THE BRIGHT FAMILY
In the summer of 2011, I received information from a researcher into the Bright's Family History who made the following observations.
There are two burial sites belonging to the Brights, a
prominent Jewish family in Sheffield from the end of the eighteenth
One site is at MOSCAR, just off the A57, heading out of Sheffield. This one was owned by Horatio Bright and he, along with his wife and child, were buried there. In 1983, this burial site was vandalised and desecrated, with much damage being done to the internal structure and fixtures and fittings of the mausoleum. The three bodies were eventually re-interred in Crookes Cemetery, where a simple headstone marks their grave.
The other site is at RODMOOR, on the road out of Stannington. The burial ground is located in a wooded copse. This site was originally leased to Isaac Bright from the Duke of Norfolk in 1831. A deed of conveyance in 1881 completed the transfer of ownership to the Bright family. At least 18 family members were buried here, from 1848 until 1929. In 1982 this burial site was also vandalised and desecrated and possibly items from within the mausoleums were stolen. Following the police investigation, Sheffield Council re-buried all the bodies in the underground crypt of one of the mausoleums and placed a concrete cap on top of this crypt, so no-one else could break in and disturb the bodies.
There have been a number of reports in the local press and
from other sources that would suggest that the bodies were re-buried at Walkley
Jewish cemetery, however, attached are two documents which prove that the bodies
remained on the Bright burial site –
· a letter from Sheffield City Council Administration and Legal Dept in November 1982, which categorically states that the bodies were re-buried at the Rodmoor site and that a concrete cap was placed on top of the crypt.
· The second document is a diagram showing the individual mausoleums and notes about where the bodies were re-interred. The source of this document is the Sheffield City Council Bereavement Services.
This must be conclusive proof of the last resting places of the members of the Bright Family. It is evident that the Brights that were interred at Rodmoor were NOT removed after the desecration at Rodmoor in 1982 but simply re-interred albeit more securely. Let us now hope that they finally rest in peace
ESTELLA and SELIM BRIGHT were the parents of HORATIO. I was surprised to find out that the family had strong connections with both the Buxton and Liverpool area. There is an excellent website that details the history of the Deane Road Cemetery in Liverpool which is the final resting place of many prominent nineteenth century Jewish businessmen and their families. A contributor to the excellent Deane Road Cemetery website focuses on the Bright family and in particular
In April 2008 I received the following information from someone who was researching their family history
"My great grandfather's name was Fromhold
Neumann. He was born around 1850 in Germany, but I've had no luck tracing him
back much further, although I do know from various certificates that his father
Henry Adolph Neumann was a stipendiary magistrate (perhaps in Germany). Fromhold
does not seem to appear on any 1881 Census returns - so may have still been in
Germany at that time.
I had been wondering about Selim's business and really believe that my great grandfather may have worked for him/or with him in Buxton. Hence Fromhold's second son being born in 1885 at Cobar Rd Fairfield. It had always been a mystery why Heinrich's birth certificate stated he was born in Buxton and not Birkenhead but when I discovered the Bright business in Fairfield I thought there had to be a work connection. Additionally, there is the Liverpool connection for both Fromhold and Selim too. Perhaps they knew of each other prior to Fromhold moving to Buxton. Family history can be so frustrating as you would very well know! Fromhold died in 1905, back in Birkenhead, and his death certificate gives his occupation as 'watchmaker journeyman'."
In late January 2009, I received some excellent information about AUGUSTUS BRIGHT
"..... I have been able to ascertain what
happened to Augustus. I currently own his Rifles pattern sword, this is etched
with his initials, "AB", his, or the Cheshire Bright family's crest of a demi-griffin
holding a black star in its right claw, and the Corps title, "Hallamshire
Rifles". Augustus was commissioned as an Ensign in the corps 5 February 1861
he was promoted to Lieutenant 3 January 1863 and Captain 21 July 1871. He is
still shown as such (senior Captain by now) in the January 1880 Monthly Army
list, the next one in my library is February 1881 when
his name no longer appears. His recorded death 1 November 1880 has solved the
mystery. He would no doubt have been accorded a military style funeral well
attended by his fellow officers and men.
The Colonel of the 2nd (Hallamshire) West York Rifle Volunteers at this time was the Earl of Wharncliffe and the Lieut-Colonel commanding was Thomas Edward Vickers (presumably the steel family). Augustus had
nearly completed 20 years in the Rifle Vols. quite an achievement. In those still 'delicate' times perhaps his Jewish background held up further advancement. The 'Hallamshires' in due course (1883) became the 1st (Hallamshire) Volunteer Battalion, The York & Lancaster Regiment, and in 1908 the 4th Hallamshire Battalion (Territorial Force) The York & Lancaster Regiment".
