moses Montefiore Enters the Stock Exchange.-Jewish Brokers.-Emi-
nent Jews in the City.-Abraham Montefiore Joins his Brother.-Na-
than Maier Rothschild Establishes Himself in London.-Montefiore's
Marriage.-Connection of the Montefiores.with the Rothschilds.--First
News of Waterloo.-Transactions of the New Court Financiers.-
Death of Abraham Montefiore.-Retirement of Moses Montefiore.-
The Alliance Insurance Company.-Story of its Establishment.-The
Imperial Continental Gas Association.-The Slave Loan.-Park Lane
Sixty Years ago.

YoUNG Montefiore did not continue long in the trade
for which his father had destined him. More rapid

14 The Life of Sir Moses Montefore.

fortunes were to be made in the money business, in
which at that period the house founded by his moth-
er's family, Messrs. Mocatta & Goldsmid, "Brokers in
Bullion, Specie, Diamonds, and Pearls, Grigsby's Cof-
fee House, near Bank," occupied a prominent position.
Of a handsome presence, over six feet in height, engag-
ing in his manners, and a Captain in the Surrey Militia,
Montefiore was very much liked by his rich relatives,
and was a frequent guest at the palatial residences of
the Goldsmids at Morden and Roehampton. At Asher
Goldsmid's house, on one occasion, he met Lord Nelson
at dinner, and chanted the lengthy Grace after meals of
the Hebrew liturgy in his presence. His intimacy with
Asher Goldsmid's gifted son seems to have strongly in-
fluenced his own character. Isaac Lyon Goldsmid was
an earnest philanthropist, as well as an astute financier.
The friend subsequently of Brougham, James Mill,
Mrs. Fry, and Robert Owen, a busy advocate of Negro
Emancipation, the restriction of capital punishment,
and the cause of popular education, he was eminently
fitted to be the companion of one who was destined
to rank conspicuously among the philanthropists of the
Moses Montefiore having testified a desire to adopt
a Stock Exchange career, his uncles purchased for him
for 1200 the right to practise as one of the twelve
Jewish brokers licensed by the City. The fact that
the number of Jewish brokers was then limited is an
interesting indication of the restrictions under which
the Jews of England lived in Moses Montefiore's youth.
Sometimes even these restrictions were not considered
sufficiently narrow by enemies of the Jews. On one
occasion when a Jew applied to be admitted as broker

Commercial Career.

in the City of London, a petition was presented by the
Christian brokers, praying for its rejection. The terms
of the petition are extremely curious. It was entitled,
"Reasons offered humbly to the Lord Mayor and
Court of Alderman against a Jew (who is a known
enemy to the Christian religion), his being admitted a
broker." The reasons alleged were six in number, and
recited in substance that the Jews had by statute no
right to immunities and privileges of any kind, and that
every branch of trade would be injured by admitting
them as brokers. The statement of fact contained in
these reasons cannot of course be disputed; the pro-
phecy, however, has happily failed to be realized, even
with the abolition of the restriction by which the num-
ber of Jewish brokers was limited.*
On the Stock Exchange Moses Montefiore's amiable
disposition rendered him very popular. His enterprise,
industry, and steadiness, too, obtained for him the con-
fidence of many clients. Always remember that it is
better to earn a pound, than toss for two," said an old
Scotch friend, to whom he applied for advice when
about to commence business on his own account; and
this counsel would always occur to him when he felt
tempted to plunge into speculation. His enterprise is
illustrated by his issuing a weekly price-list of securities

The last recorded instance of a Jew purchasing the right to
act as broker took place in 1826, when Mr. J. B. Montefiore bought
for 1500 guineas from Sir William Magnay, the then Lord Mayor,
the medal which formed the title-deed of the privilege, and which
had lapsed by the death of the previous owner. Two years after
the absurd limitation was removed."--PrIoTTO, "Sketches of
Anglo-Jewish History," p. 886.

16 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.
at a time when such publications were almost unknown.
At first his office was at Grigsby's Coffee House, where
he basked in the prestige of his maternal uncle's patron-
age; but later on he established himself successively at
No. 1 Birchin Lane, and 3 Bartholomew Lane. In
course of time he was joined by his brother, Abraham
Montefiore, who had realized a small fortune in the silk
trade, but was ambitious to turn over his money more
rapidly than was possible in industrial undertakings.
The firm of Montefiore Bros. carried on business in
Shorter's Court, Throgmorton Street.
The year in which Moses Montefiore was admitted
into the Stock Exchange also witnessed the entry into
the same institution of David Ricardo, subsequently
member of Parliament for Portarlington, and the ablest
economist of his day. David Ricardo had seceded from
Judaism, and left the parental roof as a mere youth;
and Christian strangers had helped him in his studies
and his financial career. His father, to whom his
apostasy was the source of an abiding sorrow, still carried
on business as a merchant at Garraway's Coffee House.
The Rothschilds of the time were Messrs Benjamin and
Abraham Goldsmid, of 6 Capel Court, whose town
houses were in Finsbury Square and Spital Square, and
who possessed princely estates at Morden and Roe-
hampton. At this period Lord Beaconsfield's maternal
and paternal grandfathers were still familiar figures in
the City. Naphtali Basevi, or, as he was called in the
Synagogue, Naphtali de Solomon Bathsheba, was a
merchant in Wormwood Street, Broad Street; Benja-
min D'Israeli had retired from the firm of D'Israeli &
Parkins, of which he had been the head, and was living
in Charles Street, Stoke Newington, but he still occa-

Commercial Career.

sionally looked in to the City, and transacted business
at Tom's Coffee House, Cornhill.
With all their industry and ability it is doubtful
whether the Montefiores would have been as successful
as they eventually were, had it not been for their con-
nection with the boldest speculator and shrewdest
financier of the time, Nathan Maier Rothschild. In
1812, when this connection commenced, Rothschild was
only thirty-five years old, but he had already founded,
on a secure basis, the English branch of the world-
famed house of which he was destined to become the
leading spirit. In his twentieth year, such was his
father's confidence in him, that he had despatched him
to Manchester with 20,000 in his pocket to start in
business as a manufacturer of cotton goods, and within
five years he had increased this capital tenfold. In 1802
his father's financial transactions with England assumed
such large proportions that he found it necessary to
establish a branch of his banking business in London.
He called upon Nathan to undertake its organization
and management. The well-known probity of the
elder Rothschild had made him the depositary of the
fortunes of many of the French nobility, who, fleeing
from the terrors and conquering armies of the Republic,
knew not where to lodge their money for safety. Roths-
child took it into his keeping, and in due time trans-
mitted it to his son in London, who turned it to good
account. Unacquainted with the sources of Nathan
Rothschild's capital, the steady-going city folk of those
days looked askance at the large transactions of the new
financier; and when, in 1806, he asked the wealthy
Levi Barent Cohen, of Angel Court, Throgmorton
Street, for his daughter, it was not unnaturally thought

18 The Life of Sir .Moses .IMontefore.
that the speculating stranger was more attracted by the
young lady's dowry of 10,000 than by her personal
charms. Mr. Cohen himself hesitated at first to give
his consent to the marriage, whereupon, it is said, the
future millionaire attempted to calm his intended
father-in-law's fears by the characteristic remark, "If,
instead of giving me one of your daughters, you could
give me all, it would be the best stroke of business you
had ever done."
The year in which the marriage took place (1806)
was a fortunate one for the Rothschilds. It was the
year which saw the power of Prussia broken on the field
of Jena. Immediately after the battle, Napoleon, with
his usual high-handedness, expelled the Elector William
I. of Hesse-Cassel from his dominions, although he had
previously recognized him as one of the neutral princes.
Before his flight the Elector deposited large sums of
money with Maier Rothschild, who had for some years
acted as his Court agent, and these sums-said to have
amounted to nearly 600,000-the latter was success-
ful in transmitting to his son in London. With this
accession of capital Nathan Rothschild was enabled to
enter upon a large extension of his financial operations.
The times were propitious to so long-headed a capitalist.
The coalition against Napoleon drew large sums of
gold from England, and Rothschild became the pay-
master of the allied forces. How sagaciously he utilized
every opportunity for turning over his capital may be
judged from the circumstance that he once bought bills
of the Duke of Wellington at a discount, then sold to
Government the gold wherewith to cash them, and
finally undertook to convey the money to Portugal to
pay the troops. It was he who organized the vast net-

Commercial Career.

work of agencies all over Europe which gave the firm
the earliest political information, and at the same time
the means of turning it to the most comprehensive
account. In the infancy of steam he had special steam-
boats to bring his news from Boulogne to Dover, and
carrier-pigeons to fly with it to London. The value of
his Continental agencies was recognized in 1809 by the
British Government, who, during that year, remitted
through his house all the sums despatched to the Con-
tinent to keep up the struggle with Napoleon. When,
in 1810, the money-market was left without an acknowl-
edged head, owing to the death of Abraham Goldsmid,
Rothschild became, by general consent, the arbiter of
the. Stock Exchange.
The connection of the Montefiores with this remark-
able man was brought about in 1812, when Moses
Montefiore married Judith Cohen, a daughter of Levi
Barent Cohen, and sister-in-law of the future millionaire.
Later on Abraham Montefiore espoused as his second
wife Rothschild's sister Henrietta, and their daughter
Louisa married in 1840 Rothschild's second son, An-
Moses Montefiore took a house in New Court, St.
Swithin's Lane, adjoining the one occupied by his
brother-in-law. A warm friendship sprung up between
the two men, and Montefiore became intimately as-
sociated with Rothschild in all his enterprises. His
business career from this time is inseparable from that
of his brother-in-law, for whom he acted as stockbroker.
In 1813 the transactions of the firm in New Court
entered on a phase of unparalleled magnitude. The
allies arrayed an army of nearly a million of men against
Napoleon, and Rothschild strained every nerve to keep

20 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.
Lord Castlereagh well supplied with funds. In that
year he made his first public appearance as an English
loan contractor, bringing out a loan for 12,000,000.
The time of the Napoleonic wars afforded a host of
opportunities for the acquisition of wealth; but what
were chances to the majority of speculators were cer-
tainties to the financiers of New Court. Rothschild's
agents kept him supplied with the latest intelligence,
and in his counting-house more was known of the
movements of armies and of the schemes of Continental
statesmen than in Downing Street itself. Both the
escape from Elba and the result of the battle of Water-
loo were known to him before any other man in Eng-
land. Sir Moses still relates to the few visitors he is
allowed to receive how, at five o'clock one morning, he
was roused by Mr. Rothschild with the intelligence that
Napoleon had eluded the vigilance of the English cruisers
and had landed at Cannes. Hastily dressing himself,
he received instructions what sales to effect on the Ex-
change, and then Mr. Rothschild went to communicate
his information to the Ministry. A French courier had
brought the news, too precious to be intrusted to the
usual pigeon-post, and when, in the evening, he was
given a packet of despatches for the correspondents
from whom he had come, Mr. Rothschild asked him, as
he filled a stirrup-cup, if he knew what news he had
brought. The man answered No." Napoleon has
escaped from Elba and is now in France," announced
Mr. Rothschild. For a moment the man looked in-
credulous. Then waving his glass, he shouted Vive
1'Empereur!" and enthusiastically tossed off a bumper.
As the courier took his leave Rothschild turned to his
brother-in-law and said reflectively, If that is the tem-

Commercial Career.

per of the French I foresee we shall have some trouble
Mr. Rothschild was not an ungenerous employer, and
the little Frenchman, to whom he was indebted for
many valuable services, he subsequently set up in busi-
ness in Calais. When Sir Moses, in after-years, had
occasion to visit the Continent, he frequently visited the
ex-courier and indulged in a chat with him on the stir-
ring times in which he had faithfully borne his part.
A change now took place in the transactions of New
Court. The feverish anxieties of war time were over,
and financial operations became founded on a firmer and
more substantial basis. In other respects the character
of the business carried on by Mr. Rothschild and his
colleagues was little altered. Instead of finding money
to pay armies they now had to provide the means for re-
organizing the unsettled European Governments. The
French undertook to give compensation to the allies
for every kind of damage caused by the armies of the
Consulate and Empire, and to pay an indemnity of
700,000,000 francs. Altogether two milliards were
required, and it devolved upon the Rothschilds to nego-
tiate loans for the settlement of this huge claim.
In 1824 Abraham Montefiore died at Lyons, on his
way home from Cannes, whither he had gone for the
re-establishment of his health. He had been excep-
tionally fortunate on the Stock Exchange, and left
behind him an immense fortune. Moses Montefiore
had also accumulated considerable wealth, and now,
past the midway of life, without children to work for
or partner to assist him, he began to consider whether
he might not free himself from the labors and anxieties
of money-getting. As was his wont, he turned to his

22 The Life of S .Moses Mlontefore.
beloved wife for advice, and her counsel-" thank God,
and be content "-he followed. The year in which Sir
Moses retired from business was the stormiest the City
had known since the days of the South Sea Bubble, but,
as in 1721 so in 1825, the Jewish financial houses stood
as firm as a rock.
With a few companies, of which he was President or
Director, Mr. Montefiore continued his connection.
Among these were the Alliance Insurance Company,
the Imperial Continental Gas Association, the Provin-
cial Bank of Ireland, and the British, Irish, and Colo-
nial Silk Company. Of the two first he was a founder.
The establishment of the Alliance was brought about
by the unsuccessful candidature of Mr. Benjamin Gom-
pertz, a brother-in-law of Mr. Montefiore, for the post
of actuary to the Guardian Office. It was whispered at
the time that Mr. Gompertz owed his want of success
to the fact of his being a Jew, and much indignation
was excited among his co-religionists in consequence.
Dissatisfaction also prevailed in the Jewish community
at the difficulties which the existing companies inter-
posed in the way of granting fire policies to Jews, the
impression appearing to prevail that arson had some
peculiar charm for the Hebrew. Mr. Montefiore con-
sulted Mr. Rothschild on the subject, and suggested the
formation of a new insurance office. In this Mr. Roths-
child concurred, although he was already a shareholder
in the Guardian, and very soon an influential directorate
was brought together. Curiously enough the strong
Jewish character of the new office became an important
element in its success. It had not then been ascertained
that the Jews enjoyed a greater longevity than other
races, and their lives were consequently insured at rates

