Portrait by George Richmond 1809-96 from The Royal & Sunalliance Collection, London; put to auction by Christie's Thursday 19 May 2005
Sir Moses Montefiore #196 1784-1885


Sir Moses Montefiore #196 was a cousin of Joseph Barrow Montefiore #455 of Australia, because their fathers Joseph Elias and Eliezer were brothers, both being sons of the founder of the English Montefiores Moses Vita Montefiore #445 b1712 Livorno d1789 London. Through his influence, Joseph's brother - Jacob Barrow Montefiore #456 - secured an appointment connected with Australia.

Some of the philanthropic exploits of this distinguished Anglo-Jew can be found in ref 73 and 50. Whilst the latter (on p102) identifies his role in slave owner compensation, a fuller account of the details is given by ref 162. After retiring from business in 1824, Sir Moses Montefiore devoted the rest of his exceptionally long life to philanthropy. He was president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews from 1835-1874 and member of Bevis Marks Synagogue. As President, his correspondence with the British consul in Damascus Charles Henry Churchill in 1841-42 is seen as pivotal to the development of Proto-Zionism. In business, he was an innovator, investing in the supply of piped gas for street lighting to European cities via the Imperial Continental Gas Association. He was among the founding consortium of the Alliance Life Assurance Company, and a Director of the Provincial Bank of Ireland. Highly regarded in the City, he was elected as Sheriff of the City of London in 1836, and knighted by Queen Victoria in 1837.

The Montefiore Homes for elderly Jews were named after him.

He was a great-great-great-uncle of Simon Sebag Montefiore who in 2015 wrote of his discovery of his Carvajal ancestry.