In September 2010 another person who had come across this article kindly provided me with yet more information on the family. It is particularly illuminating with regard to the Bright Mausoleum at Moscar.
qualified as a solicitor in 1958 I went to work in my father's Sheffield Office,
Hyman Stone & Co. and for some reason became interested in the Bright Mausoleum.
My father had set up a trust for its preservation, the trustees of which as far as I can remember were Rueben Viner and my father, and possibly a solicitor with the name Spier who I believe was a Bright relative or connection. (By coincidence Spier was a son of the Spier who at one time was a partner in my father's firm in London, then known as Jacobson Ridley, but at the time of Spier, as Jacobson, Guedalla and Spier.)
There was very little money in the trust and I tried very hard to interest Sheffielders and the Jewish community in the preservation of the Mausoleum which though then pretty intact needed some gardening. I had absolutely no success in raising a penny.
With the last moneys in the trust I had photographs taken. Copies may have been lodged with Sheffield Archives or in Southampton University where there is a Jewish archive, Alas I cannot remember 52 years exactly what had happened. I myself do not have any copies.
While in Sheffield I met Eric Lipson whose paper on the Brights of Sheffield you must know of. I am currently finalising some Memoirs written by a third cousin (1961) shortly before her death on her life and times in Sheffield and subsequently in New York and Staten Island.
A note to these Memoirs reads:
Eric Lipson in ‘The Brights of Market Place’, [Sheffield]: [paper delivered to the Hunter Archaeological Society, volume v1, no 3, 1947) states that the Bright family was the first family of any note to settle in Sheffield (in abt.1786) (Armin Krausz: Sheffield Jewry: Commentary on a Community: Philip and Isaac Bright (d. 1849) in 1790). The family became very wealthy and influential citizens and engaged in many enterprises including Jewellery, Silver-Plate, Sheffield Plate and cutlery manufacture and selling.
Lipson speculates that the Bright family was possibly of Sephardic (Spanish and Portuguese Jewish) extraction. If so Dolly may have supposed that they would have come to England from the Netherlands. and therefore ‘Dutch Jews.’ But, according to Armin Krausz, ibid, Philip and Isaac came from Biarritz in south-west France. However Maurice Bright married a De Metz and Selim Bright (‘Selim’ itself a Sephardic first name) married a De Lara at a time when there was almost no intermarriage between Ashkenazim (German Jews) and Sephardim.
On a slightly different note I also discovered whilst looking into this matter details of a court case that must have caused grave concern to the Bright family. The case was reported in the Manchester Times dated 14th February 1874.
If anyone can add to this information outline above, please let me know.
ISAAC BRIGHT (1762/3-1849) who was the grandfather of HORATIO and the father of SELIM BRIGHT
There seems to be no definitive record of where Isaac Bright came from originally, or what his original last name was. What is known is that Isaac and his young brother, Philip, arrived in Sheffield in about 1786 and that both of them became jewelers and silversmiths. They certainly formed part of the earliest community of Jews in Sheffield and possibly helped found the first synagogue there.
Isaac married Ann Micholls, who is also buried in Deane Road Cemetery. She was the daughter of Henry Micholls (also known as Hirsch Nicholls of Dereham, Norfolk). Isaac and Ann had ten children, and dozens of grandchildren, many of whom also became jewelers. The eldest sons, Maurice (1796-1848) and Selim (1799-1891), kept on the family business, Bright & Sons, in Sheffield until Maurice’s death in 1848. After that, Selim continued the business both in Sheffield and in Buxton, where he lived, and Maurice’s widow, Henrietta, and their sons Herbert and Frederick opened yet another branch in Scarborough. Another of Isaac and Ann’s sons, Henry Bright (b.1817), became a jeweler in Leamington and eventually became the Mayor of that town. The youngest son, Edward (b.1819), was in partnership with Henry for a while but then moved to Brighton and set up as a jeweller there.
The youngest daughter of Isaac and Ann was Rebecca (1814-38). She is buried in Deane Road Cemetery along with her husband, Henry Lyon (1805-78) and daughter Charlotte (1837-82). Other descendents included a grandson, Horatio Bright (1829-1906), who was well known in the Sheffield community as a very colourful though successful steel manufacturer. A grandson, Maurice DeLara Bright (1825/6-1902), was a composer who wrote several marches that were played at Buckingham Palace for Queen Victoria, and a great-granddaughter, Dora Bright (1863-1951), was a well known musician and songwriter.
Isaac’s brother Philip Bright (1784-1841) set up as a jeweller in Doncaster. In 1830, he made the Doncaster Gold Cup, with a value of 150 guineas. . Philip’s second wife Sarah Jacobs was the sister of David Jacobs Jackson who is also buried in Deane Road Cemetery (see below).
