Sir David Salomons, 1st Baronet, Lord Mayor of London

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Sir David Salomons, 1st Baronet

Birthdate: (75)
Birthplace: London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Death: July 18, 1873 (75)
26 Great Cumberland Place, Hyde Park, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: West Ham Cemetery Of The United Synagogue
Immediate Family:

Son of Levy Solomon Salomons and Mathilda de Mitz
Husband of Jeanette Salomons and Dame Cecilia Salomons
Brother of Phillip Salomons; Sophia Goldsmid; Joseph Philips Salomons; Eliza Goldshmid and Esther Salomons

Managed by: Randy Schoenberg
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About Sir David Salomons, 1st Baronet, Lord Mayor of London

Sir David Salomons, 1st Baronet (22 November 1797 – 18 July 1873) was a leading figure in the 19th century struggle for Jewish emancipation in the United Kingdom. He was the first Jewish Sheriff of the City of London and Lord Mayor of London, and one of the first two Jewish people to serve in the British House of Commons.

Born in London, the son of Levy Salomons of St Mary Axe and Frant, Sussex and Matilda de Metz of Leyden (married in 1795), he followed his father into business in the City of London, where he was a successful banker. Salomons was one of the founders of the London and Westminster Bank (now the NatWest), and a member of the London Stock Exchange.

In 1835 he was elected as Sheriff of the City of London. However, he was unable to take up the post, because the mandatory oath of office included Christian statements of faith. The Sheriffs' Declaration Act was passed later that year, and Salomons was able to take up the post. In 1839, he was High Sheriff of Kent, where his Broomhill estate, now the Salomons Museum, was located near Tunbridge Wells.

In December 1835, Salomons was elected as an Alderman of the City of London, but again faced an unacceptable oath, and on this occasion the law was not changed. Salomons was disqualified, but was re-elected in 1847, after the Religious Opinions Relief Act had amended the oath. In 1855, the Aldermen elected him as Lord Mayor of London. In the meantime, he trained as a lawyer and was called to the bar in 1849, though he did not practise as a barrister. However, he was the first Jewish magistrate in England.

Salomons married in 1825 Jeanette, daughter of Solomon Cohen of Canonbury House and Hannah Samuel. Her aunts Judith and Henriette were the wives of Sir Moses Montefiore and Nathan Mayer Rothschild respectively. After her death in 1867 Salomons married Cecilia, the daughter of Samuel Moses Samuel in 1872.

He was made a baronet in 1869.

He died on 18 July 1873, and is buried in the Jewish Cemetery at West Ham. He had no children by either of his marriages, so his estate and titles passed to his nephew David Lionel Salomons, whom he had brought up after the death of Sir David's brother Philip Salomons.

First jewish member of UK Parliament

second son of Levy Salomons, a stockbroker whose family was of Dutch Ashkenazi Jewish (German and Polish) origin, and Matilda de Metz, of Leiden. Joined the London stock exchange at 26, becoming in time an authority on joint-stock banking. In 1832 he became one of the founders of the London and Westminster Bank (of which he was chairman from 1859 to 1867), the first joint-stock bank in the capital; two years later he commenced business as an underwriter. By then he had acquired a well-deserved national reputation as an expert on currency and banking matters.

His marriage to Jeanette Cohen, a niece of both Nathan de Rothschild and Sir Moses Montefiore brought together 2 very wealthy families. Salomons thus found himself at the centre of the 'cousinhood' - the coterie of exceedingly wealthy, interrelated families which constituted the lay leadership of Anglo-Jewry during the struggle for legal and political emancipation in the mid-nineteenth century. In October 1838 he was elected as the first Ashkenazi president of the London Committee (later Board) of Deputies of British Jews, but resigned less than a month later in protest against the policy of excluding Reform Jews from membership of it:

He mounted a campaign to achieve emancipation for Jews. In 1830 the common council of the City of London had permitted professing Jews to become freemen of the City, and thus members of the City livery companies and Salomons was admitted liveryman of the Coopers' Company, and in 1835 he was elected one of the two City sheriffs, obliging parliament to legislate to enable him to enter office without having to take a Christian form of oath. In 1838 he became one of the first Jewish magistrates, and the following year he was appointed high sheriff of Kent without having to take the prescribed declaration. In 1845 parliamentary opponents of Jewish emancipation permitted the passage into law of Lord Lyndhurst's Act enabling professing Jews to hold municipal office. Salomons was at once admitted as a City alderman, becoming in 1855 the first Jewish lord mayor of London. In June 1851 he was returned for Greenwich at a by-election. Far from refusing to take the oath he merely omitted the offending words, took his seat, voted in three divisions during the debate which followed, and only then agreed to withdraw. This conduct led to the imposition of a severe statutory fine on Salomons as well as various civil penalties, but he had succeeded in having the issue of principle brought to the forefront of political debate. Although he lost his Greenwich seat at the general election of 1852, the minority Conservative government led by the earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli sponsored an act relieving him of the civil disabilities the courts had imposed. More importantly, Conservative moderates searched for ways of meeting Jewish claims for political equality, while satisfying the die-hards. In 1858 another Derby- Disraeli minority government legislated to permit each house of parliament to decide for itself the form of oath to be administered to a Jewish politician. Lionel de Rothschild took his seat in the Commons on 26 July 1858. At the general election of 1859 Salomons was also returned to parliament, for the Greenwich constituency which he continued to represent until his death. He sat as a Liberal (from 1868 with W. E. Gladstone as his co-member) for what was an increasingly radical borough. [1]


A) 4.[S30] Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Editor: Lawrence Goldman, (Oxford University Press, May 2006), Salomons, Sir David, entry (Reliability: 3).

B) [S79] The Brown Family Papers, Presented by Mrs. J. McGregor, Compiled by B.M. Cole, (The University of Cape Town Libraries.), A51 MSS. Birth dates of Solomon Family from 1811-t873 enter ed in Hebrew Prayer Book. Signed 'D.D. Solomon.' Undated (Reliability: 3).

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Sir David Salomons, 1st Baronet, Lord Mayor of London's Timeline

November 22, 1797
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Age 37
City of London
Age 41
July 18, 1873
Age 75
Hyde Park, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
July 24, 1873
Age 75
West Ham Cemetery Of The United Synagogue
London Stock Exchange
London and Westminster Bank