Commercial Career.

determined by the ordinary actuarial calculations. Some
fifteen years later Hoffmann of Berlin, and Bernouilli
of Basle, commenced the elaborate studies in vital sta-
tistics which have since proved that Jewish lives are, on
an average, nearly fifty per cent. more valuable than
those of any other known people.
The Gas Association was at first not so successful.
Its object was to extend the system of gas-lighting to
the principal European cities. Only ten years before
men of scientific eminence, among them Davy, Wollas-
ton, and Watt, had declared that coal gas could never
be safely applied to the purposes of street-lighting, and
an immense amount of prejudice still remained to be
encountered. Progress was extremely slow, and for
seventeen years Sir Moses took no director's fees. Dur-
ing his foreign tours he paid many anxious visits to the
company's Continental establishments. He was fre-
quently advised to terminate the operations of the com-
pany, but he declined. His courage and enterprise
were ultimately rewarded. The company gradually
turned the corner, and is now one of the most prosper-
ous of the commercial societies in the City. Of both
these companies Sir Moses still remains President, and
it is his custom to give an annual dinner to all employed
in their London offices. In 1836 the Royal Society
recognized his exertions in the early introduction of
gas by electing him a fellow, as "a gentleman much
attached to science and its practical use." His support-
ers on the occasion were Sir Richard Vyvyan, Dr. Bab-
ington, Dr. Pettigrew, Colonel Colby, and others.
Sir Moses was also one of the original directors of the
Provincial Bank of Ireland, and so great was his inter-
est in that undertaking that, when its offices were

24 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.

opened in Dublin, he made a special journey across St.
George's Channel to issue its first note over the counter.
Later in life he joined the board of the South Eastern
Railway Company on its formation; and he was also
concerned in financing the loan of 20,000,000 by which
the objects of the Slave Emancipation movement of
1833 were carried out.
On his retirement Mr. Montefiore sold his residence
in New Court, St. Swithin's Lane, to the Alliance In-
surance Company, and, as befitted a gentleman of for-
tune and leisure, took a house in the fashionable West.
This was in Green Street, Park Lane. He afterwards
removed to his present address, 35 Park Lane, then 10
Grosvenor Gate. Mr. Rothschild appears to have taken
a house about the same time in Piccadilly, and the
brothers-in-law were, consequently, still neighbors. The
district was then comparatively new, and as open and
suburban as Kilburn and Willesden at the present day.
The row of houses in which Mr. Montefiore took up his
abode was unfinished, and where Marble Arch now
stands were tea-houses and the booths of donkey- and
pony-keepers, who hired out their cattle to children for
a gallop down the Bayswater Road.

First Visit to the Holy ZLand.



May Day, 1827.-The Start from Park Lane.-London to Dover in
Twelve Hours.-Posting through France.-Aged Poor on the
Route.-Dangers of Eastern Travel.-The Greek Insurrection
and the Powers.-Pirates in the MIediterranean.-Mr. Montefiore
Engages a Schooner and is Convoyed to Alexandria by a Sloop
of War.-Chase of a Pirate.-From Alexandria to Cairo.-Inter-
view with Mehemet Ali.-New Year at Alexandria.-Journey to
Jaffa Disguised as Turks.-Reception at Jerusalem.-The Jews
of the Holy Land.-The Return Journey.-Battle of Navarino.
Admiral Sir William Codrington Intrusts Mr. Montefiore with
Despatches.-Home Again.-Mr. Montefiore and H. R. H. the
Duke of Clarence.

IT is May Day in the year 1827-a typical May Day.
Not a speck is visible in the gleaming sky, and the trees
of Hyde Park are clad in their full robes of green. A
concert of carolling and chirping songsters comes from
the leafy shadows, and the air is laden with perfume
from the flower gardens of the neighborhood. Eight
o'clock has not yet struck, but notwithstanding the
earliness of the hour one of the houses in Park Lane is
already astir. A capacious travelling carriage with four
horses stands at the door, and servants are busy packing
away valises and trunks, and all the requisites for a pro-
tracted journey.
Mr. and Mrs. Montefiore are about to undertake their

26 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.
long-contemplated visit to the Holy Land, the cradle of
their race, the theatre of the most remarkable episodes
in its stupendous history. Many a time in the brief
holidays snatched from the absorbing occupations of
their City life, the worthy and pious couple had laid
out plans for a visit in the following year to the hal-
lowed soil in which so much of their historic sympathy
centred, but when the time came something always
occurred to prevent it-either political complications
rendered travelling in the Mediterranean unsafe, or Mr.
Montefiore could not be spared from the Stock Ex-
change-and so they were obliged to content themselves
with another peep at Paris, or a short stay at Rome, or
a visit to the birthplace of the Montefiores in the city of
the Medicis, or sometimes only with a ramble along the
South coast, amid scenes consecrated by the recollections
of their honeymoon. Now, however, the City had
ceased to have an imperative claim on Mr. Montefiore's
time, and the cherished project was to be realized.
At six o'clock Mr. Montefiore had gone, as was his
wont, to attend early morning service in the synagogue,
and thither, as soon as the travelling carriage was ready,
his wife proceeded, first stopping for a moment in Pic-
cadilly to wave her adieux to young Hannah Roths-
child,* who had risen thus early to bid her beloved aunt
and uncle God-speed. The carriage clattered into the
City, took up Mr. Montefiore in Bevis Marks, and made
its way towards the Dover Road. Breakfast was taken
at Dartford and dinner at Canterbury, and at the end
of twelve hours the travellers alighted at Dover.

Afterwards wife of the Right Hon. Henry Fitzroy, and mother
of the present Lady Coutts Lindsay of Balcarres.

First 7isit to the Holy Land. 27
Very interesting is Mrs. Montefiore's diary* of the
journey which commenced so auspiciously on this bright
May morning; particularly as showing how primitive
still were the conditions of foreign travel fifty years
ago. It is not surprising to learn that, when it took
twelve hours to journey to Dover, three months were
required to reach Malta, and that only after seven weeks
more could Jerusalem be entered. Nor were the cir-
cumstances of this voyage less striking and romantic
than one might expect from its primitive character,
albeit its date is so comparatively recent.
Mr. and Mrs. Montefiore embarked from Dover un-
der a salute of guns in honor of their fellow-passenger,
the Prussian Ambassador, who was about to take leave
of absence. The travelling carriage was put on board,
and served as a cabin during the passage. Arrived at
Calais, the Montefiores were joined by their relatives,
Mr. and Mrs. David Salomons, and together they pro-
ceeded to post through France. Boulogne, Montreuil,
Abbeville, Grandvilliers, Beaumont, and Charenton
were reached in rapid succession, the outskirts of Paris
were passed, a brisk run was enjoyed on the Melun
road, the Autun mountain was scaled, and on the 11th
May Lyons was reached. Here the happy party was
saddened by the receipt of letters announcing the death
of a relative, and their depression was not relieved when,
in the course of the evening, Mr. Montefiore discovered
that they were stopping in the hotel in which his
brother Abraham had breathed his last three years be-
fore. So far, however, the journey had been a happy
one. Every now and then we read of Mrs. Montefiore

*Privately printed in 1836.

28 The Life of Sir Moses Montefore.
enjoying "a stage outside the coach with dear M- ,"
" a little variety," adds the diarist, with almost girlish
archness, "which made it pleasing to all parties." Lit-
tle dreaming of the old age that one of their party was
destined to attain, the travellers took an especial delight
in relieving the wants of the aged poor on their route.
At Chamber they assisted a poverty-stricken woman
who was stated to be 114 years old; at Lans-le-bourg
one of the applicants for their bounty was 93; and at
a village on the dreary mountain side of Radicofani,
"which seems the asylum of poverty, Montefiore gave
the curate a dollar for the oldest person in the place,
who they said had only the heavens for his covering and
the earth for his couch."
Having traversed the Mont Cenis without accident,
and written a few grateful sentences in their prayer-
books for their "safe passage across the Alpine bar-
rier," the travellers arrived at Florence in time to cele-
brate Shebuoth (the Feast of Weeks). The gentlemen
went to the synagogue at seven in the morning, but the
heat was so great that the ladies were obliged to con-
duct their devotions at their hotel. Naples, their last
resting-place on the European mainland, was reached
during the rejoicings of the festa of Corpus Domini,
and here the Montefiores bade farewell to their travel-
ling companions.
Rumors now began to reach the voyagers of the dan-
gers of travelling in the East. The Greek insurrection
had attracted the official attention of Europe in conse-
quence of the cruelties of Ibrahim Pacha in the Pelo-
ponnesus, and the relations between the Porte and the
Powers were becoming strained. It was pointed out to
Mr. Montefiore that under these circumstances a journey

First Visit to the Holy Land. 29

to Palestine was fraught with great peril. The Duke
of Richelieu, on his way home from Egypt, happened,
however, to stop at Naples, and he reassured the travel-
lers. They determined to proceed. The Portia, a 176-
ton brig, was engaged to take them to Messina, whence
they were carried in a litter over the Sicilian mountains,
and at Capo Passero embarked in a speranara, or two-
masted open row-boat, for Malta. General Ponsonby,
the governor, received them most cordially, but did not
allay their anxieties as to the safety of Eastern travel.
So lawless had the high seas become in consequence of
the disorganized state of Oriental politics, that it had
been found necessary to dispatch a large naval force
against the pirates. Mr. Montefiore, high-spirited and
sanguine, was with difficulty persuaded from taking
passage in an unescorted merchantman. On the 1st
August news was received that an ultimatum had been
presented to the Porte by the British, French, and Rus-
sian ministers, and again the travellers were warned
that it would be too enterprising" to proceed until a
reply had been handed to the Powers by the Sultan.
Still Mr. Montefiore "seems bent upon going at all
events," and the Leonidas, a vessel of 380 tons burden,
carrying twenty-two men, "which we trust will be
amply sufficient to repel the attacks of pirates," was en-
engaged for 550 to take him and his wife to Alexan-
dria. Mrs. Montefiore now became indisposed-the
anxieties of the journey had apparently told upon her-
and it was not until the welcome intelligence was re-
ceived that the Leonidas was to be convoyed to Alexan-
dria by the Gannet sloop-of-war, that she was enabled
to leave her chamber.
Having relieved the poor of the Malta congregation,

30 The Life of Sir Moses Montefore.
and given a farewell breakfast to the chiefs of the Syna-
gogue, the travellers again embarked. On the seventh
day after their departure the Gannet gave chase to a sup-
posed pirate, but "the valiant anticipations of making a
capture were vain." Otherwise the voyage was quiet
and dull. On the twelfth day they arrived at Alexan-
dria, where they passed a couple of days examining the
antiquities of the city. Then, in three days more, they
partly sailed and were partly towed up the Nile in a
cangia to Cairo. Here they explored the great Pyramid
under the guidance of a Bedouin, who told them he had
acted in the same capacity to Napoleon, and on the 5th
September they were presented to Mehemet Ali. The
portrait of this remarkable man, sketched by Mrs. Mon-
tefiore, is very interesting:
The conversation was supported in a lively manner
by the Pacha for three quarters of an hour. He smoked,
and ordered coffee to be served. His pipe was richly
studded with diamonds and other precious stones. He
encourages every new invention and improvement, and
informed Montefiore of his having established silk and
other manufactories in his territories; and that he had
planted numbers of olive and mulberry trees. His ex-
tensive mercantile transactions were, however, a great
source of jealousy and dissatisfaction to his subjects,
who are thereby deprived of the advantages of compe-
tition and unfettered trade. He would not grant a far-
mer a longer lease than a year, and fixed the price of
all the produce of the land himself. At the age of
forty-five he commenced learning to read and write,
which he persevered in to his satisfaction; a singular
instance of strength of mind. All his vast transactions
are managed by himself, and every written document

First Visit to the Holy Land. 31
passes under his inspection. He told Montefiore that
he never indulges in more than four hours' sleep during
the night. He might prove a great character in the
world were he entirely unfettered."
This interview laid the foundation of a lasting friend-
ship. Mehemet Ali was so charmed with his Jewish
visitor that he proposed to him to act as his agent in
England. Although Mr. Montefiore's retirement from
business rendered his acceptance of this offer impracti-
cable, he has always maintained relations of a friendly
character with the Egyptian Court. When, in after
years, Said Pacha, a successor of Mehemet, sent his son
Toussoun to England to be educated, his guardianship
was confided to Sir Moses.
Another cangia took the travellers back to Alexan-
dria, but there the chances of being able to reach Jerusa-
lem in safety became more than ever remote. The Sul-
tan-or Grand Signor," as Mrs. Montefiore calls him
in old-fashioned phrase-had not deigned to reply to the
ultimatum of the powers, and war seemed imminent.
Mr. Montefiore was in despair; his good wife, not so ar-
dent to brave danger, philosophized on the "futility and
weakness of all human plans." Their position was any-
thing but enviable. One person told them that Abdallah,
the Pacha of Damascus, was inimical to all Europeans,
and that a Frank by going to Syria would run the risk
of being massacred." To return was equally out of the
question, for no convoy was available, and the pirates
had assembled in force. "You will certainly be sold
for slaves if you stir," said Mr. Salt, the British Consul,
and so they were obliged to pass the Jewish New-Year
" pent up in a miserable room, in a confined street, and
suffocating from the sands and hot blasts of the sirocco

