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Mordecai Marcus Ascoli

Mordecai Marcus Ascoli

Male 1848 - 1901  (53 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Mordecai Marcus Ascoli 
    Born 19 May 1848  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Biography My father was born into quite a different background. His parents were Jewish and my father was the eldest of a large family and was sent to the Merchant Taylor's School and so, for the first few years of his life at any rate, was well taught, loved his lessons and showed an intellect well up to standard for his age. But, alas, his father died when the son was only twelve years of age. There was a large family of boys and girls in various stages of development and, apparently, very little provision left for them.

    We know that he came of a wealthy family, noted in England and the continent for their learning and business ability, but apparently his father had offended in some way and had possibly become an outcast. His mother lived with us for many years, and was a typical Jewish matriarch, but of the cause of the rift never a word passed her lips and, if my father knew, he also was silent on the subject.

    So at twelve years of age, ill-equipped in many ways, my father left school and was sent to work. What he did in the early days we never knew and I believe my mother heard nothing of his early life except that he accepted the Christian religion and so was cast off by his nation as well as his family.

    Of their early married life there exists almost as much secrecy, no doubt because both of them wanted to blot out the memory of the poverty and sickness which constituted the history of those early years. Moreover, they wanted to keep it entirely from us as children. We did hear whispers of it from time to time however. During the first year or two the terrors of unemployment faced them and in desperation, as a child was on the way, my father joined the army. Then, sleeping out in a swamped field night after night caused acute rheumatism and he was invalided out. The first child, a girl, was born before this tragedy happened. She was a bright, healthy child with a decided will of her own, equalling in every way children which are born today with all the pre-natal care bestowed upon them by the welfare state.

    The second one was not quite so fortunate. He followed, just eighteen months after the first, when the ravages of rheumatic fever had done their worst and the resultant unemployment followed. We understand it was at this time my father took on odd jobs of house decorating, possibly the trade to which he had been apprenticed at twelve years of age.

    By this time I came on the scene, early in 1884, when they had been married nine and a half years and he was settled as Assistant Librarian at the Guildhall Library which provided a lucrative employment according to the standards of that time.

    The early illness had left its mark and I remember periods of sickness and absence from business recurring again and again until, at last, he was obliged to retire about the year 1887 on a small, and altogether inadequate, pension and his subsequent death in October 1901.

    It seems almost impossible to imagine the effect of all this on my mother. I remember her, in those early days of my life, as a delicate woman, always busy all day on the housework and cooking and on the sewing machine in the evening, making clothes for herself and her numerous family which reached the formidable number of nine, the last one being born in 1892. Yet she held herself proudly, and her clothes always became her, so that no-one ever imagined there was lack of the necessities of life existing in our household. We were a healthy looking bunch for the most part, looked up to by the neighbours and popular among our fellows, although we were not allowed to mix very much.

    My father being of Jewish blood, and having been converted to the Christian church, had joined the Baptist community and ruled his household according to the religious customs of those days. This meant a strictness and watchfulness on his part for any misdemeanours, and subsequent punishments were dealt out according to his idea of the wrongness of the deed. I hope to show in the consequent records the effect this had on the various characters of the different children. On the other hand, my mother was gentle towards us and many a time kept quiet, when we had done wrong or argued against the punishment meted out to us when we were discovered.

    Neither of them indulged in any show of affection towards us. Evidently it was considered wrong and harmful to our characters yet I can personally remember the softening of the voices, or both their parts, on occasions when it seemed they wished to show they loved us, but dared not proclaim it openly. I cannot remember, either, any word of praise being given to any one of us but plenty of reproof when they deemed it necessary. We were of course sent to Sunday School and to church services and had family prayers on Sunday mornings before we left the breakfast table. [elaborate]

    My father was an ardent liberal in politics and often canvassed for the various candidates especially for the Parliamentary Elections. On one occasion the famous (or infamous) Horatio Bottomley put up for our division as a liberal and my father said he would not work for him or vote for him either. The candidate himself must have got wind of this for he personally visited my father and with his silver tongue got his promise of a vote but no more. He told us, when he had gone, how he looked around the room on entering and his eye fell on the portrait of Gladstone,
    “Ah,” he murmured in his honey tones, “the Grand old Man.”
    Then, turning, he saw the portrait of Chas. H. Spurgeon.
    “Ah,” he said in slightly louder voice, “another Grand old Man.”
    And, with that introduction, sat down and faced my father with the fatuous smile still on his face.

