Sir Moses Montefiore, a Jewish philanthropist, born in London, Oct. 24, 178-4. His ancestors had been wealthy bankers in London for several generations. He married, June 10, 1812, Miss Judith Cohen, a sister-in-law of Nathan Meyer Rothschild, the founder of the London branch of that house. While visiting Palestine in 1829 with his wife, he became interested in his coreligionists there. In 1837 he became sheriff of London and was knighted on the queen's visit to the city, and in 1846 he was made a baronet. He made a second journey with his wife to the East in 1840, in company with Cremieux, on occasion of the persecution of the Jews in Damascus, and visited Palestine on several other occasions, always in the interest and for the relief of the Jews. In 1846 he prevailed upon the emperor Nicholas to suspend a ukase against the Jews, and was invited to visit Poland to suggest measures for the amelioration of the condition of its Jewish inhabitants. In 1854 he collected funds for the relief of the sufferers by the famine in the East, obtained from the sultan the privilege of holding real estate, and established poorhouses in Jerusalem, and also promoted industry and agriculture.
In 1863, having secured at Madrid the cooperation of Queen Isabella, he obtained a firman from the sultan of Morocco in favor of the persecuted Jews, guaranteeing their equal protection with Christians. In 1866, in his 82d year, he made his last visit to his proteges in Palestine, who had been afflicted by the cholera, and whose crops had been destroyed by locusts. In the following year he went to Bucharest to use his influence against the ill treatment of the Jews in Roumania. In 1867 he endowed a Jewish college at Ramsgate in honor of his wife, who had died childless, Sept, 24, 1862. The freedom of the city of London was tendered to him in 1873, with a valuable present, in token of his benevolence. Lady Montefiore published " Notes of a Private Journal of a Visit to Egypt and Palestine" (London, 1844).