32 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.
wind." Mrs. Montefiore adds, complacently, that her
husband "now began to comprehend that travelling is
not always divested of disagreeables."
In this way they were detained several weeks in
Egypt; but eventually they resolved, in defiance of all
danger, to set sail for Jaffa. Mrs. Montefiore donned
the Turkish bernische and white muslin turban and veil,
in order to pass for a Mussulman lady, in case of acci-
dents. Several of the European gentlemen on board
also assumed an Oriental garb; but Mr. Montefiore, gal-
lant as ever, refused all solicitations to disguise himself.
Fortunately Jaffa was reached in safety; and, after some
parleying, the travellers were allowed by the Turkish
authorities to land, and to proceed to Jerusalem.
By all classes of the population of the holy city they
were received with overwhelming cordiality. So de-
lighted were the Jews to welcome one of their own
faith, who was affluent and honored, that the Chacham,
in his enthusiasm, likened Mr. Montefiore's visit to the
coming of the Messiah. The Governor invited him to
his house, offered him pipes and coffee, and ordered a
scribe to add a handsome eulogium to his passport, to
which he affixed his name and seal. The travellers had
entered Jerusalem with the profoundest reverence; but
this feeling was soon transformed into pity for its
"fallen, desolate, and abject condition," as Mrs. Mon-
tefiore describes it. This is the account her diary gives
of the state of the Holy Land:
Many were the solemn thoughts which rose in our
minds on finding ourselves in this Holy Land: the
country of our ancestors, of our religion, and of our
former greatness, but now, alas! of persecution and
oppression. We hear from every one of the extortions

First Visit to the Holy Zand. 33
that are levied, and that there is no means of support,
except such as is provided by the bounty of other coun-
tries, with the exception of the little help afforded by the
few families who continue here from a principle of re-
ligious enthusiasm, and contribute all in their power to
the support of the necessitous. There are four Syna-
gogues adjoining each other, belonging to the Portu-
guese, who form the principal portion of the Jewish
community. The Germans have only one place of
worship, and the greater proportion of the population
are from Poland. There is no commerce; and
shops are not suffered on terms which admit of their
becoming profitable."
On the 21st October they left Jerusalem. During
the whole of the preceding night seventeen Rabbis
sat up praying for them in the Synagogue. The next
morning the Portuguese high-priest came at an early
hour to give them his blessing; and then, amid the
good wishes of a numerous multitude, who followed
them to the gates, they set out on their return
This visit to Jerusalem impressed the travellers deep-
ly; it gave a deep-seated and serious purpose to their
lives; it cemented the foundations of that ardent inter-
est in the fortunes of their oppressed race, and suffering
humanity generally, which has written the name of
" Mlontefiore" so large in the history of Judaism and
philanthropy. How deeply this influence was felt,
even at the early period of this first journey, may be
seen in Mrs. Montefiore's eloquent words at the close of
her chapter on Jerusalem:
Farewell, Holy City!' we exclaimed, in our hearts.
' Blessed be the Almighty, who has protected us while

34 The Life of Sir Moses Montefore.
contemplating the sacred scenes which environ thee 1
Thankful may we ever be for His manifold mercies!
May the fountain of our feelings evermore run in the
current of praise and entire devotion to His will and His
truth, till the time shall arrive when the ransomed of
the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and
everlasting joy upon their heads.' "
The return journey was undertaken not a moment too
soon; indeed, had it not been for the slowness with
which news travelled in the year 1827, the departure of
the Montefiores from Turkish territory might not have
been altogether unmolested. The battle of Navarino
had been fought the day before they left Jerusalem, and
they arrived in Alexandria in time to hear the Arab
women lamenting the disaster in the public streets.
Nor had all danger from pirates passed away. Vessels
preceding them had been attacked by the Greek bucca-
neers; and at Alexandria they witnessed the arrival of
one of these corsairs in the safe custody of a French
cutter. The journey back to Malta was full of anxieties.
Being without convoy, they asked the chief officer of
the ship whether he would offer any resistance were he
attacked. "Oh, certainly!" was the encouraging reply.
"Do you think I should tamely consent to have my
ship pillaged, when I have the promise of Captain Mon-
tefiore's assistance, and four loaded guns to the vessel ?"
"Then we have a chance of having our throats cut !"
blankly exclaimed Dr. Madden, who was of the party.
Their usual good fortune attended them, however;
and, after a somewhat stormy voyage, Malta was safely
reached. Here they met Admiral Sir William Codring-
ton, to whom they had letters of introduction, and were
entrusted by him with despatches, on the subject of

First Visit to the Holy Land. 35
Navarino, to the Duke of Clarence, afterwards William
IV. Homeward, then, they travelled with all speed.
H. M. S. Mastif carried them in six days to Messina,
and thence to Naples; and much the same route as
the outward journey brought them in eight weeks to
The despatches, of which he was the bearer, Mr.
Montefiore delivered at the house of the Duke of Clar-
ence before going to his own home. Next morning
His Royal Highness sent for him to Park Lane, to thank
him personally for his complaisance. In the course of
the conversation that ensued His Royal Highness asked
what people in the East were saying of Navariffo?
"That it could not be prevented," was the answer;
" for, as the British commander himself said, when the
British flag is insulted, an English admiral knows what
is his duty! "' To which the Duke replied, musingly,
"Inevitable! Inevitable 1"

36 The Life of Sir Xoses Xonte~ore.



Ineligibility of Minors for Membership of the Synagogue.-Mr.
Montefiore Petitions the Council of Elders for Admission.-Peti-
tion Granted on the same Day that a New Chief Rabbi is Elected.
-Mr. Montefiore's Zeal in the Service of the Synagogue.-He
holds Office.-Becomes Treasurer.--Isaac D'Israeli's Synagogue
Account.-Reaches the Dignity of Parnass.-Signatures in old
Minute-books.- The "Montefiore" Almshouses.- Extra-syna-
gogual Labors.-The Lavadores.-The two "Nations" in the
Jewish Community.-Mr. Montefiore Disapproves of the Divi-
sion.-Contributes by his Marriage and his Advice to its Eradi-
cation.-Devotes himself to the Emancipation Struggle.-Be-
comes a Member of the Board of Deputies.-Throws himself
with Energy into the Work.-Purchases East Cliff Lodge.-
Could Jews hold Land ?-Former Residents at East Cliff.

FoR nearly a quarter of a century previous to the
journey described in the last chapter Mr. Montefiore
had been an earnest and active member of the Syna-
gogue. From his earliest youth he had been a punctual
attendant at the services, and, from the time he attained
man's estate, a generous contributor to the congregational
funds. It was one of the rules of the Portuguese Syna-
gogue that no one should be eligible for membership of
the congregation before his twenty-first year, and this
rule was only waived under exceptional circumstances,
and on receipt of a petition for admission from the
youthful candidate. On the 4th November, 1804, an

Early Communal Labors. 37
important meeting of the Council of Elders was held
under the presidency of Mr. Jacob Samuda, the Warden
President, for the purpose of electing a new Chief
Rabbi. After a long deliberation the choice fell upon
the learned Rabbi Raphael Meldola, of Leghorn, and a
hope was expressed that this gentleman would succeed
in reviving the religious spirit of the congregation,
which since the death of the late Chacham Azevedo had
been very conspicuously waning. Towards the conclu-
sion of the meeting the chairman announced that he had
received a petition from Mr. Moses Montefiore, of Vaux-
hall, who, although only twenty years of age, was desir-
ous of being admitted a Yahid, or member of the congre-
gation. A few questions were asked and the prayer was
unanimously granted. To no two men is English Juda-
ism more substantially indebted than Chacham Meldola
and Sir Moses Montefiore, and it is an interesting coin-
cidence that they were elected members of the commu-
nity, though in widely different ranks, on the same day.
The Synagogue authorities had no reason to regret
their infraction of the law in admitting Mr. Montefiore.
A more regular attendant at the services had never been
seen within the Synagogue walls. Every morning, at
seven o'clock, he was in his place, piously offering up
his prayers to the God of his ancestors. As his means
improved, so year by year he increased his contributions
to the Synagogue exchequer; and, at the meetings of
the Yakidim no one evinced a more earnest interest in
the affairs of the congregation. He soon took rank in
the community, and one by one served all the various
offices.connected with the administration. He was suc-
cessively Parnass or Governor of the Terra Santa and
Cautivos funds, of the Hospital, the Burial Society, and

38 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.
the Theological College. In 1814 he became Gabay, or
Treasurer, and, in that capacity, had doubtless much to
do with the celebrated Synagogue account, which Isaac
D'Israeli refused to pay in that year, and which eventu-
ally led to the secession of the D'Israelis from the Jew-
ish community. Five years later he reached the proud
position of Parnass, or Warden-President of the con-
gregation. Six times he has served this important post,
the last occasion on which his towering form was seen
in the Banca (warden's box) being in 1854. His assi-
duity in the discharge of his duties may be seen by a
reference to the minute-books of the congregation. He
appears to have been very rarely absent from the vari-
ous meetings, and hundreds of times his signature, in a
neat Italian hand, may be read at the foot of the records
of the proceedings. Previous to 1826 his autograph
appears in the Hebrew style, viz., "Moseh de Joseph
Eliau Montefiore;" subsequent to that date he adopted
his present signature, Moses Montefiore," and, except
that it is somewhat firmer, it differs in no respect from
his signature at the present day.
In 1823 Mr. Montefiore presented the Synagogue
with an estate of thirteen houses in Cock Court, Jewry
Street, on the condition that the rents arising during
five years should be invested to form a repairing fund,
and then the dwellings should be occupied by deserving
poor. The Montefiore Almshouses" are still an inter-
esting feature in the Sephardic community.
Mr. Montefiore did not confine his attention to
organizations immediately connected with the Syna-
gogue. He co-operated in all the various societies
which labored for the communal welfare. His un-
ostentatious but practical piety in this respect is illus-

Early Communal Labors. 39

treated by his connection with the lavadores, an extra-
Synagogal Society for washing the dead and preparing
the bodies for burial. There is no more sacred duty in-
cumbent on the Israelite than to perform the last offices
for the dying and the dead. The importance of the
duty in Jewish teaching has been beautifully expressed
by Heinrich Heine:
'Drei Gebote sind die HBchsten:
Gastrecht fiben, Kranke pflegen
Und zum Grabe hin den Todten
Mit Gebeten zu geleiten."

As'a matter of fact the teaching goes beyond mere
prayer at burial. The duty is prescribed of washing
and coffining the corpse, and so highly is this duty
esteemed that the discharge of it is held to be a privilege
to which only the most blameless Jews may be ad-
mitted. Hence in every community a voluntary society
exists charged with this function, and the most jealous
care is exercised over the admission of members. The
wealthiest Jews are frequently found among them, and,
in former years, membership conveyed a higher dis-
tinction than wealth or rank. In foreign countries,
when the Jews desire to render particular honor to an
eminent non-Jew, they elect him an honorary member
of their Chevra .Kadisha, as the society is called in the
German communities. One of these at Grosswardein
recently elected M. Tisza, the Hungarian Premier, a
member, in acknowledgment of his defence of the
Israelites against the Anti-Semitic agitators. The late
Emperor Ferdinand of Austria was a member of the
Chevra Kadisha of Prague, and whenever his name ap-
peared on the rota he never failed to appoint a Jewish

40 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.
substitute to perform his duties. The English Jews
established their society of Lavadores in 1723. It con-
sists of twenty-five members, each of whom pays an
entrance fee and an annual contribution towards the
expenses. Mr. Montefiore was admitted a member in
1808. Among the dead for whom he performed the
last offices was the very Chacham Meldola who entered
the Anglo-Jewish community on the same day that he
was elected a Ydlid. On the seventieth anniversary
of his entrance into the society he was reappointed its
Governor, although, of course, unable any longer to
undertake the work attached to the office.
Orthodox in his principles, and strictly observant of
the minute Jewish ceremonial, Moses Montefiore was
still a far-seeing and liberal man of the world. His
superiority to ancient prejudices was illustrated by his
marriage. There was a time when unions between
Spanish and German Jews were frowned upon by the
aristocratic denizens of Bevis Marks. The pride of the
Sephardim, nurtured in the most brilliant age of Spanish
culture, of which they were at once the promoters and
the ornaments, had never been broken. Even the
colossal persecution under Ferdinand and Isabella had
not humbled them, and in their exile they shrunk in-
stinctively from fellowship with their German and
Polish brethren, upon whose sad history not one ray of
light had been shed, and who had been reduced by
ceaseless oppression to a lowly, pettifogging, almost an
ignoble race. The barrier between the two "nations,"
as they were called, although unsanctioned by law or
ritual, continued for a long time after the German
Jews in this country had vindicated their native Hebrew
energy and skill by commercial and intellectual suc-

