Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage talk on how town marked 99th birthday of Sir Moses

Sir Moses Montefiore, from the Latchman collection

A Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage talk will tell the tale of Ramsgate’s 99th birthday celebrations for benefactor Sir Moses Montefiore.

Sir Moses was held in great affection by the people of Ramsgate but concerns over his health meant that the town decided to celebrate his 99th birthday, the day when he entered his hundredth year in November 1883.

Everyone had the day off to take part in the procession, which included elephants and camels, and to watch the Brocks firework display in the evening. It was a very special day.

Most Ramsgate businesses and the schoolchildren had the day off on 8th November 1883 to take part in the birthday procession, and groups from all over Kent came to join in. From the bells ringing in St Lawrence at 5am to the dying of the last embers of the bonfire up on the East Cliff, the people of Ramsgate celebrated this special day, showing their respect and affection for their elderly Jewish benefactor.

Sir Moses was born in 1784 and died in 1885, aged 100. He married Judith Cohen, sister-in-law of Nathan Meyer Rothschild; and that connection helped him to make his fortune before the age of 40. Montefiore then retired from the Stock Exchange in order to devote the rest of his long life to the interests of poor and oppressed fellow Jews.

In 1833 Sir Moses opened his own synagogue in Ramsgate, close to his country house. His house has long since disappeared; but his synagogue and the adjacent mausoleum in which he and his wife are buried still stand, carefully maintained by the trustees of his Endowment.

The material has been researched by Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein, Montefiore expert and RMH newsletter editor, Laura Probert, who will deliver the talk.

The illustrated talk takes place at Radford House in Effingham Street, Ramsgate, tomorrow (March 26) at 7.00pm. Doors open at 6.40pm.

Tickets are £5.00 (no charge for members) and may be purchased at the door and can be redeemed against membership if you join at the same time.

Parking spaces are limited but Meeting Street Car Park is close by.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RamsgateMontefioreHeritage/info/?tab=page_info

Website: http://www.ramsgatemontefioreheritage.org.uk


  1. I’d be interested to know what Montefiore actually did to make his fortune. It would also be useful to know more about his philanthropy, particularly in Palestine.

      • I think it’s important to get the whole picture, or at least colour-in as much as you can.
        Otherwise our view of the man is partial rather than objective. History is too often presented by people as an account of what they don’t want others to know.
        If we are celebrating Montefiore let’s be clear what it is we are doing, warts and all.

  2. It is sad to reflect upon what these benefactors such as Sir Moses Montefiore and Dame Janet Stancomb Wills left to Ramsgate and to see how things have deteriorated.

    They must be turning in their graves . . .

  3. Hi Garry. You make a good point A short hop from Willsons! Enjoying cleaner air and a better environment. Certainly enjoying not spending at least 15 minutes a day picking up the bottles, cans and assorted rubbish thrown down in the road.

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