    He had to endure yet another crisis in politics when the Boer War broke out in 1899. He, in conjunction with a number of liberals, felt the war to be wrong, and unnecessary, and was not afraid to express his opinion. The minister of the church he attended, and where he was a deacon, preached a sermon on the necessity of everyone helping the war effort in every way possible. My father spoke about this to him and he was furious and forbad him serving the elements at the Communion Service.

    He was known, henceforth, throughout the neighbourhood as a pro-Boer and we had to endure a good deal of ostracism on the part of school friends and when the persecution of people so designated commenced we spent many an evening indoors expecting every minute stones to be thrown through our windows or to be molested in the streets. It must have been due to the high esteem in which my father was held in the place, and a certain amount of sympathy, possibly accorded to him because of his infirmity, but we were all unharmed, though many nearby were set upon and hurt and their property damaged. Before that war was over he had died, in October 1901, at the age of fifty-three.

    Mordechai (together with some other siblings) went to either The Hebrew Boys School or Hebrew Girls School. Petra has just told me that these schools were in fact church run and their intention was to convert Jews to Christianity.  They obviously succeeded with Mordechai as he met Jane at a Ghristian mission in the east end of London and their children were all involved in the church too.  
     
    One sibling who attended the school was my great grandma Esther who remained Jewish in spite of the education!
       [1, 2
    Hebrew Birth 16 Iya 5608 
    Hebrew Death 10 Che 5662 
    Occupation Senior library attendant 
    Residence London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 23 Oct 1901  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Chingford Cemetery,
    Person ID I6260  Blank Family
    Last Modified 28 Oct 2010 

    Father Moses (Morris) Ascoli,   b. 30 Dec 1814, Poplar, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Dec 1860, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth (Betsy)(Bilha) Lee Levy,   b. 1814, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Dec 1893, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 2 May 1839  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 6 Houndsditch,
    Family ID F4396  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Jane Elizabeth Palmer,   b. 1852, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Mar 1929, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Married 1874  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Elizabeth Alice Ascoli,   b. Sep 1878, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Mar 1948, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 69 years)
     2. Walter Marcus Ascoli,   b. Mar 1880, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1959, Keston, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 78 years)
     3. Arthur Ascoli,   b. 1881, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes - date unknown
     4. Edith A. Ascoli,   b. 1882, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 May 1919, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 37 years)
     5. Alice Maud Ascoli,   b. 1 Dec 1884, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1965  (Age 80 years)
     6. Herbert Alfred Ascoli,   b. 1886, Edmonton, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Apr 1917, Vimy Ridge, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 31 years)
     7. Beatrice Maud Ascoli,   b. 9 Jul 1888, Walmanstow, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jan 1924, Morondara, Madagascar Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 35 years)
     8. Henrietta Lilian Ascoli,   b. Jul 1888, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Feb 1898, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 9 years)
     9. Arthur Henry Ascoli,   b. 1891, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1965  (Age 74 years)
     10. Percy Edwin Ascoli,   b. 1892, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Nov 1928, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years)
    Family ID F4846  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 19 May 1848 - London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1874 - London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 23 Oct 1901 - London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - London, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Ascoli Marcus and Jane Family
    Ascoli Marcus and Jane Family

  • Sources 
    1. [S176] Memoirs of Alice Ascoli 1884 - 1965, Alice Ascoli, http:&|;&|;fp.willson.plus.com&|;onlooker&|;.

    2. [S156] E-mail message, from Gina Marks.


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