Early Communal Labors. 41

cesses. As .ate as 1744, when Jacob Bernal, an ancestor
of the present Duchess of St. Albans, desired to wed a
German Jewess, he had to apply for leave to the 3Maka-
mad or Council of Elders of the Synagogue, and then
he only obtained permission under the most humiliating
conditions. This and kindred prejudices had never
found a supporter in Moses Montefiore. By his mar-
riage in 1812 with a Tedesco"-for the Cohen family
belonged to that plebeian section of the community-
he contributed to break it down. The folly and in-
justice of the division between the two "nations" be-
came apparent to him as soon as he made the acquaint-
ance of his wife's accomplished family. When he be-
gan to think over the struggle the Jews would soon
have to sustain in order to win a legal and social equality
with their Christian fellow-citizens, his intelligence as-
sured him that any such division in the community was
a source of absolute danger to its interests. In almost
every city he has visited during his several missions to
foreign countries, he has preached the necessity of com-
munal union to his co-religionists. In Jerusalem he
spoke earnestly on the subject to the ecclesiastical chiefs
during his first visit. "Discord and differences in the
bosom of Judaism have been my greatest grief," he
significantly said in 1863, to a deputation which waited
upon him at Pesth, from the most orthodox and un-
bending of the Jewish congregations in the city.
Deeply impressed with what he had seen of the de-
graded condition of his co-religionists in the East,
during his tour in 1827, Mr. Montefiore resolved, soon
after his return to England, to take a still more active
part in the public life of the Anglo-Jewish community.
A survey of the condition of his brethren assured him

42 The Life of Sir Moses .Montefore.
that it would be impossible for them to do anything of
importance for the benefit of oppressed foreign com-
munities. It was obviously necessary that they should
win their own freedom first; and he was gratified to see,
that for a struggle to this end both the times and the
condition of his co-religionists were favorable. Mr.
Montefiore's views on Jewish emancipation were not of
an heroic kind, but they were intelligent and practical.
I am an enemy of all sudden transitions," he said in
conversation some years after. "The Jew must, in his
claims and wishes, not outstrip the age. Let him ad-
vance slowly but steadily; let him gradually accustom
his Christian fellow-citizens to his gradual progress and
success in public life, and what may not be obtainable
even by an arduous struggle, will, after a certain time,
fall into his lap like ripe fruit." Mr. Montefiore thought
he saw these conditions fulfilled as he pondered on the
subject fifty-six years ago. There was union in the
community; many of its members had won for them-
selves distinguished positions in society, and the ten-
dency of national thought, as illustrated in Parliament
by the Catholic emancipation agitation, was distinctly
A representative body charged with the duty of
"watching" all chances of emancipation was already in
existence in the Anglo-Jewish community. The -De-
putados, or "United Deputies of British Jews," was
formed in 1746, when the two houses of the Irish
Legislature were quarrelling over a Jewish Naturaliza-
tion Bill. The Irish House of Commons had twice
passed the Bill, and twice it had been rejected by the
House of Lords. The Bevis Marks Synagogue formed
a Committee of Diligence, to render assistance to the

Early Communal Labors. 43

party favorable to Jewish emancipation, but the Bill
was again and finally negatived by the Peers. Un-
daunted by their want of success, the Jews of London
set themselves to organize their forces. From the
"Committee of Diligence" was formed in 1760 the
"Deputies of the Portuguese nation," and towards the
end of the same year that body admitted to its delibera-
tions representatives of the German congregations in
Duke's Place and Magpie Alley. For many years the
labors of the Deputies" were not of any great import-
ance. The presentation of addresses to the Crown, full
of assurances of Jewish loyalty, on occasions of public
rejoicing or public mourning, formed the staple of their
work. In 1795 their representations to Parliament pro-'
cured the rejection of a clause of doubtful bearing in
the Sedition Bill, and in 1805 they prosecuted the St.
James' Chronicle for the publication of some offensive
articles against the Jews, and obtained an apology from
the Editor.
This body, of which Mr. Moses Mocatta had become
president, was joined by Ma. Montefiore early in 1828.
An inspection of the minutes of the "United Deputies"
discloses from this date a sudden development in their
corporate activity, which it is impossible not to associate
with their new recruit. During the very month of his
election he became a member of a sub-committee charged
to draw up a petition in reference to the repeal of the
Test and Corporation Acts, and to present it to the
House of Lords. Indeed in this year the agitation for
the removal of Jewish disabilities in England was for
the first time placed on a firm basis. The Deputados
became the soul of the agitation, and Mr. Montefiore the
soul of the Deputados.

44 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.

Two years later Mr. Montefiore solved one of the
Disability problems in his own person, by purchasing
the small East Cliff estate, near Ransgate, notwith-
standing that many eminent legal authorities still con-
sidered that the Jews could not lawfully possess real
estate in England. It is true that in 1818 Sir Samuel
Romilly had held that Jews born in England were as
much entitled to own land as any other natives, at
the same time pointing out that no one had ever ob-
jected to a title on the ground that the owner was a
Jew; nevertheless, down to the removal of all disabili-
ties in 1853, this point was still doubted under the statutes
or ordinances of the 54th and 55th Henry III. (c.E.
'1269), which declared that no Jew should hold a free-
hold, and it was never definitely settled.
East Cliff Lodge is a charming marine villa, in the
Strawberry Hill or modern Gothic style. It consists of
a centre and two wings, with the summit embattled, and
each wing surmounted by an ornamental turret and
spire. The dining-room, pronounced by local guide-
books "the most elegant specimen of Gothic domestic
architecture in England," is a noble apartment, having
a screen of columns at the lower end, and opening from
a vestibule by folding doors curiously wrought. The
grounds, which cover about thirteen acres, and extend
to the verge of the cliff, are laid out with great taste and
judgment. Their principal attractions are two sub-
terranean caverns, reputed to be the work of smugglers,
which lead from the summit: of the cliff by a gradual
descent, 500 yards long, to the beach below. One
cavern diverges in an easterly, the other in a westerly
direction. Both are lighted by a series of arched re-
cesses, excavated out of the solid chalk, and which,

ala, -J



Early Communal Labors. 45

carpeted with turf and covered with shrubs and flowers,
present a very gay appearance during the summer sea-
son. The house was built about 1795 by Mr. Benjamin
Bond Hopkins, who disposed of it to Viscount Keith,
better known as Lord Elphinstone. It then became the
property of the Marquis Wellesley, brother of the Duke
of Wellington. At one time it was the favorite sum-
mer residence of Queen Caroline, when Princess of
Wales. Mr. Montefiore rented East Cliff Lodge for
some years before he purchased it. One of the first
uses to which he put the land when it became his own
was the building of a synagogue, which he opened to all
comers. The foundation- stone was laid in 1831, and the
building was consecrated in 1833. Soon after he had
thus permanently taken up his abode in Kent he was
appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the county.

46 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.



Early History.-Position in the Country Previous to the Expulsion.
Jewish Learning.-Jewish Heroism.-Slatutum de Judaismo.-
Expulsion by Edward I.-Legend of London Bridge.-Secret
Visits to England.-Return under Cromwell.-Denied Civil
Rights.-Disabilities in 1828.-Mr. Montefiore Devotes himself
to the Emancipation Struggle.-Early History of the Movement
not Encouraging.-The "Jew Bill" of 1753.-Mr. Montefiore
and the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts.-Interviews
with the Duke of Sussex.-Agitation from 1830 to 1837.-Mr.
Montefiore becomes President of the Board of Deputies.-Sheriff
of London.-Knighted.-Queen Victoria and Sir Moses Monte-
fiore.-Capital Punishment.-Sir Moses Montefiore and Marshal
Soult.-Sir Moses turns his Attention to his Foreign Brethren.

AT what period the earliest Jewish settlement took
place in England is one of those difficult historical
questions of which nothing more certain is known than
that it is "involved in obscurity." A copyist's error in
the Pesiktha Rabbathi, 'by which "Mauritania" was
transformed into "Britannia," has suggested that the
Jews were already acquainted with Britain in the
Talmudic age. It has also been surmised that Hebrew
supercargoes accompanied the Phcenician mariners who
traded with the Cimbri and Damnonii of Cornwall
before the Roman invasion. The first mention of Jews
in any document connected with English history is in
the canons of Ecbright, Archbishop of York, which

The Jews of England (750-1837). 47

contain an ordinance that no Christian shall Judaize
or presume to eat with a Jew." These canons were
issued in the year 750.
After the Norman Conquest the Jews of England
became numerous and wealthy. It is a mistake to
imagine, with Professor Goldwin Smith, that they vol-
untarily "streamed" into the country as rapacious
camp followers of the Conqueror. The truth is they
were brought over here by William, with the deliberate
design of their acting as engines of indirect taxation.
"The Jews," says William of Newburgh, "are the
Royal usurers," and it was in this capacity that they
were domiciled in England. How they had become
forced into this position is a melancholy story. Excluded
from markets and trade guilds, prohibited from dealing
in wines and cereals, forbidden to employ slaves at a
time when all manufacturing industry was conducted
by serf-labor, no means of earning their bread remained
to them but usury. The Church smoothed their way
to this occupation, by prohibiting Christians (on the
strength of the passage, Luke vi. 35) from taking inter-
est of any kind on loans. Amid the universal want of
ready money occasioned by the constant decrease in the
stock of gold and silver, and the absence of any substi-
tute for the precious metals, borrowing became a neces-
sity with all classes, and the Jews, who had acquired
considerable wealth by trading, were thus forced to lend.
High interest increased their riches; and the English
kings, whose taxing power was greatly crippled by the
freedom of the barons, consequently submitted them to
crushing imposts. To enable them thus to make good
the deficiencies in the revenue, they were specially taken
into the Royal protection, and their rates of interest-

48 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.
once as high as 861 per cent-were sanctioned by Royal
It is not surprising that, under these circumstances,
the Jews became hateful to the nation; but Mr. Free-
man's picture of them, "stalking defiantly among the
people of the land," is purely an effort of fancy. In
their learning and their heroic fidelity to their religion,
we have abundant evidence of their good sense. Jews
taught geometry, logic, and philosophy in the Univer-
sity of Oxford, and Jewish schools or colleges were
established in London, York, Lincoln, Oxford, Cam-
bridge, and Warwick. Thither flocked Jew and Gentile
to hear distinguished Rabbis expound the principles of
arithmetic, Hebrew, Arabic, and medicine. The cele-
brated Ibn-Ezra visited England in 1159, and delivered
lectures in London. During his stay he wrote his
religio-philosophical work Jesod lIora. Among other
learned Jews who lived in England before the expulsion
were Rabbi Jacob, of Orleans, who taught in London,
and Rabbi Benjamin, of Canterbury, both pupils of
Rabbi Jacob Tam, the famous Tossafist, and grandson
of Rashi. The fidelity of the Jews to their religion was
illustrated by a thousand martyr deaths, but by nothing
more gloriously than their beleaguerment in York Cas-
tle, when five hundred destroyed themselves rather
than apostatize. It is impossible to read Isaac d'Israeli's
vivid sketch of this "scene of heroic exertion" without
feeling that to portray these men as the grasping and
arrogant bullies depicted to us in Mr. Freeman's pages
is little less than a calumny.
Massacres of Jews were, as a rule, sternly punished
by the English kings, who could ill afford to have their
"chattels" injured. When, however, exorbitant taxes

The Jews of England (750-1837). 49

could no longer be squeezed from them, they were ruth-
lessly abandoned to the fury of the populace. The
competition of the Caorsini, who disguised their usury
in commissions and expenses, first reduced their value
in the eyes of the King. The Government tried to ex-
pel the new-comers, but in vain; they were the servants
of the Pope, and no one dared touch them. With the
gradual relaxation of the Royal interest in the Jews,
the clergy grew bolder in denouncing them as heretics.
The public mind became inflamed; and to gain popu-
larity Edward I. passed the statute De Judaismo, which,
among other restrictions, prohibited the Jews from
practising the usury they had already been compelled,
to the King's great grief, to abandon. Their expulsion
from the country, amid horrible cruelties, soon followed.
The Jews carried with them into exile the remem-
brance of many an outrage that marked their exodus
from Britain. Of one they preserved the tradition
through no less than five centuries. A number of Jews
were barbarously drowned in the Thames, close by
where London Bridge now stands. When the old bridge
was in existence the fall of the waters at ebb tide caused
a disturbance under one of the arches; and this, as late
as eighty years ago, the Jewish gossips firmly believed
was occasioned by the wrath of the Deity at the horrible
crime committed there in the year 1290.
It is generally assumed that from this date until the
Protectorate there were no Jews in England. Indeed,
Mr. J. R. Green goes so far as to assert that from the
time of Edward to that of Cromwell no Jew touched
English ground." Recent researches have proved, how-
ever, that in spite of proscription, Hebrews frequently
visited these shores. The House of Converts, near

50 The Life of Sir Moses ifontefiore.
Chancery Lane, received Jews continuously from the
thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries; and the files of
accounts preserved in the Record Office show that as
many as seventy-two Jews resided within its walls dur-
ing the early years of Edward III.'s reign. In the State
papers relating to the marriage of Katherine of Aragon
with Arthur, Prince of Wales, we are told that Henry
VII. had a long interview with a Spanish envoy to dis-
cuss the presence of Jews in England. Roderigo Lopes,
acknowledged to be a Jew, was Physician to Queen
Elizabeth. The great legal luminaries, Littleton and
Coke, both inveigh against the Jews with a vigor inex-
plicable, except on the hypothesis that members of the
proscribed race were resident in England. It was not,
however, until the time of Cromwell that Jews took up
their abode in the land in any number. No actual revo-
cation of the edict of expulsion seems to have taken place,
but that some sort of permission to return was granted
them it is impossible to doubt. In 1657 they considered
their position sufficiently secure to justify them in pur-
chasing a burial-ground; and Cromwell's views on their
readmission are put beyond all doubt, by the fact that
he granted Menasseh ben Israel, the Jewish advocate:, a
pension of 100 a year.
Until the year 1829, when the Test and Corporation
Acts were appealed, it was held by legal authorities
that Jews in England had no civil rights; and even as
late as 1846 the Act De Judaismo was formally on the
Statute Book. In 1673 the Jews were indicted for
worshipping in public in their synagogues; and in 16S5
thirty-seven of their merchants were suddenly arrested
in the Royal Exchange, under the statute 23 of Eliza-
beth, for not attending any church. Two years earlier

