The Jacobs of Leicester

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1911 Census

1911 Census

The Jacobs have been established members of the Leicester Jewish Community for over a hundred years, as we can see from the above entry in the 1911 census. At this time the family were living at 21 Albion Hill, Leicester. The following is a transcription of the name, position in family, age, job, place of birth and nationality as written in the census:

David A. Jacobs, Head, 46, Tailor (Maker) Employer, Poland (Russia), Polish
Fanny Jacobs, Wife, 40, Assisting in the business, Poland (Russia), Polish
Samuel H Jacobs, Son, 19, Tailor (Maker), Poland (Russia), Polish
Rachel Jacobs, Daughter, 15, Mother’s help, London
Jacob Jacobs, Son, 13, School, London
Morris Jacobs, Son, 12, School, London
Michael Joseph Jacobs, Son, 10, School, London
Benjamin Jacobs, Son, 7, School, Leicester
Cecil A Jacobs, Son, one month, Leicester

Sam, Jack, Bennie and the Rag Trade

Samuel, known as Sam, married Sadie Kosky in 1915. They had three children; Celia, Shirley and Eileen. Sam ran a costumier and furrier business from his shop at 7 Wharf Street. Between the wars, Leicester’s Wharf Street was the centre of a busy retail area but the street was demolished in post-war ‘improvements’.

Jack was a tailor and hand-presser working in Bond Street, Leicester. Bennie was also a tailor and hand-presser. He worked in Highcross Street.

Two Leicester Families Joined in Marriage

In 1920 Rachel married Sam May thereby linking two of the major Jewish families in Leicester at the time. Her husband, Sam, went on to become one of the pioneers of the television industry.

Joe the Publican

Michael Joseph was known as Joe. He became a publican in 1931 and was the licensee of the Haunch of Venison in the High Street. He was a well-known character and a much-loved licensee. Comedians playing at the Palace Theatre in nearby Belgrave Gate would make sure to mention his name in their act thereby publicising the pub and earning themselves a free drink in return. During the 2nd World War Joe became a boxing promoter and raised over £50,00 for various local war charities. After the war he divided his time between boxing promotions and the Haunch of Venison which became the most famous sporting pub in the Midlands.

Cecil the Pharmacist and Congregation Trustee

Cecil’s choice of career was very different to his brothers’. In 1931 he qualified as a pharmacist and by 1969 was made President of the National Pharmacists Union and was elected by the Pharmaceutical Society to an Honorary Fellowship for his distinguished services to Pharmacy. He was appointed a Leicester Justice of the Peace and, as a Freemason, he was one of the leaders of the Masonic Province of Leicestershire and Rutland. Cecil was Trustee of the LHC and Secretary of the Synagogue. During the war he was also marriage secretary with the responsibility for more marriages than had ever before been seen in Leicester’s synagogue.