Solomon Barnato Joel

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Solomon Barnato Joel

Birthdate: (65)
Birthplace: London, England
Death: May 22, 1931 (65)
London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Joel Joel and Catherine 'Kate' Joel
Husband of Ellen (Nellie) Ridley and Phoebe Carlow
Father of Doris Irene Kathleen Joel; Stanhope Henry Joel; Woolf Joel; Dudley Jack Barnato Joel and Eileen Daphne Solvia Rogerson
Brother of Jack Barnato Joel and Woolf Joel

Managed by: Jeffrey Michael Maynard
Last Updated:

About Solomon Barnato Joel

Solomon Barnato Joel (23 May 1865 – 22 May 1931) was a South African financier and mining, brewing and railway magnate.

Known as "Solly", he was born into a Jewish family, being one of three sons of Joel Joel (a London tavernkeeper of the King of Prussia), and Kate Isaacs, who was a sister of Barnett Isaacs, later to be called Barney Barnato. Along with his brothers Jack and Woolf, he was taken under the wing of Barney Barnato and made a fortune from the Barnato Diamond Mining Company. Within ten years, he had become a millionaire, primarily by buying seemingly worked-out diamond mines in South Africa. On Barney Barnato's death in 1897, Solly became head of the family business, Barnato Brothers. Despite having a keen interest in diamonds, he played a greater role in the gold industry. He established the Van Ryn Deep in 1902, the Government Gold Mining Areas (Modderfontein) in 1910 and the New State Areas in 1918. He acquired control of Langlaagte Estate and Gold Mining Company and Randfontein Estates Gold Mining Company from J.B. Robinson and became a director of the Diamond Syndicate.

Solly married a beautiful young actress named Ellen "Nellie" Ridley. While highly successful in business, in his personal life familial relationships were not always cordial. His dislike of his daughter Doris' choice of spouse continued until she divorced after four years, at which point he resumed normal relations. Solly also disapproved of one of his sons, Stanhope's, marriage for two years. His daughter Eileen became the first woman jockey to win an open race when she rode Hogier to victory in the Town Plate at Newmarket. His son Dudley Joel was elected the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Dudley but was killed in action during World War II. Solly's brother Woolf Joel was the victim of homicide by a blackmailing con-man named Karl Frederic Moritz Kurtze or under his pseudonym of Ludwig von Veltheim, in Johannesburg in 1898. Although there was plenty of evidence that von Veltheim was threatening Woolf Joel, the defense was that von Veltheim had not been properly compensated for planning a kidnap scheme against the Boer leader Paul Kruger. That, the all Boer jury, and the mixture of anti-British and anti-Semitic feelings towards the deceased enabled von Veltheim to avoid punishment. Freed, he was immediately deported from the Boer territories. For the next decade, von Veltheim was following a series of con-games in Europe, but in 1907, he turned up in London, and started making threatening demands on Solly. Turning to Scotland Yard, the police arrested von Veltheim. There was a trial for extortion, and von Veltheim tried the same defense he used in Johannesburg. This time the jury was unconvinced and found him guilty. He got a twenty-year sentence. Solly Joel's interests were wide and varied and included many business concerns. He was also kept busy with his enlarged family's diamond and gold mining interests, activities in brewing, the theatre (the Drury Lane Theatre in London) and railways (the City and South London Railway).



Solomon Barnato Joel (23 May 1865 - 22 May 1931) married Ellen "Nellie" Ridley (-14 August 1919) (5 children) xx Phoebe Carlow

  1. Doris Irene Kathleen d. 14 August 1919 x Arthur Walter
  2. Woolf d.13 November 1923, named after Uncle Woolf Joel
  3. Stanhope Henry b.8 February 1903 at 2 Gt. Stanhope St, Mayfair x Gladys MacFadden
  • Solna
  • Dana
  • Thalia
  1. Dudley Jack Barnato (26 April 1904 - 26 May 1941) (drowned at sea) - Conservative Party Member of Parliament x Esme Ritchie
  2. Eileen Daphne Solvia (20 March 1907 - 30 Jan 1974) x John Rogerson


Sol Joel Park is a public park in Earley, a suburb in east Reading, Berkshire, England, on the Wokingham Road was given to the Corporation of Reading in 1927 by Solomon Joel. Its official opening was by the then Duke of York, who subsequently became King George VI.

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Solomon Barnato Joel's Timeline

May 23, 1865
London, England
December 4, 1889
Age 24
April 26, 1892
Age 26
February 8, 1903
Age 37
April 26, 1904
Age 38
March 20, 1907
Age 41
May 22, 1931
Age 65
London, England