The Jews of England (750-1837). 51
it had been argued before the King's Bench by the
Attorney-General, in the case of the East India Com-
pany v. Sand, that all Jews in England were under an
implied license, which the King might revoke, the effect
of doing which would be that they would then become
aliens. Even as great a judge as Lord Hardwicke held,
in 1744, that a bequest for the maintenance of a Syna-
gogue was void, because the Jewish religion was not
tolerated in England, but only connived at by the Legis-
lature. This decision was accepted as a precedent in
1786 by Lord Thurlow, and again in 1818 by Lord
Eldon. In 1828, when Moses Montefiore set in motion
the struggle for Jewish emancipation, the English Jews,
according to Tomlin's Law Dictionary," still labored
under serious disabilities. "A Jew," we are told, "is
prevented from sitting in Parliament, holding any office,
civil or military, under the Crown, or any situation in
corporate bodies. He may be excluded from practising
at the bar, or as an attorney, proctor, or notary, from
voting at elections, from enjoying any exhibition in
either university, or from holding some offices of
inferior importance."
When Mr. Monteflore joined the Deputados of Bevis
Marks, the question of Jewish Emancipation had already
a Parliamentary history. It had not, however, been en-
couraging. Certainly in 1723 a slight concession had
been made in respect to the oath of abjuration, and in
1740 an impracticable Naturalization Act had been
passed for the Colonies; but the attempt of Mr. Pelham
in 1753 to carry into effect a wider scheme of Jewish
Emancipation for the home country had produced such
an uproar, that, for nearly a century after, the bulk of
the English Israelites shrunk from publicly agitating

52 The Life of Sir Kioses Montefiore.
for their rights. Mr. Pelham's Act, historically known
as The Jew Bill," was at first passed by both Houses
and received the Royal assent, but it only lived for a
few months. An alarm for the Church and for religion
spread through the land. It was proclaimed from
countless pulpits that if the Jews were naturalized in
Britain the country became liable to the curses pro-
nounced by prophecy against Jerusalem and the Holy
Land. Every dead wall in the kingdom exhibited in
varied thography the couplet,
No Jews,
No wooden shoes."

Mr. Sydenham voted for the measure and lost his seat
for Exeter in consequence. A respectable clergyman
named Tucker, who wrote a defence of the Jews, was
maltreated by the populace. The Bishop of Norwich,
who supported the Bill, was insulted on his ensuing
confirmation circuit. At Ipswich the boys called upon
his lordship "to come and circumcise them," and a
paper was affixed to one of the church doors to state
that next day, being Saturday, his lordship would
confirm the Jews, and on the day following the Chris-
tians." To such a pitch rose the popular excitement
that the Ministers beat a hasty and ignominious retreat.
On the very first day of the next session the Duke of
Newcastle brought in a Bill to repeal the previous mea-
sure, and it was rapidly carried through both Houses.
The incident elicited a stinging commentary from Horace
Walpole. "The populace," he wrote, "grew suddenly
so zealous for the honor of the prophecies that foretold
calamity and eternal depression to the Jews, that they
seemed to fear lest the completion of them should be

The Jews of England (750-1837). 53
defeated by Act of Parliament. The little curates
preached against the Bishops for deserting the interests
of the Gospel; and aldermen grew drunk at county clubs
in the cause of Jesus Christ, as they had used to do for
the sake of King James. A cabal of ministers, who
had insulted their master with impunity, who had be-
trayed every ally and party with success, and who had
crammed down every Bill that was calculated for their
own favor, yielded to transitory noise, and submitted to
fight under the banners of prophecy in order to carry a
few more seats in another Parliament."
The remembrance of the intolerant spirit displayed
by the English people on this occasion, rendered the
Jews for many years exceedingly anxious to avoid any-
thing that might direct public attention to them as a
body. The repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts in
1828, however, aroused their hopes, and Mr. Montefiore,
on behalf of the Board of Deputies, with the assistance
outside of Mr. N. M. Rothschild and Mr., afterwards
Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, endeavored to obtain a re-
moval of the disqualifications pressing upon Jews. Mr.
Montefiore had several interviews on the subject with the
Duke of Sussex, whose sympathy with the Jews had been
already evinced in many substantial ways, and obtained
from him a promise of his interest and support. The
Premier, however, was unfavorable to any concession,
on the ground that it was inexpedient so soon after the
passing of the Catholic Relief Bill to excite the feelings
of the country by another measure of the same descrip-
tion. The movement consequently fell to the ground.
Not for long, however. In January, 1830, a petition
to Parliament was prepared and a deputation from the
Board of Deputies waited upon the Duke of Sussex, who

54 The Life of Sir Moses Monteftore.
again promised his support. A host of petitions from
Jews and non-Jews all over the country poured into the
House of Commons, and on the 5th of April Mr. Rob-
ert Grant moved for leave to bring in a Bill for the Re-
peal of the Civil Disabilities of the Jews. Mr. Monte-
fiore and his brother Deputies were indefatigable in
their efforts to bring pressure to bear on Parliament to
pass the Bill. A committee of their body sat daily be-
tween ten and four o'clock at the King's Head in the
Poultry, and incurred expenses amounting to little less
than 1000. Nevertheless, on the second reading of
the Bill, on the 23d May, it was thrown out by 228
noes against 165 ayes. Three years later another effort
was made and with better success. The Commons
passed Mr. Grant's Bill, but in the Lords it was thrown
out. Year by year, for four years more, the campaign
was prosecuted with unwearying zeal, Mr. Montefiore in
the mean time becoming the leader of the movement by
his election to the Presidency of the Board of Deputies
in succession to his uncle, Mr. Moses Mocatta. Each
year, however, the Lords proved obdurate, and a pause
in the struggle took place.
The agitation so far had not been altogether without
profit to the Jews. Mr. David Salomons had opened
the shrievalty to his co-religionists in 1835, and a bill to
enable him to serve passed through Parliament without
opposition. Mr. Montefiore took advantage of the Act
to become a candidate for the same office in 1837, and
was elected. Early in the year he headed two deputa-
tions-one from the Board of Deputies, and the other
from the town of Ramsgate-to congratulate the young
Queen on her accession. When Her Majesty subse-
quently entered the City of London on Lord Mayor's

The Jews of England (750-1837). 55
day, the honor of knighthood was conferred on the new
Sheriff as well as on the Lord Mayor, the famous Mr.
Alderman Wood, father of Lord Hatherley. These
were not the first occasions on which Sir Moses had met
Queen Victoria. In 1834, when the Duchess of Kent
and her daughter were residing at Townley House,
Ramsgate, they frequently rambled through the pictu-
resque grounds of East Cliff Lodge, and Mr. Montefiore
courteously provided them with a special key to his pri-
vate gate. On his first visit to court he was graciously
reminded of his hospitality. We always remember with
pleasure the happy days we spent at Ramsgate," cor-
dially added the Duchess of Kent, who was standing
by the throne.
With another member of the royal family Sir Moses
had also established intimate relations; this was the
Duke of Sussex, uncle to the Queen. His Royal High-
ness had taken a deep interest in the Jews. He was a
patron of their hospital, and presided at its anniversary
dinners. A diligent student of the Hebrew language, and
Jewish history and literature, he also actively assisted in
the movement for Jewish emancipation. Sir Moses
Montefiore was the first conforming Jew to receive the
honor of knighthood, and the Duke rightly interpreted
the circumstance as indicating the failure of anti-Jewish
prejudice. He took no pains to hide his satisfaction.
When the ceremony of investiture was performed he was
present, and at its conclusion he seized Sir Moses' hand,
and heartily shaking it exclaimed, This is one of the
things I have worked for all my life !"
The year of office Sir Moses served as sheriff was
distinguished by the large collections made for the City
charities, and by the complete absence of capital punish-

56 The Life of Sir Moses Itontefore.
ment. The latter circumstance is a source of great pride
to Sir Moses. There was certainly one criminal con-
demned to death, but with the assistance of a lady highly
placed, a reprieve was obtained. Sir Moses, at that
period, found few to sympathize with him in his hu-
mane dislike of the death punishment. His representa-
tions on the subject to Lord John Russell were coldly
received, and when, while showing Marshal Soult over
Newgate, he expressed his opinions on the subject to
that inflexible disciplinarian, they evoked only an aston-
ished stare.
During the same year he continued indefatigably to
discharge his duties as President of the Board of Depu-
ties. He began now, however, to turn his attention
more towards the foreign Jews, whose oppressed condi-
tion had attracted his sympathies ten years before. The
emancipation struggle was safe in other hands, and lie
felt he could now leave it. His brother-in-law, David
Salomons, his nephew, Lionel de Rothschild, his rela-
tives, Isaac Lyon Goldsmid and Francis Goldsmid, were
all prepared to invade the precincts of Parliament itself
in the interests of Jewish emancipation; but for so
public a struggle Sir Moses Montefiore had no ambi-

Second Viisit to tAe Holy Land.



Jews and Agriculture.-Mr. Cobbett's Taunt.-Sir Moses Monte-
fiore Determines to Introduce Agriculture among the Jews of
the Holy Land.-Journey to the East for that Purpose.-Inves-
tigates the Condition of European Communities on his Route.
-Brussels. Aix-la-Chapelle.- Strasbourg.- Avignon.- Mar-
seilles.-Nice.- Genoa.-Florence.-Papal States.-Disabilities
of the Jews of Rome.-Lady Montefiore Expresses her Indigna-
tion to a Papal Monsignore.-Dr. Loewe.-The Eastern Ques-
tion.-Arrival at Beyrout.--Progress through Palestine.-Enthu-
siastic Receptions.-Safed.- Tiberias.- Jerusalem.-Sir Moses
makes Inquiries into the Condition of the Jews.-Distributes
Money.-Back to Alexandria.-Interview with Mehemet All, who
Promises to Assist his Plans.-Return to England.-Changes in
Eastern Politics.-Defeat of Sir Moses' Plans.

AMm the engrossing labors of the Disability agitation,
Sir Moses Montefiore had still found time to commu-
nicate occasionally with foreign Jewish communities.
Distress, however remote, never failed to attract his
attention, or to elicit from him sympathetic and sub-
stantial assistance. The interest he evinced in the wel-
fare of his oppressed brethren spread his fame far and
wide among them. Dr. Wolff, the well-known mission-
ary, found, already in 1834, that his name was known
to the Jews of Bokhara, Samarcand, Balkh, Khokand,
and Herat.
Several circumstances now combined to determine
him to a more active and systematic treatment of the

58 The Life of Sir .Moses Monteflore.
various problems raised by the appeals addressed to him
from abroad. Not only was he enabled by the lull in
home affairs to give these problems more attention than
formerly, but he had convinced himself that it was of
greater importance to the honor and fair fame of Juda-
ism that the Jewish character, as exemplified by the
great mass of his foreign brethren, should be assisted
to rehabilitate itself, than that every effort should be
concentrated on one or two agitations for the repeal of
local disabilities. Mr. Cobbett's taunt that the Israelite
is never seen to take a spade in his hand, but waits like
the voracious slug to devour what has been produced by
labor in which he has no share," had sunk deep in his
heart, and he resolved to seize an early opportunity of
assisting the more downtrodden communities of his co-
religionists, to improve their condition by agricultural
and industrial labor. He selected the Jews of Palestine
for his first experiment in this direction. His choice of
these communities was determined partly by the fact,
that the Holy Land had a special attraction for him,
and partly because he had reason to hope that his influ-
ence with Mehemet Ali, then lord of Syria, would
enable him to obtain a fair field for his operations.
Accompanied by his devoted spouse, he started on
his second voyage to the Holy Land on the 1st Novem-
ber, 1838. The journey was not a direct one, as the
travellers were desirous of inquiring into the political
and social condition of the Jewish communities of the
Continent. To this task they devoted close upon seven
In Lady Montefiore's private journal many interest-

*Privately printed in 1844.

