Sir David Salomons’ Carriage Doors
Sir David Salomons, 1st Baronet (22 November 1797 – 18 July 1873) was a leading figure in the 19th century struggle for Jewish emancipation in the United Kingdom. He was the first Jewish Sheriff of the City of London and Lord Mayor of London. These carriage doors, from the Jewish Museum London, are painted with his family coat of arms.
During the 18th century and first part of the 19th century, Jews faced discrimination, as did anyone who was not a member of the Church of England. In 1753, the “Jew Bill” allowing Jewish immigrants to be naturalised as British subjects was repealed after a public outcry.
The 19th century saw an active campaign to secure full civil rights. Born in 1797 in London, Salomons followed his father into business and was one of the founders of the London and Westminster bank. From the 1830s, he was elected to take up various posts within public office, including as a Member of Parliament, but was unable to do so because of the requirement to swear an oath “on the true faith of a Christian”. He was finally able to take up his post as the first Jewish Sheriff of London in 1835 after Parliament passed the Sheriff’s Declaration Act. In 1855, he became the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London, after canvassing support from Sir Robert Peel.
Hidden Treasures: Celebrating the documents, photos and artefacts in British archives that tell the story of Jews in Britain