North-East England Jewry
in Victorian Britain
(North Shields)




Extract from papers on
Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain

Papers prepared by Dr. (later Prof.) Aubrey Newman for a conference at University College, London, convened on 6 July 1975 by the Jewish Historical Society of England
(Reproduced here with Prof. Newman's kind consent)

Paper first published on JCR-UK: 31 July 2016
Latest revision: 23 August 2016

Papers on North-East England


Published Data

A  -  In 1851 there were 24 appropriated seats and 18 actual attenders at service. The estimated population was 50-100.


Temporary Synagogue, 29 Linskill Street. Opened 1873. It is intended to rebuild the synagogue as soon as sufficient funds are obtained for the purpose. At present no honorary officers have been appointed in the Congregation..


1900 - 1 Marriage,  2 burials.

Synagogue, Linskill Street. 16 seatholders.

[a - The Jewish Directory for 1874, by Asher I. Myers]
[b - Jewish Year Book]

Board of Deputies returns

  births marriages burials seatholders































North Shields

prepared by L. Olsover

Whilst both North and South Shields received the Jewish immigrants arriving from the continental ports of departure at about the same time, it appears that the Jewish communal development of North Shields took place earlier than that of South Shields.

The 1851 Census provides details of a congregation founded in 1846 in Tynemouth (i.e. North Shields). The local civic cemetery at Preston, North Shields, has part of it railed off as a Jewish Burial Ground. There are 57 graves, most of them identified by headstones. The earliest stone, that of Carl Lotinger, dates back to 1865[sic the date would appear to be 1856], so that there must have been a Jewish community in existence prior to that date. The following are some of the names that appear on the stones: David Kossick, Fisherl Merkel, Marcus, Cohen, Jackson, Saltman, Lotinger, Sheckman, etc.

An account of the early beginnings of the South Shields community states that its early settlers used to travel by ferry boat across the river - often in dangerous conditions, to join the minyon in North Shields and in particular to receive Hebrew instruction for the children at the Cheder there. They would pay their fares for the ferry transport in advance during a week day, so as not to desecrate the Sabbath day. It would appear that these early Jewish settlers in North Shields were orthodox and learned in Jewish scholarship, for they were able to instruct the children themselves.

Originally the immigrants worshipped in private homes, for nothing more is known until 1870 when they rented a house in Linskill Street, not far from the North Shields Ferry landings.

By the year 1880 the community consisted of 15-20 families, i.e. about 100 souls. The premises at Linskill Street were now too small for their requirements, so they reconstructed the building, which they had now purchased, in order to form a proper synagogue. The main hall was upstairs and consisted of an Ark, a Reader's desk in front of the Ark, (as is the custom in orthodox synagogues), rows of polished bench seats, and a gallery for the ladies separated by wooden railings. The caretaker occupied the downstairs room. The Jewish Year Book of 1895 reports that there was one burial in that year and that of 1897, one marriage and four burials.

This community never seems to have grown in size for as soon as the immigrants established themselves, many of them preferred to move to the more important town of South Shields or to Newcastle, where there were better Jewish facilities by now for their families. They were always concerned that their children should meet Jewish partners and particularly was this the case for their daughters. From the information from Mr. Science, a warden for many years, it would seem that the North Shields congregation held services only on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The community never enjoyed the services of a full time teacher, or of a shochet. These services were provided by South Shields or Newcastle.

The occupations of some of the early members are known.

Mr. Myers - Tailor.
Fridenberg - Ship's runner.
Mr. Marcus - Ship's chandler.
Hashman - Cabinet maker.
S. Beadon - Furniture retailer.
Sheckman - Seamans' outfitters.
Pearlman - Pawnbroker and money lender.
Science - Retail Draper.
Saltman - Credit Draper.

Conference Paper on North-East England by L. Olsover

Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain - List of Contents

North Shields Jewish Community home page

Formatted by David Shulman


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