Second Visit to the Holy Land. 50
ing particulars are preserved concerning the Continen-
tal Jews at this period. Their condition was not alto-
gether unsatisfactory, although the sun of civil and re-
ligious liberty had not yet dawned. At Brussels the
travellers found a community of about eighty families,
possessing a neat little synagogue, in which sermons in
German were delivered weekly. At Aix-la-Chapelle
the community, though very poor, were erecting a new
synagogue, towards the expense of which the travellers
contributed. At Strasbourg ritual reforms had already
been introduced; but at Avignon, once the home of so
many learned Rabbis, there were no regular religious ser-
vices, and no means of obtaining Kosher food. Marseilles
had some excellent communal schools, in which Hebrew,
French, and Latin were efficiently taught; but in Nice,
then a town of the kingdom of Sardinia, the Jews were
so oppressed, that the Chacham told Sir Moses it was
with the greatest difficulty he retained his position
in the community. Notwithstanding the disabilities to
which they were subjected, the Jews had, with touching
loyalty, erected a handsome monument, with a Hebrew
inscription, commemorating the visit of the King Charles
Felix to the town.
Skirting the shores of the Mediterranean in their
travelling coach-and-six, the Montefiores arrived on the
3d of January at Genoa, where they attended the ancient
Synagogue, and relieved the poor, principally immi-
grants from Northern Africa. The community they
found in a very impoverished state. Proceeding to
Florence, where there was a Jewish population of 3000,
they met with the first indications in Italy of a liberal
policy towards the Jews. The Tuscan Government,
although maintaining many of the old restrictions, had

60 Tie Life of Sir _Moses Montefore.

recently given its Hebrew subjects considerable freedom
in commercial matters. They were allowed, inter alia,
to farm the tobacco revenues; and many of them were
extremely well of. In the Papal States, on the other
hand, the old medieval regulations were maintained.
"How painful," exclaims Lady Montefiore, in her
diary, it is to find our people under so many disadvan-
tages here (Rome)! Three thousand five hundred souls
are obliged to maintain themselves by shops, and in a
confined part of the city. Arts, sciences, mechanism,
are prohibited. Four times in the year two hundred
are obliged to attend a sermon for their conversion. It
is said that no proselytes are made, except occasionally
from among the most destitute. Leo XII. deprived
them of the privilege granted by Pius VII. of keeping
shops out of the Ghetto." Lady Montefiore did not
confine the expression of her feelings on this subject to
the privacy of her diary. While entertaining a Papal
Monsignore, she tells us, I did not conceal from him
the indignation with which I should be animated at
finding myself denied all opportunity of acquiring dis-
tinction by the free and honorable exertion of such
ability as might be conferred upon me by the Author of
my being."
It was during this visit to Rome that Sir Moses
Montefiore first encountered Dr. Louis Loewe, a Jewish
scholar, who for close upon half a century has acted as
the benevolent Hebrew's lieutenant in all his philan-
thropic enterprises. An accomplished linguist and earn-
est Israelite, Dr. Loewe was well fitted for duties, the
adequate discharge of which required a wide acquaintance
with foreign languages almost as much as a good Jewish
heart. Dr. Loewe had already obtained considerable

Seeiod V1iSt to the Holy Land. 61
reputation as a linguist, and while in England had en-
joyed the patronage of the Duke of Sussex. He had
travelled extensively in Ethiopia, Syria, Palestine, Tur-
key, Asia Minor, and Greece. Arabic literature he had
read with Sheik Mohammad AyAd Ettantavy; Persian
he had studied under Sheik Refa; and Coptic he had
learnt of a Coptic priest. His career had been an ad-
venturous one, and now, on his return from an Eastern
tour, he was prosecuting literary researches in the Vati-
can library, under the auspices of the Cardinals Mezzo-
fanti, Angelo Mai, and Lambruschini. Dr. Loewe
spent Passover with the Montefiores at Rome, and read
and expounded to them the Passover service. He sub-
sequently accepted an invitation to accompany them to
the Holy Land.
The Mediterranean was no longer infested with the
pirates who, on the previous journey, had been so
serious a source of anxiety; but the eternal Eastern
Question, in another of its protean shapes, still rendered
the dominions of the Padishah unsafe for European
travellers. Shortly before leaving Rome a private mes-
sage was conveyed to Lady Montefiore from the Baron-
ess James de Rothschild at Naples, informing her that
there was good reason to believe that the Sultan was
about to make an effort to recover Syria from Mehemet
Ali, by force of arms, and advising her to persuade her
husband not to pursue his projected tour. Sir Moses
was deeply concerned at this intelligence, calculated as
it was to defeat his cherished plans; but he buoyed him-
self up with the hope that he might effect the object of
his mission before the actual outbreak of hostilities, and
he adhered to his determination to proceed. No sooner
had he arrived at Malta, however, than he was met by

62 The Life of Sir .Moses Montefiore.
other and more serious objections. The plague had
broken out in the Holy Land, and the gates of Jerusalem
were closed; the country was stated to be infested with
brigands; and the heat of a Syrian summer, he was
warned, would severely try a European constitution.
Sir Moses was still not to be dissuaded from his enter-
prise, but he began to feel considerable anxiety on his
wife's score. He suggested to her that he should pro-
ceed alone. This I peremptorily resisted," writes
Lady Montefiore, "and the expression of Ruth furnished
my heart at the moment with the language it most
desired to use: 'Entreat me not to leave thee, or to
return from following after thee; for whither thou
goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge.'"
Two days later the attached couple embarked in the
English steamer .Megara, and within a week they cast
anchor in the Bay of Beyrout.
The journey through the Holy Land resembled
almost a royal progress. As the friend of Mehemet
Ali, Sir Moses was received by the authorities with dis-
tinction; as a benevolent and wealthy Israelite, desirous
of seeing Palestine prosper, he was welcomed by the
poverty-stricken inhabitants with enthusiasm. Immedi-
ately on his arrival at Beyrout, the Governor waited
upon him, and begged him to take up his quarters in his
own house. The following day a numerous congrega-
tion assembled in the Synagogue and offered up special
prayers for the safe accomplishment of his undertaking.
At Safed, where he passed the Pentecost holidays, the
rejoicings were of the wildest description. Deputations
met him on the road and presented addresses. Crowds
of people-young and old, rich and poor-danced
around him, shouted, clapped their hands, sounded their

Second Visit to the Holy Land. 63
Darrabukas, and chanted songs of praise. As he entered
the city guns were fired, and the streets and the tops of
the houses were thronged with men, women, and chil-
dren. The Governor, Abd-el-Khalim, attended by the
Cadi and other influential Mussulmans paid him a cere-
monious visit, and expressed a hope that, "as Queen
Esther had delivered her people from destruction, so
might the Hebrews, suffering in Palestine under such
accumulated distresses, be relieved by his (Sir Moses')
efforts." Not less cordial was the reception at Tiberias.
Deputations from all the congregations awaited Sir
Moses outside the walls, and the Governor, mounted on
a beautiful Arab steed, and attended by a numerous
suite, presented him with an address of welcome. Then
with music and dancing, and amid deafening cries of
"Live the protector !" he entered the town. On the 7th
June he arrived outside Jerusalem, but in consequence
of the plague raging in the town, encamped "on the
Mount of Olives. The Governor, Mohamed Djisdor,
paid a visit to his encampment and pressed him to
enter the city; eventually he consented. The conver-
sation at this interview, which was interpreted by Dr.
Loewe, and has been preserved by Lady Montefiore, is
worth quoting:
The Governor.-" May your day be bright and
Sir .Moses.-" And yours full of blessings and com-
The Governor.-" May the Almighty prolong your
Sir Moses.-" And yours continue in happiness."
The Governor.-" The air is delightful here."
Sir Moses.-" Most beautiful. I should think the

64 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.

breezes of this mountain would convey health and every
other blessing to the Holy City."
The Governor.-" Doubtless all blessings arise from
this mountain; particularly as you have pitched your
tent upon it."
Sir Moses.-" Blessed be he who bestows so much
honor upon me by his kind and flattering expressions!"
The Governor.-" I say what my heart feels, and that
which the whole world witnesses with me!"
Sir .Moses.-" I wish it were in my power to show
my friendly feelings towards you, as well as to others
who think so kindly of me."
The Governor.-" I wish to impress on your mind
that not only the Jews, but the Mussulmans, Christians,
and every other class of the inhabitants are most anxious
for your entrance into the Holy City."
Sir Moses.-" I am perfectly convinced of the worthy
and distinguished character of its inhabitants, and that
such it should be is not astonishing, subjected as it is to
the careful observation of such a governor as yourself;
and had it not been on account of Lady M., I should
have entered the town the very day of my arrival."
The Governor.-" God shall prolong your life. Only
under the watchful eye of our Lord, Ibrahim Pacha, and
yourself, can happiness be increased. At the time when
our lord came to Jerusalem I went to meet him. He
said to me, Achmet!' I replied, 'Effendina!' You
know the age when it was said, This is a Christian and
that a Jew, and there is a Mussulman! but now,
Achmet, these times are past. Never ask what he is:
let him be of whatsoever religion he may, do him justice,
as the Lord of the world desired of us.'"
Sir Moses.-" These are my sentiments. Make no

Second Visit to the Holy Land. 65

distinction. Be like the sun which shines over the whole
world-all are blessed by its light, all strengthened and
refreshed by its warmth, whether they be Jews, Chris-
tians, or Mussulmans."
The Governor.-" Long live Effendina! His sword
is very long! Look at the spot on which your tents are
pitched. Ten years ago five hundred men would have
been needed to make your abode here secure. At pres-
ent you may walk with a bag of gold in your hand.
Not a soul would molest you."
Sir lMoses.-" You are perfectly right. I can myself
bear witness to the change that has taken place in this
country. Twelve years ago, when I visited this town,
I often heard the complaints of travellers. Even at that
time I personally experienced no inconvenience. But
now that Mehemet All governs, we not only travel in
security, but are furnished by his highness with letters
of introduction to the various authorities of the country."
The Governor.-" Mehemet Ali knows how to appre-
ciate distinguished persons like yourself; and I assure
you I am longing to show you every proof of my respect.
But while you are sitting here in quarantine our means
are limited, and it is impossible for us to manifest the
delight which would otherwise be evidenced. Follow
my advice. Enter the city, and I will come and accom-
pany you with the whole of my suite. The day of your
appearing among us shall be a festival to all the people.
I will send you a beautiful Arabian horse; in short,
whatever you like, whether soldiers, horses, or servants.
Depend upon it, by my head, by my eyes, by my beard,
all shall be ready in a moment !"
Sir Moses.-" I feel highly obliged to you, and am
fully assured of your good-will. I promise you that I

66 The Life of Sir Moses Montefore.

will enter, be it the will of God, on Wednesday morn-
ing, when I shall be happy to avail myself of the kind
offer of your company."
The Governor.-" You have poured torrents of bless-
ings on my head; and I shall not fail to be here, at
whatever hour you desire, with the Khakham Mor6nn,
whether before or after sunrise. We are all your ser-
The Governor was as good as his word, and a princely
reception was accorded to Sir Moses Montefiore. We
cannot do better than quote the description from Lady
Montefiore's bright narrative:
"At a quarter past three we were called, in order to
commence early preparations for entering the city. The
Governor arrived at six o'clock, attended by his officers
and suite. Coffee, cibouks, and a plate of cake were
served, his excellency giving a piece of the latter to each
of his suite. After some conversation, we rose to de-
part. M- expressed his wish to ride his own horse,
thinking that sent for him too spirited, but the Gover-
nor replied that two young men were appointed to walk
by his side. All the party being mounted, the Gover-
nor led the way attended by his officers. The chief of
the cavalry arranged the order of march, and two sol-
diers with long muskets were appointed immediately
to precede me. The scene produced by this descent of
the Mount of Olives, passing as we were through the
most romantic defiles, and with long lines of Turkish
soldiers, mounted on noble Arab horses and dressed in
the most costly costume, cannot be easily described.
More honor, they said, could not have been paid even
to a king. We entered the city through the Gate of the
Tribes. The streets were narrow, and almost filled up

second 'CVist to t e Hloly Land. 67

with loose stones and the ruins of houses which had
fallen to decay. Our guards on each side were busily
engaged in keeping off the people, a precaution rendered
necessary to lessen the danger of contagion. Having
passed through the bazaar, we entered the Jewish quar-
ter of the town, and which appeared the cleanest of any
we had traversed. The streets, every lattice, and all the
tops of the houses were thronged with children and
veiled females. Bands of music, and choirs of singers
welcomed our arrival with melodies composed for the
occasion, while every now and then the loud, quick
clapping of hands gave signal that the whole vast crowd
of spectators was striving to give expression to popular
delight. Having reached the Synagogue, the Governor
entered with us, and then said, addressing ---, he
would leave us to our devotions, and that his officer
should attend us, when we pleased to return to our
encampment. M- was called to the Sepher, and
offered prayer for all our friends in England, as well as
for those present. I was allowed the honor of lighting
Four lamps in front of the altar, and putting the bells on
the Sepher. Blessings were then given for M- and
me, and for the party. We then went successively to
three other Portuguese, and two German Synagogues.
Blessings at each place of devotion were offered up for
us, and no sight can I imagine more impressive or de-
lightful than that which was thus exhibited."
In each of the Holy Cities Sir Moses made elaborate
inquiries into the state of the Jewish population. He
endeavored to acquaint himself so thoroughly with the
condition of every individual, that, in the schemes he
was contemplating, no one Jew should be neglected.
Besides visiting the Jewish quarters and personally not-

68 The Life of Sir Moses Montefaore.
ing all he saw, he instructed Dr. Loewe to take a kind
of census of the Hebrew population. For this purpose
statistical forms were prepared and distributed, and
when filled up, they gave copious particulars respecting
the communities and their institutions. A collection
was also made of such suggestions for effecting improve-
ments, as any thoughtful persons in each locality might
care to commit to writing. The Jewish population
seemed to regard Sir Moses' schemes with much favor.
Elaborate reports were supplied by the Rabbis, in which
many excellent and practical suggestions were made.
Lady Montefiore sums them up in the words: "Energy
and talent exist. Nothing is needed but protection and
But Sir Moses did more than make these statistical
inquiries; he munificently relieved the pressing wants
of the poor in each of the Holy Cities, and without dis-
tinction of creed. Anticipating that he should find the
people in a very sorry state, through the devastations of
earthquake and plague, and the marauding forays of the
Druses, he provided himself before leaving Alexandria
with a large sum of money in specie, for distribution in
the Holy Land. The safety of this money was no small
source of anxiety during the journey from Beyrout to
Safed. The country was alive with brigands, and Sir
Moses and his companions were compelled to arm them-
selves to the teeth; even Lady Montefiore carried pistols
in her holsters. One night, when the escort whose duty
it was to look after the tents lost their way, Sir Moses
and Lady Montefiore had to sleep in their rugs, while
Dr. Loewe and the courier kept watch with loaded fire-
arms. With their usual good fortune the travellers
escaped molestation, and the money was successfully

S6ndtl Visit to thA Holy land. 69

distributed at Safed and Tiberias. Careful inquiries
were first made in order to avoid imposture, and then
the poor were admitted to Sir Moses' presence in batches
of thirty, and each man and woman was presented with
a Spanish dollar, and with half that sum for every child
under thirteen years of age. Orphans and children over
thirteen received a full dollar. With rare consideration,
Sir Moses arranged to receive separately in the evenings,
those who shrunk from exposing their poverty to the
public gaze. At Jerusalem he was unable to perform
this interesting ceremony, as his stock of money had
become exhausted, and there was no banker in the city
to honor his credits; he was compelled therefore to give
the authorities drafts on Beyrout. One of the happy
results of this importation of ready money was, that in
Safed and Tiberias the price of a measure of corn fell
immediately from five piastres to two.
His inquiries completed, Sir Moses made all haste to
lay his plans before Mehemet Ali. He reached Alex-
andria on July 13th, and was cordially received by the
Pacha, who listened attentively while he unfolded his
schemes. Mehemet Ali promised every assistance, and
expressed himself anxious to improve the condition of
his Hebrew subjects. "You shall have any portion of
land open for sale in Syria," he said, "and any other
land which by application to the Sultan might be pro-
cured for you. You may have any one you would like
me to appoint as Governor in any of the rural districts
of the Holy Land, and I will do everything that lies in
my power to support your praiseworthy endeavors."
He further gave instructions to his Minister of Finance,
Burghos Bey, to confirm these assurances in writing.
A new era seemed dawning for the Jews of the Holy

70 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.

