The Historical Associations of the Ancient Burial-Ground of the Sephardi Jews

By:
Articles Image

In February 1915, the Mahamad of the Spanish and Portuguese community of London appointed an " Advisory Committee on Con? gregational Records," the object of whose proposed labours was

1. To investigate the condition of ancient Congregational records, and report to the Mahamad as to the best means for their conservation;

2. To take steps to procure gifts of documents and other objects of historical interest to the Congregation

This Committee has devoted its attention to examining the numerous documents which have been treasured in the congregational archives, and which shed much light on the early history of the Congregation. It has also occupied itself with the records preserved by the graves and inscriptions to be found in the ancient cemetery that lies in rear of the Beth Holim, 253 Mile End Road, in which lie buried the founders of the Community, the men who won for Jews the right to resettle in this country, and who, in their struggles and achieve? ments, wrote the most memorable, as they are the most inspiring and romantic, pages in Anglo-Jewish history

The Advisory Committee took an opportunity of focussing attention on this historic but almost forgotten burial-ground, and the Mahamad issued invitations for a gathering to be held there on Sunday, July 8, 1923, when the Rev. D. Bueno de Mesquita would deliver an address on " The Historical Associations of the Beth Ahaim." The event, which was of sufficient importance to merit more than passing notice, brought together an assembly of some one hundred and thirty ladies and gentlemen interested in the early chapters of Anglo-Jewish .history, some of whom were able to trace their descent, step by

step, from the distinguished people whose remains are sheltered in this. Cromwellian cemetery. Among those present was Mr. Walter Bellr F.S.A., the eminent antiquary, who contributed to the following day's; issue of the Daily Telegraph an article on the afternoon's proceedings, which filled a column of that newspaper. This article is reproduced in reduced facsimile below, with the generous assent of the editor

Mr. Eustace A. Lindo, Parnas Presidente, occupied the chair, andy subsequent to the reading of the paper, speeches of historical interest were made by Mr. Lucien Wolf, Dr. L. D. Barnett, and the Rev. Dr. H. Pereira Mendes. Prior to a tour of the ground, in the course of which the graves of those referred to in the lecture were pointed out, Mr. D. Vaz Nunes da Costa welcomed the gathering in his capacity of Thesoureiro of Beth Holim

Mr. Bueno de Mesquita, having prefaced his remarks with an earnest tribute to Mr. Lucien Wolf, the Nestor of Anglo-Jewish historians, gave a brief account of the circumstances surrounding the early days of the Besettlement

The following is a summary of his interesting address :

By the middle of the seventeenth century a small number of Jewish settlers, some sixty or seventy souls, had taken up their abode in the City of London. They were Marranos?Jews of Spanish or Portuguese origin?attracted to this country, probably, by the thought that Protestant

Become a member to read the full article
Become a member today

£7

24 hour access to JHSE online resources

Instant access to over 700 articles View the original articles as a PDF
Learn More

£40

Annual JHSE Membership

Members are entitled to a free copy of the latest Jewish Historical Studies, free access to our online resources and associate membership of the UCL Library in London.  In addition, they receive the JHSE Newsletter, special offers on books for sale and pay less to attend our series of lectures and other public events.
Learn More

£20

Student Membership

The JHSE want to encourage students to engage with Jewish history.  Apply for a Student Membership with your university email account and once we have verified your status you will soon have all the benefits of being a full JHSE member.
Learn More

£80

Associate your Institution with the JHSE

Give your members access to JHSE online resources and special offers on book sales.  Use your institutional email account when applying, and once your status is verified we will explain the scheme.  Preferred payment is by credit or debit card.
Learn More
0

Your Cart