‘The Lady of Longueville Clarke’: Maria Hart Myers (1794-1868) and her family

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The occasion of my research into the life and connections of Maria Longueville Clarke, granddaughter of Naphtali Hart Myers, is the appear? ance of the latter's son Dr Joseph Hart Myers (1758-1823) as the dedicatee of Haim Bolaffey's 'Easy Grammar' of 1820,1 and from this the fact that Dr Myers's daughter Maria appears also as a subscriber to this work in a list (of more than two hundred names) that includes the name of her future husband Loftus Longueville Tottenham Clarke, MA, FRS, Barrister of Lincoln's Inn (1795?1863). This was published as my presidential lecture to the Jewish Historical Society of England (JHSE) in 2005.2 I have since delivered a further interim lecture to the JHSE on this subject whose content is extensive and still in progress, encompassing as it does the careers of her father-in-law, the Reverend Dr Thomas Brooke Clarke (i757?-i833) and of his son, her husband Longueville Clarke, with whom she went to Bengal after their marriage in 1822 and had seven children whose careers and connections bring the account down to 1929. To this end I have drafted a family tree, reproduced at the end of this paper, showing both the Myers family and its connections and that of the Clarkes. It is intended specifically to expand and correct details compiled initially by Malcolm Stern for the American Jewish Archives.3

1 H. V. Bolaffey, An easy grammar of the primcsval language, commonly called Hebrew, entitled [Orah miyshor] or, the 'straightpath' to real knowledge, fully exemplified by instructive and elegant extracts.Also, to render it complete, an appendix, showing how to read Hebrew works. . . . With notes, philological and illustrative. By H. V. Bolaffey . . . (London: printed for Hatchard and G. & W. B. Whittaker, 1820) xvi, 491, [1], 16 pp, engraved frontispiece plate; 21.2 cm (8 in). Frontispiece signed 'R. Nixon. 1820', described by the author as 'my friend the Rev. ... a private artist' (p. 15). The Hebrew title is from Psalm 27:11.

2 S. W. Massil, 'Two Hebrew Grammars and the Enlightenment', Trans JHSE XLI (2007) 99-143.

3 M. Stern, First American Jewish Families: 600 Genealogies, 1654-1977 (Cincinnati, Ohio, and Waltham, Mass. 1978) esp. Table VI.The following text serves as a digest of the genealogical material that underpins the tree. On the career of Naphtali Hart Myers I have taken advice from Dr Jonathan Sarna and Dr Holly Snyder and have read papers by J. R. Marcus referred to by them. While it is clear that the father of Naphtali was named Joseph, as his son also, what remains uncorroborated is the Adolphus connection referred to by Stern and drawn from Cecil Roth. Also unexplained is Naphtali's European origins, for if he had actually been born in the American colonies he would not have needed to secure deniza tion in April 1764 in New York before his return to London in July 1764. One final curious detail in Stern's tree is the reference to the name 'Thackfray' against 1712 m Naphtali's parentage. My findings

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