Land. Sir Moses returned to England with a light
heart, and prepared to put his plans into execution.
"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men,
Gang aft a-gley."

He was still conning over the voluminous data he had
collected, and was constructing in his mind the founda-
tion of a new commonwealth for Palestine, when he
was suddenly called upon to proceed again to the East
-this time, not as a peaceful reformer, but as the cham-
pion of his people, charged to vindicate their honor in
the face of a foul conspiracy. He cheerfully laid aside
his agricultural schemes, and girded up his loins for the
new enterprise. When he returned home in the follow-
ing spring, crowned with laurels, and hailed on all sides
as the deliverer of Israel, his triumph was clouded by
one sad thought-the projects to which he had devoted
the whole of the previous year were no longer possible.
Mehemet All had ceased to be lord of Syria, and his im-
proving rule had been replaced by the asphyxiating au-
thority of the Stamboul Effendis, under whom questions
of social well-being could expect little furtherance.

The Damascus Drama.



The "Red Spectre" of Judaism.-Its History and Origin.-Revival
of the Blood Accusation at Damascus in Consequence of the Dis-
appearance of Father Thomas.-The Fanaticism of the Monks
and the Designs of the French Consul.-M. de Ratti-Menton sets
himself to Manufacture a Case against the Jews.-Secures the
Co-operation of the Governor of the City.-Arrest, Torture, and
Confession of a Jewish Barber.-A Jewish Youth Flogged to
Death.-Further Arrests.-The Prisoners Submitted to Terrible
Tortures.-Wholesale Seizure of Jewish Children.-Ratti-Men-
ton's Mouchards.-Another Confession.-The Bottle of Human
Blood.-Two of the Prisoners Die under Torture. -Protests of the
Austrian Consul.-A Mass over Mutton Bones.-Attempt to Ex-
cite the Mussulman Populace.-The Prisoners Condemned to
Death.-The "Red Spectre" at Rhodes.-Anti-Jewish Risings.

SOME eighteen centuries and a half ago the city of
Alexandria was distracted by an agitation against the
Jews, which, in many of its features, was a perfect
type of the anti-Semitic movements we have witnessed
during the present century. The charges against the
Hebrew people were then the same as now. One
writer discovered that they were an unsociable tribe;
another affirmed that their religion was a danger to the
State. The Rohling of the day was an Egyptian named
Apion, who declared that the Jews were required by
"a secret tradition" to make use of human blood in
their Passover ceremonies, and that, consequently, they

72 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.
were obliged to sacrifice annually a certain number of
Gentiles. The public mind became inflamed, and
Flaccus Aquilius, the Roman Prefect, desirous, like
many a modern functionary, of ingratiating himself
with the people, took no measures to prevent the riots
and massacres that eventually occurred.
No circumstance of this ancient anti-Jewish agitation
has been more frequently repeated than the charge of
the ritual use of human blood. This "Red Spectre"
of Judaism has haunted the whole history of the He-
brew dispersion, and has written the larger portion of
its martyrology. It clung even to the skirts of Chris-
tianity in the early days of its temporal impotence,
when its Hebrew origin was still fresh in men's minds.
Athenagoras found himself compelled to appeal to
Marcus Aurelius for protection against the calumny;
and Origen, in his reply to Celsus, was obliged to cite
from the Old Testament the many prohibitions of. the
use of blood as evidence of the impossibility of the
alleged practice. In course of time, however, Chris-
tians themselves adopted the fable, together with many
other of the superstitions of paganism, and, by a tri-
umph of prejudice, fastened it on the very people
whose traditions they had relied on to rebut it when it
was related of themselves. Notwithstanding that the
post-Biblical legal codes of the Jews worked out into
elaborate detail the Scriptural laws on this subject, the
Church obstinately persisted in repeating the charge.
No Christian ever disappeared about Easter time but
the cry immediately arose that he had been murdered
by the Jews. The calendar bristles with saints who
are supposed in the flesh to have been victims of this
"damnable practice of Judaism." Miracles were

The Damascus Drama.

wrought by their bodies and their relics; and their
shrines have been visited by thousands of pilgrims.
To this day the accusation is persisted in, and there
are still people in Europe who believe that ritual mur-
der is a practice of orthodox Judaism.
The origin of this extraordinary delusion has per-
plexed many historical scholars. The most probable
theory seems to be that it was only a natural corollary
of the vague impression of the Pagan world that Juda-
ism was a form of sorcery. In the supernatural medi-
cine-chest blood has always occupied an important place.
Even in Biblical times its magical virtue was the bur-
den of a vulgar superstition; for we read of harlots
washing themselves in Ahab's blood, no doubt under
the impression that some peculiar beautifying property
attached to the blood of a king. Homer, Horace, and
Pliny speak of the magical use of blood. Gower in his
De Confession Amantis states it to have been pre-
scribed to Constantine for the cure of his leprosy; but
that he refused to try it, and for his piety was miracu-
lously healed:

"The would him bathe in childes blood,
Within seven winters' age;
For as thei sayen, that shulde assuage
The lepre."

It is very likely that the superior healthiness of the
Jews, and their immunity from many epidemic diseases,
helped to fix more firmly in the popular mind the idea
that they occasionally fortified themselves with doses of
human blood. The specific association of the accusa-
tion with the Passover has been attributed to the red
wine drunk on the first evening of the festival. Red

74 The Life of Sir Moses Monteflore.
wine is chosen because, according to an old Jewish
legend, when Pharaoh was once seriously ill he caused
his body to be bathed daily in a bath of the blood of
Jewish children in order to regain his health. The
fate of these children and other Jews, stated to have
been murdered in Egypt, is commemorated on the Pass-
over by drinking red wine; and it is conjectured that
supporters of the Blood Accusation imagine this wine
to be blood.
In the spring of 1840 the Jews of Europe were
startled by a revival of the blood calumny in a peculi-
arly virulent form. Paragraphs appeared in the Times,
the Leipziger Allgemeine Zeitung, the Semaphore de
aarseilles, and other influential journals, announcing
that a charge of ritual murder had actually been brought
home to the Israelitish community of Damascus. Sir
Moses Montefiore immediately caused inquiries to be
made into the truth of the allegation, but it was with
great difficulty that any reliable information could be
obtained. Ultimately, however, the true story leaked
out, and, as its harrowing details assumed tangible form,
it caused a thrill of horror to run through the whole of
Western Europe.
Early in the year a Capuchin friar, named Thomas
de Calangiano, had, together with his servant, unac-
countably disappeared. The reverend gentleman was
well known all over Damascus, where he exercised the
profession of physician, visiting in that capacity all
classes of the population, Mussulmans, Catholics, Arme-
nians, and Jews. A rumor at first pervaded the town
that a quarrel had taken place between him and a Turk,
and that the latter had been heard to swear that the
"Christian dog" should die by his hand. It was even

The Damascus Drama.

said that a fight had taken place, Very mysteriously,
however, the story died away; and one fine morning a
mob of Christians crowded into the Jewish quarter,
shouting that the Jews had murdered Father Thomas,
to employ his blood in their superstitious rites. Whether
this demonstration was promoted by the Catholic clergy
or not, it is impossible to say; but the barbarous sur-
mise by which it was actuated does not seem to have
been at all repugnant to the feelings of these holy men.
On the contrary, it appears to have suited their interests
to give it all the support in their power, in order, appar-
ently, to avoid a conflict between themselves and the
dominant Mussulman population, which would have
certainly taken place had an investigation been made of
the clew afforded by the rumored quarrel. Besides, as
Graetz has shrewdly remarked, a monk killed by the
Jews would have given them another saint, and fur-
nished them with an additional claim on the purses of
the faithful.
The expediency of the course adopted by the monks
recommended itself with peculiar force to the tortuous
mind of the French Consul, the Count de Ratti-Menton,
an unscrupulous schemer, whose moral character may be
inferred from the fact that he had already been dis-
missed from offices of trust in Sicily and Tiflis. He
acquiesced in the accusation against the Jews with alac-
rity, not merely on the score of the personal interests of
the local Christians, but, as he diplomatically thought,
to serve the political ends of France in the East by cur-
rying favor with the Mussulman population. He im-
mediately set himself to manufacture a case against the
Jews; and for this purpose took into his confidence a
trio of the most notorious rascals in Damascus, Hanna

76 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.
Bachari Bey, a well-known Jew-hater, Mohammed El-
Telli, an adventurer, who had already extorted money
from the Jews on a trumped-up charge of ritual murder;
and Shibli Ajub, a Christian Arab, who was actually
undergoing at the time a term of imprisonment for
forgery, of which he had been convicted mainly on the
evidence of a Jew. The Governor of Damascus, Sheriff
Pasha, needed no pressing to consent to the proceedings
of the French Consul. Gallic influence was then para-
mount in the councils of Mehemet Ali, who was relying
on the specious promises of Louis Philippe to enable
him to defy the European allies of the Sultan. It was
consequently more than a provincial official's head was
worth to offend a diplomatic agent of the French Gov-
ernment. Besides, Sheriff Pasha was not insensible to
the prospect of plunder held out by a well-devised Blood
The stage thus cleared, the curtain rose on the first
act of the drama. Bachari Bey, after a long and mys-
terious inquiry, discovered a person who was willing to
swear that, on the day of the Padre's disappearance, he
had seen him and his servant enter a house in the Jew-
ish quarter of the city. The tenant of the house in
question, a poor barber, was waited upon by the satel-
lites of the French Consul, and sternly interrogated.
He showed so much trepidation and confusion, that it
was resolved to arrest him, and he was handed over by
Ratti-Menton to Sheriff Pasha for further examination.
This took the form of 500 lashes, but it failed to extort
a confession. More exquisite torture was resorted to,
but still the poor barber steadfastly denied all knowledge
of the crime. He was then thrown into a pestiferous
dungeon to regain strength for further torture. During

The Damascus Drama.

his incarceration Shibli Ajub made his acquaintance as
a fellow-prisoner, and, acting upon instructions from
without, endeavored to gain his confidence, with a view
to eliciting from him the fate of Father Thomas. But
still he protested that he knew nothing about it; and all
the machinations of his wily interlocutor were powerless
to induce him to incriminate either himself or any of
his brethren. At last, growing impatient, Shibli de-
clared himself in his true character. Adopting an im-
perious tone, he called upon the half-distracted barber
to confess his guilt at once; he told him that he was an
agent of the Pasha, and if the truth were not imme-
diately avowed, the torture would there and then be re-
sumed. In an agony of terror the miserable creature
threw himself at Shibli's feet, and frantically implored
his mercy. Shibli coldly repeated his interrogatories,
when the barber, yielding to his fears, gasped out that
he was guilty. So, at least, Shibli reported to his supe-
riors, at the same time stating that the barber had men-
tioned as his accomplices several Jewish merchants of
Damascus, who all, curiously enough, turned out to be
very wealthy men.
In the mean time Sheriff Pasha had sent for the Jew-
ish ecclesiastical chiefs, and had commanded them to
discover the criminals within three days. The whole
community were in consequence summoned to the
Synagogue by the Rabbis, and a proclamation was read
calling upon any Jew who knew aught that might lead
to the detection of the murderers to instantly make it
known under pain of excommunication. The com-
munity were likewise enjoined to institute a diligent
search for the criminals. In consequence of this proc-
lamation a young man, a Jew, who kept a tobacconist's

78 The Life of Sir Moses Montefiore.
shop in the Moslem quarter, close by one of the city
gates, came forward, and stated that the missing priest
and his servant had passed by his door at six o'clock on
the evening of the day on which he was last seen; that
he had solicited them to purchase tumbeki, but that they
had passed on to the house of a Turkish merchant,
which they had entered. The young man was taken
before the Pasha, to whom he repeated his story; but
the latter, instead of inquiring into its truth, angrily
accused him of being an accomplice, and ordered him
to be mercilessly flogged. The youth perished under
the bastinado. He was the first martyr in this terrible
Ratti-Menton lost no time in communicating to
Sheriff Pasha the nature of the barber's alleged confes-
sion; and seven of the most influential Jews in the
town-David Arari, his son and two brothers, Moses
Abulafia, Moses Saloniki, and Joseph Laniado, the
latter a man over eighty years of age-were forthwith
arrested. Examined by the Governor, they one and all
asserted their innocence. At the suggestion of Eatti-
Menton the bastinado was called into requisition ; but
still they denied all knowledge of the missing monk.
Then they were submitted to the most excruciating tor-
tures. They were soaked with their clothes for hours
at a stretch in large tanks of cold water; their eyes
were punctured; they were made to stand upright
without support for nearly two days; and when their
wearied bodies fell down, they were aroused by the
prick of soldiers' bayonets; they were dragged by the
ear until their blood gushed; thorns were driven be-
tween the nails and flesh of their fingers and toes; fire
was set to their beards till their faces were singed;

