MONTEFIORE, Sir Moses (1784-1885)
Plaque erected in 1984 by Greater London Council at 99 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 7TH, City of Westminster
Philanthropist, Jewish Leader
Commerce and Business, Philanthropy and Reform
SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE 1784-1885 Philanthropist and Jewish Leader lived here for sixty years
The philanthropist and Jewish leader Sir Moses Montefiore fought for the rights of Jews all over the world. His blue plaque can be found at 99 Park Lane in Mayfair, where he lived for 60 years.
With the Rothschilds, Moses Haim Montefiore was pre-eminent among England’s 19th-century Jewish leaders. His abilities and charitable work brought the Jewish community into the mainstream of public life. After his marriage in 1812 to Judith Cohen (1784–1862) he acted as stockbroker for her brother-in-law, Nathan Mayer Rothschild, and was able to retire from active business in 1824 at the age of 40.
He subsequently devoted his energies to philanthropic work on behalf of oppressed Jews, both at home and abroad. His many missions brought him international respect and fame: Montefiore visited Palestine seven times, as well as countries including Russia and Morocco. Montefiore was knighted during his term as Sheriff of London in 1837–8.
LONDON’S FASHIONABLE DISTRICT
Number 99 Park Lane (formerly 7 Grosvenor Gate and 35 Park Lane) is one of the street’s few remaining original houses. Montefiore was its first occupant, living there from 1826 until his death in 1885. Overlooking Hyde Park, Park Lane reached its peak as one of London's most fashionable streets from about 1820 until 1830, and among Montefiore’s neighbours was Benjamin Disraeli, who lived at 93 Park Lane in 1839–72.
Nine months after Montefiore’s 100th birthday – a cause of widespread celebration – he died at East Cliff Lodge, Ramsgate, which was his country estate from the 1830s (now demolished). The plaque was unveiled by the President of Israel, Chaim Herzog, in 1984 – the bicentenary of Montefiore’s birth.