Jacob Reuben

  Characters A-J

JACOB REUBEN appears in Pigot’s 1823 as a shopseller, and the same again in 1838 also a fancy bazaar proprietor at 5 Snargate Street. Masonic records circa 1800 note him as a chapman (per “The Rise of Provincial Jewry” Cecil Roth 1952). He was one of Dover’s earliest Jewish inhabitants, and in 1833, with others he petitioned Dover Harbour Board for land in Hawkesbury Street to be dedicated for use as a synagogue. He was probably in 1827 subscriber to the Institution for the Relief of the Indigent Blind of the Jewish Persuasion in London.
In the 1851 census, at 5 Snargate Street, he is listed as a clothier aged 63 born London, together with wife Sarah 64 born London, and children: Fanny 29, Rachael 27, Kate 24 and Julia 19 all born Dover. This means he must have been born circa 1777. He died 26.12.1851, age varying 65/68/70, and was interred at the Canterbury Jewish Cemetery on the Whitstable Road where the headstone still stands.
Also at the Canterbury cemetery (where Dover’s Jews were buried until 1868) are Julia, described as his eldest daughter aged 23 years 9 months 12.4.1831, and daughter Hannah aged 25 on 28.4.1833, Rebecca on 30.9.1844, Amelia 21.4.1847 stones also believed to be still standing.
There are no Reuben burials in the Dover Jewish cemetery so the widow and remaining family must have left Dover.
Son George, and any other sons, may feature in the Circumcision Register of Rabbi Ash of Dover 1765-1818 whose Hebrew notebooks were translated (at my behest) by the late Rabbi Susser and produced as one of the “Studies in Anglo-Jewish History” in association with the Jewish Museum, London. Unfortunately all the names are in Hebrew nomenclature so it is impossible to relate them to the names by which they were known in British society. However it would seem most of the offspring were female.