Eighteenth Century Anglo-Jewry in and around Richmond, Surrey

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I AM very grateful for the great honour the Jewish Historical Society have bestowed upon me in asking me to deliver this lecture, on the same platform which my dear Father, Rabbi Dr. Samuel Daiches, occupied so often in the past, and to whose memory I dedicate this paper. It is a further honour that my subject has been selected by the Council as a lecture in memory of a great lady in Anglo-Jewry whose family has been linked in friendship with mine for many years.

I wish to express my thanks to many eminent and busy friends who were never too busy to answer my queries and offer me snippets, and also to the many libraries and authorities2, who gave their services unstintingly. I should like to thank my husband for his help during the two years' work on this subject, and for the photographs he took of the eighteenth century houses still existing today


The ancient village of Scheen had its name changed to Richmond in 1500 by com? mand of Henry VII, who was Earl of Richmond in Yorkshire. It then grew in size and importance around the Royal Manor House which Henry rebuilt after its destruction by fire. There was a succession of Royal tenants?James II was the last. At the beginning of our period White Lodge had been built by George I, and the remains of the Royal Palace had been parcelled into private residences.

To the people of London, Richmond was a country town, near enough to be enjoyed by them. Unlike other places close-by, it had the advantages of being surrounded by beautiful parkland; it had an exquisite position on the River Thames

Amongst the people of substance of the day, Richmond was one of the towns that had considerable snob-appeal. It had a long-standing reputation as a Royal Borough, and the mansion-houses, and what a house-agent would call bijou-estates, were beauti? fully laid out, and undoubtedly those residents who were more concerned with commercial activities in the City rather than running large estates, found its nearness most convenient, especially when it was possible within a short distance of London, to entertain influential nobility and Royalty.

Richmond had no industry or commerce as such, it being completely residential, and I should imagine that the lower classes living in the district were concerned with

1 The Lady Magnus Memorial Lecture delivered before The Jewish Historical Society of England on May 17th, 1954

2 A list of them is appended to this paper.

service to the nobility, game-keeping and forestry in the local parks and woodlands, and general works on the river

There was a regular River service, bringing high society and wealthy middle-class on leisurely trips to enjoy the benefits of the local colour. One could spend some hours in the Pump Room of its wells or perhaps listen to a concert, or attend a ball, both of which were advertised as taking place "at Richmond Wells every Monday and Thursday evening during the Summer Season", or perhaps

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