Lipson, E (1947) “The Brights of Market Place” in “Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society”, Vol 6.
The article does put HORATIO BRIGHT's family in a wider historical context and is fascinating in that respect. The statement "They certainly formed part of the earliest community of Jews in Sheffield and possibly helped found the first synagogue there." is very interesting. Sheffield in 1801 had a population of about 60,000 but to be frank I did not know the demographic and ethnic composition of the population.
However, in February 2007 I received an e-mail from a researcher and descendent of the Bright family who drew my attention to the following article. It comes from a Jewish History website that charts the rise of Judaism in the provinces of the United Kingdom
"The story of the Jewish community of Sheffield provides a curious example of
the tendency of nineteenth-century Anglo-Jewry to confuse its origins. In the
Jewish Directory of 1874, the date of the foundation of the Great Synagogue
there is given as 1850, which one would have imagined to be correct. On the
other hand, Margoliouth states, very plausibly, that Jewish merchants visited
this centre as early as the eighteenth century, and the Jewish Year Book
indicates that the Synagogue was established in 1790 when (it is said) two
brothers, Philip and Isaac Bright, settled there. There were indeed Jews in the
city in 1827, when Alderman Solomon Cohen, later of Hull (brother of Dr. George
Cohen, the first Jewish Coroner), was born there (J.C. 13.iii.1903). The group
centred apparently about a certain Mr. Jacobs (son of Joseph Jacobs, of London,
a founder of the New Synagogue), whose son used to recount (J.C. 24.viii.1900)
how they were the only Jewish family when they first arrived in Sheffield in the
eighteen-twenties. They had their synagogue in their house, and their own
Shochet, Abraham Neugass, who was in their service for twenty-five or thirty
years and used to supply Kosher meat also for the two Jewish families then
living in Leeds.
According to A. A. Levy (followed as usual by Margoliouth) a permanent
congregation was established only in 1838, mainly through the exertions of
Messrs. Emanuel and Jacobs. (I am at a loss to reconcile this with the tradition
that the synagogue's annual appeal on behalf of the local hospitals was
instituted in 1828: though I must say that it is a tradition which impresses me
as being of very recent origin, and based perhaps on faulty arithmetic). In
1842, the Synagogue was situated in Folly Street, and the burial ground in Boden
Street. The reader was I.Levy, the President I. Ezekiel, and the Secretary was
M. Emanuel*: and
there were ten Jewish families in the town. When Margoliouth wrote, in 1851, the number had doubled.
* He must have retired shortly after; in the Jewish Chronicle of 22.vii.47 the Congregation advertised for a Hazan-shochet; applications were to be made to Mr. A. Leon, presumably Emanuel's successor as Secretary".
"..the Jewish Year Book indicates that the Synagogue was established in 1790 when (it is said) two brothers, Philip and Isaac Bright, settled there." seems to indicate that Horatio's father and brother were one of the first Jews to settle in Sheffield.
There is also another "Bright"connection that may be of interest. I believe that AUGUSTUS BRIGHT mentioned in the book by Douglas Lamb is the father of DORA ESTELLA BRIGHT [married name Knatchbull], (1862–1951). Sophie Fuller in the article sourced below that DORA was
" composer and pianist, was born on 16 August 1862 at 375 Glossop Road,
Ecclesall Bierlow, Yorkshire, the daughter of a merchant's clerk, Augustus
Bright, and his wife, Katherine Coveney Pitt. In February 1881 she entered the
Royal Academy of Music, where she studied piano and composition and won many
important prizes, including in 1888 the first Charles Lucas prize for
composition to be awarded to a woman. During her student years Bright gave many
public performances as a pianist, often of her own works. Among these were
Variations on an Original Theme of Sir G. A. Macfarren, for two pianos (1888;
published, 1894), and her first piano concerto, a fluent and attractive work,
which she performed in 1888 at a Royal Academy concert in St James's Hall and at
the Covent Garden Promenade Concerts. Further performances of this work followed
in 1889 and 1891. The score is one of the few manuscripts by Bright to survive.
In 1889, already established as a successful pianist and composer, Bright left the Royal Academy. In that year she started an annual series of piano recitals and chamber concerts which became widely acknowledged for their adventurous programming of new British music. Her own songs, piano pieces, and chamber works were being published by such firms as Ashdown, Elkin, Novello, and Stanley Lucas, Weber & Co. She also wrote a considerable amount of orchestral music, including a fantasia for piano and orchestra, which she performed in May 1892 at the notoriously conservative and prestigious Philharmonic Society. This was the first orchestral work by a woman to be played by the society since the performance of Maria Milanollo's violin concerto in 1845.
