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Vol. VII, No. 2
Iyar 5609, May 1849

Jewish Population in England.


We take pleasure in laying before our readers the following communication of Mr. Jacob A. Franklin, late editor and proprietor of the Voice of Jacob. From it will be seen that the estimated Jewish population in England proper, that is, exclusive of Scotland and Ireland, where there are but few at the best, is less than twenty-seven thousand; and still they have so many noble institutions of charity, and a close union of ecclesiastical interests, with several spiritual heads, who have always enjoyed the confidence and respect of Israelites all over the world. To judge from circumstances, in the absence of all statistics, the Jews in the United States exceed already in numbers those in England, and by a constant immigration will do so before long to a great extent; and well may the question be asked, how do we compare in religious standing with our brothers in Britain? and it is to be regretted that the answer will not be very flattering to our self love. It is true we erect constantly new Synagogues, building such edifices as will do honour to our faith and ornament the cities where they are situated; but how do we ornament the inner temple, the religious sense of the people? Let each one answer for himself. But we ask, :Why not do something to improve all this?” On this let those who have influence reflect gravely, and answer to their own conscience for their supineness. We call on those to act, and this alone will suffice.

Ed. Oc.

To Sir Moses Montefiore, Bart., President, and the Committee of Deputies of British Jews.


I have the pleasure to present the following statistics of the Jewish population in English counties, deduced from the tabular returns of births, deaths, and marriages, during the year 1846; recently presented to Parliament by the Registrar-General.

Having for some years endeavoured to show the importance of this and similar statistical information, more directly obtained, and especially since I have had the honour of a seat at your board, I do not despair of your sympathy and official cooperation for those objects at a later period; meanwhile I venture to suggest an application to the various Synagogues for a return of the number of interments for a <<100>>series of years, as data whence to deduce a more proximate estimate of the Jewish population at large than these marriage returns afford.

I have the honour to be, Gentlemen,
Your faithful colleague,
J. A. Franklin.

The report of the Registrar-General shows that, during the year 1846, in every 100,000 of the population, (50,000 of each sex,) 1713 persons married; hence the ratio of marriages to the population was 1.713/2 per cent. Then since there were 224 Jewish marriages, (registered as such,) in 1846:—

Marriages Population Jewish Marriages Jewish Population
1.713/2 100 224 26,152

Or, the average number of marriages for 8 years having been in the ratio of 1.588/2 per cent  of the population:—

Marriages Population Jewish Marriages Jewish Population
1.588/2 100 224 28,211 in 1846

These estimates of the Jewish population refer only to the following counties, in which the 224 marriages in 1846 were registered, there not having been any Jewish marriages registered in Wales within that year, and the Registrat-General not acting for Scotland, Ireland, and the Channel Islands.

Jewish Marriages in 1846 Do. from 1838 to 1846
In Middlesex, 180*  (160 being in the 1838, 135
Kent, 2 city of London) 1839, 160
Sussex, 1   1840, 152
Hampshire, 2 Year ending 30th June 1841, 116
Norfolk, 1    
Devonshire, 6 Year ending 31st Dec. 1841, 113
Cornwall, 3   1842, 163
Gloucester, 3   1843, 151
Warwick, 9   1844, 175
Lancashire, 15   1845, 180
Northumberland, 2   1846, 224

* 180 marriages, according to the mean ratio of eight years, gives the Jewish population of Middlesex at 22,669 souls. It does not appear whether this is inclusive or exclusive of the small (secession) [Reform] congregation in Burton Street, marriages between Jews therein not being certified in the ordinary [halachic] way.

If the ratios respectively of marriages, births, and deaths among the <<101>>whole population are equally applicable to the Jewish section of it, then, in 1846, there were in the eleven counties enumerated:—

  Jews married. Jews born. Jews buried.
  448 880 600
Or, taking the mean      
of 8 years, 444 913 617

It appears to me probable that the ratio of marriages to an equal number of both sexes would be found somewhat higher among the Jews than among the population at large; a view founded on the comparative unfrequency of concubinage among Jews, and on other circumstances. But as the immigration of foreign Jews into England is supposed to consist principally of males, the uniformity of the ratio of the population generallyto the number of marriages is probably maintained.