Frederic David Mocatta, 1828—1905

To be invited to be President of the Jewish Historical Society was, at any rate for me, not only an honour but also an embarrassment. It was an honour because of the many distin? guished and learned men who have held this office since Lucien Wolf became the first President in 1893. It was an embarrassment, not only because of the quality in the field of scholarship and historical research of previous Presidents, but, even more so, because your President is, on election, traditionally expected to read a paper resulting from some original research. This latter requirement led me in the first place to decline the invitation, but I was pressed and, probably too weakly, eventually consented, on its being suggested to me that I might read a paper on F. D. Mocatta, un? doubtedly the most distinguished holder of my patronymic there has been in this country. My father,

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