On 22 March 1892 Bright married the landowner and Crimean veteran Captain Wyndham Knatchbull. After her marriage she curtailed her performing career somewhat but continued to compose, and she established an amateur dramatic and operatic society at her home at Babington, near Bath, in Somerset. Bright's involvement with theatrical music can be dated from 1893, when she wrote the incidental music for Seymour Hicks and Laurence Irving's Uncle Silas at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London. In the first decade of the twentieth century she established a fruitful artistic relationship with the dancer Adeline Genée, who had danced the title role in the first professional performance of Bright's ballet The Dryad in 1907 and for whom Bright composed several ballets, among then La camargo (1912) and A Dancer's Adventure (1915). She also took further composition lessons with Maurice Moszkowski in Paris, and it was probably while there that she composed her Variations for piano and orchestra (1910). Other orchestral works from the early twentieth century include a Concertstück for six drums and orchestra (1915?) and a Suite bretonne for flute and orchestra (1917).
After the First World War records of performances or publications by Bright became much less frequent. She appears to have turned instead to music journalism, and in the 1940s she worked as the radio critic for Musical Opinion. Her reviews of the BBC's output are deeply critical of most contemporary music. Bright was a dynamic and charismatic musician, widely acclaimed as a leading pianist and composer in the 1880s and 1890s. Letters written by her close friend and fellow Royal Academy student Ethel Boyce depict a fun-loving woman who loved the opera and giving parties, including one where her appearance as Carmen in a short red dress was regarded as ‘rather too daring’. Despite her earlier championing of new music, by the end of her life she was unable to appreciate radical developments in the musical world and her own pioneering contributions, as both pianist and composer, were almost entirely forgotten. She died of cerebral thrombosis on 16 November 1951 at her home in Babington".
In the Book "Lest We Forget" by Douglas Lamb, the author describes a visit he made to the Bright Mausoleum at Moscar, near Sheffield
"....the site is overgrown and derelict. There are two small buildings at the top of the hill, both of which are empty, together with a heap of rubble which may be the remains of a third building and five family gravestones set into the surface of a flat -topped, raised piece of ground plus many wind bent and stunted trees. Underfoot the ground is carpeted with weeds and lank grass. Even the iron gate, which is the only way in, is creaking with rust and disuse. It is altogether a desolate and God forsaken place - but whose God? "
The five family gravestones that are referred to by Douglas Lamb are
1 EMILY BELINDA BRIGHT, BORN 23rd JULY,1834, DIED 20th APRIL, 1885.
2. EDMUND SAMPSON BRIGHT, DIED MARCH 23rd, 1848, AGED 16.
3. FREDERICK BRIGHT, DIED JUNE 24th, 1898, AGED 70.
4. HENRIETTA BRIGHT, DIED AUGUST 24th, 1863 , AGED 58.
5. ESTELLA BRIGHT, DIED AUG. 20th 1878.
SELIM BRIGHT, HUSBAND OF THE ABOVE, DIED JAN. 8th 1891.
AUGUSTUS BRIGHT, DIED NOV. 1st 1880.
OCTAVIOUS BRIGHT, DIED 1892.
SONS OF THE ABOVE
I was contacted in the autumn of 2006 by someone who had seen the article on Horatio and supplied me with additional information on the Mausoleum and Horatio's family.
"We do own Horatio Bright's mausoleum, it is set in a couple of acres of woodland he planted out in the 1850's at Moscar on the A57 Manchester Road. It is opposite Moscar Cottages and Moscar Lodge, and is the last bit of woodland on the left-hand side going away from Sheffield before the Moors and the Strines turn off. There is a gate next to the bus-stop. The Mausoleum was vandalised in 1982 and was bricked up, and the body's removed by the Council. It is no more than a shell now, we bought it in 1985,and have been restoring the wood ever since".
I found a brief notice of Estella's death in the Manchester Times dated 24th August 1878 which states
"BRIGHT - Estella Bright (nee de Lara) the beloved wife of Selim Bright of Buxton died 20th August 1878 aged 74 - Friends will please accept this intimation"
"Crookes Revisited" compiled by the Crookes Local History Group
The Scotsman newspaper - Wednesday 7th February 1906 - Monday 23rd April 1906
The Times - Tuesday 1st March 1960
Lest We Forget - Douglas Lamb
S. Fuller, ‘Women composers during the British musical renaissance, 1880–1918’, PhD diss., U. Lond., 1998 · S. Fuller, ‘Dora Bright’, The Pandora guide to women composers: Britain and the United States, 1629 – present (1994)
Deane Road Cemetery in Liverpool
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This page was last updated on 03/04/14 16:19