A ‘Miniature Sanctuary’ at Clapton House, 1781

It had previously been supposed that one of the Franco family was responsible for the outbuilding at Clapton House described in 1799 as ‘in the garden … a chapel or private synagogue’.((M. Brown, ‘The Jews of Hackney before 1840’ Trans JHSE XXX (1989) 75.)) Such, however, may not have been the case. Mr A. L. Shane has most kindly drawn our attention to one of the many remarkable items in his collection, a sheet of Hebrew verse printed on paper measuring 310 x 140 mm and surrounded by a decorative border. The poem is introduced by a paragraph in high-flown rhymed prose, of which an abbreviated paraphrase may be given in translation: ‘a poem composed by me for choral presentation [im? TfflJ m&m] on Shabu’oth h&EK] [5541 = 28 May 1781 New Style] in the house of Yehiel Prager, on the occasion of the dedication of the miniature sanctuary with

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