Friday, 4 May 2012
Simon Levy (c1760-1827)
Simon, my 3x great grandfather, is a "work in progress", particularly as a definite birth date has not yet been established. He died on 30th Jan 1827 at No 13 Charles Street (now renamed Soho Street), a short street which runs from Oxford Street to Soho Square. He was buried in the Brompton Jewish Cemetery at Queen Elm on the Fulham Road.
In his will he leaves his leasehold house and the contents to his wife, Hannah, and makes bequests to his brother and sister (Nathan and Julia), "both now residing at Prague in the Kingdom of Bohemia". The rest of the estate is to be divided equally between his three sons-in-law: Moses Jacobs, of Charles Street, glass manufacturer; Mark Emanuel of Panton Street, Haymarket, salesman and Abraham Kisch of Beaufort Buildings in the Strand, tailor.
The daughters who married the three beneficiaries are not named in the will but we do know that Moses Jacobs married Sarah Levy in 1815 and Abraham Kisch married Isabella Levy in 1822. However, the third daughter has not yet been identified and apart from entries in street directories up to about 1832, nothing more is known of Mark Emanuel and his wife.
The reference in his will to his brother and sister living in Prague suggests that Simon may have been born there but he was certainly living in London by 1791. In that year he was trading from the Duke of Clarence in Charing Cross as a hardwareman and took out insurance with the Sun Insurance Company. From 1793 the insurance policies show that he had moved to Russell Court, off Drury Lane. He appears in street directories from 1802 and is described variously as a salesman, dealer and a gold and silversmith.
Directory entries for Russell Court cease after 1814 when he then appears in the Westminster Land Tax and Rating Schedules living in Charles Street. It seems likely that he was in business with his son-in-law, Moses Jacobs, who also lived in Charles Street and whose glass works was only a short distance away.
From the inscription on Simon's grave it is probable that his father was Samuel Levy but no birth record has yet been found to firmly identify his parents. Similarly, no record of Simon's marriage has been found.