The Damascus Drama.

and candles were held under their noses, so that the
flames burnt their nostrils. But still no admission of
guilt passed their lips. Sheriff Pasha then bethought
himself of another and still more fiendish plan. He
ordered sixty Jewish children, ranging in age from
three to ten years, to be forcibly torn from their
mothers, and locked up in a room without food, in the
hope that the bereaved parents would frantically de-
nounce the murderers. This infernal expedient also
failed. Then maddened by their want of success, Sheriff
Pasha and Ratti-Menton invaded the Jewish quarter
with a troop of soldiers, and demolished several houses
ostensibly to find evidence. Nothing was discovered;
and the enraged Governor before taking his leave swore
a tremendous oath, that if the body of Father Thomas
were not soon produced, many hundred Jewish heads
should pay the penalty.
All this time Ratti-Menton's mouchards had not been
idle. They had managed to obtain for themselves the
entree to the houses of the imprisoned Jews, and day
after day they had spent in cajoling the servants. Mo-
hammed El-Telli had specially attached himself to one
of Arari's servants, Mourad El-Fallat, and eventually he
prevailed upon him to admit that he had killed Father
Thomas at his master's orders, and in presence of the
other prisoners. This was held by Ratti-Menton to be
a confirmation of the barber's narrative, notwithstanding
the discrepancy that both the self-accusers claimed to
have alone committed the deed. A search for the
remains of the murdered man was at once instituted,
and resulted in the finding of a piece of bone and a
rag in a drain near Arari's house. The bone was de
dared by Ratti-Menton to be a portion of the priest's

80 The LZfe of Sir Moses Montefiore.

skull, and the rag a part of his cap. The guilt of the
accused was now considered established, and all that
remained to be discovered was the blood, for the sake
of which the Padre was alleged to have been murdered.
The seven prisoners were again dragged before the
Pasha and examined, but to no purpose. Torture was
then once more tried. The aged Laniado died under
the bastinado. Worn out with pain, one of the prisoners
whispered to a jailer that he had given the blood to
Moses Abulafia. The latter, after receiving another
thousand blows, and hardly knowing what he was saying,
stammered out that he had hidden the bottle in a certain
closet. Abulafia was carried on the backs of four men
to the closet indicated by him, where, of course, no
traces of blood were found. The tortures were then
resumed, but without any other result than that David
Arari shared the fate of Joseph Laniado, and Abulafia
purchased immunity from further molestation by turn-
ing Mussulman.
Towards the beginning of March suspicion fell upon
six more Jews, among them one Isaac Levi Picciotto,
an Austrian subject. He appealed to his Consul, M.
Merlato, for protection, and the latter, who had watched
the proceedings of Ratti-Menton with undisguised
abhorrence, refused to deliver him up. All kinds of
so-called evidence of his guilt were offered, and threats
were even used towards his protector, but M. Merlato
proved immovable. About the same time more bones
were discovered, and although they were pronounced by
physicians to be sheep's bones, Ratti-Menton declared
them to be the skeleton of the missing priest. He even
went to the extent of ordering the monks to celebrate
a mass over the remains, and then sent another insolent

The Damascus Drama.

message to the Austrian Consul, demanding of him the
Jew Picciotto.
M. Merlato now thoroughly lost his patience. The
horror with which he had silently watched the French
Consul's proceedings became intolerable, and he felt
compelled to remonstrate with him publicly. This he
did in no measured terms, at the same time threatening
to communicate with his government. The gravity of
his position seems to have now dawned upon Ratti-
Menton for the first time, and he hastily devoted him-
self to the task of transferring the responsibility for
the outrages from himself to the Mussulman popula-
tion, who, strange to say, had taken but a very languid
interest in the whole affair. In order to excite their
fanaticism, he caused to be translated into Arabic a
lying anti-Jewish work, the Pompta Bibliotheca, of
Lucio Ferrajo, in which the ritual use of human blood
by Jews is sought to be demonstrated by forged
extracts from the Talmud. The riots he anticipated
would follow from this publication did not, however,
take place. Then he resolved to put a bold face on
the whole matter. He held a mock judicial inquiry,
at which he admitted the Pompta Bibliotheca as
evidence, and his own creatures as witnesses, and
ultimately decided (1) that the Jews used human blood
in their Passover services, and (2) that the imprisoned
Jews had murdered the priest Thomas de Calangiano
for the purposes of their Passover. As a result of this
finding, he formally demanded of the Governor the
execution of the prisoners; and Sheriff Pasha, with an
equally ostentatious respect for legal procedure, prom-
ised to apply immediately to Cairo for a confirmation
of the death sentences.

82 The Life of Sir loses JMontefiore.
While this tragedy was being enacted at Damascus,
a no less unhappy revival of the Blood Accusation
occurred in Rhodes. In that island, a Greek boy, ten
years of age, had disappeared, and a rumor at once
spread that the Jews had killed him. The Consuls
of the European powers, in their zeal for Christian
interests, called upon the Mussulman Governor, Jussuf
Pasha, to adopt severe measures against the Jews.
Among the bitterest accusers of the persecuted Hebrews
were the British Consul, Mr. Wilkinson, and his son.
The Austrian Consul alone protested against the dis-
graceful return to medieval superstition. On the rep-
resentations of two Greek women that the missing boy
had been last seen in the company of a certain Jew,
this unhappy individual was seized and thrown into
prison. Then, to the lasting shame of Christian civili-
zation, the Consuls attempted to extort a confession by
torture. They flogged their prisoner, they burnt his
flesh with red-hot irons, and dislocated his bones on the
rack. The result was, of course, the same as at Damas-
cus-the wretched Hebrew, delirious with pain, aim-
lessly moaned out the names of several of his co-re-
ligionists. These were in their turn seized and charged,
not only with the murder, but also with having
extracted the blood from the body of the missing
boy, and transmitted it to the Chief Rabbi at Con-
stantinople. No confession being forthcoming, they
were also tortured and imprisoned. Then the gates
of the Ghetto were ordered to be closed, and no food
was allowed to enter for three days. Still no discovery
was made; and it was finally attempted to manufacture
a case by smuggling a dead body into the Jewish

The Damascus Drama. 83

quarter at night. The vigilance of the Jews defeated
this infamous plan.
The news soon spread that another Jewish ritual
sacrifice had been detected, and popular risings against
the Israelites took place in several towns of Syria.
What Ratti-Menton had been powerless to effect by his
transparent intrigues, was brought about by the con-
sternation caused by the new discovery at Rhodes. At
Djabar, near Damascus, the mob rose and sacked the
synagogue. At Beyrout and Smyrna serious riots
broke out. For a moment it seemed as if the whole of
Eastern Judaism was about to be ingulfed in a wave of
This was the horrible story that startled the Jews of
Western Europe about the middle of April, 1840.

84 The Life of Sir Moses Montefore.



Significance of the new Blood Accusation to the Jews of England.
-Appeals for Help.-Meeting convened by Sir Moses Montefiore.
-Interview with Lord Palmerston.-M. Cremieux has an Audi-
ence of Louis Philippe.-Action of Prince Metternich.-Mehemet
Ali takes Alarm; and Appoints a Consular Commission of
Inquiry.-French Intrigues.-M. Thiers Protests against the
Inquiry.-Resolve to send a Mission to Mehemet Ali, headed
by Sir Moses Montefiore.-Debate in Parliament.-Indignation
Meeting at the Mansion House. Acquittal of the Jews of
Rhodes.-Sir Moses Montefiore arrives at Alexandria, and Inter-
views the Viceroy.-Hesitation of Mehemet Ali.-Intrigues of the
French Consul.-Sir Moses Monteflore's Diplomacy.-Its Happy
Results.-Release of the Damascus Prisoners.-The Eastern
Question.-Egypt and the Quadruple Alliance.-Mehemet Ali
Loses Syria.-Sir Moses Montefiore Proceeds to Constantinople,
and Obtains an Important Firman from the Sultan.-The Jour-
ney Home.-Sir Moses Montefiore and Louis Philippe.-Re-
joicings of the Jews.-Royal Recognition of Sir Moses' Efforts.

To the Jews of England the new Blood Accusation
was a source of the deepest anxiety. Under any cir-
cumstances the revival of so sinister an appeal to vulgar
fears and prejudices would have been of serious mo-
ment, but occurring in the midst of a critical struggle
for their emancipation, and in connection with political
complication, which rendered an adverse decision by no
means improbable, its aspect in 1840 was of an exceed-
ingly grave character. The Roman Catholic Church
had irrevocably committed itself to the guilt of the

T~Le Idfission to .Mehemet aIl.

Damascus Israelites, and France, masking her designs
on Syria by a Pharisaical championship of the Eastern
Christians, had bound herself to a similar conclusion.
In the diplomatic conflict between Louis Philippe and
the Quadruple Alliance, a French success meant certain
conviction of the imprisoned Jews at Damascus; and, in
presence of M. Thiers' warlike attitude, such a success
was by no means unlikely. To the Powers it was prob-
ably a small matter, in the aggregate of interests at stake
in Egypt, whether a few Jews were or were not found
guilty of murder; but, to the Jews as a body, and par-
ticularly those of England, no more serious question had
occurred for many years. The alleged murder was, it
must be remembered, a ritual murder, and for a civilized
European power like France to give its countenance,
however incidentally, to the theory of the possibility of
such a murder, was to arm the enemies of the Jews-
and they were by no means few-with the most power-
ful weapon they had possessed for ages. Far-seeing
Jews in England felt this. They saw, too, its practical
bearing on their own struggle for freedom, and their
action was consequently prompt.
On the 21st April Sir Moses Montefiore convened a
meeting at his residence in Park Lane to consider the
news from the East. Many Jews eminent in the com-
munity attended, in addition to the members of the
Board of Deputies; Mr. Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, Mr.
David Salomons, Mr. A. A. Goldsmid, Dr. Loewe,
and Dr. Barnard Van Oven were among those present.
M. Cremieux, then Vice-President of the Consistoire
Central, and a busy advocate at the French bar, at-
tended on behalf of the Jews of France. The story of
the sufferings of the Eastern Israelites was placed before

86 The Life of Sir lMoses .Montefore.
the meeting in the shape of letters from Damascus,
Beyrout, Alexandria, and Constantinople, and a com-
munication was also read from the Rev. S. Hirschel, the
then Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, solemnly repudiating
the charge of shedding human blood for ritual purposes.
After a spirited discussion, a series of resolutions was
adopted, expressing the concern, disgust, and horror of
the meeting at such unfounded and cruel accusations
against their Eastern brethren, and at the barbarous tor-
tures inflicted upon them; entreating the Governments
of England, France, and Austria to take up the cause of
the unhappy Jews, and appointing a deputation to wait
on Lord Palmerston (who was at the time Her Majesty's
Secretary for Foreign Affairs), with Sir Moses Monte-
fiore at its head.
The reception accorded to Sir Moses and his col-
leagues at Downing Street was extremely gratifying.
Lord Palmerston expressed abhorrence of the persecu-
tion at Damascus; assured the deputation that the influ-
ence of the British Government should be exerted on
behalf of the Jews, and promised that instructions should
immediately be sent to Colonel Hodges, at Alexandria,
and Lord Ponsonby, at Constantinople, directing them
to use every effort to prevent a continuance of the out-
rages. On the same day M. Cr6mieux had an audience
of the French King, but with not quite so satisfactory
a result. I know nothing of all you have told me,"
coldly replied Louis Philippe, but if, in any part of
the world, there are Jews who appeal to my protection,
and it is in the power of my Government to afford that
protection, you may depend upon it that it will be
granted." In Austria, on the other hand, very efficient
action was taken. Prince Metternich, pleased to flnd

The Mission to Mekemet Ali.

that his diplomatic agents in the East had already de-
clared themselves on what he was shrewd enough to
perceive would prove the side of justice and right, ad-
dressed a personal remonstrance to Mehemet Ali, and
instructed the Austrian Consul Laurier to insist upon
the fullest reparation to the Damascus Israelites.
The result of these vigorous movements on the part
of the Western Jews was to cause great uneasiness in
the mind of the Egyptian Viceroy. M. Cochelet, the
French Consul at Alexandria, did his best to laugh
away Mehemet's anxieties, and for a time the latter
yielded himself up entirely to the Frenchman's advice
and consolations; but at last a joint representation by
the foreign Consuls convinced him that the Powers were
in earnest, and he hurriedly sent orders to Sheriff Pasha
to stop the outrages, and directed that an armed force
should proceed to Damascus to quell disturbances and
maintain order. He also appointed a Commission of
Inquiry, consisting of the English, Austrian, Russian,
and Prussian Consuls, with permission to take evidence
at Damascus, and to conduct their proceedings accord-
ing to European rule.
Nothing could have been more satisfactory to the
Jews. Unfortunately the political atmosphere was too
heavily charged with intrigue for so straightforward a
course to be pursued to the end. The warlike policy of
the French Ministry had brought about serious differ-
ences between M. Thiers and his Royal master, and the
former was desirous, at all hazards, to obtain for himself
the support of a majority in the Chambers. Just at that
moment the Clerical party were equally anxious that no
inquiry should be held in respect to the Damascus out-
rages, and, to conciliate them, M. Thiers instructed M.

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